Saturday, December 7, 2013

op ed review 11/8



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Recent polling shows that an election wave caused by ObamaCare is growing, and is not only likely to hand the GOP control of the United States Senate, but might wipe out as many as 12 Democrat seats -- many of which looked safe just a few months ago.

Mounting opposition to ObamaCare among young adults is creating a new crisis for the White House. While the federal enrollment website HealthCare.gov appears to be improving by the day, polls show the “young invincibles” key to making the law work are becoming less likely to enroll.
Harvard Poll: “Millennials Abandon Obamacare, Would Vote to ‘Recall’ Obama”

Some people who have managed to complete the burdensome and glitch-filled process of signing up for Obamacare are learning they are not really enrolled at all.

Obamacare: 500M Lines of Code, $500M, 60% Complete, No Surprise.  “I've been a Senior Software Engineer for a long time, and I've worked on over 100 projects, so I've seen disasters. The only thing that's different about Healthcare.gov is the breathtaking size of criminality of the Obama administration in wasting so much money on cronies and corruption, and the breathtaking size of the resulting well-deserved disaster.”

In Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, the eponymous Auric Goldfinger observes: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it’s enemy action. That may be overly generous. A couple of weeks back, cancer patient Bill Elliot, in a defiant appearance on Fox News, discussed the cancelation of his insurance and what he intended to do about it. He’s now being audited.  Insurance agent C Steven Tucker saw the interview and reached out to Mr Elliot to help him…..and he’s now being audited.

1,148,000 fewer Americans held jobs this November than did seven years ago in November 2006

41% of Net New Jobs in November Were in Government

Big Brother is here: The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

“Liberal Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress”

The nation’s view of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, colored by the horrific Benghazi assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Libya on her watch, has suddenly turned upside down, with more now holding an unfavorable opinion of the likely 2016 presidential candidate.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law's new exchanges.  Harry himself admits he will pay $4500 more per year under Obamacare.

MSNBC host Martin Bashir is leaving MSNBC. The departure follows vile comments he made about Sarah Palin on his Friday, Nov. 15 show.

A number of prominent lay Catholics are taking issue with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s statement on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that were it not for the Obamacare´s treatment of abortion, undocumented immigrants and provisions that require they violate the "dictates of our conscience," Catholics would be among the loudest “cheerleaders” for Obamacare.

Not a good trend:  Gay weddings made up 17 percent of marriages in Washington this past year, the first year gay marriages were legal in the state.

Obama political group organizes gun control house parties for Newtown shooting anniversary
Allen West warns Obama’s ‘backdoor gun control is moving forward’

Gov. Chris Christie’s “bizarre behavior’’ in refusing to say he’ll support a possible GOP challenger to Gov. Cuomo next year could derail his chances to become president, state and national GOP insiders have told The Post.

A new study from China shows that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by 44% with one abortion, and 76% and 89% with two and three abortions.

Georgia School Confiscates Christmas Cards
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Jonah Goldberg  12/6

Maybe someone can explain to me how, exactly, conservatives are the aggressors in the culture war? In the conventional narrative of American politics, conservatives are obsessed with social issues. They want to impose their values on everyone else. They want the government involved in your bedroom. Those mean right-wingers want to make “health-care choices” for women.

Now consider last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to consider two cases stemming from Obamacare: Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores. Democratic politicians and their fans on social media went ballistic almost instantly. That’s hardly unusual these days. But what’s revealing is that the talking points are all wrong.

Suddenly, the government is the hero for getting deeply involved in the reproductive choices of nearly every American, whether you want the government involved or not. The bad guy is now your boss who, according to an outraged Senator Patty Murray (D.,Wash.), would be free to keep you from everything from HIV treatment to vaccinating your children if Hobby Lobby has its way. Murray and the White House insist that every business should be compelled by law to protect its employees’ “right” to “contraception” that is “free.”

I put all three words in quotation marks because these are deeply contentious claims. For starters, the right to free birth control — or health care generally — is not one you’ll find in the Constitution. And even if you think it should be a right,  that is hardly a settled issue in American life.

The right to own a gun is a far more settled issue constitutionally, politically, and legally in this country, but not even the National Rifle Association would dream to argue that we have a right to free guns, provided by our employers. If your boss were required to give you a gun, your new employer-provided Glock still wouldn’t be free because non-cash compensation is still compensation. The costs to the employer are fungible, which means whether it’s a pistol or a pill, the cost is still coming out of your paycheck — and your coworkers’ paychecks.

“Regular, predictable expenses such as birth-control pills cannot be defrayed by insurance; they can only be prepaid, with a markup for the insurer’s administrative costs,” writes Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle. “The extra cost is passed on by the insurers to your employer, and from your employer to you and your fellow workers, either by raising your contribution or lowering the wage they are willing to offer.”

Last, birth-control pills really aren’t the issue. Both companies suing the government under Obamacare have no objection to providing insurance plans that cover the cost of birth-control pills and other forms of contraception. What both Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties object to is paying for abortifacients — drugs that terminate a pregnancy rather than prevent one. (Hobby Lobby also opposes paying for IUDs, which prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.) The distinction is simple: Contraception prevents fertilization and pregnancy. Drugs such as Plan B may terminate a pregnancy, albeit at an extremely early stage.

The plaintiffs in these cases aren’t saying the government should ban abortifacients or make it impossible for their employees to buy them. All they are asking is that the people using such drugs pay for them themselves rather than force employers and co-workers to share the cost. In other words, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood want such birth-control decisions to be left to individual women and their doctors. Leave the rest of us out of it. But leaving the rest of us out of it is exactly the opposite intent of the authors of Obamacare. The law forces not only arts-and-crafts shops but also Catholic charities and other religiously inspired groups to choose between fulfilling their mission and violating their values. You may have no moral objection to such things, but millions of people do. By what right are liberals seeking to impose their values on everyone else? Isn’t that something they denounce conservatives for?

They could have allowed for plans that exclude controversial forms of birth control — or even uncontroversial ones — which would have lowered premium costs and expanded health-care coverage to more poor people.
But Democrats wanted a wedge issue to drum up a new battle in the culture war — a war in which liberals have always been the aggressors.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“In 1952, the country was even more deeply divided than it is today, and Americans were ready for peace, prosperity and a spell of good will -- which is just what Ike delivered. But by the fall of 1958, the GOP was in trouble again. The not so Grand Old Party was swamped in the congressional elections of that year, foretelling its defeat in the coming presidential contest of 1960.  It was at that low point in Republican fortunes that an aging prophet named Whittaker Chambers happened upon the perfect metaphor for the kind of true believers who would rather lose than win by compromising their most cherished obsessions in any way. In the dying autumn of that year, old Whittaker Chambers penned this still relevant diagnosis and warning in a letter to a promising young conservative editor named William F. Buckley:  "If the Republican Party cannot get some grip of the actual world we live in, and from it generalize and actively promote a program that means something to masses of people -- why, somebody else will. There will be nothing to argue. The voters will simply vote Republicans into singularity. The Republican Party will become like one of those dark little shops which apparently never sell anything. If, for any reason, you go in, you find, at the back, an old man, fingering for his own pleasure some oddments of cloth. Nobody wants to buy them, which is fine because the old man is not really interested in selling. He just likes to hold and to feel."  Whittaker Chambers could be writing today in the dismal aftermath of the not so Great Government Shutdown of 2013. “
                        -Paul Greenberg
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BOOKS, FILM
At first sight, the A-Z dictionary format of James Delingpole’s latest effort, “The Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism”, seems surprising. But there is a sound reason for its structure. In his prior book, Watermelons, Delingpole cited George Orwell: “Who controls the language controls the culture. Who controls the culture wins the political argument. … [Orwell] explained that one of the most effective ways of suppressing heretical thought was to eliminate undesirable words or strip them of their meaning.” Eco-fascists have a talent for that sort of thing. As Delingpole notes in his entry on “Language,” the “greenies” rely on “making

The largest government employee union in the country issued a call-to-arms to its 80,000 Facebook followers, encouraging them to leave negative Amazon.com reviews for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s new book, “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.” Walker’s book was released November 19.
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LEFTIST WATCH
A press conference call by the activist group OUR Walmart turned awkward when the group was repeatedly unable to say how many Walmart employees had joined in the group´s long-planned Black Friday protests. Walmart itself put the figure at about 20.

Hourly wage increases advocated by labor groups could kill more than 450,000 jobs, according to a new report. http://freebeacon.com/study-union-backed-fast-food-proposal-could-cost-half-a-million-jobs/

“Glee producer Ryan Murphy is used to pushing the moral boundaries, but last night’s episode may have gone too far…..a bisexual Santa, a transgender Virgin Mary and lots of drunkenness.”

The hippy-fueled magazine Mother Jones that helped torpedo Mitt Romney´s campaign wants your tax dollars to fund its crusade for the radical transformation of American society.
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GLOBALONEY
“This, I'm afraid, is where we're at in the great climate debate – and have been for some time. The scenario I've just described will be familiar to absolutely every climate sceptic who has ever appeared on a public platform anywhere: you've come to fight by the rules of the Geneva convention – but there's the opposition using poison gas, napalm, Red Cross ambulances to transport healthy combat troops, slave labor, torture, whatever means comes to hand at any given moment to help them win at every cost.”

Global warming hysterics at the BBC warned us in 2007 that by summer 2013, the Arctic would be ice-free. As with so many other doomsday predictions by warmists, the results turn out to be quite the opposite.  A chilly Arctic summer has left 533,000 more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year - an increase of 29 per cent……The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. “Global warming is the most expensive and widespread con job in the history of the world. There must be a terrible reckoning for the "scientists" and profiteers who have foisted this crackpot atrocity on the world.”
Global Sea Ice Area Highest In 25 Years, 6th Highest On Record

“Nearly 1000 Record Low Temperatures Set As Another Round of Arctic Air Forecast To Deep Freeze The U.S.”

Global-warming ‘proof’ is evaporating

Eagles are expendable if it reduces the carbon footprint.  “Obama Administration About to Give "Kill As Many Eagles as You Want" Pass to Wind Farms.”
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ISLAM
Three members of a so-called ´Muslim Patrol´ were jailed at the Old Bailey for repeatedly trying to enforce Sharia law in East London.
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WAR ON CHRISTMAS
Go to www.radioshack.com and type "Christmas" in the search bar. As of today, the website brings up zero results. At Radio Shack, you'll find "holiday" deals, "holiday" kickoff, "holiday" cash and a "holiday" gift guide, but you won't find "Christmas." Radio Shack is censoring the word "Christmas," pure and simple. Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at its stores.
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ARTICLES
The rise of anti-morality has been the most transformational psychological shift in American history, but it is not recognized as such. Anti-morality should not be confused with amorality or immorality. It is the affirmative belief that an enforced moral code diminishes individual potential and power. Anti-morality is a reaction against the belief that selfishness is the primary cause of suffering. According to anti-moral beliefs, suffering arises not from selfish choices, but when a person is blocked from "self-actualization" by restrictive and oppressive social conditions. Anti-morality is the belief that morally based discrimination and penalty are narrow-minded, bigoted, and thwart freedom……An unintended consequence of anti-moral humanism has been the unleashing of selfishness. Freedom in all its forms is dependent on the moral integrity of a society. The ascendency of anti-morality is why the family, the free market, and the military are all in decline……Progressivism is the fear that someone, somewhere is behaving morally. As anti-morality flourishes, its mouthpieces become more abusive to anyone they believe typifies morality, as it becomes more difficult for them to repress their own sense of shame.  Anti-morality is why the education of children no longer focuses on examples of virtue but emphasizes self-esteem. A strong sense of self is necessary to make self-actualizing personal choices. It doesn't matter if George Washington told the truth when he chopped down the cherry tree. The question is how did he feel about chopping down the tree? Would he chop it down again? It doesn't matter that the tree is dead, as long as he learned something from the experience…..Socialism is the endgame of anti-morality.……During the ObamaCare enslavement, Speaker Pelosi made a statement of utmost dopiness, which captures the essence of humanist anti-morality. She said to the effect that if young people had government healthcare they would be freed to be artists and musicians. It expresses the delusion that self-actualization means being an artist, and implicitly denigrates most work and the virtue of diligence. If everyone is to be a government-supported artist, who is left to make things, to raise children, to pay the bills? In other words, socialism works until you run out of other people's morality.
“It is difficult for an old liberal Democrat to utter such words as those. Vote Republican and save the country, indeed. Yet that is what I am now saying, and to make it even more emphatic, I am also suggesting that for the next two elections, all good people should consider voting a straight Republican ticket as a protest against the massive political sins of the Democrats. If enough voters did that, in addition to saving the country it might also save the Democratic Party from itself. My old party has lost its soul and integrity in recent years…”

“The Catholic Church's recent history of sympathizing with, and even supporting, Marxist progressivism is clear, sad, and indicative of a deeply irrational and anti-individual streak within the modern Church hierarchy. Catholics who care about the Church, its history, and its future -- and also about humanity, reason and freedom -- must stop making excuses for their current spiritual leadership's collectivist authoritarian impulses.
Having now drawn a bull's eye on my own forehead in bold colors, I shall attempt to make my case….”

Problems with “Common Core”:  There is more than a little sophistry taking place here: an alarming superficiality and political bias that pervades all the Common Core textbooks. There is no reading in this chapter ostensibly devoted to World War II that tells why America entered the war. There is no document on Pearl Harbor or the Rape of Nanking or the atrocities committed against the Jews or the bombing of Britain. The book contains no speech of Winston Churchill or F.D.R. even though the reading of high-caliber “informational texts” is the new priority set by the Common Core, and great rhetoric has always been the province of an English class. There is not a single account of a battle or of American losses or of the liberation of Europe……There is not a single document or sentence in the chapter that would make a young reader consider the Axis Powers anything other than “enemies” in quotes. Essentially, all of World War II has been reduced to dropping the bomb and consequently, we are led to believe, America’s inhumanity. In short, the entire presentation of the Second World War is not an exercise in critical thinking; nor will it make students “college and career ready.” This is not teaching. It is programming, pure and simple.

Roger Simon:  Bill Clinton, the cliché goes, was the first black president, no matter his skin color. That being the case, Barack Obama is not the first black president, or the first African-American president, if you prefer, but the first hippie president.

Dennis Prager:  In my last column, I proposed some explanations for why many conservative parents have left-wing children. In a nutshell, American parents who hold traditional American values -- such as belief in small government as the basis of liberty, in a God-based moral code, that American military strength is the greatest contributor to world peace and stability, or in American exceptionalism, not to mention in the man-woman definition of marriage or in the worth of a human fetus -- are at war with almost every influence on their children's lives. This includes, most importantly, the media and the schools.  Here, then are some suggestions for raising a child with American, i.e., conservative, values.
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
7 Nelson Mandela quotes you won’t see in the US media

Naughty or Nice? AFA's 2013 listing of top retailers and how they recognize Christmas

Heritage Foundation´s Index of Dependence on Government

The Right’s newest media watchdog and response organization

The art world is almost always associated with cultural and political leftism, but you may be surprised to know that on the Internet there exists a substantial world of art rooted in conservative beliefs. Daily Caller opinions editor Jordan Bloom has started a Tumblr compiling all the so-called “right-wing art.” From the terrible to the talented to the offensive to the bizarre, Bloom exhibits a growing series of conservative art that is sure to provoke a variety of responses, depending upon the viewer.
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LATE NITE
Conan O’Brien:  Earlier today, Vice President Joe Biden arrived in South Korea to talk to the people there. Yeah, first time ever people from South Korea have tried to sneak into North Korea.

Jimmy Kimmel:  Why can only 50,000 people use a government website without crashing it, but 4 million people can watch a kitten try to get its head out of a bag, no problem?........Some people got through the Obamacare process only to discover they had inadvertently joined the Navy. They ship out next week.
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WISE WORDS
"[H]e who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him."
                      -Thomas Jefferson (1785)


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