'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow on for Obamacare

Well, I woke up this morning....and the world was still here...nope no Armageddon...or black helicopters or anything (hmmm, is that racist to say BLACK helicopters..should it be helicopters of color?)

SO,as things start to cool off, and people start to really READ all the way through the SCOTUS decision, there will be................more intense political bloviating about this.

However, some fairly smart people have some interesting takes on what the likely fallout will be:

Obama Wins the Battle, Roberts Wins the War - This article, in Slate, which is hardly a right-wing bastion digs a little deeper in the majority argument and determines that  maybe the Chief Justice was not the liberal scumbag so many conservatives want to paint him:

"Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.”

NOW, for anyone who has actually bothered to READ the Constitution or those excellent, excellent responses called the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers (both reviewed on this particular blog, at least up to #14 for each) this is a Big F-----g Deal, as Joey Biden would say.  Progressives, liberals and DemocRATS (synonymous with each other) have been using and abusing the Commerce Clause for all kinds of crap since the early 1900s.  They have also been abusing the the Necessary and Proper Clause as well.  The one great fallacy of our Founding Fathers is that they wrote these clauses without a great many clarifying details because they all KNEW what they meant, KNEW what they didn't mean, and assumed (oops, there's that word) that their descendents would too.  Clearly they never expected a Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ or Barrack Hussein Obama to come along and poop all over the Constitution to build their utopian "New Deals", "Great Society" or "Fundamental Transformation of America"

But I digress....READ THE FRICKIN' Constitution...it will make you a better citizen and drive liberals crazy, both of which are very good things.

Roberts Rules To Avoid The Appearance Of Politics In His Court- This article, by Charles Krauthammer, says what everyone is thinking, but no one wants to acknowledge....SCOTUS decisions are not just about the law or the Constitution.  Although I may not agree with the ruling, I think Krauthammer has an excellent point that, like any commanding officer, the Chief Justice must protect his unit and his troops.  The OBAMABOTS blatant political threats and rhetoric launched as a preemptive strike are nasty, un-American, and overtly political---but they can't be ignored.  As the Chief Justice pretty much said-"Yup, this law is screwed up...but screwed up is not un-Constitutional, so you should fix it through the political process"  And so it goes..as I said in my previous post-----elections have real, no-kidding consequences, and if Americans aren't paying attention, then you get what you deserve.  Was Roberts a crafty strategist who just out-maneuvered and out-thought the Constitutional Law Professor in the White House??  Time will tell, but I don't disagree that the political invective that would have been spewed and hurled at the SCOTUS if Obamacare was overturned by a narrow 5-4 decision would have, in the eyes of far too many drones who still believe the ABCBSNBCMSNBCNNNYTWAPO propaganda machine, de-legitimized the court, which still has many, many Constitutionally important cases to decide.

Obama's Pyrrhic Victory- Finally, this article pretty much validates what I said yesterday...if the OBAMABOTS think this battle is over and its decided law...think again...all SCOTUS did was, as Morris points out, punt this ball back into play for the 2012 election, and I think conservatives want to repeal this more than DemocRATic politicians want to defend it...and by implications defend the Obama first term.  Remember, at the end of the day, Obama is done one way or the other by November- either he loses or wins another term, but he will face NO MORE ELECTIONS....the same cannot be said for DemocRATs who want to keep their phoney baloney jobs past 2014.  Americans are pissed...and...although they will try, try, try...the OBAMABOTS cannot pass blame for this to George Bush, Osama Bin Laden, the evil Tea Party, or space aliens...they OWN IT....100%...since it was passed entirely with DemocRAT votes in 2010.

More goodness to follow....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obamacare- I do not think it means what you think it means.

OK, so we must interrupt our ongoing book reviews for some political snark.  Oh, and do I use my favorite phrase from Princess Bride too much...I don't think so...

Let's start with the constitutionality...ok, let's not, since I am not a lawyer, don't play one on TV and did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

I think this picture sums it up...shamelessly stolen from Facebook.

What I CAN do is offer my political observations as the Grouchy Historian, major political junkie and someone who follows the ins and outs of American society at least as well as Chris Matthews, only without the thrill up my leg.

First I have to say...the primary lesson of all of this is ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES.  As I always say "Never screw when you're drunk or vote when you're angry or you will wake up the next day saying-'What the hell did I do last night?'"
The American people are, in my opinion, getting what they deserve...they voted Nancy Botox in office in 2006, voted for Barrack the Empty Suit in 2008, and got this monstrosity of a legislative bill...the Holy Grail of Progressive government takeovers.

So BUCK UP America, if you want to overturn this, it will take a Republican President, Congress and preferably 60 Republican Senators...or at least 55 or so with the guts to override a filibuster.  Otherwise quit your bitchin' and prepare to serve Comrade Obama and his minions.  If you think Mike Bloomberg and his soda ban was ridiculous, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Think of the liberal logic:
  • Soda-  BAD   Condoms- GOOD
  • Bacon- BAD  Taxpayer funded abortions- GOOD
  • Condemning Meat eating- GOOD   Condemning unprotected gay sex- BAD
It will be like North Korea...only our People's Worker's Party dress better and have their cocktail parties in Hollywood.

I mean, how many of us cranky conservatives were saying in 2009 and 2010 and 2011 and 2012..that Obamacare is merely the Trojan Horse to a single-payer, European socialist health care system....and it is....slowly but surely...

Oh, and for you starry eyed college kids who thought Obama was cool and hip...guess what, you're about to get SCREWWWWED to the wall.  Not only will you be left to clean up Obama's additional $5T in debt, have to fight off Grandma when Social Security goes bust and your payroll taxes skyrocket...but now you get to pay for health insurance right about the time those student loans come due...if you even have a job beyond burger flipping...unless Obama figures out how to write those off and buy your votes.

Oh, and seniors...I hope you get what you deserve from your friends at the AARP that sold you down the river...guess how Obamacare gets paid for??? That's right, by gutting Medicare...and guess who profits??? That's right AARP and those supplemental policies...good luck with that.

But what does this ruling mean? 

WELL, I honestly don't think we know yet.  I won't debate the merits of the SCOTUS opinion, but I will say that calling the Obamacare mandate a tax is one of the few honest statements to come from the direction of Washington DC in a loooong time.

However, because the legislation was so poorly written and left so much up to the Dept of HHS to implement, how might a Romney Administration view their roles and responsibilities?  Think it might be a little different than a second Obama term...you betcha!
BUT, since political analysts luv to make predictions...here are mine.

1.  For DemocRATS:  As much as you want this to be settled law, like Roe v. Wade...NOPE, not gonna happen.  There are still some major court battles to fight, primarily the fight with the Catholic Church that will also likely make its way to the Supreme Court.  Not to mention, unlike Roe v. Wade, this ruling will affect ALL 300 million + Americans in the wallet.  OBAMACARE will become a political issue and could spell the difference for a lot of Red State DemocRAT Congresscritters.  Oh, and even if the annoited ONE wins re-election this year...well, he's got his two terms so he will not have to live with the political consequences if people start to lose coverage...don't like their new coverage or taxes and insurance premiums skyrocket.  Needless to say a lot fallout from this could linger for years if this law ends up NOT doing what its proponents say when fully implemented in 2014...oh, seriously, did anyone not pick up that year?  WHY THE HELL do you think that year was chosen? To keep the Annoited One from dealing with the political fallout...hope you DemocRATS like being under the bus, cuz it's likely to get real crowded there.

2.  For Republicans:  This will be another issue to club Obama and his minions with.  Properly packaged as part of the LARGEST tax increase in AMERICAN history...which will schwack everyone in early 2013, this just might wake up the American Idol watching, Kardashian following morons that still believe Obama's lies about not raising their taxes.  I would run commercials from now until Nov showing how much EVERY SINGLE working American is gonna pay through the nose when those evil Bush tax cuts expire, Obamacare gets fully implemented, and who knows what else.  EVERY SINGLE DAY, I would run those adds and show how much we have been lied to with the "no tax increase for families under $250K" crap that Obama spewed in 2008.  I would also let seniors and college kids know what's in store for them.  And finally, I would make note of the fact that OBAMA and the DemocRATS OWN this...if it is wildly successful, fine...(not likely)...but if it isn't there is NO ONE they can blame but themselves...unless of course it's Bush's fault...which MSNBC will probably say.

3.  For the American People:  Well to be honest, there are some provisions of this bill that will appeal to folks...no lifetime caps on insurance, coverage for pre-exisiting conditions, keeping Junior on your insurance until they're 26 (this is really important since Obama's economy will keep them from finding a job and getting out of your house).  But how much will people's insurance premiums go up?  How many companies will dump people and accept paying a penalty?  What happens when people can't get coverage in these amorphous state-run exchanges?  All of these questions are still to be answered.  ONE THING I can guarantee is that an army of lawyers, lobbyists and other leeches is on their way to Washington to lobby for their respective insurance, pharmaceutical, or corporate masters to ensure they continue to make money.  This is the one certainty in America, at least until Comrade Obama takes over...American companies will buy or influence whoever they need to keep making money--this is one of reasons I shake my head at those morons in Congress who think they can centrally manage our economy...until the entire country becomes like GM, SOMEONE will always figure out how to play the system and make money.  This is what amazes me, the inability of Congresscritters of BOTH parties to really understand that the ingenuity of the American businessman will always prevail.  Loopholes, exceptions and other goodies will find their way to whoever has the right juice....taxpayers and consumers be damned.

So is the sky falling?  I don't know...healthcare is a very visceral subject for Americans...literally involving life and death and I don't think this issue is going away, as much as the liberal media will try and MOVE ON..hmm, where have I heard that?

Jobs, housing, inflation and the economy will remain the top issues for this election and rightly so...but now healthcare and the new TAX called an insurance mandate will always be in people's minds.  Who will it ultimately benefit?  Well that remains to be seen...if DemocRATS can use this time to really SELL Obamacare and its benefits, maybe they can MOVE ON and try and talk about free contraceptives, the NCAA football playoffs and Mitt Romney's hair--nearly anything but the economy.  If Republicans can show that Obamacare is just another tax that will crush the economy in 2013, snuffing out any hope of recovery and permanently spiking the famous "misery index", then maybe, just maybe, enough courageous Republicans can be elected and have the guts to overturn this Obamination and take us back to the drawing board for REAL market driven health care REFORM and not a government takeover.

Stay tuned......

Monday, June 4, 2012

Clausewitz and his "trinity."- I do not think it means what you think it means

The final criticism, and one of the more recent topics of discussion in the strategy and policy community, is the applicability of the Clausewitzian ‘trinity’ to conflicts involving counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, or involving non-state actors.

This debate also concerns the very notion of what On War has to say about the exclusive province of nation-states using military operations in international diplomacy.  One of the more difficult challenges facing Western military forces is dealing with amorphous organizations like Al Qaeda that occupy no territory, but have all of the other characteristics of a military or paramilitary organization.  While the classic trinity of the people, state, and army may no longer be as useful in today’s security environment; the deeper trinity of emotion, chance, and reason has gained some traction in the study and discussion of COIN and CT operations.  Clausewitz notes that although the methods, goals and forms of warfare will be a product of a particular age, the interplay of emotion, chance and rationality will still be applicable.1

In addition, the proper understanding of Clausewitz’ trinity, like all of his theories, must take place within the context of warfare as a battle between two organizations composed of people—therefore one combatant’s ‘trinity’ will directly affect and react to, changes in the other combatant’s trinity as long as the conflict endures.  The proper study of the trinity, in fact, offers the most flexible means of analyzing terrorism and insurgency by looking at the interaction of the three primordial forces involved in decisions to use violence for political ends.2

Many observers have stated the failure or decline of the nation-state to exclusively wield “war making” power has rendered Clausewitz’ trinity obsolete.  In fact, the rise of militias, auxiliary troops, gangs and other types of groups have not lessened the use of political violence.  In place of a failed government, such as Anbar Province in Iraq from 2003-2006, other groups, often clan or tribal, have emerged to seek political position, often though the use of force.  Although their goals may not seem rational to an outside observer, there is ultimately a purpose and end goal in play.

Iraq offers additional examples where the attacks on the Shia population and religious sites by Al Qaeda in early 2006 may have seemed senseless and random, but there was a very clear goal of igniting sectarian strife that could be exploited to create chaos, increase their power and influence over the Sunni tribes and wear down American public opinion.  Although this would seem illogical when considering the Shias held power and were a greater percentage of the Iraqi population, Al Qaeda had their motivation to unite Sunnis under their aegis to fight the Shia and Americans. 3
1    Colin Fleming, "New or Old Wars? Debating a Clausewitzian Future," The Journal of Strategic Studies (Routledge), April 2009, 213-241; Clausewitz, 89.  
2  Michael I Handel, Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought, 3rd (New York, NY: Frank Cass Publishers, 2001), 104-111.
3  Bing West, The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics and the Endgame in Iraq (New York, NY: Random House, 2008), 114-130; Bart Schuurman, "Clausewitz and the "New War" Scholars," Parameters (U.S. Army War College), Spring 2010: 89-100.