Thursday, June 25, 2009

Obligatory Health Care Post

On a very old mug in my cupboard you find the following bromide:
Bradley's Bromide: If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee — that will do them in.
I have used the committee as a metaphor frequently over the years to denote the dysfunctional qualities of nearly everything the government (taken as a "committee of the whole") puts its hands on.

Welfare. Social Security. Energy. Education. Nothing is immune, and so far as I have been able to discern, there is nothing into which the government has injected itself that is administered in any sort of efficient way. Even something as basic as controlling access to our borders has been handled (if, indeed, someone could use the word "handled" in this regard) in such a way as to make the idea of a border completely laughable. "The border?" one might say. "Sure, we've got one. It's over there somewhere," while waving vaguely in a southerly direction.

But this post isn't about open borders. It's about health care "reform" as currently defined by the President. And therein lies the problem.

It isn't defined.

It's a classic political boondoggle. Obama campaigned on health care "reform" and based his campaign on two pillars:
  1. Health care costs are ridiculously high.
  2. Poor Americans aren't covered by any sort of health insurance.
Unfortunately, it's always the knee-jerk reaction of a politician — and particularly a Democrat — to make the government the vehicle through which these issues will be resolved. I say "unfortunately" because, thus far, the government has shown itself incapable of fixing anything that it gets its overreaching hands on.

It is Obama's reach, more than anything else, that scares me about the man. Because he won (a fact he is eager to keep fresh in everyone's mind) he feels he has a mandate to "do" things, and do them quickly. However, as evidenced by the mislabeled "stimulus" program, not everything lends itself to a rapid solution.

Obama's approach to governing is the very sort of "shock-and-awe" tactic that Democrats so derisively sneer at when describing Bush's "failures" in Iraq. The idea here is to stun the voters into believing that only immediate action will save the health care industry and make coverage freely available to every American, regardless of whether they work or not. Then, while those same voters are reeling with a sense of futility, the government will quickly put together the actual legislation that implements Obama's "plan" (which isn't really a plan in the classic sense), so that they can be seen to be "doing something." By the time they do, the average voter will awaken from their campaign-induced disorientation to find that they have been legislated right into another financial black hole, from which there can be no recovery. Or, in other words, we will have a health care system in this country that accomplishes exactly the same thing that "No Child Left Behind" accomplishes for huge numbers of students in America: nothing.

That's right. What we will end up with is a "system" that costs far more per person than any reasonable health plan currently in existence today, but will be freely available to poor Americans because Congress will simply pump money into it whether that money exists or not. It's the American way.

So Bradley was at least partly correct. If we consider Congress and the President to be a "committee," then someone will be "finished off." I just fear that it will be the average taxpayer that is, at the end of it all, finished off.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

PETA Priorities

I had two thoughts when the President of the United States was caught on tape swatting a fly. My first thought was the obvious (to me and a couple of others) relevance to the story of the Valiant Little Tailor, posted here.

My very next thought, I kid you not, was, "Gee. How long before PETA protests the killing of an innocent fly."

Apparently not long. (H/T: Wizbang)

PETA: Still more concerned about common household pests than aborted fetuses.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Regarding the ABC (All Barack Channel) Fiasco

I have only one thing to say.

Can you imagine the howling we would hear if this were the Bush White House, and the network was FOX?

One Down, Six to Go

(H/T: The Jawa Report)

Over at Hot Air, you can see video of President HopenChange swatting a fly. This reminds me of something... now where have I heard this before...

Ah, of course. The Valiant Little Tailor. In this classic Grimm tale, a tailor kills seven flies with a single swat. He then sets up a life of adventure and eventual leisure by cashing in on his unearned fame. For the most part, the tailor uses deception and parlor tricks to acheive his purposes, and is ultimately rewarded by gaining the King's daughter in marriage.

Obama's claims of "creating and saving jobs" seem to hearken back to this fairy tale. Using little more than smoke and mirrors, he claims that his so-called stimulus program has created and/or saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, even as more and more people find their jobs evaporating into thin air. Unemployment has already hit that danger zone that we were warned would happen without the stimulus, so I'm not sure why his claims continue to be touted by his ever-adoring press corps. Or should that be "press corpse?"

Anyway, our Tailor-in-Chief has a few more flies to swat before anyone will be truly impressed with his abilities. In no particular order, those flies would be:
  • Balancing the budget
  • Healthcare reform rather than socialized medicine
  • Removal of government from private enterprise
  • Abeying and dismantling the nuclear threat in North Korea
  • Making good on his promise to be transparent (in re: the firing of Gerald Walpin), and
  • Understanding the nature of terrorists and their organizations before attempting to deal with them
That should keep him busy for awhile.

Don't Give Up!

This means there's hope for Congress, too!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm Not Laughing, David

I actually haven't laughed at Letterman since I was about 26. That's when I finally grew up and realized that being "edgy" was really just an excuse for being rude, vulgar, boorish, and generally piggish and wanting to be praised for it. I lost my taste for it when it cost me my job.

I'd simply refuse to ever watch him, but he is unfortunately heavily advertised on CBS, which is where one of my favorite shows is currently parked. (I sometimes forget to mute the TV when the commercials come on.) They advertise him relentlessly. The clips they show never fail to make me cringe. His "Top Ten" lists, his inane comments, his failed jokes. The man is neither relevant nor funny.

His sense of self-importance was never more in evidence than when he lambasted John McCain for failing to actually appear on his show. How dare he? That McCain later went back and actually apologized to Letterman for not appearing only caused me to think that perhaps he wouldn't have been a much better president than the one we ended up electing. I mean, how weak-willed would you have to be to apologize to Letterman for anything?

Especially when you consider Letterman's own non-apology for joking about having one of Sarah Palin's daughters be raped by a professional ball player.
"These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl. I mean, look at my record. It has never happened. I don't think it's funny. I would never think it was funny. I wouldn't put it in a joke..."
But you did, David. And even if, as you stated, you meant it to be a reference to 18 year old Bristol rather than 14 year old Willow, what's the difference? It was still a cynical, condescending, disgusting, and even irresponsible thing to say. In a classic case of liberal double-standards, had a conservative said something similar about, say, one of Obama's daughters, you would have had the offender raked over the proverbial coals. Instead, you think you get a walk simply because you referenced the wrong daughter.

What a waste of a good suit.