Since Nixon’s “I am not a crook ” speech during a news conference, the fortieth anniversary of which will be this Sunday, I have never seen a more bizarre Presidential performance than that given by Obama yesterday. In response to overwhelming alarm by Democrats in Congress to the fact that millions of Americans are seeing their insurance policies being cancelled due to ObamaCare, Obama at a news conference on November 14 announced the following:
Already people who have plans that pre-date the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans if they haven’t changed. That was already in the law. That’s what’s called a grandfather clause that was included in the law. Today we’re going to extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law too effect and to people who bought plans since the law took effect.
So state insurance commissioners still have the power to decide what plans can and can’t be sold in their states, but the bottom line is insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been cancelled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan.
We’re also requiring insurers to extend current plans to inform their customers about two things: One, that protections — what protections these renewed plans don’t include. Number two, that the marketplace offers new options with better coverage and tax credits that might help you bring down the cost.
So if your received one of these letters I’d encourage you to take a look at the marketplace. Even if the website isn’t working as smoothly as it should be for everybody yet, the plan comparison tool that lets you browse cost for new plans near you is working just fine.
Well, what is wrong with this? The glib answer is everything:
First, it is by no means clear that he has the power to do any of this. The requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) allow for none of this and Obama’s job title is President not Emperor.
Second, some state insurance commissioners will not allow this to be done. The state insurance commissioner in Washington has already spoken up and said Obama’s policy would lead to great instability in the insurance markets of Washington and Obama’s suggestion is a dead letter in Washington.
Third, the insurance companies have responded and stated that it is impossible for them to comply with the time lines of the Affordable Care Act and do what Obama has said.
Fourth, it is only for one year, so people facing cancellation of insurance policies they like, even if their insurance company offers the same policy, would be facing the same dilemma in a year. Continue reading
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
Abraham Lincoln, August 27, 1858
In nine days, this town will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s speech with a ceremony at the same Soldiers’ National Cemetery featuring the U.S. Marine Band, Gov. Tom Corbett and a reading of the Gettysburg Address.
This explains a lot, don’t you think? Ah, the low information voter, those who chart the destiny of this great nation! Continue reading
Obama, the anti-Theodore Roosevelt:
U.S. and Russian negotiators reached an agreement Saturday calling for an inventory of Syria’s chemical weapons program and seizing all of its components within a year. The plan includes imposing penalties if Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government fails to turn over its stockpile.
Mr. Obama called it “an important step” toward ridding the world of chemical weapons. But critics in Congress said the deal was toothless because the administration agreed to withdraw from a proposed U.N. resolution the threat of military action if Syria fails to comply.
“It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a matter of whether it will be enforced or not,” Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “[Russia] will not agree to the use of force no matter what Bashar Assad does.”
“Not one ounce of chemical weapons came off the battlefield, but we’ve given up every ounce of our leverage when it comes to trying to solve the broader Syrian problem, because we’ve taken away a credible military threat,” the Mr. Rogers said on CNN. Continue reading
Well that didn’t take long. Putin makes Obama look completely like a clown by reeling back the lifeline he tossed to him on Syria:
Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday.
“As I understood, the Russians at this stage were not necessarily enthusiastic, and I’m using euphemism, to put all that into the framework of a U.N. binding resolution,” Laurent Fabius told French lawmakers after a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Continue reading
It will be amusing, if not edifying, to see the rapid back flips today from the same liberals who were all in favor of the Syrian intervention prior to Putin’s proposal. In the age of Obama, all backing of him should come with an automatic, “until he changes his mind” rider.
I didn’t think the Syrian fiasco could get much worse. Now it has. Fearing the near certainty that Congress would not authorize an attack on Syria, Obama has supported a Russian proposal to have Assad turn over his chemical weapons to an international agency, presumably all of this to be supervised by Russia. Actually the proposal first came out of the mouth of the Metternich of this administration: John “Reporting for Duty!” Kerry, sans any Russian involvement, in an off hand response to a question. What is wrong with this:
1. Assad will Cheat-Assad is fighting a life and death struggle to hang on to power. The idea that he will not hang on to, and use, any chemical weapons he deems necessary to prevail is rubbish, and is a tribute to policy-as-make-believe that infests this administration and its supporters.
2. Putin-Yeah, we can always rely upon this ex-KGB thug to act in the best interests of America.
3. War Goes On-The Syrian opposition will not stop fighting until they are all dead or Assad is a corpse or fled. Chemical weapon use is a symptom of a desperate civil war and that will go on.
4. Russian influence in the Middle East-Obama has opened the door to renewed Russian influence in the Middle East, helping to ensure that future conflicts in the Middle East will have the possibility of a US-Russian clash.
5. Paper Tiger-Mao in 1956 on the US: “In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe that is nothing but a paper tiger.”
In a very dangerous part of the world Obama is making sure that our enemies treat with complete contempt US threats and warnings, at least so long as he is President. Continue reading
President Obama was an ardent critic of the war in Iraq. Here are suggestions for arguments to be made explaining how intervention in Syria is completely different from intervention in Iraq.
1. Assad has used chemical weapons on Syrians which is a terrible crime against humanity, unlike Saddam who used chemical weapons against Iraqis which is permissible.
2. The US intervention into Syria will be a proud go it alone venture by the US, unlike Bush who mucked up the Iraqi intervention with lots of allies.
3. Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, so we can trust him unlike that cowboy Bush.
4. Michele Obama is proud of this intervention.
5. John Kerry is onboard with this intervention unlike Iraq which he supported until he changed his mind. Continue reading
After coming under intense criticism for his decision to intervene in Syria, Obama stunned his aides by at the last moment deciding to consult with Congress after all:
After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorization before taking military action in Syria.
The stunning about-face after a week of U.S. saber rattling risked not only igniting a protracted congressional fight, which could end with a vote against strikes, but a backlash from allies in the Middle East who had warned the White House that inaction would embolden not only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but his closest allies, Iran and Hezbollah.
Aides said the decision was made by Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama alone. It shows the primacy the president places on protecting his hoped-for legacy as a commander in chief who did everything in his power to disentangle the U.S. from overseas wars. Until Friday night, Mr. Obama’s national-security team didn’t even have an option on the table to seek a congressional authorization.
The only real discussion was a plan to punish Mr. Assad for what the U.S. and others have called a chemical-weapons attack amid Syria’s grinding civil war. The final question, policy makers thought, was how many targets to hit and when to tell the Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean to open fire. Continue reading
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown who engaged in lese majesty against King Obama speaks out:
Tuffy Gessling has endured five death threats, numerous angry confrontations, and a woman who spit in his face, based on a routine that is probably older than most of the people offended by it. So what’s changed? Gessling figures that people have lost their ability to laugh, at themselves and their favored institutions, and a large amount of their perspective, too:
The kid of course is merely parroting what he has been told. The really pathetic thing is that his mother thought it would be great to post this to YouTube. The production values are very poor. The last time in western society this type of god-like adoration of a politician was attempted, the production values were much higher: Continue reading
That President Obama praised dead Communist dictator Ho Chi Minh will come as a surprise only to Americans who haven’t been paying attention, which, alas, is a large segment of the population. For the benefit of those people, historian Ronald Radosh in The Wall Street Journal gives some background to Ho:
During World War II, Vietnam—a French colony—was taken over by Japan, and toward the end of the conflict, with Japan in retreat, a power vacuum developed. Ho Chi Minh, leading the Viet Minh communist guerrilla group, saw a chance to seize power before the French could restore colonial rule. He needed allies and knew that the American president, Franklin Roosevelt, had a reputation for being anti-French and anti-colonial. Thus began Ho’s courtship of the U.S. by citing the Declaration of Independence and appealing to the American ideal of liberty.
In reality, Ho was a “disciplined Communist, who had “proved time and again his profound loyalty to Communism,” according to the ex-communist German revolutionary Ruth Fischer, writing in Foreign Affairs in 1954. She had known him in Moscow in the 1920s when he was receiving his training.
Ho didn’t get the U.S. support he sought, but he still succeeded in his national takeover, proclaiming himself president of a provisional government in what he called the Vietnam Democratic Republic. In October 1945, just how democratic the republic would be became clear: Ho ordered the slaughter of his political opponents, including 50,000 of the then-powerful Trotskyist communists. During a trip to Paris in late 1945, Ho told the French Socialist leader Daniel Guerin, “All those who do not follow the line which I have laid down will be broken.”
In his own writings during the war, Ho Chi Minh stressed that the revolutionaries had to have a “tactical, flexible attitude towards the national bourgeoisie,” but as for the Trotskyists, “there can be no compromise, no concession.”
Ho’s posturing as a Jefferson-inspired lover of independence failed to dupe the U.S. in the 1940s. Let’s be generous and assume that antiwar protesters in the 1960s and early 1970s didn’t know any better when they bought into his fiction. Let’s give President Obama the same benefit of the doubt. But let’s also retire the idea that Ho Chi Minh had the slightest interest in the Declaration of Independence except as a tool he once deployed hoping to achieve his communist goals. Continue reading
“There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start to think about robbery and then look around and see it’s somebody white and feel relieved.”
Jesse Jackson, 1998
Obama continued his attempt to pour gasoline on the Zimmerman verdict with his impromptu musings on the case before the White House press corps yesterday. The cynicism of this attempt to use the Zimmerman verdict as both a decoy from his manifest failings in regard to the economy, Obamacare and other issues, and to whip up the black vote in 2014 is breathtaking. This country does need an honest discussion about race, something that I have never witnessed in my 56 years on this planet, but Obama’s deeply poisonous playing of the race card throughout this case for crass political gain makes it likely that I will not see such a discussion while I inhabit this vale of tears. Continue reading
Palin would not have dismissed the Black Panther intimidation lawsuit that the government had already won.
Palin would not have seized two auto companies and give them to her cronies in and out of the UAW.
Palin and her supporters would not be claiming that her opponents were racists for disagreeing with her policies.
Palin would not have tried to block Boeing from building a factory in South Carolina as a gift to her union buddies in Washington state.
Palin would not have toured the world apologizing for America.
Palin’s Homeland Security Department would not have classified patriots as security threats.
Palin would have expanded oil and gas exploration on federal lands instead of reducing it, make the US even less dependent on foreign oil.
Palin would not have allowed the Pigford suit to be settled that gives billions of dollars to “farmers” that never farmed.
Palin would not have shipped thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels so that they could be found next to the bodies of murdered Mexicans and American agents.
Palin would not have encouraged the IRS to harass Tea Party groups.
Palin would not have encouraged the IRS to illegally reveal the names of contributors to conservative groups to Liberal organizations so that contributors could be harassed.
Palin’s IRS would not ask groups seeking 501(c)4 status about their prayer life.
Palin would not have passed a national health care bill that is a 2000 page “train wreck” and that threatens to destroy America’s health care system. Continue reading
“What manner of men had lived in those days…who had so eagerly surrendered their sovereignty for a lie and a delusion? Why had they been so anxious to believe that the government could solve problems for them which had been pridefully solved, many times over, by their fathers? Had their characters become so weak and debased, so craven and emasculated, that offers of government dole had become more important than their liberty and their humanity? Had they not know that power delegated to the government becomes the club of tyrants? They must have known. They had their own history to remember, and the history of five thousand years. Yet, they had willingly and knowingly, with all this knowledge, declared themselves unfit to manage their own affairs and had placed their lives, which belonged to God only, in the hands of sinister men who had long plotted to enslave them, by wars, by “directives,” by “emergencies.” In the name of the American people, the American people had been made captive.”
Taylor Caldwell, The Devil’s Advocate
Back in my mispent youth I read quite a bit more fiction than I do currently. (Lack of time and much greater access to more non-fiction works are probably the two chief factors in my changed reading habits.) I read several of the novels of Taylor Caldwell. She was a competent novelist, I can’t praise her novel about Cicero, Pillar of Iron, too highly, and she wrote from a distinct point of view. Her point of view was that freedom was a rare commodity in human history and that it perished quickly. I could call her a conservative, but that would be a bit weak in describing her. She wrote pieces for the John Birch Society for a time, but she probably regarded them as too timid in standing up for the liberty she treasured above all. She shared with them a conspiratorial view of the world, and her novels usually depict sinister behind the scenes forces plotting the end of freedom. However, even paranoids can have real people out to get them, and Caldwell was usually correct in her novels in her description of the desire of so many to escape from the need to make decisions on their own, and to leave everything up to a supposedly benevolent ruler, even though all of human history argues against the reality of such a pleasing fantasy.
In her 1952 novel, The Devil’s Advocate, Caldwell envisions an America where freedom is only a faint memory. America has long been ruled by a leftist military dictatorship. The Republican party has been outlawed and even mentioning the Old Constitution is a criminal offense. The protagonist of the novel is Andrew Durant, an official of the leftist government, but also a secret lover of the Old Constitution. He and other patriots within the government hit upon the plan of increasing repression until they trigger a revolution to reestablish American freedom. The rebellion succeeds and Durant is killed in it, his fate in history is to be damned as an official of the toppled regime, his role in the reestablishment of liberty dying with him.
Now let us consider the impossible. Let us think that Barack Obama is cast in the same mold. Secretly repulsed by the way in which the American people have been ceding liberty for security for generations he embarks upon a plan to become president and to implement a regime so oppressive that it will trigger a reaction that will safeguard traditional American freedom for generations to come. He is dismayed by how long the process is taking, and therefore he continually ups the ante:
Well, if sending a trillion dollars down a rat hole won’t do it, surely ObamaCare will do it. Obamacare didn’t so it is time to attack religious liberty through the HHS Mandate. Even that wasn’t enough so time to let good men die in Benghazi and lie about it. Still not enough? Time to move against guns. Still no reaction? Roll out the IRS. Continue reading
Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
Richard Milhous Nixon
With the IRS scandal and the revelation that the current administration has been secretly obtaining phone records of the press, the Obama administration is taking on a distinctly Nixonian flavor, as I experience a feeling of deja vu from four decades ago. I am not the only one seeing it. So does a liberal Democrat Congressman from Massachusetts:
US Representative Michael E. Capuano on Monday said he was troubled by reports that the Internal Revenue Service had aggressively pursued conservative organizations, and called them reminiscient of the Nixon administration.
On the growing focus in Congress on the attacks on the US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya last year, Capuano said the death of four Americans there raised “legitimate questions.” But he said, based on the information available, he expected the issue to end up becoming “the typical right-left type of nonsense you see on one station, but eventually falls off the others.”
He said the recent reports that IRS targeted small-government groups for extra scrutiny were in a different category. Asked to discuss the reports, Capuano said that if the accounts were true, “There’s no way in the world, I’m going to defend that. Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing.” Continue reading