September 29, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

Chile is a good model for what we should do; the problem is to get the Left to listen to facts, rather than their ideological fantasies.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I wrote back in July about the remarkable transformation of Chile into a prosperous market economy.

In that post, I noted that Chile was a pioneer in the shift from unsustainable tax-and-transfer entitlement schemes to savings-based personal retirement accounts. And with good reason. That system, which has been in place for more than three decades, is hugely successful.

We should do the same thing in America, and we should do it yesterday, if not sooner.

But Chile’s success is driven by more than just pension reform. And I want to mention something remarkable about what’s happening with school choice in that country.

Jose Pinera – Freedom Fighter

First, some background. I’m currently at a Cato Institute donor retreat, where I had the chance to talk to Jose Pinera, who is now the Co-chairman of Cato’s Project on Social Security Choice, but who also was the person who implemented…

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Pat Caddell: the MSM has become an “enemy of democracy.”

September 28, 2012

Harsh words from the former Democratic pollster and analyst in the wake of the massacre in Benghazi:

…but I fear he’s much more right than wrong.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Give Egypt’s foreign aid money to Libya?

September 28, 2012

Interesting idea from Michael Totten:

Almost everything that happened in Libya was the reverse of what happened almost everywhere else.

The Libyan exception began with the terrorist attack on Sept. 11 at the consulate in Benghazi. For a while it looked as if Libya’s reaction to the video might be the worst in the world, but that didn’t last. The assassination of Ambassador Stevens wasn’t part of a mob action or a hysterical demonstration. On the contrary: Spontaneous protests have erupted throughout the country, but not against the U.S. or a crackpot videographer out in Los Angeles. The Libyan protesters have stood squarely against the terrorists who killed Stevens and against the militias that have been running amok since Moammar Gadhafi was lynched last year in Sirte.

Libyan demonstrators have displayed moving, hand-written signs: “Sorry people of America.” “Benghazi is against terrorism.” “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.” “Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi or Islam.” That’s what Libyans were saying while people elsewhere flew bin-Ladenist flags and set cars and buildings on fire. And it wasn’t just talk. The Libyan government swiftly arrested dozens of suspects following the Sept. 11 attacks. Ten days later, thousands of demonstrators in Benghazi seized the headquarters of an Islamist militia and forced its inhabitants to flee with their guns into the desert.

And let’s not forget Libya’s President, Mohammed el-Magarief, who’s been much more honest and forthright about what happened in his country than our own government.

I’ve often described the Obama administration’s foreign policy as “hug our enemies, slap our friends.” Perhaps it’s time to reverse that (1) and reward those who are the enemies of our enemies?

We need intelligence from North Africa, but Egypt is lost for the foreseeable future, so why keep giving them taxpayer money? Why give Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, who demands the release of the Blind Sheikh and that we respect values antithetical to our own, another penny? Why not rebuild our position in another country, instead, which seems to share at least some of our interests?

Why not Libya?

Footnote:
(1) Sadly, that will have to wait for another administration. One that has actual adults in charge.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Benghazi consulate massacre: White House knew it was a terrorist attack, lied about it

September 27, 2012

Americans died, Obama lied.

Fox News is also reporting what Eli Lake reported yesterday: the administration knew within 24 hours of the jihadist attack in Benghazi that it was not demonstration that just got out of control:

U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that it was a terrorist attack and suspected Al Qaeda-tied elements were involved, sources told Fox News — though it took the administration a week to acknowledge it.

The account conflicts with claims on the Sunday after the attack by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that the administration believed the strike was a “spontaneous” event triggered by protests in Egypt over an anti-Islam film.

Two senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration internally labeled the attack terrorism from the first day in order to unlock and mobilize certain resources to respond, and that officials were looking for one specific suspect.

One should point out that these sources could be the same who talked to Lake, so it many not be a confirmation, just different outlets for the same whistle-blower.

All the same, members of Congress are not happy:

The account that officials initially classified the attack as terrorism is sure to raise serious questions among lawmakers who have challenged the narrative the administration put out in the week following the strike. A few Republican lawmakers have gone so far as to suggest the administration withheld key facts about the assault for political reasons. 

“I think we should have answers right away. … I think they’re reluctant to tell us what this event really was probably because it’s an election year. But the American people deserve to know answers about what happened at our embassy in Libya,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told Fox News.

Obama? Democrats? Putting electoral politics ahead of the national interest? Now whatever would give anyone that idea?

(Hint: Their behavior over Iraq from 2004 to 2008.)

This is quickly becoming a national scandal. While elements of the administration were treating this as a terrorist attack by the next day, high government officials, including the president, were trying to convince us it was all about an obscure YouTube video. As Bryan Preston at PJM writes, the situation is so screwed up, only one person can answer the questions:

The president himself needs to conduct a press conference and explain his administration’s actions and multiple conflicting statements. Nothing less than an explanation from Obama himself will do at this point. His own credibility is on the line, and the campaign of misdirection has ruined Secretary of State Clinton’s and Ambassador Rice’s credibility.

Neither Rice nor Clinton can credibly claim that they were acting on bad information from subordinates. Their subordinates, according to both Eli Lake and Fox, were treating the attack as terrorism, and even hunting a specific suspect, while Rice, Clinton, and Jay Carney continued to blame the YouTube video. Obama blamed that video again in his UN address and even now refuses to call the attack an act of terrorism.

And it’s not just the questions about the blatant lies the administration told; we’re also owed explanations for the obviously poor security in Benghazi and the failure to act on warnings, including Ambassador Stevens’ own misgivings.

Maybe the MSM should spend its time questioning Obama about this, rather than NFL refs.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama: “I want to see us export more jobs!”

September 26, 2012

Ooops…

The 4th greatest president of all time said that today at Kent State University. Had it been Romney, we’d be hearing endless concern-trolling about his “gaffes.” But, since it’s their Precious only Obama, he only “misspoke.”

Sigh.

via Jammie through Instapundit


Benghazi consulate massacre: White House knew within 24 hours it was a terrorist attack

September 26, 2012

It was on September 11th, 2012, that our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and a supposedly secret safe house there were attacked by jihadists allied with al Qaeda. Our ambassador was raped and murdered. Three other Americans died in the slaughter. For over a week after the attack, spokespeople for the Obama Administration, including the president, himself, insisted the problem started with outrage over an obscure video posted to YouTube and that the attack was a spontaneous eruption, not preplanned:

So, you’ll be totally shocked –SHOCKED, I say!!– to learn that all these wonderful public servants were lying through their teeth.

They knew within a day:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”

The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”

So not only did they have warning of the attack, but they knew by September 12th that it was a jihadist strike and they had even located one of the ringleaders. Look at the dates on that list above, again. For two full weeks after the massacre and intelligence catastrophe, high officials from the president on down were insisting it was either a spontaneous outgrowth from a demonstration that got out of hand (And to which people just happened to bring heavy weapons.) or that we just didn’t know and were still investigating.

It’s not that they lied that’s so appalling; all administrations will lie when it comes to national security matters, if they feel it’s necessary. And often they’re right to do so, when telling the truth could lead to greater harm.

But it’s the motive for these lies that’s truly offensive. It wasn’t to fool the enemy — they knew what really happened. It wasn’t to deceive them about our response; if we knew where one of these clowns was hiding, we could have snatched or killed him by now, and the administration could spike the ball on this, too. No, the Obama administration’s reactions in the wake of the massacre were too clumsy and uncoordinated to be a cover for retaliatory operations. They simply didn’t know what to do, except play CYA. It’s politically insane, because, had they come out and said forcefully “It’s a war. Al Qaeda hit us, but we’ll get these monsters,” much of the nation would have instinctively “rallied to the flag” and backed Obama.

Instead they lied. To us. Why?

The only motive for this serial lying was to deceive us. They are desperate to get the press off their backs and mollify the American people, treating the MSM like tools (admittedly, that’s often justified) and us like idiots or gullible children in the hope they can avoid a well-earned heaping helping of blame for this deadly fiasco. Obama’s reelection is all that matters.

Americans died, Obama lied.

As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy writes on a closely related matter:

If they lie, you can’t trust them. That’s a fairly straightforward rule. It is certainly the one that trial lawyers bank on.

It is not a hard and fast rule. A person may shade the truth for various reasons: vanity, personal allegiances, financial incentives, etc. Usually, once you figure out the relevant motivation, you can sort out on what matters he is probably credible and what he is prone to lie about. Sometimes, though, the story is so unbelievable, so insulting to the intelligence, that a rational juror knows it is best to discount all of the testimony — or, worse, to conclude that the truth is likely the opposite of the witness’s desperate version.

The claim that the demonstrations and embassy invasion in Cairo and the massacre in Libya were spontaneous reactions to an obscure video is just that sort of insult to our intelligence. It is sad and pathetic.

Just like the Obama administration, itself.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Desperately seeking doctors: your future under Obamacare

September 25, 2012

However much apologists for Obamacare try to deny it, the rationing of care is inevitable as the government tries to control costs by controlling what care one can receive — deciding whether the patient truly needs it or if it’s worthwhile at all to administer it. As usual, Britain, which has had the single-payer National Health Service for roughly 60 years, shows us what lies in our future if Obamacare isn’t repealed: sick people begging for private care:

GPs believe the numbers of patients asking about paying for operations including cataract removal and joint replacements has increased markedly in the last year, according to a poll.

Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said it was “incontrovertible” that increased NHS rationing was behind the increase in going private, a trend she described as “very sad”.

The poll, carried out by ComRes for the firm BMI Healthcare, found that 70 per cent of GPs are now unable to refer a patient for further treatment on the NHS at least once a month because they do not qualify under local criteria.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) have increasingly been restricting access to treatments including cataract removals, hernia operations and hip and knee replacements, by raising the threshold of how ill or disabled a patient has to be.

(…)

The principal reason behind increased interest in “self-pay” healthcare is treatments no longer being available on the NHS, according to the poll, with 66 per cent of GPs citing this.

(Emphasis added)

It may be “sad,” per Dr. Gerada, but it’s also the inevitable result of trying to impose top-down “command economics” on what should be a free market for goods and services and to treat a commodity, medical care, as a natural right. Mandated cost-controls, whether done directly  through price schedules or indirectly through rationing, simply don’t work: costs still go up (they’re just hidden from sight) and require further controls, and the quality of service declines — or vanishes altogether, as this article shows.

And unless Obamacare is repealed in the next few years, we’re going to be joining our British cousins in the hunt for private doctors — if any can be found.

via Breitbart

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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