Government happens: Pimping health insurance in California

Government gonna happen.

How does a community group that’s been funded to help Californians sign up for the new health “insurance” exchange trace back to a state law sponsored in 1990 by a senator who later served time for felony convictions?

In today’s post, we find out.  This tale is a classic drama of governmentism and its inevitable consequences.  None of it can be attributed to a grand plan – or not, at least, to a plan that was executed with intent by actors conscious of all its details.  Rather, it illustrates the maxim (OK, it ought to be a maxim) that “Government happens.”  Start government in motion, and everything else follows as night follows day.

Government happening

The drama begins in the 1930s, when states across the nation were chartering Blue Cross/Blue Shield organizations Continue reading “Government happens: Pimping health insurance in California”

America: Leadership, at the break with the past

Things have already changed.

Politics may not be beanbag, but electoral politics is also not the game of basics that America needs today.  It is no longer realistic to speak of trying to win elections by means of dismissing basic issues like what liberty means, and whether government has grown so big that we really do have to transform it fundamentally.  There can be no such thing now as Republicans winning a national election by speaking as if we can remain on our current course without making major changes.

To speak so is to speak on the Democrats’ terms.  For all their talk of attacking the status quo, the Democrats are, today, the party of the status quo of law and government in America.  The status quo involves keeping the people trapped in a vise of regulation, taxes, and carefully calibrated “benefits.”  It involves funneling every problem of human life through government – but more than that, it involves making up fake problems in order to increase the power of government.  In today’s status quo, moreover, the federal government is as closely involved in local and personal issues as state and local governments are; there is no working principle that the federal government’s armed power should be kept separate from intricate economic regulation and moral law.

Radicalism, demonstrated

Examples of radicalism and corruption in government abound.  Continue reading “America: Leadership, at the break with the past”

Obama and Israel: Community-organizing the planet?

Organize this.

A correspondent of mine expressed some surprise when it was announced yesterday that the new secretary of state, John Kerry, would not be visiting Israel prior to the visit next month of President Obama.

What this means to foreign-service hands is that there won’t be a ministerial-level sit-down in advance of the president’s trip.  The army of foreign-service specialists who negotiate for the U.S. and Israel won’t come up with serious negotiating points (or at least statements of common objectives) on topics like talks with the Palestinian Arabs, or the Iranian nuclear threat.  The president’s itinerary and official events will no doubt be planned thoroughly, but there is a big hole where the normal process of policy preparation would be.

The prospect of Obama’s visit producing a tangible Middle East-policy outcome is thus nil.  Appearances now suggest that the trip will basically be Continue reading “Obama and Israel: Community-organizing the planet?”