Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The kneejerk reflex of the liberal mind


O'Bagy Shows The Road to Success: Lie for Obama, Kerry, and McCain on Syria

Barry Rubin

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
--T.S.  Eliot

For one who has made a career as an international political analyst this is the equivalent to the end of the world.
Elizabeth O’Bagy was a Georgetown University graduate student. She wrote an article for Atlantic Monthly saying that most Syrian rebels are radical Islamists.

Of course. Everyone knows that, even the Syrian rebels.

But then O’Bagy got two new jobs. One was for a consulting firm that promoted the Syrian rebels-- Institute for the Study of War--who did not want to be thought  of as radical Islamists since it would hurt their chances of getting U.S aid. hich gets U,S. State Department dollars from an Obama Administration which wanted to give the money so they paid only if they were portrayed as moderates.

The other was at a advocacy group, the Syrian Emergency Task Force. By the way, the group is run by someone who also supports Hamas. Might it be a Muslim Brotherhood front?

This is a conflict of interest.  But wait. There’s more. She then wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal that said the Syrian rebels are moderates.

The Wall Street Journal knew about the conflict of interest but said nothing. Why? Because they supported the Syrian rebels.

Now O’Bagy is all over the television news. Truth isn’t important it is simply what policy people support.  And then she is taking Senator McCain on a visit to Syrian rebels, organized by a man who supports Hamas with two al-Qaida participants attending.

Then Secretary of State John Kerry says he depends on O’Bagy’s lying and corrupt statements. Well, after all he paid for them!

But a small group of people with memories expose the lies. By the way, while O’Bagy has presented herself as a PhD, she wasn’t even accepted for the PhD program! So because she is exposed as a liar, she is fired.  But what about the lies she told?  Nothing.

What about the  State Department taking advice from a Hamas supporter?  Nothing.

What about U.S. policy being based on the lie that Syrian rebels are moderate?  Nothing.

What about U.S. policy being made by Kerry and McCain without confronting the lie?  Nothing.

What’s the new act in the saga of O’Bagy?

Not does anyone pay any price.  On the contrary, she is rewarded for being a serial liar and a friend of the Muslim Brotherhood (at your taxpayer expense) by being hired in McCain’s office. The senator says she is a good researcher.

When the history of this era is written—maybe by crayon—this saga will be the perfect example to use.



More Great News About Obamacare: provisions will allow ‘forced’ home inspections by gov’t agents

Citing the Heath and Human Services website, a report posted Wednesday at the Freedom Outpost says that under Obamacare, government agents can engage in “home health visits” for those in certain “high-risk” categories.

Those categories include:

 *  Families where mom is not yet 21;
 *  Families where someone is a tobacco user;
 *  Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities, and
 *  Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forces who have had multiple deployments outside the United States.

According to HHS, the visits fall under what is called the “Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program” allegedly designed to “help parents and children,” and could impact millions of Americans.

Constitutional attorney and author Kent Masterson Brown said that despite what HHS says, the program is not “voluntary.”

“The eligible entity receiving the grant for performing the home visits is to identify the individuals to be visited and intervene so as to meet the improvement benchmarks,” he said. “A homeschooling family, for instance, may be subject to ‘intervention’ in ‘school readiness’ and ‘social-emotional developmental indicators.’ A farm family may be subject to ‘intervention’ in order to ‘prevent child injuries.’ The sky is the limit.”

Joshua Cook said that while the administration would claim the program only applies to those on Medicaid, the new law, by its own definition, has no such limitation.

“Intervention,” he added, quoting Brown, “may be with any family for any reason. It may also result in the child or children being required to go to certain schools or taking certain medications and vaccines and even having more limited – or no – interaction with parents. The federal government will now set the standards for raising children and will enforce them by home visits.”

According to Cook, the program will require collection of a massive amount of private information including all sources of income and the amount gathered from each source.

One of the areas of emphasis mentioned by HHS is the “development of comprehensive early childhood systems that span the prenatal-through-age-eight continuum.”

Last session, Cook added, South Carolina State Rep. Bill Chumley introduced a measure that would make the forced home visitations illegal in his state. The measure passed in the House but died in the Senate.



The Terrible Ten: A Century of Economic Folly

New Independent Institute book charts nation’s worst economic blunders – and how to avoid them in future

2013 is the 100th anniversary of the income tax and the Federal Reserve Act but American taxpayers should not be celebrating, according to The Terrible 10: A Century of Economic Folly, a new book from the Independent Institute.

“American taxpayers are victims of a century of disastrous government policies that cost trillions of dollars in wasted resources, created mass unemployment, and kept millions of people in poverty who otherwise would have participated in the nation’s growing prosperity,” said author Burton A. Abrams, a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Director of the Institute's Government Cost Calculator (MyGovCost.org), and Professor of Economics at the University of Delaware.

* The Terrible 10 charts the blunders chronologically, beginning with Prohibition, “a massive, precedent-setting governmental intervention in personal freedom,” that wasted resources, aided criminals and corrupted public officials and ordinary citizens alike.

* Joining this “miserable failure” was monetary policy during the Great Depression.  The Federal Reserve was created to prevent the widespread runs on banks that plagued the U.S. economy. But the biggest banking panic in U.S. history was in the making, and “the Fed’s failure to act decisively was one of the most costly economic policy errors in the past 100 years.”

* The Republican-sponsored Hawley-Smoot Act, signed over the objections of more than 1,000 economists, touched off a trade war and helped set the stage for World War II. President Ronald Reagan called Hawley-Smoot “the most destructive trade bill in history.”

* The Terrible 10 portrays Social Security as “the second largest Ponzi-type scheme sponsored by the U.S. government,” a “non-transparent welfare program that redistributes enormous amounts of wealth, often in ways that most Americans would find undesirable.”

* The income tax has become “excessively complicated, non-transparent, and costly” and “hides more than a trillion dollars in hidden subsidies that distort economic decision-making and produce economic waste.”

* According to The Terrible 10, Medicare is “the single worst Ponzi-type scheme in the government’s arsenal” and “$20 trillion to $30 trillion dollars in the red and in far worse shape than Social Security.”

* Abrams shows how Republican president Richard Nixon pressured Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns to overheat the U.S. economy prior to Nixon’s reelection bid. This launched the Nixon-Burns Political Business Cycle, “a decade of inflation that required three recessions to extinguish.”

* Nixon also created the Environmental Protection Agency and now, says Abrams, “Wasteful environmental regulations are the rule, not the exception, and usually they benefit special-interest groups while harming society at large.”

* Paternalistic policies by Democrats and Republicans fostered the Great Real Estate Bubble, followed by Government Failure and the Great Recession. “The economic damage to the young and less fortunate added another cruel dimension to the economic catastrophe.”

* Abrams notes the rapid and unprecedented peacetime run-up in the nation’s public debt that threatens to sink the economy. So irresponsible deficit spending, is a major part of the problem. But the author also provides key lessons to help the nation avoid repeating such policy mistakes in the future.

“Government decision-makers, regardless of political party, tend to favor short-run benefits for friends while imposing costs on current and later generations,” said Abrams. If national leaders want to steer a course toward prosperity and economic growth for the next 100 years, they need to avoid these destructive tactics:

(1) caving in to special-interest groups; (2) treating adult citizens like the government’s children; (3) allowing electoral majorities to take advantage of the rest of society; (4) obsessing about the short run – what Abrams calls immediosis; (5) choosing to stay ignorant about the deeper ramifications of government policies; and (6) rationalizing bad policies on the grounds of their “plausible acceptability.



The Dodgy New HHS Report on Obamacare Premiums

How much will insurance plans cost on Obamacare’s exchanges? This has been a big, and contentious, question since before the law was passed. Late last night, we got some new information: the Department of Health and Human Services released selected details on plan prices for insurance premiums in the federally run exchanges that will operate in the majority of states.

Administration officials are spinning the new numbers as good news for Obamacare. “The prices are affordable,” Gary Cohen, a top HHS official, told The Wall Street Journal. The White House is happily declaring that the premiums are “lower than expected.” And multiple news reports on the numbers are following suit, running headlines on the “lower than expected” premiums coming under Obamacare.

But “lower than expected” is, of course, not the same as lower than they are currently. That’s not the comparison the administration wants to make. "Because of the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance that people will be buying will actually cover them in the case of them getting sick. It doesn't make sense to compare just the number the person was paying, you have to compare the value people are getting," HHS official Cohen told the Journal. Accordingly, there are no comparisons in the report to current premiums. All that lower than expected really means, then, is that premiums won’t go up as much as the Congressional Budget Office initially estimated.

It's also worth noting that the HHS report isn’t comprehensive. It focuses on two thin slices of the insurance market—lowest cost premiums for 27-year-olds who make $25,000 annually, and four-member families with $50,000 incomes. As Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute writes at Forbes, it’s a safe bet these two slices weren’t picked accidentally; most likely they represent demographics best served by the law.

What about everyone else? As a Politico piece on the release notes, “the report doesn’t actually reveal very much about what most people will pay.” Instead, it “gives lots of examples of the kinds of people who will get good prices — but everyone else will remain in the dark until at least next Tuesday, when Obamacare is supposed to open its doors.”

Nor did the administration want reporters digging too much into the data before writing stories today. “The report was issued to news organizations on Tuesday under a strict embargo, with specific instructions not to share the information with anyone else, like outside health insurance experts who might be able to provide more analysis of the numbers," Politico reports.

The report leaked out anyway, but the embargo guidelines suggest that HHS was wary of early scrutiny of the numbers. And along with the selective reporting, it does make one wonder whether HHS is anxious about premium levels when enrollment begins next week. If a comprehensive report on premiums could stand up to outside scrutiny, wouldn’t HHS be putting out a fuller picture, and courting outside analysis?


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc


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Wireless.Phil said...

No one is coming into anyone's home!
That is all BS from the nuts on the other side of the fence.
Its against our constitution for anyone with the federal gov, or law enforcement to come into your home without a warrant! Unless you are stupid enough to let them in!

Robert said...

Just because it's against our constitution for federal government agents to enter a home without a warrant doesn't mean that agents of the Obama regime, with its total, utter contempt for the Constitution and Rule of Law, won't flagrantly flout, violate, and thumb their noses at the law.