Where Are You?

I’m not particularly obsessive, and I have some social skills, so my self-diagnosis is that I’m near the intersection of dweeb, nerd and geek, but not quite in any of them.

[Update a couple minutes later]

OK, I realize that it’s just a Venn diagram, and not quantitative in the way implied by my positioning. But I’m really not obsessive, so if I’m in any intersection, it would make me a dweeb.

The New Kansas-Nebraska Act

Some historical thoughts from Tony Blankley (an immigrant who understands the foundational principles of this country):

…we enter our history’s second stage in the struggle against the abomination of socialism. Just as slavery had been contained in the South, so entitlement socialism has, until this week, been more or less contained in service to only the poor and the elderly — and even those programs (for the elderly) operate on the principle of beneficiaries paying monthly premiums for the benefits they will later get (Medicare/Social Security). Only the poor, under Medicaid, received benefit without premium payment.

But now, just as the Kansas-Nebraska Act broke through the geographic limit to slave states, the Democratic party’s 2010 health-care law has broken the boundary that limited socialism. Now, the chains of socialism are to be clamped onto the able-bodied middle class — not merely retirees who have paid their insurance premiums and the presumed-helpless poor.

Forcing people to pay for others’ welfare is just a new form of slavery. Or, as Hayek wrote, serfdom.

Eeeeeewwwwww

There must have definitely been alcohol involved. A man was arrested in Punxsatawney for attempting to resuscitate a dead possum via mouth to mouth:

Levier says the animal already had been dead a while.

Break out the tic tacs. Maybe he thought it was Phil the Groundhog.

Though, actually the arrest was for public drunkenness. There’s apparently no statute in Pennsylvania concerning the osculation of deceased marsupials.

And The Hits Just Keep Coming

Here’s the latest, from AT&T. Bet this will encourage them to hire a lot more people:

AT&T Inc. said it plans to take a non-cash charge of about $1 billion in the first quarter following the passage of the health-care reform bill earlier this week, according to a filing submitted by the company Friday. The telecommunication giant will also evaluate changes to its health care benefits for employees and retirees.

But don’t forget — if you like your plan, you can keep it! As long as the ObamaCare hasn’t wiped it out, of course…

And of course, we can at least count on new jobs for IRS agents.

If You Liked The “Stimulus…”

…you’ll love ObamaCare. Further thoughts here:

In both cases, despite broad public skepticism, the Democrats pushed forward on their bill while the White House intensified its messaging efforts, turning President Obama loose on crowd after friendly crowd in an effort to sell Middle America on a near-trillion-dollar fix whose murky specifics were in flux even as it approached a final vote. Sure enough, in both cases polling found support for the measure slowly creeping up as Congress passed the measure (with virtually no Republican support.) And in the days immediately after each became law, public support even reached scant majorities or pluralities in some places, with many saying that though the bill was imperfect, it sure beat doing nothing at all.

Liberals, covered in the stink of success, are now enjoying that bump. But, as I outline in the piece, if Obamacare’s post-passage public opinion trajectory is anything like that of the stimulus, they shouldn’t get too comfortable. A year out, the popularity of the stimulus falls somewhere between Tiger Woods and John Edwards. — and for similar reasons. The stimulus is widely-perceived to have been a failure because it didn’t keep its promise to stop and reverse job losses. Instead, 49 of 50 states have lost jobs since the stimulus passed.

We’re only a few days out from Obamacare’s passage and already reports are piling in from businesses bracing for tax increases and coverage changes. Wait until it’s been a year.

Maybe they should have read the bill…

Another Blow To The Warm Mongers

Apparently cattle aren’t a greenhouse problem.

Is there anything they’ve gotten right?

[Update a couple minutes later]

You know, the correlation between things that leftists dislike (the beef industry, the energy industry, free markets, personal freedom) and things that we’re told are destroying the planet is positively uncanny. I’m sure it’s just coincidence, though.

Frum Update

Charles Murray dishes the dirt on his departure yesterday, and defends the AEI against what he calls Frum’s false charges.

[Late afternoon update]

Mark Steyn weighs in. With (not unexpectedly) a lot of weight:

So, by David’s own account, AEI should have been happy to go on giving him a hundred grand to do stuff he would have been doing anyway and for which he was already being paid. I mean, The National Post of Canada pays him to write for The National Post of Canada. It’s hard to see why AEI should also chip in. As for his other stated contribution to the cause, I’m not sure that hitherto I’ve ever heard the term “landed” applied to Canadian cabinet ministers. No disrespect – many likable chaps on the team – but I gave a speech last year and “landed” half the Canadian cabinet without even trying, never mind invoicing anyone a six-figure sum for the accomplishment.

I’ve never been that impressed by David Frum. Nothing about this episode has increased my respect.

[Late evening update]

Tunku Varadarajan has more, to confirm Murray’s account.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!