Views on the News
Views on the News*
December 28, 2013
The dark influence of progressivism grows day by day, as those on the left fully realize the extent to which they have been given license to force their worldview on the rest of us. In the name of "equality," "fairness," or "rights," the left's euphemisms for social deconstruction, they act in ways consciously designed to weaken or destroy moral order. Racially-motivated crime spirals upward, enabled by officials who have expressly refused to hold blacks to account for criminal wrongdoing motivated by race. Illegal immigrants are considered virtuous and deserving of entitlements and rights that even native-born Americans do not possess. The sexual preferences of a minuscule minority of the country have become so awe-inspiring to the left that the act of gay persons choosing with whom to have sex has elevated them to heroic status, while making anything other than a ringing endorsement of their choices punishable by censorship and bans. They do not seek to live as equals in society, but to demand rewards from society for their actions, and to punish those who object or resist. The immorality of their choices only makes them more favored members of the Democrat Party's protected classes, perhaps because they are at the forefront of the left's ongoing crusade to abolish morality and replace it with a system based on promoting and rewarding lawlessness, deception, and fraud. Faithful Christians and Jews, as believers in historical morality, are singled out for ridicule and derision, since their faiths are contrary to the secular religion of progressivism. Progressivism encourages the growing anti-Enlightenment that has fully reshaped the Democrat party. One's belief in the sanctity of the human being, his divine origins, and the protection of unalienable rights with which he was born, which guided the Founders, is portrayed as the height of ignorance and intolerance by progressives. Progressivism is not only the guiding political philosophy of the left, but is becoming our new, national religion. It gives believers the structure and comfort of religion, without the guilt of complete surrender to immorality. As we have seen with Islam, the merger of politics and religion is total, reordering the beliefs and practices of a government and a people shaped by its tenets. You are either a believer, or an enemy of the faith, and as with Islam, to be an enemy of the faith makes one an enemy of the state. The progressive version of "hope" is not in God and the dignity with which he endowed each of us, but in the designs of greedy and angry men and women, to whom our dignity is irrelevant. We must choose whom we owe faith and gratitude for the miracle of our existence, and the beauty in our lives, and let us resist to the end the demand that we pledge our souls to men.
(“The Fight for Hearts and Minds” b y Jeffrey T. Brown dated December 23, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/the_fight_for_hearts_and_minds.html )
One of Barack Obama’s chief accomplishments has been to return the Constitution to a central place in our public discourse, but unfortunately, the President fomented this upswing in civic interest not by talking up the constitutional aspects of his policy agenda, but by blatantly violating the strictures of our founding document. He’s been most frustrated with the separation of powers, which doesn’t allow him to “fundamentally transform” the country without congressional acquiescence, but that hasn’t stopped him. As we reach the end of another year of political strife that’s fundamentally based on clashing views on the role of government in society, here are Obama’s top 10 constitutional violations of 2013:
· Delay of Obamacare’s out-of-pocket caps - Delaying for a year the part of the healthcare law that limits how much people have to spend on their own insurance may be fine, but changing the law requires actual legislation.
· Delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate - Delaying the requirement that employers of at least 50 people provide complying insurance or pay a fine, again fine buut requires changing the law as passed.
· Delay of Obamacare’s insurance requirements - When insurance companies cancelled millions of plans that didn’t comply with ObamaCare’s requirements, proclaiming that people could continue buying non-complying plans in 2014 requires a law change.
· Exemption of Congress from ObamaCare - Congress was subject to ObamaCare, so the Office of Personnel Management subsidized to exempt as a Congressional benefit.
· Expansion of the employer mandate penalty through IRS regulation – IRS expanded ObamaCare subsidies (and commensurate fines) for plans coming from “a State Exchange, regional Exchange, subsidiary Exchange, and federally-facilitated Exchange.”
· Political profiling by the IRS - The IRS engaged in partisan targeting of political organizations such as “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” and “Israel”; or criticizing the government.
· Outlandish Supreme Court arguments - The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the Justice Department’s extreme positions 9 times on cases ranging from criminal procedure to property rights, religious liberty to immigration, securities regulation to tax law.
· Recess appointments - President Obama appointed three members of the NLRB, as well as the head of the CFPB, during what he considered to be a Senate recess, but the D.C. Circuit held the “recess” appointments to be unconstitutional.
· Assault on free speech and due process on college campuses. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights created quasi-judicial procedures for sexual harassment cases that deny legal representation, encourage punishment before trial, and convict based on a mere “more likely than not” standard.
· Mini-DREAM Act. Obama directed the Department of Homeland Security to issue work and residence permits to young people who were brought into the country illegally as children, the so-called Dreamers, granting de facto green cards in lieu of deportation.
ObamaCare alone could’ve filled this list, since this represents the President’s biggest dereliction this year of his duty to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution, and to “take care that the law be faithfully executed.”
(“President Obama’s Top 10 Constitutional Violations in 2013” by Ilya Shapiro dated December 23, 2013 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/12/23/president-obamas-top-10-constitutional-violations-of-2013/ )
Conservatives have a rare moment of opportunity right now as liberalism has discredited itself through overreach and incompetence and most Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction under liberal rule. Gallup shows 78% of the public dissatisfied with the state of the country. Trust in government is at a staggeringly low 19% according to the Pew Research Center. Health care was supposed to be the issue that made Americans return to the big-government fold, but instead, ObamaCare has had exactly the opposite effect, confirming people’s suspicions about the ability of government activism to improve their lives. To seal the deal against liberalism requires one more thing: that people come to see not only that its policies make things worse, but that there are ways to address our practical problems by limiting government and freeing markets. Americans need to see, that is, that conservatism’s sound principles lead to real solutions. Fortunately, that’s exactly what conservative policymakers are demonstrating. In the states, conservative governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal are balancing budgets without tax increases, and sometimes cutting taxes. Conservatives in Congress have long offered solutions to the problems of high energy costs and weak job growth. They have tried to let energy exploration and development go forward, including the vital Keystone XL pipeline. Most Americans know that raising children is the most important investment in the future that they make. The tax code does not recognize that truth. Americans are increasingly concerned about the skyrocketing cost of education, with our poll finding 87% of respondents thinking college education costs too much and need to be reduced. Health care is where the conservative opportunity is most obvious. Gallup shows that the more familiar people are with ObamaCare, the less they like it, and we are all getting more familiar with it every week. More and more conservatives are stepping forward with solutions to the problems that have long plagued our health-care system. The Republican Study Committee has gotten behind an approach that protects people with pre-existing conditions, make it easier for people to buy health insurance for themselves and their families, and restrain costs by empowering consumers and forcing providers to compete for their business. Many other ideas to increase access to insurance and promote fairness in the health care market are percolating in the conservative policy community, all of them moving in the opposite direction from ObamaCare, rejecting its tax increases, its bureaucracy, and its centralization of medical practice. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been encouraging new conservative ideas, such as his “Making Life Work” as a central conservative theme to demonstrate how conservative reforms could make a concrete, positive difference in Americans’ lives.
(“We need solution-oriented conservatism” by April Ponnuru dated December 19, 2013 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/193553-we-need-solution-oriented-conservatism )
The problem with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not that it is poorly designed or sloppily implemented, but as ObamaCare has been envisaged is inherently impossible. Health care can be many things for many people: 1) It can be universal (extended to all people) or selective (available to some people); 2) It can be comprehensive (covers all conditions and cures at any age) or rationed; and 3) It can be affordable or prohibitively expensive. Unfortunately ObamaCare cannot be everything for everyone; cannot simultaneously be 1) universal, 2) comprehensive, and 3) affordable. This is the impossible trinity of objectives. If it is universal and comprehensive, it is prohibitively expensive and hence unaffordable. The only way to make it universal and affordable is to ration services, but then the system is not comprehensive. If it is comprehensive and affordable, it can be such only for those who can afford it, and hence not universal. Ever since Chancellor Bismarck introduced national health insurance in Germany in 1883, nations have struggled with the above three objectives of universality, comprehensiveness, and affordability. ObamaCare is an epic experiment in trying to beat the impossible trinity which ends up neither universal nor comprehensive nor affordable. In sum, it achieves none of the above three objectives. The problem with ObamaCare is not the broken promises. The problem is that it is inherently undeliverable. ObamaCare tried to defy nature, nature pushed back, and the edifice self-destructs.
(“The impossible trinity of ObamaCare” by Michael S. Bernstam dated December 16, 2013 published by Fox News at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/16/impossible-trinity-obamacare/ )
* 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: