Saturday, February 27, 2010

Laura's Health Care Petition

Go here to sign Laura Ingraham's healthcare petition.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama's Junker Story

Here's a press release I just got in my inbox.

February 26th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government Communications Director Carter Clews today asked President Barack Obama to explain a "rather unusual" story Obama told at Thursdays' health care summit about his dealings with a fictitious Acme Auto Insurance company.

During the White House meeting, Obama related a story from his post-college graduation days in which his "junker" was allegedly rear ended by another driver. According to Obama, when he called to get his car repaired, the "Acme" auto insurance company "laughed at" him.

In response to the Obama story, Clews sent the following email to the President through the White House web site:

"During your health care summit, you told a rather unusual story about being "laughed at" when you called your auto insurance company about your post-college "junker" being rear-ended. So, I have to ask you four questions: (1) Did you have collision insurance? (2) Did you know that liability insurance does not pay for your own car, (3) Didn't you know that when you are hit the other guy pays, and (4) Do you actually know as little about health insurance as you obviously do about auto insurance? I'll look forward to your response. And please make it short and to the point. Thanks."

Said Clews later, "Mr. Obama's story is more than a little disturbing – not to mention preposterous. There are really only four conclusions to draw from it. Either the youthful Obama had no insurance, he only had liability insurance, he didn't know that when you get hit the other guy pays – or, quite frankly, he told a totally manufactured tale to all of the assembled members of the Senate and House, not to mention millions of Americans watching on TV.

"If it was any one of the first three possibilities, it's no wonder the insurance company laughed at him. And if it was the latter, the man is delusional. Let's just hope he knows more about health insurance than he does auto insurance."

I'm more interested in the make/model of the so-called "junker". Barack Obama went to prep school and the grandmother who raised him was a rich and successful banker. I know those facts were not broadcast during the campaign. I wonder why not?

Yeah, he made up the story. That's what "keepin' it real" requires in Obama's case.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meek shall not inherit

Here's one for the BWA-HA-HA file.

Last fall, Kendrick Meek's campaign relished the idea of facing Marco Rubio instead of Gov. Charlie Crist in the general election. You're not hearing that talk much anymore, and Rasmussen (1,000 LVs, 2/18, MoE +/- 3%) offers the evidence in a new poll out today.

General Election Matchups
Crist 48 (unch vs. last poll, 1/27)
Meek 32 (-1)
Und 9 (unch)

Rubio 51 (+2)
Meek 31 (-1)
Und 11 (-2)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Best Criticism of Glenn Beck I've Read Yet

Not surprising to me, it is served up by Bill Bennett.

Glenn is among the best talkers in the business of broadcast. I am not sure he’s a very good listener.

First, there is a good and strong tradition in alcohol and drug treatment that personal failings should not be extrapolated into the public sphere; that too often when this is done, conclusions are reached based on the wrong motives and, often, the wrong analysis. Glenn has made that mistake here and taken to our politics a cosmologizing of his own deficiencies. This is not a baseless criticism; they are his own deficiencies that he keeps publicly redounding to and analogizing to. It is wrong and he is wrong.

Second, for him to continue to say that he does not hear the Republican party admit its failings or problems is to ignore some of the loudest and brightest lights in the party. From Jim DeMint to Tom Coburn to Mike Pence to Paul Ryan, any number of Republicans have admitted the excesses of the party and done constructive and serious work to correct them and find and promote solutions. Even John McCain has said again and again that “the Republican party lost its way.” These leaders, and many others, have been offering real proposals, not ill-informed muttering diatribes that can’t distinguish between conservative and liberal, free enterprise and controlled markets, or night and day. Does Glenn truly believe there is no difference between a Tom Coburn, for example, and a Harry Reid or a Charles Schumer or a Barbara Boxer? Between a Paul Ryan or Michele Bachmann and a Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank?

Third, to admit it is still “morning in America” but a “vomiting for four hours” kind of morning is to diminish, discourage, and disparage all the work of the conservative, Republican, and independent resistance of the past year. The Tea Partiers know better than this. I don’t think they would describe their rallies and resistance as a bilious purging but, rather, as a very positive democratic reaction aimed at correcting the wrongs of the current political leadership. The mainstream media may describe their reactions as an unhealthy expurgation. I do not.

Bennett acknowledges Beck's talkshow talent off the bat which sets the rest of the piece up as a criticism and not a screed. Then he provides the evidence that Beck ignores, namely the real differences between the parties and their members.

I'm tired of the endless calls for the GOP to offer "mea culpa" Kodak moments. Anyone who has been involved in politics for any substantial amount of time knows that the Republican Party has a very calculated relationship with conservatism and conservatives. This is because the GOP's job is to win elections as well as promote an agenda in the realm of the written and spoken word. Sometimes a conservative wins big time, sometimes a conservative falls flat... big time. It simply doesn't help to shout RINO! or sell-out!

So if Beck is determined to use the tortured drunk analogy for the party, he should at least grant that we have gotten past the first step. The "admission of powerlessness over moderates" in the party is almost a mantra. However, I'm with Dr. Bennett--the cosmologization of ones own experiences and shortcomings is not helpful and will not lead to some type of corporate "spiritual awakening" within the leadership of the party via some sort of collective 12-step process.

Peter Wehner Examines and Refutes Evan Bayh's Excuses

A much needed corrective to Bayh's lame emanations about partisanship, ideology, and what comprises the "people's business". I liked the whole thing; several excerpts follow:

Actually, the people's business is getting done. In this case, "the people's business" was to stop ObamaCare, which the public opposes in significant numbers (the spread between those who oppose ObamaCare and those who support it is 15-20 percentage points). Most Americans think the Democratic health care plans are badly flawed and a majority of them want Congress to begin over again.

The dominant narrative manifests a particular cast of mind, one that equates "the people's business" with passing legislation that increases the size, cost, and reach of government. In fact, sometimes the people's business involves stopping bad ideas from becoming law.

To use an analogy, heavy machinery is safer when equipped with brakes.

It's worth recalling that the Founders set up a system of government with what James Madison called the "auxiliary precautions" of American government -- meaning the separation of powers, bicameralism, and other checks and balances. Madison, who was shipped what he called a "literary cargo" of books on history and politics by Thomas Jefferson, rigorously studied the historical record of past governments. Out of that study Madison and his colleagues decided to put the emphasis on braking mechanisms, which they thought would help preserve liberty by limiting the power of government.

Then Wehner takes on an issue near and dear to my heart: the liberal's tendency to engage in word-twisting. "[I]deology can also be another word for convictions -- and one person's 'ideologue' is another person's principled politician." That sentence sums it up better than I ever could have. He takes on the "partisanship" canard in the same way, clarifying that it's not really the issue for the critics.

Many of the greatest political figures in American history -- whether we're talking about Reagan or Roosevelt, Lincoln or King, Jefferson or Hamilton -- are recognized for substance rather than process, for their commitment to American ideals rather than bipartisanship, for what they did rather than the manner in which they did it.

Yes, more substance, please. Wehner's conclusion:

It's worth recalling that in 2005 George W. Bush made a big push to reform Social Security. I thought then, and think now, that his plan was wise and necessary. But it was also undeniably unpopular, and the effort failed. Its failure did not trigger the kind of Camus-like despair we are now seeing. No one in the commentariat argued that America was, in Joe Klein's phrase, a "nation of dodos" or that Social Security's failure could be laid at James Madison's feet.

We are not facing a governing crisis today. What we are seeing is an emerging crisis for modern liberalism. And the reason is fairly straightforward: the public, having been exposed to a liberal governing agenda for the last year, is repudiating it. Liberals cannot seem to accept that, so they are lashing out at everything else. It is unwarranted and somewhat childish; and it will only accelerate The Fall.

Italics mine. Because I think it worthy to note who are the grownups in this country and who are the perpetual whiners. It's great to learn that although James Madison's "auxillary precautions" might be a little squeaky when applied at high speed, they still grab.

[Here's a related Wehner piece from a week ago to which he alludes in passing.]