Weekly Musing 12-1-13
And the Fair Land
This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.
And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped…
But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere—in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.
We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.
And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.
The US-Iran Deal
The nuclear deal will further subject the Arab world to the tender mercies of the Revolutionary Guards. Iran will now have more money — our money — to channel to proxies such as Hezbollah. Washington cannot expose the mailed fist of the Qods Force without endangering the nuclear rapprochement, so it has a positive incentive to ignore all Iranian subversion and intimidation in the region.
Whether he realizes it, Obama has now announced that the United States cannot be relied upon to stand up to Iran. Therefore, Israel and our Arab allies will be forced to live by their wits. Some actors, like the Saudis, will prosecute their proxy war with Iran with renewed vehemence. Others will simply hedge. They will make a beeline to Tehran, just as many regional actors began showing up in Moscow after the Syrian chemical weapons deal. American influence will further deteriorate.
That, in sum, is the true price that we just paid for six months of seeming quiet on the nuclear front. It is price in prestige, which most Americans will not notice. It is also a price in blood. But it is not our blood, so Americans will also fail to make the connection between the violence and the nuclear deal. It is important to note, however, that this is just the initial price. Six months from now, when the interim agreement expires, another payment to Ayatollah Khamenei will come due. If Obama doesn’t pony up, he will have to admit then that he cut a bad deal now. So he we will indeed pay — through the nose.
The Great Destroyer: ObamaCare wreaks havoc on health care, the economy, American freedom and Obama’s presidency.
Large government interventions in the market almost always fall short of their backers’ dreams (although not usually this rapidly). Such programs suffer from a common set of flaws, all of which are found in ObamaCare. First, and perhaps foremost, is the hubris inherent in the assumption that bureaucrats in Washington (or Moscow, Beijing or Pyongyang) know better than families, individuals and businesses do what is best for them.
We also often find a certain “looseness” with the facts. There is overpromising at the beginning. Mr. Obama actually promised to provide better health care to more people while spending less money. While some of us saw that was obviously absurd, many are just now coming to this realization. We were told we could keep our existing plan if we liked it, “period.” But it turns out that means “only as long as the government, in its wisdom, decides it’s right for you.” The posturing and spinning continues as the administration tries to inflate the pathetically low enrollment figures. The left’s mindset is that such obfuscation (to be generous) is fine as long as it is deployed in the furtherance of the greater good, which they see as coming only from their policies.
Is another Republican wave building?
The stakes are highest for Democratic senators seeking re-election in red states, where the Affordable Care Act is even more widely despised than it is nationally. Democratic incumbents in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Alaska will face added headwinds unless the political climate changes.
And there aren’t many opportunities for Democrats to change that climate.
That leaves Democrats weighed down by an unpopular president and an unpopular (and malfunctioning) law, running in unfavorable terrain. A major political wave hasn’t developed yet, but a Republican sweep looks more likely now than it has since the waning weeks of the 2010 campaign.
Bush vs. Obama: Who ‘lied’?
For his part, Obama now says: “What we said was, you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” A lie is an untruth told with intent to deceive.
Bush didn’t “lie.”
Obamacare will kill middle class
But Obamacare’s pain is spread much broader. Those with employer-provided insurance are also getting stung. Policies that previously asked for manageable contributions from employees will now carry either much higher monthly premiums or outrageous deductibles and co-pays, or both. Out-of-pocket costs are leaping to an average $5,000 to $6,000 annually for individuals, and $10,000 to $12,000 for families.
That means a young, middle class couple that decides to have a baby will come home with both an infant and a $10,000 bill for delivery and related care. Maybe it’s a good thing Obamacare mandates contraception coverage. Only the poor and the rich will be able to afford to have babies.
These middle-class workers with employer-provided policies likely won’t be eligible for government health insurance subsidies. Many will face the unsavory reality that they may be better off not working.
Why voters are finished believing Obama’s health care promises
The two numbers explain why Republicans made little progress when they tried to warn Americans about Obamacare. For years, GOP warnings about Obamacare were about something that had not yet arrived. People had not experienced Obamacare, did not have friends who had experienced it and didn’t fully understand what it was. Many tuned out the Republican alarms.
Now that has changed. Millions of Americans are unhappy with what they have experienced under Obamacare — canceled policies, higher premiums and sky-high deductibles. They are also much more likely to believe predictions of future problems. They’ve seen what has already happened and now know it can get worse.
So how can it get worse? So far, Obamacare has upended the individual market for health insurance, which covers about 10 million people. The next step, according to the respected health care analyst Robert Laszewski, will likely come in the small-employer market, meaning businesses with anywhere between two and 50 employees. That covers about 45 million people.
The Front Man President Obama is the nominal leader for permanent bureaucracy.
For all of the power that Congress legally has given the president in this matter, he feels it necessary to take more — illegally. There is no obvious and persuasive legal rationale for the belief that the president can willy-nilly suspend portions of the law or delay their execution. There is still less reason to believe that the president has the unilateral authority to overturn the law’s fundamental requirements, including the requirement that all health-care plans on offer meet certain federal regulations. Honoring the law meant breaking a key promise — “If you like it, you can keep it” — which the president and his advisers knew all along would be the case. What they did not know was how unpopular breaking that promise would prove to be, and so the final breaking of it has been put off, along with the enrollment deadline, until after the midterm elections. The administration is transparently violating the letter of the law to see after its own political interests. That is an intolerable state of affairs.
Tea party unscathed in early GOP civil war
And while the party’s internal fight will rage on, the opening battles suggest the establishment is just starting to see how much it will take to reclaim the power it has ceded to the movement in recent years.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s first big play: threaten to blacklist any consultant who does business with a key group taking on sitting Republicans.
The result: pretty much business as usual.
Meanwhile, members of Congress pleaded with corporate America to commit big money to support business-friendly candidates willing to take on the tea party.
The result: early interest but no coordinated effort to take out challengers.
The Tea Party and the Constitution
Modern liberalism can neither fathom nor tolerate the Tea Party. Liberals don’t believe in a right of revolution against liberalism. They consider progress as they define it to be irreversible. For example, here is Barack Obama at his most peremptory, calling in 2009 for nationalized health care. “I am not the first president to take up this cause,” he told Congress, “but I am determined to be the last.”
As liberals see it, conservatism’s job is to conserve liberalism. When it threatens to overturn a program like Obamacare, then the Right ceases to be conservative and becomes radical, indeed revolutionary insofar as it threatens not just a cabinet department or two but the whole religion of one-way leftward progress and the whole worshipful establishment built around that faith.
Even a smart liberal like Sam Tanenhaus considers the Tea Party to be the last gasp of a dying conservatism that has ceased to be Burkean and become, in his word, “Jacobin,” that is, revolutionary in the bad, French sense. Of course, the Tea Party’s very name refers to a revolution—but to the American Revolution, not the irrational French one. Tanenhaus doesn’t see much of a difference because he seems to dismiss as extremist any form of politics that doesn’t go with the evolutionary flow, and that appeals to universal and timeless principles of justice. One is tempted to say that he rejects natural rights as firmly as John C. Calhoun did and for a similar reason: they endanger the ancien regime, which in our time is liberalism.
RNC Members – Christmas Parties & Lincoln Day Dinners
I have received several calls about Christmas/Holiday party invites and help with speakers for Lincoln Day dinner speakers.
Dave Agema is our RNC National Committeeman and Terri Lynn Land our RNC National Committeewoman. I’m sure they will be making the rounds to the various Christmas and Holiday parties around the state. They are the best folks to contact to attend your Lincoln Day Dinners and line up potential presidential speakers, congressional leaders and other national figures to speak at your events.
You can contact them directly at:
Terri Lynn Land
7955 Byron Station Court, SW
Byron Center, MI 49315
3299 Tomahawk Drive, SW
Grandville, MI 49418
1 ways tech companies try to pull the wool over your eyes
One of the great things about the technology industry is that everyone in it tells the truth about everything all of the time.
Ha! Of course they don’t: like any other massive industry, tech is responsible for more porkies than the world’s horniest hard-working hogs.
From sins of omission to pretending that words don’t mean what they actually mean, here are some of the ways tech firms can pull the wool over your eyes.
5 Critical Questions About China’s Air Defense Zone, Answered
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced the creation of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, November 23. The MND also announced Aircraft Identification Rules for the ADIZ, which include a warning that “defensive emergency measures” would be adopted to respond to aircraft that refuse to follow the instructions. The zone overlaps the existing ADIZ of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. China’s ADIZ covers the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islets claimed by China, Japan, and Taiwan. One day following the announcement, China conducted two aerial patrols over the area involving Tu-154 and Y-8 aircraft, prompting the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to send two F-15 fighter jets to intercept them. The announcement elicited immediate responses from Japan, the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, and Taiwan.
Scary, especially since its not so far from reality
Receptionist: Hello, Welcome to ObamaFlowers, my name is Trina. How can I help you?
Customer: Hello. I received an email from Professional Flowers stating that my flower order has been canceled and I should go to your exchange to reorder it. I tried your website, but it seems like it is not working. So I am calling the 800 number.
Receptionist: Yes! I am sorry about the website. It should be fixed by the end of November. But I can help you.
Customer: Thanks, I ordered a “Spring Bouquet” for our anniversary, and wanted it delivered to my wife.
Receptionist: Interrupting, Sir, “Spring Bouquets” do not meet our minimum standards, I will be happy to provide you with Red Roses.
Customer: But I have always ordered “Spring Bouquets”, done it for years, my wife likes them.
Receptionist: Roses are better, sir, I am sure your wife will love them.
Customer: Well, how much are they?
Receptionist: It depends sir, do you want our Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum package.
Customer: What’s the difference?
Receptionist: 6, 12, 18, or 24 Red Roses.
Customer: The Silver package may be okay, how much is it?
Receptionist: It depends sir, what is your monthly income?
Customer: What does that have to do with anything?
Receptionist: I need that to determine your government flower subsidy, then I can determine how much your out-of-pocket cost will be. But if your income is below our minimums for a subsidy, then I can refer you to our FlowerAid department.
Receptionist: Yes, Flowers are a right. Everyone has a right to flowers. So, if you can’t afford them, then the government will supply them free of charge.
Customer: Who said they were a right?
Receptionist: Congress passed it, the President signed it and the Supreme Court found it constitutional.
Customer: Whoa! I don’t remember seeing anything in the Constitution regarding flowers as a right.
Receptionist: It is not really a “Right in the Constitution,” but ObamaFlowers is Constitutional because the Supreme Court ruled it a “Tax”. Taxes are Constitutional. But we feel it is a right.
Customer: I don’t believe this.
Receptionist: It’s the law of the land sir. Now, we anticipated most people would go for the Silver Package, so what is you monthly income sir?
Customer: Forget it; I think I will forgo the flowers this year.
Receptionist: In that case sir, I will still need your monthly income.
Receptionist: To determine what your ‘non-participation’ cost would be.
Customer: WHAT? You can’t charge me for NOT buying flowers!
Receptionist: It’s the law of the land, sir, approved by the Supreme Court. It’s $9.50 or 1% of your monthly income.
Customer interrupting: This is ridiculous; I’ll pay the $9.50.
Receptionist: Sir, it is $9.50 or 1% of your monthly income, whichever is greater.
Customer: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What a rip-off!
Receptionist: Actually sir, it is a good deal. Next year it will be 2%.
Customer: Look, I’m going to call my Congressman to find out what’s going on here. This is ridiculous. I’m not going to pay it.
Receptionist: Sorry to hear that sir. That’s why I had the NSA track this call and obtain the make and model of the cell phone you are using.
Customer: Why does the NSA need to know what kind of CELL PHONE I AM USING?
Receptionist: So they get your GPS coordinates sir.
(Door Bell rings followed immediately by a loud knock on the door…)
Receptionist: That would be the IRS sir. Thanks for calling ObamaFlowers. Have a nice day and God Bless America.
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