Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Liberal Mind

The liberal mind is a claptrap of wishful thinking - about healthcare, about foreign affairs, about inequality, about culture, about global warming, - about almost everything.  Give me a pragmatist with an open mind!

Climate Change and the Liberal Mind

By William Murchison - February 22, 2014 RealClearPolitics

Gee. Gosh. And my, oh, my, as my grandmother might have exclaimed in wonder and awe.

All we need to know about global warming is what John Kerry tells us? In Jakarta over the weekend, our secretary of state exposed the irrelevance and blindness of any who questions what he calls "the science" on climate change.

These folk represent "loud interest groups" -- i.e., "big companies" that "don't want to change and spend money" to prevent the melting of the ice caps and the withering of the planet. They are "a tiny minority of shoddy scientists" and "extreme ideologues." "The science is unequivocal!" Unequivocal; do you hear that?! "(T)hose who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand. We don't have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society."

Wham. Down comes the curtain on an allegedly serious debate -- to the extent liberal/progressive hectoring about "climate change" can be interpreted as debate. The fake triumphalism of the liberal vision is nowhere more clearly to be viewed than on those occasions when liberals throw out of court any perceived obstacles to eradication of fossil fuels and their replacement with sunshine and gentle breezes.

Very much in the modern spirit, with "science" ratified as the final authority on everything, theology and philosophy included, science sits enthroned above us. The word, as wielded by politicians, says it all. Kerry has only scorn for "ideologues" who won't take his word. President Obama, visiting California, links the state's ongoing drought to "climate change." His Environmental Protection Agency proposes regulatory goals that likely would put coal plants out of business. There is but one way to do things -- Our Way, the liberal way.

Than which a more futile hope probably doesn't exist. The best way, in human terms, to keep a debate going is to say the debate's over. And, what's more, "we" won. Kind of the way the health care debate closed down -- right? "We" -- a united Democratic party -- did it "our way," and to the hot place with anyone else's way. Consider the splendid results! Young enrollees are, so far, too few in number to support older and sicker enrollees. Overall enrollment targets are far below earlier estimates. Costs vary around the nation. Many -- no one knows yet precisely how many -- find they can't keep their doctors.

The Olympians who designed Obamacare and handed it down to the riffraff are possibly feeling frustrated when the topic is climate change. They don't receive the deference they feel they deserve. Thus, conceivably, the stridency of Kerry's language. "Shut up!" he explains to the differently minded.

It's a challenge all right. The New York Times, no friend to "polluters," notes the lack of "scientific consensus" as to whether climate change is the cause of California's drought. Droughts do happen. Not a few of us recall the profound dryness of 1951-57 -- "The Time It Never Rained," to give it the title of Texas writer Elmer Kelton's great novel about the period. I mean, it didn't rain. But eventually it did.

The winter of 2013-14 has been rough. Eighty-eight percent of the Great Lakes has turned to ice. In 1994, it was 94 percent. Take the matter back further. In February 1899 -- before gasoline engines -- the worst cold snap to afflict the country in modern times dropped temperatures to 7 degrees in New Orleans, dumped snow on Miami and froze the Mississippi River solid as far south as Cairo, Illinois. "Climate change?" If only John Kerry had been around, he might have ventured a viewpoint and proposed a federal program.

The intractability of life is a matter that disturbs liberals confident of their ability -- using the best "science" -- to engineer foolproof solutions to matters large and small. Thus their exasperation when things go amiss -- or, worse, people (the fools!) refuse to listen. The Obama administration -- the most monolithically liberal regime in half a century -- must be feeling pretty well put off by widespread ingratitude. So might we all, given comparable levels of perfect, dogmatic certainty. 

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Pal, Speaker Boehner

I am reading many stories about conservative criticism of Speaker Boehner.

As an original Tea Party patriot, I am sometimes distressed by the actions of other Tea Partiers, who confuse ‘standing on principle’ with winning elections and the need for occasional compromise in a constitutional republic such as ours.

We have the biggest issue in our favor in my memory, Obamacare, heading into the 2014 and 2016 elections, and we have the repeated experience of being blamed for government shutdowns also in our memory.  Why on earth would we endanger that advantage by resisting another debt increase, having a government shutdown, and then give in again?

Kudos to John Boehner for finessing this issue.  Now we have to prevent local Tea Parties from backing terrible candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle, who did us in and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The GOP’s flash of brilliance

By Kathleen ParkerFebruary 19, 2014 Washington Post (excerpt)

“Republicans have excelled at concealing their brilliance in recent years, and Democrats have exulted in their good fortune.

Whether discussing women’s reproductive systems or offering up candidates who are not electable — “I am not a witch” might have been a tipoff — Republicans couldn’t stop handing gifts to their opponents. As for tactics, a GOP Trojan horse is . . . a horse. And an Orca project is a whale-fishing expedition.Meanwhile, Democrats successfully labeled the GOP as the “party of no,” assisted by Republicans’ consistent opposition to everything and always flogging their own in an endless war between the party’s wacko birds (Sen. John McCain’s term) and establishment players who were referred to as RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) or Republicrats.

The Democrats weren’t wrong.

But then, President Obama apparently lost his magic ring. The sun broke through the pall of Republican despair, the fires of Mordor ceased and the spell of buffoonery and pettifoggery that had plagued the elephant herd was miraculously lifted.

Congress raised the debt limit without drama; Republican leaders shelved divisive issues such as comprehensive immigration and tax reform and shifted the focus to unifying messages about which RINOs and tea partyers can agree and lock pinkies: Obamacare is a failure and Barack Obama is an imperial president.

In essence, Republicans destroyed the Democrats’ sharpest weapon and absconded with their slogan. No more the party of no, the GOP suddenly is the party of “Yes, we can!”

Quite a transformation, that. And all along the message of House Speaker John Boehner, even though his tea party colleagues, gladiators armed with certitude, couldn’t hear him. Rather than listen to reason, they heard only the whispers of their beloved Wormtongue, whose identity I leave to you, dear reader, in hopes you have read J.R.R. Tolkien.” Washington Post


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Real State of the Nation

George Will’s comments that the actual unemployment rate was over 11% if you take into account those who have given up looking for work (and about 13% if you count those working part-time who would like to work full-time) led me to consider the following:

At the time President Obama was inaugurated in January, 2009, the following facts obtained:

 1.   Price of gasoline was $1.87 per gallon  (now $3.31)

 2.   Number employed  was 154,650,00  (now 144,775,000)

 3.   Number of possible workers not in labor force was 80,177,000  (now 91,463,000)

 4.   The situation in Iraq – peaceful with a large force of American combat soldiers keeping the peace; now chaos.

 5.   The situation in Egypt – peaceful with Mubarek protecting Christians and the peace accord with Israel; now chaos with Muslims killing 100’s of Christians almost daily and burning down their churches.

 6.   The situation in Syria – relatively peaceful; now total war and chaos, with Russia now exerting a leadership role.

 7.   The situation in Iran, working toward nuclear weapons, but many years away; now rushing toward nukes after USA suspends many sanctions.

 8.    Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Israel – good friends and allies; now all distrustful and moving away from USA orbit.

 9.    The IRS was considered to be an independent, non-corrupt organization; now the center of the biggest domestic scandal of Obama administration – possibly leading to impeachment.

 10. The government of the USA had never before given         weapons to Mexican criminals; now both Mexicans and Americans murdered with guns from Operation Fast and Furious.

 11.When an American embassy was under attack, American forces were sent to the rescue; now the scandal of Benghazi.

 12.More than 6 million more Americans had healthcare insurance than today.

13.Two million people who were able to apply for Obamacare have opened themselves up to identity theft.

14.Medicare patients were able to receive medical treatment without long delays.

 15.The two politicians most responsible for the housing crash, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, wrote the legislation to prevent future crashes.  The main result of the Dodd-Frank law has been to shut down lending.

16.Income inequality has worsened significantly despite the constant demagoguery by Obama on the subject.

17. The President enforced laws passed by Congress; now President Obama enforces only those parts of laws with which he agrees, and he illegally issues new laws without Congressional action.



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Friday, February 14, 2014

Fox News Answers Obama

President Obama cannot get away with blaming Fox News for all his scandals, especially the corruption of the IRS, which should get him impeached.  He is appealing to his loon-followers with that claim.

In the video below, Neal Cavuto answers this demagoguery:

If video doesn’t load, go here.


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Ultimate IRS Outrage

I stopped calling acts by Obama and his administration “outrages” long ago.  There were too many to keep straight, and it got almost tiresome after awhile.  But this involvement by the corrupted IRS has to be the ultimate outrage – persecution of a thought.  Will no-one try to stop this man?  Is there an honest Democrat anywhere?  This is right out of the communist playbook.

Fox News is reporting that the IRS will monitor terminations by employers to find out if any are due to an attempt to avoid Obamacare, and if an employer lies about his intentions, he will be hauled in for perjury.

Businesses must swear to the IRS that Obamacare had nothing to do with firings

Rick Moran February 12, 2014 American Thinker

google_ad_client = "pub-4560167926987914"; google_ad_width = 300; google_ad_height = 250; google_ad_format = "300x250_as"; google_ad_type = "text_image"; //2006-11-22: AT - Articles - 300 by 250 google_ad_channel = "0110545599"; google_color_border = "336699"; google_color_bg = "FFFFFF"; google_color_link = "999966"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_url = TTTTTTTTTTTTTT      The most coercive law in American history just got more coercive.

In delaying the employer mandate - again - the White House made it clear that businesses thinking of downsizing their company to avoid Obamacare mandates better think again.

Is the latest delay of ObamaCare regulations politically motivated? Consider what administration officials announcing the new exemption for medium-sized employers had to say about firms that might fire workers to get under the threshold and avoid hugely expensive new requirements of the law. Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple. Firms will be required to certify to the IRS - under penalty of perjury - that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so.

["That's the good thing about being president. I can do whatever I want." - President Obama joking about getting a restricted-access tour of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.]

War of words - With millions of insurance cancellations and workers dumped from employer-based policies due to ObamaCare, a relatively narrow exemption for medium-sized employers might sound like a trifling thing. But to Obama Democrats desperate to hold the Senate in the face of simmering anger over the botched rollout and false promises of the law, any little bit helps. And having the IRS serve as the talking-point enforcer for businesses tempted to speak out about firings under the law will sure help message discipline. Remember, the administration wants to focus on Americans being "transitioned" to ObamaCare not dumped from existing policies, and "freed" from having to work in order to get insurance rather than quitting their jobs in order to get free coverage.

"Under penalty of perjury..." Apparently, lying to a grand jury about sex is OK but lying to the IRS about Obamacare will land you in jail.

Once again, the IRS is being employed as the administration enforcer in blocking free speech. If several dozen companies end up laying off employees to get below the 50 worker threshold for Obamacare, they will be prevented from blaming the ACA for the firings under penalty of perjury.

So not only does Obama push the bad news rising out of the implementation of the employer mandate past the November mid terms, he stifles the free speech of business owners. Who knows! Perhaps by the time the election rolls around, it will be illegal to criticize the administration about anything. It might become illegal to even say "Obamacare."

Why not? Who's going to stop them?


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Monday, February 10, 2014

Replace and Repeal Obamacare

Despite the lies told by President Obama and others, Republicans have put forth serious alternatives to Obamacare, and a comprehensive plan to REFORM rather than MANAGE the private health insurance market is on the table.

A Serious GOP Alternative to Obamacare

The Patient CARE Act.

By David Catron – 2.3.14  AmericanSpectator

The most frequently repeated Democrat talking point concerning Republican opposition to Obamacare is the claim that the GOP has offered no alternative. This is nonsense, of course, but it has proved an effective device for suppressing a serious debate about the President’s “signature legislative achievement.” Predictably, Obama offered yet another variation on the theme during his recent State of the Union message: “I don’t expect to convince my Republican friends on the merits of this law.… So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice — tell America what you’d do differently.”

Ironically, as the President well knew when he read those words from his teleprompter, the latest of several Republican alternatives to Obamacare had been announced just a day earlier. This plan, the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act (or CARE Act), has been put forward by GOP Senators Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and Orrin Hatch. But it is more than a legislative prophylactic meant to protect Republicans from the charge that they aren’t for anything but a return to the dreaded “status quo.” The CARE Act, unlike the stillborn Obamacare, is a serious health care reform proposal.

As the plan’s authors put it in this op-ed, “Our proposal starts with a very different set of assumptions from those who designed ObamaCare. We believe Washington, D.C. should actually reform — not try to manage — the private health insurance market.” The CARE Act, as a necessary first step, would repeal Obamacare along with its justly reviled individual mandate. Yet, according to an analysis by the Center for Health and Economy (H&E), “The number of insured under the proposal is estimated to be 1 percent higher than under current law.” H&E also projects that it would “lower average premiums.”
To read more about CARE, and examine the details, go here.
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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Trouble for Seniors

Trouble for Seniors - Under Observation

There have been an increasing number of cases that seniors need to know about - the issue is two words, "under observation".  Medicare rules say that if you are an "in patient" in an acute-care hospital for three days or more, you are entitled to up to 3 weeks of paid, skilled nursing care after discharge.

The rub is, recently Medicare administrators have been forcing hospitals to list more and more stays as "under observation" stays, rather than "in patient" stays - even for severe illnesses or traumas.

If you are listed as "under observation", you have to pay for any skilled nursing care, even if you thought Medicare was paying for it.  Medicare administrators have been known to reverse designations months after stays in nursing homes, and sticking patients with unexpected bills totaling $25,000 to $30,000.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
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Monday, February 03, 2014

Thoughts from Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson has written several essays for pjmedia.  Two of them are excerpted below:

A Beat-up, Exhausted, and Terrified Republican Establishment
By Victor Davis Hanson On February 2, 2014 pjmedia (except)
On almost every contemporary issue there is a populist, middle-class argument to be made against elite liberalism. Yet the Republican class in charge seems ossified in its inability to make a counter-argument for the middle class. Never has the liberal agenda been so vulnerable, a logical development when bad ideas have had five years to prove themselves as very bad ideas. When Obama is all done he will have taken high presidential popularity ratings, a supermajority in the Senate, and a large margin in the House and lost them all — if only the Republicans can make an adequate case that they represent the middle class, the Democrats only the very wealthy and the very dependent.

Illegal Immigration

We know the entry of 11 million illegal aliens depresses the wages of the poor and entry-level working class. Illegal immigration overwhelms state services, and that too hurts citizens most in need of help. The lower-middle classes do not have low-paid nannies, gardeners, and house-keepers. We know the illegal influx pleases La Raza activists, most of them second- and third-generation elites in government, politics, journalism and education, who without illegal immigration would not have much of a moral or legal justification for the continuance of affirmative action and identity politics, given that statistically Latinos would soon follow the pattern of other assimilated groups. (For example, is there affirmative action for Armenian immigrants? An Italian Razza movement? Punjabi Studies?)

We also know that cheap labor in the shadows benefits corporate business [1], eager for low-wage laborers.  So how hard is it [2] for a Republican simply to say, “I oppose illegal immigration because (1) it is illegal. It undermines the sanctity of the law and discriminates against the law-abiding waiting in line to enter the U.S. legally. (2) It benefits corporate grandees at the expense of working people. (3) It is driven by self-serving elites of the ethnic-grievance industry to enhance their own advantage, rather than to help poor folks struggling to find decent wages and schools. Illegal immigration, in short, is the most illiberal issue of our time.

Fracking and horizontal drilling help the middle class [3]. Stopping them on federal lands or banning Keystone makes the lower classes pay for the pipe dreams of the upper class. The Berkeley Sierra Club professor doesn’t worry whether he can find a job welding on a pipeline. He does not drive along the Westside 50 miles to work and so cares little about the price of gas for his third-hand pick-up. It is about 70 degrees year round in Menlo Park, so it is easy to jack power bills up to subsidize wind and solar, when you don’t need to survive 105 degree temperatures in Bakersfield. Discouraging energy development is a pastime of the rich, who have the money to shield themselves from the consequences of their advocacy, and do not associate with the less well-off, who always seem to suffer from elite pipe dreams. Why not headquarter the Sierra Club in Bakersfield, where the cost of electricity is real for real people? Cannot a Republican rebuttal to the State of the Union simply say, “Mr. President, you are shamelessly taking credit for gas and oil production that you did all in your power to thwart. The middle class is enjoying a temporary cut in gas prices, despite, not because of, you.”

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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

I have often pointed out that inequality in wealth and incomes has reached historic proportions, as has President Obama, but his answers are worse than the disease.  Except for a slightly higher income tax on incomes exceeding $5 million together with elimination of tax loopholes available to the very rich, I have never advocated socialist policies.

As Winston Churchill once said,”Under capitalism a few are rich and many are poor, but under socialism everyone is poor”.  Churchill should also have pointed out that in communist and in socialist countries, politically connected people somehow end up becoming very rich without creating any wealth.

I have also suggested that globalization and welfare policies are the main culprits in the growing inequality in the USA, and that there are ways to work ourselves out of this mess, albeit slowly.

Here below is an amusing video starring Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan:

 If video does not load go here.
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