Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bernie's secret weapon


Trump placates Ryan

The Republican Party lurched back toward unity Thursday after Donald Trump, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, the party’s top leader on Capitol Hill, concluded a closely watched summit with soothing statements that the GOP can, after all, get along.

Well, eventually.

“I was very encouraged with what I heard from Donald Trump today,” Ryan said after the meeting. “We are now planting the seeds to get ourselves united. . . . This is a process. It takes a little time. You don’t pull it together in 45 minutes.”

The Trump-Ryan confab was convened after Ryan took the extraordinary step last week of announcing that he wasn’t yet ready to support Trump as his party’s nominee. The pair met early Thursday along with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, followed immediately afterward by a larger meeting with Ryan and other members of House GOP leadership. Trump then met with Senate Republican leaders.

In the wake of these meetings — covered breathlessly all day, with cameras focused on Trump’s car, or his idling airplane — the sounds of harmony rippled across Capitol Hill.

“He was terrific. I was really quite impressed,” said Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. “I totally endorse him.”

“He’s actually a pretty affable guy in a small group setting. Obviously much different than the public demeanor,” said Senate majority whip John Cornyn.

“The meeting was great,” Priebus tweeted. “It was a very positive step toward party unity.”

But the sunny sentiments belie a continued tension at the heart of the GOP. Even the feel-good statements that emerged from Trump’s series of meetings couldn’t ignore the real differences on policy and tone that persist after a bruising primary fight that produced a very unconventional candidate at the top of the GOP ticket.

“While I may disagree with the rhetoric Mr. Trump uses and some policy positions, he is the better option than Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Representative Greg Walden, the Oregon Republican who is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement. “That’s why all along I’ve said I intend to support the GOP nominee.”

Representative Charlie Dent, a moderate from Pennsylvania, said many members of his caucus — including those supporting Trump — still harbor concerns about their presumptive nominee. Trump “has to convince many Americans, including myself, that he’s ready to lead this great nation,” said Dent, who does not yet support Trump.



America is transitioning to an amoral State where Might is Right

America is witnessing the transition from a Judeo-Christian based culture and government where rights are conferred by God and just government is instituted to secure those rights, to a government and society which rejects this notion, preferring to merely have privileges allowed by government — which can be transferred or rescinded on a whim.

We now have become a society that wishes to be kept safe from alternative points of view, which wants to remove religious symbols from non-believer’s eyesight, and where chalked letters T-R-U-M-P cause entire college campuses to go into therapy.

The post-modern governance is best summed up by two separate incidents involving Harvard Law School.

The first revolves around a Harvard Professor, Mark Tushnet, who is advocating that Christians, traditionalists and constitutionalists, the presumed losers in the culture war be treated like the Nazis in post-World War II Germany, writing, “The culture wars are over; they lost, we won… My own judgment is that taking a hard line (‘You lost, live with it’) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who — remember — defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all… [T]aking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.”

In short, might makes right. This astounding piece effectively eviscerates any notion of minority rights in our culture in this new post-modern America, even though it is this very constitutional protection that allowed the atheist, non-traditionalist movement to grow unshackled.

Of course the First Amendment freedom of religious expression is not even a relevant point when it comes to imposing the will of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender community on the church and other Bible believers. It’s not enough to agree to disagree. In Tushnet’s view, those who follow Biblical teachings should actually be compelled to abandon God in order to be part of the public place, no longer free to express or even conduct themselves according to their religious beliefs — just as the Nazi party was banned in Germany after 1945.

It is this imposition of the left’s cultural values on the entire nation that threatens the very heart of constitutional protections of rights. We’re no longer allowed to disagree.

Anyone familiar with various cases around the nation where Christian businesses have been forced by state governments to either go out of business or cater to gay marriage mandates can see where this leads.  Might makes right in the brave new world that Thrasymachus argued for, and little things like the Bill of Rights are not even speed bumps in the way of the new governing class.

Either join their revolution willingly, or the state will ensure compliance as mandatory.  Even though the Bill of Rights was constructed to stop those who would impose their will via government upon others. So much for the Enlightenment.

The second involves the Harvard Law School crest which has come under attack because it is the crest of the family that founded the law school in 1817 – a family of wealthy Massachusetts slave holders.  After some Harvard law students protested the shield of the school they chose to attend, Harvard Law School has decided to wipe it away along with the history – good and bad – that it represents.

The irony is the former crest of Harvard Law School contains a single word – veritas – the Latin word for truth.  A tidy metaphor for the new age in America where truth must be erased at all costs to avoid hurting feelings.  But also truth is the exact word that Jesus used to describe himself in front of Pontius Pilate and that Pilate scoffed at saying, “Que es veritas” or what is truth?

Thrasymachus was right. That is, once the restraints on government are let loose, the powerful will seek to impose their will on the rest of us. And America’s Ivy League philosopher kings know it, which is why they are hell-bent on imposing their new morality that doesn’t have room for dissent or discussion.  And it is why we need a Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the primacy of the rule of law — to stop them.



Obama to Successful Blacks: 'You Didn't Build That'

Out of the myriad lectures commencement speeches Barack Obama has given, perhaps none was as disheartening as the one he gave Saturday at Howard University. The message was twofold: Obama’s presidency failed to bring racial healing, and when it comes to blacks who are living successful lives, it’s not really because of hard work so much as it is luck (i.e., they didn’t build that).

We begin with racial discord, of which Obama is washing his hands. “No, my election did not create a post-racial society,” he said. “I don’t know who was propagating that notion. That was not mine.” Uh, yeah it was.

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh responds, “There are … white people who voted for Obama hoping to end [racial discord]. They think it’s tearing the country apart. … Nobody thought that meant more welfare or more benefits or more dependence, but that actual, quality standard of living improvements would take place. And there haven’t been any, at large.”

Next, recall Obama’s assertion four years ago: “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Now see if you if you can find a resemblance to Saturday’s second damning remark:

“[W]e have to not only question the world as it is, and stand up for those African-Americans who haven’t been so lucky — because, yes, you’ve worked hard, but you’ve also been lucky. That’s a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they’ve been lucky.”

Hot Air’s Larry O'Conner says, “No, it’s more than a pet peeve of his, it’s an ideology.” Furthermore, Limbaugh opines: “That’s a hell of an inspirational message. I’d be really motivated. Okay, so I’ve spent four years or however many years here in this university trying to equip myself for success, and now I’m told that’s not a factor. I gotta go out and learn luck. Where do I go to study luck? Where do I go to get my degree in luck? And the unspoken message is: If you’re black, you aren’t gonna have it, ‘cause the people in charge of luck aren’t gonna pass it out to you.”

Besides, what does all that talk about luck say about Obama’s ascendance to the White House?

There’s a meme traversing social media depicting George W. Bush with a caption, “Miss me yet?” When it comes to Barack Obama, many blacks will still be answering: No.



ObamaCare's Retreat From Affordability

Insurance providers UnitedHealth and Humana are admitting what most conservatives have realized for over a half-decade: The ObamaCare system is too bloated and regulation-heavy. Eventually, it will fail. United announced it was leaving most of the ObamaCare exchanges, and Humana said it will consider leaving too, for the two companies have been losing money. But the fact that health insurance companies don’t want to play in a system where consumers are forced to buy their product is a good sign to the Washington Post editorial board. “United’s selective exit from ACA marketplaces appears to reflect two positive features of the law,” the board opined. “First, Obamacare was meant to spur competition among insurance companies, thus constraining premiums … Second, the law has curtailed many of the ways that insurers used to contain their costs, such as refusing to cover certain people or certain treatments, or jacking up premiums for older customers.”

This is hardly free market competition we’re talking about here. But as market forces demand: Insurers must contain their costs. The next grand exodus by the insurance companies from the ObamaCare exchanges might be the bronze-level plans. A Virginian subsidiary of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is considering upgrading all its bronze plans to silver plans next year. Apparently the entry-level plans that cost-concerned Americans who are young and healthy take are eating away at health companies' bottom line. What happens to the exchanges when those young ‘n’ healthy — the folks that were supposed to keep this whole health system afloat — decide to pay extra in taxes than buy into a rigged system with ever-increasing premiums? It’s just one more step toward the tipping point of failure.



How This Gun Free City Celebrated Mother's Day

Chicago’s gang violence is usually quite bloody during summer weekends, but this year’s Mother’s Day weekend was particularly bloody with 43 wounded and nine killed between Friday afternoon and Sunday night.

In fact, the Mother’s Day holiday brought five fatalities, the last of which came at 12:30 a.m. Monday morning. Eleven others were wounded on Sunday.

Saturday was also a dangerous day to live in Chicago, as three were killed and 21 more wounded by the gunfire traded between the city’s constantly warring gangs.

Friday was no light day, either. While one died, eleven more were shot.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both 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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