Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Can I call ’em or what?

The other day I said this:

Is Hannity still on Fox? If so, look for some sort of thin-gruel allegations against him too, sexual harassment or something else, before too long.

But even I didn’t expect them to exploit their victory this fast.

The latest conservative commentator to be accused of sexual misconduct is host Sean Hannity who was accused on the Pat Cambell Show by lawyer, political commentator, and frequent Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel. Debbie claimed on the show that Sean Hannity asked Schlussel to come back to his hotel twice after a book-signing event. Does this constitute sexual misconduct?

Doesn’t really matter. There’s blood in the water, the libtards smell it, and—unable to lay a finger on Trump, who doesn’t much give a shit what they shriek about, and doesn’t have to so far—they intend to lap up every drop.

Maybe there’s something to it, and maybe there ain’t. That, too, doesn’t matter. Last time I checked, verbally hitting on a girl doesn’t constitute sexual harassment, in any sort of legal sense. What does matter is that the Progressivists will use every tool in the box, for just as long as we let them. Fox News, now busily converting itself into CNN Lite under the prodding of the Left, isn’t the vehicle to stand up to them. The sad fact is, there really isn’t one right now.

But we’re gonna have to find one, or create one. I know I said the other day that I’m no fan of O’Reilly, and I ain’t. I never liked Hannity much, either; much as his heart may be in the right place, he’s completely inept, one of the most hapless and incompetent debaters I ever saw.

But he’s going to need defending against the shrill harpies now after his scalp. I don’t know what Schlussel is thinking here, or what axe she may have to grind against Hannity. But on the face of it, I don’t think inviting her back to his hotel constitutes much of anything beyond an ill-considered faux pas on the part of a guy who probably should have known better. For her to launch this assault now is puzzling, and worrisome. Whatever she hopes to achieve with it, it will NOT redound to the advantage of the side she has supposedly supported for years.

But if all that really happened is that Hannity invited her back to his hotel—no groping, no career-limiting threats, no intimidation, no nasty little quid pro quos explicit or implied…well, exactly who among us expect our TV personalities to grow into plaster saints, anyway?

And who among those who will piously express patented Lefty OUTRAGE! about this nothingburger will be the first to mention serial rapist Bill Clinton in the same breath, pray tell?


To dine with the devil

Don’t do it, Donald. Just don’t do it.

President-elect Donald Trump invited former failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to dinner as he is considering the former Massachusetts governor for a position in his administration.

The pair was joined by Trump’s chief of staff pick, Reince Priebus.

It remains unclear whether Romney will serve in Trump’s administration as Secretary of State, although he reportedly wants the job.

A case of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, maybe? I’m willing to reserve judgment and wait and see—as I only just said, he isn’t even president yet—but dammit, I still don’t like it. Romney is the very walking, talking definition of an establishment RINO-cuck, and what Trump might imagine he brings to the table as a prospective SecState I’m sure I don’t know. Unless it would be complete puppyish obedience to the will of Da Boss, maybe.

In the end, here’s what it comes down to, seems to me: are we draining the swamp here? Or just topping it up?


A place for Hillary!

And Hillary in her place.

A Rush caller commented that Hillary Clinton should be appointed Ambassador to Libya: she broke it, so she owns it. My only addition is: don’t ask for increased security, because that call will be ignored whether it’s at 3:00 AM or some other time. And keep your ass IN Libya, on the job; it’s more important that you perform personal outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood on the streets there.

I cannot even begin to describe to you how much I love this idea. Maybe Ogabe could go along as her chief aid or bottlewasher or something.


Trouble and woe

And higher gasoline prices, for those of us in the Southeast at the very least.

Colonial Pipeline Co shut down its main gasoline and distillates pipelines on Monday after an explosion and fire in Shelby, Alabama, killing a worker and sending five to the hospital – the second time in two months it had to close the crucial supply line to the U.S. East Coast.

A nine-man crew was conducting work on the Colonial pipeline system at the time of the explosion, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley told a briefing. Seven of the crew members were injured, with two evacuated by air.

The explosion occurred when a contract crew hit the gasoline pipeline (Line 1) with a trackhoe, igniting gasoline, Colonial said an e-mailed statement late on Monday.

Bentley’s office said on Twitter the site was about a mile west of a massive leak last month that closed the gasoline pipeline for over 12 days. A 3-mile (4.8-km) area around the site had been evacuated, the governor said.

Via WRSA, Brushbeater asks the (im)pertinent question: “If once is an accident, what’s twice?


If this doesn’t worry the hell out of ya…

You ain’t thinking clearly.

In 2014, we asked, “What can a mere rifle do?” in reference to a standoff attack on a Pacific Gas and Electric power substation in Metcalf, California.

The answer, in that case, was to blow the transformers to hell and gone, and bug out. To date, there has been no arrest in the case; at one time, a DHS official suggested it was an inside job. There have been subsequent attacks, despite attempts to upgrade security; indeed, once, criminals cut through a fence and made off with equipment that was on site — for security upgrades.

Now, there’s been a new rifle attack on a station, in rural Utah. It appears to have been less sophisticated and less persistent than the California attack, but more effective — the attacker or attackers blew the station off the grid with as few as three rifle shots.

Read on for the wholly laughable “security” measures put into place; they’re a forlorn echo of the sort of DHS/TSA security theater we’ve all become used to at airports, ports, and former borders.

The question, as WeaponsMan says, is: how exactly DO you prevent such attacks? Is it even possible to do so?

Finally, the problem with “security” is that it comes down to a mall cop sitting night-in night-out at a bank of computer screens.

Want El Al security? You have to spend El Al money and hire El Al level of people.

How likely does anybody think that is, until after it’s way too late?

The truly worrying thing to ponder, though is this: whether it’s a Muslim terrorist or a domestic variant doing it, if you wanted to spark some real civil unrest and concomitant tragedy—the sort of thing that could easily and quickly lead to a broad and irreparable rip in the fabric of society—I can’t think of a more effective way to do it than to shut the power grid down for even a not-so-comparatively-long period. Might take more than a few rifle shots to do it; then again, it might not.

Sort of makes the #BlackLiesMurder rioters look like pikers all of a sudden, don’t it? But then, if whoever is doing this DOES have, shall we say, a deeper agenda, then he’s already proved himself to be way smarter than those feeble stupes are, just by his choice of targets.


A passing thought

Know what I find highly amusing? Lots of people argue that Trump’s proposal to deport illegals and build a wall on the southern border–forcing Mexico to “pay for it” by cutting off money transfers from illegal aliens back home–is simply absurd. Impossible, they say. Can’t be done, they splutter. Madness, they fume.

In other words, a US president and the entirety of the almighty federal Leviathan simply lacks the power or ability to secure a national border. Not even all of ’em, just the one.

Yet many of these same people also argue, sometimes even in the next breath, that we simply MUST “fix” climate change. And that–si si puede!–we can.

The eternal condition of the climate of an entire planet, a climate whose only constant has been change ever since there has even BEEN a climate, is completely under the control of us puny humans. A national border, though–a minuscule fraction of the land area of that same planet–is simply beyond our ability to influence.

Yeah. Right. Why, it’s almost as if they’re not arguing in good faith and have some sort of hidden ulterior motive or something.


The de-Baathification of America

Win or die.

OK folks, this has gotten serious. Understand that your class and ideological enemies now are floating the idea that you (and me, brother) are to be subject to some form of political tribunal and “rehabilitation” or adjudication, as the case may be. If you don’t think this is serious, might I remind you of what happens when your group falls into the hands of our class and ideological foe – as an example of the extreme ends of this ideological dipole, I present to you the Katyn Forest Massacre. If you have time, review the 400 page list of the dead. Imagine the format filled in with Americans and you will begin to see where this “progressive” idea has led to in the past.

Besides the well established pattern of liquidating class enemies, history is replete with examples where liquidation was just a step too far given the resources at hand. In such cases, “re-education” and “self criticism” were used to dehumanize and gradually eliminate the “other” through non kinetic means. Do you think that your “fellow” Americans will not do this to you? I ask you to reconsider. The clear indications state otherwise. One need only see what goes on within the University to see this process in full swing. Safe spaces, black propaganda and the relentless onslaught of covertly funded subversion all are rendering the ivory tower a bastion of 5th columnists, vanguardists and fellow travellers.

That the regime and its adherents are floating the idea throughout social media that you can be sent to a camp for the thoughtcrime of supporting Donald Trump is troubling and an indicator of the level of fear felt by the establishment facing a potential political upset. Even if you are an “independent” voter, or a “liberal” or “progressive”, this should deeply concern you. One must come to terms with the Rubicon that statements like that make. It is a statement of intent, an indicator of sentiment…signals are being sent that Trump supporters are to be seen as subhuman by the Regime and its adherents/beneficiaries of the existing political order. After dehumanization comes the horror of democide, genocide. If that comes to pass, are Trump supporters to be stripped of legal and Constitutional protections? The Regime has already taken toe-in-the-water test cases with the weaponization of the courts and the IRS against its ideological foes. LIEberals seem to think so, if this telegraphed intent is anything to go by. In the Intel world, we would call it an “indicator”. This one happens to be blinking neon in a dark political night.

Well, Kevin Williamson and Jim Geraghty would certainly seem to be okay with it, at the very least.

As WRSA says: “Just know that the aftermath of this Election Day may not be one of reconciliation and commitment to the peaceful change of governments.” I ain’t gonna lay any bets on that. But I ain’t gonna lay any against it, either.


The vital importance of choosing a republican president

Note the small “r.” That’s of no small importance too.

Back among and within the contiguous American body politic, what will easily get lost in all the coming discussions of policies and personalities, gurus and gaffes is the critical role the presidential election process itself plays in determining the outcome of the election–and the way our current process and its trajectory make the recovery of our republic more difficult.

The constitutional framework for choosing the president is skeletal. Each state is given the freedom to choose how it will award its given number of electoral college votes (equal to the number of members it has in Congress, thus merging the Senate’s equal and the House’s proportional principles of justice) Constitutionally, there is nothing that requires a single popular vote be cast in determining the presidency, although, as Federalist 68 indicates, some sort of role for the people was assumed from the start.

This, Hamilton concluded, was “no inconsiderable recommendation of the constitution,” given the critical role “the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration.” The president, if all went according to plan, would be republican, then, in at least two senses: (1) as a judicious representative of the people, not their impassioned and impassioning mouthpiece, and (2) as their servant in carrying out the specific task assigned to the executive branch: the just and responsible administration of the laws.

How could Hamilton confidently assert that the electoral college system would produce such a republican executive? As a negative constraint, a state-centered mode of choosing electors combined with the necessity of building a winning coalition state by state would undermine the efforts of demagogues and local rabble rousers to dangerously and divisively impassion the American people. As a positive measure, the system would impress upon the new president the national character of his constituency and urge upon him a public service equally broad, within the bounds of the  Constitution’s clearly-defined lines of executive responsibility, enforced by regular elections and the system of checks and balances.

The system, in essence, was designed to produce presidents with the national character and executive disposition already possessed by the man all knew would be (and wished to be) the first president, George Washington. Washington modelled his public service on the Roman republic’s farmer-statesman Cincinnatus and was chosen first president of the Society of the Cincinnati, a veterans group whose motto was Omnia reliquit servare rempublicam (“He relinquished everything to save the Republic”).

The Obama presidency has accelerated and accentuated long-standing trends that threaten to make the office everything the founders hoped to avoid. The president as passionate orator we know. The president as pen- and phone-wielding policymaker we recognize. But the president as sober, competent executor of the laws, “relinquisher of everything to save the public”? Where’d that guy go?

To be fair, he’s been slinking off the national stage for a while. Almost as soon as the founding generation had passed from the scene, a new model for the presidency arose, described in the rhetoric and embodied in the person of Andrew Jackson.

In his First Annual Message to Congress (1829), President Jackson argued that the Constitution’s presidential election system was fundamentally flawed:

To the people belongs the right of electing their Chief Magistrate; it was never designed that their choice should in any case be defeated, either by the intervention of electoral colleges or by the agency confided, under certain contingencies, to the House of Representatives. 

As a result, he proposed “such an amendment of the Constitution as may remove all intermediate agency in the election of the President and Vice-President” and vindicate “the first principle of our system–that the majority is to govern….”

Jackson being Jackson there is good reason to suspect that the driving force behind the proposal was as much bitterness as ideology — Jackson having lost the 1824 presidential election in the House to John Quincy Adams despite having more popular and electoral college votes than his rival (though not a majority of either). A passionate man leading a passionate movement (read any account of the 1828 presidential election) proposes a dramatic change to the Constitution that will free an impassioned people from the constraints of the electoral college: not exactly what the founders had in mind.

And precisely the opportunity for tyranny the Democrat Socialists drool over. I doubt fifteen words of this crucial history is taught in the government schools anymore, at any level. And that, too, is a big part of our current problem–probably the biggest, certainly one of the most easily identifiable–and did a lot to enable the rise of the present Leviathan state.

A lot of you will probably think I’ve flipped my lid here, but I just gotta say it: it seems pretty clear to me that the guy who, in our most recent few elections, best embodied those qualities of republicanism would have to have been–wait for it–Mitt Romney. As a liberal Republican, he was dismally unsuited to the task of reviving Constitutional government, of course. But considered strictly as a sober, judicious, responsible, calm, and competent executive–and as a decent man generally–he’s as close to the republican ideal discussed in this article as we’ve come in quite a long while.

Kind of a longish piece, but definitely a must-read, folks. And a must-ponder, too.


A noble breed indeed

Being a pit bull lover (and owner) myself, I can really dig this. Yes, I did almost type “sink my teeth into” instead of “dig.”

It has occurred to me since last week’s article that all my references to “vicious pit bulls” might have given the impression that I share the all-too-common hysterical fear and loathing of the breed, which manifests itself in (successful, in some jurisdictions) calls for breed-specific bans, and even death penalties for dogs that have shown no inclination to viciousness. That attitude, come to think of it, has rather a lot in common with the equally hysterical fear and loathing of firearms.

Let me be clear that I most emphatically do not share that attitude about pit bulls. Those I have encountered have invariably been extremely friendly–perhaps a bit exhausting with their boundless energy–but with some training seem most accurately characterized by their overwhelming desire to please.

And then it occurred to me that I am often accused (particularly by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) of being “anti-government.” That accusation mischaracterizes my position no less completely than an assertion that I am “anti-pit bull” would. But the parallels are only beginning.

Like pit bulls and other powerful breeds of dogs bred for their fighting prowess and combativeness, governments must be made to know who is in charge. They must be constantly reminded that they exist to serve us. They are too dangerous, as President Washington reminds us, for failure to keep them in check to be any more excusable than failing to keep dangerous dogs contained.

They need to be tightly controlled–kept on a short leash, as it were. In the context of the U.S. government, that “short leash” is the Constitution, and the very explicit limits it places on the federal government’s power–power, remember, that is borrowed from We the People. We know the consequences of allowing the government to slip that leash.

And finally, if, despite all our efforts, government does become tyrannical, it must be put down, like a vicious dog. Hence guns, and the Second Amendment. And we must be humane about it–bring enough gun.

Amen to all that. Via the Dutchman, who is currently off on what sounds like a fun, exciting, and educational trip to America.



I may have to set up a “Celebrity (Not) Stupid” category for Samuel Jackson.

This movie has a fair amount of gun violence and can be a bit flippant about it. Does that give you pause in the wake of what happened in Connecticut?

I don’t think movies or video games have anything to do with it. I don’t think [stopping gun violence] is about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere, and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”

Perfectly sane and sensible, which are rare qualities indeed these days. Cue up the Twitter calls from “liberals” to shoot his ass in 3…2…1…


Wreck the wreckers

How to stop Ogabe’s destruction of America That Was? Refuse to cooperate:

In a recent speech, President Obama declared, “at some point, I think you’ve got enough money.” And it’s what he thinks, not what you think, that matters. That goes double for what he thinks about your money.

There lies – bare as can be – the irrefutable evidence of the president’s true ideology (socialism or worse) and of just how serious a threat he is to this nation.

For all these wealth gluttons, I have a suggestion: stop earning any more money for the next two years. Since most of you voted for him anyway, grant the president his wish. Stop.

Withdraw all your money from all investments. Shutter your stores, restaurants, factories, movie studios, banks and financial brokerages. Evict all tenants from your apartment buildings and shopping centers, and board the buildings up. Invent nothing, bring no products to market, write no books and hire no one. Stop adding to your unjust, unfair, beyond-the-point income or wealth. Take a vacation. File next year’s federal, state and local tax returns with big, fat zeroes written on the payment-due lines.

While you’re at it, buy as little as possible too. After all, at other times, the president has indicated he thinks many of us keep our homes too warm or too cool, drive around too much (on under-inflated tires), eat too much salty food, buy ‘Cadillac’ health plans that are too good. He has a point of too much in mind about everything. He is the Decider of your too-much. Everybody at the too-much point could relieve him of a lot of worry by spending nearly nothing for the next two years.

Read on for the story of one guy who’s putting his money — sorry, Ogabe’s money — where his mouth is. And this is something that bears some consideration, too:

In the dominant narrative of civilization’s march, cultured people are ruled by centralized law-giving institutions (city-states, kingdoms, empires, and now nation-states), usually centered in relatively flat lowlands and sustained by grain agriculture. By contrast, according to this view, people who live in the mountains, in swamps, or in “remote” jungles are rude, primitive, and backward, relying on nomadism, slash-and-burn agriculture, and hunting and gathering. They live not in cities or nations but in bands, clans, and tribes. The way they live is the way everyone used to live before some of us became civilized; they are windows onto our past, living museums of prehistoric life.

How lucky we are not to be backward. How fortunate we are to be ruled by wise kings and far-sighted legislators, by shepherds who protect us from barbarian wolves. Surely, as Oliver Wendell Holmes instructed us, “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.” Those who evade taxes are evading civilization and all that it entails.

Now along comes James C. Scott to show how absurd that narrative is. In his dazzling, enlightening, and enjoyable new book, The Art of Not Being Governed, the Yale anthropologist and political scientist boldly challenges the age-old story of “rude barbarians mesmerized by the peace and prosperity made possible by the king’s peace and justice.”

…Scott concludes his book on a sober note. As states extend their sovereign power from one internationally recognized border to another and intrude into every space, he writes, “the world I have sought to describe and understand here is fast disappearing. For virtually all my readers it will seem a very far cry from the world they inhabit. In the contemporary world, the future of our freedom lies in the daunting task of taming Leviathan, not evading it.”

I think that Scott is essentially correct, but I wonder whether evading Leviathan is part of the process of taming it.

This book might end up being less a study in anthropology and history and more of a handy guide — a sort of lifestyle instruction manual — before Obama’s done driving us all into the deep, inescapable ditch on the far left side of the road.


Race ya’! (Updated)

John Hawkins says Republicans need to do a better job getting minorities to join us:

As a general rule, the Republican Party gets about one-tenth of the black vote, one-third of the Hispanic vote, and one-fourth of the Jewish vote. If this seems like a huge problem today, demographic patterns point to the radical liberalism destroying the country today becoming the norm forevermore.

His solution is kinda’ thin, though:

Making cultural changes takes time. It’s also not cheap. For example, in the black and Hispanic communities, we’d need to fund something akin to a conservative NAACP that could hand out scholarships, help improve neighborhoods — and stand up for Christian values, better schools, and personal liberty.

My comment:

1.) We can never out-pander the other party. If we say we’re for a Cinco de Mayo federal holiday, they’ll be for a Cinco de Mayo holiday and stop signs in Spanish. If we say we’re for that, too, they’ll take it and raise you a Bronze People Reparations bill. You cannot out-pander unpricipled panderers.

2.) We are the party of the individual, the smallest minority. Democrats pit group against group in a divide and conquer scheme for power, even though it tears at the American fabric.

3.) If we simply embrace win-at-all-costs, we’ll have to accept open borders, race preferences, quotas and set-asides, permanent and expanding welfarism and multi-culturalism. In other words, a second Democrat Party. The first one is superfluous; do we really need a second?

There is no way around it; we have to stick to our principles–broad, inclusive, conservative American principles. They bring success and freedom, whenever, wherever and by whoever they are tried. Yes, we can adapt and adopt policies, but if we choose pandering over principle, we’re done. If we don’t stand up for principle, there won’t be any at all.

I want minorities on board, too–but I just don’t see any silver bullet or shortcut. We all became conservatives because we saw these principles to be true in our own experience and in the larger world. Every person has to come to it that same way, regardless of the skin color God gave you.

Remember, though; minorities were all going to be helped by home ownership. Obama even sued Citibank, claiming that Citibank’s failure to make risky loans wasn’t just racist…but a form of slavery!

The bank denied the charge, but after four years of legal wrangling and mounting legal bills, elected to settle. According to court documents, the three plaintiffs received a total of $60,000. Their lawyers received $950,000.

Democrats forced Freddie and Fannie to require banks to make risky loans–and some Republicans helped. By the way, Freddie just asked for another $10.6 billion today, with no end in sight.

Have people of colorfulness really been helped by the Socialized Mortgage Meltdown and resulting unemployment?

Divide and Conquer UPDATE: Zombie:

Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the [Latino] Vice Principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag t-shirts inside-out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal’s office.

“They said we could wear it on any other day, but today is sensitive to Mexican Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today,” Daniel Galli said.

The boys said the administrators called their t-shirts “incendiary” that would lead to fights on campus.

“They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended,” Dominic Maciel [himself Latino], Galli’s friend, said.

So here we have the Principal and the Vice-Principal of an American high school treating the Stars and Stripes as if it was a gang bandanna; even worse, the school administrators took sides in this imaginary US-vs.-Mexico gang fight by allowing the widespread display of Mexican flags on campus but banning (under threat of punishment) any display of the American flag.

NBC quotes a fellow student:

“I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day,” Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. “We don’t deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn’t do that on Fourth of July.”


Warning: Bridge to the 21st Century Out Ahead Due to “Epistemic Closure” (Updated)


There was a sudden ripple upon the serene surface of Conserva-World’s navigable waters yesterday, as Jim Manzi took on Mark Levin over Global Warming.

Charges of “epistemic closure” were also bandied about, which is a fancy–very fancy–way of saying “close-minded”.

Obama has a version of this shopworn liberal favorite, as well. He’s quite fond of decreeing that ‘the tired, old arguments of yesterday are over’–oh, and by the way, they were all resolved in his favor. How convenient!

It is a pre-emptive dismissal; “Sit down and shut-up, conservatives; your opinions are old, unnecessary and illegitimate.” Or, condensed: “I won.” Which is a funny kind of “open-mindedness” when–and if–you think about it.

Chris Matthews, leg-man for the Welfare State, said recently that close-minded Republicans were conducting a “Stalinist purge” in the Crist/Rubio race. To the contrary, a free choice was being made, non-violently, by free people, not one dictator.

Since when did a primary election become a ‘purge’? Since the closing of Chris Matthews’ mind. Such as it is.

Another common trick is to accuse conservatives of various “phobias”. A phobia is an unreasonable fear. But what if our opposition is grounded in a reasoned understanding? Liberals refuse to even consider the possibility that such a thing can exist–in an open-minded, diversity-affirming, tolerant and welcoming way, of course!

Open-minded is getting George Carlin and Rush Limbaugh to agree that the planet is bigger than your plastic grocery bag. Close-minded is insisting Tea Partiers are RACIST!, against all evidence.

As for Global Warming particularly, aside from “Hide the Decline”, the most widely-known phrase associated with it recently is Al Gore’s “The debate is over,” spoken in that famous condescending Al Gore sing-song voice most of us usually reserve for chronically-misbehaving five year-olds.

Excuse me, but dismissively saying “The debate is over.” is the very definition of close-mindedness. And Al Gore said it at the very moment that the debate was just heating up!

I think I know what’s behind Jim Manzi’s out-of-left-field attack, though.

Our cynicism meters around here are pretty much pegged to eleven when it comes to liberal/left politicians and the UN. They’re not supposed to be One World control freaks, self-interested grifters and socialist kleptocrats. They mostly are, but they’re not supposed to be. We’re so far past it, sometimes we forget that.

But scientists, ah, scientists; they’re supposed to be disinterested observers with no axe to grind, trained in the scientific method and honorably reporting the facts–cool, clean, shiny, true-blue facts, on which we can base good decisions.

And it turns out scientists are made of the same crooked timber as the rest of us:

Then, as the IPCC’s high-powered spin engine unspooled, it became clear that the entire 2007 report the EPA indirectly relied upon was a mess. Its absurd claim that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear in 25 years (they are hundreds of feet thick, and melting would take hundreds of years), it admitted, was in error. The author responsible for the chapter on Asian climate, Murari Lal, finally ’fessed up that it was there to goad India, which derives water from these ice fields, into agreeing to emissions reductions.

That is not the Scientific Method, but the Scientific Method-in-Reverse: decide on the political outcome first, then fabricate backwards until you reach the “science”.

My guess is that Mr. Manzi does not want to relinquish the view that science is above that, that they would never hedge and trim for money, power and influence. I don’t want to believe it either.

But sometimes, science proves otherwise.

UPDATE: Andy McCarthy:

I would say that, given our finite capabilities and the shortness of life, AGW may not be a problem at all, and, if it is a problem, it is not urgent enough to obsess over. Not if I am a senior government leader of a country trillions of dollars in debt who is also tasked with making real decisions about unsustainable entitlement programs, the high likelihood that states will soon default, 10 percent unemployment, crippling new taxes and inflation on the horizon, a global war against jihadists whose mass-murder attacks — and their catastrophic costs — are impossible to predict, the imminence of game-changing nuclear capability in a revolutionary jihadist state that has threatened to wipe Israel off the map and whose motto is “Death to America,” aggression from other hostile nations, a judiciary that is steadily eroding popular self-government, and a host of other actually pressing problems.

… make sure that you have a proposal that makes economic sense in light of the straits we’re in, and that you are ready to explain why I should not discount the problem based on (a) the rampant fraud that has been perpetrated to make the problem seem dire, and (b) the financial interests of the alarmist community in the existence of the problem.


What the climate-change research needs in more empiricism, more skepticism and testing, and a lot less “Shut up, he explained” nonsense about “consensus.”

This “closing of the conservative mind” meme may have better support elsewhere, but defenders of empiricism need to employ it in their own arguments.


Time Passengers


Lileks, of course:

Don’t know what to call it, but there’s something about “1960” that snares the eye and the imagination. It’s a half-century gone. It’s pre-JFK-in-Dallas, the fulcrum on which the post-war era balanced. It’s modern – “1960” sums up jets and rockets and whirring IBM computers and thin lapels, a time of crisp sharp technocrats. I imagine people who enjoyed the 50s, identified with the times, felt a certain trepidation when 1960 rolled around. A new decade clears the decks. I identified with the 80s, and hence the year 1990 felt like the lip of a cliff. You pass thirty, the decade changes, and you know it won’t belong to you the way the old one did. The 90s worked out just fine for me; we got a new medium, and that put a spring in my step. But if I’d been a man of the 50s the 60s would have been a time of ever-growing alienation. Each year put five years between the Now and the Then. You’d find yourself in 1970 wearing a polyester suit with wide collars and a tie whose knot was the size of a baby’s head, looking at a wood-grained plastic dashboard in an ugly car, the radio playing Mungo Jerry, wondering how the hell this happened.


Coincidence–or just something that happened the same way? You decide:


As his polls continue to plummet, a devious and unpopular power-tripping president paces the White House halls mumbling to himself, as protesters ring the capitol daily. Observers fear for the president’s mental state…

Incident #1:

The discussion between Nixon and H.R. “Bob” Haldeman was captured by the president’s secret White House recording system, except for an 18 1/2-minute gap where the tape was later erased. … “Haldeman,” Mellinger said, “destroyed the first 17 minutes of his notes and left the conclusion of his notes, which was not incriminating.”

Incident #2:

He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer – more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”). …

Halfway through, an audience member on the riser yawned.

But Obama wasn’t finished. He had a “final point,” before starting again with another list — of three points.

Roger Simon Questions the Patriotism Weirdness:

Therapists often speak of “inappropriate affect” — laughing at sad news, etc. — as an indicator of psychological disturbance. That is not far from what Obama displayed at the question-and-answer session in Charlotte described by Kornblut when he endlessly replied to a woman’s query about taxation. His response was inappropriate, to say the least. It also was a demonstration that at heart he does not believe his own ideas. Otherwise, why take so long? Methinks he doth protest too much, as the Bard said. And protest he does, like a comedian who knows he is bombing but keeps telling jokes.

Unfortunately, the joke is on us. Presidential proposals have become a manifestation of ego and not of thought-through deliberated policy. No attempt at bi-partisanship is ever really made because our leader is too fragile to compromise and too wounded to admit when he is wrong. For someone who arrived as an “intellectual” president, ideas are the least of it. He only wants to be right.

I know some conservatives think Obama is a socialist or a closet Alinskyite or whatever, but I think the problem is yet more complicated. No matter his ideology, this man is not fit to rule psychologically. Or, more properly, govern — but you know what I mean. He doesn’t have the temperament.

3,000-page bills and 17-minute answers–that would drive anybody crazy. And anybody crazy would drive 3,000-page bills and 17-minute answers!

But don’t worry; if he ever cracks, we’ve always got…Joe Biden?


If You Can Keep It

“I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”–John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams (May 12, 1780)

“Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?… And without virtue, there can be no political liberty… Will you tell me how to prevent riches from becoming the effects of temperance and industry? Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice and folly?”–John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, (December 21, 1819)

Victor Davis Hanson takes a Roman Holiday:

What made American culture boom through much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were traditional American values like the Protestant work ethic, family thrift, limited and stable government, equality of opportunity rather than result, lower taxes, personal freedom, opportunity for advancement and profit, and faith in American exceptionalism. …

Our youth in schools are not so excited by the notion of creating 100 new nuclear power plants, creating new mountain reservoirs, building new railroads and highways, or eager to rebuild the steel industry, or dreaming of increasing food production or eager to mine more ores. Instead, the emphasis in our schools is more on race/class/gender engineering, regulation, redistribution, etc, all of which in classical terms is not necessarily wealth creation. …

We spend $45,000 to incarcerate the felon in California, to meet utopian court-ordered mandates. As imperial Romans, we are felt to be owed a standard of living, even as our own daily habits would no longer necessarily translate into such largess, even as those on the periphery have learned what made America so wealthy from 1950 to 1990. …

Many of us try to copy our grandparents and parents whose values and work ethic we increasingly eulogize. But against all that is that Roman notion of luxus, untold wealth and leisure that we see juxtaposed with shrill cries and accusations that we are too poor, exploited, and in need of someone else’s income. The wealthier we become, the louder and angrier we become that we are not even more wealthy. …

In short, what ruined Rome in the West? Lots of things. But clearly the pernicious effects of affluence and laxity warped Roman sensibility and created a culture of entitlement that was not justified by revenues or the creation of actual commensurate wealth — and the resulting debits, inflation, debased currency, and gradual state impoverishment gave the far more vulnerable Western Empire far less margin of error when barbarians arrived…

We could balance our budget tomorrow without a great deal of sacrifice; we could eliminate 10% worth of government spending that is not essential; we could create our own energy with massive nuclear power investment, and more extraction of gas, oil, and coal. We could instill a tragic rather than therapeutic world view that would mean more responsibilities rather than endlessly more rights. We could do this all right — but too many feel such medicine is worse than the malady, and so we probably won’t and can’t. An enjoyable slow decline is apparently preferable to a short, but painful rethinking and rebirth.

Decline the Decline.


A Modest Proposal

Ok, the title’s a tease.  I certainly don’t have the chops of Mr. Swift.  But I do have a proposal.

I love this show.  Love it.  HD DVR type love.  Religiously watch every episode, and I don’t even care to watch most (well over 99.95%) of television type love.

While watching the latest episode I realized that the attraction was the demonstration of the amazing ingenuity of the people who build on human knowledge to refine current products and invent new ones.  It’s damned humbling.  What have I invented?  Zero, zip, nada.  In what material way has my fellow man benefit from my ingenuity?  Ditto.  Why, I realized quite painfully, I am no better than a politician!  Very humbling indeed.

And so, since humility is in such short supply amongst our ruling class, I propose that we ratify a Constitutional Amendment requiring every politician in the land to attentively watch, doing nothing else and under armed guard, at least 1 hour of How It’s Made every day of their term.  After each hour, a short essay test will be administered.  Failure to pass the test will result in watching the episode and taking the test again.  Any three failures in a 30 day period will result in automatic recall and a special election to fill their post.

Maybe, just maybe, such a requirement will result in more humility and fewer urges to poke their noses in where they are simply not needed.  If not, well, there’s always tar and feathers.


In Decent Proposals: SEAL the Deal


Or “You Can Handle the Truth–You Just Choose Not To.”

Proposal #1.) Evidently, since all the Muslim officers swapping e-mails with al Qaeda imams are simply engaged in harmless research, and since all the high-profile detainee cases have been transferred to Night Court in Manhattan to be processed with traffic tickets and zoning code violations, the Mighty Wheels of Military Justice can now turn its gaze upon the real “Case of the Century”, The Case of the Blue-Lipped Bomber.

Navy Petty Officers Matthew McCabe, Jonathan Keefe and Julio Huertas were part of a SEAL team that captured Abed.

Abed complained that he was punched on Sept. 1 during his initial detention. A fat, bloody lip was offered up as proof.

Imagine that.

But first, let’s consult our Rom E. Manual:

The 18-chapter manual provides a detailed window into al Qaeda’s network and its procedures for waging jihad – from conducting surveillance operations to carrying out assassinations to working with forged documents.

The closing chapter teaches al Qaeda operatives how to operate in a prison or detention center. It directs detainees to “insist on proving that torture was inflicted” and to “complain of mistreatment while in prison.”

Now, I’m not suggesting he’s lying about his fat lip. These are fine, upstanding terrorists. Did you know, for example, that these terrorists have a mentoring program in which they let young future Justice Department lawyers represent them for the sheer honor of the thing, just to keep those lawyers off the streets and out of mischief?

I’m proud of these terrorists who sponsor these at-risk attorneys, unlike Eric Holder, who seems to thinks it’s shameful. That must be why he won’t release the secret list of all his many employees that have been busily representing terrorists.

Eric, these lawyers need something to do after school, lest they roam the streets and fall in with bad company. There is no shame that, in their hour of need, they reached out to these accomplished model citizens of the Terrorist Community, citizens who have graciously and generously agreed to give selflessly of their time, in order to counsel (and be counseled by!) these wayward youths you employ.

Release the Secret List, sir.

And while you’re at it, could we also have the list of officials who thought it was a great idea to let Maj. Hasan shoot the breeze with bin Laden’s Rev. Wrong?

Proposal #2.) Just because a terrorist like Ahmed Hashim Abed murders four Americans, hangs their bodies up on a bridge and burns them to a crisp is no reason to give a guy a fat lip.

But it’s no reason not to give him a fat lip, either.

I propose that from now on, all detainees be given a fat lip, on principle. Let’s just face it people; it’s the right thing to do.

Every detainee should receive his fat lip upon intake, at the same time we give him his choice of three different translations of gilt-edged Korans, an antique prayer rug from the Smithsonian collection, his CongressCare Gold-Plated Health Insurance card, his weekly menu consisting of mouth-watering culturally-appropriate dishes made with fresh local produce whenever possible, a pair of fuzzy hypo-allergenic lambswool slippers handcrafted by Moroccan virgins from from halal lambs, a cell phone to call room service, a visa, a VISA card, his AT&T long-distance phone card so he can continue conduct “benign” spiritual “research” with his imam back home, the phone number of a lawyer at Eric Holder’s firm, plus scheduling his first dentist appointment.

This is a lot for our new guest and it can be a bit stressful, so we’ll probably also want to schedule a Swedish massage with real Swedes and essential oils–have you tried the frangipani? It’s marvelous. And, POW!–that’s when we bust his lip.

For failing to tip the masseuse.

Always tip, people. Always.

Proposal #3.) Our SEALS are overseas fighting for your right to have a say in our democratic system of republican government.

By contrast, SIEU union thugs are over here are fighting against the right of Republicans to even say anything Democrats don’t want to hear on a public sidewalk.

Public Service Director of SEIU Local 2000 Elston McCowan accosted Ken Gladney at the Carnahan town meeting in St. Louis Thursday night with the words, “Why is a nigger handing out ‘Don’t tread on me’ flags?”

He then proceeded to tread on him, because the SEIU Caveman’s Union hasn’t gotten the memo; In America, politics is what we do instead of violence, not in conjunction with violence.

Shortly after that, McCowan and several other SEIU thugs and Carnahan supporters ganged up on Ken Gladney and beat him so badly they put him in the hospital with injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face.

Hey, I’m just proposing we issue a busted lip for each terrorist, not commit serious union political terrorism and hate crimes.

Therefore, I propose that these SEALS also be charged with a meaningless, slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor which won’t affect their careers either. If it’s good enough for SIEU thugees in Huggies, it’s certainly good enough for our SEAL heroes-not zeros.

Proposal #4.) He’ll bow to the Chinese Communists for money and he’ll bow to the Japanese Emperor for Hiroshima and he’ll bow to the King of Saudi Arabia for Mecca’s sake…but he won’t bow to overwhelming American public opinion when it comes to trying Terrorists, Inc. in a New York City courtroom. Why is that?

We should either move the trial of George W. Bush Khalid Shake Yerbouti back to a military tribunal in Gitmo, or we should give these SEALS the same options; a military court…or a fabulous, fun-filled, four-year New York City taxpayer-paid vacation!

“Yes, you and your friends will fly to the Big Apple aboard Lockerbie Air, where you’ll stay at the the luxurious Hyatt Hilton Rikers Breakers. Your trusted concierge Lynne Stewart will see to all your communications needs as you attend the Broadway’s longest-running musical “Camels–lots”. You’ll also tour the Statue of Liberty in Air Force One as you wave to horror-struck New Yorkers below. You’ll attend a Cat Stevens concert in Central Park and visit landmarks such as Yankee Stadium, Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and the Twin Towers (to be filled in later). The total value of your taxpayer prize package is: 2,976 lives!”

If we’re going to extend American rights to terrorist war criminals by giving them the civilian trial option because That’s the Way the Our Founders Wanted It Except They Mysteriously Did the Exact Opposite Whenever They Had the Chance, then I make the boldest, most startling proposal of all:

We should also extend these American rights…to Navy SEALS!

Or do terrorists have more rights than SEALS?

Cos’, you know, that’s the way it seems.


State of the Nation


Victor Davis Hanson:

I think not merely the thrill is gone, but a righteous anger about an Obama trifecta— of serial apologies and bows abroad, massive borrowing and deficit spending, and government-take overs of private spheres of life—is swelling up in the electorate. I haven’t seen in my lifetime anything quite like it. And this furor of being had has the potential not just to take Obama down, but also his ideology and supporters along with him for a generation.

That’s the national scene.

On the state level, Dick Morris:

Anxious to avoid raising taxes too much to pay for their health care proposals, the Obama Administration and its Congressional allies hit on a great new idea: Make the states raise their taxes to fund the program instead. […]

If Obamacare passes with its expansion of Medicaid benefits – but with no federal funding of the extra spending – it is these Democrats and their legislatures that will have to bite the bullet and pass new taxes to pay for it.

Since states are already facing mammoth financial problems as a result of dwindling revenues and swelling expenditures in the recession, these additional burdens could be politically fatal.

If so, national Democrats will take state Democrats down with them. I just heard Gov. Palin mention that 36 governorships are up for election in 2010. Good. We need statehouses, too.

Those fifty stars still mean something to some of us.


A Pair of ‘Noids, Styled: Hillary and Her Terrorist


Coming Soon to a Courthouse Near You!

The other day, Frank “Shovel-Ready” Rich accused Republicans of being “Stalinists” for “purging” Dede Scozzadomeafavor–you know, like Democrats did with their VP pick Joe Leiberman.

In support-hose of his thesis, Rich quoted historian Richard Hofstadter, who wrote a book called The Paranoid Style in American Politics back in 1964, shortly after all of you killed JFK.

Trouble is, Hofstadter was a real-life Stalinist, not one of Frank Rich’s phantom Reagan-Stalinists. He was a loyal party member throughout the ’30’s until Stalin gave the game away by signing the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 1940.

We might as well learn this stuff since the Desperate Beast is going to howl it even louder in the coming days. Hofstadter:

American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the tea-bagger Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But behind this I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind.

It’s “not necessarily right-wing”–but Hofstadter could never think of any left-wing examples. Such as the Communist Party of which he was a member.

The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization… he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish.

Most American conservatives aren’t against political compromise–we’re against the phony manufacturing of our consent by saying that every liberal policy preference is already contained in the Constitution.

It is hard to resist the conclusion that this enemy is on many counts the projection of the self; both the ideal and the unacceptable aspects of the self are attributed to him. The enemy may be the cosmopolitan intellectual, but the paranoid will outdo him in the apparatus of scholarship, even of pedantry. Secret organizations set up to combat secret organizations give the same flattery. The Ku Klux Klan imitated Catholicism to the point of donning priestly vestments, developing an elaborate ritual and an equally elaborate hierarchy. The John Birch Society emulates Communist cells and quasi-secret operation through “front” groups, and preaches a ruthless prosecution of the ideological war along lines very similar to those it finds in the Communist enemy. Spokesmen of the various fundamentalist anti-Communist “crusades” openly express their admiration for the dedication and discipline the Communist cause calls forth.

Ah; projection–thy name is Hillary.

Sec. of Statism Hillary Clinton recently had an interesting Charlie Rose interview. Charlie let her pretend she wasn’t a college communist propping up the Berlin Wall–but, then, so did Angela Merkel. She called the Iraq surge a “mid-course correction”, even though her boss called it a failure at the time. Her and Charlie both pretended Iran could be appeased by pretty words and that Mohammed Elbaradei was working to stop Iran instead of working to stop us. She also seemed to be impatient with Pres. Goldilock’s dithering, mentioning his indecisiveness many times.

But the most interesting part was this, from American Thinker:

Clinton: “[W]e do bear some of the responsibility, frankly, for helping to create the very terrorists that we’re now all threatened by.”

bin Laden: “We are sure of Allah’s victory and our victory against the Americans and the Jews as promised by the prophet peace be up on him…We are sure of our victory.

Islamist terrorists are not motivated by grievances, real or imagined, nor by old religious doctrines in and of themselves, but by the perception that their enemies are weak and that Allah — after many years — is again willing to grant victory to Muslim fighters.

In other words, America was created for terrorists to defeat…and America created terrorists to defeat!

That sounds exactly like Hofstadter’s “projection of the self” mirror-imaging. Hillary bin Clinton, meet Obama Rodham-Laden!

We all knew Hillary was a Goldwater Girl back in ’64…but she still is today!

At least, that’s my Conspiracy Theory. And I’m sticking to it.

Until the Bilderbergers prove me wrong.

UPDATE: That’s the spirit!

Reason’s “The Richard Hofstadter Drinking Game“:

“[T]he G.O.P. has been taken over by the people it used to exploit,” Paul Krugman warns today:

The state of mind visible at recent right-wing demonstrations is nothing new. Back in 1964 the historian Richard Hofstadter published an essay–



“Can of Worms”? That’s a 50-gallon Drum of Nine-Inch Night-Crawlers, son!


Ah–who can ever forget the ’70’s song stylings of Mac Davis? But if you figure out how, let me know.

I’m kidding, Mac, I’m kidding.




GEN. CONE: I think General Casey, as you’ve heard him talk, has taken this on directly. And we are going to take a very hard look at ourselves and look at anything that might have been done to have prevented this.

So far, so good…

And I think what’s really important is that Hasan was a soldier. And we have other soldiers that, you know, that might have some of the same stress and indicators that he has. And we have to look across our entire formation, not just in a medical community but look hard to our right and left. And that’s the responsibility for everybody from the top to the bottom to make sure we’re taking care of our own.

I’m all for helping soldiers with their stress. But Hasan wasn’t stressed–he was perfectly at ease with extremism. He was friends with fatwas and jocular with jihad.

But if the Army has other soldiers that are e-mailing al Qaeda, yes, it would be nice if you could weed them out.


CONE: Well, there will be a series — I think an investigation is what the chief staff of the Army — I’m not exactly sure what form that will take. But I think it’s going to be, certainly, a longitudinal look, a big look. Whereas, at Fort Hood here, what I’m directing commanders to do is immediately take a hard look and make sure, if there’s anybody out there struggling, that we’re going to address their issues.

“Jihad” means “struggling”. But if we want to help loyal soldiers with their struggles, then first let’s not get any more of them killed by excusing jihadists in their midst.

I’m sure Gen. Cone is a good guy, but he’s in danger of being “stuck on stupid”, or at least married to a meme.

It’s no wonder everybody’s hooked on this PTSD excuse:

* It works for Obama by making this a crime and not The First Terror Attack since 9/11.
* It works for Hasan by giving him an insanity defense. (Assume for a moment that Sandy Berger will not be dispatched to the hospital to put a pillow over Hasan’s face.)
* It works for the Army so they don’t have to look at how their diversity cringe gave Hasan a pass.
* It works for the Media because it protects Obama and let’s them keep saying “Coulda’ happened to anybody–heck, he might as well have been Amish.”
* It works for the anti-victory crowd by saying “Bush broke the Army and vets are all damaged kooks–just like ‘Nam, man!”

* And it works for the federal agency that Obama had “eavesdropping” on Hasan’s e-mails before they decided it was No Big Deal. You can’t expect them to take seriously the writings of a nut, can you? Besides quoting Mao, I mean?

This Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the Holy Grail of Official Narratives(tm). It slices, it dices. It’s a breakfast cereal, it’s a floor polish! It does it all, baby!

It will be interesting to see who gave the order to ignore Hasan’s e-mails. And to see if Hasan is tried in a military setting after Obama has bashed military justice for so long.

But there is one other narrative that must be observed at all times, The Prime Narrative(tm):

“It’s Not Obama’s Fault.”

Or as Mac said, “It’s Hard to Be Humble (When You’re Perfect in Every Way)”.


Press On


Rich Lowry:

White House officials said they noticed a column by Clark Hoyt, the public editor of The Times, in which Jill Abramson, one of the paper’s two managing editors, described her newsroom’s “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio.” The Washington Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, had already expressed similar concerns about his newsroom.

White House officials said comments like those had focused them on a need to make their case that Fox had an ideological bent undercutting its legitimacy as a news organization.

UPDATE: E-mail: “In other words, their problem is not that Fox isn’t a real news organization, their problem is that it is.”

Charles Krauthammer:

I think what happened today was extremely important, because in trying to ostracize and demonize Fox, the administration needs complicity from other news organizations. Otherwise it won’t work.

And what happened today was other news organizations — admirably and on principle — standing up and saying no. If you are not going to include Fox, we’re not going to go.

And that solidarity I think is important. We are all in the business together. We have different perspectives. Nobody enjoys a …holy objectivity. And what happened, I thought, was a confrontation between an overreaching executive and a free press — and the executive backed down.


The Hounding of the Basketcases

Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”–Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘Silver Blaze’

Three states have already tried Obamacare.

Oddly, though, we hear nothing about them from those who want to impose this nationwide. If it’s such a “slam-dunk”, why aren’t the Hounds of Washington baying these success stories far and wide? Curious, these unsung stories…

Maine, or The Adventure of the Blue Lobster’s Carbuncle–or is The Red Lobster’s Blue Carbuncle? Or maybe it was Aunt Kathleen Whitehair in the infirmary with a blunt mandate. Alas, it’s a mystery…

Running out of money, the legislature went back to taxing Maine insurance companies (and, by extension, private policyholders), enacting a 2 percent tax on all paid insurance claims. The state also has capped enrollment in order to keep costs from spiraling further out of control. The program’s supporters are now looking to Washington for help. “We have a very limited capacity because of limited resources…”

Obamacare would relieve a handful of northeastern states, including Maine, of the burden of funding their broken, heavily regulated and subsidized health-care systems while imposing new burdens on the South and Midwest in the form of expanded eligibility for Medicaid. Of course Snowe voted for this bill. It’s a bailout for Maine.

Massachusetts, or The Heiress of Frankenheinz:

Like gamblers doubling down on their losses, Democrats have already hiked the fines for people who don’t obtain insurance under the “individual mandate,” already increased business penalties, taxed insurers and hospitals, raised premiums, and pumped up the state tobacco levy. That’s still not enough money….

Which brings us to Washington, where Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats are about to try their own Bay State bait and switch: First create vast new entitlements that can never be repealed, then later take the less popular step of rationing care when it’s their last hope to save the federal fisc.

The consequences of that deception will be far worse than those in Massachusetts, however, given that prior to 2006 the state already had a far smaller percentage of its population uninsured than the national average. The real lesson of Massachusetts is that reform proponents won’t tell Americans the truth about what “universal” coverage really means: Runaway costs followed by price controls and bureaucratic rationing.

The Massachusetts plan thus violates the individual’s right to spend his own money according to his best judgment for his own benefit.

Some desperate patients have even resorted to “group appointments” where the doctor sees several patients at once (without the privacy necessary to allow the physician to remove the patient’s clothing and perform a proper physical exam). These patients all have “coverage,” but that’s not the same as actual medical care.

The Massachusetts plan is also breaking the state budget. Since 2006, health insurance costs in Massachusetts have risen nearly twice as fast as the national average. The state expects to spend $595 million more in 2009 on its health insurance program than it did in 2006, a 42 percent increase. Those higher health costs help explain why the state faced a $5 billion budget gap this summer. To help close it, lawmakers raised taxes sharply.

And Tennessee, or The Invisible Case of the Mother of all Unfunded Mandates.”

TennCare was launched by Democratic governor Ned McWherter on the promise that it would save the state money, reduce costs, and increase coverage. Instead, in a decade, the program went from a budget of $2.5 billion to nearly
$8 billion, became mired in litigation, and was forced to make major cuts.

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn was a Tennessee state senator back when many of the problems began to materialize in 1999. “There is not a credible example of having brought about a cost savings and insured everyone. We have seen that in TennCare,” Blackburn told me. “I just find it unconscionable that they are not talking about the lessons that they learned from the TennCare experience, the lessons that are still being learned every day from the TennCare experience.”

…”I would like to know what lessons the administration has taken from Tennessee’s experiment with ‘public option’ health care; a program known as TennCare,” Blackburn wrote.

Sebelius wrote back tersely, “We have learned many lessons from the TennCare experience and recognize its goals, but TennCare is not a traditional public option [unlike Obama’s favored plan, aka “The 100% Solution”].”

The brevity of the response could be chalked up to the fact that it’s not in the administration’s interest to engage in a dialogue about what happened in Tennessee.

But Tennessee’s administration will talk about what’s happening in Washington:

Gov. Bredesen [D.] said, estimating that those costs, if realized, could exceed another $3 billion from 2014 to 2019.

“By my calculation, Dr. Watson, that’s an additional $3 billion in 5 years for just one state!”
“What does that word even mean?”
“I’ve no idea, sir.”
“Incredibly, they dare not even speak about the experience of these three states; it’s the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” of Socialized Medicine!”
“You’re making me nervous, sir.”
“States: Petri Dishes of Democracy, or Specimen Jars, Watson?”
“You’re in trouble, sir.”
“Yes, quite. Exactly so. And he thinks he can pull off this mad scheme just because he’s ‘special’!”
“Just like the evil Dr. Moriarty!”
“Doctors aren’t evil this week, Watson. It’s the insurance companies’ turn this week.”
“But who will they turn on next, Holmes?”
“Patience, Watson; patience.”


First, Care First

Journal of the AMA:

The concept of “cost per quality adjusted life year” as a guideline for resource allocation is founded on six ethical assumptions: quality of life can be accurately measured and used, utilitarianism is acceptable, equity and efficiency are compatible, projections of community preferences can substitute for individual preferences, the old have less “capacity to benefit” than the young, and physicians will not use quality-adjusted life-years as clinical maxims. Quality-adjusted life-years signal two shifts in the locus of control and the nature of the clinical encounter: first, formal expressions of community preferences and societal usefulness would counterbalance patient autonomy, and second, formal tools of resource allocation and applied decision analysis would counterbalance the use of clinical judgment. These shifts reflect and reinforce a new financial ethos in medical decision making. Presently using quality-adjusted life-years for health policy decisions is problematic and speculative; using quality-adjusted life-years at the bedside is dangerous.

American Thinker:

The AP is technically correct in stating that end-of-life counseling is not the same as a death panel. The New York Times is also correct to point out that the health care bill contains no provision setting up such a panel.

What both outlets fail to point out is that the panel already exists.

H.R. 1 (more commonly known as the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, even more commonly known as the Stimulus Bill and aptly dubbed the Porkulus Bill) contains a whopping $1.1 billion to fund the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. The Council is the brain child of former Health and Human Services Secretary Nominee Tom Daschle. Before the Porkulus Bill passed, Betsy McCaughey, former Lieutenant governor of New York, wrote in detail about the Council’s purpose.

Daschle’s stated purpose (and therefore President Obama’s purpose) for creating the Council is to empower an unelected bureaucracy to make the hard decisions about health care rationing that elected politicians are politically unable to make. The end result is to slow costly medical advancement and consumption. Daschle argues that Americans ought to be more like Europeans who passively accept “hopeless diagnoses.”

McCaughey goes on to explain:

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.

Mark Steyn:

I had an elderly British visitor this month who’s had a recurring problem with her left hand. At one point it swelled up alarmingly, and so we took her to Emergency. They did a CT scan, X-rays, blood samples, the works. In two hours at a small, rural, undistinguished, no-frills hospital in northern New Hampshire, this lady got more tests than she’s had in the past decade in Britain – even though she goes to see her doctor once a month. He listens sympathetically, tells her old age often involves adjusting to the loss of mobility, and then advises her to take the British version of Tylenol and rest up. Anything else would use up those valuable “resources.” So, in two hours in New Hampshire, she got tested and diagnosed (with gout) and prescribed something to deal with it. It’s the difference between health “care” (i.e., going to the doctor’s every month to no purpose) and health treatment – and on the latter America is the best in the world.

President Barack Obama has wondered whether this is a “sustainable model.” But, from your point of view, what counts is not whether the model’s sustainable but whether you are.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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