Thursday, November 21, 2013

Democrats Go 'Nuclear,' Eliminate Filibusters on Most Nominees

In an attempt to distract attention away from Obamacare and pack the DC circuit court, the Democratic Majority in the US Senate has gone 'nuclear,' today:
Senate Democrats succeeded Thursday in deploying the “nuclear option” to make the most fundamental change to floor operations in almost four decades, ending the minority’s ability to kill most presidential nominations by filibuster.

The Senate voted, 52-48, to effectively change the rules by rejecting the opinion of the presiding officer that a supermajority is required to limit debate, or invoke cloture, on executive branch nominees and those for seats on federal courts short of the Supreme Court.
A couple of things are worth noting.
  1. When this came up in 2005, parties reversed, I said that [I]f the Republicans don't change the rules, the Democrats will, as soon as it becomes in their best interest to do so. They felt it in their best interest today, so there we go.
  2. When the Democrats in the majority propose this, the New York Times supports it.  When Republicans in the majority propose it, it's a dangerous proposition that must be stopped.  I suspect that the Times editorial tomorrow won't condemn Harry Reid for actually doing what it would have strongly condemned Bill Frist for doing.   "Because it's not about principle. Never has been, never will be. The Times, despite its pretense to being a non-partisan purveyor of the news, is a partisan political actor. They are pro-Democrat, anti-Republican, leftist progressives and, to the extent that there's ever a "principle" behind their positions, that's the extent of it."
  3. Unlike the New York Times, I'm not going to switch my position based on whose ox is being gored.  When the Democrats were filibustering Bush nominees, I said that nominees should get an up-or-down vote from the Senate.  That was my position then; that's my position today.

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Boeing 747 Mistakenly Lands At Tiny Kansas Airport
A Boeing Co. BA +0.11% 747 jumbo jet used to haul parts of 787 Dreamliner jets around the world landed at the wrong Kansas Airport Wednesday evening.

Photos from a Wichita, Kan. local CBS affiliate show the heavily-modified 235 foot long jumbo jet on the ground at Jabara Airport, a small area airport, about 8 miles north of the jet's intended destination of McConnell Air Force Base.

Jabara Airport in northeast Wichita has a short 6,101-foot long runway, significantly shorter than those typically used by a 747, raising questions about whether or not the jumbo can take off.
Not a great job by the flight crew. But better performance from them than anyone involved in Obamacare implementation.

As an Obamacare metaphor, you could do worse than a jumbo plane failing to deliver by landing in the wrong place, and then being unable to take off again...

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obama Breaks the Health Law to Save It

How many times will this administration break the law before people start thinking in terms of "high crimes and misdemeanors"?

This is not the first time the administration has suggested that it's going to go against the plain text of the law, either. Why is the administration taking such a careless attitude toward a law it spent a year crafting?

It’s hard to come up with a reason that bodes well. Lawsuits seem inevitable, and unwinnable. At best, the White House is buying some time to try to get things up and working; at worst, it hasn't even thought that far ahead.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Foreseeable. Foreseen...

As we watch the Obamacare meltdown (which is still going to get worse before it gets better), and the continued erosion of support for not just this plan, but government meddling in the health-care arena altogether, it's important to remember that none of what we've seen was unforeseeable, or even unforeseen. I've written relatively little about anything over the last several years, but it's easy to find comments even from me calling this out.

September 16, 2009

This is a lie that may technically be true: "Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have." For some people, it's technically true that nothing requires them to change plans. There is a whole lot in the plan, however, that will change the plans themselves, and with any changes, the plan does require people to go through the government coordinated insurance exchange. The bottom line on this is, no matter how happy you are with your current coverage, doctor, or plan, the plans being debated, and which Obama hopes to sign, are overwhelmingly likely to radically change, or even eliminate, what you currently have.

I'll finish with this - I think I've said it before, but let me say it again. What Barack Obama says, when he stands in front of the country, is this: My plan will give more people more and better care while cutting costs for everyone. That's obviously nonsense, economics from fantasy land. It's wishful thinking masquerading as public policy, and I don't see how anyone could possibly believe it.

June 6, 2012

Can liberals cure stupidity? Not until they can stop producing fantasyland analyses like this one and recognize that some options are mutually exclusive. The idea that because, for example, people like many of the individual components of Obamacare, they should like the whole thing, and it must be a communications failure that they don't is delusional. It assumes that you can have all of the good things you want at no cost and with no trade-offs, and that there won't be any negative repercussions as a result. The world doesn't work that way. Most people recognize that.

Consider transportation. You can ask people if they want a stylish new car. You can ask if they want good gas mileage, lots of seating and cargo space, good performance on the highway, strong and safe construction, and a low price. Guess what - the answer to all of those will be "yes" from a strong majority. But they can't have them, because some of those things are mutually exclusive. The same thing is true of the health care bill.

In the real world, people recognize that those trade-offs exist. In the cocoon of progressive fantasyland, it's just a communication problem.


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The Obama Presidency - the shorter version

This is a great point from Ace of Spades HQ (wrapped in yet another [longer] Obamacare failure post)...
A government's institutional character is set by the President. The government largely adopts his personality -- and his pathologies.

In Obama's case, this means a predilection for secrecy, contempt for the normal processes of democratic government, a refusal to acknowledge "bad news," and a strong preference for lies over truth.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Questions for Senate Dems who voted for Obamacare

Washington Post blogger Jen Rubin has a series of (good) questions that the media should be asking Democratic Senators1:
• Did President Obama mislead you about whether people could keep their insurance?

• Did you foresee that many people would be shifted from full-time work to part-time work as a result of Obamacare?

• Did you ever demand an oversight hearing on the progress of the Obamacare rollout?

• Did you expect millions of Americans to have their insurance canceled?

• Did you ever demand assurances that would be fully tested and secure from cyber-attacks?

• Did you understand some people would be dropped from coverage and find their only option to be more expensive insurance with poorer coverage?

• Did you expect millions more to have their insurance canceled than to have purchased insurance?
My comment is this: Never mind four years ago - two MONTHS ago every Democrat in the Senate was willing to shut down the government to prevent a one-year delay in implementation. Two months ago, they lacked the foresight to see what was obvious from the start, and they were willing to be, if I recall the phrasing correctly, "economic terrorists" and shut down the government, all just to avoid the one-year delay that they're begging for now.

1 - They won't, of course, but they should. If Republicans had created something that was this much of a mess, they would be...

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What a difference a couple of months makes...

Remember back, in the far distant past, in the murky mists of time - September, 2013 - when the Republicans were excoriated, pilloried and condemned for suggesting a one-year delay in the enforcement of the (hilariously-named) "Affordable Care Act"? How they were deemed to be "economic terrorists"?

Yeah, well, look who's an "economic terrorist" now...

White House to Allow Insurers to Continue Canceled Health Plans
The White House on Thursday will announce a plan for allowing insurance companies to continue offering existing individual insurance policies even if they fall short of the coverage standards set by the 2010 health-care law, a Democratic official briefed on the plan said.
And again, as he did with the employer mandate, the President, charged with enforcing the law of the land, is going to unilaterally, by fiat (and therefore, both illegally and unconstitutionally) change that which, as we've been continually informed by its supporters, is the "settled law of the land."

One would think that those who promoted this disaster might apologize, or at least cut back on the moralistic hectoring about the virtues of this great plan, but I expect no such happy result any time soon...

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Congressman-D - I won't say he lied, but it clearly wasn't true...

So, one of the things that's fun to watch right now is Democratic elected officials playing "choose a euphemism for lying" in order to discuss the President's patently untrue Obamacare sales pitch.
I think the president was grossly misleading to the American public. I know right away as a veterinarian, I have my own business, that my policies got cancelled even before the Affordable Care Act. I know that I would change policies on a regular basis, trying to find the best deal for myself and my employees. But a lot of Americans, a lot of Oregonians, have stayed with the same policy for a number of years and are shocked that their policy got cancelled.
- Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon

No, Congressman - the President lied. Period.

Of course, as it was obviously a lie right from the start, the only people who were "misled" were people who believed him. Everyone was lied to; only about half were "misled."

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This can not be over-emphasized...

The Democrats in Congress and the White House were willing to shut down the Federal Government in order to avoid a one-year delay in the Obamacare kick-off.

We can now see how unprepared for the kick-off the Federal Government was, and the end result is almost certain to be more uninsured a year from now than there are now, and the Democrats in Congress and the White House were willing to shut down the Federal Government in order to avoid a one-year delay.

The Republicans weren't trying to repeal it, not the last time, just delay, for one year, the kick-off of a program which was clearly not ready to kick-off, and the Democrats in Congress and the White House were willing to shut down the Federal Government in order to avoid a one-year delay.

The website was not ready to be operational, the Federal Exchanges aren't fully set up and the Democrats in Congress and the White House were willing to shut down the Federal Government in order to avoid a one-year delay.

The company building the website warned that "the threat and risk potential (to the system) is limitless," with deadlines of mid-2014 and early 2015 to address those risks, and the Democrats in Congress and the White House were willing to shut down the Federal Government in order to avoid a one-year delay

Just sayin'...

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Gosh, who could have seen that coming?

Actions, consequences, yadda, yadda, yadda...
Condé Nast, the globally renowned media publisher that produces magazines like Glamour, The New Yorker, and Wired, announced late last month that it will no longer offer its internship program. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by two former interns, Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib; in June, the interns sued Condé Nast for months of backpay, alleging that the publisher violated federal and state labor laws.

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Friday, November 01, 2013

Obamacare: Unfair to the young middle class, punished enough already

"For 'tis the sport to see the engineer
Hoist with his own petar..."

Today's chapter in the book of Obamacare comes from a young free-lance writer in California who is discovering that a) someone has to pay for free healthcare and b) apparently, he's someone.
Under my old plan, my maximum out-of-pocket expense was $4,900. Under the new plan, I’m on the hook for up to $6,350. Copays for my doctor visits will double. For urgent-care visits, they will quadruple. Though slightly cheaper plans exist if I decide to shop around on the exchange, I will lose my dental coverage should I switch.

Needless to say, I am not pleased.

Most young, middle-class Americans I know are happy that millions of previously uninsured people will receive free or heavily subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

We just didn’t realize that, unless we had health insurance at work, we’d be the ones paying for it.
My reaction?

You know, people tried to tell you this, but you didn't want to listen. No, you thought, only greedy people would be opposed to this. And besides, you aren't rich - it's not going to impact you. Someone else is going to pay for it!

And I'm reminded, as has happened so many times during this administration, of Atlas Shrugged. This time, the plan at the 20th Century Motor Factory...
There wasn't a man voting for it who didn't think that under a setup of this kind he'd muscle in on the profits of the men abler than himself. There wasn't a man rich and smart enough but that he didn't think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him a share of his better's wealth and brain. But while he was thinking that he'd get unearned benefits from the men above, he forgot about all his ingeriors who'd rush to drain him just as he hped to drain his superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a limousine like his boss's, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his own. That was our real motive when we voted - that was the the truth of it - but we didn't like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we yelled about our love for the common good.
Apparently, Matthew Fleischer's love for the common good last just until it started to cost him personally.

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