Hope 'n' Change: The Planned Failure of ObamaCare
“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” –Thomas Paine
Publisher’s Note: As your Patriot team returns from our annual “recess” family stay-cations, Barack Obama and family are headed off on their lavish vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, where they will spare no taxpayer expense. Their dog Bo even flew there on his own plane. However, we’re sure Obama will take a break from his celebrity golf outings to talk about the plight of the middle class.
If you missed our notices last week, today, by popular request from our Patriot ranks, we are launching our new email layout, which combines the best of the Brief, Chronicle and Digest in a faster-reading format. From here forward, our Monday, Wednesday and Friday editions will include a few selections from our most current analysis of news, policy and opinion, followed by a Brief Opinion section from syndicated columnists, and then a selection of witty and outrageous Chronicle Quotes. The new “all-in-one” layout provides you with the same great content you have come to expect from The Patriot Post over the last 17 years, but in a more concise and timely format.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Hope ‘n’ Change: The Planned Failure of ObamaCare
In a rare press conference Friday, Barack Obama again defended his crumbling and unpopular health care law, boasting of a handful of goodies in it that people will supposedly enjoy. Those include insurance for “children” up to age 26 under their parents' plan, rebates for unspent premium money, subsidies for those who can’t afford insurance (subsidies no longer to be verified against income) and don’t forget “free preventive care, mammograms [and] contraception.” Ah yes – “free.” Predictably, Obama blamed the GOP for the law’s failures, because, “The one unifying principle in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don’t have health care.”
Actually, according to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare itself ensures that 30 million people won’t have health care. Oops.
The list of problems with the law’s implementation only gets longer, too. As we’ve previously noted, Obama unilaterally delayed the mandate that employers provide health insurance to employees. “I didn’t simply choose to delay this on my own,” he insisted Friday. “This was in consultation with businesses all across the country.” Oh, he gained constitutional authority for delaying enforcement of part of a law after “consultation with businesses.” We didn’t realize that’s how presidential authority was secured, but we imagine if a Republican is elected in 2016, he’ll quickly gain support from businesses for scrapping the whole law.
Next, individuals are supposed to be able to buy health insurance over state exchanges on the Internet, similar to Expedia or other travel sites. But development is behind schedule meaning that critical security testing won’t begin in a “beta” phase with a few users – it will happen on opening day for everyone.
Likewise, training for the “navigators” who will help people sign up for these exchanges is not going well. Just three weeks ago, the administration said that 30 hours of training would be sufficient for these people to understand the monstrously complex law, but now they say 20 hours will suffice. We wonder if their training will be anything like what IRS agents received before the 2012 election – how to delay and frustrate political opponents. Indeed, they’ll have access to citizens' sensitive health records, and the order has already gone out to charitable hospitals that treat uninsured people.
Despite all this, James Clyburn (D-SC) boasted, “The fact of the matter is, [Democrats] will be running on ObamaCare in 2014. In fact, we set it up to run on it in 2014.”
They may run on it as-is for now, but their real goal is a single-payer government system. Hence the planned shortcomings of the current plan. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave away the game, saying, “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes,” we will eventually scrap an insurance-based health system. “What we’ve done with ObamaCare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” he said. “Don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system.”
Conservatives must keep up the fight.
Warfront With Jihadistan: Al-Qaida’s Rise
Eleven months after the jihadi attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead, the U.S. has issued the first criminal charges. Ahmed Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia, faces charges filed by the Justice Department in New York. We can likely thank CNN for the progress, if indeed you can call this progress. The network interviewed Khattalah in July, when he claimed that the FBI hadn’t even questioned him. The delay followed by half-hearted legal charges is another sad example of Barack Obama’s exercise of America’s “smart power.”
The timing of this news also serves to offset last weekend’s closing of U.S. embassies in 22 countries, which was the result of an al-Qaida threat. Covering up al-Qaida’s involvement in the Benghazi attack was the Obama administration’s primary objective during last year’s presidential campaign. Evidently Obama didn’t get the memo that the campaign is over, either, because he insisted again this week that the “core [of] al-Qaida is on its heels, has been decimated.” The slight distinction he’s now making is that it’s al-Qaida’s “core” that’s decimated – a technically specific semantics game he didn’t play before.
The truth of al-Qaida’s resurgence, however, is so evident that even John McCain sees it clearly: “You can’t say that [al-Qaida’s core is decimated] and at the same time have to close embassies and consulates all over the Middle East,” McCain said. “Look, al-Qaida’s on the rise, they have been on the rise, they have continued to penetrate.” If only the commander in chief would quit denying reality.
Mortgage Bubble Investigation Needs Investigating
In another Friday night news dump, the Obama Justice Department admitted that it cooked the books on its mortgage fraud investigation. A year-long initiative run by the Mortgage Fraud Working Group sought to get to the bottom of some of the fraud that caused the mortgage bubble. It claimed it had charged 530 people with mortgage fraud, which allegedly victimized 73,000 people. After Bloomberg reporters dug deeper, however, the Justice Department was forced to admit that they grossly overstated the numbers. It wasn’t 530 people charged, it was 107; and it wasn’t 73,000 victims, it was 17,185. Naturally, they chose Friday night to correct the record.
Columnist Ed Morrissey wrote, “As it turns out, the original figure included people prosecuted or just sentenced in the same fiscal year, even though they had been charged with crimes long before the MFWG came into being. The victims were not limited to distressed homeowners, as the DoJ had originally claimed, and as Eric Holder himself bragged.” Nor was this Eric Holder’s first time in book-cooking class – a similar thing happened in 2010 with the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force called “Operation Broken Trust.”
The Justice Department’s website still claims, “The Department of Justice is committed to achieving the President’s goal of making this the most transparent Administration in history.” That all depends on the meaning of “transparent.”
Second Amendment: Small Victories
In the wake of the Sandy Hook murders last December, leftists everywhere were using the caskets of dead children as a platform for their unconstitutional political agenda. The Journal News, a suburban New York newspaper, was no exception. The paper published an interactive map revealing the names and addresses of every handgun permit holder in two counties. Such disclosures endangered those gun owners and their property, as well as let criminals know which houses are not protected by Second Amendment Security. One gun owner’s home was burglarized, though his guns were in a safe. The newspaper stuck by their disclosure, but soon hired their own armed security guards because editor Caryn McBride felt “threatened.” Local police did not concur.
Fortunately, some justice has been served. McBride, who was partly responsible for publishing the map, as well as 17 other journalists working at Journal News were recently fired. However, it appears that the layoffs were company-wide, and that the gun map didn’t play a role. Pity.
In other gun news, the Douglas County (Colorado) Housing partnership found itself in public hot water when a former Marine seeking to rent an apartment from them was told that he couldn’t keep his guns in the apartment. Some might defend the board’s right to manage its property as it sees fit, though if instead of revoking the Second Amendment it did so with the First or Fourth the reaction might be different. And the board used federal funds to purchase the Oakwood Apartments in question, and is supported by local, state and federal tax dollars, meaning this is not a private property issue. In the end, the board succumbed to public pressure and changed its policy. No wonder.
For the Record
Columnist George Will: “Each year 6.1 billion hours are spent complying with the tax code. This is equal to the work time of 3 million full-time workers, making tax compliance one of America’s largest industries. … Inevitably, however, the tax code has reached a critical mass of complexity that renders it almost unreformable. This illustrates the crisis of the regulatory state: Interest groups fasten themselves onto the government and immobilize it. At the 2004 Republican convention, George W. Bush vowed to ‘simplify’ the tax code’s ‘complicated mess.’ The convention roared approval. Next, he promised new complexities – tax benefits for ‘opportunity zones’ in depressed areas, a tax credit to encourage businesses to offer health savings accounts. Another roar of approval. Since the 1986 simplification, the code has been re-complicated more than 15,000 times at the behest of Americans who simultaneously praise the principle of simplification. All other taxes could be abolished if we could tax the nation’s cognitive dissonance.”
Columnist Rich Galen: “President Obama had to do something to express displeasure when his Russian counterpart granted Snowden political asylum in the Motherland for at least a year, so he called off a meeting with Putin. … Vladimir Putin is a former senior KGB officer and so knows a little about dealing with the West. What does a ‘29-year-old hacker’ mean to Putin? He obviously knows way too much about the National Security Agency so Snowden might be the best American asset since the Walker family went down. But, even more than that, with the stroke of a pen Putin put Russia at a level with the United States in the eyes of the rest of the world. No more acting like Oliver Twist and asking for more gruel from the West. Putin has Snowden, and Obama is left holding his breath until he turns red, white, and blue. That’s puttin' Putin in his place.”
Ronald Reagan: “Each generation has to live with the challenges history delivers, and we can’t cope with these challenges by evasion. If we sustain our efforts now, we have the best chance in decades of building a secure peace. … We want to make this a more peaceful world. We want to reduce arms. We want agreements that truly diminish the nuclear danger. We don’t just want signing ceremonies and color photographs of leaders toasting each other with champagne. We want more. We want real agreements, agreements that really work, with no cheating. We want an end to state policies of intimidation, threats, and the constant quest for domination. We want real peace.”
For more, visit The Right Opinion.
Economist Thomas Sowell: “It is hard to read a newspaper, or watch a television newscast, without encountering someone who has come up with a new ‘solution’ to society’s ‘problems.’ Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than there are problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today’s problems are a result of yesterday’s solutions.”
Barack Obama: “[I]f you look at the biggest challenges we have, the challenge is not inflation; the challenge is we’ve still got too many people out of work, too many long-term unemployed, too much slack in the economy, and we’re not growing as fast as we should. … [A] big part of my job right now is to make sure the economy is growing quickly and robustly, and is sustained and durable, so that people who work hard in this country are able to find a job.”
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: “Conservatives are using the most insulting language possible they can come up with to blame unions, blame black people, blame their culture for Detroit’s troubles. But the real parasites, my friends, are their conservative ideals that are coming from the state government and from the feds.”
Actor Matt Damon: “[Barack Obama] broke up with me. There are a lot of things that I really question, the legality of the drone strikes, and these NSA revelations. Jimmy Carter came out and said ‘we don’t live in a democracy,’ that’s a little intense when an ex-president says that, so [Obama’s] got some explaining to do, particularly for a constitutional law professor.”
Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “If anything, it seems that the election (and re-election) of the first black president has actually aggravated racial issues in America. If you want my opinion on why – and you probably don’t – it’s because we specifically elected a black president instead of a president who happens to be black – i.e., his election was more because of racism than a triumph over it. … Anyway, many people say we need a national conversation on race. I guess we’re all just going to sit down and talk this out and learn from each other’s experiences and grow as a more tolerant people together. … Maybe … it’s time to acknowledge that we’re all too stupid to talk on the subject of race. Sure, we each have our own unique perspectives to add, but mainly we also have a lot of idiocy to stir into the pot as well. … So I’m going to propose a new tactic: Instead of a national conversation on race, let’s try a national shutting up on race.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team