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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Liar Liar II

Come let us reason together.  Do you remember the Jim Carrey movie a few years ago, Liar Liar? The little boy blows out his birthday candles and wishes his dad, who was a lawyer and always broke promises to his kid, would have to tell the truth.  Carrey’s character then finds himself compulsively telling the truth.  Hilarious and embarrassing.  That’s what this last week’s Gruber tapes and Pelosi getting busted about Obamacare looked like.  Now if only we could figure out what made them do it, we could give the truth serum shot to Obama and Hillary and Chuck Schumer. What would they say?  That could really be funny! “If you like  your Democrats, you can keep your Democrats.” “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Democratic party, I hope.” “I told Michelle, if you want to run for Senate in 2016 just remember by that time there will be a lot of hungry kids old enough to vote.”  “Screw it.  I’m going golfing.”

            But he claims a mandate from the 2/3 who didn’t vote.  Um, is he wearing a tin-foil hat?

            R’s won 24 out of 36 Senate races (well counting LA yet to come).  Had the whole Senate been up for election and the same proportion have gone this way, the R’s would have 67 seats. All you Republicans who think you accomplished this need to understand that you didn’t entirely build that. Obama did. Thanks Barack for making OK see red.  So he thinks he’s big stuff because he has a pen and a phone?  Well, we showed up with a pen and a ballot.

            Hey how do you like that interpretation from Harry Reid?  He said, “The results of this election are clear.  The voters want us to work together.”  Old Har’ has 352 bills on his desk that were passed by the house.  98% of them had bipartisan support and exactly 50% passed unanimously. The House can supply you with another copy if you happened to shred yours, Harry. 
            It’s the artwork I keep thinking of.  Remember that expressionistic painting called “the scream”?  Just imagine Harry or Hillary’s face superimposed on it.  Or do you remember that Obama  poster with the HOPE written under his picture?  Maybe we should make some with NOPE. Or maybe we just need KFC to change their logo to “Kentucky Fried Obama” with a picture of Mitch as the colonel.  Or maybe the R’s need to show that USA map of congressional districts that are red vs. blue and compare it with Verizon's map.  “We now have more coverage than Verizon”.

            Ah, it is going to be fun!

Killing Obamacare

            This shouldn’t be hard.  Several steps.  Step 1. Have the House just pass funding far less than necessary to give everyone a hefty subsidy on their policies.  I would shoot for about half.  So when you see your policy has gone from $5000 to $7000 with a $4000 deductible (instead of $400) most people hit the ceiling.  But then Uncle Sugar comes to the rescue by providing $2000 of subsidy and the people quiet down.  But what if Uncle Sugar could only pay $1000 subsidy or $500?  People would still be enraged and demand repeal or vast changes. (One way the House could do this is just to pass the exact same subsidy budget item as last year.  This year the number of people signing up triples.)

            Step 2. Repeal the penalties. If a lower middle class guy has $35,000 per year in income and can’t afford insurance, he  has to pay a 2% or $700 penalty.  "I paid 700 bucks and still don’t have insurance!"  It’s pretty hard for Dems to defend this story.  So the R’s should press to repeal the tax penalties. 

            Step 3. Repeal the 30-hour rule on full time employment and put it back to 40 hours.  Why are part time people losing hours and livelihood due to Obamacare?  Hard again for the Dems to defend this.

            Step 4. Repeal the devices tax which is a 10% tax, not on profit, but markup.  Think about this.  A business often makes 10% profit on 20% markup, but what this tax does is to basically remove all profit from a medical devices manufacturer.  A huge business and jobs killer. If this were explained well to the public, Dems could not defend it. 

Step 5. Repeal the business mandate.  Requiring businesses to pay $4000-$14000 on employee insurance causes them to just drop coverage and opt to pay the $2000 penalty.  So the boss paid $2000 per employee, making it advantageous to have fewer employees, yet employees lose their insurance. Everybody is hurt. What good did that do? Try to defend that, Dems. 

Step 6.  Repeal the individual mandate.  So why are we forcing people to buy something?

It seems to me that Obamacare becomes unworkable at Step 1.  By Step 5, the groundswell against Obamacare would override a Presidential veto.  Take the law apart populist step by step and make the Dems suffer all the way through the story.  Happy days are here again!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Vets and Heroes

Vets and Heroes

We passed a couple holidays, Veterans Day and German Re-unification Day and both have an untold Christian story.  In the case of the Germans, Nov. 9 marked the 25th anniversary of the falling of the wall. Oddly enough, the historic story is not what Americans—either left or right—often believe.  Mary Sarotte, history prof at USC has written a book that absolutely confirms what our German exchange kids remembered.

            There are two American myths.  The one on the left attributes Gorby and perestroika and glasnost with the credit.  The trouble with this myth is that none of the governments of the communist countries went quietly.  All resisted but the mass of humanity overwhelmed their staid defenses.  Myth of the right is that Reagan told Gorby to tear down this wall and what with the inevitability of the bad economy and longing for western lifestyle brought down the Wall.  The trouble with this story is that E. Germany had the highest lifestyle of all the eastern block countries and most of the people did not know what they were missing.

            What brought down Honnecker’s government was faith, determination to be free, and the conduct of provincial actors—pastors, students, artists, journalists, information smugglers, farmers and miners.  Sarotte says that the myth is that the opening of the wall brought freedom.  Events show it to be the other way around, “First we fought for our freedom; and then, because of that the wall fell.”  The Monday Marches occurred in Leipzig, a town of 500,000.  4 churches started the habit of prayer meetings followed by marches to the center of the city where these Protestants sang that famous Reformation hymn,Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is Our God). This went along placidly, attended by old folks and poor people for ten years.  The communist government came to accept it as “a lame tradition.”  But by 1989, two other groups began to attend.  First ordinary citizens who longed for freedom and wanted to uphold the the fact that no matter how bad things get, God is still in control.  Secondly, dissidents began to come to the churches and use the meetings as a mild protest.  By the time September rolled around over a thousand participants were gathering in the city square.  Now the communist secret police were closely monitoring the meetings, but how do you arrest a pastor who leads a prayer for the community leaders, for peace, and forgiveness.  On October 9, 1989, the communists had resolved to stop the gatherings in the square.  They posted 50,000 army soldiers in and around the city, 3000 police and another 600 members of the communist paramilitary organization.  They were expecting 10,000 marchers, but 100,000 showed up.  The streets were clogged, the soldiers were given votive candles and asked to sing. And perhaps the local communists did nothing because they expected Honnecker to abdicate and a new guy, Ergon Krenz was in line.  And on October 16, almost 500,000 people turned out to march, an estimated 95% of the population.

            The Monday Marches were copycatted all over Germany.  In Berlin, the new Krenz government decided to strike a conciliatory note and they asked West Germany for a loan in return for opening the border.  This was a visceral issue with Germans, many who had relatives on the other side.  Again the communists and police intended to stop the marches, but on Nov. 9 a lowly official named Schabowski made a gaffe and announced that the border was to be opened right away.  Tens of thousands flooded the Brandenburg gate, demanding it be opened.  The guards didn’t know what to do, and eventually capitulated when they received no orders.  The rest was an enormous storming of the wall and sledge hammers came out of houses to accomplish the task. 

            It has been said that the left has little moral certainty and that is why they don’t like wars.  To fight you have to have that certainty that you’ll defend your beliefs.  If you have relative morality and don’t know the difference between right and wrong, you won’t fight.  That was also a factor in the fall of the wall.  And of course the economy and political intrigue were factors too. 

            Thus it is that the left in USA hates patriotism and flag-waving.  The still remaining a few Christian leftists say the bible forbids war. “Thou shalt not kill”. Yet this seems an odd stance when Jesus told Peter to buy a sword.  The OT lionizes warriors like David who killed “ten thousands” in defense of Israel.  The first Gentile to become a follower was a soldier at the foot of the cross, and Cornelius, a Roman centurion and his whole household became followers.  Nobody told Cornelius he had to quit the army.  “No greater love hath he than to lay down his life for his friends,” Jesus said. Common sense at work there!  And now that our archeology is uncovering the fact that soldiers were instrumental is spreading the gospel far and wide in the empire, we realize that even though the state made them swear allegiance to Caesar, they kept a higher power in their hearts.

            “We support the troops,” mantras the left.  But they don’t support their job or their mindset—a dishonor to our veterans.  A soldier would be home if he could but he volunteered to defend the United States and the Constitution.  It is more important that America be free and free to worship God without fear.  That’s why they do what they do.