“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, October 16, 2009

'We Need A National Debate.....'

How often have you heard some politician or pundit say this?

"We need a national debate about....."

-health care
-the stimulus
-cap and tax/trade
-increased deficit spending

Sounds nice, doesn't it?

Even Wonderboy, in various clips aired on Fox News last night, promised that any health care bill would have the Congressional debates carried on C-Span. They had him on video record making that campaign promise twice. God knows how many more times he said it out of camera range.

Of course, the First Rookie has conveniently forgotten about that promise, hasn't he? Along with the fabled website on which you would be able to view bills for 72 hours prior to Congressional voting.

But what does it really mean to "have a national debate?"

Well, it could mean town hall meetings with your Senator or Representative. But the current administration and Democratic Congressional leadership has declared these to be moot, because voters attending them are "angry."

Sadly, in our system, the "national debate" is supposed to occur, over months, in the Houses of Congress. In the early days of our Republic, such debates were held over bills, after Senators and Representatives had had their ears bent at meetings with their constituents back home. And knowing the earful they'd get upon returning from the current session.

Now, communications are much faster. Emails and phone calls can pour into a Representative's or Senator's office in real time as bills are debated and networks report on the action in Washington.

But, to be realistic, the only "national debates" occur in Congressional Committee rooms, committee chair offices, and perhaps on the floor of the Houses. That's why the recent Democratic bum's rush with health care is so worrying. There's no openness to the crafting of these various health care bills.

At the least, you'd hope that Congress would hold hearings, during which relevant experts, industry participants and pundits could all testify with their ideas, plans and warnings. On the basis of such testimony, various committees could write legislation and invite commentary from these parties. And let's not forget the CBO, which could be scoring various components, the better to be added-up flexibly as Congress actually gets down to writing draft legislation.

Of course, such a process would take time and risk pet liberal concepts being trashed or seen as too costly.

This is what should constitute a "national debate." Not closed-door committee horse-trading on a bill which hasn't actually been printed by Baucus, because it's more concept than legislation.

The way our Constitution is written, the only true national debate you'll see is what C-Span shows on the House or Senate floor. And the only remedy you'll have is at the voting booth every other first Tuesday in November.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Legislative Process

It's fascinating to me how much fanfare Democrats have accorded the mere passage out of the Democratically-controlled Senate Finance Committee of a health care bill. It would seem that they are wasting a lot of powder on what should have been a non-event back in February.

After all, once Wonderboy was elected, why didn't the Senate Democrats simply write their wish list into a health care bill and ram it through committee to the floor on January 21st, at the earliest? Or certainly within a week of the inauguration.

But, no, that's not what happened. Apparently leery of voter reactions, they actually tried, unsuccessfully, for eight months to write a bill that would attract more than token, expected defections from the Republicans, in the form of Arlen Specter wannabe Olympia Snowe of Maine.

By the way, of all the states in which a Senator might not want to risk being identified with the Democrats' health care schemes, you'd think Maine, with its own failing universal health care mandates, would be one of them. Massachusetts and Tennessee being two others.

In any event, still to come is the Senate's reconciliation of the Finance and Health Committees' two bills. By the way, since there is a Health Committee, doesn't that make you wonder what on earth the Finance Committee was even doing trying to propose a bill?

What's next, agricultural subsidies from the Telecommunications Committee?

Then you have the separate, much more left-wing House health care bill. And the eventual reconciliation of that with whatever monstrosity may have passed on the floor of the Senate.

Of course, there is the slight chance that there won't be a Senate health care bill actually passed on the floor. The more people understand the risks and costs of this entire effort, the less some Democratic Senators may wish to risk their precious asses....errr...seats....by voting for it.

I was actually quite surprised to see Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in this exchange on CNBC the other day.

Imagine that. A Democratic Senator endorsing fewer mandates at the state level and inter-state purchase of health insurance. Granted, it's in the twisted, unworkable so-called 'regional exchanges,' but the concept has reared its head. And Landrieu explicitly comes out against the vaunted "public option."

Seems to me that some Democrats, like Landrieu, may be fearful of voting blindly for whatever their leadership hands them. Especially after conferencing with Frisco Nan's minions over this legislation.

There is so much further to go with this that you just wonder how desperate Wonderboy and his followers are to crow about the smallest steps. Steps which can't really be called a victory when they control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No Surprise: Baucus' Committee Passes Health Care Bill

Yesterday's Senate Finance Committee vote to pass Max Baucus' pig of a health care bill out to the Senate floor for debate and vote was hardly the surprise so many liberals made it to be.

Yes, even though turncoat Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, it was still a slam dunk along party lines. True, Wonderboy singled her out for her vote. That alone should make Maine Republicans toss her out of the party.

On the other hand, I will say that Snowe made it clear she only voted to get it out of committee so it could be debated on the floor. Mind you, Baucus had no need of her vote.

Charles Krauthammer noted, on Fox News last night, that Snow won't likely vote for either the reconciliation bill coming out of the Senate Finance and Health Committee conference, since it may contain the public option. Ditto for the result of the House conference.

Thus, he observed, Wonderboy's lauding of Snowe for 'reaching across the aisle' will be hollow and look foolishly premature.

But what's new about that and our First Rookie?

What really amused me, however, was the breathless manner in which CNBC's resident socialist, John Harwood, reported the passage as if it had ever been in doubt.

Honestly, the liberal media just won't quit. Making it out like a major moment that one Senate committee, dominated by Democrats, finally squeezed their own bill out among their own members.

Will it ever really make it into law? Time will tell, but know this. It's already mid-October. Those two gubernatorial elections are in about three weeks.

And next year, every Senator and Representative who voted for passage of this bill's descendant may well face loss of her or his seat.

An Overview of Democratic US Presidents' Arms Control Failures

Stephen Rademaker, a State Department official from the Bush administration, wrote an insightful piece in the Wall Street Journal last month entitled, "Why Democrats Fail at Arms Control."

Mr. Rademaker wrote a fairly long editorial filled with references to a multitude of non-proliferation and arms control treaties, e.g., CTBT, SALT, ABM, START, SORT and SALT II.

But what caught my eye was this passage,

"The principal reason that recent Democratic presidents have failed with Russia has been their excessive enthusiasm and ambition, which perversely encourages the Russians to overreach, dooming prospects for agreement. This was a problem for Messrs. Carter and Clinton. And it promises to be an even bigger problem for Mr. Obama, who comes to office with an arms-control agenda- the abolition of nuclear weapons- far more ambitious than that of any previous administration."

One of the so-called "advisers" that Wonderboy has cited, in his quest to appear bi- and post-partisan, is Republican Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana. Here's what Rademaker has to say about Lugar's views,

"Early on, Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Ind.) admonished the administration to "resist calls to load the negotiations agenda with objectives that, while desirable, would slow down the talks and threaten the tight timetable" for avoiding a lapse in arms-control verification."

So much for that adviser. Rademaker notes that our First Rookie summarily ignored Lugar's recommendations, and did exactly the opposite, attempting to install a completely new vehicle to begin ridding the world of all nuclear weapons in place of the planned, much simpler extension of verification procedures.

Mr. Rademaker goes on to note,

"Today, the administration finds itself in the unhappy position of negotiating against a firm deadline, with very ambitious objectives and a negotiating partner that does not share its political needs to reach agreement. Come December, Russia can be expected to present Mr. Obama with two choices: Sign an agreement on terms disadvantageous to the U.S. (thereby risking defeat of the treaty in the Senate), or allow the START treaty to expire with nothing to replace it."

Yet another example of why it's unwise to allow to run, be nominated and elected, a person with no substantial life experience or prior government experience at a significant level.

Being a multi-term state legislator, then serving less than two years in the US Senate, has resulted in Wonderboy being totally unfit to actually govern the United States and, thus, fulfill his oath of office. This arms control issue is a perfect illustration of how that is occurring in one crucial area after another in the nation's affairs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Steve Wynn On Government Fiscal Policy

I don't usually watch Chris Wallace's Sunday program on Fox News. But for some reason, I found myself accidentally viewing these scenes the other day.

I don't usually find Nevada casino mogul Steve Wynn to be a source of business wisdom. Mostly, I've seen him as a very good, successful promoter for his hotel and casino properties. But I honestly don't follow what he does.

Sunday, Wynn was the 'business' guest on Wallace's discussion regarding tax policy. Here's what Steve Wynn had to say.

I found him to be extremely articulate and sound. Perhaps one of the best business people I've heard or seen on this subject.

Elsewhere in the debate, a few minutes later, I believe, Wynn expounded on the topic of the danger of big government. Michigan governor Granholm was foolish enough to try to demonize Wynn, and he gave back better than he got. Much better.

So much better, in fact, that Wynn had Granholm mumbling contritely that she agreed with him.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Coming Health Care Bill CramDown

Get ready for the bum's rush!

Max Baucus' grossly misrepresented and lied-about Senate Finance Committee health care bill is reported to be voted out of committee on Tuesday.

If you are like me, you are curious as to why a health care bill is being written in the Senate Finance Committee. Doesn't the Senate have some sort of health and social welfare committee where this pig should have been born?

As it happens, by the way, Fox News reported this past week that the Senate has only two committees which, as a matter of operating principle, never publish full bills to the full Senate prior to votes.

Guess what one of them is? That's right- the Finance Committee.

You cannot make this stuff up.

So the bill goes out of committee this week. I suppose it rattles around on the floor for "debate" for several days, prior to the Democrats holding their noses and cramming the bill through with only 51 votes under "reconciliation" rules, although those rules are supposed to apply to budget bills, not national social policy omnibus bills with pages numbering in the thousands.

Then, after some time during which the House will pass some disgusting, larded-up pig of a health care bill of its own, the two chambers' representatives meet for the all-important "reconciliation" process.

This is a different process than the Senate's fly-by-night voting rules which overturn its traditional requirement of 60 votes for passage.

My question is this. The House Democrats have made clear that some provisions in the Senate version will be DOA. Among them, for example, is the tax on so-called "gold plated," or "Cadillac" health care plans, many of which belong to union members.

I hope the public and Republicans insist on a CBO rescoring of this new pig-in-a-poke. You can bet that what Baucus has been cheering about for his bill, a so-called, alleged "deficit neutral" scoring over a decade, by dint of carefully backloading benefits and front-loading taxes, will become a net deficit creator, along with a huge spending kick.

If the Democrats hang their collective hats on the CBO scoring, let's all see what happens when the Democratic pigs in the House get their snouts in the trough on this one.

You can bet that the scoring will result in a bill so far from any sort of spending neutrality that there'll be no way of disguising it as the Democrats try to cram it down voters' throats.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Michelle Obama Is A Liar Or ?????

Lost amidst the hoopla over the recent, failed Chicago Olympics 2016 bid was adequate focus on a fairly impassioned lie told by the First Rookie's wife.

Michelle Obama was recorded as tearfully recalling watching US Olympian Carl Lewis- a black, of course- at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics on her father's lap!

Some observant wags quickly did the math and reported that Wonderboy's wife has apparently been infected with same lying disease as Hillary Clinton.

Remember when Hillary mis-remembered being under fire as she flew into some Eastern European airport during her husband's administration?

This time, it seems that the Anointed One's spouse was over 20 years of age when she was sitting on her dad's lap.

Do tell!

I guess either Michelle is a liar.....or we are to infer that she didn't have the healthiest of upbringings, n'est pas?