Gravity Is No Longer a Political Issue

Good news for the suicidal or just plain idiotic who plan on visiting one of America’s outstanding national parks this summer. One can now make a mistake and fall befuddled, surprised or screaming to your death off one of our scenic cliffs without any worries that your demise will be drawn into some sordid political drama with lugubrious MSNBC or CNN performers piling on.

Gary McCoy, Shiloh, IL

Take 69–year–old Cynthia Ackley who NBC News tells us died after experiencing a 200–foot fall from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. In April 2019 it’s just another unfortunate tourist death that occurred after getting too close to the edge.

Ms. Ackley’s body was retrieved at what was no doubt colossal taxpayer expense, she’s pronounced dead and life, for the rest of us, goes on.

That would not have been the case if Cynthia had taken her header in January. During that month her death would have been deemed a national disgrace. A stain on the American social fabric and recriminations would have been flying as fast as the Opposition Media could type stories or fulminate on the airwaves.

Why the difference between an accidental death in January and an accidental death in April? Two words: Donald Trump.

January was the month of the government shutdown. The Washington Post (better known as the WoePost for the dolorous tone of most of its ‘news’) practically transformed itself into the Shutdown Privation Report.

I marked Peak Privation on the day the WoePost actually ran a headline that read: “Three dead in national parks as shutdown wears on.”

And Trump may as well have pushed the tourists off into space because he received all the blame. The Orange Outrage in his usual sloppy, haphazard fashion shut down the government, but he forgot to disconnect gravity. Tourists who fell off cliffs received 100 percent of the effect of their fall.

The WoePost’s hysterical Juliet Eilperin wrote, “Three days after most of the federal workforce was furloughed on Dec. 21, a 14-year-old girl fell 700 feet to her death at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, part of the Glen Canyon Recreation Area in Arizona. The following day, Christmas, a man died at Yosemite National Park in California after suffering a head injury in a fall. On Dec. 27, a woman was killed by a falling tree at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee.”

Even trees attack when Trump shuts down the government.

She also pointed out that during the 1995 and 2013 shutdowns Clinton and Obama both closed national parks. Not out of a concern for safety but because, as Eilperin admits, it was a way to punish Republicans by denying people with enough common sense to not to fall off a cliff access to the parks for which their tax dollars pay.

Diane Regas, president of the Trust for Public Land, even sent a letter to Trump begging him to close the deadly, malevolent landscape.“I think we all know that not having bathrooms is a nuisance. What I think people forget is, not having adequate sewage treatment can be dangerous,” Regas explained.

Something tells me shutdown deaths weren’t caused by tourists losing their balance while pooping off the edge of a cliff because the Porta Potties were full.

Today the shutdown is over. The parks are fully staffed and everything is back to normal. Park visitors are bar–coded as they enter and assigned a personal guide. Extra–strength invisible fences keep daredevils away from dangerous overlooks. And roving teams of rangers — on the lookout for fence jumpers — patrol the canyon floor with nets to catch the falling.

Or maybe not. NBC News reports that after Ackley’s death, “there are no new warning signs [and] park staff were not paying extra visits …to warn thrill-seekers to back up from the rim’s edge.”

“People walk behind the railings, over the top of railings, hang their feet over the edge. So more signs is not necessarily going to encourage more safety,” John Quinley, a National Parks Service spokesman, said.

The truth is gravity works regardless of whether or not government employees are getting timely paychecks. People will risk death in an effort to shoot that selfie with the exciting frisson of potential death regardless of who occupies the Oval Office.

The only difference is if one falls to his death today the leftist stenographers in the OpMedia will leave the family in peace instead trying to turn a family’s private sadness into a public political attack. The dead have served their purpose and have been discarded by what passes for our news media.

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Pastor Pete Delivers Another Homily

The Opposition Media and other leftist cultural arbiters have finally found a ‘Christian’ presidential candidate with whom they are not embarrassed to be seen in public. This religious token is Pete Buttigieg whose day job is Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com

It’s not that these leftist stenographers posing as journalists have become more open to the Christian message. They’re as ignorant of the Bible and elementary Christian beliefs as they’ve always been. Reading an OpMedia journo’s take on basic theology is like listening to Ann Coulter discuss quinceañera preparations with Vicente Fox.

That doesn’t really matter though, for as the Atlantic says, “Democrats who are drawn to him are embracing him not because of his faith but because of his liberalism. They’re willing to indulge the former so long as it advances the latter. For many Democrats, faith is an instrumentality.” In Buttigieg’s case the instrumentality is part of his niche marking effort.

As CNN described his appearance at its town hall, “Pete Buttigieg opened up about his faith Monday night, expressing confidence that he will be able to unite many different groups of people because ‘God does not have a political party.’”

I predict a sweep of Unitarians, dissident Methodists, squishy Presbyterians and his own heretical Episcopalians.

And there’s Pastor Pete’s problem. He’s a Burger King Christian who wants to have the Bible his way. Pete’s another mainline Protestant who failed to realize as his church became more ‘relevant’ the membership became more absent.

Buttigieg won’t appeal to any church attendee who’s not already voting Democrat. The portions of his bio that are so appealing to the left are what disqualify him with believers. Pastor Pete is an alphabet apostate who is married to a man.

The Godless media can’t understand what all the fuss is about. Trump is a serial adulterer who refuses to turn the other cheek and has never bought into the theory of a kind word turns away wrath — while Pastor Pete is a low–key Rhodes Scholar who talks about compassion and never talks about cheating on his husband.

So, what’s not to like?

Buttigieg theology for starters. During the town hall, he offered to meet those close–minded bigots who think marriage is one–man–one–woman halfway when he opined, “I get that one of the things about Scripture is different people see different things in it.”

I would go so far to say people who are different might try to soft–pedal or ignore inconvenient Scripture, but that’s my limit. The Bible isn’t a Magic 8–ball providing enigmatic answers when shaken. The centuries old theological basis for sex and marriage is not up for grabs.

Pastor Pete doesn’t even like to use the ‘C’ word. On CNN he was a “person of faith” who told the audience, “And part of God’s love is experienced, according to my faith tradition, is in the way that we support one another and, in particular, support the least among us.”

A “faith tradition” is Baptists refusing to dance or Lutheran’s strange attachment to hot dish dinners. The clear prohibition against homosexuality and limiting marriage to one man and one woman is a foundational belief, not a “tradition.”

My advice is to keep that bit of self–righteous boasting about “the least” in mind when Buttigieg finally releases his tax returns. If he’s part of the hypocritical one–percent–to–charity club Pastor Pete is going to have to explain why he leaves the collection plate empty.

Buttigieg also lines up with the rest of the Democrats on the wrong side of the second great moral issue that has faced this country, abortion.

Here he’s biblical, but only in the sense he’s channeling Pontius Pilate. On Meet the Press Pastor Pete just washed his hands, “But in my view, [abortion] is a question that is almost unknowable. This is a moral question that’s not going to be settled by science.”

Buttigieg is just as relentless in harvesting the souls of the unborn as is the governor of Virginia, Ralph ‘Blackface’ Northam. I would venture that most of his supporters on the left like him in spite of his diluted ‘Christianity.’

An authentic Christian writer named Rod Dreher has looked at Pastor Pete and devised an excellent question that will really test the depth of Buttigieg’s belief in the Christ of the Bible, “I hope some journalist asks Buttigieg to talk about an instance in which his faith caused him to break with the progressive consensus in a meaningful way.”

In the unlikely event it happens, I predict the articulate Pastor Pete will suddenly fall silent.

Sen. Mike Braun’s Backwards Healthcare Reform

Two years too late a senator has finally taken a tentative step toward increasing competition in the healthcare market, lowering insurance costs and removing the dead hand of Obamacare from the nation’s throat. It’s partial implementation of a plan I’ve advocated, but it repeats my mistake and unfortunately adds a new one.

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

It’s unfair to blame Sen. Mike Braun (R–IN) for being late since he wasn’t in the Senate when Republicans frittered away Obamacare repeal. The problem is his bill attacks cost from the wrong end.

Braun’s plan is called the True Price Act. As he told Breitbart.com, his plan “would require insurers to disclose the negotiated price for each medical service covered by a person’s insurance plan and any cost-sharing amounts (co-pays or deductibles)…The bill would require the prices to be posted on the insurer’s website and in paper form.”

That’s backwards because the insurance companies can’t predict what hospitals charge for a procedure because charges vary according to the rapacity of the facility. Braun says he wants to reverse concentration in the health insurance market by “by making it transparent and competitive, letting the best providers survive.”

His bill would only encourage concentration and limit consumer choice because the only way an insurance company can be certain of a procedure’s cost is if the insurer limits coverage to hospitals it controls or with which it has negotiated an agreement.

The People’s Republic of Maryland proves my point. The Maryland Health Care Commission has a limited program that compares turnkey prices for common procedures affecting patients who are either women, old or both. It found Sinai Hospital charges $32,500 for a knee replacement, while UMD Medical Center at Easton charges over one–third less at $22,700, with fewer readmissions from complications. 

Braun would accomplish more by requiring hospitals that accept federal money to post turnkey charges and forget the insurance companies.

Then Braun repeats my initial mistake and ignores consumer motivation. Most medical shoppers, like whiskey drinkers, tend to associate high cost with high quality, when that isn’t the case. For a patient with a $3,000 deductible it makes both economic and status sense to choose the more expensive hospital. Ten percent co–pay on the costlier procedure wipes out his deductible and the rest of his health care that year is ‘free’!

A better solution is for the feds to encourage insurance companies to give the patient an incentive to be a comparison shopper by sharing the savings when he chooses a less expensive option. Instead of pocketing the $9,800 saved by paying for the knee replacement at UMD Easton, the insurance company could share by applying ten percent of the savings to the patient’s deductible for that year.

The patient would pay ten percent of the procedure ($2,270) and the insurance company would apply ten percent of the savings ($980) and his deductible for the year would be satisfied.

To ensure this wasn’t a one–time–only cost–conscious decision by the patient, the insurer could continue to apply 10 percent of procedure savings for the rest of the year to the patient’s deductible in outlying years.

This is good for the company because it reduces customer churn by giving the patient a reason not to change policies and the customer saves money on future annual deductibles.

Braun is right that cost transparency will encourage competition, but the place to start isn’t with the middlemen. It’s with the hospitals that generate the cost. Currently the consumer has severely limited options when buying insurance. It’s either the price set by the socialized premium mavens at Obamacare. Convert to Christianity and join a cost–sharing plan. Or join millions of uninsured illegals crowding the emergency room.

Sen. Braun would do better to allow insurance companies to offer coverage options and sell across state lines without crony capitalist interference from the various legislatures.

Combine that with price transparency for hospitals and incentives for procedure shopping on the part of patients and healthcare prices will finally start to go down.

The next step will be selling freedom of choice to the public and talking panicked Republicans off the ledge. But that’s another column entirely.

The Trump Appointee Who Believed Trump

The suggestion that the Trump administration release illegal aliens in sanctuary cities was the inspiration of Deputy White House Policy Coordinator May Davis.

Broaching this idea indicates that Davis is either very courageous or never plans on eating an undisturbed restaurant meal in the DC area again.

Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

Davis’ inspiration is a brilliantly creative example of political jujitsu. It takes what your opponent considers to be a strength — compassion for “undocumented immigrants” — and turns it into a negative when the beneficiaries of the bad idea land on unsuspecting resident’s doorsteps.

Even better, any complaint about receiving more of the illegals the politicians claim to love only exposes their moral exhibitionism.

Unfortunately, the reaction to Davis’ idea is additional proof of why conservatives and Republicans are going to be utterly defeated by the Open Borders left.

The left is focused on ends. The Democrat party wants to change the electorate through immigration regardless of whether the individual immigrant is legal or illegal.

In support of this long–term goal the left ignores hundreds of American citizens killed by illegal aliens. It ignores citizens raped by illegal aliens. It ignores citizens assaulted by illegals. It ignores identity theft, welfare abuse and the billions spent by taxpayers to support illegal aliens.

The goal of a permanent leftist voting majority is too important to be delayed by sympathy for citizens whose luck ran out.

Republicans focus on staying in office while staying out of late night comedy sketches. They care more about avoiding a negative reaction by the leftist street (like the Arab street only without burning tires) than they do about achieving goals.

Judging by the reaction of National Review writer David French you’d have thought the idea of giving sanctuary cities more of the diversity that makes us so strong came from some community college Deplorable with a BMI of 50, instead of a graduate of Harvard Law School and former president of the Federalist Society in Cambridge.

French contends using “human beings as pawns” is repugnant, cruel and in his opinion “politically disastrous.” He’s also worried about Opposition Media coverage of the “compassion” that will be displayed in San Francisco when the caravan of illegals arrives.

This petticoat–ruffling on French’s part is another form of surrender. Preserving the status quo on immigration equals defeat. Unless we work to change some of the variables in this equation the only unknown is when Republicans eventually disappear.

The “human beings” French is protecting with McAllen, TX’s tax dollars are volunteers here only to strip-mine American generosity. They continue to volunteer because there is no downside to being an illegal. If putting them on a bus is “cruel” then so be it. Let’s hope word gets back to Latin America.

French’s indirect support of the current catch–and–release policy means Trump is punishing the residents of states that voted for him, namely Arizona and Texas. What’s sensible about that? What is repugnant about giving voters that support sanctuary politicians more of the illegals they long to embrace?

French contends it will cause “chaos” there. Good. Better California and Massachusetts than Yuma, AZ which has just declared a state of emergency.

Reaction within the executive branch was no better. The fascists in the White House were routed by a red tape wielding defender of the administrative state. The New York Times reports Davis’ idea was presented to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence who exercised the bureaucrat’s veto. He claimed ICE would be subject to “liability issues” during transport and had concerns about budget allocations.

And this character is supposed to be a “hard liner” on enforcement.

It’s not Albence’s job to approve or disapprove of the administration’s policy. His job to execute administration policy.

Donald Trump was given a nationwide mandate by voters to carry out his campaign platform. Albence hasn’t been elected to anything. He doesn’t run an ‘independent agency.’ He’s part of the administration. If he can’t perform his duties he needs to resign.

And how does the man who pledged to drain the swamp respond when some random alligator burps? Instead of sending a message by firing Albence, Trump surrenders again.

If Trump can’t find the motivation to impose his will on his own administration there is no chance he can impose his will on the open borders left. Winning this fight is going to take a sustained effort and a willingness to be impervious to the Sad Story Industrial Complex run by the Opposition Media. I don’t think Trump or his appointees have what it takes.

Millions of voters across the nation who want their country back voted for Trump in 2016. It’s too bad he couldn’t convince any of them to join his administration.