Wednesday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesIt’s summer vacation and my sense of time has vanished. This was supposed to be a morning round-up and, like magic, here it is . . . afternoon. Let me just dive into the good stuff:

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We all know about the primary VA scandal, which is that, even as employees got millions in bonuses, veterans were left to die. Everything you want to know about socialized medicine is right there: the system is intended to benefit government employees, not the patients.

The Cato Institute suggests another scandal, one that is tied to government bookkeeping: Because the average veteran doesn’t claim his health benefits for decades after his service, the government never budgets for them. This makes going to war look cheaper than it really is, by deferring costs.

For honest accounting, the Cato Institute suggests getting the VA out of the business of health care, and having the government instead give the veterans an annual sum of money that they could apply to the private market. Of course, since Obamacare is destroying the private market….

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Dick and Liz Cheney pull no punches: no matter how you look at it or where you look, Obama’s foreign policy has been disastrous, both at home and abroad. They even offer a pitch-perfect homage to Churchill’s claim, after the RAF prevailed in the Battle of Britain, that “Never have so many owed so much to so few.” When it comes to Obama, say the Cheneys, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

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When it comes to Iraq, the DemProgs are in full-throated cry: “It’s Bush’s fault.” Rational people might point out that Obama ran for office promising to make things better in Iraq. He’s been in office five-and-a-half years now, during which time he’s made myriad decisions to effectuate that promise, and has substantially changed the landscape since Bush left office. He owns the Iraq fiasco.

Moreover, when it comes to Bush’s decision-making, someone put together a video pointing out that his ideas about Iraq didn’t arise in a vacuum. Instead, they were Clinton-era DemProg ideas:

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The tens of thousands of children (many carrying diseases), gang members, and potential terrorists crossing the border must delight Obama. After all, the whole purpose of the DREAM act was to bring youthful illegal aliens into the country. The only failure is that they started coming in such numbers that they suddenly became visible to the American public.

Leo W. Banks reminds us of Obama’s role in the border debacle, and points out that the child abuse flowing from it is appalling and immoral. That too is on Obama’s shoulders.

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Some years ago Amanda Marcotte set her sights on me because of something I wrote. I wasn’t aware of her before, so I read her rebuttal with an open mind. I was not impressed. She’s a muddy-headed thinker who hides behind big words and bad ideas.

I hadn’t thought about Marcotte in years, but I was still rather charmed when I read that an astute reader discovered that Marcotte can’t even remember which positions she’s held over the years. Actually, that’s not true. Marcotte remembers the important thing, which can be paraphrased this way:  “I’m always for the DemProg candidate or position and opposed to the conservative candidate or position, no matter what the actual issue is.”

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This is the proper way to act when the school summons you in to explain that your child is in trouble for using his thumb and forefinger to make a gun.

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In an earlier post, I mentioned that Barack Obama’s foreign policy is like that old Slade song: Be all things to everyone and then run, run away.

It turns out that, when it comes to being all things to everyone, nobody does it better than Hillary Clinton who has taken the art of platitudes to hitherto unimagined heights. She reminds me political characters in Hollywood movies from the 1940s.  The “good” political figure would have mush words inserted in his mouth so as not to offend anybody of either party viewing the movie. (A good example is the The Farmer’s Daughter, a delightful film with one of my favorite actors, Joseph Cotten.)

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In the context of the three Jewish boys Hamas kidnapped, Caroline Glick talks about rising antisemitism, not just abroad, but in the U.S. It makes for grim reading, but we do the world, and the world’s Jews, a disservice if we turn our eyes away from a problem that, the last time it went unaddressed, ended in the gas chambers.

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Deroy Murdock created a Nazi analogy explaining why, to Obama’s surprise, people are so very upset about the Bowe Bergdahl exchange. Nazi analogies can be dicey things, but I think Murdock’s is masterful.

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A few links regarding the IRS scandal:

Jonah Goldberg notes that the media, rather than reporting on the scandal itself, is reporting on the Republican’s response to it. This makes the story a boring one about political infighting, rather than an appropriately outraged one about the worst scandal ever to hit the American people directly.

Megan McArdle used to be a system’s administrator. With this knowledge, she is able to posit various scenarios in order to accept as true the IRS’s claim that the computers ate the emails of anyone and everyone who ever had anything to do with the IRS’s targeting of organizations and individuals who challenged Obama’s presidency. I admire McArdle greatly, but I think she’s wrong.

One of the things that makes a conspiracy theory a conspiracy theory is that it’s the opposite of Occam’s Razor. To make the case, one has to imagine all sorts of impossible things and then connect them together in ways that are illogical. The truth usually has the virtue of being straightforward.

Here, with the IRS having announced that, despite federally mandated backup systems, it managed to lose emails relevant to an investigation — and, coincidentally, only those emails — it’s a lot easier to conclude that there’s a cover-up than to engage in massive, complicated speculation about potential system failures and human stupidity.

Glenn Reynolds says that, to the extent the IRS is asserting increasingly unbelievable claims about lost evidence that would tie the IRS scandal to anyone in the administration, it’s time for collective punishment:

Targeting Americans is unforgivable; covering it up is worse, and if the IRS has made it impossible to target the individuals responsible, then the IRS as a whole should pay the price. That’s not an ideal solution, but such misbehavior should not go unpunished.

Read the whole thing here.

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And in case you’ve been feeling that the Bible is just too heteronormative, you might enjoy reading The Queen James Bible instead:

queen-james-gay-bible

Here are some examples of the ways in which the editors have changed the language in the King James Bible. The approach is certainly creative, and I give the editors full credit for their sustained effort to approach the text with respect.

If you’re less than thrilled about this new take on the good book, here’s something to think about: One of the things that makes the modern Judeo-Christian tradition great is that people can analyze the text, even if their analyses are unduly imaginative or inaccurate. In this, we in the Judeo-Christian tradition are much more fortunate than Muslims, who are stuck with Mohammed’s words as written. We’ve noted before that, while we can back off from the Bible’s order to burn witches, devout Muslims are chained forever, not just to the best of Mohammed’s thoughts, but to the worst.

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Comments

  1. lee says

    Here’s the thing I keep thinking about. I’m just a lowly little no one working at a biggish place. If saw something questionable, I’d rat out out. Some how. If I found it impossible, I’d quit. Been there, done that.
     
    So let’s say in 2016, we get a republican president, House and Senate, and none of the Soups quit or die until after February 1, 2017. All these agencies are FULL of people who conspired or did nothing: VA, DOJ, IRS, EPA, DOI, NPS, HHS… 
     
    It’s impossible to clean that much house… 

    • says

      “It’s impossible to clean that much house… ”
       
      Correct. What American traitors spent 90 years destroying, one patriotic leader cannot clean in 4 years. Not even in 40 years. So long as the Leftist alliance exists, no recovery will happen. Not in society. Not in economics. Not in military or foreign policy.

  2. says

    Book, the A M reference up above is interesting, if only that I got a chance to reread my comments from 2010.
     
    2010 was about the time I recovered from the revelations I got from my crystal ball and the Obama whispers. Namely, civil war II in the US, the fall of Iraq, the fall of Afghanistan. When did I predict it and how?
     
    “Who here doubts the Left will refuse to engage in such atrocity prone behavior? They tried to do to Iraqis what they already did to the Vietnamese, remember that one.”
     
    That was the line I used in 2010. Look at Iraq now, and see what atrocity prone behavior means. Look at Iraq now, and remember what they did to the Vietnamese.
     
    If people are “suffering” from what they see in Iraq… that’s good. I’ve been wanting company for 6 long years now. Now they just got to direct their emotions at the True Enemy.

  3. sabawa says

    Something Mormons have in common with Muslims…….no analyzing of the original text.  Those gold plates that spawned the Book of Mormon are conveniently back in heaven….or wherever they went.    Full disclosure…..I was raised Mormon but am no longer.

  4. Danny Lemieux says

    I have to fault the American voters who now claim to be disappointed with Obama. They didn’t elect him to manage the country properly, restore the economy and direct foreign policy. They elected him because he was black and because he made them feel good about themselves. He delivered. Just like a prom queen.

    • lee says

      They still think he’s the cat’s pajamas! I read my Marin Facebook friends’ posts and they still think he’s hunky dory–the Republicans are the cause of all our woes.–they’re over reacting to Benghazi (which is no worse than any other eBay consulate attack), they’re overreacting to the IRS thing–those groups needed the extra scrutiny, etc
       
      They’re still happy they voted for the Ba***rd!

    • says

      And just so you know, what I mean is that the US gov didn’t merely “leave” Americans to die. They ENGINEERED it, so that they could benefit, and yes, ENJOY watching it. They enjoyed watching it. I believed it back then, I believe it now. Because I can “believe” that kind of crazy stuff, my prediction abilities are accurate. This kind of stuff cannot be predicted by “logick” or “common sense”.
       
       

  5. SADIE says

     
    VA bookkeeping, which brings me to Daniel Greenfield’s latest article. Wind turbines and solar panel installations from Mass. to Ca. 
    To pull one quote from the article: The VA’s Green Management Program Office claimed that it would “keep our promises to Veterans through sustainability.”
    The deceased Vets no longer need sustainability – they needed it while still living.
    Green Energy for Dead Vets

  6. Eidolon says

    Just a quibble about Muslims being stuck with Mohammed’s words, Book. According to an interesting book I read a while ago, “Did Mohammed Exist?”, there’s really very little evidence that Mohammed existed at all. The actual Koran only uses the word translated as Mohammed (which just means Messenger or Chosen One or something to that effect) twice. Some people have speculated that Mohammed wasn’t even a person’s name but was a title. There’s some pretty decent evidence (more evidence than there is for the idea that Mohammed was a person and existed at a particular time and place) that the Koran was based on the writings of some heretical Christian writers who were expelled from the mainstream of Christianity and ended up in the area where Islam first arose. Adherents of this theory propose that the Mohammed written about in the Koran is actually Jesus.
     
    Most of what’s “known” about Mohammed comes from what are called hadiths, which are basically all apocryphal stories somebody somewhere wrote about Mohammed. There’s no real way to discern which ones are genuine, or if any of them are (nothing was written down about Mohammed for something like 60 years after his supposed death). Many are known to be false, many are contradictory to others, and there isn’t really an official “canon” of hadiths, though there are some collections thought to be more accurate than others. Various people made up hadiths all over the place for their own reasons, often putting disparagement of their enemies or agreement with their ideas in the mouth of the prophet in order to bolster their case. Some ruler someplace just sort of decided “this is going to be the Koran from now on.” There wasn’t any sort of theological conference like there was for the theologians who decided which books would be included in the Bible. Everyone accepts it reasons I’m not clear on.
     
    So it’s not really true that Muslims are stuck with what Mohammed said and did. It’s very possible he never said or did anything, and they have their pick of several different and contradictory sets of hadiths to guide them.

    • says

      Eidolon:  That’s a fascinating theory, and one that’s new to me.  Unfortunately, most of the world’s Muslims don’t buy into it.  To them, anything Mohammed said, including his own name, is sacred to the nth degree, and cannot be touched or changed in any way.  Given the choice, I’d much rather have a thoughtful Queen James Bible than an untouchable Koran.

  7. says

    “He delivered. Just like a prom queen.”
     
    People married Obama because they thought he was the Prom Queen or Prom King.  Now at least some of them realize that he’s a poor provider, bad in bed, and not all that pleasant to be around. 
     
    So next time around, many if not most of them will choose to marry another individual selected on grounds of media-promoted glamor.  Like Hillary.

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