I humbly point you to George Will’s latest prose despite the fact it resides on the website of the Washington Post. He’s done some digging and found that past behavior can often be used to predict future results and this is true in the case of the now infamous IRS executive Lois Lerner. Will’s research and facts are undeniable and he comes to this conclusion:
Lerner, it is prudent to assume, is one among thousands like her who infest the regulatory state. She is not just a bureaucratic bully and a slithering partisan. Now she also is a national security problem because she is contributing to a comprehensive distrust of government. (Emphasis added)
Here endeth the lesson.
For those of you who still have not heeded The One’s admonition to learn a language other than English, I will condescend from my multi-lingual enlightenment and translate the post title for you mono-lingual knuckle-draggers. The phrase comes from the medieval Latin and is roughly translated to “Who watches the Watchmen?”
Someplace in Hong Kong, there’s a 29 year old punk who has made international headlines with an allegedly revelatory scandal claiming that the United States Government has set up an enormous digital Hoover vacuum which is currently sucking up phone records for every man, woman, and child making calls in the United States. Some people are (rightly or wrongly) outraged that the government of the Land of the Free would engage in such activity.
You may be outraged at the enormous trove of electronic information absorbed by the guys and gals over at Fort Meade – home of the National Security Agency. What you shouldn’t be is surprised.
Only the truly naïve can believe cyber-space is not a front in the Global War on Terror. Yes, Dear Reader, there is still a war going on and most of it takes place in the digital realm. This realm knows no geographical boundaries and there are few laws governing activity therein. Were the United States Government not using any and every available asset to fight this digital war, We the People would be justifiably irate with said government because government’s first role is to protect its people.
There are those who get their unmentionables in a Gordian knot when they think about this kind of thing. Some years ago I commented on Naomi Wolf’s “Hot Molten Crazy” Huff Po meltdown. I haven’t heard much from her since. I assume she’s coated the inside of her apartment with tin foil to keep the government mind control rays at bay.
The bottom line here is the majority of Americans live very boring lives and the NSA doesn’t have the time, interest, or inclination to dig through your emails to your Aunt Ethel asking her for the secret family fruitcake recipe.
Perhaps I am in the minority, but I want my government to be good at spying. I echo the declaration of the great American philosopher Dennis Miller when he admonished then DHS Secretary Tom Ridge:
Look, Tommy, I don’t care if you’re gonna spy on me, but if you do, just do a good job. I don’t want to hear you breathing on the other end of the phone!
The problem we as a country face now is we no longer trust the watchers of the Watchmen. The Obama Administration has become over run with ideologically driven bureaucrats who feel duty bound to enact in policy what they hear their President declare from the Bully Pulpit. If you can find me a more palatable reason behind the IRS “conservative group” targeting scandal I’d really like to hear it. The same can be said for PFC Bradley Manning and Wikileaks and the Edward Snowden and the current NSA debacle.
Say what you want about the W Administration’s failings but I dare you to find an example where the full force of the United States Government was brought to bear on private citizens in a manner similar to that employed by the IRS and other executive branch agencies against organizations and people whose politics are opposed to the sitting President.
I believe President Obama’s lasting legacy will not be one of fundamental transformation. It will be something far less illustrious. Obama has taken a country whose distrust of government was already encoded in its DNA and exacerbated it to the point that few people with trust government to fulfill its fundamental mission to protect its citizenry.
There is an old adage that political process is much like that of making hot dogs. You never really want to see either process in its entirety. The same can be said for the process of gathering, analyzing, and exploiting intelligence data and information. You really don’t want to know how it’s gathered or where it came from. You only want to know those who engage in it have the best interests of the country at heart and will use that information to defend the country and kill bad guys. The Obama Administration, by its willingness to exploit private information for political gain has given Americans reason to distrust those charged with watching the Watchmen.
That, Dear Reader, is a consequence for which We the People will pay a hefty toll for a very long time.
Here endeth the lesson.
The right to avoid self-incrimination is an important one. Bounded in the 5th Amendment of the Constitution is a protection that says you need not ever accept a position in court that has you witnessing against yourself. The Amendment in its essence contains a direct response to the Founders’ fear of a centralized and strong government, with due process portions and the right to proper treatment in the courts of law. Ironically, it is now those members of the centralized government that are clinging to the fifth amendment for dear life in an attempt to protect themselves from the people.
Lois Lerner testified this week at the House Ways and Means Committee on her involvement in the IRS scandal. Allegedly, and with a great deal of evidence quickly pouring in, she stands at the forefront of a long list of individuals who (allegedly) targeted conservative groups as they attempted to seek nonprofit status. Though the President’s brother appears to have been rushed through this process (allegedly), Tea Party and patriot groups that were conservatively leaning were told that the process would take months and it did.
Lerner did provide an opening statement to the Congress, potentially negating her waiver to appear. The question becomes if Lerner’s 5th Amendment adherence was negated when she chose to not only make a statement but signed her agreement to answers she had previously been given. Some Congressional questioners have asserted that they will recall Lerner in hopes that she will be prepared to talk and answer the questions they so desperately want the resolutions to, like did this investigative action rise to the level that President Obama himself knew and remained silent?
Ironically, Lerner who is not new to controversy and has been a proponent of some heightened scrutiny of conservative groups, is now hiding behind the Constitution rights that she is afforded by that great document. The same rights that Tea Party Activists believe so important and worth protesting over (fiscal restraint as well) are now being touted by a woman unwilling to answer questions of her involvement. Irony at its finest and worst all at the same time.
A top White House adviser, as he is being called, was whisked out by the Administration in order to face the fire of the Sunday talk shows. After watching him for only a few short minutes, it became clear that Dan Pfeiffer may himself not have known what his role in the media wrangling was. Pfeiffer clung to a narrative of deny and twist while confronting a rapid firing of questions. The result was a less than ideal moment for both Pfeiffer and the White House as a whole.
For those interviewing Pfeiffer, it became clear pretty early on that there would be no straightforward questions and no clear and definitive answers, unsurprising to those who know the Obama Administration well. The man was sent out to deny, deny, deny, blame Republican officials, and deny some more. The old tagline that it is the Republicans playing politics was heard woven throughout this Sunday tails and there was another adherence to the old “passing the buck” rather than “the buck stops here” philosophy of this Administration.
News reporters and the media may be starting to show cracks in the solid foundation they have built in their relationship. There was obvious frustration and disdain that the White House had paraded Pfeiffer out instead of someone who would provide actual journalistic worth to the conversation. Now, as we all know, many diehard reporters (liberal) who are more involved with keeping the warm tingly feelings than doing actual work are not going to stray too long. Still, though, the idea that the media may be finally waking up to the game that has been perpetuated against them is interesting at least to watch.
I do not know, though, if some in our mainstream media who feign themselves as journalists are angry because they are not able to get the information they want for information’s sake or angry because they cannot get the details they need in order to create a narrative of protection around the President. Only time will tell where this relationship leads and if there is a shifting in the media’s approach. With a 53% approval rating among the public, astonishingly, it is likely the media will continue to play to their base once this little tiff is over. Sigh…
Thoughts? Do you think the media’s love affair with the President is over or are they just taking a break?
IRS Commissioner Steven Miller sat in testimony this week, dodging questions about his agency’s role in the investigation of different conservative groups and patriot associated groups. Miller, who was planning on retiring soon anyway, appears to be the fall guy for this scandal. Though assuredly he had some role, what we do not know, Miller is the one to blame in order that others may avoid it all together.
Under intense and exhausting questioning that led to more questions than answers, Miller stood strong in his refusal to break silence on the other names that could have been involved in this situation. A situation that President Obama said he learned about with the rest of the world just by watching the news. He is the perfect person to choose for President Obama to avoid more scrutiny in that he was leaving anyway, he appears not to be an open book, and he is protecting the administration from being blamed.
Yet, it appears that Republican leaders in congress are not going to let go of the issue any time soon. When you have a question of political discrimination at hand, it is best to follow the trail from start to finish until all answers are known. It is my hope that the twisting and turning of the Obama Administration’s rhetoric does not prevent a full investigation from occurring and that, just as the Obama Administration can find themselves involved in many simultaneously, the investigation of one scandal need not take precedence over another. Though not good at multitasking, it is time that our government (whether they want to use it as a tool to politic…or not) follows through on finding all of the answers that we as the American people deserve to know. No, this scandal did not see the loss of life that Benghazi did, but it is nonetheless equally detrimental to the future of this country if not investigated fully.
What I see on the face of the President is a man who is being forced to face his own (political) vulnerability. Up until, scandals seemed to roll off of the President like droplets of rain off of an umbrella. The man was invincible, politically speaking, dodging scandal after scandal with an arrogance and lack of realization that was highly frustrating to those of us who thought him much more vulnerable than the public at large. With the recent IRS scandals, the overt ignorance regarding Benghazi, and the AP oversight (if you will… bugging of phones if you won’t), the President is looking more than just incompetent but utterly confused that his (failed) hope and change lines aren’t continuing to distract the public.
The President has never been truly challenged in the media. He has failed to address critiques by using the old tagline that it is the Fox News viewers that are distorting the true issues, which his admirers gobbled up like turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. Now, it is found out that the IRS scandal may or may not have been known to him without a quick response or action taken. Benghazi has been this football he kept punting down the road to the next guy, or the next, rather than being the leader he should have been. Now, he has turned on a friend and angered a supporter in the bugging of the AP and phone tapping of those who write many favorable reports on his behalf.
This is what we critics of the President feared: A Chicago style political approach that hearkened back to the days of the big political bosses of yesteryear. The President scoffed at accusations that he would be anything but a “uniter” or a post-partisan President. He can no longer run from his own vulnerability but is being faced with it time and again. He is being challenged and feels less control over his public image and I think this, not the issues at hand and of importance, are truly ticking him off. No longer is he the golden child but a politician that is facing mutiny both in his non-lemming and thinking public as well as the media. It was bound to happen, sir… maybe now you can realize you have to do more than campaign and blame Republican officials but actually lead.
There needs to be an admission of failure. Somewhere, someone messed up… and they messed up big time. Whoever denied the extra security at the consulate in Benghazi and whoever chose to pass up the opportunity to aid our officials in the region when they so desperately needed help need to face the music, for lack of better terminology. Mothers have lost their sons, children have lost their fathers, and there is this need to protect politically above all else. It truly is sickening and no where does the division between Republican and Democrat fit in this equation. No where.
I know it will be said that this happens on both sides, and it does. But does that make it right? NO. It is time that the American people became involved and spoke up. We want the answers. We want the truth. We want to know what happened and why. Why is there a man in jail taking blame for the video that was not the cause of the deaths of our American citizens? Why did a memo go through multiple revisions before it reached the public’s ears? Why did we turn our backs when help was needed and the military so desperately wanted to correct the situation?
There are no simple answers to these questions. And, though I myself am guilty at times, we must step back from viewing this in any way as a political issue. Yes, there will be political fallout. That is a given. Yet, looking at it that way will only cause the muddying of the waters to the point that no one will be able to see the truth. It is time that those who messed up step forward and takes their punishments. That would be the most respectable, most commendable, and most appreciated move of all. Still, though, the consistent shift of blame happens with those with political futures running scared. It is pitiful. It is inexcusable. It is wearing thin.
Heckling may not be the most effective way to express an opposing opinion, but at least there’s a glimpse of hope that not everyone buys into the valueless words coming out of the President’s mouth.
Obama faced a heckler again this week with an uncanny response. “This is part of the lively debate we talked about,” was the President’s remark. He hasn’t fooled me, but the President has zero success for positive outcomes from debate. The reason being, he simply doesn’t absorb, listen, consider, or acknowledge any thought, opinion, or idea different than his own. This is the main ingredient in the recipe for the disaster this country has endured for nearly 5 years.
Check out the video here.
The President seemed angrier about the failure of the Toomey-Manchin gun bill than he demonstrated during the post-attack press conference. He threw a fit like a child who was told he had lost the little league game, stamping about and pouting before a nation. He had given it his all, and by all I mean his best show of hysterical political threats, staging, and lighting. Yet, it seemed to fall short on Republicans (and some Democrats) alike who thought constitutional liberties were more important than bowing to the popularity of the President.
The bill, which went down in a Senate vote 46-54, would have greatly expanded background checks for gun purchases. The bill was considered a compromise, with background checks to include internet sales and private gun show but excluding most family and friend transactions (I guess I would want every legal gun seller to be my friend ASAP). To many, this seems like a great thing in that background checks are being thought of as a way to help protect innocents. Opponents recognize, though, that adding an impediment to legal gun ownership and registration will only strengthen the criminals and leave more Americans vulnerable. Beyond that, history and political science theorists explain that a great deal of change is incremental. Give up a bit here and a bit there and suddenly there is nothing left to give. Paranoia? No. Recognition of the way those who want to steal power succeed? Yes!
What I think surprised the President most, and excited me, was that his pageantry did not work. Parading a political victim of gun violence (Ms. Giffords) and the victims of a heinous school massacre did little more than to cause him shame, arguably. I am sick of watching his seeming adherence to the use of human props to approve his bills and positions. Yes, I know both sides do it…but it makes it no less frustrating. What Louise in Louisiana or Mary in Maine went through is not as relevant as the big picture; the impact of legislation. In a time when it seems that appealing to the seemingly popular idea is more important than actually doing what is right, I felt a sense of pride that individuals were standing up and saying sorry Mr. Obama, not today. Well done… for now.
What is there not to be happy about? The U.S. has added eighty-eight thousand new jobs in March (all hail the Great One) and the unemployment rate has dropped a tenth of a percentage from 7.7 to 7.6. We are on the road to recovery (insert Obama love song here). Anyone who disagreed with the enthusiasm would be just ridiculous or (in the words of a confused grandpa I like to call Joe Biden) unpatriotic, right? Wrong. The Administration is sure to have a field day with these “improvements,” touting economic recovery while twisting reality. But, these numbers are far from amazing and are downright troubling.
Sure, adding eighty-eight thousand jobs is amazing as adding one job is progress. But not when you consider that the vast majority of these jobs are in the lower end of the pay scale (still a job I recognize that) and that the growth has slowed when compared with the previous six months. Further, the unemployment number has also dropped due to workers who have become frustrated with the job market and a lack of employment opportunities and have simply stopped looking. Therefore, it is a deceiving number that will surely be exploited by the left and the right will expound upon, hopefully, to some effect.
The downturn in the economy, and continued struggling, does not cause a positive outlook on the future. America is struggling internally, externally, economically and socially. What is highly disappointing and scary is the way in which our President (I guess I have to claim him, too) is completely oblivious. Golf trips, vacations with the family, sound great for a guy in Tucson on his last rodeo before retirement. Not for our President, who has treated this job as a gig rather than a position since the beginning. While the American people continue to struggle, he only compounds the problem with a nonchalant-ness and cavalier attitude that is beyond my comprehension. A better economy would be great, but a more in-touch leader would be amazing. Chances are we will not be seeing major, positive changes in either for quite some time.
Saturday was a big day for the Obama Administration. While immigration debates were wrapping up on Capitol Hill and the news of Syria was being unraveled, President Obama decided to really hit it hard. He spent his day taking in the Syracuse vs. Marquette basketball game, which was probably a much needed break as he had spent the morning hitting the links for a few holes of golf. Can this President be anymore blind to public perception or is he getting the last laugh?
As you may have ascertained from the snarky nature of the aforementioned paragraph or any of my past writings, I am not a fan of the President (please take a moment to pick your shocked jaws off of the floor…). The President walks with an air of confidence that is neither warranted nor understandable. But, the public gobbles it up like a turkey at thanksgiving dinner. The man has accomplished virtually nothing in his career prior to the Presidency. He was not a published author in political or law journals, his teaching record was considered subpar at best, and his role in the Illinois legislature (and the Federal for that matter) was less than impressive. Yet, the man somehow found himself in the Oval Office all because of his perception with those in the public.
The fascination with this man is beyond my comprehension. Why does he feel he can continue to put the proverbial middle finger to the masses by taking extravagant trips and participating in hobbies while a nation, and world, are in trouble? Why do people not hold him accountable? The people of the United States voted this man into office, twice, more as a referendum on Republicans than his own true abilities. He speaks well and promises without delivering (I am still waiting for my “Obama Money”). It should be aggravating, it should be frustrating, and it should be appalling that he treats the Oval Office as a part-time job, but the American people who support him seem to ignore it all. I understand the naivety (or ignorance… depending on the level of couth you want to take) but I no longer will excuse it. I hope the public is learning, though I fear they never will and we may find ourselves with another lazy campaigner-in-chief in the future. God protect us all.
There are several pieces of gun legislation making their way through the courts right now throughout the country and of course through the Senate and House. Much to the dismay of many sheriffs around the country, these laws encourage, limit, and control the weapons of the American people and law abiding citizens in new and sweeping ways, and they are taking the financial heat if they do not get what they want from these law enforcement officials.
In Colorado, for example, SB197 is being discussed and pushed through the state’s Senate. The result would be increased restrictions on guns sold after July 1st, which one Colorado Sheriff has insisted his disdain for. Sheriff Maketa has asserted that as far as he was concerned, all guns would be seen as purchased before July 1st and felt the restrictions on the citizens of his community were too much. He, along with other sheriffs, have publically spoken about the need to protect not punish law abiding citizens and gun owners.
Shockingly (or not) the sheriffs who are speaking out are being punished. Of course, this is done under the pretense of budgetary restrictions or other more flowery terms but the state of Colorado is quickly tying, allegedly, the salaries of sheriffs to the gun control positions that they take. The tit-for-tat approach is not new to politics, and I readily understand that. However, it is a clear exertion of power over first amendment a right that is a problem in my view. Sheriffs are important to our country, as are any first responders. Their opinions should not be punished, but listened to. These gentlemen and women are not disclosing classified information but are simply telling their position and how they will enforce the laws once they are enacted. To punish them for these opinions is not only frustrating and childish; it is, in my opinion, unconstitutional.
The term hypocrisy is not new to Capitol Hill. Both sides of the political aisle have been privy to accessing their own depravity at the sacrifices of their morals, or professed morals. The Commander in Chief (Commander being a debatable term) has placed himself as one who is going to change that. He was the President who was going to open up his Administration and make it highly accessible (FAIL). He was the one that was going to make all documents public hours before proposal so that they could be read by the public (FAIL). He professed to be a strong believer in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman (FAIL). So why should his recent exploits and travels surprise anyone?
In recent weeks, the Obama Family has traveled to exotic locations for much needed rest and relaxation. While dodging questions and avoiding direct challenges must be exhausting, these trips are a (forgive the term) middle finger to the American public. While we struggle to make ends meet and unemployment remains dismal, the President and his family are jet setting to unique places and seeing the world for leisure rather than for purpose. This is not only hypocritical but down right insulting.
The President’s family is under pressure and stresses that no family that has not been in that position could understand. I get that he has two beautiful young girls that are essentially growing up with the world watching them. I understand that they deserve to have family experiences and enjoying times with their parents, as any child would. But maybe Mr. Obama missed the memo that it is about who you are with not where you go. Vacations can be had safely within the United States. They can be purpose driven with dad doing work and the children enjoying their time, as many families who are struggling to get by have to do. Taking a jet and travelling the world on my dime (potentially my last one looking at my recent earnings) is not only frustrating but an example of the complete disconnect this President has with the lemmings that followed him and those of us who chose not to. Not only that but, the travel alone has to leave a carbon footprint the size of Wisconsin (I’m sure one of the President’s favorite states in the Union). Mr. Obama, I beg you to understand that your story of empathy is falling short when you seem to wear Bermuda shorts and a golf hat more often than a suit and tie… That just leaves one question: does the teleprompter get its own seat on the plane?
Immigration is once again on the table for the Obama Administration. The President called this week for those on Capitol Hill to tackle the immigration issue and asserted that the “time has come for us to fix it once and for all.” Well, if he says it must be discussed seriously… by an April deadline no less…then the answers should come in. The Commander in Chief (sometimes… when he feels like getting off the golf course to handle real issues outside of a photo opp) has spoken and so it shall be. Right? Wrong…
The most frustrating thing about President Obama is his timing and the outright arrogance with which he speaks (I apologize to my leftist friends who think him infallible). President Obama has punted the issue of immigration around like it was a football in a game of peewee players. He has chosen when to play the issue and when to pull back, like a manipulator. Now, amidst so much turmoil globally (enter North Korea and Syria) he has chosen once again to pick up the issue as a flagship cause.
The President has essentially shut off the debate before it has begun. There is no room for flexibility and sharing of real solutions. Yes, immigration is a problem. Illegal aliens are serving as a drain on our economy in many ways, being trafficked by those with less than ideal intentions, and are being offered services of the government and other agencies without having to pay taxes in many cases. This creates problems both because of and for illegal immigrants. Yet, by taking the stage as a dictator telling his minions on Capitol Hill to do work, a finger snap would have been appropriate at that point, he is putting everyone on the defensive. The work of immigration reform has never truly gone away and if it was such a concern, he could have chosen to stick by the discussion more thoroughly. Instead, when the issues of the world seem so great, it appears he is condescendingly throwing a new coal on the fire to distract from other pertinent issues.
In essence, then, it is not his fervor for immigration reform that is a problem. Rather, it is his attitude and his suddenness to pick up the issue again. Most likely, too, though I am no Ms. Cleo, his role will be to rev up the two sides and watch them fight it out, while he espouses placations and heated language from behind his teleprompter. Nothing is uncalculated in this Administration and we must all watch what the other hand is doing… or maybe I’m just a paranoid Republican speaking my conspiracy theories again…
I should probably preface this post by placing the blame for its inspiration squarely on the shoulders of one current and one former member of the White House Press Corps. The current Press Corps member is none other than CBS News’ Mark Knoller. He has a very interesting Twitter feed (@markknoller) and tweets out some interesting details about White House life not found anywhere else. If President Obama sneaks out to Five Guys for a bacon double-cheeseburger, Mark will know what he topped it with. He’ll also keep you posted on the guest list for most any state dinner. I suspect Mark to be a closet “foodie” but again I digress.
The second (and former) White House Press Corps member is CNN’s latest addition to its fledgling political staff and former ABC Newsman Jake Tapper. Jake’s contribution to this post is what I believe to be the single best book written about the Afghanistan war entitled The Outpost.
This is not a book to be read, but rather an intensely detailed experience to be endured. It does not have a happy ending and the story he relates about this American outpost beats the reader about the head and shoulders.
Tapper relates the story of several injured soldiers whose wounds required them to be medically evacuated to field hospitals. Often these soldiers were then flown to Lanstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where the heroic medical staff works around the clock trying to save the lives of these American heroes. Many lives are saved at this facility. Far too many are not as fortunate.
I’m sure I’ve confused you by now as to the point of this post. Rest assured, Dear Reader, I do have a point.
In the past six months President Obama has boarded Air Force One for trips overseas which offered him the opportunity of refueling the Boeing 747 at Germany’s Ramstein Air Force Base. On November 12, 2012, Mark Knoller reported:
Air Force One done refueling at Ramstein and now on final 10hr leg of trip to Thailand. Pres Obama stayed on the plane. (Emphasis added)
And, just this past Saturday Knoller again took to Twitter to report:
After 11hr 36min flight, Pres Obama back from his Mideast trip. Flight home from Amman was 5,935 miles. Refueling stop in Germany bypassed. (Emphasis added)
Here’s my point. The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. In my humble opinion, this job is far and away the most important role of that office. It brings with it a responsibility unique to the relationship between a commander and his (or her) troops. Ramstein Air Force Base is but five kilometers from the Lanstuhl Regional Medical Center. The very least the Commander in Chief could do would be to take time out from his golf game, state dinner, fundraiser, or campaign event schedule and pay a visit to those who have given so much in the service of their nation.
He is, after all, the President of the United States. Air Force One goes where he says, stops where he says, and takes off when he says. It’s not like the plane is going to leave without him.
Perhaps I’m being small and petty. If I am, blame Tapper, Knoller, and Twitter.
CVS announced this week that as part of accepting healthcare that they will offer, employees must provide and disclose personal health information. Among these items, it was found out that a third party administrator for the company will be requesting that individuals provide them with a detailed medical history and also their weight. If this information is not disclosed, there will be an annual fee of six-hundred dollars assessed to each employee accepting healthcare. As a woman who has learned to keep her weight more secretive than what really happened in Benghazi, the fine seems more appealing than disclosing the information I have learned to keep secret since the moment of conception (insert outrage of feminists everywhere for my honesty…). The reason the company gave for asking this information? Obamacare. But, is this intrusive questioning correct?
Yes… Okay lift your jaws off the floor ladies and hear me out. A company like CVS is going to have to offer healthcare to all of its employees who meet the requirements of the law. The result is growing pool of healthcare costs and premiums, and of course the care that they will need if something were to happen. This is a private company that, from my research, has not received a bailout and is not relying on my money to function… well, my voluntary money maybe because they really do have some great deals, but I digress. Obamacare is going to cost companies thousands of millions of dollars and they, as profit making enterprises, deserve to know or have an estimate of what these costs will be. They have the right to ask the questions that impact their bottom line.
No one at CVS or who is employed there is required to take their help with healthcare. They can choose to find their own (insert much needed healthcare reform debate here). CVS, though, is being forced to offer healthcare to their employees or face exorbitant penalties, and they need to understand the cost that they will be looking at. They are a private company, doing their best to compete, and this information may help them. So while I am not a fan of disclosing such personal information (and surely not the actual number behind my waist line), I do believe CVS has the right to find out what they are dealing with. My prediction: this is just another in the long line of unexpected consequences of our Campaigner-in-Chief’s brilliant policies like Obamacare… oh and by brilliant I mean horrible.
No, we will never know the heart and feelings of a man truly unless we are, in fact, that man. But, it is fairly clear that the relationship between President Barack Obama and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is not a friendly one. At best, it is tumultuous and at worst, it is volatile. Whenever Netanyahu must listen to President Obama or be confined in a small space with him, the silent looks he provides are priceless. It appears as if he is listening to a young child talk on and on in an explanation that has no basis or no founding but is almost comical if it were not so disturbing.
The President will be travelling again to Israel to speak with the Prime Minister. He will do the jovial handshakes in front of the press and the stern looks of promises he will never meet. Netanyahu will smile and clasp hands in a weakened embrace of a strained relationship. The White House has lowered the goals of the meeting, basically stating it is a time to talk and promote peace… which really, who would not say that? Peace, though, in my opinion is not what needs to be focused on. Rather, Israel needs to see a strong ally in the United States and not a talker in Chief.
It is time that the President raised his hand in a show of, if nothing else, political grandeur that would say we were still listening. Yes, peace between Israel and Pakistan is the ultimate goal but can we quit fooling ourselves into thinking that that’s a possibility in our current environment? Pakistan, Iran, and other countries have a hatred for Israel that is palpable. The promises that are made and the gestures of peace are a falsehood. Israel must know that they have a strong ally in us and that the U.S. is willing to stand with them. Or, though I do not agree, President Obama needs to quit patronizing the Prime Minister and making those awkward “here’s-my-crazy-uncle-standing-next-to-me-in-the-family-photo” moments and simply say what he thinks rather than placate.
We all remember those days in school when the teacher would tell us that the whole room was going to be punished because little Jimmy, Suzy, and Casey could not learn to walk instead of run down the hall. Though the vast majority in the class had done no such thing, or taken no such action to validate, the whole room would be punished with a detention or time away at recess. This frustrating act continued until the little troublemakers learned, and I remember feeling very confused by the situation. I had not run down the hall. I had not broken the rules, nor did the great majority of my classmates. Why then did we need the same fate as those who did?
As an adult, I thought that personal responsibility would be the name of the game and that group punishments for individual actions would be a rarity. It seems now, though, that I must worry about the teacher of our nation—the government—punishing me for others actions that I had no part in nor deserve to be taken to task for. From removing soda from my cup and telling me I can only drink a certain amount because my friend drinks too much, to taking my cheeseburgers away because of my neighbor’s waistline, the reach of the government’s arm is creeping slowly and steadily toward greater power.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee has once again redefined and underscored the nanny state in which we live. They approved a hard party-line vote to ban assault weapons. The justification surrounding the action has been safety and protecting a tragic gun-related violent explosion to happen again, which is effective right? That’s right, just ignore Chicago… the President does. But what this is really saying is that because of the actions of a few, deranged, and deeply disturbed individuals I am once again being punished. I am being punished for a crime I never committed and held accountable for massacres that were not at my hands. I am back in grade school once again, but this time, I do not think I will ever get to leave.
Capitol Hill is all aflutter with the talk of budgets, taxes, reductions, and more. Cable news continues to banter about the conversations of whether or not this proposal will succeed, or what will hypothetically occur if one or the other is accepted. The deadlock that comes with a two-party system appears to be reaching its boiling point once again while issues of foreign policy—anyone remember Benghazi or concern about North Korean and Iranian recent actions?—and other matters are moved to the side for the political charade. Sure, this debate has to be had and it is an important one, but I cannot help but think maybe the sequestration, the budget debate, and the fiscal volleyball game was not unplanned.
The Democrats are beginning to pursue their own budget plans, hoping to push something forward into the spotlight after the Ryan Budget was introduced. Sources on Capitol Hill are now saying that the Democrats’ budget proposal is sequestration based and hidden amongst the leaves of charade tactics and cuts is a wealth of problematic proposals. When the sequestration ends, there will be no room for mistake that the net gains will not outweigh the net losses, and once again we will find ourselves in a state of fiscal emergency. The result is a budget proposal that will actually increase the national debt and deficit in the coming decades, though it will appear like a potential winner to the wandering eyes that may glance at it. Unlike Paul Ryan’s budget which reaches deep into the pockets of the government and proposes a solid balance in the next ten years, this plan will lead us down this fiscally damned path once again.
The proposals… the debating… the glitzy campaign-like stops by President Obama have been fun and sometimes even entertaining to watch. The threats of sequestration seemed heartfelt and passionate by the Administration, maybe not so much heartfelt as a camera opportunity but I digress, all seem like the two sides may be interested in reaching an end. But really, maybe it was all a charade. Maybe the sequestration was the plan from the beginning. Of course, though he has tiptoed around it, President Obama had a hand in the creation of the sequestration and he may just be utilizing it to its full potential. The Democrats can now create a plan that takes the current cuts into consideration and potentially fool the public once again into thinking that they are providing a serious plan. Could it be this was the plan from the beginning? Or is this just another chance for our dear Commander in Chief and the Democrat lemmings that follow him to not let another crisis go unused?