Understanding War and the American Character
This is the second in a series of five, watch them all. They're well worth it.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Of the two great societal goals—freedom and "the good"—freedom requires a conservatism, a discipline of principles over the good, limited government, and so on. No way to grandiosity here. But today's liberalism is focused on "the good" more than on freedom. And ideas of "the good" are often a license to transgress democratic principles in order to reach social justice or to achieve more equality or to lessen suffering. The great political advantage of modern liberalism is its offer of license on the one hand and moral innocence—if not superiority—on the other. Liberalism lets you force people to buy health insurance and feel morally superior as you do it. Power and innocence at the same time.Read it all.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Frank Rich spent many years as the theater critic for the New York Times, where, at worst, his venom could cause a Broadway production or two to close down.so writes the Wheel of Fortune's, very clever Pat Sajak.
Now, however, Mr. Rich opines on political and social issues for the Times, and, while the results are usually mildly amusing (even if unintentionally so), his reach has grown a bit, so the damage he causes can travel beyond the footlights. I’m not sure why anyone turns to Rich for political analysis—heck, you might as well read the rantings of a TV game show host—
When historians recount the momentous events of recent weeks, they will note a curious coincidence. On March 15, Moody's Investors Service -- the bond rating agency -- published a paper warning that the exploding U.S. government debt could cause a downgrade of Treasury bonds. Just six days later, the House of Representatives passed President Obama's health care legislation costing $900 billion or so over a decade and worsening an already-bleak budget outlook.
Should the United States someday suffer a budget crisis, it will be hard not to conclude that Obama and his allies sowed the seeds, because they ignored conspicuous warnings. A further irony will not escape historians. For two years, Obama and members of Congress have angrily blamed the shortsightedness and selfishness of bankers and rating agencies for causing the recent financial crisis. The president and his supporters, the historians will note, were equally shortsighted and self-centered -- though their quest was for political glory, not financial gain.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
...Obama exhibits disdain for those he governs.That's what you get when you give all that power to any one party. And yet, you seem to especially get it if that party is the Democratic Party.
Accustomed to the hosannas of fawning admirers, he turns a deaf ear to anyone suggesting he might not have all the answers.
He simply declared his presidency demanded passage of this controversial legislation, and Congress assured him it would comply, by any means necessary.
If we let them get away with Saturday’s stunt — using the imagery of the Civil Rights era and hurtful lies to cast aspersions upon the tea party whole — then they really will have won the day.Breitbart will settle for Lewis passing a lie detector test.
It’s time for the allegedly pristine character of Rep. John Lewis to put up or shut up. Therefore, I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
It's a bad bill... Health care in the United States is pretty good, but it does have a number of weaknesses. This bill doesn't address them. It adds taxation and regulation. It's going to increase health costs—not contain them."As more and more people understand this, more and more people are going to understand they were misled by the Misleader-in-Chief.
We are angry not because we lost, but that we lost to losers. I'm not talking about Obama, or the Dems. They're winners, sadly. I'm talking about progressivism. The reason why I'm angry, my friends are angry, and my imaginary unicorn Captain Sparkles is angry - is because the greatest, most winningest country in the history of the world, just embraced the loser's doctrine.Heh!
For two hundred plus years we've kicked ass, and we're now choosing the belief system of the idiots whose asses we've kicked.
So that's why I'm angry. And why you're angry too.
And when jackasses try to take away your right to be angry - by calling it racist or extremist - tell them they're the racists. Because it's those tools who assume that anger can only be about race. And if they disagree with you, then clearly they're not just racists - but probably homophobic cannibals, too.
“In plain English: Insuring a bunch of people in a few years is no guarantee they will actually get access to medical care. Why? Because Texas, along with the rest of the country, has a shortage of doctors. It’s especially acute in primary care. And it is expected to worsen as more uninsured people get coverage.
How did this shortage happen?
A lot of studies, including some cited in this space, list various reasons: Primary care doctors don’t get paid as much as other doctors, and they don’t get reimbursed for talking to their patients about how to stay healthy. The average doctor graduates from medical school with $150,000 in debts, according to Dr. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association. With that kind of debt, many of them can’t afford to get into primary care.
Still, I was stunned by a statistic Rohack shared when I heard him speak at a conference in Austin on Monday: 67 percent of U.S. doctors are specialists; just 33 percent are in primary care. If current trends continue, he said, we will be short 124,000 doctors of all stripes by 2025.
Few Texas doctors want to take care of patients on Medicaid because the payments are so low. And most of the newly insured people from the new health care law in 2014 will be on Medicaid. What will it be like for them when they become insured? And as they clamor for care, what will it be like for the rest of us?”
ObamaCare’s new slogan: Tax and Ration.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Specter spoke out on the Sestak affair two weeks ago, suggesting that Sestak name names, or else pipe down. "I'm telling you it is a federal crime punishable by jail," Specter said, "and anybody who wants to say that ought to back it up."The hits just keep on coming.
But the allegation ought to be taken seriously because it fits a pattern of White House behavior. Last September, the Denver Post reported that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina offered a U.S. foreign aid job to Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. The offer was meant as an inducement to make him drop his Senate primary challenge against incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
@sEaTtLe_MeTrO Death 2 Palin family them retarded hillbillies take teabaggers w/ you hateful bitchIs Paul Krugman amused?
We cant expect gov to intervene we must shoot Gen. Palin on site be 4 her troops strike again!
@interactionswst one word racism choose sides plain and simply that bitch Palin launch an attack, she need 2 b shot on site!
@Palin360 you need 2 b assassinated soon we ll settle 4 one of the family if not u!
maybe it takes a murder or 2 2 get the point across take aim at radical TP members
@BRIANGLAD Palin will b met with gunfire her or her family
IS Sarah Palin still alive, please feel free 2 domecheck that bitch! she will look good in tha box the TP left on someones lawn
Yeah shorty i know soon as a bitch get killed bout a lie then ppl gone realize how stupid n lack info can get u hurt TP f---- wit fire
@Southfive her map w crosshair need to b put on her family she that bitch can die or a TP supporter
Does Palin really want what she ask 4? we ll see after death strikes i guess no pose 2 see her rhetoric,it can b dangerous. but who cares!
i got 2 go see how many more targets Gen. Palin got mapped out that bitch gone get or someone i hope its GOP one of them racist f-----s
THe street gangs of america can take on the teabaggers and Palin. TP is callin 4 war just shoot any TP associates and family MS13 BITCHES!
I cant wait till someone serious hurt that bitch Palin or one of her children soon she out of control!
@Oplis the ppl of color have been wait n 4 no one can agree on history so suggest the Palin plan let roll!ms13 will take care of that bitch
Palin came 2 lower 48 2 start a civil divide this could b the moment of truth 4 americans 2 put her down
i encourage ppl 2 meet the TP wit the same acts of violence Palin instructs them 2 do we need 2 harass them 2 their racist graves
#hcr proof that Palin targeted Va. rep. w/ her map and someone followed up we have 2 stop this terrorist name Sarah someone please kill her!
I admit it: I had fun watching right-wingers go wild as health reform finally became law. But a few days later, it doesn’t seem quite as entertaining — and not just because of the wave of vandalism and threats aimed at Democratic lawmakers. For if you care about America’s future, you can’t be happy as extremists take full control of one of our two great political parties.I admit it: It's fun feeling smarter than a Nobel-winning economist when it comes to understanding the political ramifications of a major political party marching in lock-step off a cliff to follow the demands of its most extreme members. But a few days later, it's hard to be happy with the "glorious mess" that Obamacare is going to make of the country's healthcare system. Unless it is repealed, we are looking at European-level taxes and rationing.
Obama's Campaign Fundraises Off Threats...Headline from Aug. 2007 Washington Post:
Shot Fired At GOP Rep. Cantor's VA Office...
VIDEO: Clyburn says Republicans 'aiding and abetting terrorism' against Dems...
'COFFIN' PLACED ON CONGRESSMAN'S LAWN...
Rep. Markey asked for police patrols at home...
WHITE POWDER: NY Congressman's office evacuated after threat...
Dems Accuse Palin Of Stoking Liberal Hate...
President mocks Republicans for acting is if bill is 'Armageddon'...
Threats against lawmakers spread after vote...
Obama Says He Can Unite U.S. 'More Effectively' Than Clinton
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The universal insurance coverage we adopted in 2006 was projected to cost taxpayers $88 million a year. However, since this program was adopted in 2006, our health-care costs have in total exceeded $4 billion. The cost of Massachusetts' plan has blown a hole in the Commonwealth's budget. Just last Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick's office announced a $294 million shortfall related to health-care costs.So asks the Mass. state treasurer Tim Cahill.
If not for federal Medicaid reimbursements and commitments from Washington to prop up this plan, Massachusetts would be broke. The only reason MassCare has survived is that we have been repeatedly bailed out by the federal government. But that raises the question: Who will bail America out if we implement a similar program?
If you are Drudge reader, you have doubtless now heard that conservative firebrand Ann Coulter was greeted with a heckler’s veto yesterday at a speech in Canada. For reasons of "safety," the cowardly cops and spineless administrators at the University of Ottawa cancelled the lecture, sending a martyred Coulter to perform for CBC cameras instead of a hall full of impressionable students. I don’t suspect I agree with Coulter on much of anything (especially her hagiographic treatment of ol’ Tailgunner Joe), but that’s rather beside the point. It is, instead, about the role of the university in making sure people like Coulter, once invited, are permitted to present ideas without being mau-maued.They may not be precious but they sure are impressionable. They are clay in the hands of left-wing university professors. At least some of them are.
Asked by THR if he felt the right wing's attacks against him were continuing, Cameron replied: "They're not attacks. They're just people ranting away, lost in their little bubbles of reality, steeped in their own hatred, their own fear and hatred. That's where it all comes from. Let's just call it out. Let's have a public discussion. That's what movies are supposed to do, you know, you can have a mindless entertainment film that doesn't affect anybody. I wasn't interested in that."The fabulously wealthy director of the intellectually stimulating film "Titanic," said that from his mansion in the hills above Hollywood.
"That's right," Cameron said. "I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."Turning more "serious"? Is the writer mocking Mr. Cameron or is he "serious" himself?
Turning more serious, he added: "Anybody that is a global warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I'm not sure they could hear me."
By making the environment the theme of his home video release plan, Cameron is sending a message.Got it. The hundreds of millions of dollars he has now from making mindless action films are enough to sustain him. Now it's time for "The King of the World," to save it. You know, for the kids.
"Look, at this point I'm less interested in making money for the movie and more interested in saving the world that my children are going to inhabit. How about that? I mean, look, I didn't make this movie with these strong environmental anti-war themes in it to make friends on the right, you know.
"They're not on my Christmas card list... "It's not going to change my lifestyle at all if they don't talk to me.Of course it won't. He's fabulously wealthy and lives in mansion. His lifestyle is well assured.
But, you know, they've got to live in this world, too. And their children do as well, so they're going to have to be answerable to this at some point."And if James Cameron has anything to say about it, they will be answerable to the U.S. Government. Or, even better, some sort of World Government. Where people like him, people who know better how to run the world needs to be run will have the absolute power to do so.
The endgame was to get the young and healthy to buy more expensive insurance than they need or want. "Expanding the risk pool" and "spreading out the risk" by mandating - i.e., forcing - young people to buy insurance is just market-based spin for socialist ends. A risk pool is an actuarial device where a lot of people pay a small sum to cover themselves against a "rainy day" problem that will affect only a few people. Such "peace of mind" health insurance is gone. What we have now is health assurance. With health assurance, there are no "risk pools" really, only payment plans.
Put it this way: If you produce a bill that Olympia Snowe of Maine cannot vote for, you have not produced legislation "for the generations." You have not even produced legislation that is liberal. You have produced legislation from the left. You have produced once-in-a-lifetime legislation that no Republican from any constituency across America could vote for.
Finally, we are achieving real political definition.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sky-rocketing health care costs are drowning families, businesses and governments in red ink - leaving millions priced out of the market and without coverage. This legislation - with its maze of mandates, dictates, controls, tax hikes and subsidies - pushes costs further in the wrong direction.
Premiums in the individual market would rise from 10% to 13% for families. Our debt and deficit crisis - driven by $76 trillion in unfunded liabilities - would accelerate from the creation of a brand new entitlement and an increase in the federal deficit by $662 billion, when the true costs are factored in. National health expenditures will increase by an additional $222 billion over the next decade, according the president's own chief actuary, and $2.4 trillion in the decade after the new entitlement is up and running.
History was made Sunday in several ways. The bill passed is a historical change, and a massive expansion of government. It was also the first major bill to be passed against the will of the country, to be passed by only one part of one party, and in the face of a wave of public revulsion, expressed over 10 months in such different outlets as mass demonstrations, three big elections, and polls.Read it all.
It was not only not bipartisan, but it was less than one party, in the sense that the great war of passage was the attempt by the leaders to force their members to vote in a way that outraged their constituents, by way of threats, ultimatums and bribes.
"If Congress can require you to buy health insurance because of the ways in which your uncovered existence (affects) interstate commerce or because it can tax you in an effort to force you to do (any) old thing it wants you to, it is hard to see what -- save some other constitutional restriction -- it cannot require you to do -- or prohibit you from doing."Sounds about right.
Health insurers, and indeed Corporate America as a whole, are like monkeys who are caught by staking a glass jar to the ground with a shiny trinket inside. They won't let go so they can't get their hands out of the jar. That trinket is the ruinous and regressive $250 billion-a-year tax benefit for employer-provided insurance.
Corporate America isn't brave enough to argue against a direct subsidy to its employment costs, no matter how perverse its impact in insulating consumers from the true cost of their health care choices. Insurers are not brave enough to say: Give us a tax code that lets us go back to being insurers rather than a tax laundromat for the middle class's health-care spending...
A world-class hospital in India does heart surgery the equal of any heart surgery in America, but does so at one-tenth the cost (and increasingly attracts a world-wide clientele). The reason is not what you think: low-paid doctors and nurses. The reason is that competition works in medicine as it does in everything else when the patient cares about getting value for money. This is the great low-hanging fruit of health-care reform. It continues to hang.
Among Coulter's more contentious assertions is that the U.S. should invade Muslim countries and convert their people to Christianity. She has also suggested Canada is lucky the U.S. allows it "to exist on the same continent."These aren't examples of hate speech. They're punch lines, especially the second one. But the campus speech fascists can't stand to hear anything of which they don't approve. Not content with simply not showing up, these censors like to shut people up and send them packing. If anything should be against the accepted practice at a university, it should be that.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Among Slahi's most notorious recruits were four of the September 11 conspirators, all of whom were members of the infamous Hamburg cell. Slahi’s role in recruiting the Hamburg cell for al Qaeda is explained on pages 165 and 166 of the 9/11 Commission’s final report. Slahi arranged for Ramzi Binalshibh, al Qaeda's point man for the 9/11 operation, and three of his cohorts to travel from Germany to Afghanistan so that they could train in al Qaeda's camps and swear allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Binalshibh's three friends were: Mohammed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah--the suicide pilots of American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, and United Airlines Flight 93, respectively.Hard to see even the Obama administration complying with this order. But that's what you get when you give federal judges the power to review national security cases.
On Sunday, as will happen every day for two decades, another 10,000 baby boomers became eligible for Social Security and Medicare. And Congress moved closer to piling a huge new middle-class entitlement onto the rickety structure of America's Ponzi welfare state. Congress has a one-word response to the demographic deluge and the scores of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities: "More."Read the whole thing.
There will be subsidized health insurance for families of four earning up to $88,200 a year, a ceiling certain to be raised, repeatedly. The accounting legerdemain spun to make this seem affordable -- e.g., cuts (to Medicare) and taxes (on high-value insurance plans) that will never happen-- is Enronesque.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Since the New Deal, American entitlements have consistently grown faster than projected in size, scope, and cost. Like unwanted houseguests, they cost money you don't have, and they can't be kicked out. Reform and repeal efforts are about as successful as kindergarten experiments with do-it-yourself haircuts. Indeed, the health care bill's very structure is a testament to this fact. Much of it is funded with changes designed to eliminate waste in Medicare and Medicaid—changes that could, or at least ought, to have been used to reform those programs, both of which are unsustainable. Yet the only way these changes were politically viable was if they were made in order to fund an all-new benefit.
Do Democrats realize that we really have crossed the Rubicon? In the future when the Republicans gain majorities (and they will), the liberal modus operandi will be the model—bare 51% majorities, reconciliation, the nuclear option, talk of deem and pass, not a single Democrat vote—all ends justifying the means in order to radically restructure vast swaths of American economic and social life. Is someone unhinged at the DNC? They just blew up any shred of bipartisan consensus when their President polls below 50%, the Democratically-controlled Congress below 20%, and health care reform less than 50%. Usually unpopular leaders and their unpopular ideas seek the shelter of minority rights and prerogatives. What will they do when they are in the minority—since they’ve entered the arena, boasted “let the games begin” and shouted “by any means necessary”?
This week's votes don't end our health-care debates. By making medical care a subsidiary of Washington, they guarantee such debates will never end. And by ramming the vote through Congress on a narrow partisan majority, and against so much popular opposition, Democrats have taken responsibility for what comes next—to insurance premiums, government spending, doctor shortages and the quality of care. They are now the rulers of American medicine.
Perhaps the most remarkable Democratic accomplishment this week was to make the process of passing ObamaCare as politically toxic as the bill itself.
President Obama was elected by millions of Americans attracted to his promise to change Washington politics. These were voters furious with earmarks, insider deals and a lack of transparency. They were the many Americans who, even before this week, held Congress in historic low esteem. They'll remember this spectacle come November.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The finale of the health-care debate couldn't be more fitting. House Democrats are considering passing an exotic parliamentary rule relieving them of the burden of voting for the underlying bill, which will be "deemed" passed.
So a bill sold under blatantly false pretenses and passed in the Senate on the strength of indefensible deals would become law in a final flourish of deceptive high-handedness. How appropriate for what would be the worst piece of federal domestic legislation since the fascistic, recovery-impairing National Recovery Act of 1933 or the Prohibition disaster of 1920.
The dramatic hockey stick received a great deal of attention and was featured inWhy such a "scientist" is still receiving federal money is testament to political nature of his work.
the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report in 2001 as evidence of the significance of human influence on the climate. The graph came to symbolize the proof that global warming was manmade. But the hockey stick and its developer, Michael Mann,
soon began to draw some much-deserved scrutiny and criticism and, finally, a total discrediting.
When Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre requested from Mann the raw data used to construct the hockey stick, Mann at first provided some information but then refused further cooperation, claiming that he didn’t have time to respond to
“every frivolous note” from non-scientists, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Mann also tried to block a congressional request for his data, but finally acceded to after generating a wave of manufactured, partisan criticism directed at the congressional committee.
Investigations by the National Academy of Sciences and Congress left the hockey stick in tatters, particularly with respect to its representations of mean global temperatures for the period 1000-1600. When the IPCC released its Fourth
Assessment Report in 2007, the hockey stick graph was nowhere to be found.
In summary, Mann created the prominent hockey stick with dubious data and analysis, and then tried to block other scientists from reviewing his work. Mann also fueled a public relations campaign against those who had requested his data,
including McIntyre and Congress.
... it was during Mann’s tenure at PSU (sinceThe foundation gives plenty of examples of this. His response to Ashfield's letter in our paper is simply more evidence.
2005) that he stonewalled efforts to obtain and review the hockey stick data and
analysis, and has viciously attacked those making such inquiries.
Monday, March 15, 2010
But why would American lawyers, after 9/11 and the brutal slaughter of 3,000 fellow citizens, hand members of al Qaeda information about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? The records indicate that attorneys were printing news off the Internet and passing it to detainees at the same time that U.S. forces in Iraq were sustaining devastating casualties from IED attacks.
"They would bring contraband in their briefcases, in manila envelopes," an active-duty officer familiar with Defense Department records on attorney access violations told us. "They did it because they knew the detainees were hungry for news and they wanted to establish trust."