Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health Care "Rights"

This bit is very important:
The interesting thing is that it seems Americans have discovered that talk of health care as a “right” doesn’t mean expanding their own freedom. It means, at best, expanding the options of others at the expense of the middle class and, naturally, “the rich.”

Polling by the centrist think tank Third Way finds that the pivotal question for Americans is, “What’s in it for me?” And it seems President Obama hasn’t answered that to their satisfaction. Sixty percent of Americans think Obama’s health care plan will help someone other than them.
That isn't an opinion so much as a fact. It will be those that pay taxes subsidizing those that don't. And getting less themselves in the long run.

The discussion focusing on the rationing should also make another point that no one wants or seems to be pondering, where will the benefits creep? You'll ration the things that lots of people require like heart surgery and cancer treatments, but what about those things that people don't require? Plastic surgery because your shrink says you need it for your mental health, or a sex change operation. Massachusetts requires that insurance pay for fertility treatments, which you well understand is extremely expensive. Will this make its way on to the required coverage? What about ED drugs? Or the pill for that matter. Or abortions.

Who makes the decision on what is required to cover and what isn't? And, what will those writing the rules now say when an opposition party is in power and changes the rules that they so covet? Should we even mention that the rules can be changed by amendments to laws having nothing to do with healthcare and slip by because no one actually reads these giant tomes of bills?

Do we really want a politician deciding what medical treatments we need?

Over at the Munchkin Wrangler he has a similar discussion on the "right" to health care.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quick Lesson on why We Shouldn't Follow California

Nice bit from Reason magazine on the Climate Change bill that will slowly strangle California's economy.

The study projects that Californians will offset higher electricity and gasoline bills by driving more fuel efficient cars, by adjusting their thermostats to 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer, and by using energy efficient appliances at home. The idea is that while electricity will cost more, Californians will do things like switching from incandescent bulbs to energy thrifty compact fluorescent bulbs to reduce their energy usage.

But are these projections accurate? The study's economic peer reviewers don't think so. For example, UCLA economist Matthew Kahn warned that the cap "is presented as a riskless 'free lunch' for Californians." He noted that California's electricity prices are projected to increase by 14 percent, yet manufacturing employment is also supposed to increase by 0.4 percent. "This is a surprising finding," writes Kahn. "The micro-econometrics literature has concluded that increased energy prices retards manufacturing employment growth." He cites studies showing that cities with high electricity prices lose manufacturing jobs. Another peer reviewer, Harvard University economist Robert Stavins, bluntly states that the study's analysis is "systematically biased (and remarkably, internally inconsistent) in ways which lead to potentially severe underestimates of costs."

No one denies that energy prices will go up. Successful implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act requires that 33 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by the 2020 deadline. Recent research finds that when states establish renewable portfolio standards for electricity, they pay on average 2 cents more per kilowatt-hour more than states that do not have such standards. That might not sound like much, but it's an 8 percent increase. California already ranks seventh in the nation based on how much California businesses, on average, spend for electricity. Only businesses in three very hot southern states and three very cold northern states spend more.

California gasoline taxes amount to 63.9 cents per gallon, the highest in the nation. Gasoline costs more in the Golden State than anywhere else in the lower 48 states. It is true that California is the fourth lowest state in per capita energy consumption. While some of the lower energy usage can be attributed to higher residential energy efficiency standards, substantially higher than average residential and commercial electricity rates also depress demand. The new mandates would add to the heavy regulatory burdens under which California businesses already groan. The Small Business Survival Index ranks California 49th among all states for business friendliness, just beating out New Jersey as the least business friendly state in the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council's annual rankings.

Imagine this in states that don't have the wealth basis that California already has. They'd dry up and blow away in a very short period.

Time to stop following California's lead since they have yet again proven they don't know what they are doing.

ObamaCare for the Elderly

An interesting article from the WSJ. I just don't understand why AARP is supporting this.

Since Medicare was established in 1965, access to care has enabled older Americans to avoid becoming disabled and to travel and live independently instead of languishing in nursing homes. But legislation now being rushed through Congress—H.R. 3200 and the Senate Health Committee Bill—will reduce access to care, pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely, and doom baby boomers to painful later years.

The Congressional majority wants to pay for its $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion health bills with new taxes and a $500 billion cut to Medicare. This cut will come just as baby boomers turn 65 and increase Medicare enrollment by 30%. Less money and more patients will necessitate rationing. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1% of Medicare cuts will come from eliminating fraud, waste and abuse.

The assault against seniors began with the stimulus package in February. Slipped into the bill was substantial funding for comparative effectiveness research, which is generally code for limiting care based on the patient’s age. Economists are familiar with the formula, where the cost of a treatment is divided by the number of years (called QALYs, or quality-adjusted life years) that the patient is likely to benefit. In Britain, the formula leads to denying treatments for older patients who have fewer years to benefit from care than younger patients.

I can understand why my parents are nervous about stuff like this. I also wonder what isn't being told to the public in general. These mammoth bills that no one actually reads hands the interested parties whatever they like and unless someone catches them, they just cruise on. I really hope that no bills get to a vote this week, though a house vote would be very informative.

Also you may wish to checkout the possibility that you won't have any ability to purchase any private health insurance that doesn't have the governments seal of approval. You can follow the links from the discussion at Q&O.

And here's a bit of distraction from Mark Steyn on the ObamaCare distraction.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Furthering the Taste of Post-Racial Shoe Leather

So the President continues his self justifications on his post-racial response to a question. He appears now to be chewing on his ankle.

“I think it was a pretty straightforward commentary that you probably don’t need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who is in his own home,’’ he said in an interview that aired last night on ABC’s “Nightline.’’

Despite his “extraordinary respect’’ for police work, the president told ABC News, “my suspicion is that words were exchanged between the police officer and Mr. Gates’’ and anger got the best of them. Obama said he understands that Sergeant James M. Crowley, the white Cambridge police officer who arrested Gates, is an “outstanding’’ officer, but ultimately “it doesn’t make sense to arrest a guy in his own home if he’s not causing a serious disturbance.’’

Earlier yesterday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that while the president did not regret the remark, he wanted to clarify that Obama did not insult Crowley. “Let me be clear, he was not calling the officer stupid,’’ Gibbs told reporters as Obama landed in Cleveland for two healthcare events.

Well, apparently Obama still hasn't bothered to get any information, readily available from the MSM, on the topic. A good break down of the reports is in this opinion piece by Ann Woolner.

You also have to love listening to Gibbs. How can anyone with the least amount of intelligence come to the conclusion that Obama didn't call the officer stupid? He didn't say it literally, but the statement was they acted stupidly. No doubt Obama's buddy Skip was the completely rational and reasonable. Of course, the newspaper reports must be wrong on his actions.

Then there is this entertaining demand that Crowley apologize to Gates.
"I think he owes me an apology for what he did," Gates told NewsCenter 5's Liz Brunner in an interview Tuesday night. "He should look into his heart and know that he is not telling the truth and he should beg my forgiveness."
What an asshole.

It would be nice if they would actually release the police recordings of the incident so we can hear for ourselves if Gates is justified or not. My guess is that we'll never hear those tapes. Can't besmudge the ONE's opinion no matter how foolish it may have been.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our "Post-Racial" President

You really have to love Obama's reaction to this. Best comes with his admission that he didn't know all the facts yet condemns the police as stupid racists.

What's been reported though is that the guy forgot his keys, jimmied his way to get into the house. There was a report called in to the police station that there might be a burglary taking place. So far, so good, right? I mean, if I was trying to jigger into -- well, I guess this is my house now, so... (laughter) ... it probably wouldn't happen. But let's say my old house in Chicago. (laughter) Here, I'd get shot.

I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact.

As you know, Lynn, when I was in the state legislature in Illinois, we worked on a racial profiling bill because there was indisputable evidence that blacks and Hispanics were being stopped disproportionately. And that is a sign, an example of how, you know, race remains a factor in the society.

I'm still trying to figure out how the profiling part is relevant. In fact he had enough information to know that the police were reacting to a call not driving around profiling.

The linked Wizbang article even links to pictures and witness reports that Skip was behaving unreasonably. I agree with Kevin that if I had acted as the good professor had I would have been arrested as well.

This had nothing to do with racism and the fact that the President played it that way really should make people question his claims to being a "post-racial" president.

Arresting officer teaches racial profiling classes at the police academy.

So the president gives himself the big distraction to his health care plans. Who's stupid here?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Salt Marsh Harvest Pork

I've read about this a bit. I have to laugh at the Dems ingenuity of denying that they did anything for the Harvest Mouse and then fund it none the less. It's a bit of prestidigitation on their part no doubt. Smoke and mirrors are probably in there as well.

Remember the salt marsh harvest mouse? We wrote about the mouse here and elsewhere. When the "stimulus" bill was being debated, Republicans charged that among the absurd pork that the bill would fund was a pet project of Nancy Pelosi's: protecting the habitat of the salt marsh harvest mice in the San Francisco Bay area. At the time, Democrats vigorously denied the charge and pointed out that the mouse was not named in the bill.

True enough: that was one of the major problems with the bill. It allocated enormous amounts of money to be spend on a department by department basis without specifying what the money was to be spent on. The real intent was mostly sub rosa. Thus, Republicans have been reduced to using Google to try to identify local government units and others that have received "stimulus" money.

Now, notwithstanding the Democrats' outraged denials that the mouse was one of the objects of their largesse, it turns out that the Republicans' suspicions were correct after all:

Frankly, I don't mind some funding for pet projects and no doubt it will be stimulative for a short period. But the stimulus money really should have been used for more long term employment. All these pay-and-pave projects are blips on the economy. They do nothing more than FDR did with his CCC, WPA or PWA. Temporary stimulus will not cause recovery.

The unfortunate side effect is that you can't make long term employment from this type of stimulus. So maybe we really should just stop throwing money at things and denying that they aren't stimulative. But then, you have to watch out, because big brother doesn't like you when you question his methods.
A Republican proposal to halt spending on federal stimulus projects has prompted a partisan dustup this week in Arizona, where defeated GOP presidential candidate John McCain has waded into the fight with his old Democratic rival, Barack Obama.

The conflict began after Arizona's junior senator, Republican Jon Kyl, who has called President Obama's economic recovery plan ineffective, wrote on his Senate website last week that the government should "cancel the rest of the stimulus spending." Kyl repeated the suggestion during a talk show appearance Sunday.

The Obama administration responded Monday with letters from four Cabinet secretaries to the state's GOP governor, Jan Brewer, outlining the transportation, housing, education and other projects that would be canceled in Arizona if stimulus spending came to a halt.

"If you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, please let us know," wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a fellow Republican and former House member.

If that isn't a threat to a state to force conformance of a political opposition member, I'd really like to know what it is. Four separate letters from four cabinet secretaries is a definitive threat.
[Oh and just because LaHood is a Repug doesn't mean he isn't a shill for the Administration. ]
The flap underscores the dangers for both sides in the debate over the $787 billion stimulus package, which has come under increasing attack from Republicans as the unemployment rate continues to climb. But many Republicans who voted against the package have also sought to take credit for projects in their own states, and the White House has become increasingly aggressive in pressing its case.
Hmm. Why should there be any threat at all? Each state should be entitled to stimulus at least based on what they put into the pot originally. Kyl's proposal struck me more as a call for a stop to what the administration themselves state isn't working. So how is it reasonable to call for shutting down a state because their political representative is calling for a reasonable end to a disfunctional program?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Health Care Public Option

A glimpse at the Mitt Romney abomination in The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts law, which was championed by former GOP Governor Mitt Romney, imposed an individual mandate, requiring nearly all residents to buy health insurance or else pay a penalty. (The exceptions are those who qualify for the state's public program.) This was supposed to cover everybody and save money too. We've written before about how costs have exploded, but it also turns out that consumers have other ideas.

For 15 years Massachusetts has also imposed mandates known as guaranteed issue and community rating -- meaning that insurers must cover anyone who applies, regardless of health or pre-existing conditions, and also charge everyone the same premium (or close to it). Yet these mandates allow people to wait until they're sick, or just before they're about to incur major medical expenses, to buy insurance. This drives up costs for everyone else, which helps explain why small-group coverage in Massachusetts is so much more expensive than in most of the country. Mr. Romney argued -- as Democrats are arguing now -- that the individual mandate would make that problem disappear, since everyone is always supposed to be covered.

Well, the returns are rolling in, and a useful case study comes from the community-based health plan Harvard-Pilgrim. CEO Charlie Baker reports that his company has seen an "astonishing" uptick in people buying coverage for a few months at a time, running up high medical bills, and then dumping the policy after treatment is completed and paid for. Harvard-Pilgrim estimates that between April 2008 and March 2009, about 40% of its new enrollees stayed with it for fewer than five months and on average incurred about $2,400 per person in monthly medical expenses. That's about 600% higher than Harvard-Pilgrim would have otherwise expected.

The individual mandate penalty for not having coverage is only about $900, so people seem to be gaming the Massachusetts system. "This is a problem," Mr. Baker writes on his blog, in the understatement of the year. "It is raising the prices paid by individuals and small businesses who are doing the right thing by purchasing twelve months of health insurance, and it's turning the whole notion of shared responsibility on its ear."

Nice. Makes you wonder what federal laws exist that will pile on the mess that the Dems are presently proposing in the US system. The MA system is frankly insane. I wonder how the insurance companies share those costs out. Sooner or later this will end up with insurance companies refusing to do business in MA. And no doubt businesses will start dumping their employees on the public option because it will be cheaper than paying insurance fees to support people who are allowed to play the system and get a free ride.

Karl Rove had an interesting article a month ago on the arguments against a public option.
The first is it's unnecessary. Advocates say a government-run insurance program is needed to provide competition for private health insurance. But 1,300 companies sell health insurance plans. That's competition enough. The results of robust private competition to provide the Medicare drug benefit underscore this. When it was approved, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would cost $74 billion a year by 2008. Nearly 100 providers deliver the drug benefit, competing on better benefits, more choices, and lower prices. So the actual cost was $44 billion in 2008 -- nearly 41% less than predicted. No government plan was needed to guarantee competition's benefits.
That's an interesting bit that isn't seen often in the MSM. I would have thought it would have cost more than was estimated, but it is fascinating that it actually cost substantially less.

There are four other reasons that you can read for yourself.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rule 1: Would You Give this Power to the Opposition Party?

Apparently Alcee Haystings is up to more vague legislation that would hand the present administration sole power to define who is a terroroist. Mark Tapscott from the original article discussed at HotAir.
Rep. Alcee Hastings - the impeached Florida judge Nancy Pelosi tried to install as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until her own party members rebelled - introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill that gives Attorney General Eric Holder sole discretion to label groups that oppose government policy on guns, abortion, immigration, states' rights, or a host of other issues. In a June 25 speech on the House floor, Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, blasted the idea: "This sounds an alarm for many of us because of the recent shocking and offensive report released by the Department of Homeland Security which labeled, arguably, a majority of Americans as 'extremists.'"
This obviously doesn't pass the basic sniff test. Just think in the simplest terms, would you want your opposition party having these powers? What would have been said if Bush and the Repugs had provided this bit of legislation?

And don't forget the most basic of considerations, should anyone be given the sole ability to make these definitions without oversight? Should any bureaucrat be given this level of discretion or is it more intelligent to have those voted in by the people be the ones to make those definitions? At least you can hold the politicians liable for their actions.

There are a couple other interesting, it illegitimate bills discussed in the article. Please read.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Critiques of the Obamateur in Russia

I think from what I've read he's gotten a failing grade. No shock there.

In his Moscow speech, Obama delivered what is by now familiar as his trademark mix of historical omissions and revisions, sweeping statements about the "arc of history" and phrases of hope, change and moral equivalency. He brought up, yet again, America's "imperfections," dismissed as outdated the brand of American moral certitude and leadership that brought victory in World War II and called for collaboration, convergence and partnerships forged on common ground and progress toward a shared future. Call it Brotherhood 2.0.

Were it not for such obstacles as history, vast vested interests and human nature, it's a vision that just might work. But in the real world, as a basis for state policy, this is a time-tested recipe for disaster. There may be no venue better suited to underscore that lesson than Russia, home during most of the last century to a colossal and devastating experiment that began with fraternal ideals of communism and led to the gulag, mass deprivation and aggressive expansion. To this day, the ruinous inheritance of Soviet communism lingers on, from Cuba to China to North Korea, to the Soviet-tutored terrorist incubators of the Middle East, to the despotic currents running deep within Russia itself.

In Obama's version of history, Soviet communism (which he referred to not by name but as "old political and economic restrictions") came to an end through some sort of brotherly mass movement: "The change did not come from any one nation," he told an audience of Russian students. "The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful."

Whew, talk about missing the realities of the recent past. It wasn't because the people of Russia wanted it to be peaceful, it's the fact that their socio-political and economic solution failed dramatically, not to mention devastatingly. Far too much of it came from a weapons race that bankrupted the country that demanded that communism worked better than capitalism.

Then there is this article about the retreat of the Obamateur.

Obama had a chance to redeem himself with a speech to the New Economic School, a college funded by Westerners to teach Russians something real about business policy. But the speech positively dripped with equivocation and weakness. Here’s how he chose to warn Russia not to invade Georgia for a second time this summer, as many worry Putin plans to do:

State sovereignty must be a cornerstone of international order. Just as all states should have the right to choose their leaders, states must have the right to borders that are secure, and to their own foreign policies. That is true for Russia, just as it is true for the United States. Any system that cedes those rights will lead to anarchy. That’s why we must apply this principle to all nations — and that includes nations like Georgia and Ukraine. America will never impose a security arrangement on another country. For any country to become a member of an organization like NATO, for example, a majority of its people must choose to; they must undertake reforms; they must be able to contribute to the Alliance’s mission. And let me be clear: NATO should be seeking collaboration with Russia, not confrontation.

An extraordinary amount of doubletalk, surmounted by the ominous use of the term “collaboration.” Not simply cooperation but collaboration, Mr. President? Are we going to collaborate with Russian if it moves soldiers back into Georgia, or into Ukraine, or launches another brutal cyber war against them or against Estonia? If Georgia has the “right to borders that are secure,” then doesn’t that mean Abkhazia and Ossetia must be returned from Russian annexation? Obama’s equivocation makes it very difficult to say.

Yike. I'm fascinated that he honestly wants NATO to collaborate with Russia. Maybe we could collaborate on more is they would start collaborating on some things of importance, say Iran. But since they are selling so much technology into Iran I doubt they have any interest in harming those sales for a country who doesn't appear to have Moscow as a primary target.

Well, I'm just cynical in thinking that you should be wary of the Russian bear. No doubt Obama is much more full of hope and change than I could be.

TSA Loses Mission Creep Lawsuits

Schneier has this on his blog. After reading his entry all I could think of was how TSA is showing the usual mission creep. Then I read the WSJ linked article and got a chuckle in that is what they discuss.
But two court cases in the past month question whether TSA searches—which the agency says have broadened to allow screeners to use more judgment—have been going too far.

A federal judge in June threw out seizure of three fake passports from a traveler, saying that TSA screeners violated his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Congress authorizes TSA to search travelers for weapons and explosives; beyond that, the agency is overstepping its bounds, U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley said.

“The extent of the search went beyond the permissible purpose of detecting weapons and explosives and was instead motivated by a desire to uncover contraband evidencing ordinary criminal wrongdoing,” Judge Marbley wrote.

In the second case, Steven Bierfeldt, treasurer for the Campaign for Liberty, a political organization launched from Ron Paul’s presidential run, was detained at the St. Louis airport because he was carrying $4,700 in a lock box from the sale of tickets, T-shirts, bumper stickers and campaign paraphernalia. TSA screeners quizzed him about the cash, his employment and the purpose of his trip to St. Louis, then summoned local police and threatened him with arrest because he responded to their questions with a question of his own: What were his rights and could TSA legally require him to answer?

Mr. Bierfeldt recorded the encounter on his iPhone and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in June against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, claiming in part that Mr. Bierfeldt’s experience at the airport was not an anomaly.

“Whether as a matter of formal policy or widespread practice, TSA now operates on the belief that airport security screening provides a convenient opportunity to fish for evidence of criminal conduct far removed from the agency’s mandate of ensuring flight safety,” the ACLU said in its suit.
Nice to hear the ACLU actually doing something worthwhile.

I'd read about Bierfeldt's issue when it happened. I was surprised the TSA took such a antagonistic reaction to his question. I doubt I would have asked it, but it wasn't an unreasonable question.

“TSA agents don’t get to play cops,” says Ben Wizner, an attorney who filed Mr. Bierfeldt’s suit. The ACLU has heard an increasing number of reports of TSA agents involved in what he called “mission creep,” he says.

TSA spokesman Greg Soule says airport screeners are trained to “look for threats to aviation security” and discrepancies in a passenger’s identity. TSA says verifying someone’s identity, or exposing false identity, is a security issue so that names can be checked against terrorism watch lists. Large amounts of cash can be evidence of criminal activity, Mr. Soule says, and so screeners look at the “quantity, packaging, circumstances of discovery or method by which the cash is carried.”

Questioning travelers is part of TSA’s standard procedures, and the agency gives its employees discretion. “TSA security officers are trained to ask questions and assess passenger reactions,” Mr. Soule says. “TSA security officers may use their professional judgment and experience to determine what questions to ask passengers during screening.”

I would really like to know how much training TSA officers get on law and policing. Do they get as much training as a street police officer in a regular town? It doesn't sound like it, but it would be something to look up.

Schneier made a very good point about searches performed by TSA.

The Constitution provides us, both Americans and visitors to America, with strong protections against invasive police searches. Two exceptions come into play at airport security checkpoints. The first is "implied consent," which means that you cannot refuse to be searched; your consent is implied when you purchased your ticket. And the second is "plain view," which means that if the TSA officer happens to see something unrelated to airport security while screening you, he is allowed to act on that.

Both of these principles are well established and make sense, but it's their combination that turns airport security checkpoints into police-state-like checkpoints.

The TSA should limit its searches to bombs and weapons and leave general policing to the police - where we know courts and the Constitution still apply.

I have a bit of snark related to the last sentence that I'll keep to myself, but the rest is very important. You can't mix the two exceptions without making such a search an unreasonable act in the spirit of the fourth amendment.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Constitution is Obviously Just Words

This is fascinating.
With the clock running out on a new US-Russian arms treaty before the previous Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires on December 5, a senior White House official said Sunday said that the difficulty of the task might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate’s constitutional role in ratifying treaties by enforcing certain aspects of a new deal on an executive levels and a “provisional basis” until the Senate ratifies the treaty.

"The most ideal situation would be to finish it in time that it could be submitted to the Senate so that it can be ratified," said White House Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction, Security and Arms Control Gary Samore. "If we're not able to do that, we'll have to look at arrangements to continue some of the inspection provisions, keep them enforced in a provisional basis, while the Senate considers the treaty."

Samore said administration lawyers are exploring the "different options that are available. One option is that both sides could agree to continue the inspections by executive agreement; that would work on our side. On the Russian side, as I understand it, that would require Duma approval."

The fact that the administration is preparing for such an extraordinary measure shows just how much pressure the two administrations are under to arrive at an agreement before the 18-year-old treaty expires. While resident Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are expected to announce progress tomorrow on a nuclear arms reduction treaty – nicknamed “New START” -- to take effect in just five short months, many sticking points that remain unresolved.

I'm sure this political appointee just mispoke. I'm amazed that this report is still on line. No doubt it will be clarified and neutralized shortly.

It appears that Obama is living up to the FDR comparison. No doubt he'll be willfully bypassing more and more of the Constitution and being cheered on by the Ministry of Truth.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Obama's Honduran Adventures

I caught this Bloomberg article from a commentary at Legal Insurrection.

I still don't understand why this isn't getting more play in the MSM. (Better known as the Ministry or Truth depending on your choice of realities.)
Honduras’s military acted under judicial orders in deposing President Manuel Zelaya, Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz said, rejecting the view of President Barack Obama and other leaders that he was toppled in a coup.

“The only thing the armed forces did was carry out an arrest order,” Cruz, 55, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Tegucigalpa. “There’s no doubt he was preparing his own coup by conspiring to shut down the congress and courts.”

Cruz said the court issued a sealed arrest order for Zelaya on June 26, charging him with treason and abuse of power, among other offenses. Zelaya had repeatedly breached the constitution by pushing ahead with a vote about rewriting the nation’s charter that the court ruled illegal, and which opponents contend would have paved the way for a prohibited second term.

She compared Zelaya’s tactics, including his dismissal of the armed forces chief for obeying a court order to impound ballots to be used in the vote, with those of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

“Some say it was not Zelaya but Chavez governing,” she said.
If Obama and his ilk are so concerned about the rule of law, why does he continue to ignore what appears to have been the lawful removal of a treasonous president?

And why does he put such effort into tampering with a country that is much less significant than say Iran, where rule of law appears to have been completely ignored?

What is his reasoning? I wish someone would ask him. But then you'd have to get past his crafted and controlled press conferences.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

ABC's ObamaCare Informercial

Caught this linked at Wizbang. It's the Cato Institute speaking to the infomercial that ABC provided for our entertainment.

Takes about 5 minutes and cuts to the points that should have been made.

I wonder how well this snake oil sale went.

Forbes has a list of Obama's Top Five Healthcare Lies. Pretty much a digest of what I've heard commented on in separate discussions.