Monday, December 16, 2013

Exterminate!  Exterminate! Cry the Daleks of the Left

And their target is Megyn Kelly

Ever wonder why some seemingly meaningless things end up being a big deal in the media while other important ones never get mentioned?

Whether it be the Obama selfie at the Mandela memorial—which revealed the juvenile child residing behind the stern teleprompter lecturer—or Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s statement that Santa Claus is white.

The Obama situation is obviously too good to pass up given the funny set of pictures, made all the better by Michelle’s obvious anger at his behavior.  In a world where memes and pictures drive messaging on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, Obama’s reaching for the Danish was guaranteed to go viral once it hit the web.

The Megyn Kelly faux controversy over her declaration that Santa is white is something else altogether. Quoting directly from an article by Ben Shapiro on the blog covering the declaration of victory over Fox News by George Soros-funded Media Matters, Shapiro writes about Kelly,

“Media Matters admits that it has been having difficulty targeting Kelly, with new Vice President Angelo Carusone explaining, ‘We deal with reality. She’s not as vitriolic. On the other hand, she is in some ways more pernicious because her credibility has not been completely and totally eroded … so she has the potential to legitimize and validate smears and lies in ways that some of the more disreputable figures on Fox can no longer do, which just presents a new challenge.’”

That is why every left wing publication from Politico to Mother Jones has jumped on the faux Santa is White controversy with the collective intent to sully Ms. Kelly’s reputation and paint her in some way as a racist based upon that remark.

Let’s be clear, while St. Nicholas was a Greek living in Asia Minor in the 4th Century, the guy in the red suit actually originated in Europe and the United States over the past few centuries.  While anyone can choose to depict this character as any race they choose, the character has traditionally been white, and to attack someone for noting this historical fact is just looking for a reason to hate.

However, when you are attempting to diminish a smart, tough, attractive interviewer who challenges guests of all philosophical stripes, in the “ends justify the means” world of the left, creating a controversy and using it to claim racism is perfectly justifiable.

Unfortunately, those who have never even watched Ms. Kelly will assume this false characterization is true, just as those same people believed Tina Fey’s fictional, satirical turn as Sarah Palin was a realistic portrayal even down to thinking the infamous, “I can see Russia from my house” line was actually uttered by Palin.

Right now, Kelly rightfully scares the left far more than a temporarily marginalized Palin with her capacity to build an independent audience of female viewers for FoxNews that reaches well beyond those who tune in to see O’Reilly or Hannity.  And for posing this threat, the left must thoroughly destroy Megyn Kelly—no issue can be too trivial in this pursuit.  So expect to read a lot more about Ms. Kelly in the future, as the misogynists and conjurers of liberal spin will try their best to demonize her using all the powers of fictional depiction at their disposal.



Netanyahu did not bow down to the Mandela whitewash

I was shocked when I read that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa because it was too expensive to travel there. Seriously?

It appears that the real issue was not the expense of the trip but rather the fact that Mr. Mandela had compared the situation of South African blacks under the apartheid system with the situation of Palestinians living in the so-called occupied territories, also praising Yasser Arafat.

In an opinion piece for Al-Jazeerah, Hanna Kawas, Chairperson for the Canada Palestine Association, lamented the loss of Mr. Mandela, praising him as a great friend of the Palestinians. She noted that in 1997 he stated, “But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” while in 1990 he said, “I believe that there are many similarities between our struggle and that of the PLO. We live under a unique form of colonialism in South Africa, as well as in Israel, and a lot flows from that.”

In a clip played by Ted Koppel on ABC, Mr. Mandela also stated that, “We identify with the PLO because, just like ourselves, they are fighting for the right of self determination. . . . Arafat is a comrade in arms.”

And in a 1990 interview with Australian media, he said, “We agree with the United Nations that international disputes should be settled by peaceful means. The belligerent attitude which is adopted by the Israeli government is to us unacceptable,” also explaining that his organization, the ANC, does not consider the PLO a terrorist group.”

He added: “If one has to refer to any of the parties as a terrorist state, one might refer to the Israeli government, because they are the people who are slaughtering defenseless and innocent Arabs in the occupied territories, and we don’t regard that as acceptable.”



The third big lie in Obamacare

Jonah Goldberg

"Obamacare was sold on a trinity of lies."

That ornate phrase, more suitable for the Book of Revelations or perhaps the next installment of "Game of Thrones," comes from my National Review colleague Rich Lowry. But I like it. Most people know the first deception in the triumvirate of deceit: "If you like your health insurance you can keep it, period." The second leg in the tripod of deception was "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

But the third plank in the triad of disinformation hasn't gotten much attention: Obamacare will save you, me and the country a lot of money. This lie took several forms.

First, Obama promised on numerous occasions that the average family of four will save $2,500 a year in premiums. Where did that number come from? Three Harvard economists wrote a memo in 2007 in which they claimed that then-Sen. Obama's health-care plan would reduce national health-care spending by $200 billion. Then, according to the New York Times, the authors "divided [$200 billion] by the country's population, multiplied for a family of four, and rounded down slightly to a number that was easy to grasp: $2,500."

In September, the Obama administration's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services used far more rigorous methods to predict that Obamacare would increase national health-care spending by $621 billion. Using Obama's own math, that would mean -- according to Chris Conover, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and Duke University -- each family of four in America will spend an additional $7,450 thanks to Obamacare.

Of course, that methodology is still bogus. But it's probably closer to the truth.

The president and his allies also insisted that all of Obamacare's "free" preventative care would save the country vast amounts of money. As Obama put it in 2012: "As part of the health care reform law that I signed last year, all insurance plans are required to cover preventive care at no cost. That means free check-ups, free mammograms, immunizations and other basic services. We fought for this because it saves lives and it saves money -- for families, for businesses, for government, for everybody."

That's not true either. First of all, you'd think people would understand that there is no such thing as "at no cost." You are paying for "free" mammograms, blood tests and the rest, even if you don't see a line item for them on your bill. And even if you're poor enough that you don't even see a bill, that doesn't mean no one's paying. That's why millions of Americans who've lost their health insurance thanks to Obamacare are discovering that the new plans it offers are either more expensive, have higher deductibles or both.

Also, prevention doesn't necessarily save money. I know that Benjamin Franklin said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (People always leave out the fact that he owned an insurance company that ran at a profit.) The idea that prevention saves money is one of these things that intuitively sounds like it has to be true. But think about it.

According to the National Cancer Institute, 12.4 percent of American women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. So for every positive diagnosis there are seven negative diagnoses. Those tests cost a lot of money. Moreover, of the women who do get it, premature screenings won't necessarily catch it. That in no way means that screenings don't make sense. They do, particularly for women in high-risk groups. But testing everybody isn't a great way to save money. As the Congressional Budget Office reported in August, "The evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall."

When presented with these and other facts, Obamacare's defenders note that the rate of increase in health-care costs has slowed in recent years. "I'm not going to walk away from something that has helped the cost of health care grow at its slowest rate in 50 years," Obama said last month.

This spin doesn't work either. The slowing of health-care costs began a decade ago, and even the administration's own actuaries say the recent drop is mostly attributable to the lousy economy. But even that's too generous to Obama. Costs haven't dropped. The rate of increase in spending has slowed. We're still on course to spend a record $2.9 trillion on health care in 2013.

Obamacare may have been sold on a trinity of lies, but it turns out it's also lies all the way down.



A new IRS outrage

Here's a question: When did it become acceptable for the IRS to be used as a tool to target enemies of the president? Moreover, what article or amendment of the U.S. Constitution authorizes a component of the Executive Branch to be used as a powerful political weapon? The answers to these questions should be obvious to most: “never” and “none,” respectively. But apparently that's not so for Barack Obama.

Fresh from wiping mud off its face for its scandalous behavior in targeting the Left's political enemies, the IRS is proposing new rules that double-down on that egregious behavior. The new rules would restrain the free-speech rights of certain organizations under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code by preventing them from posting officeholder votes and quotes on their websites within two months of an election. These organizations are politically active nonprofits and exist specifically to promote political speech and issue advocacy. (And with the Senate “going nuclear” and allowing Obama to pack the courts – especially the DC Circuit – with leftists, the courts will almost surely uphold these new rules.)

These organizations are not tax exempt, but they have for more than 50 years enjoyed the ability to engage in political activity on behalf of donors who wish to remain anonymous. Now that conservative nonprofits have grown at such a rate that they threaten formerly Democrat strongholds, naturally the Entitled Party wants to quash such activity, either by restricting these groups' rights through unconstitutional rule-making measures or by exposing and harassing conservative donors.

For his part, Obama didn't even pass the first philosophical hurdle – that using the IRS as a political weapon is, well, “wrong.” In a recent interview with Chris “I-felt-this-thrill-going-up-my-leg” Matthews, Obama stated, “You've got an … IRS office … and they've got a list, and suddenly everybody's outraged” – as though being outraged is somehow itself offensive. Well, yes, Mr. President: “Suddenly” – once the despicable act is discovered, that is – everybody is outraged. A better question might be, “Why wouldn't they be?”

As to the original questions concerning the use of the IRS as a political weapon, we would refer readers to the “IRS” acronym itself for answers: Internal Revenue Service – “Internal,” meaning from within the country itself; “Revenue,” meaning federal government income from taxes; and “Service,” meaning an organization that (ostensibly, at least) helps people. Note that none of these terms state or imply an organization that regulates politics or free speech rights. The best solution to this mess is to disengage the IRS from the business of doing political work on behalf of the president and his party. But that solution will never be acceptable to the Left, which knows that it must rely on deceit and unfair tactics to hold power. Sadly, this is simply another thinly veiled attack on Americans' liberty.



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