Archive for August, 2009

Laws As Playthings For Democrats’ Partisan Ideology

August 23, 2009

There are people for whom the law represents fixed and objective standards.  They see lady justice as blind; and the law as representing no interest beyond what is right.

And then there are Democrats.

Kennedy Asks for Faster Way to Pick His Successor

By ABBY GOODNOUGH
Published: August 20, 2009

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, terminally ill with brain cancer, has asked state legislative leaders to change the law and let Gov. Deval Patrick appoint a temporary replacement upon the senator’s death.

Under current law, the seat would be vacant until a special election could be held 145 to 160 days later. But Senator Kennedy, a 77-year-old Democrat, wrote in a letter to the governor that he wanted Massachusetts to have full representation in the Senate during that period.

Although he did not mention the issue in the letter, it is becoming increasingly clear that Democratic votes will be crucial to passing the health care legislation that is the subject of intense Congressional debate. Senator Kennedy has been a passionate supporter of overhauling the nation’s health care system, but his absence from the debate and from public life in recent months has raised speculation that he will not be well enough to cast a vote when the time comes.

Should Senator Kennedy die before then, it is likely that, under current law, his seat would still be vacant when the legislation came up for a vote in the Senate.

Mr. Patrick and legislative leaders, all Democrats, did not immediately offer opinions on the senator’s request, which was first reported in The Boston Globe.

“It’s typical of Ted Kennedy to be thinking ahead and about the people of Massachusetts,” Mr. Patrick said in a statement, “when the rest of us are thinking about him.”

In a joint statement, Robert DeLeo, speaker of the State House of Representatives, and Therese Murray, president of the Senate, said: “We have great respect for the Senator and what he continues to do for our Commonwealth and our nation. It is our hope that he will continue to be a voice for the people of Massachusetts as long as he is able.”

Up until 2004, state law called for the governor to appoint a temporary replacement for a Senate seat that became vacant. But in that year, when Senator John Kerry, a Democrat, was running for president, the Democratic-controlled Legislature wanted to deny the governor at the time — Mitt Romney, a Republican — the power to name a replacement if Mr. Kerry won the presidency.

In his letter, Mr. Kennedy, who has held his seat for 47 years, wrote that he supported the 2004 law, but he added, “I also believe it is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate during the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election.”

The New York Times, of course, makes it all about what a magnificently wise and noble man Ted Kennedy is, always thinking ahead and thinking of others.  They forget to mention what a blatantly crass partisan political move this would be.

The same people who nominated a “wise Latina” whose rulings would be better than a white male’s – and who frankly don’t give a damn about justice being blind as regard to race, gender, or political affiliation – have struck again.

First they write a law and pass it in order to prevent a Republican governor from being able to appoint a senator if John Kerry was elected president – as the law had previously required – and now they want to change it back for the sake of the same partisan special interest that led them to change it in the first place.

That’s right.  When John Kerry was running for president, Ted Kennedy decided to change Massachusetts law to prevent Republican Governor Mitt Romney from being able to appoint the new US Senator should Kerry win.  It was naked special interest partisan ideology at work, but what the hell.  And now that there’s a Democrat governor, and Ted Kennedy realizes he may not make it, he wants to change the law back to favor Democrat special interest partisan ideology again.

Basically the law is whatever the hell Democrats want it to be at any given moment – which is really the way it’s been ever since Democrats first began to gaze into the constitutional crystal ball and see penumbras and emanations.

These people would be ashamed of themselves – if they had any shame.

Tragically, and shamefully, Americans will probably look the other way while Democrats prove that we are no longer a nation of law, but rather only a nation of partisan politics.

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The Truth About Health Care For Illegal Immigrants

August 22, 2009

Ask Obama about health care for illegal immigrants and he says this:

When a caller asked about illegal immigrants under health care reform, Obama said the topic is one of many where misinformation has taken root. “This has been an example of just pure misinformation out there. None of the bills that have been voted on in Congress, and none of the proposals coming out of the White House propose giving coverage to illegal immigrants — none of them,” he said. “That has never been on the table; nobody has discussed it. So everybody who is listening out there, when you start hearing that somehow this is all designed to provide health insurance to illegal immigrants, that is simply not true and has never been the case.”

Okay.  Then what about this:

Roughly half of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. don’t have health insurance, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group. Like others who can’t afford medical care, illegal immigrants tend to flock to hospital emergency rooms, which, under a 1986 law, can’t turn people away, even if they can’t pay. Emergency-room visits, where treatment costs are much higher than in clinics, jumped 32% nationally between 1996 and 2006, the latest data available.

Does the Democrats’ health care bill overturn this 1986 law?  Does the Democrat’s health care bill specifically rule out illegal immigrants from qualifying for health care?

No.  In fact Obama tacitly acknowledges that, at the very least, nothing will change and illegal immigrants will continue to be able to flock to emergency rooms for their health care.  And since the basic law now says illegal immigrants are basically entitled to health care, they have to be specifically ruled out in order to be ineligible for benefits under a future health care bill.

But the Democrats aren’t allowing any exception preventing illegal immigrants from receiving health care under the Democrats’ plan, as this Newsmax article, entitled, “Obama Health Plan to Cover 12 Million Illegals,” proves:

On Friday, Democrats moved one step closer to giving free health insurance to the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens when they successfully defeated a Republican-backed amendment, offered by Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized health care under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and President Barack Obama.

The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines, and followed this action by passing the 1,018-page bill early Friday morning by a 23-to-18 margin, with three Democrats voting against the plan.

The Democratic plan will embrace Obama’s vision of bringing free government medical care to more than 45 million uninsured people in America – a significant portion of whom are illegal aliens.

If the Democrats have no intention of covering illegal immigrants in their health plan, why did every single Democrat vote against an amendment that would have prevented illegal immigrants from receiving government subsidized health care? I mean, if I had no intention of doing something, I wouldn’t have a problem voting for an amendment that makes sure the thing I don’t want anyway doesn’t happen.  Is that just me?

These Democrats are worse than the worst caricatures of used car salesmen.  They will promise you whatever the heck you want to hear; they just won’t put it in writing or stand behind it.  They are the worse kind of liars.  Don’t trust what they say when what they do directly contradicts what they say.

If Democrats want to claim that their bill won’t provide coverage to illegal immigrants, then demand they put it in writing, and codify it into law.  Don’t just blithely trust these weasels, or the propagandist mainstream media that is out to justify liberalism and vilify conservatism.

Obama has repeatedly promised that he will help “the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance.”  But the claim itself demonstrates that Obama is lying now when he says none of the bills give coverage to illegal immigrants.  Because the “47 million” figure includes millions of illegal immigrants.

This Census [Bureau] report says that within the borders of the United States as of 2007 there were 45.65 people without health insurance. But this number, according to the Census Bureau, included 9.73 million foreigners, leaving only 35.92 Americans who were uninsured.

Another article:

President Barack Obama claimed during his Wednesday night press conference that there are 47 million Americans without health insurance.

A simple check with the U.S. Census Bureau would have told him otherwise.

Obama said: “This is not just about the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance.”

That assertion conflicts with data in the Census Bureau report “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007.” The report was issued in August 2008 and contains the most up-to-date official data on the number of uninsured in the U.S.

The report discloses that there were 45.65 million people in the U.S. who did not have health insurance in 2007.

However, it also reveals that there were 9.73 million foreigners — foreign-born non-citizens who were in the country in 2007 — included in that number. So the number of uninsured Americans was actually 35.92 million.

And of those, “there were also 9.1 million people making more than $75,000 per year who did not choose to purchase health insurance,” CNSNews stated in a report based on the Census Bureau data.

That brings the number of Americans who lack health insurance presumably for financial reasons down less than 27 million.

The Census Bureau report also shows that the number of people without insurance actually went down in 2007 compared to the previous year — from 47 million to 45.65 million — while the number with insurance rose from 249.8 million to 253.4 million.

So I say tomato, you say tomahto.  I say Obama is going to cover illegal immigrants, and Obama says he’s going to cover all Americans – and the fact that he considers illegal immigrants as “Americans” is completely beside the point.  That’s the fine print, and who needs to waste time consider the fine print?

The point is that there is a massive disinformation campaign going on.  Democrats and their mainline media propagandists baldly assert up one side and down the other that the bill doesn’t “give coverage to illegal immigrants.”  And in the most rote, literalistic, never-mind-the-fine-print-just-sign-here mindset, it’s true: there isn’t a page that says, “We hereby grant illegal immigrants health care coverage because that’s just the kind of globalist-Marxist anti-American rat-bastards we are.”

But please don’t be so absolutely stupid that you don’t read the fine print.

During the presidential campaign Tom Brokaw asked Barack Obama and John McCain a fundamental question: “Is health care in America a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?”  John McCain answered that it was a responsibility; Barack Obama said – and I quote – “Well, I think it should be a right for every American” (as in all 47 million Americans).

If health care is a basic right, how do you restrict it?  How do you deny it?  How do you say something is a “right,” and then keep people from having it?

Based on Obama’s own moral logic, he MUST provide health care for illegal immigrants.  All you have to do is listen to Barack Obama between lies to know what he’s going to do.

The 2010 census under Barack Obama will count everyone present as “Americans” and will not separate out illegal immigrants.  You can take that infamous Newsweek Cover that proclaims, “We Are ALL Socialists Now” and change it to say, “We are ALL Americans Now.”  As far as Obama is concerned, if you happen to be in America now, you are an American.  And it doesn’t matter where you were born, or how you got here.

And neither will his health care plan.  They have intended to cover “47 million Americans” all along – and they WILL cover illegal immigrants unless they are defeated.

Obama Tanking As America Realizes It picked A Zero For President

August 21, 2009

The American people are quickly beginning to realize what Obama really stands for:

OBAMA_One-Big_Ass-Mistake-America

Oh, NBC and the mainstream media will continue to broadcast polls of “Americans” or “registered voters.”  Most Americans don’t vote, and there are a lot of “registered voters” who haven’t bothered to vote in years.  It’s the polls of “likely voters” that are most accurate – and these are the polls that show that Obama is deepest in the toilet.

Zogby: Obama Hits Record Low in Poll

Thursday, August 20, 2009 7:07 PM

By: David A. Patten

President Barack Obama’s popularity has plummeted to a record low, with just 45 percent of voters now approving of his performance, according to the latest Zogby International poll.

Asked whether they approve or disapprove of the president’s job performance, just 45.3 percent of likely voters say they approve. That compares with 50.5 percent who disapprove of the job Obama is doing.

The results are a strong indication that contentious national debate over healthcare reform has taken a major toll on the president’s popularity.

Those numbers also indicate that Obama clearly is in serious political trouble, Fox News analyst and best-selling author Dick Morris tells Newsmax.

“As soon as Obama dropped below 52 percent . . . he was leaking real voters who had backed him in November,” Morris tells Newsmax. “Now that he is down to 45 percent among likely voters . . . he is in deep political trouble.”

Of greatest concern to Obama may well be his decline among all-important independent voters. Just 37.5 percent of self-identified independents say they approve of how Obama is handling the presidency. That compares with 59.2 percent of independents who disapprove.

“There is nothing counterintuitive in any of these numbers,” pollster John Zogby of Zogby International tells Newsmax. “The president has clearly taken a slide — most especially with independent voters, who play such an important role in any legislation or policy support.

“Interestingly, the president had been making some inroads with groups like investors, and frequent Walmart shoppers . . . both typically conservative,” Zogby says. “However, he has slipped considerably with them in this poll.”

Zogby adds: “The healthcare plan appears to be consolidating conservative opposition and scaring independent voters.”

Pundits pay especially close attention to trends involving swing voters.

Continued evidence of declining popularity there will ratchet up the pressure on congressional blue dogs and other conservative Democrats to go their own way on controversial proposals such as public-option healthcare and energy cap-and-trade, knowing they can’t rely on presidential coattails to prop them up with voters.

As expected, Obama continues to score well with Democrats, who give him an 83.9 percent approval rating. But among GOP voters, Obama has flat-lined at a 5.7 percent approval rating — a problem in itself for a president who promised to bring a new, bipartisan spirit to Washington politics.

Obama’s decline has been startling. Various polls had his approval rating at well over 60 percent at the 100-day mark of his presidency.

By mid-June, his approval number had dipped to 51 percent. In July, it dropped further to 48 percent of likely voters.

Experts say the failure of the $787 billion stimulus to deliver on Obama’s promise of massive jobs creation, the ongoing economic woes, and the increasingly bitter fight over Democrats’ determination to push the government-subsidized, public-option healthcare reforms are among the reasons for Obama’s rapid descent.

“Clearly, the healthcare reform package is dragging him down,” Morris tells Newsmax, “and will drag every Democrat down unless they realize that they cannot afford to alienate the elderly of America by cutting Medicare and rationing medical care.”

The Zogby International interactive poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.

© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

How shall I put this?  I told you so.

I saw a vision with perfect clarity when I heard Obama’s pastor for 23 years preach his messages of fundamentally anti-American hate.  As Obama’s fellow congregants leaped to their feet and cheered as Jeremiah Wright said, “No, no, no.  Not God bless America.  God damn America!” I saw the future.  And God damn America is a terrible future for this country.

Right now, even Obama’s leftwing loon base is bitterly disappointed with him – which is a terrible thing for Obama given that he himself is a leftwing loon.  Paul Krugman writes a factually unhinged piece demanding Obama make the entire health care system like Medicare when Medicare is an unfunded black hole of some $61.6 trillion that is going to go bankrupt in 2017.  It is demented to think that such a crumbling house of cards should serve as the basis of our entire health care system.  Particularly when top Canadian health care officials are even now acknowledging that their socialized system is not only sick but “imploding.” The one thing I can agree on with Krugman is that Obama has lost the trust of the American people.

Democrats Demand Private Insurers Assist In Demagoguing Themselves

August 20, 2009

Suppose I decide to target you for a demonization campaign, and rather than just go through your garbage and go through the whole process of gathering dirt on you, I just demand you provide all the dirt on yourself.  And I’ve got the full power of the government behind me.

We’re out to demagogue you, and you’d better help us.

Two House Democrats Seek Information From Insurers

WASHINGTON — Two powerful House Democrats have sent a letter to insurance companies asking them to provide detailed information about their conferences and retreats, executive pay, and other business practices.

The letter comes in the midst of a campaign by Democrats, as part of their push to build support for a health overhaul, to portray the insurance companies as the villains of the health-care system. Insurers say they are working with Congress on an overhaul and resent being cast as the bad guy.

The letter is from Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.), who heads the panel’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

More:

An industry source replied when asked for comment: “This is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition designed to silence health plans.”

By Sept. 4, the firms are supposed to supply detailed compensation data for board members and top executives, as well as a “table listing all conferences, retreats, or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007, to the present that were paid for, reimbursed, or subsidized in whole or in part by your company.”

Democrats seem to like going “fishing” these days.  The White House set up it’s own site to collect information on Americans who said anything “fishy” about their government takeover of health care before public pressure made them alter their operation.

These Democrats have raw, naked chutzpah.  They are the kind of people who shrilly demonized CEOs for flying private planes, and only to try to spend half a billion dollars to buy the very sort of planes they demonized private businesses from using.

These rat bastards routinely go on junkets to exotic lands, never fail to give themselves more pay raises and more benefits, and then self-righteously damn private businesses for looking after their own.

Waxman is a demagogue par excellence:

“It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well,” [Waxman said].

Obama is America, and Waxman is the law.  And to fail to recognize either is its own form of treason.  He is a man who has long used the power of his gavel as a club to attack his political opponents.  Whether he was spearheading constant investigations into Bush White House for pure political retribution, or whether he was going after baseball players for public circus, he has always been the same demagoguing pig.

A liberal trumpets, “Henry Waxman strikes fear in every Republican!  Woohoo!

And right now he is trying to strike fear in every insurance company CEO to intimidate them into meekly going along with the Democrat Party’s takeover of the health care industry.

Hope you don’t complain when a “Republican Waxman” comes along to strike fear in the heart of every Democrat when Republicans take over again.  It’s what you’ll deserve, and it’s what you get if you don’t stop using the most thuggish tactics in order to impose your agenda.

This IS a fishing expedition.  These companies haven’t broken any laws; and Congress doesn’t have any right to such information (which they could actually obtain on their own online if they had the first clue how to think for themselves).  Without question, Democrats just want to obtain this information which they will use in their campaign of demagoguery to attack and humiliate private businesses in order to impose their will upon them.

Letters demanding to allow Democrats to examine executive compensation and other business practices were sent out to 52 of the largest health insurers in the country – and not to any other industry groups – in a clear effort to threaten and intimidate those companies and the industry.

Harrad Sar wrote:

This move is nothing more than a flagrant violation of the office in which Waxman and Stupak hold. There is no constitutional authority or mandate that allows congress to intimidate and threaten the private sector through arbitrary investigation of private property ownership. This is a blatant move to silence all opposition to H.R. 3200 starting at the top.

And he is exactly right.

This is simply a continuation of the Constitution-be-damned tactics that the White House and Democrats have undertaken.  First they had their “fishy” effort to use the power of the White House to turn supporters into snitches.  This was so blatantly illegal that even the hardcore partisan liberal ACLU was forced to acknowledge that “the White House blog is a ‘bad idea that could send a troublesome message.'”  Then it started sending out unsolicited political emails from the White House – in fact from White House political adviser David Axelrod – urging people to support ObamaCare.  Can you even imagine the outcry of “constitutional crisis” that would have ensued had Karl Rove sent out unsolicited White House emails urging people to support the Iraq War?  And now Democrats are seriously talking about using budget reconciliation in a flagrantly unconstitutional manner: the Constitution requires that the federal government pass a budget, which is the only reason why the reconciliation process exists.  The Constitution does NOT require Congress to pass government health care.

Obama has been using thuggish tactics from the getgo of his administration.

An article entitled “A Study in Contrast” demonstrates the profound differences between the way that the Bush administration dealt with its critics versus the “Chicago thug” style Obama has taken.

Allahpundit points out:

The One can’t stop demagoging his critics for the simple reason that his image won’t allow it. As the risen Christ of American politics, his agenda is ipso facto good and just; treating his critics’ concerns as valid instead of the ravings of a lunatic mob would be like Jesus telling Satan, “Well, you’ve got a point there.” The whole Hopenchange mythos is at its core demagoguery.

Nancy Pelosi described ordinary Americans as “un-American” for exercising their rights of free speech and free assembly.  But she, Henry Waxman, and Democrats are the ones who are truly un-American.  Because they are using tactics right out of the classic book of fascism to impose their will on a country that obviously does not want what the Democrats are trying to impose by force.

Reconciliation As Nuclear Option: Note To Democrats – Republicans Have THEIR ‘Nuclear Option,’ Too

August 20, 2009

So I drag a woman walking down the sidewalk into a dark ally and tell her I would very much like to have sex with her – and it has to be done now, without debate.  She refuses; no negotiation, no compromise.  And of course I rape her.  The question is, who is to blame for the rape?

According to the Democrats’ view, it is clearly the woman.

President Barack Obama now realizes he probably will have to pass health reform with Democratic votes alone, White House officials say…

“We were forced into this by Republicans,” one official said.

Headline: “I was forced to rape…,” claims rapist.

The Republicans are like the woman; they oppose a government takeover of health care the way the woman opposes having sex with a stranger.  But because they stand up for their principles and refuse to compromise their values, they get raped.

The Republicans can’t stop anything the Democrats do.  Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  Demagoguing Republicans for the Democrats’ failure to come together is both absurd and immoral.  It is transparently false.  The only real battle going on is between liberal and conservative Democrats.

So why blame Republicans?  Because Democrats are demagogues.

Today Obama said:

“I think early on, a decision was made by the Republican leadership that said, ‘Look, let’s not give him a victory, maybe we can have a replay of 1993, ’94, when Clinton came in, he failed on health care and then we won in the mid-term elections and we got the majority. And I think there are some folks who are taking a page out that playbook,”

It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Democrats haven’t offered Republicans ANYTHING they want, but only EVERYTHING they hate.  It’s not about the fact that not only were Republicans shut out of crafting health care legislation, but even Blue Dog DEMOCRATS were shut out of the process.

This is so like Obama: he depicts himself as standing loftily above everyone around him as the sole determiner of truth and justice – and then anyone who disagrees with him has the lowest politically partisan motives.  It’s really a remarkable trick for a man who was THE most liberal US Senator the year before he began his run for the presidency.

When Democrats talk about “going solo,” they aren’t just talking about using their overwhelming majority to impose ObamaCare – because they don’t have the Democrat votes for it.  Rather, they are talking about using a rare parliamentary procedure called “reconciliation”:

The debate over health care reform could be heading in a new direction. Democrats are considering going at it alone. That would mean trying to pass it without Republican support.

Caution: Relations between Dems and the GOP could get toxic.

Caution: Relations between Dems and the GOP could get toxic.

Democrats want to use a process called reconciliation. It would only require 51 votes in the Senate to get a health care bill passed. Normally, a bill would require 60 votes to be passed. Also, with the reconciliation process, only 20 hours of debate would be allowed, no filibuster would be allowed, stamping out opposition debate.

Reconciliation was created for budget items, because the federal government has a constitutional requirement to pass a budget.  The measure has never been used to advance legislation – although Bill Clinton threatened to use it to ram through his health care plan in 1993.  Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, who drafted the reconciliation process in 1974, was opposed to Clinton’s maneuver – just as he is opposed to Barack Obama’s doing it now.

Even Robert Byrd is adamant that reconciliation not be used to reform healthcare, as it leads down a slippery slope. Byrd is important here, because he developed the now-called Byrd Rule, that sets six conditions by which a provision can be excluded from reconciliation. This was intended to prevent abuse of the reconciliation tactic; otherwise, what stops anyone at anytime using this trick to avoid filibuster? The six conditions simply demand that if any provision of the bill is not about the budget, deficits, surpluses, or funding, then the whole package is thrown out.

This illegitimate abuse of the reconciliation as a “nuclear option” would poison any chance of bipartisanship for years – even decades – to come.

But it is well within the mindset of a president who falsely promised to be a “‘new politician’ who had risen above the partisan divide and didn’t have to lower himself into the gutter of the political past.”

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a different occasion.

Using reconciliation as a nuclear option wouldn’t be lowering oneself in a gutter; it would be growing gills and living in a sewer system filled with the very worst kind of toxic waste.

Republicans are finally starting to learn – about a decade late – that it’s time they started bringing guns to the fight with Democrats, too.

Don’t think the use of reconciliation won’t have massive consequences.

It should be known that Republicans have a nuclear option of their own:

[T]he Republicans can shut down the Senate for the next  year.  Those unfamiliar with the parliamentary procedure may not realize that a great many steps get skipped by unanimous consent.  Bill-reading is just one example.  One Senator can force each and every bill to be read aloud at every appearance it makes on the Senate floor, including when they are sent to committee.  For ObamaCare and cap-and-trade, one bill reading could take a week, keeping the Senate floor locked off from any other business.

All Republicans can do is stand up for their conservative values, and try to rally the American people to their cause.  They can’t stop the Democrats from passing a massive government takeover of health care along party lines.  They can’t even mount a filibuster without Democrats crossing over to join them.

All Democrat lies aside; this isn’t about a bill that Republicans won’t support.  It’s about a bill that can’t even sustain Democrat support.

If Democrats invoke the illegitimate process of a nuclear option to pass health care, they will start the nastiest war this country has seen since our Civil War in 1861.  It will lead to a political climate that will be uglier than any American has ever seen in his or her lifetime.

The conservative American Spectator writes:

While the White House has been floating the idea of using reconciliation to pass health care legislation with a simple majority of 51 votes, it should be seen as an empty threat. Let’s even set aside the fact that it would be a declaration of war that would shut down the Senate, that it would remove any pretense that Obama is a post-partisan president, and that ramming an unpopular bill down the throats of the public is not a politically astute move. Even if Democrats wanted to risk all of that for the greater goal of passing health care legislation, they couldn’t do it.

I hope they are right.  But I will not be the least bit surprised if it isn’t an empty threat at all.  Rather, what I regard as “empty” was the “post-partisan” promises (dare I say it again) of THE most liberal U.S. Senator the year before he ran for the presidency.

Be vigilant.  And be ready to go absolutely ballistic if this massive violation into our constitutional democracy is rammed down our throats.

ObamaCare Supporters Outspend Opponents 3-1

August 19, 2009

I am sick of the lies, which is another way of saying I am sick of the Democrats.

How many times have we been told about the evil special interests opposing ObamaCare and the obscene profits being made by private health insurers who – gasp – are so depraved that they support the free market system?

Well, riddle me this: how come ObamaCare special interests are outspending opponents by a 3-1 margin?

Just where are the REAL “un-American” “evil mongers”?  Turns out they’re in the Obama Camp.

Obama Backers Outspend Conservative Opponents Nearly 3-to-1 on Healthcare Ads

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Supporters of President Barack Obama’s healthcare plans are outspending rivals nearly 3-to-1 even as Democrats complain about the grass-roots protests that have broken out around the country.

Those backing the administration’s plans to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system radically have spent nearly $24 million worth of advertising, compared with just $9 million from opponents, according to The New York Times.

“I’m up against a dozen groups running ads that will spend between $50 million and $80 million to promote a public plan and promote an employer mandate, regardless of the cost,” said R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president for governmental affairs for the United States Chamber of Commerce, which has produced ads attacking the Obama administration’s ideas about healthcare. “We’re trying to create a dialogue rather than cede the ground.”

An additional $24 million has been spent broadly in support of overhauling the system without backing a specific plan. And even that figure doesn’t include much of the money being spent by think thanks, sympathetic political media sites, and other elements of the Democratic Party’s media machine.

And it’s time to take a little look at some of that massive spending and just who is getting the dough.  From Michelle Malkin:

Axelrod’s profits: Uh, who’s on the take from the drug lobby again?!?!

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 18, 2009 11:03 PM

I’ve reported several times over the last few months on Team Obama’s hefty funding from the health care industry/drug lobby — see here and hereas well on the deep pockets behind the Astroturf HCAN/SEIU/ACORN campaign.

Culture of Corruption also homes in on the cozy cash deals involving Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Susan Sher, and David Axelrod to create faux grass-roots support for the University of Chicago Medical Center’s patient-dumping scheme.

Now, Bloomberg’s Timothy Burger brings news about Axelrod’s latest health care conflicts of interest that will come as no surprise to those who have fully informed themselves of the Chicago way. While White House press secretary Robert Gibbs assails the motives of grass-roots activists by falsely smearing the movement as corporate-funded shills, Barack Obama’s own senior adviser and chief Astroturfer raked in millions of dollars from Big Pharma.

Two firms that received $343.3 million to handle advertising for Barack Obama’s White House run last year have profited from his top priority as president by taking on his push for health-care overhaul.

One is AKPD Message and Media, the Chicago-based firm headed by David Axelrod until he left last Dec. 31 to serve as a senior adviser to the president. Axelrod was Obama’s top campaign strategist and is now helping sell the health-care plan. The other firm is Washington-based GMMB Campaign Group, where partner Jim Margolis was also an Obama strategist.

This year, AKPD and GMMB received $12 million in advertising business from Healthy Economy Now, a coalition that includes the Washington-based Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, that is seeking to build support for a health-care overhaul, said the coalition’s spokesman, Jeremy Van Ess.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the HEN coalition also includes left-wing Families USA, the sellouts at the AARP, and the Purple Army at the SEIU.

What’s Axelrod’s old firm — which employs one of his sons– up to now? When exposed to sunlight, reconstitute, rename, and spin hard:

Axelrod was president and sole shareholder of AKPD from 1985 until he sold his interest after Obama’s victory, government records show. The firm owes Axelrod $2 million, which it’s due to pay in installments beginning Dec. 31. Axelrod’s son, Michael, still works there. He didn’t return a phone call. The firm’s Web site continues to feature David Axelrod’s work on the Obama campaign.

…At the White House, Axelrod’s role in the health-care debate ranges from Sunday talk show appearances to meetings with House and Senate lawmakers…

Van Ess said HEN is now dormant. PhRMA and three other members of HEN, plus the Washington-based Federation of American Hospitals, have created another coalition, Americans for Stable Quality Care, which last week announced a new $12 million ad campaign to promote health-care overhaul. GMMB and AKPD are also working on the new coalition’s ads.

Hey, Bobby Gibbs: Tell us again. Who’s funded by the evil health care industry? And who’s motives should you be questioning now? According to Bloomberg, AKPD continues to work with Axelrod “on ’strategy and research’ for the Democratic National Committee.” Why no full disclosure until now? Why didn’t Axelrod recuse himself from his Obamcare lobbying TV appearances given the strong, interest-conflicted odor emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania?

Hey, White House Reality Check: Smell anything fishy, yet?

These people are the very worse kind of liars and demagogues.  And one day mainstream media propagandists will one day be burning in hell with them.  They shamelessly report crap they should be ashamed of day after day after day.

Do you remember all the unrelenting attacks directed at Dick Cheney over his ties to Halliburton and its Iraq War profits?  I guess a scandal is only a scandal when liberals want it to be a scandal.

Wall St. Journal Bursts The Obama Bubble: ObamaCare Is All About Rationing

August 19, 2009

Reading through this article, you begin to come to two conclusions: 1) the problem with the costs of health care is NOT that there is too LITTLE government involvement in health care, but rather too MUCH, namely due to stupid government regulations that end up raising costs by undermining individual responsibility; 2) the people who most stand in the way of legitimate health care reform that would really work is Democrats and their special interest allies, such as organized labor.

ObamaCare Is All About Rationing
Overspending is far preferable to artificially limiting the availability of new procedures and technologies.

By MARTIN FELDSTEIN

Although administration officials are eager to deny it, rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama’s health plan. The Obama strategy is to reduce health costs by rationing the services that we and future generations of patients will receive.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report in June explaining the Obama administration’s goal of reducing projected health spending by 30% over the next two decades. That reduction would be achieved by eliminating “high cost, low-value treatments,” by “implementing a set of performance measures that all providers would adopt,” and by “directly targeting individual providers . . . (and other) high-end outliers.”

The president has emphasized the importance of limiting services to “health care that works.” To identify such care, he provided more than $1 billion in the fiscal stimulus package to jump-start Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) and to finance a federal CER advisory council to implement that idea. That could morph over time into a cost-control mechanism of the sort proposed by former Sen. Tom Daschle, Mr. Obama’s original choice for White House health czar. Comparative effectiveness could become the vehicle for deciding whether each method of treatment provides enough of an improvement in health care to justify its cost.

In the British national health service, a government agency approves only those expensive treatments that add at least one Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) per £30,000 (about $49,685) of additional health-care spending. If a treatment costs more per QALY, the health service will not pay for it. The existence of such a program in the United States would not only deny lifesaving care but would also cast a pall over medical researchers who would fear that government experts might reject their discoveries as “too expensive.”

One reason the Obama administration is prepared to use rationing to limit health care is to rein in the government’s exploding health-care budget. Government now pays for nearly half of all health care in the U.S., primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The White House predicts that the aging of the population and the current trend in health-care spending per beneficiary would cause government outlays for Medicare and Medicaid to rise to 15% of GDP by 2040 from 6% now. Paying those bills without raising taxes would require cutting other existing social spending programs and shelving the administration’s plans for new government transfers and spending programs.

The rising cost of medical treatments would not be such a large burden on future budgets if the government reduced its share in the financing of health services. Raising the existing Medicare and Medicaid deductibles and coinsurance would slow the growth of these programs without resorting to rationing. Physicians and their patients would continue to decide which tests and other services they believe are worth the cost.

There is, of course, no reason why limiting outlays on Medicare and Medicaid requires cutting health services for the rest of the population. The idea that they must be cut in parallel is just an example of misplaced medical egalitarianism.

But budget considerations aside, health-economics experts agree that private health spending is too high because our tax rules lead to the wrong kind of insurance. Under existing law, employer payments for health insurance are deductible by the employer but are not included in the taxable income of the employee. While an extra $100 paid to someone who earns $45,000 a year will provide only about $60 of after-tax spendable cash, the employer could instead use that $100 to pay $100 of health-insurance premiums for that same individual. It is therefore not surprising that employers and employees have opted for very generous health insurance with very low copayment rates.

Since a typical 20% copayment rate means that an extra dollar of health services costs the patient only 20 cents at the time of care, patients and their doctors opt for excessive tests and other inappropriately expensive forms of care. The evidence on health-care demand implies that the current tax rules raise private health-care spending by as much as 35%.

The best solution to this problem of private overconsumption of health services would be to eliminate the tax rule that is causing the excessive insurance and the resulting rise in health spending. Alternatively, Congress could strengthen the incentives in the existing law for health savings accounts with high insurance copayments. Either way, the result would be more cost-conscious behavior that would lower health-care spending.

But unlike reductions in care achieved by government rationing, individuals with different preferences about health and about risk could buy the care that best suits their preferences. While we all want better health, the different choices that people make about such things as smoking, weight and exercise show that there are substantial differences in the priority that different people attach to health.

Although there has been some talk in Congress about limiting the current health-insurance exclusion, the administration has not supported the idea. The unions are particularly vehement in their opposition to any reduction in the tax subsidy for health insurance, since they regard their ability to negotiate comprehensive health insurance for their members as a major part of their raison d’être.

If changing the tax rule that leads to excessive health insurance is not going to happen, the relevant political choice is between government rationing and continued high levels of health-care spending. Rationing is bad policy. It forces individuals with different preferences to accept the same care. It also imposes an arbitrary cap on the future growth of spending instead of letting it evolve in response to changes in technology, tastes and income. In my judgment, rationing would be much worse than excessive care.

Those who worry about too much health care cite the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction that health-care spending could rise to 30% of GDP in 2035 from 16% now. But during that 25-year period, GDP will rise to about $24 trillion from $14 trillion, implying that the GDP not spent on health will rise to $17 billion in 2035 from $12 billion now. So even if nothing else comes along to slow the growth of health spending during the next 25 years, there would still be a nearly 50% rise in income to spend on other things.

Like virtually every economist I know, I believe the right approach to limiting health spending is by reforming the tax rules. But if that is not going to happen, let’s not destroy the high quality of the best of American health care by government rationing and misplaced egalitarianism.

Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal’s board of contributors.

So it’s not private insurance companies’ “excessive profits” that are to be demonized, but the government’s tax rules.  As is usually the case, the reason we’ve got high costs is because government is too involved, and is making things worse.  And again, who is the biggest obstacle to finally fixing the tax rules in a way that will lower costs?  Big labor, a key Democrat ally.

Having Democrats “fix” the system is like having foxes “guard” the chicken coop.

A further culprit in our skyrocketing medical costs are still another powerful Democrat special interest: the trial lawyers.  In exchange for the millions of dollars the trial lawyers give to Democrats, Democrat politicians continue to protect the system that allows lawyers to file frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit.  A simple “loser pays” system – such as the U.K. offers – would cut billions out of the costs of health care.  Instead, not only are doctors’ malpractice insurance costs exorbitant (which doctors must then pass on to patients), but fear of lawsuits leads to a practice known as “defensive medicine.” When 93% of physicians admit to ordering tests, prescribing drugs, or performing procedures to protect themselves from potential lawsuits rather than help their patients, something is just incredibly wrong.

Doctors are literally leaving medicine over the insane costs of medical malpractice.  In certain specialized fields, such as Ob/Gyn, whole regions are losing their doctors.  Insurance premiums for Ob/Gyn doctors are running $250,000 a year – and between higher insurance costs, lower government deductibles, and always high medical school costs, vitally important family care doctors are finding themselves netting less than fast food restaurant managers.

Alan Miller explains another reason why private insurance is absolutely vital to our health care system – and why a government “public option” would be disastrous:

Medicare reimbursements to hospitals fail to cover the actual cost of providing services. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent congressional advisory agency, says hospitals received only 94.1 cents for every dollar they spent treating Medicare patients in 2007. MedPAC projects that number to decline to 93.1 cents per dollar spent in 2009, for an operating shortfall of 7%. Medicare works because hospitals subsidize the care they provide with revenue received from patients who have commercial insurance. Without that revenue, hospitals could not afford to care for those covered by Medicare. In effect, everyone with insurance is subsidizing the Medicare shortfall, which is growing larger every year.

If hospitals had to rely solely on Medicare reimbursements for operating revenue, as would occur under a single-payer system, many hospitals would be forced to eliminate services, cut investments in advanced medical technology, reduce the number of nurses and other employees, and provide less care for the patients they serve. And with the government in control, Americans eventually will see rationing
, the denial of high-priced drugs and sophisticated procedures, and long waits for care.

When we consider that – all protestations aside – some 88 million Americans will be shifted out of their employer-paid private insurance into a “public option” under the Democrats’ plan, we should be very, very worried.

Democrats aren’t doing ANYTHING to reduce the costs of healthcare.  All they are offering is total government control as fiscally-responsible panacea; and that is simply a lie.  Government bureaucracy is not more efficient; it is unimaginably LESS efficient.  The government has never been more efficient at delivering services (remember the $435 hammers? the $640 toilet seats? the $7,600 coffee makers?).  You want efficiency and economies of scale?  How about the government overpaying 618%.  Big government is inherently bureaucratic, inefficient, and corrupt.  And as their costs go up and up and up, the only way they will be able to bring their costs down will be to ration care.

Don’t just listen to me: listen to the man Obama chose to be his health policy adviser, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who said this year:

“Many have linked the effort to reduce the high cost of death with the legalization of physician-assisted suicide…. Decreasing availability and increasing expense in health care and the uncertain impact of managed care may intensify pressure to choose physician-assisted suicide” and “the cost effectiveness of hastened death is as undeniable as gravity. The earlier a patient dies, the less costly is his or her care.”

And:

“When implemented, the Complete Lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuatedThe Complete Lives system justifies preference to younger people because of priority to the worst-off rather than instrumental value.”

Please don’t be so stupid not to think that rationing care – particularly to senior citizens who have already “lived their complete lives” – that rationing won’t be essential to government care.  And we will GET government care unless we rise up now to stop it.

Democrats’ Effort To Fearmonger Path To Socialized Medicine Has Been Tried Before

August 18, 2009

In the mainstream media narrative, Sarah Palin is demonized as “about half a whack job” and her statement about “death panels” is literally interpreted in a way I’d love to see them apply JUST ONCE to the Constitution.  Conservatives were denounced as an “angry mob,” as “un-American,” and as exhibiting Nazi characteristics by the Democrat Speaker of the House.

The media loves to talk about rightwing fearmongering.

I’d like to say a little more about leftwing fearmongering.

How about the one that we need to pass health care reform in order to get our economy out of the toilet?

A smattering of various Obama “warnings” fearmongering health care:

– “We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform.”

Obama cast retooling the U.S. health-care system as crucial to the nation’s economic success. Reform would help rein in the national deficit and rebuild the economy, he argued, in a way that would help middle-class workers, whose wages have stagnated in recent years largely because of spiraling health-care costs.

– WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that the United States would not rebuild its economy unless political leaders joined him immediately on a perilous political drive for healthcare reform.

President Obama warned Wednesday night that health-care reform is central to rebuilding the economy “stronger than before,” and without congressional action on health-care reform, “We’re guaranteed to see Medicare and Medicaid basically break the federal budget.”

And our last Obama “warning”:

“The country has to reform its health care system or else not only are you going to continue to have people really going through a hard time, we’re also going see a continuing escalation of our budget problems that can’t get under control,” Obama told Moran. “I think America has to win it here.”

In the dialogue surrounding health care, Obama warned against “scare tactics,” which he said are fostering anxiety and serving to distract Americans from the plan’s principles.

What’s nice about the last one is that it includes fearmongering on the one hand with warning against “scare tactics” on the other.  Obama tells us one the one hand that our economy will plummet unless we implement ObamaCare, and then demonizes everyone who has a different fearmongering message.

It doesn’t matter that Obama’s urgings that we pass health care “reform” will lower our costs and boost are economy are entirely false:

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes” necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.

Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have repeatedly pledged to alter the soaring trajectory — or cost curve — of federal health spending, the proposals so far would not meet that goal, Elmendorf said, noting, “The curve is being raised.” His remarks suggested that rather than averting a looming fiscal crisis, the measures could make the nation’s bleak budget outlook even worse.

It also doesn’t seem to matter that, given that the “reforms” Obama is seeking wouldn’t take effect until at least 2013, there is little reason to rush headlong into anything other than opportunistic partisan demagoguery.  And yet Barack Obama was out there rushing “reform” and calling August 1st “the people’s deadline” even as polls showed “the people” overwhelmingly wanting Congress to take time crafting health care legislation.

Interestingly, these tricks of fearmongering health care “reform” in the name of averting economic calamity and trying to rush the process through have been tried before.  Think Bill Clinton, First Inaugural Address, 1993:

But all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail—let me say this again; I feel so strongly about this—all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail unless we also take this year, not next year, not 5 years from now but this year, bold steps to reform our health care system.

In 1992, we spent 14 percent of our income on health care, more than 30 percent more than any other country in the world, and yet we were the only advanced nation that did not provide a basic package of health care benefits to all of its citizens. Unless we change the present pattern, 50 percent of the growth in the deficit between now and the year 2000 will be in health care costs. By the year 2000 almost 20 percent of our income will be in health care. Our families will never be secure, our businesses will never be strong, and our Government will never again be fully solvent until we tackle the health care crisis. We must do it this year.

The combination of the rising cost of care and the lack of care and the fear of losing care are endangering the security and the very lives of millions of our people. And they are weakening our economy every day. Reducing health care costs can liberate literally hundreds of billions of dollars for new investment in growth and jobs. Bringing health costs in line with inflation would do more for the private sector in this country than any tax cut we could give and any spending program we could promote. Reforming health care over the long run is critically essential to reducing not only our deficit but to expanding investment in America.

What’s interesting about this is that liberals depict the Clinton years as the time when the streets were lined with gold and every child went to bed in a warm house with a full tummy.

So the point would obviously be, either Clinton was fearmongering health care in a way that did not turn out to be true at all, or the “glorious Clinton economy” is itself a fabrication.  Because somehow Bill Clinton had to flounder along with no health care reform.

We need to put some things into historic perspective: 1) Bill Clinton so mismanaged the country his first two years in office that it led to the largest political tsunami ever experienced in American history as Republicans took over in an unprecedented landslide 1994 election.  2) Many of the benefits that Bill Clinton has received credit for were actually enacted by the Republican Congress (example: welfare reform).  3) Bill Clinton benefited from an economy that was just recovering from a severe recession at the end of the Bush I administration as Clinton took over.  By contrast, George Bush II – like Barack Obama now – had a significant recession handed to him that will count against his average performance.  In President Bush’s case, that recession was compounded by the worst attack on American soil in nearly 200 years  in the 9/11 terror attack.  4) Bill Clinton changed the way unemployment figures were calculated back in 1994 – making comparisons to previous eras appear far more rosy than they really were.  5) The “Clinton Budget Surplus” is in reality a myth.  In actuality, Clinton created a smoke and mirror illusion by transferring “public debt” costs which are calculated as part of the budget over to “intergovernmental holdings” (eg., by borrowing from Social Security) which are not counted as part of the public debt.

I might also point out that Bill Clinton’s famous statement from his State of the Union Speech in January 1996 – “THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER” – tacitly recognized the new Republican era, and which in reality was the ultimate reason why the Clinton economy became ultimately successful.

Democrats were wiped out in 1994 as Republicans swept into power when Americans became fed up with Democrat incompetence and massive spending.  And Bill Clinton was wise enough to recognize the handwriting on the wall.  As a result, he transitioned into a fiscal moderate and avoided the fate of his party.

But now the man who recognized that “The era of big government is over” is back to his pre-1994 ways.  Bill Clinton has joined Barack Obama with the very same big spending, big government socialistic mindset that brought the Democrats to such historic disaster in 1994.

There are many things we can do to improve our health care system.  That goes without saying.  But the Democrat’s presentation that opposing their system is opposing “change” or “reform” is simply asinine.  If any change is better than our present course, than we should just nuke ourselves and be done with it: that would be “change,” after all.  We need to recognize that there is good reform and there is bad reform – and government-run health care is simply “bad” reform.

ObamaCare suffers from massive policy problems that go right to the heart of the greater debate surrounding the size of government, the size of Obama’s unprecedented deficits, and the unsustainable size of our debt.  Democrats have a real problem explaining how they are going to spend $1.6 trillion and yet bring down costs – especially given the CBO’s damning analysis.  They have a problem explaining how they’re going to take hundreds of millions out of Medicare and yet not affect the quality of care to Medicare beneficiaries.  And they have a problem explaining how they’re not going to end up transferring over a hundred million Americans out of their employee-based health care and into the “public option” when good analysis sees exactly that happening (and see also here).

The American people listened to Obama fearmonger his way to the gigantic stimulus package that will ultimately cost Americans $3.27 trillion.  The stimulus has been deemed by the American people as being so unsuccessful that fully 72% of Americans now say “returning the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus to taxpayers would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it.”  People are turning against what they increasingly recognize as big government socialism.

Obama_Economy_Pork-debt

We need to STOP health care “reform” until it includes tort reform such as loser pays, until it includes an end to state and federal mandates, until it includes allowing our 1300 private insurance companies to compete across state lines.  And we need to STOP health care “reform” until it EXCLUDES giving full medical coverage to more than 12 million illegal immigrants, until it excludes “public options,” excludes “Co-Ops,” and excludes any other device that becomes a backdoor guarantee to government health care.

LA Times And NY Times: Be Less Like Founding Fathers, More Like Nazis

August 17, 2009

There’s a debate going on in this country that is far wider than health care.  Health care is the current battle; but the war is over the size, scope, and power of government over our lives.

Years prior to World War II, in 1931, Pope Pius XI denounced Benito Mussolini’s socialism as “Statolatry,” the idolatry of a worship of and dependence upon the state rather than God.  And less than a decade later it would be socialism – both fascist and Marxist – which would bring hell on earth rather than the utopias the socialists had so falsely promised. Today, the American left wants more government, and then more, and ever more.  Government as God, the State as Savior, meeting every need and demanding that it be the sole arbiter for determining what is right and what is wrong. And the American people are increasingly being compelled to abandon the free market system in exchange for one featuring increasing government control over every sphere of our lives.

The first of our two articles, from the Los Angeles Times, suggests that the vision of the founding fathers, particularly in the ideas of Thomas Jefferson for a small, limited federal government, should be cast aside as outmoded and anachronistic.

Them versus us

By Joseph J. Ellis, August 9, 2009

From the very beginning of our national history, Americans have been arguing about the proper role of government. Put succinctly, the dispute is between those who regard government as “them” and those who see it as “us.”

Our two founding documents embody the tension in its classical form. The Declaration of Independence locates sovereignty in the individual citizen, who possesses the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as Thomas Jefferson so lyrically put it, and the power of government is described as an alien force that must be put on the permanent defensive. The Constitution enshrines “the people” as the sovereign agent, with a Bill of Rights that defines a protected region where government cannot intrude, but otherwise identifies a collective interest best managed by a federal government empowered to make decisions for the society as a whole.

All of United States political history can be understood as a perpetual debate between these two competing perspectives, symbolized at the start in the clash between Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. The Jeffersonian position, with its emphasis on a minimalist government, prevailed throughout the 19th century and imprinted itself on the DNA of American culture as a quasi-sacred political creed.

By the start of the 20th century, as the United States became a more densely populated, ethnically diverse society, with an industrial economy dominated by large corporations, the Jeffersonian perspective grew increasingly anachronistic. It became abundantly clear that government power was necessary to regulate the swoonish swings of the marketplace, provide a safety net for poor and elderly citizens and protect the environment. Thus the Federal Reserve Board, Social Security, Medicare and the Environmental Protection Agency.

But despite these projections of the Hamiltonian ethos, which presumes that there is a collective public interest that only government can serve, the Jeffersonian ethos remains a potent force, and not just in the right wing of the Republican Party. It colors the conversation about all the major domestic problems facing the Obama administration in ways that stigmatize as socialistic what we might ironically describe as the self-evident solutions.

In the healthcare debate, for example, there is a national consensus that we have a broken and bloated system. But instead of replacing it with the kind of single-payer government-run system adopted by most of the developed countries on the planet, that option is ruled out of order at the start of the debate. As a result, the best we can hope for is modest reform of an inherently flawed and expensive system. […]

It should be realized that Joseph Ellis is hardly the only liberal who thinks in terms of moving away from the government or the ideas of our founding fathers.  Allow me to quote Barack Obama:

Obama: “I think that we can say that the Constitution reflected the enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day and that the framers had that same blind spot.”

Obama talked about “the fundamental flaw of this country…”

Obama: “But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution…”

Hardly an affirmation of the wisdom of our founding fathers, who created the greatest system of government the world has ever seen.

I would submit, first of all, that Alexander Hamilton would be just as appalled at the gigantic colossus our government has become as would Jefferson.  I would suggest that neither man, seeing the enormous and unresponsive federal bureaucracy, would view the gargantuan federal bureaucracy as “us.”  They would see it as an alien power running amok over the people’s lives.  They would see it as a far greater tyranny than the one imposed by the British king whom they had defeated.

To quote Mark Levin, from Liberty and Tyranny:

“The founders understood that the greatest threat to liberty is an all-powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many.  They also knew that the rule of the mob would lead to anarchy and, in the end, despotism” (4).

They understood government as a necessary evil, rather than as a desired goal.  In the words of James Madison, the most influential of the authors of the Constitution, in Federalist 51:

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?  If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.  In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

And I would ask, what evidence is there that the federal government is in any way “controlling itself?”

First of all, we have growing by leaps and bounds what Alexis de Tocqueville described as a “soft tyranny“:

“Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. 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?”

Secondly, the federal government has immersed itself – and the American people – into levels of debt that boggle the limits of human comprehension.  We now have a national debt of well over $100 trillion, if we count (which we should) our “unfunded liabilities” such as the Social Security and the Medicare which Joseph Ellis so praises.  And as for Barack Obama – the president whose policies Ellis is writing to defend:

“Mr. Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.  It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP).  And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.”

And that is before the huge costs of ObamaCare; it is before Cap-and-trade; it is before anything Obama wants to do for the remaining 3 1/2 years of his presidency. This is no government that is “controlling itself.”  Anything but.

Incredibly, Ellis ends his article with this:

No less an American hero than George Washington put it rather defiantly in 1785: “We are either a united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation. … If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending it.” And even Jefferson acknowledged that his anti-government vision would become irrelevant once we ceased being an agricultural society and that future generations — meaning us — would at some point need to throw off what he called “the dead hand of the past.”

Joseph Ellis doesn’t want us to think about what it was that Washington actually intended to provide us with “unity.”  Rather, he wants to import his own meaning of “unity” as one being imposed via a massive octopus of federal power.  But George Washington had a very different idea of national unity than does Ellis.  In his Farewell Address – considered one of the most important political addresses in American history – George Washington said:

“Of all the habits and dispositions which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars.” — George Washington, Farewell Address

Think of the implications of that statement.  Our greatest founding father essentially said, ‘If you want your politics to prosper, the two things you will not separate will be religion and morality.  If you want your government to work well, if you want American exceptionalism, if you want the government to do right, if you want all of the benefits and none of the curses of government, then you won’t separate religion and morality from political life.’  And America’s greatest patriot gave a litmus test for patriotism, arguing, ‘Anyone who would try to remove religion and morality from public life, I will not allow them to call themselves a patriot.  Because they are trying to destroy the country.’

Think of George Washington when you contemplate that the liberal legal arm, the ACLU, is literally trying to put a high school principal and an athletic director for praying over a meal at an employees’ lunch.

So liberals do not want the limited government fought for and instituted by our founding fathers.  The founding fathers – Alexander Hamilton included – simply do not permit the Statism that the modern American left want.  What kind of government do they want in its place?

Now turn to the New York Times.

Stimulus Thinking, and Nuance

By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: March 31, 2009

Every so often, history serves up an analogy that’s uncomfortable, a little distracting and yet still very relevant.

In the summer of 1933, just as they will do on Thursday, heads of government and their finance ministers met in London to talk about a global economic crisis. They accomplished little and went home to battle the crisis in their own ways.

More than any other country, Germany — Nazi Germany — then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.

The economic benefits of this vast works program never flowed to most workers, because fascism doesn’t look kindly on collective bargaining. But Germany did escape the Great Depression faster than other countries. Corporate profits boomed, and unemployment sank (and not because of slave labor, which didn’t become widespread until later). Harold James, an economic historian, says that the young liberal economists studying under John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s began to debate whether Hitler had solved unemployment.

No sane person enjoys mixing nuance and Nazis, but this bit of economic history has a particular importance this week. In the run-up to the G-20 meeting, European leaders have resisted calls for more government spending. Last week, the European Union president, Mirek Topolanek, echoed a line from AC/DC — whom he had just heard in concert — and described the Obama administration’s stimulus plan as “a road to hell.”

Here in the United States, many people are understandably wondering whether the $800 billion stimulus program will make much of a difference. They want to know: Does stimulus work? Fortunately, this is one economic question that’s been answered pretty clearly in the last century.

Yes, stimulus works. […]

Incredibly, when you put the liberal Los Angeles Times together with the liberal New York Times, the message is: “Be a lot less like Thomas Jefferson, and a lot more like Adolf Hitler”.

David Leonhardt certainly did not want his readers to think of Barack Obama as the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.  He tried to provide all the necessary caveats.  Nevertheless, this reminds us of a core truth of the Nazis that liberals generally don’t want you to think about; that the word ‘Nazi’ is an acronym for the “National Socialist German Workers Party.”  And the fact that both the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the National Socialist German Workers Party stand as grim reminders that socialism is ever an experiment that can go terribly, terribly wrong.

Socialism derives from a diametrically different philosophical and moral system than the profoundly Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment-oriented worldview from which our founding fathers established the United States of America.  Gene Edward Veith describes this fundamental incompatibility/hostility in his great work, “Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview.”  Linda Kimball addresses this dichotomy in shorter form in her article, “The Materialist Faith of Communism, Socialism, and Liberalism.”  Then there is the profoundly powerful Harvard address given by Alexander Solzhenitsyn entitled “A World Split Apart.”

Jonah Goldberg addresses how this massive demarcation between the intellectual traditions of the American right and left continues to this very day:

“No top-tier American conservative intellectual was a devotee of Nietzsche or a serious admirer of Heidegger.  All major conservative schools of thought trace themselves back to the champions of the Enlightenment–John Locke, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, Burke–and none of them have any direct intellectual link to Nazism or Nietzsche, to existentialism, nihilism, or even, for the most part, Pragmatism.  Meanwhile, the ranks of the leftwing intellectuals are infested with ideas and thinkers squarely in the fascist tradition.  And yet all it takes is the abracadabra word “Marxist” to absolve most of them of any affinity with these currents.  The rest get off the hook merely by attacking bourgeois morality and American values–even though such attacks are themselves little better than a reprise of fascist arguments” (Liberal Fascism, 175-6).

American intellectuals might indignantly snort, “I’m not a fascist; I’m a neo-Marxist!”  But regardless, they share the same underlying moral, philosophical, and economic assumptions.  And either way, they are still socialists.  To quote Richard Pipes, both “Bolshevism and fascism were heresies of socialism.”

Joe the Plumber heard Barack Obama talk about “spreading the wealth around” and responded, “That sounds like socialism.”  The mainstream media went ballistic in its denial that Barack Obama had anything whatsoever to do with socialism.  And then he won, and the liberal publication Newseek proudly trumpeted on it’s February 16th cover, “WE ARE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW.”

The “kind of single-payer government-run system adopted by most of the developed countries on the planet” LA Times writer Joseph Ellis describes is simply “socialized medicine” by another name.  Ellis complains about conversations that “stigmatize as socialistic”; the problem with that characterization is that they ARE socialistic.

There’s been this movement by the elitists among us to be more like sophisticated Europe dating all the way back to our founding.  Some say today, “What Europeans do with government is pretty good.  And what they do with civil rights is pretty good.  And what they do with health care is pretty good.”  And there’s this move to be more like Europe.  In our Supreme Court liberal justices routinely cite what Europe does in their law in order to replace what we do in ours.  Thomas Jefferson made a statement against the “Let’s be like Europe” that is every bit as valid today as it was the day he made it:

“The comparisons of our government with those of Europe are like a comparison of heaven and hell.” — Thomas Jefferson

Whether health care, cap-and-trade, or anything else our modern Europe-envying elitists want to do, it falls in the face of the fact that America has dwarfed Europe in economic output, productivity, and wealth.  We’re constantly told that we need to be more like Europe and offer socialized medicine in order to be more “competitive.”  If that is so, than why is it Europe – which has socialized medicine – that has long struggled to be competitive?

In the health care debate Ronald Reagan had a warning for us.  Way back in 1961 he said:

“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.”

It was a speech that could have easily popped out of a time capsule labeled, “Open in event of future threat from socialized medicine.”

Mark Levin said:

“The Statist veils his pursuits in moral indignation, intoning in high dudgeon the injustices and inequities of liberty and life itself, for which only he can provide justice and bring a righteous resolution.  And when the resolution proves elusive, as it undoubtedly does – whether the Marxist promise of “the workers’ paradise” or the Great Society’s “war on poverty” – the Statist demands ever more authority to wring out the imperfections of mankind’s existence.  Unconstrained by constitutional prohibitions, what is left to limit the Statist’s ambitions but his own moral compass, which has already led him astray!  He is never circumspect about his own shortcomings.  Failure is not a product of his beliefs but merely want of power and resources.  Thus are born endless rationalizations for seizing ever more governmental authority” (Liberty and Tyranny, 10).

It is time to end the advance of the good-intentioned-paved road to hell.  We have a government that is spending too much, taxing too much, and intruding too much into the lives of Americans.  It is time to be a lot less like Hitler and the socialists and a lot more like the founding fathers and the recognition of the fixed and non-violable constitutional limits they created.

Astroturfing Tales: Obama Liberal Pretends To Be Doctor At Town Hall

August 15, 2009

It’s funny in its own vicious, twisted, psychotic little way.  Nancy Pelosi calls American citizens “un-American” and compares them to swastika-toting Nazis as she charges them with being “Astroturf.”  And Harry Reid officially added the word “evil mongers” to the English language to describe opponents of the Democrats’ health care agenda.

Meanwhile:

Who are the real thugs? Democrats attack congressional town hall protesters as “Brown Shirts” — likening taxpayer activists across the country to Hitler’s storm troopers. But it’s the Big Labor hoodlums clad in identical purple shirts — the uniform of Service Employees International Union members — who own the mob label.

Margarida Jorge, a former SEIU organizing director who now serves as national field director for the deep-pocketed, left-wing coalition Health Care for America Now, sent out a memo to her foot soldiers last week on how to counter Obamacare opponents. “You must bring enough people to drown them out and to cover all our bases so as to marginalize their disruptive tactics,” she exhorted.

Local SEIU chapters echoed the call to brass knuckles. “It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices,” urged the leaders of SEIU’s Local 2001 in Connecticut, according to a memo exposed by The Weekly Standard’s Mary Katharine Ham.

At town hall meetings in St. Louis and Tampa, Fla., last week, purple-shirted SEIU members engaged in physical confrontations with critics of the Democrats’ health care takeover plans. Assault victim Kenneth Gladney, beaten while passing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, is turning the tables on his SEIU assailants. The black conservative activist announced Tuesday that he’s filing hate crime charges against the union goons in Missouri.

We’ve got ACORN and SEIU footsoldiers being bussed into town halls far from their own districts by the multiple busloads.  The bussed-in people from outside the district got in; the ordinary citizens who live in the politically conservative district and wanted to ask their questions and express their opinions found themselves outside.

The nice thing about Astroturf is you can pick it up when you’re through with it at one event and then haul it away to another one.

Need a job? It turns out being “Astroturf” for blatantly hypocritical Democrats pays.  Caleb Howe has an article entitled, “Let’s Talk Astroturf” with all kinds of screen saves offering pay-for-protest.  Here’s one of them:

The key, of course, is for Democrats to demonize their opposition while they bring their own demons in.  By the busload.

You remember that nice and not at all rude lady, Democrat Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who took a phone call and talked while a woman with cancer was trying to express her concerns about Sheila Jackson Lee’s health care plan?

Somebody pointed out how incredibly rude Sheila was.  When she later walked by that person, she hissed, “I am NOT rude.  I can multi-task!

I’ll leave it up to you who is the Astroturf: the health care opponent with cancer trying to ask a question, or the “not rude” representative ignoring her and chatting on her cell phone.  My money’s on Sheila Jackson Lee.

But that’s hardly enough to say about Sheila Jackson Lee’s winning ways, or which side of the debate is really doing all the damn “Astroturfing.”

Here’s video of a medical doctor getting up at Sheila J. Lee’s town hall:

Only it turns out that “Doctor” Roxane Mayer wasn’t a doctor at all, but a fraud:

On Aug. 11th our own Houston Chronicle displayed a picture of Shelia Jackson Lee hugging a woman who had asked a question at the townhall as well, but her question was in full support of the health care bill. The woman was identified as “Dr. Roxana Mayer, a pediatric primary care physician.” Turns out, she isn’t a doctor at all though. She had identified herself to the Chonicle that way though.

Patterico, a lawyer and LA blogger smelled something fishy, found her on MySpace, saw that she was clearly not a doctor, and e-mailed her to ask her to make sure. She did e-mail back and admit to the lie. It seems she was also an Obama delegate (actually true), which she also told the Chronicle, but the reporter failed to mention that little fact about her.

So, here we have someone asking a question, giving favor in support of the health care bill, posing as a doctor to give more credibility to her support. When in reality she was an Obama delegate and NOT a doctor.

After the plants at Obama’s townhalls, and now this, it’s beyond amusing and ironic that the Democrats accuse the Tea Parties of being “manufactured.”

Yeah, it turns out that “Dr. Roxana Mayer” is “Astroturf” on a level of fraud that even the lying liberals haven’t accused conservatives of being.  The Patterico link cited above has the title, “I’m not a doctor but I play one at town hall meetings.”  When confronted, Mayer demonstrated nothing but contempt – contempt of the truth.

“Doctor” Roxana Mayer is not just some kook who showed up at a town hall and misrepresented herself.  She was chosen as an Obama delegate representing the state of Texas.  She is currently a “grass roots organizer” and a lead organizer for “Organizing for America” – which Obama is calling upon to address all the “misinformation” allegedly coming from the other side.

Roxana-Mayer_Org-for-America

Seriously: Who is the “plant” around here?  How truly stupid are we?

Is having a “grass roots organizing” former Obama state delegate pretend to be a doctor in order to fabricate pseudo-credibility not low enough for you?  Then I’ve got more.  Remember this picture, broadcast all over the mainstream media?

Well, first of all, the mainstream media that is so OUTRAGED by the Obama as Hitler signs didn’t really mind the ones like this that dominated liberal events for the better part of eight years:

Second, it turns out that the Obama “I’ve Changed” sign was brought by a Democrat John Dingell supporter who carried the sign until the cameras caught him, and then handed out pro-Democrat health care bill literature after the news cameras had left.  The man obtained the image for the sign from Communist Lyndon LaRouche’s web site; and the mainstream media have in their bias ignorantly blamed Rush Limbaugh rather than a man who ran as a Democrat and openly compared Bush to Hitler in 2004.  The sign-carrying man got the idea from Nancy Pelosi and from a long tradition of leftist demagoguery, as an American Thinker article entitled, “Obama’s Nazi Straw Man: An Old Alinsky Trick” points out:

When Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and now the president’s own deputy press secretary conjure up images of Nazis at healthcare town halls, they are engaging in one of the oldest tricks in anyone’s book, but an especial favorite of their mentor, Saul Alinsky.
Alinsky himself employed this method, quite deviously.  Alinsky biographer, Sanford D. Horwitt provides an anecdote using precisely this same diabolical tactic to deceive the people.  From Horwitt’s Let Them Call Me Rebel:
“…in the spring of 1972, at Tulane University…students asked Alinsky to help plan a protest of a scheduled speech by George H. W. Bush, then U.S. representative to the United Nations – a speech likely to include a defense of the Nixon administration’s Vietnam War policies.  The students told Alinsky they were thinking about picketing or disrupting Bush’s address.  That’s the wrong approach, he rejoined, not very creative – and besides causing a disruption might get them thrown out of school.  He told them, instead, to go to hear the speech dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and whenever Bush said something in defense of the Vietnam War, they should cheer and wave placards reading, ‘The KKK supports Bush.’  And that is what they did, with very successful, attention-getting results.”

Planting major falsehoods has been a favorite Alinsky strategy from the start.  His acolyte, Barack Obama, learned his Industrial Areas Foundation lessons on deceiving for power while on a side trip during his Harvard years, then taught the Alinsky power tactics at the University of Chicago.

It is almost impossible to believe that, even with near total control of the country, Democrats are resorting to the old myth in portraying themselves as the victim even as they viciously and deceitfully demagogue and demonize increasing numbers of the American people.

But that is precisely what they are doing.

As the left continues to demonize American citizens – many of them elderly – at town hall events, just recognize the source.