A revealing commentary this week in The Wall Street Journal on reduced competition and insurance industry…
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New Gallup Poll on Confidence in Big Business Coincides with ObamaCare Merger Wave

A revealing commentary this week in The Wall Street Journal on reduced competition and insurance industry consolidation under ObamaCare coincides in an interesting manner with a new Gallup poll showing very low public confidence in big business.

In "How the Affordable Care Act Is Reducing Competition," physician and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident fellow Scott Gottlieb lays out how ObamaCare by design requires industry consolidation to accommodate its massive regulatory burdens and higher operating costs:

To sustain themselves, insurers must spread fixed costs over a larger base of members.  The bigger they are, the easier it is to meet the government-imposed cap on their operating costs while cutting their way to profitability.  This pressure discourages new health…[more]

July 07, 2015 • 10:28 am

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The Facts About the Failed Times Square Bomber: Why the Liberal Establishment Can’t Face Reality Print
By Ashton Ellis
Wednesday, May 12 2010
If the liberal elites insist on labeling Faisal Shahzad a 'homegrown' terrorist, they have only themselves to blame.

The more we learn about failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, the stranger the initial reporting about him becomes.  The liberals’ rush to downplay any possible connections to Islam and label him a “homegrown” terrorist were blatant attempts to freeze the story before the truth was known.  Now, the facts about Shahzad are showing a liberal establishment that can’t face a reality it created. 

First there was New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg dismissing the then-unknown suspect as “a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health care bill (i.e. ObamaCare)” to Katie Couric.  Shortly thereafter, MSNBC personality Contessa Brewer was “hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country” because “[t]here are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way.  I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry.” 

So instead the liberal chattering class indulged in updated bigotry.  After two terrorist attacks on New York City landmarks in 1993 and 2001 by Islamists, the current mayor of the city immediately points to the most likely culprit in 2010: Tea Party activists upset with the government takeover of healthcare.  But why, Mayor Mike, would people angered by federal overreach target a local tourist site like Times Square?  The symbolic value would be lost.  Then again, maybe attention to constitutional distinctions between different levels of government is the kind of “political agenda” motivating “mentally deranged” people these days. 

As for Brewer’s slurs against anyone making the logical connection between Islamic countries and terrorists, the unfolding evidence linking Shahzad to Al Qaeda in Pakistan shows that she is the one blinded by prejudice.  Unlike people guided by common sense and recent history, Brewer’s initial reaction is counterintuitive.  Only a person committed to an ideology that prefers to suspect a neighbor for a stranger’s bad behavior would try to shield the most likely swath of humanity from scrutiny. 

The facts about Faisal Shahzad are these.  He is a Pakistan-born, naturalized American citizen.  The son of a high ranking Pakistani Air Force official, he spent nearly two decades in the United States in unremarkable obscurity earning technical degrees in business, working as an accountant and starting a family.  He lived an ordinary life.  But, as Fouad Ajami has pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, Shahzad is one of Islam’s “nowhere men.” 

By that he means Shahzad, like the London terror bombers and the Fort Hood shooter, checks all the boxes on the cultural left’s list for integration into a host country, but fails the most basic test of assimilation with it.  As Ajami puts it, “[t]he path of citizenship he took gave him the precious gift of an American passport but made no demands on him.” 

For men like Shahzad, the benefits of higher education and making mortgage payments can’t compensate for the cultural shallowness they experience in their adopted countries.  Their search for something deeper – something capable of making a universal truth claim – leads them to the faith of their grandfathers.  For immigrants in Shahzad’s generation, that means rejecting the affluent secularism of their parents in favor of a more demanding expression of Islam.  Torn between the comforts of secularized materialism and the dictates of a radicalized faith, many are unable to see a path of peaceful coexistence and choose to end the schizophrenia with a suicide attack. 

That kind of death was certainly contemplated by the Al Qaeda operatives who trained Shahzad in Pakistan’s tribal region of Waziristan.  Fortunately for Times Square tourists, Shahzad wasn’t quite ready to ensure compliance with his likely mandate, abandoning the car bomb he built before it malfunctioned. 

One of the most famous observations attributed to Osama Bin Laden is that when people see a strong horse and a weak horse they always choose the strong horse.  The American cultural left has spent sixty years weakening traditional notions of morality and patriotism while encouraging mass immigration.  The result is a society that values diversity for its own sake, and mocks or condemns those who search for some type of cultural cohesion.  The liberal project to destroy a distinctly American identity leaves some living here looking for something stronger to fill the void. 

If the liberal elites insist on labeling Faisal Shahzad a “homegrown” terrorist, they have only themselves to blame. 

Question of the Week   
How many U.S. national holidays have been established by Congress?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Democratic primaries have always featured liberal insurgent candidates, but perhaps none quite so liberal or insurgent as the socialist senator from Vermont. Sanders' comments are a reminder of just how far the second-place Democratic presidential candidate stands from the American mainstream on some issues, and the looming reckoning Democrats face with their party's leftward drift."…[more]
 
 
—Ben Schreckinger and Jonathan Topaz, POLITICO
— Ben Schreckinger and Jonathan Topaz, POLITICO
 
Liberty Poll   

Should Vice President Joe Biden enter the 2016 race for the Democratic presidential nomination?