Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obama's H C Promises: Early Expiration

Obama's Health Care Promises Reach Their Expiration Date Early - Jim Geraghty /NRO

Two revealing comments from Aetna CEO Ron Williams in an interview with BusinessWeek out now:

Will insurance premiums go up?

The answer is yes, and some of the things that will drive those premiums are significant additional taxes the industry will ultimately have to pay in the first year.

The President said that this bill would not have any impact on people who already had coverage, that it was about the uninsured, that there would be no change. Will this legislation change the coverage of people who are already paying for it?

My perception is, yes, things will change. You might not have a plan that includes the exact same doctors. You might have plans that have richer benefits, and therefore you're going to pay more for benefits you may or may not want. It would have been a better message to say, we're going to make certain you maintain your eligibility.

Higher premiums, and your plan may change, even if you like it as it is. Basically, the health care bill is set to deliver the exact opposite of what President Obama promised.

Everybody, sing along! "All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them."

Lefties, shocked over faux violence, started it

More Bottled Piety [Victor Davis Hanson/NRO]

This week’s talking point is the sudden danger of new right-wing violence, and the inflammatory push-back against health care. I’m sorry, but all this concern is a day late and a dollar short. The subtext is really one of class — right-wing radio talk-show hosts, Glenn Beck idiots, and crass tea-party yokels are foaming at the mouth and dangerous to progressives. In contrast, write a book in which you muse about killing George Bush, and its Knopf imprint proves it is merely sophisticated literary speculation; do a docudrama about killing George Bush, and it will win a Toronto film prize for its artistic value rather than shock from the liberal community about over-the-top discourse.

Socialism and totalitarianism are tough charges from the hard right, but they seem to me about as (or as not) over-the-top as Al Gore screaming “digital brown-shirts” or John Glenn comparing the opposition to Nazis. When 3,000 were murdered in Manhattan, and Michael Moore suggested Bin Laden had wrongly targeted a blue state, I don’t think that repulsive remark prevented liberal politicians from attending his anti-Bush film premiere. Yes, let us have a tough debate over the role of government and the individual, but spare us the melodrama, the bottled piety, and the wounded-fawn hurt.

Like it or not, between 2001 and 2008, the “progressive” community redefined what is acceptable and not acceptable in political and public discourse about their elected officials. Slurs like “Nazi” and “fascist” and “I hate” were no longer the old street-theater derangement of the 1960s, but were elevated to high-society novels, films, political journalism, and vein-bulging outbursts of our elites. If one were to take the word "Bush" and replace it with "Obama" in the work of a Nicholson Baker, or director Gabriel Range, or Garrison Keillor or Jonathan Chait, or in the rhetoic of a Gore or Moore, we would be presently in a national crisis, witnessing summits on the epidemic of "hate speech."

So here we are with the age-old problem that once one destroys decorum for the sake of short-term expediency, it is very hard to restore it in any credible fashion on grounds of principle when the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. A modest suggestion: If the liberal community wishes to be more credible in its concern about contemporary extremist anti-administration rhetoric, then they might try the following: “Please, let us avoid extremism and do not fall into the same trap as Baker, Chait, Keillor, Gore, Moore, or Range when they either expressed open hatred toward their president, or speculated about the assassination of their president, or compared their president to a fascist. We must disown such extremism, past and present."

Repeal It

Repeal It [Kathryn Jean Lopez/NRO]

Here's a poll that will explain why the president still has to campaign today to convince people that his health-care revolution is a good thing. It's from CBS and it asks, "Should Republicans continue to challenge the health care bill?" 89 percent of Republicans say yes. Okay. But 41 percent of Democrats do too. And 66 percent of Independents.

Call the GOP the party of no if you want to, but they don't own health care in America. And they don't own the wrong way to help it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

‘If They Bring a Knife...We Bring a Gun’

Obama: ‘If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun’

By WSJ Staff

Amy Chozick reports on the presidential race from Philadelphia.

Mobster wisdom tells us never to bring a knife to a gun fight. But what does political wisdom say about bringing a gun to a knife fight?

That’s exactly what Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

The comment drew some laughs and applause. But it also struck a chord with his Republican rival. John McCain’s campaign immediately accused the Democratic candidate of playing the politics of fear. They also mentioned that Obama said he would use a gun that would be illegal under Obama’s plans to cut down on illegal firearms.

Reid Supporters Egg Tea Party Express Buses


CONTACT: Levi Russell at (509) 979-6615 or

Harry Reid Supporters Egg Tea Party Express Buses in Route

Supporters of Senator Harry Reid have just thrown eggs at the Tea Party Express bus caravan - striking at least one of the three buses (the red Tea Party Express bus) with multiple eggs.

About 35 Reid supporters had lined Highway 95 in front of the Nugget Casino in Searchlight where they were attempting a counter-demonstration the tens of thousands of tea party supporters who are gathering for the "Showdown in Searchlight."

More details to follow...

Demonizing Everyday Americans (like you, me)

Demonizing Everyday Americans by Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski

There appears to be a concerted effort among the political Left and many mainstream media people to demonize and marginalize the expanding citizen-based movement known as the tea party movement. This effort flows from both a fear of what these tea parties represent and a contempt for everyday Americans. But those ordinary citizens are poised to be the ones laughing when it’s all over, when democracy takes its course.

There seems to be a consensus now among the liberal elite when it comes to the tea parties. Senior administration officials deride them, as do liberal congressional Democrats. These elitists characterize the tea partiers as extremists, some drawing analogies between these ordinary citizens and right-wing militias, fanatics, and religious zealots. Some members of Congress are even saying that these tea party people are racist, which is pretty much the worst label that can be slapped on you in modern politics.

And many leftist talking heads in the media parrot this message, with their own biting editorial, adding that some in the tea party crowd are dangerous. Some talking heads, including some Hollywood actors and others who don’t seem to have any credentials as policy analysts but are nonetheless given air time, are really playing up the racism angle, and even suggest that some tea party attendees may be domestic terrorists.

Try the decaf, people.

Agents of big government and their boosters in the mainstream media seem determined to throw cold water on this growing grassroots movement that is a reaction to the Obama administration’s power grab of the growth and expansion of this country’s central government.

There’s a great deal of diversity among tea party people. Some just want lower taxes, and some also want less regulation. Still others are pro-life voters or Christian conservatives that also want fiscal responsibility. Many others push for conservative judges, while still others hold up signs calling for a restoration of American sovereignty, or protecting America’s borders, or defeating cap and trade or card check.

But they all have two things in common: They all want smaller government, and oppose the trampling of the Constitution embodied in these efforts to radically expand the size and scope of government. And as part of that desire, they want this utterly-ludicrous spending binge to end before it bankrupts all of us.

There’s nothing extremist about that agenda, because common sense is never extreme.

Are there some people attending tea party rallies who are intemperate in their remarks? Sure. Whenever you get tens of thousands of regular folks together, you’ll always get a few who makes comments that they should reconsider. Even then, nothing we’ve seen is worse than the truly outrageous statements that we’ve heard from the Left in recent years about President Bush or Republicans.

Having been engaged in many gatherings of the tea party crowd, it’s offensive that many in the mainstream media are engaging in a systematic effort to marginalize American citizens who are simply trying to take a stand for individual liberty—a stand in opposition to big-government expansion. Also one of us speaking as an African-American (Blackwell), it’s especially insulting to suggest that these people’s opposition to President Obama is driven by racism.

America’s history of grassroots activism goes back to the founding of our republic. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people includes as a necessary element those same average, ordinary people being able to gather and speak out. This freedom to assemble was considered so essential to a free nation that our Founders put it in the First Amendment, right alongside the freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Ironically, these rights are set side-by-side with the freedom of the press, as well. The leftists in the media would do well to remember that their liberty to be a free press comes from the same constitutional amendment as the tea party crowd’s liberty to gather together.

And our elected leaders would do well to remember that the First Amendment exists to protect average people from the government, not the other way around.

Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski are the authors of the forthcoming book, The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale April 27.

They can't force a free people to comply

SHIKHA DALMIA on non-violent resistance to ObamaCare. “President Barack Obama came into office promising hope and change. But he might get more change than he hoped for. By foisting ObamaCare on a deeply unwilling country he might have set the stage for the largest civil disobedience movement since the civil rights era, which, if it plays its cards right, could undo his legislation and his legacy. . . . By some estimates, Uncle Sam will need to hire an additional 17,000 IRS agents or so just to enforce the coverage mandate. But even if a few million Americans simultaneously refuse to abide by it, they could easily overwhelm the system. Self-rule or swaraj, Gandhi said, requires a collective understanding of the immense capacity of citizens to ‘regulate and control’ the coercive apparatus of the state through mass nonviolent resistance.”

by Glenn Reynolds

But don't dare call them Marxist, etc--Obama has assured us he's for free market

Democrat Max Baucus Gives The Game Away

Max Baucus is the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Democrat most responsible fo Obamacare's final shape other than Nancy Pelosi.

In an unusual speech on the Senate floor moments ago, Max Baucus declares that the "healthcare bill" to be "an income shift, it is a shift, a leveling to help lower income middle income Americans." Baucus continued, "[t]oo often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America."

Baucus' candor is appreciated, though the fact that he waited until the bill passed to announce the real agenda behind the massive tax hikes isn't a profile in courage. And the seniors on fixed income who are about to lose Medicare Advantage would laugh at Baucus' pseudo-populism.

The scary graph trend for HC spending

Federal Health Spending by Chris Edwards

When describing spending growth in federal programs, I often need to use words like “soaring” and “explosive.” But growth in federal health spending is almost beyond superlatives to describe it, and it will increase even faster as a result of President Obama’s new health legislation.

This chart shows total real spending by the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Spending has increased almost nine-fold since 1970, and that’s after adjusting for inflation. And note how the slope of the bars increased around 1990. Health spending is truly skyrocketing and Obama has just put us into orbit.

(Data from the federal budget, historical tables, table 4.1, as deflated)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shine light of truth--then get rid of it

Repeal and Replace — but First Reveal by Jennifer Rubin of Commentary

Politico reports:

The health care reform bill signed into law by President Barack Obama Tuesday requires members of Congress and their office staffs to buy insurance through the state-run exchanges it creates — but it may exempt staffers who work for congressional committees or for party leaders in the House and Senate.

Staffers and members on both sides of the aisle call it an “inequity” and an “outrage” — a loophole that exempts the staffers most involved in writing and passing the bill from one of its key requirements.

Well, it’s certainly not the worst thing about ObamaCare, but it sure is emblematic of the secret self-dealing and the grab bag of surprises tucked in the nooks and crannies of the thousands of pages of legislation. There are racial preferences, taxes galore, mandates on restaurants, and more yet to be fully revealed. In a bill this enormous, with this much arm-twisting and backroom dealing (by the way, all those Stupak-Pelosi meetings weren’t put on C-SPAN, were they?), it will take days and weeks to find out, as Nancy Pelosi put it in a moment of candor, what’s actually in it!

This does give a boost to the new Republican mantra “repeal and replace!” Part of the “repeal” effort will be the uncovering of all the special deals and a proper explanation of the impact on the deficit (calculated to go up $6B this year), the Medicare cuts (about $100B this year), and the regimen of taxes and mandates that await us if in fact the bill is fully implemented. Democrats want to talk about all the wonders contained in the monstrous bill? I think that’s a fine idea. It’s about time everyone understood what they all voted for.

REASON TV: 3 Reasons Health Care Reform Won’t Cut The Deficit by One Thin Dime.

Despite O-care happy talk--it'll go down

ObamaCare is Politically Vulnerable by Jay Cost
Liberal commentators are comparing the passage of ObamaCare to other landmark pieces of legislation - like Social Security and Medicare. I agree that in the provision of social welfare, this bill ranks nearly as high. But when you examine how the welfare is provided - it is strikingly inferior. Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson made use of an ingenious social insurance system - promoting the idea that we all pay in today to take out tomorrow. It was consistent with American individualism. It was simple. It was intuitive. It was bipartisan.

Obama's new system has none of those virtues. It's an impenetrable labyrinth of new taxes, benefits, and regulations, passed on the narrowest of possible majorities with more than 10% of the Democratic caucus joining every Republican. Even Wile E. Coyote would be embarrassed by its inefficiencies.

Still, the thought among its proponents at the moment is that the legislation, once enacted, cannot be repealed. It will have the benefit of our system's strong "status quo bias." Accordingly, expect yesterday's critics of the filibuster to become its valiant defenders should push come to shove.

The status quo bias is a very real thing, and it makes the Republican efforts to modify or repeal challenging. The GOP must control the entire government by January, 2013 to enact major changes to the legislation. By then, the thinking goes among proponents, those with a personal stake in preserving the legislation will be in place to protect it, just as seniors have been on guard against raids on Social Security.

Yet it's not that simple. The Democrats crammed a $2 trillion bill into a $1 trillion package by delaying the distribution of most benefits for four years, until 2014. This creates two major political vulnerabilities for ObamaCare.

The first is an imbalance between winners and losers through the next two elections. Harold Lasswell defined politics as who gets what, when, and how. By this metric, ObamaCare is bad politics for the foreseeable future. Like any major piece of legislation, this bill assigns winners and losers. The winners will be those who today are uninsured, but who will (eventually) acquire insurance. But there will not be a major reduction in the uninsured until 2014. So, the actual winners are going to be pretty few in number for some time.

Meanwhile, the losers begin to feel the effects immediately. Between now and the next presidential election, ObamaCare is going to pay out virtually zero dollars in benefits, but it will take billions out of Medicare. This is bad for seniors. They have an incentive to oppose portions of this bill (while supporting others, like the closing of the "Doughnut Hole," which Republicans will never repeal). While the Democrats will claim that this reduction in benefits will have no effect on the quality of their care, CBO is much less certain:

Under the legislation, CBO expects that Medicare spending would increase significantly more slowly during the next two decades than it has increased during the past decades (per beneficiary, after adjusting for inflation). It is unclear whether such a reduction in the growth rate of spending could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or through reductions in access to care or the quality of care. (Emphasis mine)

The italicized sentence is an enormous political problem for the Democratic Party. After decades of developing a reputation for defending the interests of senior citizens, the Democrats have put it in serious jeopardy with this legislation. And they've done so right at the moment when demographic shifts are making the senior population more powerful than ever.

Why create such an imbalance between winners and losers? The Democrats are not fools. Why would they do this?

The answer is pretty simple: to hide the true cost of the bill. They don't want to push a $2 trillion program now because this country is facing the greatest deficit crisis it's seen in decades - and such a price tag does not make for good politics these days.

These budgetary gimmicks enabled them to pass the bill, winning over enough self-described "deficit hawks" in the Blue Dog wing of the party to limp to 219 in the House last night. Yet their smoke and mirrors can only mask, not alter the reality, which is this: at a time when the country is facing an enormous deficit problem, the Democrats have created another significant financial obligation for Uncle Sam. This is the second major political vulnerability of ObamaCare.

It's easy to forget these days, seeing as how we've been on a 15-year break from the politics of deficit reduction, just how brutal it tends to be. If you want to know why the parties have become so polarized in the last 30 years, the deficit is a big part of the answer. When Reagan indexed the tax code and stopped runaway inflation, governmental bean counters couldn't depend on bracket creep to solve future imbalances between taxes and spending - and so the lines between the two parties were drawn starkly and clearly.

Deficit reducers always have to choose between two undesirable alternatives: cut spending or raise taxes. The problem with both tactics is that somebody loses while nobody really wins. The benefits of a reduced deficit are diffused across the population and are but weakly felt. Tax increases or spending cuts are felt directly and intensely. Typically, to balance the budget, somebody has to be made worse off tomorrow than they are today.

But not when it comes to ObamaCare, at least not prior to 2014. The benefits could be altered to ease the deficit burden without making anybody worse off tomorrow than they are today. Of course, the beneficiaries of the subsidies would not be as well off tomorrow as they expect to be, but that's different from being made worse off. That could be an important distinction if the politics of deficit reduction are as fiercely zero-sum as they have been in decades past. If it comes down to a choice between a new tax on the middle class or scaling back the unimplemented provisions of ObamaCare, guess what the policymakers in Washington, D.C. will choose.

We're definitely heading toward some kind of hard choice about the deficit. If we weren't, the Democrats wouldn't have employed all those gimmicks to claim that the bill costs less than $1 trillion. They know people are worried about this issue.

Last week, President Obama said again and again that the time for talk is over. Yet this week he's going on the road to defend his new bill. This is why. ObamaCare is politically vulnerable. It lacks the bipartisan support that created and protected new entitlements in decades past. The public does not have confidence in it. Worst of all, it creates an imbalance between winners and losers for four years, and it amounts to a staggeringly expensive new entitlement at a time when the country has to think hard about how to trim its sails.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stimulus, economic fallacy and Keynes--boring and obscure unless it reveals why it's failing

American Tyranny (pt 1)

American Tyranny

More than a year ago, less than a month after the Obama Inauguration, I wrote about the threat of an emerging American tyranny, quoting 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. I was right about Obama’s intentions, but wrong about the reaction of the American people, which is central to the battle in which we are engaged.

Tocqueville foresaw a slow death of freedom. He feared that the power of the central government would gradually expand, meddling in every area of our lives, and he was afraid that we would welcome it, and even convince ourselves that we controlled it.

Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their own will. Thus their spirit is gradually broken and their character enervated…

The tyranny he foresaw for us does not have much in common with the vicious dictatorships of the last century, or with contemporary North Korea, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. “The nature of despotic power in democratic ages is not to be fierce or cruel, but minute and meddling.” The vision and even the language anticipated Orwell’s 1984, or Huxley’s Brave New World. Tocqueville described the new tyranny as “an immense and tutelary power,” and its task is to regulate every aspect of our lives.

It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd....

(pt 2 below) Full article:

American Tyranny (pt 2)

American Tyranny

...Tocqueville thought we would not be bludgeoned into submission; we would be seduced. He foresaw the collapse of American democracy as the end result of two parallel developments that would ultimately render us meekly subservient to an enlarged bureaucratic power: the corruption of our character, and the emergence of a vast welfare state. His nightmare vision is brilliantly and terrifyingly prescient:

That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Roger all that. Tocqueville had it right, and it’s exactly what has happened on his old continent. Europe has fallen under precisely that sort of tyranny, and our would-be tyrants thought they could do the same here.

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 the very moving and insightful rest:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CNN poll: Majority disapprove of Obama for first time

CNN poll: Majority disapprove of Obama for first time

From Deputy Managing Editor Rich Barbieri

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll reveals that 51 percent of respondents disapprove of President Obama's job performance.

Washington (CNN) – For the first time, a CNN poll has found that a majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama's job performance.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama's job performance and 46 percent approve of it.

Full results (pdf)

Obama's approval rating has dropped steadily each month since December, when it was 54 percent. His highest approval rating in a CNN poll was 76 percent in February 2009 shortly after he took office.

The new poll was conducted before the House on Sunday narrowly approved the Obama administration's signature domestic policy proposal: health care reform.

The measure, which Obama plans to sign on Tuesday, represents the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago.

In fact, health care was the policy area that drew the second highest negative rating, with 58 percent registering disapproval. The highest negative rating was 62 percent for his handling of the federal deficit.

While his performance ratings have slid, Americans personally like Obama. The poll found that 70 percent of respondents approve of him as a person, and only 25 percent disapprove.

On the economy overall, 54 percent disapprove of his work and 43 percent approve. He scored well for his handling of the environment and education, as well as on national security.

"Obama scores some of his best numbers on 'commander-in-chief' issues - Afghanistan, Iraq, and terrorism," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "In January, 51% approved of Obama's handling of Afghanistan; that number is now 55%, an indication that the public has a positive view of the latest military offensive in that country."

The CNN poll was conducted on March 19-21 through telephone interviews with 1,030 adult Americans. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

CNN POLL: 59% of Americans oppose ObamaCare

CNN POLL: 59% of Americans oppose ObamaCare. Doug Mataconis comments: “This is pretty extraordinary. I don’t think there has ever been a time in American history when such an unpopular piece of legislation has become law by such a narrow, and completely partisan margin. The political consequences could be very interesting.”

by Glenn Reynolds

The change they didn't know they would get

RANDY BARNETT: “This is big. With the passage of the health care bill – especially the way it was passed – the political landscape of the United States has changed, perhaps forever. And I am not referring to the inevitable growth of statism that has resulted from nationalized health care in Europe. I am referring to a clear demarcation between the parties that was not evident in the last election. If John McCain had been elected, we would have had something like this bill enacted last year in a bipartisan fashion – as was Social Security and Medicare. Such a bill would have been irreversible. Now the political consciousness of an enormous number Americans is entirely focused on government and the political class. There is a genuinely grassroots ‘liberty movement’ in this country that has not existed in my lifetime – perhaps not in a century or more. And they are not interested forming in a third party.If the Democratic Party could survive slavery, it should be able to survive the passage of this health care bill. But then again, until the Civil War, slavery was less unpopular in the United States than is this bill.”

by Glenn Reynolds
For the rest:

Friday, March 26, 2010

America Rising--the You Tube--must watch

Almost unheard of levels of disapproval

CHANGE: Rasmussen: 43% now strongly disapprove of Obama, same as Bush when he left office. “Imagine how unpopular Obama would be if the press and the late night comedians (who are at least as important as the press) treated Obama as they treated Bush.”

UPDATE: Desperation time:
This was the candidate who created a cult of personality, who told us he represented the “New Politics,” who was going to eschew politics-as-usual, and who would be post-partisan, post-racial, and post-ideological. Now he’s a handful of votes away from a humiliating defeat. No wonder it’s desperation time. His possible failure would not be a mere political failure; it would be the obliteration of his own mythology.

Should he squeak it out, Obama’s “victory” would come with a heavy price. Gone is the image of a policy sophisticate (try watching that Bret Baier interview a few times without wincing). Gone is the “moderate” moniker. And gone is the notion that he’d usher in a new era of less contentious and less corrupt politics. (It’s a new era, perhaps, but hardly a better one.) There is no mistaking now the depth of the campaign deception. The public has figured out what he is all about. And increasingly, they dislike what they see.

Yeah, he’s even managed to disappoint me, and my expectations weren’t all that high.

by Glenn Reynolds

Democratic Party Corruption

Democratic Party Corruption by John Hinderacker at Powerline

Sometimes we assume that people are aware of how corrupt the Democratic Party is, but it isn't necessarily so. I was surprised to learn that my well-informed wife didn't know about Alcee Hastings, the paradigm of liberalism.

Hastings was once a federal judge, but he was impeached--it is hard to articulate what a difficult, cumbersome process that is--because he solicited bribes from criminal defendants. That is, he approached the criminals and told them that he would let them off if they paid him. That's a little extreme, even for a Democrat. Hastings' efforts to make himself rich in this criminal fashion came to light and he was investigated. He responded to the investigation by committing perjury.

As a result of his multiple crimes, Hastings was removed as a federal judge by the United States Senate, one of the few times in history that has happened. Here is the really astonishing thing: instead of going to jail, Alcee Hastings went to Congress! Democratic voters were not in the least concerned that he is a criminal of the most verminous sort. On the contrary, they elected him to represent them in Florida's 23rd Congressional District! That, really, tells you all you need to know about the depravity to which the Democratic Party has sunk.

Now, Alcee Hastings, exposed as a criminal and a betrayer of his oath as a federal judge, is playing a key role in the Democrats' effort to jam Obamacare down the throats of unwilling voters. Here is Hastings explaining that the Democrats have no intention of following House rules; rather, they are just making it up as they go along:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just as Orwell wrote: all are equal but some more equal than others

Exempted From Obamacare: Senior Staff Who Wrote the Bill by Ben Domenech

For as long as the political fight took over the past year, the abbreviated review process on the health care legislation currently pending on President Obama’s desk is unquestionably going to result in some surprises — as happens with any piece of mashed-up legislation — both for the congressmen who voted for it and for the American people.

One such surprise is found on page 158 of the legislation, which appears to create a carveout for senior staff members in the leadership offices and on congressional committees, essentially exempting those senior Democrat staffers who wrote the bill from being forced to purchase health care plans in the same way as other Americans....

Read the rest for the details:

The polls don't lie--people don't like it

Why Wait?

This morning, Republicans Steve King and Michele Bachmann (there may be other sponsors too) introduced legislation to repeal Obamacare.

Mark Tapscott points out how deep a hole the Democrats have to climb out of to get the public on board with government medicine, based on CNN polling over the weekend:

* 59% oppose the Democrats' health care bill, while only 39% favor it.

* 70% say the federal budget deficit will go up under the Democrats' health care bill; only 12% believe it will go down.

* 56% say the bill creates "too much government involvement in the nation's health care system," 28% say about the right amount, while 16% say not enough.

* 62% say they'll pay more for medical care under the Democrats' health care bill.

* 47% say they and their families will be worse off under the Democrats' health care bill; 33% say things will be about the same, and only 19% think they'll be better off.

20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms

20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms  By David Hogberg of Investors Business Daily

With House Democrats poised to pass the Senate health care bill with some reconciliation changes later today, it is worthwhile to take a comprehensive look at the freedoms we will lose.

Of course, the overhaul is supposed to provide us with security. But it will result in skyrocketing insurance costs and physicians leaving the field in droves, making it harder to afford and find medical care. We may be about to live Benjamin Franklin’s adage, “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”

The sections described below are taken from HR 3590 as agreed to by the Senate and from the reconciliation bill as displayed by the Rules Committee.

1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).

6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).

7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))

8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).

9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).

10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).

11. If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))

12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you must be an owner and have a “Medicare provider agreement” by Feb. 1, 2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didn’t have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A))

13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is located in a country where, over the last five years, population growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601 (i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than 200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).

14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)

15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in 2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).

16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be 10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D? Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).

The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough. (Section 1405).

17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)

18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section 9014).

19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).

That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).

20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pep Talk: Last night was bad. The law passed by the Senate and House really is that horrible

Pep Talk: Last night was bad. The law passed by the Senate and House really is that horrible.

But it's the morning after, and your mourning should be over.

The mainstream media and the nutroots will try to demoralize you, and there will be plenty of gloat to go around.

But remember how we got to last night.

November 4, 2008, was the culmination of multiple generations of journalistic and educational malpractice and liberal guilt, malfeasance by Republicans who lost their way while in power, and a mass delusion on par with the tulipomania of 17th century Holland.

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?

In August and September, did you think we would make it to the end of the year, and then in early January 2010, did any of you (other than me) think Scott Brown could win and we could prevent a Democratic super-majority?

Your hard work has paid off, even if the end result was not what we wanted. But trust me, without you it would have been much, much worse.

For over a year Obama has not been able to push through other destructive aspects of his agenda, and the clock is running out before the mid-term elections.

The hard work must continue through the November elections because Democrats know they have just a few more months.

So shake off the gloom, get your asses in gear, get over it, and get to work continuing to fight the worst government policies "since the Great Depression."

We have no other choice.

Yes, Holder really is hiring enemy of America's security for DOJ lawyer

Some patriot   by Paul Mirengoff/Powerline

Jennifer Daskal is a Department of Justice lawyer, having been brought on-board by Eric Holder as part of DOJ's Detainee Policy Task Force. Before coming to DOJ, Daskal was with Human Rights Watch, where she was an outspoken critic of the CIA and the interrogation techniques authorized by the Bush administration. (She was not, however, one of the seven DOJ lawyers whose identity Holder initially would not reveal; Daskal's role as an advocate for terrorist detainees was already known).

There's nothing shocking about Holder's decislon to hire a critic of the Bush-era CIA or its interrogation techniques. President Obama himself is such a critic, and elections have consequences.

However, Debra Burlingame and Tom Joscelyn report that Daskal wasn't just a critic of the CIA. They say she helped stalk the Agency as part of an effort that undermined its covert operations and put its agents at risk:

Daskal's anti-CIA activism was not limited to making hyperbolic statements to the press. Daskal and Human Rights Watch played a significant role in uncovering the CIA's secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan, where top terrorists were detained and interrogated.

Indeed, Daskal apparently worked with officials from the European parliament to expose aspects of the CIA's counter-terrorism operations. European parliament records contain the following information about a meeting with Daskal and others:

The delegation met with John SIFTON (Counterterrorism Researcher) and Jennifer DASKAL (US Advocacy Director) who provided the delegation with circumstantial evidence linking Poland and Romania to secret CIA prisons, including flight records, statements by Polish and Romanian government officials, as well as precise details of specific planes used by the CIA. Both recognized that they do not have formal evidence of these allegations, but stressed the indications of these facts were actually very strong. Their information was that there had been detainees in CIA custody well before the Guantánamo Bay detention center had been established.

Burlingame and Joscelyn also report that lawyers for Gitmo detainees worked with Human Rights Watch to use information obtained through their legal representations to ascertain the location of the CIA's secret sites and the identities of the CIA personnel charged with transporting (via special flights), detaining, and interrogating terrorists. As the aforementioned Sifton has said: "When I was working at Human Rights Watch, I managed to piece together a good deal of information about the CIA's detention facilities in Afghanistan by collecting accounts from former CIA detainees at Guantanamo, mostly from notes provided by habeas attorneys."

Human Rights Watch eventually published Sifton's investigation of the CIA's detention facilities in Afghanistan in 2007. That report was reviewed and edited by Jennifer Daskal.

One result of the kinds of efforts described by Sifton was that CIA operatives involved in detaining and interrogating terrorists had their photographs taken and shown to terrorists. This was the handiwork of attorneys working for the John Adams Project, a joint initiative of the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Naturally, the CIA is not amused. It believes that these efforts compromised its ongoing operations and could lead to reprisals against interrogators. And, at a minimum, the sharing of information obtained in representing detainees almost surely violates a 2004 protective order on this matter.

Accordingly, the CIA reportedly has pressed the Justice Department to investigate aggressively whether the John Adams Project lawyers broke the law. According to the same reports, the Holder Justice Department has downplayed the issue. Bill Gertz of the Washington Times attributes DOJ's reticence to particular lawyers within the department who are "sympathetic to the John Adams Project." Is Jennifer Daskal one of these lawyers? It's easy to believe that she is. Is Holder himself one of these lawyers? I suspect so.

If the Republicans win the House next fall, this matter should be high on its list of investigations, with Holder and Daskal high on the list of witnesses.

Holder has described attorneys like Daskal as "patriots." Let's hear him publicly defend that position before a Republican-controlled committee. Given his normal incoherence when he testifies on matters relating to terrorism, it should be quite an event.

Reflections on the Revolution in America

Reflections on the Revolution in America (from Victor Davis Hanson--for those who savor his deep incisive thoughts):

America’s Extreme Make-over

These are exciting though scary revolutionary times, akin to the constant acrimony in the fourth-century BC polis, mid-nineteenth century revolutionary Europe, or — perhaps in a geriatric replay — the 1960s. This is an era when the fundamental assumptions of the individual and the state are now being redefined, albeit in a weird, high-tech, globalized landscape.

Radical But Well Off

A word of caution: we are not talking about hoi polloi versus hoi oligoi, or the commune on the barricades fighting the estate owners. No, not this time around.

Instead, the present attempt to remake America is the effort of the liberal well-to-do — highly educated at mostly private universities, nursed on three decades of postmodern education, either with inherited wealth or earning top salaries, lifestyles of privilege indistinguishable from those they decry as selfish, and immune from the dictates they impose on others.

Such are basically the profiles of the Obama cabinet and sub-cabinet, the pillars of liberalism in the Congress and state legislatures, the public intellectuals in the universities and foundations, the arts crowd, and the Hollywood elite. Let us be clear about that.

The Distant Poor

They are all battling on behalf of “them,” the poorer half of America, currently in need of some sort of housing, education, food, or legal subsidy, whom the above mentioned elite, in the way they live, send their children to school, socialize, and vacation so studiously avoid. (The New York Times owners are likely to follow the cut-throat business practices of Wall Street, live in the most refined areas of New York, and assume privileges indistinguishable from other CEOs; the difference is that they so visibly care about those they never see or seek out).

Note well the term “poor.” These are not Dickensian or Joads poor, but largely Americans who by the standards of the 1940s would be considered lucky. ...

(For the rest, use link)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The case against gov't HC record

REP. DARRELL ISSA: The Lackluster Record of Government Health Care:

Already Medicare, which accounts for 14% of all federal spending, is rife with waste, fraud and abuse. Even Attorney General Eric Holder has said, “By all accounts, every year we lose tens of billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid funds to fraud.”

A recent analysis by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that federal subsidy programs cost taxpayers about $100 billion every year in improper payments, with Medicare and Medicaid accounting for more than half of that. Harvard Professor Malcolm Sparrow, a specialist in health care fraud teaching at the Kennedy School of Government, has estimated that as much as 20% of the federal health program budgets – or approximately $150 billion – is eaten up by improper payments every year.

No budget gimmick can hide that kind of wasteful spending from the American people, and no expansion of the government’s role in health care can mitigate the systemic problems that already exist. . . . Each year, the government spends an average of $927 in administrative costs per person for Medicaid and $509 for Medicare. Private insurance, on the other hand, costs only $453 per person in administrative costs. Until the government can demonstrate an ability to get administrative costs under control for programs that it already runs, Americans should vehemently oppose any effort to give bureaucrats in Washington any more power to control the one-sixth of the U.S. economy that affects health care.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds

This Will Not Stand: Newt On the Passage of Obamacare

This Will Not Stand: Newt On the Passage of Obamacare - HUMAN EVENTS
by Newt Gingrich

This will not stand.

No one should be confused about the outcome of Sunday's vote

This is not the end of the fight it is the beginning of the fight.

The American people spoke decisively against a big government, high tax, Washington knows best, pro trial lawyer centralized bureaucratic health system

In every recent poll the vast majority of Americans opposed this monstrosity

Speaker Pelosi knew the country was against the bill. That is why she kept her members trapped in Washington and forced a vote on Sunday.

She knew if she let the members go home their constituents would convince them to vote no.

The Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine combined the radicalism of Alinsky, the corruption of Springfield and the machine power politics of Chicago.

Sunday was a pressured, bought, intimidated vote worthy of Hugo Chavez but unworthy of the United States of America.

It is hard to imagine how much pressure they brought to bear on congressman Stupak to get him to accept a cynical, phony clearly illegal and unconstitutional executive order on abortion. The ruthlessness and inhumanity of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine was most clearly on display in their public humiliation of Stupak.

The real principles of the machine were articulated by Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings who was impeached and removed from the bench as a federal judge, before being elected to the House when he said ""There ain't no rules here, we're trying to accomplish something. . . .All this talk about rules. . . .When the deal goes down . . . we make 'em up as we go along."

It is hard for the American people to believe their leaders on the left are this bad.

They are.

The American people will not allow a corrupt machine to dictate their future.

Together we will pledge to repeal this bill and start over

Together we will prove that this will not stand

2010 and 2012 will be among the most important elections in American history

These elections will allow us to save America from a leftwing machine of unparalleled corruption arrogance and cynicism

Sunday was one more step in the fight against a "Washington knows best" and "Washington should run everything" attitude.

Let us turn now to the Senate to continue this fight for real reform, for real self government, and for policies that create jobs, improve health outcomes, and increase freedom.

Clarion call from Sarah Palin

Out-of-touch Congress Sounds Our Clarion Call to Take a Stand (from Sarah Palin's Facebook page)

We’ve been reminded many times that elections have consequences. Yesterday we saw the consequence of voting for those who believe in “fundamentally transforming” America whether we want it or not. Yesterday they voted. In November, we get to vote. We won’t forget what we saw yesterday. Congress passed a bill while Americans said “no,” and thousands of everyday citizens even surrounded the Capitol Building to beg them not to do it. Has there ever been a more obvious exhibition of a detached and imperious government?

In the weeks to come, we can expect them to try to change the subject, but we won’t forget. Don't let them move on to further “transformational” steps while forgetting what Congress just did against the will of the people. Though Obamacare will inflict billions in new taxes on individuals and employers, at least it creates some jobs: the IRS might have to hire as many as 16,000 new employees to enforce all the new taxes and penalties the bill calls for! And that doesn’t include all the other government jobs from the 159 new agencies, panels, commissions and departments this bill will create. As the private sector shrinks, we can count on government to keep growing along with the deficits needed to keep it all afloat. (Is this the kind of “change” Americans asked for?)

In the end, this unsustainable bill jeopardizes the very thing it was supposed to fix – our health care system. Somewhere along the way we forgot that health care reform is about doctors and patients, not the IRS and politicians. Instead of helping doctors with tort reform, this bill has made primary care physicians think about getting out of medicine. It was supposed to make health care more affordable, but our premiums will continue to go up. It was supposed to help more people get coverage, but there will still be 23 million uninsured people by 2019.

Though they’d like us to forget, we will remember the corrupt deals, the corrupt process, the lack of transparency, the deceptive gimmicks to game the CBO score, and the utter disregard for the will of the American people. Elections have consequences, and we won’t forget those who promised to hold firm against government funding of abortion, but caved at the last minute in exchange for a non-binding executive order promised by the most pro-abortion president to ever occupy the White House.

All along we’ve said that we want real health care reform, but this isn’t it. We mustn’t be discouraged now. We must look to November when our goal will be to rebuke big government’s power grab, reject this unwanted “transformation” of America, and repeal dangerous portions of Obamacare that will bury us under more Big Government control.

This is just the beginning of our efforts to take back our country. Consider yesterday’s vote a clarion call and a spur to action. We will not let America sink into further debt without a fight. We will not abandon the American dream to government dependency, fewer freedoms and less opportunity. Change is made at the ballot box. If we work together, we can renew our optimistic pioneering spirit, revive our economy, and restore constitutional limits.

Stand tall, America. November is coming!

- Sarah Palin

Monday, March 22, 2010


Opposing view: ‘It must be repealed’; This monstrosity ignores people’s will and violates the Constitution.

By Jim DeMint

There’s no fixing the government health care takeover Democrats forced through on Sunday. It must be repealed.

After telling Americans in 2008 that they would lower spending, taxes and insurance premiums, Democrats passed a bill that breaks every promise. Using secret deals, kickbacks and carve-outs, Democratic leaders jammed through legislation to control more than one-sixth of the nation’s economy.

The plan will explode the national debt, raise $569.2 billion in new taxes, force taxpayers to fund abortions, and impose unconstitutional mandates on every American.

All of this was done in the face of overwhelming public outrage and bipartisan opposition in Congress. This process has been an insult to our democracy and threatens our nation’s prosperity and freedom.

Government bureaucrats will now dictate the terms of our health care system. Americans must purchase Washington-formulated insurance plans or pay stiff penalties, a requirement that defies the Constitution and is a boon to the insurance companies the Democrats pretend to despise.

This plan raids $52 billion from Social Security. It cuts nearly $500 billion from Medicare and doesn’t count the hundreds of billions needed to compensate doctors who treat elderly patients. A portion of this trillion dollar bill is paid for with a government takeover of the student loan industry. The government will shut down private lenders, sell expensive loans to 19 million college students and use the profits to finance “ObamaCare.”

It adds millions of people to Medicaid, a failing program that many doctors and pharmacists refuse to participate in. Medicaid won’t do its patients any good if a doctor won’t treat them or a pharmacist won’t fill their prescriptions.

Even the bill’s most strident supporters doubt its effectiveness. Many admit to not understanding the bill they voted on. Some voted “yes” out of fear a “no” vote would hurt the president.

Americans objected at every turn, peacefully protesting for over a year and begging their leaders not to take away their health care freedom. They asked for common-sense solutions such as buying health insurance across state lines, stopping frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs, and giving the same tax breaks to those who don’t get insurance from employers.

Washington didn’t listen.

When a president and a Congress collude to violate the Constitution and ignore the American people, everything our nation stands for is at risk. It’s not too late to undo the damage.

I, and other Republicans, will work to repeal this monstrosity, and give Americans freedom to make their own health care choices.

Sen. Jim DeMint is a Republican from South Carolina.

This editorial really says it about HC reform

Dem win is built on sand By RICH LOWRY

The passage of ObamaCare last night was the high-water mark of the Democratic ascendancy.

Democrats forced through their signature initiative in an act of ideological heedlessness that will cost them seats and perhaps their majorities in the fall, and will remain a source of poisonous contention in American politics for years to come.

The vote represented a significant personal victory for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who scoffed at scaling back Democratic ambitions in the wake of the loss of Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts.

She prevailed in internal Democratic deliberations and then personally lobbied a list of 68 waverers, resorting as necessary to "scary tough" tactics, in the words of an anonymous Democrat quoted by The New York Times.

Pelosi yesterday wielded the same sledgehammer-like gavel used during the 1965 enactment of Medicare, an apt symbol of the Democrats' historic commitment to the expansion of the social welfare state.

If the enactment of a program for universal coverage fulfills a long-standing goal of the Democrats, this wasn't how it was supposed to happen -- with public opinion firmly opposed, with protesters chanting just steps away from the Capitol, with procedural contortions and brazen deals, with blatantly dishonest accounting, with a wave of popular revulsion threatening to undo their work.

Democrats sealed their majority yesterday with a characteristically farcical deal over abortion.

The Senate bill provides federal funding for the procedure, in a departure from the long-standing prohibition of such funding under the Hyde Amendment. Pro-life Democrats led by Michigan's Rep. Bart Stupak didn't want to support the Senate bill without the Hyde-like restrictions that were in the version first passed the House.

But they folded for a legally meaningless executive order purporting to preserve the status quo as defined by Hyde.

The bill makes the entire category of "pro-life Democrat" look dubious.

The question now is whether Democrats have built their reform on a rock or on sand.

If they had stacked the bill so the major benefits came first, underpromised so it would exceed expectations once enacted and designed it to be fiscally sustainable, it'd rest on a solid foundation.

Instead, desperate to sell the unpopular reform in a center-right country, they've done the opposite on all counts:

* They backloaded the benefits to keep the official costs in the first 10 years just under $1 trillion. This makes the bill vulnerable to rollback or diminishment over time, especially as representations made about it prove untrue.

* The bill won't reduce premiums and costs as Obama promises.

* As its tawdry fiscal tricks -- double-counting revenue, keeping inconvenient new spending off the books, assuming unlikely Medicare savings -- get exposed in the harsh light of reality, Obama's description of the bill as an indispensable deficit-reduction measure will look equally cynical and laughable.

For all that, the left's investment in Obama beginning in the 2008 nomination contest has been vindicated. He promised to reject Clintonian triangulation, and he has. He talked of transforming the country, and has taken a major step toward social democracy in America.

Despite his silky rhetoric, when push came to shove, he adopted the partisan hardball beloved by lefty bloggers to forestall serious compromise and work his ideological will.

Obama stands exposed as the kind of unabashed liberal Democrat who hasn't won a presidential election since 1964. The first electoral test for this iteration of Obama, shorn of all pretense to moderation, comes in November.

The mid-term elections will in large part be a referendum on health care, as the exclamation point on top of a vaulting agenda of government aggrandizement.

Democrats won the battle within their caucus to pass a large-scale bill that threatens to change the relationship between citizen and government. But they haven't yet won the battle for the country.

That begins today.

Obama responsible for America's resurrection--hopefully

Gary Hubbell: The Redneck tree hugger

Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation

Aspen Times Weekly

Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That's why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

Obama is the symbol of a creeping liberalism that has infected our society like a cancer for the last 100 years. Just as Hitler is the face of fascism, Obama will go down in history as the face of unchecked liberalism. The cancer metastasized to the point where it could no longer be ignored.

Average Americans who have quietly gone about their lives, earning a paycheck, contributing to their favorite charities, going to high school football games on Friday night, spending their weekends at the beach or on hunting trips — they've gotten off the fence. They've woken up. There is a level of political activism in this country that we haven't seen since the American Revolution, and Barack Obama has been the catalyst that has sparked a restructuring of the American political and social consciousness.

Think of the crap we've slowly learned to tolerate over the past 50 years as liberalism sought to re-structure the America that was the symbol of freedom and liberty to all the people of the world. Immigration laws were ignored on the basis of compassion. Welfare policies encouraged irresponsibility, the fracturing of families, and a cycle of generations of dependency. Debt was regarded as a tonic to lubricate the economy. Our children left school having been taught that they are exceptional and special, while great numbers of them cannot perform basic functions of mathematics and literacy. Legislators decided that people could not be trusted to defend their own homes, and stripped citizens of their rights to own firearms. Productive members of society have been penalized with a heavy burden of taxes in order to support legions of do-nothings who loll around, reveling in their addictions, obesity, indolence, ignorance and “disabilities.” Criminals have been arrested and re-arrested, coddled and set free to pillage the citizenry yet again. Lawyers routinely extort fortunes from doctors, contractors and business people with dubious torts.

We slowly learned to tolerate these outrages, shaking our heads in disbelief, and we went on with our lives.

But Barack Obama has ripped the lid off a seething cauldron of dissatisfaction and unrest....

The rest is worth reading:

Gary Hubbell is a hunter, rancher, and former hunting and fly-fishing guide. Gary works as a Colorado ranch real estate broker. He can be reached through his website,

Sunday, March 21, 2010


PROTESTING OBAMACARE IN WASHINGTON: Reader Barrett Cunningham sends this photo and reports: “It’s an incredible turnout Glenn, and people just keep coming.”

And reader Alan Poston sends this pic and reports a crowd estimate of 30,000 was given at the scene. Not sure of the source.

UPDATE: Here’s another pic from Randy Barnett.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Another pic from Randy Barnett:

Blackberries, iPhones, etc. sure make blogging these things easier.

On crowd size, Randy emails: “They announced 25K about 15 minutes ago. I cannot see side to side but it goes solidly from steps to pond and then around to the other side of the water. Before things got started it was full between the 2 walk ways leading up to Capital. Is now wider than that but I cannot see the edges from where I am.”

Photos from high vantage points, or descriptions of exactly how far the crowd spreads in various directions, would be much appreciated.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Another from Barnett, this time facing south.

And Randy emails: “Been reading your posts. Speaker just said, ‘The President is like a used car salesman. We tell him we don’t want to buy what he’s selling but he won’t let us off the lot.’”

Posted by Glenn Reynolds

Reuters: Gallup poll says opposite of "It'll make things worse"

Reuters pulls a fast one by Laura Ingraham

I highlighted a Gallup poll today that shows Americans, by significant margins, believe ObamaCare will make things worse for everyone but the poor and the uninsured. Fourty-four percent believe the U.S. as a whole will be worse off if it passes.

Reuters didn't like this narrative, so it created its own. The headline?

Most Americans see healthcare benefiting the needy

They even went so far as to include a picture of a protester wielding a sign that reads "Health care can't wait."

God Bless America: What I Saw on the West Lawn Saturday

God Bless America: What I Saw on the West Lawn Saturday - Kathryn Jean Lopez - The Corner on National Review Online

He may have used John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove as safer proxies, but these are the people the president of the United States was mocking in his Democratic campaign rally today on the Hill:

If you wish to vicariously support and enjoy what happened, go to the link below to see the rest of the photos:

People speak--Obama/Pelosi/Reid say "Go To Hell"

Americans Holding Firm Against Government Health Takeover John Hinderacker/Powerline

As today's House vote approaches, Scott Rasmussen released his final pre-vote health care poll. It shows opposition to the Democrats' government takeover bill as strong as ever, with only 41% of likely voters supporting the legislation, while 54% oppose it. So the Democrats' final push, with all of President Obama's personal efforts, has completely failed to convince Americans that the Democrats' approach to health care reform is the right one.

Also this: SHOCKER: L.A. Times: Gallup Finds Americans Souring On Obama. And not just Obama. “Speaking of Congress, the new Gallup Poll also finds that barely 16% of Americans approve of its job while 80% (as in eight out of every ten Americans) now disapprove of the work being done by both bodies and their Democratic leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.”

by Glenn Reynolds

Dems on record: don't discuss details--and lie!

"Do Not Allow Yourself to Get Into a Discussion of the Details"

by John Hinderacker/Powerline
That's the instruction the Democratic Party has given its spokesmen with regard to the health care debate, in particular the CBO's recent report. It's easy to see why: the Democrats' claims about their health care takeover fall apart if you look at it carefully.

Yesterday, the Democrats sent the memo that is reproduced below to their "health and communications staff." It instructs them in the "key points health staff and communications staff should make in the next 48 to 72 hours in the media ahead of Sunday's vote." The memo admits that the Democrats' claims about their government takeover plan are disingenuous and that it is therefore imperative that they not discuss the plan's details. For example:

Quote from today's CBO letter: "CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation--[the Senate-passed bill] and the reconciliation proposal--would produce a net reduction in deficits of $138 billion over the 2010-2019 period as a result of changes in direct spending and revenues."

Sure. This results from the childishly simple fraud that the Democrats are using the CBO to perpetrate. The CBO will only estimate costs ten years out. So the Democrats' plan increases taxes right away, but waits four or five years to implement its most expensive provisions. So the Dems are comparing ten years of taxes against five years of spending. What a great way to reduce the deficit! Actually, if you compare revenues against expenditures in any given year after the plan is up and running, the plan hemorrhages money.

So Democrats are warned not to venture into substantive debate with their Republican opponents:

We cannot emphasize enough: do not allow yourself (or your boss) to get into a discussion of the details of the CBO scores and textual narrative. Instead, focus only on the deficit reduction and the number of Americans covered. ... These anti-reform extremists [Ed.: That would be the American people.] are making a last-ditch effort to derail reform. Do not give them ground by debating details.

That explains why Republicans like Paul Ryan, who are always ready to debate details, are feeling so lonely these days.

One of the many dishonest features of the Democrats' effort to conceal the fact that their plan is a budget-buster is the assumption that reimbursements to physicians under Medicare will decline. This accounts for a large chunk of the Democrats' "savings." In fact, all knowledgeable observers understand that this alleged savings will be illusory because Congress will, in separate legislation, raise those reimbursement levels as in the past. The Democrats' memo acknowledges the party's dishonesty on this point, and urges its staffers to continue misleading the public: ...

Read the rest with the reproduced memos, claimed as not legitimate by Dems, of course:

People should not fear their government, their government should fear the people

"People should not fear their government, their government should fear the people"

Democratic pollsters Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen reflect on polling data about Obamacare and the broader issue of government intrusion into the private sphere:

[A] solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly. Many more Americans believe the legislation will worsen their health care, cost them more personally and add significantly to the national deficit. Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data.

Yet, the Democrats seem bound and determined to ram Obamacare down our throats no matter what the cost.

It's no wonder people are scared of their government. Back to Caddell and Schoen:

[T]he country is moving away from big government, with distrust growing more generally toward the role of government in our lives. Scott Rasmussen asked last month whose decisions people feared more in health care: that of the federal government or of insurance companies. By 51 percent to 39 percent, respondents feared the decisions of federal government more. This is astounding given the generally negative perception of insurance companies.

CNN found last month that 56 percent of Americans believe that the government has become so powerful it constitutes an immediate threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. When only 21 percent of Americans say that Washington operates with the consent of the governed, as was also reported last month, we face an alarming crisis.

Sadly, all this is brought to us by the so-called Party of Jefferson. In fact, for all his faults, Jefferson recognized that "the movement from simplicity to complexity [and] from freedom to regimentation creates a psychology and an institutionalism that conducts straight to the leviathan state, controlled by a ruling caste, serving the demands of exploitation, heedless of the well-being of the regimented mass."

And yet, Jefferson's supposed political descendants celebrate because they think we're going to continue down the road towards a Bismarkian nanny state that runs our lives from cradle to grave (at best):

When people look back from 2060 on the creation of the American welfare state, they’ll say that FDR, LBJ, and BHO were its main architects, with Roosevelt enshrining the principle of universal social insurance into law and Obama completing the initial promise of the New Deal.

I'm afraid Yglesias might be right, except for one thing. Obamcare isn't a completion. It's a camel's nose. Or should I say, Leviathan's nose?

I vehemently disagree with the methods of V, from whom I've taken the titular quote. But the quote is a paraphrase of a much older one from none other than Thomas Jefferson himself:

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

It's time to make the statists in Washington fear for their jobs. Scott Brown's win was a good start. Now we need to double down in November.