Tea Party Patriots Ordinary citizens reclaiming America's founding principles.

Friday, November 30, 2018

That’s our Governor

A.F. Branco cartoons at Legal Insurrection

The blog Freedom’s Lighthouse posted a video on ABC News of our Governor earlier this week, along with these comments:

Oh my goodness. Here is John Kasich over the weekend saying he is “very seriously” considering running for President in 2020.

Kasich only won one state – his home state of Ohio – during the 2016 GOP Presidential Primaries against Donald Trump.

He then refused to support Trump in the General Election against Hillary Clinton and would not even attend the Republican National Convention held in his own state of Ohio. Totally despicable. But Trump won Ohio anyway!

Kasich here floats the possibility of running as a Third Party Candidate – essentially to be a spoiler, just to keep Trump from winning. He is a NeverTrumper and he would clearly rather see a radical Leftist Democrat win that see Trump get re-elected. What a buffoon.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Twitter, Facebook, and The Thought Police

art credit: thebiganswer.info

Boris Zelkin at American Greatness cancelled his Twitter account:

This had been building for some time for two primary reasons. First, Twitter, like Facebook (which I had given up a few months ago), is a hate machine. Second, Twitter’s ever-changing terms of service and curiously selective enforcement of said terms via shadow and outright bans made it increasingly obvious that Twitter is less interested in real conversation than it is in kabuki theater conversation—censored one-sided shadow-boxing—replacing freedom of speech with speech at the pleasure of one’s betters.

As such, Twitter has became a platform I can no longer support with my participation.

From my perspective, participation on a platform that actively censors political speech, even when that participation consists of criticism the platform, is a tacit approval. Remember how you felt when you saw those “Occupy Wall Street” folks using iPhones to bemoan capitalism? That’s how I began seeing giving Twitter my voice, a voice that they could choose to either allow or silence if it became pesky or popular enough.

Richard Fernandez at PJ Media reports that Mr. Instapundit dropped his Twitter account:

Glenn Reynolds has deactivated his Twitter account, citing the banning of Jesse Kelly for no apparent reason as the immediate cause of his disillusionment with the platform. Explaining his decision, he wrote:

Why should I provide free content to people I don’t like, who hate me? I’m currently working on a book on social media, and I keep coming back to the point that Twitter is far and away the most socially destructive of the various platforms. So I decided to suspend them, as they are suspending others. At least I’m giving my reasons, which is more than they’ve done usually.

He may have beaten the digital bouncers to the door by only a little. The Thought Police are rushing to ensure that everyone toes the line. 

I found several supposed alternatives to Facebook here, but I had not heard of any of them. Any Tea Party people identifying any good alternatives?
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Human nature and Western civilization

Art credit: bridgeguys.com

The Lady of the House at Bookworm Room has a lengthy review essay of a book by Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (out in paperback in 2012), which considers the default conditions of human nature, development of Western civilization, and how those behaviors and developments are reflected in today’s political stand-offs. It’s a long but worthwhile read; click here. Lady Bookworm concludes:

It’s time for me to summarize what Pinker argues took humankind from a time of tremendous cruelty and violence to the world in which we live now. These factors were:
  • The development of the nation-state, which quashed local warfare, whether it was the warfare of Stone Age tribesman or medieval warlords.
  • The development of manners aimed at raising mankind above its animal nature.
  • The development of commerce, which forced empathy upon those who wished to be successful.
  • The rule of law, not in the form of the random tyranny of a police state, but in the form a stable judicial system that allows people to calculate in advance the cost of their actions, whether in the civil or the criminal context.
  • And two more Bookworm additions: The decrease in alcohol consumption, because excessive alcohol intake brings people closer to their animal natures, and the premium placed upon electing mature, experienced people to positions of power.     

Today’s Leftists seek to destroy every single one of those civilizing influences:
  • Leftists want to destroy borders, which ends the nation-state. Their optimistic ideal is one-world government under the U.N.’s aegis. The reality will be a retreat into the tribalism that was normative for most of human history and that is defined by almost unholy levels of violence and torture against perceived enemies.
  • Leftists are breaking down all normative behavior (once called “manners”). Whether it’s screaming at conservatives in restaurants, attacking politicians in their homes, being obsessed with poop, destroying sexual norms (including have a lesbian smooch at the Thanksgiving Day parade, a venue in which no one previously smooched), chronic public nudity, or anything else that once held together civilized Western society, the Left is against it. (And please feel free to add to that list.)
  • Leftists are irredeemably hostile to commerce. The Leftist dream is a tightly controlled socialist economy, although one in which the rich Blue Leftists, including Barack “at some point you’ve made enough money” Obama, will retain their wealth. Place Alexandria Occasional-Cortex and her ilk in charge of the American economy, and we will go backwards to a medieval time in which profit is evil, innovation is discouraged, lending money is impossible, and the empathy and cooperation that trade brought are gone. (By the way, the Koran makes usury illegal, which is one of the reasons Muslim majority countries are economically stagnant unless they have oil wealth.)   
  • Leftists are hostile to the rule of law. As we see in everything from the Title IX travesties on college campuses to Justice Kavanaugh’s travails to the Obama judge’s attacks on Trump’s executive power, Leftists don’t believe in the equal application of the rule of law. To them, law is an instrument of power to be used, not to create reliability in both civil and criminal matters in order to guide people’s actions, but as a cudgel to enforce their power. In other words, their “law” is the law of tyranny, not of freedom. This hostility to the rule of law also shows itself in the whole “sanctuary city/state” notion and the tolerance for criminal homelessness, both of which have reduced large parts of California, once America’s most prosperous state, to Third World status.
  • And finally, the Left has long been in the vanguard of two other trends: (1) Urging the middle class to use drugs that interfere with civilized behavior and functionality. Starting with the Hippies and their tuning in and dropping out and continuing with the binge drinking on Leftist-controlled college campuses and the push for recreational (as opposed to medicinal) pot, Leftists encourage behavior that decreases mankind’s connection to its human nature and brings it closer to its animal nature. (2) Turning political power over to young people, whether by decreasing the voting age or by championing practically prepubescent people in politics. Again, a perfect example is Occasional-Cortex, a woman with a dismal education and no life experience, who’s seen as the Great Hope for the Left.   

Bookworm’s full essay is here.
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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Another look at First Step Act

 image credit:rightoncrime.com

Yesterday, this blog linked to some information on the First Step Act, with support coming from Ken Blackwell and Pastor Darrell Scott, among others. On the other hand, Ann Coulter criticized the Act in pretty sharp terms. Then I came across Michelle Malkin’s analysis of the First Step Act; like Coulter, Malkin is tough on crime, immigration, and drug dealing, so I was interested to see that she supports the Act:

The package of criminal justice reform proposals endorsed by President Donald Trump is not “soft” on crime. It’s tough on injustice. And it’s about time.

Known as the “First Step Act,” the legislation confronts the Titanic failure of the federal government’s trillion-dollar war on drugs by reforming mandatory minimum sentences, rectifying unscientifically grounded disparities in criminal penalties for crack vs. powder cocaine users, and tackling recidivism among federal inmates through risk assessment, earned-time credit incentive structures, re-entry programs and transitional housing.

There’s nothing radical about giving law-breakers who served their time an opportunity to turn their lives around and avoid ending up back behind bars. More than 30 red and blue states have enacted measures to reduce incarceration, control costs and improve public safety. Texas — no bleeding-heart liberal mecca — spearheaded alternatives to the endless prison-building boom a decade ago by redirecting tax dollars to rehab, treatment and mental health services. The Lone Star state saved an estimated $3 billion in new public construction costs while stemming the prison population tide.
. . .
Despite staunch support from conservative Republican governors, prosecutors and law enforcement closest to the ground on this issue, the same hyperbolic talking points used by some immovable “law and order” opponents at the state level are now being used against First Step: Cops will be endangered, critics balk. Violent monsters will go free. Child predators and drug kingpins will flood our neighborhoods.

Scary, but deceptive. The plain language of the bill makes clear that its “early release” provisions must be earned. Moreover, as Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee points out: “At all times the Bureau of Prisons retains all authority over who does and does not qualify for early release.” Former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman, a veteran of the criminal justice system for 20 years, notes that inmates convicted of crimes of violence (including assaults on police), drug trafficking (including hardcore fentanyl and heroin dealing) and child pornography would not qualify for credits. Period. The list of ineligible prisoners is a mile long.
. . .
Critic Dan Cadman of the Center for Immigration Studies is not satisfied and argues that “the simplest way to make it a clean bill where immigration enforcement is concerned is to say at the beginning of the bill that ‘none of the sections that follow in this bill apply to incarcerated aliens.'” That should be a simple fix and is no reason to prevent First Step from moving to the Senate floor for vigorous debate.

Full article is here.
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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Ohio Issue #1 and the "First Step" proposal

On November 6, Ohio voters rejected Issue #1, an amendment that would have reduced the penalties for drug trafficking under Ohio law. Cleveland Tea Party blogs urged a “No” vote here, here, and here

The Trump administration is proposing reform to the federal criminal justice system that is running along parallel lines to Issue #1. Ken Blackwell reports:

The FIRST STEP Act is the beginning of a transformation of America’s federal criminal-justice system into what it should have always been: a system that makes America safer. This legislation unites conservatives, police and civil rights advocates, civil libertarians, business leaders and supporters of social justice. Supporting this legislation means supporting ideas that all Americans want - from police to Democrats to Republicans - an America that is fair, an America that puts Americans first, and that makes America safe. 

Blackwell concludes that “This is a law and order President who believes in justice and the First Step Act will get us closer to true justice.” Among those standing with President Trump at his press conference were Sen. Tim Scott and Pastor Darrell Scott.  But Ann Coulter vigorously disagrees, and she is not one to pull her punches:

In the systematic dismantling of common sense in America, Jared Kushner's "sentencing reform" bill is the coup de grace -- a Mack Truck hurtling down the highway about to take out thousands of Americans. The Idiot Army is already in place to fight and win this battle.

Jared and the hip-hop artists currently advising him have decided that too many people are in prison. If you think you've heard this before, you have: Genius insights of this sort have preceded nearly every major crime wave this country has experienced, from Philadelphia to California to a bloody period known as "the Warren Court."
. . .
We're incessantly told that sentences will be cut only for "nonviolent drug offenders."

If you are even passingly familiar with our justice system, you know that virtually everyone in prison is there as the result of a plea bargain -- "97 percent of federal cases and 94 percent of state cases," according to The New York Times.

You don't strike a deal with the prosecutor to plea to the worst crime you've committed. You plea to the least serious offense.

Coulter hammers both the facts and stats concerning previous crime waves, and she also directs her outrage at President Trump and his son-in-law. Whether she is correct in attributing a motive to Trump’s support of this initiative, her analysis of past efforts at criminal system reform is worth considering, and some of her arguments will resonate with those against Ohio’s Issue #1. (Full column by Ms. Coulter is here.)
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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What Thanksgiving means To Americans

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

Re-posted from earlier Cleveland Tea Party Thanksgiving blogs:

What Thanksgiving really means To Americans

A couple of years ago, Jerry Bowyer, writing in Forbes Magazine, recounted the real significance of Thanksgiving, a significance that is too often lost among the turkey dinners, football games, and stories about Indians who befriended the early settlers. 

In 1620, the Plymouth pilgrims based their original community on Plato’s Republic, a collective model that appealed to their religious convictions and morality. But the communal model didn’t work for them. After over two years of failing harvests and resulting malnutrition, disease, starvation, and deaths, the pilgrims replaced the communal model with a model based on private property. The ensuing harvest was abundant, with surpluses available for trade.

Their Thanksgiving celebrated the triumph of the individual, private property, and incentive, over collectivism. At first, the pilgrims felt guilty because they were putting self-interest over the seeming altruism of socialism. Yet the devout survivors had learned two lessons: 1) that a theoretical and Utopian collective society fails, and (2) in real life, private property and capitalism produce prosperity. For them, God, not Plato, knew best. Accepting the principles of private property and self-interest was God’s way of harnessing self-interest to the greater good. We know all of this because an elder and Governor of the Plymouth plantation, William Bradford, kept a journal and it survives today. Mr. Bowyer’s earlier article, with additional historical background, is here.) 

It’s wrong to say that American was founded by capitalists. In fact, America was founded by socialists who had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom. One of the earliest and arguably most historically significant North American colonies was Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620 in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. As I’ve outlined in greater detail here before (Lessons From a Capitalist Thanksgiving), the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor. 

As William Bradford recorded in his Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive. Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result. And where there is starvation, there is plague. 

After 2 1/2 years, the leaders of the colony decided to abandon their socialist mandate and create a system which honored private property. The colony survived and thrived and the abundance which resulted was what was celebrated at that iconic Thanksgiving feast.

As my friend Reuven Brenner has taught me, history is a series of experiments: The Human Gamble. Some gambles work and are adopted by history and some do not and should be abandoned by it. The problem is that the human gamble only works if there is a record of experimental outcomes and if decision makers consult that record. For many years, the story of the first failed commune of Plymouth Bay was part of the collective memory of American students. But Progressive Education found that story unhelpful and it has fallen into obscurity, which explains why (as I alluded to before) a well-educated establishment figure like Jared Bernstein would be unaware of it.

I’m often asked why our current leadership class forgets the lessons of the past so often. They are, after all, very smart men and women. Don’t they know that collectivism will fail?

No, they don’t. Not anymore. For much of our history, our leaders were educated in the principles which were to help them avoid errors once they have joined the ruling class. They studied to learn how to not misuse power. Now our leaders learn nothing of the dangers of abusing power: their education is entirely geared to its acquisition.  All of their neurons are trained on that one objective – to get to the top. What they do when they get there is a matter for later. And what happens to the country when they’re done with their experiments is beside the point: after all, their experiments will not really affect them personally. History is the story of the limitations of human power. But the limits of power is a topic for people who doubt themselves and their right to rule, not the self-anointed.

That’s how it is now, and that’s how it was in 1620. The charter of the Plymouth Colony reflected the most up-to-date economic, philosophical and religious thinking of the early 17th century. Plato was in vogue then, and Plato believed in central planning by intellectuals in the context of communal property, centralized state education, state centralized cultural offerings and communal family structure. For Plato, it literally did take a village to raise a child. This collectivist impulse reflected itself in various heretical offshoots of Protestant Christianity with names like The True Levelers, and the Diggers, mass movements of people who believed that property and income distinctions should be eliminated, that the wealthy should have their property expropriated and given to what we now call the 99%. This kind of thinking was rife in the 1600s and is perhaps why the Pilgrim settlers settled for a charter which did not create a private property system.

But the Pilgrims learned and prospered. And what they learned, we have forgotten and we fade.  Now, new waves of ignorant masses flood into parks and public squares. New Platonists demand control of other people’s property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Pardon the turkey

A.F. Branco cartoon via freedomsback.com and Legal Insurrection

Elizabeth Warren’s kind of turkey!

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Mike Rowe's Job Market

I’ve been a fan of Mike Rowe’s ever since accidentally seeing him as a guest on Fox News. Rowe is known for his work on the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs and the CNN series Somebody's Gotta Do It. He recently received the Independent Women’s Forum “Distinguished Gentleman” award, and the report on his acceptance speech is here. He expands on five major themes and closes with:

“We don’t need American Idols,” he said. “We need American icons. Icons of work. The country needs a parapateia [turning point, or as Rowe put it “a reversal of fortune or a sudden change in circumstances”]. We need to tell better stories of men and women who master a trade. We have to stop telling kids to blindly follow their passion and show them the opportunities that exist. That was the big, overarching message of ‘Dirty Jobs.’ The message that the headlines that ultimately caught up to: There is dignity in all work and opportunity is alive and well.”

Rowe talks about

finding people who were willing to show up early and stay late and learn a skill that was actually in demand. The business of recruitment was a difficult thing. Everywhere I went on the road was ‘Help wanted’ signs. The least I could do was to shine a light on some opportunities that typically go ignored.

The statistics back Rowe up. There are currently 1.5 trillion dollars of student loans on the books, and seven million jobs available, 75 percent of which don’t require a 4 year degree. But they do require training. Rowe wanted to provide such training as a way to begin to bridge the gap between goals and completion, college and a job, and failure and dignity.

Help wanted. In demand. Opportunities. The Tea Party is all about free markets, and Rowe is doing a lot to bring them back in focus. The rest of the report at The Federalist is here; Rowe's speech is linked at the top of the page, including the video. 
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Antifa and liberty rallies

image credit: patriotpost.us

The headline: “Violent Communist Antifa Thugs Swarm 
‘We The People’ Rally In Philadelphia.” 

This weekend, a rally in support of law enforcement was overrun and co-opted by the “Antifa” thugs in Philadelphia. I probably participated in a few dozen rallies in the early Tea Party days, and the worst was when a table of ultra-left Lyndon LaRouche supporters popped up, protesting that President Obama’s policies were not sufficiently liberal. That was nothing compared to yesterday’s rally in Philly, as reported by NoisyRoom blog

A ‘"We The People" rally was held in Philadelphia yesterday. There were not that many patriots there, but hundreds of violent communist Antifa thugs swarmed the rally. They were there for a fight and they got one.

Conservative groups had planned the rally in support of ICE and police officers. Hundreds of black-clad, masked Antifa radicals descended upon them near the Independence Visitor Center on 5th and 6th Streets. There were approximately 80 conservatives in the mix and they were vastly outnumbered. The media is calling the Antifa goons counter-protesters. 

That’s not what they are. They are vicious communists who intend to beat conservatives into cowering and staying silent.

The police commissioner stated that only four were arrested. One of them punched a police captain if you can believe it (and I do). One injured person was put in a van for their safety as well. After violence broke out the crowd soon dispersed.

There were crazed hippy liberals in attendance too. One guy with fluorescent pink hair and pepperoni pizza leggings showed up to ‘protest Nazis’. There were other leftist nut cases there as well.

The police arrested the Antifa communists and put them in a police van while their supporters shouted: “We got your back, man!” The Antifa thugs were shouting profanities at the police while they were being arrested. No one ever accused communists of being classy.

This could easily have broken into a major clash and with the Antifa terrorists outnumbering the conservatives the way they did, it would have ended very badly. There was blood splattered on the sidewalks as the two groups were separated. The Washington Post is reporting only 30 conservatives were there versus 300 Antifa goons. Take that for what it’s worth – WaPo has a credibility problem, to say the least.
. . .

The report closes:

Everywhere that conservatives meet, Antifa is showing up to get their violence on. It’s getting worse, not better and the gathering in Philly shows that. Our Founding Fathers would be ashamed and incensed over all of this.

As others have pointed out, "Antifa" [anti-fascist] really should identify as "Pro-fa," which is why I put the term in scare quotes. Anyway, the rest of the report is here, and it is as much an indictment of media bias and propaganda as it is about "Antifa" and the event itself.  

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Today's chuckle

(Except it's not funny....) Anyway, there's lots more fun at PowerLineblog here.
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Friday, November 16, 2018

Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools

image from Amazon

Jeffrey Lord may have been fired from CNN for no good reason, but he continues to publish on various websites, including American Spectator. Yesterday, he posted his review of Tucker Carlson’s bestselling Ship of Fools. It’s a rave, and I am posting a few paragraphs, either for those who are interested in reading the book or those who want a short précis instead:  

A serious look at a serious American problem by a serious thinker

A truer examination of a serious American problem could not be had.

In his new book,  Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution, Tucker Carlson gets to the heart of the seriously bad situation that confronts America.

Ship of Fools is, says the opening flap of the book, “the story of the new American elites, a group whose power and wealth has grown beyond imagination even as the rest of the country has withered. The people who run America now barely interact with it. They fly on their own planes, ski on their own mountains, watch sporting events from the stands in skyboxes. They have total contempt for you.”

In thumbnail, that could not possibly be a more accurate description of American elites, not to mention the reaction they produced: the election of Donald Trump. As someone who long ago left the precincts of Inside the Beltway Washington, D.C. to come home to the wilds of Central Pennsylvania, it was plain what was coming down the pike in November of 2016. This area was awash in Trump signs. They were everywhere, even hand-painted on the sides of barns. As it were, this was a sure sign of what Tucker describes this way:

Trump’s election wasn’t about Trump. It was a throbbing middle finger in the face of America’s ruling class. It was a gesture of contempt, a howl of rage, the end result of decades of selfish and unwise decisions made by selfish and unwise leaders. Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump president. Desperate ones do.


Read the full review here.
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Election fraud, corruption, and jihad

image credit: huffingtonpost.com

Robert Spencer is a leading authority on Islamic jihad, and his column yesterday is about what’s going on with the Florida, Arizona, and probably a few other states with election results still not confirmed. He compares the corruption of our electoral systems to terrorism :

The theft of elections, even defying court orders to stop while the whole world is watching, is a new low in American politics, and testifies to the Left’s overriding lust for power. The Democrats have never recovered their equilibrium after losing to Donald Trump in 2016, and now appear to be willing to stop at nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to neutralize Trump and regain their hegemony.
. . .
The election fraud in Arizona and Florida is a continuation of the Kavanaugh hearings. Just as the outrageously false allegations of sexual assault and rape against Brett Kavanaugh did, the election fraud demonstrates that there is no low to which the Democrats will not stoop to gain and hold power. They will even affect a self-righteous mien of moral superiority while stooping.

The lesson that conservatives are meant to learn is not just that the Left will stop at nothing, but that the Left is unstoppable. Republicans and conservatives can vote for “drain the swamp” candidates all they want -- but the swamp will not be drained, as those candidates will not take office even if they win.

The intention is to intimidate and demoralize conservatives, induce them to give up and get out of this dirty game. This is, in a word, terrorism.

Read the full article here.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Medicare For All and socialism

image credit: americanliberalreview.com

There has been any number of articles and analyses concerning the proposed “Medicare For All.” A recent on-line report can be found at Forbes hereAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez “dodges questions” on how to pay for it here (spoiler: she doesn’t know); and the NY Times explains what is good about the policy here (what a surprise!).

Yesterday, Justin Haskins published an accessible analysis at Townhall entitled “Socialists Won’t Rest Until We Have Single-Payer Health Care. We Must Stop Them.” The quote marks are there because that’s the title of the article, but they could be interpreted instead as scare quotes. Excerpts:

The 2018 midterms could someday be remembered as the beginning of the Democratic Party’s full embrace of creating a single-payer health care system in the United States. For the first time in American history, a large number of Democrats, many of whom identify as socialists, openly campaigned for the creation of a government-run health insurance model.

For instance, Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won 78 percent of the vote on Election Day, championed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “Medicare for All” proposal, calling it the “ethical, logical, and affordable path to ensuring no person goes without dignified healthcare.” According to Ocasio-Cortez, “Medicare for All will reduce the existing costs of healthcare (and make Medicare cheaper, too!) by allowing all people in the US to buy into a universal healthcare system.” 

Ocasio-Cortez says she supports a universal system that would include “full vision, dental, and mental healthcare - because we know that true healthcare is about the whole self, not just your yearly physical.”

The cost of enacting such a radical program would be astronomical. Researchers at the Mercatus Center say Sen. Sanders’ plan would cost $32.6 trillion in its first decade, and they note that even if Congress were to double taxes paid by individuals and corporations, it wouldn’t be enough to pay for the program. That should terrify you, especially since the U.S. government’s deficit for the 2018 fiscal year was $782 billion and the national debt now stands at a $21.7 trillion.

But as shocking as the price tag for single-payer health care would be, it pales in comparison to the numerous health care-related problems that would be created by such a model. For starters, the government has an absolutely terrible record of providing health care. One example is the Veterans Health Administration, which is run by the federal government. It routinely suffers from underfunding and long wait times, which has forced the agency to allow veterans to go elsewhere to receive care. As the Military Times notes, “About one-third of all VA medical appointments today are … conducted by physicians outside the department’s system.”
. . .
If the federal government can’t properly run the VA system or Medicaid—or even the Post Office—why does anyone think it could manage one of the largest industries in the United States today?

Much more about the VA, mortality rates, and other scary stats are here.

RELATED: Veterans in the greater Cleveland are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Via Breitbart:

The 10 worst cities for veterans included Ohio metros — Cleveland (#92) and Toledo (#95). California contributed San Bernardino (#94) and Fresno (#97). Also at the bottom of the pack were Philadelphia (#91), Baton Rouge (#93), Baltimore (#96), Memphis (#98), Newark (#99), and Detroit (#100).
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Monday, November 12, 2018

Morning or Mourning in America?

cartoon credit: politicalcorrectnessrunamok.blogspot.com

The recounts continue in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona. More ballots are mysteriously popping out of closets, trunks of cars, magicians’ hats. Macron just insulted President Trump again. Etc., etc. Feeling worn down?

Sally Zelikovsky has something of a post-election pep talk at American Thinker. She concludes:

Warriors don’t retreat just as they are making inroads. We may not be fighting a kinetic war, but it is our destiny to fight this ideological war for the soul of this country.  It is just as vital and, in some ways harder, because the enemy is an internal hegemon--progressivism.  Fortunately, it no longer hides in the shadows.  

We see its face every day. It is tenacious, brazenly mendacious, ferocious, avaricious, ubiquitous; it is relentless and merciless. 

This is not a war with swords and guns, but of words and actions.  My father fought against NAFTA for 30 years.  Trump couldn’t have changed NAFTA without the efforts of people like Dad.  The president can’t do all he has to do in the next two years without us either.

The midterms were a mixed bag and left us feeling pretty lousy.  And it’s not over given the looming morass of election challenges.  We also face the exhausting reality that the left will not stop until they take down a president who has our back in a way I’ve never seen in a political leader, let alone a president. Are we going to let this happen? 

America’s conservatives are at a crossroads.  We can tack to the right and commit to a new “morning in America,” emboldened by the power we have as the People, by judges and representatives devoted to  conservatism, and a Senate majority that can punch back working in tandem with a fearless and indefatigable President.  Or, we can tack to the left, where we’d be “mourning in America” because we let the light go out on this beacon on a hill.

The full article is here.
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Sunday, November 11, 2018

On the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.

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My gosh, the Browns won

Just when you think there is still time for them to lose, 
the Browns win over the Atlanta Falcons. 

image credit: onsizzle.com

On Veteran's Day

Veterans Day is a U.S. legal holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars, and Veterans Day 2018 occurs on Sunday, November 11. In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated in many countries as Armistice Day the following year, November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day.

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Friday, November 9, 2018

chuckle of the day

Image via DonSurber

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The Pocahontas / Fauxcahontas Factor

 image credit: watcherofweasels.org

Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal fills in some of the details behind Richard Cordray’s run for Ohio Governor ("Biggest Loser: Elizabeth Warren"):

For a decade Ms. [Elizabeth] Warren, 69, has been busy trying to remake Washington in her progressive image. Her role in creating a new financial regulatory apparatus gave her outsize influence over the bureaucracy. Her successful 2012 Senate bid gave her a megaphone to rail against “billionaires, bigots and Wall Street bankers”—and Donald Trump. The left begged her to challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016 and rebrand the Democratic Party as a populist, progressive force. Ms. Warren demurred, leaving the field to Bernie Sanders.

She instead carefully designed this year’s midterms as her launchpad to the presidency. Ms. Warren seeded into key races several handpicked progressive protégés, in particular Richard Cordray, former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (who ran for Ohio governor), and a former law student, Katie Porter (who ran in a California House district). Ms. Warren geared up a shadow war room, built ties with some 150 campaigns, directed millions of fundraising dollars to select candidates, and thereby earned chits. She dispersed staffers to early primary states and crisscrossed the country herself. A week ago she was dominating Ohio headlines at rallies for Mr. Cordray. If Mr. Trump was on the ballot nationally, Ms. Warren was on it in the Buckeye State.

The lead-up to Tuesday had already been brutal for her. Hoping to elbow her way back into the headlines after Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Ms. Warren chose in mid-October to release a five-minute video and piles of documentation aimed at proving she really is at least 1/1,024th Native American. The ridicule was ruthless, matched only by the anger Democrats directed at her for distracting from the election.

But Tuesday compounded the disaster. Ms. Porter—who campaigned in Orange County on single-payer health care, expanded Social Security and debt-free college—flamed out to two-term Rep. Mimi Walters. In Ohio, Mr. Cordray lost to Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Read the rest here.
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Thursday, November 8, 2018

When the mask falls off

 image credit: alamy.com
Elizabeth Harrington at the Washington Free Beacon quoted failed gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray:

Losing Democratic politicians say they can finally tell the truth now that they are "freed from the constraints" of needing the support of their constituents.

"It occurred to me that I am now freed from the constraints of running for or holding public office," said Richard Cordray, failed coup-leader and losing candidate in the Ohio governor's race.

Cordray says now that he does not have to be accountable to voters, he can "speak more naturally" about what he really thinks about issues.

Full report is here. More masks will be slipping as we move past the midterms.
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