Poetry Cornered

March 9, 2011

Where is my handout?
Poetry on the range
Reid is a clown

This poem brought to you by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Jonah Goldberg sums up my thoughts in less than 140 characters: “Do we really want to live in a country where we balance the books on the backs of cowboy poets? Umm, yeah kinda.”

The Roundup: Hot Air and Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s site are having some fun with this. So does The Backyard Conservative and Mark Joyella at Mediaite.

They Talk About Him Like A Dog

September 16, 2010

I’m confused. I thought Barack Obama said that it was a bad thing to talk about someone like he was a dog. But there it is, in The Hill: Reid: Coons, ‘my pet,’ will win.

A coonhound, perhaps?

Does Obama Want Insurance Companies To Fail?

March 20, 2010

It’s looking more and more likely that this travesty of a health care bill will be rammed through Congress one way or another. As I expected, the on-the-fence Democrats are collapsing like a bunch of broccoli under the arm twisting and noogie patrols of Obama and Pelosi.

I haven’t written much about this in the past week or so for two reasons: 1) I’ve been waiting to see how it would all shake out, and 2) I get so depressed when I think of this that I become practically inert. As someone who reveres the Constitution of the United States and desperately loves the ideals that this country has held in terms of liberty and freedom, the all-out assault on the Constitution that is being perpetrated on Capitol Hill is well nigh unbearable. I knew this gang of progressives, socialists, radicals, and idiots would seize any opportunity to turn the United States into a massive welfare state, but I never believed that they would launch such a brazen attack on the principles on which this country was founded. And for me as a New Yorker, there’s not a lot that I can do. My representative and my Senators are among the most liberal members of Congress. I’ve written several emails to Eliot Engel, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Chuck Schumer and all I have ever gotten back are form letters thanking me for my support. They don’t care. There are enough people in my area to make their re-election pretty safe, and New York is hampered by a Republican Party that is spineless at best and brainless at worst.

The question I keep asking myself is why the Democrats are so fired up to pass this bill that they will nakedly throw the Constitution into a shredder in order to achieve their goals. The answer, of course, is that this “reform” bill has almost nothing to do with health care and everything to do with power. Give Barack Obama credit for this much: the guy’s got a long-term vision. So does Nancy Pelosi, but Pelosi will continue to be re-elected, so this is a no-risk vote for San Fran Nan. Obama’s willing to sacrifice himself in 2012 in order to achieve what he really wants. Sure, he wants to be re-elected, but if he succeeds here he will have achieved his dream of pushing the United States closer to a top-down, European-style socialist nation.

Consider this: Obama has long been on record as favoring a European-/Canadian-style single payer system of health care. But there’s still enough sense (barely) in the Senate not to include “the public option.” What is in the bill, however, is a requirement that everyone in the country buy private health insurance, insurance which will be heavily regulated (i.e., price controls) by the Federal government.

I once thought that something like this could be a part of health care reform, but I was as wrong as I have ever been about anything. The very idea that the Federal Government can tell a private citizen that they must buy a service provided by a corporation is blatantly unconstitutional. The Fed has no more power to tell me to buy insurance than they have to tell me to buy 300-thread count sheets for my bed. In fact, the unconstitutional nature of this provision is clear to anyone who thinks about it for more than a second or two…and Obama, Reid, and Pelosi have thought about it for more than a few seconds.

Also in the bill is the regulation that insurance companies can not deny you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, which means that insurance companies will be forced to accept extremely high-risk individuals. And because the government will be setting price controls, there will be no way that insurance companies will not lose money on this. Obama and Co. know this, which is why they make the unconstitutional case that in order for the plan to succeed, the young and healthy must be forced to buy insurance in order to subsidize the sick and elderly who will now being costing the insurance companies money.

So follow me here:

  • The insurance companies will lose money…a lot of money…because they can no longer differentiate between low- and high-risk consumers
  • This loss of money will be compensated for by the provision that forces the young and healthy to buy insurance
  • The provision that forces the young and healthy to buy insurance is unconstitutional and will likely be overturned by the Supreme Court
  • Without the influx of money from the young and healthy, the insurance companies will incur massive financial losses because the government will not allow them to charge free market rates for insurance or make distinctions between high- and low-risk consumers
  • The insurance companies will fail

So what could Obama/Pelosi/Reid possibly gain by the failure of the insurance system? Is there a reason that these people would want the insurance companies to fail?

Of course. The failure of the insurance companies, even the failure of only some of the insurance companies, would give the government the opening to step forward and become the “insurance provider” for all those people who find themselves without insurance. What we are seeing on Capitol Hill this weekend is the ugly conception of a rough beast known as single-payer, and all that it entails: poor care, rationing, wait lists, doctor shortages, endless levels of bureaucracy.

I will not give up hope that this bill will fail until Obama puts his signature on it. When that happens, I will do everything in my power to have the bill repealed in toto.

The Democrats believe that a vote tomorrow and a signature on Monday with lots of cameras and the smiling mug of Barry Obama will end this debate and that the American people will fall in step and bleat contentedly like the good sheep they are. The Democrats are wrong.

In my entire life I have never seen so many people so engaged on so many levels, and that will only increase when the new taxes, higher premiums, and Medicare cuts actually happen. This bill is the legislative equivalent of Pearl Harbor, and the Democrats may pat themselves on the back for launching such a successful attack, but they will only awaken a sleeping giant.

As expected, the Blogosphere is burning today. More reading from some of my faves: Hot Air has updates and even references the same Yeats poem I did. Also more here, here, and here. In a related item, Hot Air is also highlighting a great video of an exchange on Medicare reform between my newest hero Paul Ryan and the repellent Louise Slaughter (of “Slaughter Solution” fame).

Michelle Malkin’s got pics of today’s Tea Party at Captiol Hill, a brief comment on the defenstration of the Slaughter Solution,.a list of propsed House amendments to Obamacare, and reports of an attempt to buy off the pro-life Democrat contingent through Executive Order.

On the lighter side, Iowahawk channels David Mamet for Glengarry Glen (Cong)Ress.

There’s always lots of great stuff in The Corner.

Finally, over at I Am, Therefore I Think, Larry Downes believes that this bill is a violation of the civil rights of all Americans.

Reid Eats Own Foot; Gets Caught Saying What He Believes

January 11, 2010

For those of you who didn’t know it, there’s a double standard between the ways that Republicans are treated when they say or do stupid things, and the way Democrats are treated. Shocking, I know.

The easy comparison that’s being made all over the blogosphere today is the way Trent Lott was treated when he said that Strom Thurmond would have made a good President, and the way Harry Reid is being treated when he said that a “light-skinned” black man with “no Negro dialect” would make a good President.

Trent Lott’s mistake in trying to say something nice about a man on his 100th birthday was to forget that when Thurmond ran for President back in 1948 he was a segregationist. My guess is that the political platform on which Thurmond ran, as bad as it may have been, was not even slightly in Lott’s mind. Lott had known Thurmond for a number of years, had worked with him, and befriended him. The 100-year old man whose birthday party they were celebrating was not the same Dixiecrat segregationist he had been 54 years earlier. I thought at the time that it was a stupid comment, meant harmlessly.

Still, Lott was virtually crucified for the comment and the first critics were Republicans and conservatives. Some of this may have been guided by ulterior motives: Lott was never a popular Senate Majority Leader among conservatives who saw him (rightfully) as a pork-crazy, wishy-washy, inept leader, and this was an excellent chance to kill the king. What the Democrats saw was also a political opportunity, but with a particularly malodorous strain. For the Dems it was less about killing the king as it was about tarnishing the entire Republican party as closet racists longing for a return to the good ol’ days of Jim Crow. Many conservatives and Republicans wanted Lott to step down so they could put one of their own in his place. The Democrats wanted Lott to step down as some sort of tacit evidence of a poisoned ideology coursing through the bloodstreams of all Republicans.

Now the tables are turned and it is the Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who has been caught trying his best to swallow his own foot. This time, however, the Democrats are fine with it, since Reid apologized (Lott did, also, to no avail), and it is just the Republicans who are clamoring for the head of Harry Reid.

I would compare Reid’s comments to Lott’s in this way: Reid’s comments were also stupid, but harmlessly meant. I don’t believe that Reid harbors racist tendencies and I don’t believe he’s got a white hood hanging up in his closet. He has apologized to Obama, and owes a mea culpa to the political class in general. I don’t believe Reid should be forced to step down. I do think he is a typical white liberal, who has spent many years pining away for what Rick Brookhiser termed “The Numinous Negro“, and who believes that the vast majority of voters (i.e., white voters) are racists who would be unwilling to vote for a man of too dark a hue. If there is racism in Reid’s comments it is the odd brand of self-loathing racism that bedevils many so-called Progressives: so unsure of their own hearts, they project their desperate need for approval and reassurance of their inherent goodness onto others in their own ethnicity. Now, of course, he is defending himself by accusing Republicans of being racist (not for the first time: he recently compared people opposed to health care reform as being like slave owners). Apparently to the Democrats, any opposition to the NAACP—one of the most radical liberal groups in the country—is racist.

My guess is that there were not too many Obama supporters who voted for him because he was light-skinned enough. But there is Reid thinking that the (white) people who swept Obama into office were so racist that they would consider the actual shade of darkness of Obama’s skin. Reid should probably be made to understand that the reason Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were never elected President (they both ran) was not because they were too dark-skinned, but because they were (and are) way outside of the mainstream of political thought in this country. Barack Obama presented himself to voters as being a mainstream candidate, though the truth turned out to be far different.

In the end, Reid has fallen victim to the identity politics practiced to near-perfection by the Democratic Party in America. Reid has assumed that all of America views people as he does: as mere representatives of ethnic groups. What he said may not have been racist in the sense that he was not suggesting any sort of superiority or inferiority of one ethnic group or another, but make no mistake: this is how Harry Reid, and the Democrats in general, really view the world.

Hot Air sums up the double-standard nicely, and Michelle Malkin’s got more here.

Health Care And The Continuing Crisis

December 21, 2009

Well, Harry Reid has managed to bring to life the title of P.J. O’Rourke’s great book, A Parliament Of Whores. All the special deals for states with Democratic Senators (paid for with your money), all of the secrecy and back room shuffles have paid off for the Majority Leader from Nevada. The victory is likely to be pyrrhic, however. The bill is hugely unpopular by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, and because it was enacted on strict party lines there is no way they can blame the Republicans. The Republicans weren’t even consulted on this travesty of legislation, with the exception of an attempted wooing of Olympia Snowe, the RINO from Maine who put herself out there under the lamppost with the rest of them.

Michelle Malkin’s doing a bang-up job detailing the sleazy corrupt deals that went into making this nightmare a reality. You can read her full posts here and here, but allow me to provide a brief synopsis:

  • Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu was given $100,000,000 of taxpayer money for her vote.
  • Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson sold his vote for some mealy-mouthed anti-federal spending on abortion language and a promise that the Federal Government would pay Nebraska’s increased Medicaid fees forever…thus putting the onus of collecting these fees on the other 49 states.
  • Massachusetts and Vermont also received special deals similar to the one for which Ben Nelson sold his soul
  • Connecticut will be getting $100,000,000 to build a hospital as a payoff to Senator Chris Dodd
  • Non-profit insurance companies will be exempt from paying the billions in taxes the other insurance companies will have to pony up…a gift for Ben Nelson (boy, he’s good at this) and Michigan Senator Carl Levin
  • Our one out-of-the-closet Socialist in the Senate, Vermont’s own Bernie Sanders was given a $10,000,000,000 gift of socialized medical clinics.
There are more, which you can see with all appropriate links on Michelle Malkin’s site.

While there is some solace in the notion that this bill could have been even worse by including a public option, that comfort is extremely cold when we consider just how bad this bill is. It is the equivalent of standing in middle of an earthquake and saying, "At least it’s not raining."

It will cost the taxpayers of this nation trillions of dollars, it will increase taxes, it will cause health insurance premiums to rise, it will leave approximately 23,000,000 people uninsured, it creates a completely unconstitutional mandate on the citizenry to buy a privately offered service.* The bill takes a bad situation and makes it markedly worse. In a stroke of genius, Congress has made sure that the worst effects of the bill won’t be seen until safely into Barack Obama’s second term.

So the question then becomes…why? Why pass this bill that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, does not solve the acknowledged problem?

Remember, the problem was an estimated 30 million people without health insurance. The whole notion of health care reform was based on the task of covering those people (whether they wanted it or not). But this bill leaves 23 million people uninsured, and it places all sorts of restrictions on the insurance companies that effect the 85% of the country that is currently happy with their insurance.

What Congress has done is pass a bill that does not address the condition it was supposed to address, and screws up the system for everyone else. And they’re happy about this. They think it’s “historic” as if “historic” was a synonym for “wonderful.”

So again…why?

The answer is simply this: the Democrats know that in 2009 there is no way they can achieve their real goal: a 100% takeover of the entire health care system, from providing insurance to managing hospitals to mandating how many physicians get to practice in each specialty. Their reason for wanting socialized medicine is also simple: create a class of people that depend on you, and they will never vote you out of office. There’s a reason why people refer to Social Security and Medicare as “the third rails” of politics…touch them and you die.

The reason there is no stomach for socialized medicine in America is precisely because 85% of Americans are happy with their medical plans. We know that it could be better, and that costs are too high, but we don’t wait months for an MRI, and we sure as hell don’t want government bureaucrats looking to cut costs at our expense or the expense of our loved ones.

The new health care plan is going to make that 85% of Americans very upset. For the Democrats and other Statists, this is the sound of opportunity knocking.

What the Democrats are doing here is creating a real crisis where only a problem currently exists. A state of crisis gives them the excuse for even more reforms in order to "solve" the very crisis they created. Obama’s consigliere Rahm Emmanuel said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” By creating a continuing crisis, the Democrats can continue to “address” the issue in ever more intrusive ways.

Health care reform didn’t work the first time? That’s because there was no public option.

The new Public Option is insufficient? Add billions more taxpayer dollars. Everyone knows that Washington’s solution to broken systems is to throw money at them.

There are still uninsured? Increase the scope of the public option.

The private insurance companies can’t compete with a taxpayer-subsidized system that sets the rules? Increase the scope again to include those whose insurance companies have gone under.

Why before you know it, America is looking down the barrel of socialized medicine. Only now it’s an "entitlement," a brand-spankin’ new "third rail" for hapless politicians to lose their office.

When this bill was passed, Iowa Senator and proponent of socialized medicine Tom Harkin rushed to the microphone to reassure the liberals and progressives who are complaining that this bill doesn’t go far enough. This bill, Harkin assured them, was not a mansion, but it was a "starter home." There will be plenty of time, he purred, for revisions.

…we can add additions and extensions to it as we go on in the future. It is not the end of health care, it’s the beginning.

That’s just what I’m afraid of.

*Back in July, I wrote a piece here that suggested an individual mandate might be a good idea. I covered my bets a bit by stating that there were likely considerations I had missed when I wrote the piece. Since then, I have come to realize that the concept of the Federal Government insisting the citizens of the country buy a product or service is 100% unconstitutional. I haven’t changed the original post because that wouldn’t be ethical (although I do change posts for grammar and spelling at times), and I stand by most of what I wrote that day. But the more I thought about the issue the more I realized that I no longer believe in the individual mandate.

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