'The Simpsons' in Illinois, the Seductress, the Kiss of Judas

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Mar 03, 2011 12:01 AM
 'The Simpsons' in Illinois, the Seductress, the Kiss of Judas

A March mixture of comments about items in the news....

OK, so you voted for Barack Obama and still support him. If you like his over-the-top enthusiasm for public-employee union collective-bargaining rights at the municipal and state levels, why not urge him to get consistent and signify for unionized federal-employee collective-bargaining rights, as well?

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With Republican governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana confronting public-employee unionists and driving down taxes, Illinois -- still governed by Democrats -- is slapping new taxes on every entity it can grab. Indiana's Gov. Mitch Daniels, a hot prospect for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, says this about being a neighbor of Illinois: "It's like living next door to 'The Simpsons' -- you know, the dysfunctional family down the block."

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Illinois -- Chicago. If you've heard about coyotes (canis latrans) moving in nearby, consider this from The Wall Street Journal: "After showing up in forest preserves in the suburbs, (coyotes) moved on to (Chicago's) Lincoln Park and other green areas of the city itself. They have been spotted prowling the streets of the downtown Loop late at night. One even (has) wandered into a Quizno's sub shop."

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Datum: At the end of the current fiscal year (September 30), the nation's anticipated $15,476 trillion deficit will amount to -- please sit down for this one -- 102.6 percent of the nation's annual Gross Domestic Product. Meaning: The U.S. will owe more in debt than it produces in a year.

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During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama pledged that families earning less than $250,000 annually would not see "any form of tax increase" under his administration. In a television interview prior to the Super Bowl, he stipulated, "I didn't raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years." Yet the Heritage Foundation calculates his ObamaCare legislation alone "contains 18 separate tax increases that will cost taxpayers $503 billion between 2010 and 2019."

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According to a story in the Feb. 10 European edition of Stars and Stripes, at last the Veterans Administration has released -- months late -- new guidelines for benefits to caregivers of the terribly wounded. And they're a grenade in the gut -- full of cutbacks and benefit denials. Notes Steve Nardizzi of the Wounded Warrior Project, "This is horrendous for the families who've had to give up their jobs and the warriors who may end up back in nursing homes because their families can't afford to take care of them."

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So just think of it. Significant demands placed on the less than 1 percent of the population doing heavy lifting in our nation's military -- and their families -- in the longest protracted combat in our nation's history. The severely wounded must deal with their circumstances every day for the rest of their lives -- and the government now compounds their, and their families', problems. Hammers them. Cuts them off. Call it the kiss of Judas.

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Britain's National Health Service makes the heart of President Obama and his ilk beat pit-a-pat -- and so we have ObamaCare, closely modeled on the NHS. British Prime Minister David Cameron has a less favorable view. He wants to cut NHS red tape and give doctors responsibility for deciding how the system's budget is spent. Cameron also would let more private health insurers provide competitive services.

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On the contrary, Obama's choice to lead Medicaid, Medicare, and -- by extension -- ObamaCare has gushed about the NHS in nearly orgasmic terms, saying: "I fell in love with the NHS....To an American observer, the NHS is such a seductress."

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Regarding Egypt, FYI, a year ago the Pew Research Center conducted a major survey of Egyptian adults that gives the lie to romantic lefties in the Western press. For instance: (a) 84 percent favor the death penalty for anyone who leaves the Muslim faith; (b) 82 percent dislike the U.S.; (c) 82 percent support stoning adulterers and (d) 77 percent support cutting off the hands of thieves; (e) 54 percent want workplace segregation of women and men; (f) 54 percent justify suicide bombings that kill innocents; (g) 48 percent back the terrorist Palestinian group Hamas and (h) 30 percent back the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.

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Finally, on a leftist Hollywood landscape practically barren of even moderates, Clint Eastwood stands out. He's a flat-taxer: "A ton of economists, both liberal and conservative, have argued for a flat tax, but nobody's ever had the nerve to do it....It would simplify things -- but simplification doesn't seem to be in the human psyche."