Who Really Won?–In diminishing American power abroad, Obama and the U.S. choose decline.

October 10, 2009, 7:00 a.m.

Who Really Won?
In diminishing American power abroad, Obama and the U.S. choose decline.

By Mark Steyn

The most popular headline at the Real Clear Politics website the other day was: “Is Obama Becoming A Joke?” With brilliant comedic timing, the very next morning the Norwegians gave him the Nobel Peace Prize. Up next: His stunning victory in this year’s Miss World contest. December 12, Johannesburg. You read it here first.

For what, exactly, did he win the Nobel? As the president himself put it: “When you look at my record, it’s very clear what I have done so far. And that is nothing. Almost one year and nothing to show for it. You don’t believe me? You think I’m making it up? Take a look at this checklist.”

And up popped his record of accomplishment, reassuringly blank.

Oh, no, wait. That wasn’t the real President Obama. That was a comedian playing President Obama on Saturday Night Live. And, for impressionable types who find it hard to tell the difference, CNN — in a broadcast first that should surely have its own category at the Emmys — performed an in-depth “reality check” of the SNL sketch. That’s right: They fact-checked the jokes. Seriously. “How much truth is behind all the laughs? Stand by for our reality check,” promised Wolf Blitzer, introducing his in-depth report with all the plonking earnestness so cherished by those hapless Americans stuck at Gate 73 for four hours with nothing to watch but the CNN airport channel. Given the network’s ever-more-exhaustive absence of viewers among the non-flight-delayed demographic, perhaps Wolf could make it a regular series: 

Who was that lady I saw you with last night?

That was no lady, that was my wife.

“In fact, our sources confirm, his wife is, biologically speaking, a lady. Joining us now is our medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, we all like a joke, but how much truth is behind the laughs?”

Fortunately, the Nobel Committee understands that President Obama’s accomplishments are no laughing matter. So they gave him the Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” I assumed this was a reference to his rip-roaring success in winning the Olympic Games for Rio — but as it turns out, the deadline for Nobel nominations was way back on February 1.

Obama took office on January 20. Gosh, it’s so long ago now. What “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy” did he make in those first twelve days? Bowing to the Saudi King? Giving the British prime minister the Wal-Mart discount box of Twenty Classic Movies You’ve Seen A Thousand Times? “Er, Barack, I’ve already seen these.” “That’s okay. They won’t work in your DVD player anyway.”

For these and other “extraordinary efforts” in “cooperation between peoples,” President Obama is now the fastest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in history. Alas, the extraordinary efforts of those first twelve days are already ancient history. Reflecting the new harmony of U.S.-world relations since the administration hit the “reset” button, the Times of London declared the award “preposterous” and Svenska Freds (the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society) called it “shameful.” There’s something almost quaintly vieux chapeau about the Nobel decision, as if the hopeychangey bumper stickers were shipped surface mail to Oslo and only arrived last week. Everywhere else, they’re peeling off: The venerable lefties at Britain’s New Statesman currently have a cover story on “Barack W. Bush.”

Happily, there are still a few Americans willing to stand by Mister Saturday Night. “I am shocked at the mean-spirited comments,” wrote Judi Romaine to the Times in protest at all the naysaying. “I’m afraid I’ve registered into a very conversative [sic], fear-based world here but I’d like to suggest the incredible notion we all create our worlds in our conversations. What are you building by maligning rather than creating discourses for workability? Bravo to Obama and others working for people, however it appears to cynics.”

If that’s the language you have to speak when you’re “working for people,” I’d rather work for a cranky mongoose. Yet to persons who can use phrases like “creating discourses for workability” with a straight face, Obama remains an heroic figure. Like Judi Romaine, he works hard to “create our worlds in our conversations.” Why, only the other day, very conversationally, the administration floated the trial balloon that it could live with the Taliban returning to government in Afghanistan. A lot of Afghans won’t be living with it, but that’s their lookout.

This is — how to put this delicately? — something of a recalibration of Obama’s previous position. From about a year after the fall of Baghdad, Democrats adopted the line that Bush’s war in Iraq was an unnecessary distraction from the real war, the good war, the one in Afghanistan that everyone — Dems, Europeans, all the nice people — were right behind, 100 percent. No one butched up for the Khyber Pass more enthusiastically than Barack Obama: “As president, I will make the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority.” (July 15, 2008)

But that was then and this is now. As the historian Robert Dallek told Obama recently, “War kills off great reform movements.” As the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne reminded the president, his supporters voted for him not to win a war but to win a victory on health care and other domestic issues. Obama’s priorities lie not in the Hindu Kush but in America: Why squander your presidency on trying to turn an economically moribund feudal backwater into a functioning nation state when you can turn a functioning nation state into an economically moribund feudal backwater?

Gosh, given their many assertions that Afghanistan is “a war we have to win” (Obama to the VFW, August 2008), you might almost think, pace Judi Romaine, that it’s the president and water-bearers like Gunga Dionne who are the “cynics.” In a recent speech to the Manhattan Institute, Charles Krauthammer pointed out that, in diminishing American power abroad to advance statism at home, Obama and the American people will be choosing decline. There are legitimate questions about our war aims in Afghanistan, and about the strategy necessary to achieve them. But, eight years after being toppled, the Taliban will see their return to power as a great victory over the Great Satan, and so will the angry young men from Toronto to Yorkshire to Chechnya to Indonesia who graduated from Afghanistan’s Camp Jihad during the 1990s. And so will the rest of the world: They will understand that the modern era’s ordnungsmacht (the “order maker”) has chosen decline.

Barack Obama will have history’s most crowded trophy room, but his presidency is shaping up as a tragedy — for America, and the world.
Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone. © 2009 Mark Steyn

National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Mjg1YWFkM2RiZWU2NzllMjZkMGJjNTY2NjkzZTMxYTg=

An American Artist Immortalizes Neda

Amil Imani

An American Artist Immortalizes Neda
October 7, 2009

One dreadful day, the bullet of a henchman of tyranny pierced the young heart of Neda Agha Sultan, and she collapsed on the pavement, gasped for air as her crimson blood painted the black asphalt. Her music teacher along with a young doctor tried desperately to revive her. They kept frantically telling her not to be afraid, not to be afraid. The music teacher was witnessing the death of his young student and all he could do was to breathe encouragement in the vain hope of keeping her alive. Her mouth began to spurt blood and her eyes rolled to the side. As people crowded around her in screams and wails, she stared serenely into the cell phone camera that captured the final moments of her life.


Neda, the young and beautiful freedom-loving Iranian music student was slain in cold-blood by the current Islamic regime in Iran. Almost instantly, Neda became, not only the divine call of the Iranian revolution, but she symbolized the call for liberty around the world.


Like millions of people around the globe who were profoundly saddened by the untimely death of a young and innocent Iranian woman, the Master Sculptor, Paula Slater, was also deeply affected by the death of Neda on that graphic video. In fact, waves of human soul cried out loud for the injustice in Iran.


This was the moment of unity, people of all races, classes and nationalities became one people and one voice in expressing their revulsion at the barbarity of a murdering regime and its savage henchmen.


No sooner the final shovels of dirt covered the precious body of Neda that on the other side of the world Paula—a distinguished artist and daughter of humanity – devoted endless hours sculpting a bust of the murdered young woman.


No one commissioned this talented artist, no one even asked her to do the magnificent work of immortalizing Neda. The sensitive artist later reported: “My schedule was packed with Public Art commissions to complete, but I was so saddened by the tragic events in Iran that I needed to turn the pain I felt into art before I could precede with my other sculpting projects.”


Paula Slater is a full-time professional sculptor and has been awarded many important commissioned monuments and prestigious bronze portraits installed throughout the United States and Canada. Believing in the old-world ideal of ‘nothing rushed or left undone’, she gives the time needed to bring each exquisite detail to life. This generous giving of time is rare in the art world today, setting her sumptuous sculptures apart and elevating the demand for her fine art ever higher.”


She started to sculpt a life size portrait bust of Neda, also known as “The Angel of Iran,” based on the photo that was released the day of her murder. It was the photo with the veil. She presented the first bronze bust at a rally, organized by a group called “United 4 Iran,” on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. It was Paula’s divine call. She wanted to memorialize the fallen Persian martyr. Only the spark of talent and genius can produce beauty and true art of lasting value.


The second portrait bust of Neda— she says, “It is the face on the other side of the coin.” The first sculpture was a historical portrait of Neda “Angel of Iran”. It showed a strong and proud Neda whose spirit could not be broken by an oppressive dictatorship under which she lived and died. However, this second sculpture is of Neda “the Angel of Freedom” with her hair uncovered, and she is radiating the hope of her people for a free Iran.


In an interview with Radio Free Europe, Paula was asked how she came up with the idea of making a sculpture in Neda’s honor: “Well, you know, I saw the videotape of the shooting of Neda and it just touched me so deeply. It was like a shot to the heart. And what I do when I’m feeling a lot of pain is sculpt, and I thought I just needed to sculpt her. I need to turn this pain that I’m feeling into art and I just wanted to sculpt her portrait and to show my solidarity with the people in Iran,” she replied.


Slater goes on to say, “I am normally a commission sculptor, however, I chose to sculpt the first portrait of Neda and to donate it so that we could have a memorial for her in the U.S.–the present government in Iran banned Neda’s family from holding a memorial for her, but they can’t stop us from having one here.”


Paula was overwhelmed by so many loving e-mails she received by Iranians all over the world in appreciations of Neda’s sculptures that she started to sculpt another life size portrait bust of a 19-year-old fallen martyr, Sohrab Arabi, to represent all the brave young male heroes who have given their lives in this revolution for freedom and human rights in Iran. “I feel that I have become joined at the heart with the Iranian people and I want to continue to do all that I can to help, because I believe that the only way bad people can win is if good people aren’t willing to stand up to them,” says Paula.


For the most part, Slater’s sculptures capture and set forth a message with the force of a sudden wind storm. And the sculpture of Neda breaks free from formality and brings one quickly into a realm of light and spirit, which only folded, hammered, heated and burnished bronzes can do. Paula’s work directs, without speaking.


She is considered by many art lovers one of the best sculptors in the country. This talented American artist has an eye for detail and her powerful compositions are capturing the attention of art enthusiasts worldwide.


Her skill with bronze sculpture vividly captures the spirit and movement of her subjects, both in human sculpture and animal sculpture, and only is surpassed by her sensitive attention to detail. Paula is deservedly celebrated for the compelling realism of her bronze sculpture.


We salute Paula Slater, by all accounts, for distinguishing herself as a tireless and devoted artist who stands for freedom, justice and liberty. We salute Master Sculptor, Paula Slater, for her stand on the right side of history at this critical juncture and for lending her invaluable support to the people of Iran.


Whilst we mourn Neda’s passing, let us celebrate her life through the hands of a brilliant artist, Paula Slater.


Paula’s devotion to sculpture has been acknowledged through the awards and recognitions that have been bestowed upon her and her work. And she really wanted to donate her time and talents to immortalize Neda’s image in bronze. “These two portraits of Neda are gifts from my heart to the Iranian people to show my solidarity with their fight for freedom and democracy. I want them to know they are not alone,” says Paula.


Here is our message to you dear Paula: We, free Iranian expatriates as well as the diverse people of Iran, express our deepest appreciation for your magnificent work and support. You have energized us by your passion, compassion and the beautiful creation of Neda’s sculptures. You have given us great courage and hope to continue our struggle for freedom and justice in Iran. We will meet any challenge and pay any price to defeat tyranny and we will not rest until Iran is completely free of the despotic rule of the Mullahs.

President Obama’s Policy Disaster

President Obama’s Policy Disaster

By Amil Imani

Is history repeating itself? Is President Obama reenacting President Carter’s tragic policy blunder toward Iran? Is Mr. Obama going to sacrifice the Iranian people at the altar of a misguided expediency as did Jimmy Carter some three decades ago? To what end?

America’s enemies bleat that sacrificing any people to further America’s interests is a standard operating procedure for American administrations – Republican or Democrat. These ill-wishers claim that America is not a democracy, but a plutocracy run by a cabal of big money in collaboration with Zionists.


It is true that self-interest is the motivating force for the individual and groups as well as nations. Thus, it is understandable that President Obama is taking serious steps to further America’s interest by negotiating with Iran’s Mullahs in the hope of stopping them from building nuclear weapons. This is an admirable objective. However, a number of troubling issues immediately come to mind.


For one, stopping the Mullahs from their pursuit of making the bomb is an unlikely possibility. That achievement treats a symptom rather than eliminates the virulent disease of Shi’a’ Islamism.


It is bad enough to have the end-of-the-worlder zany Mullahs’ itchy fingers on the nuclear trigger. The idea brings to mind images of the long-prophesied and dreaded Armageddon. What is worse is to be lulled into believing that the ever-dishonest Mullahs are actually sincere in honoring their commitment to abandon the quest for their nuclear holy grail while they continue to do so and reap the huge side benefits for their “concession.”


What benefits? A great many. Leading the list is giving the Mullahs-wolves masquerading as sheepdogs of Allah-free hand to mercilessly decimate internal opposition. These villains have several millions of equally zany and rabid followers and hired thugs who are regularly unleashed on the secularists in Iran.


For another, the Mullahs are anything if not ambitious. They have their interests also. They are not content with what they are doing to Iran. They have their black heart set on a much bigger prize. First, they have the Middle East, and then the entire world in their crosshairs. And they have the foot-soldiers and mules to do their bidding both internally and worldwide.


Recall that not long ago the Mullahs called for volunteer suicide bombers. In only days, reportedly, thousands tripped over one another in their eagerness to enlist for the honor of martyrdom and a promised fast-track trip to Allah’s lush sensual paradise.


The implacable enemies of liberty, the Mullahs, would very much like to have nuclear weapons to pursue their evil objectives. Not having the bomb, however, hardly prevents them from serious and widespread trouble-making.


It is a certainty that the Mullahs will play you, Mr. Obama, for the novice you are. They will extract huge concessions, shore up their prestige and tighten their stranglehold on the internal oppositions and expand their support for all the troublemakers.


Negotiating any deal with the Mullahs is a futile exercise in an asymmetrical political battle.


One side, the United States of America, plays by the civilized rule that requires honoring its obligations, while the other side, the Iranian Mullahs, play by the dictate of their faith, taqiyya (lying and double-crossing in dealing with their adversaries.)The Ends justify the means is the guiding standard to Islamist.


Let us recall that it was Carter who tied the hands of the late Shah from crushing the Khomeinists in the hope of creating a religious puppet government that would be easy to manipulate. The messianic Carter saw Khomeini as a Saint-albeit a wrong kind, a Muslim one. Yet, Carter and his equally brain-dead National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, sat in Washington spinning reality to the choreography of their deluded liberal minds.


In no time at all, Carter’s saint turned out to be the true devil he was. Khomeini’s mob started killing Americans , took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran with Americans as hostages, and launched a most virulent anti-American campaign that is bleeding America to this very day.


Carter made a bone-headed decision some 30 years ago. Iranians and Americans paid dearly and continue to pay to this day.


Now, is it your turn President Obama? You are about to be hood-winked by the same Machiavellian Shi’a gang that took Carter on a ride of infamy.


Mr. President. I wish you well. I truly do. But, I dread your game plan with the Mullahs; because these masters of deceit make the likes of Kim Jong-Il, seem most forthright by comparison.


Mr. President, are you planning to charm the Mullahs to play it your way? Is that what you are thinking? Are you, Mr. President, thinking that the Mullahs will fall for your teleprompter speeches in the same way that the good-hearted American people got mesmerized and voted you into office?


Didn’t you have a bit of reality check just recently in Copenhagen when your personal appearance so moved the Olympic Committee that your appeal for choosing your hometown of Chicago came fourth out of four cities?
And now, are you going to make history on an unprecedented scale, once again, Mr. Obama? First, you won the presidency in a white majority “racist” country, as was so repeatedly and viciously depicted by your spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Your next goal, Mr. Obama, is for history to record you as the one who single-handedly and through the genius of his brains and personal charm steered the world away from a nuclear conflagration and into a cozy lovey-dovey socialistic paradise?


Mr. President, chances are that you will never see this unsolicited advice from a run of the mill citizen who is not privy to the as good as gold (i.e., costs a great deal of the taxpayers sweat and blood money) inside information your vast intelligence agencies provide. Further, I don’t get the priceless (i.e. worthless) advice of great brain trusts that envelope you. Yet, I, as well as everyone else, can readily see, the awful overall results of our foreign policy of the last several decades. America is despised and vilified from one end of this ungrateful world to the other, in spite of our contributing immensely in funds and blood to the welfare and security of others.


Mr. President, you and democracy have invaluable allies in Iran. There are some 50 million Iranians who are the best hope of the world in that part of the world. These enlightened Iranians despise the Mullahs and have no animosity toward Israel or the United States. Most of these people are well-educated and smart and have broken away from the slavery and fraud of Islamism. They are in the best position to send the Mullahs packing for good. Instead of throwing a lifeline to the sinking ship of the Mullacracy, you must act resolutely in doing everything non-violent to help them defeat the Mullahs. It is your best bet.


Mr. President, the Mullahs’ regime of Iran poses an existential threat to not only the Middle East, but to the entire world. The Mullacracy is sinking. Don’t throw it a lifeline by making a deal with it. Any concession the Mullahs make is not worth a rat’s tail. Deal with the 50 million or so Iranians on the ground. They are yours and the world’s surest bet for ending the Islamists’ menace for good.


Mr. President, while I congratulate you for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, I certainly hope you champion the work of peace and steadfastly avoid the often highly alluring trap of appeasement.

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Violating Constitutional Law–The Baucus Bill: More of the Same

Constitutional Law

The Baucus Bill: More of the Same

Posted September 24, 2009

A number of people are emailing me asking me if I have read the Baucus Bill and what I think of it. The problem is there is no real bill introduced yet. What is available is what is called the Chairman’s Mark of America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009” to be considered by the Senate Finance Committee. There is no bill number and the language in the document available is not the same as will be in the bill itself. The current document compares existing law with what the general proposals are for the bill.

            Now we have the additional problem that there are over 500 amendments to the Chairman’s Mark being proposed in the committee. However, in going over the Chairman’s Mark it looks like just more of the same. There is no public option offered like in the House Bill I read, but the Constitutional implications appear to be the same. The federal government through the Executive Branch will require everyone to buy health insurance and it won’t necessarily be the insurance an individual or family thinks is best for them.

            Senior citizens must be particularly concerned because funding to Medicare is going to be cut to help pay for the massive program and the critical Medicare Advantage will be virtually eliminated. This is a program that allows seniors to buy supplemental insurance to Medicare and many won’t be able to afford proper care if this program is eliminated. Again, the Congress is taking aim at private agreements which is in violation of its Constitutional mandates.

            The government will be regulating the entire health care industry including deciding what care has to be offered and what can be charged for it. There is no specific provision for denying care to illegal immigrants because there is no way to determine who is applying for the programs, particularly the public ones like Medicare. There is also no specific provision prohibiting the federal government from forcing insurance programs to pay for abortions or from forcing doctors or hospitals to provide abortions.

            What is significant is that efforts by Senators to insert specific language into the bill that would prevent payments for abortions and prevent illegal aliens from having free healthcare paid for by American taxpayers has been defeated. Another amendment to make sure that people could keep their current insurance was also voted down by the Democrat majority. What is even more ominous for the American people is that an effort to make sure the people in this country had a chance to read the final version of the bill before it is voted on by the committee was also defeated. The amendment simply called for the bill to be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before a vote was taken.  

There was apparently a great deal of concern about how many people have actually read HR 3200 so the majority of the Senators on the committee wanted to make sure that they weren’t bothered again by their constituents.  Senator John Kerry pretty much summed up the elitist attitude many politicians have about us. He said that there was no reason to post the bill on the Internet since most of us wouldn’t understand it even if we read it. So much for transparency in government! 

I will continue to monitor the bill and learn as much as I can. However, I suspect that ultimately the legislation coming out of the Senate will be done as quietly as possible and will be very similar to that introduced in the house. Here is link to the site where you can see the Chairman’s Mark. http://thomas.loc.gov/. However, be aware that are no section numbers and what is there now will read very differently when the bill is finally introduced.

I will make one final point. Supporters of the health care legislation are claiming that Congress has the constitutional right under Article 1, Section 9 to make this massive power grab. That section of the Constitution states that Congress has the power to provide “…for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…”

This is circular reasoning on the part many liberals. The general welfare language is part of the body of the Constitution and James Madison, among others, considered it dangerously broad. That is one of the reasons for adopting the Bill of Rights. They were to limit what Congress could do under that clause. Now liberals are saying that the welfare clause takes precedence over the very amendments that limit it and it can be used to reduce rights under the amendments like the health care bills would do to the 9th and 10th Amendments, among others. This means that Congress can do anything it wants by claiming it is for “the general welfare”; they could reinstitute slavery, abolish freedom of speech entirely, or take away a woman’s right to vote

Barack Obama’s peace prize starts a fight

Barack Obama’s peace prize starts a fight

Catherine Philp, Diplomatic Correspondent

Gasps echoed through the Nobel Hall in Oslo yesterday as Barack Obama was unveiled as the winner of the 2009 Peace Prize, sparking a global outpouring of incredulity and praise in unequal measure.

Mr Obama was sound asleep in the White House when the Norwegian Nobel Committee made the shock announcement. It said that he was being honoured for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”.

In a clear swipe at his predecessor, George W. Bush, the committee praised the “change in the international climate” that the President had brought, along with his cherished goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” it added.

International reaction ranged from delight to disbelief. The former winners Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu voiced praise, the latter lauding the Nobel Committee’s “surprising but imaginative choice”.

But Lech Walesa, the dissident turned Polish President, who won the Peace Prize in 1983, spoke for many, declaring: “So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far.”

Mr Obama’s domestic critics leapt on the award as evidence of foreigners fawning over an untested “celebrity” leader. Rush Limbaugh, the US right-wing commentator, said: “This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama.”

Speaking later, Mr Obama said that he was “surprised and deeply humbled” by the unexpected decision and announced that he would donate the £880,000 prize, due to be awarded in December, to charity.

“Let me be clear. I do not view it as recognition of my own accomplishments but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations,” he said.

The Nobel Peace Prize is a notoriously difficult award to predict, but yesterday’s decision was clearly a political choice, with three of the past six peace awards going to Bush adversaries.

In 2002 the prize went to Jimmy Carter as an explicit rejection of the Bush presidency in the build-up to the Iraq war. In 2005 Mohamed ElBaradei, the UN atomic agency chief who had clashed with Washington over the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, was honoured. In 2007 Al Gore received the prize for his warnings on climate change, denounced by President Bush as a liberal myth.

The award is also an example of what Nobel scholars call the growing aspirational trend of Nobel committees over the past three decades, by which awards are given not for what has been achieved but in support of the cause being fought for.

Thorbjørn Jagland, the committee chairman, made clear that this year’s prize fell in that category. “If you look at the history of the Peace Prize, we have on many occasions given it to try to enhance what many personalities were trying to do,” he said. “It could be too late to respond three years from now.”

But Bobby Muller, who won the Nobel Prize as co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, told The Times: “I don’t have the highest regard for the thinking or process of the Nobel committee. Maybe Norway should give it to Sweden so they can more properly handle the Peace Prize along with all the other Nobel prizes.”

What should Obama do with the Nobel prize money?

What should Obama do with the Nobel prize money?

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 9, 2009 12:28 PM

The president will receive $1.4 million from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for not achieving anything concrete.

He will receive $1.4 million for an award he himself says he doesn’t deserve.

What should he do with the cash?

The field is all yours.


One reader e-mails: “Remember the neglected school in Kenya named after Obama?”

Yes, good suggestion!

Commenter Gabe: “To cover a young person ’suffering’ without medical insurance would cost about $50 a month at most. I suggest our Dear Leader cover 2,300 young people with insurance for next year if he really cares about people without medical insurance.”

Another reader e-mails: Let the pay czar decide.