Friday, November 8, 2013

Colorado and Washington ignore federal health care laws with impunity

So why can't every other state?

I'm referring of course to federal health care laws regulating commerce in and the consumption of leafy green weeds of the Cannabis and Indica families. Come on, you didn't really think those federal laws were there because of marijuana's funky smell, did you? No, they're in place because the feds have thought for a century or more that smoking weed is bad for your health, so bad they'll put you in prison for subjecting yourself and others to its dangers.

Here, though, is where we take a right turn from what you might have thought was going to be a pot-legalization post into what is in fact an Obamacare-ignoring state by state post.

Remember, insurance companies and the policies they offer are (or were) state-, not federally-licensed, pretty much as 10th Amendment as you can still get in this day and age. What would it take to return them to that condition unconditionally?

Why, to do exactly what Colorado and Washington states have done with respect to their marijuana laws: ignore the feds, and proceed as if the management of health insurance was as much a wholly state matter as the management of marijuana.

To be sure, the main reason Obama and Holder are standing around holding their bongs with respect to the moves by Colorado and Washington is that pot-smokers are a larger Democratic Party constituency than they are a Republican Party one, so yes, the non-prosecution of Coloradans and Washingtonians under federal anti-marijuana drug titles is also an egregious case of corrupt selective federal judicial prosecution.

Still, this brings us finally to where everything ultimately really does get decided in politics: civil obedience or disobedience to whatever domination is proposed, and the ultimate recognition that the fault that we are underlings lies ultimately with ourselves. Not with the bogeyman we might make of the amateur community organizer Obama, or the purring Harry Reid, or the supercilious Pelosi, or the vague shadow army of the lefties, or the main stream media, or anyone else behind Obamacare. With ourselves, for passively submitting to it. If you want your obeisance, you can keep your obeisance. Period.

Legislative potheads in Colorado and Washington just rolled back a century of obedience to federal anti-marijuana laws. At this point in the absurd tragicomedy still unfolding across health insurance, how hard would it really be for state legislatures truly concerned for their citizens' health insurance to do exactly the same thing with Obamacare?

Pre-apology Propaganda

Guess who came up with some of the most damning material on Obama's "If you like your plan" lie? The White House!

I have a computer, not a "lot of free time." But I have common sense. Plus an insurance plan that doubled in price. Raising your costs because of onerous regulations isn't being a bad apple. It's called "staying in business".

Obama's weak apology is far too wordy, just like every time he talks. He should have just said, "I misspoke. What I meant to say was if *I* like your plan, then you get to keep your plan."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

President Pinocchio

I really don't have to say anything more, do I?

Mark Steyn: "In entirely non-ideological, technocratic, utilitarian terms, Obamacare is a bust."

With regard to outreach, Steyn continues his tradition of apocalyptic stand-up and gets the messaging pitch-perfect for the majority of Americans. "Obamacare don't work, Ma."

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been opposed to government health care because, as I’ve said in at least two books, it fundamentally redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state into one closer to that of junkie and pusher. But that’s a philosophical position. Others prefer constitutional arguments: The federal government does not have the authority to do what it’s doing. Dear old John Roberts, chief justice of the United States, twisted himself into a pretzel to argue that, in fact, the government does. But he might as well have saved himself the trouble and just used Nancy Pelosi’s line: Asked by a journalist where in the Constitution it granted the feds the power to do this, she gave him the full Leslie Nielsen and said, “You’re not serious?” She has the measure of her people. Most Americans couldn’t care less about philosophical arguments or constitutional fine print: For them, all Obamacare has to do is work. That is why the last month has been so damaging to Big Government’s brand: In entirely non-ideological, technocratic, utilitarian terms, Obamacare is a bust.

The emphasis is mine, not because I don't find the philosophical, economic, moral, ethical and constitutional arguments compelling, but because that is where we are now. There is enough to blast about Obamacare now that you don't have to bring up what Reagan thought about government-controlled healthcare systems, nor what chapter of Socialism Ludwig von Mises would have added Obamacare to, nor what Sarah Palin wrote on Facebook about Death Panels. Improving Obamacare with a laughably-named "tech surge" is a worthless exercise in turd-polishing. There is no way they can get to 46,000 signups a day by March, unless maybe they get Michelle Obama's imaginary Facebook friends on welfare and SSA simultaneously and sign them all up.

Steyn ends with the line "Obamacare is not a left–right issue; it’s a fraud issue." I agree. Conservative I-told-you-sos are worthless at this juncture.

Conservative inreach and conservative outreach

Given the popular response which has greeted my last two posts on Charles Krauthammer but more broadly on conservative voices in general, I'm going to wrap up this effort by offering two basic categories within which conservative principles get promulgated, catechismal inreach to the faithful and missionary or diplomatic outreach to the faithless yet to be converted.

Obviously, if your conservative sway in the world is already powerful enough to secure your practical, real life conservative interests, all you need are the voices of the former category to keep everyone true to the principled mission. If not, if what you find yourself actually living in is a practical world of principled hope over practical conservative experience, you pretty obviously need recruits and converts from the not-yet-conservative outside to make that practically effective conservative majority a reality.

At the top of the list of conservative voices of conservative inreach I myself would have to put Rush Limbaugh, with a radio audience consistently faithful enough to date to have enabled him to produce for his efforts an impressive $370MM net worth.

From my previous posts I think it's reasonably obvious that I put Charles Krauthammer in the latter category of those conservatives more effective in swaying those not yet firmly within the conservative fold, if at the same time not considered to exhibit the same fidelity to conservative principles as a Rush Limbaugh. I would put George Will firmly in this second category as well.

But in the real world these categories don't break into a brightly separate either/or: conservative voices will more or less rally the faithful internally while more or less swaying the faithless externally, the latter often dependent on to what extent they are first able to even reach them.

At this point I'll turn the post over to commenters to list and discuss if they want to which conservatives fall where along my spectrum from mostly conservative inreach to mostly conservative outreach, and which, if any, do the best job of bridging both categories, and why.

Monday, November 4, 2013

This is all Margaret Thatcher's doing

Here's the most amazing thing I read today.

The trials and tribulations of Morrissey continue: according to a statement posted on fan site True to You, Moz has been “discharged from Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles following treatment for concussion, whiplash, and an arm injury.” It’s unclear how he sustained the injury — maybe he fell out of his chair after finding chicken in his alfredo at Olive Garden? — but the statement adds that he “would like to thank the medical staff at Cedars-Sinai for their ‘outstanding level of care and attention.’”

The laureate of English literature was previously sidelined this year for severe food poisoning (from tomatoes and pasta), which resulted in the postponement of his South American tour. Before that, he scrapped most of his North American leg due to a series of medical mishaps, including a bleeding ulcer, Barrett’s esophagus, and double pneumonia.

Poor guy. Didn't know about True to You. Gee, haven't heard the word Zine in awhile. I got to the article from a FB friend's link to this goof piece about the 90's. C'mon, face it—nostalgia sucks, period

Why "Obamacare"?

Why should conservatives, that is, conservatives who want to elect Republicans, continue to deliberately short-change their political prospects by thoughtlessly continuing to call the ACA "Obamacare"?

Consistent with his role as a nobody who really hasn't done much of anything else as President for the last 5 years except live large and play golf, apart from pitching the lies about keeping your insurance Obama really had very little to do personally with creating the ACA monster either. So who did?

The Democrats did. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, all the Democrats who voted for it, and those industry insiders who wrote it and who will make out like bandits from the Democrats' legislated funding of their interests did. The Democrats as a group created the ACA all by themselves. Unlike almost all other legislation, the ACA is a purely partisan achievement of the Democrats alone, all by themselves.

So why not weld the blame permanently in place where it belongs and call it Democratcare? Not catchy enough? Because Obama is the transient Democrat president and we owe it to both the Democrats and the news media that puts Obama in the news every day to honor their temporary titular chief by continuing to call it "Obamacare"?

In 3 years Obama the cipher will be gone, but like a massive toxic chemical spill the Democrat ACA, even its ineradicable remnants (just try to reinstate underwriting for pre-existing conditions now), will be poisoning health care markets and business in general for decades to come.

So why allow the very culprits who wrought this thing to ever escape its legacy? A Democrat can distance himself from Obama. He can't ever distance himself from a disaster that carries his very own political party name, though.

"I'm a Democrat. You may have heard of me. There's a rotting albatross stinking up your lives named after me. It's called Democratcare. Should I count on your vote?"

Democratcare. It's the gift from the Democrats to generations to come, and as a political party as a whole the Democrats should be given eternal, unrelenting credit for their gift - by name.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

In a world where Charles Krauthammer's not conservative enough...

Yeah, you should probably read that subject line in the voice of Don LaFontaine.

While the original post that this one's spinning off of was originally intended only to contrast a true conservative writer with a pretentious scrunchy con clown, it turns out, news to me, that Bubba and Kathleen and so probably others - Bubba linked Andrew McCarthy - don't think Charles Krauhammer is conservative enough, or is the wrong kind of conservative, or in some major wholesale way doesn't serve the conservative cause well or even at all.

Let me right now distinguish the wholesale standard or non-standard I just described from just disagreeing with Krauthammer periodically on different points or statements he may make. For example, I strongly disagree with his sympathies toward amnesty, but I think he probably settles there in what is probably just academic naivete simply because he doesn't know enough working class black and white and legal Hispanic people displaced from potential jobs in construction or hospitality by the illegal aliens which took those jobs and depressed the wages they used to pay. If that's the only sort of dispute any of the people named above have with him - just occasional disagreements on points - say so now and consider that my retraction of what I claimed above.

However, anyone, McCarthy included, who is taking a disagreement on particular isolated points or statements and extrapolating them to generally define Krauthammer's conservatism as a whole, if that's what it turns out they're doing, is leaving rationality behind in pursuit of a more subjective, purely personal disregard for him.

Speaking of which, it could also be that someone just straightforwardly dislikes Krauthammer personally - that haughty little nose, for example - for reasons ultimately having nothing to do with his writings. I'm the same way, just not with Krauthammer. In that case, they might agree perfectly well with many of the things Krauthammer actually writes but find he somehow puts a stink on them they just can't abide.

There is also the possibility that Krauthammer is being measured in some quasi-religious way against some sort of idealized potential conservative savior who will not only perfectly embody all conservative principles but will also unilaterally bestow some sort of conservative salvation on everyone else as a matter of grace without them having to do very much themselves. If that sort of perception is out there, I'm sorry, but, unlike Christianity, I just don't think politics, any politics, has ever worked that way or ever will. If someone is waiting for someone to act conservatively on their behalf, the person they're really waiting for is probably themselves. Unlike in Christianity, in politics there are no saviors, and there is nothing and no one involved in politics which is not to some degree incomplete, broken, impure, or dirty.

Which brings me back to my original point. In a world where Charles Krauthammer with his canon of writing as a conservative is not considered conservative enough - what sort of world, exactly, do those who feel that way imagine they're really living in? What are their realistic expectations for the present and the future, of conservatism, and particularly for conservatism to actually shape the world they and their children inhabit in ways it's not doing now?

Let me point out that, if they're in fact not doing anything less than repudiating Krauthammer in that wholesale way I first described above, then what they're effectively doing is repudiating everything that's only Krauthammer-type-and-degree conservative and below and accepting only that more complete, more fully realized, more pure, more intense, or more whatever conservatism cream that is somehow better or richer or more intensely pure than the mere Krauthammer-type-and-degree conservatism they reject.

If so, given what I and a number of others find as Krauthammer's sufficient conservatism, I can see only two alternatives.

First, if their view is conservatively incorrect, their view of the world may be, to use a term from Krauthammer's psychiatry, "cognitively dissonant": their view of how they want the world to be is so realistically out of joint with the way the world will necessarily be that it will never serve them well.

Second, if their view is in fact the only true conservatively correct one, they may find that they're in fact able to practice it themselves in some ways in the world, but just not in any way that has any noticeable effects on the world beyond them and those particular co-conservatives who share that same rarefied vision with them. In other words, they might be confining themselves to permanemtly limited and circumscribed, impotent academic cult status. Conservative, perhaps, but permanemtly limited and circumscribed, impotent academic conservative cult status nevertheless.

Finally, here's Krauthammer's most recent column, Obamacare Laid Bare and his take on the

three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism and (c) subterfuge.

Read it - or not - and decide for yourself.

Charles Krauthammer seems conservative enough for me.