http://pjmedia.com/andrewmccarthy/2013/11/01/the-great-achievements-of-liberalism-aka-the-ponzi-scheme-a-response-to-ron-radosh/?print=1 Life may be too short to unwind everything Ron Radosh distorts in his PJMedia blog post on Monday. In it, he purported to recap both Charles Krauthammer’s recent appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and my NRO column from last weekend, which examined that appearance in the context of mainstream Republican enthusiasm […]
His poor maneuvering before and after the Obamacare rollout shows that he’s not three moves ahead.
Often in error but never in doubt, Barack Obama could walk into the Rose Garden and step on a half-dozen rakes like Foghorn Leghorn in an old Looney Tunes cartoon, and the official line would be, “He meant to do that.”
And the amazing thing is that so many people believe it. “Mr. Obama is like a championship chess player, always several moves ahead of friend and foe alike. He’s smart, deft, elegant and subtle,” proclaimed then–New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in 2009. It’s an image of the president that his biggest fans, in and out of the press, have been terribly reluctant to relinquish — because it confirms the faith they invested in him. Nobody ever likes to admit they were suckered.
But the fiction of Obama as a man three steps ahead has taken a terrible beating if you have eyes to see it. The budget cuts under the so-called sequester are the law of the land because Obama thought he was outthinking his opponents when he gave budget-cutters budget cuts. Now he’s stuck railing against his own idea. His allegedly revolutionary decision to turn his presidential campaign into a personal political organization independent from the Democratic party has turned out to be the most expensive way ever to generate smarmy and ineffectual e-mail spam. And, if you want to believe that Obama’s goal in Syria all along was to elevate Vladimir Putin and alienate all of our Middle East allies, including Saudi Arabia and Israel, and to make Bashar Assad our strategic partner while he finds more politically correct ways to slaughter his own people, well, that’s nice.
Or consider Obama’s only clear-cut political victory since his reelection. Republican demands were a bit of a moving target, but basically the GOP wanted either an all-out repeal of Obamacare or, as a fallback, a one-year delay of the individual mandate. By the end, they would have taken even less.
But Obama wouldn’t consider it. Instead, he played hardball with everything from national-park closures to, temporarily at least, denying death benefits to military families. As the debt ceiling loomed, the GOP relented. Conventional wisdom says Obama won, and I basically agree with the conventional wisdom.
Or at least I did. There’s something those of us scoring that bout didn’t know: The president desperately, urgently, and indisputably needed to delay the rollout of Obamacare.
This is not a matter open to fair-minded dispute, never mind partisan disagreement. Even the president and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius agree that the rollout of Obamacare has been a “debacle” (Sebelius’s word). Revelations in the press and in congressional hearings show that the administration was warned prior to both the shutdown and the Obamacare debut that Healthcare.gov was as ready to go live as a kid’s make-believe refrigerator-box submarine is ready to explore the ocean depths.
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.”
The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism, and (c) subterfuge.
a) Those letters are irrefutable evidence that Obama’s repeated you-keep-your-coverage claim was false. Why were they sent out? Because Obamacare renders illegal (with exceedingly narrow “grandfathered” exceptions) the continuation of any insurance plan deemed by Washington regulators not to meet their arbitrary standards for adequacy. Example: No maternity care? You are terminated.
So a law designed to cover the uninsured is now throwing far more people off their insurance than it can possibly be signing up on the nonfunctioning insurance exchanges. Indeed, most of the 19 million people with individual insurance will have to find new and likely more expensive coverage. And that doesn’t even include the additional millions who are sure to lose their employer-provided coverage. That’s a lot of people. That’s a pretty big lie.
But perhaps Obama didn’t know. Maybe the bystander president was as surprised by this as he claims to have been by the IRS scandal, the Associated Press and James Rosen phone logs, the failure of the Obamacare website, the premeditation of the Benghazi attacks, the tapping of Angela Merkel’s phone — i.e., the workings of the federal government of which he is the nominal head. I’m skeptical. It’s not as if the Obamacare plan-dropping is an obscure regulation. It’s at the heart of Obama’s idea of federally regulated and standardized national health insurance.
There’s no compassion in the West for the victims of communism because so many in the liberal-Left establishment were and remain, apologists. Think North Korea today, and remember 100 million dead
We were not the first to report on the latest, appalling revelations on oppression in North Korea. We were among the first, though, and if you have not read this, you should be sitting down with a stiff drink before you do.
It concerns the fact that members of a UN Commission were moved to tears by revelations of the communist regime’s practices that are so inhuman you can understand their reaction.
Read about that in the report linked to above. But here is a question: Why is North Korea’s oppression not a top and ongoing news item all day and every day in the Western media?
If a regime that could conceivably be labelled “right wing” was responsible for one percent of this, you’d never hear the end of it. The Black Book of Communism says that North Korean communists have so far killed 2 million people.The same Black Book speaks of 80-100 milliion victims of communism. Heard about that lately? Reflect.
North Korea rights abuses move UN commission members to tears
An entire prison camp has disappeared. Were all its inmates executed? Shocking new revelations about oppression in North Korea
The head of a United Nations Commission on human rights abuses in communist North Korea has spoken of how he and other Commission members were moved to tears by testimony from victims.
Commission Chairman Michael Kirby, a HIgh Court judge from Australia, spoke of, “large-scale patterns of systematic and gross human rights violations” in North Korea. Of particular concern was evidence from satellite imaging that one prison camp had apparently been closed down while another had been scaled back.
A human rights observer said that this was not necessarily good news: there are fears that the entire population of the camp that has been closed down may have been executed.
Speaking more generally, Mr. Kirby said:
Those of us who believe that Islam is a “religion of peace” that desires to live in harmony with the West and is comprised mainly of “moderates” who pose no danger to our way of life are living in a fool’s paradise. Despite its bloody sectarian divisions, Islam is strong, durable, belligerent and determined to impose its faith-based imperium upon an infidel world through one or another form of jihad. Violent jihad is the child of short-term thinking; stealth jihad is an expression of long-term planning. The only difference between the incendiary and the vanilla, the “extremist” and the “assimilated,” is patience, for both adhere to the tenets and commands of the Koran and the Sunnah. “Moderates,” whether they know it or not, keep the faith intact, maintaining its longevity and social status; their militant brethren profit from both the informal and official approval that “moderation” ensures, staking out the terrain in which the radicals are able to operate unhindered. As I’ve written before, moderation is the sea in which the sharks swim. (The British website Liberty GB features a sober and persuasive article, “Ten Reasons Why Moderate Muslims Are Not the Answer,”  which should be consulted by those who believe they are.)
A keynote speaker at the October 2013 Islamic Peace Conference  in Oslo, addressing an audience of several hundred ordinary Muslim citizens, repeatedly made the point that “normal” Muslims hold to the same Koranic principles mandating abhorrent punishments as do the “extremists,” concluding that this cultural and scriptural contiguity somehow proves that normal Muslims are not extremists. Go figure! What he actually succeeded in showing is that Islam is Islam and not the innocuous doppelgänger we ludicrously wish or assume it to be. It is from its very origins a conquering religion that has never ceased throughout its more than 1400 year history to pursue its constitutive and self-defining aims. Like the tide, it has advanced and receded many times over, but it is now poised to complete an inundation from which we in the West may not recover. And we have only ourselves to blame.
There are, broadly speaking, five categories of individuals who refuse to take the Islamic threat seriously or who claim that no such credible threat even exists, namely: (1) overt or covert sympathizers and allies; (2) those who have been bought off with fees, perquisites or substantial gifts of money or donations to a cause or institution; (3) those who feel secure and protected, imbued with a “gated community” mindset, convinced they are exempt from any possible menace (no mosque will ever be built in their neighborhoods); (4) those who have been intimidated into keeping a low profile; and (5) the indifferent or ignorant, the low information — no information majority uninterested in or oblivious to the wider issues that impinge upon the health of the culture or the well-being of society.
Cindy Vinson of San Jose California should be the new poster child for Republican outreach to young voters. Though at age 60 she is hardly a “youngster,” her plight is characteristic of what awaits many of America’s college aged liberal idealists. A supporter of Barack Obama’s takeover of the American medical industry, Vinson eventually learned the painful but historically predictable lesson of those who buy into the lies of socialism, naively expecting a beneficent government to supply all of their needs. To her dismay, the rosy promises of Obamacare are deteriorating into a dismal and extremely costly experience. The price tag of her individual policy will increase by $1800 per year over what she is currently paying. In typical fashion for a liberal, she piously explained “Of course I want people to have healthcare, I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.
Welcome to the realities of socialism. The moment its devotees get beyond patting themselves on the back for being so virtuous and compassionate with other people’s money, the picture quickly changes. One has to wonder from where Vinson and others who share her views expected the funds for all of the promised freebies to flow forth, Obama’s “stash” perhaps? At this juncture, those who stridently warned against the nightmare of Obama’s takeover of the medical industry may be tempted to gloat. After all, it was with the help of people such as Vinson that Barack Obama could claim public support for his insidious transformation of America. Nevertheless, the hardship she currently faces will not merely befall those who were duped into giving Obamacare their support, it will degrade the lives of all Americans, whether they were guilty of complicity in its creation or not.
According to those members of the administration who attempted to make Obamacare seem feasible by thoroughly juggling the numbers, a minimum of seven million young people must sign up for it if it is to remain solvent even in the short term. Their usefulness to the program is based on the premise that, as a group, they will pay far more into the system than they will be taking out. In short, all of Obama’s flowery campaign speeches to those gullible college kids, who responded to his platitudes by cheering wildly, only masked his callous intention to exploit them as a cash cow.
The polls and the pundits tell us that the people of the United States of America are deeply divided politically and they’re right.
A bit of history helps to understand this.
The former colonies that later became the states when they accepted a federal form of government were always divided, along with their citizens, a goodly portion of whom did not want to declare independence and go to war with Great Britain. After it became clear that the Articles of Confederation were useless, a group of wealthy elites got together in Philadelphia and, in the greatest secrecy, scrapped the Articles and wrote our revered Constitution.
Fortunately, this group-now called the “framers” or “founders”-were highly educated for their time, most were successful businessmen and/or farmers. However, to call George Washington, who presided at the meeting, a farmer was an understatement. Washington owned thousands of acres and had many enterprises related to the crops he grew with the assistance of several hundred slaves. Washington was one of the wealthiest men in the nation. He and others may not have liked slavery, but there were no tractors, harvesters, or other farm equipment of later eras. Plows were still pulled by oxen or horses. If you wanted to get anywhere, you either went on foot, by horse, in a carriage, or by boat.
Washington, having led the armies of the aspiring American nation to victory over eight years, was a universally revered commander who had ultimately demanded and got complete control over the military from a generally useless continental congress that notoriously failed to pay the army.
When the Constitution has been ratified by enough states to become the new government of the new nation, there was never any question in anyone’s mind as to who should be its first President. As Harlow Giles Unger, the author of a new, excellent book, “Mr. President”: George Washington and the Making of the Nation’s Highest Office”, makes clear “…in one of the defining events in the creation of the U.S. presidency, Washington startled his countrymen by ignoring the constitution limits on presidential powers and ordering troops to crush tax protests by American citizens-much as the British government had tried, and failed, to do in the years leading up to the American Revolution.” History and life is filled with ironies.
http://frontpagemag.com/2013/shoshana-bryen/hamas-and-the-peace-process/print/ The Palestinians have thrown a monkey wrench in the works again – as they have a pattern of doing every time the “peace process” is supposed to be close to “solving” the problem. Despite the secrecy surrounding the current U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry-sponsored talks, a Palestinian leak Sunday put positions on the […]
Uncertainty and struggle are what we most often associate with poverty. Not knowing if you can still afford to pay next month’s bills and worrying over how much more you can cut back when you’re already barely getting by. This way of life has become more associated with the middle class than with those at the very bottom.
The statistic that shows that average black household worth is at $4,955 while average white household worth is at $110,729 is often quoted, but these numbers are not comparing similar things.
The $110,729 and $4,955 don’t reflect different standards of living; but different ways of living.
The $110,729 and $4,955 families both have large flat screen televisions, smartphones and the usual consumer toys. They could both eat equally well, except that the $4,955 family doesn’t bother watching its food budget. It just takes whatever it wants off the shelf and worries about prices later.
In terms of personal satisfaction, the $4,955 family is happier than the $110,729 family.
To understand this, think of the “Cloud.” You can buy a laptop powerful enough to store all your programs and data. Or you can get by with a mobile device whose apps connect online to a “Cloud” of someone else’s servers which store your data. The laptop is heavier to carry than the mobile device, but makes you more independent. Or you can just live in the “Cloud” confident that no matter how you mess up your device; your data will be backed up.
America is being divided between the workers and the dwellers in the government cloud.
The $110,729 families are independent while the $4,955 families are living in the cloud. Their cloud is “Social Capital.” Instead of using real capital, they use the collective Social Capital of family resources and government aid.
Big Brother is not only watching you. He is eavesdropping on you, stealing your metadata, snooping in your email and telling you what to eat and which illnesses you can treat if you’re lucky enough to see a doctor once Obamacare is implemented.
In Obama’s 1984, Mark Tapson shows that if he were here today George Orwell would see a disturbing resemblance between the U.S. and the dystopian future he wrote about so prophetically a generation ago. Obama’s 1984 takes the reader into the dark heart of this administration, a place of omnipresent NSA surveillance, police state tactics by the IRS and TSA, and nonstop intimidation of political opponents. Tapson shows how this President, like Big Brother, shamelessly digs memory holes where fact disappears (the murders of Americans in Benghazi were the result of an Internet video) and uses the “newspeak” of perverted language to whitewash the Islamic threat (the Islamist murders at Ft. Hood were the result of “workplace violence.”)
This pamphlet shows that we are less free than before as we head back to Orwell’s future, and because of Barack Obama the road we travel is the road to serfdom.
On each landing, opposite the lift shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran. – Nineteen Eighty-Four
“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
– President Barack Obama, commencement address to the graduating class of Ohio State University on May 5, 2013
In June of 2013, Amazon.com sales of George Orwell’s classic Nineteen Eighty-Four spiked nearly 10,000%. Why? Because in the wake of recent revelations about secret, overreaching surveillance on the part of the National Security Agency, the ominous label “Orwellian” was being used so often by the media to describe the contemporary American political scene.
Orwell’s famous dystopian novel is the story of Winston Smith’s doomed rebellion against a Kafkaesque, all-knowing, all-seeing totalitarian state. The Great Britain of the future in Nineteen Eighty-Four – as imagined by Orwell in 1948, the year of the book’s composition – is a world of omnipresent government surveillance and public mind control, a totalitarian government as successfully repressive as North Korea today, which stamps out all individualism and independent thought. The brainwashed people’s reverence for the mysterious Party leader, Big Brother, whose glowering image is ubiquitous, is the very epitome of a cult of personality.