Some thoughts from Ross Douthat.
The last Chevy big block has rolled off the line. I rebuilt one or two of those, in my day, including a 454 in a Vette.
…or give me ObamaCare:
Obamacare would require Americans to buy government-approved health insurance. It would make it illegal to offer choices in insurance plans beyond the handful of very similar ones that the government would allow. It would become illegal to offer new and innovative plans. Under any of the government-approved plans, it would become illegal to pay your doctor directly for more than a certain percentage of your care. Higher deductible, consumer-driven plans would be severely altered or eliminated. By law, a greater percentage of money would have to be paid in insurance premiums, rather than directly for care. Competition and choice would diminish tremendously. One-size-fits-all conformity would rule the day.
At its core, what Obamacare really means is a loss of freedom.
Apparently, human liberty is an antiquated concept.
Alan Boyle has a roundup of them for the past year, and a contest for predicting what next year’s will be.
I don’t know why I have to do this, because there are people who get paid for it for a living in Washington, but apparently they’ve been asleep at the switch (at least if they’re Democrats, or maybe they just don’t give a damn). But I’ve been reading…(you know)… the Constitution. I’m assuming that it’s an accurate rendition, because it’s number one or two at Google (is that too broad an assumption?).
In Article 1, Section 8, it very clearly (to my innocent and unlawyerly mind) states:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.
How in the world can Harry Reid’s deal with Ben Nelson possibly pass that test?
Would they really have the audacity to claim that the provisions of this man-caused disaster are neither a “duty, impost, or excise”? That’s the only way that I can see them weaselling out.
Call it the “audacity of hope…
As an early Christmas gift to his readers, Iowahawk revives a holiday classic. Here’s the trailer:
Well, now now now, Clem, sure a few kids drowned. But look at all the jobs it created down at the Potter Retractable Basketball Floor factory. And that’s my point. Now, see, down in Washington there’s a whole Senate full of regular guys like you and you, and me, and we represent thousands of places just like Bedford Falls. And all of those places want their own jobs and healthcare and retractable basketball courts. And it turns out all of this costs money, so we have to get, well, revenues…
You mean taxes?
Well, yeah, Helen, if that’s how you want to put it. See, we put all those revenues in a, a, a, big pile there in Washington, and then we start making deals and such, to make sure we can all bring some home. Sometimes we run out, and have to make up for it with other fees…
You mean taxes? Why don’t you get it from Old Man Potter?
Yeah! Get it from Potter!
Now, now, I hate old man Potter just as much as the rest of you. Maybe more. He lives in that cold old mansion up there on Beacon Hill, while you’re getting laid off and trying to make ends meet. It just isn’t right, and that’s why I organized the big ACORN march against him last year. But I’m telling you, even if we confiscated every penny he has, we couldn’t pay for your free universal health care. That’s why we have to charge you for some of it, and make sure you don’t use too much. But don’t worry, I sent my top trade representative Uncle Billy over to China to get a payday loan for the rest.
But won’t we have to pay them back?
Well, Marge, yeah, technically, but only until you’re all dead. After that it’ll just be your kids.
Stop your malarkey, Bailey! Keep your ridiculous health care bill. We want our money back!
Potterville is looking better and better.
College speech codes become ever more ridiculous.
High AGW Priest Tom Friedman thinks that we deserve to be hit by a massive storm:
Absent such a storm that literally parts the Red Sea again and drives home to all the doubters that catastrophic climate change is a clear and present danger, the domestic pressures in every country to avoid legally binding and verifiable carbon reductions will remain very powerful.
That will be our come-to-Gaia moment.
[Update a few minutes later]
Is global warming a dead issue?
It may well be. We’re now too broke to be able to afford such an ostentatious, gaudy and pointless religion.
[Update a few minutes later]
I kind of buried the lede in the link above — it cites a paper claiming that global temperature is more influenced by CFCs and cosmic rays than CO2. It’s peer reviewed, too.
If the biggest problems are cosmic rays and solar radiation, it’s hard to see how the power-hungry bureaucrats are going to leverage that into taking over the global economy.
How ObamaCare will result in limitless and arbitrary intrusions into our lives:
Does a law or a bill constrain the power of officials — both elected and appointed — by the principles of the law? Or does it empower the officials to define the meaning of the law as they wish, to apply it in an open-ended manner, and to write regulations in order to expand their power?
…we will not be free to escape either the regulations which a faceless bureaucracy will write in order to enforce its edicts, or the decisions made by such bureaucrats over our lives.
If you are an employer, you will not escape punishment if a bureaucrat decides that your health plan is not “acceptable” and that you must be fined for your failure to meet his decision. If you are an individual who does not want to purchase full-coverage health insurance, but would rather buy catastrophic insurance that covers hospitalization only, your decision will not be “acceptable” and you may face a government audit and a new tax.
Do you have a serious disease? Does your doctor wish to readmit you to the hospital? A bureaucrat will decide whether or not you get treatment, based on a statistical analysis of the number of such readmissions by the bureaucrats: “excess readmissions shall not include readmissions for an applicable condition for which there are fewer than a minimum number (as determined by the secretary) of discharges for such applicable condition for the applicable period and such hospital” (Sec. 1151).
The scope of power here extends to the very definitions of terms within the law. This leaves the meaning of the law fluid and subject to the will of the bureaucrats.
Just the way they want it.
…this record-breaking snowstorm is pretty much precisely what climate science predicts. Since one typically can’t make a direct association between any individual weather event and global warming, perhaps the best approach is to borrow and modify a term from the scientific literature and call this a “global-warming-type” deluge…
Global warming. Is there anything that it can’t do?
More over at The American Spectator, where I got the link, with some history in comments:
The worst storm for the East Coast occured in late Jan 1888 (just a few weeks after the horrible Children’s Blizzard). The entire Mid Atlantic states were buried under 15-20 foot snow drifts
The strongest cyclone to hit the UK occured in the 17th Century, and resulted portions of upper Scottland be buried under 60 foot of sand.
Some of the most spectacular rain fall events for Europe occured in the 14th and 15th centuries, which caused widespread famine and starvation. In Normandy, during the summer of 1318 it rained every day but 3.
Ditto for China. The 14th through the 17th centuries saw both record droughts and rainfalls.
And none can be attributed to AGW.
Of course it can. The planet was anticipating our voracious energy usage in the future.