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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cruising the Web

John Fund examines how cries of racism are now the left's equivalent of a black list for suspected communists. The goal is to totally delegitimize someone so that nothing they do or say should ever again be given credence.

And if there is no connection at all for throwing out a charge of racism against conservatives, how about digging into their bag of slurs and tagging conservatives with anti-Semitism?

Senator Tom Coburn has a depressing look at the year in politics depicting "The Year Washington Fled Reality." That's about it.

Bret Stephens reaches for wisdom from Alexis de Tocqueville to explain how President Obama has a problem with envy rather than the United States having a problem with inequality.
As it is, to whom except the envious should it matter that the boss now makes a lot more, provided you, too, also make more? Class-consciousness has always been a fact of American life, but rarely is it about how the poor, or even the middle class, feel toward the very rich. It has been about how the professional class—lawyers, journalists, administrators, academics—feel toward the financial class. It's what Volvo America thinks about S-class America.

That idiot you knew freshman year, always fondling a lacrosse stick, before he became the head of his fraternity—his bonus last year was how much?

The moral greatness of capitalism rests in the fact that it is the only economic system where one person's gain can be another's also—where Steve Jobs's billions are his shareholders' thousands. Capitalism cultivates a sense of admiration where envy would otherwise rule in a zero-sum economic system. It's what, for the past 60 years, has blunted the democratic tendency toward envy in the U.S. and distinguished its free-market democracy from the social democracies of Europe. It's what draws people to this country.

Somewhere in the rubble of Mr. Obama's musings on inequality there was a better speech on economic mobility. Then again, under Mr. Obama the median income of the poorest Americans has declined in absolute terms, to $11,490 in 2012 from $11,552 in 2009, at the height of the recession. Chalk it up as another instance of Mr. Obama being the cause of the very problems he aspires to address.
Lisa Myers at NBC reports on some workers at an auto dealership realizing how Obamacare is affecting them.
He said the biggest surprise to him in how the law impacts small business clients is “how many people are losers versus winners. … There are some people who do come out ahead, but I would say the overwhelming majority, they’re paying much higher rates and they have lower benefits.”
Lloyd Grove marvels at how fast the media has turned on Chris Christie as soon as he emerged as a leading 2016 candidate. Ironically, that might even help him in the GOP nomination fight.

Avik Roy explains why PolitiFact's attempts to hide its own twisting analysis to rate President Obama's promise that everyone who liked their health care plan could keep it as true up until the time they termed it as their Lie of the Year reveals how deceptive the whole fact-checking journalism really is.

Timothy Carney reminds us of three most logic-free arguments in 2013 politics.

Jonah Goldberg looks at the myths that both liberals and conservatives tell themselves.
One of the most impressive achievements of liberalism is the perpetuation of the myth of liberal rebelliousness. One of my favorite things to do when speaking on college campuses is to point out to students how conformist they are. (College students are a lot like that mob in Monty Python's "Life of Brian" who chant in unison, "We're all individuals!") I point out to the students that their professors are liberal. Their school administrators are liberal. Hollywood, the music and publishing industries are all overwhelmingly liberal. The mainstream media are liberal. "But," I ask them, "you think you're sticking it to the man by agreeing with them?"
Meanwhile, lots of my friends on the right often seem to take it for granted that there's a vast silent majority of Americans pitted against a small cabal of elitist pinheads and would-be social engineers. As a conservative, I believe there are a lot of pinhead social engineers (see, Bloomberg, Michael). But I also understand that there are millions of Americans who see these people as leaders who speak for them and address their needs.
Ironically, both the conservative false confidence in consensus and the liberal false confidence in uniqueness have a similar downside: smugness. Evidence for this is about as hard to find as straw in a haystack. Liberals often talk as if only the backward masses disagree with them and conservatives often assume that only overeducated weirdos and radicals could object to their agenda. Hence Barack Obama's infamous explanation for why rural Pennsylvanians didn't support him: They were too busy "clinging" to their God and guns. Tellingly, conservatives took that line as a badge of honor.

Michael Barone reports on some good news from Mexico.

Moderation and compromise aren't the same thing. Peter Wehner has a useful reminder.

Richard Cohen ponders how 2013 was a very bad year for Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is the quintessential Washington insider, a former secretary of state whose portfolio is devoid of a soaring triumph and whose name is attached not to some diplomatic doctrine but to a failed health-insurance plan. She might make a wonderful president, but she’s following a man who, by virtue of his failures, has made that harder. As in 2008, Barack Obama could wind up defeating her.
Meanwhile, the National Journal argues that John Boehner had the "best year in Washington."

Obamacare, in its usual mode of damaging everything that it comes in contact with, includes a new tax on small businesses that is set to go into effect on January 1. And, of course, it will damage everyone.
The White House tells business that the tab will be picked up by deep-pocketed insurers, which is good for a laugh. The Congressional Budget Office reports the tax will be "largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums" and "would ultimately raise insurance premiums by a corresponding amount." The Joint Tax Committee and private economists, such as former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin, say the tax will boost insurance costs about 2% to 2.5%. The consultant Oliver Wyman estimates the take will rise to as much as $500 per covered worker by decade's end.

Wasn't the Affordable Care Act supposed to be about expanding coverage in part by lowering premiums, not slapping on more overhead? By this liberal logic taxing cigarettes should create more smokers.

Apparently, Michael Bloomberg paid out $650 million of his own money to cover his perks and maintain himself on the job while he was mayor.

The Hill lists five stories to look for in 2014 as Obamacare becomes further entrenched into our lives.


mark said...

Silly liberal media whining about racism:

Who says telling a US-born black man to "go back to Kenya" is racist?

I wonder if John Fund defended those opposed to the Iraq war against the absurd charges they were "spitting on the troops of soldiers" and allies of dictators?

tfhr said...

Upset again Mark?

Apparently your New Year is not starting off happy and I'm sad for you.

Looking back not far in the past I bet you were appalled when Jesse Jackson talked of castrating Obama. Is that better or worse than lynching?

Yet the left still gives Jesse a place at the podium when he thinks he's found another black v. white meal ticket.

You were probably horrified when Biden gibbered out one of his famous Bidenism about Obama being the first "clean" and articulate African-American to come along.

The Democrats made that guy VP (shudder) and in doing so gave the rest of us reason to pray for Obama's continued good health.

You must have really been disgusted, if not despondent, when rabid supporters of Hillary's failed presidential campaign were the first to accuse Obama of having been born outside of the United States.

Now the old 2008 campaign cronies are gathering to do battle again, sharpening their knives, sifting the muck, and putting Linda Starr back on the speed dial.

Then your comments somehow manage to stagger and stumble over to Iraq to say what exactly what about John Fund's article? I can't tell but if you'd like to talk about Obama's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, then Iraq is a good place to start but if I were you, I would not bring up any aspect about your man's foreign policy record, his boneheaded Secretaries of State, or anything beyond his devotion to the game of golf because the guy has has only been [voting]"present" when Executive Branch leadership was needed in matters abroad and at home.

mark said...

Oh lfm, going back to your original identity? The one that claimed to be an Iraq-war vet/military intelligence officer? The one that claimed OBL was dead based on a "decrease in communiques"? That one?
More than anyone else here, you've played the 'if you don't agree with me, you're with the terrorists' card.

lfm? tfhr? No matter. Same silly person.

tfhr said...


But you were so sure I was Equitus! How many times did you rant on with that delusion? It provided me with quite a few laughs though, so thanks.

Here is a project for you for the New Year: Find where I said bin Laden was dead. I said I thought he was probably dead but I never said that I was certain. Find it.
I think you'll probably have better luck finding a fix for ObamaCare or it's lame web site.

Now we know that OBL is dead but that AQ is very much alive and thriving in Iraq thanks to Obama's foreign policy failure with negotiating a simple SOFA agreement. Now we have Iran shipping weapons and personnel across Iraq to aid in the butchery of Syrians at the hands of Assad. Then there's the carnage within Iraq that has lead to casualty rates not seen since the height of the Surge.

Should we blame that on a You Tube video or should we just ignore it altogether. Those seem to be the standard fall back positions of the left when it comes to Obama's foreign policy and national security failings.

Now explain again why you think your commentary about John Fund's article had something to do with Iraq? Is there some kind of new leftist script where you get to play a race card while having a BDS convulsion?

mark said...

Are you now qualifying your bizarre comments about OBL because you didn't say you were "certain"? Perhaps you also had your fingers crossed as you typed.

You scampered away from this site after some disgraceful comments, and then crawled back with a new identity. Your claims about serving our country would be laughable if they weren't so insulting to those who really do work to keep us safe.

tfhr said...


The only string left on your banjo is the personal attack. If only Alinsky had been a banjo teacher instead of a community organizer. Think how much better off we would all be!

Bizarre comments about OBL? What would those be? I do remember your bizarre and disgusting attempt at a joke in which you compared dead American service members with the dead fish produced by one of your failed efforts in Guatemalan aquaculture, as a Peace Corps (pronounced "corpse" if you are an Obama adherent) volunteer. You launched that gem off when I was in Fallujah in 2008. It was a much safer place for Americans in those days and for Iraqis too, especially when you compare it with today's Fallujah and Ramadi. Nevertheless, your remarks were in appallingly bad taste.

I remember how you used to rant on and on about how Bush was no longer pursuing bin Laden. As if! Now that we've seen the reemergence of AQ and it's off-shoots in places where it had been destroyed and it's emergence in new locations, maybe you can understand that the fight against Jihadism is about more than one man and always has been. Maybe not. You are probably that short sighted, just like Obama. But you guys did come up with a really fun bumper sticker for 2012 that was something like "Bin Laden is Dead and Detroit is Alive". I hate to say it Mark, Detroit is dead, Chrysler belongs to Italy and AQ is Booming. Put that on your Prius and drive it to the Health Care Exchange!

I guess we're going to go around and a around on this because you cannot explain how you got from John Fund to Iraq. As Sebelius would say, "Whatever", but I wish you would take a position that was supportable so that you could make a genuine effort to enter into a debate.

mark said...

Perfect. The guy who so easily throws out accusations about marxists, rapists and pedophiles (and all without a shred of evidence) is complaining about personal attacks. And more fake-outrage to top it off.

The connection to Fund and Betsy's post is obvious. Betsy wrote, "the goal is to totally delegitimize someone so that nothing they do or say should ever again be given credence".
People here, and you especially, claimed that anyone against the war in Iraq was an ally of terrorists and "spitting" on the troops. Two weeks ago, you claimed if I didn't trust Elliot Abrams (a convicted liar involved in Iran-Contra), it must mean I trusted the leaders in Iran.
Twisted logic that would be dangerous if it actually existed in the military-intelligence community. Fortunately, you've already admitted to lying about your identity. So no worries.

tfhr said...

I understand that you're saying you're trying to delegitimize rather than debate here. Got it.

So you're not refuting Abrams' point or do you actually trust the leaders of Iran? Your attack on Abrams was inane and did not contribute to the debate. Do you trust Iran's leaders? Apparently Obama does - enough to let them salvage their failing economy and continue their efforts to build nuclear weapons with his help. But let's forget about that because Abrams is a liar. Well if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care insurance you can keep your health care insurance. Our ambassador to Libya is dead, you must believe, because of You Tube. Obama is a liar, mark.

You are a liar until you show us EXACTLY where I said that bin Laden was dead. You still haven't. You are a liar until you show us EXACTLY where I said ANYONE that was against fighting our enemies in Iraq was spitting on our troops. I did say that Harry Reid's pronouncement that the "war was lost" and Dick Durbin's shameful comparison of our troops with Nazis, Khmer Rouge and Soviet Gulag guards was as much as spitting on our people in the field. Then there was John Murtha's efforts to pervert the military justice system to the detriment of US Marines. Maybe you don't agree with me on those but I'm not surprised. Reid's call was premature but now that Obama has handed Iraq to AQ and Iran, much indeed has been lost. If you think Durbin was correct to say what he said, then by all means explain where I'm wrong. Go ahead. When you're done with that give us your take on the UCMJ.

Quite a stretch with your response to Fund and his examination of the penchant of the left to brand any political opponent as a racist, but at least now I know what you were shooting for but I'm afraid you've put a hole in your sock.

mark said...

Does this ring a bell, tfhr/lfm?

"As I've said many times before, I did believe that bin Laden was dead. My suspicion was based on his drop-off in public communiques."

Here's a bonus quote for you. It was made regarding Jerry Sandusky:

but we must withhold judgement about his criminality until he's had his day in court

Kinda makes your comments about Menendez even more disgraceful, no?

tfhr said...


Not sure why you left the quotes off of the Sandusky thing but it is worth noting that he did have his day in court but Menendez continues to skate.

You have to wonder why Menendez voted against denying legal status to illegal aliens that have been convicted of crimes against children and domestic violence. Have to wonder about another illegal alien, a registered sex offender, that just happened to be an intern for Menendez. Seems the DHS issued a directive to delay his arrest until after the 2012 election. Interesting.

On the one hand the prostitution charges directed at Menendez were levied by prostitutes - and then on the other hand - they were retracted by prostitutes. It's not clear whether they are the same prostitutes but it interesting that someone might take money to say something bad about someone but would not possibly take more money to say something that would clear them. Prostitutes with hearts of gold! Only in the Dominican. No wonder a guy like Menendez would go there!

Menendez is all about special relationships though. We seem to be experiencing a delay on the legality of his special relationship with a wealthy campaign donor that was a big part of his prostitution/travel adventure in the Dominican Republic but we'll have to wait to find out what the federal grand jury finally says about that.

As for bin Laden's status and my belief that he was already dead, so what? Or as Hillary would say, "At this point what difference does it make?" Saying that I think a terrorist may already be dead is a lot different than saying he is dead. I made no claim offering certitude but that is beside the point. I think your whole complaint was that you believed President Bush had given up the search which you know to be untrue. What the Democrats did was to claim that AQ died with bin Laden. It's alive and well and killing Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans, Somalis, Kenyans, Yemenis, and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught on a You Tube video.

So again, where did I say that bin Laden was dead? Where did I say that ANYONE against fighting our enemies in Iraq was spitting on troops?

And the other point you've tried to avoid: Do you trust Iran's leaders or is the more important point that Abrams is a liar, so who should care about a bad deal negotiated by a disaster prone President?

mark said...

Really? You're now channeling Hillary Clinton to explain your lies and foolish claims?
I think this is the perfect way to end this thread. But, of course, you feel free to continue.

tfhr said...

Well since that magic phrase seems to work on the idiots that are still pushing for Hillary to run(as if she needed urging!), I've decided to add it to the tackle box. Here's another one: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

So, yes, you do trust the government of Iran. You've not denied it! Wow. Is it a requirement to follow Obama blindly to be considered a Prog in good standing?!