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    Charles Krauthammer Tag

    Democrats are still reeling from their historic electoral losses during the Obama era, particularly the loss of the White House in 2016.  They now appear to be increasingly coalescing behind single-payer as part of their "get back in power" strategy. Socialist senator and failed Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) peddled his inconceivably expensive "Medicare for all" throughout the 2016 presidential primaries.  Sanders himself refuses to address pesky questions about the cost or real-world viability of his socialist pipe-dream, but that hasn't stopped Democrats from seizing on the idea.

    Democrats have been struggling to find something positive to say, something to stand for and to campaign on.  Elizabeth Warren thinks that something should be single-payer health care. The idea of single-payer is nothing new for Democrats.  Back in 2003, then-Illinois state senator Obama said:
    I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer, universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. ... A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we've got to take back the White House, we've got to take back the Senate, and we've got to take back the House.

    Was the end goal of Obamacare to create the expectation of universal health coverage? Charles Krauthammer thinks so:
    On Friday's edition of 'Special Report' on Fox News Channel, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made the case that President Obama's strategy for Obamacare was not to create a perfect health care system, but to create the expectation that health care is something the government is responsible for. He said Obama had been successful at "creating the expectation of universal care" and that as a result "the zeitgeist of the country has really changed."...

    It was a remarkable live-TV moment. During Tucker Carlson's Fox News show, reporter Griff Jenkins was at the scene of an anti-Trump demonstration in DC where a fire had been set in the street. Suddenly, a young boy [maybe 10-11] stepped up to say that he "kind of started the fire." When Jenkins asked why he started the fire, the boy, who identified himself as "Carter," said "because I felt like it and I'm just sort of saying, screw the president."

    In a New Year's announcement, North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un stated that his nation was on the verge of launching its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) - a missile capable of both carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching the United States. This threat could President-elect Donald Trump's first major foreign policy challenge, coming as it does after nuclear bomb tests of varying success by the North Koreans.

    Probably the one columnist I have critiqued more than any other in my blogging career is Thomas Friedman of The New York Times. Friedman, one-time NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief, is considered The Times' go-to expert on the Middle East, globalization and environmental issues. However, when reading Friedman's columns, it's easy to see that rather than being an expert on any of these topics, he holds certain beliefs and uses all of his observations to support his deeply held beliefs. He often conveys his convictions using superficial metaphors that sound clever, but are meaningless or misleading.

    Back in February 2012, I wrote that I expected that in his second term Obama would force his vision of a "peace" deal on the Israelis. We've had several close calls, with the John Kerry negotiation fiasco and flirtation with various European and Arab initiatives through the UN. The mechanism would be a failure to veto a Security Council resolution setting the terms of a deal. Part of it is Obama hatred of Bibi Netanyahu, dating back to the beginning of Obama's presidency. The snubs and dislike was palpable long before Netanyahu's address to Congress opposing the Iran nuclear deal.

    Vox.com, which purports to "explain" things, has turned its attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The results are not pretty. Truth takes a backseat to revisionism and a combination of ignorance and propaganda forces out knowledge. Here's the video, but be sure to read the explanation below as to how it misleads: In general the content can be divided in two: anything that makes Israel look bad or the Palestinians sympathetic is described in (often incorrect) detail; anything that makes the Palestinians (or Arabs generally) look bad is described only generally. Israel is active; Palestinians are passive.

    Amidst growing concerns of his lack of knowledge of foreign policy, Dr. Ben Carson headed on Friday to Jordan to visit a refugee camp in Jordan. From ABC News
    "Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has traveled to a refugee camp in Jordan on a "fact finding and information gathering mission."
    Is this a smart move by the campaign? Carson is viewing the trip as an opportunity to see up close the complexities surrounding the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis:
    “I find when you have firsthand knowledge of things as opposed to secondhand, it makes a much stronger impression.”
    Carson's itinerary includes not just a visit to the United Nations-run refugee camp, but to a clinic and hospital as well. The famed neurosurgeon is looking to become a student of these experiences.

    George Will has written a thought-provoking piece over at WaPo in which he argues that the GOP should purge itself of Trump and Trump's supporters. Will explains:
    When, however, Trump decided that his next acquisition would be not another casino but the Republican presidential nomination, he tactically and quickly underwent many conversions of convenience (concerning abortion, health care, funding Democrats, etc.). His makeover demonstrates that he is a counterfeit Republican and no conservative.

    He is an affront to anyone devoted to the project William F. Buckley began six decades ago with the founding in 1955 of the National Review — making conservatism intellectually respectable and politically palatable. Buckley’s legacy is being betrayed by invertebrate conservatives now saying that although Trump “goes too far,” he has “tapped into something,” and therefore . . . .

    Therefore what? This stance — if a semi-grovel can be dignified as a stance — is a recipe for deserved disaster. Remember, Henry Wallace and Strom Thurmond “tapped into” things.

    In the first of the two Republican debates yesterday, the lower polling candidates squared off in a so-called "Happy Hour" debate. All of the candidates did well but Carly Fiorina truly stood out and her performance might be just the jolt her campaign needed. The consensus among many in media was that Carly Fiorina won the debate. CNN made note of the tweets declaring Fiorina the winner:

    Two recent articles document the multiple American capitulations to Iran in pursuit of a nuclear deal. One is Friday's column by Charles Krauthammer, which showed the numerous retreats the administration has taken from ensuring that Iran will stick to an agreement. Another is by Lee Smith, who earlier this week covered a number of retreats the administration took in allowing Iran to maintain its nuclear infrastructure. The administration's goal seems not to be preventing Iran from making a nuclear weapon but to making a deal. Iranian TV is talking tough: Krauthammer summarizes how the administration backed down from inspections, Iran's having to account for its past illicit nuclear research, as well as its generous application of sanctions relief. The matter of past nuclear work is necessary (and it's something that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei refuses discuss) in order to know the full extent of Iran's nuclear program. Here's what happened:

    Charles Krauthammer appeared on the O'Reilly Factor last night and was asked by Bill O'Reilly to name three reasons for the recent rapid changes in America, with a focus on recent U.S. Supreme Court cases. Krauthammer cited culture as one of the reasons and he's absolutely right. Andrew Breitbart frequently voiced his belief that politics is downstream from culture. Watch the entire exchange below: Krauthammer recently called the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage a loss for democracy.

    As a direct result of Obama's amateurish, quasi-idealistic, and completely ideological failings in Iraq, we will almost certainly end up sending ground troops back in order to undo the damage wrought by the failed Obama doctrine. Obama knows this, of course, and his plan is to run out the clock rather than make the decision that needs to be—and will be—made by the next president.  The National Journal reports:
    On using U.S. combat troops? In a detailed interview with The Atlantic, Obama made his view clear. "If they are not willing to fight for the security of their country, we cannot do that for them," he said, but added that he's committed to training Iraqis over a "multi-year" period. How many, exactly, is "multi?" State Department official and ISIS expert Brett McGurk laid that out on NPR: "It's a three-year campaign to degrade the organization." Three years marked from mid-2014, of course, falls after Jan. 20, 2017, the date Obama leaves office. Translation: The strategy is to avoid sending ground troops for the remainder of his term. So stop asking.
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