Monday, November 25, 2013

Obama, Iran & Peace In Our Time

The single greatest threat to the world is Iran and its drive towards a nuclear arsenal. It took almost eight years to get real international sanctions in place against Iran in an effort to end their nuclear program short of war. And now, Obama has ratified Iran's nuclear program while loosening the international sanctions that were finally starting to bite. Hot Air describes the deal thusly:

When you dig into the details of this arrangement, there’s a lot of frosting and not much cake. First of all, this is not a permanent agreement in any way shape or form. It’s a six month “arrangement” which Iran could simply walk away from at the end (or at any point, really) after receiving a massive fiscal injection in the form of sanction relief. It is also simply a “suspension” of certain enrichment activities, with no dismantling of any of Iran’s facilities. The entire show can be started back up at any time. There’s additional transparency, with more inspectors allowed into additional facilities, which is good, but much like the suspension of enrichment this can be terminated any moment Iran decides not to honor the deal. (As they have done numerous times in the past.) The deal also allegedly limits the level of uranium enrichment the Iranians can reach, but that’s the same bone we’ve been chewing on for years. And finally, we have the Iranians on every cable channel doing an end zone dance saying this is “formal recognition” of their right to enrich uranium, while Kerry and his team are saying the opposite. It’s hard to imagine how solid any “deal” can be when the two sides are announcing essentially 180 degree opposite conclusions on basic terminology.

This is insane. The mad mullahs of Iran are every bit as evil, every bit as bloody, every bit as genocidal, and every bit as expansionist as the Nazi regime of old. And the world, led by Obama, is making the same mistakes as the United Kingdom and France of 1938. With this agreement with Iran, war is now more likely in the long run, not less.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beware The Obamacare Legislative Trap

Stalin was able to collectivize agriculture in the Soviet Union because he was not accountable. Anyone who didn't like what he was doing or was hurt by it didn't matter. Stalin killed over 20 million of them.

The problem for the "progressives" in our country, as they attempt to take over and run health care, is that they can't dispense with all the people they are hurting - the young who have to subsidize the old, the middle class who are being massively taxed to subsidize Obama voters, those on medicare who will be hurt by the massive raids on that program, the religious who object to being made to violate their conscience, the workers who will be losing their jobs, or at least their working hours, over Obamacare, etc., etc. To the contrary, all those people can and will vote.

Usually, the progressive left gets their way because their pathological altruism sounds far more empathetic, and when whatever program they are pushing has negative consequences, it is so discrete in effect that they can successfully lie about it. The vast majority is none the wiser. Not so with progressive's penultimate overreach - Obamacare. It effects every American.

Now that Democrat legislators find themselves caught out, they are panicking, and therein lies a trap for the right. This from Redstate:

. . . They are about to consider, in the House of Representatives, legislation by Congressman Upton that would allow people to keep their insurance plans.

There’s a problem though. It is widely acknowledged that Congressman Upton’s legislation is more messaging than substance. His legislation does not have anything in it that can force insurance companies, in the topsy-turvy world of Obamacare, to keep insurance plans going.

But there is a plan than does. Senator Mary Landrieu has written legislation in the United States Senate that the Democrats love. It mandates insurance companies have to keep people on their present insurance. The GOP is supposedly against mandates and against government forcing private businesses and individuals into contracts they don’t want.

Here’s what is going to happen.

The House, with the help of a good number of Democrats, will pass the Upton plan and send it to the Senate. Harry Reid will substitute the Landrieu plan and send it back to the House. The House will be forced to either vote for the Landrieu plan or be characterized as siding with insurance companies against people.

In one fell swoop, the Democrats will have the GOP on record saving Mary Landrieu’s re-election in Louisiana by casting her as the one who saved Americans’ health care plans, and also getting on record as really being in favor of fixing Obamacare with the use of mandates.

In truth, Obamacare is not fixable. The only solution is to fully repeal it. The Republicans should not be helping Democrats with their re-election plans, which is all the are doing with Upton/Landrieu.

The GOP is walking right into the trap.

The GOP could not be better positioned right now. Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare. And indeed, it was just a few weeks ago that Ted Cruz and the House shut down government explicitly over Obamacare. And as countless people have noted, Obamacare can't be fixed, it must be repealed. The GOP must continue to demand it - and nothing less.

My suggestion to Republicans is simply refuse any bill that is a fix to Obamacare, short of getting a major, major capitulation in return, such as tort reform, and even then, only in return for a short term fix. Beyond that, alter anything such as the Upton bill with riders that would bring an end to Obamacare.

The only other caveat to that is that Republicans need to unanimously agree on their own plan for medical insurance reform and attach it as an alternative. Up to this point, while there are Republican plans out there, they are individual proposals without a single consolidated plan that all support.

Two, the right has been largely silent, preferring to dwell on the evils of Obamacare rather than their own proposed solutions. This has been a tactic to keep all attention on Obamacare and not to give the left a chance to rail against the right's ideas. We are fast approaching the time when Republicans need to take the next step and present their consolidated plan as an alternative to the obscenity that is Obamacare.


Obamacare - The Schadenfreude Is Almost Too Much

Almost . . .

Today's Obamacare vignettes:

- Update: No one, and I mean no one, seems to be experiencing more schadenfreude than Jonah Goldberg:

[F]rankly, this has been one of the most enjoyable political moments of my lifetime. I wake up in the morning and rush to find my just-delivered newspaper with a joyful expectation of worsening news so intense, I feel like Morgan Freeman should be narrating my trek to the front lawn. Indeed, not since Dan Rather handcuffed himself to a fraudulent typewriter, hurled it into the abyss, and saw his career plummet like Ted Kennedy was behind the wheel have I enjoyed a story more.

- First up, the numbers:

On Wednesday, the Obama administration finally released its first numbers for Obamacare health insurance exchange enrollment dating from October 1 to October 31. The numbers were not pretty: just 106,185 people “selected a Marketplace plan” using the exchanges, after the administration predicted that 494,620 people would do so.

Even the Associated Press was forced to lament the “dismal numbers.” The federal health care exchange signed up less than 27,000 people. . . .

- As the same article goes on to point out, in round numbers, that makes for 100,000 signed up for Obamacare, 5,000,000 who have already lost their insurance.

- According to CNN's Jake Tapper, Democrat Congress critters have gone into hiding since the numbers came out, refusing to appear on his show.

- But not all Dems are silent. For Crazy Nancy, the only truth that matters is "socialist truth.":

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) tweeted out a claim that one million people have applied and are eligible to get insurance through the Obamacare marketplace and 500,000 have already secured coverage.

- According to The Hill, Democrat Congress Critters are on the verge of "going crazy" over the Obamacare debacle.

- How about this for a winning ad . . .

. . . This is disturbing on a number of levels, but from a purely practical point of view, how stupid does the Obama administration think young women are? They are going to pay through the nose for insurance under Obamacare - they are, after all, subsidizing their parents and grandparents health insurance - but getting a small percentage of that back as free contraception is going to sell them?

- Not all young people are quite so ignorant of math as Obama obviously hopes. From Instapundit, "Generation Opportunity Throws Anti-Obamacare Tailgate Party: Students at The University of Miami celebrated opting out of Obamacare with beer pong, pizza, and partying with Creepy Uncle Sam."

- The Obamacare girl . . .

. . . is the perfect metaphor for an Obama administration project. She is not a U.S. citizen, she has not signed up for Obamacare, and she was not paid by the government for the use of her image on the Obamacare website.


Obamacare is the gift that will keep giving for a long time to come. It is reality smashing into the "socialist truth" of the left. It is everything we on the right said it would be; it demonstrates better than anything else could the difference between the left and the right in America today. As Thomas Sowell wrote in his essay, The Prejudices Of The Elite:

[T]he political left, even in democratic countries, . . . [believe] that knowledgeable and virtuous people like themselves have both a right and a duty to use the power of government to impose their superior knowledge and virtue on others.

They may not impose their presumptions wholesale, like the totalitarians, but retail in innumerable restrictions, ranging from economic and nanny state regulations to “hate speech” laws.

If no one has even one percent of all the knowledge in a society, then it is crucial that the other 99 percent of knowledge – scattered in tiny and individually unimpressive amounts among the population at large – be allowed the freedom to be used in working out mutual accommodations among the people themselves.

These innumerable mutual interactions are what bring the other 99 percent of knowledge into play – and generate new knowledge.

That is why free markets, judicial restraint, and reliance on decisions and traditions growing out of the experiences of the many – rather than the groupthink of the elite few – are so important.

Elites are all too prone to over-estimate the importance of the fact that they average more knowledge per person than the rest of the population – and under-estimate the fact that their total knowledge is so much less than that of the rest of the population. Central planning, judicial activism, and the nanny state all presume vastly more knowledge than any elite have ever possessed.

The ignorance of people with Ph.D.s is still ignorance, the prejudices of educated elites are still prejudices, and for those with one percent of a society’s knowledge to be dictating to those with the other 99 percent is still an absurdity.

Amen . . . and pass the popcorn


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Other Obama Administration Scandal

Bob: "Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?

Jim: "You mean the Mexican gun running?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean SEAL Team 6?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the State Dept. lying about Benghazi?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean voter fraud?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the military not getting their votes counted?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean that 3 or 4 of Obama's GAY friends were mysteriously MURDERED when they came forward with claims he was gay too?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?"
Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Giving 123 Technologies $300 Million and right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Bob: "No the other one:.

Jim: "The IRS targeting conservatives?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The DOJ spying on the press?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Giving SOLYNDRA $500 MILLION DOLLARS and 3 months later they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought it?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants  from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's threat to impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass Congress?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The president's unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate's advise-and-consent role?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?"

Bob: "No, the other one."

Jim: "Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?"

Bob: "No, the other  one."

Jim: "I give up! ... Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don't pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?


(H/T American Digest)


Saturday, November 9, 2013

America Goes To School On Obamacare & Socialism 101

Dr. Krauthammer does a superb job of describing the intent, arrogance and fraud of the Obamacare design.

Obamacare, sold on breathtaking lies (keep your insurance, keep your doctor, lower your healthcare premiums, better insurance, reduce the deficit) and built on a mountain of perverse incentives (part time work chief among them), is finally hitting home for the many Obama supporters. They are being schooled in Obamacare and socialism. Idiots.

Have we finally reached the point of far left overreach? I hope so, for the nation.

Many Democrat legislators who voted for Obamacare are now seeing their political obituaries written for 2014. They have no way to fix the Obamacare obscenity, but they are clamoring to put off Obamacare for another year - to get them past the next election. I have two thoughts on that. One, the damage is done, so Republicans agreeing to such an extension would be giving up very little. Two, they should only agree to that single change in exchange for medical malpractice tort reform - something that actually would stop defensive medicine and, if done properly, would actually bend down the cost curve of medical care. Other than that, let Obama and every naive idiot that voted for him - or indeed, any Democrat - twist on the end of the Obamacare rope.