Week in Review
You know things aren’t going well for you as a president when the debate between your supporters and detractors isn’t over whether you’re a success or a failure, but over the reasons why you’ve failed.
Many of President Obama’s staunchest defenders have been shell-shocked by the still-unfolding disaster that is the (un)Affordable Care Act, and the honesty some of them have shown in acknowledging that disaster is commendable. But what’s striking is how many of them have insisted on chalking it up to either a botched rollout owing to a few technological glitches, or even a mere failure of public relations. A Nov. 3 column by the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne captured both sentiments. After imploring the law’s defenders to focus their attention on “simplifying and fixing the Web site,” Dionne then lamented that the administration “has never adequately defended the law.” Yes, because what Obamacare really needed was one more speech from the president.
Last year at Thanksgiving, I shared a great piece I’d read about the true story behind that special holiday. I received an enormous amount of positive feedback on it, and so I thought that this year, I’d simply publish last year’s column once again. Enjoy…
I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving as the quintessentially American holiday, bringing together so many of the things — faith, food, football, family and friends — that make living in this country so wonderful, and so worthy of deep appreciation.
But one of my very favorite things to do at this time of year is to revisit the story of the very first Thanksgiving.
Long-time followers of NPRI will be familiar with the evolution of Nevada Journal, the Institute’s news-reporting operation. Launched as a hard-copy magazine in 1996, Nevada Journal went dormant in 2001 before we finally resuscitated it as an online publication in 2009.
While its format has changed, Nevada Journal’s purpose has not. It exists to provide high-quality reporting on issues that often get overlooked by the traditional media. In recent years, we’ve brought many such stories to light, including the dubious financial practices of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, statewide problems with property-tax assessment practices, and the “double dipping” by former Assembly speaker John Oceguera as both a legislator and a North Las Vegas firefighter.
And now, I’d like to share with you another new development with Nevada Journal that will make us even more effective at fulfilling its mission.
I’ll be boarding a plane to return to Las Vegas in just a few hours, after wrapping up a week-long trip to Reno — and boy, what a week it’s been.
My schedule has been filled just about every hour this week, with meetings, phone calls, some work on a few exciting projects we’ve got cooking, a couple of speeches — and, of course, the “Thanksgiving Thank You” event we held at NPRI’s Reno office on Tuesday.
I’ve written quite a bit lately about the many problems plaguing the Obamacare rollout, and I’ve focused for the most part on the national picture — the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, the millions of individual-market insurance plans being canceled, the woefully unsound economic theory upon which the law rests, etc.
So I thought this week I’d take a look at how the situation is playing out right here in Nevada.
I wish I hadn’t.
As NPRI’s own Steve Miller reported earlier this week at our news website NevadaJournal.com, the ill effects of the health-care law are actually more pronounced here in Nevada than anywhere else in the country.
I get ribbed a lot for being from Massachusetts, what with the state’s famed affinity for big government, high taxes and liberal politicians.
But I’ve always been quick to defend my home turf, and to point out that what the Bay State has to offer isn’t all bad. There’s the rich history, the amazing seafood, the breathtaking foliage in the fall.
And, of course, the Boston Red Sox.
Liberals view government as the solution to society's problems.
“If only we spent more on education...” “Government needs more control to stop those greedy businessmen and women.” “We need government intervention to fix our housing problems.”
If someone in society has a problem, inconvenience or even a perceived slight, liberals have a solution: government. Just give liberals more control, funded by more of your money, and they will plan out your life better than you can. “We can't trust you to save for retirement, so let's force everyone into Social Security. No, it's not a Ponzi scheme. It's a government program structured like a Ponzi scheme, which is totally different.”
And there is no program liberals have touted more heavily in recent years than Obamacare.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Maryanne Ingemanson.
It was about four years ago, and I was in Reno moderating an NPRI panel on the long-running property-tax fight at Lake Tahoe, about which Maryanne knew a thing or two.
She was a natural fit for the panel, given her leading role, as president of the Village League to Save Incline Assets, in the effort to seek justice on behalf of long-abused Tahoe-area taxpayers. Yet I still remember her humble response when we approached her about participating. “I’m not really sure what I’d have to offer,” she said.
The answer, as it turned out, was: quite a bit. And I don’t just mean to that panel discussion. She had a lot to offer, and indeed gave so much, as a mentor, a business leader, a philanthropist, and a soldier in the fight for individual freedom and accountable government.
There’s really no appropriate way to begin this week’s column other than to say: Thank you.
Last night, we at NPRI held our 22nd Anniversary Celebration at The Venetian | The Palazzo Las Vegas, and the event was a major success by all measures.
It was wonderful to see so many long-time friends and supporters of NPRI, who gathered to help us celebrate our recent successes and to recommit ourselves to the fight for our shared ideals.
This week, the Internet went down at NPRI’s Las Vegas office, leaving us without access to the online world for nearly two full days.
Has the Internet ever gone out at your office? If so, you know what it’s like. First, you try to go online to see if there’s a news story somewhere explaining what’s going on. When that fails, for the obvious reasons, you wander the hallways aimlessly for a half hour or so, and then finally go work from home.
But in this case, that half hour of wandering was not completely without value. It got me to thinking about my assumptions. I assume my Internet is going to work, but why should I?