News and Commentary for December 16

Sad. “Let’s put this simply: America is secularising just like Europe – and all that talk of “American exceptionalism”, the free market in religion that kept it thriving, has turned out to be hogwash. We can discuss why on another occasion. But some of us saw this coming a long time ago. And, please, don’t kid yourself that Pope Francis, wonderful man that he is, can do more than add a percentage point here or there.” Lots of atheists, more Muslims, fewer Christians and Jews: this is the new America

Rising tensions in the era of Obama. “I read something terrifying Sunday. Turns out that 10 days ago, amid the rising tension provoked by China’s establishment of an air defense identification zone over territory also claimed by Japan, a Chinese aircraft carrier came within 200 yards of hitting an American cruiser. Had the two warships collided and sailors from both sides died, the two most powerful countries on earth would have found themselves contemplating war.” Why Doesn’t Anyone Care About the Rising U.S.-China Tension?

Not shocked. “Abdulaziz approached Obama for a photo and, if the photo is to be believed, Obama obliged. How embarrassing: While the Polisario Front is not formally designated a terrorist group by the U.S. Treasury Department, it is by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and many outside groups.” Did Obama Pose with Terrorist Leader?

Hope and change Obama style! “Add all this up, and American foreign policy has become ironic. Obama was largely welcomed abroad as a pleasant change from the unpopular interventionist and internationalist George W. Bush, whose freedom agenda and guarantees of security for an array of allies were often resented by those they sought to serve. In contrast, Europeans, Middle Easterners, and Asians all claimed they wanted a new direction in U.S. foreign policy. With Obama, they’ve finally obtained their hopes for change (be careful what you wish for) — and now must deal with a newly assertive China, Iran, and Russia largely on their own.” Obama’s Ironic Foreign Policy

Disaster over the horizon. “Be prepared for eligibility, payment and information protection debacles—and longer waits for care.” ObamaCare’s Troubles Are Only Beginning

Original intent? “Of all of the last-minute delays, website bungles, and Presidential whims that have marred the roll-out of Obamacare’s subsidized insurance exchanges, what happened on Thursday, December 12 will stand as one of the most lawless acts yet committed by this administration. The White House—having canceled Americans’ old health plans, and having botched the system for enrolling people in new ones—knows that millions of Americans will enter the new year without health coverage. So instead of actually fixing the problem, the administration is retroactively attempting to force insurers to hand out free health care—at a loss—to those whom the White House has rendered uninsured.” Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers To Cover Unpaid Patients At A Loss

Who are you going to believe? “If what the companies say is true — they have little motivation for lying, or exaggerating the truth — January 1 will become another disastrous day for the Obamacare rollout.” Insurance Companies Disagree with Administration on Obamacare Website Fixes

Ignorance. “Was Meinwald under the impression that you could add millions of people to the insurance rolls, give them subsidies, not raise taxes, and everyone would come out ahead? Maybe she thought the only losers would be the fat cats, and that she wasn’t quite fat enough. Turns out she was.” Previously privileged New Yorkers who supported Obamacare…

Great… “Breitbart News has obtained a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report on the Obamacare Navigators that will be released Monday. It has found that Obamacare Navigators have been giving Americans misinformation and, in some cases, actively encouraging enrollees to commit fraud in order to raise their subsidies. To complicate matters further, there is no way for Americans to find out whether their Navigators are properly certified.” House Report: Ill-Trained Obamacare Navigators Encouraging Fraud, Jeopardizing Private Info

Fail. “The momentum is going the wrong way for Democrats, and the underlying causes producing that momentum have little to do with websites.” New AP poll: 46% of insured have been hit with ObamaCare changes

If the shooter was a right-winger, you can be sure the press would be taking the opposite view. “Ace over at Ace of Spades HQ alerts us to an interesting development from the Denver Post. As Twitchy noted, the newspaper quietly edited its profile of Arapahoe school shooter Karl Pierson, changing a student’s description of Pierson as “a very opinionated Socialist” to simply “very opinionated.”” Denver Post editor explains deletion of ‘socialist’ from Arapahoe shooter profile

I can only imagine how the press would have reacted if this were a Republican president doing this. “But the “selfie” episode also symbolizes the greater global calamity of Western decline. With British prime minister David Cameron playing the role of Obama’s giggling wingman, the “look at me” moment confirms we have unserious leaders in a dangerously serious time.” How the West was lost by the selfie president

Self imposed. “But 2013 is almost gone and with it the president’s best chance for a lasting legacy. The damage done to Obama’s brand will linger well beyond this calendar year. There are no second chances in presidential tenures. Barack Obama, for wasting a year torpedoing your legacy, you had the worst year in Washington. Congrats, or something.” Worst Year in Washington

Through the power of the administrative state, it’s being blown to pieces. “In the age of Obama Professor Yarbrough sees the arrival “not [of] soft despotism, but hidden and rather hard despotism for those who fall into the maw of the administrative state.” Professor Yarbrough cited the cases of Catherine Engelbrecht (IRS, FBI, OSHA, and ATF) and Craig Zucker (Consumer Product Safety Commission).” Whatever happened to the Constitution?

Odd parallels. “Can political lightning strike twice? Will 2014 and 2016 be a repeat of 1980? Or will the American people, 36 years later, in a much-different United States, this time consent to being led off the world stage? Next year will give us a clue of America’s future.” Is the ‘New Normal’ the End or the Beginning for America?

Redistributing wealth to our “betters.” “A three-month investigation shows that some of the most outspoken campaigners who demand that consumers pay the colossal price of shifting to renewable energy are also getting rich from their efforts.” The fatcat ecocrats exposed: Web of ‘green’ politicians, tycoons and power brokers who help each other benefit from billions raised on your bills

The green movement is not what many think it is. “Of course cronyism is “unusually safe.” If you have to actually compete by producing energy at the lowest price, all kinds of things can go wrong. But if you can get in with the government, so that legislation requires everyone to pay extra for your product whether they want to or not, your investment is “unusually safe.” This is what cronyism–a polite word for corruption–is all about. It is the principal purpose of the modern environmental movement.” The Environmental Movement: How Corrupt Is It?

You can be sure they’ll look the other way as this relates to Leftist groups. “Now, however, the IRS is planning to recognize those very activities as “political activity,” not “social welfare,” thus rendering Tea Party groups unfit for 501(c)(4) status.” Obama IRS Tightening Noose on Tea Party Groups

Obama’s Leftist cronies. “What qualifies Mayorkas to serve as DHS deputy secretary? Well, there’s his prodigious fundraising in 2008 as an Obama bundler, of course. There’s his dutiful pro-open borders record in his current job as director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And once again, the operational motto of the Beltway prevails: Screw up, foul up, move up.” Culture of corruption: The Dems’ dangerous DHS pick

Will we even recognize our country after three more years of this? “The staff shakeup at the White House certainly could mean that more competent players are on deck, but it also increases the chance that we’ll see sweeping new assertions of presidential power and trench warfare with Congress. The White House will be in full campaign mode, even more than ever before. It’s going to be a very long three years until the next president is sworn in.” The Wrong Kind of White House Shake-Up

Politics over what’s best for our country. “Obama’s apologists will say that every president plays politics with policy in elections years. Two problems with that. First, Obama promised to be better than the status quo. Second, he’s worse.” Politics Trumped Policy, Truth for Obama’s Reelect

The Left’s cult of envy. “Of the seven deadly sins, envy may not be the wickedest, but it is the most embarrassing. To be possessed by envy is to admit a humiliating personal inadequacy: We do not envy others those attainments that we think we too might achieve, but those we despair of ever possessing.” The Age of Envy

Do we know what the Republican party really stands for anymore? “Van Dongen and other business lobbyists will find that the “moderate” Republicans they fete will be among the first to vote to increase the minimum wage. The only line of defense against the destructive policy are the very conservatives they want to denigrate. A hike in the minimum wage is bad economics. But, so to, is passing budgets that increase the national debt and push our fiscal challenges further into the future.”  Why Business, GOP Attacking Tea Party Could Backfire Big Time

I can get on board with this! “Republicans as a party, however, and conservatives specifically, should not be subservient to corporate interests on core issues. The American electorate must come to view Republicans as the party of the middle class rather than the courtiers of big business. The GOP “brand” must change. While conservatives and business will remain part of a broad center-right coalition, the key question is: On what terms, and who calls the shots?” Re-branding the GOP: From the party of big business to the party of the little guy

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