Disagreement no longer proper – where have we seen that before?

Excellent WSJ article on (a) increasing corporate analyses of the effects of “ObamaCare” on companies (and ultimately YOUR pocketbook), and (b) Congressional anger at corporate America reporting those effects, as required by SEC regulations.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, “In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them.” In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said “for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible.”

Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment “appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”

In other words, shoot the messenger. Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don’t like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet. (emphasis added)

via The ObamaCare Writedowns – WSJ.com. (Accessed 3/28/2010)

Where have we seen suppression of dissent before?

I do not like it, Uncle Sam

I do not like it Uncle Sam, I do not like it Sam I am. I do not like these dirty crooks, neither how they cook the books. I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their secret deals. I do not like this Speaker Nan, I do not like this “YES WE CAN!” I do not like this kind of hope, I do not like it, nope, nope, ……NOPE!

via Facebook.

Shamelessly lifted from Marc Bittner’s FB posting who lifted it from someone else, who lifted it from … and so on.  But it’s too good not to preserve.

This says it all about the so-called healthcare “reform” bill

The Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine combined the radicalism of Alinsky, the corruption of Springfield and the machine power politics of Chicago.

Sunday was a pressured, bought, intimidated vote worthy of Hugo Chavez but unworthy of the United States of America.

It is hard to imagine how much pressure they brought to bear on congressman Stupak to get him to accept a cynical, phony clearly illegal and unconstitutional executive order on abortion. The ruthlessness and inhumanity of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine was most clearly on display in their public humiliation of Stupak.

The real principles of the machine were articulated by Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings who was impeached and removed from the bench as a federal judge, before being elected to the House when he said “”There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something. . . .All this talk about rules. . . .When the deal goes down . . . we make ’em up as we go along.”

via This Will Not Stand: Newt on the passage of Obamacare.

The comment of (impeached and removed) judge Hastings is the most despicable example of what happened, and why.

The lie of an executive order banning federal funding of abortions

OK, pay attention now. This is not a pro-life/pro-choice argument.  Both sides of that issue should be concerned about this issue.  What is the issue?  We’ve just seen Rep. Bart Stupak decide to vote “yes” on health care and he is relying on a letter from Pres. Obama that the Pres. will issue an executive order that federal funding of abortions will not be included in this legislation.

It’s a lie for him to say he’s relying on that and the mere issuance of such an executive order is a lie, or at best a false promise having no effect whatsoever and, in fact, federal funding of abortions is a required part of the law of the land.

Here’s why. The landmark case of Roe v. Wade decriminalized abortions and Medicaid came to cover all abortion services. Eventually, an amendment to the medicaid bill known as the “Hyde amendment” restricted funding and yet later further modifications kept some restrictions which still limit federal funding of abortions in some, but not all, circumstances.

The end result is, we presently have in the law the requirement of federal funding of abortions under some circumstances. And an Executive Order cannot alter that result. ONLY if the current health care bill explicitly banned federal funding of abortion could the present law be altered. The President’s swift pen can’t do it.

Thus, regardless of your position on abortion in general, or on federal funding of abortions, you have to be concerned about the red herring be tossed out giving a false sense of how things will work in this regard. It’s just part of the ongoing problem of the process. The games continue.

In the “still” mountain air

There’s a place in Arkansas that was created in 1921  as a family refuge/enclave. It was just after the war and they — being my grandfather and his 10 siblings — were concerned about the future and thus wanted a place to which the family could always retreat.  A reunion began in 1923 and except for one year, continues each July 4th. It’s a celebration not only of our great country but also to the remarkable insight of our ancestors.

I’m there now as I write this and I could swear I feel those 10 folks around me, in addition to my grandfather and grandmother who are always with me.  Stories were handed down through the generations and one of them prompted an adventure one day long ago.

At the age of 14 I was up here and several of us cousins had heard there was a whiskey still up the mountain, an old abandoned one. So up the logging road we went, then up the hillside on a game path to a saddle between two mountain tops to sort of a plateau. We were in fairly heavy woods when suddenly we were about to break out of the trees … and there it was. The still. Only problem was, it was not abandoned.

Not only was it not abandoned, it was operating, cooking, and occupied! Frozen in our tracks for a moment, we then stealthily crept back into the cover of the forest growth and at the first opportunity turned and ran. Boy did we run! All the way back to the Valley, never looking back and never speaking of it to the adults. I’ve since tried to find the remnants of that but have not been able to do so. That was way before the movie Deliverance but the concept was already firmly in our minds.

It’s the journey, not the destination stupid!

That line is taken from, among other sources I’m sure, the back of a favorite BMW motorcycle sweatshirt. As an aside, my VERY favorite shirt reads “I didn’t know BMW made cars until I passed one.”  But I digress.

The journey is important in many endeavors. No matter how worthy the destination, how you get there matters. It’s true in love, war, economics, motorcycle touring and, also, in passing major legislation.

Assume for arguments sake (I know, but try) that health care reform is needed and further that the already passed Senate bill is a good one (I know, just hang with me …). Even if that were true, the way “they” are getting there is awful. In fact it’s horrible. A total bastardization of the legislative system is taking place and it threatens to trample on the Constitution from several directions. See, e.g., my earlier piece Healthcare bill: Reform the reformation by amending the Senate bill the House didn’t pass. Huh?

Regardless of whether the House passes a bill (or a “Rule”) this weekend, or not, the world and history will long remember what was done.  Woe unto “us” the perversion by “them” of procedures that have served this nation well, the literal bribing of a representative with his brother’s judgeship (which especially piques me), and a mere ride on Air Force One to bribe (or browbeat) another:

* * *

Maybe that’s why President Obama decided to do more than call Dennis Kucinich to change his mind on health care. He invited him aboard Air Force One to chat about it. Maybe it was an abduction. Whatever it was Congressman Kucinich left Air Force One a different man than when he boarded.

via What Changed Dennis Kucinich’s Mind? – Glenn Beck – FOXNews.com.  (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,589590,00.html accessed 3/17/2010).

Process matters. Process is the journey. Don’t forget it.

Where Your Representative Stands on Health Care bill — contact somebody

The most important legislation I can imagine hangs in the balance. I won’t lobby here for up or down, but here are links to tell you whom you need to contact. You can email your own Congressman but will have to phone others, and I do think even out of district calls make a difference. At the top of this page is a drop-down box from which to find any Rep. That takes you to their page and you’ll find phone numbers and email links (on some).

For the latest breakdown of where your Congressional representative stands on Obama Care (click on link below)

For a detailed survey/tracking of House Democrats’ positions on health care reform legislation (click on link below)

Via Where Your Representative Stands on Obama Care – The Sean Hannity Show.  (http://www.hannity.com/pages/where-your-representative-stands-on-obama-care accessed 3/16/2010)

Healthcare bill: Reform the reformation by amending the Senate bill the House didn’t pass. Huh?

Reality, once again, is stranger than fiction. There is apparently a plan in the House of Representatives to “sort of” adopt the Senate healthcare bill and, after it is signed into law, rely on the Senate to amend it to suit the House.  The discussion is for the House to adopt a Rule of some sort. An amendment to the Rule will provide that, upon adoption of the Rule, the Senate healthcare bill will be “deemed” to have been adopted. Plausible deniability then exists for House members to say “I didn’t vote for the Senate version of the healthcare bill.” The House then becomes dependent on the Senate to draft, and pass, amendments to take out all the pieces that are objectionable to a majority of the House … like tax-paid abortions.

So healthcare reform is to itself be reformed by amending a known bad law (in the eyes of the House) after the House didn’t really pass it.

Cute, but unconstitutional. The Constitution provides that laws shall have been passed by both houses of Congress … passed mind you … and signed by the President.  I can just hear Judge Andrew Napolitano now!   Here’s a link to the maneuver. Yes, it’s a Republican site but my point here is not a partisan one, except that I’m kinda partisan about the Constitution. Some really smart people drew it up a few years ago.

The Slaughter Solution comes in three flavors: in the first, the rule simply self-enacts the Senate bill and sends it along to the President for his signature; the second deems the Senate healthcare bill adopted only upon House passage of the reconciliation package; and the third, most egregious option, conditions adoption of the Senate healthcare package on the Senate passage of the reconciliation sidecar. Only then would the Senate-passed healthcare bill be approved by the House. In all three of these scenarios, the Senate-passed healthcare bill wouldn’t be given an up or down vote on its own.

via Committee on Rules – Republicans.

First healthcare, now regulate food the same way …

We’ve gone about the task of identifying those of our fellow citizens in true need and assisting them with food, in entirely the wrong way. First, we identified those in need. Then, leaving the rest of the populace alone, we assisted with food stamps and other targeted public assistance. Good deal … the right thing to do. But it was done poorly.

Let’s fix it. Everyone (read: you and me included) please prepare to check in to get your food. We can no longer regulate assisting just those in true need but must prescribe food for all. There may or may not be a public option. Of course, there will have to be an entirely new bureaucracy created of food police, uh, I mean regulators.

I’m sorry if those of you liking what you eat, and when and how, don’t like this plan but it’s truly best for you. Don’t worry about the details, those will be worked out later by a beneficent Congress. I’m sure you can reconcile that notion. Oh yes, one other detail, you need to get another job to pay more taxes to pay for this grand idea … now … but the food won’t actually start being distributed for another six years.  Fear not, for this plan is brought to you by those who made such a success out of medicare, medicaid, Amtrak, and social security, as well as the creation of Government Motors and the use of your tax dollars to pay incentives for trading in Toyotas.