By Doug Magill
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. Ayn Rand
Having built a monstrous batisse of government mandates and perverse incentives coupled with a gross misunderstanding of human nature and incentives, the Democrat party refuses to compromise on any portion of Obamacare. Even though our President in a rather extra-constitutional fashion has suspended portions of it, granted waivers not to be found in the law anywhere, and pandered to the new ruling class of government workers by providing subsidies also not found in the law.
So, using the impending problem of raising our debt ceiling (which our memory-deprived President railed against while a senator), we now find ourselves at a budgetary impasse. So?
It is news to most Americans who have been short-changed on their understanding of history (now who benefits from that?) that budget crises and government shutdowns are neither new nor particularly bothersome. This current event is the 18th shutdown since 1976. I can hear all of the ideology-blinded liberals whining that this is different, but it really isn’t. The rhetoric is more heated – particularly from those same self-righteous liberals – because the media allows it, but the causes and effects are pretty much the same. And, the results will be too.
The big surprise is that we haven’t had a shutdown in the last twenty years or so. According to Andrew Stiles “At this point in Ronald Reagan’s second term, for example, the government had already shut down six times, for a total of twelve days, as a result of failed budget negotiations between the White House, a Republican Senate, and House Democrats under the leadership of Tip O’Nell (D., Mass) precisely the opposite of the dynamics that exist today. “
Guess who worked under Tip O’Neill and forgot all about this? None other than Chris Matthews, the resident TV blabbermouth who hasn’t stopped talking to learn anything new since he first went on the air.
The avuncular O’Neill, who could play hardball politics with the best of them, managed to be involved in twelve different government shutdowns, five with Jimmy Carter, and seven under Reagan. So, Big Daddy Tip was involved in two-thirds of government shutdowns since the current budgeting methodology has been in place.
I don’t recall anyone ever calling O’Neill a “terrorist”, or accusing him of waging “jihad” against the American people.
Ignorance is incendiary when it involves politics.
Who remembers that under Carter the government shut down because of disagreements between the House and the Senate, even though both were controlled by Democrats? C’est ridicule! But, of course the media doesn’t remember, or remind us of these things.
Obamacare is deeply unpopular, clearly flawed, and is the only entitlement program ever passed entirely on partisan lines with lots of backroom political bribes and in the dead of night using parliamentary trickery. Study after study has shown it will cost a lot more than advertised, will not cure the problem of uninsured citizens, will have devastating effects on our health care system, and has already created huge disincentives for business growth and development. Rational minds would consider fixing some of these things. Democrats say no.
And Republicans are accused of intransigence.
We know, however, that the real goal is not Obamacare. The liberal crusade is for total government control of health care, and this step in that direction is not to be given up. Like so many things in the totalitarian temptation that drives liberals, efficiency and effectiveness are not to be considered when the possibility of total control can be grasped. Those who study history have seen this before.
The impecunious Davy Crockett, an American hero, had a better picture of the role of government than those overheated windbags that occupy his place in the House of Representatives.
It was an idea that only a liberal would love. Let’s make a documentary (really hagiography) about Hillary Clinton in time for the 2016 elections! Once CNN announced its plans, NBC jumped in with an idea for a mini-series with Dianne Lane as Hillary (one wonders if her role in Unfaithful was considered good background). Producer Charles Ferguson has dropped plans for his project, and NBC has subsequently decided they weren’t interested. Ferguson blames Media Matters, both political parties, and especially the Clintons for the insurmountable difficulties he faced. Interestingly enough he describes a meeting with Bill Clinton where “he proceeded to tell me the most amazing lies I’ve heard in quite a while.”
The abortion controversy is debated in ways that conceal the truth, and history. We know that the founder of what is now Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, believed in eugenics. We also know that Roe v. Wade was a textbook example of judicial overreach – liberal judges and attorneys acknowledge this. That Supreme Court decision was the result of a clear strategy by its proponents to overrule elective politics through the courts because of the consistent unwillingness of the American people to allow unlimited abortions on demand. We are discovering that a fetus can feel long before we ever imagined it could, while medical science allows babies to be saved astonishingly early before full term. Yet, these things are clouded by the media’s focus on the perceived needs of the mother, without really ever focusing on what effect abortion has on society, and individuals. There has been astonishingly little exposure given to the men that supported abortion on demand, and what it means in their lives.
The media also gives scant coverage to organizations that have been outraged by the mandates issued by HHS in regards to contraception. And, effectively abortion on demand. Pundits blithely mention religious exemptions and never mention details, or effects. Hobby Lobby, a Christian organization, won a resounding victory against the HHS regulations in Federal Court. There has been very little explanation of why this victory is important. Other organizations that are religious in nature have also been affected, and have had to fight – even though it does not suit their nature, or their image.
Catholics rightly wonder why does this conclusion not seem obvious?
Unions have been vocal in their criticism of Obamacare. The AFL-CIO convention a few weeks ago was prepared to issue a strong condemnation of the health insurance legislation, but Obama personally intervened to block the statement. We don’t know what accommodation the President will reach with the unions, but we know that they feel betrayed.
Seymour Hersh is a liberal author who won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War. He is not a fan of conservatives, and the feeling is mutual. Yet, he is disgusted at the state of the media in this country, explaining that 90% of editors should be fired as the only way to fix journalism.
Baseline Budgeting is a horror that keeps on returning, annually in fact. Every government agency, department, and office knows that if you don’t spend the money you are allocated you will lose it in next year’s budget. That way, every year your budget will go up. And, what the heck, it’s someone else’s so spend it on whatever seems desirable at the time. Though the noise has died down about outrageous government jaunts and conferences, the problem is real, and growing. Nearly 60% of the federal budget is spent in the fourth quarter of the budget year. And since it ends at the end of September all kinds of spending is flowing out of the scuppers of the bureaucracy.
Though NASA has strayed far from its original mission, there are a lot of companies that are interested in the commercial potential of spaceflight. The administration has funded a number of efforts to assist in this, and last Sunday Orbital Sciences became the second company to successfully send a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Today, these companies are funded by the government, so while they still represent government programs they are undoubtedly vastly more efficient than anything NASA could accomplish these days. Elon Musk – founder of SpaceX – has found that rockets and cars can do very nicely on government subsidies. Still, it does move us closer to the commercialization of space.
I know we all wish we could go back to college at times. And why not? Brown University has certainly found another good way to entice students to attend class.
While the editorial comments write themselves, it is intriguing to attempt to understand the culture of our Saudi allies.
You knew someone had to figure it out. And why not MIT and Harvard, whose students probably dearly hope that they can find something to use to break up the tedium of droning liberal professors?
Doug Magill is a freelance writer and voice-over talent and also co-hosts The Avenue, a radio show dedicated to culture and entertainment. As a cancer survivor he has a number of concerns with the health insurance law misnamed the Affordable Care Act. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org