Category Archives: Government

Go it Alone

141120-go-it-aloneThree days after he was elected president Barack Obama told congressional leaders, “elections have consequences and I won”. He then proceeded to go it alone on an economic stimulus plan.

On September 9, 2009, Paul Ryan had the temerity to explain what was in the health care bill – before we passed it. Obama waited until April 13, 2011 (The Presidential Divider – WSJ) for payback. He invited Ryan to sit in the front row and then publicly humiliated him during a speech on the budget.

As a result of that and other insults, the Affordable Care Act was passed without a single Republican vote. Even at that, it required stunts like the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback (later removed in reconciliation), and the illegal prosecution of Alaskan senator Ted Stevens (The 60th ObamaCare Vote – WSJ).

ObamaCare has never been popular with a majority of Americans. According to Jonathan Gruber Americans are a simple people who need to be lied to for their own good because they’re too stupid to understand basic economics.

Go it Alone

In January of this year Obama announced he no longer needed the serfs or Congress. He had a pen and a phone and he would go it alone on immigration reform. And so he did. Here’s the speech.  When Congress refused to give him a bill he could sign – something David Harsanyi points out Congress has no obligation to ever do – he ordered immigration reform without a single vote from either party.

 

 

 

DEA NFL

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Here’s a new headache for the NFL, and this time it’s not from concussions.

DEA agents raided traveling NFL team docs and trainers last Sunday. They snooped through their bags  searching for painkillers. The idea being that since they were traveling from out of state, the docs might be prescribing drugs without a license.

Interestingly, being out of state doesn’t prevent the players from being hit with local taxes in the state where a game is played.

Silly Shirt Season

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World leaders showed up at the APEC summit in China last week wearing silly shirts. It’s an annual tradition to distract us from the silly stuff they do.

China is filled with with smog. You can taste the PM 2.5 - little particles that go into your lungs to kill you. So what was the signing event of the week? A deal to reduce the carbon dioxide you exhale to cough those little buggers out. And the Chinese don’t even have to do it until 2030. If they’re still alive.

Silly Season

The agreement is for America to set the example by cutting co2 emissions right away. The really silly part is that it’s a deal about nothing. Carbon dioxide emissions in the United States have been falling due to increased use of natural gas and a decreased role for industrial production. We’re expected to reach the goals of  the agreement by doing nothing. China will reach peak population growth by 2030 and it’s co2 emissions are expected to fall naturally by then too.

The other big news of the week was the revelation that our governing elites lack a positive attitude toward us voters. They think we’re stupid. Ok, so maybe they’re right. It’s certainly not a problem shared by China – a situation much admired by Tom Friedman of the NYT.

FCC Net Neutrality

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President Obama says he wants the “strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality”. He wants the FCC to run the internet like a public utility and guarantee that everyone has equal access. That would mean a big outfit like Netflix couldn’t buy up bandwidth and squeeze out virtuous freeloaders like .. um .. Bokbluster.com.

So far so good. Except it might also mean service providers would lose an incentive to build more bandwidth.Holman Jenkins in the WSJ says Obama “has no idea what incentives guide the behavior of broadband carriers, or how regulation might affect the ability of intelligent networks to deliver a growing and potentially infinite variety of services in the future over a common digital network”.

Ted Cruz calls the plan “ObamaCare for the internet”. He says it will put the feds in charge of internet pricing, products, and service. PolitifFact.com looked into Cruz’s claim. They rated if “half true” for whatever that’s worth. I think PolitiFact’s real value is in the reporting it does. Here’s PolitiFact’s explanation of Net Neutrality.

Update:

And here’s Paul Greenberg noticing that AT&T is pulling back an investment in fiber optic cable due to Obama’s 1930’s mindset on the internet.

REUTERS — AT&T will pause investments to bring fiber connections to 100 cities until U.S. regulators iron out rules to regulate how Internet service providers manage their Web traffic, the company’s chief executive told investors Wednesday. “We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed,” CEO Randall Stephenson said.

Stupid Voters

141112stupidThe administration whose foreign policy is “don’t do stupid shit” thinks we’re stupid.

Here’s why.

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to decide King v Burwell. The case is about the survival of ObamaCare. The plaintiff says the Affordable Care Act only permits subsidies on state run health care exchanges. The IRS allows subsidies on federal exchanges as well. Without subsidies ObamaCare is no more.

The reason the law was written that way was to create an incentive for states to set up exchanges say law professors Jonathan Adler and Jonathan Turley. Apparently it wasn’t incentive enough because only 16 states set up exchanges.

The administration argument (not surprisingly) is that the law doesn’t mean what it says. The intention of those who wrote it was to offer subsidies on all exchanges. And good intentions are everything.

Enter one more Jonathan, MIT egghead Jonathan Gruber. He’s the architect of the law and he says the plain wording is just a type-o. His intent was indeed for federal exchanges to offer subsidies.

Unfortunately for Gruber a video emerged in which he claimed that if a state doesn’t set up an exchange not only will its citizens not receive subsidies, they, as taxpayers, will have to pay for other people’s subsidies on other state exchanges.

Gruber, wearing his egg on his face, called that a speak-o.

Stupid is as Stupid does

But that’s not all. More videos have surfaced starring Professor Gruber. One of his most memorable lines is that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage”. He says that if voters understood that healthy people would be paying for healthcare for sick people they would oppose the bill, because they’re stupid.

Ron Fournier of National Journal and an ObamaCare supporter now says the law was built on a foundation of lies.

Progressives believe in government by experts. Gruber is an expert. For him, telling the truth would have been nice but he’d rather “have the law than not”. Jonah Goldberg wrote a great book called Liberal Fascism. Gruber fits the bill.

You may be wondering who was the crack investigative reporter who dug up these videos. It was some guy in his basement. He’s an investment adviser named Rich Weinstein. David Weigel has a great story in Bloomberg about him.