Wednesday Digest

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Wednesday Digest

November 13, 2013   Print

THE FOUNDATION

“Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue … presents a new harvest to those who watch the change and can trace its consequences; a harvest reared not by themselves but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few not for the many.” –James Madison

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Fuzzy Math and ObamaCare

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The Obama administration is expected to release ObamaCare enrollment numbers this week, and the results should be laughable. The Wall Street Journal estimates that the number will be “[f]ewer than 50,000 people” enrolled in a private insurance plan through Healthcare.gov, which “is a fraction of the Obama administration’s target of 500,000 enrollees for October.”

But the math is a little fuzzy. One administration official elaborated, saying, “In the data that will be released this week, ‘enrollment’ will measure people who have filled out an application and selected a qualified health plan in the marketplace.” So not actual enrollees, but anyone who made it far enough to have something in their cart. Healthcare.gov won’t be working anytime soon, either.

By contrast, tens of millions of Americans are losing their plans thanks to ObamaCare. In fact, more people lost their plans in our native Tennessee than enrolled in ObamaCare. That’s pretty much the opposite of what the president promised when he lied about keeping your plan.

On a related note, providing health care benefits to people isn’t hard if the administration wants to do it. Some $91 million in benefits and $29 million for prescriptions was paid out for illegal aliens this year.

The ObamaCare rollout has been so bad that Democrats are scattering like cockroaches when the light turns on. In particular, as Crooked Hillary Clinton fires up the 2016 Express, she’s going to be distancing herself from the ObamaCare train wreck. Just a couple of months ago, Bill Clinton was touting ObamaCare’s ability to “empower people to have better life stories.” Tuesday, Clinton set the election template for Democrats: “I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got,” meaning their insurance plans.

Republicans in Congress have introduced the ‘Keep Your Health Plan’ Act to take advantage of the opportunity. But it wouldn’t surprise us to see the two parties switch sides — the Democrats hopping on board with saving people’s plans (and trying to salvage their 2014 election hopes) and the Republicans trying to force Democrats to lie in the bed they made. Overall, we’d say the spectacle has been entertaining, except that so many people are suffering because of it.

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NATIONAL SECURITY

Deal With Iran Falls Through

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As we predicted last week, the Obama administration seems hell-bent on getting a nuclear agreement inked with Iran — any agreement, no matter how unsatisfactory to U.S. interests. Over the weekend, a deal that seemed all but final was de-railed at the last moment by — of all things — French objections, and to that we heartily say Dieu merci! The proposed deal, according to all reports, would have left Iran’s nuclear program not only fully intact, but also in operation. No halt in uranium enrichment, no halt in construction of the heavy water reactor at Arak, no halt in the installation of additional centrifuges, and no enforcement mechanism for whatever alleged concessions Iran was going to make. In return Iran would have received some relief from the sanctions that have hobbled its economy over the last four years. In other words, the U.S.-led effort would largely have removed its most effective means of coercion, while receiving nothing but Iranian promises.

The Obama team, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, attempted to put lipstick on this pig by claiming that an interim deal was needed on the way to a final deal, but you can judge the truth by who complained the loudest when the deal fell through. That would be the Iranians: “The French government raised issues on behalf of the Zionist regime and the U.S. during the negotiations in Geneva,” Vice-Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour said. When Iran plays the Zionist card, you can be sure they are truly angry.

Iran continues to play the game with its usual skill and cynicism. This week the IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano arrived in Tehran and promptly signed a joint declaration on future cooperation with Iran on resolving outstanding concerns. The Iranians agreed to let IAEA inspectors visit the Arak facility, something they have refused since 2011. As we have said before, this is a meaningless public relations effort that costs Iran nothing in exchange for complimentary IAEA press reports. With the next round of talks due to start in one week, it will give Iran another talking point with which to paint itself as an innocent victim of U.S. bullying. Stay tuned, and hope that our amis français stick to their guns.

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ECONOMY, REGS & TAXES

Obama Blames U.S. Economic Trouble on Someone Else

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The Reagan administration waged the War on Drugs; the second Bush administration waged the War on Terror. Barack Hussein Obama will go down as the president who waged the War on Success. A key weapon in this war has been diverting responsibility to others. It was no shock when during the 2008 campaign Obama blamed George W. Bush for the economic meltdown. It soon became apparent that affixing blame elsewhere would become a way of life for Obama.

He blames everyone, from the “the millionaires and billionaires” to Fox News. More recently, “bad apple” insurance companies are to blame for the nightmare that is ObamaCare. Basically, the Obama administration has been responsible for nothing — except, of course, the take-down of Osama bin Laden. The president most recently continued this pattern by blaming U.S. economic problems on … Germany. A semi-annual report by the Treasury Department report accused Germany of “cooking the books” in terms of its exports and thus hindering the global recovery. The Germans are already upset with the U.S. over the NSA spying; now Obama blames them for his economic mess.

Germany does make an excellent scapegoat for Obama with its enviable (by comparison) 6.9% unemployment rate and its increase in consumer spending. It’s faring much better than other countries in the EU, something the German authorities were quick to point out in their reaction to the report. It seems Obama is not just against American exceptionalism but exceptionalism, period.

In the meantime, the U.S. economy expanded at a 2.8% annual rate from July to September, much better than anticipated by economic experts. So much for the Democrats’ claims that the government shutdown would hurt the economy — in fact, maybe the government should shut down more often.

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CULTURE, SCIENCE & FAITH

Climate Change This Week: The End Is (Still) Near

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A leaked report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change depicts a crashing world, complete with impending wars and economic turmoil fostered by man-made greenhouse gases and overpopulation. We’ve all heard this before, but even as evidence mounts that the globe is reversing course, the IPCC continues to double down on catastrophic alarmism.

The Los Angeles Times writes, “The report describes a planet in peril as a result of the human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution, where glaciers are shrinking and plants and animals have shifted their ranges in response to rising temperatures. As global warming continues through the 21st century, many species will face greater risk of extinction, marine life will shift toward the poles and seawater will grow more acidic, the report says.” Consequently, rising oceans will force millions near coastal waters from their homes, the global food supply will be severely suppressed, monumental heat waves will worsen (which, coupled with a growing population, will result in an increase in the number of deaths), extreme weather events will accelerate, and — worst of all — these effects will escalate the threat of regional wars. And that’s not to mention sweaty underarms and burnt popcorn.

Meanwhile, the IPCC quietly corrected erroneous figures they cited in September. According to Reuters, “[T]he IPCC revised down the cumulative amount of carbon emitted since 1860-1881 to 515 billion tonnes from 531 billion given in September, and revised up the amount emitted since 1750 to 555 billion tonnes from 545 billion.” Of course, they claim that the revision doesn’t effect their climate prognostications. Recall in September when the panel was forced to address the unanticipated hiatus in global warming — a development they attributed to unforeseen, natural factors that won’t prevent long-term warming. In other words, their facts — like their predictions — are “evolving.”

Such nonsense would be amusing if it weren’t for the fact that economic stability and, yes, people’s lives are being directly affected by policies based on scientific fallacies. Skeptics are continually chastised for questioning the legitimacy of the so-called scientific consensus that purports to know our future despite being continually and profoundly wrong. Ecofacists want to talk about what’s moral? Then look in the mirror.

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BRIEF OPINION

Editorial Exegesis

Investor’s Business Daily: “[T]he pressure’s on for Democrats to get rid of [ObamaCare], even if … they must pretend it’s not really a failure, and they’re not returning to the past. Of all people, ex-President Bill Clinton has come to their rescue. Ozy Media’s interview with Clinton sent tremors through Washington on Tuesday, as President Barack Hussein Obama’s official ObamaCare ‘explainer in chief’ said: ‘Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made’ to younger, healthy health insurance beneficiaries ‘and let ’em keep what they got.’ But this isn’t just self-centered Bill being Bill, as when his convention speech outshone Obama’s at last year’s convention. Clinton may well be saving incumbent Democratic congressmen and senators from the voters’ wrath next year, for which they’ll be grateful — both to Bill and to certain 2016 presidential candidate Hillary. What the Democratic Party’s elder statesman just did is give congressional Democrats permission to oppose Obama on ObamaCare.”

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Political Futures

Economist Thomas Sowell: “With the chances of making a dent in ObamaCare by trying to defund it being virtually zero, and the Republican Party’s chances of gaining power in either the 2014 or 2016 elections being reduced by the public’s backlash against that futile attempt, there was virtually nothing to gain politically and much to lose. However difficult it might be to repeal ObamaCare after it gets up and running, the odds against repeal, after the 2014 and 2016 elections, are certainly no worse than the odds against defunding it in 2013. Winning those elections would improve the odds. If the Tea Party made a tactical mistake, that is not necessarily fatal in politics. People can even learn from their mistakes — but only if they admit to themselves that they were mistaken. Whether the Tea Party can do that may determine not only its fate but the fate of an America that still needs the principles that brought Tea Party members together in the first place.”

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Essential Liberty

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “At its core, the government exists to do certain things that people aren’t equipped to do on their own. The list of those things has gotten longer and longer over the years. In 1776, the federal government’s portfolio could have easily fit in a file folder: maintain an army and navy, a few federal courts, the post office, the patent office and maybe a dozen or two other pretty obvious things. Now, the file folder of things the federal government does is much bigger. … The number of civilians (i.e., not counting the military) who work for the executive branch alone is today nearly equal to the entire population of the United States in 1776. The Federal Register, the federal government’s fun-filled journal of new rules, regulations and the like, was about 2,600 pages in 1936 (a year after it was created). Today it’s over 80,000 pages. And that’s just at the federal level. … The justifications for all of these laws and all of these workers — the good, the bad and the ugly — have one thing in common: the assumption that the rest of us couldn’t get by without them, whether we like it or not.”

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For more, visit The Right Opinion.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

Upright

Columnist Daren Jonescu: “The aim [of progressivism] is to produce the sort of citizen for whom ‘I am human’ no longer essentially means ‘I am free.’ The goal is to degrade your natural perception of freedom to the level of being content with your bowl of rice — or, at the intermediate stage, with your smartphones, music videos, and entitlement programs — purchased with your daughter’s future, your reason, your self-ownership. That this goal is as close to global achievement as it is today is astonishing — though no more so than the fact that there are still men left who are able to perceive what has been lost, and to mount a resistance.”

The BIG Lie

DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: “It is a real significant distortion to say that hundreds of thousands of people are being cancelled. What’s actually happening is that they are very likely to get a better plan for less money.”

Dezinformatsia

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz: “The mainstream media, I believe, wants ObamaCare to fail. They look for every negative number they can find. They’re afraid to do a positive story because they’re afraid that somebody might not watch. The media is just cherry-picking the bad facts that are out there, repeating them over and over again, and in many cases, they’re making stuff up.”

Non Compos Mentis

Ambassador Samantha Power: “You know life has changed when you’re hanging out with Jane Fonda backstage. There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being ‘all in’ in every way — than Jane Fonda. And it’s a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her.”

Braying Jackass

Rep. Alan Grayson: “[L]et me do what I probably should do more often — just say thanks. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Thank you for helping me to promote justice, equality and peace.”

This excerpt was from a fundraising appeal sent by Grayson on Veterans Day. Instead of thanking our veterans, he issued a heartfelt thanks … to his donors.

Alpha Jackass

Barack Hussein Obama: “[I]f you just looked objectively at what the Democratic Party and Democratic senators stand for right now, it’s a lot more aligned with what the American people believe and what they care about then what a small faction of the other party is trying to promote. And I’m confident that there’s going to be an adjustment process where the Republican Party kind of moves back to reason and common sense. … [W]hen they aren’t looking out for the interests of the American people, there are some consequences. And that’s why elections matter. That’s why they count.”

The Demo-gogues

Barack Hussein Obama: “Today we can say that … the core of al-Qaida’s on the path to defeat, our nation is more secure, and our homeland is safer.”

(As long as you forget about Benghazi, the Boston Marathon, ad nauseam…)

Village Idiots

Philippines climate commissioner Naderev Saño: “Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms. As the Earth warms up, so do the oceans. The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm. … What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness.”

Short Cuts

Comedian Jay Leno: “President Barack Hussein Obama said he is sorry that some Americans have lost their existing health coverage due to ObamaCare. I think he’s getting a little desperate. Today he said if you like your complete lack of coverage, you can keep your complete lack of coverage.”

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

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