“Speak seldom, but to important subjects, except such as particularly relate to your constituents, and, in the former case, make yourself perfectly master of the subject.” –George Washington
An Impaired Speech
The commander in chief addressed the nation last night regarding Syria. The address had been planned to bolster support for a military strike against Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons against rebel fighters. But, thanks to Secretary of State John Kerry’s gaffe resulting in yesterday’s Russian proposal to “secure” and dismantle Syria’s weapons, Obama’s address ended up merging two speeches — one pleading for congressional authorization for an imminent attack and another asking Congress to delay its vote until a diplomatic solution plays out.
As former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote, “It was a time filler: The White House had asked for the time and had to fill it.”
The basic problem is that Obama’s actions are not governed by overarching principles related to Liberty or our Constitution. Every action is judged on its political merit only. Thus, in the case of Syria, the politically expedient thing for Obama to do, having backed himself into a corner on the Syrian “red line,” was to outsource our policy in the region to Russia, under the pretense of a “diplomatic solution,” when in fact, Russia’s only interest is to keep Assad in power in order to maintain its only military base in the region.
Either attacking Syria is in our national security interest or it isn’t. Either chemical weapons use crosses the “red line” and means Assad must be removed or it doesn’t. Obama came to the American people last night saying “all and none of the above.” In other words, bad strategy, foggy objectives and no persuasive reason to follow his lead. At least the speech was brief.
Also on the website today:
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Hope ‘n’ Change: ObamaCare Exchanges
The ObamaCare insurance exchanges currently being set up are designed to put enormous power into the hands of state and federal bureaucracies, according to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine by Brookings Institution economist Henry Aaron and Georgetown University’s Kevin Lucia. The exchanges, whether they be set up by Washington, as 33 states have chosen, or by the states themselves, will expand the reach and scope of government management in health care on an unprecedented level.
According to Aaron and Lucia, “Exchanges can set additional standards for the quality of care paid for by plans, bar plans that do not meet quality or price standards, and selectively contract with those that do.” Those standards, of course, will be determined by an arbitrary panel of “experts” — unelected, unaccountable death panels. States will also be able to bar the sale of insurance to individuals and small businesses outside the exchanges, creating a virtual monopoly over the choices that people may seek. Given that Democrats’ goal is single-payer government health care, this is hardly surprising.
These are just a couple of examples of what ObamaCare has in store for the American health care system. Until now, we have been focused on the pratfalls and screw-ups of the federal government trying to get this Byzantine system up and running. Sooner or later that comedy will be superseded by the tragedy of real-life enactment.
Also on the website today:
Income Redistribution: Work to Welfare
Forget troublesome unemployment rates. With welfare like the Obama administration offers, who needs a job? According to a recent Cato Institute report, “The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work.” In 35 states, welfare pays more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and in 13 states welfare pays more than $15 per hour. It’s hardly a shock, then, that welfare’s ranks are growing.
Last month marked another new record for the number of households receiving food stamps — 23,116,928. And while in 2008, 28.2 million individuals received food stamps, in 2012 that number hit 46.6 million, with concomitant costs spiking from almost $35 billion in 2008 to approximately $80 billion four years later. Barack Obama has apparently taken this as a mandate not to encourage welfare-to-work but, what else, to offer food stamps to illegal immigrants. Just visit the Mexican Embassy and you might see the Spanish-language USDA flyer saying that legal immigration status isn’t a requisite for dining at Uncle Sam’s table. But don’t worry, you’ve got the bill.
Climate Change This Week: AGW = More AND Less Hurricanes
Climate blogger Steven Goddard observed, “Over the last five hurricane seasons, the US has had a total of three hurricane strikes — Irene, Issac and Sandy. This few hurricanes has happened only twice before — in 1984 and 1866.”
The conclusion here is obvious: We were told that anthropogenic global warming — now conveniently referred to as “climate change” — would result in a significant increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes. But what the Goracle and his minions really meant was that global warming would result in an increase and decrease in the number of hurricanes.
Meanwhile, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that over the next 50 years, the planet will actually cool, not warm. The IPCC, of course, is the organization whose 2007 report on the devastating effects of man-made global warming earned it and Al Gore a Nobel Peace Price. Six years later, it’s “never mind.”
Columnist David Limbaugh: “By seeking transformational change, Obama does not mean that he wants to return unemployment and economic growth to their traditional levels. He doesn’t mean that he wants to ensure that America remains the world’s lone superpower, committed to defending itself and its allies and to opposing radical jihadis in the war on terror. … He means moving toward equality of outcomes to achieve ‘fairness.’ … Obama has been not only preaching ‘fairness’ but deliberately lowering Americans’ expectations for future growth. … What is going on in this nation is breathtaking to those who love America as founded and as embodying the greatest principles of self-governance in world history. If we are to have any hope of rolling some of this insanity back in the short term and ultimately preventing Obama’s goal of fundamental change, we must, at the very least, call Obama out on exactly what he’s doing and do our best to re-establish the traditional yardsticks against which to measure his failures.”
For the Record
Economist Thomas Sowell: “There is no question that the credibility of the presidency — regardless of who holds that office — is a major asset of this country. Another way of saying the same thing is that Barack Obama has recklessly risked the credibility of future presidents, and the future safety of this country, by his glib words and weak actions. … When a weak and vacillating leader, Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, belatedly saw Hitler for what he was, after years of trying to appease him, he issued a public ultimatum that if Germany carried out its impending invasion of Poland, Britain would declare war. By this time, Hitler had only contempt for Chamberlain, as Putin today has only contempt for Obama. Hitler went ahead with his invasion of Poland. Chamberlain then felt he had to declare war. That is how World War II began. Britain’s action did not save Poland, but only jeopardized its own survival. Unintended consequences are at least as common in military actions on the world stage as they are in domestic policies that start out with lofty words and end with sordid and even catastrophic consequences.”
Re: The Left
Columnist L. Brent Bozell: “When we last checked in on Barack Obama discussing Benghazi on the network news, he was reassuring Brian Williams on the Oct. 25 ‘Rock Center’ that ‘we’re going to do a full investigation.’ It’s a year later, and it’s still ‘we are going to.’ Last fall, Williams and Obama posed as curious for answers on how this disaster happened. Neither of them has demonstrated any noticeable curiosity since. … One year has elapsed, and the administration has failed to bring any of the Benghazi murderers to justice. The families of the lost Americans and the survivors of the attack have been completely ignored by the TV bookers, no matter how much they are demonized or silenced by Team Obama. This jaw-dropping journalistic failure underscores why the press deserves an approval rating in the single digits.”
For more, visit The Right Opinion.
Columnist Cal Thomas: “Anyone who has spent time in the Middle East knows things are not always what they seem. Alliances and loyalties shift depending on who is most likely to win a power struggle. The secular West doesn’t fully comprehend the religious motivations of extremists who claim to love death more than life. Getting killed by missiles launched by people they regard as ‘infidels,’ they say, transports them to paradise. … Learning from history, listening to what they say and watching what they do and confronting this evil, rather than trying to pacify it, is America’s best option.”
Rep. Steve Israel: “Does anyone truly believe that if Mitt Romney had been elected president and had asked House Republicans for exactly what President Obama is asking, that House Republicans would oppose it to the extent that they’re opposed to what President Obama wants? The level of hypocrisy is what amazes me.”
Mitt Romney wouldn’t be displaying such pathetic “leadership.”
MNSBC’s Ed Schultz: “This is Democratic foreign policy at its finest, I guess. … If President Obama had jumped the gun and hit Syria without delay, this deal would have never happened. … President Obama played this perfectly. … This is going to be productive and this may forge a new relationship between President Obama and ‘Ole Putey.’ You never know, they might go fishing at Big Eddie’s North Country Lodge.”
From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND): “We’re not trusting Assad. We’re trusting the Russians.”
The BIG Lie
Barack Obama: “I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. … That’s my judgment as commander in chief. But I’m also the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress.”
This Week’s ‘Braying Jenny’ Award
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “Thanks to Pres. Obama’s strength, we have a Russian proposal. We hope that it is credible and real, and therefore progress.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “We remain committed to bringing the perpetrators of the Benghazi attacks to justice and to ensuring the safety of our brave personnel serving overseas.”
It’s just that the administration has done virtually nothing to display that commitment.
Jay Leno: “President Obama says the lack of response to Syria so far does not threaten his credibility. And you know something, he’s right. The economy, Benghazi, the spying scandal — that threatens his credibility.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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