If necessary, Israel will take action

From The Times of Israel:

Israel can strike Iran alone if needed, says PM’s ex-top security aide
Yaakov Amidror, who stepped down earlier this month, warns there is ‘no question’ Netanyahu is prepared to act if necessary
BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF November 18, 2013, 3:30 am

Israel can stop Iran’s nuclear program militarily and can do so on its own, Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser said Sunday.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Amidror said the Israeli Air Force has been conducting “very long-range flights…all around the world” in preparation for a potential strike on Iran, which could set back its nuclear program “for a very long time.”

Netanyahu’s former national security adviser, who stepped down earlier this month, said that there was “no question” the prime minister would make the unilateral decision to use military force should it become necessary.

“We don’t need permission from anyone – we are an independent state,” he said, adding “we have our own sovereignty. If Israel is in a position in which Israel must defend itself, Israel will do it.”

More at the link. The article noted that Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at a joint press conference with French President François Hollande, who is also opposed the the deal in its present configuration. Mr Natanyahu said:

When someone says they are out to destroy you, we have learned in our Jewish history to take them seriously. It is my duty to prevent anyone from credibly threatening or executing another holocaust against the Jewish people. This is my obligation, but I also believe it’s our common obligation for the sake of mankind, for the sake of our common future.

Realistically speaking, what choice does Israel have? The Israelis clearly do not trust President Obama to have their backs, and this “suckers’ deal,” as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called it, isn’t doing anything to change their opinions.

Amazon.com offers the Kindle edition of Theodor Herzl’s book, The Jewish State, for free.

The Jews of Europe learned the hard way just what trusting their safety to the magnanimity of other people meant. Theodor Herzl’s seminal work, Der Judenstaat, was published in 1896, long before the rise of Naziism, long before anyone had heard of Adolf Hitler,1 because anti-Semitism was still a major problem in Europe; l’affaire Dreyfus was very much in the pubic eye at the time, and the anti-Semitic newspaper La Libre Parole was very successful at the time. Herr Herzl, though born in Hungary and commonly thought to be primarily a Viennese resident, lived in Paris at the time of the Dreyfus Affair, and saw Jews as being safe nowhere they lived when surrounded by a larger, non-Jewish population. The presence of Jews in an appreciable numbers, he wrote, led to anti-Semitism on the part of others, because it was useful and convenient to use the Jews as scapegoats. Naziism and השואה were simply the most extreme end of anti-Semitism, and, in a way der Führer surely never imagined, gave a rebirth to the state of Israel. It is a lesson that no Israeli can ever forget, and it is, at heart, the reason that Israel will act in its own defense if it believe it must.

When someone like Yaakov Amidror makes statements to the effect that he did, it’s not something casual. Such a statement by the former national security adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel is obviously meant to send a message to President Obama and Secretary Kerry that if they do not want Israeli to go ahead and strike the Iranian nuclear program’s facilities, they should not agree to any deal which eases pressure on Iran and still allows the Iranians to pursue their nuclear weapons program.

Will it work? Your Editor rather doubts it. While I do not believe that our President is the closet Muslim that some of his opponents have made him out to be,2 he does come from an Islamic tradition on his father’s side, and may well have more sympathy for the Muslim nations than have most of our Presidents. Even if he really doesn’t, the Israelis probably believe he does; in their position, they can’t really afford to give him the benefit of the doubt.

This could get very ugly, very fast, and it will take a change of heart and of policy by President Obama to prevent it. That isn’t something I expect.
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  1. Adolf Hitler was only seven years old at the time.
  2. The President claims to be a Christian, but does not seem to me to have any particularly deeply held religious views. To be either a serious Christian or Muslim would mean that Mr Obama would have to believe that there was something greater than himself, and I see very little evidence that he would think that!

Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Lady Gaga in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: more of Basic Combat Training with the 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, Company D Delta Dragons.

In Week 2, Delta 1-61 Trainees started with their first field training exercise, FTX 1. In an outdoor classroom, they were taught basic soldiering tasks and skills by their Drill Sergeants. The week completed with APFT 1- their first physical fitness test. They were graded by the book standards on the Pushup, Sit-up, and 2 Mile Run events. Click an photo to enlarge.

FTX-1: In the field, and baby, it's cold outside! Click to enlarge.

FTX-1: In the field, and baby, it’s cold outside! Click to enlarge.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson’ »

From Around the Blogroll

Patterico pontificates:

Obama: Sure, We Screwed This Up, But MAN! Am I Ever Working Hard!
Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:15 pm

Today’s epic speechifying on health care was remarkable on several levels. But I think the most sickening part was listening to this clown talking about how hard he works:

And in terms of the impact on me — I think to some extent I addressed it when I talked to Julie (sp) — you know, there are going to be ups and downs during the course of my presidency. And, you know, I think I said early on when I was running, I am not a perfect man and I will not be a perfect president, but I’ll wake up every single day working as hard as I can on behalf of Americans out there from every walk of life who are working hard, meeting their responsibilities but sometimes are struggling because the way the system works isn’t giving them a fair shot.

And — and that pledge I haven’t broken. That commitment, that promise continues to be — continues to hold; the promise that I wouldn’t be perfect, number one, but also the promise that as long as I’ve got the honor of having this office, I’m just going to work as hard as I can to make things better for folks.

Permit me, if you will, a rare profanity.

Bullshit.

Here, for your reference, is Obama’s interview with Chuck Todd.

Patterico then proceeds to tell us why the President’s statements are bovine feces; much more at the link..

Barack Hussein Obama is the chief executive officer of the federal government; I don’t expect him to write code or do the detailed work. But I do expect him to lead and manage his minions subordinates. When he tells us that he was meeting, once a month, with his subordinates, telling them that this was his top priority, and to make sure this was going to work properly, that’s actually what a chief executive officer would be doing, though one could quibble about the frequency of the meetings.

But if the President was telling the truth, then there are only three possibilities:

  1. He was really not very interested in what his subordinates were telling him, so it doesn’t matter what they told him;
  2. He was interested, but his subordinates were hiding the fact that the roll out was FUBAR; or
  3. He was interested, and his subordinates were telling him that this was fouled up, but he was going to lie through his scummy teeth anyway until after the Republicans were beaten on the defunding.

One might ask, in business, what do we do with someone who really is working as hard as he can at his assigned tasks, but still can’t get the job done right?

And am I the only one who thinks that if he had kept Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, this never would have happened?

Karen asks, Don’t You Hate It When Terrorists Accidentally Behead Other Terrorists?

And William Teach noted the same thing:

Syrian Rebels: Hey, Sorry For Beheading The Wrong Person, Our Bad!
By William Teach November 15, 2013 – 8:33 am

Yeah, these are the people which the Obama administration was supporting in Syria against Bashar Assad

(Telegraph) Syrian rebel fighters linked with Al Qaeda have asked for “understanding and forgiveness” after mistakenly beheading one of their allies and putting the head on display.

In a video posted online, members of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham were shown holding up the head of what they thought was a supporter of President Bashar Assad before a crowd in Aleppo, The Telegraph reported.

After the video was posted, the head was recognized as belonging to Mohammed Fares, a member of Ahrar al-Sham, a well-established rebel group that regularly fights alongside the Islamic State of Iraq, according to the report.

It was a case of mistaken identity when Fares yelled some names of Shiites revered figures. Most of the opponents of Assad are Sunni. So, they cut his head off and displayed it.

More at the link.

As for whether the Obama Administration is really supporting the Syrian rebels against the Assad regime, it seems that they have mostly given them just a bare amount of support, enough to keep them fighting, but perhaps not enough to win. That just happens to be the policy I advocated previously, but I’m not certain that the Administration is doing it on purpose.

Ruthie Thompson of the Victory Girls wrote about Taking the Pledge Of Allegiance Out Of Schools.

From Hube:

An exercise in “oops”
Or, “payback for being a complete douche really sucks.” Delaware Dunce of the LGOMB back on October 1st:

With only six hours of the government shutdown that has been long desired by the Republican Party, the Democrats have jumped up to a nine point lead in the generic congressional ballot.

Fast forward to yesterday:

In just six weeks, Republicans have completely erased a 9-point deficit in a generic congressional ballot question and are now running even with Democrats. Independent voters favored Democrats in October, 32 percent to 30 percent, but now favor Republicans by a 37 percent to 26 percent margin.

In a word, “heh.” Meanwhile, currently they’re busy being duped.

And finally, from Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:

Our Moral Superiors™
Posted on | November 15, 2013 | 12 Comments

Liberals are better than you and me because . . . they’re liberals.

So after Sarah Palin said something about the national debt comparing its burden on future generations to slavery, Martin Bashir read from the diary of an overseer on an 18th-century plantation in Jamaica (??) to justify saying something very hateful:

Despicable: MSNBC’s Bashir Wishes Sarah Palin
Would Be Defecated, Urinated On

Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

Martin Bashir says someone should defecate
in Sarah Palin’s mouth. Has MSNBC gone mad?

Tim Stanley, London Telegraph

Martin Bashir is better than you and me, and so is Alec Baldwin.

You know why. And also, shut up, hater.

More at the link.

Mr Baldwin’s sin? In case you hadn’t heard, he didn’t say anything about defecating in former Governor Palin’s mouth, on the air, ’cause that would be OK. No, he referred to a homosexual who had angered him as a bundle of twigs, sticks, or branches bound together, off the air. That got him suspended for two weeks! :lol:

That’s it for this Saturday!

President What Constitution?????

In Article II of the US Constitution, that would be the the one that Presidents swear or affirm to uphold in Article II Section 1. says he shall take the following oath or affirmation:–”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

With that, the President must uphold the laws of the United States. On occasions, the Supremes have said this happens in the “Take Care Clause” which is below in Article II, Section 3.

ARTICLE II
Section 1.
The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

Section 3.
…………….; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, ……….

Note, it didn’t say just the laws you like, or unilaterally change the laws you don’t like.

The remedy for not doing this is in Section 4.
Section 4.
The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now in the last few weeks due to the LAW known as BarackObamaCare, we have seen 5 million people thrown off their then Affordable Health Care, but the reason was, they were inferior to ObummerCare, but they also met the losers needs at a lower cost. BO has caught lots of flack for having a law doing this. And further more, Obummer has told these 5 million at least 29 times they could keep their policy. When called on this, Obummer said he didn’t say that. Now that a minor revolt has happened with the losers, the Reps and Senators seeing what they voted for, they were going to answer for. So, Obummer did what he has done a number of times, unilaterally changed the law. However, instead of doing what he usually does in the middle of the night, he did in the daylight, and poorly. Now Obummer is losing his allies in the Press, in Congress, and has lost the trust of the public.

This is reminding more and more of Nixon. We do have what looks like a probable Constitutional Crisis.

Pro-only-one-choice

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain tweeted:

 

Well, I hadn’t seen it, so I went to Not John McCain’s website:

Pro-Abortion Group: ‘Get the Duggars Off TV, Because Auschwitz or Something’
Posted on | November 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

This is crazy. In the comments on an earlier post, somebody linked an article at RH Realty Check, a site that is pro-abortion with the monomaniacal zeal of a Chinese Communist Party “family planning” commissar. I mean, Amanda Marcotte is moderate by comparison.

“RH” stands for “Reproductive Health,” which is progressive code for KILL YOUR BABY NOW and this is from their “About Us” page:

We enjoyed the support of the UN Foundation and the editorial independence entrusted to us for six years, from 2006-2012. In January 2012 we officially became our own independent 501c3 non-for-profit organization.

OK, now I understand: The UN Foundation was something zero-population-growth zealot Ted Turner donated a bunch of money to, back when Ted was banging Jane Fonda and before the Time/Warner/AOL merger devastated his fortune. So that makes sense.

Anyway, somebody linked an RH Reality Check article in the comments and, while the article itself wasn’t particularly interesting, I noticed that on the sidebar they had this link:

TLC: It’s time to cancel the Duggars’ show,
“19 Kids and Counting,” and stop rewarding
misuse of the history of the Holocaust.

WTF? They’re campaigning against a reality TV show because of the Holocaust? I mean, Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo is a crime against humanity as far as I’m concerned, but why would anyone invoke the Holocaust to argue for the cancellation of the Duggars?

Turns out that, during last month’s Value Voters Summit, Jim Bob Duggar referenced the Holocaust in explaining the importance of civic involvement, and various lefties complained.

Period. End of sentence.

More at the link. Mr McCain noticed that this was, as you might have guessed, a fund-raising effort, but it’s really fairly typical of our friends on the left: they don’t want to just express their views, they also want to silence opposing views.

The Duggars are the “stars” of the TLC network reality series, 19 Kids and Counting. Predictably, our friends on the left hate them: see Jezebel and Jenna Karvunidis and Bitch Magazine (check out the comments! and, of course! Amanda Marcotte.  It’s pretty simple: if your choices aren’t their choices, then your choices are wrong, illegitimate, and societally harmful.   It’s not like they are actually killing anyone, and the Duggars are self-supporting, taxpaying Americans; they aren’t on welfare.

RH Reality Check thinks that it’s horrible, horrible! that Mr Duggar referenced the Holocaust, and you know, I agree: Holocaust references by pro-life groups are inappropriate. After all, the Holocaust killed only six million people, and is nowhere in our abortuaries’ league when it comes to dealing out death.

John Hitchcock wants to keep on truckin’!

Our intrepid over-the-road trucker, John Hitchcock, called me a couple of weeks ago, complaining about just this. From The Wall Street Journal:

Truckers Tire of Government Sleep Rules
By Betsy Morris | Updated Nov. 13, 2013 9:30 p.m. ET

ON 1-10 BETWEEN EL-PASO AND LOS ANGELES— Manuel Hernandez is one of a vanishing breed: a professional long-haul trucker.

He loves backing an 18-wheeler into a tight spot. He has been patiently training new drivers for more than eight years.

Lately, though, Mr. Hernandez’s patience has been worn thin by a confusing tangle of rules, efficiency directives, and electronic devices that cap his speed, log his every move, and practically try to autopilot his truck.

Magnifying the stress are more federal rule changes that took effect in July and are now roiling the industry.

Under the revised rule, the average workweek has been shortened to 70 hours from 82. They must take one 30-minute break during the first eight hours of driving. And the required 34-hour break between workweeks now must extend over two nights, including the hours between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Those changes are proving more disruptive because they are added on to existing requirements that limit drivers to driving 11 hours a day and require them to rest a consecutive 10 hours.

More at the link.

Mr Hitchcock’s complaints were two-fold. First, even though he has a trainee driver with him, the truck has to be stopped for half an hour even while the resting driver is in the sleeper berth due to the rule which states that a thirty-minute break must be taken during the first eight hours of driving. Due to the ten hour rest rule, the driver in the sleeper berth cannot drive the truck at that point.

The second complaint is one with which I am in complete agreement, the requirement that the workweek break must extend over two night shifts, between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM. The rule assumes that long-haul truckers can really only sleep during the night, which is hardly the case, because many prefer to sleep during the day and haul at night, when there is less traffic on the roads. This rule means that more of the driving hours for long-haul truckers must occur during the day, during heavier traffic periods, which increases the probabilities of an accident, and slows down the flow of traffic. It’s just another example of government regulations concerning an industry being made by people who don’t understand the industry.

Mr Hitchcock doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to write anymore, and I’m uncertain how often he is able to check in with either The First Street Journal or his own site, Truth Before Dishonor, which is being (mostly) manned by DNW these days, so I’ll text him and let him know that this article is up.

Economics 101: #Obamacare : making the inexpensive cost more

After seeing the ad to the right on several sites — The Lonely Conservative, Sister Toldjah and The Pirate’s Cove — I started thinking, once again, about the costs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. During the Sandra Fluke kerfuffle, it was noted that a Target just a few miles from Georgetown University, where she went to school, sold generic birth control pills to women without health insurance for a whopping $9.00 a month.

That was a couple of years ago, so I decided to check the Planned Parenthood website for their estimates concerning the costs of oral contraceptives:

How Do I Get Birth Control Pills? How Much Do Birth Control Pills Cost?

First, you’ll need to get a prescription. Visit a Planned Parenthood health center, a clinic, or a private health care provider for a prescription. Your health care provider will discuss your medical history with you, check your blood pressure, and give you any other medical exam that you may need. If you need an exam, it may cost about $35–$250.

Birth control pills may be purchased with a prescription at a drugstore or clinic. They cost about $15–$50 a month.

Planned Parenthood works to make health care accessible and affordable. Some health centers are able to charge according to income. Most accept health insurance. If you qualify, Medicaid or other state programs may lower your health care costs.

Call your local Planned Parenthood health center to get specific information on costs.

Now, for a woman who is paying cash for oral contraceptives, that means writing a check or using a debit card for $15.00 to $50.00, the cost of the prescription. The WalMart or Target or RiteAid pharmacies get their money, right away.

But the Obama Administration wants to change that. The President and his minions want everybody to have health insurance, and they want all health insurance policies to cover contraception, without any patient copayments. If that is the case, no woman will pay cash for her pills; she’ll show her insurance card instead.

And that means that the pharmacy will have to bill the woman’s insurance company. Rather than the quick cost of the cashier accepting the patient’s payment, the cashier will have to enter the insurance information, and someone — probably someone else — will then have to put together a bill to the insurance company.1 The insurance company will then have to process the bill, make certain that the expense is covered, and then make the payment to the pharmacy. All of those extra steps cost money!

Back at the pharmacy, it has to wait for payment. Instead of having the cash on hand, in payment for the medication received at the time it was sold, there will be a period of time — which could be weeks — that the pharmacy will, in effect, have to finance between the sale of the medication and being paid for it.

Well, someone has to pay those costs. The pharmacy will have to add their costs to the price of the medication, thus billing the insurance company for a higher amount. The insurance company, bearing an overhead cost of their own in processing the claims, will have to add that into the premium prices they charge.

The simple economic truth: oral contraceptives will cost more, because the PP&ACA is adding expenses to the purchase.

Of course, there’s still more. Oral contraceptives are fairly inexpensive, and there is some actual competition between brands for sales. When women pay cash for their birth patrol pills,2 there is an incentive for them to buy a less expensive brand if they have the option. But once price is removed as a consideration for the patient, there is no need for the patients to choose lower-priced generics or request their physicians to prescribe a lower cost pill. The PP&ACA requirement that contraceptives be completely covered, with no patient co-pays, removes the incentive for price competition concerning the patient.

Pharmaceutical companies exist for only one purpose: to make money for their shareholders. Without an incentive to reduce prices to gain market share, since patients won’t be price shopping, the pharmaceutical companies will be able to charge higher prices. This factor could be held in check, if PP&ACA regulations required co-payments from patients for prices beyond the generic brands, but the current requirement is for no copayments.

The government could start its own buying program, to buy the medication in bulk, but that would make the government the seller of medication, not the pharmaceutical companies. In theory, the government could get lower prices for the bulk purchases, but, in practice, government procurement of items has never been something which led to lower prices. Even if such a program were put in place, it adds additional overhead costs.

This is not exactly PhD level economics; this is just a simple recitation of the reality of business. Anyone who knows anything about business would have been able to see this . . . which is probably why the government cannot.
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  1. I am assuming a form of electronic billing rather than a printed and mailed bill, which would add even more costs.
  2. Not a typo; Archie Bunker called them that on the old All in the Family television series.

A failure of leadership, a ducking of responsibility, or Don’t #LetToddWork

From The Wall Street Journal:

White House Tech Team Missed Health-Site Alert
Obama ‘SWAT’ Outfit Failed to Act After Federal Exchange Landed on the High-Risk List
By Gautham Nagesh | Updated Nov. 12, 2013 10:20 p.m. ET

Even before he took office in 2009, President Barack Obama knew the government had problems with technology. So he introduced the concept of a White House “SWAT team,” designed to swoop in and rescue big projects before they became disasters.

But neither the SWAT team nor other measures Mr. Obama introduced to overhaul government technology prevented the HealthCare.gov site from becoming a high-profile government technology failure. White House technology executives failed to recognize the severity of the problems and lacked the authority to fix them, say people involved in the process. One particular missed signal: In March, a federal website flagged the project as high-risk, but that didn’t trigger any special intervention.

HealthCare.gov, which serves consumers in 36 states who can’t get coverage through their employer or a government program, has been plagued by problems since it opened Oct. 1. As of last week, fewer than 50,000 people enrolled in private health-insurance programs through the site, people familiar with the data say.

Members of Congress are zeroing in on White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, whose position was created by Mr. Obama. Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), the House oversight committee chairman, subpoenaed Mr. Park to testify at a Wednesday hearing, and the White House said late Tuesday that Mr. Park would comply.

More at the link.

Now, according to CBS News, “President Obama wanted to go in himself and fix glitches that have plagued HealthCare.gov since its rollout last month, he told a crowd Friday at the Port of New Orleans, ‘but,’ he added, ‘I don’t write code.’”  Your Editor would add that we shouldn’t expect the President to be able to write code; that’s not his job.  His job is to propose policy to the Congress, and implement that policy once the Congress authorizes it; his job is to get things done by organizing and leading the executive branch.

And that’s where he failed: when it comes to what the President has pushed as his most important goal, he either:

  1. Was informed of the problems early, and took no action to get them solved;
  2. Was not informed of the problems, and failed to ask questions to get information about the status of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act rollout; or
  3. Asked about the status of the PP&ACA roll out, and was lied to by his subordinates.

If it was number 3, heads should roll, starting with White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park1 and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; if it was either of the first two, the President is directly to blame. But, in all three cases, the President is responsible.

There is a rather amusing story about Mr Park on The Atlantic:

House Subpoenas Todd Park, Marks Him as Next Healthcare.gov Scapegoat
By Arit John | November 11, 2013

“Let Todd Work” Twitter campaign image. This is an image file, and not the link to the Let Todd Work campaign. Click image to enlarge.

Everyone seems to agree that someone should get fired over the Obamacare launch, though no one can confidently say who deserves a pink slip. On Wednesday, the House oversight committee will grill its newest candidate: Todd Park, the White House’s Chief Technology Officer. The oversight committee really, really wants to talk to Park, so much so that, last Friday, they sent him an invite to a hearing this Wednesday with a subpoena attached. Park’s supporters argue that he’s kind of busy right now, what with Healthcare.gov still being a mess.

Democrats on the Oversight committee wrote to Issa on Monday, asking him to withdraw his “unnecessary and misguided” subpoena. Issa might give in to letters that call his actions unnecessary and misguided, but he’s more likely to argue that, if Park has time to chat with the New York Times and USA Today, then why did he ditch the last two hearings?

Maybe because it’s sure to be an extremely unpleasant experience. This subpoena puts him among the ranks of other high-ranking officials involved in the project and blamed for its failed launch. First there was Kathleen Sebelius, who managed to take a disastrous turn on The Daily Show before attending two hearings. Like Park, Sebelius was criticized for dodging the committee. Henry Chao, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Deputy Chief Information Officer, was briefly in the spotlight when contractors blamed him for the delay of the website’s window shopping tool. Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Chief Information Officer Tony Trenckle announced he was stepping down, or “retiring,” making him the first casualty of the website.

Depending on how you look at it then, the “Let Todd Work” campaign is either an effort to keep him working on the website or keep him employed. The campaign was launched by two former White House innovation fellows, Clay Johnson and Adam Becker, and former White House art director Michael Aleo to get Congress to, well, let Park work on the website. “Instead of continuing to fix Healthcare.gov (a mess he did not make), Mr. Park has to spend his hours preparing for his testimony,” the site reads. Johnson echoed that point during an interview with CNN. ”What on Earth did he have to do with it in the first place? He’s trying to fix it, and to my knowledge trying to clean up somebody else’s mess isn’t worthy of a subpoena,” he said.

More at the link. Mr Park might wind up being the scapegoat, but while the Let Todd Work website claims that this is a mess he did not create, it is also one for which he accepted responsibility when he was promoted to his job in the White House, in March of 2012. Someone has to be held responsible, and if — unfortunately — the President won’t resign and can’t be fired for this failure, the consequences have to fall upon his minions. Of course, The First Street Journal has noted previously that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act wasn’t really meant to succeed, but simply to establish the principle that the federal government is the ultimate guarantor of the individual’s health care coverage. We said, half a year ago:

When Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D-IL) was running for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, he eschewed the single-payer option,2 as did all of the other major Democratic candidates; only the minor candidates Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OK) and former Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK) based their campaigns on single-payer plans, and they got nowhere during the primaries. Single-payer is way, way, way too much like socialism for most thinking Americans. The Democrats knew that they could not get single-payer passed.

Rather, it was important to get something passed, because they wanted to establish the principle that the federal government was the ultimate guarantor of the individual’s health care coverage. Once that point was established, they believed backtracking from it would not be possible.

And so we wound up with the “we have to pass it so we can find out what’s in it” Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Once it fails, and it will fail — we just don’t know when yet — the Democrats will come back and say, “See, we tried to do it he ‘conservative’ way, using the free market and private insurance industry and existing system, and it just didn’t work; single-payer is the only option we have left.” The option of a return to the pre-Obaminablecare act system, in which the government is not responsible for people’s health care, will not be on the table.

This was their goal all along! The Democrats lied to us, but they are politicians, so that should have been obvious — and, in fact, was obvious — to anyone who thought about it.

The only place we got it wrong was in guessing how long it would take for the PP&ACA to fail; your Editor had thought that it would take a couple of years before it failed completely, but initial signs are that that estimate might have been too generous. That might make Mr Park3 a sacrificial lamb from the start, because there’s really no way he could have succeeded, but I will admit that I had not guessed that the Administration would foul up this badly on just the website portion; I was expecting the system failure to be on the cockamamie economics of the whole plan.
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Related Articles:


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  1. I was amused by Mr Park’s Wikipedia biography, and the almost sycophantic way it was written, until I saw this notice on it: This biographical article is written like a résumé. Please help improve it by revising it to be neutral and encyclopedic. (October 2013)
  2. Mr Obama said that if he was designing the system from scratch, he’d design single-payer.
  3. Mr Park is of Korean descent; ‘twon’t be long before that we see complaints that attempts to hold Mr Park responsible are based on racism.

Steam Engines and History

Nearby where we live is the Borough of New Freedom. Rural Pennsylvania is slowly emerging from the 19th Century in its way of governing. Very few counties have home rule, most of the counties are split into little fiefdoms as a holdover from the Penn Family. York County has around 70+ separately governed local municipalities and school districts and each has taxing authority. Physically the county has a border and Supervisors, then the county is broken into either Cities, Boroughs and Townships. Each type has limits but you pay County taxes, and depending where you live you would apy either a city, Borough or Township taxes, and separately we have school taxes.

But anyway, to not be confused, it helps to live here. But I digressed. York County was a busy railroad corridor from the invention of the railroad until 1972 when Hurricane Agnes took out bridges between York City and Baltimore. Pennsylvania retained its track, Maryland ripped their’s out. But in the 90′s a company started a Dinner train. It went well for a while, mismanaged and closed.

At the beginning of this summer, a new group redid the rails and ties, had a Steam Engine vintage 1860′s built and started excursions. Their main operating points are from New Freedom, Pa to and unincorporated location called Hanover Junction. The junction had one important role in history.

In November 1863, Lincoln switched trains from Washington to Gettysburg to deliver the Gettysburg Address dedicating the National Cemetery there.
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This weekend, Steam Into History, the Steam Engine owner commeorated a stolen train event from Georgia during the Civil War
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And a Recreation of the Golden Spike at Promotory Pt, Utah for the transcontinental RR today (Tuesday)

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And Wednesday there will be recreation of the Brady Photo at Hanover Junction with the steam engine, and the original building still is there.

Brady picture – Library of Congress – the other two are mine. and the color pics are the two steam engines – mine also

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