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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rick Boucher, Conservative?

In a frustratingly vague article in today's Floyd Press (see "Boucher answers questions about health care") we are treated to a broad range of views held by Congressman Rick Boucher on an array of subjects, all of which sound - disturbingly - conservative.

But you decide:
Health care dominated much of the discussion Saturday morning when Congressman Rick Boucher held a town meeting at Floyd County High School.

He said 47 million people in the United States have no health insurance. The Congressman said the cost of care for the uninsured gets passed on to everyone else and that affects private health insurance rates. He told the group Saturday that you don’t fix what is not broken. “The good part of health care now is the delivery system….Our quality of care is the best in the world. What is broken is the access to this system.” Boucher said he does not favor something the government is running in regard to health care. He does favor everyone affording health care with the government’s help. “I think it’s the simplest way…and more economical than what we’re doing today.

[snip]

“Lobbyists are not going to dominate this debate by any means,” Boucher replied. In coming up with a plan, Boucher emphasized again that legislators have to be careful in approaching the issue. He said most people who have insurance are satisfied with what insurance they have. “If we have a purely public plan, you begin to put caps on charges….I’m going to be very cautious about putting a purely public plan in place.” [my emphasis]
Does that mean that he supports John McCain's proposal that essentially provides tax credits to assist those who need to purchase health care coverage? And will he oppose Obama's public insurance policy plan?

I don't think I'd be holding my breath.

So what does it mean?

God knows.

We move on:
One local man, who said that his parents and grandparents were legal immigrants, commented on the problem of illegal immigrants and remarked that illegal immigrants were contributing to the overloading of the health care system. Boucher agreed that illegal immigration is a major problem in the U.S., but he said he doesn’t think the health system is being overburdened by illegal immigrants since the federal government and most states do not support health care for illegal immigrants. Boucher said there is a problem in the way the law is structured now in regard to a child being born to parents of illegal immigrants in this country. He said he supports a change in legislation. [my emphasis]
Does this mean that Boucher supports a Constitutional amendment that voids the "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside" section of the 14th Amendment?

I wouldn't hold my breath. But it is a nice conservative position.

We move on:
He pointed out there is already a law against employing illegal immigrants, and he would like to see an electronic identification system to verify identities. Also, he commented, “We’re building a fence along the Mexican border….On top of that we need a virtual fence (for information)…and cooperation from Mexico.” Boucher also commented he did not favor amnesty for illegal immigrants. [my emphasis]
Hello? Is this the same Rick Boucher we've all come to know? Have aliens taken him over? These are - dare I say it - very conservative views. And darn good ones to hold.

But where was this guy when Bush's amnesty debate raged a year or two ago?

Then there's the Rick Boucher we've come to know and love:
Another citizen also remarked on the proposed rate hike by Appalachian Power. “People are struggling to pay their bills, and Appalachian is putting another 13 percent (on the bills).” Boucher said he is also opposed to the rate hike and has written a letter to the State Corporation Commission, but ...
This is the same Rick Boucher who has inserted into pending legislation a provision that raises taxes on utilities, the revenue from which goes to funding "clean coal" research. A tax that will most assuredly be passed on to you.

Yet he's opposed to Appalachian's rate increase? Really?

And finally, the head-scratcher of the century:
Boucher said the time has come to balance the budget. He added the first order of business when Congress convened was to pass the Economic Stimulus Package.
We need to get the national debt under control and he supported legislation that explodes the national debt.

What?

Anyway, Rick Boucher is now a conservative. Go figure.

So Where Is This Health Care Scheme Taking Us?

I think Fred Hiatt (of all people), writing in the Washington Post, gets it right:
[C]ongressional Democrats and the most involved interest groups behind them are far more passionate about universal coverage than about controlling costs. Thus Obama's political calculation: Push for health-care reform that delivers universal coverage -- and insist on as many levers to control costs going forward as possible. He would reduce the deficit risk by insisting that the reform is "paid for," in higher taxes or reduced spending, over the next 10 years.

You may believe that universal coverage is such a moral imperative that Obama's calculation is more than reasonable. But, given a national debt already growing out of control and the risks that health-care costs won't be controlled, you may worry about taking on a large new burden ($1.6 trillion over 10 years, perhaps). [link]
In other words: Make it happen and let a future president deal with paying for it.

Sounds so Democratic, doesn't it?

But will he get away with it? What, pray tell, do the Chinese think of such immaturity these days?

Stay tuned.

The Plot Thickens

Hopefully you've been following the story of the federal inspector general who was canned (perhaps illegally) by the Obama administration for the I.G. having gone after a friend of the president for malfeasance and/or incompetence.

Well, details of the story slowly emerge (but not, curiously, from the New York Times or Washington Post, which were both so deliberate in such matters just a few short months ago ...):
Walpin-gate opens wider
Washington Times editorial

Now here is where the story gets really interesting. On the very same day that the president fired Mr. Walpin, St. Hope's executive director, Rick Maya, left his job at St. Hope. He did not go quietly. His resignation letter charged Mr. Johnson and several St. Hope board members with numerous ethical violations. Most explosively, he charged that a board member improperly deleted e-mails of Mr. Johnson's that already were under a federal subpoena.

Suddenly, the problems at St. Hope begin to look as severe as Mr. Walpin had charged rather than being minor infractions.

On Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee reported that Mr. Maya's allegations have been deemed serious enough that the FBI is investigating potential obstruction of justice at St. Hope. In that light, the firing of Mr. Walpin, who properly blew the whistle on mismanagement and possible corruption, looks ill-considered. [link]

Read the whole thing.

Some view Obama's heavy-handedness in this matter as being nothing more than an extension of Chicago-style politics.

I view it as being Nixonian on its worst day.

Will we ever get to the bottom of this?

Probably not. Obama, his Congress, and his press hold all the cards.

But it smells, man.

A More Damning Appraisal Can't Be Made

Maybe we need to give this nomination more careful consideration:

Sotomayor worse than Souter

If that's the case, she needs to be sent back to the nether regions from which she crawled.

Quote of the Day

From Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D., Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville:
Finally, as a side note, it is interesting that the modern belief that our carbon emissions have caused the climate system to rebel are not that different from ancient civilizations that made sacrifices to the gods of nature in their attempts to get nature to cooperate. Technology might have changed over time, but it seems human nature has remained the same.
Throughout the history of humankind fear of the unknown has always brought such responses from the weak of spirit.

From the Aztecs (see depiction to the right) to Al Gore, this fear drives men to irrational acts.

Florentine Codex courtesy of LatinAmericanStudies.org.

The Protesters May Be On To Something

This does not build confidence:
Iran Admits Discrepancies in 3 Million Votes
By Nazila Fathi and Michael Slackman, New York Times

Tehran — Locked in a bitter contest with Iranians who say the presidential elections were rigged, the authorities have acknowledged that the number of votes cast in 50 cities exceeded the actual number of voters, state television reported Monday following assertions by the country’s supreme leader that the ballot was fair.

But the authorities insisted that discrepancies, which could affect three million votes, did not violate Iranian law and the country’s influential Guardian Council said it was not clear whether they would decisively change the election result. [link]
What does that say about Iranian "law" and this Guardian Council?

This is laughable. If it weren't so tragic.

Well, This Can't Be Good

Obama is a miracle man! This only took him 150 days!
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Rasmussen Reports

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 32% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -2. That’s the President’s lowest rating to date and the first time the Presidential Approval Index has fallen below zero for Obama. [link]I'm no expert but it seems the trend is not favorable to Kid Wonderful.
Chart courtesy of Rasmussen Reports.

Oh, Poo

It got him elected. Leave him alone:

White House Changes the Terms of a Campaign Pledge About Posting Bills Online

We all knew he didn't mean it anyway.

Right?

Useful Idiot

How many times were these people warned that Obama (along with McCain) had no intention of following up on all the promises he was making during the campaign? How many?

This site alone shouted a warning a dozen times.

But the numbskulls voted for him anyway. Because he was going to _fill in the blank_.

So I have no sympathy for this now:
If any more Obamabots respond to objections to this kind of sell-out by asserting “Hillary would have done worse” in my presence I am going to pinch them, hard. Obama won my support by making claims he is not living up to in a number of contexts, and he deserves to be called on it.
Yeah, he deserved to be called on it. Back in October. But it's too late now, babe. You were deliriously happy. And blissfully ignorant. And he was elected.

That was then. Now you bitch.

Just take it somewhere else, sweetheart. I have no patience for it.