Friday, December 06, 2013

Cruising the Web

Max Boot writes an obituary for Nelson Mandela that gets at the true greatness of Nelson Mandela - his leading of reconciliation for South Africa. It is solely because of Mandela's leadership that South Africa did not descend into the constant warfare and persecution of so many other African nations.
But the largest part of the explanation for why South Africa is light years ahead of most African nations–why, for all its struggles with high unemployment, crime, corruption, and other woes, it is freer and more prosperous than most of its neighbors–is the character of Nelson Mandela. Had he turned out to be another Mugabe, there is every likelihood that South Africa would now be on the same road to ruin as Zimbabwe. But that did not happen because Mandela turned out to be, quite simply, a great man–someone who could spend 27 years in jail and emerge with no evident bitterness to make a deal with his jailers that allowed them to give up power peacefully and to avoid persecution.

Mandela knew that South Africa could not afford to nationalize the economy or to chase out the white and mixed-raced middle class. He knew that the price of revenge for the undoubted evils that apartheid had inflicted upon the majority of South Africans would be too high to pay–that the ultimate cost would be borne by ordinary black Africans. Therefore he governed inclusively and, most important of all, he voluntarily gave up power after one term when he could easily have proclaimed himself president for life.
The success of Mandela is a true example of the effect of a single great man on the course of history. He truly deserves to rest in peace.

CNN examines the three questions about Obamacare that the administration refuses to answer.

Slate explains why younger millennials like Obama less than older millennials. They're just less invested in him.

Charles Lane looks at how liberals want to expand the benefits of Social Security without doing anything to tackle the fiscal crisis that the nation is heading to. They are constantly endorsing transfers from the young and middle-aged to help the elderly.
Ms. Weingarten's suggestion that excessive testing is to blame is even more bizarre. No one is more obsessed with testing than Asian countries like Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, all of whom bested the U.S. As for her claims that choice and competition are somehow bad for education, I would recommend the editorial in Sunday's New York Times, that bastion of free market capitalism. "The teachers' union has been particularly hostile to the city's thriving charter schools, which . . . on average, are outperforming traditional schools," the paper wrote.

Even the Times seems to understand that the problem with education in the U.S. is not too much competition but too little of it, thanks to groups like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

Tevi Troy establishes criteria by which to judge Obamacare for the next three years of Obama's presidency. We should look at the promises that President Obama made about his plan: that it would provide universal coverage, reduce health care costs, and allow people to keep their current health-care plan and doctors. Obamacare fails on all three promises and that failure should be the focus for Republican critics.
These long-term health-care developments are already taking shape during the ObamaCare implementation period. It is in this period that the views on ObamaCare will be shaped and begin to set in what constitutes the collective American mind.

Critics of the law should not take too much solace from the law’s many opening glitches. Such an approach can be all too easily turned back by competent computer programmers. A better argument is that bloated and inefficient government lacks the capacity to accomplish what its proponents claim it can do. Opponents of ObamaCare need to make the case based on how much ObamaCare costs those who are trying to get care, how it limits their choices, and how it drives up deficits. Otherwise, Democrats will trump their arguments by highlighting every individual who got a check. And history has shown that check distribution can be a very powerful argument.

In line with Troy's advice, Byron York notes that the White House newest promotions for Obamacare don't trumpet the essential promises that President Obama made about the program.
What is indisputable is that the aspects of Obamacare the White House cites most often in its promotional campaign — the pre-existing conditions policy, or the estimated 3.4 million young Americans who can stay on their parents' coverage until age 26 — involve numbers that are far smaller than the tens of millions of people who will likely face steeper costs, nearly unpayable deductibles and sharply limited doctor choices under Obamacare. (In addition to the 10-million person individual market, some experts believe such problems are coming soon to the 45-million person small-group market.)

And that is why the White House sales campaign focuses on the same things Democrats said in 2009, and 2010, and 2011, and 2012. Back then, the burdens of Obamacare had not yet become a reality for most Americans. Now they have, and the administration does not have a good answer for the millions who will struggle under the new system. No wonder the president is talking about something else.
Of course, the White House commemorates the passing of Nelson Mandela with a picture of...Barack Obama. Everything is always about him.

Jason Riley ridicules the teachers unions' response to the dismal results of American students compared to students around the world.

Obama's Interior Department is going to give wind farms a pass on killing eagles.

Representatives in the House can't figure out how to get their staff members signed up on the District of Columbia's exchange website.

Steven Malanga explains who really bankrupted Detroit.