August 23, 2009

George Will: There’s No Reason To Believe They Will Ever Let Go

Do Barack Obama’s state have their equivalent of 1968′s Breshnev Doctrine, wherein the communist former leader of the Soviet Union stated that, as George Will accurately describes it in his column today, “asserted a Soviet right to intervene to protect socialism wherever it was imposed”?

Objectors will immediately respond that Fiat is running Chrysler, that GM wants to go public, and that some banks are being “allowed” to pay back TARP money. The quick responses are:
- I’ll believe it when I see it.
- Money-losing companies that don’t have prospects for consistent growth usually don’t go public (except in the Internet bubble days of the mid-late 1990s, and we see how that worked out).
- Many banks haven’t paid the money back, there’s no guarantee that others will be allowed to do so, and Washington is usurping management perogatives over banks that have repaid in compensation, travel, and other areas.

Will notes signs that there is in reality little interest in letting go in Washington:

(does Obama and his administration) have an aspiration that they dare not speak? Do they hope state capitalism will be irreversible — that wherever government has asserted the primacy of politics, the primacy will be permanent?

They say not, but they say many things they probably do not believe. (That a government-run “public option” health insurance would not extinguish or even harm private insurance; that cap-and-trade carbon regulations will raise energy costs without injuring the economy; that taxing Peter to subsidize Paul’s purchase of a new car is a sound basis for economic growth; that a 85 percent unspent stimulus has routed the recession, etc.) Two legislative proposals are revealing the administration’s real intentions regarding government ownership of companies.

The “Auto Stock for Every Taxpayer Act” drafted by Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, would have required the Treasury Department to distribute to individual taxpayers — evenly, to the approximately 120 million who filed 2008 returns — all the stock the government holds in General Motors (61 percent) and Chrysler (8 percent). ….. the legislation would (also) have prevented government from influencing corporate decisions for social, energy or environmental policy purposes.

Last month the Senate rejected this legislation 59-38. Only one Democrat voted for it.

….. the “TARP Recipient Ownership Trust Act,” introduced by Sen. Bob Corker, another Tennessee Republican, and Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat …. says that when the government owns more than 20 percent of a company (today, AIG, Citigroup and GM), that stake will be controlled by an independent trust administered by three unpaid trustees appointed by the president. The trust would have two primary responsibilities.

One would be to guarantee that the companies are run not as political pawns but as profit-making entities seeking to maximize shareholder value. As Alexander notes, “there are at least 60 congressional committees and subcommittees authorized to hold hearings on auto companies and most of them will, probably many times.” Another responsibility would be to divest the government’s ownership stake by Dec. 24, 2011 ….

….. The president accurately says Americans are “reluctant shareholders” of GM, AIG and Citigroup. But is he?

If the Corker-Warner legislation is defeated, as Alexander’s bill was, on an essentially party-line vote, this will be redundant proof that Obama’s professed reluctance is fictitious. If it is, then what is real is what the Democratic left desires, an Obama Doctrine that says the trumpet of state capitalism — capital increasingly controlled from Capitol Hill and the Treasury Department — will never sound retreat.

Thus, as Will notes, we will have our proof one way or the other soon enough.

The Breshnev Doctrine was only defeated when the Soviets’ puppet regimes were overthrown in the late 1980s, and only then after the Soviet Union had been severely weakened for a decade by a determined Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, and Margaret Thatcher.

If the Obama Doctrine described by Will becomes evident, how will it be defeated?

If the Obama Doctrine described by Will becomes evident, guess who will come to be seen as one of its principal apologists for the doctrine in real life?

Goodman Gets It on the Town-Hall Protests

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:02 am

In the Wall Street Journal Friday evening, the president of the National Center for Policy Analysis explained the town-hall protests, and their significance:

“They’re un-American,” says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “They’re spreading lies and distortions,” says senior White House adviser David Axelrod. They are “being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies,” says the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“They,” as you probably guessed, are the concerned citizens who’ve shown up at town-hall meetings across the country to express their displeasure over what President Barack Obama and the Democrats are about to do to our health-care system. But who are they really? What motivates them? And why are they so angry?

….. These are a very diverse group of people. Some of them are part of a 40,000-person network of former Obama supporters who are experiencing buyer’s remorse. Others are part of various disease networks, including patients concerned about the future of cancer care. There are networks of senior citizens worried about cuts in Medicare and the possible closing of their private Medicare insurance plans. There are Christian conservatives worried about taxpayer-funded abortions and subsidies for euthanasia. And there are an enormous number of people who are simply concerned about their health care.

For the most part, these individuals are not funded or organized by anybody. They really are grass roots. …. there is no way the kind of spontaneous outpouring we’ve witnessed could be bought or organized by anyone.

Why are they so angry? The reasons are manifold, but the single biggest reason is the arrogance of our elected officials in Washington. Think about it. For the past seven months a small group of politicians has been meeting behind-closed-doors with powerful special interests to decide whether you will be able to keep your current insurance, where you will be directed to get new insurance and at what price, what fines you and your employer will have to pay if you don’t conform, and how they’re going to get your doctor to change the way he or she practices medicine. In the process, they never asked you what you thought about anything. If you are not mad about this, odds are you don’t understand the situation.

….. most opponents of ObamaCare are much better informed than is commonly believed. At a typical town-hall meeting, the citizens are usually better versed on the Obama plan than the member of Congress. Some have actually read the 1,000-plus page House bill (HR3200), which most representatives have definitely not read. In my opinion, Mr. Obama is losing the health-care debate because his critics are better informed than his defenders.

….. (The White House has) chosen to scapegoat the insurance industry, making them out to be the villains in the health-care debate. These are the very same companies that have been negotiating with the administration behind closed doors in good faith, and are even spending millions of dollars on television ads supporting health reform.

The new tactics it is employing show the White House is completely out of touch with the American people. Those who attend town-hall meetings know they are not being organized or funded by anyone. And when the administration attacks their character and their motives and intentionally distorts the truth, it only adds to the anger people already feel.

And as more people learn that imported thugs are either keeping out legitimate attendees by taking available seats well before these events begin, and are in some cases attacking attendees themselves, the outrage will only increase.

Positivity: Jim Caviezel — Pro-Life More Important Than My Career

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:51 am

From Hollywood:

August 21, 2009

Jim Caviezel, the star of the highly-anticipated new movie “The Stoning of Soraya M,” says being pro-life is more important to him than this acting career. In a new interview, Caviezel talks about his reason for opposing abortion and the adoption that changed his life and family.

Caviezel and his wife Kari recently became adoptive parents to an orphaned boy, Bo, and girl, LeLe, from China.

He told the Catholic Digest that the adoptions changed his life in ways he never imagined.

“Dennis Quaid told me a long time ago when he had his son Jack, ‘You’ll have emotions in you that you didn’t even know existed before you had a child.’ I now know what that feels like,” he said.

“Even though they’re adopted, it’s as strong as any instinct. That’s what blew me away,” Caviezel added. “I always thought if I adopted that I wouldn’t have the same feeling [as I would] if they were genetically my own children. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The actor said a challenge from a colleague sparked his interest in pursuing an adoption.

“This guy I know said, ‘You’re pro-life. Tell you what, if you really believe in what you speak, adopt a child — not any child, he’s got to have a serious deficiency,’ (and I will become pro-life),” the Passion of the Christ star explained.

“He never changed his (position), but it convicted me. I don’t think he thought I would step up to the plate,” he said. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.