Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Unelectable Me...

I have been told on occasion that I should run for office. This will never happen.

I am unelectable in American society.  Why?

My stance on abortion.  This renders me unelectable in and of itself.  This can change, of course, but in America in 2012, I would be considered incapable of holding office.

Consider the two parties...

The Democratic Party is the party for whom abortion is a modern-day sacrament.  There is no more pro-life wing of the party anymore.  While the Republican Party is slightly better, they'd never have me as a candidate because I'm an "extremist" on the subject because I do not hold to the so-called "exceptions" that seem to make their way into the platform - for reasons I detail here.

This is ok - I never wanted office anyway and I can live with that.  It is sad, though, that we have come to a point where being supportive of the so-called "exceptions" is considered "reasonable" and "responsible" and likewise not supporting them is "extreme".

Unfortunately, supporting the so-called "exceptions" complete abdicates and cedes the moral argument of the whole topic - determining legality and deeming as unworthy certain classes of the unborn just because of the circumstances of their conception completely opens the door to endangering the rest of the unborn.  Who is to say that a certain class is worthy or not?  

This is truly an either/or issue.  There is no way around it.  You are for it, or you are against it. No cover of "pro-choice", no "personally opposed" nonsense.  You say you are for the innocent.  Then support the most innocent of them all.  Give them a chance.  It's not too late.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Where Did The Adults Go?

There was a time when the Democratic Party was run by adults. Even as little as 6-8 years ago.

Not anymore.

Where did they all go?

I ask this because, being the political junkie that I am, I look what has happened over the past five years (including this campaign season and the 2008 campaign) and can only conclude that the Democratic Party is now being run by a bunch of children.

I am not alone in thinking (this includes people throughout the political spectrum) that had Hillary Clinton been the President of the United States (yes, she would have beaten McCain handily), we wouldn't be in half the messes we are right now.  No, I would not have voted for her - but I would not have this nagging feeling that we are headed down an irreversible path that will render this country unrecognizable should we stay on said path.

The Democratic Party has fashioned itself as the party of "the little guy" - although its wholesale support for abortion has sort of turned that away, and while that label may have been true from the New Deal through the Great Society, increasingly in the past forty years it has become the party of grievance, victimhood, and identity politics.

Even when I was kid, the Democratic Party could at least maintain the appearance of being for the little guy and for "social justice".  That is no more - it is now a party of dependence, free stuff, and consequence-free action; in other words, a party for teenagers and kids.

Victimology is for children; dependency is for children.  We have been told, according to the proverb, that when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.  The current incarnation of the Democratic Party tells us to bitch about the lemon and call life racist/sexist/homophobic/insult du jour for doing so. Unfortunately, the children are now in charge and the adults are nowhere to be found.

This didn't happen overnight - it has been happening for over forty years (1968 would be the first rumblings of it), but there had always been enough adult supervision within the party to counteract the childishness that emanated from within,

In 2008, the children (aided by a media that would embarrass even a high school newspaper writer) won, first in the primary season against Hillary Clinton, and then in the general election against John McCain, who was perhaps the worst candidate from either party since Adlai Stevenson in 1956.  Yes, even worse than Barry Goldwater, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, or Bob Dole.  The kids were now in charge, and the promises of transformation were made.


Governing is an adult enterprise - it involves compromise, it involves tough decisions. Idealism tends to go by the wayside, and reality sets in, except for the current administration, that is.  They continued to act as children would act, only looking out for their own interests, protecting themselves at all costs (even to the point of using coverups - Benghazi and Fast and Furious come to mind), and never being interested in any kind of greater good.  That is, for all Americans, regardless of social standing, race, party affiliation, and the like.

We are now in a campaign season once again, and childishness has once again taken center stage in the Democratic Party and in President Obama's re-election chances.  The problem they have encountered is that they have to run a campaign against an adult in the person of Mitt Romney (warts and all) and the differences between children and adults have become stark. And nowhere is the contrast being made more than in some of the advertisements put out by either the campaign itself, or pro-Obama organizations.  I want to share three in particular.

The first is an ad by HBO actress Lena Dunham comparing voting to losing one's virginity...

Exploitation at it's finest.  I would bet my last dollar that President Obama would not let his own daughters watch this advertisement.  Even without the double entendres involved, it's pathetic to appeal to people voting for a candidate just on the ability to give you more free stuff.  As if the whole campaign is about pills any woman can purchase at a local box store pharmacy for ten bucks, or for the unfettered right to kill one's unborn child.  So, women, how do you feel about being reduced to your sexual organs?  This is what feminism has become? If that is the case...feminism is dead! Long live feminism!

The second ad doesn't exploit women, but exploits actual children.  It is a bit creepy and weird to see, but as one of liberalism's main features is projection, it shouldn't be too surprising...

Blame mom and dad!  Of course, looking at the kids, none of them look like they have a want for anything - they are all looking in good health.  So what gives?  It's the attitude of blame America for all the evils and the actual belief that the opposition wants dirty air and water. Like I said below in the post about health care - means is usually the argument, not ends. However, with advertisements like this, it is clear that the people responsible for it cannot be reasoned with and thus must be defeated.

The third and final ad is just straight mental illness writ large on screen from, the same PAC that brought you George Bush = Adolf Hitler (Warning - this is NOT safe for work)...  

Riiiiight,  The opposition steal elections.  

Like this?

Or this?

Or this?

I just wonder who this ad is going to actually convince, and whether people think talking about "burning the motherf*ck*r down" and "cockpunching" Mitt Romney is actually funny. Actually, kids would find it funny.  Adults on the other hand...

What does this all come down to, honestly?  The answer is that the children have had four years of play time and it has become clear that they have broken the toys.  Consider...

- Trillion dollar deficits
- Failed massive stimulus (sharing money with union buddies)
- Health care overhaul that will raise prices and kill off the health care system
- Lowest workforce in many years
- Decreased amount in household incomes

And yet, they run ads promising free pills and abortions, blaming mom and dad, and how old people want to punch Mitt Romney in the nuts.  Why?  Take it away, President Obama:

"...if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

Poetic justice can be a very ugly thing.  Kids don't like being reminded of their flaws and their words.  Adults don't either, but the reaction is very different.  If the adults get back in charge of the Democratic Party, then there is hope.  Should President Obama lose re-election, I foresee a very ugly civil war on the horizon within the party.  Interesting that it should come after predictions of 40 years in the wilderness for the opposition.

But will it happen?  

I don't know.  But it will be interesting to find out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Only Hope Is Repeal...

I. The HHS Mandate is back in the news again, thanks to the Obama campaign's designated squirrel* of the "War on Women" (despite paying their female staffers 18% less than male staffers, but I digress).

*For all the talk of the President "winning" the second debate last Tuesday, the 16th, it's remarkable that all of his surrogates chose to concentrate on the Romney "binders full of women" comment rather than talk up how, you know, the President actually WON the debate.

I have written about the HHS Mandate before at length (here, herehere, here, here, and here), but it bears repeating once again that in no uncertain terms this is a violation of freedom of religion - one of the core freedoms of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  What the Obama Administration is trying to do is tyranny, pure and simple.  It is an authoritarian attempt to bend people to his will and we must not stand for it.

II. The whole principle of the "Affordable Care Act" (aka "Obamacare") has been to slowly guide the American medical system to a European-style single-payer system.  It would have been more intellectually honest to say that, but there was no way in hell anyone would have voted for it (other than Bernie Sanders and John Kerry) and kept their jobs.  What we have, then, is a Trojan Horse that undermines the system in a fashion that causes people to cry out for more government intervention to the point where the government says "we just have to run it ourselves".

Before anyone accuses me of raging paranoia, just keep in mind that no one who actually has business experience (unlike a certain occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) would be dumb enough to increase demand while stagnating or even decreasing supply and expect to lower costs.  And yet, that's precisely what the ACA does. And since we have the smartest man who has ever occupied the White House in office, he would never stoop to such an incompetent practice, right?

So we are left with the malicious intended effect of the ACA - to squeeze private insurance out of business by making them offer policies to people who can wait until they are sick to actually buy them and thus fundamentally alter the nature of insurance, which is now going to be mandated to have. I have addressed the nonsensical argument that the individual mandate of the ACA is equivalent to requiring car insurance.

III. We are always told about the so-called "good" things of the ACA...All TWO of them. It's amazing that in a 2,700 page bill, there are *two* "good" things. 1) All people with pre-existing conditions can get insurance at the same price as healthy people and 2) "kids" up to age 26 can stay on their parents' insurance.

Whoop-de-do.  The most recent link also talks about how "health insurance" is not insurance in any meaningful sense to begin with.  The whole point is to manage risk - if people are all treated as the same risk across the line, regardless of age, medical history, and behavior, then how can it be insurance?

There's a reason the age-26 portion is called a "slacker mandate" - and it is just another way of driving up demand without any requisite increase in supply.

So what about the bad things?  Lots of new taxes, decrease in caps of health savings accounts, and rises in premiums (How's that, you say?  Try Economics 101).

IV. I have read and heard it frequently from liberals who claim they have the monopoly on compassion, i.e. "we want access to affordable healthcare for all" or "the rich ought to pay their fair share" and "conservatives and libertarians want people on the streets to die and the rich to dance on their bodies".  I have yet to actually meet a conservative or libertarian that actually believes such a thing; nor have I read anything from any publication or think tank suggesting the same.

The point of debate has almost never been about ends, it's usually about means.  Centralizing the healthcare system is not the right means.  I have always agreed that the system needs some reforming - but there is a right way and a wrong way to pursue said reform.  The ACA is the wrong way.

The two things that would get health care costs under control almost immediately would be a) portability of insurance - to allow for purchasing across state lines (the ugly concept for a lot of leftists of choice and competition) and b) to get insurance OUT of routine medical care. That would make medical insurance cheaper off the top to start.

I have argued that store-style clinics should be rising up - it would be a cash model where you pay directly for services rendered, and any kind of non-life threatening injury can be treated.  Such a thing would lower costs because third parties would not be involved and it would also unclog emergency rooms.

Getting insurance out of routine medical care would restore insurance to its proper role of managing risk and preventing financial ruin against catastrophic events.  When these things happen, that's when we'll see...

a) The true value of medical care - which is skewed to the bejeezus due to third party payment and reimbursement procedures

b) Costs decrease - it's a proven maxim that the more someone else pays for something, the more you'll use it.  Medical care is no exception.  If you have to pay for it, it becomes a decision.


V. Now we are at the real issue, aren't we - the "right" to medical care.  The first thing that we need to make sure we are clear of is the separation between delivery of said care and payment of the same.  Too many people conflate the two.  They will say "health care", but what they really mean is who is footing the bill.

Here's the question - do you have the right to take away the fruit of another's labor?  When you truly slice down the question of health care reform - this is the most basic question - it's economic in nature.  Somebody has to pay for it.  It's clich├ęd as hell, but there. Is. No. Free. Lunch.  The hardcore advocates of health care reform (many who advocate single-payer) are trying to argue that there is, though, and that we have the right to the fruit of another's labor because of some misguided notion that we deserve it.  Where I come from, we call that stealing motivated by envy.

VI. The ACA was not ever about reforming the system - because if it were, it would have implemented common sense reforms.  Instead, it's about dictating our behavior and controlling us - menu calorie counts, forcing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception against their consciences, not allowing people to put money aside into flex-spending accounts, putting taxes on medical devices, implementing a board that will ration care, allow for insurance companies and the government to access your bank accounts, and on and on....

These are the people are supposed to care.  These are the compassionate ones.  

So where is the compassion?  Where is the care?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playing With Fire...

In the latest diversionary tactic, liberal supporters of President Obama have seized upon a single phrase (out of context, naturally) of Mitt Romney from the last debate - "binder full of women" - which in context, had to do with finding qualified women to work in the Massachusetts state government.  But anyway, some have taken to associating that phrase with Mormonism's past history of allowing for polygyny (multiple wives):

This is a dangerous game for them to play.

It is not an accident that the Obama campaign has largely avoided (save for a few oblique references by David Axelrod on the morning talk shows) talking about Mitt Romney's religion. Such a thing opens the door to reminding people that President Obama sat in the pews for twenty years in front of, was married by, and had his daughters baptized by an anti-American, hate-filled, racist preacher.  You know...this guy:

The last thing a faltering campaign needs is another wound that would be largely self-inflicted because its surrogates and fans couldn't help themselves.  However, just for the sake of refreshing memory, here are some of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's samples:

Want to dredge that up again?  Go for it.  Keep mocking Mormonism.  Just remember, if you spit into the wind, you will get wet.  Don't say you weren't warned.

*UPDATE* - something I just thought of is that this will also dredge up the old "he's a Muslim" canard.  I said nearly two years ago that I don't buy that, but it would be another anchor around the neck of the campaign that it can ill afford to have at this point.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

On Cutting Funding For PBS...

Be nice if he actually worked!
I am with Mitt Romney 100% here.

Stop using my tax dollars to pay for PBS.  Make it fend for itself.  If the merchandising market is any indication, shows like Sesame Street will be just fine.

Subsidy is part of why our society is bankrupt.

When you have a president who eliminates work requirements for welfare and food stamps, and allows able-bodied people under 50 to get onto disability, is it really any wonder as to why we are running trillion-dollar deficits?  President Obama needs and craves the dependent cradle-to-grave, womb-to-the-tomb society (unless you are an unborn child, then you might be considered a punishment).  Governor Romney wasn't totally correct with his "47% remark", but in reality, he wasn't that far off either.

People who object by saying that "it's just a drop in the bucket compared to (fill in the blank program)" need to remember the following things...

1) We have to start somewhere getting our financial house in order.

2) We need to have a frank discussion about the role of the state when it comes to entertainment and art - yes, some PBS programs are "educational", but much of what is on PBS is entertainment.  None of it should be subsidized.  If the people want it, they will pay for it. The default position seems to be best embodied by Sir Humphrey...

"...subsidy is for what the people don't want but ought to have!"

Condescension at its finest - unfortunately, when people (even those with good intentions) step up to defend the subsidies of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio, this is in essence what they are arguing - that we simpletons just don't know what's good for us and we need to told what's best for us by our cultural and political masters.

Pass.  Cut the funding - and we'll see how popular Sesame Street and rest truly are.