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Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Sad Commentary on the State of the Nation

Conrad Black has an essay at the National Review lambasting the ObamaCare fiasco, but also makes this lamentable observation:

The United States has 5 percent of the world’s people, 25 percent of its incarcerated people, and half of its trained lawyers (who now take about 10 percent of the GDP); the legal system is an embarrassment, and the criminal-justice system is a disgrace, in which prosecutors win 99.5 percent of their cases, 97 percent of them without a trial. The legislators of the country are ultimately responsible for this corruption of what the Constitution and Bill of Rights set up as a just and merciful Society of Laws. The terminal cancer of legal paralysis spreads every week of every year. Unctuous platitudes from the era when Norman Rockwell painted the country, our grandmothers set out the Corn Flakes and the apple pie, and Hollywood was pro-American won’t cut it now, even if the United States even back then was a much more complicated country than it thought it was.

Although the federal government accuses Kerri and Brian Kaley of trafficking in stolen medical devices, it has been unable to identify any victims of this alleged criminal scheme. That has not stopped the Justice Department from freezing the assets they need to defend themselves. 
For people facing criminal charges, freedom not only is not free; it is dauntingly expensive. The Kaleys' lawyers estimate that a trial will cost $500,000 in legal fees and other expenses. The Kaleys had planned to cover the cost with money drawn from a home equity line of credit—until the government took it. 
Technically, the government has not taken the money yet; it has merely "restrained" it, along with the rest of the home's value, in anticipation of a post-conviction forfeiture. But the result is the same for the Kaleys: They can no longer afford to pay the lawyers they chose and trust, the people who have been representing them for eight years and are familiar with the details of their case.
But returning to Black's article, he writes about the tawdry details that enabled ObamaCare to pass, and notes:

It is scandalous that there remains such a sadistic determination to inflict this measure, unaltered, on the country that does not want it, even though it has been launched and has sunk, without a ripple, as soon as it cleared the slipways, as the entire system of joining up and doing as this insane measure purports to require is impossible. 
Immediately following the oath of allegiance, in every school and similar ceremony in the entire country, there should be an obligatory pause to consider how it happened that the United States, in its dysfunctionality, is on the verge of default on its debt, its legislators’ hands tied by sequestration. The country is broke, paying its bills through a fraudulent sale of bonds to itself, running a $700 billion annual current-account deficit, and its leaders are in brinkmanship talks over the imposition of a law that no sane person now supports and that is impossible to obey. 
This is the governmental equivalent of congestive heart failure. It is the domestic-affairs equivalent of the Syrian policy: the moral imperatives, red lines, “moral obscenity,” punitive action that wouldn’t really be damaging (would, in fact, be “unbelievably small”), and the constitutional position of commander-in-chief devolving to Congress. This has all become surreal.
We have a government that is out of control and unaccountable. Mike Walsh, writing about the Republican turncoats caving on the budget and ObamaCare concludes:

The GOP is not, in any meaningful sense, a conservative, first-principles, Constitutionalist party — and unless it’s subsumed by the Tea Party, it never will be. Rather, it’s content to be the lesser half of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party as long as it can collect some of the pork scraps from underneath the table of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government. No wonder they keep losing — they like it.
 Conservatives need to dig in their heels and continue to fight to kick the RINOs out of the Republican party.


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