Utterly Predictable

The law of unintended consequences strikes the state of Michigan:

Since the ban on smoking in [small bars and restaurants] has been implemented, there has been a dramatic DECREASE in attendance at these locations.  Profits are down, and more businesses suffer under the heavy hand of our state government, and the do-gooders who inhabit it.

I’m pretty sure that everyone knows by now that smoking is bad for you.  And it clearly is.  If you smoke long enough, you’re probably going to get cancer and die because of it.  It’s not guaranteed, of course.  Some people smoke for their whole lives and die at a ripe old age of an unrelated issue.  But we all know the odds.  And the fact remains that tobacco is a legal product; private businesses should have the right to allow its use on their premises.  The government is not supposed to be a babysitter; it should not interfere in private decisions of this sort, and when it does it usually creates unintended consequences that are as bad or worse than the problem being “corrected.”  All of this is plain to anyone with common sense; sadly, legislators seem to have less and less of that as time goes by.

Profiles In Congressional Awfulness: John Kerry

Senator John Kerry
UP HERE, JOHN. (Alternate joke: Kerry-what a boob.)

Former Presidential Candidate and current Senatorial Embarrassment John Kerry opened his mouth today and a whole bunch of stupid stuff fell out of it.  This condition, of course, is rampant among our congressional representatives these days; Kerry’s case is, I fear, terminal.  From a U.S. News article entitled “John Kerry Says Voter Anger at Washington Is Hypocritical“:

Times are tough, especially among those still looking for good jobs, but Sen. John Kerry doesn’t think Washington’s to blame. In fact the former Democratic presidential candidate, concerned with the anger voters are aiming at Washington, says that his party and President Obama are doing a ship-shape job.

“We’ve come back,” he says of the nation, Wall Street, and the economy. “This is an amazing resurgence.”

…[Kerry] feels that Congress and the president aren’t getting the credit he thinks they deserve for pulling the country out of a second depression.

…he said that the D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup. “There’s a huge contradiction on a daily basis,” he said.

Maybe, he concluded, the Democrats should change their communications strategy “to better sell what we’ve done.”

Obama Approval Index 5-27-2010Where to begin with this nonsense?  I guess we’ll tackle the stupid in the order it appeared.  First of all: Obama and his party are doing a ship-shape job?  Really?  This would explain why Obama’s approval ratings are 16 points underwater as of today, and 3 out of 5 voters would prefer to just entirely replace Congress.  There’s really no point in addressing this lunacy seeing as it’s so obviously untrue.

“We’ve come back; This is an amazing resurgence.”  Again – so obviously false that it’s not even worth addressing.  The guy deserves a punch in his cartoonishly huge adam’s apple.

“Pulling the economy out of a second depression”: Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.  A) The Great Depression consisted of a couple of phases; the first was the market crash, which we’ve had and are suffering the aftereffects of.  Then came the sovereign debt phase, and… hey, what’s that happening in Europe?  B) This moron should sit down with Amity Shlaes and find out just how much good all of FDR’s spending did for the US during the Great Depression.  Short answer:  he made the Depression worse.  but don’t worry – I’m sure all the stimulus spending the feds are doing at the moment is actually helping… Oh.

“D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare…”: I suppose a lot of Americans feel this way as regards Social Security and Medicare, although 1) I’m not among them and 2) this still wouldn’t make them hypocrites, considering that they could still (and most actually do) oppose the recent insane spending bender that Congress has embarked upon.  So John Kerry can still kiss my ass.

“…and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup”: Hey you stupid doink – THE OIL SPILL HAPPENED IN FEDERALLY CONTROLLED WATERS.  Which means that, presumably, the Federal Government would, you know, actually do something in response to a crisis in an area pretty well designated by law as under the control of the Feds.  Idiot.

But by all means, keep trying to “sell” what you’ve done.  Keep reminding the voters of the debt you’ve run up in buying all this crap that no one wanted in the first place.  You do that, John.

In Shocking Turn Of Events, CBO Announces That Congress Is Filled With Deceitful Scum

Alternate headline: THEY LIED.  But we knew that before they passed this rancid loaf, didn’t we?  And frankly, they’ve been confirming that ever since.

Regardless, here’s the news that anyone with any intelligence and honesty knew was coming:

Congressional Budget Office estimates released Tuesday predict the health care overhaul will likely cost about $115 billion more in discretionary spending over ten years than the original cost projections.

The additional spending — if approved over the years by Congress — would bring the total estimated cost of the overhaul to over $1 trillion.

Republicans pounced on the news, which they called another sign that the Obama administration makes promises it cannot deliver…

…But a Democratic leadership aide on Capitol Hill said the Congress will have to stay within the budget.

“Just like other authorized programs, the discretionary programs in health reform will need to compete for funds within set budgetary limits,” the aide said. “Republicans fighting to repeal reform can say what they want, but the bottom line is that CBO says reform will reduce the deficit and slow the growth of health care costs — period.”

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection notes that the miserable politicians who voted for this monstrosity can now only claim to be disappointed in this news if they also acknowledge that they “…willingly ignored warnings that they were selling public policy based on phony numbers.”  Which, of course, they won’t, because by and large they are the largest collection of unprincipled filth to ever collect on Capitol Hill.

Henry Waxman
His mom thinks he's cute.

Let me take a moment to address the pathetic argument of the idiotic Democratic leadership aide, who claims that “the bottom line is that CBO says reform will reduce the deficit and slow the growth of health care costs – period.”  Hey, idiot: CBO estimates are only as good as the numbers your dirtbag lying bosses in the Democrat caucus feed into CBO.  In other words, GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT.   Basing your claim of cost savings on the CBO estimates that came from the goofy numbers that Pelosi and Reid cooked up is something akin to basing your claim to being the sexiest man alive on your mother’s opinion that you’re a very handsome lad.  In all likelihood, the evidence has been shaded in your favor and your claim is going to be demolished upon first contact with reality.

And of course, reality hasn’t been kind to Obamacare supporters since they cast their votes.  Recall that Henry Waxman and his stormtroopers already found this out when they had to cancel their assault on companies which reported – as required by law – that Obamacare was going to cause them to take massive financial losses.  Again, no surprise to anyone who has,well, basic intelligence and observation skills.

Of course, none of this is really a surprise to the Dems.  Waxman screwed up in that he didn’t forsee how one element of his massive regulatory state would interact with the new element.  This was all expected; they rammed it through presuming that once Obamacare was in place, inertia would make it impossible to roll back and we’d all just accept that higher taxes and everything else were inevitable.  They scheme, they lie, they crave power.  We need to slap them down in November.

Democrats Seek Help From Psychologist

I don’t see how this is going to help, as psychologists can’t prescribe drugs and the Dems are clearly off their meds.  But for what it’s worth:

…retiring Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan (N.D.) recently brought psychologist Drew Westen in to see the Democratic caucus, because Dorgan is convinced that the Democrats’ problem is one of messaging.

This always comes up, again and again, whenever the Dems run themselves onto the PR rocks.  It’s never the ideas that are wrong; no, the ideas and the actions they take based on those ideas are good and right.  The problem is always that the stupid voters out there have just missed the point.  They just don’t understand that the Democrat party is made up of people who just want to help them and do good things for them.  If only we understood the good intentions behind their actions, we’d all be rushing to the polls to pull the lever for Carl “Shitty” Levin and his ilk.

Lucy's Psychiatry Stand
I wonder if Congress has adequate psychiatric coverage in their health plan?

You guys keep on believing that it’s just messaging.  Just keep telling yourselves that.

Dr. Westen told the Democrats that they need to strike a more populist chord, explaining that the best way to win over voters is to use simple language that engages the brain’s “frontal emotion circuits.”  In other words, since reason can’t provide much help in defending the Democrat’s policies, perhaps emotion can.  CQ reports that the Democrats gave Dr. Westen a round of applause and have started taking his advice.

Great.  Now we can look forward to even more condescension from our Senatorial betters.  I can’t wait to have Debbie Stabenow explain to me yet again that she understands my anger about government spending and that’s why she voted to spend all the money they can print on the ridiculous scheme that we’re not supposed to call Obamacare anymore.  I’m sure if she just tweaks her message I’ll be sprinting to the front of her campaign volunteer line.

Jeffrey Anderson has it right:

Taking the psychologist’s advice, perhaps the Democrats should say, “We know you’re angry that we passed Obamacare in direct defiance of your will.  We know you’re angry that this Congress and this president have racked up more deficit spending in two years than President Bush and the previous four Congresses — hardly models of frugality in their own right — did in eight.  We feel your pain.  We understand your anger.  So please vote for us.”

Idiots At MSNBC Fail To Grasp Simplest Concepts

MSNBC's Contessa Brewer
Not the sharpest tool in the shed

Actual MSNBC chyron: “Law Makes it a Crime to be Illegal Immigrant.”

Hey geniuses: it’s already a crime to be an illegal immigrant. You might have been tipped off by the term Illegal Immigrant.”

Ace notes that the idiocy isn’t restricted to MSNBC, and adds:

In related news, Minnesota is “seriously considering” a law that would make the intentional killing of a human being a crime. This new crime is being called “Murder,” as an obscure old English common law provision termed it, at least until they come up with something catchier.

This is weapons-grade stupidity; weaponized obtuseness.  Why anyone watches cable news anymore, I have no idea.

Liars.

Liar.

Filthy, stinking, brazen liars:

The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama’s health care “reform” law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.

MY EYES! ZE GOGGLES, ZEY DO NUSSING!
dirty, dirty liars

“The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote,” says an HHS source. “Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think.”

The analysis, performed by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, which in the past has been identified as a “nonpolitical” office, set off alarm bells when submitted. “We know a copy was sent to the White House via their legislative affairs staff,” says the HHS staffer, “and there were a number of meetings here almost right after the analysis was submitted to the secretary’s office. Everyone went into lockdown, and people here were too scared to go public with the report.”

Gabriel Malor:

So in addition to midnight votes and bribes to reluctant Congressmen, the Obama folks sat on government reports, reports that the taxpayers paid for, which would have shined a light on the President’s healthcare reform lies. And that’s what they were. He can’t plead ignorance. His own actuaries were telling him it would raise premiums while he was going on TV and saying the opposite.

Jim Hoft:

When Nancy Pelosi told America, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” she forgot to mention that democrats already knew what was in it. They just didn’t want the rest of the country to find out.

If we had a responsible media this would make headlines for about the next year and a half.

November cannot come soon enough.  I am salivating over the opportunity to vote this year.  I want these people to hurt at the polls.  I want them shamed. Of course, that assumes that they have the capacity to feel shame any more.

Welcome to Portland

Ed Morrisey notes this photo of a protest outside a Sarah Palin speech in Eugene, Oregon:

Palin Protesters
Nice.

Yes, that’s right: Eugene is a hate-free zone, except for the person who hopes that Sarah Palin chokes.  Nice touch with the Obama logo there, chum.  Don Surber adds:

Yes, that’s pretty liberal — harassing people who went to see someone speak.

From the Oregonian:

Rebecca McKenzie, 29, of Eugene left work at a nearby barbershop and grabbed a perch on an outdoor patio at Rockn Rodeo, a cowboy-themed bar across the street from the hotel. She watched the protests with a mix of fascination and chagrin.

“I think it’s pretty pathetic,” she said of the name-calling.

But c’mon. Palin? Eugene?

“I understand the oil and water thing,” McKenzie said. “But if you don’t approve, go home. Don’t come.”

Again, Don Surber:

That’s the actual do-your-own-thing attitude that liberals once pretended to embrace.

Well, it ain’t about that anymore, that’s for sure.

Carl Levin ♥s The VAT

Levin
Carl Levin lurrrves him some taxes

On occasion, the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” will do something that makes sense.  It appears that last week, we arrived at one of those auspicious moments:

Bipartisanship has broken out in the Senate, not that the media bothered to notice. Last week John McCain introduced a resolution stating that “It is the sense of the Senate that the Value Added Tax is a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America’s economic recovery.” The resolution passed 85 to 13.

For those who are not aware, a VAT is a “Value Added Tax” in which a tax is applied at every stage of production of a product (or whenever “value is added” to a product).  The Wall Street Journal notes:

The typical VAT rate in Europe is close to 20%. That’s about how high a VAT would have to be in the U.S. to balance the federal budget, according to the Tax Foundation. Mr. McCain said about his VAT resolution that “With the economy in such bad shape, we should be cutting tax rates now, shouldn’t we?”

Hey, that makes sense, right?  I mean, right now we don’t want to do anything to discourage people from producing things or to keep consumers from purchasing them.  And a VAT would surely do that, seeing as how it would raise the cost of everything by around 20%.  Hence the large margin of passage of the McCain’s sense of the Senate resolution.  I mean, who would be dumb enough to support a VAT right now, especially considering that the people are far more concerned about out-of-control government spending, deficits, and debt?

Carl Levin would be, it turns out.  Heck, even Debbie Stabenow wasn’t stupid enough to vote no on this resolution.

Who can discern why Michigan is in the national economic dumpster right now?  It’s a mystery, I tell you.

Great Job, Morons

The New York Times seems to be noticing (a bit too late, natch) that Obamacare isn’t actually going to make health care any better.  Jennifer Rubin, writing at Contentions, is shocked, shocked:

So we’re going to force individuals to buy more-expensive plans than they might want (the issue Paul Ryan alluded to at the health-care summit), dump them into pools with high-risk patients, and then hope the costs don’t drive healthier customers out, hiking up the costs for the remaining individuals, who will look to the government for ever-increasing subsidies. Remarkable isn’t it, that the Democrats never looked, or cared to look, at the experience of Massachusetts and New York before jamming through their historic legislation? But then they didn’t much care in the end what was in it or how the CBO flimflam scoring was arrived at. What was important is that they had a “win.”

Loathing the feds is my new national pastime.  It’s easy, fun, and it’s the right thing to do.