The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


It may be naive, but most Americans have historically trusted the federal government to act responsibly and ethically in most matters. Sure, politics is always in the background and inefficiency and sometimes, outright incompetence, are not unknown, but we've all trusted the feds to be generally responsible and ethical. Until now.

Over the past six years, responsibility and ethics have dissipated. This president and his direct reports have lied and stonewalled repeatedly on matters of major concern—healthcare legislation, the IRS, the threat of terrorism, the attack on the embassy in Libya, gun-running operations in Mexico, the economy. the Secret Service scandals, and dozens of other instances. In every case, politics trumps transparency, spin trumps the truth, and partisan positions trump ethical behavior.

Is it any wonder that the public is skittish, very skittish, about the Ebola threat, because even the CDC is now perceived as a partisan mouthpiece for a hyperpartisan administration? Is it the least surprising that virtully no one believes the administrations claims that the "air campaign" against ISIS is showing meaningful results?

The IRS, CDC, and even the military were once perceived as above politics. Now their reputations have been sullied by what many believe is administration pressure to put a positive spin on bad news. It's uncomfortable to watch military flag officers squirm as they try to defend a "strategy" (crafted by political hacks in the Obama administration) that is obviously flawed. It's concerning to watch CDC officials work hard to suppress public anxiety, but then have to change their story on a daily basis.

For example, reports have surfaced that the final report on Bowe Bergdahl, the alleged army deserter who Obama traded for five Taliban commanders, has been suppressed at the request of the White House. The real tragedy is that no one is surprised—this is SOP for this administration. But the problem is, it dirties the military and erodes trust.

Mathew Continetti writes about the Ebola threat but actually finds a core truth with respect to the federal government in the age of Obama:
It is not Ebola I am afraid of. It is our government’s ability to deal with Ebola.

Over the last few years the divergence between what the government promises and what it delivers, between what it says is happening or will happen and what actually is happening and does happen, between what it determines to be important and what the public wishes to be important—this gap has become abysmal, unavoidable, inescapable. We hear of “lone-wolf” terrorism, of “workplace violence,” that if you like your plan you can keep your plan. We are told that Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration, that al Qaeda is on the run, that the border is secure as it has ever been, that Assad must go, that I didn’t draw a red line, the world drew a red line, that the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups involved not a smidgen of corruption, that the Islamic State is not Islamic. We see the government spend billions on websites that do not function, and the VA consign patients to death by waiting list and then cover it up. We are assured that Putin won’t invade; that the Islamic State is the jayvee team of terrorism; that Bowe Bergdahl served with honor and distinction; that there is a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia.
Lies. Spin. Opaqueness. Incompetence.

Every problem we face can be managed, or solved, or avoided in the first place. I'm not afraid of any of the problems Continetti notes, but I am afraid, very afraid, of "our government’s ability to deal with" any of them.


As if to emphasize the politicization of everything under this administration, the Obamacare website will not publish new insurance rates until after the November elections, even though those rates are known today. The Washington Times reports:
Those planning to purchase health insurance on the Obamacare exchange will soon find out how much rates have increased — after the Nov. 4 election.

Enrollment on the website begins Nov. 15, or 11 days after the midterm vote, and critics who worry about rising premium hikes in 2015 say that’s no coincidence. Last year’s inaugural enrollment period on the health-care exchange began Oct. 1.
It appears that insurance premiums in battleground states will rise significantly (double digit percentage increases). It also appears that the Democrats would prefer to keep the electorate in the dark, until after the electorate casts their votes. Trust.