Category Archives: Government

President Lone Ranger

140730feature

“So the only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you won’t do anything,” said the president about Congress.

President Lone Ranger is not happy about being sued by John Boehner. That’s because he wants to be impeached. The prospect of impeachment is a fundraising bonanza for Democrats.

As someone once said, the Republicans may be dumb but they’re not stupid. They impeached the first black president (Bill Clinton) and he remains wildly popular to this day. They’re not about to impeach the second one.

So they’re suing  him.

Kerry, Qatar, Hamas, and Turkey

140729Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Saudis want Hamas out and Fatah in in Gaza. So what did John Kerry  do? He met with Islamist Turkey and Qatar to come up with a cease fire agreement that keeps Hamas in power and its rockets and tunnels intact. The Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected the deal. Israel has Hamas on the ropes. Hammas is without friends – save for Turkey and Qatar – which is why Krauthammer called Kerry Hamas’s lawyer.

Here’s David Harsanyi in The Federalist:

Perhaps because of tragic loss of life, the United States would rather see a ceasefire than Hamas dealt a mortal blow. And that is almost certainly one of the reasons Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.

Thomas Sowell , looking way back, says ” ‘Cease-fire” and “negotiations” are magic words to “the international community.” But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish?”

In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression…

At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage.

Looks like mutual assured destruction all around is the key to world peace.

The Washington Post’s David Ignatius calls this Kerry’s big blunder:

Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza.

The State Department’s response to Kerry criticism? Well, this is “not the way allies treat each other.”

Fundraising Vacation

140724vacation-fundraising

The world is going mad and President Obama is going on vacation. The rest of the government is following The Bear’s vacay lead. On Saturday the US Embassy in Libya was vacated. Fred Hiatt in the Washington Post calls it all a deliberate strategy of withdrawal.

Fundraising Vacation

The president will be on a working vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. That is to say he’ll be fundraising. He’ll check in at the Blue Heron Farm. Has Obama checked out of the White House? Krauthammer thinks so. He thinks Obama believes history is traveling on autopilot.

 

Affordable Care Act Subsidies

140723-affordable-care-act-subsidies

We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it. The bill passed, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has read it, and found out what’s not in it. The Affordable Care Act says subsidies are available for plans purchased on state run exchanges. That was an inducement for states to set up their own exchanges. Still, 36 states chose not to build exchanges and left the job to the feds. People with plans from Federal exchanges aren’t eligible for subsidies, says the court.

Subsidies All Around

Another court - the Fourth Circuit -says the plain language in the bill wasn’t the intent of Congress. In other words Congress didn’t mean what it said. Not an unreasonable assumption.

For now the IRS will continue to allow subsidies for health care plans bought on federal exchanges.

Religious Freedom

140721religious freedom

Religious freedom has been taking a beating.

A National Review editorial last week made the point that during the Clinton administration Democrats in Congress felt the Supreme Court had too narrow a view of religious liberty. As a result the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by President Clinton. 

Along comes the Affordable Care Act (ACA), …which empowered the Obama administration to issue regulations that burdened a religious liberty..

This leaves Democrats in a political pickle. They passed a law to protect religious freedom, but they do not desire to protect religious freedom when doing so interrupts their risible war-on-women soap opera.

Senator Udall, in his rhetoric, has been particularly dishonest about this, characterizing the Hobby Lobby decision as mandating that women “have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control.” In fact, the decision does no such thing: Hobby Lobby has nothing to do with the right to do anything, but rather with the right to not do something.

Elsewhere on the religious freedom front, the Islamic State of Iraq has ordered Christians to either  pay jizya (a religious tax), convert to Islam, or die.