1. Michele Bachmann’s Moment 2. The Liberal Elite’s ‘Next Jew.’

1. Michele Bachman’s Moment
By Donald Lambro
The Washington Times
July 4, 2011

2. Michelle Bachmann: The Liberal Elite’s ‘Next Jew.’
By Robert Avrech
The Jewish Press, June 24, 2011

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1019

1. By Donald Lambro

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has singularly achieved what most of her colleagues only dream of doing but never will: Breaking out of the anonymity of 435 House members to become a national political figure in her own right and a candidate for the presidency.

She didn’t do it by ascending the ranks of the House Republican leadership or by championing legislative crusades. No major piece of legislation bears her name. She has piled up no political IOU’s by doing favors and playing by party rules. She chairs no committees.

Since she won her 6th District seat in 2006 – the first Republican woman elected to the House from Minnesota – she has been in a hurry to make her mark. She soon learned that she wasn’t going to become known by sitting through hours of tedious, inconsequential hearings, or listening to boring House debate or by pursuing a go-along-to-get-along career and patiently “waiting her turn.”

And she soon learned that in the Old Boys Club in the House she wasn’t going to be handed anything, either. So over these past six years, she became a fixture on virtually every cable television and broadcast network talk show in the business, denouncing President Obama’s health care law, bashing his trillion-dollar deficits and big government in general.

She embraced the Tea Party movement from its birth, organized and keynoted their rallies at the Capitol, and became the leader of Tea Party-backed lawmakers who won House seats in 2010. Her tireless efforts made her widely popular among the GOP’s conservative base, though she still was seen as an outsider and to some degree a loose cannon among many in the leadership ranks. After she audaciously made an unexpected bid in January for the House Republican Conference chairmanship, the No. 4 post in the party’s hierarchy, she withdrew her name in the face of certain defeat.

When House Speaker John Boehner picked Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the powerful Budget Committee chairman, to deliver the GOP response to Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address, she decided to deliver her own response on behalf of the Tea Party Express. She had another purpose in mind and that was to tell her party’s leaders, “Don’t ignore me.”

With Tea Party support from across the country and a growing campaign war chest (raising $1.7 million in the first three months of this year, the most of any House member behind Mr. Boehner), she set her sights on running for president. But could she match the heavy hitters in the crowded field of candidates, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the party’s front-runner?

Her poised, self-confident performance earlier this month at the CNN presidential debate in New Hampshire knocked that question out of the park. She had polished her delivery on countless TV talk shows, and it showed in her unflinching, well-thought-out answers.

“This election will be all about economics. It will be about how will we create jobs, how will we turn the economy around, how we will have a pro-growth economy. President Obama can’t tell that story. His report card right now has a big failing grade on it,” she said.

She officially announced her candidacy in Waterloo, Iowa, where she enjoys strong support from Tea Party conservatives and is virtually tied with Mr. Romney in early polls. “The surprise is that Mrs. Bachmann, who a Fox News host suggested Sunday may be ‘a flake,’ has quickly become one of the more sure-footed candidates in the race for the Republican nomination,” the liberal Washington Post reported in a front-page story Tuesday.

“She has built on momentum generated in a widely praised debate performance and has sent a jolt of energy through a GOP electorate that has been hungry for someone to be excited about,” the Post said.
But there are huge obstacles awaiting Mrs. Bachmann, not the least of which is historical precedent. No House member has won the White House since James A. Garfield was elected in 1880.

Historically, at least in the modern era, presidents by and large have been former governors who have had executive experience in running a government, balancing budgets, overseeing an economy, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt.

It’s a huge leap to go from representing a single congressional district, where your only constitutional job is to vote, to running the United States of America. Mrs. Bachmann’s other hurdle may be putting together a heavy-hitting team of national security and economic advisers to help develop a governing agenda. Her speeches thus far have not spelled out in any detail how she would expand economic growth and create jobs or deal with the myriad foreign policy and defense-related issues that await the next administration.

She’s shown herself to be a fiercely independent woman who is running on a set of core values that have made America the most successful country in the world. She’s not going to be a pushover in the primaries to come.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.

2. Michelle Bachmann: The Liberal Elite’s ‘Next Jew.’
By Robert Avrech
The Jewish Press, June 24, 2011

… Michele Bachmann, the Republican congress woman from Minnesota and newly announced presidential candidate, is the Liberal elite’s next Jew. In the GOP debate last week, Bachmann dazzled she was articulate and knowledgeable. Clearly, she was enjoying herself: A majority of Americans want their politicians to be optimistic. Obama comes across as Jimmy Carter squared: petulant, dour, angry, resigned to an America mired in a future of diminishing returns.

Like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann is beautiful and glamorous, but not so glamorous that she threatens other women. Nor is she so sexy that she intimidates men. She dresses like a lady, modest but fashionable. I have never seen her in a pants suit. And she actually knows stuff. Unlike Obama, who seems to fashion himself a philosopher king – practical knowledge scorned – Bachmann is a skilled tax attorney and an entrepreneur.

It should come as no surprise that as a pious Christian, Bachmann, like Palin, is a huge supporter of Israel. My wife and I heard Bachmann at a Republican Jewish Coalition function last year and it was like listening to Golda Meir.

But here’s the main reason you can bet your bottom dollar the liberal lynch mob will go after Bachmann with jihadist fervor: Bachmann and her husband have raised five biological children. That’s way too many. Liberals cap families at 2.0 offspring. Anything more is so quaint and, well, churchy – and crowds the planet to boot.

Bachmann and her husband also raised 23 foster children. This, to the liberal mind, is unforgivable. Why? Because Michele Bachmann lives her conservative ideology by refusing to allow government to raise unwanted children. Parents who adopt children or take in and raise foster children are society’s greatest heroes. They repair the world. And for this, become an object of hate – A Jew to the jackals of the left.

Robert J. Avrech is an Emmy Award-winning Hollywood screenwriter arid producer. Among his numerous credits are “A Stranger Among Us” and “The Devil’s Arithmetic.” His novel “The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden” won the 2006 Ben Franklin Award for Best First Novel and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award for Notable Children’s Book of Jewish Content.

His website is Seraphic Secret (www.seraphicpress.com).

How to determine the winner of the Obamacare/Medicare debate?

Redacted from the article, “Beyond Mediscare”
By Yuval Levin
The Weekly Standard, May 30, 2011

Do House Republicans want to kill the elderly? If you listen to the left these days, you’d certainly think so. Last week, a liberal advocacy group called “The Agenda Project”—which claims to advance “rational, effective ideas in the public debate”—released an ad showing a look-alike of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan pushing an old woman in a wheelchair off a cliff. “Is America beautiful without Medicare?” the ad inquires of viewers. “Ask Paul Ryan and his friends in Congress.”

Nor is it only rabid interest groups that have succumbed to such appeals. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, said more or less the same thing earlier this month. When asked about the House Republican budget’s approach to Medicare, Sebelius said that, under the plan, “If you run out of the government voucher and then you run out of your own money, you’re left to scrape together charity care, go without care, die sooner. There really aren’t a lot of options.”

The president himself has come pretty close to this view. The Republican budget, Obama said in a speech at George Washington University last month, “says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck—you’re on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.”

Clearly, the GOP Medicare reform has struck a nerve. Democrats seem unwilling to speak about it honestly. Maybe they know that the facts do not support their case.

Let’s start with “Medicare as we know it.” According to the Congressional Budget Office and Medicare’s trustees, the program has a long-term unfunded liability of more than $30 trillion. It’s about a decade from insolvency. The trustees’ latest annual report, released on May 13, notes that the Medicare trust fund is projected to run out of money five years sooner than was projected last year. Its current trajectory would swallow up the federal budget. Taxes could not be raised high or fast enough to keep up with its growth without crushing the economy.

The Democrats cannot deny the figures, but their solution is to let the crisis come. President Obama’s budget offered nothing beyond Obamacare as a solution. In an extraordinary letter affixed to the recent trustees’ report, Medicare’s chief actuary noted that Obamacare’s approach to the program—price controls determined by a board of experts and devoid of market-based reforms that could help health care providers improve their efficiency—would actually exacerbate Medicare’s troubles.

The Republican budget offers precisely such market-based reforms. It proposes not just to reduce the growth rate of Medicare spending, but to introduce consumer pressures into the system that would create financial incentives for providers to work more efficiently and reduce the growth of the health care costs that are at the heart of the problem.

Currently Medicare recipients play no part in determining who gets paid and how much, and have no sense of what their health care costs. Providers have no financial incentive to deliver better care at lower prices. And price controls that would reduce what Medicare pays per service (the Obamacare solution) would only create an incentive for providers to supply a greater volume of services to make up the difference. That is exactly what price controls have done in the past—drive efficiency down and costs up.

The House Republican proposal would change Medicare’s counterproductive design. It would leave today’s seniors and those now 55 or older in the current system, since they have planned their retirements around it. But everyone younger than that would join a redesigned Medicare when they retire.

Rather than pay all providers a set fee directly, seniors would use the money (in the form of a premium support payment that would start at current Medicare rates and grow with inflation) to choose insurance plans from a menu of guaranteed private coverage options. Poor seniors and those in the worst health would get significantly greater support, while the wealthiest would receive less.

And seniors would be buying guaranteed insurance with limits on out of pocket costs, not paying directly for care. Sebelius’s notion that they would simply “run out” of money if they got sick is nothing more than fear-mongering.

Insurers and providers would compete for seniors’ dollars. They would be free to find innovative ways to offer better quality at lower costs. That’s how markets produce efficiency: by letting sellers find ways to offer buyers what they want at prices they want to pay. Everyone agrees that such efficiency improvements are essential. As Ryan has put it, the basic choice offered by the parties’ competing approaches to Medicare has to do with how efficiency is achieved. It’s a choice between giving a board of experts the power to deny care to seniors based on its magisterial judgment of quality and value, and giving seniors the power to deny business to providers based on their individual opinions and priorities.

For politicians, it is also a choice between reforming a program that seniors are comfortable with and leaving it alone despite its fatal problems. Republicans have chosen to deal with that difficulty by leaving current seniors with all the benefits they are accustomed to in the current program and reforming it for the next generation.

Democrats have chosen to deal with it by pretending there is no problem, falsely insisting that any reform will harm today’s seniors, and leaving a colossal disaster for the next generation. Republicans, in other words, have chosen a policy solution that carries political risk while the Democrats have opted for political advantage.