About John Rich

Born and raised in the Bronx, on the wrong side of the tracks. Moved south; now a Virginian; have been for many years. National security grunt, now retired. Never turn left if I can avoid it -- right turns are best, on the road, and in government.

Chickens; roost; coming home

In case anyone missed it, the House will not be voting on any repeal and replace bill for Obamacare.  At least for the time being.  Before any fingers are pointed at Paul Ryan and the rest of the House leadership, consider President Trump’s role.   

Trump dropped what had been one of his signature issues of the campaign like a hot and heavy potato. For at least 18 months he would tell us, incessantly, and with far too many adjectives, how bad Obamacare was. And that one of the first things he would do as president was get it repealed and replaced with…something with another bunch of meaningless adjectives in front of it.

One might have gotten the impression it was actually important that we repeal it. Which is what he said on the campaign trail, over and over and over and… Got to stop it; I’m going all Trumpian here.

Besides trashing Obama and Obamacare (both correctly, in my opinion), Trump also repeatedly trashed the Republican leadership in the House and Senate. Way to make friends and influence people.

Perhaps Trump thinks that Republicans in Congress should bow before him, the mighty deal-making president. But they are not underlings in some Trump enterprise who report to him. They are leaders of a co-equal branch of our government.

The leaders are far from perfect, mind you. But put yourself in their shoes, trying to obtain cohesion from groups of Republicans who, unlike their Democrat brethren, actually think and have different thoughts on how best to govern. Like herding cats.

Let’s just say that Trump preemptively burned bridges with Republicans in Congress. Good will squandered is mighty hard to get back.

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Honor thy word: repeal it

There’s a lot of sturm und drang going on as Republicans in Congress fuss and feud about repealing and (possibly) replacing Obamacare. A/K/A the Orwellian-entitled “Affordable Care Act.” No one not on welfare can afford it. The country can’t afford it, but, hey, facts are pesky things, aren’t they?

If Obamacare is repealed and not replaced, the mainstream media and the Democrats will blame Republicans for each and every bad thing suffered by anyone in our country. This will include lurid stories about poor-but-hardworking folks who used to have “free” healthcare.” Not to mention ads featuring a Trump look-alike tossing Granny and small children off a cliff.

If Obamacare is repealed and is replaced, all those bad things will still be the fault of Republicans. Except that now whatever repleaces Obamacare will be labeled “Trumpcare.” And, of course, cue those ads…

Point being: it matters not one whit what happens. Facts will not matter. It will be bad, bad, bad because it’s no longer “Obamacare.” Republicans will be blamed by the Democrats and their enablers in Hollywood and the mainstream media.

What I suggest is: repeal the damned thing. Period. Millions will no longer be on what has turned out to be a bad idea. One that limits choices of doctors. One that drives premiums way up for those that pay them.

Who loses? People who receive health insurance as a form of welfare. Who will now go back to Medicaid (as many now “enrolled” in Obamacare are) if they are poor enough. If they are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, do what the rest of us must do: find health insurance on the private market that you can afford.

Demography is Not Destiny

Despite what today’s liberals might wish us to believe, the increasing percentage of minorities in the United States does not guarantee some future Democratic Party supremacy.

It turns out that while, yes, minorities (especially Hispanics) are increasing in numbers, they tend to be concentrated in places and Congressional districts that would have voted Democratic anyway.

From Third Way:

Republicans hold the governors’ mansions and both houses of the state legislature in 25 states, while Democrats control all levers of power in just five. . . . In fact, Republicans are now just one state legislature short of being able to call a constitutional convention to consider amendments to our founding document.

Democrats cannot simply rely on demographic change to deliver inevitable victories.

Demographic change is not evenly dispersed in states and voting districts throughout the country.

Voting behavior is not static. Voters more readily change which party they support than the demography-is-destiny models anticipated.

“Disparate Impact”

Under the “disparate impact” theory of discrimination pushed by today’s Democrats (especially their new Chairman, Tom Perez), there is a violation of civil rights if a favored minority group has less than what our masters in government consider “fair” or “representative.”

So, for example, if the population of a wealthy suburb does not exactly reflect its minority percentages, that’s evidence of a civil rights violation. Like, say, Tom Perez’ political launching pad in Maryland: Montgomery County, home to well-off bien pensants whose smugness is topped only by their disdain for us plebeians.

So, I’ve got to ask: why aren’t professional sports also governed by this “disparate impact” theory? Take the NFL, whose players are now about two-thirds black. Or the NBA, three-fourths black. Sounds like whites (and Hispanics and Asians, for that matter) are way under-represented.

What, you say? Aren’t the best players who you want, regardless of the color of their skin or ethnicity?

Indeed.

Indispensable

lincoln

Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln.

I would characterize President Lincoln as one of two indispensable leaders we have been blessed to have had. The first was President Washington, without whom there would be no United States of America.

The second, and so far last, was Lincoln, without whom America would look far different (and worse) than it does.

As for “greatest?” Impossible to judge between Washington and Lincoln. And, fortunately for us, we don’t need to.

Trump vs the Queen?

There is apparently a movement in Britain to prevent President Donald Trump (love that this name can give liberals the yips) from a state visit to Queen Elizabeth.  The libertarian-leaning folks at Spiked note “Better an elected president than an unelected monarch.”  Hear hear.  This is just so.

The sentiment in Britain among some, at least, is that The Donald just isn’t classy enough to break bread (or tea and crumpets) with Her Majesty. Those who think about such state meetings, as the folks at Spiked do, know better.

Yes, Donald Trump can be rude and crude. As they say, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. In large part, it’s why we Yanks elected him: he is the very opposite of a polished mainstream politico. Does he know which fork to use for the oysters? Don’t know; don’t care.

Bigger question: will he learn the art of political leadership? Right now, he is clumsy, but with good intentions. My English cousins should not complain; Trump appears to be profoundly pro-Anglo.

Unlike his predecessor, who acted very much like a hostile colonial, resenting the fact that Britain used to own Kenya.

Calexit?

The secession movement in California seems to be gathering momentum. It might be funny, all these granola types (nuts and flakes) on the Left Coast having a whiny tantrum over the election of President Trump. But, some Californians seem to be serious about this.

I’ve read many arguments against secession. For me, they come down to what has become “received opinion.” As in, all the right people agree, so it must be true that secession is illegal, against the Constitution. The least convincing is the oft-repeated mantra that the Civil War decided this question once and forever.

All the Civil War truly decided was that the Confederate States were defeated in war. That they had seceded and failed to prevail on the battlefield did not change the legal argument.

As fun as it would be to contemplate, California should not secede Bad for the remaining United States; worse for what would quickly become an impoverished socialist state.

Lastly, our Declaration of Independence states “That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…” Did this only apply to the original 13 colonies? Or, by logical extension, to all the other 37 states added since the Revolution? And, bigger question, are the words in the Declaration binding? If these are not, what other words may be considered as non-binding?

Hard questions, hard times.