Sunday, December 22, 2013

op ed review 12/22



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
WSJ:  “Obama Repeals ObamaCare”    Under pressure from Senate Democrats, the President partly suspends the individual mandate.
SEBELIUS: Yes, you will pay more...
45 States Still Haven't Hit 10% of the Enrollment Goals...
Four out of the 15 chiefs of Obamacare insurance marketplaces run by individual states have either quit or gone on leave since the botched Oct. 1 launches of their health exchanges.
“Obamacare Is Falling Apart Before Our Eyes:   Obamacare madness, Christmas edition.”
ObamaCare may soon start freezing Americans in place. Millions are losing their health insurance policies and being forced onto the ObamaCare exchanges, where most plans only provide local medical coverage.
Some Obamacare Navigators have been actively encouraging enrollees to commit fraud.
Why Obama and Obamacare may be the death of American liberalism
Seattle Times:  “As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for your ordinary health-care expenses.”  

The new face of Obamacare is a man in a plaid pajamas.  “..(liberal groups promoting Obamacare) are staffed by third-growth McGovernites who have come of age at the exact point that the radicalism of the 1960s finally won out. As David Burge of “Iowahawk” fame likes to joke, perhaps it wasn’t “a good idea to turn the most successful country in the history of the world over to the grievance faculty at Harvard.” Still, that is what we have done. And we have ended up with a parade of over-educated and under-experienced perpetual children who don’t think twice before dressing a grown man up in footie pajamas.”

President Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon,
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, Barbara Walters admitted, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah”

The conservative group Ending Spending may have premiered the ad that nationalizes the 2014 midterm elections around Obamacare. The 30-second killer ad targets the first-term Democratic Senator from New Hampshire who is likely to face former GOP Senator Scott Brown next year. The ad begins with footage of Shaheen on the Senate floor echoing President Obama by saying, “if you like your insurance you can keep it.” An overlay graphic points out that Obama was given the “Lie of the Year” award from a fact-checking group for that whopper. The ad then shifts to a local focus: It notes 20,000 people in New Hampshire have lost their insurance to date and that Obamacare exchanges offer only a single provider on the state’s individual market. The ad ends with a zinger sign-off: “Next November, if you like your senator, you can keep her. If not, you know what to do.”

"Senate democrats vote to cut military pensions instead of cutting welfare for illegal immigrants."

A&E has placed Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus following “anti-gay remarks” he made in a recent profile in GQ.
“Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings juggernaut for A&E, recently drawing around 9 million viewers for its Christmas special.
Bobby Jindal Backs Phil Robertson:I Remember When TV networks believed in the First Amendment”
Sarah Palin says the suspension Robertson is an attack on free speech.
A Facebook page dedicated to defense of Phil Robertson has received well over 400,000 likes since it was launched just 14 hours ago.
Petition:  "I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview."

Ken “The Hutch” Hutcherson, 61, a former Seattle Seahawk and an outspoken pastor who championed racial equality but opposed gay marriage, died on Wednesday after a long battle with prostate cancer.

The Obamas leave for their $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation
“VIP Hotel and Vehicles for Mandela Funeral Trip Cost More Than $11M”
Michelle Obama wears controversial J Mendel jacket AGAIN despite backlash last year over its $6,800 price tag

Liberal advocacy groups are outraged that a new Georgia policy that would charge the state’s  800,000 users of  free “Obamaphones” a $5 per month fee.  “some advocacy groups say the new policy...is an attack on the poor.”

 “Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes to represent America at the opening of the Sochi Olympics.”

The Republican establishment is fed up with the “outside groups” — the conservative lobbying shops and super PACs that have pulled the party Rightward in recent years — and this time, it’s the establishment that is uninterested in compromise. http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/the-republican-establishment-and-insurgent-groups-brace-for-all-out-war/article/2540722?utm_source=Tim%20Carney%20Reoccurring%20-%2012/15/2013&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Washington%20Examiner:%20Timothy%20P%20Carney
It was the shot heard ’round the conservative world……in defending the new, bipartisan budget agreement, House Speaker John Boehner took aim at the right-wing advocacy groups that vehemently opposed the deal. His language wasn’t just blunt. It was shockingly sharp for an exchange between supposed ideological allies. http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/12/20/the-gop-right/32MkJrV24HA6x2bvas1vKL/story.html

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi privately urged the Obama administration to halt deportations for “undocumented Democrats”, saying that President Obama needs to use more “discretion” to reduce the number of people he’s kicking out of the country.
“479 Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce New Laws on Gun Control.”

Teenage pot smokers could be damaging brain structures critical to memory and reasoning, according to new research that found changes in the brains of heavy users.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Frank Miele  12/21

America is at war with itself. The fight between A&E and Robertson is actually a fight between traditional values and secular humanism, and what it reveals is the deep divide that exists between those two world views that inhabit the same political body.

It should be understood that only in a free country such as America — perhaps only in modern America and its post-modern spawn — can we even have such a polite conversation about what is right and what is wrong as is implied in the first nine principles. What we need to remember is that almost every society which has existed, including 18th-century America, has had a set of shared rules and mores which are taught from a very early age so that every new member of society is indoctrinated to believe without question the truth of that society’s values, morals and customs.

The lack of such shared values in modern America is neither practical nor sustainable. As a result, the United States of America is poised to test the Bible’s dictum that a “house divided against itself shall not stand.” In the past 20 years, the gay-rights lobby has achieved a considerable victory in persuading courts and legislators to codify homosexuality as moral behavior. They are even on the verge of declaring that preaching against homosexuality is a hate crime. But that does not mean traditional, Bible-believing Christians such as Phil Robertson are going to willingly surrender their beliefs.

In my opinion, that means a significant change is going to happen. Either we are going to become a society where secular humanism will prevail and where preaching from the Bible is going to land you in jail, or we are going to become a society where people with traditional values will fight back against their marginalization and re-establish the so-called moral majority, possibly at the expense of certain liberties which we now take for granted.

This has nothing at all to do with whether A&E gives Phil Robertson and his family a TV show, which is why the controversy over “Duck Dynasty” is overblown.

But it has everything to do with Phil Robertson’s belief system, and that is why the controversy could be just the start of a larger backlash against those forces that want to criminalize Christianity.

We already know the people who hate Phil Robertson hate him because of what he stands for; now we are waiting to find out whether the people who support Robertson like him because he has a long beard and talks funny or because they identify with his values.

If it is the latter, then Robertson may turn out to be more than just a reality TV star; he may be an unlikely culture hero whose plainspoken words reveal the growing rift in American society and force it to be addressed.

No wonder A&E is scared. That may be just a bit too much reality for reality TV.



Another good read:  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……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.”
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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"Three years ago, the Milwaukee County district attorney opened an unusual legal process known as a 'John Doe' investigation, targeting a who's who of prominent Republicans and conservatives in Wisconsin, looking for violations of campaign-finance law. Under this rarely used procedure, groups such as Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth have been forced to turn over hundreds of thousands of emails and confidential documents. What makes the process especially pernicious is that the targeted have no legal way to challenge the subpoenas. They can't even acknowledge what's happening. ... Any conservative who complains about the treatment or who speaks up in his own defense can be jailed. Democrats get to read through the plans and goals of their opponents, and taxpayers are paying for it. This is meant to tell national conservative groups to stay out of Wisconsin lest they get pulled into the dragnet. ... They can't beat Mr. Walker on policy or at the polls, but a partisan prosecutor doesn't need a legitimate case to take an incumbent down. Investigations, often deliberately stalled to make the pain exquisite, can drag on for years. This is power that no district attorney, of whatever party, should have. Reform of prosecutorial power is long overdue."
                      -Washington Times
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LEFTIST WATCH
On Tuesday, MSNBC host Krystal Ball devoted a portion of The Cycle to advocating for the establishment of a national minimum guaranteed income. She insisted that research shows such a program does not create disincentives to work and could “eliminate poverty” with merely the stroke of a pen.

New senior Obama adviser compares GOP to Jonestown cult.. The Jonestown incident marked one of the most horrific mass killings in American history.
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CHRISTMAS UNDER FIRE
“New York School Removes Religious References from ‘Silent Night’”
“NM teacher who said Santa is white is on paid leave”
http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/24242269/nm-teacher-who-said-santa-is-white-on-paid-leave#ixzz2npuJ2RzV __________________________________________________________________________

GLOBALONEY
“Climate alarmists' search for proof going cold”

“We have written many times about the corruption of the global warming movement. Billions and billions of dollars are being poured into the pockets of global warming alarmists, because they perform such a valuable service: they help to persuade voters that governments should be given greater control over the world’s economies. What’s a few billion dollars when trillions are at stake?....”

It was only five years ago in December that Al Gore claimed that the polar ice caps would be completely melted by now. But he might be surprised to find out that Arctic ice coverage is up 50 percent this year from 2012 levels. “Some of the models suggest that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during some of the summer months, could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years,” Gore said in 2008.

Before NASA and NOAA start tampering with the data, 2013 is one of the ten coldest years in the US since 1895, and has had the largest year over year decline on record.

In honor of the 17th year without global warming, The Daily Caller News Foundation has put together seven setbacks for global warming alarmism.
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ARTICLES
The claim: The United States is the richest nation in the world, and as a matter of decency should pay for the health care of all Americans who can’t afford to pay for their own.  The truth: The United States is not the richest nation in the world; we are the richest debtor nation in the world. We literally owe trillions of dollars — not just in the national debt, but also in unfunded liabilities for various entitlements. http://www.dailyinterlake.com/opinion/columns/frank/article_15286682-6530-11e3-b245-001a4bcf887a.html

Huge backlash mounts over suspension of ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson

“Supporters of gay marriage have become that which they hated……We are all Phil Robertson now.”
So what to think about the Ryan-Murray budget deal?  Americans for Prosperity says “This budget deal is not conservative”

But “Americans for Tax Reform has a more realistic understanding of the total effect of the deal on spending. It says, “Over the long term budget horizon, [the Ryan-Murray budget deal] is a large net spending cut…. the spending cuts included in the plan are permanent and mandatory. It would take an act of Congress to amend them.” ATR adds that under the deal, “The 2014-2015 divergence from the discretionary spending caps’ trend line was a one time event not repeated in the [budget] window. The cuts to pay for this anomaly, however, are permanent and will reduce government spending by many times more than the small spending increases in 2014 and 2015. [The budget deal] is a short-term discretionary spending increase dwarfed in size by a long-run mandatory spending cut.”…..But if all the most conservative voters stay home next year, having been convinced by conservative commentators and opinion leaders that the Republicans aren’t worth coming out to vote for, then Washington will conclude that the American people want to go Communist. If that seems like an overstatement,  that is because you don’t understand Washington.”

From the wacky to the infuriating:  “The federal government this year made significant cuts to important services and programs while at the same time wasting $30 billion on frivolous expenditures like the "pillownauts" study NASA conducted to learn the effects of lying in bed all day, a new watchdog report shows. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on Tuesday released his fourth annual "Wastebook," a catalog of questionable government spending that is, at best, pretty wacky (funding for "Popular Romance Project" -- $1 million) and, at its worst, infuriating (continuing pay for Army Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter)”

University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus’s study, “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” published in the academic journal Social Science Research last year, caused a firestorm in the scientific community. Unlike most previous studies, Regnerus found that children of parents who had experienced a same-sex relationship fared worse than children of heterosexual parents on measures of social, emotional, and psychological adjustment as well as educational attainment, employment history, need for public assistance, substance abuse, and criminal justice system involvement.
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Surprise Military Homecomings for Christmas That Will Make You Smile

You will enjoy this!  “The Christmas Scale”

“Picture of VP Joe Biden groping a White House reporter

Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.

New website:  Welcome to SHIFT Washington – a new online platform for shifting the debate in Olympia. We’re glad to have you as part of the effort, and hope you’ll be active in helping SHIFT Washington State in a positive direction.

Singing Telegrams International.

The Washington Post has produced six massively detailed maps showing the religious make-up of America.

Nice Christmas story
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LATE NITE
Leno: "Over the weekend the ObamaCare website was down. Fortunately, most Americans were unaffected because they never knew it was up……..Political correctness is in full swing this holiday season. Kids can't even call Santa's helpers "elves" anymore. They have to be known as "undocumented little people…….A New York lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana so it can be taxed and the money used to pay bills. Wasn't that the plot of "Breaking Bad" — selling drugs to pay bills?

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