Monthly Archives: December 2015

Feingold’s easy-way-out strategy

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chessIslamic State finally has the attention of the Obama administration and its “Progressive” allies—or they’ve concluded it’s necessary that the rest of us think it has. Now comes the question that matters: What will they do?

So far, it looks like nothing more than they’d have done when they weren’t paying attention.  What ex-Senator Russ Feingold said last week sounded like the Obama default setting of speaking sternly (wink, wink,) to anyone who might assist ISIS and letting it go at that.

Above all Feingold counsels, (remember, the Evader-in Chief has advised we’ll eventually win by being smart,) “Don’t be foolish and play their game, which is to send our troops over there without a clear strategy.”

Oh. Is the former senator under the impression that ISIS’ “game,” hoping the U.S. will send troops “without a clear strategy,” makes the alternative of sending them with a clear strategy unavailable?

Perhaps his words reflect the established strategic preference of the current administration, to announce, upon sending them, when the troops will return home and what they won’t be permitted to do to the enemy.

But what we found most interesting about last Thursday’s Madison TV story is Feingold—in his own words—saying the U.S. government’s primary function, protecting the nation’s physical safety—rests on “negotiation.”

We’ll stipulate there are times when even a sensible administration negotiates, but it’s telling that it didn’t occur to Feingold to say some things aren’t negotiable. And if your negotiators get the kind of results you’d expect from Laurel and Hardy (see: Iran nuclear deal,) it’s probably best not talking at all.

Russ Feingold first ran for office in a world of flower children and nuclear-free zones, reflecting a potentially dangerous detachment from reality then, and an imminently dangerous one now.

Exactly as intended…

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flatlineThe weekend Wall Street Journal offers an excellent Obamacare tale, impaired only by its headline.  “Don’t Let ObamaCare’s Failures Snowball Into Single Payer,” it says. It should say, “Obamacare succeeds in push toward single payer.”

The Journal being paywalled, we’ll describe the article in detail. Nathan Nascimento of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce notes that the “Affordable Care Act” has left “a trail of destruction” in Colorado, where, between the end of 2013 and the end of this year, 615,000 people will have lost health insurance because Obamacare outlawed their policies or their Obamacare provider went belly-up.

In October, 80,000 lost coverage when Colorado HealthOP shut down. This was one of the notorious Obamacare “cooperatives,” designed to fail by attracting membership with lowball premiums, expecting that a government bailout, never legislated but widely presumed, would cover losses—as if a bailout wouldn’t become a takeover.

The advertised purpose of this detestable scam was to provide “affordable” insurance for legions of uninsured people who wanted coverage but couldn’t pay.  Did anyone suggest that, pre-Obamacare, that was the plight of more than eleven percent of Colorado’s population? In any case, Obamacare coming to the rescue has caused 11.4 percent of Coloradans to lose their policies.

And “affordable?” The surviving providers on Colorado’s Obamacare exchange are about to increase premiums on average 11.7 percent, according to state calculations cited in the Journal.

Naturally, chaos means opportunity for Colorado’s energetic Left, which has placed a single-payer proposal called ColoradoCare on the state’s 2016 ballot. It would supplant private insurance with 100-percent government-funded health care: no more premiums, just immensely higher taxes for expenditures expected to double the state’s budget.

Did we say, maybe five years ago, this is exactly how it was intended to work?

We’ll always have Parisites

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thermometerOur apologies for the spelling. Let’s just say the rest of the world pretended to commit to bogus planet-saving measures at last week’s Paris climate gabfest, and the U.S. let them pretend. Before you know it, the pretenders will be back for more.

Jetting off to conferences in glamorous tourist destinations to hector other people into forking over money as atonement for some imaginary offense is what these con artists do. The only thing that’s unique in this instance is the worldwide scope of the fraud.

Did we say fraud, marking ourselves as “deniers” of climate change? No, we said “fraud” knowing Earth’s climate is constantly changing in one way or another, and the fraud lies in convincing people that the ceaseless changes are uniformly bad, that humanity’s trifling emissions of an atmospheric component that’s essential to life are destructive of life, but that everything can be set right by ongoing transfers of cash.

If you doubt the cash is all that really matters, consider that our eminent Secretary of State, John Kerry, announced the U.S. will double its multi-billion dollar annual climate handouts, moments before  admitting it would make no difference to the climate if every industrialized nation simply vanished. The preposterous four-minute sequence begins about 22 minutes into his seemingly interminable speech.

Of necessity, the demonization of skeptics proceeds apace: They must be deterred from exposing the con. The firing of France’s leading TV meteorologist just before the conference will suffice as an example.

Meanwhile, we learn that a fellow in Thailand could spend 32 years in prison for “liking” a Facebook post lampooning the king.

Not the same thing, you say?  Au contraire, it’s precisely the same thing, differing only in degree. Stick around. We’re getting there.

Don’t Go Away Mad Mr. Schmitz, Just Go Away

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don_quixoteTell someone “it’s worse than previously thought,” and they’ll probably assume you’re talking the party line on global warming. But unlike global warming, which involves scientists playing fast and loose with the laws of physics, the saga of ex-special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) involves lawyers playing fast and loose with the laws and the Constitution, and yes, it is worse than previously thought—which was already quite bad enough.

Rebuked a second time by the Wisconsin Supreme Court—in fact booted out of his illegally-obtained position in the finally defunct John Doe investigation of Conservative political activity—Schmitz unburdened his tortured soul last week by issuing a statement saying “My career in the military and as a federal prosecutor fighting violent criminals and terrorists did not fully prepare me for the tactics employed by these special interest groups.”

Keep in mind, the “special interest groups” Schmitz finds more menacing than violent criminals and terrorists were people exercising what’s been identified by a string of judges as the constitutionally-protected right to express political opinions. By far the biggest illegal activity revealed by his investigation was its own existence.

As far as we can tell, the “tactics employed” involve winning on the legal merits, which in the world inhabited by Schmitz and the GAB, is evidently regarded as taking unfair advantage.

Happily, the GAB’s days are numbered thanks to its own John Doe abuses and its brazen foot-dragging in the application of laws like Voter ID, to eliminate advantages obtainable through election fraud.  And in the end, we’re thankful that Francis Schmitz must refer to his military career in the past tense. This tattered society needs at least one institution it can still trust.

Lame duck, rare

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rare_duckA rare Oval Office address,” last week’s contribution to the lexicon of formulaic journalism, seems destined over time to reveal itself as shorthand for the mainstream media’s desire to make vacuous presidential pronouncements appear weighty.

For the hundreds of millions of Americans in no mood to do penance and who therefore passed up the opportunity to take in Sunday evening’s rare Oval Office address, we can report that President Obama told the nation, in essence, two things:

He doesn’t intend to change anything about his approach to terrorist threats in this country or globally, and anyway, what happened in California last week is largely our fault for not adopting tougher firearms laws that will do nothing to clamp down on people who aspire to commit mass murder.

But peering out from behind the familiar sanctimonious condescension (one suspects Obama’s persistent references to “ISIL” are calculated to emphasize that he knows what the “L” stands for even if you don’t,) was the face of a man who has suddenly realized he’s in deep trouble with the American people.

That fate will almost surely befall Democrats in next year’s elections if Islamist terrorism rears its head in this country a time or two more, and who dares presume it won’t? In coverage leading up to the rare Oval Office address—since disappeared from the New York Times web site—prominent Democrats were clearly thinking along those lines.

Regrettably, it’s taken seven years for time to run out on Barack Obama. Sunday evening’s indelible impression is that even if he believes what he said, Americans have written him off.

Senator Feingold’s Bad Timing

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2016_SenateAs strong believers in credit where it’s due, we are duty-bound to mention that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did something good this week, and no, we are not setting up a sarcastic remark.

In its Sunday edition, the Journal Sentinel published a profile of the 2016 U.S. Senate rematch between incumbent Ron Johnson and ex-incumbent Russ Feingold. It’s true the editors used a photo making Feingold look considerably younger than he would today, but the story spells out what should be a dispositive issue in a campaign where until now, Feingold has appeared to have a strong lead.

That issue is Feingold’s conspicuously bad record on matters concerning security and national defense.

Here, at last, is a mess we can’t blame on Barack Obama. More than half of Russ Feingold’s 18 years in the Senate came after the 9-11 attacks and he spent that time, occasionally all alone, standing in the way of every effort anyone could think of to defend the United States against further terrorism.

In a party Americans have been reluctant to trust on defense issues for at least 35 years, Russ Feingold has been an outlier, opposing any thought of enhancing security. Shut down Guantanamo? Russ loves the idea. Help Iran get away with building nuclear weapons?  He’s all over it. Name a policy that will leave Americans less safe, and Russ Feingold will be found on the wrong side of the issue.

In short, Feingold’s record reads as if he thinks the entire voting population of Wisconsin lives on the Madison Isthmus. If he tries to square that record with the obvious challenges of near-term U.S. security—if he tries—it will be a spectacle to remember.