Unexamined Premises

Unexamined Premises

The Conservatarian Moment Gets Its Manifesto

April 4th, 2015 - 11:41 am

Conservatarian Manifesto

For years, mainstream conservatives and libertarians have eyed each other warily, circling; they know on some level they should be natural allies, but for various reasons can’t quite bring themselves to admit it. Along comes Charles C. W. Cooke, an English-born writer for the conservative magazine National Review, with a provocative new book entitled The Conservatarian Manifesto that seeks to unite the two principal strains of thought on the Right and eliminate the crazier aspects of both.

Cooke, who has quickly established himself at NR and elsewhere as one of the brightest young conservative minds in the country, comes to the American argument with an admirably balanced and, as befits his English upbringing and education (Oxford), emotionally restrained view in his new book. Not that he isn’t an enthusiastic new American, of course — he grew up as one of those rarities, an Americanophile in England and voted with his feet when he joined the staff of America’s flagship movement conservative magazine. But Cooke’s dispassion (not to be confused with disinterest) serves him very well in this, his debut book. Nobody sees a country, for good or ill, quite like the newly arrived foreigner. Especially a perceptive and literary one.

This question, of the essential nature of man, is at the very root of the disagreement between the Left and the Right — the Right’s skepticism [of big government] resting heavily upon the presumption that human beings do not change when they accorded great power and that, if anything, we should be more and not less suspicious of anybody who seeks out influence; the Left takes the opposing view.

The Right’s acknowledgment of the limitations of man and of the state that he has created is imperative. It is often asserted that free markets perform better than does central preparation, and that governments are unable to achieve by design what a free people may spontaneously. But it is rarely explained why this is the case. The answer is refreshingly simple: Because so much that the state does it is not designed to do well, however ingenious are the men and women we put in charge. Brilliant as our bureaucrats may be, they are simply incapable of running a country this size.

The reality — the joke — of course, is that they are far from brilliant or even functionally capable. The manifest ineptitude, corruption and incompetence of Leviathan is, in fact, the thing that drives many not to the conservative cause (for Bush-era “conservatives” are anything but when it comes to their love of Big Government) but to the libertarian one. In the name of “progressivism,” the nation is being fleeced, re-ordered and “fundamentally transformed” from a Euro-centric representative republic grounded in the Enlightenment into a Third World kleptocracy whose administrators feign a concern for the poor out of electoral necessity but are really only in it for the money and the power. And so the libertarians flee, wrapping themselves in the time-honored American cloak of Leave Me Alone, but abandoning the muscular foreign policy and sense of cultural confidence that has always marked the United States at its native, conservative best. At the same time, however, the fixation in some precincts on the “social issues” bogs movement conservatives down in a series of pointless cultural engagements with the Left (the Memories Pizza story is one such) that feed directly into the media narrative of conservative troglodytism: the movie Footloose, writ large.

Cooke limns the sins of both sides as he sets out his synthetic argument. What’s wrong with conservatives? “Despite all of the Right’s energy over the past fifty years — and a good deal of electoral success to boot — the basic assumptions of the American government have in no meaningful sense been reversed.” As if to emphasize this sad but basic truth concerning what I have called the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, the elections of 2014 returned large Republican majorities to both house of Congress and yet the forward (perhaps downward would be a better word), destructive march of Obamaism has not only not been slowed, it has picked up its pace, since the president, unchained in his final two years in office, no longer has to even pretend that he cares what anybody else thinks. “When was the last time you heard an aspiring conservative politician say, ‘I’m a George W. Bush conservative’?” asks Cooke.

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Lemme see your warface

Lemme see your warface

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics has a devastating indictment of the Coward-in-Chief and his deliberate thumb in the eye to the honor of the American military:

Travel back with me, dear reader, to a magical and sunny time. It was only 10 months ago, on a glorious June morning when President Obama called the White House press corps together in the Rose Garden. There, our smiling president proudly announced that the United States had secured the release of an American serviceman held captive in Afghanistan for five years.

Flanked by the grateful parents of returning Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the president lauded his administration’s “ironclad commitment to bring our prisoners of war home.” The soldier’s father, Bob Bergdahl, read a prayer; the young man’s mother, Jani, hugged the president. It was a story that could please all Americans: parenthood (quite properly) trumping partisanship.

Yet even as White House image-makers touted the picture of a concerned commander-in-chief looking out for the troops, a nagging bit of foreshadowing interjected itself into the narrative. For starters, the senior Bergdahl’s prayer was delivered in Arabic and began with a blessing from the Koran. While his son was in captivity Bob Bergdahl had grown his hair and beard long, Taliban-style, and now he also sprinkled his remarks from the White House lectern with a few words of Pashto, the language of Bowe Bergdahl’s captors.

Imagine that: just over a decade after the atrocity of Sept. 11 — the Koran is being read aloud from the White House Rose Garden. Let that sink in: the Koran, the enemy’s “sacred” text and how-to manual. It would have been as if Henry Morgenthau had read excerpts of Mein Kampf from the FDR White House during World War II. Of course, it is, for the moment, Barry Hussein’s residence, so perhaps our part-Arab, disgracefully Islamophilic president was just following his heart.

More disconcerting still were the terms of the deal securing the soldier’s release, which the president referred to only fleetingly. “As part of this effort, the United States is transferring five detainees from the prison in Guantanamo Bay to Qatar,” Obama said. “The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security.”

A lie, of course. The Taliban commanders will be back in the field soon, while the pathetic little pansy Bergdahl is now facing desertion charges — something everybody knew he would be doing at the time the trade was made. So that meant that the odious Susan Rice, who lies with a facility that might make her boss envious, had to lie some more:

Rice assured those watching on national television that Bergdahl had served the United States with “honor and distinction.” This claim only invited scrutiny—and was immediately challenged by members of Bergdahl’s unit, the 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Regiment.

Naturally, the painfully stupid Jen Psaki has leapt to the defense of her derelict boss:

“Was it worth it? Absolutely,” Jen Psaki told Megyn Kelly on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” “We have a commitment to our men and women serving in the military, defending our national security every day, that we’re going to do everything to bring them home if we can, and that’s what we did in this case.” Psaki’s comments were the first from a top administration official since the charges were announced earlier Wednesday.

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Nothing our president, Barack Hussein Obama, does at this point in his benighted administration should come as a shock to anybody who heard him utter the words “fundamental transformation” back in late 2008, once he knew the McCain fix was in and the election was in the bag. But his suggestion a few days ago that voting should be mandatory needs to be studied by all to see the pure essence of Obamaism — and then beware of it.

Like everything Obama and the Left propose, this crackpot idea is couched and masked in all the usual “progressive” disguises. It’s “fair,” and about “equality.” When in fact it’s neither of those things. But how far the Alinsky ball has been moved down the field is evident from the fact that the Left keep using buzz phrases like these, and keeps getting away with it. By now, one would think that the Left’s promises would be seen for the threadbare lies that they are; black America in particular has suffered for more than half a century while awaiting the coming of the Promised Land, which never quite arrives. But the Left has an out, and it knows it — the old communist bleat that their system will work, but that “it just hasn’t really been tried yet.” And a new generation, particularly the one raised on non-judgmentalism and lunatic egalitarianism, nods and falls for it.

In the president’s current proposal, the red-flag word is “mandatory.” No surprise here; the Fascist Left loves bossing people around. Ban it! Outlaw it! Make it mandatory! Their shopworn bag of social nostrums could never be fully accepted, even when the social poison is sugar-coated up the wazoo, without both deception (Obamacare) and blunt force (Obamacare). Once they’ve enticed the schoolkids into the windowless white-panel truck with a bag of candy, the hammer drops and the populace (judging by how long the Soviet Union lasted) is in for nearly a century of misery before the human spirit reasserts itself and a few finally escape and call the cops. By then, however, the country that previously existed is dead.

Here’s the story about America’s very own Il Duce and his latest foray into establishing a permanent Democrat majority in American electoral politics:

President Obama, whose party was trounced in last year’s midterm election due in part to poor turnout among Democrats, endorsed the idea of mandatory voting Wednesday.

“It would be transformative if everybody voted,” Mr. Obama said during a town-hall event in Cleveland. “That would counteract [campaign] money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”

“Transformative” (note Obama’s fondness for the word) it would be.  Despite their losses in the past two congressional elections, the Democrats sense that on the presidential level the Party of Take has outgrown the Party of Give, and that if they could force the dependent class to the polls the donkeys would never have to relinquish the White House again. Doesn’t matter whether Congress is controlled by the “opposition party” — it would be easier if it weren’t, but Obama has shown repeatedly lately that Congress doesn’t matter, and perhaps not even the Supreme Court. Just seize the White House and then, backed by your constitutional authority as commander in chief, defy the other “co-equal” branches to do something about it.

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Hillary Clinton: Mean Girls Meets the Mob

March 5th, 2015 - 7:44 am
Hillary, about to find out what difference it makes

Hillary, about to find out what difference it makes

You all know the mantra by now: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. It’s a point I’ve been making for nearly a decade now, and I think you’ll agree that what might at first have seemed outrageous is now practically conventional wisdom. At its heart, the Democrat Party is a collection of bootless self-aggrandizers interested primarily in power and money but also motivated by a juvenile wish to dominate others for their own sadistic pleasure. It uses collectivist slogans of “tolerance” and “compassion” to conceal its true ugly face, and hijacks the best instincts of its victims and uses them against them. In my forthcoming book, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, I have dubbed this latest incarnation of a very old evil the “unholy Left” and the “satanic Left.” Of course, I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Still, thanks to one of the great avatars of the unholy Left, Hillary Clinton, every day the mask slips a little more. In today’s New York Times, there is a folo to the newspaper’s scoop about HRC’s private email server that is, if anything, even more damaging — not only to Mrs. Clinton, but to the collection of social misfits, strivers, credentialists, rent-seekers and throne-sniffers who make up the rank and file of the party’s “upper crust.” If Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for ugly people and Hollywood is high school with money, then the Democrats are Mean Girls — cliquish, snobby and bitchy.

Just before Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state in January 2009, she and her closest aides decided that she should have her own private email address as Mrs. Clinton moved away from the Blackberry address that she had used during her 2008 presidential campaign. Private email would allow Mrs. Clinton to communicate with people in and out of government, separate from the system maintained at the State Department.

An aide who had been with the Clintons since the 1990s, Justin Cooper, registered the domain name, clintonemail.com, which had a server linked to the Clintons’ home address in Chappaqua, N.Y. Obtaining an account from that domain became a symbol of status within the family’s inner circle, conferring prestige and closeness to the secretary.

And this is what the American Experiment has come to in the hands of these awful people and their awful political party: “a symbol of status within the family’s inner circle, conferring prestige and closeness to the secretary.”

Think about that for a moment. Not only was Hillary’s use of private email for government business illegal and unethical (stop laughing), but it was used as a status symbol among the courtiers — including no doubt members of the lickspittle media, who tremble with near sexual-delight as they approach her majesty. In the incestuous club that houses the Democrat-Media Complex, every “job” is both temporary and secondary to the overall career, which is dominating American political discourse and becoming handsomely rewarded for one’s ability to manipulate the system. No wonder the Democrats have such contempt for the Stupid Party and the voters who foolishly support it.

In a just world, these people would be seen for what they are — nihilistic, dangerous, evil. Their fealty to the country is nearly non-existent and their “patriotism,” insofar as it exists at all, extends only to the imaginary country that may or may not exist after they get finished with the business of “fundamental transformation.” They enter “public service” as near paupers and leave aboard the Lolita Express as millionaires, having accomplished next to nothing except making themselves famous.

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“M” is for Math, “V” is for Verbal

This piece appeared in the Los Angeles Times recently, and it deserves a lot more notice from conservatives than it’s received so far. It’s not that it doesn’t tell us things we didn’t already know — it’s that the Left is so blatant about its prejudices, and so determined to tear down any semblance of meritocracy regarding college admissions. And, mostly, it reminds us that Asian-Americans need to recognize who their enemies are:

In a windowless classroom at an Arcadia tutoring center, parents crammed into child-sized desks and dug through their pockets and purses for pens as Ann Lee launches a PowerPoint presentation. Her primer on college admissions begins with the basics: application deadlines, the relative virtues of the SAT versus the ACT and how many Advanced Placement tests to take.

Then she eases into a potentially incendiary topic — one that many counselors like her have learned they cannot avoid. “Let’s talk about Asians,” she says.

Lee’s next slide shows three columns of numbers from a Princeton University study that tried to measure how race and ethnicity affect admissions by using SAT scores as a benchmark. It uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. She points to the first column. African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.

She points to the second column. “Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”

The last column draws gasps. Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission. “Do Asians need higher test scores? Is it harder for Asians to get into college? The answer is yes,” Lee says.

Zenme keyi,” one mother hisses in Chinese. How can this be possible?

A good question. In a country ostensibly devoted to political equality, inequality is the order of the day from the Left, which seeks to bolster its favored “victim” groups at the expense of everybody else. (That anyone would willingly embrace “victim” status is another matter.) To their eternal disgrace, the courts — including the Supreme Court — have upheld the bogus issue of “diversity” as a factor in college admissions. And so we have a system that has satisfied nobody, penalizes some of the best intellectual talent in the country and hinders American competitiveness just… because.

The moral posturing of the unholy Left, which has no morals except situational morality, is bad enough, but the impact these wretched people have had on nearly everybody is sickening. On the proven theory that every single word out of the mouth of a Leftist is a lie, we have to ask ourselves: why are they doing this?

Certainly not to “help” blacks and Hispanics. If you view the basic “progressive” in his native habitat of Manhattan, West Los Angeles and rural New England, you will quickly notice that he has a positive phobia of blacks and Hispanics, lives as far away from them as possible, and is inclined to call the cops should he happen to encounter one in his neighborhood. Further, if there is any evidence that “diversity” (as the Left defines it, which is exclusively racially) has any intrinsic, positive good, I have yet to see it. For the Left, “diversity” is purely about racial nose-counting and spoils delivering, nothing more. Which is why, of course, they’re Democrats — scions of the Tammany Party.

Why do you hate me, Democrats?

Why do you hate me, Democrats?

So we are left with the only possible explanation; or, rather, two. Okay, three. One is that they are interested in the aggrandizement of power. Insofar  as that — disguised as the false virtue of “compassion” — can slake the rot at the center of their souls, they pursue it. The second is that they are simply malevolent, filled with a self-loathing (as well they should be) that can only be assuaged by the destruction of everything they profess to hold dear. The third is that they are simply, irremediably, evil.

College admission season ignites deep anxieties for Asian American families, who spend more than any other demographic on education. At elite universities across the U.S., Asian Americans form a larger share of the student body than they do of the population as a whole. And increasingly they have turned against affirmative action policies that could alter those ratios, and accuse admissions committees of discriminating against Asian American applicants.

That perspective has pitted them against advocates for diversity: More college berths for Asian American students mean fewer for black and Latino students, who are statistically underrepresented at top universities.

But in the San Gabriel Valley’s hyper-competitive ethnic Asian communities, arguments for diversity can sometimes fall on deaf ears. For immigrant parents raised in Asia’s all-or-nothing test cultures, a good education is not just a measure of success — it’s a matter of survival. They see academic achievement as a moral virtue, and families organize their lives around their child’s education, moving to the best school districts and paying for tutoring and tennis lessons. An acceptance letter from a prestigious college is often the only acceptable return on an investment that stretches over decades.

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Paris charlie hebdo

That’s what the Washington Post has just breathlessly reported:

Europe, a continent long known for the rarity of gun violence, is confronting twin challenges that give the issue sudden urgency: a growing population of radicalized young men determined to strike targets close to home, and a black market awash in high-powered weapons. The problem has been rendered vividly in recent weeks by a pair of deadly assaults that each paralyzed a European capital. In Paris and Copenhagen, the attacks were carried out by former small-time criminals turned violent extremists who obtained military-grade illicit weapons with apparent ease.

In contrast with the free-firing United States, Europe is generally seen as a haven from serious gun violence. Here in Denmark, handguns and semiautomatic rifles are all but banned. Hunting rifles are legally available only to those with squeaky-clean backgrounds who have passed a rigorous exam covering everything from gun safety to the mating habits of Denmark’s wildlife.

Hold it right there — “in contrast with the free-firing United States” tells you all you need to know about the biases of the two reporters bylined on this story. And don’t even get me started on the questionable statement that Europe is a “continent long known for the rarity of gun violence.” I suppose that’s true if by “long known” you mean “since the 1990s” and by “gun violence” you don’t count World Wars I and II. Or the 1960s in post-Algeria France. Or the left-wing terrorist cells in Germany and elsewhere of the 1980s.

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“You can find Kalashnikovs for sale near the train station in Brussels,” acknowledged a Brussels-based European Union official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. “They’re available even to very average criminals.”

In the case of the Paris attackers, they were able to obtain an entire arsenal: AK-47 assault rifles, pistols, a Skorpion submachine gun and even a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. All of it was purchased in Brussels for about $5,000, according to Belgian media reports.

The availability of such weapons in the heart of Western Europe isn’t new. The flood of high-powered weaponry began with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and continued through the 1990s as war raged across the Balkans. Many of the weapons from those periods are still circulating. They have lately been supplemented by an influx from the turmoil in North Africa, with weapons smuggled on ships across the Mediterranean.

The guns have been used primarily by criminal gangs that turn them on one another during periodic turf wars. But beginning with attacks in the French city of Toulouse in 2012 that left seven people dead, guns have also become the weapon of choice for Islamist terrorists in Europe.

This is simply ahistorical nonsense. Paris has long been a center of international arms dealing, some of it run right out of foreign embassies in the French capital. During the Cold War, Prague functioned in much the same way for the other side. The idea that Europe was ever a gun-free paradise is simply insane.

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Leaving No. 10 Downing St., headed to the White House?

Leaving No. 10 Downing St., headed to the White House?

And so it begins: in the pages of the Washington Post, this pathetic “hit piece” by David Fahrenthold on Scott Walker of Wisconsin — a “human interest” story that has only one purpose: to marginalize the governor and establish for the coastal Democrats that he is not one of “us,” just as the WaPo story about Romney and his dog did. The headline alone gives the game away: As Scott Walker mulls White House bid, questions linger over college exit.

We can’t have “questions lingering” about a man who might one day be president now, can we? So here we go with this thoroughly nasty piece of work that brings shame and disgrace on both its writer and the newspaper:

In 1990, that news stunned his friends at Marquette University. Walker, the campus’s suit-wearing, Reagan-loving politico — who enjoyed the place so much that he had run for student body president — had left without graduating.

To most of the Class of 1990 — and, later, to Wisconsin’s political establishment — Walker’s decision to quit college has been a lingering mystery. Not even his friends at Marquette were entirely sure why he never finished. Some had heard that a parent had fallen ill, or maybe there was some financial strain. Others thought he had simply had enough of school. Walker clearly liked college politics more than college itself…

Walker’s own explanation has been short and simple. He got a job. He meant to go back. But he just never found the time.

To the Kredentialed Klass, a college degree — preferably from an Ivy League school — is the sine qua non of life itself. Sure, a couple of very prominent media personalities lack one themselves, including the recently defenestrated Brian Williams; the current host of Meet the PressChuck Todd, didn’t graduate from college, either. But no matter: this is the presidency we’re talking about!

Today, Walker, 47, is the governor of Wisconsin and a strong contender for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination. He is known for an astounding political hot streak: Since 1993, he has run 11 races for state legislature, county executive and governor — including a highly unusual recall election in 2012 — and he has won them all.

But before that streak came a string of defeats — the campus election, his failure to finish college and his first campaign for state office.

A “string of defeats” that includes a college election? The man whaled the tar out of the Democrats and their union thugs three times in four years and Fahrenthold has to go back to Marquette? To further emphasize that this is an in-kind journalistic contribution to the Democrat Party, the Post dropped this little squib while its subject was out of the country and unable to respond:

Walker was not available to comment for this article, according to a spokeswoman for his new political committee, Our American Revival. He is visiting London this week, conducting a trade mission and bolstering his foreign policy credentials.

“Bolstering his foreign policy credentials” — the gall of the man.

Still, the dog-whistle hits just keep on coming.  Might Walker be a religious nut? Check!

The real story of Walker’s start in politics begins seven years earlier, when he left his home in tiny Delavan, Wis., where his father was a Baptist minister. In 1986, Walker arrived as a freshman at Marquette, a Catholic school in the heart of urban Milwaukee.

Was he politically ambitious? Check!

Walker was known for something else: his political ambitions. If you met him, they were as plain as the photo of him with Ronald Reagan on his dorm-room desk.

“He would comment that, you know, ‘I’m going to be president of the United States someday,’ ” said Patrick Tepe, a former dorm mate who is now a dentist.

Unlike, say, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. But, hey — they are Ivy Leaguers! They get to say things like that.

As a freshman, Walker was elected to the student senate. He plunged into the job, leading a hard-charging impeachment inquiry into charges of misspent money. But in his classes, some professors said they never saw the same level of focus on schoolwork. In introductory French, for instance, Walker routinely barged into the room after the lesson had begun, loudly making excuses.

“He would talk to me, you know, say, ‘I’m very sorry, I had very important business’ ” with the student government, instructor Marc Boutet recalled. “I’m like, ‘En francais ! En francais!’ ”

Boutet said the other students tired of the daily disruptions. They started preemptively stealing Walker’s favorite desk, so he had nowhere to sit when he arrived. “I think I gave him a D-minus,” Boutet said, adding that he saw Walker years later, and the two laughed about the class. French, Boutet said, “was not his thing.”

Unlike another Ivy Leaguer, John Forbes Kerry, to whom French is very much his quelque chose. But, it seems, Walker was such a terrible student he wasn’t even that interested in politics. Hypocrite!

Even in politics class, Walker could appear disengaged. “He seemed utterly bored,” said Michael Fleet, who taught him in a class on the politics of the Third World. Fleet said he’d hoped to get Walker into debates with the liberals in the room. But it didn’t work. Walker would only give occasional short speeches that made conservative arguments.

“It wasn’t always on key. It wasn’t always in response to anything,” Fleet said. “He wasn’t engaged. It was like he came in with a script.”

Campaigning, on the other hand, was something Walker seemed to enjoy. But he had trouble winning. As a freshman, for instance, he ran for a higher office in student government and was defeated by a write-in candidate.

The story goes on and on in this vein, recounting in gleeful detail how Walker was defeated as a sophomore in his quest for the student-government presidency, allowing Fahrenthold to sneak in this little religious-nut dig:

Walker lost, 1,245 to 927. His friends say he handled it with grace, telling them the loss just meant that God had another plan.

The piece concludes with Walker’s failure to finish at Marquette, and his subsequent electoral challenge to a black Democrat, Gwen Moore, making an issue of crime, which of course means that he hates black people:

“His campaign was one big dog whistle,” said Moore, who is now a member of Congress. She believed Walker’s anti-crime message was a way to speak to white voters’ fears of blacks without saying them aloud. “He had sort of insinuated sort of the worst stereotypes about black people [and] innate criminality.”

Walker lost that election too. But, as the story notes, “that was the last time Scott Walker lost an election.”

If that’s the best the Democrat-Media Complex has got, Walker will demolish them. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer group of Kredentialists. After eight years of Barry and the Choom Gang, Ivy Leaguers to a man and a woman, how could we do any worse?



One of the men who gave us Obamacare

One of the men who gave us Obamacare

And now we can see it for what it really is: a vicious assault on free enterprise, a whopping tax increase on the middle class, a new way to get the Internal Revenue Service involved in the most personal aspects of our lives, the addition of another layer of complexity to the citizens’ interactions with the federal government and, most of all, a way to break the public’s will to resist further intrusions by the Leftist fascist state of Obama’s dreams. All masquerading under the guise of “health care.” It is the greatest scam in American history, and every single Democrat who voted for this fundamentally un-American monstrosity should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail, beginning with former Speaker Maerose Prizzi and Sen. Pat Geary. 

Now the house organ of the Obama administration, the New York Times, is belatedly discovering that, hey, just because you might be forcibly “insured”under the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act, that doesn’t mean you’re actually “covered” in any meaningful sense, thanks to the zillion pages of bureaucratic regulations that attend the ACA. Suckers!

When Karen Pineman of Manhattan received notice that her longtime health insurance policy didn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, she gamely set about shopping for a new policy through the public marketplace. After all, she’d supported President Obama and the act as a matter of principle.

Ms. Pineman, who is self-employed, accepted that she’d have to pay higher premiums for a plan with a narrower provider network and no out-of-network coverage. She accepted that she’d have to pay out of pocket to see her primary care physician, who didn’t participate. She even accepted having co-pays of nearly $1,800 to have a cast put on her ankle in an emergency room after she broke it while playing tennis.

But her frustration bubbled over when she tried to arrange a follow-up visit with an orthopedist in her Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield network: The nearest doctor available who treated ankle problems was in Stamford, Conn. When she called to protest, her insurer said that Stamford was 14 miles from her home and 15 was considered a reasonable travel distance. “It was ridiculous — didn’t they notice it was in another state?” said Ms. Pineman, 46, who was on crutches.

She instead paid $350 to see a nearby orthopedist and bought a boot on Amazon as he suggested. She has since forked over hundreds of dollars more for a physical therapist that insurance didn’t cover, even though that provider was in-network.

In other words, as a “matter of principle,” this woman accepted much worse and more expensive insurance for… what, exactly? And now she’s getting exactly what she voted for and she doesn’t like it. This is what happens when ideology trumps common sense, and when misplaced racial guilt overwhelms the body politic’s natural defense mechanism against mountebanks and con artists. And all for a bright, shining lie — the Big Lie of Obamacare.

In fact, everything about the Obama-Axelrod administration is a lie, including (as Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman) the words “and” and “the.” But they don’t care. Take this example from Jake Lingle‘s new memoir, a passage from which is recounted in Time magazine:

Barack Obama misled Americans for his own political benefit when he claimed in the 2008 election to oppose same sex marriage for religious reasons, his former political strategist David Axelrod writes in a new book, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. “I’m just not very good at bullshitting,” Obama told Axelrod, after an event where he stated his opposition to same-sex marriage, according to the book.

Axelrod writes that he knew Obama was in favor of same-sex marriages during the first presidential campaign, even as Obama publicly said he only supported civil unions, not full marriages. Axelrod also admits to counseling Obama to conceal that position for political reasons. “Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union,’ ” Axelrod writes.

The insider’s account provides the clearest look yet at Obama’s long-established flip-flop, one of the blemishes on his record as a progressive. The admission of Obama’s embrace of deception also calls into question the President’s stated embrace of a new kind of politics in 2008, when he promised to be unlike other politicians who change their views to match the political winds. “Having prided himself on forthrightness, though, Obama never felt comfortable with his compromise and, no doubt, compromised position,” Axelrod writes. “He routinely stumbled over the question when it came up in debates or interviews.”

“Blemish on his record as a progressive”? All progressives ever do is lie, and this one will lie about anything and everything; indeed, he lies reflexively, even when he doesn’t have to. Every sentient being in America knew the fey candidate from Chicago was in favor of gay marriage (why wouldn’t he be?) and yet the media — led by former journalist Axelrod, playing both sides of the street, as always — pretended not to notice. Until the moment when Obama finally came out of the closet, policy-wise, and then the media cheered his “evolution.” What a crock.

Back to Elisabeth Rosenthal’s story in the Times and its belated realization of what a monster Obamacare is:

The Affordable Care Act has ushered in an era of complex new health insurance products featuring legions of out-of-pocket coinsurance fees, high deductibles and narrow provider networks. Though commercial insurers had already begun to shift toward such policies, the health care law gave them added legitimacy and has vastly accelerated the trend, experts say.

The theory behind the policies is that patients should bear more financial risk so they will be more conscious and cautious about health care spending. But some experts say the new policies have also left many Americans scrambling to track expenses from a multitude of sources — such as separate deductibles for network and non-network care, or payments for drugs on an insurer’s ever-changing list of drugs that require high co-pays or are not covered at all.

For some, like Ms. Pineman, narrow networks can necessitate footing bills privately. For others, the constant changes in policy guidelines — annual shifts in what’s covered and what’s not, monthly shifts in which doctors are in and out of network — can produce surprise bills for services they assumed would be covered. For still others, the new fees are so confusing and unsupportable that they just avoid seeing doctors.

One of the men Obamacare gave us

One of the men Obamacare gave us

Wait — what? “They just avoid seeing doctors”? I thought that the whole point — the whole selling point, at least — was to increase access to doctors, especially for the poor. Ha ha ha ha ha!

It is true that the Affordable Care Act has erased some of the more egregious practices of the American health insurance system that left patients bankrupt or losing homes to pay bills. Insurers can no longer deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, for example. And the new policies cap out-of-pocket spending so long as the patient receives care within the plan. Most important, the act has offered health insurance to an estimated 10 million Americans who did not have any, often by expanding Medicaid or providing subsidies.

But by endorsing and expanding the complex new policies promoted by the health care industry, the law may in some ways be undermining its signature promise: health care that is accessible and affordable for all.

In fact, as the painful part of the ACA now rolls out, it’s becoming clear that the whole enterprise was a bait-and-switch from the jump — a way to actually increase health-care costs by (as the ineffable Jonathan Gruber famously said) relying on the stupidity of the American public, many of whom to this day are under the impression that Obamacare = free doctor visits.

“I’m always curious when I read this ‘good news’ that health costs are moderating, because my health care costs go up significantly each year, and I think that’s a common experience,” said Mark Rukavina, president of Community Health Advisors in Massachusetts.

While much of the focus in the past has been on keeping premiums manageable, “premiums now tell only a part of the story,” Mr. Rukavina said, adding: “A big part of the way they’ve kept premiums down is to shift costs to patients in the form of co-pays and deductibles and other types of out-of-pocket expenses. And that can leave patients very vulnerable.”

Such policies desperately need improvement, patients and professionals like Mr. Rukavina say. But with the Republicans attacking the Affordable Care Act at all turns, even political supporters seem reluctant to acknowledge that it has some flaws. The narrative has been cast in black or white: It’s working, or it’s a failure. The reality, of course, is gray.

In one sense, it is working: it’s separating middle-class Americans — the kulaks of their day, whom Obama despises — from even more of their money, giving them little or nothing in return, exposing them to financial and criminal penalties, and winning the votes of the indigent, the stupid, and people like Ms. Pineman. But the screaming skull beneath the skin of the most malevolent act of Congress in American history can no longer be rouged and powdered away:

A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that 46 percent of Americans said they had trouble affording health care, up 10 percentage points in just one year. Some of the cost problems may ease as patients — now known as health care consumers — learn what to expect and how to choose and navigate their plans.

But other problems may be related to the process by which the plans are created. Under the Affordable Care Act each state was asked to select a benchmark plan as its standard. It had to cover certain “essential health benefits” like maternity care and prescription drugs; it had to have a defined actuarial value depending on the level of plan. Silver plans, for example, had to cover 70 percent of charges, leaving consumers with 30 percent. But within those parameters, competing insurers had leeway to set premiums, co-payments and deductibles, and to create networks by negotiating with doctors and hospitals. Naturally, they created policies that met the core criteria while minimizing their financial risk.

Suddenly there were hundreds of new insurance products that had never been tested in real time. Their shortcomings are now playing out in various ways.

“Never been tested in real time.” This is what you get when you elect a man of no accomplishment but a high level of self-esteem and a great deal of animosity to the country as founded to the highest office in the land: a maleficent dissimulator who could not care less what happens to folks like Karen Pineman as long as she keeps voting for him and men like him. Which, of course, she will.











It starts with the headline, which may at first seem innocuous until you think about it for a moment: “Outrage follows Denver police shooting of Latina in stolen car.” We’ll get to the story, which was published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 4, in a moment, but let’s unpack that hed, which is just loaded with loaded words.

The word, “Outrage,” suggests a widespread, mass reaction to some sort of enormity. “Police shooting” immediately evokes Ferguson, Staten Island and any other place in which there has been a recent confrontation between a “minority” and the cops. And how do we know that the victim was a minority? The very next word: “Latina,” a politically correct identification of a designated victim group who’s just come out on the wrong end of a police shooting.

Finally, this bit of additional information: “stolen car.” Now, you might think at first this hurts the “Narrative,” the consistent socially and culturally Marxist tale the media tells about modern American society. Maybe, you think, the “Latina” was just innocently joyriding around in a car her boyfriend boosted — but as it turns out, she was driving the car. So here’s the underlying media moral: even though the “Latina” may have been a criminal, she didn’t deserve to die for grand theft auto or joyriding; in the “Narrative,” no minority ever deserves to suffer any serious consequence for the commission of a crime because (in the media’s mind) that’s just what minorities do.

In short, we haven’t even started reading the story, and already we know the dramatis personae (good girl Latina, bad guy killer cops). Now it’s just a matter of letting the players do their thing, complete with weeping chorus of relatives, onlookers and ministers in the background:

A row of burning candles and makeshift crosses sits in a bleak alleyway here, marking the spot where 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez’s joyride in a stolen car came to a violent end.

Mimi Madrid Puga, 26 and a youth organizer, gazed at the memorial. “I was Jessie 10 years ago,” she finally said. “I took cars. It’s a rite of passage for many teens, but it shouldn’t carry the death penalty.”

And, bingo — right out of the box we have the character of the Sympathetic Ethnic Bystander, articulating the theme of this tragic playlet. Everybody steals cars, but “it shouldn’t carry the death penalty.” It’s just a rite of passage, like getting that first summer job or making out in the movie show.

Last week, Hernandez and four other teenage girls were cruising Denver’s middle-class Park Hill neighborhood in someone else’s Honda when they were spotted by police.

You know how that happens: you stagger out of the house one morning, hop into a car that looks very much like yours — or not! — and off you go. It’s not until you’re being “spotted by police” that you say to yourself, “this is not my beautiful car!”

The officers said that they ordered the girls out of the car, but that instead Hernandez tried to run them down, so they opened fire. But some of her passengers say the car careened toward police after Hernandez was shot and lost control of it. One officer reported an injured leg, though how it happened is unknown.

Witnesses said she was dragged from the car, apparently unconscious, and handcuffed before she died.

As we learned from Ferguson, eyewitnesses never lie about the interactions between a member of the “community” and the police. Everybody’s on the same page, justice-wise, and only want to serve the truth. Not to mention the inconvenient fact that all of her witnesses were also riding in the stolen car.

And with that setup, away we go:

The incident has sparked angry protests in Denver echoing those held over controversial police killings in Cleveland, New York, Albuquerque and Ferguson, Mo.

“It is extremely troubling that those empowered and permitted to carry guns whose primary charge is to serve and protect are continually involved in the taking of the lives of so many minority children who themselves are not armed,” said the Rev. Patrick Demmer of the Greater Denver Ministerial Alliance.

Ah — an “alliance” has appeared. An “alliance” that, most likely, you never previously have heard of until this moment. And not just any old alliance, but an alliance of “ministers” — holy men (and, probably, women). An “alliance” against — wait for it — killer cops who are “continually” killing unarmed minority children. Would it be better, one wonders, if the minority “children” were themselves armed, the better to give them a sporting chance against the wanton, killer — and at least honorarily — white cops?

Another 17-year-girl was shot dead last week after pulling a knife in a Texas police station. That incident was captured on video.

Always a mistake to bring a knife to a gunfight: “another” incident — in Texas — that has absolutely nothing to do with what happened in Denver…

Denver Police Chief Robert White has vowed to carry out a fair and transparent investigation into Hernandez’s death, but her parents are demanding a federal inquiry.

Because every local police incident, unless it’s between and among white people, demands a federal inquiry. This is how our constitutional republic of limited federal government works. And that quote from Chief White, by the way, is the first you have heard of the famous Other Side — already in full cringe mode. Now back to the Narrative:

“We are dismayed that the Denver Police Department has already defended the actions of the officers and blamed our daughter for her own death, even while admitting they have very little information,” said Jose Hernandez and Laura Sonia Rosales in a statement Friday. “In recent months, police killings have torn apart communities across this nation, and the unjustified shooting of our daughter is only the latest sign of an issue that requires federal oversight.”

Some Southern Poverty Law Center-type lawyer must have written that one. Checks all the boxes: decry “blaming the victim,” reference other “police killings,” and cite the “latest sign” in what’s obviously an ongoing, nationwide police plot to murder gentle giants and joyriding Latinas in boosted Hondas everywhere.

The incident marks the fourth time in seven months that Denver police have fired on moving vehicles they say were being used as deadly weapons. Two of those shootings resulted in the drivers’ deaths.

There’s obviously something going on here — not with the criminals of Denver, but with the cops…

“There are unfortunately too many civilians being shot too frequently in Denver and the rest of the country as well,” said Mark Silverstein, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado. “The emerging trend in law enforcement is that if a moving vehicle is coming toward you, don’t shoot — get out of the way.”

That “civilians” is a nice touch, reinforcing the martial notion that the police are at war with the “community.” Plus the ACLU. Do we get another cringe? Of course we do:

Chief White says he is reassessing the department’s policy. ”There is already a high threshold” for firing at moving vehicles, said Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson. “You have to believe your life is in danger.”

Meanwhile, many law enforcement experts say shooting at speeding cars is risky and often ineffective.

“Most progressive police departments in this country and around the world prohibit it, with the very small caveat of saying you can do it if you are trapped,” said Geoffrey Alpert, professor of criminal justice and an expert in police use of force at the University of South Carolina. “Shoot the driver and you have an unguided missile.”

Did Denver move to South Carolina? I don’t think so. But, since we’re writing for a Los Angeles audience, it’s time to throw in a reference to the Industry just for the hell of it:

The physics of accurately hitting a target in a fast-moving vehicle with its hardened rubber, metal and curved glass surfaces make it even more challenging.

“Shooting at vehicles in practice is nothing like you see on television or at the movies,” said Vincent Henry, a former New York City cop and director of the Homeland Security Institute at Long Island University. “Firing a perfect shot with perfect placement is usually not going to happen.”

News flash: firing a perfect shot with perfect placement is usually not going to happen even on the firing range with a stationary paper target, especially when if the shooter is as poor a shot as most beat cops.

In this case, however, Denver officers hit their target, killing the unarmed teenager and sparking widespread outrage.

Now comes the part that, were this the New York Times, would have been in the lede:

The slight, gangly Hernandez was the eldest of six children in the family, which lives in suburban Thornton. She wrote poetry, attended high school and was openly gay. Her parents called her a “beautiful girl who brought love and joy to her family and friends.”

In the Leftist mindset, a multiple winner for the Denver cops: they got to kill an unarmed kid, a Hispanic girl, and a lesbian. Still, there’s a tiny little “but” coming:

But this wasn’t her first run-in with the law. The Associated Press reported that she was cited Jan. 1 for eluding an officer and resisting arrest after being stopped traveling 80 mph in a 55-mph zone.

That’s it. No details about the the Honda, how or why it was taken, who the other passengers were, and, most important, a description of the alleged rundown attempt.

Her supporters worry that she is being vilified unfairly.

“I would say stealing cars is pretty common, but when it’s someone of color the narrative is that they are a criminal,” said Angell Perez, executive director of the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program in Denver. “If a suburban kid gets caught, they are put in a diversion program. Jessie was gunned down. That shows just how disposable young people of color are.”

I would say stealing cars could be fairly described as criminal, without regard to the skin color of the car thief.

We end where we began, with the “youth organizer”:

Back in the alley, Mimi Madrid Puga looked at a small sign that read, “We are sorry for your daughter — God bless you!!”

“In many ways, Jessie was typical. The intricacies of her life don’t matter,” she said. “What matters are young lives. Period.”

Not society. Not the law. Not somebody’s else’s property. Not civilization. Young lives. Period.

And that’s how media bias works. First, find a story that has all the components of the current meme-du-jour. Then link it other stories in which the only similarity has to do with the ethnicity of the victims, and thus further the notion of a trend. Finally, cast the tale as emotionally heart-wrenching as possible, the better to drive home the Marxist  world view of race and class.

None of the foregoing is meant to diminish the pain of the loss of a child. We will never know whether Jessie Hernandez might have gotten her life together and gone on and made something of herself. It’s a tragic story that has played out on the streets of America thousands of times over the past century, regardless of the skin colors of both perp and cop. (Yes, this used to happen to white kids as well.) In our race-obsessed media-driven society, that history lesson seems to have been forgotten:

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As Rocky Sullivan learns the hard way in Angels with Dirty Faces, sometimes it’s not the cops. Sometimes, it’s you.









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Remember this? Who doesn’t? With one out-of-left-field question, the former Clinton hack masquerading as a newsman, George Stephanopoulos, altered the course of the 2012 election, and the “war on women” was well and truly underway.

These people are so predictable. And yet, the GOP, led by its krack kadres of kampaign konsultants (what do these guys do to earn their money, anyway?), is constantly surprised. Let’s check in with the New York Times, the house organ of Upper West Wide liberalism:

The politics of medicine, morality and free will have collided in an emotional debate over vaccines and the government’s place in requiring them, posing a challenge for Republicans who find themselves in the familiar but uncomfortable position of reconciling modern science with the skepticism of their core conservative voters.

As the latest measles outbreak raises alarm, and parents who have decided not to vaccinate their children face growing pressure to do so, the national debate is forcing the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential hopefuls to confront questions about whether it is in the public’s interest to allow parents to decide for themselves.

And there you have it: it really is that simple. The New York Times and other Leftist media outlets have now put the vaccination “controversy” on the table for the Democrats to use as a weapon against various potential Republican presidential candidates.

Gov. Chris Christie’s trade mission to London was suddenly overshadowed on Monday after he was quoted as saying that parents “need to have some measure of choice” about vaccinating their children against measles. The New Jersey governor, who is trying to establish his credibility among conservatives as he weighs a run for the Republican nomination in 2016, later tried to temper his response. His office released a statement clarifying that “with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated.”

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a physician, was less equivocal, telling the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Monday that parents should absolutely have a say in whether to vaccinate their children for measles. “While I think it’s a good idea to take the vaccine, I think that’s a personal decision for individuals,” he said, recalling his irritation at doctors who tried to press him to vaccinate his own children. He eventually did, he said, but spaced out the vaccinations over a period of time.

Crazy talk, right? Let’s hear what another prominent politician, Barack Hussein Obama, had to say about it back in the day:

In 2008, as a senator and presidential candidate, Obama discussed the possible link between vaccines and autism. “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate,” Obama said in April 2008 at a rally in Pennsylvania. “Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included.”

(Shortly after the comments, Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor supplied a video showing that Obama had pointed to a member of the audience when he said “this person included.”)

Obama continued, “The science is right now inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

Yeah, well that was then and this is now. The Times continues battlespace prep for its Democrat overlords, throwing in evolution and “global warming” into the mix just for the hell of it:

The vaccination controversy is a twist on an old problem for the Republican Party: how to approach matters that have largely been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by conservatives. It is a dance Republican candidates often do when they hedge their answers about whether evolution should be taught in schools. It is what makes the fight over global warming such a liability for their party, and what led last year to a widely criticized response to the Ebola scare.

Former nude model turned anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy

Former nude model turned anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy

To cover itself, only late in the story does the paper admit that vaccination crazies exist on both sides of the political divide and in fact may even predominate on the morally relativistic Left:

The debate does not break entirely along right-left lines. The movement to forgo vaccinations has been popular in more liberal and affluent communities where some parents are worried that vaccines cause autism or other disorders among children.

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, also a possible 2016 candidate, was asked on Sunday about vaccinations on the ABC News program “This Week,” and insisted that the science was clear and convincing. “Study after study has shown that there are no negative long-term consequences,” he said. “And the more kids who are not vaccinated, the more they’re at risk and the more they put their neighbors’ kids at risk as well.”

Let’s be clear: vaccinations should be mandatory; this is not a “lifestyle choice” issue; if you think it is, please read Roald Dahl’s heartbreaking account of his daughter Olivia’s death from measles in 1962.

Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.

“Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.

“I feel all sleepy,” she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

Nutbag politicians who endorse or give comfort to the anti-vaccination side — Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann — should be shunned and shunted aside. (Bachmann ended her career with her disgraceful squabble with Rick Perry over Gardasil during the 2012 debates.) Meanwhile, Chris Christie, who put his foot in his mouth over the issue as well, has been attacked by the Times on an entirely different front.

The governor, a Republican now preparing a run for president, shot to national prominence as a cheese-steak-on-the-boardwalk Everyman who bluntly preached transparency and austerity as the antidote to bloated state budgets. But throughout his career in public service, Mr. Christie has indulged a taste that runs more toward Champagne at the Four Seasons.

He has also quietly let others pay the bills.

That tendency — the governor himself says he wants to “squeeze all the juice out of the orange” — has put him in ethically questionable situations, taking benefits from those who stand to benefit from him.

This early on, the GOP simply cannot afford to allow the media to tar it with the brush of yahooism and “hypocrisy,” which of course plays right into the Narrative. But it probably will; we don’t call the Republicans the Stupid Party for nothing. As the Romney candidacy showed, the GOP is only too happy to nominate a pinata for president.

Meanwhile, on the Evil Party side of things, remember this: they never stop, they never sleep, they never quit. And they have people on the payrolls of major newspapers all over the country to prove it.