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

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Webb Calls It Quits

He'll hardly be missed:
Webb won't seek reelection
By Ben Smith, Politico

Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb plans to announce today that he won't seek reelection, the Senator confirmed Wednesday.

Webb appeared likely to face a rematch with former Senator George Allen, whom he beat in a bruising 2006 contest. He had expressed ambivalence about the prospect of another run, and has said he never planned a life in politics.

Keeping Webb -- a Vietnam veteran, former Reagan defense official, and author -- in the Senate had been a top priority for the Democratic leadership, with no Democrat of Webb's prominence, and his centrist politics, openly exploring the race. Senate Democratic leaders view Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, the former Virginia governor, as a top prospect to replace him, despite Kaine's disavowals that he's looking at the race. Kaine, the source said, hasn't shut the door on the possibility. Former Congressman Tom Perriello, who is close to the White House, could also be a candidate.

Webb's departure isn't entirely a surprise. He recalled in a recent interview that he'd told President Obama in the fall of 2009 that his push for health care legislation would end in "disaster."

"The healthcare issue really took away a lot of the credibility of the new leadership--Obama particularly--the Reid-Pelosi-Obama trio," he said. [link]
I'd love to know which of Webb's votes over the last four years could be construed as being "centrist."  I'd venture a guess and say Ben Smith couldn't find even one, if he tried.

But, hey, why quibble with Smith when we should be celebrating.

Webb is gone.  Virginia and this great nation are better for it.

- - -

I'm also guessing that George Allen is doing back flips about now.

Why Health Insurance Is So Expensive

In one word:


In one glaring example here in Virginia:

HB 2467.

Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-Wytheville) provides* the details:
Adopted by an overwhelming 74-24 vote, HB 2467 requires public- and private-sector health insurance policies issued in the Commonwealth to cover early intervention services for children from ages two through six-years old who are diagnosed with childhood autism spectrum disorder by medically trained health professionals. There is an annual maximum cap for treatment of $35,000. Coverage would not apply to employers with 50 or fewer employees and does not apply to self-insured companies because federal law precludes states from acting on self-insured companies. The bill also includes a price guarantee allowing companies to opt out of autism coverage if the addition of this coverage causes their insurance premiums to increase by more than one percent. This provision will help protect against the risk of exploding costs. As this bill continues to work its way through the General Assembly, its final form is not yet known. However, I would like to clarify that HB 2467 is fundamentally different from the massive federal health care law passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the President last year, better known as Obamacare.

In contrast to the federal health care law, HB 2467 does not mandate the purchase of health care by anyone. Rather, if passed and signed into law by the Governor, the legislation stipulates that insurance products meet certain standards, including the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders in young children. Scientific research shows that early diagnosis, intervention and treatment of this neurological disorder can ease the impact of autism and result in not only more effective care and treatment for children, but better outcomes and make it more cost-effective in the long run.
"In contrast to the federal health care law, HB 2467 does not mandate the purchase of health care by anyone."  Though that may be true, it does mandate that the citizens of Virginia purchase more expensive health care coverage. Why?  Because every insurer in the Commonwealth (that meets the requirements she outlines above) will have to raise rates to pay for this ... magnanimous ... gesture.

Members of the legislature - and even some ostensibly conservative Virginia bloggers, perhaps (see Virginia Virtucon) - see no harm in this.  In fact, they see it as a swell idea.  After all, the potential liability to insurers (and ultimately the policyholders) is capped at a one percent increase over the current cost of insurance.

And there are people in need ...

So many people in need ...

But a one percent cost increase here and a one percent cost increase there - mandated and enforced by the government - and you end up with ... the nightmare we call the U.S. health insurance industry, where the list of mandated coverages stretches as far as the eye can see.

Look, giving free stuff to people in need is worthy.  And it ensures passage into heaven (if I'm reading my Bible right).  But using the power and authority of government to require that free stuff be given to those in need is ... well, if it were a Democratic initiative, we'd call it welfare.

Virginia Virtucon calls it "the right thing to do."

If you're satisfied with the cost of your health coverage, I'm sure you agree.

But if you think your insurance is outrageously expensive, welcome to this window unto your world.

Why don't we just cut to the chase and have the government require that insurers cover everyone for everything?  After all, why is a child afflicted with childhood autism spectrum disorder more worthy of government muscle than one battling Ribose-5-phosphate isomerase deficiency?  Or visceral leishmaniasis? Are they not worthy of our support?  Is that less of a "right thing to do"?

All I can say is, if you are in that camp, don't bitch about the cost of health care.

As Ronald Reagan once said, "Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."  

Or, in this case, in attempting to solve one problem, it mandates another. 

* From a press release.

On The Roanoke Times's Hissy Fit

I touched on this editorial in the Roanoke Times yesterday:

As was mentioned, the editorialists were (predictably) outraged because an anti-abortion group surreptitiously entered a Roanoke Planned Parenthood abortion clinic and filmed a brief interaction between an undercover investigator and a clinic employee.  The Times told us the video doesn't show what its owners claim it is intended to show. A dubious charge indeed.

Raising the ante, though, the rag of note adds this:

"Live Action's scurrilous attempts to portray Virginia Planned Parenthood clinics, including the one in Roanoke, as willing facilitators of the sexual exploitation of girls must be denounced for what they are: lies."

Lies.  Really.

Then why do the folks at "Live Action" keep coming up with other videos from around the country that show - without doubt - that Planned Parenthood employees are willing facilitators of the sexual exploitation of girls?

Today's offering, from the New York Times no less:

From the article:
An anti-abortion group released a videotape on Tuesday of a man whom the group said was posing as a pimp and a woman who was posing as a prostitute on a visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Bronx. They appear to get information from a receptionist about how to obtain abortions and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases for under-age sex workers.
A lie? Tell it to the videotape.

You know what you guys at the Roanoke Times should really be irate about?

The fact that it takes a couple of civilians to do the job that your cohorts in "journalism" should be doing but won't.

Perhaps, had your pals in the press not turned a blind eye to what goes on behind the walls of America's abortion clinics the horrific carnage that took place at that "clinic" in Philadelphia could have been prevented.

But no.  You fools are all worked up because someone took it upon herself to investigate possible crimes being committed without your sanction.

You make me sick.  Please slither back into your sewer and leave the civilized world alone.

Profiles In Liberal Courage

This is shameful:
In response to The Daily Caller’s request for comment on a video showing progressive protesters calling for somebody to “string up” African American Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, or “send him back into the fields” or “cut off all his toes and feed them to him one-by-one,” NAACP spokesman Hilary Shelton pointed to the organization’s recent resolution calling for a “civil political discourse.”

Shelton would not, however, address the content of the video directly

For the love of God.

From "NAACP won’t directly address racism leveled against Clarence Thomas at progressive protest."

How Times Have Changed

Who can watch this tribute by General Electric to the greatest president America had in the 20th century and not feel proud:


"Now GE is deeply honored to serve as presenting sponsor of the Ronald Reagan Centennial celebration."

Deeply honored?

Is this the same General Electric to which Michael Reagan, the president's son, refers in this story from long ago?
I haven't felt warm and fuzzy toward GE since that day in 1962 when Dad came home and told us he had just been fired by GE and his show, "General Electric Theater," was canceled.

Dad explained that CBS hadn't canceled the highly rated show. Instead, GE had pulled the plug. As the company was negotiating some government contracts, Bobby Kennedy, the attorney general of the United States, bluntly informed GE that if the company wished to do business with the U.S. government, it would get rid of "General Electric Theater" and fire the host.

Dad had criticized the Kennedy administration in some of his speeches, and the administration fought back through the president's brother. Within 48 hours of Bobby Kennedy's call, Ronald Reagan was out of a job.*
The same company that fired him in 1962 now wants to celebrate his presidency and all that he did for America during his momentous walk on this earth.

A familiar pattern is emerging, no?  All those who despised him for who he was and what he stood for back then love him and want to "honor" him - to "celebrate" him - today.

Where were they when it mattered?

How times have changed.

Or have they?

See "Jeffrey Immelt, Obama’s Pet CEO."

In truth, nothing's changed at all. It's all hype.

* From "Ronald Reagan's Son Remembers The Day When GE Fired His Dad."

To Laugh. To Cry.

I'm not sure what my reaction to this should be.  Maybe I'll just crawl under a rock.

See "Obama's "tough budget cuts" in pictures."

All I know is, we're doomed.

Quote of the Day

It's really not about the money.  Michael Moore, darling of the left, champion of the downtrodden, relentless fighter against capitalist greed, purveyor of hope to all those who want what others have but are unwilling to get off their fat asses and earn it, hero to anyone who's failed Weight Watchers, scourge to Wall Street profiteers, doesn't really care about the money ...

Well, yeah, come to think of it, it is all about the money.

Gordon Gekko, meet Michael Moore.

Too funny.