In some impressive and instructive news, the state of Nebraska just claimed the lowest unemployment…
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Nebraska Just Posted the Lowest Unemployment Ever Recorded. Guess Why.

In some impressive and instructive news, the state of Nebraska just claimed the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded.  The likely reason shouldn't surprise anyone:

 

Nebraska’s jobless rate tends to run below the national rate. Economists cite a combination of factors that have kept joblessness in the state well below the U.S. average from the onset of the pandemic. Nebraska had fewer government-imposed restrictions on business, helping it avoid steep job losses some states experienced earlier in the pandemic."

 

At some point, perhaps other more stubbornly leftist states will catch on before every one of their residents and businesses flees to more economically hospitable states with fewer regulations, lower taxes and less government generally.  But don't hold your breath…[more]

November 22, 2021 • 08:13 AM

Liberty Update

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Yes, the VA Is a Real Scandal; No, Obama Won’t Do Anything About It Print
By Troy Senik
Thursday, May 22 2014
The great irony of all this is that the VA healthcare system is the closest thing America has to the kind of single-payer healthcare the left so admires.

After years of throwing palm fronds before President Obama’s feet, the sycophants in the media had to admit it: Yep, the scandal within the Department of Veterans Affairs is pretty bad.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone could come to any different conclusion. At the Phoenix VA — the location of the first revelations of systemic dysfunction — somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600 veterans were denied care within the 14-day window required by the department, with bureaucrats covering up the delays rather than fulfilling the legal requirement to report them. As many as 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment. And, according to the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs, investigations are currently under way at a total of 26 VA facilities around the country suspected of precisely the same kind of deceit and inhumanity.

Despite the horror of this scenario, many members of the cloak-touching press found themselves unable to talk about the story without turning it into a backhanded shot at conservatives. In countless print and broadcast outlets, you heard the same qualifier that opened a recent piece by the Washington Post’s liberal columnist Eugene Robinson: “Finally, an authentic scandal.” [emphasis mine]

There’s no misreading the subtext there. Benghazi? The IRS’s harassment of conservative non-profit groups? The lawlessness manifested in everything from unconstitutional recess appointments to the unilateral rewriting of Obamacare? Nothing but fringe right-wing scaremongering, tantamount to worrying about fluoride in drinking water.

So why is the VA scandal different? Well, you could say it’s because it involved the death of innocent Americans — but that didn’t seem to make a difference in Benghazi. You could say it’s because the scope of administrative incompetence is so staggering — but that didn’t merit more than a dismissive wave of the hand with the ObamaCare rollout. The real reason: The VA scandal undermines the way the left thinks about itself.

Scratch under the surface of any earlier controversy and you’ll find that there’s an excuse that flatters liberal ideology. Americans dead in Benghazi? A tragedy to be sure, but what do we expect when we go meddling overseas? Abuse at the IRS? Yes, they may have gone a little too far, but conservative advocacy groups are a threat to democracy. But people who have worn the uniform of their nation dying of bureaucratic neglect? There’s no imagination supple enough to spin that into something tolerable.

The great irony of all this is that the VA healthcare system is the closest thing America has to the kind of single-payer healthcare the left so admires. The government owns the hospitals and pays for the care. And what results? Exactly the same things that happen in all such systems: a lack of cleanliness, an inevitable need to ration care, and a focus on bureaucratic face-saving rather than the actual needs of patients.

President Obama, for his part, claims to be indignant. During remarks at the White House on Thursday, he said, “When I hear allegations of misconduct … I will not stand for it. None of us should.  If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful and I will not tolerate it — period.” That’s a statement just as forceful as it is vague. Does it really mean anything?

For comparison’s sake, let’s look to past presidential statements of outrage. When the IRS scandal broke last year, the president said, “If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that is outrageous, and there is no place for it, and they have to be held fully accountable.” Today? There’s a conspicuous silence coming from Obama’s Justice Department, where Attorney General Eric Holder has sat on a referral from the House of Representatives to prosecute Lois Lerner, the woman at the heart of the scandal, for contempt.

During the 2012 presidential debates, when the topic of Benghazi came up, Obama announced to the assembled audience that he was “ultimately responsible” for what happened and that the US was “going to find out who did this and hunt them down.” As of this writing, no one has been brought to justice. The similar dynamic with the Syrian “red line” barely merits mentioning.

Even more telling was the president’s reaction to the problems with ObamaCare. Interviewed by Chris Matthews in December, Obama, when asked about how he interacts with members of his Administration, said, “I’m holding every cabinet member accountable.  And I want to have strong interactions with them directly. I have an open door policy, where I want people to be bringing me bad news, on time, so that we can fix things.” That doesn’t seem to have happened with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Perhaps that’s because, prior to news of the scandal, the open door president hadn’t had a one-on-one meeting with Shinseki since July of 2012.

Time and again, President Obama has shown a tendency to express camera-friendly outrage just long enough to let an issue subside. Once the media moves on, he never gives it another thought. That impulse is all the more likely in the case of the VA, because any serious reform effort would have to begin with a recognition of the failures of government healthcare. Obama, towering intellect though he is, can’t be made to reckon with such heresies. What’s a few suffering veterans if it allows the president to escape with his ideology unscathed?

Quiz Question   
What percentage of crude oil is refined to become motor gasoline?
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Notable Quote   
 
"In the beginning, Build Back Better wasn't just the most expensive piece of legislation ever. The multitrillion-dollar price tag was a bargain because the bill would totally transform America, President Biden claimed.Whatever the problem, from jobs to climate change to child care, BBB was the solution.When came inflation, with the White House hiding behind the fictions that rising costs were overstated…[more]
 
 
—Michael Goodwin, New York Post
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Does your Thanksgiving dinner this year include more, less or about the same number of people as last year's gathering, when Covid-19 interfered with many such occasions?