Writers are hyperventalating over the latest Reporters Without Borders rankings on world press freedom, in which the U.S. slips from 32nd to 46th. The report documents "a profound erosion of press freedom in the United States in 2013," according to a Huffington Post op-ed. The operative word in headlines and ledes seems to be that the U.S. "plunges" in the rankings.
The Spectacle Blog
American military affairs expert William Lind argued on The American Conservative website yesterday that Vladmir Putin’s Russia, particularly in the realm of foreign policy, exemplifies conservatism and the United States should take heed.
One thing I will agree on is that America’s approach to foreign policy over the past 15 years cannot be described as true to American conservatism. However Lind goes further, boldly arguing that Putin’s lip service to hands-off foreign policy, outlined in Putin’s op-ed in The New York Times lecturing America on intervening in Syria, reveals “a conservative Russia.”
Although Lind is smart and well-credentialed, and Putin is correct in noting “military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries” is not in “America’s long term interest,” we cannot mistake Putin’s opportunism for genuine conservative values. Putin chastised the United States for intervening, but his own government has been sending arms to Syria.
Feature of the Day: What Cold War CIA Interrogators Learned from the Nazis
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It is hardly surprising the Obamacare employer mandate for medium and large sized employers has yet again been delayed past the mid-term elections. This time it has been delayed to 2015 and 2016 for large and medium sized employers, respectively.
The question now is will it be delayed again. I have a feeling the next time President Obama delays the employer mandate for both medium and large sized employers it will be for sometime after January 20, 2017. Something tells me Obama will saddle the next administration with his mess.
Child actress turned diplomat Shirley Temple passed away yesterday at the age of 85.
Temple was arguably the most popular film star in the world in the mid to late 1930’s with films such as Curly Top, Poor Little Rich Girl and Heidi.
Later in life, Temple (by this time known as Shirley Temple Black) became a Republican and made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1967. In 1969, President Nixon appointed her as a Representative to the UN General Assembly. Five years later, President Ford appointed her Ambassador to Ghana. Ford later appointed Temple Black as Chief of Protocol for the United States. She would be responsible for organizing the inaugural for Jimmy Carter. In 1989, the first President Bush named Temple Black as Ambassador to Czechoslovakia.
Here are a couple of pictures of Temple visiting the Boston Public Garden in 1938 where she took a Swan Boat Ride.
I leave you with a clip of Temple receiving the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
From the Chicago Tribune:
In a push to enroll more “young invincibles,” the state’s official Affordable Care Act outreach vehicle, Get Covered Illinois, has forged a partnership with satircal news site The Onion to run a series of advertisements and marketing material online.
Under terms of the agreement, the state will pay Chicago-based Onion Inc. $150,000 for $300,000 worth of online banner ads, a video, an editorial and a custom news section that will feature Get Covered Illinois, said Mike Claffey, a Get Covered Illinois spokesman.
The Onion, via its creative agency Onion Labs, will develop and feature the content through March 31, the deadline to enroll in the new health plans offered on online marketplaces created by the law known as Obamacare.
Sen. Rand Paul, a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, feels compelled to square his “libertarian” sentiments with his conservatism.
“Libertarian does not mean libertine,” Paul said, addressing the American Principles Projects last Wednesday.
He clarified what he meant by libertarian:
I don’t see libertarianism as, you can do whatever you want. There is a role for government, there’s a role for family, there’s a role for marriage, there’s a role for the protection of life.
In dismissing the “Hillary Clinton Papers,” Joe Klein of Time notes “the disgraceful bilge volcano of the Clinton years — the non-stop garbage peddled and sleazed by Drudge and Rush and the then frisky young Fox Network, the fact that the Clintons were accused of drug-trafficking, murder, financial scandals and all sorts of vile craziness — none of which proved to be true. And no apologies have ever been forthcoming from the greasy perps.”
Except that one man, the MSNBC heavy, Chris Matthews, made his name (and that of MSNBC) in the non-stop peddling of the Lewinsky-related lies, impeachment-worthy obfuscation, and general Clintonian cover-up. Matthews was ruthless and dogged and deliberate and… never a part of the Rush or Drudge side of the aisle.
The title above references my favorite of the many notoriously blunt quotes from Mike Tyson. Prior to his 1992 rape conviction, Tyson cemented a well deserved reputation for being, if not the best heavyweight boxer of all time, one of the greatest. Of course these days, "Iron Mike" has been reduced to a pop cultural punchline, known as much for his over-the-top cameo in the comedy "The Hangover," a 2006 drug arrest, and a sad late career fight in which he bit off part of the ear of fellow heavyweight legend Evander Holyfield, as for his glory days in the late-1980s as an untouchable pugilist.
Obama’s executive overreach has been a constant theme of his presidency. He struck again Monday, deciding to delay the implementation of penalties to businesses with 50 to 99 employees:
"Once again, the president is giving a break to corporations while individuals and families are still stuck under the mandates of his health care law. And, once again, the president is rewriting law on a whim," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. "If the administration doesn't believe employers can manage the burden of the law, how can struggling families be expected to?"
Obamacare has been a flop since its inception, and the president's need to alter and delay the implementation of the law only proves the legislation is unworkable. As Fox reported:
Fewer workers getting insurance through their employers could mean more individuals on the ObamaCare exchanges seeking subsidized coverage, increasing the cost to taxpayers.