Sunday, September 14, 2014

In a bit of dubious cherry-picking, a new Bloomberg article concludes that the Affordable Care Act is losing its effectiveness as a political issue for Republicans and is diminishing as a major issue. How do we know the end is near-ish? Well, so many Americans are "benefiting from the law," theorizes Heidi Przybyla, that political ads are simply not doing the job anymore.
This news is somewhat unexpected -- and unpersuasive -- when you consider that a Kaiser Family Foundation poll recently found that only 15 percent of Americans believe Obamacare has directly helped them, whereas 28 percent say it has directly hurt them. (Fifty-six percent say it has had no effect on their lives.)

Slightly more convincingly, Przybyla offers this bit of evidence: "Republicans seeking to unseat the U.S. Senate incumbent in North Carolina have cut in half the portion of their top issue ads citing Obamacare, a sign that the party's favorite attack against Democrats is losing its punch."

But that's quite an extrapolation, as well -- especially when you consider that in her very own story, Przybyla tells us GOP groups have plans to refocus on the ACA as soon as premium increases for 2015 are announced. As with any issue, the political impact of Obamacare is hitched to events surrounding the law. An ebb is not a capitulation. And there will be more Obamacare events.

But even if there weren't, consider that a quarter of political ads running in North Carolina attack Obamacare specifically. This seems to suggest that it's still a comparatively "major issue." Let's put it this way: Is there any other law in the United States that eats up more political space?

Google tells me there isn't. When I use the search engine to wade through news stories regarding the various contested races mentioned in the Bloomberg piece, I find that Obamacare is ubiquitous among Republican candidates -- in their stump speeches, in their interviews, on their websites and in their statements. Not so much the Democrats. In Colorado, for example, Republican Cory Gardner is running an ad right now that focuses exclusively on Obamacare and the story of his own family's canceled policies. And as Gardner points out, 335,000 people had their plans canceled in the state -- a state where Quinnipiac found that 60 percent of voters oppose the ACA, with 68 percent of independents, 53 percent of women and 61 percent of people younger than 30.

You know, perhaps focusing 50 percent of your ad dollars on the ACA isn't necessary anyway. It's rather amazing how little the electorate has moved on the issue. According to Kaiser, 53 percent of Americans disapprove of Obamacare. And among independents, 57 percent disapprove. Looks a lot like the way it's looked for years. Whether voters are interested in repealing the law or not, there is no other issue with higher disapproval rates. In my lifetime, I can't recall any domestic law that's been chewed over, litigated, debated and used as a political hammer this intensely this long after passage.

As The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza pointed out a few months back, in New York Times/Kaiser polling on four Southern Senate races, voters were asked, "Is it possible you would ever vote for a candidate who does not share your views on the 2010 health care law, or is this issue so important that you would not vote for a candidate who disagrees with you?" In North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky, majorities said they would not.

The distress over the law is embedded into the debate. It was inevitable that Republicans would expand their attacks beyond Obamacare. With the economy, immigration or energy -- and the array of more customized themes that state races typically focus on -- there seems to be plenty of fodder for battleground candidates. Yet the idea that Obamacare's potency as a Republican issue is on the verge of expiration is a lingering wish that will never come to pass. And if you've heard about the Obamacare retreat before, it's because it's nothing new. Politico led the way with a story in 2013, "GOP quietly backing away from Obamacare," and similar predictions of the pending surrender on the ACA go back years. Yet here we are.
For two bloody months, an armed jihadist serial killer ran loose across the country. At least four innocent men died this spring and summer as acts of "vengeance" on behalf of aggrieved Muslims, the self-confessed murderer has now proclaimed. Have you heard about this horror? Probably not.
The usual suspects who decry hate crimes and gun violence haven't uttered a peep. Why? Like O.J.'s glove: If the narrative don't fit, you must acquit. The admitted killer will be cast as just another "lone wolf" whose familiar grievances and bloodthirsty Islamic invocations mean nothing.

I say: Enough with the whitewashing. Meet Ali Muhammad Brown. His homicidal Islamic terror spree took him from coast to coast. The 29-year-old career thug admitted to killing Leroy Henderson in Seattle in April; Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle on June 1; and college student Brendan Tevlin, 19, in Essex County, New Jersey, on June 25. Tevlin was gunned down in his family Jeep on his way home from a friend's house. Ballistics and other evidence linked all the victims to Muhammad Brown. Police apprehended him last month hiding in an encampment near the Watchung Mountains of West Orange, New Jersey.

While he was on the run, he disguised himself in a Muslim keffiyeh. He carried a notebook with jihadist scribblings and advice on evading detection. I obtained the latest charging documents filed in Washington state, which detail the defiant domestic terrorist's motives.

Muhammad Brown told investigators that Tevlin's slaying was a "just kill." The devout Islamic adherent proclaimed: "My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day."

Echoing jihadist Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, Muhammad Brown cited Muslim deaths in "Iraq, Syria, (and) Afghanistan" as the catalysts for his one-man Islamic terror campaign. "All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life."

When a detective asked him to clarify whether all four murders were "done for vengeance for the actions of the United States in the Middle East," Muhammad Brown stated unequivocally: "Yes." He added that he was "just doing (his) small part."

Seattle's left-wing mayor, Ed Murray, rushed to issue a statement -- which might as well have sported an insipid "Coexist" bumper sticker across the page -- asserting that Muhammad Brown's seething, deadly hatred did "not reflect the values of Muslims." But the fact is Ali Muhammad Brown has plenty of company. Seattle alone has been a long-festering hotbed of anti-American, anti-Semitic jihadism.

Obama’s Unwilling Un-Coalition

 Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

A coalition of the willing? Not so much.

Obama’s inability to cobble together even a pathetically small coalition to fight the most vicious jihad army in the world is a stunning reflection of Obama’s routing of American hegemony and power on the world stage.

Longtime allies Germany and the UK have refused the bumbling jihadi in the White House. The media derided George Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing” — 48 countries. 48. But nothing negative over Obama’s utter destruction of our allied relationships.

Bush’s coalition:

Nonie Darwish wrote here
Now Obama is playing the same game that Arab leaders have been playing for a long time: ignore terrorism until you feel the flame. No Arab leader is willing to wage war against jihadists who, unlike what Obama says, represent true Islam and its dream of a Caliphate.
That very same reason explains why Obama did not want to defend the consulate in Benghazi with American soldiers against the Muslim attackers and employed useless Libyan security instead. He did not want to fight jihadists in Libya and wanted to remain the hero who liberated Libya. But again Islamists failed him.
Now, Obama is calling on Arab countries to join his coalition against ISIS. But that will not happen because, like Obama, Arab leaders are afraid of appearing treasonous to Islam. They do not want to join a coalition with America (the Infidel) against those who are obeying Allah’s commandment to...

/ Jihad Watch
David-Haines-execution-JPGSaid Cameron: “We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.”

Everything, that is, except study and understand their motives and goals, and tell the truth about those motives and goals.

What will Cameron do to “hunt down these murderers”? Maybe the Leftists and Islamic supremacists he is so anxious to appease will help him find them.

“ISIS executes British aid worker David Haines; Cameron vows justice,” by Greg Botelho, CNN, September 13, 2014:
(CNN) — British aid worker David Haines has been executed by ISIS militants, according to a video posted Saturday to a website associated with the group, making him the third Western captive to be killed by the Islamist extremist group in recent weeks.
The ISIS video post showing Haines’ beheading called his execution “a message to the allies of America.”
It is produced very similarly to the videos that showed the executions of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, the last of which included Haines and the threat that he’d be killed next.
The new video pictures a masked ISIS militant placing his hand on another captive, whom he identified as Alan Henning, a British citizen.
In a tweet, British Prime Minister David Cameron called “the murder of David Haines” an “act of pure evil.”
Cameron added, “We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.”
Haines offers brief scripted comments on the video, as does the man who kills him.
Directing his remarks at Britain, the executioner — who sounds like the man who killed Foley and Sotloff — says, “Your evil alliance with America, which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha dam, will only accelerate your destruction and claim the role of the obedient lap dog.
“Cameron will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinnable war.”…

CAIRO (AP) — As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought Egyptian support on Saturday for an international coalition to combat jihadi groups, Egypt pressed for broader international efforts to fight militants in its troubled neighbor, Libya.
The Egyptian position adds another layer to the complexities facing the United States as it seeks support among allies in the Middle East to battle militants who have overtaken a third of Iraq and Syria and threaten to upend the region.

Cairo's call also risks further aggravating regional rivalries that could undermine U.S. efforts to build a durable coalition. Qatar and Turkey back Islamist-allied militias in Libya, while Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia support their opponents.

Military officials said that in exchange for Egypt's support for the coalition to combat the so-called Islamic State group, it seeks assurances that sorting out Libya will be at the top of the U.S. agenda.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

In meetings with Kerry, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi used language that for the Egyptians clearly referred to Libya, according to a statement by the presidential spokesman.

"(He) stressed that any international coalition against terrorism must be a comprehensive alliance that is not limited to confront a certain organization or to curb a single terrorist hotbed but must expand to include all the terrorist hotbeds across the Middle East and Africa."

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shurki also brought up this issue more than once during a joint press conference with Kerry.

"We support all international efforts to fight terrorism... and we will take all measures that are intended to eliminate this phenomena altogether, whether in Libya or any other part of the Arab world or in the African continent in particular," he said.