Saturday, August 17, 2013

op ed review 8/18



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
In another setback for Obamacare, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.
Washington, D.C.’s health insurance exchange has awarded a $375,000 grant to abortion provider Planned Parenthood to help enroll Obamacare participants.

In a story that has remained largely under the mainstream media radar, Congress announced late last month that it would finally investigate the Aug. 6, 2011 helicopter crash in Afghanistan that resulted in 38 deaths, including 22 members of SEAL Team 6, made famous three months earlier when they killed Osama Bin Laden. Grieving family members insist that soldiers in the elite unit were placed in unnecessary danger by the recklessness of the Obama administration, whose actions they characterized as criminal.

“During his Wednesday appearance on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show,' President Obama made three factual gaffes. Were Obama a Republican, these gaffes would have led news coverage for the next forty-eight hours. Not only did most of the media ignore or downplay these gaffes; the Associated Press went so far as to cover one of them up….The media not reporting on or making an issue of an Obama gaffe has become the norm over the last five years. This is the first time I'm aware of, though, in which a major news outlet went so far as to correct a gaffe in order to fool its readers into believing it never happened.”

The president's dog was separately airlifted in a MV-22 Osprey to the family vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.

Tax dollars at work:  U.S. Pays $1.5 Mil to Help Brazilian Women Quit Smoking.

Not a single person showed up at the Georgetown waterfront Tuesday for a climate change agenda event put on by Organizing for Action, the shadowy nonprofit advocacy group born out of President Obama’s 2012 campaign.  The event page for the “Climate Change Day of Action Rally” disappeared after rainy weather appeared to drive away whatever people planned to attend. The embarrassing showing follows the news that only one volunteer stayed for an OFA Obamacare event in Centreville, Va., last week to work the phones.

The fallout from a Missouri rodeo clown’s mockery of President Obama continued as the Missouri State Fair said it will force all clowns to undergo sensitivity training and the head of the state rodeo-clown organization resigned.
The double standard, the hypocrisy over treatment of Democrats and Republicans, with a touch of racism and sexism thrown in, is clearly playing out in different attitudes towards images of Democrats and Republicans. While liberal heads are exploding about a President Barack Obama (D) clown mask at the Missouri State Fair, liberal heads were relatively intact--as were, alas, Republican heads--19 years ago when a private rodeo allowed bulls to charge a President George H. W. Bush (R) mannequin near Philadelphia, The Gateway Pundit reminds us. Back in 1994, the cowboys used George Bush dummies at the Woodstown, Pennsylvania rodeo.

There are no polls showing Ted Cruz leading the 2016 Republican presidential field in the Iowa. A PPP survey last month found Cruz in sixth place in the state, behind Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. But after a particularly well-received appearance at a conservative event in Ames, Iowa over the weekend, there seems little doubt that Cruz, who has been in the U.S. Senate all of eight months, is zooming toward the front of the GOP pack in the nation’s first-voting state.

A sudden influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico requesting asylum is overwhelming immigration agents in San Diego, forcing agencies to rent hotel rooms for some undocumented families and release others to cities around the U.S. illegal immigrants have learned they can attempt to get asylum by using a few key words -- namely, by claiming they have a "credible fear" of drug cartels.  “This clearly has to have been orchestrated by somebody,” said former U.S. Attorney for Southern California Peter Nunez. “It's beyond belief that dozens or hundreds or thousands of people would simultaneously decide that they should go to the U.S. and make this claim.”

The U.S. Air Force said that a well-known drag queen group was invited to perform on base during a “Diversity Day” celebration because drag is a “symbol of gay pride and unity. But the performance sparked outrage among some airmen who called the drag show “totally offensive and inappropriate.”

On August 12, Joe DiGenova, attorney for one of the Benghazi whistleblowers, told Washington D.C.´s WMAL that one of the reasons people have remained tight-lipped about Benghazi is because 400 U.S. missiles were "diverted to Libya" and ended up being stolen and falling into "the hands of some very ugly people." DiGenova represents Benghazi whistleblower Mark Thompson. He told WMAL that he "does not know whether [the missiles] were at the annex, but it is clear the annex was somehow involved in the distribution of those missiles."

Bono: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than (foreign) aid”
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Thomas Sowell  8/6
It is hard to read a newspaper, or watch a television newscast, without encountering someone who has come up with a new "solution" to society's "problems." Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than there are problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today's problems are a result of yesterday's solutions.

San Francisco and New York are both plagued with large "homeless" populations today, largely as a result of previous housing "reforms" that made housing more expensive and severely limited how much housing, and of what kind, could be built. The solution? Spend more of the taxpayers' money making homelessness a viable lifestyle for more people.

Education is a field with endless reforms, creating endless problems, requiring endless solutions. One of the invincible fallacies among educators is that all sorts of children can be educated in the same classroom. Not just children of different races, but children of different abilities, languages, and values. Isn't it nice to think so? I suspect that even most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world conjured up in the liberals' imagination, rather than in the kind of world we are in fact stuck with. The result is that many very bright children are bored to the point of becoming behavior problems, when the school work is slowed to a pace within the range of students who are slower learners. By federal law, even children with severe mental or emotional problems must be "mainstreamed" into classes for other students -- often in disregard of how much this disrupts these classes and sacrifices the education of the other children. Parents who complain about the effect of these "solutions" on their own children's education are made to feel guilty for not being more "understanding" about the problems of handicapped students. Nothing is easier for third party busybodies than being "understanding" and "compassionate" at someone else's expense -- especially if the busybodies have their own children in private schools, as so many public school educators do.

Whether in housing, education or innumerable other aspects of life, the key to busybody politics, and its endlessly imposed "solutions," is that third parties pay no price for being wrong. This not only presents opportunities for the busybodies to engage in moral preening, but also to flatter themselves that they know better what is good for other people than these other people know for themselves.

Right now, there are people inside and outside of government who are proposing new restrictions on how you may or may not visit the national parks that your taxes support. Among their proposals is doing away with trash cans in these parks, so that visitors have to take their trash out with them. Just how they would enforce this, when millions of people are visiting places like Yosemite or Yellowstone, is something the busybodies need not bother to think through -- much less pay a price, when trash simply accumulates in these parks after trash cans are removed.

ObamaCare is perhaps the ultimate in busybody politics. People who have never even run a drugstore, much less a hospital, blithely prescribe what must be done by the entire medical system, from doctors to hospitals to producers of pharmaceutical drugs to health insurance companies. This includes federal laws requiring the turning over of patients' confidential medical records to the federal government, where these records can be looked at by politicians, bureaucrats and whoever can hack into the government's computers. Neither you nor your doctor has a right to keep this information confidential.

What could lead anyone to believe that they have either the right or the omniscience to dictate to hundreds of millions of other people? Our educational system may have something to do with that, with their constant promotion of "self-esteem" and especially their emphasis on developing "leaders." Our schools and colleges are turning out people who cannot feel fulfilled unless they are telling other people what to do. The price of their self-indulgence is the sacrifice of our freedom. If we don't defend ourselves against them, who will?


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"While speaking outside Phoenix… the president rejected accusations of favoring 'socialism' in the housing markets. 'I know that sounds confusing to folks who call me a "Socialist,"' he said. 'I think I saw some posters there on the way in.' 'But,' he continued, 'I actually believe in the free market.' ... The reality is that the president hasn't embraced free-market capitalism. Instead, he's embraced crony capitalism in the alternative energy markets, socialism for the bank bailouts, neo-feudalism with higher taxes and Fed policies, fascism with the healthcare markets, and statism with the ongoing programs that have spied on American citizens. The only hope for this country is real, accountable capitalism. Sadly, we don't have any champions of this philosophy in the administration."
                        -Garrett Baldwin

"U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin has ruled that New York City's so-called stop-and-frisk approach to crimefighting is unconstitutional, a form of 'indirect racial profiling.' ... Blacks and Hispanics make up 87 percent of stop-and-frisk targets, which is in fact lower than the share of crime suspects who are black and Hispanic... Two points must be kept in mind: One, the police are looking for suspects in reported crimes and working from victim descriptions. Two, there is something that comes between the stop and the frisk -- namely, questioning. If a police officer sees behavior that he believes is suspicious, he may initiate a conversation with the target, especially if that target fits the description of a suspect in a criminal investigation. If, after questioning, the officer believes that he has probable cause to frisk, he may do so. That is a long way from randomly hassling every non-white person within eyesight of a police officer. ... It is possible that the standards for conducting stops are too loose, but there is no standard that takes into account reality that will not see blacks and Hispanics stopped at rates disproportionate to their share of the population. Judge Scheindlin can declare reality unconstitutional, but that does not change the facts of the case."
                       -National Review

"Why is gun control the only policy we're allowed to discuss when horrific murders occur? In the liberal mindset, 'root causes' of crime begin and end with the Second Amendment. But who pays the price when our public guardians fail to secure our borders, refuse to deport serial criminal offenders, and enable drug-crazed menaces to prey upon innocent citizens?"
                         -Michelle Malkin

"Hey, Obama just arbitrarily delayed another part of Obamacare. At this rate, there will be no active parts of Obamacare left for Republicans to defund. I remember that old School House Rock song about how a bill becomes a law, but they totally left out the part where the president can just change implementation of the law in 'consultation with businesses.' They'll have to add a whole other verse for that part."
                          -Frank Fleming
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BOOKS
On the first day of its release, Mark Levin´s “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic” reached the #1 spot in sales on Amazon.com--not just for political books, but all books. Download from Kindle for $11.
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GLOBALONEY
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released its “State of the Climate in 2012” report, which states that “worldwide, 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record.” But the report “fails to mention [2012] was one of the coolest of the decade, and thus confirms the cooling trend…..“To no one’s surprise, the report gives the reader the impression that warming is galloping ahead out of control,” writes Gosselin. “But their data shows just the opposite.” Although the NOAA report noted that in 2012, “the Arctic continues to warm” with “sea ice reaching record lows,” it also stated that the Antarctica sea ice “reached a record high of 7.51 million square miles” on Sept. 26, 2012.

Buried in a lengthy Washington Post article about President Obama’s environmental policy is an illuminating anecdote about just how debatable the administration views climate change — namely, not at all: In an agency-wide address to employees Aug. 1, (Interior Secretary Sally) Jewell took the unusual step of suggesting that no one working for her should challenge the idea that human activity is driving recent warming. “I hope there are no climate-change deniers in the Department of Interior,” she said.
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ACTIVISM
“You already know that we’re going have great speakers at this year’s Defending the American Dream Summit, like Governors Rick Scott and Bobby Jindal and Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio. This year though we’ve reserved a whole section of Universal Studios to ourselves the first night of the convention
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ARTICLES
Break out either the champagne or the sharpened stones, because it’s well past time that we found some sort of consensus on a question which has been chomping at our collective heels for the last two presidential election cycles. And with a bit of focus, we might actually come to some conclusions as to how we handle this before the Hillary/Christie Show sucks up all of the Nielson ratings. I speak, of course, of the now seemingly eternal battle over the GOP primary battle and the unending complaints that the party’s voters seem to keep electing squishy moderates.

President Obama asserted the unilateral power to "tweak" inconvenient laws in last Friday's news conference, underscoring his Administration's increasingly cavalier notions about law enforcement. So it's good that the judiciary—a coequal branch of government, in case the Administration forgot—is starting to check the White House………The professors and pundits who fret about the Imperial Presidency go into hibernation when the President is a Democrat, so it is crucial that the courts reject Mr. Obama's increasing contempt for constitutional limits.
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
The 25 Stupidest Liberal Quotes Of The Last Decade

The 25 Best Quotes From Thomas Sowell

Incredible pictures of the Perseid meteor shower at its best
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WISE WORDS
"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."
                  -James Madison

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
                  -James Madison

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