Patterico's Pontifications


“Have You Read the Bill? . . . Hell No You Haven’t!”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:57 pm

Stupak’s Opponent Now Numbering Over 10,000 on Facebook

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:40 pm

Up from 1400 when I joined earlier today. This is from about an hour or so after I joined:

Benishek 1

And this is from moments ago:

Benishek 2

There are several friends of Patterico pictured there. You know who you are.

P.S. He also finally got up a Paypal button of sorts. You might want to go throw him some money.

Keep the Change

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 9:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama takes a victory lap: “This is what change looks like.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry says Keep the Change:

“Unfortunately, the health care vote had more to do with expanding socialism on American soil than it does fixing our health care finance and delivery systems. The Obama health care bill undermines patient choice, personal responsibility, medical innovation and fiscal responsibility in America.

“As passed by the U.S. House, the bill will cost Texas taxpayers billions more, and drive our nation much deeper into debt. Congress’s backroom deals and parliamentary maneuvers undermined the public trust and increased cynicism in our political process.

“Texas leaders will continue to do everything in our power to fight this federal excess and find ways to protect our families, taxpayers and medical providers from this gross federal overreach.”

This is the only State response I found tonight. Feel free to leave links to your State Governors’ responses so we can compare notes.

EDIT: Texas is joining other states by challenging ObamaCare in court.


Senate Bill Passed by House

Filed under: Abortion,Health Care — DRJ @ 7:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Senate health care bill passed 219-212 in the House. Thirty-four Democrats voted against it.

The Republicans have submitted a Motion to Recommit that addresses the tenuous nature of handling abortion via an Executive Order. It’s not clear what the provisions of the Motion are — whether it addresses abortion alone or other issues — but it appears to be limited to abortion. That could be a problem for the Democrats.

You can watch the Motion to Recommit on CSPAN.

EDIT: The Motion to Recommit failed.


Obama’s Plan to Sell Health Care

Filed under: Government,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 6:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Washington Post outlines how President Obama plans to sell the American people on health care and continued Democratic leadership:

“President Obama is set to begin an immediate public relations blitz aimed at turning around Americans’ opinion of the health-care bill, assuming the House passes it, White House officials said Sunday afternoon as they waited for the final votes.
Reshaping the legislation’s image will take place in three phases, aides said: the immediate aftermath; the seven months until the November midterm elections; and the several years that follow, during which many provisions in the measure will gradually take effect.

Driving the message during those periods is the belief among Obama’s top advisers that Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner with unanimous opposition to the legislation and talk of a repeal.

“We truly believe that Republicans have way overshot the runway in their criticism of it,” one top White House official said.”

Shorter WaPo: Obama 24/7 for the next 7 months.

Between now and November, American voters can mobilize to tell Washington what they think about the Democrats’ choices for health care and government. I don’t know what voters will decide but I hope their message is clear.



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:36 pm

With Stupak & Co. selling our their principles for an unenforceable executive order, revocable at will, it’s clear that ObamaCare is going to pass. I have said it time and time again: this legislation fundamentally changes the relationship between the government and the people.

And it’s not likely to go away. Expansion of government is historically a one-way ratchet. We’re still stuck with the New Deal, and we will never be rid of the impossible burdens it has placed on our government in the form of entitlements we can’t afford. We’re still stuck with the “Great Society” — the fabled “welfare reform” of the Clinton era being nothing but a tiny Band-aid on a gushing, cavernous chest wound — and we’ll never be rid of the culture of listlessness and criminality it spawned.

In truth, the American experiment began to end during the New Deal era, when the Supreme Court ruled that people couldn’t grow their own crops on their own land for their own purposes if Congress said they couldn’t. This is just the logical end-point.

I started this post wanting to talk about how to reverse this, because obviously that has to be the goal. But I’m just not in the mood. Like you, I’m just too angry to think constructively.

Leftists will chuckle at our anger because they don’t really feel threatened by the government being in control of vast swaths of the economy. They would be fine with the government running absolutely everything.

But those of us who thought the USA was supposed to be about freedom — we recognize what’s at stake. The American experiment is dead. Maybe tomorrow we can talk about resurrecting it — but today, I’m still in the anger stage of the mourning process.

It may last a while.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn is in a similar mood:

Well, it seems to be in the bag now. I try to be a sunny the-glass-is-one-sixteenth-full kinda guy, but it’s hard to overestimate the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished. . . . It’s a huge transformative event in Americans’ view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. Their bet is that it can’t be undone, and that over time, as I’ve been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people. . . .

Steyn also notes that the crushing costs of this program will mean massive defense cuts, which will eliminate our standing as a superpower.

Just another cheery note on a cheery day.

UPDATE x2: Here’s a positive action that fits my mood: I just joined the Facebook page of Stupak’s opponent. I may send him money. Running that fucking guy Stupak into the ground would be a positive statement — plus the thought of it is enough to take the edge off the anger.

Looks like a lot of other people have the same idea. Thanks to Mike K and Eric Blair.

UPDATE x3: If you’re looking for optimism, Hinderaker has it. Thanks to JVW.

That’ll probably be me tomorrow. Today, leave me to my anger. It’s not a defeatist attitude; it’s a recognition that what we have to do is actually resurrect something that has been killed. It’s a recognition of how dire the situation really is. Plus, that’s just the mood I’m in. Can’t be changed.

I can’t bear to watch the vote come in. I’m going to go play basketball with my son.

Democrats Have the Votes to Pass Health Care

Filed under: Government,Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 12:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

As noted in previous posts, President Obama has agreed to an Executive Order that has turned Bart Stupak and other pro-life holdouts’ No votes to Yes. At NRO, Andy McCarthy thinks the Democrats’ use of an Executive Order is remarkable:

“I know we tire of the hypocrisy, but I really think this is remarkable. We spent the eight years through January 19, 2009, listening to Democrats complain that President Bush had purportedly caused a constitutional crisis by issuing signing statements when he signed bills into law. Democrats and Arlen Specter (now a Democrat) complained that these unenforceable, non-binding expressions of the executive’s interpretation of the laws Bush was signing were a usurpation Congress’s power to enact legislation.

But now Democrats are going to abide not a mere signing statement but an executive order that purports to have the effect of legislation — in fact, has the effect of nullifying legislation that Congress is simultaneously enacting?”

Alcee Hastings was right when he said Democrats are making up the rules as they go along, and pundits were right when they said Obama would be transformative. Now he even makes law.


“Kill” “The” “Bill” (Updated)

Filed under: Health Care — DRJ @ 11:00 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Republican lawmakers cheer on the protesters:

Outside, meanwhile, bullhorns and chants are seeping into the press room and even the chamber. Chants of “Naaaannnccy” and “vote them out” are constant, as are the usual “kill the bill” refrains. At one point, three lawmakers, presumably Republicans, went outside the Capitol building — on a second floor balcony — to greet the protestors. And they each held up one side reading: “Kill” “The” “Bill”.

The Instapundit describes it as chaos on the House floor, and Drudge has this “overheard on the House floor” tidbit:

OVERHEARD: Walking into Capitol this morning on phone, Speaker Pelosi tells Hoyer: ‘Steny, we have to get to 217. None of these members wants to be the deciding vote’…


UPDATE: Will Boehner “filibuster”?

“Leader John Boehner has threatened to use leadership floor privileges — which grant him unlimited time to talk (during the global warming debate he worried Dems that he might filibuster when he launched into an hour-long speech against the bill) — to read the entire 2,300-page bill. If that happens Dems say they’ll reconvene tomorrow to pass the bill rather than stretching the session too late into the night.”

The House is in Session (Updated x2)

Filed under: Government,Health Care — DRJ @ 10:01 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

You can watch it live on CSPAN, and NBC says this is today’s schedule:

– 1:00 pm ET: House comes in for 10 “ONE MINUTE” speeches.

– 1:20-ish: Debate on two “points of order” (i.e., objections) against the rule (having to do with budgetary impact). Each point gets 20 minutes debate.

– 2:15-ish: Vote on the POO’s

– 2:45-ish: Debate begin on the rule

– 4:00-ish: Vote on the rule

– 4:30-ish: Two-hour general health care debate begins

– 7:00-ish: Debate ends. Vote on the SENATE bill begins (This is where John Boehner has asked for a manual vote, which would take much longer than a normal electronic vote. He isn’t likely to get it, however.)

– 730-ish: Debate on a Republican “motion to recommit.” This is the Republicans’ best shot all day, a motion that would scuttle the whole thing. Substance is always a secret until last minute, but we can expect it to involve abortion in an effort to put the Stupak group on the spot.)

– 745-ish: Vote on motion to recommit

– 800-ish: If motion to recommit fails, then the final vote on reconciliation “fixes.”

– 830-ish: Gavel comes down on final vote. If it’s close, Dem leaders will extend the usual 15 minutes to twist arms.

The New York Times reports the vote on the Senate bill will be considered first, and the Reconciliation bill after that.

EDIT — Classic quote from Paul Ryan:

“This bill is the Mother of all unfunded mandates.”

Ryan also said a CBO reports that, by the time his preschool age children are 40, this unfunded entitlement will result in tax rates of 25% for lower income Americans, 63% for the middle class, and 88% on small businesses.

Louise Slaughter is managing the floor debate for the Democrats. Paul Ryan is managing it for the Republicans. It’s no contest.


UPDATE: The Hill believes the Democrats don’t have the votes:

“Hours before a scheduled vote on healthcare reform, Democratic leaders don’t have the votes.

The decisions of two Tennessee Democrats, Reps. John Tanner and Lincoln Davis, to vote no has put President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her lieutenants in a major bind.

If every member votes, Democratic leaders can only afford 37 defections. According to The Hill’s whip list, there are 39 Democrats planning to vote no.”

UPDATE 2: The Hill reports House Democrats must have some Stupak supporters to pass the Senate bill, and now Politico reports Stupak and the White House have reached a deal to pass health care. It will be announced in a few minutes.

Olga’s Story

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 12:04 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

In his speeches and town hall meetings, President Obama has shared stories from Americans who hope ObamaCare is the answer to their health care problems. Jon Ward at The Daily Caller shares another perspective from Saturday’s anti-ObamaCare protest on the steps of Congress — Olga’s story:

“I happened to be standing by [Rep. Steve] King before he spoke to the crowd. He was approached by a 55-year old Russian immigrant named Olga Brenner, who had tears in her eyes as she told King she fears the U.S. is headed the wrong direction. I have video of her exchange with King from my phone and will get that up soon.

I asked Olga why she thought the bill was bad, she said “it’s not a cliche, it really is a government takeover of health care.”

“I thought I ran away from government dictatorship,” she said.

“When people have freedom it’s like air, you don’t remember, you don’t think about it. But when it’s not like air you begin to—you feel it … When there is lack of it, of freedom, it’s suffocating,” she said.

“I know what it is, and you won’t believe how recognizable it is. This is what I hear all my life, the same speeches, good intentions, it’s demagoguery but top-level propaganda. I’ve heard it all my life. And people live in misery.”

When I asked for Olga’s last name, she hesitated, explaining that she was conditioned by living in the former Soviet Union.

“I understand,” I said.

She responded: “You don’t understand. You don’t understand what it is and where it is going.”

Powerful words.


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