Archive for barack obama

Obamacare, Government Shutdowns, and Republican Disunity

Posted in Conservatism, Economy, Health Care, Politics with tags , , , , , , on October 5, 2013 by Cannon

So, you can’t get signed up for Obamacare.  It’s probably not President Obama’s fault.  It’s just like when Apple has some teething issues with one of its products.  It’s not the Congressional Democrats who are to blame.  They just want to fund government although they blow up every attempt to fund certain elements because Republicans won’t cave to funding Obamacare.  It’s not like Congress has been diligent in passing budgets over the last few years.  Now, the government is somewhat shutdown.  No doubt, numerous people are being affected.  Many Republicans preach that Republicans will ultimately pay the price for the shutdown.

I’m inclined to believe that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is a stepping stone to a system that’s totally government controlled, devoid of any quasi-market aspects.  If people can’t get signed up due to wacky websites  and employers continue to respond to incentives and direct employees into the government exchanges, there will be a push for government to step in and just give everybody health insurance.  It’s a scary thought, I know.

John McCain doesn’t like Ted Cruz, the opportunist.  Kim Strassel and Brit Hume don’t believe in Cruz and his followers, either.  Sure, Cruz is gaining contributions from like-minded parties and raising his political profile.  I’m all for people on Capitol Hill taking a stand against another debt fueling entitlement.  The current Republican leaders haven’t done all that much in the way of winning elections and holding Democrats’ accountable.  I know Hume has 115 years of experience in Washington alongside Mitch McConnell, McCain et al.  Here, we have the problem.  A good portion of America doesn’t believe in the “conservative” contingent that’s been entrenched in Washington for what seems like an eternity.  Next time you conservatives of the Potomac want to give the rest of right-wing America advice on winning in D.C., you could do it with a little more humility and little less quoting of old saws.  These are fiscally tenuous times for the United States.  It’s important that we make every effort to distinguish ourselves from those who support a semi-socialist paradigm, the same paradigm which has put European countries on a downward economic trajectory.

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Sticking With the Paul Ryan/Health Care Theme

Posted in Economy, Health Care, Politics with tags , , , , on March 22, 2010 by Cannon

Here are some new comments from Congressman Ryan via National Review Online:

“We need to establish a set of metrics and benchmarks to measure the sector going forward, keeping a close eye on all of the Democrats’ claims,” Ryan says. “From cost to quality, we will need to be vigilant in making sure that their assertions are actually substantiated with facts, and I have every reason to believe they won’t be.” Repealing Obamacare should be the goal, he says, “but with the political plurality you need to do that — a new president, 60 senators, and a majority in the House — that is a pretty tall order.”

“Our offense will be hammering them for wrecking the health-care system, their demonization of the insurance companies, and their push for government control. That is the future fight,” Ryan predicts. “They’ve got a president here until 2013 and the votes in the Senate to support this for a few years, but it’s not over. As we work to repeal, we must recognize that we’re fighting a different and distorted progressivism. They want to hook people up to entitlements and delegate more power to unelected bureaucrats and technocrats to micromanage the economy — a government full of Peter Orzags. Yet their fatal conceit is also a rational gamble to establish a new culture of dependency.”

Obviously, I’m on board with all of this.  I’m happy to see that Ryan and I are on the same page, but that’s really no surprise.  It’s just the same old thing out of the “progressives.”  Ironically, progress isn’t part of their plan.  It’s important that all those who cringe at these types of government power grabs stay in the game, and prove, in the end, that this is not the course our great country should take.  There are ways to achieve real progress without an oppressive federal government actively involved in making personal decisions for its citizens.  Another state-sponsored Ponzi scheme will fail to yield the results which Democrats claim.  It’s now time to prove that this unfortunate piece of legislation was, in fact, a mistake.  Though many types of manipulation were utilized to sugarcoat Obamacare for the public, the truth is all that will be needed to bring it down.

The Obama-Fox Health Care Collision

Posted in Health Care, Media, Politics with tags , , , , on March 20, 2010 by Cannon

I’m not referring to the former Mexican president, Vicente Fox.  Earlier this week, Bret Baier of Fox News interviewed President Obama.  The topic of conversation, of course, was health care.  What else is there, right?  I’ll start by addressing Geraldo Rivera and others who feel that Baier failed to show the president the proper amount of respect.  If you watch the interview, you’ll see Baier pitch short, to the point questions followed by Obama unleashing long, vague explanations about the virtues of his reform.  On several occasions Baier interrupted the president’s filibuster attempt with hopes of steering Obama back to the question at hand.  That’s what I saw, anyway.  I suppose some are of the opinion that the president should not be interrupted at all costs, and that’s fine.  I just don’t know what the point of an interview is if that rule must be followed.  As Dana Perino – a person vehemently despised by much of the left-wing echo chamber – suggested, the administration should have scheduled a press conference during the hour of Baier’s show.  The Fox audience would have been reached, and the president would have largely avoided difficult questions.

The more important, and unsurprising, conclusion that one can draw from the interview is that Obama isn’t going to get into any specifics about how this health care reform thing is going to achieve its stated goals.  It’s supposed to save money by extracting inefficiencies from the current system.  Amazingly, the federal government hasn’t been able to perform this magic on the postal service, Medicare, Social Security or the plethora of other endeavors ventured into by politicians.  It’s unbelievable that Democrats can tout this selling point with a straight face; it’s so absurd.

But wait, people currently suffering without insurance will have insurance.  The reason why many don’t have insurance is that it’s cost prohibitive.  The president can’t wave a magic wand and make health coverage cheaper while simultaneously increasing the quantity of care.  Someone must pay in some form or fashion.  There have to be people profiting by directly providing care (think doctors and nurses), and there also have to be bodies providing financial backing (think consumers via insurance companies and/or the federal government).  It would seem that the sensible thing to do would be to streamline the system, making it easier for patients to obtain care while cultivating a system that’s attractive for providers.  The Democrats’ answer is to squeeze insurance companies and empower the helping hand of big government to take from some to provide for others.  Despite what proponents of the current plan(s) state, adoption of a bill resembling what’s passed the Senate will lead to both more deficit spending and a permanent drag on the private sector due to the government trying to recoup expenses through taxes of all kinds.  With no natural rationing device like price, the government will have to find a way to ration services unless more health care professionals can be produced to meet the needs of all the new customers.

You just know that there has to be all kinds of taxes, fees, dictates, etc. in what’s probably several thousand pages of political gibberish.  It’s kind of like a credit card application.  There are likely some draconian fees in there if you can just find them.  It does appear that Democrats aren’t going to use the “Slaughter rule.”  The use of the aptly named procedural tactic would be the perfect topping on already unseemly cake.

Obama’s Strong-Arm Tactics

Posted in Media, Politics with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Cannon

Kim Strassel adeptly encapsulated the White House’s treatment of those who dare to disagree with their policies – talk radio, Fox News, politicians of both parties, and the Chamber of Commerce to name a few.  To wit:

What makes these efforts notable is that they are not the lashing out of a frustrated political operation. They are calculated campaigns, designed to create bogeymen, to divide the opposition, to frighten players into compliance. The White House sees a once-in-a-generation opportunity on health care and climate. It is obsessed with winning these near-term battles, and will take no prisoners. It knows that CEOs are easily intimidated and (Fox News ratings aside) it is getting some of its way. Besides, roughing up conservatives gives the liberal blogosphere something to write about besides Guantanamo.

The Oval Office might be more concerned with the long term. It is 10 months in; more than three long years to go. The strategy to play dirty now and triangulate later is risky. One day, say when immigration reform comes due, the Chamber might come in handy. That is if the Chamber isn’t too far gone.

White House targets also aren’t dopes. The corporate community is realizing that playing nice doesn’t guarantee safety. The health executives signed up for reform, only to remain the president’s political piñatas. It surely grates that the unions—now running their own ads against ObamaCare—haven’t been targeted. If the choice is cooperate and get nailed, or oppose and possibly win, some might take that bet.

While these smear campaigns and freeze outs may yield fruit in terms of rallying the liberal base, I can’t see it doing any long-term good with the bulk of voters.  Ms. Strassel is completely correct in her speculation that the president will likely want, or need, the help of some of the very people he’s chosen to vilify.  It may be easy for Obama and company to say one thing one day and then completely change course the next, but the memories of most are at least a bit longer.  He’s won the presidency.  It’s time to do a little more presiding and a little less campaigning.  Of course, the fray between the Obama team and Fox might also serve as a smoke screen of sorts to divert the public’s attention from the proposed health care bill.

I will give a tip of the hat to the major network’s and CNN for standing up to the White House and thwarting their plan to keep Fox from interviewing the “pay czar”  while allowing the others in the media pool time with Mr. Feinberg.  Go here to read more on that.  Whether you like Fox or not, the actions of the White House in limiting them access are way out of line.  It’s a far cry from the openness espoused by President Obama during his presidential campaign.  At least, the other major media outlets seem to be recognizing this now.

If Fox can be frozen out, the same tactics can easily be applied to other networks and journalists.  Either they stand up now or risk being pawns of the Obama team for the duration of the next four years.  Cowhering from a bully generally doesn’t result in a viable outcome for the one being bullied.  I wish “progressives” felt more of a call to bully those who want to destroy the United States (Iran comes to mind) instead of focusing their scorched earth techniques on domestic opposition (and perceived opposition) to their ideology.  What’s so “progressive” about wanting to squash civil debate, anyway?

Fun Political Quotation

Posted in Media, Politics with tags , , , , on October 22, 2009 by Cannon

From James Taranto of WSJ.com:

President Obama’s promise to empty the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has run into a little obstacle: It turns out the place is full of terrorists! Like everything else, this is not Obama’s fault. The terrorists are there because George W. Bush put them there, leaving poor Obama once again stuck cleaning up someone else’s mess.

I love sarcasm when done correctly.  This is sarcasm mixed with a lot of truth.  Beautiful.

Don’t Blame Obama

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on October 19, 2009 by Cannon

When asked, President Bush wouldn’t admit to making any specific mistakes while in office, and this raised the media’s ire.  There are some things that I wish Bush would have done differently while he was in office although his inability to name something when put on the spot didn’t cause me to lose sleep.

On the flip side, President Obama continually refuses to take responsibility for any of the important issues facing him.  He generally utters something like:  “Bush and the Republicans did it, and I’ve got to clean it up.”  Certainly, you should never scrutinize anything he does, because that’s just wrong.  I like James Taranto’s take on the issue.  To wit:

This has been a recurring theme in President Obama’s rhetoric. As we noted last week, he frequently refers to the “mess” that he “inherited.” But the presidency is not an inheritance, it is a responsibility that Obama sought. To the extent that the country is a “mess,” it is not “somebody else’s mess”; it is all of our mess. If Obama’s policies make matters worse rather than better, it won’t be his mess either; all of us will have to live with the consequences.

It’s fine for an opposition candidate to decry the “mess” created by the party in power, as Obama did last year and Republicans are doing now. But this style of rhetoric is unpresidential. It’s reminiscent of the petulant teenager who tries to evade responsibility by asserting, “I didn’t ask to be born!”

Except that the teen’s statement is literally accurate. No one asks to be born. Barack Obama did ask to be president.

Obama’s logic (or lack thereof) is quite flawed.  When you campaign for president and win, you don’t just win the post.  You also receive the baggage that goes along with it.  After eight years, most Americans should have a decent grasp of what transpired during that period of time referred to as Bush’s term in office.  Blaming Bush is irresponsible, trite, and does nothing to improve the situation in question.  Obama campaigned on the notions of “hope and change.”  So far, we’ve only seen excuses and machine politics.

Will the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up

Posted in Conservatism with tags , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by Cannon

I watched a video on Andrew Sullivan’s blog.  In it Sullivan sort of explained how Obama is kind of a conservative.  Click here for the aforementioned interview.   Hopefully the video will load, and you can see what I’m talking about.  Personally, I’m not a fan of Sullivan’s ideas regarding conservatism.  He’s a talented writer and probably a genuinely bright guy.  With that said, when you contend that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are nothing more than radical populists, but President Obama could conceivably be thought of as a Tory – think Margaret Thatcher – people are going to question what’s really in that wine glass.  Although Beck’s done some great work (i.e. the ACORN/prostitute/housing scandal), I think he plays a little fast and loose with the facts (i.e. money supply growth graph).  In regard to Palin, at this point I feel there are people who would be better suited for the job of president – the current inhabitant of that position not included.  The liberal blogosphere and media have unmercifully flogged the woman and her family.  Sarah Palin has just as much right to express her opinions as Andrew Sullivan or the feeble-minded anchors and correspondents on MSNBC.  Like Obama, many people like her.  Let it go.

I wonder if Sullivan is still miffed about Forbes labeling him as an influential liberal blogger.  Frankly, I tend to use Milton Friedman, someone who didn’t describe himself as conservative but as a classical liberal, as my conservative benchmark.  Given the terminology of the day, I believe Friedman embodied what I view as modern conservatism.  I couldn’t see Friedman supporting the major government overhaul of the health care system – what Obama has supported is major government intervention despite what Sullivan claims.  Knowing what we knew of the current president at the time of his election, it would be hard to imagine Milton Friedman supporting Obama.  Sullivan supported Obama for president, and he doesn’t see the proposed  health care plan (sort of a mythical moving target in its own right) as being at odds with his conservative sensibilities.

Bottom line:  labels are subjective to an extent.  I could say that Dick Cheney is a left-wing pacifist.  I could say it.  The few people that happen upon this blog might make sure not to happen upon this blog again, but I could say it.  Those groups still enamored with the ideal that is the Obama presidency are going to be forced to wake up sometime toward the end of 2010.  The Republicans may not gain control, but the momentum between the coasts clearly is in their favor.

However one chooses to describe these people is fine with me.  Be warned though, your assessment may cause thoughtful individuals to see you as out of touch.  Anyone with half a brain can see the company Obama keeps, his scant voting record as a U.S. Senator and the policies he’s chosen to push.  Furthermore, the people protesting against increased spending and the over-reach of government should not be minimized.  They didn’t clash with police or destroy much, so I guess their grievances aren’t legit.  Most media outlets have chosen to mostly ignore their rather large demonstrations, only to reference these people as out of the mainstream.  Ms. Pelosi describes tea partiers as “astroturf.”  That’s classy.  I find these tactics to be condescending and lazy.  “Southern Populism?”  Are you kidding me, Mr. Sullivan.  Yes, we Southerners are too ignorant to understand what being a true conservative really is.  It’s important to break out of the liberal internationalist bubble from time to time.  There’s a vast country beyond Washington D.C.