“What we have here…is a failure to communicate.”
In the movie classic Cool Hand Luke, these are the words spoken by the warden to Luke, a young prisoner who makes a brief but daring escape from a chain gang. The warden, a cruel, iron-fisted man who ruled the prison like it was his own dictatorship, was determined to break the spirit of Luke, a happy-go-lucky young man thrown into prison for cutting off the tops of parking meters one night while drunk. His failure to break Luke infuriated the warden, and the escape attempt offered the warden an opportunity to kick Luke violently to satisfy his own rage, as well as make an example to the other prisoners of what happens to those that do not conform to the dictates of power.
The Obama administration has become the modern-day version of that warden. As American citizens become less and less trusting of the agenda of Obama, Pelosi and Reid, having seen the failed promises and resulting damage to our economy, Democrats have moved into damage control.
At first they attempted to woo us by eloquence and persuasion. We were told that 95% of Americans would get a tax cut, that the stimulus bill would keep unemployment under 8%, and that we could add 30 million people to the insurance rolls, increase benefits and still bring the cost down. Anyone who’d ever run a business or balanced a checkbook saw this for the utter nonsense that it was. Yet the Democrats used outright lies, bribery and threats to pass their agenda. Seeing their popularity wane as the “hope and change” of the campaign season turned into the reality of “rope and chains “ of massive debt, they have become more and more desperate to regain control of the narrative.
Yesterday, the White House responded via blog post to the court decision to allow the health care lawsuit continue forward. The White House’s Stephanie Cutter, who wrote the post, is either an idiot or a comedian. I’m not sure which. She apparently doesn’t even pretend to understand what the hell is going on in regard to the health care law, and doesn’t seem to understand much else.
Here’s some highlights.
Since the enactment of health reform legislation in March, several state Attorneys General have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Having failed in the legislative arena, opponents of reform are now turning to the courts in an attempt to overturn the work of the democratically elected branches of government. This is nothing new. We saw this with the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act – constitutional challenges were brought to all three of these monumental pieces of legislation, and all of those challenges failed. So too will the challenge to health reform.
Yes, because two of those three trample on the rights of Americans in a very clear manner. The third, the Civil Rights Act, only partially hit the rights of the people and then only arguably did it hit anyone’s rights. The fact that the courts ruled in favor of the government in those days doesn’t make it a fact that they’ll do the same this time.
A friend of mine, who is staff for a prominent modern West Coast Republican congressman, told me that on April 29, a plethora of voters called in opposition to the Puerto Rico Democracy Act. An ocean of misinformation had engulfed these voters and caused them to drown out their rationality.
When experiencing one of these angry (white) voters that day, the emotion and hate was on full display. Getting red in the face as he talked, one conservative screamed at me, “This is a push by the Democrats to make Puerto Rico a state so they can have a filibuster proof majority!”
When I told him that he apparently knew absolutely nothing about the bill, he replied, “I know that the Obama administration cares nothing about the American people or the American people.” When I pointed out that the current status of Puerto Rico, as little more than a territory that is not fully included in our country yet not a country of their own, is a relic of a colonial past, he said, “They need to learn english! If they don’t learn english, they’ll just be second class citizens.” I told him that he was obviously looking at things he didn’t comprehend with little more than his prior prejudices, to which he said, “It’s not prejudice! It’s principle.” I pointed out to him that he was confusing his prejudices with “principles.”
Podcast: Immigration, Crist Party Switch, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell On Hold AGAIN, 2010 Elections, Guests: Mike Hassinger & Doug Deal
Every now and again there is story about how some group is lobbying for government to takeover private 401(k) plans. Not much ever comes out of it, just an acknowledgment of something most of us already know…the government wants our money.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that the Obama Administration wants to encourage retirement account holders to convert to an annuity:
The Obama administration is weighing how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams following a collapse in retiree accounts when the stock market plunged.
The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.
The “good news,” using that term loosely, is that it’s voluntary…at least for now. How long would that last? Probably not long. You also have to question the use of the word “annuity.” Social Security is basically an annuity, though there are some differences. Why not just say you’d be investing your retirement in the Social Security system?
Podcast: Ft. Hood, Fuzzy Math on Saved/Created Jobs, Lack of Transparency, Unemployment Extension, Guest: Ron Davis
This week, the foursome discuss these issues:
- The tragedy at Fort Hood, TX.
- The Obama Administration’s “fuzzy math” on jobs “saved or created” by the stimulus package.
- A discussion about the promises of transparency in government versus the reality.
- The extension of unemployment insurance benefits and the 1st time home buyer credit.
- A “hit & run” discussion of 10 2010 races that worry the Democrat Party, the 2009 elections, and the relationship between conservatives and libertarians moving forward.
Podcast: Medical Marijuana, Hate Crime Legislation, Fox News vs. Obama Administration, Health Care Reform, “War on Crime”
Together, they discuss these issues:
- The Obama administration and the Department of Justice changing course on medical marijuana.
- U.S. Senate approves expanding hate crime legislation.
- The Obama administration’s battle with Fox News.
- Health Care Reform: Baucus bill funding , the “right” to health care , House committee votes to repeal anti-trust protections for health insurers
- The “perception of crime” throughout the nation
This has been an interesting week, largely due to the reaction towards ObamaCare and these town hall meetings springing up all in different parts of the country. People are angry and they want to be heard. Whether politicians want to listen is a different story, as always.
Liberals and Democrats are correct to point out that they’ve previously been shut out of public debate on certain issues, such as the war in Iraq. Republicans mishandled and chided the anti-war crowd, sometimes questioned the patriotism, either directly or indirectly, of those speaking out against what they saw as a wrong.
As part of my contribution to United Liberty, I plan to write an ongoing column called “The Change Gauge.”
The purpose of the column will be straightforward: to systematically highlight instances where Obama administration policies are not changes from the status quo, but rather “more of the same.”
While I have little doubt that President Obama will support many policies that differ from those of the Bush administration, I think it’s valuable for readers – liberal, conservative, and libertarian alike – to be aware of policies that harmfully perpetuate the status quo.
The Obama Administration is taking the study of behavioral economics and government paternalism to a new level by setting up a task force to come up with ways to determine how best to influence or nudge Americans to make decisions of which it approves, via Richard Williams at Politico Magazine: