Hillary’s embarrassing event no “reset” with Russia

We have been hearing a lot lately about how the Obama administration blew the “reset” with Russia, but few people recall or ever heard how Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, was embarrassed by a close aide in what was to be a symbolic new start in U.S. – Russia relations.

Hillary and Lavrov (Pool photo by Fabrice Coffrini)

Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton all smiles over “reset” button. (pool photo by Fabrice Coffrini)

It was on March 6, 2009 in Geneva.  Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov were to have dinner together, in what was to be an effort to mend the relationship between the two countries that had become strained.

Before they sat down, however, a photo-op was arranged.  A smiling Clinton handed a small green box to Lavrov, saying I would like to present you with a little gift that represents what President Obama and Vice Predsident Biden and I have been saying and that is, we want to reset our relationship, and so we will do it together.”


Ill-conceived “reset” button. (foxnews.com)

In the box was a square yellow metal object with a bright red button.  It was to symbolize the reset of the relationship.  The word, “peregruzka” appeared above the button.  As Lavrov smiled, Clinton said, “We worked hard to get the right Russian word.  Do you think we got it?”   Lavrov’s smile turned to a laugh, stopping to say, “You got it wrong.  It should be “perezagruzka.”  He then pointed out that the Russian word on the gift button meant “overcharged,” causing Clinton to emit one of her characteristic cackles. Continue reading

Saying it’s a winner doesn’t make it so

  “I believe it’s a winner.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

NancyPelosi (ABCNews.go.com photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (abcnews photo)

In my March 25, 2014 posting, Kramer’s musings, I wrote about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s press conference during which she insisted ObamaCare be referred to as the Affordable Care Act.  She went on to predict it will be a winning issue for her party in congressional elections this year.

While highly vulnerable senators, who not only supported ObamaCare, but parroted the president’s claim that you will be able to keep your health care plan and your doctor, are viewing it as toxic as they campaign.  In an attempt to coax voters to support them, they are proposing fixes when it needs to be completely repealed.

Meanwhile, Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners, with a long association with the Democrat Party, summed up her advice to Democrats when it comes to ObamaCare – “Don’t defend it.”

In the latest Fox News Poll, 56 percent of respondents oppose the health care law, while 40 percent favor it.  The poll revealed that 65 percent believe ObamaCare is making health insurance more expensive, while just 24 percent say it will make insurance less expensive.

Democrats counting on low information voters

The numbers would be even more devastating if those who are still watching news on ABC, CBS or NBC/ MSNBC were seeing coverage of the flawed plan.  Their viewers make up what has become commonly known as the low information crowd.  The Media Research Center reports that those networks devoted just 31 minutes, 20 seconds to ObamaCare in the past three months.

A recent Pew Research study among cable networks revealed that MSNBC coverage is slanted heavily in favor of Democrats (58-Dem, 24-Ind, 16 Rep), CNN coverage is also slanted in favor of Democrats (50-Dem,31- Ind,16- Rep).  Pew shows that Fox closely lives up to its fair and balanced motto with (40-Rep, 33-Ind,Dem-22).

Speaking of numbers.  Have you noticed that Democrats continue to ridicule the House of Representatives for taking 40 votes to repeal ObamaCare, but never speak of the 38 unconstitutional plan changes made by the Obama administration?


No more ACA delays, Secretary Sebelius? Really?

                                                      “No, sir.”

sebelius wash post

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (washpost.com photo)

That was HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ clear, concise answer given with no hesitation in response to Rep. Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) question whether the Affordable Care Act individual mandate and enrollment period would be extended beyond the stated March 31, 2014 deadline.

That was just 15 days ago when she appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee.  And now we learn there will be another delay after all.  But in true bureaucratic form we are advised that it is not a “delay.”  It’s an “accommodation.”  And – get this – it will be on the honor system.  It’s still amateur hour in the Obama administration.


Will black sheriff be Rep. Lee’s next target?

KRAMER’S NOTE:  In Kramer’s musings, posted March 25, 2014, I wrote how Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) labelled Rep. Paul Ryan with a charge of thinly veiled racism for using the words “inner city” and “culture,” both of which she says are code words for “blacks.”  I wonder how Lee will interpret the statements by Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. in his op-ed.

Sheriff Clarke (communityjournal.net photo

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. (communityjournal.net photo)

“What these race provocateurs do not want to admit is the reason we are seeing more disruptive behavior in schools is because of poor and ineffective parenting, manifested by liberal policies,” said Clarke.  “There is a government program today for everything in the black community that used to be the responsibility of the individual, such as parenting.  Because of this system, many parents have abdicated what is their most important responsibility and turned it over to the government.”

Writing in an op-ed for the Washington Times, Clarke says, “Uncle Sam is now raising their kids. We take kids out of the home with early childhood education programs, and the government feeds them breakfast, lunch and dinner, and provides after-school programs.  Who needs parents in the black community anymore?”

While explaining that every attempt liberals have made to help black people with their reliance on government-centered public policy ideas have worsened their lot in life, “the family structure, once a foundation of the black community pre-1960, is in shambles,” said Clarke

I highly recommend that you read the full op-ed.  The fact that Clarke is black won’t save him from Representative Lee’s wrath.  Blacks with conservative leanings are automatically labelled “Uncle Toms.”

Robinson nbc news

Columnist Eugene Robinson (nbcnews photo)

Spouting the same tired liberal line, however, was black columnist Eugene Robinson.  “Blaming poverty on the mysterious influence of ‘culture’ is a convenient excuse for doing nothing to address the problem,” said Robinson, who seems to forget the billions of dollars that have been “invested” in the so-called “war on poverty” and the ill-conceived Great Society.  “If we had universal pre-kindergarten that fed all children into high quality high schools, if we had affordable higher education, if we incentivized industry to invest in troubled communities, if people had options for which they were prepared – culture would take care of itself,” Robinson wrote.

“But all of that is expensive,” Robinson went on.  Yes, Mr. Robinson, it is, but more money isn’t the answer.



It’s no joke, Senator Franken

In my four-part series on the IRS scandal,  I wrote of U. S. senators who intimidated the agency in an effort to stymie Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations from gaining tax exempt status for political education.


Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) (politico.com photo)

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), the former Saturday Night Live funnyman, who won his 2008 race against Norm Coleman by just 312 votes after an eight-month recount process, was one of those senators.  While he may be in a safe seat in liberal Minnesota, American Encore has put $250,000 behind an ad on rule changes that would enable the IRS to crack down on conservative political groups, and Franken takes a hit.  You can see that ad here.

Kramer’s musings …

                                             Beware the advice of the opposition

“I think the Republicans are wasting their time using that (ObamaCare) as their electoral issue, and they will find that out.”  –  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

If the Democrats really believed that, do you think they would be telling us?  It reminds me of how they tell us if we agree to amnesty, Hispanics will vote Republican.

                                                … and speaking of Nancy Pelosi

Did you hear how she corrected a reporter who asked her a question about ObamaCare?  “It’s called the Affordable Care Act,” she said, and then repeated, “It’s the Affordable Care Act.”  Then she continued by saying, “That’s a case we have to make.  We’re grown ups.”  And when the reporter reminded her that even the president calls it ObamaCare, she told him, “I tell them the same thing I told you.”

Pelosi (Evan Vucci AP photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reminds reporter that it is the Affordable Care Act, not ObamaCare. (Evan Vucci AP photo)

As if that wasn’t clear enough in her mind, she went on as if she were a kindergarten teacher to say, “Affordable. Affordable.  There’s a reason.  Affordable.  Affordable.  Affordable.   Affordable.  Affordable.”  All this to make her point that Republicans refuse to use the official name because they know it is more affordable.  Nearly everyone knows that for the majority of people, the Affordable Care Act is not more affordable.  Premiums are up and deductibles are up.  Republicans should continue to use “ObamaCare” to hang this miserable program on its namesake. Continue reading

Inderstanding the IRS scandal, Part 4

KRAMER’S NOTE:  This is the last in my series on the IRS scandal, providing you with the milestone events in capsulized form, emphasizing the importance of completing the investigation.  The first three in this series can be found in the right column of this page.

The Clear Case Against Lois Lerner

“Tea Party matter very dangerous.  This could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue of whether Citizens United overturning the ban on corporate spending applies to tax exempt rules.”   – Lois Lerner e-mail of February 1, 2011

lerner(worldmag.com photo)

Lois Lerner takes Fifth Amendment. (worldmag.com photo)

When Lois Lerner made her second appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on March 5, 2014, it was Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s intention to ask her about this statement. It goes back to her Oct. 19, 2010 declaration that the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow in its decision on Citizens United and “everyone is up in arms because the Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it.”

Issa opened the testimony session asking Lerner to identify who wanted the problem caused by Citizens United fixed, and “why would you say Tea Party cases are dangerous?”  But Lerner, as she did on May 22, 2013, took the Fifth Amendment, refusing to answer that and subsequent questions concerning IRS actions against conservative organizations.  Since her first appearance, Issa had obtained a number of 2011 e-mails showing a heightened effort to stymie Tea Party organizations. Continue reading

The kiss of death for job training’s future

For decades the federal government has been involved in job training and, like nearly every other government-run activity, there’s waste and inefficiency at a time when our economy cries for results.


Sen. Tom Coburn (foxnews photo)

For some time now, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has been shining the spotlight on this bureaucratic mess, talking about the web of 47 separate programs across nine different agencies, each of which overlapped with another program in providing similar services to similar populations.

In his January 2014 State-of-the-Union address, some five years into his presidency, President Obama announced that he was tasking Vice President Joe Biden to do a complete review of federal job training programs.  It’s the kiss of death.  Don’t expect any results even though the president has said he will use his executive prerogative to reduce duplication and demand effectiveness.

I’ve got to hand it to Coburn.  He immediately sent a letter to Biden, offering his support.  He reminded the vice president of the $18 billion annually spent on the 47 programs.  America Forward calculates the cost of all workforce development programs is closer to $60 billion. Continue reading

Democrats are insulting women

“All issues are women’s issues.  We are half of this great nation,” said Carly Fiorina to enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference.


Carly Fiorina (wired.com. photo)

“I accept and respect that not all women agree with me, “ she said, “what I’m not prepared to accept is that we are waging war on women, just because we know that abortion at five months is inhumane to both mother and child.”

For Democrats to say Republicans are waging a war on women just because they want to restrict access to abortion and birth control is an insult to women, Fiorina added.

This piece isn’t about Fiorina, but it’s interesting to make note of her impressive career, especially the fact that she became the first female officer of AT&T’s male-dominated Network Systems Division at 35 years of age.

While I imagine she is no longer concerned about gender disadvantages in her own future, she is surely aware that those disadvantages still persist for other women, and often speaks of the role of women from the conservative viewpoint.  In her view, “it is liberals who believe they know what is good for you.”

Democrats focus on abortion and birth control to distract from the real issues facing women where they have utterly failed – jobs, pay, the economy and, yes, health insurance. Continue reading

Understanding the IRS Scandal, Part 3

KRAMER’S NOTE:  In Part 1, I explained how President Obama’s public chastising of the Supreme Court justices over their decision on Citizens United during his 2010 State-of-the-Union address triggered the IRS scandal.  In Part 2, I took you through the IG’s report on the IRS and the testimony that followed.  If you missed those parts you can scroll down or see “Recent Posts” in the right column.

Democrats Continue to Intimidate the IRS

Issa (patdollard.com photo)

Rep. Darrell Issa (patdollard.com photo)

On Jan. 9, 2014, as Democrats urged the IRS to continue to apply pressure on Tea Party organizations, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and attorneys for Tea Party groups voiced disapproval of the Department of Justice’s selection of Barbara Bosserman, a major Obama campaign contributor, to head its investigation of the IRS.

The following week the FBI indicated it didn’t plan to file any criminal charges as a result of its investigation of the IRS actions even though that investigation was not yet complete.

But Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who was one of a handful of Democrats to call for Tea Party scrutiny in 2012, kept up the drum beat.  “It is clear that we will not pass anything legislatively as long as the House of Representatives is in Republican control,” said Schumer, “but there are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies; we must redouble those efforts immediately.”

Speaking at the leftist Center for American Progress just two months ago, Schumer said that the IRS should be used more aggressively to keep Tea Party funding in check; a way to weaken and exploit the conservative movement.

Schumer (Breitbart.com photo)

Sen. Charles Schumer (Breitbart.com photo)

“Obviously the Tea Party elites gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns with ads that distort and attack government,” Schumer told the very organization that pours money into efforts that target conservatives.

Clearly, Schumer has headed what has been labeled Stage One, the administration’s attempt to silence its Tea Party critics by stymying and delaying its applications.

Stage Two was intended to introduce a regulation that would silence their Tea Party critics. But in an unexpected turnabout, new rules drafted by the IRS to tighten applications for non-exempt status, didn’t sit well with liberal organizations. A disapproving ACLU cited that its advocacy was “at the heart of our representative democracy, and to the extent it influences voting, it does so by promoting an informed citizenry.”

Under the draft rule, any public communication that identifies a candidate within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election, would be deemed “political” and not be permitted.  The draft also includes changes in time spent and funds used for politics vs

After more than 140,000 comments were received on the rules changes, the House voted 243-176 to delay for one year the proposed rules.

“The idea that politicians should write laws restricting people critical of them is as perverse as the idea that a sprawling, opaque IRS bureaucracy should be assigned to construe and apply such laws,” said columnist George Will.