So went to my once a year get-together/reunion with my old college buddies which we do in beautiful Gilbert, AR (population 33) on the banks of the Buffalo river. We golf, fish, float, etc (well yes, of course there are adult beverages involved) and just enjoy the quiet and commune with nature.
Unless the government is out of money and then, apparently, they just shut down rivers with Barrycades. As the guys said, we’ve seen more Wildlife Dept. people there to stop people from using the river than they’ve ever seen when it was open. I thought they were having funding problems.
Oh, by the way, we couldn’t have floated it even if we’d have walked around the Barrycades (which we obviously did to know this) – the flow to the river had been shut down at the dam as well.
All in the service of government.
And there’s a reason for this – it’s called a tantrum:
National Park Service officials cited the government shutdown as the reason for ordering an elderly Nevada couple out of their home, which sits on federal land.
“Unfortunately overnight stays are not permitted until a budget is passed and the park can reopen,” an NPS spokesman explained to KTNV.
Ralph and Joyce Spencer, aged 80 and 77, respectively, own their home, but the government owns the land on which it sits.
“I had to be sure and get his walker and his scooter that he has to go in,” Joyce Spencer told the local news outlet. “We’re not hurt in any way except it might cost me if I have to go buy more pants.”
Similarly, the NPS forced privately-operated inns on the Blue Ridge Parkway to close during the shut down.
“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” an unnamed park ranger told the Washington Times. “It’s disgusting.”
It is indeed disgusting. And, it just goes to illustrate how much we’ve let government control our lives.
There’s a backlash in all of this. I’m not sure exactly how it will play out, but I can say that normally mellow men of my acquaintence who don’t particularly pay attention to politics were highly incensed this weekend. “How”, one of them demanded, “can government shut down a river that was here before man existed!?”
Not that it should come as any surprise to those familiar with our president. Nile Gardiner hits the sore spot:
The American Left’s hatred for all things conservative has been on full display in Washington in recent days, with the White House and its allies in Congress heaving with anger and indignation over mounting opposition to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and growing calls to defund it. President Obama has blamed Tea Party Republicans for what he calls a right-wing “ideological crusade” prompting the federal government shutdown. As the president put it in his Rose Garden press conference, “they’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job.” Obama allies have used similar inflammatory language over the past week, aimed at demonising anyone who disagrees with their approach. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has railed against Tea Party “anarchists,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has attacked what she calls “legislative arsonists.” Even former Vice President Al Gore has jumped in to the fray, accusing the GOP of “political terrorism.”
The harsh invective flowing from Washington’s liberal establishment has been nasty, juvenile and petty. This should be a moment for humility for the White House over its hugely unpopular Obamacare reforms, which are opposed by a significant majority of the American people. Ironically President Obama turns the other cheek on the world stage when it comes to challenges to US global power, and has made the appeasement of America’s enemies and strategic competitors into a form of art. But he acts in a truly imperial fashion at home, refusing to listen to the slightest hint of criticism domestically. This is a president who happily apologises for his country’s past when he travels abroad, in thoroughly humiliating fashion for the United States, but cannot bring himself to acknowledge that his own policies might be wrong.
That’s exactly right. And he makes it clear he’s not going to take a leadership role – like a petulant child, he’ll just refuse to deal with others. Fred Barnes points out the obvious:
Presidents have two roles. In the current impasse, Mr. Obama emphasizes his partisan role as leader of the Democratic Party. It’s a legitimate role. But as president, he’s the only national leader elected by the entire nation. He alone represents all the people. And this second, nonpartisan role takes precedence in times of trouble, division or dangerous stalemate. A president is expected to take command. Mr. Obama hasn’t done that.
The extent to which he has abdicated this role shows up in his speeches. On the eve of the shutdown, he warned that a government closure “will have a very real economic impact on real people, right away.” Defunding or delaying his health-care program—the goal of Republicans—would have even worse consequences, he suggested. “Tens of thousands of Americans die every single year because they don’t have access to affordable health care,” Mr. Obama said.
In an appearance in the White House pressroom, he said that “military personnel—including those risking their lives overseas for us right now—will not get paid on time” should Republicans force a shutdown. At an appearance in Largo, Md., the president accused Republicans of “threatening steps that would actually badly hurt our economy . . . Even if you believe that ObamaCare somehow was going to hurt the economy, it won’t hurt the economy as bad as a government shutdown.”
Yet as he was predicting widespread suffering, Mr. Obama steadfastly refused to negotiate with Republicans. He told House Speaker John Boehner in a phone call that he wouldn’t be talking to him anymore. With the shutdown hours away, he called Mr. Boehner again. He still didn’t negotiate and said he wouldn’t on the debt limit either.
Mr. Obama has made Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid his surrogate in the conflict with Republicans. Mr. Reid has also declined to negotiate. In fact, Politico reported that when the president considered meeting with Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell, along with the two Democratic congressional leaders, Mr. Reid said he wouldn’t attend and urged Mr. Obama to abandon the idea. The president did just that.
The man is a presidential bust – and I don’t mean the type that sits on a pedestal. He’s never had it, he will never have it and we’re going to continue to suffer because instead of any leadership qualities the only thing this man can boast is petty partisanship. He’s a master at that. He’s essentially said that he’ll not negotiate and he’ll use his bully pulpit to insult and degrade his opposition.
Until he steps up and assumes that role – this is his shutdown.
The sun is out, the birds are chirping, the day is beautiful and … the government is shut down. I’m not sure, but that may be adding to the beauty of the day.
Meanwhile this is ObamaCare’s first day. Unfortunately, ObamaCare isn’t quite ready.
On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius pleaded for patience during a briefing with reporters, acknowledging there would probably be some site issues in the coming days and weeks as the administration moves forward on the sweeping program known as Obamacare. She likened the inevitable fixes to software updates on Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad.
“No one is calling on Apple to not sell devices for a year or to get out of the business because the whole thing is a failure,” she said. “Everyone just assumes there’s a problem, they’ll fix it, let’s move on. . . . Hopefully, they’ll give us the same slack as they give Apple.”
Apple. She dares to compare this monstrosity to Apple? Really?
Here’s the reason that comparison doesn’t even begin to hold water:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has had since March 2010 to prepare for open enrollment’s October 2013 rollout. Besides churning out thousands of pages of regulations, what have she and her army been doing?
Someone performing as Sebelius has in the private sector would have been fired at least a year ago, when it become obvious that her implementation plan — having already missed critical deadlines almost two years ago – was still hopelessly behind.
However, this would have been an admission of failure during an election year.
Instead, Sebelius and the administration unilaterally, and illegally, delayed imposing the employer mandate requiring companies to cover “full-time” employees — defined as any employee who works an average of 30 hours per week — for one year. The political motivation behind this cop-out is so transparent, one wonders if the delay wasn’t hard-coded in the plan. There has been no change in the individual mandate, which requires individuals and families to have health insurance coverage beginning next year or face a fine. So the employer mandate delay combined with the still-present individual mandate will force more Americans into the state health insurance exchanges. The administration is likely intent on making the process of undoing the exchanges as difficult as possible.
Apple would a) meet their deadline and b) have the product ready for the launch or c) some heads would roll.
So why is Sebelius still at HHS?
Oh, that’s right … because we don’t hold people in government accountable for anything, do we?
Which, of course, is a big part of the reason we’re in the mess we’re in today.
Frogs marching or heads rolling (figuratively speaking) might begin to change a culture that know no matter how inept or incompetent they are, nothing of significance will happen to them. And after all, it’s your money they’re wasting, isn’t it?
This is sure to make the followers of the religion of climate alarmism froth and scream:
A prominent climate scientist says the earth actually faces a global cooling crisis on the eve of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) release of its latest climate change report.
David Archibald, an Australian scientist and visiting fellow at the The Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington, D.C., said during an IWP presentation Wednesday that contrary to a perceived consensus among the scientific community, the planet’s climate is not warming. Global temperatures have essentially remained flat in the last thirty years, he said.
While temperatures have increased by a modest 0.8 degrees Celsius in the last 150 years, that rise is unremarkable compared to previous increases in earth’s history, he said. Temperature spikes have occurred for hundreds of thousands of years and were slightly higher in the Roman Empire and Medieval periods, he added, according to a Swedish study and data from ice cores in Vostok, Antarctica.
Additionally, about 80 percent of the warming that has occurred can be attributed to water vapor compared to about 10 percent for carbon dioxide, said Archibald. The IPCC’s report, scheduled for release Friday, is expected to state with 95 percent certainty that greenhouse-gas emissions generated by humans are responsible for 20th century warming.
“The IPCC models have failed,” Archibald said, adding that meetings like the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark are “hilarious.”
Indeed they are. In fact, word has it that the newest IPCC report simply ignores the lack of warming the last 15 years. That’s one way to hide the decline, isn’t it?
Archibald pretty much calls this what it is, ‘hilarious’. Except that the politicians see a revenue angle, and that makes it much less hilarious and much more likely to see government’s hand in our wallet to address an invented crisis. So they cling to the myth of this religion.
Speaking of the alarmist fundies, how sad is this?
A meteorologist who has covered weather for the Wall Street Journal tweeted that he has decided not to have children in order to leave a lighter carbon footprint, and is considering having a vasectomy.
He also vowed to stop flying after the world’s recent climate-change report made him cry.
Eric Holthaus was reacting to the findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which released a report on Friday that found it was ‘extremely likely’ that humans are causing warming trends seen in the last several decades.
On Friday afternoon the weatherman tweeted: ‘No children, happy to go extinct, which in and of itself, carries a certain sadness. #IPCC’
His next tweet said: ‘Its a very emotional decision. Mixed feelings. adios babies?’
According to another tweet from Holthaus, the Dutch artist known as Tinkebell, who calls attention to animal rights issues through works that use the remains of dead animals, had herself sterilised last week for a similar reason.
My goodness. Frankly I wish more like him would opt for the “Holthaus solution”.
Al?! Al Gore?! Are you listening?
As for the religious aspects of alarmism, think about it:
Saying the science is settled is demanding what religions demand, that you have faith.
Religion has ritual. Global warming alarmism has recycling and Earth Day celebrations.
Some religions persecute heretics. Some global warming alarmists identify “denialists” and liken them to Holocaust deniers.
Religions build grand places of worship. Global warming alarmists promote the construction of windmills and solar farms that produce uneconomic and intermittent electricity.
Global warming alarmism even has indulgences like the ones Martin Luther protested. You can buy carbon offsets to gain forgiveness for travel on carbon-emitting private jet aircraft.
Some religions ban vulgar pleasures, like the New England Puritan sumptuary laws banning luxuries. Some global warming alarmists want to force most Americans out of big-lawn suburbs into high-rise apartments clustered around mass transit stations.
This last element seems to be dominant among many global warming alarmists. Stop the vulgar masses from living their tacky lifestyles driving those horrid SUVs. They must be made to repent, conform and be saved.
I’ll be glad when this particular eco-religion finally is tossed in the dust bin of history where it belongs.
Of course, there’ll be another one close on its heels, you can count on that, and the same “true believers” will be duped into climbing on to its bandwagon, because essentially they’re doomsdayers and this is what they do with their pathetic lives.
This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss the government shutdown and Republican party.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
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Apparently our laws are arbitrary if you’re in a favored group. All you have to do is appeal to the King for an exemption:
Back in 2009, when Democrats were writing the massive new national health care scheme, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley offered an amendment. Obamacare created exchanges through which millions of Americans would purchase “affordable” health coverage. Grassley’s amendment simply required lawmakers, staff, and some in the executive branch to get their insurance through the exchanges, too.
To every Republican’s amazement, Democrats accepted the amendment. It’s never been fully clear why; the best theory is they intended to take the provision out in conference committee, but couldn’t do so because they lost their filibuster-proof 60-vote majority. In any event, Obamacare — the law of the land, as supporters like to say — now requires Congress to buy its health care coverage through the exchanges.
That has caused Democratic panic as the formal arrival of Obamacare nears. Right now, all lawmakers and staff are entitled to enjoy generously-subsidized coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. Why give up that subsidy and go on the exchanges like any average American?
But that’s the law. It could be amended, but Democrats, who voted unanimously for Obamacare, couldn’t very well expect much help from Republicans, who voted unanimously against it. So over the summer Democrats asked President Obama to simply create an Obamacare exception for Capitol Hill.
And the King, looking down upon his faithful minions waved his hand and came up with a “solution” by executive fiat that uses tax dollars to circumvent the law:
Not long after — presto! — the Office of Personnel Management unveiled a proposed rule to allow members of Congress, their staff, and some executive branch employees to continue receiving their generous federal subsidy even as they purchase coverage on the exchanges. No ordinary American would be allowed such an advantage.
However, a rebellion was cooking:
Vitter watched the maneuvering that led to the OPM decision. He began work on what became the Vitter Amendment, which he likes to call “No Washington Exemption from Obamacare,” that would reverse the OPM ruling. It specifies that members of Congress, staff, the president, vice president and all the administration’s political appointees buy health coverage through Obamacare exchanges. If any of them earn incomes low enough to qualify for regular Obamacare subsidies, they will receive them — just like any other American. But those with higher incomes will have to pay for their coverage on the exchanges — just like everybody else.
Vitter hasn’t exactly thrilled his colleagues. “There has been a lot of pushback behind the scenes, including from many Republicans,” he says. Political types have complained that the requirement will cause “brain drain” on the Hill as staffers escape the burden of paying for their own coverage. “My response is, first of all, it’s the law,” says Vitter. “Look, this is a disruption. It’s exactly what’s happening across America, to people who are going to the exchanges against their will. To me, that’s the point.”
Ron Johnson, the Republican senator from Wisconsin, is one colleague delighted by Vitter’s move. The idea of equal Obamacare treatment for Washington is enormously popular around the country, Johnson points out, which means even lawmakers who don’t like it will be afraid to oppose it.
“I think most members don’t want to vote to reject the OPM ruling,” Johnson says. “But I think most members would vote to do that, if they were forced to, because it is so politically unpopular to have special treatment for members of Congress and their staff.”
Seems it should be unnecessary to again make it clear that Congress should have to obey the law – to the letter – just like everyone else. That was what the original law said, no? Yet they managed a workaround that defeated the intent of the law, didn’t they?
So now another amendment is now necessary?
And here I thought that these folks were servants of the people and not a ruling elite (by the way, the big excuse is there’ll be a huge “brain drain” if the law is left in place. Let me be the first to say, given the shape our country and government are in at the moment, I’d welcome the ‘brain drain’).
Make ‘em obey the law. Make them navigate the same atrocity they foisted on the public. No exemptions, no exceptions. And that goes for every law they pass.
While I took issue with John McCain’s refusal to do anything about defunding ObamaCare, my issue was with the refusal more than anything. McCain had no alternative. He just refused to do anything.
There is an alternative however. And Daniel Henninger, in today’s Wall Street Journal, articulates it:
As its Oct. 1 implementation date arrives, ObamaCare is the biggest bet that American liberalism has made in 80 years on its foundational beliefs. This thing called “ObamaCare” carries on its back all the justifications, hopes and dreams of the entitlement state. The chance is at hand to let its political underpinnings collapse, perhaps permanently.
If ObamaCare fails, or seriously falters, the entitlement state will suffer a historic loss of credibility with the American people. It will finally be vulnerable to challenge and fundamental change. But no mere congressional vote can achieve that. Only the American people can kill ObamaCare.
No matter what Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies do, ObamaCare won’t die. It would return another day in some other incarnation. The Democrats would argue, rightly, that the ideas inside ObamaCare weren’t defeated. What the Democrats would lose is a vote in Congress, nothing more.
He’s right. Defunding it simply leaves the question “would it have worked if you inbred Republicans hadn’t stopped it? All indications are this abomination will collapse under it’s own fetid weight. Why? Because, as I said, it’s an abomination.
Consider this from Megan McArdle:
During the design and passage of the Affordable Care Act, its architects and supporters described a fantastic new system for buying insurance. You would go onto a website and enter some simple information about yourself. The computer system would fetch data about you from various places — it would verify income with the Internal Revenue Service, check with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that you were a citizen or legal resident, and tap a database of employer coverage to make sure that you were not already being offered affordable coverage (defined as 9.5 percent of your income or less) by your employer. Provided you passed all those tests, it would calculate what subsidies you were eligible for, and then apply that discount automatically to the hundreds of possible policies being offered on the exchange. You would see the neatly listed prices and choose one, buying it as easily as you buy an airline ticket on Travelocity.
Before I went to business school, I used to work in an IT consultancy, and setting up this system sounded like an enormous job to me — a five- to eight-year job, given government procurement rules, not a three-year rush special. But Obamacare’s stewards seemed very confident, so I assumed that they must have it covered.
As time wore on, the administration has steadily stripped major components out of the exchanges and the data hub behind them as it became clear that they couldn’t possibly make the Oct. 1 deadline when all of this was supposed to be ready. The employer mandate was delayed, and then it was announced that at least some of the exchanges would be relying on self-reporting of income, rather than verifying with the IRS. . . .
How did we get to this point? The exchanges were the core selling point of Obamacare. (The Medicaid expansion was actually a bigger part of the coverage expansion, at least until the Supreme Court ruled that the administration couldn’t force states to take part, but it tended to be downplayed, because no one’s exactly a huge fan of Medicaid.) They were going to introduce competition to a fragmented and distorted marketplace, and make it easy for middle-class people to buy affordable coverage from a bevy of insurers. How can it be that one week before the deadline for opening, no one’s really sure the exchanges are going to work?
No exchanges, no ObamaCare.
Oh, and be amazed by the usual government planning:
I work for one of the largest Telecom providers in the country. I’m an engineer who designs dedicated data links (DS3s, OC3s, etc…) for major companies across the US.
For background, some of these circuits can be put up fairly quickly, but not the ones that I work on. The ones I design can take up to 90 business days to install.
Anyways, a few weeks ago, we got deluged with orders for circuits that needed to be installed by October 1st. These were circuits to support Obamacare.
Needless to say, they aren’t going to make that deadline. Some of the circuits are being held up due to construction builds that won’t be complete until the end of November. The others won’t make the deadline due to the complexity and the number of various companies involved.
Yes, these are the same people you handed your health care too.
Soooo … what will the administration do? Well, delay it of course. But again I point you to McArdle’s point. We’re not simply talking about a simple IT project here. It may never work.
Henninger’s point is very valid. So I officially sanction Dale’s point of view in this case and say “let ‘em have it (good and hard)”. Let them have the bureaucracy, frustration, increased cost and incompetence that has been the hallmark of the Democrats and this administration. Then:
An established political idea is like a vampire. Facts, opinions, votes, garlic: Nothing can make it die.
But there is one thing that can kill an established political idea. It will die if the public that embraced it abandons it.
Six months ago, that didn’t seem likely. Now it does.
The public’s dislike of ObamaCare isn’t growing with every new poll for reasons of philosophical attachment to notions of liberty and choice. Fear of ObamaCare is growing because a cascade of news suggests that ObamaCare is an impending catastrophe.
And catastrophe it is. Let is burn. Let it crash, burn and kill this nonsense once and for all.
It is your wallet which is going to need “conditioning” for this “improved” health care system:
Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.
Of course you’ve seen the lies smoke that HHS has been putting out about how cost will be down, right? By 16%. But they never really tell you down from what, do they?
“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.
That’s right, they’ve apparently learned from Congress about “spending cuts”. You know, when they spend less than they projected they’d spend but more than they did last year? Yeah, “spending cuts”.
Instead, the travesty that is called ObamaCare will be adding on to everyone’s bill (to include those getting a subsidy). Those below 40 get hammered. And those at 40? Not so good either:
The cheapest exchange plan for the average enrollee, compared to what a 40-year-old would pay today, will cost an average of 99 percent more for men, and 62 percent for women.
For this cohort, men fared worst in North Carolina, with rate increases of 305 percent. Women got hammered in Nebraska, where rates will increase by a national high of 237 percent. Again, Colorado and New Hampshire fared best, with 17 percent and 5-8 percent declines, respectively.
Remember that here, we aren’t conducting an exact comparison. Instead we’re comparing the lowest-cost bronze plan offered to the average participant in the exchanges, to the cheapest plan offered to 40-year-olds today. This approach artificially flatters Obamacare, because the median age of an exchange participant is, in most states, below the age of 40.
I’ve always wondered how making everyone get insurance, subsidizing those who can’t “afford” it, and adding layer upon layer of bureaucracy could make health care “more affordable”. Common sense tells you it won’t.
Common sense is right.
Six in 10 Americans (60%) believe the federal government has too much power, one percentage point above the previous high recorded in September 2010. At least half of Americans since 2005 have said the government has too much power. Thirty-two percent now say the government has the right amount of power. Few say it has too little power.
Is this a partisan view? Yes and no.
As you’d expect, Republicans and Democrats pretty much switch positions depending on who is in the White House. But the telling line is the Independent line. It is higher now than it was in the Bush years.
Of course, the pregnant question is, “so what are you going to do about it?”
The answer, if the recent past is any indication, is “not much”. Probably change the Senate over to the GOP, and possibly, in the next presidential election, change parties again.
And then what? Again, look at the trend on the graph above. We’ve changed parties before and yet we still see the power of government continuing to grow. Will another party change really make any difference?
One other thing to note in passing, take a look at the Democrat line in the last year. Democrats who think government has too much power are up 13 points. If I had to guess that is a direct result of the IRS and NSA scandals, ObamaCare and the EPA and other regulatory agencies over-reach. Anyone who thinks those scandals, new regulations and abuse of power haven’t been significant is living in a dream world or, alternately Maine, which is about the same thing.
If anyone ever put the “E” in “establishment GOP”, it is John McCain. “Maverick” my rear end. He’s the archtypical establishment Republican and as such, he’s a member of a group that is almost as bad as the Democrats.
The House passed a bill to defund that abomnination called “ObamaCare”, a travesty foisted upon the public by the Democrats. Republicans, McCain included, decried the bill, decried the money it would cost and frankly said they’d stop it if they could.
That was then, this is now. Apparently you’re not supposed to remember all that rhetoric, and if you do, you weren’t supposed to believe it.
So, speaking of “now”, this his how the old lady of the establishment GOP is addressing an opportunity in the Senate to try to defund ObamaCare:
In the United States Senate, we will not repeal, or defund, Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational. I will again state unequivocally that this is not something that we can succeed in, and that’s defunding Obamacare, because we don’t have 67 Republican votes in the Senate, which would be required to override a presidential veto.
So they won’t even try – which is essentially what he’s saying. They won’t bother to make the symbolic attempt and build a ground swell for it’s eventual defunding or, perhaps, enable an GOP candidate to build a campaign on the attempt. They won’t try to pass it make the President veto it.
Nope. It’s not ‘rational’.
And you wonder why there’s a Democrat in the White House right now?
All I have to say is this brings in focus how awful a choice the people of the United States had in 2008.