Wednesday Chronicle

A Cynical Government

Jul. 10, 2013

The Foundation

“A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the objects of the government; secondly, a knowledge of the means, by which those objects can be best attained.” –Joseph Story

Editorial Exegesis

“President Obama gave a speech Monday instructing Americans not to be so ‘cynical’ about government. This is not a setup for a punch line. He then explained that the major problem with government is that it does not run as efficiently as ‘one of the most inclusive and most successful campaigns in American history.’ His own. It was unclear if Mr. Obama was referring to his 2008 political operation or the 2012 reprise, but in any case he said he is developing a new ‘management agenda’ to deliver a ‘smarter and more accountable’ government, ‘just like we did on that campaign.’ Call us cynical, but is there an American outside of Washington nostalgic for the last election? … Presidents always summon such initiatives that go nowhere when the polls show the public distrusts government, which is usually when it is largest and most activist, and no more so than the present moment. … The President actually cited the Affordable Care Act as an example of his idea of more user-friendly government: People will be able to shop for insurance, he said, ‘like you go online and compare the best deal on cars.’ Yet the unfortunate government official charged with designing this online tool declared in March that his team had given up on creating ‘a world-class user experience,’ adding, ‘Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.’ … Three years after passage, regulators still haven’t written the Volcker Rule or other parts of Dodd-Frank financial re-regulation. The stimulus cost a lot but never did kickstart a real recovery. And where was ‘smarter government’ when Mr. Obama told his agencies to administer this year’s 5% sequester cuts as painfully as possible so voters would force Congress to oppose any cuts? Americans might be less cynical about government if Mr. Obama’s real preference wasn’t for the government status quo, only much more of it.” –The Wall Street Journal

Upright

“In the health insurance exchanges, the cheapest plans are going to have deductibles of $5,000 or more. And lots and lots of people are going to choose the cheapest plans. Avik Roy reports that employers are going for Health Savings Accounts … in a big way. Bottom line: millions of patients are going to be buying care with their own money, rather than with a third-party payer’s money. I’m sure this thought is causing heartburn for those on the left who view high deductible plans as ‘under-insurance.’ But this development is viewed as opportunity by health care entrepreneurs. One study is predicting that the number of walk-in clinics is going to double in the next few years. The Obama administration doesn’t like them because they are not part of integrated care/coordinated care/medical homes/etc., etc., etc. Even so, they are doing what the ACOs are unlikely to do: lowering costs, increasing quality and improving access to care.” –NCPA president John C. Goodman

“Democrats want 30 million new voters and they will say anything to get there: It’s a crisis! Illegal immigrants are ‘living in the shadows’! … We’re told, ‘You don’t know what it’s like to live in the shadows!’ Yes, you’re right, and that proves it’s not a crisis. Sorry to sound legalistic, illegal aliens, but you broke the law and … you know you broke the law. You hid in the backs of trucks, traveled across remote desert locations, ran from U.S. agents and stole American IDs. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable to break the law. We aren’t required to grant amnesty to people just because they’ve put themselves in the awkward position of being here illegally. (Or because the Democrats need 30 million new voters.) If illegals were Republicans, Chuck Schumer would be a ‘Minuteman,’ patrolling the Mexican border 24-7.” –columnist Ann Coulter

“Egyptians learned the hard way that, whatever their cultural preferences, full-strength Islam comes at a price. Egypt has a wheat crisis, and a fuel crisis, and the World Food Program estimates that 40 percent of the population is suffering from ‘physical or mental’ malnutrition. For purposes of comparison, when King Farouk was overthrown in 1952, Egypt and South Korea had more or less the same GDP per capita. Today Egypt’s is about one-eighth of South Korea’s. Washington has spent six decades getting Egypt wrong, ever since the CIA insouciantly joined the coup against Farouk…. Even in a multicultural age, liberal Americans casually assume that ‘developing countries’ want to develop into something like a Western democracy. But Egypt only goes backwards.” –columnist Mark Steyn

“How can Egypt have a stable government when the Brotherhood claims to be doing the will of God at the same time the military says it carried out God’s will by removing Morsi and secularists say they don’t want Islamists governing Egypt? … While often treating [Israel] as a weed that ought to be dug up, rather than a flower in the desert to be nourished, U.S. policy has focused on placating Arabs and Muslims, many of whom wish to destroy Israel and America. Perhaps now that the United States is rapidly headed toward energy independence … this and future administrations won’t feel the need to bow to Middle East dictators and will push a ’re-set' button that has a better chance at succeeding than the one that for too long has been stuck and inoperative.” –columnist Cal Thomas

Insight

“Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.” –President Calvin Coolidge (1873-1933)

“But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go.” –Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

Demo-gogues

Cynicism at its finest: “[I]n this democracy, we the people recognize that this government belongs to us, and it’s up to each of us and every one of us to make it work better. We can’t just stand on the sidelines. We can’t take comfort in just being cynical. We all have a stake in government’s success, because the government is us, and we’re doing things right.” –Barack Obama

The BIG Lie: “We are the first to confess that progress has not always come quick, and major challenges still remain. But we’ve made huge swaths of your government more efficient and more transparent, and more accountable than ever before.” –Barack Obama

“[Presidents' wives] have probably the best job in the world, because while our husbands … have to react and respond to crises on a minute-to-minute basis, we got to work on what we’re passionate about. … I have just found it a very freeing and liberating opportunity. … There are prison-like elements, but it’s a really nice prison. You can’t complain. There are confining elements.” –Michelle Obama

She forgot golf: “I have found that my husband needs time to be off and the only time is when they walk into the doors of the residence and we sit down and have a family dinner.” –Michelle Obama

Dezinformatsia

Gun grabbers: “Chicago’s supposedly ‘tough’ gun laws are utterly pointless when states around it have weak gun laws. America needs to take federal action. The gun ‘rights’ lobby can tell me the only answer to gun violence is more guns until they’re blue in the face. It’s utter nonsense. There will be more mass shooting atrocities in America soon. And more hollow words from cowardly politicians. Until the people say ‘enough.’” –CNN’s Piers Morgan

Carrying water: “You know, the one thing that’s been a common theme throughout this first six months has been distractions. … [W]e spent more time talking about the IRS and Benghazi and the NSA, and privacy and tapping or gathering information from our phones, than almost anything else. And now is that just because it’s more interesting to talk about a distraction than to try to get policy done?” –PBS' Gwen Ifill

Ditto: “[Republicans] are just getting started on this IRS issue. And even though we have not really seen anything revelatory that’s come out of the investigation in terms of actually tying it to the president … there is a determination to make sure that every possible pathway is exhausted before they call it off. So it’s not going to go away. Whether there’s any substance to it, I’m not even sure it really matters at this point.” –USA Today’s Susan Davis

Nothing to see here: “Would [an Eliot] Spitzer victory mark the of end of the sex scandal as we know it? And I’m asking, really, have we become too intrusive into our elected officials' and candidates' private lives? … [T]oo often do we ascribe to one’s behavior in public life that which goes on in their private life? … If you’re a competent guy, and I think Eliot Spitzer is a competent guy, then beyond the schadenfreude, what business is it, really, of ours?” –MNSBC’s Michael Smerconish interviewing disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer

‘Non Compos Mentis’: “[L]egislators in North Carolina looked at what’s happening in Texas and other states where women are fighting these [anti-abortion] laws, where they’re fighting these bills, where they’re coming out and protesting, and where it’s becoming national news, and they decided to make the world’s most ironic sneak attack. You know, I’m sure these legislators couldn’t tell you what Sharia law is, but what they think it is, is exactly what they’re doing in these bills, imposing a religious dictate on women.” –MSNBC’s Joy Reid

Village Idiots

Poor excuses: “[Obama’s] view is that we ought to plow forward, make [ObamaCare] work, and we’re going to look back at it and it’s going to be our proudest accomplishment. But it’s going to take time. If you’re worried about optics at any given moment, then you’re not going to accomplish very much in public office.” –Obama advisor David Axelrod

Smoke and mirrors: “We make determinations that are in the interest of successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We are flexible because that is the right thing to do. … We’re interested in getting it right because we believe that getting it right will further the benefits that are available to more Americans.” –White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

Useful idiot: “My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries. Why it’s been left to me to smooth things over, I don’t know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it’s the black guy’s [Obama’s] job. But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.” –Dennis Rodman, former athlete and now self-appointed foreign policy expert, on his recent trip to North Korea

Justice? “Whether George Zimmerman is found innocent or guilty by the jury, I am firm believer that all of us live by karmic law, and he will ultimately be punished for the death of Trayvon, no matter what.” –hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons

Short Cuts

“The U.S. Government announced that the Employer Mandate part of ObamaCare could just wait until January 1, 2015 instead of its scheduled launch on January 1, 2014. It would have taken less time (3 years, 7 months) to defeat Japan in World War II than to implement ObamaCare (3 years, 9 months). And Obama will still miss it.” –columnist Rich Galen

“Michelle Obama raised eyebrows at the African First Ladies' Conference in Tanzania. She said that being First Lady in the White House was like living in a prison. It’s the lamest attempt to be the next Nelson Mandela that we’ve seen in the First family so far.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

“[S]marter government sounds like a good idea. I mean, here’s what the government is doing now: the IRS just accidentally released thousands of people’s social security numbers. Frankly, it doesn’t seem like the government could get much dumber. But do you really think Obama (with the help of Biden!) are capable of making things smarter? Is there any indication they even know what smarter is? Frankly, these days I’d settle for a less malicious government. Until then, I’d rather the government stay dumb.” –humorist Frank J. Fleming

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team