Gay Patriot Header Image

Remember: Even Big Labor is against Obamacare

Now that Obamacare implementation looms and people are “finding out what is in it” – seeing Obamacare’s destructive nature that may cost them their current coverage (if not their job) – even Democrats’ support for Obamacare has crashed to the point where a majority of them no longer back it.

Even Big Labor hates Obamacare. The AFL-CIO recently slammed it as “highly disruptive” to union workers. The Teamsters said Obamacare will ‘destroy the very health and wellbeing’ of workers. Another union conditionally called for Obamacare to be repealed.

Even Democrat Senators call for key pieces of Obamacare to be delayed. Even Saturday Night Live ridicules the perverse incentives of Obamacare (something I never thought I’d see).

So, why does President Obama keep trying to make it sound like conservatives have bad motives for opposing what everyone knows is a train wreck for America? As he recently said:

Some of them are actually willing to see the United States default…if they can’t deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans.

Or, from the same speech, this:

And [they]‘d be willing to shut down the government and potentially default, for the first time in United States history, because it bothers [them] so much that we’re actually gonna make sure that everybody has affordable health care.

So many falsehoods are packed into two quotes there, that I’m tempted to just say “What a hate-monger!” and stop.

But there’s more. It isn’t just Obama; it’s also his White House, which compares Republicans to murderous enemies of the United States:

…the American people support, by a two-to-one margin, a requirement for spending cuts when negotiating more borrowing authority for the government to pay its bills, according to a new Bloomberg News poll.

The White House “is for cutting spending. We’re for reforming our tax code, for reforming entitlements,” said senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer. “What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest,” he added.

Never mind that the Obama administration is out there supporting (arming) U.S. enemies who literally strap bombs to their chests, in places like Syria.

The Obama crew are fools-or-worse, and they are getting desperate. As Deroy Murdock puts it, “The road away from Obamacare may be treacherous for Republicans…but this is no time to go wobbly.”

Fun Obamacare ad hits college campuses

Generation Opportunity, “a free-thinking, liberty-loving, national organization of young people”, has set up OptOut.org to let young people know that they needn’t (and probably shouldn’t) sign up for Obamacare. Their current ad for young women:

YouTube Preview Image

(Male version, here.)

Now for the ‘media bias’ angle. I learned about this from Yahoo! which, naturally, has titled their article “Creepy Obamacare ad hits college campuses”.

In other words: Even after all the government-spying scandals, Big Government-run health care (that costs a young woman far more than she’ll get from it, despite the fine they’ll extort for her saying ‘no’) still doesn’t strike Yahoo! News as creepy. But ads against it, they’ll suggestively title as ‘creepy’.

FROM THE COMMENTS (thank you Kurt): Get ready for Obama(care) to ask detailed questions about your sex life. Umm…I thought that was only supposed to happen under the Religious Reich Theocracy that the Left always warns us against?

The president’s “reforms” aim to turn doctors into government agents, pressuring them financially to ask questions they consider inappropriate and unnecessary…

Doctors and hospitals who don’t comply with the federal government’s electronic-health-records requirements forgo incentive payments…

…the new requirements are turning it “into an interrogation, and the data will not be confidential.” Lack of confidentiality is what concerned the New York Civil Liberties Union in a 2012 report…

Privacy and confidentiality will just be for the rich:

The administration is ignoring [various] protests from privacy advocates. On Jan. 17, HHS announced patients who want to keep something out of their electronic record should pay cash.

“Thanks, Obama!”

Putin v. Obama: the old gray lady edition

On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin published his op-ed piece in The New York Times urging “caution from Russia” with respect to U.S. policy in Syria.  The piece is worth reading if you haven’t already, and it is an impressive piece of political theatre.  Although the left is up-in-arms over what they are calling Putin’s hypocrisy, that is completely beside the point.  Few with any wits about them should consider Putin to be anything but a power-hungry Machiavellian, though that is also what makes this performance so noteworthy.  The Op-ed piece is a complete and utter smackdown of Obama and Obama’s failed foreign policy in a very public sphere, and that is what has the political establishment in Washington, DC so hopping mad about it.   Bob Menendez (D-NJ), John McCain and John Boehner were all quoted expressing their displeasure in an article that appeared on Yahoo yesterday.  One wonders which heavy weights will express their dismay next: Harry Reid, perhaps, or Nancy Pelosi, or maybe even Lindsay Graham.  I’m sure Putin is feeling very afraid.

If you haven’t yet read the Putin piece, I urge you to do so, simply to observe the way Putin cleverly throws Obama’s and the left’s rhetoric back at them and calls them dangerous hypocrites and warmongers.  I’d quote the whole thing, but for the purpose of illustrating my point, the last paragraph will more than suffice.  Putin writes:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Some conservatives I know are angry with thuggish Putin for saying that America is not exceptional.  But that is beside the point.  In fact, that completely misses the point.

Putin is simply echoing a point Obama made at a NATO meeting back in April 2009:

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.

Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we’ve got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we’re not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.

As Jim Yardley observes in the article from which I have culled the Obama passage above: “These words of the President are fairly typical of what has passed as thoughtful analysis from the current occupant of the White House.  They are words that would be right at home in the faculty lounge in Chicago or Cambridge, Massachusetts.”  So to return to our present context: Putin has cleverly turned Obama’s words against him for all to see, and in the context of the situation with Syria, he has revealed Obama to be an arrogant, narcissistic, posturing fraud.

Yesterday when I was in the car, I heard a very insightful interview about the Putin op-ed on the Tom Sullivan radio show.  I didn’t recognize the speaker’s voice, but I was impressed with all he had to say about how Putin’s strategy in Syria was all about making Russia and not the United States the dominant power in the Middle East.  He talked about the Reagan years and the fact that, aside from the arms buildup, one way Reagan was able to win the cold war was by keeping oil prices low.   He pointed out that to keep the Russian economy afloat, Putin has an interest in keeping oil prices high.  Likewise, for the sake of energy, Putin has an interesting in forming strong allegiances with as many Middle-Eastern oil producing states as it can.

It turned out the speaker being interviewed was none other than Col. Oliver North.  He called the Putin op-ed piece “brilliant” and said that with that clever op-ed piece, Putin had effectively changed the dynamics in the Middle East by very publicly embarrassing Obama in a way that let the nations of the Middle East see that Obama is weak, vain, and unreliable as a potential ally.  I haven’t been able to embed either the video or the audio here, but if you care to know more about what the future of the Middle East may look like as a result of Obama’s failed policies and posturing, you really owe it to yourself to listen to the whole interview.

SYrial appeals to emotion

Last night, President Obama made an emotional appeal for…America to NOT act in Syria. Transcript here.

If you only caught his conclusion, you’d never know that Obama has spent the last few weeks loudly war-mongering on Syria, seeking unilaterally to plunge America into a new war that over 60% of Americans oppose.

Obama started out his speech with a lot of “Oh! Won’t somebody please think of the children!” But he offered only a series of assertions (no evidence) on a crucial point: whether Syria’s President Assad is responsible for the chemical weapons attacks. (The intelligence is still weak; since the rebels are some nasty people, it’s still worth considering whether they did the attacks as a ‘false flag’ operation to draw the U.S. in, or if it was perhaps a rogue Syrian general.)

Obama then offered a thin connection to U.S. security interests: (more…)

Obama administration in diSYRray

I don’t even have to comment; HotAir’s headlines alone make all the points. OK, I’ll throw in a few little ones.

Sorry if my title pun was too painful.

UPDATE: Gaffe-tastic: Hillary pretty excited about Kerry’s accidental proposal for international control of Syria’s WMD arsenal. With the way this Obama-Syria mess writes itself, blogging has never been easier. I promise I’ll try harder, next time.

S&P fights back

Several months ago, I posted on the government’s lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s. See the post for details. In brief: S&P was singled out for punishment over some of their actions back during the housing bubble.

Why were they singled out? Many have speculated that it was because in August 2011, S&P downgraded U.S. government bonds, touching off a political firestorm and raising the ire of the government, including the Obama administration.

It seems that S&P agrees:

Standard & Poor’s said on Tuesday the U.S. government filed a $5 billion fraud lawsuit against it in “retaliation” for its 2011 decision to strip the country of its “AAA” credit rating…[S&P] was the only major credit rating agency to take away the United States’ top rating, and the only one sued by the U.S. Department of Justice…

It said the government’s “impermissibly selective, punitive and meritless” lawsuit was brought “in retaliation for defendants’ exercise of their free speech rights with respect to the creditworthiness of the United States of America.”…

Good for them! Via Zero Hedge.

Syria vs. Iraq

With the 2003 Iraq war, President Bush dealt with a widely-acknowledged threat to world peace, a dictator who had attacked no less than four of his neighbors (at different times, with one such war costing probably over a million lives), and who sheltered and supported various terrorists.

Bush had the participation of 40 other nations in a coalition. The move was authorized by an accumulation of 17 U.N. resolutions, which had effectively voided the dictator’s sovereignty and promised him action over his continued flouting of the U.N.

Most important, Bush’s move was authorized by Congress (as required by the U.S. Constitution) and as well, was supported by clear majorities of the American people at the time.

We can still argue (with hindsight) about the wisdom of the move, if its aftermath was planned right, etc. But the above were and are facts. Do any of them apply to what President Obama has done in Libya, or may be about to do in Syria?

Lefties bleated that Bush had plunged America into a unilateral, illegal/unauthorized “war of choice”. Their claims were wrong on the facts, but let’s set that aside. Has not their President Obama actually plunged America into one near-unilateral, unauthorized “war of choice” – and threatens now to do a second?

Today as yesterday, I’m a bit skeptical of the Obama administration’s version of events in Syria. Not because Syria has just accused Kerry of lying (and, sadly, both Assad and Kerry are known to lie about important matters). Not even because reports continue to suggest that Obama means to bypass Congress, as well as the U.N.

No, I’m still skeptical because of the slap-dash feeling to the public buildup of this crisis. Many of us have heard reports that the U.S. military has been building up to move against something/someone, for weeks if not months. I myself have a friend in the Army who was put on a rather mysterious regime of 80-hour work weeks, starting over two months ago. I thought maybe they were getting ready to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. And then suddenly, just in the last few days, Kerry is there to claim justification for some sort of military action on Syria, from a very recent chemical weapons attack which – while quite horrible and tragic – is still in active debate as to its authorship.

The Obama administration could be telling the truth, like I said yesterday, but… it still doesn’t smell right. The Iraq war build-up was relatively more ‘in the open’, the culmination of years of public debate about a long-term threat.

Obama ready to strike in Syria…against America’s will?

To borrow a few lines that Bruce re-tweeted, “I’m so old, I remember the press having a healthy skepticism for military involvement in the Middle East…I’m also glad we amended the constitution to exclude that congressional authorization for war…”

I’m so old, I remember that President Bush actually troubled himself to get approval from Congress for the Iraq War, including a majority of Senate Democrats. But President Obama, with Syria? I doubt he’ll try.

According to Reuters this weekend:

About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act. More Americans would back intervention if it is established that chemical weapons have been used, but even that support has dipped in recent days…

…just 27 percent said they supported his decision to send arms to some Syrian rebels; 47 percent were opposed…

About 11 percent said Obama should do more to intervene in Syria than sending arms to the rebels, while 89 percent said he should not help the rebels…

Obama is considering a range of options. The most popular option among Americans: not intervening in Syria at all. That option is backed by 37 percent of Americans…

If “Obama” (was Reuters disrespectful for calling him that?) intervenes in Syria, he will be doing it without the support of the American people.

There may be no good options in Syria. Just to review: An Iranian-backed dictatorship is fighting rebels who are, basically, al Qaeda. We have claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons; and counter-claims that it was the rebels, running a vicious false flag operation.

UPDATE: Kerry says it was the Syrian government. I must be frank: Hearing it from Kerry makes me a little more skeptical than I was before. The man has been a gigantic, shameless liar on public issues ever since he slandered a generation of veterans in testimony before Congress, in 1971.

I realize that Kerry is backed up, in this instance, by hundreds of functionaries in the Obama administration, and that makes deception less likely (or harder to pull off). But not impossible; and because of Benghazi among other scandals, we know that the Obama administration can be untruthful on foreign policy. They may be telling a true story this time; but skepticism is not wholly unwarranted, and should not be faulted automatically.

If President Obama wanted trust to come forth in a more automatic fashion, then he should have (1) not let his administration mislead the American people on Benghazi, and (2) not chosen a figure known for his decades of lying, as Secretary of State. Having said that, could the administration’s version of events be true? I’m keeping an open mind. Kerry has promised more evidence in days to come; we’ll see.

The Obamacare implosion

A number of conservative commentators and writers have been speculating for some time how long it will be from the time it is implemented until Obamacare collapses under the weight of its own poorly-conceived structure.  I think few have anticipated the situation we’ve been witnessing in the past two weeks, where first the administration announces that businesses won’t have to comply with the “employer mandate” until January 2015, and more recently, that the administration won’t be investigating eligibility for Obamacare subsidies, thereby opening the door to massive fraud and abuse.

Although the reasons that the Obama administration is making these changes are cynically transparent to anyone who realizes that the Democrats don’t want to lose big in the 2014 election cycle when voters will have a chance to express their displeasure with Obamacare at the ballot box once again, the more interesting question at the moment concerns the meaning and implications of the administration’s latest maneuvers for its ability to enact policies and govern going forward.

I think some people believe the public is paying closer attention to all this than is most likely the case, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the triumphalism and mockery of the administration’s opponents.  After the last election, it’s refreshing to see the administration increasingly on the defensive over the actions it has taken with regard to its signature piece of legislation.  Even better is getting to watch the likes of Dick Durbin (D-IL) admit that the disastrous bill “needs changes and improvements.”

But beyond getting to see and hear the bill’s defenders feel the heat, it is gratifying to see pieces like this one speculating that the Republicans in Congress may wise up enough about the administration’s actions to finally kill “immigration reform”:

“They have shown no respect for traditional Constitutional separation of powers,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., told National Review‘s John Fund about the impact of the Obamacare delays on the immigration debate, “and that makes it difficult to pass laws where the fear is that they will simply ignore the parts they don’t like.”

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and had been a member of a bipartisan group working on immigration reform, echoed Roe’s concerns on Meet the Press. “In fact, if you look at this Obamacare debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. And that’s what some of us in the House are concerned about. If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law … what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen.”

Even the Wall Street Journal is writing about the administration’s actions in language reminiscent of that we saw with the rise of the Tea Party four years ago:

President Obama’s decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government

Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II’s use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that “the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.”

Needless to say we can certainly hope that this lively piece by Tony Katz on Townhall.com is more than just a humorous reflection on the administration’s latest foibles:

For years the Right has said that the Obama Administration was thuggish, was hell bent on revenge, and was vindictive.

The IRS scandal was perhaps the tipping point. At first, The Left tried claimed that not just conservative and tea party groups, but progressives as well had been targeted. But, as the Inspector General’s report showed, that was not the case. Obama’s minions attacked Americans who disagreed with him. The Left knows they voted for hate.

Obama is not the man (messiah) they thought he was. The Left was blinded by his skin color and duped by mainstream media.

But now they know he lies. And now they know he surrounds himself with sycophants, ready and willing to lie for him, in poetry and prose.

Lets not let them ever forget it.

Snowdemania

Via Zero Hedge, Republican former VP Dick Cheney comes out against Edward Snowden:
YouTube Preview Image
I’m interested by several aspects of his remarks.

First, there is what Cheney didn’t say: Cheney apparently did not call Snowden a liar. I’m not sure if that puts Cheney at odds with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who said last week:

“[Snowden] was lying…He clearly has over-inflated his position, he has over-inflated his access and he’s even over-inflated what the actually technology of the programs would allow one to do. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

Rogers’ language is a bit slippery: He plants the word “lying” but doesn’t indicate that Snowden was lying about the most crucial revelations, namely, the extent of NSA surveillance of people’s phone records and Internet activities. Between that and Cheney’s apparent silence on the same, I will take the NSA surveillance revelations as ‘confirmed’.

Rogers and Cheney do both call Snowden a “traitor” and suggest that he is a front for someone else; perhaps China. They are not the first to wonder if he’s a front. I figured that Snowden could be acting for an NSA higher-up (who opposes the surveillance programs); but I never totally ruled out (and still don’t) that Snowden could be acting for China. It struck me as a bit odd, from the beginning, that Snowden is holed up with a foreign power which delights in the embarrassment to the U.S. here, and as well, benefits from it.

Anyway, Cheney goes on to strongly defend the NSA surveillance; he suggests it would have prevented the 9-11 attacks, and takes a ‘trust us’ type of stance.

I disagree with Mr. Cheney. I do so respectfully; he’s a great American, and there are two sides to every story. I come down on the Rand Paul / civil liberties side of this one. The current extent of surveillance goes well beyond anything I ever defended the Bush-Cheney administration doing.

And the Obama administration’s other scandals – for example, their IRS / Tea Party scandal, or their multiple spy-on-the-media scandals, or multiple occasions when they happily manipulated classified info for political gain, and/or lied to the American people – have, by now, proven that they (the Obama administration) are profoundly unworthy of trust.

UPDATE – Some tidbits from the last several days:

UPDATE: NSA surveillance has provoked disagreement among the scholars at Cato. Here is a lengthy piece from Julian Sanchez, discussing many legal details from a viewpoint I agree with.

Gallup: Bush More Popular Than Obama

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 4:44 pm - June 11, 2013.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance,Obama Watch

Heh.

In a Gallup tracking poll released Tuesday, former-President George W. Bush currently stands with a favorability rating of 49%, compared to 46% who see the 43rd president unfavorably. Meanwhile, another Gallup poll shows President Obama with only a 47% approval rating, with 44% disapproving.

John Nolte from Breitbart explains why:

After all, Obama fooled everyone when he ran as the anti-Bush in 2008.
Everyone thought Obama meant he would be less hawkish than his predecessor. But as we have seen, Obama apparently has no problem killing American citizens via remote control with drones or greatly expanding on Bush’s surveillance state. This, even though Obama told us he had pretty much won the War on Terror.

Read the whole thing!

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

“Government data mining matters”

A couple of opinion pieces. First, from Legal Insurrection:

…I’m also concerned with what could be done with the information gathered about American citizens not suspected of a crime if put into the hands of politicians and political groups, and bureaucrats who work for or are sympathetic to such politicians and political groups.

The threat, oddly enough, is proven by the [present] leaks…If some government employee who has sworn to keep information secret is willing to leak [it]…for (allegedly) good purposes, what’s to stop that person from violating his or her oath by leaking data-mined information…for other than good reasons…?

…The issue goes beyond the NSA programs. Obamacare is a form of data mining. Obamacare will put into the hands of the IRS medical and health information of an unprecedented level.

And from Reason:

…everything and everyone are relevant to everything, because anything could yield some clue that could conceivably solve some crime. But that view is the same one that justified those general warrants from King George III.

The problem with indiscriminate [surveillance] of homes and effects is not that it’s ineffective in finding wrongdoing. It’s that the innocent people should not be punished in the pursuit of the guilty….

The danger isn’t (just) in what’s being done with the surveillance databases now; it’s in the fact that they exist, i.e., what could be done with them – and will be, sooner or later. Especially under an administration as power-hungry, deceptive and corrupt as Obama’s.

In the Bush 43 days, I believed that the government was only after real terrorists. But because of Obama’s IRS/Tea Party scandal specifically, I now know otherwise. That scandal has proven that the government’s motives are not pure.

And thus the NSA revelations, while they may be a non-scandal by themselves, they do carry the whiff of all of Obama’s other scandals. Because all of them fit together in a disturbing pattern. I am not against responsible counter-terrorism; I am against Obama’s pattern.

Surveillance updates

Lots of news this weekend on the NSA (phone surveillance) & PRISM (Internet surveillance) revelations. (Some info on how PRISM works from the Silicon Valley side of things, here.)

As these revelations dominate the headlines, perhaps they do obscure other important Obama scandals like Benghazi, IRS / Tea Party, DOJ spying on AP, Pigford, the many EPA scandals, and more. But I say, look at the bright side. There are plenty of revelations to come in those other scandals, so it’s probably temporary.

And, although it’s bad that the Obama administration is so scandalous: given that it is, it’s good that so many of them are coming to light. If some voter doesn’t care about scandal X, they may well care about scandal Y. Even a good chunk of Obama’s left-wing base who may approve of his IRS abusing the Tea Party, is disturbed that he has gone from criticizing to defending the NSA’s activities in spying on ordinary Americans.

So, meet Edward Snowden, now receiving media attention as the NSA whistleblower. I found the whole article interesting. One minor detail which caught my eye is that Snowden sounds like a disillusioned Obama supporter:

…the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms [of CIA and NSA activities], rendering disclosures unnecessary. [Snowden] left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility…It was then, he said, that he “watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in”, and as a result, “I got hardened.”…”you can’t wait around for someone else to act…”

By the way, it looks like Obama means to prosecute the recent leaks. If he does, let’s remember that he will be carrying out the law.

Having said that: The difference between Candidate Obama and President Obama on these issues is astounding, even to a seasoned cynic. Here’s Obama from 2007:

[The Bush] administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest…

Now click here for some video of Obama hemming and hawing about how we should all trust the Congressional and judicial oversight of these massive surveillance programs. (more…)

Today’s Appalling Facebook Meme

Wow, just wow, is about all I can say in response to this piece of leftist rationalization which I saw today on Facebook.  It goes without saying that we’d be hearing something VERY DIFFERENT from this fellow if there was a Republican president.

The message here boils down to: freedom doesn’t matter, liberty doesn’t matter, rights don’t matter, and the most important role for government is to stand for “social justice.”  Here’s the link, but I’ve quoted the whole thing in its appalling entirety below:

Things I’m more worried about than my phone being tapped:
Global warming. The richest 1% controlling more wealth than the bottom 50%. Homelessness. Gutting the food stamp program. The rich hiding several Trillion untaxed dollars. Secretaries paying more in taxes than billionaires. Politicians being bought and sold. Malaria and starvation. More people per capita in prison than any other country. The “war” on drugs. More black men in prison than in college. Rising cost of education and health care. The rise of extremism. The continued oppression of women. The general lack of compassion in the world. The degree to which we all blame our problems on others and close our eyes to our own irrationality.
That more people are outraged by a small loss of privacy than any of these other issues.

Should I add “People who write in sentence fragments” to his list of outrages more “worrisome” than a government which spends all its time monitoring its people, or is that just my pet peeve?

Not surprisingly, the best responses to this kind of thing date to the founding of the Republic.  We’ve always got the classic from Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

But in this context, where the message is to sacrifice liberty for “social justice,” I think Sam Adams might be better, though trying to choose just one passage that is appropriate is rather like an embarrassment of riches.  I have long admired this one:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Perhaps this one is better: “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

And just in case the Obamalaise is getting to you, here’s one worth repeating regularly: “Nil desperandum, — Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.”

Obama promotes a fool-or-liar

As expected, Obama has promoted Susan Rice to be his national security advisor.

She will head an agency that does large-scale spying on Americans’ phone records.[1] The question is, does she deserve to?

Obama wanted to make her Secretary of State but couldn’t, because that position requires confirmation hearings, at which Rice would have faced uncomfortable questions on Benghazi. Just a reminder, here’s what happened with that:

  1. Four Americans, including one of then-Ambassador Susan Rice’s fellow ambassadors, died in a terrorist attack while Obama did nothing. Obama attended campaign fund-raisers the next day in Vegas.
  2. Ambassador Rice then told the American People falsehoods about how those Americans died. The falsehoods protected an Obama campaign narrative (about their great job against terrorism) at a critical moment in the 2012 election.

The second one is the sticking point. How much chance is there that Rice didn’t know the real story of Benghazi, in the very moments when she was giving us all the fake one to benefit her boss’ campaign? In other words: is Susan Rice a liar, or a fool?[2]

———————–
[1] Whether the NSA spying on so many Americans’ phone records is right or wrong, I will leave open for now. It could be a worthy topic, not least because it ties in with the Obama DOJ’s spying on, and highly selective prosecution of, reporters and officials for national security leaks. You see, NBC reports that the DOJ will investigate this new leak about how the NSA spies on the American customers of Verizon. But the DOJ apparently didn’t care when Leon Panetta, former CIA Director, leaked Top Secret info about Seal Team Six. Wonder why?

[2] Also recall that one of the criticisms of George W. Bush was that he (supposedly) valued personal loyalty too much, in his underlings. Given that Susan Rice must be either a liar or a fool on Benghazi, could Obama have promoted her for any other reason than her loyalty to him? Is this yet another moment of “Obama is actually worse than the Left said Bush was”?

Clint Eastwood Vindicated!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 3:44 pm - May 21, 2013.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance,Obama Incompetence

When will liberals see?

Only days ago, Obama gave a speech in which, rather than warn us against tyranny, he warned us against the people who go around warning us against tyranny.

The IRS revelations only get worse: From the Washington Examiner yesterday (via Ed Morrissey this morning), we learn that the IRS demanded of a pro-life group – under “perjury of the law”, the IRS staffer’s words – that it not engage in legal Planned Parenthood picketing. And required another pro-life group to furnish detailed plans on its constitutionally-protected speech activities.[1]

This is the same IRS that Obama has been beefing up to enforce Obamacare by demanding ever-greater private information of citizens.

The AP snooping scandal speaks for itself. Now from the GP comments, V the K reminds us of something Obama said in 2008:

We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

Video here.[2]

In these disparate data points, I see a pattern: Obama wants to be a tyrant – while pretending not to. My question is, do liberals really not see the pattern?

I know that some liberals have begun seeing it – and will, for example, condemn the IRS actions – but others don’t. The other day, I noted Julian Bond saying that he thinks conservative groups deserve the IRS harassment. The execrable Bill Maher has joined the fun there.

Obama maintains his democratic pretense by periodically declaring the goodness of his intentions. For example: yes, the other day he called the IRS actions “inexcusable”.

But a troubled President Nixon, as well as actual tyrants like Chavez and worse, also frequently declared their own goodness. So many of Obama’s other words, policies, and actions of his underlings point in a direction opposite to his self-declared goodness. Do liberals really not see? Or are they part of the pretense; de facto pro-tyranny?

—————-
[1] (I don’t know the ins and outs of these tax-exemption laws, but I thought that as long as a group would refrain from electioneering for parties/candidates, it would get a pass.)
[2] Students of history will note that the Fascists also believed in having powerful civilian, national security forces, and will be troubled by the weird applause that Obama’s liberal audience gave him for proposing it.

Filtered History vs. the Political Wheel of Fortune

Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers.”  I thought of that recently in seeing some of the media pushback against the publicity generated by the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas this week.  Thoreau’s quote is as true as ever about the state of contemporary philosophy, but it is also true about the state of historical inquiry:  these days we have professors of history more than historians.

The professoriate is a class with its own interests and its own agenda, an agenda that largely overlaps with that pursued by the majority of our lamestream media.  That agenda does not include the practice of history in the abstract, insofar as that involves presenting the evidence, weighing the options, employing reason, and drawing conclusions.  To most professors of history and folks in the media these days, history is only useful insofar as it serves their left-wing agenda.  Hence their resistance to the displays in the Bush library.

Consider this article from Yahoo! News:

DALLAS—As former President George W. Bush prepares to officially open his presidential library on Thursday, a question arises as it has for his predecessors: How objective will it be about his time in the White House?
Bush left office five years ago as one of the most unpopular presidents in history, his poll numbers weighed down by public discontent over his handling of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and worries about the economy.
But the former president wanted to take the controversies about his presidency head-on, say several former aides who worked closely with him on the library. One way of addressing the challenge is an interactive exhibit allowing visitors to see what it was like for him to make decisions as leader of the free world. People will hear information Bush was given by aides, then be asked to make their own choices. Afterward, the former president’s image will appear on a screen to explain what decision he ultimately made and why.
“He really wants people to go in there and get a sense of what it was like to be president during that time and to use that to make an informed decision about his presidency,” said Karen Hughes, a longtime Bush adviser.

In some respects,  the article strives to be slightly more balanced than I’m giving it credit for being, since it does point out controversies over the presentation of material in both the Clinton library and the LBJ library, as well, but I think it is materially different, too, in that Bush is trying to present the information that influenced his decisions and both the media and some so-called historians are crying foul over the fact that he is doing so.

One reason they don’t want Bush to tell his version of the story is that as the nightmare that is the Obama administration continues to develop, Bush is regaining popularity.  While I don’t often share Dan’s enthusiasm for Peggy Noonan’s writings, I was intrigued to see her recognizing the depth of the differences between the two men in her column this week where she wrote:

But to the point. Mr. Obama was elected because he wasn’t Bush.

Mr. Bush is popular now because he’s not Obama.

The wheel turns, doesn’t it?

Here’s a hunch: The day of the opening of the Bush library was the day Obama fatigue became apparent as a fact of America’s political life.

And she isn’t the only one.  Writing for Politico this week, Keith Koffler complained  about “Obama’s hubris problem,” prompting Neo-Neocon to ask the question that is on many of our minds: “And he thinks it’s only a second-term phenomenon? Where has he been, on planet Xenon?”

It seems like the media is unhappy this week because Bush is getting a fresh chance to tell his story independent of their filter, whereas the public is increasingly growing tired of the combination of arrogance, divisiveness, imperiousness, incompetence, and the need to politicize everything for which President Obama is increasingly known.

Perhaps, to modify Noonan a bit, the opening of the Bush library was uncomfortable for many of his admirers because, in seeing all five living presidents together again, the public got a chance to see them and to size them up, and as Joseph Curl wrote in the Washington Times W. easily outclassed Obama.

 

 

Name that Obama-era affliction

In a previous post, I wrote about Obamacare Schadenfreude, that feeling of amusement when some ardent supporters of Obamacare realize that that monstrous piece of legislation will have negative consequences for them or for causes about which they claim to care.  I was reminded of that post again yesterday when I heard that one of the authors of Obamacare, Max Baucus (D-Montana), complained that the implementation of Obamacare was going to be a “huge train-wreck coming down.”

Likewise, a little over a week ago, Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) complained about the incomprehensible complexity of the law:  “‘I believe that the Affordable Care Act is probably the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress,’ he said, as quoted in the Washington Examiner. ‘Tax reform obviously has been huge, too, but up to this point it is just beyond comprehension.’”  My response to both Senators is simply to respond:  well, isn’t that just too bad.

Today, though, I’d rather write about another Obama-era affliction which I’ve been suffering with since late January 2009.    It is something akin to depression, and it is brought on or exacerbated by the daily outrages resulting from this administration’s policies.

Sometimes it boils up to anger which gives me more energy, but at other times I feel listless and unmotivated or even hopeless.  At times, I get by just focusing on the routines and necessary activities of my daily life, but sometimes even those feel like a burden.  Writing about the issues can be therapeutic, though there are many times when I’d rather not think about them at all.

So what to call this condition?  “Obamalaise” came to mind, but I think others have used that to describe the lingering weakness in our economy.

I also thought of “Obama Weltschmerz.”  That conveys the angst and depression, and I like the fact that, like Obamacare Schadenfreude, it uses a German word.  As I see it, the use of a German word helps to communicate my sense that Obama’s America feels like it’s headed towards the sort of economic collapse which characterized Weimar Germany.

Maybe that’s too dark.  “Obamanomie” communicates a sense of impending social instability and alienation.  That might get at the matter a little better, though it’s perhaps even more depressing to think about.

In any case, I know I’m not the only one suffering with this condition.  I suspect many of our readers are, too.  What would you call it?

Obama, demagogue

For President Obama’s statement after yesterday’s gun bill failure, see transcript here.

Allahpundit (who has video) is not my favorite, but when he’s right, he’s right:

[Obama] kept his mouth shut nice and tight about guns when it was his own ass on the line last year in purple states; he ignored gun control almost completely when he had 60 Democratic votes in the Senate early in his first term; and as we know from the gay-marriage farce, he isn’t above lying outright to voters about his true positions in the name of getting elected…

Given his record, there’s every reason to believe that what’s really bothering him is the fact that red-state Dems [ed: and Senator Toomey(R)!] denied him an easy chance today to demagogue Republicans as the party of child murder…

I think Obama’s statement is itself an example of demagoguery.

  • Obama pulls figures from thin air, like his claim that “90% of the American people” supported the bill.
  • Obama calls the Senate cloture rules under which the bill failed, “A continuing distortion of Senate rules.” Huh? How can the actual Senate rules, which Democrats gladly use to stop legislation when it suits them, be a distortion of the rules? Or does Obama mean that the rules should only ever help himself?
  • Obama once more tries to play the Gabby Giffords card and the Sandy Hook card. But neither of those shootings would have been prevented by the bill.
  • Obama claims “There were no coherent arguments” against the bill, then misrepresents arguments against it[1], revealing the true problem (that he never understood the arguments and never wanted to).
  • Obama also plays the Dirty Gun Lobby / Dirty Money In Politics card. But, as Bruce’s post mentions, it was the pro-bill side (if anyone) which may have tried to buy votes with money.

The problem with all gun control legislation is that it burdens the freedom *of the law-abiding*. It’s justifiable only if it will directly hurt law-breakers, a small (if destructive) minority. And, in practice, it usually doesn’t.

Even if it does, there is still the Constitution to consider. As with speech restrictions, property restrictions, measures that would expand home invasion (or search & seizure), etc.: gun control legislation should be difficult to get passed. It should be passed only on cold, slow-moving rationality; never on demagogic falsehoods or appeals to emotion.

[1] For example, Obama says “One common argument I heard was that this legislation wouldn’t prevent all future massacres”; Obama’s insertion of the word “all” making it clearly a Straw Man.