The election-eve mood is tinged with sadness stemming from well-founded fear that America’s new government is subverting America’s old character. Barack Obama’s agenda is a menu of temptations intended to change the nation’s social norms by making Americans comfortable with the degradation of democracy. This degradation consists of piling up public debt that binds unconsenting future generations to finance current consumption. So argues Nicholas Eberstadt, an economist and demographer at American Enterprise Institute, in “A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic.” This booklet could be Mitt Romney’s closing argument.
That, in three simple words, was the question a reporter asked President Obama last week. “Yes, they are,” the president said with a straight face. “People will look back and they’ll be asking, ‘What was the argument about? Why is everybody fighting this so much?’” Why? Well, here, Mr. President, are just a few of the many, many reasons: • You can’t keep your own health care. The president spent the past four years assuring Americans that “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”
Remember that March day in 2010 when the President, surrounded by devout supporters, solemnly signed Obamacare into law? It was, as Joe Biden brayed, “a big f-----g deal.” Obama and his army of righteous reformers had finally triumphed over the forces of evil and passed legislation that would drive the moneychangers from the temple of U.S. health care. Many of those beaming down on the President as he wielded his terrible swift pen represented prestigious national organizations and coalitions whose support had made the glorious moment possible. Some of these groups have since seen the error of their ways.
One of the most predictable features of American politics is the biannual blackmail to which the Democrats are subjected by their union bosses. Knowing that “the Party of Jefferson and Jackson” cannot survive without their support, union goons like Richard Trumka usually start the process by complaining about some law that allegedly hurts workers. Then, after a month or two of bombast and bluster, we find that their definition of “worker” is actually “union member” and that they want the Democrats to grant them a special dispensation (snip) This is how the infamous Obamacare waiver program was hatched.
As they watch Obamacare shudder and smoke through the final countdown to its January liftoff, some of its advocates have discretely eased away from the launch pad to avoid political injury when the ramshackle contraption finally explodes. Yet the perversity of progressivism is such that, even now, most supporters of the law refuse to admit that the countdown should stop. Their primary justifications for this irresponsible position are that no one has offered an alternative vehicle for reform and that, even with its flaws, Obamacare will effect a marked improvement in the dysfunctional health care system
The New York mayoral race this week detoured into one of the occasional rounds of umbrage-taking that are a regular feature of American campaigns, as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn claimed that the wife of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio unfairly criticized Quinn for being childless. This wouldn’t necessarily be a big deal, even in terms of our little municipal election, except that the quote was actually a misquote. Making matters worse: The misquoter was New York Times political columnist Maureen Dowd. And Maureen Dowd has something of a history of screw-ups like this.
Wretched Writing: A Compendium of Crimes Against the English Language By Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras (Penguin, 214 pages, $15.00) In 2010, 328,259 new books were published in the United States. Most of these, one imagines, were not very good, but probably not so bad either. For all the pallets of titles demanding neither praise nor execration, there are bound to have been a few hundred genuine clunkers. Negative criticism is as fun to write as it is to read, but most reviewers end up sinking their fangs into only one or two really bad books per publishing season.
FOR YEARS AS a professional journalist, Quin Hillyer has slung editorial copy under tight deadlines. As a congressional press secretary for half a decade in the 1990s, he was virtually always on call, ready to field probing questions from reporters, day or night. But running for public office is something else entirely. “It’s exhausting. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done,” Hillyer says. “I get up a lot earlier than I used to.” It was just four months ago that Hillyer went from perennial campaign-watcher to first-time candidate.
Last week, Karl Rove opined that a GOP attempt to defund Obamacare would be analogous to Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. His analogy was trite as well as inaccurate, yet Gettysburg does contain a lesson for establishment Republicans who oppose defunding. Its moral lies not in Pickett’s disastrous charge, however, but in the failure of Union General George Meade to follow up his defensive Pennsylvania victory by attacking the Confederate forces as they withdrew to the safety of Virginia. Meade’s timidity extended the Civil War by two years and rendered his Commander-in-Chief nearly apoplectic with frustration.
Among the most offensive features of the ironically titled “Affordable Care Act” is its designation of the Internal Revenue Service as the main enforcer of the law’s many mandates, taxes, penalties and reporting requirements. It exponentially increases the power of a group of bureaucrats notorious for repeatedly abusing their authority. Now, highlighting the growing gulf between the government and the governed that has become the hallmark of the Obama era, these IRS enforcers are asking their congressional representatives to spare them the indignity of enrolling in Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.
When Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services strode to the podium at last week’s NAACP conference, it was expected that she would engage in a certain amount of pandering to the grievance mongers who have long since taken control of that once-great organization. Such tawdry displays are, after all, a standard feature of the Democrat repertoire. It isn’t clear, however, that anyone anticipated the depth of sheer demagoguery to which she would descend in that speech. She compared Obamacare’s opponents to the people who opposed civil rights during the 1960s, embroidered her father’s civil rights record and even added
As far back as 1604, when James I of England published A Counter-Blaste To Tobacco, smoking has been recognized as a public health threat. There have since been countless attempts to discourage tobacco use by the general populace. Among the few such efforts to achieve any success has been the practice, by insurance companies, of charging higher health premiums for smokers than for non-smokers. Thus, not even Obamacare’s opponents objected when its authors inserted a provision permitting insurers to penalize smokers with a 50% surcharge. Predictably, however, Obama administration ineptitude will prevent this provision from taking effect.
The White House says the decision, announced last Tuesday, to delay implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate was made because “a dialogue with businesses” revealed the need to reduce the reporting burden it placed on employers. This tale is enough to make a cat laugh. This crew doesn’t do “dialogue.” Your BS detector badly needs a tune up if it didn’t start buzzing when Valerie Jarrett blogged, “We’re listening.” The delay is obviously due to the ineptitude of the Obama administration, and this is the fourth major provision of PPACA to be repealed or delayed for the same reason.
Ted Cruz has sparked a Republican civil war. He has done the bidding of the GOP fringe, in a self-aggrandizing crusade. And while he has enhanced his own position in the conservative fantasyland he seeks to rule, the practical effect of his quixotic campaign to defund Obamacare has been to elevate the president and jeopardize the 2014 elections for his own party. That, at least, seems to be the consensus in Washington. We’re inclined to a somewhat different view. We say two cheers for Ted Cruz— and for Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and their fellow crusaders. They succeeded
President Obama lied to us. It wasn’t a white lie. It wasn’t a fib. It wasn’t a half truth. It was a bold-faced lie. “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise,” President Obama told the American Medical Association in 2009. “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” That statement turned out to be a lie. Period. On Thursday I asked my Facebook community if they
Barack Obama has 36.9 million Twitter followers, 19.5 million of whom, it turns out, are fake. This is a very disturbing sign for Obama´s opponents, as it demonstrates just how much appeal the president still has with his key support base, namely those who identify most closely with him on a personal level -- fake people. The Daily Mail Online has analyzed the numbers and discovered that among U.S. political figures, the four Twitter accounts with the most fake followers -- that is, followers who don´t really exist -- are those of Barack Obama (by a landslide), Joe Biden, Michelle
Earlier this week, in an effort led by Sen. Ted Cruz, some of my Republican colleagues and I took to the Senate floor with the intent of making Washington listen. The American people have made it abundantly clear that they do not want Obamacare. In fact, a majority of elected officials, the same officials that voted to implement this health care mandate, do not want it, either. Last summer, in a 5-4 decision authored by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the Supreme Court wrongly concluded that Obamacare’s individual mandate could stand. As a consequence of the court’s ruling, starting
Sen. Lindsey Graham may face a tea party challenge back home, but he’s not shying away from blasting the strategy of fellow GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — and he had some choice words for any Republican or Democrat who causes a government shutdown. “If the government shuts down, it’s not what you think it would be. I have actually experienced that,” Graham said. “If anybody creates a process where our military doesn’t get paid, and their families, they’re going to make an enemy … of me for life.”
NEW YORK- U.S. and international gay rights supporters called on Friday for a boycott of Italian pasta maker Barilla, whose chairman said he would never feature a gay family in its advertising. The comments sparked a firestorm of protest on social media and resulted in online petitions in English, German and Italian, including one by Italian playwright and Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo. A MoveOn.org petition started by Beth Allen, a Takoma Park, Maryland, mother of two and a lesbian, garnered 85,000 signatures by Friday evening. (Petition: http://r.reuters.com/paz43v) "Guido Barilla made it clear how he felt about families like mine
Barilla Pasta stepped on a landmine this week telling Italian media the company would never feature or market directly to gay couples. If they had a problem with that, said its chairman, they could eat another brand of pasta. I pity the fool who messes with the purchasing power of the LGBT community. The remarks as widely reported, were made by Guido Barilla on La Zanzara, an Italian radio program. I would never make a spot with a homosexual family. Not out of a lack of respect but because I do not see it like they do. (My idea of)
Mitt Romney on Friday said the Republican threat to shut down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare isn’t an “effective” strategy. "We´re more effective tactically not to use a shutdown of some kind to pursue the ... anti-Obamacare objective,” Romney said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I don´t think that will be as effective.” (Snip) "I think there´s a better way of getting rid of ObamaCare — my own view — and that is, one, delaying it by at least a year,” Romney said. “That was Senator (Joe) Manchin´s idea, the Democrats´ idea.”
Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Thursday compared Republican lawmakers to suicide bombers as the showdown over a possible government shutdown intensified. “We are for cutting spending, we are for reforming our tax code, we are for reforming entitlements,” Mr. Pfeiffer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But what we are not for is negotiating with people who have a bomb strapped to their chest.” Mr. Pfeiffer, 37, who was hospitalized twice this month for stroke-like symptoms, also compared the GOP to arsonists and kidnappers. He called Republicans’ bid to attach other priorities to a debt-ceiling bill “ransom demands.” “It’s not
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Friday the GOP has become a "dysfunctional" party that has spent more time infighting over ObamaCare than targeting Democrats who passed the law. McCain blamed Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah.), the leaders of the movement to tie defunding of ObamaCare to the threat of a government shutdown, for driving wedges between Republicans. Both have appeared in ads attacking fellow GOP lawmakers. “We are dividing the Republican Party," McCain said on CBS. In his nearly 30 years in the Senate, McCain said he has never seen the infighting among members of his party
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had finished his last meetings in New York Friday and was in a car headed to the airport when President Barack Obama called. (Snip) The Iranian press office added: "The Iranian and U.S. presidents underlined the need for a political will for expediting resolution of West´s standoff with Iran over the latter´s nuclear program. President Rouhani and President Obama stressed the necessity for mutual cooperation on different regional issues." For his part, Rouhani took to Twitter to reveal what the two leaders discussed.
WASHINGTON — Nearly $300 million in aid for Detroit — from federal and state coffers, private businesses and charitable foundations — will be announced Friday as Obama administration officials visit the city to discuss what can be done to help eradicate blight, improve transportation, encourage new business and make residents safer. The funding will include $150 million in blight eradication and community redevelopment, including $65 million in Community Development Block Grant funding — which had already been awarded over two years but could not be accessed by the city. An additional $25 million could help hire as many as 150