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Views on the News

Views on the News*

May 31, 2014

                            

Another week, another scandal: from Fast and Furious at the ATF to the Pigford fraud at the Department of Agriculture, the IRS’ political targeting to the State Department’s Benghazi mess, the healthcare.gov debacle at HHS to spying at the NSA and the DOJ, President Obama is running out of agencies and departments to defend in his two years left in office.  It’s no wonder public faith in our government is at a record low.  What we do see is endless delays and stall tactics to slow-walk or withhold key information until the public tires of the exercise.  The truth Democrats don’t want you to know is that these scandals are not about racism or Republicans or obstruction votes or even President Obama.  These scandals are about the collapse of a big-government bureaucracy that consistently lets you down, but which the left depends on to keep your vote.  If there’s anything at all funny about these scandals, it’s that Democrats don’t realize that their efforts to deflect attention away from this inconvenient truth often ends up pointing directly at it.  The problem is never at the top, they insist.  Yes, people at the top should be held responsible when things go wrong, but at the same time, it hardly matters who that is when he or she is sitting on top of a steaming pile of bureaucratic waste.  The oversight of millions of low-level bureaucrats with navigable chains-of-command and arcane protocols is the problem.  Big-government bureaucracy is the problem, and Democrats unintentionally tell us that all the time.

(“What Obama’s many messes really mean” by S.E. Cupp dated May 28, 2014 published by New York Daily News at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/obama-messes-article-1.1807506 )

One has to wonder about the effect of the endless succession of scandals and fiascos have had on Americans as individuals and the nation as a whole.  While it is easier to lay all the blame on Obama, the fact is that much of the blame is the result of a federal government that is so big no President could possibly know about the countless programs being undertaken within its departments and agencies, and all the Presidents dating back to Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive initiatives have played a role in growing the government.  Eric Holder, our Attorney General, continues in office despite having been held in contempt of Congress, professing that he knew nothing about “Fast and Furious”, the earliest scandal involving a gun-running scheme to Mexican drug cartels by the ATF presumably to track them, but they lost track and many were used in crimes including the killing of a Border Patrol agent.  Holder also told Congress that he was not associated with the potential prosecution” of a journalist even though he had signed the affidavit that named Fox News reporter, James Rosen, as a potential criminal.  Holder was also in charge when the Justice Department culled the phone records of Associated Press reporters to find out who they deemed was leaking information.  Keeping track of the solar power and other “renewable” and “Green” energy companies like Solyndra that received millions in grants and then rather swiftly went bankrupt became a fulltime effort and, of course, there was the “stimulus” that wasted billions without generating any “shovel ready jobs” qualifies as a fiasco.  The scandal that continues to fester is the attack in Benghazi that killed an American ambassador and three security personnel.  The VA allegedly falsified records concerning the waiting times veterans faced amidst assertions that many died while waiting for treatment.  Obama has been the biggest of Big Government Presidents since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, and ObamaCare put the federal government in control of one sixth of the nation’s economy while putting the government in charge of the care Americans expect to receive.  ObamaCare will dwarf the problems associated with Veterans Affairs.  Meanwhile, we have been living with a President who is so indifferent to working with Congress that he has gained fame for his use of executive orders such as the decision to not deport illegal immigrants.  Over the last six years Americans have been exhausted by the incompetence and wastefulness of an administration that now presides over the highest national debt in the history of the nation and the first ever downgrade of our credit rating.

(“Scandal Exhaustion” by Alan Caruba dated May 25, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/63304 )

President Obama repeatedly claims to know nothing about scandals, blames others for problems and has failed to achieve most of his stated goals - If he were a Republican, what do you think the press would call him?  They'd almost certainly describe him as disengaged, maybe even incompetent, or worse, an inveterate liar.  Normally, the press is eager to come up with an overarching narrative for a President to help explain the day-to-day news coming out of Washington.  Nixon was a criminal.  Carter was the malaise president. Reagan was an amiable dunce when he wasn't a warmonger.  George W. Bush was by turns arrogant or a bumbling idiot.  Stories that fit the narrative are played up, and those that don't tend to be buried, but the press just gives Obama a free pass.  His economic policies have produced falling incomes for middle class families, while Wall Street fat cats got even richer.  He has pushed millions into poverty and millions more onto food stamps, while corporate profits soared.  A GOP President would be accused of helping the rich at the expense of the middle class, but not Obama.  How about the fact that Obama has missed every economic growth target he set and presided over the worst economic recovery in more than 70 years, yet has refused to take any responsibility for his failure and never once considered changing course.  Such a President would be depicted as close-minded, arrogant or inflexible, but these are never applied to Obama.  What would the media say about a President who took his family on costly vacations, threw elaborate parties and generally lived a life of luxury, all at a time of massive deficits, joblessness and economic turmoil?  He would be described as a spoiled aristocrat, living high on the taxpayers' dime with little regard for the common folk.  A President who repeatedly ignored the law, refused to cooperate with investigations and pressured the media into silence would be called a paranoid, lawless control freak, and there'd be abundant comparisons to Nixon.  A President whose foreign policy alienated allies, emboldened enemies and amounted to little more than stale platitudes, as he idly watched one nation take chunks out of another would most certainly be called weak and feckless.  The narrative that fits Obama's tenure best is that of a failure. However failure is a word the media will never use against their chosen President, which is why they seem so perpetually flummoxed by his stark displays of incompetence here and abroad.

(“The Missing Media Label for Obama’s Presidency” dated May 23, 2014 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/052314-702085-the-missing-media-label-for-the-obama-presidency.htm )

The VA problem is not Shinseki, it is socialism. The Veterans Affairs health-care system is completely government run; it is a pure single-payer program.  The long waits for treatment, with excessive delays resulting in as many as 40 deaths, are a tragically predictable outcome.  This is the result of bureaucratic rationing, price controls, inefficiencies, and the inevitable cover-ups.  The statist VA health-care system, which in so many ways mirrors the government-run health-care problems in Britain, Europe, and Canada, must be completely changed.   Market competition will control costs and more efficiently distribute services. Profit motive, not run-amok bureaucrats, will discipline the system.  Better doctors and health specialists will be attracted to this profit-based system, and our veterans at long last will get the medical care they deserve.  Study after study from the CBO and various inspectors general have been consistently critical of the VA operation.  Unfortunately, various VA centers fudge their data.  For years President Obama has been talking about fixing the VA, but he never stayed with it.  He says he is angry and wants accountability, but he will never understand that the single-payer government-run system is the real problem.  Of course, the Paul Krugmans of the world and their leftist allies call VA health care a triumph of socialist medicine, but once again we find out that this triumph is a defeat and that socialism doesn’t work.  ObamaCare must not become a major step toward single-payer health insurance. Instead, Republicans should fight for, as a minimum, a thorough ObamaCare reform: get rid of the mandates; institute real consumer choice; stop the job-destroying tax and regulatory provisions; and let Americans keep their doctors and insurance plans.  This VA scandal is a reminder that government-run single-payer health care does not work, and it makes it clear that the entire healthcare system must be replaced with a system that works.

(“Blame Socialism, Not Shinseki” by Larry Kudlow dated May 23, 2014 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/23/blame-socialism-not-shinseki/ )

 

A new scandal at the Veterans Administration has brought to the forefront all of the issues of accountability and performance of government bureaucracies in health care.  The Inspector General’s report following up on the allegations of wait-list fraud and preventable deaths of dozens of American veterans provides a confirmation of the worst possibilities of federal monopolies on health care, and an indictment of the Obama administration’s executive competence.  The US manages three single-payer health systems: the military’s own health-care network, the Indian Health Service, and the Veterans Administration.  The Indian Health Service has long been an embarrassment to the Department of the Interior for its substandard care and lack of access for those living on reservations.  The VA, was supposed to be the single-payer model.  The left believes, “socialized medicine has been tried in the United States, and it has been proven superior to health care supplied by the private sector.”  The Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs conducted an independent investigation of wait-list fraud and issued a damning interim report, and not just about the Phoenix facility where 40 veterans died while waiting to be scheduled for care.  The IG also looked into other allegations of wait-list fraud, and “confirmed that inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic throughout VHA.”  The wait list data was not the worst of the findings in the report.  Thousands of veterans ended up in a shadow status that couldn’t be tracked at all.  In no other organizational structure except a government-run single-payer system would this take place.  If these veterans had a choice of where to seek medical care, they would not have abided average wait times of 115 days to see a doctor, let alone waiting months just to show up on a wait list in the first place. Only the lack of all other options kept these veterans trapped in the nightmare of VA systems, in Phoenix and around the country.  Only in a government-run system like this would fraud have gone undetected by executive management, because customers would have walked out long before circumstances reached the extremis discovered by the IG.  VA executives in the Obama administration have been repeatedly warned (in the transition in 2008, in writing in 2010 and 2012) of wait-list fraud, and did nothing about it.  Even now, no one has been held accountable for the massive failure and fraud that may have costs the lives of dozens of veterans.  If health care “reform” continues to move in the direction of greater government control and fewer consumer choices, then this is “the true future of American health care.” The VA example is the best argument for ending single-payer systems in the U.S., and getting the federal government out of the health care management industry.

(“VA Scandal Exposes Single-Payer Health Care Flaws” by Edward Morrissey dated May 29, 2014 published by The Fiscal Times at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2014/05/29/VA-Scandal-Exposes-Single-Payer-Health-Care-Flaws )

Even though President Obama continues to lie about “climate change” and employs the many elements of the federal government to repeat those lies, this huge hoax is dying.  Obama’s claim that “climate-related changes are outside of recent experience” and “have become more frequent and/or intense” is a lie from start to finish.  The White House recently released its latest “National Climate Assessment,” which is 841 pages of outlandish claims that reflect the lies generated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  When you consider that the federal government spends an estimated $2.6 billion annually in grants for climate research, about the only beneficiaries are those “scientists” employed to further the hoax.  The UN’s IPCC was created in 1983 and has issued a series of reports whose sole intention has been to frighten people around the world with claims of global warming that are scientifically baseless.  The Heartland Institute, a non-profit market-based think tank, responded by creating the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and by sponsoring a series of international conferences.  The NIPCC is an international panel of scientists and scholars with no government affiliation or sponsorship, and it receives no corporate funding.  “Solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.” The Earth’s climate is primarily a reflection of solar radiation or the lack of it.  On average, the interglacial periods of the Earth have lasted about 11,500 years and we are at the end of such a period.  Climate Change Reconsidered II devoted to biological impact features scientific studies that conclude:

·    Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant. Considering that all vegetation on Earth depends on it, it is not surprising that another conclusion was that the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is causing a great greening of the Earth.

·    There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels.  Terrestrial ecosystems have thrived throughout the world as a result of warming temperatures and rising levels of atmospheric CO2.

·    Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels do not pose a significant threat to aquatic life.  A modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperate-related events.

The irony of the latest NIPCC report is that it responds to the claims of global warming and carbon dioxide’s role at a time when the Earth is cooling.  The Greens talk of climate change has lost its grip on the public imagination and attention.  As the cooling cycle continues, people around the world will be far more focused on increased evidence of massive ice sheets at both poles, on frozen lakes and rivers, on shortened growing seasons, and on the desperate need for more fossil fuels to warm our homes and workplaces.

(“The Slow, Sure Death of “Climate Change” Lies” by Alan Caruba dated May 23, 2014 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/63281 )

 

* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news.  I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning.  Updates have been made this week to the following issue sections:

·  Preface at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/peface.php

·  Crime at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/crime.php

·  Elections at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/elections.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com