Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

Are Democrats poised to steal the midterms?

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Something weird is in the air this election season, and I don’t like what I smell. I think it’s a rat.

Most factors point to a big Republican win in the midterms, with the GOP expanding its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and, more significantly, wining control of the U.S. Senate. Republicans appear poised to take the six net (8 takeaways minus 2 givebacks) Democrat-held seats necessary for a 51-seat “Biden proof” majority, and a Republican wave raising all GOP boats as little as 2 more points would give them 10 net new seats (rescue the two vulnerable seats, plus 2 more where incumbent Democrats are currently slightly ahead) and insulate their senate control against the loss of a few vulnerable seats in 2016.

Yet, something’s in the air. President Barack Obama exudes confidence in the midterm results. He even went out of his way to brand reluctant vulnerable Democrat senators with his mark, stating publicly that his policies are on the ballot because all those Democrats voted for them. Why would as politically savvy a politician as Obama do such a thing? He must be positioning himself to take credit for their wins. What does he know that we don’t?

My fear is that the fix is in.

What could dishonest Democrats possibly do to overturn a massive nationwide Republican wave? Old-fashioned ballot box stuffing, for starters. One way involves hoards of lower-level (i.e., not important enough to be recognized) political operatives voting in the names of others in several hand-picked polling places staffed by party-loyal clerks who won’t challenge their signatures. (In many inner city areas, thee aren’t enough legitimate Republicans to staff polling places, so Democrats fill those slots with their own people, and the bi-partisan checks and balances are out the window.) The operatives vote in the name of a registered voter who the party is confident won’t show up to vote themselves. Voters over age 90 (or known to be incapacitated, or even dead) who haven’t voted in several consecutive elections are a prime source for names. (For examples, see here and here and here.) This is what voter-ID laws are designed to prevent, and it’s why Democrat lawyers fight so hard to get judges to overturn or delay implementation of those laws.

Ballot stuffing, part deux, takes place after the polls close and corrupt Democrat pols get a feel for whether more needs to be done. If more votes need to be manufactured, the election judges take care of it. (As I noted above, many inner city polling places are staffed exclusively by Democrats.) They don’t have to guess who isn’t going to vote, because they have the official list of who really did vote and, more important, who didn’t. Filling out paperwork for those who didn’t vote turns those nonvoters into straight Democrat ballots that count. This can be time consuming, especially if a lot of votes need to be manufactured. But they’ll take whatever time is necessary. Ever notice how the most Democratic precincts are always the last ones to turn in their ballots for tabulation?

Close contests in areas that have significant concentrated pockets of super Democrat support are most vulnerable. Rogue precincts in liberal college towns and inner-city parts of Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro can keep North Carolina’s seat in Democrat hands. Little Rock and precincts along the Mississippi River could save Arkansas for the Democrats.

Colorado’s all-mail ballot is tailor-made for fraud. Corrupt politicians are busy voting phony ballots right now. And if they fall short, count on them “finding” new uncounted ballots a few days after the election. It worked six years ago for Al Franken.

Georgia and Louisiana could be a two-part affair because of runoff laws. Democrats may try to steal these elections on election day by creating enough phony ballots to give the Democratic candidate the majority necessary to avoid a runoff. Or the fun could be repeated at (or deferred until) the runoff, when fewer legitimate voters will participate. By then, results from other states will have determined whether these contests will be decisive for senate control. If they are, there will be tons of money, lots of lawyers and plenty of experienced locals to make sure the senate stays under Harry Reid’s thumb. Atlanta provides a treasure trove of inner city votes to manipulate, and plantation country in southwest Georgia can provide backup if needed. In Louisiana, Republicans will need to overcome creative voting in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

But some old-fashioned fraud may not be necessary for Democrats if high-tech voter fraud can provide an election day surprise or two, especially under the radar in totally unexpected places. This worries me because of what happened on June 10, 2014, in the Republican primary in Virginia’s 7th congressional district. Underfunded Tea Party challenger David Brat upset House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in an election that pre-election polls had universally showed Cantor winning by 13 to 34 points. Brat succeeded where virtually all other (and better funded) Tea Party challengers across the country had failed, and no one seems to know why. With no disrespect to Brat, whom I believe will be a fantastic, principled congressman, I believe Brat was the innocent beneficiary of manipulated vote tabulation on the part of Virginia Democrats. I suspect that VA-7 was a successful test run for a much bigger national prize on November 4. Fast forward to last week’s early voting in the Chicago area, when an observant Republican candidate “caught” his touch-screen voting machine changing his vote from Republican to Democrat. That candidate got that machine pulled out of service (just a “calibration error,” nothing to see here, move along), but what about all the other rogue machines that ordinary people don’t notice? (Say Goodnight, Bruce Rauner. You’re toast.)

Low population states with low-visibility, seemingly uncompetitive Republican-favored senate contests are prime targets for scattered “calibration errors,” because these states have even fewer voters to overcome than VA-7. Possible targets include Alaska (where the senate race is close), as well as seemingly safe states like Montana and South Dakota. Are they as “safely out of reach” as Eric Cantor seemed to be on June 9? And while Oklahoma and South Carolina are larger and would require more fraud to overturn, they are also tempting targets because they are “twofers;” both have two senate seats on this year’s ballot. Democrats would especially love to eliminate South Carolina’s black Republican Sen. Tim Scott, because his presence contradicts their racial narrative.

While blatant voter fraud such as this seems like it would be too risky to try, don’t bet on it. When you don’t know ahead of time what’s going on or where to look, vote fraud is hard to detect and even harder to prove. The only witnesses are people who were involved. Even among innocents, the communities where voter fraud takes place have a long “don’t snitch” tradition that intimidates witnesses, especially vulnerable elderly people. Deadlines for challenges are too short to put together evidence, and confidentiality laws prevent much evidence from being discovered. Furthermore, the Obama Administration has a history, from its onset, of refusing to prosecute the few who are caught. Remember the New Black Panthers case in Philadelphia? And if all else fails, Obama himself, with his pen and his phone, is around for two more years to issue pardons.

For the sake of the country, I hope I’m dead wrong. I want people holding up this article and laughing at me on Election Night. But Obama’s cocky, seemingly misplaced confidence worries me. What does he know about the midterms that we don’t?

Don’t fall for the impeachment trap

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

President Obama is goading Republicans in Congress to impeach him. Every time he abuses executive actions to rule by fiat, flaunts immigration and other laws or frees dangerous terrorists, he seems to be begging for impeachment.

That’s the point. It seems like he wants to be impeached because he does.

Huh? Why? Isn’t impeachment that last thing that a self-centered narcissist like Obama would want?

While Obama is a terrible administrator and a horrible president, he is nevertheless a shrewd, skilled, accomplished political strategist. He wants to head off the likely change of control of the U. S. Senate this fall (or at least minimize senate losses so that the majority could be taken back in 2016). He justifiably fears that a Republican president and Congress succeeding him in 2016 could destroy his legacy by repealing everything he accomplished.

Obama is painfully aware of the failure of his signature health insurance legislation and of his tanking poll numbers. He also knows America’s political history, that the political party of every American president since the Civil War, except one, has suffered big congressional losses in the off-year election of his second term. That even happened to popular legendary presidents, like FDR, Eisenhower and Reagan. This year that would put Democrat control of the U.S.Senate in peril. And Obama also knows that the one exception to that trend – Bill Clinton – avoided that loss in 1998, following his impeachment by Newt Gingrich’s Republican House of Representatives. As deserving as Clinton was for impeachment and removal from office after his blatant perjury in a televised deposition, enough of the wishy-washy middle-of-the-road voters who regrettably decide our elections were sufficiently put off by the impeachment that they bucked tradition and voted for Democrat candidates for house and senate (where Clinton’s fate would be decided). The anti-Republican fervor continued two years later, propelling Vice-President Al Gore to a popular-vote win for president. Republicans took the White House only because of George W. Bush’s excellent – and decisive – strategy aimed at winning the Electoral College. (While the Florida recount gripped America’s attention for weeks, it was actually surprise Bush wins in theretofore reliably Democratic West Virginia and the home states of both Clinton (Arkansas) and Gore himself (Tennessee) that paved the way for Bush’s win.)

That’s why, after having seized control of Congress in 2006, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi snuffed out calls by some Democrat members to impeach unpopular President George W. Bush. She didn’t want to risk backlash that might have cost Democrats the White House in 2008.

And Obama also knows about something else that could save his senate this year. Minority voters, especially African Americans, remain fiercely loyal to their struggling president. Historically these voters don’t bother to vote in off-year elections. As recently as 2010, they stayed away in droves, allowing the tea party revolt among engaged white voters to win back the House of Representatives. Obama is betting, probably correctly, that the threat of Obama’s removal from office would gin up minority turnout to near-presidential levels and save Democrat senate seats in North Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan and Virginia, and maybe even put Democrat challengers over the top in Georgia and Kentucky. Even if Democrats lose other vulnerable senate seats, wins in those states would preserve Democrat control of the upper chamber. That would maintain Democrat control over judicial confirmations, block Republican legislation passed by the House, and could also set the stage for Democrat wins in 2016.

National Enquirer impeachmentDemocrat surrogates are already planting seeds for impeachment, without leaving Democrat fingerprints that could foil the plan. The top story in current (June 23, 2014) issue of the National Enquirer blasts Obama over releasing the Taliban Five in exchange for an “Army ‘deserter'”, while a button on the front page proclaims “IMPEACH HIM NOW!” Few realize that executives of American Media, Inc., the owner of the Enquirer, including CEO David J. Pecker, make political contributions exclusively to Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chicago Mayor (and former Obama chief of staff) Rahm Emmanuel, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL, co-sponsor of articles of impeachment against George W. Bush). The high-profile Enquirer article doesn’t represent a groundswell of public support for impeachment; it’s Democrat dialectic, an old communist strategy.

The strategy isn’t as risky for Obama as it sounds. Like Clinton, Obama would be almost certain to be acquitted by the Senate. Senate Democrats would vote for acquittal even if Obama planted a nuclear warhead inside a baby seal and detonated it at a camp for handicapped children on live television. Even if Republicans would succeed in taking over the senate this year and the impeachment trial were to take place after the change in control, the steadfastly pro-Obama lame stream media would shame enough blue-state Republicans to vote for acquittal to carry the day. Just like 1998. Obama would then play both the race card and the victim card and receive the same post-presidency approval that Clinton enjoys today.

Of course, those who propose impeachment are absolutely right on policy grounds. The simple fact is, our country is in danger every day that Obama is allowed to remain in charge, and he has clearly committed impeachable acts. But unless enough congressional Democrats make impeachment a bipartisan effort to save the country, Republicans should avoid taking the bait. While good policy usually makes for good politics, the impeachment of Barack Obama is an exception.

Media continue to whitewash Benghazi

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Earlier this week, a bipartisan report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the September 11, 2012 terror attacks on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya laid fault for the U.S. vulnerability to such attacks to incompetence and terrible management decisions on the part of the Obama Administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But you’d never know that from coverage by the mainstream media. The coverage of the report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is illustrative.

The report was significant in that senators from both parties, in a body controlled by the President’s party,  set partisan differences aside and joined together publicly to blame the Administration. Of course, partisan considerations did water down the report by using vague obfuscatory language like “analysts,” “officials,” “policymakers” and classically “those in decision-making positions in Washington, D.C.” instead of identifying either President Barrack Obama or former Secretary of State (and likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton by name. But anyone who read the report got the point.

The bipartisan report’s official conclusion was that it was “imperative” both that the U.S. intelligence community position itself to anticipate, rather than just react to, potential terrorism hotspots and, most significantly, that “those in decision-making positions in Washington, D.C. heed the concerns and wisdom of those on the front lines and make resource and security decisions with those concerns in mind.”  The bipartisan report concluded pointedly, “The United States government did not meet this standard of care in Benghazi.”

Readers of the Post-Dispatch wouldn’t know that. While the paper did cover the report the next day with the Number 3 front-page article totaling 30 column inches (counting the jump to a back page and headlines on both pages), the report’s official conclusion wasn’t even mentioned. (In contrast, two days earlier, the Post devoted more space (34 column inches) to the week-old controversy about the closure of lanes to a Fort Lee, NJ bridge by the administration of potential Republican presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie.)

So how do you cover a report without mentioning its official conclusion? The Post‘s highlighted bullet points leading the article in the print edition distributed to subscribers (which does not appear in the current online version of the article) spun three of the report’s 14 specific “Findings” that led to the report’s official conclusion:

  • A tamer finding that operations in Benghazi continued although the mission crossed ‘tripwires’ that should have led to cutting staff or suspending work. (Finding #5)
  • “Analysts” referred “inaccurately” to a protest at the mission, “leading officials” to make “incorrect” statements. (Finding #9) [The report never said that the references to a protest “led” officials to make incorrect statements; the report merely stated that erroneous reports “influenced” the public statements of policymakers.]
  • Blamed deceased Ambassador Chris Stevens for twice declining extra security help (based on facts recited in Finding #2).

The lead in the print edition stated, “The account spreads blame among the State Department, the military and U.S. intelligence for missing what now seems like obvious warning signs.” The current online version blames “systemic failure of security for U.S. diplomats overseas.”

As to former Secretary Clinton, whom the Post and other mainstream media are actively seeking to insulate from blame, instead of identifying her as one of the key policymakers who failed to heed the concerns and wisdom of those on the front lines or to make resource and security decisions with those concerns in mind, the Post wrongly inferred that the report had cleared her. Both the print and online versions state deceptively, “The report does not name Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time and now is a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.” In the print edition, that statement appeared under a bolded subhead “CLINTON NOT NAMED.”

In one candid moment, though, the Post account in the print edition did concede that that the Administration’s original characterization of the assault as a spontaneous mob protest against an anti-Islamic video was due to the Administration’s “relunctan[ce] to deal publicly with a terrorist attack weeks before the presidential election.” That validates Republican charges that the Administration deliberately lied to the American public in order to continue its pretense that it had kept the country safe from terrorism. The observation was scrubbed entirely from the current online version.

Obama won by winning the selfish

While the lamestream media perpetuates the stereotype that Republicans are selfish because we oppose allowing the government to redistribute our wealth to others, the 2012 national exit poll showed that those who cared most about themselves voted for Obama, while Romney carried voters with a more national interest in mind.

Exit pollsters asked voters this question, and respondents provided these answers:

Sample: 10798 respondents

Which ONE of these four candidate qualities mattered most in deciding how you voted for president? (CHECK ONLY ONE) Total Obama Romney

Shares my values

27% 42% 55%

Is a strong leader

18% 38% 61%

Cares about people like me

21% 81% 18%

Has a vision for the future

29% 45% 54%

Two of those choices (“is a strong leader” and “has a vision for the future”) typify a voter that is concerned most about what is best for the country. Those thoughtful voters went for Romney by a combined total of 57% to 42%.

The other two choices (“shares my values” and “cares about people like me“) typify a voter that is concerned most about what is best for himself or herself. Those selfish voters went for Obama by 20 points, 59% to 39%.

Obama’s ‘feud’ with CBC is all show

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

The press, even conservative press, is spinning President Obama’s recent tough love speech to the Congressional Black Caucus and the adverse reaction by CBC members as signs of a falling out with the Left. Don’t buy it.

The whole thing is staged, with Obama and CBC members in it from the get-go. The purpose is to make Obama look more like a centrist, in contrast to the CBC. It is designed to blunt the (accurate) public perception that Obama’s goal is to enact the CBC’s radical race-specific agenda. It is designed to rebuild bridges to the independents who elected him and subsequently deserted him.

This is a classic ploy that even has an accepted name: a “Sister Souljah moment.” When former President Bill Clinton was down in the polls and being called “America’s first black president,” he picked a fight with rapper Sister Souljah, scolding her publicly for her outrageous “kill white people” comment. It succeeded and helped him win reelection in 1996 after having lost Congress in 1994.

Obama’s “Sister Souljah moment” won’t hurt his standing with African Americans, with whom he maintains a job approval rating over 80%, just as it didn’t hurt Clinton when he invented the tactic. Obama’s strategists are trolling for gullible independent white voters.

With former Saturday Night Live writer and cast member Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) now in Washington, it’s not surprising to see some SNL influence on the Administration. The faux CBC tiff is inspired by a Jon Lovitz character: “Acting!!!”

A presidency of racial polarization

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

One statistic in a recent study by Rasmussen Reports stands out above all others. While President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating (a combination of both “strongly” approve and “somewhat” approve) during the last week of 2010 was only 38% among white voters, he enjoyed 94% approval among African American voters.

But this disparity wasn’t because of racially intolerant independents and Republicans; a similar racial disparity exists among Obama’s fellow Democrats. While Democrat voters gave their president a solid 82% approval rating, Rasmussen discovered a huge racial gap in the level of enthusiasm. While Obama earned “strong” approval (the level of loyalty that Rasmussen regards as more relevant) from 75% of black Democrats, he was “strongly” approved by just 40% of white Democrats, and just 33% of white Democrat men.

This disparity has widened greatly over the course of the Administration. When measured the first week after inauguration, Obama received “strong” approval of 88% of black Democrats, 72% of white Democrats and 70% of white Democrat men.

Some disenchantment is natural and has historically affected every presidency, but the disparate racial disenchantment within Obama’s own party is striking. While the president lost less than 15% of the “strong” support he had initially enjoyed among black Democrats, he lost 44% of his most enthusiastic support from white Democrats and over half of his strong approval of white Democrat men.

These numbers will probably not matter to Obama when he faces a Republican challenger in 2012, because Democrats historically rally behind their party’s president, whether enthusiastic or not. (The exception of the 20th Century, Jimmy Carter, lost because rural evangelical Democrats not only abandoned fellow evangelical Carter for Ronald Reagan in 1980, they largely realigned more or less permanently with the Republican Party.) But if a credible Democrat (not Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich, but Hillary Clinton or Russ Feingold) challenges Obama for renomination, he may have a problem.

Politics aside, a presidency that is so racially polarizing is not healthy for the country.

Update: The mainstream media validated my observations in this January 7, 2011 article in the center-left National Journal analyzing exit poll data from the 2010 election: White Flight: President Obama’s path to a second term may rely on states shaped by the same social forces he embodies. But I stand by my observations anyway!

Carnahans, Harry Reid linked to indicted St. Louis developer

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

John Steffen, who was indicted this week for bank fraud for a tax credit scheme during the collapse of his Pyramid Construction empire, has a long history as a national Democratic Party power broker. (Note: As they say on Cops, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.) Major recipients of Steffen’s largesse include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), four members of Missouri’s Carnahan political dynasty, committees funding the Democratic takeover of both houses of Congress in 2006, and President Barack Obama.

Steffen was particularly generous to Reid, whose state is over 1,500 miles away from Steffen’s St. Louis home. In addition to $4,000 in 2004 to the then minority leader’s 2004 reelection campaign, Steffen also donated $17,500 to Searchlight Leadership Fund (Reid’s Leadership PAC) and $15,000 to the Nevada State Democratic Party.

Steffen was a major financier of Democrats’ successful effort to reclaim control of Congress in 2006. In addition to his contributions to the Reid campaign and associated committees, Steffen donated over $83,000 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee between 2005 and 2008, another $16,000 in 2005-2007 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and generous direct contributions to the successful 2006 campaigns of Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Nelson (D-FL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) (plus over $2,000 to Missouri Victory 2006, which was linked to McCaskill) that were key to the party’s success in winning control.

Steffen was an early and generous supporter of President Barack Obama. In addition to donating the maximum legal $4,600 to Obama’s presidential campaign in 2007 (when the “smart money” was still behind then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)), Steffen donated $4,323 to Hopefund, Inc., which Politico reported in 2007 worked in concert with the Obama presidential campaign by contributing to key officials in early primary states, giving money in hopes of winning their support.

Other notable recipients of Steffen money include the 2004 presidential campaigns of both former Rep. Dick Gephardt and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and the Iowa Democratic Party in advance of Gephardt’s unsuccessful campaign in that state’s presidential primary.

In Missouri, Steffen was especially generous to the Carnahan Dynasty. He contributed a thousand dollars to the late Mel Carnahan’s 2000 senate campaign, $2,000 to the unsuccessful 2002 re-election campaign of former Sen. Jean Carnahan, $2,000 in 2003 to the successful 2004 congressional campaign of Rep. Russ Carnahan, and a like amount in 2005 to his 2006 re-election campaign. Robin Carnahan received $1,175 in 2003 for her 2004 campaign for Missouri Secretary of State, with like amounts from at least two corporate members of The Pyramid Group. All of those contributions represented the maximum legal amounts at the time they were made. Corporate contributions are legal for campaigns for state office, but not federal office.

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) received over $7,000 from Steffen in the form of maximum legal contributions for campaigns in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. Steffen played both sides in the contentious 2004 Democratic gubernatorial primary, making maximum legal donations to incumbent Bob Holden in 2002 and to his conqueress, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, in 2004. Other notable Missouri recipients include Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), former State Treasurer Nancy Farmer’s unsuccessful 2004 senate campaign against Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), and former Secretary of State Bekki Cook’s unsuccessful campaign for Lieutenant Governor (against current Lieut. Gov. Peter Kinder). On the local level, key Steffen recipients included St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, and License Collector Mike McMillan.

Steffen made occasional Republican contributions, but even those usually displayed a Democrat twist. Steffen made a courtesy $1,000 contribution in 2005 to Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), who is married to Democrat power broker Ron Gladney. Steffen donated $2,000 to the late Sherman Parker’s 2006 Republican primary challenge to Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), fueling Democrat hopes of wounding the popular Akin. Not yet explained is Steffen’s surprising $10,000 donation to the Missouri Republican State Committee in 2005. I’m sure there’s a story there; I just don’t know what it is. Yet.

Steffen’s latest political donations ($28,500 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and $2,300 to Rep. Lacy Clay in 2008) were made when he was already in financial distress. Respected (and expensive) St. Louis bankruptcy attorney Steven Goldstein, whom Steffen engaged to negotiate settlements with Pyramid’s creditors, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Steffen has earned no income since 2008 and “likely can’t afford a criminal attorney for his fraud case.” Perhaps if the politicians would return the over $200,000 (conservatively speaking) he has given them in political contributions in the past decade, he could afford a lawyer. Otherwise, taxpayers left picking up the tab to defend this Democratic Party financier.

Predictably, reports on Steffen’s indictment by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Riverfront Times, and the St. Louis Business Journal made no mention of his important Democratic Party ties. Two of them, though, went out of their way to note that Steffen had received an award from President Bush.

Continuing use of public funds to reward and punish

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

I wrote back in February how the Obama administration and congressional Democrats were designing their new health care system in a partisan manner that rewarded their supporters and ruthlessly punished their political enemies. Over time it is now clear that Obama is using the same political yardstick to dole out other public funds as well, and that the distinctions are not mere happenstance, but by design.

Moe Lane published a piece yesterday in the popular RedState blog about how federal stimulus monies are being doled out. He noted:

But even more dramatic (and tragic) is the administration’s mishandling of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama was not just slow to help, much slower than George W. Bush’s well-criticized response to Hurricane Katrina in much the same area. But in instance after instance, Obama and his administration actively interfered with attempts to remedy. He turned down foreign offers of help from nations experienced in this sort of disaster. His EPA repeatedly delayed or denied altogether the implementation of solutions to prevent alleged environmental damage that even interpretations most favorable to the President conceded would have been less environmental damage than the oil damage that resulted because of the delay or non-implementation of those solutions. He even delayed for an extra day the installation of the cap that now, at least and for now, seems to be working.

Why would he do this to his own country? Because of the way the people in this part of the country voted. In contrast to nearby (and largely unaffected) New Orleans, which voted overwhelmingly for Obama, the Louisiana Gulf Coast being decimated by the oil spill is nearly all in Louisiana’s 3rd congressional district, which voted 61% for John McCain, and where Obama actually ran 4 percentage points behind John Kerry’s lame 2004 effort against President Bush. The BP spill handed Obama an opportunity to put the screws to those people, and he did it enthusiastically!

Obama is taking the “spoils system” to a new low, spoiling his presidency in the process.

Preserving BP’s assets for its victims

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

President Obama and his political allies have gone to great lengths to try to preserve that cash cow known as BP for the victims of the BP Gulf oil spill (and, of course, the trial lawyers who depend on them). BP has succumbed to the President’s demands that it suspend dividend payments to its shareholders (who the British prime minister angrily points out are primarily British pensioners). But Obama’s demand that BP stop frittering away its victims’ future money on public relations advertisements in the media has not been honored.

I agree with the President, who should take it a step further. Since we’re all agreed that BP’s self-indulgent advertising serves only to deplete the resources needed to pay oil spill victims, the recipients of this evil, blood-sucking advertising revenue should act where BP won’t. I call on all television and radio networks, internet service providers and other media companies to disgorge themselves of every penny that they have received from BP for oil-spill related advertising, and pay all of it to the fund for victims. The President should demonstrate leadership and make the same demand. (I promise not to accuse him of copying if he does.)

It’s the right thing to do.

Obama’s ‘back door’ government-run health plan

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Don’t be fooled by the absence of the so-called “public option” in President Obama’s newest health care plan. It will lead to full-blown government-run health care, not by happenstance but by design.

First some background. Liberals want a total government takeover of health care that they call “single payer” (i.e., the government would be the “single payer” for all health care). The bill that passed the House of Representatives contained a “public option” that would compete (unfairly) with privately owned health insurers, but which falls short of liberals’ single-payer objective. Neither President Obama’s proposal nor the bill that passed the Senate includes any “public option.” This has caused many liberals to complain bitterly.

The liberal complaints, though, whether sincere or just role-playing, merely provide distraction and cover for the real Democrat agenda. The effect of the President’s plan, if passed, would ultimately be to drive private health insurers out of business, so that the government will have “no choice” but to step in with a government-run plan.

Here’s the deal. The House, Senate and Obama plans all include provisions that bar insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical problems or charging them more. This strikes at the very heart of the concept of how insurance works. Insurance spreads expensive risks around, so that a large number of people essentially pool their money to pay extraordinary expenses incurred by a few of them. Those unfortunate enough to incur the insured loss receive more than they pay in, but the funds are there to help because the other folks pay more than they get back. People are happy to pay for the peace of mind that their expenses will be covered if they ever become unfortunate enough to incur the loss.

But the health care proposals undercut that fundamental insurance mechanism, by allowing people to “game the system” by only buying insurance when they’re sick, so that everyone can assure themselves of getting more in benefits than they pay in premiums. The initial impact will be increases in rates for everybody, to pay for the sudden claims of the “leach” policyholders who didn’t pay until their loss had manifested itself. As usual, the folks who play fair will get stuck paying through the nose for who cheated. Ultimately, the folks who play fair will catch on, and the insurance companies will run out of suckers.

Proponents of the plan will argue that there won’t be any “cheaters,” because the legislation will require all people to buy insurance, which will broaden the risk pool, an argument that insurance company executives and lobbyists have fallen for. But, as insidious as such an unconstitutional compulsory purchase requirement is, it is toothless and ineffective. The punishment for not buying health insurance is a fine that is less than the cost of insurance. System gamers can simply pay the fine every year until a medical need arises, and then they can buy health insurance and be fully covered without further penalty. So the insurance company won’t really get new low-risk customers to broaden their risk. In fact, they won’t even get any revenue from the fines – the government keeps that, thank you very much.

With every insured guaranteed to “win,” the insurance company is guaranteed to lose, and ultimately go out of business. This is exactly what Obama and his fellow statists have in mind. With no private insurers willing to accept a “sure lose” risk, no one will have health insurance, an emergency begging for government action. And the government will have no choice but to provide health insurance. To deal with this “unexpected emergency,” of course.

They’ve had it in mind all along.