Sunday, March 16, 2014

op ed review 3/16



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
President Obama and his Democratic Party are facing difficult political headwinds less than eight months before November´s midterm elections, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
3 numbers in the poll that should worry Democrats

Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a Florida district where Obamacare got its first test ahead of November's midterm elections and both sides spent millions auditioning national strategies.
Flashback two months:  :  “It’s rare in politics that anything other than a presidential contest is viewed as a “must win” — but the special election in Florida’s 13th District falls into that category for Democrats. A loss in the competitive March 11 contest would almost certainly be regarded by dispassionate observers as a sign that President Barack Obama could constitute an albatross around the neck of his party’s nominees in November.”
“Florida loss exposes Democrats' disarray on Obamacare”
“…the loss….was….“devastating” to Democrats. It’s a district Ms. Sink carried in her unsuccessful race for governor against Rick Scott, a district that Barack Obama carried in his two elections, and a district that demographically now favors Democrats. In addition, Ms. Sink raised more money and ran a better campaign than Jolly. Even Bill Clinton lent his efforts to her campaign. And yet she lost.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is already bracing for a disappointing November for Democrats, and he sees little that can be done to change that outcome.
The election is coming, the election is coming! That’s the message coming from President Obama as he tries desperately to rouse Democrats out of a midterm election stupor that could cost his party control of the Senate — and bury his agenda once and for all.

ObamaCare´s implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty. This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice.
“Obamanomics Is Ticking Time Bomb For Millennial Generation”
A national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very “income equality” President Obama says he is campaigning to fix. Huge Union's report entitled,"The Irony of ObamaCare:
Making Inequality Worse”
Feds drop $3.2 million on Obamacare ads in Oregon featuring guitar-strumming hipsters
Oklahoma Man Loses Insurance Due to Obamacare, Owes $100K in Bills
A new survey confirms that Obamacare has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health coverage accessible to the uninsured. As the Washington Post reports, “Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one.” Why so few?....the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability.

A commission has concluded there “is no compelling medical reason” for the U.S. armed forces to prohibit transgender Americans from serving in the military.

The Democratic chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee declared that cabinet secretaries do not have to answer GOP questions at hearings if they don’t feel like it.

“Koch brothers donate $100 million to New York hospital…….liberals protest.”  Seriously.

Despite Hillary Rodham Clinton’s promise that she had scrubbed illegal cash contributions from her 2008 presidential campaign, prosecutors revealed Monday that the mastermind of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s “shadow campaign” also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid Mrs. Clinton’s bid for the White House.
Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Chris Christie placed first and second in a straw poll held during this weekend´s Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, but Dr. Ben Carson may have stolen the show without being a candidate for anything. He emerged in third place with 11 percent support, tied with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Sen. Rick Santorum.

“Gun control supporters turn to new front: Corporate America”

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations, sources familiar with her departure told POLITICO on Monday. Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network´s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network´s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.
“CBS News has lost its strongest claim to be a fair and non-partisan news source with the departure of Sharyl Atkisson from the network. The award-winning reporter has been squeezed-out because of her reporting on investigative themes inconvenient to the Obama administration…”
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Walter Williams  2/19

Evil acts are given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions, such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution, caring for the less fortunate, and the will of the majority. Let's have a thought experiment to consider just how much Americans sanction evil.

Imagine there are several elderly widows in your neighborhood. They have neither the strength to mow their lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks nor the financial means to hire someone to help them. Here's a question that I'm almost afraid to ask: Would you support a government mandate that forces you or one of your neighbors to mow these elderly widows' lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks? Moreover, if the person so ordered failed to obey the government mandate, would you approve of some sort of sanction, such as fines, property confiscation or imprisonment? I'm hoping, and I believe, that most of my fellow Americans would condemn such a mandate. They'd agree that it would be a form of slavery -- namely, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.

Would there be the same condemnation if, instead of forcing you or your neighbor to actually perform weekly household tasks for the elderly widows, the government forced you or your neighbor to give one of the widows $50 of your weekly earnings? That way, she could hire someone to mow her lawn or clean her windows. Would such a mandate differ from one under which you are forced to actually perform the household task? I'd answer that there is little difference between the two mandates except the mechanism for the servitude. In either case, one person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another.

I'm guessing that most Americans would want to help these elderly ladies in need but they'd find anything that openly smacks of servitude or slavery deeply offensive. They might have a clearer conscience if all the neighbors were forced (taxed) to put money into a government pot. A government agency would then send the widows $50 to hire someone to mow their lawns and perform other household tasks. This collective mechanism makes the particular victim invisible, but it doesn't change the fact that a person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of others. Putting the money into a government pot simply conceals an act that would otherwise be deemed morally depraved.

This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, confiscation and intimidation, to accomplish what are often seen as noble goals -- namely, helping one's fellow man. Helping one's fellow man in need by reaching into one's own pockets to do so is laudable and praiseworthy. Helping one's fellow man through coercion and reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation. Tragically, most teachings, from the church on down, support government use of one person to serve the purposes of another; the advocates cringe from calling it such and prefer to call it charity or duty.

Some might argue that we are a democracy, in which the majority rules. But does a majority consensus make moral acts that would otherwise be deemed immoral? In other words, if the neighbors got a majority vote to force one of their number -- under pain of punishment -- to perform household tasks for the elderly widows, would that make it moral?

The bottom line is that we've betrayed much of the moral vision of our Founding Fathers. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who had fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." Tragically, today's Americans -- Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative -- would hold such a position in contempt and run a politician like Madison out of town on a rail.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“Billions of dollars and billions of hours are spent campaigning for this or that candidate in our national elections. You can bet that people are not making those expenditures so that politicians will uphold and defend the Constitution; they’re looking for favors. The Constitution’s framers gave us reasonably fair and neutral rules of the game. If our government acted, as the framers intended, as a referee or night watchman, how much difference would it make to any of us who occupies the White House or Congress? It would make little difference, if any….Any government official who knew and enforced the rules would do. But increasingly, who’s in office is making a difference, because government has abandoned its referee and night watchman function and gotten into the business of determining winners and losers. Unfortunately, for our nation, that’s what most Americans want.”
                   -Walter Williams
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BOOKS, FILM
“Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans”

A new film poses the question: What if America didn’t exist? Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (under indictment by the Obama administration) and producer Gerald Molen discuss the film. D’Souza, who immigrated to the United States, says he “chose America because it’s a place where I can be the architect of my own life.” Molen calls the film a love story about America. “Today we have kids who can’t find America on a map,” Molen said. “We have kids who probably can’t find America on a map….We have kids who probably can’t even spell America, and I think that we have, you know, left them out, we have done them a great disservice by not [… ] showing our patriotism a little more.”
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GLOBALONEY
“Sean Hannity introduced last night’s climate change all-nighter session in the Senate by calling it a “waste of time” for Democrats. He then invited Fox’s Bob Beckel and Greenpeace co-founder turned climate change skeptic Patrick Moore to hash it out over what Hannity called “propaganda and a hoax.” After accusing Beckel of saying everyone in the South believes “crap,” Hannity moved on to Moore, asking him “where is the evidence to suggest this is real and not a political agenda?” “There is no scientific proof that we’re causing climate change,” Moore declared, stressing that he does believe the planet is getting warmer, just not that humans are primarily responsible.
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ARTICLES
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wowed the beltway elite and even Democrats during Saturday´s annual Gridiron event, showing why the Ivy Leaguer has confounded and been vilified by many with whom he shares the same intellectual pedigree. The annual D.C. roast is hosted by the exclusive Gridiron Club, which is composed of D.C.´s mainstream and "elite" journalists. Cruz has degrees from Princeton and Harvard, which those in the permanent political class covet, and he can do their social rituals better than they can. Yet Cruz refuses to be co-opted by them politically, instead choosing to be a staunch conservative who represents
Politico's Mike Allen said that Cruz, "crushed his speech – even Dems said he knocked it out of the park." In an appearance with Secretary of State John Kerry and Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, the Florida gubernatorial candidate who wants to be loved by the permanent political class, Cruz called himself the "anti-Crist" in what could be the perfect description of Cruz's brand of politics. [I]n front of conservative and tea-party audiences, I am hailed as the anti-Obama. But tonight, I’m the anti-Crist.
Cruz also blasted Obama's executive orders and his disregard for the law: "We are still a nation of laws. You just have to check with Barack Obama every day to see what they are."

You have probably seen all of the ridiculous speculating about the GOP nomination in 2016. This is still speculating, but my sincere hope is you don’t think it’s ridiculous too. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is laying the foundation for his presidential bid in concrete and steel. First, forget about Jeb Bush unless you want to hand Hillary eight years in the White House. The latest Rasmussen poll shows her leading Jeb in a general election 47 percent to 33. His name is Bush and to the general public the specifics of how smart he is doesn’t matter one iota. Then there’s Ted Cruz,
Former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said that donors are rushing him with offers of big-dollar support, clearing away his highest hurdle to entering the 2016 GOP primaries. The biggest difference between 2008 and this year, he said, is that supporters and well-financed contributors are urging him to run and pledging to fund his effort. One of the main reasons why: He has the best knowledge of the Clinton campaign machine, knows Bill and Hillary Clinton and their tactics well, and has run and won against two female candidates. “I certainly know the Clintons; I know

In his remarks at the conference over the weekend, the chairman of the group that runs CPAC said that conservatives and establishment Republicans should not spend "one more minute" fighting about candidates, policies, and for the soul of the party. Translation: Unite on the terms favorable to establishment Republicans that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) pointed out has cost Republicans in three of the last four national elections. Cardenas said that conservatives "must stand against this dark loss of freedom" the country is facing by recognizing that threats are "not coming in the form of other conservatives."
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WISE WORDS
“All theory is against freedom of the will; all experience for it.”
             Dr. Samuel Johnson



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