For some time now, Barack Obama and his apologists have trumpeted slowing healthcare costs as somehow…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Sticker Shock: Healthcare Spending Spikes As ObamaCare Takes Effect

For some time now, Barack Obama and his apologists have trumpeted slowing healthcare costs as somehow attributable to ObamaCare.  Never mind that the declines predated Obama's election, and that even The Washington Post gave him three Pinocchios in its Fact Checker analysis of this claim on November 5 of last year:

Healthcare inflation has gone down every single year since the law [ObamaCare] passed, so that we now have the lowest increase in healthcare costs in 50 years - which is saving us about $180 billion in reduced overall costs to the federal government and in the Medicare program."

To illustrate how he played the role of rooster taking credit for the sunrise, healthcare cost inflation reached 7% in 2003, but plummeted to approximately 2% before Obama even took office.…[more]

July 31, 2015 • 10:02 am

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Charles Krauthammer Is a Great American, and That’s a True Fact Print
By CFIF Staff
Monday, April 12 2010
Charles Krauthammer is demonstrably never 'hysterical.' Charles Krauthammer is demonstrably not a rumor-monger. Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, if he says something, you can bet a big burger lunch that he’s right.

Boy, did we step in it last week.  In our Commentary piece -- “Here Come the VAT” -- we wrote, "No longer is it just those hysterical rumor-mongers like columnist Charles Krauthammer speculating on the next national tax to be imposed by the Obama administration..."

Our first intent was to correctly credit the iconic conservative columnist with being one of the first to identify the emergence of a VAT as the next huge tax-and-spend scheme of the administration.  Our second was to attempt to poke a sharp verbal stick in the eyes of liberal gladiators who like nothing better than to attack their betters, including Mr. Krauthammer, with hyperbole as silly as we used.

Charles Krauthammer is demonstrably never "hysterical."  Charles Krauthammer is demonstrably not a rumor-monger.  Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, if he says something, you can bet a big burger lunch that he’s right.  We were thus attempting one of the principal forms of irony – using words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning.

That’s not the way some readers read it.  Perhaps reading in haste or at mid-boil over the excessive opprobrium heaped on conservatives daily, not pausing to consider the source, they read the lines literally and heaped some of their own rather literally on us.  Further down in the piece we straightforwardly referred to the “growing number of warnings from seers like Krauthammer,” but that was too late.  We just hope we don’t get blamed for people spilling hot coffee on themselves.

Writing humor – whether satire, parody, irony, ridicule, hyperbole or even just plain old wisecracking – is difficult...and as many examples demonstrate, from the history of those who have been great at it and from our own feeble attempts...dangerous.

In a Freedom Line blog posted the same day, we made up fictitious legislation called “the kick your constituents’ dog” bill.  It seemed like an appropriate humorous symbol for describing the penchant of our current Congress to treat constituents contemptuously.  We referred to Stimulus XXIII, there being no such bill.  It just feels like it.  We got no complaints for those, nor for a ridiculous rendering of a global warming story, which was just too priceless for grown-up comment.

Perhaps a serious conservative advocacy organization like the Center for Individual Freedom should stick to straight “just the facts, ma'am” writing.  But given the serious, existential challenges this Republic faces, from enemies foreign and domestic, the relief provided by humor keeps us (and we hope most of you) from being committed to a rubber room now overseen by Mistress Sibelius.  (See, we just can’t help ourselves, and the image of the HHS Secretary in black latex wielding a cat-of-nine-tails is, to us at least, as scary as the reality of her in charge of our health care.)

Humor can be and should be a powerful weapon against entrenched power.  The cartoons of the brilliant Michael Ramirez at www.cfif.org are daily testament to that.  But they are cartoons, the purpose immediately understood, just as the straight-razor wit of Rush Limbaugh is understood (by those who don’t wish to distort it for their own ends) by his set-ups and inflections and long history of just raising verbal hell and having fun doing it. 

Although stand-up comics at open mike night might beg to differ, written humor is much tougher to pull off, because all the writer has is words strung together. With written humor, to telegraph it, to label it, to prepare the reader for it is to weaken it.  It doesn’t work if you say, “here come the joke.”

If we could wake up every morning and offend every liberal, lefty, psycho on the planet, that would make our every day.  (Now we’re going to get complaints from psychos that they are merely mentally challenged and shouldn’t be lumped in with those evil liberals.)  Likewise with faux conservatives and other hypocrites whose only reality is themselves, for what they can get from their masquerades. 

Offending regular, devoted readers who share our values, if not always our way of expressing those values, is unintentional, but, frankly, a risk we knowingly take, in the pursuit of being more interesting than oatmeal.

Our website is something of a hybrid, and we’re going to keep changing it until we get it right.  If we ever get tagged with some line like “as predictable as the mainstream media,” it’s time to shred our thesaurus.

We strive to be current, accurate, insightful and, yes, occasionally edgy.  When we go over that edge, our readers are the rocks below, banging our heads.  To intentionally mix metaphors, those who can’t take a beating should stay out of the ring.  Is it Round Two yet?

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following Obama Administration officials stated in April 2015 that under the nuclear deal with Iran, “you will have anywhere, any time 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has”?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"[Trump's] rise is not due to his supporters' anger at government. It is a gesture of contempt for government, for the men and women in Congress, the White House, the agencies. It is precisely because people have lost their awe for the presidency that they imagine Mr. Trump as a viable president. ...Mr. Trump's supporters like that he doesn't in the least fear the press, doesn't get the dart-eyed,…[more]
 
 
—Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal
— Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal
 
Liberty Poll   

On August 6, Fox News will televise two debates with the Republican presidential candidates, at 9 p.m. with the top 10, and at 5 p.m. with the rest of the field. Do you plan on watching one or both?