Friday, December 04, 2015

Some long overdue sense about the Jihadis from a leading politician

Britain last night had a big debate in parliament on whether to join the bombing raids on ISIS in Syria. The debate did not split on party lines, unusually for Britain.  A majority of Tories and a minority of Leftists voted for the raids, giving a big majority in favour.  The highlight of the debates was a forceful speech from Leftist Hilary Benn, shadow foreign secretary and son of the prominent far-Leftist "Tony" Benn, now deceased.  And the speech may  have been the first time ever that a prominent Leftist politician has recognized what Obama and other Leftists still refuse to acknowledge:  That the Muslim Jihadis are Fascists. 

Benn was referring only to ISIS but it is a start. One should note that ISIS is not alone in bloodthirstiness and hostility. Al-Queda, the Taliban and Boko Haram are other examples of murderous  Muslim groups.  An excerpt from the speech:

    "Mr Speaker, I hope the House will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the house. As a party, we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility, one to another. We never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road.

    And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight and all of the people we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy – the means by which we will make our decision tonight – in contempt.

    And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated and it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists were just one part of the international brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It’s why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice and my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria and that is why I ask my colleagues to vote in favour of this motion tonight"


His emphasis that the Islamofascists need to be treated like the Fascists of the past: defeated, not tolerated or appeased, is particularly welcome


Distrust in Government at Historic Highs Under Obama

Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama boasted, “Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Back then, much of America was swooning over the charismatic, hopeful rhetoric of an inexperienced senator from Illinois. Obama, having clinched the Democrat Party nomination for president, spoke the words above to throngs of cheering, weeping supporters, who sincerely believed this community organizer with no prior executive experience would completely change the face of politics for decades to come.

Alas, the Progressive Pied Piper, the great Obamessiah, has been exposed as a naked emperor.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found Americans' trust in government is at “historic lows,” with an anemic 19% saying they trust government to do the right thing always or most of the time (11% for Republican/leaning, and 26% for Democrats/leaning). The fact that barely a quarter of Democrats trust government is shocking, considering their standard-bearer, Obama, has had virtually free reign to do as he pleased for the last seven years. How is it that Obama has managed to implement nearly everything he wanted from the progressives' wish list, yet trust in government has decreased?

The answer, of course, is that the larger and more powerful government grows, the more inept, sluggardly and corrupt it becomes. Businesses that are run inefficiently shutter. Yet government, never punished for its failures, has no natural incentive to improve (indeed, the biggest failures are usually rewarded with more power and more money). It becomes a breeding ground for slothful public “servants” and petty tyrants.

It was another Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, who became the first president to openly denigrate the Constitution as an anachronism, insufficient for the times, and who preached against the Separation of Powers doctrine that limited the ability of the executive to enact his agenda without obstruction. Indeed, in his book, “Constitutional Government in the United States,” Wilson declared no theoretical limitations to the presidency beyond the capacity of the man holding the office: “The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit.”

Wilson’s philosophy took root in the Democrat Party and the size and scope of the federal government exploded, primarily through the New Deal and Great Society programs, and in the unchecked growth of the fourth branch of government — the bureaucracy and the regulatory apparatus.

So how has that worked out for America?

One has only to look at the to-do list in Obama’s lofty speech to judge the scope of the failure. ObamaCare, which was supposed to bring health care to every American and “bend the cost curve down,” has instead kicked millions of Americans off of private health insurance plans they liked and into the ObamaCare exchanges and Medicare. More than half of the ObamaCare exchanges have now gone bankrupt, and the number of doctors refusing to accept Medicare patients has skyrocketed, leaving many with health insurance on paper, but no access to doctors, even as they now pay significantly more for health care.

Then there’s the federal student loan industry, which was supposed to make college more affordable. Instead, college tuition costs have increased rapidly, leaving millions of college students with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and no prospects for jobs with which to pay off those debts. Ironically, the dimwitted denizens of Dreamworld, the ones suffering from government’s ineptitude, are demanding more government as the solution.

Continuing down the list of Obama’s utopian promises, we certainly have not seen “good jobs for the jobless,” with the workforce participation rate lower now than at any time since the malaise of the Carter era. Obama has added tens of millions of Americans to the welfare and food stamp rolls, and the percentage of long-term unemployed has stayed stubbornly high.

Likewise, America learned the painful lesson that unilaterally disarming is not the same thing as ending a war, as Obama sits idly by and watches as the Middle East burns and the Islamic State is decidedly not “contained.” Sadly, as horrific as its campaign of evil has been, it pales in comparison to the danger we now face at the looming prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran flush with cash, courtesy of the prevaricator in chief. How to explain the lunacy of the so-called Leader of the Free World, who believes a conference on global warming can defeat terrorists when those Islamofascists envision their reign of murder will usher in the coming of the Islamic messiah?

As bad as this is, it only scratches the surface of the fecklessness and corruption of the Obama administration, which includes the Obama Justice Department running guns to Mexican drug cartels, the IRS targeting Obama’s political opponents, the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi, and the deaths of many battalions worth of beloved veterans after the VA Hospital system let them languish for months without treatment. Then there is the EPA dumping millions of gallons of toxic sludge into Colorado’s Animas River after being warned of the danger, even as the same EPA uses regulatory law as a bludgeon against businesses and private citizens. The list is virtually endless.

Obama laments the distrust of American citizens for their government (while still predicting a Democrat successor), but that distrust is well-deserved, and both parties are to blame. He complains that everything has become politicized, but how can it not be when the federal government impacts every aspect of our lives? If this distrust leads to Americans to demand the federal government be limited to its functions under the Article I, Section 8 enumerated powers, we will finally see power back where it belongs — in the hands of the people.



Deadly D.C.: The Land of No Consequences

In life and leadership, accountability means consequences for bad behavior.

In Washington, accountability means yet another congressional meeting about another government scandal perpetrated by tax-subsidized corruptocrats who get away with murder.


This week, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold the 999,999th oversight hearing (give or take a few) on the VA's homicidal, no-fault culture. "In the wake of the biggest scandal in VA history, in which 110 VA medical facilities maintained secret lists to hide long waits for care," the panel notes, "the department has successfully fired just three low-level employees for manipulating wait times. Not a single VA senior executive has been successfully fired for doing the same."

Have you forgotten? President Obama, who proclaimed himself "madder than hell" when the scandal first broke, apparently can no longer be bothered to care as he gallivants around the planet fretting about climate change.

How about some climate change at the toxic VA?

The department in charge of providing care to those who served our country in uniform stuck hundreds of thousands of vets on waiting lists to nowhere. The exact VA scandal death toll remains unknown because of the perpetually crappy state of data entry and management that long predated the latest bureaucratic abominations under the Obama administration.

We do know that in Phoenix alone, an estimated 40 veterans died waiting for care as VA officials cooked the books and cashed in. Former Phoenix VA hospital Director Sharon Helman was one of the few officials finally dismissed for misconduct. But like countless other VA crooks, she was awarded (and allowed to keep) more than $8,000 in publicly funded bonus pay plus a 2 percent pay raise after submitting a self-assessment in which she bragged: "I drove tremendous improvement in primary-care access."

The VA bonus bonanza — which fueled the records-doctoring scandal — showered $142 million on executives, managers and employees in 2014 alone, according to a devastating USA Today analysis last week. The year before, the VA doled out nearly $400,000 in bonuses to hospital officials as veterans fought to be seen and treated.

"Among the recipients were claims processors in a Philadelphia benefits office that investigators dubbed the worst in the country last year. They received $300 to $900 each," investigators found. "Managers in Tomah, Wis., got $1,000 to $4,000, even though they oversaw the over-prescription of opiates to veterans — one of whom died."

In St. Paul, Minn., VA benefits office director Kimberly Graves raked in nearly $9,000 in 2014 bonus pay. The VA inspector general determined that she abused her power to transfer to a new position and collected nearly $130,000 to move. Graves refused to testify at a House hearing earlier this month about job-manipulation charges, as did accountability-evading VA exec Diana Rubens of Philadelphia.

The tight-lipped fish rots from the head down, of course. Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned last spring, refused to turn over records related to bonus decisions to a judge.

No consequences for evading judicial orders. But he's still collecting his six-figure, gold-plated government pension.

About the only thing the VA has proved efficient and effective at these days is retaliating against the brave watchdogs who exposed their craven supervisors. It's been two months since Office of Special Counsel head Carolyn Lerner blasted the systemic witch hunts against whistleblowers to President Obama in an open letter. After highlighting a "pattern of deficient patient care at VA facilities nationwide," she discovered a flood of chilling cases in which the agency "attempted to fire or suspend whistleblowers for minor indiscretions and, often, for activity directly related to the employee's whistleblowing."

In 2015 alone, the OSC has received over 2,000 cases from VA employees seeking protection from retaliation for whistleblowing.

Where's the White House? Too preoccupied with restricting the powers of federal inspectors general to investigate wrongdoing within the Obama administration's agencies from A to VA to Z.

These feckless, reckless officials in the top echelons of power will continue to jeopardize and sacrifice innocent lives as long as they suffer no risks to their own privileged, protected livelihoods. They deserve a change of climate all right — from the rarefied air of the Beltway to an enclosed habitat behind bars.



Obama Proves He's the Greatest Windbag in the World

At a time when he has degraded America’s standing as a super power, Barack Obama still sees himself as a super president. How super? During the opening remarks at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris Monday, Obama spoke for 14 minutes, delivering his full, prepared speech.

Problem was, every other leader — 150 world leaders in all, including the likes of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping — kept their remarks to the three-minute time limit. But Obama forged ahead, ignoring the beeps every few seconds reminding him to wrap it up.

Surely his staff received the memo that every other leader in the world would speak for three minutes. “Barack Obama has gotten so used to breaking rules here in America, he just can’t help himself,” Gary Bauer wrote. “Not even when he is in other nations.”

Indeed, it wasn’t the only communication blunder Mr. Hope ‘n’ Change™ made in the hours after touching down in Paris. As commentator Charles Hurt noted, Obama stumbled through a press conference peppering the reporters with about 330 ‘um’s, 'uh’s and 'ahh’s and countless sentence fragments. Thus goes America’s “great orator.” And to think this summit lasts for 12 days.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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