Power Line shared this video in a post yesterday on the Health Care “Summit” at Blair House, and it’s a fine example of Paul Ryan taking the Democrat attendees (including Obama) to school on why their proposal is a disastrous sham.  Ryan is absolutely correct to note that this “reform” is filled with cynical accounting gimmicks that are going to completely blow up the federal budget, even more so than the Dems have already managed to do.  (This isn’t to say that the Republican party hasn’t had a hand in screwing up the budget as well.)

The whole summit was obviously a sham from the start; that was absolutely clear when the Dem congressional leadership continued to talk about using reconciliation to jam the bill through even after the announcement of the meeting.  No amount of talk was ever going to cause the Dems to back off of their determination to pass a government takeover of health care.  This whole thing was set up to make it seem that Obama and his congressional allies had made an effort to engage the Republicans and their supposedly non-existent ideas, thus allowing them to say that the opposition was “just politics” or “just talking points” and push forward the same way they had been before Scott Brown took over for Teddy Kennedy in the Senate.

Except it didn’t work.  The Dems looked like fools.  Their argument seemed to be based on sob stories from constituents, and they weren’t remotely prepared to address the substantive concerns raised by the opposition.  But they’re still going to double down on it: Obama’s permanent campaign arm “Organizing for America” has unveiled a new astroturfing strategy for talk radio, encouraging callers to “share a personal story” and then repeat the talking points that the Dems have been using for over a year now and which have consistently failed to convince most Americans that Obamacare is necessary.  Kathryn Jean Lopez received this email from a summit viewer:

The Democrats came to the summit armed with constituent stories illustrating the single point on which there is no disagreement: something needs to be done about health care in America.  President Obama respectfully listened to these stories without comment.

Eric Cantor came to the meeting armed with  a copy of the bill that represents the central purpose of this gathering.  And the president gratuitously mocked the presence of the bill as an irrelevant political prop.

This told me everything I needed to know about the summit.


The Wall Street Journal gets it right today:

In the end, after all the bipartisan cooing, the President’s 20-minute closing argument explained where the debate really is. Democrats won the election and they are going to do what they want to do, starting next week and on a partisan vote if they can shanghai enough Members.

The point of yesterday’s session was to give a soothing, moderate political gloss to a government health-care takeover that will raise costs, greatly expand the entitlement state, and reduce choice and competition—the opposite of everything Mr. Obama claims.

Is it any wonder that a guy like Paul Ryan, who is openly skeptical of the Obama power grab and is actually willing to push back with facts and reasonable arguments, keeps seeing his political stock rise?  Is it any wonder that growing majorities view the federal government as a threat to their liberty?

November can’t come soon enough.

Paul Ryan, Again, Not Sucking

Rep. Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan (R-WI): Continues to not suck.

More from today’s sham summit:

Perhaps most important, Ryan confronted the Democrats with the issue of the “Doc Fix” — a separate bill that would have added $371 billion to the Democrats’ legislation if it hadn’t been stripped out. The Doc Fix would have prevented Medicare reimbursements to doctors from plummeting by 21 percent, a drop that Congress put into the bill to improve its CBO score but never planned to allow, most political observers agree.

Niether Obama nor any of his party people were able to effectively respond to this point, or to the other points raised by Ryan, because Ryan is correct and the only honest response to his critique is to admit that he’s correct.  The Democrats are playing games with the financial side of their “reform” bill in an effort to make it seem palatable to the American people (although failing miserably); they honestly do not seem to care whatsoever about the absolutely crushing deficits they are racking up at present.  This mindset is absolutely foreign to me.

Back in December, I made a call to the office of Senator Carl Levin to express my extreme displeasure with the “health care reform” effort.  Now, calling Levin’s office is always a frustrating affair, as Carl has virtually ossified in his liberalism and probably doesn’t have the capability to think outside of his union- and left wing-dominated box, but this particular instance was a supreme example of the arrogance permeating his office after all of his years as a senator.  I was explaining to his staffer the various reasons that I opposed a government takeover of the health care sector, chief among them my (completely plausible) nightmare scenario of skyrocketing health care costs (which are inevitable in a socialized system) and the necessary rationing that will follow paired with the future possibility of legalized “assisted suicide,” which could easily be pushed into a de facto policy of euthanasia for the old or disabled as a cost-saving measure.  The staffer completely ignored the point, instead insisting that when I am elderly I will be able to rely on Medicare.  I responded with the perfectly obvious observation that Medicare is already going bankrupt, to which the staffer responded that I was incorrect; there is merely a “revenue shortfall,” but “Congress can fix that.”

To the best of my knowledge, Congress has two means available to “fix” a “revenue shortfall” (or, in plain language – to stave off bankruptcy): they can either raise taxes (a hell of a lot when those boomers retire) or cut services (AKA ration services).   Needless to say, that phone call didn’t end well.

Carl Levin - Sucks

Here’s the difference between a guy like Paul Ryan and a guy like Carl Levin:  Ryan at least recognizes the problem for what it is and has presented a plausible, workable plan to correct America’s fiscal mess.  Levin may or may not recognize the problem in the first place, and if he does, he simply doesn’t care.  To Levin, America exists to support the federal government, and no problem is too small for federal intervention.  No federal program is superfluous; no federal agency ever outlives its usefulness.  If there was ever a time when Carl Levin was not a creature of the State, it has long past.  He is a statist through and through.

We need to stop electing people who either don’t know or have forgotten the meaning of limited government and federalism.  We have to send home those in Congress who don’t understand that their first priority is to defend the individual liberty of citizens, not to buy off as many voters as possible.  We need adults who can be honest and make some hard choices in Congress.  So kudos to Paul Ryan for actually trying to get that ball rolling.  I wish him all the luck in the world.

Tea Parties… In Great Britain?

Daniel Hannan = Gob Bluth? Crazy Delicious

We often hear that America should be more civilized like our friends across the pond in Europe.  But is this a sign that our friends across the pond are starting to become a little more like us?

Conservatives in Britain will hold their first Tea Party protest in Brighton on Saturday, with British member of the European parliament (and frequent Fox News guest) Daniel Hannan giving the keynote.

The party web site is here.

“Labour has raised more than a trillion pounds in additional taxation since 1997. Yet, unbelievably, Gordon Brown has still managed to run up a deficit of 12.6% of GDP (Greece’s is 12%). A far lower level of taxation brought Americans out in spontaneous protest last year,” Hannan wrote for the London Telegraph.

It’s about time someone like Hannan showed up in Old Europe.  Goodness knows they’ve needed a dose of fiscal sanity.  Too bad it might take the utter collapse of Greece to wake up that continent.


Best Craigslist ad I’ve ever seen:

You bet your nomadic ass it is. Do you want to be homeless? Then you better come check this room for rent out. It has WALLS and a CEILING. BLOCKS THE F’N WIND AND RAIN FOOL!

ZOMG THE LOCATION IS THE SHIT. You can WALK to Washington Avenue from here. So you can get your drink on and do some mackin playa. 10 mins from UH and Rice cause we all about higher education up in here. You could hit Memorial Parkway with a ROCK. But don’t. We keep it civilized.