Tuesday, April 06, 2010
More slime from the Left: Abuse is their only argument
Rep. Cohen: Tea Partiers Show 'Hardcore' Anger Without 'Robes and Hoods'
Rep. Steve Cohen is the latest public official to suggest Tea Party supporters have a racist agenda, telling an Internet radio show last week that the activists have shown a "hardcore angry side" of the country, only "without robes and hoods."
On a program called "The Young Turks" on Thursday, the Democratic Tennessee congressman said Tea Party groups show "opposition to African Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn't just a clone of George Wallace's fan club." Wallace is the late former Alabama governor, and presidential candidate, well-known for opposing desegregation.
Cohen's comments came after other lawmakers accused Tea Party activists of hurling racial slurs at black representatives on Capitol Hill during an anti-health care reform bill protest last month.
Cohen, in his interview, went on to say that some Republicans are "afraid" to stand up to Tea Party backers. He said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., seemed uncomfortable when his former running mate, Sarah Palin, was campaigning for him last month.
"He looked more like a captured soldier in North Vietnam than he did a United States senator," Cohen said, in reference to the time McCain spent as a prisoner of war. "It was very sad and, I tell you, his wife Cindy, she was about ready to just drop dead."
The real racist is in the White House
Few combinations are more poisonous than race and politics. That combination has torn whole nations apart and led to the slaughters of millions in countries around the world.
You might think we would have learned a lesson from that and stay away from injecting race into political issues. Yet playing the race card has become an increasingly common response to growing public anger at the policies of the Obama administration and the way those policies have been imposed.
When the triumphant Democrats made their widely televised walk up Capitol Hill after passing the health care bill, led by a smirking and strutting Nancy Pelosi, holding her oversized gavel, some of the crowd of citizens expressed their anger. According to some Democrats, these expressions of anger included racial slurs directed at black members of Congress.
This is a serious charge-- and one deserving of some serious evidence. But, despite all the media recording devices on the scene, not to mention recording devices among the crowd gathered there, nobody can come up with a single recorded sound to back up that incendiary charge. Worse yet, some people have claimed that even doubting the charge suggests that you are a racist.
Among the people who are likely to be most disappointed with the Obama administration are those who thought it would usher in a post-racial society. That they wished for such a society is a credit to their values. But that they actually expected a move in that direction suggests that they ignored both Barack Obama's history and the heavy vested interest that too many people have in race hustling.
This is just one of many areas in which this country is likely to pay a very high price for the fact that too many voters paid attention to Obama's rhetoric while ignoring his actual track record.
However soothing the Obama rhetoric, and however lofty his statements about being a uniter rather than a divider-- both racially and in terms of bipartisanship-- everything in his past fairly shouts the opposite, but only to those who follow facts.
Has he been allied with uniters or dividers in the past? Do Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and Father Pfleger sound like uniters?
What has his administration done-- as distinguished from what the president has said-- since taking office?
It has dropped the prosecution of black thugs caught on camera stationed outside a polling place intimidating voters.
Obama has promoted to the Supreme Court a circuit judge who dismissed a discrimination lawsuit by white firefighters, whose case the Supreme Court later accepted and ruled in their favor.
He preceded this appointment by talking about needing people on the court with "empathy." That is a pretty word but the ugly reality is that it is just another euphemism for bias. For generations, white Southern judges had all kinds of empathy for other white Southerners, which is to say, bias against blacks.
The question is whether you want equal treatment or you want payback. Cycles of revenge and counter-revenge have been at the heart of racial and ethnic strife throughout history, in countries around the world. It is a history written in blood. It is history we don't need to repeat in the United States of America.
Political demagoguery and political favoritism have turned groups violently against each other, even in countries where they have lived peacefully side by side for generations. Ceylon was one of those countries in the first half of the 20th century, before the politics of group favoritism so polarized the country-- now called Sri Lanka-- that it produced a decades-long civil war with mass slaughters and unspeakable atrocities.
The world has been shocked by the mass slaughters of the Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda but, half a century ago, there had been no such systematic slaughters there. Political demagoguery whipped up ethnic polarization, among people who had co-existed, who spoke the same language and had even intermarried.
We know-- or should know-- what lies at the end of the road of racial polarization. A "race card" is not something to play, because race is a very dangerous political plaything.
The Left play on human weaknesses
Opposition to creeping statism usually hones in on its impracticalities: higher prices, less competition, socialism, etc. The give-and-take of daily discourse seldom considers how the Obama agenda, specifically and liberalism, in general, diminishes the human spirit.
For starters, one need only listen to liberals themselves. Not the self-satisfied spinmeisters on TV gab-shows but rather the water-cooler and break-room perspectives of everyday, working Americans. Their sad consensus is that it’s time greedy insurance companies got what’s coming to ‘em. Some complain that doctors make more than they’re worth, while others name pharmaceutical companies the guilty parties for pricing health care out of reach.
Even in victory, these liberals are sustained by knee-jerk resentments of America’s productive classes. Even those well-off economically see themselves on the outside of mainstream society looking in — groups and institutions they sense will never accept them, they seek to destroy. It’s not merely that liberalism plays on class resentments, it openly encourages them. It deliberately progresses by pitting citizen against citizen, sublimating individual autonomy to the prevailing orthodoxies of the day.
Conservatism, by contrast, seeks to empower individuals, stressing that a just society is shaped by families, communities and businesses free of the constraints of an over-reaching government. But liberals invest little faith in their fellow citizens, and their upcoming agenda promises, in part, Cap & Trade and still greater control of our financial institutions.
Exerting near hegemonic control of our government and our culture, liberals don’t convert masses of Americans as much as wear them down. Most individuals lack the time or the means to fight them, asking only for increasingly narrower sanctuaries free of the creeping hand of the Nanny State: ‘I don’t mind smoking outdoors’ (which is coming to mean further and further from the entrances to buildings); ‘Just let me eat out once a week with the family’ (while some cities, such as New York, regulate the content, or at least the disclosure of, such ingredients and additives as salt and trans-fats). Even in your home, government regulates the amount of water allowed in your toilet.
Thus, Americans see themselves not as autonomous citizens but as wards of a Social Worker state being protected from themselves. The heartbreaking toll of liberalism is not just onerous taxes and regulations but the lobotomizing of America’s rugged, independent spirit. The boundless optimism that built this country has given way to dread, pessimism and the guarded hope that there will be ’some Social Security left when I retire.’ While culture has always harbored negative stereotypes of business leaders, the traditional Horatio Alger notions of success through grit and determination have succumbed to get-even-with-the rich social policies and tax codes.
Not surprisingly, a cheesy, low-budget commercial ran the other morning promising a free month of government-provided telephone service. Available only to those currently under specific assistance programs, USA Free Phone offers service thereafter for only $19.99 a month. “This is yours, so don’t waste it,” the ad beckons. Never mind that cell and home phone options are as plentiful as breakfast cereal (and about as cheap), we’re talking FREE here! Don’t bore me with liberty!
Like offering candy to five-year olds, the federal government robs many of opportunities to prove themselves independent adults and breadwinners. In fourteen short months, the Obama administration has stifled initiative and embedded in our national psyche the idea that America is no more significant on the world stage than, say, Sweden, and our greatness is measured merely by the election of him.
Liberalism doesn’t diminish America, it diminishes Americans, and our defining characteristics are forfeited not all at once but in tiny increments, such as on March 21, 2010. What is at risk for at least the next three years is an inheritance from our forefathers so vital as to be incalculable: liberty itself. In the words of President Calvin Coolidge, it is not collective, it is personal. “All liberty,” he said in 1924, “is individual,” and the stakes remain not only alarmingly high but deeply personal.
MA: Insurers sue state over rate denial: "A half dozen state health insurers, warning they faced collective losses of hundreds of millions of dollars this year, today filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse last week’s decision by the Massachusetts insurance commissioner to block double-digit premium increases. The hikes would have taken effect April 1 for plans covering thousands of small businesses and individuals across the state. Insurers had proposed base rate increases averaging 8 to 32 percent.”
MA: Health tax may wallop towns: "Massachusetts municipalities that offer employees, retirees, and elected officials the most generous and costly health insurance plans will feel the squeeze of the new national healthcare law’s tax on ‘Cadillac’ insurance plans. A family health plan that costs more than $27,500 would be subject to a 40 percent tax on every dollar spent above that threshold. The tax, set to take effect in 2018, would be levied on insurers, who would probably pass it on to municipalities and other employers. A few cities and towns already have family plans that exceed $27,500, and many others are on track to surpass that level before the tax kicks in.”
TN: Abortion anti-coercion bill headed to governor: "Legislation that would require abortion clinics in Tennessee to post anti-coercion signs is headed to the governor for his consideration. Both chambers worked out differences in the legislation and sent it to Gov. Phil Bredesen Monday evening. He’s expected to review the measure once it reaches his desk. Under current law, any type of coercion to have an abortion is prohibited. But sponsors say some women may not know that and the sign spells out what’s in the law. The legislation would require clinics to post signs that read in part: ‘It is against the law for anyone, regardless of the person’s relationship to you, to coerce you into having or to force you to have an abortion.’ Facilities that don’t comply could be fined as much as $2,500.” [How many people read signs?]
The Golden Age for crony capitalism: "Today’s Wall Street Journal points out that this is the ‘Golden Age’ for lobbyists: [The National Journal] looked at 514 tax forms between 2007 and 2009 and found that no fewer than 89 executives for trade groups earned more than $1 million. That’s a 30% increase from the 2008 survey. Perhaps you recall the now-distant promise of a Presidential candidate who said he would reduce the influence of lobbyists. Who was that guy? That guy made all sorts of promises. But when politicians’ policies expand the scope of government, that of course further empowers those evil lobbyists. When government dishes out money and favors, businesses and unions will lobby for a cut. That’s what I call ‘crony capitalism.’”
ObamaCare will make employees and employers worse off: "The arrival of ObamaCare means that many businesses no longer will be free to tailor compensation packages optimally. Any company employing 50 or more workers must from now on provide a group health insurance policy whose coverage is not too generous, but that also meet minimum standards to be dictated from Washington. (Depending on the relative lobbying strengths of various healthcare-related special-interest groups, the federal standards may require reimbursement for bariatric surgery, fertility treatments, restless-leg syndrome as well as other exotic — and expensive — health problems.) ObamaCare’s health-insurance mandate forces employers who do not currently offer that benefit to do so, but it does nothing to make employees worth more to them.”
Obamacare vs. jobs: "Now that Obamacare has been enacted, we definitely won’t be knocking any new archways through the wall at our restaurant and expanding into the empty storefront next door. With a waiting line on weekends, we could use the additional seats. The adjacent space could also be turned into a party room with seating for 50, perfect for communions, business meetings, and showers. But there will be no sawing and hammering or reducing the neighborhood’s unemployment rate because we already have 42 employees and it’s at 50 workers that the hefty new fines, mandates and penalties kick in under Obamacare.”
The H1N1 Vaccine: An Example of Government Health Care: "Last October I went to my doctor for a routine physical and he asked me if I wanted to get a flu shot. I have never gotten a flu shot and told him I didn’t want one this time, but with all the publicity about the H1N1 epidemic, because I am a classroom teacher who is exposed to lots of people, and because I had planned to attend several conferences in the Fall, I told him I’d like to get the H1N1 vaccine. Sorry, he told me, I wasn’t eligible. So, I went without. Now I read in this article that less than half the doses of the vaccine that were bought by the government have been administered, and that health officials anticipate that many of the unused doses will have to be discarded because they are approaching their expiration dates.... Government planning has never been a good way to allocate resources."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 10:06 PM