Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Defunding threats?

Just as defunding was leverage for the Dems to negotiate benchmarks with Bush, defunding could be leverage for the GOP to negotiate benchmarks for O-Care — something the left’s already worried about. Take three minutes and go read Megan McArdle’s post on how the liberal bien pensants who promised us hundreds of thousands of fewer deaths and hundreds of billions in new savings under O-Care are already trying to climb down from their predictions. Frankly, that should have been a core GOP plank all along.

And here's the link to where Megan McArdle looks at all the Dem's promises on Healthcare and wonders if they'll actually happen. The left is not pleased.

Imagine that. Angry at being measured based on past claims.

Also from Hotair something that we'll see more of. Instances of "No one read the bill.”

It’s called the “Empowering States to be Innovative” amendment. And it would, quite literally, give states the right to set up their own health care system — with or without an individual mandate or, for that matter, with or without a public option — provided that, as Wyden puts it, “they can meet the coverage requirements of the bill.”

Oppsie. Read the full peice to see more of this mess.

And then there's this.

Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage.

Thank goodness the letter of the law never held back the Dems before.

This is what happens when you pass a giant bill that no one actually read, promise that it will do anything and everything, and then smear anyone that questions the wisdom of legislating without reading.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Of Slopes and slickness

So if an individual mandate can fix the healthcare problem why can't this approach be applied to other problems?

Why not have an individual mandate for employment? Criminalize not having a job.

That way everyone has to have a job. Instant unemployment solution. If someone can't find a job, then a robust public option can be provided.

Even better these government supported jobs will keep private employers honest and give important work in governance. Needless to say regulation will be required to keep private employers honest in the jobs pool.

Those that stubbornly refuse to comply can be put on community service, and have their food, shelter, and healthcare needs provided for.

Yes, it sounds insane (or I should hope it does) but what functional difference is there between a healthcare mandate and an employment mandate?

If the government can force you to purchase one heavily regulated product merely for existing why not another? Why not force you to do well, almost anything?

What is the rational for the goverment saying what you have to do with your body? Is it really your own body if the care and maintenance of it is mandated to you from the government?

Monday, March 22, 2010


Let's start with some red meat from Bill Whittle.

A final thought on this darkish day: much is said about the “inevitability” of these kinds of legislation, that once enacted they are impossible to repeal or roll back.

This kind of thinking is self-fulfilling defeatism and has to stop. ANY law enacted can be repealed. We repealed a constitutional amendment, for God’s sake. From now on we must change our message from one of limiting government growth and spending and regulation to one of reducing it.

It is true that no nation has in the past ever recovered from the cycle of entitlement, moral decay and aristocratic rot that we find ourselves in. But it is also true that no nation — not one in history — was established precisely in opposition to these cancers. It is also true that never before have common people — otherwise known as the Host Organism — had the means to speak directly to one another, as we are here. It is true that if there is to be an historical exemption to the Cycle of Civilization it is only here that it will occur, and it is also true that the concepts of Free Will and Destiny are antithetical to one another. One of them is true and the other is not. It is my belief that you can chose to abandon Free Will and chose to believe in destiny and historical inevitability, or you can take the risk to believe instead that there is a new world populated by optimists and dreamers, but dreamers with rifles as well as quills and parchment… People who have never surrendered and for whom the very idea of defeat and despair is anathema.

Read it all.

William Jacobson has some perspective:

On November 5, 2008, did any one of you think that over 16 months later Obama would barely be able to pass a truncated version of his dream of single payer, and that dozens of Democrats would join Republicans in opposition?

As the mainstream media celebrated the permanent Democratic majority in the weeks after the 2008 election, did any of you think that in March 2010 we would be talking about the Democratic majority being in danger?

On January 20, 2009, when Obama took office, and then again in April when Arlen Specter jumped ship, did any one of you think we could hold off Obamacare beyond July?

When Obama won we knew it would be hard, we knew there would be challenges, we knew there would be losses, but... we keep going on.

A plea to the GOP.

I don’t expect you guys to stop being politicians. Even the founders
were politicians who fought some nasty battles within their own group
and could be as mean and petty as any generation of politicians. But I
need, America needs you to step up here. You need to be statesmen on a
mission as much as you can. Something bad happened last night and I
think you know it. There weren’t the usual stupid politician tricks,
you guys looked scared. And you’re not scared for your political
lives, none of you is in any trouble (other than maybe Sen. Burr from
N.C.) , I think a lot of you were flat out scared for your country.
That’s good, that’s a start. It focuses the mind.

You need to be the party of No for the next 6 months on just about
every issue. The only issue (other than national security) that
matters is repealing this monstrosity. I don’t know if it can be done
but it has to be tried.

Please don’t let Obama drag you into a pissing match over the small
stuff. If he has another idiotic jobs bill, just let it go. Vote no
but don’t fight about it, reframe the fight in terms of health care.
Reframe everything in terms of health care…immigration, taxes, Cap and
Trade, whatever other crap they throw at you. It all comes down to
health care and the fundamental shift in the relationship between
government and people. I know the presidency is a hard institution to
fight with and Obama just makes shit up but you’ve got to try and keep
the focus on the health care bill. More and more details will come out
and that will help you.

But it’s bigger than legislation and even politics. You guys are going
to be asked to do something you’re not necessarily equipped to
do…speak philosophically about what it means to be an American. You
are going to have to tell people something politicians don’t like to
have say…no. No, Americans can’t have everything and not pay for it.
No, they can’t have ‘free’ health care forever. No, you can’t expect
the government to do the basic things that free adults should and must
do for themselves.

You also need to tell people what that will give them…freedom. Freedom
to do the best they can. Freedom to chart the course of their own
lives and freedom live in peace without an army of pushy bureaucrats
treating them like children.

I know that kind of freedom scares some people but you need to sell it
to them. Remind them how it’s their birthright and how even if they
want lots of ‘stuff’ given to them, it’s got to come from somewhere.
Freedom and free enterprise is the greatest wealth generator known to
mankind, without there’s nothing else.

Will the GOP get that? Maybe

In an Obamacare world, what is the GOP’s message? “We need to become
the party of liberty and freedom,” Ryan argues. “We’re not doing
enough. We can do better, and we will — because we have no choice. If
we’re going to offer the country a completely different vision, we
can’t be Democratic-lite or resign ourselves to be slightly more
efficient managers and tax-collectors for the welfare state. We have
to break with that and give people a clear and distinct difference.”

From the National Review:

James Madison’s words cannot be repeated often enough: “The cool and
deliberate sense of the community ought, in all governments, and
actually will, in all free governments, ultimately prevail over the
views of its rulers.” The American people don’t want Obamacare, and
the will of the American people will ultimately prevail over the will
of their rulers — starting in November.

Repeal will be achieved through a three-step process: First, the vast
majority of Americans who oppose Obamacare will elect members to
Congress who will actually reflect their views. Second, they will
elect a president who will actually reflect their views. Third, this
new Congress and new president will repeal the overhaul. (Remember,
only 1 percent of Obamacare — based on its projected costs over the
next ten years — will have kicked in by then.)

So, the war has just begun, and we must be prepared to dig in for the
long haul. Repeal will be a three-year process — more like a marathon
than a sprint. If those of us who oppose Obamacare show as much
determination to repeal it as Obama has shown in imposing it, we will
prevail. Until victory is achieved, let us be committed to this
five-word goal: Repeal, and then real reform. And let us fight until
we achieve it. After all, that is the will of the American people, and
this is America.

Michael Lendeen writes of "Tocqueville’s nightmare scenario of a slow seduction of the American people who would willingly abandon freedom to a soft dictatorship that would appear to be democratic."

And the response of the American public:

But the scheme did not succeed, at least the way they planned it. Instead of embracing the tyranny, the American people unexpectedly rose up against it. To use Tocqueville’s metaphor, Americans acted like a recalcitrant child and refused to behave. At which point the tyrannical wannabes decided to slap us down and make us behave properly. They were forced to carry out a coup, a baldfaced seizure of power. Thus, the Demon Pass. Thus the two most memorable lines from the coup plotters: (Pelosi) “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it,” and (Hastings): “there are no rules. This is the U.S. Congress.”

That was not the way it was supposed to happen. We were supposed to go quietly. Instead we fought back, and the final outcome of this big fight–the one I foresaw more than a year ago–is still in doubt. The would-be tyrants may prevail; after all, they have the awesome power of the state. But we have the numbers and a superior vision.

Americans can be very tough in this kind of fight. Ask King George.

For this to work the American people need to be kept energized, and kept suspicious. They have to realized what the Dems are up to and not buy into their lies. They have to believe that their energy, their votes, their desire for liberty means something.

Of course, it may not work. Joanna fo RFAA is less sanguine over things.

We're just that far gone. I'm not enjoying the spectacle, by any means, but I'm at the point where I'd rather make s'mores with the firefighters than wear myself out trying to save a house that'll burn down regardless.
The point is, it's not going to go back to the way it was. There are so many debts coming due all at once that we're past the tipping point -- heck, the tipping point isn't even visible in the rearview mirror anymore. We went over that ledge before I was even born. I don't know if that makes me a pessimist, a realist or a cheerleader for the apocalypse (stock up on Twinkies now, kids!), but I've made my peace with whatever's coming, good, bad or indifferent.

Things could go bad and they likely will, but I'm thinking of a little Pascal's Wager.
Maybe we can help the US get back on track. If not, be prepared. It's like self defense but on a larger scale. Disaster can strike natural or economic or anything else.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A new world?

Well it passed, by 219.
Edit: Updated number.

Via Glen

Here's some thoughts by Megan McArdle

Republicans and other opponents of the bill did their job on this; they persuaded the country that they didn't want this bill. And that mattered basically not at all. If you don't find that terrifying, let me suggest that you are a Democrat who has not yet contemplated what Republicans might do under similar circumstances. Farewell, social security! Au revoir, Medicare! The reason entitlements are hard to repeal is that the Republicans care about getting re-elected. If they didn't--if they were willing to undertake this sort of suicide mission--then the legislative lock-in you're counting on wouldn't exist.

Oh, wait--suddenly it doesn't seem quite fair that Republicans could just ignore the will of their constituents that way, does it? Yet I guarantee you that there are a lot of GOP members out there tonight who think that they should get at least one free "Screw You" vote to balance out what the Democrats just did.

If the GOP takes the legislative innovations of the Democrats and decides to use them, please don't complain that it's not fair. Someone could get seriously hurt, laughing that hard.


We're not a parliamentary democracy, and we don't have the mechanisms, like votes of no confidence, that parliamentary democracies use to provide a check on their politicians. The check that we have is that politicians care what the voters think. If that slips away, America's already quite toxic politics will become poisonous.

The president promised change. And boy did we get it.

Silver linings?

Powerline has some.

* The health care debate has energized the conservative movement and awoken the sleeping giant, that is, the American people. The Democrats misinterpreted their electoral victories in 2006 and 2008 as a mandate for socialism. Now a majority of voters are intent on disabusing them of that misapprehension. Just about all of the political energy today is on the right--a remarkable fact, only sixteen months after the Democrats' high-water mark in November 2008.

* Barack Obama has used his political capital--pretty much all of it--on unpopular legislation that will continue to rile the voters for years to come. As a result, Obama is a remarkably unpopular second-year President. And he hasn't even experienced any bad luck yet. It is hard to see how he will be able to regain his footing.

So, be of good cheer. To paraphrase a great American, we have not yet begun to fight.

And some similar thoughts from Ace of Spades.

So this is actually a bit of good news amidst the shit sandwich since it means that most people will experience the pain of this bill while still keeping their current health coverage. Sure it'll be expensive but at least the existing plans and insurance companies will be around for a while. Long enough for the GOP to take back the House and Senate in 2010 and maybe the White House in 2012. And right now that's looking more likely. Plus a lot of the country is now very frustrated and angry and somewhat organized. Expect this to keep growing as the bill's effect becomes more than theoretical.

Here the Democrats made the mistake of putting the stick first and the carrot years later in order to pass the CBO. It'll probably cost them control of Congress and it'll also have knock-on effects in state legislatures which will make it that much harder for them to make a comeback. Now the Democrats may feel this was all worth it since universal health care is essentially a sacrament for them. But that warm feeling only lasts so long when you're wandering in the political wilderness.

And Mark Steyn gives the dark, dark storm cloud.

If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It's a huge transformative event in Americans' view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn't be doing what they're doing. Their bet is that it can't be undone, and that over time, as I've been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people. As I wrote in NR recently, there's plenty of evidence to support that from Britain, Canada and elsewhere.

More prosaically, it's also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the US is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.

This is why it's so vital to fight this bill whenever possible. To make sure it's as unpopular as possible. Because it's just the first step. The problems of expanding goverment power, increased debt, growing public sector (both in numbers and in pay over the private sector), were all around and were all going critical.

Now they're going to be much worse.

Keep your powder dry. Not just figuratively either. Assault Weapons Ban and the like are coming too. Again, see UK and Canada and so on.

Another "upside" is that their contempt for the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and Limited government is naked in the open. It's clear that the Democrats will stop at nothing to get what they want, public be damned.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Worms: Can Of.

Larrery Anderson list the problems: Probable Constitutional Challenges to ObamaCare Read it all.

This is beyond it being budget bursting, corrupt, power hungry, care limiting, and self serving to Dem special interests. These are fundamental problems in regards to the core to US law.

At least now everyone in America will now know what us Second Amendment supporters have known for years, the political elite hold the Constitution, Limited Government, the Rule of Law, and you in contempt.

And that is the short list of possible constitutional challenges. Beware Democrats: if you pass ObamaCare, a constitutional hurricane is headed right for you.

There has to be one. We have to fight this, because Statism never stops. They'll keep pushing and controlling more and more. Look at how legislative process has been tortured to get ObamaCare nearly to the finish line.

Think they won't do the same for Cap and Trade, Amnesty, Assault Weapons Ban? Why wouldn't they?


More lies, more shady deals.

Why is it Slaughter House on steroids? This is a process that is generally used to make technical changes. This is a major substantive change and it's only being done to get around the 60 vote requirement in the Senate.

The thing is, even if he can get the House to pass the corrections bill there's no guarantee that it would pass in the Senate. The underlying Senate bill would still have passed the House without the Stupak language and be signed into law. It seems Stupak is really looking for a way to vote for the bill and save face on abortion.


Stupak is the most gullible man in the world if he thinks that Nancy is going to let a passed health care reform bill rot in her desk draw to keep her word to him.

Now for the politics...

Well, Nancy ain't got 216 if this is on the table.

It's a game of chicken, if this is what will happen on Sunday. Who will blink? The pro-life Stupak gang or the Pro-choicers who are saying screw this, we'll kill health care reform over it? But would the pro-choicers really do that? The odds of the 'corrections' bill passing the Senate are pretty slim. Are they really willing to kill this whole thing on a what? 30-40% chance chance the Senate will pass Stupack? I can't believe that.

I bet Stupack or enough of his gang cave before this happens but there's no way to know at this point.

Well have a better idea tomorrow morning after Stupak holds his press conference.

Profiles in Courage: The House Democrats hate the Senate bill with a passion (hence the Slaughter Solution to avoid soiling their hands by even voting on it). Problem is they have to and then hope the Senate agrees to the reconciliation bill. If the Senate doesn't follow through, then the Senate bill, Cornhusker Kickback and all becomes law.

The "silver lining" is that Pelosi et al wouldn't be this desperate if they had the votes. Unless they've got so used to insane deal making that they're reaching out to the Stupack group to shuffle votes around.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, now everyone will get to experience what us Second Amendment folks have known for years.

The Constitution? They're just not that into it. Given how it limits goverment power and all.

A bridge too far?

This is a prudential consideration -- i.e., sure, this thing stinks on ice, but wouldn't it be worse for the Constitution if the Court stepped in and began micromanaging procedure in a coequal branch of government?

Such prudential concerns are important, but they do have their limits.

For example: Suppose that the the House passes a bill. But Nancy Pelosi doesn't like it, and substitutes her own version with some editing for the bill actually passed. She then presents this to the President for signature (after the Senate passes it).

Now, this is blatantly unconstitutional -- she just slipped a law to the President without a vote on it at all; it's merely what she alone wants -- but she's entrusted to do this presentation business and she claims it was passed.

Now if the House doesn't have some way to thwart her here -- if they cannot rouse some sort of vote to stop this -- is it really true that even in this case the Court would say "It is not for us to decide how the House manages its affairs?"

I doubt it. There is a limit to how much restraint prudence dictates you show in the face of constitutional lawlessness.

Now, in the present case, the situation is not quite as extreme. However, in the past, the self-executing "demonpass" dodge was used with regard to legislation that was going to pass anyway; Congress concocted itself a trivial dodge so they could say they hadn't voted to raise the debt ceiling. But if that dodge had not been available, they would have voted for it.

It'll certianly be challenged.

Meanwhile, Sad President is Sad.

Roger L. Simon ends:
What we may be watching is what happens when a man who has faced very little adversity in his life finally has to.

Stuart Williamson comments:

You call it unhappiness. I see it as anger, based on irritation and frustration.

“Change” wasn’t supposed to work out this way. HE won, the Right lost. Live with it! This was the man who was going to move mountains, cause oceans to subside, with the magic of his golden tongued oratory. Ruthless rulers would roll over at his bidding. His hubris is such that he truly believes that HealthCare, Cap and Trade, Educational reform – all his primary agenda – should be a slam dunk. It has not happened that way: he’s being shocked, blocked, stymied.

And he’s taking it personally and peevishly. This is a man without political skills, without diplomatic skills, without any instincts for governance. He doesn’t care about polls. He has no interest in what the electorate thinks.

The country is in the very best of hands!

And let's round out with Ramesh Ponnuru demolishing some Talking Points.

Talking point: The plan gives Americans, rather than government or health insurers, more control over their health insurance.

Reality: While you may want to go without insurance—especially once the government is done remaking it—the government will make you fork over cash to the insurance companies. If you want to buy a cheap catastrophic policy, the government will tell the insurance companies not to offer you one.

Talking point: The bill lets you keep your doctor and your insurance plan.

Reality: Unless you’re on Medicare Advantage, or your plan doesn’t meet the new regulatory standards, or the new law induces your employer to drop your coverage.


Talking point: “The American people deserve an up-or-down vote.”

Reality: Except in the House.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Of course!

So the Dems in the upper house passed one bill and a different bill got passed in the lower? How to solve this problem?

Instead of having a vote just *say* that the bill would have passed and move forward.

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter is prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill, the chairwoman said Tuesday.

Slaughter is weighing preparing a rule that would consider the Senate bill passed once the House approves a corrections bill that would make changes to the Senate version.

Yes, as if the kickbacks and deals weren't corrupt enough, now they're blatantly "avoiding votes".

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about their plans for Healthcare, and so willing to trust them.

Here's the basic civics.

Apparently, some Democrats can’t seem to tell the difference between a rule of debate and just declaring by rule that the House has passed a bill that they have not, when the Constitution itself expressly states that “in all [] Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays[.]” What Slaughter and Pelosi here are attempting here is a blatant violation of the principles of bicameralism and presentment.

It makes perfect sense that these people have contempt for the rule of law and limited goverment. They want their reformation and power and they want it now. Things like the law are like taxes and other rules, they're for the little people.

What do you expect from people who hold the First and Second amendments in contempt?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Something to read.

Via Joanna

Here's an enjoyable little story. Lucky Thirteen by Marko Kloos

My review, but really you should read it first

Very nice work.

Identifiable and steady voice for the narration. Good pacing and strong characterization.

Nice job at building the connection between Halley and Thirteen. A very enjoyable read and one that maintains the suspension of disbelief.

One problem is that it feels like part of a larger work. This is good and bad. It's good that it hints at a larger world and gets the reader into more, but it also feels a bit "lonely".

A bit more rounding out of the world could help. Though that is easy to overdo, and any infodump would detract from the central story.

Which does have a nice timeless nature, another positive.