Jul 142009

Greg Hitt of the WSJ explains how the Democrats are working over Chuck Grassley to get his vote on their health care plan.

I presume this is as a prelude to throwing him out on the street once he’s outlived his usefulness to them, as has happened to other GOP Senators who’ve gotten in bed with Democrats. But who knows? Maybe they’ll still respect him in the morning.

In any case, what we’re seeing, which is no surprise to some of us, is that Sen. Grassley’s vote is a lot more important to the Democrats than is Al Franken’s. They phrase it like this: “The White House and top Democrats think a bipartisan bill would give the public added confidence in the legislation…”

In other words, the Democrats have very little confidence in their health care plans. They’re pretty sure that once they’re enacted, it will be necessary to lower expectations, just as has happened with the Stimulus Bill.

Remember when the stimulus was urgent and important? Now we’re being told that patience is the thing, and that things will get worse before they get better, etc. etc.

Democrats realize that the same thing will happen with health care, which is why they need Chuck Grassley and maybe one or two other Republicans. When the program has been in operation long enough to have results the opposite of what are now being advertised, they’ll need to save their jobs by pointing to these Republicans and repeating the word “bipartisan” to their constituents.

Jul 112009

A good way for President Obama to exhort Africans to rid themselves of corruption would be to lead by example. He could start by being more open with Congressional investigators about the firing of watchdog Gerald Walpin.

The first African-American president came to the continent of his father to exhort Africans on Saturday to rid themselves of corruption, embrace democracy and move from the grand, often violent, struggles of liberation and tribalism to the quieter, more potent movement of stability and economic growth.

URL here.

Jul 102009

Taking $540 billion out of the private sector and turning it over to the government? That’s not a wealth tax. It’s a tax on all of us. It may hit the wealthy more directly than it hits the rest of us, but that’s small comfort.

WSJ item:

House Health Bill Relies on Wealth Tax

House Democrats plan to pay for their health-care legislation with a big tax increase on wealthy households, aiming to raise $540 billion over the next decade.

Jul 092009

Interesting. Page one of the WSJ says, “U.S. Rethinks How Best to Pay Pros. I wondered how anyone could possibly know what the U.S. was thinking, so I clicked on the article. There I learned that the page one headline had lied to us. Instead of the U.S., it’s the White House that’s thinking these thoughts. (“White House Rethinks How Best to Pay the Pros.”)

That’s kind of what I suspected.

Actually, I’d rather leave it up to the U.S., or more specifically, to the hundreds of millions of people who have an even greater number of factors to consider in evaluating the services of these pros. The Obama administration may have a lot of intelligent people, but if these people think they are intelligent enough to design pay incentive systems for these professions, they are not nearly as smart as they think they are.

But if they think they can handle the job, maybe they should first prove it. They could start by designing and codifying an incentive pay system for the members of the administration.

Hah. I thought that was an original idea until I read to the end of the article.

Jul 012009

I didn’t know a national politician could be capable of writing something this good. Bob Dole had a sharp wit, and also did heroic work in saving our country from nationalized health care in the 90s. But this guy might be able to top Dole on both counts. And he’s from my home state, too.

I’ll probably find some things about Thaddeus G. McCotter that I don’t like, but for now I am just enjoying the fact that an elected politician can do this.

Oh, and he has also re-motivated me to learn Russian well enough to read Dostoevsky in the original. I’ve been spending a few minutes each evening reading some Tolstoi — in a bilingual edition because I need the help of the translation much of the time. In other words, I have a long ways to go. But after reading McCotter I don’t know if I can wait for that before reading more about the Grand Inquisitor.