“An Age of Seriousness Returns”

Until Friday, we lived in a world where the West had grown comfortable that Francis Fukuyama was right and history had ended. Events would still happen, but the world would inevitably evolve toward liberal democracy. We all learned in college that liberal democracies were more stable and least prone to violence of all forms of government. Barack Obama, David Cameron, the French buffoon with his mistress du jour, and the rest of the West could sit around tables and worry about the environment, income inequality, unisex bathrooms, and other issues. The West had concluded there were no longer national interests, but global interests where we would all win or all lose together.

Hell, just last week the Ninth Circuit ruled that an American public school could ban displays of the American flag lest Mexican nationalist oriented students were offended.

It is the foreign policy view of the naive, the rube, and elite in comfortable times.

via RedState

If he’s right, it’s a turning point in our history – that is, the sort of marker historians look for when trying to establish useable boundaries demarcating one historical moment from another (and the sort of thing grandparents want to tell their grandchildren about – and grandchildren later wish they’d listened to more).

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“Don’t Dare Call the Health Law ‘Redistribution’ “

“Americans want a fair and fixed insurance market,” said Jonathan Gruber, a health economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised Mr. Obama’s team as it designed the law. “You cannot have that without some redistribution away from a small number of people.”

via NYTimes.com

That depends on who gets to define the word “fair”*….

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*…also maybe the word “small”…

“Obama Removes ‘God’ from Gettysburg Address”

I am not a big Abraham Lincoln fan (as anyone who has read this blog already knows) but I do get annoyed when people try to remove “Under God” from things. It’s so petty. Yes, we know you’re an atheist, but that doesn’t mean Abraham Lincoln was – or should be rewritten so that people think he was.

Burns had filmed all living presidents as well as various Hollywood personalities and luminaries to pay homage to the speech which was delivered by Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, today.Plante broke the story on Washington DC talk radio station WMAL on his mid-morning program, “The Chris Plante Show.

“WMAL reports: Curiously enough, in his version of the speech, President Barack Obama\’s delivery contained an omission – in a line that every other celebrity delivered as “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom,” the President left out the words, “under God.”UPDATE: A text box now appears on the Ken Burns website http://www.learntheaddress.org which states: “Did you know there are five versions of the Gettysburg Address? We asked President Obama to read the first, the Nicolay Version.” A cached version of the same webpage from several days ago shows no such reference.

via Breitbart.

No, I don’t believe for an instant that “we” (or Ken Burns, or his crew) “asked” Obama to read the ‘Nicolay Version’. That isn’t even plausible. Obama rules by appeal to hatred, and that hatred is aimed at Christianity; he would be nothing if so many young Americans didn’t have a visceral hatred-based need to scapegoat Christians and Christianity for everything that is wrong with America. Obama is the ultimate scapegoat POTUS – it’s his entire schtick.

I’d like to know why there are five versions of this address. Which one did Lincoln give? That is “the” address, isn’t it? Why are there five? Which one is the real one? How come this is not made clear? And how can we possibly expect children (or anyone else) to learn about, quote, or respect this important speech if we can’t even tell the speech from its draft versions?

History belongs to all of us. Nobody has the right to tamper with or attempt to rewrite it for personal – or ideological – gain.

“If those who are being dropped …”

If those who are being dropped by their insurance companies due to #Obamacare (16 million) made up a state, it would be 5th largest in U.S.

via Twitter / RepTomPrice 

“President shouldn’t encourage panic”

Stocks finished the government shutdown week mostly down, but not nearly as much as they could have fallen, given President Barack Obama’s efforts to panic investors. When Wall Street gave a ho-hum response to the shutdown, Obama went on TV to question why the markets weren’t more concerned by the standoff in Washington, and warned the U.S. could default on its debt.

They were highly reckless remarks by a president whose job it is to cultivate calm and confidence, not fear.

Fortunately, investors had already discounted the shutdown and the Dow fell just 1.6 percent for the week, and the S&P 500 just 0.5 percent. The NASDAQ, meanwhile, was up slightly.

via The Detroit News.

Priorities

Late yesterday came word that the Amber Alert system has been shut down, but Barack Obama’s federally funded golf course remains open. Catholics are openly fretting that priests on military bases could get arrested for performing mass — at the very least they are prohibited from doing so.

via RedState.

More on “[the] price of victory”, “settled”, and legitimacy

As Politico’s Todd Purdrum has compellingly argued, Mr. Obama is facing the natural and predictable consequences of his decision to force transformative health care legislation without bipartisan support and using every possible parliamentary maneuver after the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate following voter rejection of the bill in a special election after the death of Senator Ted Kennedy in the very liberal state of Massachusetts. The President and his supporters also used every possible argument without particularly caring whether their case stood up over time—though they insisted before the law’s passage that it was not a tax, they happily embraced the Supreme Court’s decision that the law fell within the Congressional authority to tax. That angry Republicans legislators should show little restraint in response may be tactically unwise but should not be surprising to anyone

via The National Interest.

From Politico:

Twenty years ago, when he was trying to persuade Bill and Hillary Clinton that universal health care was a politically unrealistic goal, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan repeated one insistent warning: Sweeping, historic laws don’t pass barely. “They pass 70-to-30,’’ he said, “or they fail.”

Four years ago, when he was trying to persuade Barack Obama that he would pay a terrible price for jamming health care reform through a reluctant Congress on a partisan vote, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel begged his boss to settle for a vastly scaled-down plan.

We now know what happened: Obama’s bill made history — and caused all-out political war….

…[T]he president has fair ground for accusing the House GOP of shutting down the government “over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” as he did on Tuesday. But he could have predicted that his own crusade to bring them coverage would unleash the political whirlwind that is now likely to last for years to come — whatever the merits of his cause. And Republicans are doing their best to make sure no one forgets that he rammed through the health law with Democratic support alone.

“You reap what you sow,” said Whit Ayres, the veteran Republican pollster. “When you force through a major and very significant change to our economy, and you do it on a pure party-line vote, and at the very end change the rules to cram it through, you simply set up a long-term political battle that will never end.”

Robert Blendon, a health policy expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, offered a less partisan but equally pungent analysis. “The long-term future of bills that have absolutely no minority support and are not popular when passed is not good,” he said. “This law is vulnerable not just for this week, but for the 2014 elections, and if not then, for whenever the minority party does become the majority.”

…No major law of the 20th century — not Medicare, nor the 1957, 1964 and 1965 civil rights and voting rights acts, nor the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act nor Social Security — passed the Congress by anything like the narrow, partisan margin of Obamacare. The Senate approved that 60-39 — a virtual squeaker by that chamber’s modern standards — and the House by just seven votes, 219-212.

Perhaps only the progressive income tax, which the Senate approved by a vote of 44-37 in 1913, had such a narrow margin of support. And, not coincidentally, it is the one measure among all those landmark laws that remains the subject of the liveliest debate a century later….

…Democrats outlined their goals in terms almost as obdurate as those voiced by Republicans now seeking to overturn or scale back the law.

“We will go through the gate,” then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in January 2010. “If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed.”

…Last week, Obama mocked the extremism of his critics, noting that one state legislator — Rep. William O’Brien (R-N.H.) — had called the Affordable Care Act the greatest intrusion on personal liberty since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. That infamous measure required states that had once harbored escaped slaves to return them to their Southern owners. It outraged the North and helped lead to the Civil War.

But just for the record, even though 20 senators declined to vote on that noxious law, it still passed the Senate 27-12.

via POLITICO.com.

“Reaping Profit After Assisting on Health Law”

Washington’s health care revolving door is spinning fast as the new online health insurance marketplaces, a central provision of President Obama’s health care law, are set to open Oct. 1. Those who had a hand in the law’s passage are now finding lucrative work in the private sector, as businesses try to understand the complex measure, reshape it by pressing for regulatory changes — or profit from it.

That means boom times for what might be called an Obamacare cottage industry, providing work for dozens of former administration and mostly Democratic Congressional officials whose immersion in health policy minutiae, and friendships, make them invaluable to private business.

Dr. Dora Hughes, for example, has a medical degree from Vanderbilt and a master’s in public health from Harvard and never envisioned joining a law firm. But Dr. Hughes, a former Obama administration official, has something Washington lawyers and lobbying shops covet: an insider’s understanding of the new health care law.

After nearly four years as counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, she left government last year to work for Sidley Austin, which represents insurers, pharmaceutical companies, device makers and others affected by the law. She is not a registered lobbyist, but rather a “strategic adviser,” although some call that a distinction without a difference.

via NYTimes.com.