A Revolt Of The Masses

Thoughts from Daniel Henninger:

the lumpen electorate works, and the lumpen bureaucratariat spends. They get away with it because they have perfected the illusion that no human hand causes these commitments. The payroll tax just happens. Entitlements are “off-budget,” presumably in the hands of God. This is government without the responsibility of governance.

Unable to identify who or what has put them in hock to the horizon, national electorates are attempting accountability by voting whole parties out of power. Rasmussen recently found that 57% of voters would throw out Congress en masse if they could. Gerrymandered districts ensure that they can’t.

Problem is, the lumpen bureaucratariat can’t stop spending and borrowing and won’t incentivize growth. Amid the phenomenal spending on the financial mess here, they tried to pass a cap-and-trade bill whose centerpiece was an auction of carbon credits to flow trillions of dollars toward the bureaucracies. Mr. Obama’s people seem weirdly oblivious to the scale of their outlays, programs and dreams.

Something has to give.

[Update a few minutes later]

Will Obamacare be to Obama what Spain was to Napoleon?

The Hoyer Town Hall

Mark Hemingway has a report:

To his credit, Hoyer finally took questions via random lottery for almost the next two hours. What is not to his credit is how he answered those questions. I could pick apart the political objections to his claims some more, but Hoyer seemed bound and determined to sink himself by simply being tone-deaf.

When one woman on Social Security disability, and obviously sympathetic to the Democrats’ proposed reforms, explained that she had to drop her $400-a-month health insurance, Steny Hoyer (D-Math) explained that the current plan would help her because it would cap out-of-pocket expenses at $5,000 a year. Another sympathetic questioner wondered why he didn’t have a bipartisan Life Experience Panel, before asking a fawning question.

If his handling of positive questions was less than deft, his reponse to opponents was flaming-dirigible bad. After he repeatedly assured everyone that this bill was fiscally responsible, another questioner asked somewhat incredulously how this bill would save money. Hoyer responded, “I didn’t say the bill would pay for itself, I said it would be paid for.” The angry crowd didn’t like that bit of sophistry one bit. And when another questioner asked how he could assure the bill’s fiscal responsibility when Social Security and Medicare were bankrupt, Hoyer responded by saying, “Indeed, I don’t know if they are going bankrupt . . .” and had to wait to continue because of the riotous laughter that ensued.

Are they stupid, or do they think we are? Or both?

Occasional Transterrestrial commenter Chuck Divine also attended and blogged about it.

A Rock And A Hard Place

Tom Maguire has some thoughts on the latest Obama health-care strategy:

This is classic Obama, who has made a career of positioning himself as the voice of calm reason intermediating between the loonies of the left (Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright) and the crazies of the right (Sen. Tom Coburn, his unrepentant racist grandmother). Obama will want to assure moderates and centrists that he is truly one of them by pitching some part of the Pelosi-Reid agenda aside.

However! We will see if the “Fool me once” rule is invoked by the target centrist audience. If it is, the result for Obama could be disastrous – if he manages to anger lefties without placating moderates, he may end up losing more support than he gains.

I think that’s the most likely outcome at this point. I like it.

An Interesting Question

In comments over at Maguire’s place. Is there anyone who voted for McCain regretting their vote? Judging from the polls, I’ll bet there are a lot of Obama voters who are, but I’ll bet you’d search far and wide to find a remorseful McCain (or more likely, Palin) voter. As I’ve noted before, I doubt if there were very many people who voted for John McCain last year. Most of them were either voting against Obama, or for Palin.

Good News On The Free Speech Front

At long last, Canada has come to its senses:

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Section 13, Canada’s much maligned human rights hate speech law, is an unconstitutional violation of the Charter right to free expression because of its penalty provisions.

The decision released this morning by Tribunal chair Athanasios Hadjis appears to strip the Canadian Human Rights Commission of its controversial legal mandate to pursue hate on the Internet, which it has strenuously defended against complaints of censorship.

Will this put Richard Warman out of business? And does it affect the case of the pastor who has been enjoined from saying or writing about homosexuals?

In its ongoing national effort to be “nice,” Canada hadn’t seemed to notice that it was becoming fascist with a smiley face. I hope that this is the beginning of a reverse of that trend.

[Late afternoon update]

Thoughts from Mark Steyn:

This is the beginning of the end for the Canadian state’s policing of opinion: Judge Hadjis has repudiated the “human rights” regime’s entire rationale as well as a couple of decades of joke “jurisprudence”.

I confess I wasn’t optimistic when the thought enforcers decided to pick a fight with me, but Ezra Levant persuaded me that the thing to do was go nuclear on this disgusting racket and re-frame the debate. We succeeded. There’s a lesson here for American conservatives, particularly as the president and his allies, with the “fairness doctrine” and bills to control the Internet and whatnot, are tempted down a very Canadian path.

Let’s hope it augurs other, future victories in rolling back Leviathan.

Space “Democratization”

Ferris Valyn has some thoughts on that WaPo editorial on commercializing LEO transportation.

It’s kind of amusing to see him arguing with some of the lefty anti-capitalist loons who populate Kos. This was a little less amusing:

Competitive markets (and I stress the word competitive) can be very good at lowering price points. Sometimes they can get too low, and we end up with things like Wal-mart, but this is an situation that desperately needs its price points lowered.

I doubt if the millions of lower-income people whose lives have been improved by Walmart think that their prices are “too low.”

The Constellation Empire

strikes back:

The video itself is perhaps a bit subtle: it’s arguing for staying the course in Constellation, but doesn’t hit the viewer over the head repeatedly with that message. The closing slide asks viewers to contact the White House and Congress and “tell them you DO NOT Want to ‘Take a Chance’ with the U.S. Human Space Flight Program.” (capitalization and punctuation in original.) The information on the YouTube page, though, is rather more blunt: “Although a thorough review was conducted four years ago—and a direction chosen, contracts awarded, tests conducted, and rockets built—the Augustine committee wants to stop work and do something new,” it claims. “This will widen the gap between the retirement of the shuttle and its replacement vehicle, waste billions of dollars and threaten Americas [sic] presence in space. You can STOP this.”

It’s going to be an interesting fall for space policy and politics.

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