The bottom line? Despite the liberal pushback, Ryan’s arguments remain compelling. (The Journal has more on them here.) Which shouldn’t come as a surprise. When a politician finds his moment, everything breaks his way.
With the “temporary leave of absence” that Charlie “Exonerated” Rangel has embarked upon due to the fact that he’s, well, corrupt as hell, we just about got saddled with this arrogant ass as chair of Ways and Means. Instead we get… oh lord it’s Carl Levin’s older brother Sandy. Faaaan-tastic.
I don’t make a habit of calling congressional offices outside my district; especially not Democrat congressional offices outside my district. But I made an exception for Bart Stupak today.
Now, I hadn’t seen this coming. The backstory is this: Stupak is one of the ostensibly “pro-life Democrats” in congress. Now, I’m very skeptical about the idea of “pro-life Democrats,” because it seems that often, when the rubber hits the road, they’re about as “pro-life” as blue dog Democrats tend to be fiscally conservative – in other words, when their party really needs the votes for an abortion bill or some crazy spending, they will ultimately vote like, well, Democrats. And Stupak, while claiming to have pro-life principles, seemed quite willing to sell them out when it came to Obamacare. Witness his pathetic town hall performance in Cheboygan, Michigan last year:
This is a pathetic cop-out. Pro-lifers are pro-life because of the principle of the thing – unborn children are human, and by virtue of the fact that they are human they are entitled to the right to life. Just getting a vote on his amendment is not enough to satisfy that principle; if you actually believe what you say about abortion, you have to have that amendment in the bill or it’s no deal. So in the above clip, the obvious conclusion to draw is that if Stupak is willing to sell out his belief in the sanctity of human life that easily, then he’s obviously pro-life for political reasons rather than out of any deep-seated conviction.
But fast forward to last fall’s House vote on Obamacare – Stupak actually stood up and demanded that his pro-life language be inserted into the bill. He went to the mat. He got it done. And now the Democrats face a major obstacle to final passage of the bill, due to the fact that the Senate bill does not include Stupak’s amendment, and would, in point of fact, channel federal funds to abortion services.
Now comes news that Stupak has 12 dems ready to flip their votes to no on Obamacare if the abortion language isn’t included, and he claims that he’s willing to take the bill down if it doesn’t happen.
I left a message at Bart’s Petoskey, MI office today. I told him that while I wasn’t a constituent of his, and while I’m certain that I’d have a lot of disagreements with him on a variety of issues, that I deeply appreciated the fact that he was willing to stand on principle on this issue, because after all, what’s more important than life? And I even slipped in the message that if he ended up being the one to take this monstrosity down, I’d have to take him a bit more seriously in his potential campaign for Governor. And you know what? I would have to. Because if the man is really going to stand on this principle in the face of what must be brutally intense pressure to cave, then he’s worth a second look.
I’d encourage all of you who are of like mind to give a call to Congressman Stupak, if not to endorse him for Governor, at least to let him know that you appreciate seeing a politician putting party aside in defense of a more important principle.
For all his flaws, and he did have flaws, Bush was an honorable guy. And he still is:
When George W. Bush heard about Fort Hood, he and Laura got in his car without any escort, apparently they did not have time to react, and drove to Fort Hood. He was stopped at the gate and the guard could not believe who he had just stopped. Bush only ask for directions to the hospital then drove on. The gate guard called that “The president is on Fort Hood and driving to the hospital.” The base went bananas looking for Obama. When they found it was Bush they immediately offered escort and Bush simply told them to let him visit the wounded and the dependents of the dead. He stayed at Fort Hood for over six hours and was finally asked to leave by a message from the White House. Obama flew in days later and held a “photo ” session in a gym and did not even go to the hospital. All this I picked up from two soldiers here who happened to be at Fort Hood when it happened.
It is rare for me to run across an interview that is powerful enough to raise a lump in my throat, but today I’ve found one. William Stuntz is a Professor at Harvard Law School and a Christian who has lived for the last decade with excruciating pain, and was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and is not expected to live through 2010. Timothy Dalrymple interviewed him in order to get his reflections on suffering and death, and the result is very powerful, especially to those who have lost a loved one to cancer.
Here, Dalrymple asks Stuntz if he has any favorite quotations or scriptures when it comes to death. Stuntz’s response:
Yes, a passage in the fourteenth chapter of Job. The passage as a whole is not hopeful. Job is uncertain what will happen to him when he dies. In the end, he says that he will return to dust and there will be nothing after death.
In the midst of the passage, however, before he turns to despair, he has a moment of hope. It’s a brief moment, just a couple of verses in the midst of an extended passage. Yet he says, “You will call and I will answer. You will long for the creature your hands have made” (Job 14:15).
I find those lines very powerful. The concept that God longs for the likes of me is so unspeakably sweet. I almost cannot bear to say them aloud. They are achingly sweet for me to hear.
There are many passages I love, but that one in particular has grabbed hold of me. Job’s hope, it turns out, is more realistic than his despair.
I have wondered, from time to time, what it must be like to face death. If I live long enough to die a natural death and know that it is coming, how will I cope? I like to think that I will be courageous in the face of death, much like my grandmother and my father, but death is so foreign to all that I know and understand. I have faith in God and believe that He did not create me to simply be annihilated after death, and yet there are times when the idea of life after death seems too strange to contemplate. Will I overcome those doubts? Will those doubts even appear? Will I be able to let go, or will I cling to life desperately? I don’t know, to be honest. I just don’t know. I pray that I will have years yet to build the maturity that I feel I need to face the end in a way that brings comfort to my family, which is really what I want. At the very least, Mr. Stuntz has given us a wonderful insight into a time of life that we all will face, and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to absorb it.
I know I know I know, I’m just posting YouTube videos like mad lately, but this is too awesome not to post:
Health care: Pelosi and other top House Democrats say publicly that they have the votes to push through a comprehensive package, but privately, they know they don’t. Pelosi must balance the diverging interests of her own members while simultaneously satisfying Senate Democrats and working with President Barack Obama and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, a former House colleague with whom she has an uneasy relationship.
I can’t tell you how much I hope that the bolded portion is true. I’ve been disgusted with the Federal government before, but the last year and a half is really the first time that I’ve genuinely feared for the future of the country. I worry for my kids. I worry that they’ll be saddled with a massive tax load to support an ever-increasing and encroaching state. I worry that the inevitable consequences of Obamacare-style “health care reform” will have kicked in by the time they’re old enough to be responsible for their own families and they won’t be able to get the care they need like I’ve been able to get for them. I worry that America will be a dying country.
So yeah, I really hope that Pelosi doesn’t have the votes. I really really hope so. Because I want America to be America when my kids grow up, and Obamacare is a huge, possibly fatal move in the wrong direction.
Tom Maguire on President Supergenius and the case of the rapacious insurance company:
This is classic, generic Democratic paternalism – people can't be trusted to make their own decisions and they certainly should not be expected to endure the consequences of those decisions.