Friday, November 15, 2013

The Emperor's New Rules

My article from today's FrontPage Magazine:

The Emperor's New Rules

By Matthew Vadum

Stung by public anger and his rapidly plunging approval ratings, President Obama wants to delay the cancellation of existing health care insurance policies for one year.

It has nothing to do with the public interest. It has everything to do with crass political calculations.

As an electoral tsunami gradually develops that threatens to drown Democrats and give Republicans a healthy majority in the Senate, Democrats remain focused. They are clinging to the increasingly unlikely prospect of recapturing the House of Representatives in next year’s elections, a move that would allow them to ram through more America-killing legislation. This, of course, assumes the Democrats keep control of the Senate, something that at the moment seems quite impossible.

President Obama yesterday played out a tableau that could easily have come from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Obama preyed on the most gullible Americans, the lowest of low-information voters, putting on a show for their benefit.

But even Americans who can’t name the Vice President of the United States know something about Obamacare, so they are not likely to be easily manipulated.

Obama might have gotten away with such a dimwit-friendly tack but for the fact that everyone in the country knows Obama lied about Obamacare allowing Americans to keep their health plans and their medical doctors. In addition, too many people are experiencing real hardship as the Affordable Care Act causes their insurance to be canceled — and they know who to blame for their pain and suffering.

In the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, the president and press corps may as well have been surrounded by unicorns, leprechauns, and satyrs as Obama threw pixie dust in the air and waved his magic wand after mispronouncing incantations in Austrian.

Obama exposed the residents of all 57 states of the nation to his lies yet again, promising that even now Americans would be able to keep their health insurance plans if they liked them.

“I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans, particularly after assurances they heard from me that if they had a plan that they liked, they could keep it,” Obama said in his by-now tiresome fake sympathy routine.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

ACORN Redux: The ObamaCare Navigators Nightmare

My article in today's FrontPage Magazine:

ACORN slayer James O'Keefe with Matthew Vadum

ACORN Redux: The ObamaCare Navigators Nightmare

By Matthew Vadum

The undercover videographer who helped to kill ACORN is now turning his powerful lens on Obamacare “navigators,” showing how left-wing groups break the law and defraud taxpayers by pushing Obamacare exchanges.

The undercover investigators of Project Veritas, the nonprofit created by ACORN slayer James O’Keefe III, are going after the almost 50,000 Obamacare “navigators,” whom the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says are supposed to “serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans” on the Obamacare exchanges.

Left-wing activists have scooped up more than $67 million in grants nationwide to hire the navigators, a payoff to ACORN and other radical outfits that helped win Barack Obama the presidency.

Undercover investigators from Project Veritas captured taxpayer-paid Obamacare promoters on video telling health care insurance applicants to lie about preexisting medical conditions.

A new video shows an Obamacare navigator employed by the National Urban League in Texas counseling an investigator to be untruthful when completing documentation needed to apply for health care insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. The league took in $376,000 from the federal government for its navigator work.

“You lie because your premiums will be higher,” one navigator tells the undercover journalist, who advised the person that he occasionally smokes. “Don’t tell them that. Don’t tell ’em.”

When the investigator pretends to be a low-income university employee with unreported cash income that, if declared, could endanger his eligibility for federal premium subsidies, the navigators advises, “Don’t get yourself in trouble by declaring it now.”

“Yeah, it didn’t happen,” says another navigator. Another adds, “Never report it.”

The video also shows Project Veritas visiting Enroll America, a nationwide nonprofit group that is encouraging millions of Americans to sign up for health insurance coverage on Obamacare exchanges.

As John Fund notes in a National Review Online article, Daniel Clayton of Enroll America says the group is “purely nonprofit. It’s not partisan, non-political.” But when Brian Pendleton, also of Enroll America, was introduced at a speaking engagement, Enroll America was called “the official group for the DNC [Democratic National Committee].”

Friday, November 8, 2013

Purging and Transforming Our Military

My article from today's FrontPage Magazine:

Purging and Transforming Our Military

By Matthew Vadum

President Obama hasn’t just been hollowing out the military since taking office, he’s been gutting it, purging it of ideologically hostile personnel, and fundamentally transforming it into something other than a war-fighting force, military experts say.

Although few with military ties are willing to say it openly, it seems the administration is leading an orchestrated effort to seriously undermine the readiness of the military. Some reports indicate that Obama has purged 197 senior military officers since moving into the White House and that many of the retired officers have been harassed at their new civilian jobs for criticizing the president’s policies. The effects of these purges will be felt long after Obama leaves office.

This is, of course, the same through-the-looking-glass administration that goes out of its way not to label actual Islamic terrorists as terrorists, that calls terrorist attacks “man-caused disasters,” and refers to the Global War on Terror as the “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

A retired senior military officer and combat veteran who remains involved in national security affairs, told FrontPage in an interview that President Obama is involved in social engineering of the United States military.

“Having women in combat is bad,” he said. “It is changing the social complexion of the infantry and we now have this epidemic of sexual assaults.”

Soldiers are told not to be mean to gays, he said. “Do you really think the individuals who are joining the all-volunteer force will be joining to pull triggers or to get sensitivity training?”
The former officer said that President Obama is getting rid of experienced war fighters for no apparent reason.

The “poster child” for such firings is James Mattis, a real soldier’s soldier and four-star general in the Marine Corps who retired unexpectedly this past May at age 63. As a brigadier general Mattis led a brigade into Kandahar in fall of 2001 and a Marines division into Iraq during the invasion in 2003.
“Mattis should have been the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff but mysteriously he gets retired,” the officer said. Mattis had been asking questions about Obama’s policy toward, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, that the powers that be didn’t want asked, he said.

Yes, Virginia, the GOP Establishment did stick a shiv in Ken Cuccinelli

My article from the Nov. 7, 2013 issue of American Thinker:

Yes, Virginia, the GOP Establishment did stick a shiv in Ken Cuccinelli

By Matthew Vadum

Reagan conservative Ken Cuccinelli lost his bid for the Virginia governorship because the patrician, turf-protecting Republican Party establishment in his state wanted him to lose.

It's really that simple. 

Cuccinelli campaign strategist Chris La Civita suggested on election night Tuesday that the federal government's partial shutdown last month may have hurt his candidate in parts of Virginia where many federal employees and contractors live.

He also suggested that Cuccinelli could have won if he had received more money from national GOP sources, which he said dried up as of Oct. 1.

"There are a lot of questions people are going to be asking and that is, was leaving Cuccinelli alone in the first week of October, a smart move?" La Civita said.  "We were on our own. Just look at the volume [of ads]."

Cuccinelli lost by a mere 2.5 percentage points in a state that until somewhat recently had been solidly Republican.  Even with Cuccinelli's various tactical mistakes (and there were many), it is still very difficult to believe that the GOP machine couldn't have gotten another fifty-odd thousand voters to the polls to support him if it really wanted to.

Predictably, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who won re-election comfortably on Tuesday, refused to lift a finger to help his vulnerable fellow Republican in Virginia.  Even with mountains of cash, Christie had no electoral coattails, which is not exactly a resume-builder for a presidential candidate. 

This is, of course, the same politician who betrayed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on at least two occasions.  Christie spent his high-profile speech at the Republican National Convention last year talking about himself instead of Romney.  He also won President Obama lots of votes by cozying up to him during the Tropical Storm Sandy saga.  But his personal popularity didn't do a thing for the rest of the New Jersey GOP slate this week.

What happened to Cuccinelli wasn't some back-room conspiracy shrouded in smoke and euphemisms; it was a conscious, overt effort to do serious damage to a Tea Party standard-bearer.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lying to Save Their Skins

My article from today's FrontPage Magazine:

Lying to Save Their Skins

By Matthew Vadum

Beset by criticism from all sides for its bungled healthcare exchange rollout, the Obama administration expects to weather the growing storm by lying, rationalizing, and running out the clock.

Mendacity, stalling, and stonewalling have worked well as part of a public relations strategy for the Obama administration over its first five years, so there is no point in changing a winning formula now. 

Besides, extravagant healthcare subsidies begin to kick in next year, and all that free money floating around is bound to calm irate consumers.

America’s first Marxist president has been able to get away with wrongdoing by lying to an incurious, docile media, which he knows has little interest in conducting good faith investigations of the Benghazi saga, Fast and Furious, multiple IRS abuses, and various other administration-wide scandals that have become too numerous to count. Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, is no different.

Even now, in the face of overwhelming evidence that the president has lied to the public with his oft-stated promise that “if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period … If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period,” and slight variations thereof, the media refuses to call Obama’s deliberate misrepresentations lies.

Democrat hack Ezekiel Emanuel, who was part of the team that designed Obamacare, blames insurance companies.

People aren’t being dropped from their health plans because of Obamacare. Instead, he says it’s all the insurers’ fault.

“If an insurance company decides its changing how it’s going to structure its plan, that’s not the law doing it,” Emanuel said. “That’s the insurance company deciding for business reasons.”

Insurance companies hate the individual market so they’re trying to destroy it, he said.

“The insurance companies don’t like — the insurance companies don’t like the individual market as it’s constructed,” said Emanuel, sounding like a paranoid schizophrenic off his meds. “They see the future. That individual market is going away. They don’t want to invest in it.”

Taking his lead from admitted communist Van Jones, Benjamin Bell of ABC News wrote a news story in which he characterized Obama as “reversing course on his now famous promise that those Americans who like their plans could keep them if them if they wished under Obamacare.”