i don’t get it

Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) won’t seek re-election to the Senate.

Looks like the Democrat juggernaut is running into a few problems on its way to liberal utopia.  It’s not just Republican obstructionists or tea partiers getting in the way of the Democrat agenda.  Some Democrats, like Evan Bayh, object to the focus of this administration being on cap-and-trade and health care instead of jobs and the economy.  Not all of those Dems are willing to take on their party openly, so there’s still enough votes in Congress to do some serious damage, but the growing vocal opposition from members of their own party has to be a serious concern for the majority party going forward and into the midterms this year.

It amuses me to read speculation that Senator Bayh is thinking about running for President again.  He has tried this before, without much success, if I remember his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it presidential campaign accurately. Guess I must have missed the awesome groundswell of public support that would make him believe he has a better shot in 2012 or 2016 than he did in his first run for the Oval Office.   Anything’s possible in politics…except Evan Bayh becoming President of the United States.

I don’t understand why party elitists insist the moderates are the key to electoral success.  They don’t stand for anything.  They are just as likely to vote against you as they are to vote with you.   There are numerous examples of this happening with both parties.   At least with those who call themselves conservatives or liberals, you generally know where they stand.   In this case, Pelosi, Reid, and company are alienating the moderates from the Democratic party because of their insistence on pushing an unpopular agenda.   I applaud this.    Let’s keep this flawed strategy going, Dems.  You are doing an excellent job.


What Alan Bock said in the OC Register:

It’s not that there isn’t a good deal of truth in such criticisms of the ways of a “Washington” he invoked more as an epithet than a place. But at what point does a president of the United States take responsibility for his part in feeding the atmosphere of distrust?

Barack Obama has been president for a little more than a year, during which time his party has had a theoretically filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (a rare occurrence) and a substantial majority in the House. During that time he has engaged in a goodly share of partisan sniping while making only empty gestures toward the will-o-the-wisp of bipartisan cooperation. He’s the ultimate insider. Yet he took no responsibility for the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, trying to make believe that he is still quite above it all.

Yep.  You can only convincingly run against Washington when you aren’t part of its culture of failure.  That’s part of the reason for Scott Brown’s success in Massachusetts.  At some point  — and God only knows when this will happen — the statute of limitations on blaming Bush will run out and President Obama will have to take responsibility for his own actions.  Until then, we all must suffer through complex explanations of why the consequences of Democrat / Obama policies are all Bush’s fault.  Yay.

It’s going to be a very long three years…

brown wins

Congratulations to Senator-elect Brown.  Nice win in one of the bluest of blue states in the nation.  Who would have thought that Massachusetts of all states would possibly save us from ObamaCare?  Amazing.

With that said,  this is another case of a generally unappealing Democratic candidate, who demonstrated how out of touch she was with the people she was seeking to represent, and lost as a result of that.  This election does suggest a growing distrust of the Democrats and the Washington agenda.  That’s an encouraging sign going into the next election.  But can Republicans take advantage of this opportunity?

that’s a scary proposition

CBS newsman Bob Schieffer says that “Real security is built on trust in the government.”  He actually wrote that!  Read it here.

Trust in the government.  That’s a scary proposition if you really think about it.  The more bureaucracy you add to deal with a potential crisis, the more likely it is that the potential crisis becomes an actual crisis.  I get the point Schieffer was making about spin and how the feds should be honest with us when addressing terror-related events, but you can’t just depend on the government to protect you in these kinds of situations.  The flight crew and a brave passenger saved the day on Christmas Day.  Not the TSA or DHS.

Everything the federal government can and should do to improve our domestic security will not completely protect us from a future terrorist attack.  If we are completely committed to telling the truth to the American people, we should start by admitting this.

flawed concept

Reason’s Jacob Sullum says there should be no fundamental right to health care.

A right to health care thus requires the government to infringe on people’s liberty rights by commandeering their talents, labor, and earnings. And since new subsidies will only exacerbate the disconnect between payment and consumption that drives health care inflation, such interference is bound to increase as the government struggles to control ever-escalating spending. Rising costs will also encourage the government to repeatedly redefine the right to health care, deciding exactly which treatments it includes.

Enforcing this right demands an involuntary contribution from all taxpayers.   Once it is decided by our Congress that health care coverage is mandated for all of us and primarily funded by tax dollars,  then we are in danger of losing more than the ability to buy private health care coverage.  I used to think that the relationship between liberty and the health care debate was tenuous at best,  but it’s becoming clear to me how wrong I was about that.   Expanding the reach of government into health care beyond its current bureaucratic regulations and restrictions is something we need to consider carefully before going forward with such plans.   While I’m proposing all these radical things, how ’bout one more – if we are going to copy another country’s health care system, we might want to copy one that actually does what President Obama promised with expanding choices and competition for the health care consumer, and take steps to make health care more affordable for every American.   That’s not what the Senate and House are doing with their proposed health care legislation.  We need to start over from scratch and try again if we want a health care bill that is truly worthy of the claim of  “health care reform”. 

Read Sullum’s entire argument here.

lighten up scrooge

Now for something a little different and somewhat holiday-themed…

Eventually it would come to this – someone is compelled to attack the lifestyle and behavior of  Santa Claus.   Honestly, there’s just no good excuse for that.

Some “public health expert” in Australia says that Santa is a bad example for children.  The charges against St. Nick include encouraging obesity and drinking alcohol while steering his sleigh through the wide-open sky, where he is endangering no one but himself and the reindeer.  Seriously, dude, if you want to bring a more significant complaint, you might point out the greed it produces in otherwise sweet little children who produce gigantic lists of very expensive gifts which they fully expect to get on December 25th.   And God bless the parents who try to keep up with those expectations out of their own finite pockets, because there will never be enough money to cover that wish list.  This reminds me of a certain group of Americans who expect their fellow citizens to completely finance their health care bills…and believe that the federal government has an endless pot of money to meet their every need.

At some point, there needs to be a reality check for the little kiddies as well as the uninformed chuckleheads in the citizenry of this country  — the money has run out.  The credit cards are maxed.   Time to cut the spending.

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble – but Santa Claus is totally fictional.  Focusing on his perceived sins is amusing, but unnecessary.  On the other hand, the financial damage this proposed health care “reform” will cause in this country, is quite real — and yet some Americans refuse to wake up to the truth that the federal government doesn’t have the money to do what our Congress has promised us it would do.

no sale

I agree with Congressman Joe Wilson.  The President has misrepresented what the Democrats are proposing to do with our health care.   Unfortunately, the rules of decorum prevent Republicans from saying what they think out loud unless it agrees with what President Obama has already said.   After all, we know how well the Democrats follow the rules they impose on the minority party when THEY are the minority party, don’t we?  While I much prefer Senator DeMint’s opposition strategy and admire his restraint during the President’s speech last night,  I can tell you that there are many of my fellow conservatives who were yelling at our TVs and radios – mostly similar sentiments to those of Joe Wilson.  This doesn’t make Wilson a Super-Patriot or the next “Republican revolutionary”.  It just makes him someone who temporarily forgot that he gave up the right to challenge the President of the United States during his speech on national TV when he got elected to Congress.  AND he apologized for it.   Get over the indignation and let’s move on to what we were talking about – health care.

As far as the question of illegal immigrants getting health care under the House bill, sure the language forbids it, but when there are no explicit enforcement requirements, what guarantee is there that this won’t eventually happen? It’s happening now in the border states, especially in California and Texas. So that’s a legitimate concern.

There was nothing game-changing about the President’s speech last night. We will continue to oppose the proposals currently on the table, because these aren’t serious attempts to address the costs and inefficiencies we have with our health care system right now.

I will get to Dr. Arthur Laffer’s analysis in a future post. I have several initial comments on the subject of health care “reform” that I want to bring to the table before I get to his brilliant work.

If you want to talk about a subject that should be demanding the attention of the federal government right now (but is not) – we should be talking about jobs, not health care. Don’t know how many times I have to say this but people with jobs would be far more capable of buying their own health insurance. There are ways the federal government could encourage / support private industry development and growth, and to make it easier for the job market to improve. The Obama administration appears to be more interested in implementing big revolutionary changes in health care than to deal with bread and butter issues like jobs and the economy.

We do not have a health care crisis situation in this country. That 47 million uninsured number — offered by the uninformed and the mediots (but I repeat myself here) – is bogus.

From Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny:

“In 2006, the Census Bureau reported that there were 46.6 million people without health insurance. About 9.5 million were not United States citizens. Another 17 million lived in households with incomes exceeding $50,000 a year and could, presumably, purchase their own health coverage [1]. Eighteen million of the 46.6 million uninsured were between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, most of whom were in good health and no necessarily in need of health-care coverage or chose not to purchase it [2]. Moreover, only 30 percent of the nonelderly population who became uninsured in a given year remained uninsured for more than twelve months. Almost 50 percent regained their health coverage within four months [3]. The 47 million “uninsured” figure used by [Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi and others is widely inaccurate.”

The number of Americans who are uninsured has been massively inflated to exaggerate the extent of the problems we have with the current health care system as it exists today. This is intentional. There’s no possible way the American people could possibly be talked into an overhaul of the entire health care system without being persuaded that we have a crisis that demands immediate attention. Fortunately, this massive overreach by the Democrats and by the President of the United States with HR 3200 has caught the attention of average Americans, some of whom have been doing the job our Congressmen / Senators won’t do (reading the bill). I applaud those who have attended town halls to ask the tough questions to these Congressmen and Senators. Someone has to do it. It really shouldn’t be necessary to remind my fellow conservatives not to give the media, liberal activists, Democrats and the White House any ammunition to paint our side as a bunch of raving lunatics – but I will say it again until it doesn’t need to be said.

One might interpret the previous commentary as an opinion that the American health care system as it exists today does not require any changes. We do not have a perfect health care system. With that said, the choices /options we have for health insurance are vastly superior to any system resembling single-payer or government-run health service programs. Of course it would be wonderful to get all Americans health care coverage, but what sacrifices would have to be made in order to get close to this goal? Is it even possible to spend enough money to provide all Americans coverage? Of course not. The debate here should be whether we must overhaul the current health care system to attempt to cover the relatively small number of uninsured Americans, or whether with a few small changes we can achieve the best combination of coverage and care for most Americans. The latter is my position on health care reform – we don’t need a complete overhaul, just a few common-sense changes. What changes would I propose, on the compelling suggestion of economists like Dr. Laffer? I’ll save that for a future post.

honest debate

That’s all the citizens opposing this health care reform want here – an honest debate where we are told the truth about the proposals currently being discussed for transformative changes in the way health care works in this country.  We want our representatives to know and understand what they are voting on at least — if they can’t be bothered to do their job and read the entire bill. (And BTW, if the bill’s too long for Congress to read or understand, why not have some non-lawyers write bills in plain English?  Controversial suggestion, I know.)  Many Congressional Democrat “leaders”  have been writing off their constituents as some uninformed rabble-rousers who are driven not by principle, but fueled by lobbyist cash. This is an extremely elitist, arrogant way for them to approach the conversation with us on health care reform.  If you have the proof, show the evidence that citizens are being paid to protest and ask questions at town hall meetings by the insurance industry.

The Democrats in Congress don’t seem to care what we think, even though I suspect they know public opinion has been steadily turning against them on this issue.

I’m going to say a little something to my fellow conservatives who join me in opposition to ObamaCare, in whatever form it ends up taking.  We can be passionate in our opposition without resorting to name-calling and personal attacks.  I know that there is so much anger and frustration out there with the policies of this administration, but in this, we must continue to fight these policies with civility and confidence.  We must not allow our passion to be used by the media to discredit our views because this issue is too important to surrender.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s get back to the conversation.