Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

If terrorism were caused by an unwillingness to accept refugees, where are all the Christian terrorists?

What do the pope and President Obama have in common?
asks Benny Huang.
They both agree that the key to fighting Islamic terrorism is to import the maximum number of Muslim refugees as fast as possible. Yes, that’s really their solution.

Though estimates vary widely as to the exact proportion of terror-prone individuals among the refugees, nearly everyone acknowledges that there are at least some scattered throughout. Any rational person would see that this whole thing is analogous to Russian roulette—the more refugees the West brings in, the more likely we are to fall prey to terror attacks like the St. Cloud mall stabbing (perpetrated by a Somali Muslim refugee) or the New York/New Jersey bombings (perpetrated by an Afghan Muslim refugee) [not to mention the attacks in European cities such as Paris, Nice, and the Brussels airport].

Just don’t tell that to Pope Francis. At a conference on refugees, the pontiff spoke of hospitality as “our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.” Oh, I get it—if we’re not nice to them they’ll kill us. Somehow I’m reminded of the drone C3PO and his immortal words [to R2D2] when facing a brute who wished to dismember him: “Let the Wookie win.” That’s not Christian charity; it’s just plain old, garden variety cowardice.

The pope went further: “I encourage you to welcome refugees into your homes and communities, so that their first experience of Europe is not the traumatic experience of sleeping cold on the streets, but one of warm welcome.” Who exactly is sleeping on the streets? Many refugees in Europe are staying in luxury hotels. In Sweden they’ve even been given their own cruise ship. Others are sleeping in the apartments of citizens who were evicted to make room for refugees.
But seriously, do people turn to terrorism because they are “sleeping cold on the streets?” Hardly. This is just the pope’s defense mechanism. In order to avoid talking about Islamic jihad he tries to change the subject to homelessness and in the process excuses mayhem and violence. To hear him tell it, you’d think the refugees only kill their hosts because the hosts haven’t done enough to ease their transition. Disgusting.

The irony of the pope’s comments is that one of his own priests was attacked by a refugee whom he naively welcomed into his home. In August, Father Jos Vanderlee allowed an asylum seeker access to the rectory at his church in Belgium after the poor chap knocked on the door and asked to use the shower. The refugee then demanded money and lunged at the priest with a knife, who suffered injuries but survived. It was the European refugee crisis in microcosm—first the young Muslim refugee asked the aging European to have pity on him, then the refugee mugged and assaulted the bleeding heart who was foolish enough to let him in. Maybe it was the priest’s fault for not letting the refugee in faster, for not handing over his money, for not shining the refugee’s shoes, or for not fluffing the refugee’s pillow. Whatever you do, don’t blame the refugee and for heaven’s sake don’t blame Islam!

President Obama struck a similar chord in March of this year after ISIS terrorists killed 32 people in Brussels. In his weekly address, the stuffed shirt president blamed a “distorted view of Islam” for the attack and regurgitated bromides about staying true to “our values.” It was more of the same song and dance our leaders always go through whenever some guy shouting “Allahu Akbar” goes on a killing spree. They think they sound inspiring but really they just sound like jackasses. Obama even tossed in a warm fuzzy about America’s respect for “religious freedom” which undoubtedly came as a huge surprise to the Little Sisters of the Poor.

But it was President Obama’s solution to the problem that ought to make stomachs turn. His proposed response to the Brussels attacks was—you guessed it!—to double down on immigration from the Muslim world. “As we move forward in this fight, we have to wield another weapon alongside our airstrikes, our military, our counterterrorism work, and our diplomacy,” the president said. “And that’s the power of our example. Our openness to refugees fleeing ISIL’s violence.” No matter what the problem is, Obama’s solution is always to bring in more third world savages. Anything less would be letting the terrorists win—and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

The Left’s self-serving policy prescription to the refugee crisis is arrived at by reasoning backwards from their conclusion. It makes sense to them to repopulate the West with people who will become wards of the state, hate their adopted countries, and reject Judeo-Christian values if only because they and their descendants will overwhelm and transform the population already living there. Honestly, it’s not a bad strategy. Here in America, for example, Barack Obama is building a power base for his party that will stand firmly for many generations to come. Our country will be poorer, less free and more dangerous because of his policies, but at least his party will rule without challenge. Pope Francis’s motive is less clear, as the Islamization of Europe (and beyond) does not bode well for the Catholic Church. He must like being the media’s favorite pope more than having a flourishing flock.

Once the preferred conclusion has been determined, it’s easy to rationalize a path to get there. The Left constructs an argument that Muslims are only attacking us because they want to be part of our great nation—which no liberal really believes is great—but we spurn them. Ergo, the proper way to defeat Muslim terrorists is to allow more Muslims into our country, some percentage of whom will inevitably become terrorists themselves.

This theory simply does not stack up against the facts. If the antidote to Islamic terrorism is mass immigration from the Muslim world, why then is a once safe and orderly country like Germany becoming a terrorist focal point? In the past year they have admitted an astonishing 1.8 million refugees, mostly from Muslim countries. Their efforts have been Herculean, even if they have been in the service of a very misguided goal. Surely the plotting schemers at ISIS stand in awe of Germany’s tolerance and openness and will soon capitulate. There’s no sense in trying to goad those Germans into defending themselves, they just won’t do it! But alas, Germany’s strategy of plowing ahead with a dumb idea hasn’t given the terrorists a change of heart.

 … If terrorism were caused by an unwillingness to accept refugees, where are all the Christian terrorists? The Syrian Civil War has impacted Christians more than any other and yet they have faced discrimination when attempting to flee to other countries, including our own. An argument could be made that Christians should be given preference over Muslims because Christians are wearing targets on their backs in ISIS-held territory but as a matter of fact they aren’t even afforded equal treatment. According to an article in Christianity Today, the United States resettled 2,093 Muslims and 53 Christians displaced by the Syrian Civil War by November 2015. That means that Christians represented 2.5% of the refugees taken in by the US, though they represent roughly 5% of the Syrian population as a whole and 18% of all refugees trying to escape Syria. If we’re slamming the door in anyone’s faces, it’s Christians—and yet they don’t respond by killing us.

The real reason President Obama lectured us on being more open to Muslim immigration after the Brussels attack is because he had already made up his mind to go pedal to the metal with mass migration from the Middle East. Nothing was going to change his mind on that issue, not even a little blood in the streets. So he decided to reverse cause and effect, as leftist often do, claiming that Muslims only attack people when they feel rejected. The opposite is true—people reject Muslims because of their violence.

The West has done everything that its finger-wagging, multiculturalist elites have prescribed, and yet the killing continues. …

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Typical MSM Headline? "Clinton wants to move past email scandal, but voters can't seem to"

On its contents page, AOL links to the news stories with major developments regarding all three presidential candidates.
You don't even have to read the stories; just check out the headlines. That's right: Compare the AOL headlines for the news story on the Democrat candidate with those concerning the Republican and the Libertarian candidates.

Clinton wants to move past email scandal, but voters can't seem to

Like with Barack Obama, it's too bad that the American people let the Democrat leader down and that it cannot be dissolved for another to be elected.

Indeed, in the tradition of putting the onus on the (evil or at least unsportsmanlike) GOP — the ol' Republicans pounce angle — and/or on the (clueless) voters, Grant Suneson seems to bemoan that, given that Bill Clinton's enlightened wife wants to move forward, the clueless voters can't act like grown-ups and turn a blind eye to a largely irrelevant scandal in order to focus on more pertinent subjects.

And what might those pertinent subjects be? Well, one might be Trump Caught in Major Factual Flub Ahead of US Debate. Another might read, say, 2016 Candidate wants to get rid of the Department of Homeland Security.

So what does a "Major … Flub" refer to? It's to the fact that Trump calls first US debate moderator a Democrat; records show otherwise. Indeed, NBC's Lester Holt, we learn, happens to be a registered Republican. Now, right there, we have one paramount sin, obviously of the unforgivable type. What a "Major … Flub" does not refer to is such things as being sneaky and secretive while lying about your four years at the head of one of the branches of government.

(By the way: An NBC reporter, a registered Republican? Would that be of the David Brooks variety?! And while we're at it, notice the weasel word "claim"; a fine verb, indeed, but hardly so when it's exclusively applicable to Republicans…)

Moreover, the Matt Picht story, Gary Johnson wants to get rid of the Department of Homeland Security, is sold on the "contents" page anonymously (as 2016 Candidate wants to get rid of the Department of Homeland Security) — probably for no other reason than the third party candidate being not well enough known in person to command interest as well as clicks.

However, notice that the photo (clearly, of a man in a man's suit) and the subhead with twice the word "he" ("The presidential candidate said on Monday that if he's elected to the White House, he will shut down the federal department") obviates any chance that the candidate in question could be Hillary while implying somewhat that it might, just might, be The Donald.

Let's hope this can be attributed to nothing else but paranoia on this reviewer's part.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Four Key Facts that Nobody Tells You About Obama's Birth Certificate Issue

The one certain bet about the Barack Obama birth certificate issue over the past eight years (and counting) is that you do not know the four key issues involved or realize the extent of their importance.

First, a(n unfortunately) necessary disclaimer: Out of over 12,500 posts in the past 12 years, less than 10 on this blog have been about the so-called "Birther" issue (and in a couple of those, it was never even the main subject). That amounts to more than 99.92% of No Pasarán posts that do not treat Obama's birth Certificate in any way. Just so you know that you can hardly accuse (or dismiss) No Pasarán or any one of its webmasters of being associated with alleged nutjobs (at least not with regards to that issue).

Having put that out of the way, let's get started:

1) The "Birther" issue did not rise among Republicans, conservatives, and/or the unruly rubes of flyover country

(aka the bitter clingers to guns and religion; or, if you prefer, aka the basket of deplorable and irredeemable racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes, and Islamophobes). It started with the campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2008 , involving — you know the tune — the compassionate, intelligent, humanistic, forward-looking fellow members of Obama's (and the Clintons') Democrat Party.

2) Far from being totally racist, twisted, dangerous, and/or simply abnormal, the ideas brought up by the alleged "Birther" issue (whether leveled by a Democrat or a Republican) turn out to be pretty conventional and run-of-the-mill.
And, that, on a ho-hum issue of secondary importance (aka a distraction).

May we be allowed to examine this issue — fairly, coolly, and dispassionately?

As I wrote a few years ago, in a lengthy, an in-depth, and a dispassionate examination of the facts, of the nutjobs, and of Obama's youth:
 … Recall that Jesse Jackson tried running for president twice (in 1984 and 1988), and although he did not manage to become the Democratic Party's candidate, noone suggested that he was born abroad, and that for the simple reason that the Greenville, SC, native did not have a foreigner for a father (or for a mother) nor did he spend numerous years abroad. [Neither did Herman Cain or Ben Carson have to deal with such charges in their respective elections about a quarter century later, be it by Democrats or by the supporters of their GOP competitors.]
 … to believe that an American citizen (whatever the color of his skin) born to a foreign father who lived much of his childhood abroad may indeed have been born in a foreign country turns out not to be that far-fetched at all.

Indeed, the difference between the Truthers and the Birthers is that in the first case, we are being asked to believe that 1) hundreds, if not thousands, of government officials were approached with a view to conspire to kill thousands of their fellow citizens, all (or most) of them innocent civilians, that 2) hundreds, if not thousands, of government officials agreed (apparently without a moment of hesitation) to conspire to murder thousands of innocent civilians, and that 3) none of these hundreds (thousands) of government officials has ever had a single, even fleeting feeling of remorse, or let the cat out of the bag, say while having too much to drink (no remorse?) during a Saturday outing to a local bar.

In the second case, we do not even have a conspiracy, but basically one single man hypothetically telling a falsehood — although it might even be termed a lie of omission — a lie about what offhand is a personal matter, but has turned into the only thing (allegedly) keeping him from power (Update: The New York Times' Double Standard on Conspiracy Theories).

Most damning of all, when you pause to think of it, the castigators' proof — if it can be called that — all lies in one fact (beyond the recently released certificate of live birth): and that fact is that Obama is a man, a person whose word should never be doubted, who is capable of no lying, no evil, no chicanery. If he tells you that, say, he is a Christian, then how dare you deny he is a religious man?! How dare you imply that he is a Muslim?! How dare you state he is a socialist?!

The person who ridicules the "Birther" theory as inane has no more proof than the born-in-Hawaii skeptic of where Obama was actually born [or didn't have any more proof until over two years into Obama's presidency]: his only argument — beyond the contention that the certificate of live birth and the newspaper clipping are incontrovertible proof that are not, can not be, fakes, bureaucratic mistakes, or misinterpretations — is the indisputable "truth" that Obama is someone whose honesty should not — should never — be questioned. (Whether in regards to his private life or to his political plans for America's future.)
[Update: As it happens, we would learn in 2012 (over four years after Obama was first a candidate and over three years after he entered the White House) that a "New Book Raises Questions About Obama's Memoir" (The New York Times' Michael Shear) and that, indeed, it turns out that Obama's memories were a "fantasy (like most of the President's own memoir)" (The Daily Mail). Adds Toby Harnden: "'Barack Obama: The Story' by David Maraniss catalogues dozens of instances in which Obama deviated significantly from the truth in his book 'Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance'. The 641-page book punctures the carefully-crafted narrative of Obama’s life."]

When you think about it, it might be less worrying that some do not believe Obama was born in the United States (because of the circumstances linked to his entire childhood, much of it abroad) than that some are utterly convinced he must be born in the United States (because the Chicago pol is allegedly a sainted figure who can do, who can say no evil, who is incapable of or of lying or of falsifying documents). Again, remember the desires of some of his followers who want(ed) the constitution to be changed, only so Obama could win one election after another and end up, in one way or another and in the best of all possible outcomes, as (de facto if not de jure) president-for-life? Let me ask everybody a simply question: Who is the truly terrifying fanatic, here?

3) Here comes the kicker: the so-called "Birther" charge (whether brought by a Democrat or a Republican) was never a charge leveled primarily at a man called Barack Obama or, for that matter, against a member of a minority or a person of a particular race.

It was a charge against the media. 

Indeed, as in 2) above, the "birther" charge was, and is, an entirely justifiable charge against the mainstream media. It was never about birth certificates per se. It was about the double standards that the MSM demonstrate again and again, first, between a Republican and a Democrat, and, second, between the other members of the Donkey Party and the media's preferred (i.e., its "dream") candidate.

(See Instapundit for a myriad of examples of why Glenn Reynolds refers to reporters and journalists as Democrats with bylines; or, as I call them, the fellow travelers in the (self-serving) drama queen view of America and the world.)
Recall Hillary Clinton referring to the SNL sketch journalists asking "Barack" if he is comfortable and needs another pillow. Here was a candidate (whatever the color of his skin) with, again, a foreign father and with long years of his childhood spent abroad (oh, and by the way, running a campaign extolling transparency): why not have a reporter or two (briefly) ask this person to (quickly) prove his credentials for the Oval Office (once and for all) — y'know, in the process of challenging politicians on their merits)?

4) The fact that the "Birther" issue was an (entirely justifiable) attack (by a Democrat or a Republican) on the mainstream media offering undeniable proof of its double standards is the very reason that it was—deliberately—turned into a scandal of humongous proportions depicting unspeakable hatred spewed by vicious packs of deranged, loony, and fanatic Neanderthals.

It was not by accident that the title of my "lengthy, in-depth, and dispassionate examination of the facts, of the nutjobs, and of Obama's youth" was The JournoList Issue No One Is Bringing Up. The reason I keep referring to the "alleged" and to the "so-called" "Birther" issue in quotation marks is that it is an entirely fabricated story (or narrative, to use the MSM's preferred expression), by members of the mainstream media itself, with an entirely fabricated cast of nasty and dangerous villains, consisting of mobs of zealous trouble-makers and despicable enemies of the people. 

The ensuing pearl-clutching "omigod-don't-tell-us-that-you-are-one-of-those-racist-clods?!" attitude was, and is, in no way a defense of Obama or the occupant of the white House; it was, and is, a defense of the mainstream media.

It was and is certainly not a gallant and high-principled attack on hate and bigotry, in defense of a minority member sitting in the White House.  

It was and is a shameful, a disgusting, and an un-American attempt to shut down debate by shaming anyone wishing to take a deeper look into the biggest single piece of evidence exposing its (bogus) credentials of neutrality and impartiality.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Jacques Julliard : Pour l'extrême gauche, tout est bon pour suggérer que les crimes ne sont pas des crimes, mais des conséquences

Aujourd'hui, le parti collabo naissant est d'extrême gauche
tempête Jacques Julliard (merci à Lucien Oulahbib), dont les paroles reflètent ce que vit le peuple américain depuis 8 ans (mais aux States, il s'agit du parti au pouvoir ainsi que d'un leader adulé à travers le monde).
C'est celui du «pas d'amalgame» à tous crins ; du «vivre ensemble» à tout prix ; c'est le parti de la psychiatrisation («une poignée de déséquilibrés»), de la contextualisation («des victimes du racisme ambiant»), de la diversion («les fruits du colonialisme») et de la banalisation («le burkini est un vêtement comme un autre»)...
Chaque fois que la France est menacée dans son existence et dans ses raisons d'être, il se forme dans ses marges un parti collabo. Bourguignons de la guerre de Cent Ans, frondeurs du début du règne de Louis XIV, émigrés de Coblence sous la Révolution, vichystes et pronazis de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. D'ordinaire, ce parti est d'extrême droite et se confond avec la réaction. Aujourd'hui, il est d'extrême gauche.

C'est le parti du «pas d'amalgame» à tous crins ; du «vivre ensemble» à tout prix ; de «la faute aux cathos» quand les islamistes égorgent ; c'est le parti de la minimisation («quelques actes isolés sans signification»), de la psychiatrisation («une poignée de déséquilibrés»), de la contextualisation («des victimes du racisme ambiant»), de la diversion («les fruits du colonialisme»), de la banalisation («le burkini est un vêtement comme un autre»). Tout est bon pour suggérer que ces crimes ne sont pas des crimes, mais des conséquences.

C'est surtout le parti de la France coupable. Cette façon de faire son procès quand l'ennemi la calomnie, cette manière de lui tirer dans le dos quand elle est attaquée de face ; ce chauvinisme inversé qui l'accable quand elle est affaiblie ne porte qu'un nom, quels qu'en soient les auteurs : lâcheté ! lâcheté !

Quand la France connut en 1940 les jours les plus noirs de son histoire, le parti de la soumission, avec à sa tête le maréchal Pétain, ne trouva qu'une explication : la France est dans le malheur parce que la France est coupable ! Coupable du Front populaire, coupable de son esprit de jouissance, coupable de son esprit d'insubordination.
>>> Retrouvez l'intégralité de cet éditorial dans 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Condemned to the Ultimate Penalty in Paris: Not a Socialist, But a…

While the caretakers in the Church of the Sacre-Coeur were going on their rounds late on Monday night
reported the The New York Herald (European Edition) in early September 1891 (13 years after construction on la basilique du Sacré-Cœur was started and 23 years before it was completed),
they were startled by a strange noise which seemed to come from behind the high altar. Suddenly something leaped on the altar, overturned the candles, and disappeared. By the light of the lanterns appeared the shadow, not of a Socialist, but of a fantastic-looking animal with a tail. Yesterday morning the curé of Montmartre found fifteen of his chickens strangled, and in a corner of the fowl house a fox was crouching. The animal was of course taken before the Commissary of Police, who condemned it to death.
The New York Herald, European Edition, Sept. 9, 1891

Friday, September 16, 2016

The New Yorker: Compare Things to Hitler

The New Yorker

Cartoons from the September 5, 2016, Issue

Racism: The Vicious Circle of Crises, Or, How the Drama Queens Operate

Thanks to Ed Driscoll for Instalinking my post entitled the Era of the Drama Queen.

As I wrote in the subtitle, Every Crisis Is a Triumph, and examples of this were mentioned briefly:
The numerous pitfalls of Obamacare? The Iranian deal leading to a greater chance of terrorism and war? The drama queens are fine with that, they don't even mind being blamed for having made "mistakes," it all leads to more crises down the road and a greater need for intervention, ever more intervention from politicians and bureaucrats and members of the Intervention Party the Democrat Party, aka knights in shining armor.
To expand on a more recent example, turn to Heather Mac Donald's New York Post story on The Lies Told by the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Gang shootings occur almost exclusively in minority areas. Police use of force is most likely in confrontations with violent and resisting criminals, and those confrontations happen disproportionately in minority communities.

 … Officers are routinely surrounded by hostile, jeering crowds when they try to conduct a street investigation or make an arrest. Resistance to arrest is up, officers report. Cops have been repeatedly told by President Obama and the media that pedestrian stops and public order enforcement are racist. In consequence, they are doing less of those discretionary activities in high-crime minority communities.
The result? Violent crime is rising in cities with large black populations.
So, to summarize, according to the Era of the Drama Queen (Every Crisis Is a Triumph):

• Barack Obama and his kindred spirits (white or black) in organizations such as the Black Lives Matter movement (a phoenix-like resurrection of Obama's ACORN, according to some) decry racism (real or exaggerated) in American society. (Check Powerline's Paul Mirengoff for an example of bogus allegations of racism.)

• Protests against racism and racists mount throughout the media and throughout society, particularly after violent encounters between members of opposing races (no matter what the context may have been).

• Hostility against police leads to officers becoming either the targets of "understandable" retaliation and revenge (including shootings and killings) by the alleged "victims" of racism or becoming the targets of the valiant anti-racism crusaders at the helm of society (demonization by intrepid members of the MSM and/or lawsuits by gallant attorneys general, etc…)

• Police officers, as concerned (if not more) at being labeled (and pursued as) bigots and racists as being shot at by members of minorities, consequently develop a far-from-unwell-founded timidity about engaging and patrolling minority communities — where most blacks are killed (in black-on-black crimes, by the way).

• With police absent (or less prominent) in inner-city neighborhoods, criminals feel more secure and violence explodes.

• Guess where more violence in inner-city neighborhoods (and its corollary, more black deaths) take us? That's right — we are back to step 1! You remember: that step where Obama and his kindred spirits decry racism and violence in American society; they now have even more nightmarish statistics that they can use to decry even more racism and violence in American society.

By the way, Heather Mac Donald's New York Post story on The Lies Told by the Black Lives Matter Movement ends with this paragraph:
For the past two decades, the country has been talking about phantom police racism in order to avoid talking about a more uncomfortable truth: black crime. But in the era of data-driven law enforcement, policing is simply a function of crime. The best way to lower police-civilian contacts in inner-city neighborhoods would be for children to be raised by their mother and their father in order to radically lower the crime rate there.
• Related: In the Era of the Drama Queen, Even Conservatives Turn to the Candidate of Melodramatics and Excitement

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Washington Post Cartoon Shows All You Need to Know About the MSM's Double Standards

If you wish to understand the double standards of the mainstream media, look no further than this Washington post cartoon.

Offhand, it would seem to be a hard-hitting broadside against the Hillary Clinton campaign.

But look again, and notice what wouldn't happen to a Republican candidate, in any way possible, were we speaking of a like-minded scandal involving the GOP campaign:

First of all, a scandal involving a Democrat amounts to making a mountain out of a molehill (whether the making is the product of the opposition Republicans, the candidate's own staff, or journalists in the media).

More to the point, Ann Telnaes attacks everyone involved in the campaign, with one notable exception: Hillary herself, whom she lets entirely off the hook.

Indeed, the cartoon even seems to be somewhere a criticism against the detractors of Bill Clinton's wife (Republican, Democrat, independent), who cannot see how she has little to nothing to do with the (non-)scandal and, indeed, what a non-scandal it turns out to be.

As it happens, the cartoon suggests nothing but empathy for Hillary, who seems to have the role of the the wise old (wo)man who must deal with the failings — or the hysterics — of the members of her entourage.

There might of course be truth in this, but imagine a similar scandal involving a Republican — whether a Bush, a Reagan, a Cruz, or a Trump — and it is hard to imagine the same outlook from a supposedly neutral newspaper columnist or caricaturist…

Update: here is another example from the Post, signed Toles

Amazingly, the New York Times has sorted through the Obamacare chaos and come up with the conclusion that the mess is serious, costly, damaging—and very, very hard to fix

Six years after a Democratic majority rammed the most complex piece of domestic legislation in decades through a party line vote, using a legislative technique that ensured the final bill would be a mess that nobody actually advocated, the law, shockingly, isn’t working very well.
Thus reports WRM at The American Interest (thanks to Instapundit).
Enrollment is only half of what proponents expected, premiums are going up by double-digits, healthy people are shunning what they see as an over-priced and underperforming program, the ‘cooperatives’ that Democratic wonks gushed over are going belly-up, and insurance companies are fleeing the market in droves.And even more amazingly, the New York Times has sorted through the chaos and come up with the conclusion that the Obamacare mess is serious, costly, damaging—and very, very hard to fix.
It has been a hard couple of weeks for Obamacare. The law’s online marketplaces — where people were supposed to be able to easily shop for health insurance — have been suffering from high-profile defections and double-digit premium increases.
Critics of Obamacare have pointed to the recent problems as proof the market is not working, while even the law’s staunchest defenders are arguing that the marketplaces need some fixes.
The signature domestic accomplishment of the Obama administration is, the Gray Lady appears to be conceding, a dysfunctional mess. It’s likely that the next president will have to spend time and political capital trying to undo the harm that Obamacare is wreaking on an American health system that was already in need of constructive reforms. Hillary Clinton’s first venture into national politics was her failed effort to introduce health care reform in her husband’s first term; will her own first term see her having to go back to health care one more time? If so, one can be fairly sure that she won’t be grateful to the predecessor who left her with this sticky mess.
Tongue (firmly) in cheek, Glenn Reynolds wags:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

McAuliffe’s typical felon would vote Democrat if only because the Democrats have become the party of, by, and for criminals

Come hell or high water Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is going to deliver his state’s electoral votes to his close friend of more than twenty years, Hillary Clinton.
Benny Huang demands unequivocally that the governor of Virginia be arrested — NOW.
McAuliffe has spent the entire summer attempting to restore voting rights to 206,000 convicted felons, most of whom will probably vote in future elections for him, his party, and his friends.

According to Article II Section 1 of the Constitution of Virginia, a convicted felon loses his right to vote “unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.” From the time the current state constitution was written in 1902 until just this year that clause was understood to mean that the governor has the authority to restore voting rights under extraordinary circumstances and on a case-by-case basis. But that’s not how McAuliffe understands it. Under his interpretation, the state constitution empowers the governor to enfranchise all felonious Virginians en masse. In April of this year, he signed an executive order doing exactly that.

In order to justify his action, Governor McAuliffe has resorted to the last refuge of scoundrels—accusations of racism. Suspending felons’ voting rights affects blacks disproportionately, you see, which McAuliffe implies can be the only reason anyone would oppose him.

That fact alone doesn’t make “blacks” and “felons” interchangeable terms by any stretch of the imagination. Most felons are not black and most blacks are not felons. Even so, the fact that felon disenfranchisement affects blacks disproportionately is a direct result of blacks violating the law disproportionately. Felons are a self-selecting group of people who choose to rape, murder, and rob, among other crimes. The day blacks decide to get their act together and stop joining this ignoble group will be the day they stop being disproportionately affected by laws like these. It’s not the law’s fault that black people break it in proportions far beyond their numbers.

But McAuliffe undercuts his own argument when he parries with opponents over his transparently selfish motives. Knowing that his unilateral and illegal executive order is perceived as a giveaway to a close friend, the governor has hinted that in fact felons are unlikely to vote for Hillary Clinton because of their demographic traits—ergo, his executive order was principled and pure. As he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell last month, the average felon having his rights restored is a 48-year old white male. “Now I’m not sure that’s Hillary’s demographic, but maybe it is,” joked McAuliffe. I have been unable to find any independent confirmation of McAuliffe’s assertion but let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s true. What then is racist about the continued disenfranchisement of felons? If the idea is to keep blacks out of the voting booths they’re doing it wrong. If, as McAuliffe suggests, the average felon in Virginia is a middle-aged white guy—and likely working class—restoring his franchise would be a boon for Donald Trump. That’s his base.
Perhaps McAuliffe would counter that blacks are still disproportionately disenfranchised, even if they are not the majority of those disenfranchised. As true as that may be, it’s also irrelevant. In elections it’s real numbers that matter, not proportions. If Republicans block ten voters likely to vote for the GOP just to block five voters likely to vote for the Democrats, they will lose.

Judging by states that permit felons to vote, it appears that felons really do prefer the Democrats by a margin of about 6-to-1. It’s not a stretch at all to believe that McAuliffe’s typical felon (white, male, 48 years old) would vote Democrat if only because the Democrats have become the party of, by, and for criminals. Criminality comes so naturally to the Democrats that Governor McAuliffe will blithely break the law just to get them their voting rights back. He’s even under FBI investigation for possibly accepting foreign campaign donations, including a rather large one from a Chinese businessman. The Democrats are so corrupt that they’re running an unindicted felon (perjurer, obstructer of justice) for president this year. They’re the party of illegal aliens, cop-killers, rioters and looters. Criminals of all races feel right at home with the Democrats because the jackass party happens to be the nation’s leading crime syndicate.

Reasonable people, I believe, can disagree on the issue of felon voting. My personal opinion is that voting rights should be restored after a felon has completed his sentence—but that’s not the point. What matters is that Governor McAuliffe does not have the authority to restore voting rights unilaterally and en masse. It may be the morally correct thing to do but there’s still a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The right way is to amend Virginia’s constitution. Fortunately, there’s a process for that spelled out in Article XII. The governor’s shortcut amounts to cheating, plain and simple.

The last Democratic governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, considered doing what McAuliffe actually did. In 2010 Kaine sought the recommendation of his senior counsel, attorney and law professor Mark Rubin, who advised him that the governor has no such authority. … Oddly enough, Kaine now supports McAuliffe’s lawless unilateral action. Could it be because he’s Hillary Clinton’s running mate?

 … Virginia’s Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, both Republicans, have asked the Virginia Supreme Court to hold Governor McAuliffe in contempt, which he clearly is. Much the same way that Kim Davis had her butt tossed in jail for defying a court order, Terry McAuliffe must also face some consequences. Or do we only jail the little people? He must not be allowed to get away with his arrogant and selfish power grab lest a precedent be set. The ends don’t justify the means and Terry McAuliffe is not a law unto himself.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If you are wondering why you haven’t seen Venezuela's starving mobs on the news, it’s because the country is a Socialist disaster area that was once being used as a model by the left

A mob of starving people advanced on the presidential palace chanting, “We want food”
reports Sultan Kish's Daniel Greenfield (gracias por Instapundit's Ed Driscoll).
They were met by soldiers and police dispatched by the tyrant from his lavish palace decorated opulently with a golden sun, giant rock crystal mirrors, sparkling chandeliers and towering oil portraits.

The scene wasn’t 19th century France, but 21st century Venezuela.

And if you are wondering why you haven’t seen it on the news, it’s because Venezuela is a Socialist disaster area that was once being used as a model by the left. Now it’s a place where the vast majority of people can’t afford basic food staples and a third are down to two or fewer meals a day.

Obama laughed and joked with deceased monster Hugo Chavez, who handed him a copy of the anti-American tract, “Open Veins of Latin America” that had even been disavowed by its own author. Obama called the book a “nice gesture”, but Eduardo Galeano, its author, had told an audience that the left “commits grave errors” when in power.

Venezuela, once a wealthy oil state, where the doctors offering “universal health care” have no medicine and starving people loot government stores looking for food, is yet another example. 50 people are dead in the latest food riots. Their graves are yet another “grave error” of the left.

Obama has not appeared too concerned at the meltdown in Venezuela. Unlike Syria, there are no threats of intervention to remove Maduro, Chavez’s successor, and the rest of the leftist regime illegally clinging to power while slaughtering Venezuelans, smuggling drugs and aiding terrorists.

When Hugo Chavez was killed by the wonders of Cuban medicine, a remedy that American leftists recommend to others while they obtain the best private health care for their own ailments, Obama offered a vague statement of support calling Chavez’s passing, “challenging”.

It was certainly that.

Chavez had been none too tightly wound; claiming that capitalism had destroyed life on Mars, that Jews run the world and that his cancer had been caused by America, but his successor, Nicolas Maduro is insane. Maduro claimed that his deceased predecessor appeared to him in the form of a “little bird” and on a subway wall. He showed off the photo of the wall on state television while crying.

“Chavez is everywhere, we are Chavez, you are Chavez," he insisted.

Hugo Chavez is indeed everywhere. His portraits cover Venezuela. They’re a lot easier to find than food. And these days Venezuelans are far more interested in finding something to put in their mouths.

The left-wing sociologist running the Venezuelan economy doesn’t believe in inflation. Last year he wrote a pamphlet in which he insisted that “Inflation does not exist in real life.”

Inflation certainly exists in Venezuela which has seen 500% inflation. The Socialist regime responded with price controls. When stores and farmers wouldn’t sell at set prices, soldiers were sent in to take them over. Crowds initially cheered all the subsidized products. But they wouldn’t be cheering for long.

After the fun of electronics stores forced to discount televisions at gunpoint, there were no more televisions. And no more cars. Then no more toilet paper, milk and other basic necessities.

The Socialist government tried to solve its money problem by printing more money. But it wasn’t able to pay for the money it wanted to print because of the inflation which officially did not exist.

Venezuela needs 10 billion bank notes in its new inflationary economy, more than America, and it can’t pay for them. Or pay for anything else. It can’t afford to import food and it refuses to pay fair prices at home. Meanwhile eggs, at the official exchange rate, run to $150, McDonald’s fries for $126 and a pound of coffee for $85. Socialists may not believe in inflation, but inflation believes in them.

No wonder the people are starving. 

 … The military elite receive special food privileges. In a country where bread and butter have become distant memories for many, the guns used to oppress the Venezuelan people are paid for with butter. And the people are fighting back. The government calls its crackdown on starving people “Operation People’s Liberation”. The people however want to be liberated from their socialist liberators.

When the Socialist regime responded to electoral defeats by rigging the Supreme Court and arresting the free market opposition, the street battles intensified. The “Liberators”, who have the luxury of eating butter with their bread, are fighting hungry men and women in the streets of cities. And sometimes it’s the socialist “liberators” who are forced to retreat from the true people’s liberators.

While the socialists route food through the United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s CLAP committees to their own supporters, ordinary Venezuelans are hunting pigeons, and even dogs and cats in the capital.

Before the last election, Chavez said, “If I was from the United States, I'd vote for Obama.” And the two leaders do have some political and economic views in common. The fundamental difference is that it took Venezuela a lot less time to run out of “other people’s money” than America.

A few years ago, the left-wing site Salon was praising “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle” and suggesting that we should follow his example of nationalizing companies. “Are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chavez’s grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution?” its author wondered.

Someone ought to ask the starving mobs redistributing government food while dodging bullets.

Venezuelan socialists used the familiar language of claiming that subsidies and free services were human rights. “Health care can’t be privatized because it is a fundamental human right,” Chavez once claimed. That should sound familiar. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have said the same thing.

But Venezuela’s universal health care has no actual medicine. Hospitals have no running water or soap. Victims arrive with gunshots and aren’t treated until they settle their bill. Babies die routinely.

And it goes without saying that there is no food.

“I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” Maduro insists.

Considering how bad actual Cuban medicine is, he’s probably right.

Socialism killed Venezuela. The country has no food, no money, no power, no health care and no hope. Venezuelans were promised a better life through government. This is what they received.
There are lessons for us here and they are obvious ones. And that is why the media has minimized its coverage of a horrific crisis. The people chanting that they want food are not rebelling against unfeeling corporations, but a government whose economic policies many on the left had viewed as a model.

The popularity of Bernie Sanders is based on many of the same empty promises of freebies for all that made Hugo Chavez such a hit. Venezuela is a model of how well that works out in real life.
Socialism is increasingly popular in America. Meanwhile in Latin America, socialism kills babies and drives starving mobs to demand food outside the presidential palace under the guns of the regime’s soldiers.

It’s an old story, but it’s also a new story because when we forget history, then we are forced to repeat it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Election: Which Candidate's Budget Plan Is the Most Promising?

We are provided with a cartoon in Dilbert's office which shows what Scott Adams thinks, exactly, of the candidates in the 2016 election…