Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: May 25, 2011

"Hope and Change" have come to equal "Cronyism"

President Obama promised a new sort of presidency.   And he’s delivered – Chicago politics in DC:

If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

More specifically, why are more than half of those 3,095,593 in plans run by labor unions, which were among Obamacare’s biggest political supporters? Union members are only 12 percent of all employees but have gotten 50.3 percent of Obamacare waivers.

Emphasis mine.  12% get 50%  of the waivers.  Got a “gold plated health benefit package” but don’t belong to a union?  Tough.

Pure and simple, this reflects who makes up the Democrats real constituency.  The NLRB reflects it as well – see the Boeing stupidity and the attack on right-to-work states and the attempt to deny non-union workers their jobs.

But back to the waiver point.  One of the things I constantly harp on is the fact that we supposedly are a nation that abides by the rule of law, not the rule of men.  And that means something:

One basic principle of the rule of law is that laws apply to everybody. If the sign says "No Parking," you’re not supposed to park there even if you’re a pal of the alderman.

The special dispensation granted through 50% of the waivers to this point to a favored constituency seems to clearly point out that the law is at best being selectively applied (and the reason seems pretty obvious).

As for the NLRB":

Another principle of the rule of law is that government can’t make up new rules to help its cronies and hurt its adversaries except through due process, such as getting a legislature to pass a new law.

Chicago cronyism on a national level.  And, you can be sure the unions will spend their members money to re-elect the politicians who favor them.

Yes friends, “hope and change” have taken on a new distinctly Chicago machine sort of air, haven’t they?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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Libya: The illegal “days, not weeks” war is in its third month

And mission creep continues apace because, as most military experts would have told you, you can’t change a government with a “no-fly zone” and only airpower.

So?  So …

French and British officials said this week that they were sending more than a dozen attack helicopters to allow for more precise ground attacks, particularly around Misurata, where loyalist forces continue to fire mortars and artillery despite rebel gains and heavy air attacks.

With no troops on the ground, NATO planners and pilots acknowledge that they often cannot pinpoint the shifting battle lines in cities like Misurata. “The front lines are more scattered,” said Col. L. S. Kjoeller, who commands four Danish F-16s flying eight daily strike missions from Sigonella air base in Sicily.

Unsaid in those two paragraphs, but reported elsewhere, are that groups of special operations types will be inserted to do targeting for the helicopter attack assets.  Yes, “boots on the ground”.

And why is this supposed war of days taking months if not longer?  Well, they obviously underestimated their foe and overestimated their capabilities.  Also, they planned for one mission and tried to execute another (no-fly and regime change) and don’t have the assets necessary to accomplish that real mission).  We’re now seeing them begin to understand that they may have bitten off more than they can chew – at least as they’re presently arrayed.

Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, the overall commander of NATO forces in the Mediterranean, said from his office in Naples that the allied mission has largely achieved its goal of protecting civilians, especially in eastern Libya, and has seriously damaged the Libyan military.

“Qaddafi will never be able to turn a large army on his people again, because it’s gone,” said Admiral Locklear, noting that the air campaign has wiped out more than half of Libya’s ammunition stockpiles and cut off most supply lines to forces in the field.

But the admiral acknowledged Colonel Qaddafi’s resiliency, and said that without sustained political and economic pressure as well, “the military piece will take a very long time.”

Not really  – if its mission is to establish and enforce a no-fly zone as we were told in the beginning.  And as is obvious, Adm. Locklear certainly isn’t talking days or weeks anymore.  He’s talking months and possibly longer.   Meanwhile, British papers are reporting the war of “days not weeks”, that their present visiting guest talked them into, is in the $1 billion to 1.5 billion pound range – a cost the debt ridden country can ill afford.  Makes you wonder how much longer they’re willing to wage it (even as they escalate their presence with attack helicopters).

Nice mess you’ve got there Mr. Obama.  So much for being against “dumb wars”,  huh?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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Beware of broad conclusions about NY 26 by pundits

Because they’re all over the place.   Many of them are trying to nationalize this very local special election by claiming it is a referendum on the GOP’s Medicare plan because a Democrat won.  But it you look closely at the race, it was more of a Republican debacle than much to do with Medicare.   As has been the case in many elections, competing Republicans managed to get in each other’s way (the Dem won 47% while the GOP candidate garnered 43% and the Tea Party candidate 9% – thus guaranteeing the Dem win with a plurality).

As for the Medicare portion of this, yes it was demagogued by Democrats.  But as a reason for the win?  Tentative at best.  But it does point to a messaging problem for the GOP.  I thought I understood Ryan’s plan (and, despite the usual inflammatory Democratic rhetoric, it doesn’t end Medicare at all) but to satisfy myself, I went out looking for his explanation.  I found this:

 

 

How awful, no?  Patient centered (bureaucracy removed), means tested, and competition.  In fact, as he says, the program would be “just like the one Congress has”.

Well, wait, wasn’t that a promise of ObamaCare?  Wasn’t that something we were supposed to want?  Wasn’t cutting costs supposed to be the “big promise” in ObamaCare?

So here’s the plan to deliver that (oh, by the way, nothing changes for those 55 and older, so they’re grandfathered in) and the Democrats are savaging it as only Democrats can (dead grannies and the live one’s eating cat food).

If NY 26 turned on Medicare – and I don’t really believe it did – I think the GOP needs to get this video out there prominently.  When I went to YouTube to find something I noticed this vid had been watched by 111 others.   Not exactly viral. 

You tell me – which plan makes more sense?  I know which I think fulfills the promises of making health care more affordable and competitive.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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