Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Government Can

After the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Gator Aid, this news item is richly ironic:

In Afghanistan, Obama Presses Karzai to Fight Corruption

"Pot, meet kettle." Or maybe more apropos, "Physician, heal thyself."

Words of Wisdom

I was watching a VH-1 Storytellers featuring Bruce Springsteen the other night. During the interlude before one of the songs, he started saying how he was concerned about his children not having to grow up with the same struggles that he had.

Springsteen went on to say he was discussing this with a friend, who told him, "Give your children the best, because the world will take care of the rest."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Here's a very interesting take on the Obamacare socialism of medicine, and how it portends for the future:
(T)his legislation is a superconducting super collider of culture-war conflagrations. It will throw off new and unforeseen cultural spectacles for years to come (if it is not repealed). The grinding debate over the Stupak amendment was just a foretaste. The government has surged over the breakwater and is now going to flood the nooks and crannies of American life. Americans will now fight over what tax dollars should cover and not cover. Debates over "subsidizing" this "lifestyle" or that "personal choice" will erupt. And when conservatives complain, liberals will blame them for perpetuating the culture war.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Matt Peterson at The American Thinker blog thinks we're all fucked:
In November 2008, Americans elected a socialist as their president. In March 2010, they woke up stunned to find themselves living in a socialist country.

Health insurers -- once private companies -- are now organs of the federal government. Every citizen is a ward of the state, which can now compel you to have insurance, punish you if you don't; determine if your insurance is acceptable, punish you if it isn't. Thousands of new federal bureaucrats will soon spill from the D.C. Beltway and flood the country, scrutinizing our finances to verify compliance with this new law.

A government that grants itself this kind of power over us can conceivably do anything to us. For our own good, of course. Such a country is in no meaningful sense "free."

And this is only the beginning. Liberals are salivating in contemplation of all the fanciful window trimmings that can in the future be hung from this legislative framework. Public option will soon appear as prelude to single payer, as was the intent all along. Soon, Americans won't even have the illusion of a choice -- the government will move from subsidizer to provider, and it will be the only game in town.
I pray Matt is wrong, but I fear he is probably not.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Leftist Cat Fight: Ex-Vegans vs Anarchists

It seems the anarchists aren't happy with the former vegans.
An ex-vegan who was hit with chili pepper-laced pies at an anarchist event in San Francisco said Tuesday that her assailants were cowards who should direct their herbivorous rage at the powerful - not at a fellow radical for writing a book denouncing animal-free diets.
Whoo hoo! Let the games begin! I bet these same folks consider themselves "Peace Protesters."
"It's insane. My entire book is about how the world is being destroyed," Keith said. She said the first pie hit her just after she uttered the sentence, "You should not eat factory-farmed meat."

Among those rejoicing in the pie attack was the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which often prints communiques from activists taking credit for attacks on animal researchers.

The group said Keith was wrong about veganism, referred to her as an "animal holocaust denier," and scolded her for calling the "agents of state oppression" - the police.
Naive children, one and all. Someday they will have to be accountable for their lives.
Here's an interesting report describing how "health care reform" will be administered and financed:
Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Republicans released a new report detailing how the Democrats’ health care bill vastly expands the responsibilities of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and strengthens the heavy hand of the IRS in dealing with taxpayers. [...]

  • IRS agents verify if you have “acceptable” health care coverage;
  • IRS has the authority to fine you up to $2,250 or 2 percent of your income (whichever is greater) for failure to prove that you have purchased “minimum essential coverage;”
  • IRS can confiscate your tax refund;
  • IRS audits are likely to increase;
  • IRS will need up to $10 billion to administer the new health care program this decade;
  • IRS may need to hire as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents and other employees to investigate and collect billions in new taxes from Americans; and
  • Nearly half of all these new individual mandate taxes will be paid by Americans earning less than 300 percent of poverty ($66,150 for a family of four.)
  • Now there's change we can believe in!

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Are You Ready For Some Baseball?

    It's almost opening day! Alison's ready, and so am I!!

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    National Review Online has a collection of articles on this week's "health care reform debate." I use scare quotes because it's not really about health care, and it's not a debate. It's about power and control, and it's being fed to us whether we like it or not.

    First we have economist Thomas Sowell on the financial implausibility of it all:
    In a swindle that would make Bernie Madoff look like an amateur, Barack Obama has gotten a substantial segment of the population to believe that he can add millions of people to the government-insured rolls without increasing the already record-breaking federal deficit. [...]

    However money is juggled in the short run, the government’s financial liabilities are increased by adding this huge new entitlement of government-provided insurance. The fact that these new financial liabilities can be kept out of the official federal deficit projection, by claiming that they will be paid for with money taken from Medicare, changes nothing in the real world.

    Here's Rich Lowry on the bizarre legislative machinations the Democrats have resorted to, which is more improvisation than legislation:
    House Democrats are considering passing an exotic parliamentary rule relieving them of the burden of voting for the underlying bill, which will be “deemed” passed. [...]

    Because they no longer had 60 votes in the Senate, Democrats decided to bypass regular order in (Senate) with so-called reconciliation rules dispensing with the filibuster. [...]

    Ordinarily, differences between Senate-passed and House-passed bills are worked out in a conference committee, producing a compromise bill for consideration by both houses. Instead, Democrats want the House to pass an un-amended Senate bill that will be cleaned up later. But the Senate bill is so radioactive that the House wants to sidestep a direct vote on it. No conference committee, no separate House vote: Change has indeed come to Washington.

    Mona Charen notes the inclusion of student loan legislation in a so-called health care bill:
    It’s interesting that the Democrats are attempting to roll two of their highest priorities into one bill this month. The labyrinthine legislative legerdemain called health-care reform now includes a reconciliation package that would fold in student-loan reform. And by “reform” the Democrats mean increasing direct lending to students by the federal government.

    Though the two issues may seem utterly unrelated, they do have this in common — both health care and higher education are realms of American life in which government has undermined the operation of market forces and caused artificially high prices. These are two arenas in which the Democrats now propose to do exactly the wrong thing. Their reforms reinforce old errors and will infinitely compound the problem of rising prices.
    Dennis Prager observes that as government expands, the individual shrinks:
    Fifty years ago, the men of the local Rotary Club had prestige and societal significance. So did fathers. So did clergy. With the ascendance of the Left and the expansion of their state, much of their power and societal significance has eroded.

    Now, as the state expands further into health care, the same will happen to doctors, as power and prestige are transferred from them to the heads of dozens of new government health-regulatory agencies. Over time, neither you nor your doctor will fully decide your treatment.

    Indeed, over time, if the Left has its way and the state keeps expanding, you will also not decide what temperature to keep your house at or how to get to work. Nor will you be needed to educate your children (that is already the job of the state, and much of Europe now bans home schooling), or to raise and discipline your children (the state will ensure you are doing it correctly, and spanking is now illegal in 25 countries). Fathers will be needed primarily (and after divorce, only) as providers of child and spousal support.

    In short, you will be needed essentially for one thing: to finance the one entity that is truly needed — the state.
    Finally, Andy McCarthy blogs that Supreme Court precedent on the line item veto may render the Democrat strategy unconstitutional.
    in Clinton v. City of New York (1998), in which the Supreme Court held the line-item veto unconstitutional, Justice Stevens's ruling explained that for a bill to become law, both Houses of Congress must vote on precisely the same text, and it must then be signed into law by the president. As they quote the decision:

    If one paragraph of that text had been omitted at any one of those three stages, Public Law 105—33 would not have been validly enacted. If the Line Item Veto Act were valid, it would authorize the President to create a different law - one whose text was not voted on by either House of Congress or presented to the President for signature.

    Something that might be known as 'Public Law 105—33 as modified by the President' may or may not be desirable, but it is surely not a document that may 'become a law' pursuant to the procedures designed by the Framers of Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution.

    Of course, that was twelve years ago and we now have a Court with more empathy. But if the Dems proceed according to their outrageous plan, the House will not have voted on the same 2,000 pages of paragraphs that the Senate voted on.