Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Foreign Policy, Immigration, Islam, Law, Middle East, Military, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Chaos on the Border, Green Energy Policies, Middle East Caliphate
Seems like everything is heating up. There are all these enormous problems that are just coming to our attention, a lapdog media who ignore the problems, and there’s our natural reluctance to stop playing and pay attention. They are collectively going to get a lot worse before they get better, if they do.
— Obama has appointed a man who seems qualified to attempt to fix the problems at the Veterans Administration Health network. Robert McDonald is a former CEO of Proctor and Gamble, so large organizations are nothing new to him. He is a West Point graduate, and served in the military for the required 5 years post graduation. The limited military experience is unusual for the post which is usually filled by a former general or at least a colonel.
The big problems at the VA are 1. unionized employees, 2. a culture that plans to go home around 4:00 and schedules no operations after 2:00 pm and 3. has no way to measure efficiency except by wait-time for appointments. The bigest problem is that it is a big-government 340,000 employee bureaucracy, which may preclude its ever becoming an efficient health care program.
— ISIS , the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, has erupted out of the Syrian crisis and swarmed its way across Iraq, executing and beheading opponents, crucifying members of the opposition, or throwing them alive off cliffs. This is the new Middle East caliphate, a religious and political successor to the prophet Mohammed and sovereign over all Muslims. They have stripped banks, captured military equipment and stockpiles, and captured oil fields. The current al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri once said a new caliphate would signal a turning of world history “against the empire of the United States and the world’s Jewish government.”
A bunch of fanatic thugs, perhaps, but a well-funded and equipped bunch intent on creating an Islamic state as a launching pad for attacking the U.S. homeland, according to a new congressional report. Four analysts at the Congressional Research Service made that assessment relying on intelligence reports and the words of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, (ISIL). Wealthy Sunni sheiks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have funneled money to the group to help it bring down the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Alawite , an offshoot of Shia Islam. They already have many hundreds of jihadists with Western nation passports. The Russians have sent military advisors to Iraq. This is a crisis of Obama’s own making, and he’s not really prepared to deal with it.
— “President Obama’s recently announced energy and environment policies have been tried in many countries with the same result: abject failure. Yet when critics point this out, explaining that “the U.S. economy will lose millions of jobs and billions of dollars in growth,” Obama simply waves their objections away. Every European economy that has followed the same green agenda has faltered badly. In 2013, Germany built six more coal plants. China and India build four new ones every week, yet Obama can’t wait to shut down the coal industry. He remains deeply concerned about global warming.
Canada gave up on getting approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Obama, and is building the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to send their oil to Asia. Major job loss for the U.S. and a major economic loss for the country. Another. Now, inconveniently, scientists and studies are predicting global cooling ahead — Russia’s Pulkova Observatory: ‘We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.’ A new solar theory predicts imminent global cooling. The reason is the dramatic fall in solar radiation that started around 2004. If the temperature on Earth is entirely controlled by solar effects, the cooling will return us to the temperature levels of the 1950s or even the 1920s, undoing the warming of the last 50 or 100 years in nothing flat. A sharp cooling effect is apt to hit in the next five years. There has been no warming at all in the last 17 years. We will need more power to keep us warm, and it’s a remarkably poor time to start shutting down coal plants for no reason. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and has been much higher in the past, and seems to have little, if any, effect on the climate.
— And then there is the crisis on the border. The Obama administration planned ahead for the subsequent flood of illegal children, older teenagers, gang members, Chinese and who knows who else. Homeland Security requested contractors as “escort services” for 65,000 unaccompanied children in January. The government cannot find enough places to put them, seems to have no real intention of returning them. Apparently children who have come across the border can effectively remain in the U.S. for years before they face a risk for deportation. In the meantime the federal government will take care of them?
Obama wants amnesty, and blames the whole surge on Republicans for not “reforming broken immigration laws” that Obama refuses to enforce because he wants amnesty and a flood of Hispanic immigrants. He stubbornly intends to get his way with executive orders.The problems are a direct result of his failure to enforce the borders, forbid the Border Patrol from preventing the influx, and he essentially told the Border Patrol and ICE that they may not do their jobs. This is not going to end well.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Freedom, Health Care, Law, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: "Profit" is Not a Dirty Word, Religious Freedom, The Hobby Lobby Case
The Left has once again gone nuts. The Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case this morning. The issue was whether closely held companies such as Hobby Lobby could be forced by the government to provide abortifacient coverage to its employees, in defiance of its owners’ deeply held religious beliefs.
In a 5-4 ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies do not have to provide contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the religious beliefs of the owners of the companies.
The government must provide religious accommodations to for-profit companies. The court ruled that the accommodations provided to non-profit religious organizations by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act also apply to for-profit companies.
All sorts of ideas here that are anathema to the Left: “for profit companies” — the Left really doesn’t believe in profit, and often believes that companies should not make a profit. They don’t get “deeply held religious beliefs.” And any hint that corporations are people takes them right back to Citizens United which brings on red-faced rage.
The decision applies only to “closely-held” companies not all corporations. It does not recognize a carte blanche right for all corporations. A publicly held corporation that trades on the stock market would not get the same protections. Hobby Lobby has had no objection to providing insurance for contraceptives, 16 different kinds, but objects to providing abortifacient coverage, or the “morning after pill.”
In oral arguments, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor offered the argument that religious owners of a company could just drop coverage entirely. There would be a huge tax, but that’s just too bad, sometimes you have to pay hefty taxes. Hobby Lobby owners believe that they are compelled by their religious beliefs to provide health insurance to their employees, so that argument was no solution at all.
This is not an attack on women’s rights, nor an attack on women. I don’t see why insurance should be covering contraceptives at all. It only costs about $10 a month. If you want or need the “morning after pill” why should you not pay for it yourself? You can always refrain from unprotected sex.
The Left will try valiantly to make this a campaign issue. “Women’s health,” or “women’s reproductive health.” They will refine the language to make it more compelling.