Sunday, August 11, 2013

op ed review 8/11



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
The IRS targeting scandal is best understood as part of a larger effort to limit the political speech of conservatives and business groups. That became clearer last week regarding the Federal Election Commission, and now evidence is spreading to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It Hasn't Stopped: Requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups are being forced into a special "secondary screening."

When Obamacare is fully enforced on individuals and families next year, a middle-aged, middle-class couple with three children could be hit with a $9,355 hike in their annual health-insurance premiums if their annual household income happens to increase by just $1.

Of 953,000 Jobs Created In 2013, 77%, Or 731,000 Are Part-Time

With a record 101 million Americans receiving food aid from the federal government, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants more kids to be on the dole for food during the summer months.

Census bureau data shows that the number of people speaking a language other than English has nearly tripled over the past the decades, out pacing the population growth. 

The wife of a Fort Hood survivor claims the Defense Department is "slapping victims with gag orders" and telling family members not to talk to the press following testimony in the trial of Nidal Hasan. One of the great scandals of the Obama administration has been its shameful designation of the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage at the Army base in Killeen, Texas, by Maj. Nidal Hasan as "workplace violence." It has only compounded the pain and suffering of the victims and their families who have now apparently been ordered to shut up about it.

The non-partisan Government Accountability Office confirmed it is launching an investigation into how the country’s largest abortion provider spent millions of taxpayer dollars. Planned Parenthood received more than a half billion dollars in federal funding last year.
“Abortion Clinic Sends Coupons to Low-Income Women, Save $50 on Sundays”

“GOP election prospects are good and getting better”

Just revealed Democratic anti-NRA talking points urge anti-gun advocates and politicians to hype high-profile gun incidents like the Florida slaying of Trayvon Martin to win support for new gun control laws.

Renters at an apartment complex in Colorado were told that they were prohibited from keeping firearms in their apartments by the management company:

Hispanics in the U.S. identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by about a 2-to-1 margin, regardless of whether they were U.S.-born.
“Sudden Flood of Asylum Requests at U.S./Mexico Border”  Mexicans are allowed legal entry if the have a “credible fear” of drug cartels.
Donald Trump warns that the Senate's immigration bill is a "death wish" for the Republican Party.  “…you have to form a very very strong barrier from people just flowing in like candy…..We either have a country, or we don't have a country…”

In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory. 

Members of Congress and Hill staffers will not lose their health-care subsidies from the government when Obamacare is implemented because of an exception proposed Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management. “President personally negotiated Obamacare exemption for Congressional staffers”

Most of the 24 health care co-ops created under Obamacare are in danger of running out of money before they even begin offering health insurance to consumers,

Sen Reid admits:   “Obamacare just a step toward eventual single-payer system”

42% of doctors  say they are ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ in their medical practices, and 59% say they are unlikely to encourage a young person to go into medicine.

ABC, CBS and NBC Overlook Obama´s Gaffes on Leno show.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holds a narrow lead among Republicans for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, but even more GOP voters say he’s the candidate they least want to see nominated.
Sarah Palin:  “I’m on team Rand. Rand Paul understands. He gets the whole notion of don’t tread on me government. Whereas Chris Christie is for big government and trying to go-along-to-get along in so many respects….”

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Charles Krauthammer  8/9
Jen Psaki, blameless State Department spokeswoman, explained that the hasty evacuation of our embassy in Yemen was not an evacuation but "a reduction in staff." This proved a problem because the Yemeni government had already announced (and denounced) the "evacuation" — the word normal folks use for the panicky ordering of people onto planes headed out of country.

Thus continues the administration's penchant for wordplay, the bending of language to fit a political need.
In Janet Napolitano's famous formulation, terror attacks are now "man-caused disasters." And the "global war on terror" is no more. It's now an "overseas contingency operation."

Nidal Hasan proudly tells a military court that he, a soldier of Allah, killed 13 American soldiers in the name of jihad. But the massacre remains officially classified as an act not of terrorism but of "workplace violence."
The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others are killed in an al-Qaida-affiliated terror attack — and for days it is waved off as nothing more than a spontaneous demonstration gone bad. After all, famously declared Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make? Well, it makes a difference, first, because truth is a virtue.

Second, because if you keep lying to the American people, they may seriously question whether anything you say — for example, about the benign nature of NSA surveillance — is not another self-serving lie.

And third, because leading a country through yet another long twilight struggle requires not just honesty but clarity. This is a president who to this day cannot bring himself to identify the enemy as radical Islam.

Just Tuesday night, explaining the U.S. embassy closures across the Muslim world, he cited the threat from "violent extremism." The word "extremism" is meaningless. People don't devote themselves to being extreme. Extremism has no content. The extreme of what? In this war, an extreme devotion to the supremacy of a radically fundamentalist vision of Islam and to its murderous quest for dominion over all others. But for President Obama, the word "Islamist" may not be uttered. Language must be devised to disguise the unpleasantness.

Result? The world's first lexicological war. Parry and thrust with linguistic tricks, deliberate misnomers and ever more transparent euphemisms. Next: armor-piercing onomatopoeias and amphibious synecdoches. This would all be comical and merely peculiar if it didn't reflect a larger, more troubling reality: The confusion of language is a direct result of a confusion of policy — which is served by constant obfuscation.

Obama doesn't like this terror war. He particularly dislikes its unfortunate religious coloration, which is why "Islamist" is banished from his lexicon. But soothing words, soothing speeches in various Muslim capitals, soothing policies — "open hand," "mutual respect" — have yielded nothing. The war remains. Indeed, under his watch, it has spread. And as commander in chief he must defend the nation.

He must. But he desperately wants to end the whole struggle. This is no secret wish. In a major address to the National Defense University just three months ago he declared "this war, like all wars, must end." The plaintive cry of a man hoping that saying so makes it so. The result is visible ambivalence that leads to vacillating policy reeking of incoherence. Obama defends the vast NSA data dragnet because of the terrible continuing threat of terrorism. Yet at the same time, he calls for not just amending but actually repealing the legal basis for the entire war on terror, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Well, which is it? If the tide of war is receding, why the giant NSA snooping programs? If al-Qaida is on the run, as he incessantly assured the nation throughout 2012, why is America cowering in 19 closed-down embassies and consulates? Why was Boston put on an unprecedented full lockdown after the marathon bombings? And from Somalia to Afghanistan, why are we raining death by drone on "violent extremists" — every target, amazingly, a jihadist? What a coincidence.

This incoherence of policy and purpose is why an evacuation from Yemen must be passed off as "a reduction in staff." Why the Benghazi terror attack must be blamed on some hapless Egyptian-American videographer. Why the Fort Hood shooting is nothing but some loony Army doctor gone postal.

In the end, this isn't about language. It's about leadership. The wordplay is merely cover for uncertain policy embedded in confusion and ambivalence about the whole enterprise. This is not leading from behind. This is not leading at all.

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“Obama used to talk about Guantanamo and all the sins of the Bush administration — torture and all this stuff — as the recruiter of terrorists….The biggest recruiter of terrorists is American weakness.”
                         -Charles Krauthammer
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FILM
Lifson:  “I was late to discover Breaking Bad, the AMC miniseries that returns tonight for its final 8 episodes, the last half of season five. In my mind, BB may be the best, most moral long form drama ever to appear on American television. Yes, that good.
“Elysium” The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “politically charged flight of speculative fiction.” Newsmax refers to it “sci-fi socialism” and “political propaganda.” Variety said its one of the “more openly socialist political agendas of any Hollywood movie in memory, beating the drum loudly not just for universal healthcare, but for open borders, unconditional amnesty and the abolition of class distinctions as well.”
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ARTICLES
 “Rafael Cruz brought down the house. Speaking at The Family Leader Summit today, the father of Ted Cruz delivered an energetic speech that earned him one of the longest standing ovations of the day. “Our lives are under attack,” Cruz said of Obamacare. “We already saw what is happening with abortion. The same thing is happening at the other end with Obamacare. Obamacare is going to destroy the elderly by denying care, by even perhaps denying treatment of people [with] catastrophic sickness.” He also addressed religious liberty, saying “socialism requires that government becomes your god.”

“I MOVED FROM Maryland to New Hampshire in 2010. Why? I walked into my corner grocery store in Maryland and all the lights were off. Reason: the small-business owner couldn’t afford the new countywide carbon tax. That was the last straw for me. I was exhausted by the ever-present bureaucracy and taxes near Washington, D.C. So I moved here. Now, according to Concord police, that makes me — and other people moving to New Hampshire for a better life — a domestic terrorist.  Seriously. Concord Police Chief John Duval recently begged Washington, D.C., for more than $250,000 to buy a military-style “armored personnel carrier” — the Lenco BearCat G3. Chief Duval claims he needs this military personnel carrier because of groups like the “Free Staters.”  He stated in his application that their threats were “real and here” and are providing Concord police “daily challenges.””

Where Obamacare premiums will soar

VDH sums up “Obama’s Watergates”: 
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
New blog website.
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LATE NITE
Leno:  Before they went on vacation, Congress voted to exempt themselves from Obamacare. They gave themselves a special exemption because they thought it was too expensive. So the people who voted for Obamacare for us voted to exempt themselves from it. You know how doctors take the Hippocratic Oath. Congress apparently takes the "Hypocritic Oath."

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