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Hillary Explaining Benghazi Again?

31 May

I write this in response to the “leak” of excerpts from a new book by Hillary, in which she once again defends her role in the Benghazi fiasco.

I find it odd that I haven’t noticed any emphasis on a particular aspect of Mrs. Clinton’s testimony before Congress.  We’ve heard it all, of course – the entire testimony – and we’ve heard/read literally a hundred responses to it, mostly criticizing her for insultingly saying “What difference at this point does it make?”

However, to me, the really damning aspect of this testimony has less to do with that question than with the broader statement, which I quote here:

“Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans?  What difference at this point does it make?  It is our job . . . .”

My problem is not with the callous-sounding, “What difference . . . .?”

My problem is that, “at this point”, Hillary is STILL trying to deceive the American people by attributing this terrorist action to either “a protest” or “some guys out for a walk”.  This represents a continued and damning cover-up, deceit, and conceit with regard to the exceedingly well-known fact at the time of this testimony that this was, in fact, a terrorist attack.  An unconscionable and insulting “lie”.

In my opinion, this statement alone, this sorry attempted continuation of a gross deceit so long after the event, should have raised an immediate cry for her resignation from both sides of the aisle – and should have destroyed her credibility as a future presidential candidate.

But I don’t hear anyone at all emphasizing this blatant deceit.  What am I missing?  Is this point alone not valuable ammunition for her opponents in the upcoming presidential campaign?

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There Aren’t Liars and Damn Liars — Only Damn Liars

22 Nov

Mona Charen recently wrote a column titled “Remembering Stanley Ann Dunham Obama”.  Most of it is reproduced below, but I strongly encourage anyone who does not read Ms. Charen regularly to give her a try at    www.creators.com/conservative/authors.html .

Excerpt begins:  [Highlighting is mine]

Remember President Barack Obama’s mother? Though the airwaves currently echo with his vow “If you like your plan . . .” I keep remembering Obama’s account of his mother being denied coverage by her insurance company as she lay dying of cancer.

The moving and infuriating story was a staple on the 2008 campaign trail. His mother had insurance, he explained, but when she came down with cancer, her insurance company claimed her disease was a “pre-existing condition” and refused to pay for her treatment. In a debate with Sen. John McCain, Obama said: “For my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”

There would be, if it had been true. But when New York Times reporter Janny Scott researched the issue for her biography of the president’s mother, she discovered letters proving beyond doubt that Cigna never denied Stanley Ann Dunham coverage for her disease. The dispute was over a disability plan that would have paid some of her other expenses.

The White House did not deny Scott’s account, but shrugged it off as something that had happened long ago. Not so long that it couldn’t be milked one last time though, for a 2012 campaign film. In “The Road We’ve Traveled,” the message remained unchanged — a greedy insurance company had cut off Obama’s mother at her moment of maximum vulnerability, and it cost Dunham her life. . . .

It’s different in politics, explained Michael Cohen in the New York Daily News. The American people want too many contradictory things. “Seemingly, the only path to change is telling voters what they want to hear.”

Doubtless that’s what Obama tells himself to justify his deceptions. It’s a form of “lying for justice.” If your goals are noble enough, truth is an acceptable casualty.

Obama’s propensity to lie is finally widely acknowledged . . . .

It isn’t just that the pledge about keeping your plan was a noble lie — the whole law is based upon lies.

The Dunham tale was meant to personify the hundreds of thousands — or millions — of Americans who were “dumped” by insurance companies when they became sick. This is an invented tale, and might have been rebutted by the insurance industry if they hadn’t gotten into bed with Obama in 2010 in return for millions of coerced new customers. As the Washington Free Beacon reported, academic studies have estimated that policies were dropped in only four-tenths of one percent of cases in the individual market.

In a 2010 radio address, Obama said one carrier was “systematically dropping the coverage of women diagnosed with breast cancer.” The CEO of WellPoint, which had reason to believe the president was referring to her company, responded that they had provided coverage in the previous year to 200,000 breast cancer patients and had canceled just four policies for fraud or misrepresentation.

If there had been a true epidemic of wrongly canceled policies, wouldn’t there have been a slew of lawsuits and an outcry?

 The notion that the nation faced a “crisis” of “46 million uninsured” was also dishonest. Pre-Obamacare health care in America was hardly nirvana, but the truth about the uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office, was that 71 percent were without insurance for a year or less. Only about 16 percent were uninsured for two or more years. More than 9 million of those counted among the uninsured were not citizens. Another 6 million who said they were without insurance actually were signed up with Medicaid, and 4 million more were eligible for Medicaid but had failed to enroll.

The true number of uninsured individuals was closer to 15 million (5 million of whom were young, single adults). There were many possible solutions for them that didn’t require tearing down the entire system. In any case, the CBO estimates that even if Obamacare were fully implemented and worked smoothly, the number of uninsured Americans in 2023 would be, drumroll please, 30 million.

Obamacare was never about the uninsured or justice for those badly treated by insurance companies. It was always about power — gaining it and keeping it for the Democratic Party and the central government. It was based on lies about the preceding system and sold on lies about its consequences.

[End of excerpt]

I was brought up to understand that lying, particularly chronic lying, was one of the basest acts of mankind, a powerful indicator of a low overall character.  This man Obama is a man of low character.  I think it was in a prior posting of a Mona Charen excerpt where she noted (and I paraphrase) that Martin Luther King longed for the day when, instead of being judged by the color of their skin, Americans would be judged by their character – and she notes that that day has finally arrived.  And that that is the problem – we Americans can now be judged by our character, and we are found wanting.

Stimulus Fail: How The U.S. Spent Its Way Into Disaster

30 Oct

A good, short, and graphic piece on the negative effect of the stimulus and the potentially positive impact of the Tea Party.

Stimulus Fail: How The U.S. Spent Its Way Into Disaster.

Can It Get Any Worse in Washington?

18 Oct

I’m not sure that I could be any more disgusted with, and embarrassed by, our boys and girls in Washington.  But, you know, just when I think that, I remember the virtually unlimited ability these guys have to exceed our expectations regarding “dumbicity”.  And bad enough that they cause REAL loss of income across the country with their failure to negotiate, that they LOOK for ways to inflict inconvenience and disappointment upon the American people with how they executed the 16% shutdown, but then they then make sure that their own are protected by voting full back pay to furloughed (spelled v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n-e-d) federal employees.

This is sickening – and scary.

But I have to admit that through all this, I have developed an increasing respect for the wiliness of Democrats and their ability to control the message to the public.  The biggest weapon Democrats wield in their battle to denigrate conservatives and Republicans all over the country is the mainstream media (MSM).  Our journalists, who we once counted on to police our politicians, are overwhelmingly in the Democrats’ camp now.  Even the MSM national news broadcasters blatantly announce as fact that the Republicans carry full responsibility for the “government shutdown”.  [The claim that a 16% shutdown constitutes a government shutdown is itself so farcical as to be worthy of ridicule, were it not such an effective weapon in distributing misleading information to the public – but even Fox News persisted in using the term “government shutdown”, rather than ridiculing the notion.]

And when I think about blame for the 16% shutdown, I am amazed at how the Democrats escape unscathed.  Both the Democrats and Republicans flatly refused to compromise/negotiate in an area that has always been a battle ground for negotiation (contrary to the lies that came forth from Obama, asserting that the American people were being held hostage by a new and terrifying prospect for “shutdown”,  a practice that actually has at least a decades-long history in American politics).

But in spite of neither side wanting to negotiate, in spite of Reid and Boehner BOTH boldly blocking votes in their respective houses of Congress (which Reid did respecting at least thirty economic- and job-related bills during Obama’s first term), in spite of clear lies and vitriol coming out of the Administration – the Republicans alone catch the blame.

Even with allowing for the dominance of a liberal media, the supposed watchdog over improper governing, I am still amazed at the result.

I still think that the only answer to this lack of effectiveness in government is for the American people to “t’row da bums out”.  And to assume that they are ALL bums.

Unfortunately, I think this is about as likely as the total defunding of Obamacare.

Problem is, these elected officials are really all smart people, as individuals.  When they are alone, they talk a good story – they seem dedicated to the principles that made this country great.  And they make their constituents believe that were it not for their wisdom in electing him/her to government office, things would be much more of a mess than they are now.

Then, when these elected/re-elected officials get into a group, the IQ of the collective sinks to below-idiot status.

The American people need to just not listen to any incumbent in the next couple of elections.  The American people need to send a much stronger message to Washington than they did in 2010 – they need to replace ALL incumbents up for re-election in the House and the Senate.  There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure that all incumbents are challenged and beaten in their state primaries.

But this will never happen.

And on we roll toward growing debt, further dumbed down education standards, more government intrusion and control, greatly expanding welfare rolls, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid systems tumbling toward bankruptcy, a grossly expensive new government program called Obamacare, etc., etc. — and a dysfunctional Congress  It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that this can’t go on indefinitely.

I literally FEAR for our future and the future of our children.

“You can fool . . . .” Quotes

1 Aug

All of us have heard the saying, variously attributed to Abraham Lincoln or to P. T. Barnum,

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.”

Less well-known is this quote from George W. Bush,

“You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”

But my favorite, and the scariest for us in the Age of Obama, Reid, McConnell, Pelosi, and Boehner, is this from James Thurber (from “The Owl Who Was God”),

“You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.”

Insight from Thomas Sowell — on the Poor

8 Jul

I had written a blog entry about how the definitions of “poor” and “poverty” have become very gray as a result of all the “welfare” benefits being given out to people who qualify by some arbitrary definition.  However, Dr. Sowell came along and stated my case so much better than I was about to do.

Republished on “PA Pundits” blog from Dr. Thomas Sowell’s recent original column.

“Leaders of the left in many countries have promoted policies that enable the poor to be more comfortable in their poverty. But that raises a fundamental question: Just who are ‘the poor’? … ‘Poverty’ once had some concrete meaning — not enough food to eat or not enough clothing or shelter to protect you from the elements, for example. Today it means whatever the government bureaucrats, who set up the statistical criteria, choose to make it mean. … Most Americans with incomes below the official poverty level have air-conditioning, television, own a motor vehicle and, far from being hungry, are more likely than other Americans to be overweight. But an arbitrary definition of words and numbers gives them access to the taxpayers’ money. This kind of ‘poverty’ can easily become a way of life, not only for today’s ‘poor,’ but for their children and grandchildren. Even when they have the potential to become productive members of society, the loss of welfare state benefits if they try to do so is an implicit ‘tax’ on what they would earn that often exceeds the explicit tax on a millionaire. If increasing your income by $10,000 would cause you to lose $15,000 in government benefits, would you do it? In short, the political left’s welfare state makes poverty more comfortable, while penalizing attempts to rise out of poverty.” –economist Thomas Sowell

Citizenship and Civic Virtue — Where Art Thou?

7 Jul

Michele Malkin can be abrasive, over-the-top, etc., but I think this column titled “Rescuing Citizenship and Civic Virtue” is really good – relatively subdued language, but a powerful message.  It comes from

http://www.creators.com/opinion/michelle-malkin/rescuing-citizenship-and-civic-virtue.html

Excerpts:  [Bolding is mine]

As we celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday, a crucial facet of American life has all but vanished. We have forsaken, in any systematic and deliberate public manner, one of our most fundamental duties: fostering civic virtue in each and every one of our citizens.

What does it mean to be an American? Politicians in both parties keep pushing to create a new “path to citizenship” for millions of illegal aliens. But if sovereignty and self-preservation still matter in Washington, citizenship must be guarded ferociously against those who would exploit and devalue it at every electoral whim.

The pavers of the amnesty pathway think illusory requirements of paying piddling “fines” and back taxes will inculcate an adequate sense of responsibility and ownership in the American way. Other fair-weather friends of patriotism satisfy themselves with shallow holiday pop quizzes on American history to fulfill the “well-informed” part of the “well-informed citizenry” mandate of our Founding Fathers.

But Thomas Jefferson said it well: “No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and … their minds are to be informed by education what is right and what wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and to be deterred from those of vice… These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure and order of government.”__

John Adams said it better: “Liberty can no more exist without virtue … than the body can live and move without a soul.”

__And Thomas Paine said it best: “When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.”

Civic virtue cannot be purchased with token gestures or passed down in perfect form like a complete set of family china. A life of honor, honesty, integrity, self-improvement and self-discipline is something you strive ever to attain.

Being American is a habit of mind, but also a habit of heart and soul. . . .

Calvin Coolidge . . . echoed the Founding Fathers’ emphasis on virtue, restraint and work ethic. “If people can’t support themselves,” he concluded, “we’ll have to give up self-government.”

The failure of public schools to impart even rudimentary knowledge of self-government principles, natural rights theory and the rule of law is compounded by the suicidal abandonment of civic education. As Stanford University education professor William Damon notes: “Our disregard of civic and moral virtue as an educational priority is having a tangible effect on the attitudes, understanding and behavior of large portions of the youth population in the United States today.”

Add militant identity politics, a cancerous welfare state, entitled dependence and tens of millions of unassimilated immigrants to the heap, and you have a toxic recipe for what Damon calls “societal decadence — literally, a ‘falling away,’ from the Latin decadere.” Civilizations that disdain virtue die.

Independence Day sparklers will light the skies overhead this July 4th, but George Washington’s “sacred fire of liberty” belongs in the breasts of Americans every day of the year.

How to rescue citizenship and civic virtue?

Let’s start by sending a message to politicians in the nation’s capital who imperil our sovereignty.

Citizenship — good citizenship — is not just a piece of government-issued paper. It is not merely a bureaucratic “status.” It’s a lifelong practice and propagation of founding principles. A nation of low information is just half the problem. A nation of low character cannot long remain a free nation.

[End of excerpts]

OK – I “excerpted” 90% of the column – I just couldn’t figure out what to omit, and I know that readers often don’t want to click on links.