The Obungler administration is once again exerting great effort on a peace accord between the Palestinians and the Israelis and once again it is unquestionably going to fail. The only thing to be determined is just how badly Secretary Lurch will damage Israel in the eyes of the world when the current round of talks goes off the rails. Such talks are always doomed because they all try to work around the central and intractable problem: Palestinians refuse to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state.
The presentation last week of a US proposed "West Bank security plan" is just another example of straining mightily, and futilely, to get around that problem. Because Israelis smartly and correctly recognize the murderous intent of the Palestinians, they insist on extraordinary security measures to protect their nation.
"Aha," says the US, "We'll let the Israeli military keep a security zone along the border of a sovereign Palestinian state."
"Not a chance," say the Palestinians, correctly recognizing that they won't really be a sovereign nation if another nation controls their border. "We'll let an international force watch the border though."(wink, wink)
"Right," say the Israelis. "Would that be the same international force that has failed to dislodge Hezbollah's rockets in southern Lebanon?"
And there you have it. The Palestinians continue to hold dear the destruction of Israel, which leads to understandable but untenable security demands from Israel, which leads inevitably to another failed round of talks. Diplomats around the world can talk all they want, but the core problem remains Palestinian hatred of Israel and it cannot be bypassed no matter the effort.
Education and experience should make people see truths such as that all the more clearly, but with much of our current political "elites", in this case specifically John Kerry and Barack Obama, the passage of time sees them move in the opposite direction. Because they lack honesty and integrity at a fundamental level their vision is obscured by their own bullshit and their arrogant determination to believe it no matter how much the real world gets in the way.
It's all really quite stupid, perhaps even insane. But then, there are so many other policies and actions of this administration that fit that description that one more run of the mill stupidity doesn't even stand out.
To me, the greatest joy of hunting is walking down some trail, or Forest Service road that isn't really a road by anyone else's standard, and feeling the modern world fade away with each footstep. Not that I hate modernity itself, I'm no Luddite by any means, but the way the modern world works these days, especially here in America, makes me despair sometimes. The first three weeks of October were particularly soul-sucking in exposing the debased and incompetent nature of our so-called elites. Three solid days of walking in the woods at the end of October could not have come at a better time. So with a little refreshed perspective from that, a few thoughts on Obamacare.
Of all of the lies around Obamacare, the website failure is the smallest and most fixable. We were once again sold the fable that the federal bureaucracy has the competence to get something right the first time. It doesn't. It never has and it never will. Even the most admired bureaucracy in the federal government, the US military, initially fucks things up all the time. The Obamacare website will eventually be fixed to an acceptable standard by the same method the federal bureaucracies always use─the combined brute force of lots of money and manpower.
The first really big lie that has been exposed is Obama's(and the entire Democratic Party's) claim that if you like your plan or your doctor you will be able to keep them. Not only did they know that wasn't going to be true for millions of individual plans, they spent the last three years tightening the regulatory screws that would make it a certainty for millions more. Additional coverage mandated by Obamacare have made those plans illegal and the replacement plans are naturally more expensive.
In addition, many insurers are controlling the cost to consumers by cutting down the number of in-network providers in their lower cost plans. Millions of Americans are discovering they can only keep their doctor if they switch insurers, which may not be practical if they are in a group plan, or if they upgrade their coverage. And if you think it's fun now, wait until the employer mandate fully kicks in and we see what other consequences make themselves known.
Nothing exposes Obama's unprincipled and arrogant nature more than his attempt to blame insurers for all of this. That's a lie, pure and simple. And nothing is more infuriating than his craven apologists who have commandeered for themselves the right to determine what is or is not the right minimal health care coverage for everybody else.
The biggest lie of all is not yet obvious to many Americans, though it should be. That's the idea that the government, through a maze of mandates, subsidies, cost-shifting, and dozens of panels of experts, can effectively manage the US health care system at all. We've been doing that stuff to one extent or another for decades now at the state and federal level and it's why the health care system is as screwed up as it is today. Now we're going to do all that stuff on steroids and the result will be...awesome?
No, it's going to be a disaster of perverse incentives and completely predictable unintended consequences leading to "fix," after "fix," after "fix" until it becomes obvious even to Democrats that this was the dumbest government intervention in the history of the United States. And I haven't even touched on the crushing economic effects that are just starting to be felt.
As the president mounts the podium at the Lincoln Memorial today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's speech, we are reminded (ceaselessly) about one thing that Dr. King said in his address:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
There it is. That's the great loophole. It is an otherwise unremarkable sentiment given the context of the entire address, but, for the people who almost certainly would have lined up on the other side of the movement in 1963, it subsequently has been used as an opening through which all manner of historically backsliding mischief has come a'wandering in, from "reverse discrimination" to Allan Bakke, to what is going on today with the franchise in too many places, to the reaction to the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman.
And so a dream that his children will be treated with basic human dignity, simple but astoundingly and eloquently presented, and today overwhelmingly embraced by all but a very small fringe of Americans, is turned into another craven racial narrative in the service of Democratic politicians.
Goddamn me for believing in King's vision and taking it to heart, I guess. Somehow I doubt that Pierce and his thoroughly corrupt views on race are going to lead us to the Promised Land.
Yeah, I guess Obama told him! It doesn't get much bolder than defying a man who has been dead for nine years.
In the mythology of the so-called reality-based community, the evil Reagan tore out those solar panels because he couldn't stand the thought of fossil fuels not being burned and he wanted the whole world to choke on the fumes and...Evil! Reagan was evil, evil, evil!
It may have been sarcasm as far as she's concerned, but two major news organizations put it on the record as testimony to the racism of Zimmerman supporters.
I'd like to know how that happened, because according to the story at the video link, at one point she was clearly on the side of the street with the Trayvon Martin supporters. Is that where James Nielson of AP took the picture? Did he know that wasn't really a Zimmerman supporter and did he provide that context when he submitted the photo to his editor?
Who was the editor and was that image altered in any substantial way? Was important context cut before it was sent out over the AP wire to other news organizations?
I wonder how many thousands or even millions of people have seen or will see that picture as a Zimmerman supporter standing unmolested amongst other Zimmerman supporters and therefore see that as a true representation of the racism of all Zimmerman supporters. How many people have been or will be misled into anger and hatred and have their hearts hardened by that photo?
I wonder if Renee Vaughan, the name of the woman with the sign apparently, is proud of that.
I wonder if James Nielsen is proud of that.
I wonder if AP President Gary Pruitt and his staff of managers and editors are proud of that.
I wonder if Philip Caulfield and the publishers and editors at the NY Daily News and the Mail Online are proud of that.
I wonder if any of them actually give a shit.
Update: As of 12:45 CDT the New York Daily News has memory-holed the photo without a correction notice, but left the following copy in the story:
One woman in the Zimmerman group held a sign that said, "We're racist & proud."
Austin resident Renee Vaughan echoed the sign’s ugly sentiments by yelling, "We're racist. We're proud. We're better because we're white," at the Martin group as they passed, according to the Chronicle.
At this point it is hard to escape the conclusion that Philip Caulfield and all his editors are a bunch of giant assholes who are out to deliberately deceive their readers.
In "The West Wing," politically correct, community organizing fantasy of what it takes to be President of the United States, this is some awesome stuff:
And for those who are in uniform who have experienced sexual assault, I want them to hear directly from their Commander-In-Chief that I've got their backs. I will support them. And we're not going to tolerate this stuff and there will be accountability. If people have engaged in this behavior, they should be prosecuted.
And anybody in the military who has knowledge of this stuff should understand this is not who we are. This is not what the U.S. military is about. And it dishonors the vast majority of men and women in uniform who carry out their responsibilities and obligations with honor and dignity and incredible courage every single day.
So bottom line is I have no tolerance for this. I have communicated this to the Secretary of Defense. We're going to communicate this again to folks up and down the chain in areas of authority, and I expect consequences.
So I don’t want just more speeches or awareness programs or training but, ultimately, folks look the other way. If we find out somebody is engaging in this stuff, they've got to be held accountable -- prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period. It's not acceptable.
In the real world, people—and I think it will come as a shock to some of the more "out there" Democrats that soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines(maybe) are people too—are entitled to not be railroaded when accused of crimes.
Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.
Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.
I bite my tongue here a lot out of my respect for civil discourse and the office of the President of the United States. But what President Obama did by apparently poisoning the well of military justice is not just amateur hour, it's profoundly stupid.
Seriously, the common thread between this and all of the other controversies currently swirling around him is that he's a goddamned fucking moron when it comes to actually managing an organization of any size or purpose.
The man is a smartly-sold, media-defended, utterly incompetent, fucking idiot and the ultimate irony is that, again and again, in his incompetence he turns out to be the enemy of the very people he claims he his trying to help.
It's been two weeks now since various gun control measures went down in flames in the US Senate, prompting President Obama to don his petulance pants and lecture us from the Rose Garden. In that time I've read quite a few pieces by Democrats seeking to explain, in one way or another, how gun control could fail in the wake of the Newtown mass shooting. Some blame the NRA, of course. Some blame Republicans, of course. Some even blame Obama, but not for the reasons I'm going to cite. Pretty much all are long on self-pity and short on self-examination, so here are my criticisms of the pro-gun control side, because they are every bit to blame, if not more, than the NRA and Republicans.(This is a long one, so I'll put most of it below the fold)
Obama's poor leadership
When Obama outsourced the issue to Joe Biden, the probability for meaningful action took an immediate and negative hit. At that moment Obama signalled that it was really going to be business as usual, in other words it was going to be "inside the beltway politics." In the short term that was probably smart politics for Obama personally, but it was also another missed opportunity for him to match the greatness of his office.
He could have taken the role of an honest broker between the two sides and step by step publicly guided the conversation toward what was possible. That would have meant swallowing his own personal preferences for the moment and acting as President of all of these United States to bring both sides together. I suppose many in both party establishments would consider that idea naive, but my gut tells me the less ideological on both sides and independents would have eaten it up. Besides, isn't that the Hope and Change president we've been promised twice now?(I know, I know, that was always phony, but I couldn't resist)
Biden's Poor Leadership
Many projects fail before they even begin because the problem and/or the scope of the solution are not properly defined from the start. I've seen it countless times over the years to the point where I can smell a looming clusterf*ck from a mile away. As I noted here and here, the problems of overall gun violence and mass killing are related but also distinct, and they have related but also distinct solution sets.
A tightly focused effort on Biden's part might have had a chance, but instead we got what was basically a free for all of gun control wish list items, regardless of how effective they would be in preventing the next mass shooting or daily gun violence on the streets.
To be fair to Biden, the Washington Post back in January noted how Obama had tied his hands somewhat from the start. Still, he wasn't just Obama's puppet on this issue. He fully embraced Obama's strategy of foregone conclusions, emotion over reason, and divisiveness through demonization. That worked in the last general election with the media covering their backs, but as shown in the results two weeks ago, it's a disastrous way to try to govern.
Matthews didn't merely say they were surprising or unprecedented. He expressed outrage that Booker "chose sides" with private equity rather than Obama. He spoke as if he thinks politicians owe greater loyalty to fellow insiders and establishment norms of behavior than to the American people, even if it means misleading the public about their beliefs on the matter at issue.
If Matthews were a political operative, perhaps the code he's defending would make sense.
But he is a journalist. If he thinks that Booker has violated an establishment norm he's entitled to point it out. But he ought to celebrate all truth-telling, even when it does involve "betraying" partisan loyalties. Matthews is supposed to be a champion of the public's right to accurate information, but he's acting like a guardian of political class norms that require deceiving the public.
Awwww, aren't those youngins so cute when they let their full naïveté hang out? Don't you ever leave Neverland, Conor Friedersdorf.
Hahaha..."But he is a journalist." That just cracks me up.
I see that some of you are upset that Mitt Romney didn't rebuke a woman who, in an aside while she asked Romney a question, stated that President Obama "should be tried for treason." Here's a clip of the exchange:
For those of you who took this with equanimity, thank you. For those who decided that this was an opportunity to get their shrieking harpy on, listen up:
It's not Mitt Romney's job to defend Barack Obama from every aside that is muttered in his presence or shouted from a crowd.
Look, that whole "the people must be corrected" is a Lefty thing, not Romney's. If you want to harp on the woman for what she said then go ahead. But try to keep at least a little perspective about it, because it's not exactly like she was whipping up a frenzied mob here. She made an over the top comment to someone else, not even as part of the question to Romney. BFD.
And again, just for those of you who are all pissy over this non-story, you know, this is why you are regarded as the Girlfriend from Hell of the political world. Some nobody says the wrong thing and the next thing you know, you go nuclear and the proverbial pots and pans are flying.
I'm sorry, I just can't be with you when you are like this, and you're like this more and more these days. People are starting to laugh at you. Just sayin'.
Mitt Romney stood on a factory floor here Monday as a woman asked him what he would do as president to “restore our Constitution in this country.” She asserted that President Obama was operating outside the construction of the nation’s founding document and that “he should be tried for treason.”
Judging by the applause, many in the crowd of about 500 people at a town hall meeting seemed to agree.
At a Romney event, a woman demanded that Obama be tried for treason. The audience exploded in applause.
That's utterly false. You can watch the clip above with your own lying eyes, it's right at the beginning. The applause came when the woman said that Obama was "operating outside the structure of our constitution," an argument that is within the bounds of reason given all of the czars, a couple of very questionable recess appointments, and Obamacare itself. Her comment about treason was not greeted with a single cheer, let alone an "explosion of applause."
The charge of treason is inappropriate here and worthy of criticism, but so are falsehoods in the service of demonizing one's political opponents. It's no surprise that Obama's supporters are stooping to the latter as it is a tactic that has been fully embraced by the President himself.
There are many ways we can be uncivil to one another, but one of the most corrosive is to twist and misrepresent what someone says and stands for. When that happens, we are pulled from the arena of competing ideas where everyone is entitled to their opinion into the muck of hand-to-hand personal combat. That's okay to some extent when it's the minions of one side or the other slugging it out, but it is unworthy of anyone who wishes to be called President of the United States.