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

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You Can Only Take So Much

Lies. Distortions. Malicious accusations. Sewer sleeze. Had I been in the room, "You lie!" would have been the least of it.

The Republicans in attendance at last night's joint session of Congress should be commended for their restraint. The story:
The Republican Response, Arriving a Little Early
By Dana Milbank, Washington Post

As President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, the nation's rapidly deteriorating discourse hit yet another low.

It happened at 8:40 pm, just after the president vowed to lawmakers that his health-care reform proposals would not provide benefits to illegal immigrants. As millions of Americans watched from home, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted at the president from his fifth-row seat: "You lie!"

Wilson was only the most flagrant. There was booing from House Republicans when the president caricatured a conservative argument by saying they would "leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own." They hissed when he protested their "scare tactics." They grumbled as they do in Britain's House of Commons when Obama spoke of the "blizzard of charges and countercharges."

When he asserted that "nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have," there was scoffing and outright laughter on the GOP side. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) shook his head in disbelief. Several Republicans shouted "What plan?" and Rep. Louis Gohmert (Tex.) waved at Obama a handwritten poster he made on a letter-size piece of paper: "WHAT PLAN?" Gohmert then took that down and replaced it with another handmade poster that said "WHAT BILL?"

while the majority of both parties' lawmakers behaved as adults, the insolence by House Republicans stole the show. There was derisive laughter on that side of the chamber when Obama noted that "there remain some significant details to be ironed out." They applauded as he spoke of "all the misinformation that's been spread over the past few months." They laughed again when he said that "many Americans have grown nervous about reform."

When Obama addressed the charge that he plans "panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens," someone on the GOP side shouted out "shame!" The president went on: "Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical." "Read the bill!" someone shouted back. Obama mentioned those who accuse him of a government takeover of health care. "It's true," someone shouted back. [link]
Democrats and members of the mainstream press this morning sit aghast at the breakdown in decorum. Washington doesn't act this way, you see.

But the Democrats and the press haven't ventured out into the real world much lately. When they have, they've heard far worse than that which they were subjected to last night. Had they been paying attention at the town hall meetings that had taken place in recent months, they'd have come to the realization that most of America doesn't just consider Obama to be a liar; they consider all Democrats and everyone in the mainstream press to be liars as well.

And they want someone's ass should ObamaCare become law.

"You lie!" is tame compared to the pitchforks, torches, tar, feathers, and rough-cut rails that are heading their way.

America is in a surly mood. Defy us and watch Washington burn.

- - -

Here's to Joe Wilson. If the people of South Carolina decide to turn him out, we'll take him here in Southwest Virginia. A Congressional representative with backbone would be a welcome change.

Headline Of The Day

Fearmonger-in-chief: Pass my crappy bill or people will die

In second place:

A dandy speech - if truth doesn't matter

Why Am I Skeptical?

Maybe because Obama, when asked, doesn't know the specifics contained in the health care bills working their way through Congress? (See "Morning Bell: Obama Admits He’s “Not Familiar” With House Bill")

Despite that, he sure knows how to promise the American people what is in it. More reason to be skeptical, if you ask me.

And I'm not alone in feeling uneasy about the sales pitch. Jim Geraghty:

A Long and Contradictory Laundry List of Promises

Tonight, we saw a surprising amount of "shouting" delivery, and a lot of promises. A lot. A big reason the public skeptical is that they doubt any plan passed by Congress will meet the litany of pledges Obama offered this evening.

We're expected to believe a Democrat-controlled Congress, with deep divisions in its ranks, will put together a bill that will keep everything the same for those who have health insurance through their jobs, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA; mandate coverage of pre-existing conditions; ban caps on coverage; mandate coverage of routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies; offer health insurance to 30 million uninsured; provide tax credits for small businesses; painlessly mandate coverage for the young healthy uninsured; provide hardship waivers; provide choice and competition; keep insurance companies honest; avoid taxpayer subsidies for public option plans; keep out illegal immigrants; not pay for abortions; and not deny care to the elderly because of cost-benefit analyses, all while not adding one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future.

All that and we save money too. A snake oil salesman could learn from this guy.

A Nightmare Scenario

Well, actually it's not a nightmare at all. It's California.

Then again, maybe California is a nightmare.

George Will:
Having institutionalized envy in a steeply progressive income tax, California depends on 200,000 wealthy taxpayers for 25 percent of its revenue. The state ranks behind only liberal New York in the number of outward-bound moving vans. More people would flee if they could sell their homes. Between 1990 and 2007, the state lost 26 percent of its factory jobs and 35 percent of its high-tech manufacturing jobs. "Detroit, only with sunshine," says Investor's Business Daily.
And what has brought this about?

Obama soul mates run things:
Some county and state public safety employees retire at 50 receiving at least 90 percent of their final year's pay, forever. Taxpayers pour more than $3 billion a year into state employee pension funds, 10 times more than they did 10 years ago, and still there are large unfunded liabilities for which taxpayers are liable. More than 5,000 retired state employees' annual pensions exceed $100,000. If public employees did not begin drawing pensions until age 65, California would save half a trillion dollars through 2030.

Between 1997 and 2007, the state workforce, including public school employees, grew 24 percent, to almost 900,000. Government spending has grown 40 percent faster under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger than under his Democratic predecessor. Since 2005, state spending has increased twice as fast as inflation and population. Democrats blocked allowing parents to enroll their children online in state health programs because it might have endangered unionized clerical jobs. As the state prepares to release tens of thousands of felons from prison to comply with a court order and help balance the budget (in 2002, prison guards received a 37 percent raise), it has 19,000 illegal immigrants incarcerated.

Resulting in ...

California has the lowest debt rating of any state, the fourth-highest unemployment rate (11.9 percent) and its job growth rate since 2000 is almost 20 percent below the national average.

With a little effort on Obama's part, this could soon be the United States of America.

May God have mercy on all of us.

A Wake-Up Call

Alas, I expect the elitists in the Democratic Party and the press to hit the snooze button.

But if they knew what was good for them, they would consider this a potential epitaph.

Camille Paglia:
Why did it take so long for Democrats to realize that this year's tea party and town hall uprisings were a genuine barometer of widespread public discontent and not simply a staged scenario by kooks and conspirators? First of all, too many political analysts still think that network and cable TV chat shows are the central forums of national debate. But the truly transformative political energy is coming from talk radio and the Web -- both of which Democrat-sponsored proposals have threatened to stifle, in defiance of freedom of speech guarantees in the Bill of Rights. I rarely watch TV anymore except for cooking shows, history and science documentaries, old movies and football. Hence I was blissfully free from the retching overkill that followed the deaths of Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy -- I never saw a single minute of any of it. It was on talk radio, which I have resumed monitoring around the clock because of the healthcare fiasco, that I heard the passionate voices of callers coming directly from the town hall meetings. Hence I was alerted to the depth and intensity of national sentiment long before others who were simply watching staged, manipulated TV shows.

Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.
I'm not sure how it's relevant but I too refused to watch even one minute of the Jackson and Kennedy Death Fests. Seeing the press (in the case of Michael Jackson) and the Washington establishment (Saint Ted) having a multi-day climax over these seriously flawed mortals just struck me as being way over the top. I wonder how many Democrats in Washington today think the Kennedy funeral ceremony ceremonies had a major, lasting impact on the body politic here in America? My guess is most.

But most of us bid him farewell and moved on before his body assumed room temperature. We didn't get caught up in the hero worship. Yet they think we did.

A disconnect if there ever was one. Or, as Paglia puts it: An arrogant detachment if there ever was one.

When do you suppose they'll finally wake up and realize it was only a dream?

Two Tragic Stories In One Headline

Wounded troops recover as US war coverage wanes

Someone Tell Him To Stop Digging

Barack Obama to the opposition last night:

"I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out. And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now." [source]

The Opposition to Barack Obama:
Obama disapproval on health care up to 52 percent
By the Associated Press

Washington — An Associated Press-GfK poll says that public disapproval of President Barack Obama's handling of health care has jumped to 52 percent.

The same survey shows that 49 percent now disapprove of his overall performance as president. In July, just 42 percent disapproved of how he was handling his job.

The grade people give Obama on health care has also worsened since July, when just 43 percent disapproved of his work on the issue. [link]

Obama had the chance to salvage something from this debacle. Instead he chose to dig in and keep beating his dead horse that Americans now call ObamaCare.

It's painful to watch. This poor creature wandering aimlessly into the desert, wondering all the while why the rest of us decided not to follow.

A Van Jones Postmortem

From Victor Davis Hanson:
We can attribute his “Republicans are a—holes” remark to lecture theatrics. I don’t care whether he fashionably claims he was some sort of radicalized communist, or even worry much about all the other silly, melodramatic self-characterizations of his own would-be importance. But the racist slurs about white polluters of the ghetto, the white mass murderers in the schools, and George Bush the petroleum crack-head were the sort of things that usually get one fired or demoted (cf. Trent Lott’s remark).
Yeah. Though I'm not a Republican, I found no real offense in this moron calling members of the GOP assholes. In truth, all leftist radicals, in their endearingly lofty, condescending way, think Republicans are assholes. That's just par for the course.

But name me the last person to hold a high position in the White House who expressed views on race as expressed by this guy. There has certainly been no one in my lifetime. Woodrow Wilson's day maybe, when racism was accepted practice?

In any case, shame on him. And on those in the Obama administration who thought promoting this asshole was a good idea.

* I'm also less willing to dismiss the fact that Mr. Jones was a self-proclaimed communist working in the White House. How in God's name did that happen?

Gutter Journalism

Michael Barone bitchslaps the Washington Post for its "flagrant electioneering" efforts to destroy Bob McDonnell's gubernatorial chances. The Post. Didn't it have something to do with journalism a long time ago? Before it became a Democratic Party organ?
The Post's campaign to 'Macaca' McDonnell takes a new tack
By Michael Barone, Senior Political Analyst

The Washington Post Metro page, sputtering in its attempts to “Macaca” Bob McDonnell on the basis of his 1989 Regent University thesis, has shown the “considerable ingenuity” I predicted last week in getting issues related to the McDonnell thesis on the paper’s front page.
Today’s front page story by Amy Gardner and its placement by Post editors on the front page is one of the most flagrant examples of electioneering by a paper’s news pages that I have ever seen. “Scrutiny Spreads to ’03 McDonnell Remarks,” the headline proclaims. The subhead reads, “’Homosexual Conduct’ Comments ‘Irrelevant’ to Campaign, He Says.” The obvious message to readers: this candidate thinks it’s all right to penalize people, in some unspecified way, for homosexual conduct.

The blatant purpose of this story is to suggest that McDonnell thinks that homosexuals should not serve as judges. But the fact is that he doesn’t think that. [link]
Read the whole thing. The calculated effort on the part of the Post and its "reporter" to distort a story (from long ago) is eye-opening.

And they wonder why newspapers are folding around the country.


Glenn Reynolds on Byron York on Barack Obama on ObamaCare:
BYRON YORK: Obama: I used to say 47 million uninsured. Now, it’s 30 million. “The interesting question is why Obama has chosen to downgrade the number from 47 million to 30 million. Look for Democrats to begin using the new figure in making the case for Obamacare.” If we keep going at this rate, we’ll have eliminated the uninsured entirely by sometime next spring. . . .
Isn't that an argument the Republicans would use though? We've eliminated a third of the problem and we haven't done anything!

Anyway, I found it amusing.