Sunday, November 10, 2013

op ed review 11/10



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Republicans and Democrats split the two prizes on the political map in Tuesday’s elections, but in terms of overall votes in New Jersey and Virginia, the GOP came out on top. Powered by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s huge victory in New Jersey, the two Republican gubernatorial candidates won a combined 2.2 million votes, or about 400,000 more than the two Democratic gubernatorial candidates, who totaled 1.8 million. Digging deeper into the election numbers, a Washington Times analysis of returns as they stood late Tuesday night showed that when it came to legislative races, the GOP also held a clear advantage.

Cuccinelli Campaign Says National GOP Abandoned Them: 'We Were on Our Own'
The libertarian candidate for governor in Virginia, who siphoned 8% of the votes away from Cuccinelli, was funded by an Obama campaign bundler.
Report: Christie Refused to Campaign for Cuccinelli

A new poll shows that non-ideological swing voters have walked away from President Barack Obama, which could sharply reduce his political influence and power.

Obama job approval drops into the 30s

President Obama is now denying that he promised what video recordings show him promising at least 29 times. “if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan, period.” http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/05/obama-denies-you-can-keep-it-videotaped-promises/#ixzz2jmp7bMIR

There’s a bigger problem for Obama than Americans getting annoyed at having to lose plans that they like, despite his oft-repeated promise that they could keep them……It’s his other promise:  “[N]o matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.” ….if Americans also lose their doctors, the political problems confronting the president and Obamacare will only deepen.

The Senate passed gay rights legislation to bar discrimination based on “sexual orientation or gender identity” in the workplace.  AFA explains what this means and why you should be worried:

Here comes the inevitable: Virginia Democrat Calls For Forcing Doctors To Accept Medicare And Medicaid Patients

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she doesn’t require Obamacare navigators looking at confidential information to undergo criminal background checks:

Landlord Joe Biden is still charging the Secret Service $2200/month for use of a small building on his Delaware property as a staging area to protect his family. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/4/despite-sequester-rent-checks-still-flowing-to-bid/#ixzz2jmop3jU4
Gun companies are fleeing New York following passage of a new gun law.

A group of 13 U.S. Marines returning home from Afghanistan welcomed back with first class treatment after generous fliers gave up their luxury seats so the comrades-in-arms could fly together in comfort. What´s more, when the Marines arrived at Chicago´s O´Hare International Airport on Monday, they were greeted by an impromptu parade of police, firefighters and other travelers who gathered on just one hour´s notice to honor their service.

Obama has ‘head handed to him’ in secret Iran sanction deal amid nuclear talks
“French Socialist Administration Tougher on Iran than Obama Administration”
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Two views on conservative strategy:

Dennis Prager  10/22
There is a question that all of us need to ask. How we respond makes all the difference in what type of life we lead and what type of world we make.  That question is: Does an action feel good or do good?  Let me give three areas of examples -- personal life, the left and most recently, unfortunately, the right. 

In the personal sphere, many parents, especially in this last generation, have done what feels good rather than what does good.  It feels good to give one's children what they want, but it rarely does good. It feels good to build children's false self-esteem -- giving them trophies for no achievement, for example -- but it doesn't do good. It feels good to provide one's adult children with money and other material benefits when they should be providing for themselves, but it doesn't do good. And it feels good to coddle children rather than discipline them. But it doesn't do good.

In the social and political spheres, feeling good rather doing good has characterized virtually every left-wing policy.  Liberals feel good (especially about themselves -- remember, the left founded the self-esteem movement) when they promote race-based affirmative action. Given the centuries of suffering blacks endured in America, it feels good to change rules of admission in order to have more blacks attend more prestigious colleges. The problem is that these policies have done considerably more harm than good to blacks (and to society)……But to progressives, none of that matters. What matters is that they (the progressives) feel good.

For more than half a century, liberals have felt good (again, in large measure about themselves) giving ever increasing unearned benefits to poorer Americans. That these policies have led to an unprecedented percentage of Americans becoming dependent on -- often addicted to -- state handouts in no way disturbs progressives, because these policies make them feel good.  That the left cares more about feeling good than doing good is shown by the results of virtually all of its policies…..

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a classic example of feeling good rather than doing good. Progressives feel good about insuring uninsured Americans. That the government would begin to take over another sixth of the American economy; that the Act consists of 2,500 pages (and its regulations already run into the tens of thousands of pages); that this is the first piece of major American social legislation to be passed without one vote from the opposition party; that doctors and hospitals will be paid less; that more doctors will retire or only take private patients; that medical devices needed for Americans' health will be further taxed; that companies will relegate vast numbers of workers to part-time work -- none of this matters. What matters is that progressives feel good about the ACA.

And now, sadly, we have witnessed this most seductive human frailty -- feeling good as opposed to doing good -- within the conservative movement, the movement that prides itself as placing doing good before feeling good.
Republicans and conservatives achieved nothing -- and did themselves substantial harm -- when the House passed legislation that demanded defunding Obamacare as a condition of further funding the government and perhaps even raising the debt ceiling.  I have not read a convincing argument on behalf of these tactics. But I have read that the Republican Party is held in lower esteem than at any time in its history.  And any Republican who dismisses such polls ought to recall that the polls, not wishful-thinking Republicans, were right about Obama winning re-election.

Conservatives who supported the doomed repeal-Obamacare-tactic argue that it -- and Senator Ted Cruz's filibuster -- brought national attention to Obamacare's deficiencies. In reality it only brought attention to the Republican Party's deficiencies.  The primary reason for this tactic was that it made many conservatives feel good -- "we need to stand up for what we believe" (even if we know in advance that it will fail to accomplish the stated goal). Otto von Bismarck, father of the modern welfare state, is credited with saying, "Politics is the art of the possible." His side seems to understand that better than ours.

My fellow conservatives fell into the very human -- and very leftist -- trap of asking what feels good rather than what does good. In politics, the only thing that should feel good is winning.


Joe Farah  10/24
I have to agree with Dr. Ben Carson about Obamacare. It’s “the worst thing that has happened to this nation since slavery.” He added: “It is slavery, in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government. It was never about health care. It was about control.” I can visualize many heads nodding in concurrence. He didn’t stop there, though.

“That’s why, when this administration took office, it didn’t matter that the country was going off the cliff economically; all forces were directed toward getting this legislation passed,” said the surgeon whose own life story is triumphantly inspirational. “Why did they want to pass it so badly?”  He explained it with a quote from Vladimir Lenin: “He said that socialized medicine is the keystone to the establishment of a socialist state. That’s the problem.”

Dr. Carson got a standing ovation for that speech before the Value Voters Summit in Washington a couple weeks ago – and deservedly so. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this high-achieving charismatic non-politician someone the country turns to for leadership come 2016, if not sooner. But there are consequences we all must face if we agree with the substance of what he says. If, indeed, Obamacare is the worst thing to happen to this country since slavery … And, if, indeed, Obamacare is a concerted effort by a group of Washington politicians to con the American people into handing over their liberty …What, then, do we do? What is our moral response? What is our civic duty?

Is it merely to sit around and wait for the mid-term elections next year when we have the “opportunity,” once again, to elect opponents of Obamacare whose party had an opportunity to stand firm, like our Founding Fathers, against this power grab that will affect the lives of every American, and decided for the third time in three years to kick the can down the road? My conscience tells me the answer is no. I’m wondering if I am alone in feeling this way. I’m angry.

We’ve seen our Constitution betrayed, no matter what the Supreme Court ruled. We’ve watched the opposition party cower in fear and trepidation about being characterized as extremists for opposing extremism. We’ve stood helplessly on the sidelines observing a total breakdown in representative government. We’ve witnessed a business-as-usual approach to skyrocketing spending with no end in sight. We’ve looked on in disbelief at a brazen attempt, as promised, to “fundamentally transform” America, the former “land of the free and home of the brave,” into another socialist state.  And, more importantly, we’ve seen a tacit assent to the imposition of official religious oppression at the highest levels of government through the scam of nationalized health care.
So why aren’t we out in the streets? Why aren’t we marching on Washington? Why aren’t there more acts of civil disobedience? Why aren’t we screaming from the housetops about this outrage?

Where is the tea party? Where is the “conservative” movement? Where are the tens of millions of Americans who knew better than this all along? Have we given up? I really want to hear from people. Maybe the Republican establishment doesn’t care about your ideas and your passion about saving America from imploding. I do. I wish I had the answers. I’m ready to storm the barricades with you. But I’m not a political activist. I’m just a writer and businessman.

It’s time for Americans to stand up fearlessly and boldly to save this country from going down the tubes. The hour is late. Every day we accept the inevitability of Obamacare – and all that comes with it from the anti-American, counterrevolutionary left that is directing this nation’s path – is a day closer to the end of the American Dream.

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"The question many on the left are asking as they witness the Obama administration flail in response to HealthCare.gov's debut disaster is: How could this happen? Obama is so brilliant, so capable and so wise. How could he bungle his signature initiative? He isn't, but even if he were, it wouldn't make a particle of difference. One of the central delusions of progressives is that government is efficient and effective and that complex human societies are amenable to centralized control and direction. We on the right presume government ineptitude. ... Those spending other people's money have very little incentive to economize or seek top value. Nor can central bureaucrats possibly have enough information to make wise decisions about something as complex as one-sixth of a $16 trillion economy. As Friedrich A. Hayek cautioned: 'The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.'"
                    -Mona Charen

"The president misspoke: What he meant to say, a hundred or so times, was: 'If I like your insurance, you can keep it.”
                     -National Review

“McAuliffe raised almost $15 million more than Cuccinelli, thanks to help from his old boss, Bill Clinton.
In the end, however, McAuliffe victory margin was less than 3%, when he had led in the polls by double digits for months. Thanks to the calamitous rollout of ObamaCare, Cuccinelli nearly pulled off the upset -- and undoubtedly would have but for the government shutdown baggage. Of course, it could also be argued that the third party Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, who received almost 7% of the vote, handed the victory to McAuliffe.”
                 -Mark Alexander

"ObamaCare is in many ways old wine in new bottles. For example, when confronted with the fact that millions of Americans stand to lose their existing medical insurance, as a result of ObamaCare, defenders of ObamaCare say that this is true only when those people have 'substandard' insurance. Who decides what is 'substandard'? What is older than the idea that some exalted elite know what is good for us better than we know ourselves? ... ObamaCare ... began as supposedly a way to deal with the problem of a segment of the population -- those without health insurance. But, instead of directly helping those particular people to get insurance, the 'solution' was to expand the government's power over everybody, including people who already had health insurance that they wanted to keep. Since there has never been a society of human beings without at least some segment with some problem, this is a formula for a never-ending expansion of government power.."
                      -Thomas Sowell
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BOOKS
New book Alleges Obama Told Aides About Drone Strikes: “I’m ‘Really Good At Killing People’”
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GLOBALONEY
Coldest global warming on record:  Spokane International Airport received 1.9 inches of snow Tuesday, enough to snap a 66-year-old daily record by the slimmest of margins.
AUSTRALIA SNUBS UN CLIMATE TALKS AS MINISTER STAYS HOME TO REPEAL CARBON TAX

Global warming ´pause´ may last for 20 more years and Arctic sea ice has already started to recover
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LEFTIST WATCH
The UC Berkeley student government has banned the term “illegal immigrant” from its discourse, deeming the phrase racist, offensive, unfair and derogatory.

Cuba closed dozens of home-based movie theaters on Saturday and reaffirmed its plans to end the private sale of imported goods as communist authorities pressed for "order, discipline and obedience" in the growing small business sector.

The California Endowment, a foundation spending big bucks to promote Obamacare, has just delivered a $500,000 grant to TV writers and producers to sneak Obamacare promotions into their programs.
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ELECTION ANALYSIS
The Virginia governor’s race was supposed to prove how the Tea Party destroyed the GOP. …… The real lessons from the Virginia vote turn out to be a lot more complicated than the simplistic idea that the Tea Party’s rise would lead to a permanent Democratic majority. The reason why Cuccinelli fell short in Virginia was due in part to the way the national party abandoned his cause and allowed him to be massively outspent. This is something angry Tea Partiers won’t forget. But they should also realize that the hole Cuccinelli was in two weeks ago was also due to the shutdown they had recklessly engineered. In the end, the two factors may have balanced each other out, leaving the real problem for the GOP the same one that sunk Mitt Romney there in 2012: changing demographics that have transformed a once red state into a purple or light blue one.

Isn't it possible that Cuccinelli lost not so much because he was a strong conservative, but because the left-wing machine spent gobs of money talking up a few issues that appeal to young voters, single women, and minorities and then brought in the Clintons to further drive in the knife?  Isn't it possible that the McAuliffe campaign used their money and the Clinton clout to endlessly portray Cuccinelli on the airwaves as an intolerant, racist misogynist and that this resonated with the young, female, and victimized? Isn't this exactly the tactic Obama used in the last election -- micro-targeting women, minorities, and the youth, focusing on issues important to them, and scaring them all the way to the polls?  Isn't it more likely that Cuccinelli was mischaracterized as a monster in order to scare out the vote than that he is a fanatical right-winger with a penchant for blurting out offensive epithets? This is a meme on which the Democrat-Media Complex perseverates, and has been perseverating for decades.  The answer isn't to run wimpy candidates who antagonize the base.  It is to outflank them on this tactic by being prepared ahead of time and meeting the accusations head-on.
2016 Analysis:  “How Republicans can win:  The GOP's best shot in 2016 is NOT to nominate a moderate. They must nominate a conservative who can attract more conservative voters to the polls, just like President Obama built his own coalition and increased the relative electoral power of each constituent part. Not that it will be easy.,,,The ideal Republican strategy is not terribly convoluted. Find and nominate the most acceptable conservative. Find the swing states where demographic composition of the electorate has been volatile and where there is room among those demographic groups to grow the GOP's share. Put the two together……Hillary Clinton could actually help Republicans in 2016 by uniting conservatives.”
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ARTICLES
“Grand Theft Obama: The Biggest Heist in U.S. History”
The Crisis Arrives :  Obama’s dubious legacy.
Obama’s Massive Fraud

Ben Sasse is doing what few Republicans have been able to accomplish: He's uniting the GOP establishment with anti-establishment conservatives in his bid to become the next U.S. senator from Nebraska.  "We're grateful that all types of folks across Nebraska are responding to our conservative, solutions-oriented message.  This week, for instance, we've sought the support of gun owners, of Christian service organizations, and of the Chamber of Commerce.  We want everybody; we want to grow the conservative movement." The key appears to be Sasse's anti-Obamacare message, which the former Bush official is able to speak about fluidly and persuasively. It's resonating especially well now that the open-enrollment period for the massive health care overhaul has been so disastrous.

“Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers. My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.”

Society crumbles when it takes cues from the underclass.  When Snooki, whose talents include getting sloppy drunk and throwing up on camera, made Barbara Walters’ “Ten Most Fascinating People” list a few years back, one could only ask: Was Octomom not available? Last year, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which features a cornucopia of social ills, was TLC’s highest-rated show, attracting more cable viewers than the Republican National Convention, which had the misfortune to share the time slot with the charmers from Georgia. The show’s matriarch, June Shannon, has four daughters by four men, one of whose names she can’t recall. White Trash is the new normal — and you don’t have to tune in to reality TV to rub elbows with pathologies that once stayed put in Skunk Hollow. White Trash Normal has invaded every nook and cranny of life, from table manners, to dress, to money management. We modern philistines tell ourselves that rejecting the customs and conventions of a stuffy, old elite will release creativity and bring about a renaissance. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to Toynbee, self-expression replaces creativity when disintegrating societies look downward.

Democrats start to panic over Obamacare:   "Dem Party is F*****." That was the subject line of an email sent to me Sunday by a senior Democratic consultant with strong ties to the White House and Capitol Hill. The body of the email contained a link to this Los Angeles Times story about Obamacare "sticker shock:   These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years. Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama's signature legislation. In his story, reporter Chad Terhune also quoted a letter sent to a California insurance company executive. "I was all for Obamacare," wrote a young woman complaining about a 50 percent rate hike related to the health care law, "until I found out I was paying for it."
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
This map illustrates how Obamacare affects health insurance premiums for people who buy coverage on their own. Click on your state to learn more
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LATE NITE
Leno:  …President Obama's approval rating is down to 39 percent. And Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who admitted to smoking crack cocaine, went up to 49 percent. How does this make Obama feel? He’d be better off smoking crack than passing Obamacare…..According to CBS news, on the first day of open enrollment for Obamacare, only six people signed up. Today they released their names: They are Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy, and Doc. That’s according to the creator of the website: Dopey. 

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