Daily Archives: June 4, 2013
Rumors of the Demise of Conservatism are Sorely Exaggerated
By: Lloyd Marcus
Dinner conversation with a group of conservative activist friends could have been pretty depressing if I were not as they jokingly refer to me as an “eternal optimist”; a badge I wear with honor. My optimism is not a refusal to face reality. My optimism is rooted in 60 something years of life experiences and faith in God. I am idiotic enough to believe God’s word when it says “in everything give thanks”. Call me crazy, naïve and silly, but no matter how bad the situation, I look for the blessing.
Realizing some “smart” people will think this ridiculously optimistic, I have learned that sometimes God gives good gifts in ugly packages. In other words, opportunity often appears disguised as a problem. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude has gotten me through extremely challenging times.
As corny and cliché as they sound, song lyrics such as “The sun will come out tomorrow” and “What a difference a day makes” are true. On countless occasions, I saw no hope in site and the answer to my request was a firm “H– NO!” The very next day a solution magically appeared and “no” changed to an enthusiastic, “Yes!”
Here is what made our dinner conservation such a downer. In an article, Arbitron data shows that the audience for news/talk radio is mostly white males that are getting older and smaller. Since peaking with a 14.1 national share in 2008, news/talk has been on a steady downward slope. Programming changes are underway. http://www.insideradio.com/Article.asp?id=2658831&spid=32060
Someone at dinner said the Left is kicking our (conservative) butts in the world of social networking. Someone else chimed in declaring that we have no conservative leaders/candidates with the right-stuff like Reagan. It was also said that many in the tea party appear to have given up the fight; voter fatigue or a sense of hopelessness.
There you have it folks. This was the gist of our bummer dinner conversation; conservative talk radio is dying, the Left rules social networking, no one on our side is good enough to challenge the Left and many on our side have given up.
While these negatives may be true, they are not the end and I refuse to allow them to bring me down. Things change! For example, who could have predicted that the Obama Administration’s unprecedented bullying, arrogance and lawlessness would land it in extremely hot water juggling three scandals? Who could imagine IRS corruption being the possible source for bringing down Obamacare?
Alcoholics Anonymous preaches to deal with one day at a time and do not make choices based on negative projections of the future.
I have friends who eagerly predict the most negative outcome in every situation; as if wearing their instantaneous negativity as a badge of honor. “I knew my wife would leave me.” “I knew I would not get the job.” “Nothing ever works out for me.” In every instance, they were correct.
Several years ago, a wealthy dear friend criticized my wife and me for trusting God. Our friend believed she was the ultimate power in her life. She also had a tendency to embrace the negative. When Mary and I moved to Florida, we lost touch with our friend. A year or so ago, we were shocked and extremely saddened upon hearing that our friend committed suicide.
When things do not workout, of course it is wise to find out what went wrong and try to fix it and do better next time. I am simply saying do not linger too long in that dark hopeless place; look for the blessing; something for which to be grateful and move forward.
I firmly believe the birth of the Tea Party was divinely orchestrated. Thus, I am trusting God to reveal the next step/phase in our quest to restore individual rights, liberty and freedom in America.
So yes, I am an eternal optimist who believes that, in the end, right triumphs over wrong and good wins over evil. Will the tea party be the force that it was in 2010? I do not know. Who will emerge as our next great conservative leader? Again, I do not know?
What I do know is that no one can foresee the future well enough to be fatalistic. Thus, there is always hope. It behooves each and every one of us to stay diligent and focused on our mission to restore America.
No effort is too small. I call them “Lulu’s Army”. In response to numerous middle-aged women on-line asking, “How can I help?”, Lulu is organizing them to work the social networks on behalf of the conservative movement. That’s what I am talking about! Lulu is serving our cause from where she is and what she can do. Imagine millions of patriots doing the same.
With great optimism, I am keeping my powder dry and my trust in God.
Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American
Chairman, Conservative Campaign Committee
By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
We welcomed London Renee Stern into the world last week, coming in at 4 pounds 11 ounces and all 17 inches of her healthy and strong. As far as new born babies go, that’s a bit on the small side; but we all have to start some where.
I’m told she passed her hearing test, nice to know; but how do you go about testing to see if you can hear at that age? I guess she had to raise her hand each time she heard a sound just like when we take a hearing test, “Okay, raise your right arm if you hear that…good; now your left arm if you hear it out of the other ear”, and so on. Okay, so there must be another way they test babies to see if they can hear.
When I was going through the application process to join the Houston Police Department I had to take a hearing test. An elderly lady administered the hearing test there at City Hall.
I sat with headphones over my ears while she went through various frequencies to make sure my ears worked well enough to qualify. Each time she’d ask, “Do you hear that”, she’d raise her eyebrows for effect and I’d raise my hand to indicate a positive answer, nod my head and smile in her direction regardless of whether or not I’d actually heard anything.
The fact remains, I have a hearing loss in my right ear; been that way a long time. It might have something to do with a vintage WWI Mouser rifle having gone off next to my ear while deer hunting. That sweet little lady must have taken a shine to me, perhaps I reminded her of a grandson; either way I passed the hearing test and got to be a cop for twenty years in spite of my poor hearing.
On a not so related topic, I keep reading about the folks in Washington trying to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Seems like ‘We The People’ sent a strong message, screaming at our elected officials a few years back to vote against any amnesty legislation, about 70 percent of Americans firmly against amnesty. I guess folks in Washington; their ears aren’t working so well.
A large number of Senators and Congressmen keep trying to push amnesty down our throats. Then there’s Obama who seems to think he doesn’t have to enforce laws he doesn’t agree with; so much for upholding his oath of office, the rule of law or the constitution he swore to uphold.
It must be hard to hear when your head is shoved that far up your hind quarters; one of the problems with sending elected representatives to Washington, has been for quite some time.
“Today (June 15, 2012), Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, announced immunity from deportation for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and who are younger than 30 – among other criteria. They can apply for a two-year work permit that can be renewed indefinitely.”
According to Secretary of State John Kerry, Obama plans to sign the U.N. Gun treaty, putting it into law via executive order in spite of bipartisan resistance in Congress; that’s what he said or am I hearing this wrong? What part of ‘shall not be infringed upon’ do the anti-gun folks not understand or hear?
America is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. That means individual God given rights, call them natural rights if it makes you feel any less threatened; but God given rights can not be voted away by legislative measures or treaties signed by a majority regardless of their numbers.
Folks who want to destroy the 2nd Amendment are going to have to follow the constitution, draw up an amendment which would require two thirds of the states to ratify it; fat chance of that. So they keep whittling away, a little infringement here, a little infringement there until the 2nd Amendment evaporates and becomes nothing but an asterisk in a history book.
Then there’s this DNA swabbing issue the Supreme Court seems to think isn’t a violation of the 4th Amendment.
“Justice Anthony Kennedy, for a 5-4 majority, wrote, “the Court concludes that DNA identification of arrestees is a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine booking procedure.”
‘“When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” Kennedy wrote.”
Except extracting a body sample is not the same as obtaining fingerprints or photographing; taking any body tissue sample without permission or without first obtaining a warrant from a sitting judge is a violation of the 4th Amendment. Justice Kennedy is correct, at least to a certain degree, unreasonable searches by government goons might now be considered part of routine life here in the socialist states of America.
“Kannon K. Shanmugam, a lawyer for King, argued that the government has no right to forgo ordinary rules requiring a warrant and probable cause before forcing an arrestee to submit to a search involving a physical intrusion into the body for investigatory purposes.”
Shanmugam almost had it right, except he used the word right instead of power. The government doesn’t have powers given by anyone to forgo ordinary rules requiring a warrant and probable cause before forcing an arrestee to submit to a search involving a physical intrusion into the body for investigatory purposes, not even a minor invasion as Justice Kennedy put it.
I’m reminded of Ezra Taft Benson’s talk, The Proper Role of Government, where he explained in the most succinct of terms: “The important thing to keep in mind is that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they, themselves, have in the first place. Obviously, they cannot give that which they do not possess.”
There you have it, another of my rants falling on deaf ears. The list of violations against our constitution and individual liberties grows longer each day. Are you listening?
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…”
I’m still wondering how my infant grand daughter knew to raise her hand during the hearing test; kids must be so much more in tune these days. I hope she likes a good Gershwin tune or Tchaikovsky so we can enjoy these marvelous works together when she comes over. My guess is we could all end up in the same gulag for re-educational purposes and spend hours being indoctrinated with common core curriculum to assist us in becoming better subjects of the State.
IRS Scandal Makes Obamacare an Even Tougher Sell
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Obamacare will be successful in California next year. That’s what liberal commentators are saying after the executive director of Covered California, Peter Lee, declared a “home run” for Californians. The joy relates to a press release which asserts that “The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.” In reality, according to Avik Roy of Forbes, Obamacare will increase individual health insurance premiums by 64 to 146% in one year.
Roy notes that the press release makes an apple-to-oranges comparison, from “Obamacare-based insurance to a completely different type of insurance product, that bears no relevance to the actual costs that actual Californians face when they shop for coverage today.”
“He was comparing apples—the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market—and oranges—the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group,” writes Roy. “The difference is critical.”
But critical thinking seems to be in short supply on the left. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman hails this as a California success story. He wrote: “Yet important new evidence—especially from California, the law’s most important test case—suggests that the real Obamacare shock will be one of unexpected success.” Krugman argues that “A handful of healthy people may find themselves paying more for coverage, but it looks as if Obamacare’s first year in California is going to be an overwhelmingly positive experience.”
A handful of people? Try the entire California individual market. “To put it simply: Covered California is trying to make consumers think they’re getting more for less when, in fact, they’re just getting the same while paying more,” wrote Lanhee Chen, of the Hoover Institution and Stanford University, for Bloomberg on May 24.
Individuals who earn less than 400% of the federal poverty line ($45,960 for an individual) will be somewhat shielded from the law’s effects by generous subsidies, said Sarah Kliff of The Washington Post. This prompted the Post, ever a cheerleader for Obamacare, to title her piece “California Obamacare premiums: No ‘rate shock’ here.”
“An individual earning 150 percent of the poverty line, for example, won’t be expected to spend more than 4 percent of his or her income on a health plan,” writes Kliff. “About 2.6 million Californians are expected to qualify for some level of subsidy support.”
“Still, these credits could end up being a big boon to the Obama administration as it looks to convince low-income Americans to enroll.”
As Accuracy in Media has previously noted, government subsidies do not make health insurance cheaper, but more expensive for the American public. After all, where do these dollars come from? They come through taxes collected from the American people or deficit spending on the backs of future generations.
Once published, Avik Roy’s article in Forbes “prompted denunciations from liberal writers Ezra Klein, Paul Krugman and Jonathan Cohn,” said Philip Klein in the Washington Examiner on June 3. “Essentially, these liberals argue that it isn’t fair to focus on the insurance premiums for the young and healthy, because what really matters is that the health care law expands insurance to those who really need it but cannot get it now, either because it’s too expensive, or because they have pre-existing conditions and thus cannot obtain insurance at any price.” Clearly, the left can’t handle hearing straight math on this subject.
Currently, the number of persons on Medicaid in the United States, 72.6 million, exceeds the population of France or the United Kingdom, according to CNS News. “In fiscal 2008, the last full year before President Barack Obama took office, there were 58,794,000 Medicaid enrollees,” wrote Terry Jeffrey. “Since then, Medicaid enrollment has expanded by more than 23 percent.”
“Also, some people are too poor to afford coverage even with the subsidies,” writes Krugman. “These Americans were supposed to be covered by a federally financed expansion of Medicaid, but in states where Republicans have blocked Medicaid expansion, such unfortunates will be left out in the cold.” As noted above, Medicaid enrollment has already increased by 23 percent. How high is this supposed to go? Krugman, for himself, would like his readers to believe that all the law’s failures can be chalked up to Republican intervention. “So there will probably be a lot of administrative confusion as the law goes into effect, again especially in states where Republicans have been doing their best to sabotage the process,” he adds (emphasis added).
President Obama would like Americans to believe that Obamacare’s problems, such as rate hikes are not the fault of the law—they’re the fault of the insurers. “And whenever insurance premiums go up, you’re being told it’s because of Obamacare—even though there’s no evidence that that’s the case,” he said on May 10.
“So right now there are a whole bunch of folks out there, their insurance company decided to jack up rates, and they’re automatically assuming, well, somehow the law had something to do with it,” continued President Obama. “No, that had to do with a decision the insurance company made,” he asserted. In other words, let’s assume that additional federal requirements create no additional cost to the insurers.
But these costs are actually quite high. According to CNS News, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has estimated the annual insurance cost of the cheapest Obamacare program for a family of five at $20,000.
And speaking of the IRS, already the subject of numerous investigations for its targeting of conservative groups seeking tax exempt status, it is now seeking to hire up to 16,500 new agents and auditors to “enforce and implement ObamaCare.”
As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) pointed out, the new powers of the IRS will include, for the first time, the sharing of “confidential taxpayer information with the Department of Health and Human Services, raising the risk of abuse.”
In addition, the IRS, as chief enforcer of Obamacare, will:
- Verify individuals have “acceptable” health care coverage;
- Verify businesses with 50 or more workers offer all full-time workers “acceptable” coverage, based on a government-mandated menu of benefits;
- Impose penalties on people who don’t buy coverage for every month of the year;
- Confiscate tax refunds of those who fail to purchase “minimum essential coverage;” and
- Penalize businesses that don’t offer the minimum coverage for workers.
At a time the American public has rightly lost faith in the IRS to act independently, with integrity, and without political considerations, the IRS is being asked to oversee and implement this most private and confidential aspect of our lives, and we are being asked to trust them. As IBD argued, “Imagine a new army of partisan bureaucrats prying into otherwise private medical records and accessing information that only you and your doctor should know.” What could go wrong?
These are just some of the latest reasons that Obamacare appears destined to become the “train wreck” that even leading Democratic Senators Harry Reid (NV) and Max Baucus (MT) have predicted, if it’s not implemented correctly. Even if it is implemented correctly, it still figures to be a job killer while raising healthcare costs and reducing quality—indeed, a train wreck.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].