Why Won’t The GOP Let Us Have a Normal Debate? Why!?

Obama greets Harkin the day after healthcare b...

Obama greets Harkin the day after healthcare bill passed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Jonah Goldberg has an article up at National Review Online. In it he makes the point that many, many establishment Republican are carrying water for the lying methods used by the Democratic party (exclusively) to foist this abortion of a health care bill on us. Enjoy

 

Greg Sargent thinks it’s unseemly and ill-mannered for Republicans to focus on the fact that a great many people are losing their health insurance because of Obamacare. He does make a few very reluctant concessions. For instance:

Critics of the law are right to ask whether it is having an adverse impact on these millions of Americans. And the White House could have been clearer in laying the groundwork for this political argument: It wasn’t sufficient to say people who like their plans will be able to keep it, which is narrowly untrue.

 

And this:

 

Well, let’s see if we can lift the veil of mystery. For starters, Obama’s statements were not  ”narrowly untrue.”  They were broadly, knowingly and entirely untrue. He repeated them over and over again, often straight into the camera. It’s nice that Greg Sargent concedes now that the president “could have been clearer.” But “could have been clearer” implies that he was a little clear about how this would work and just didn’t clarify enough. The truth is the complete opposite. He wasn’t even deliberately unclear. He was clearly dishonest. Obama was stridently deceitful. Seriously, watch this video compilation of Obama’s repeated and vociferous statements about “keeping your plan” and tell me he was just failing to be sufficiently clear that millions of people wouldn’t be able to keep their plans:

This raises a larger problem about the wonkosphere. Ross Douthat is right when he tweets:

“Furor over ‘if you like your plan …’ is a reminder to everyone in Wonkland (where everyone knew it was BS) that most ppl don’t live here.”

I agree that everyone in wonkland knew it was BS. But what does it say about the liberal wonks that they either never said so when the legislation was being debated or said so very quietly under their breaths. I’m genuinely curious, did Sargent or his colleagues at the Washington Post report that what Obama was saying — never mind the impression he was leaving — was a lie, or even “narrowly untrue”? I mean did they report it when it might have hurt the law’s chances of passage, not afterwards when all lies are retroactively absolved as the price for social progress. 

Indeed, what is so infuriating to many of us is that is that now that it’s the law of the land, Obamacare supporters act as if all of the lies were no big deal and no serious person believed them anyway. But as anyone can tell you, if Obama had been honest about the trade-offs in his signature piece of legislation, it would never have become his signature piece of legislation. So please, don’t tell me the lies don’t matter.

Indeed, this might help unravel the mystery for Sargent. Republicans (or at least a great, great many of them) know that this law glided to passage with tracks greased with b.s.[...]

And now, when the Democrats’ lies are proving politically inconvenient, we’re told that if Republicans were smart, they’d accept the law and engage in a sober conversation about the very real trade-offs in the law liberals lied about for years. 

I’m not arguing that the GOP shouldn’t capitulate to the law simply out of spite (though spite is underrated in this circumstance if you ask me). [...]

 

Quite a lot more at Why Won’t The GOP Let Us Have a Normal Debate? Why!? | National Review Online. Go there

 

 

Karma: The Syrian Edition

From: the Daily Mail

Well, representative government strikes again.

The United States, no, of course not, the United Kingdom

You see, “call me Dave” Cameron’s government forced him to take the Syrian intervention to Parliament. This in the country where Barack Obama has or is doing the following:

  1. Siding with Argentina over the Falkland Islands
    This has remained the top insult for four years running. For sheer offensiveness it’s hard to beat the Obama administration’s brazen support for Argentina’s call for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, despite the fact that 255 British servicemen laid down their lives to restore British rule over the Islands after they were brutally invaded in 1982.
  2. Snubbing the funeral of Lady Thatcher
    Incredibly, the Obama presidency declined to send a single serving official from Washington to attend the Iron Lady’s funeral in St. Paul’s Cathedral in April. While the United States was represented by former Secretaries of State George Schultz and James A. Baker III, the only American official present was Barbara Stephenson, charges d’affaires and acting ambassador at the US Embassy in London.
  3. Holding up a Senate Resolution honouring Lady Thatcher
    Disgracefully, Senate Democrats – key Congressional allies of President Obama, representing his own party – held up a Senate resolution honouring the life and legacy of Margaret Thatcher for several days, before it was finally passed unanimously the day before her funeral.
  4. Lecturing Britain against leaving the EU
    The Obama administration has attempted to intervene on several occasions over the past few months on the issue of British membership of the European Union. In an interview with Adam Boulton on Sky News, outgoing US Ambassador to London, Louis Susman, made it clear that Washington is firmly opposed to Britain leaving the EU
  5. Throwing Churchill out of the Oval Office
    It is hard to think of a more derogatory message to send to the British people within days of taking office than to fling a bust of Winston Churchill out of the Oval Office and send it packing back to the British Embassy – not least as it was a loaned gift from Britain to the United States as a powerful display of solidarity in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
  6. Placing a “boot on the throat” of BP
    The Obama administration’s relentless campaign against Britain’s largest company in the wake of the Gulf oil spill was one of the most damaging episodes in US-UK relations in recent years, with 64 percent of Britons agreeing at the time that the president’s handling of the issue had harmed the partnership between the two countries according to a YouGov poll. The White House’s aggressive trashing of BP, including a threat to put a “boot on the throat” of the oil giant, helped wipe tens of billions of pounds from its share value, directly impacting the pensions of millions of Britons.
  7. Using a State Dinner for the British Prime Minister as a campaign event
    In March 2012, the White House used an official state dinner for David Cameron to reward over 40 top Obama re-election campaign financiers with coveted seats at the taxpayer-funded banquet.
  8. DVDs for the Prime Minister
    This insult has featured in all four editions, not least because it remains a powerful example of breathtaking diplomatic ineptitude that would have shamed the protocol office of an impoverished Third World country. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was treated extremely shabbily when he visited the White House in March 2009, and was sent home with an assortment of 25 DVDs ranging from Toy Story to The Wizard of Oz – which couldn’t even be played in the UK
  9. Insulting words from the State Department
    The mocking views of a senior State Department official following Gordon Brown’s embarrassing reception at the White House in March 2009 says it all:
    There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.
  10. Calling France America’s strongest ally
    In January 2011, President Obama held a joint press conference at the White House with his French counterpart, gushing with praise for Washington’s new-found Gallic friends, declaring: “We don’t have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people.” *

So, what happened? He lost 285 votes to 272.

As Paul Revere might say, The Redcoats are NOT coming.”

The thing is, for all that the British Parliament is often an undisciplined zoo during debate, especially as compared with the sedate US House of Representatives, voting is a very disciplined activity, voting against your party can often abruptly end your career.

But in this case an entire string of Tory members spoke against the operation.

From: The Daily Mail

The Archbishop of Canterbury said this:

************************

And apparently the administration has lied about the intelligence as well From the Daily Caller via Atlas Shrugs**

The Obama administration has selectively used intelligence to justify military strikes on Syria, former military officers with access to the original intelligence reports say, in a manner that goes far beyond what critics charged the Bush administration of doing in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.The doctored report was leaked to a private Internet-based newsletter that boasts of close ties to the Israeli intelligence community, and led to news reports that the United States now had firm evidence showing that the Syrian government had ordered the chemical weapons attack on August 21 against a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus.

The doctored report was picked up on Israel’s Channel 2 TV  on Aug. 24, then by Focus magazine in Germany, the Times of Israel, and eventually by The Cable  in Washington, DC.

According to the doctored report, the chemical attack was carried out by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, the president’s brother.

However, the original communication intercepted by Unit 8200 between a major in command of the rocket troops assigned to the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division, and the general staff, shows just the opposite.

The general staff officer asked the major if he was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. From the tone of the conversation, it was clear that “the Syrian general staff were out of their minds with panic that an unauthorized strike had been launched by the 155th Brigade in express defiance of their instructions,” the former officers say.

According to the transcript of the original Unit 8200 report, the major “hotly denied firing any of his missiles” and invited the general staff to come and verify that all his weapons were present.

Read the rest

This has happened in the United Kingdom at least once before

From: The Daily Mail

 

The interesting part here is that Cameron submitted his plan to parliament and will abide by the result. In the British system whether that is required is problematical. Under the American constitution it is required beyond doubt. From Ilya Somin

The answer is that in founding-era terminology war could be “declared” either by formal announcement or by military action initiating hostilities. John Locke’s classic Two Treatises of Government from the late 17th century referred to “declar[ing] by word or action.” Blackstone and Vattel, two of the 18th century legal writers most influential in America, also used “declare” in this way…***

And:

[...]

The British government seems to understand that it is a bad idea to enter a war without a broad political consensus behind the decision. His actions are in sharp contrast to the Obama administration’s unwillingness to seek congressional authorization for its war in Libya or for a possible US military intervention in Syria. This, despite the fact that the need for legislative authorization under Britain’s unwritten constitution is probably less clear than it is under Article I of the US Constitution, which gives Congress the exclusive authority to declare war. ****

 

There is a fair amount of hand wringing going on in Britain about the state of the alliance, personally I suspect they have just strengthened it. I believe America is smart enough to realize that we want allies that are wise enough to think about things even when we are not. And perhaps even offer us an example of how a free people govern themselves. As for the alliance, I think Churchill covered that long ago.

It is not given to us to peer into the mysteries of the future. Still, I avow my hope and faith, sure and inviolate, that in the days to come the British and American peoples will for their own safety and for the good of all walk together side by side

in majesty, in justice, and in peace.

 

*Nile Gardiner in the Daily Telegraph.

** THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT GOT IT RIGHT

*** Originalism and the Constitutionality of Military Intervention in Syria

**** British Parliament Votes Against Military Intervention in Syria

 

Some congratulations | All Along the Watchtower

Cropped screenshot of Gary Cooper from the tra...

Cropped screenshot of Gary Cooper from the trailer for the film High Noon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jess was kind enough on the Fourth to wish us Rebels a happy birthday. I’ve found in chatting with her that her daddy got to know us a bit back in that little fracas back in the forties, and I think, she thinks we’re pretty decent folk. And I’ll have to admit that I think the Brits are just all right as well. But she seems to have this funny feeling that we still believe (like she does) in honor, and I like to think she’s right.

She also thinks that our movies did a good job of portraying, if not our history, our ethical universe, maybe.

Here is what she said about us:

[...]

Then of course, it being 4th July, there is the matter of wishing all my many American readers a happy Independence day (and to note that I am sure many of you will be celebrating it when the current incumbent of the White House departs). We hear much criticism of America, quite a bit of it, it seems, from the President himself, but for so many of us it remains that rarest of things – a country which embodies an ideal – a shining city of a hill. If we all feel disappointed when America fails to live up to its ideals, that’s because unlike most countries, we think the USA should do so, indeed, perhaps naively, we expect it to.

Without it, who knows whether Europe would be free now? Without it, could the USSR have been defeated?  If it was not there, what state would Christianity be in? It contributes so much to the intellectual and cultural life of the world; some of that is bad, much more is good.  It remains a country where men and women expect to be able to make their way without too much reliance on the State, and the attempts by the latter to take a bigger role, are met with far more resistance there than anywhere else on earth. Freedom is more than a word to the American.

I was brought up to admire America, and I still, if pushed, think of America as a kind of cross between John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper (so you can see the films I was brought up on). So, on its anniversary – HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA – and my prayers for the great Republic, and thanks that it is there.

God Bless America!

Some congratulations | All Along the Watchtower.

Most of you know that on Saturday, I tend to post, shall we say, less heavy articles, and this is no exception. It’s also my way to say to Jess, and to the rest of our friends around the world, that yes, we really do, many of us believe in our old standards, and we are very pleased to be held to them. Without our friends, we would be a much poorer people because we really are the whole world, all mixed up together.

And a bit of Gary Cooper, to remind us all, of who we are, or at least aspire to be.

And a reminder that nothing in this movie says that a Englishman (or woman) can’t be every bit as much of a Virginian.

[And just for fun, I'll sign this the way some of the first readers of this blog still refer to me]

Thanks, Jess,

Nebraska

 

Save the Small Businessman, Save America | Ooobie on Everything

English: Judge Learned Hand, circa 1910. Franç...

English: Judge Learned Hand, circa 1910. Français : Le judge Learned Hand, vers 1910. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Oobie hit (still another) home run the other day, this time on the role of the small businessman. So often, we think business is the big cronies like GE and GM and such. It’s not, it’s Joe’s Laundry, and Jill’s Crafts, and all those things up and down main street. If we lose those and even some of the bigger chains,we’re pretty much done, we might as well start doing what we’re told. And remember Judge Learned Hand said long ago (I’m paraphrasing a bit) “Only a fool gives to the government more than he has to” But any more, the government is trying to make fools of us all. Don’t let ‘em.

 

I was reading the blogs today and saw an article at Rasmussen Reports about how consumers are finding ways to comply with the law without buying into the state-mandated healthcare business of Obamacare. Here is what Scott Rasmussen wrote:

Earlier, The New York Times had reported that there was another way around the mandates: “Companies can avoid many standards in the new law by insuring their own employees.” Government regulators are busily trying to stop companies from taking that option.

I’m counting to ten, because it isn’t good to let your blood pressure skyrocket. I’m trying to process the fact that the United States Government, which can survive only off the sweat of our brows, is busy trying to keep small businesses from evading the onerous requirements of the monster called Obamacare to stay in business. I’d bet a key player in the counterattack against small business is that den of political chicanery, the IRS.

This is collectivization in the modern age. The Red Brigades are no longer confiscating one-acre plots from the hard-working and ambitious kulaks and then putting a bullet through their heads. Today Behemoth is destroying a different pillar of a free society, the small businessman. They are intent on driving out the stubbornly independent class of entrepreneurs who know how to organize and can impede the will of the State to protect their interests. They have money to contribute to promote their interests. These perceived foes are a big red target for the State’s oppressive mechanism run out of the White House that we have been learning about in the latest spate of Obama scandals. The man or woman who still has roots in a community and has a clear idea of where this government is trying to take us and resists going there is intolerable to a State intent on assuming effective totalitarian control — from the flow and content of information to the use of State funds to reward compliance to the use of State agencies to oppress the public. Lois Lerner is the cold, nasty face of this servile bureaucracy that answers not to the people of America, but to its criminal and corrupt leaders at the highest level. [...]

So here we are, under the yoke of a false government run on principles that are profoundly alien to America. The left is assaulting on every front, from cultural to legal to political, and we have to fight back. If we can’t get ourselves organized into a major movement of renewal, soon we won’t even be able to fight back. We’ll be wrapped up tight in red tape and publicly-promulgated disapproval. We really will be in effective exile in our own land.

 

Continue reading Save the Small Businessman, Save America | Ooobie on Everything.

 

 

The Parke-Custis Mansion

Do you recognize this house?

The mansion was built on the orders of George Washington Parke Custis, a step-grandson and “adopted” son of George Washington and only grandson of Martha Washington. Custis was a prominent resident of what was then known as Alexandria County, at the time a part of the District of Columbia. George Hadfield, an English architect who also worked on the design of the United States Capitol, designed the mansion. Construction began eleven years after L’Enfant’s Plan for the future city of Washington, D.C., had designated an area directly across the Potomac River to be the site of the “President’s house” (now the White House) and the “Congress house” (now the United States Capitol).

It still stands, one of only two houses with a direct connection to George Washington himself, it may also be the second most famous house in the United States (after the White House).

It was stolen from the last owner by the US Government (because the owners wife failed to pay her property taxes, in person) in wartime. The owner’s son won it back about ten years later and sold it back to the government. You see it was no longer a particularly nice place to live, the government had used the lawn and even the rose garden as a cemetery. In fact, the government, in its vindictiveness buried the first soldiers, members of a colored Infantry unit, in the châtelaine’s prized rose garden. It did this while the owner, a soldier, who loved it above all material things, was on active duty. As you would surmise from looking at the house, the owner, was in fact, a general. He was, perhaps, the most famous American general in history.

Who was he?

He was the son of a Revolutionary hero, nicknamed Light-Horse Harry for his skill with the cavalry. He married the Step-Granddaughter of George Washington. He was one of the most intrepid of officers in the Mexican War, the first group of officers to have the stars fall on them.

He was Robert Edward Lee, General, Confederate States Army, The house is now called Arlington House, here is a reasonably current picture.

The cemetery is Arlington National Cemetery. And so although it was started with some of the basest motives of revenge and rancor, it has become most meet and fit. Now America’s best and bravest sleep around the house of America’s best general. The very man who once said that:

Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.

Those resting around his house have certainly done their duty, beyond compare.
And so as we celebrate Memorial/ Decoration Day let us remember all those who have done their duty, even unto the last full measure of devotion.
In a related matter, General Lee’s citizenship was restored by Public Law 94-67 signed by President Ford on 5 August 1975 thus restoring him to citizenship in the country he loved second only to Virginia, itself.

Götterdämmerung

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

OK, so the IRS lame duck was testifying yesterday. I didn’t watch the whole thing because, to be honest,I like keeping my blood pressure someplace near normal, and I knew I’d be able to catch up. What seems clear is that the IRS has played politics, either on their own, or under direction from Treasury and/or the White House. Either way it is very damaging to Americans trust in the government. The IRS is, of course, the governmental equivalent of the boogeyman, equally disliked by everyone. The targets appear to be Conservatives and Christians, which probably surprises nobody. Probably the best comment I’ve seen comes from Peggy Noonan, Hattip to HDR

PEGGY NOONAN: This Is No Ordinary Scandal: Political abuse of the IRS threatens the basic integrity of our government.

“Everyone involved in this abuse of power should pay a price, because if they don’t, the politicization of the IRS will continue—forever. If it is not stopped now, it will never stop. And if it isn’t stopped, no one will ever respect or have even minimal faith in the revenue-gathering arm of the U.S. government again.”

You all know that I’m one of those people who insists on personal responsibility, good and bad. The reason for that should be apparent now as you watch everybody in the executive departments running around making excuses and blaming each other. But you know, Rep. Mike Kelly (R, PA) doesn’t by it either. He is sort of an old-timer like me and had a pretty good life, champion fullback in western Pennsylvania high school football, good enough for a Notre Dame scholarship (till an injury ended his career), worked in his dad’s business till 1995 when he bought the business, and ended up in Congress. Just what the founders had in mind, a successful man serving the people towards the end of his career. He’s been a good Congressman too, and he had a few things to tell  IRS Commissioner Steven Miller today at the hearing, having to do with the situation. Watch

My takeaway from this is the difference between a man who has earned a living in the private sector where he had responsibility for his results, and I’d bet my last dollar that he was good at it, and a fourth grader who is totally unprepared, and trying to claim that the dog ate his homework. Frankly I would be just as horrified if they were targeting liberals, it doesn’t matter.

Executive departments and agencies must do their very best to be as objective as possible.

Actual competence would be a good thing also, of course, and the IG didn’t look too bad today. But the civil service and the politicians running the departments that are involved, or involved in shifting the blame around in this (and the other scandals running) are beneath contempt. In the poorest run company I’ve ever been involved with in the private sector they would be fired within in a week, as they should be.

And just to make everybody sleep better, they have decided that the woman who ran the witch hunt in the IRS would be the proper person to oversee the implementation of Obamacare in the IRS.

I suppose that’s what we get when we hire a chief executive who has never run anything as big as a lemonade stand before.

If this keeps up, it can only mean one thing…

Götterdämmerung, and no Valhalla, either

 

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