Before you die, you see…Obamacare.
It took a midnight vote, but the debacle masquerading as “health care reform” passed the House 225-220. The Left’s notaries in the state-run media have, of course, presented this travesty as “progess”, but for whom they didn’t specify. Since Reid knows that he doesn’t have the votes to force this paean to Karl Marx through the Senate, all this vote really achieved was to expose the Democratic Party as the party of arrogance, avarice, extremism, and folly. In fact, the party’s acolytes at the New York Times have become so intoxicated by the heady elixir of their imagined success that, ignoring their usual policy of obfuscation, they openly acknowledged with unconcealed joy that this bill will be “paid for through new fees and taxes, along with cuts in Medicare”. It’s ok though; as we kill our elderly parents and grandparents, our souls can be at peace knowing we are “a large step closer to the health-care practices of most other advanced countries.”
The secret to understanding Obama, and therefore his intentions vis-a-vis “health care reform”, is to recognize that neither he nor the words he uses to define his ideological vision are by nature disingenuous, though how he uses them ultimately is, but rather post-modernist constructs delineating “truth” as he has conceptualized it. To post-modernists like Obama, reality is subjective and is literally created by their imagination. Words, within this paradigm, function axiomatically: creating reality by deliberately projecting thoughts beyond an individual’s subconscious into the “physical” reality of the collective subconscious where those ideas, theories, images, etc. can be observed and/or experienced by others through their own ideological prisms.
Yet the words used to achieve this manifestation of reality are subjective as well and are meaningless until the post-modernist assigns a definition to them which, depending on his/her political inclinations (and the overwhelming majority of post-modernists are Leftist), can be completely antithetical to their conventionally recognized meanings. Thus the basic tenet of postmodernism, its inherent subjectivity, consequently becomes its fatal flaw as it rejects the fact that reality exists separately from the subconscious and that truth is imparted to the mind by experience and not created in it. When this defect is recognized, it then becomes understandable why the Left in general and Obama in particular can sincerely define “health care”, “freedom”, “liberty”, “prosperity” or “truth” in one way, but in reality they are something completely different. And what that is, regardless of how a person chooses to define or imagine it, is not and will not be good.
Without further adieu (and psycho-babble), I present the New York Times article triumphantly proclaiming our new reality, Victor Davis Hanson addressing the plutocracy created by mega-rich liberals (which defines Obama’s “health care reform”), and a blog post from National Review putting Pelosi’s “victory” in perspective:
OBAMA CALLS HEALTH CARE BILL’S PASSAGE “COURAGEOUS”
By CARL HULSE and ROBERT PEAR | 8 NOVEMBER 2009
Photo editing by THE DIALECTICAL PLAYA
The text of the “health care reform” legislation passed by House Democrats last night.
WASHINGTON — President Obama, seeking to build momentum on Capitol Hill after the House passed a $1.1 trillion, 10-year plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system, urged the Senate on Sunday to “take the baton and bring this effort to the finish line.”
Speaking in the Rose Garden exactly 24 hours after he appeared there Saturday to call for House passage of the bill, Mr. Obama praised House members for what he called a ‘’courageous vote” that “brought us closer than we have ever been” to extending coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. He said the bill fulfilled his promise to bring sweeping change to the lives of millions of Americans.
“Moments like this are why they sent us here,” the president said in his brief appearance. He also praised Iraq’s parliament for approving passing a much-delayed election law, calling the two votes “milestones that represent encouraging progress for our country.”
After an extended clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted late Saturday by 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years. Democrats said the legislation would provide relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance, while bringing spiraling health care costs under control.
But Mr. Obama said the bill would ensure health-care coverage for most Americans, without increasing the federal deficit.
He said that he had telephoned a cancer survivor, one Katy Gibson of Montana, whose insurance had been canceled because of her illness, to tell her that with the vote Saturday, “We’ll be able to protect Americans just like her.”
The bill is the biggest health care legislation since the creation of Medicare for the elderly four decades ago.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said he would bring a bill to the Senate floor for debate as soon as possible. The two chambers will still need to negotiate and approve a final bill.
As the debate moves to the Senate — with Democrats still hoping for final passage before year’s end, while acknowledging they face a tight schedule to achieve that — it was clear that the battle to fundamentally revamp the health-care system was far from over.
“The House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” He noted that the bill passed without the support of 39 House Democrats, and he predicted that such legislation would not pass in the Senate. “I hope and pray it doesn’t,” he said, “because it would be a disaster for the economy and health care.”
Only one Republican, Representative Anh Cao of Louisiana, voted for the bill; he told CNN on Sunday that he did so because many of his constituents are poor and uninsured.
House Democrats were forced to make major concessions on coverage for abortions to attract the final votes for passage — the speaker, Representative Nancy Pelosi, decided Friday to let abortion opponents try to tighten any use of federal money to fund the procedure — a wrenching compromise for abortion-rights advocates.
Abortion-rights advocates hope to modify the amendment during negotiations with the Senate. The vote brought the United States — which outspends every other country on health care while leaving millions of Americans uncovered and underperforming in important categories like infant mortality — a large step closer to the health-care practices of most other advanced countries.
Democrats say the House measure, paid for through new fees and taxes, along with cuts in Medicare, would extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance while creating a government health insurance program. It would end insurance company practices like not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill.
Republicans showed no sign of lessening their nearly united opposition. Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the House bill amounted to “a government takeover” that would undermine patient choice, burden states’ budgets and harm elderly Medicare recipients.
link to article here
WORKS AND DAYS
The Discreet Charm of the Left-wing Plutocracy
3 November 2009
The news of this week made mention of Al Gore as our soon-to-be, first carbon billionaire. Accounts included both his earlier and contemporary angry denials that he was greedy, or had used his vast network of government contacts to influence public loans, contracts, and regulations, in parlaying a 2001 net worth of $2 million apparently into a green empire of several hundred million.
In Gore’s telling, he was worried only about the planet, put meager investments into promising green companies, and then, given divine intervention, found himself worth perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars.
Still, I’m not so interested in how Gore made his fortune, or even the ethics involved of barnstorming the planet in a first wave of scare tactics, then following up with a second wave of financial reaping from what his fear mongering had sown—but rather instead the divide between the world he advocates and the life he lives. After all, with cap-and-trade, our energy is going to go a tad higher—the rich oblivious to the cost, the poor to be recipients of government subsidized help.
To distill Gorism is to live in a 1,000 sq. ft. solar house, bike to work, and take the train on long distances; but to promote Gorism, one lives in a mansion, jets on private planes, and is chauffeured from airport to conference center—a rather heavy carbon footprint indeed. I mention that because this week he has insisted that he only invested in what he believes in and is thus not a hypocrite—sort of like a 1990s Fannie or Freddie director saying he is only taking mega-bonuses because he believes in public support for housing.
A Charming disconnect
What has the liberal leadership become? It garners more Wall Street money than the Republicans. The high-income brackets favored Obama. The shriller the populist or nihilist—think everyone from Arianna Huffington to Michael Moore to Noam Chomsky to Gore Vidal—the nicer the home. Think of the vast diversity of such celebrity hypocrisy: John Edward’s “two nations” is defined by his own vast estate—and those outside it. Michael Moore profits in the millions from, of course, damning profit-driven capitalism.
A Sean Penn or Oliver Stone praises the egalitarianism of Latin American thugs whose socialist utopias would jail both in short order if they ever moved in pursuance of their egalitarian rhetoric. The Obama populist team hires Wall Street insiders to bail out friends, whose firms they will shortly join when out of office.
Rev. Wright is back in the news. In Animal Farm, pigs-on-two-legs fashion he is sermonizing on the joys of socialism as he is ensconced in a three-story, 10,000 sq. ft. mansion, paid for by his relatively modest flock in thanks to his virulent race-baiting (the real story of his Fox-news-aired clips was not his racism or anti-Americanism, but the standing ovations he received from his congregation for his unadulterated hate.). A Nancy Pelosi shouts slogans from the barricades, while her husband subsidizes her aristocratic liberalism through a network of arcane deal-making. Chris Dodd worries about the roguery of credit card companies while he finagles an Irish getaway “cottage” through influence peddling. The list could go on.
More than hypocrisy
But everyone is a hypocrite, you object? Again, the mystery is not liberal hypocrisy—as I have written, after all, pompadour-haired, leisure-suited evangelical preachers are regularly caught in flagrante delicto or up-from-the-bootstraps corporate farmers garner vast federal ag. subsidies—but rather the apparent unconcern that revolutionary populism and the desire for great wealth and the elitism it bestows don’t mix.
What are we to make of the George Soroses and Warren Buffetts and the club of the mega wealthy preferring the populist rhetoric of Barack Obama? Why did a “redistributive change”, “spread the wealth” Barack Obama move into a million-dollar mansion, or a “truth to power” Valerie Jarrett make out like a bandit from questionable insider Chicago real estate deals, or Rahm Emanuel cash grab as a director of a scandal-plagued Freddie Mac, or raise-our-taxes Timothy Geithner in the most tawdry fashion avoid taxes? In short, why the liberal fascination with money and privilege—and populism?
Pick an exegesis
Choice One: There must be some syndrome at work of psychological compensation. For many who seek out the high life, but who are cognizant that the big house, the good vacations, the good schools, the nice night life and socializing, are beyond the reach of most, some sort of genuine guilt ensues. One way of squaring that circle is to go hard left in the abstract as a form of psychological penance that costs little in the concrete—the bloodthirsty medieval knight stopping in at the abbey to confess before the gore of battle.
The more Sean Penn praises Castro, the more the perks of Malibu become to his mind OK. Boat around New Orleans after Katrina and you can cruise around the Pacific Coast Highway with a good conscience. Being rich and left-wing is like a 16th-century sinner buying an indulgence through purchasing a few blocks for the dome at St. Peter’s. Moneyed liberalism allows one to feel good at very little personal expense—surely not having one’s child bussed to an inner-city school, or giving up your legacy slot at Princeton for someone more diverse, or waiting at the LA emergency room with a sick child.
Choice Two: With money also comes a sort of refinement by the very fact that hoi polloi are usually kept at a distance—the Kennedys discussing health care from their beach compound, John Kerry from one of his numerous homes lambasting greed, Governor Corzine, awash in $400 million of Goldman-Sachs bonus money, deploring rightist obstructionism to his anti-poverty plans. In other words, the rich like their alliances with the distant objects of their affection, as long as the many remain suitably distant.
There are never consequences for crazy theoretical positions; money and status ensure insulation from high crime, welfare dependency, or the pernicious culture of the underclass. And to write as I do here is to be envious, impractical, irrelevant, blind, etc. to equally bad rich conservatives (who at least admit to being champions of the capitalism that enriched them and to want others to do as well as have they).
The key I think here is an ill-at-ease feeling, not with the poor, or even with the middle class, but with the upper-middle class, or anyone in general that strives to be rich. This is the image of the town-hall money-grubbers, without kids in prep schools, without proper degrees, the ancient polypragmones of Aristophanes’ comedies who hustle to make a drachma through tanning, pottery, and shipping. Joe the Plumber or Sarah Palin is like Petronius’s freedmen who stoop to bite and pick up sesterces in the dung, and are soiled by the efforts at acquisition.
Obamamism’s targets are wannabees, who lack the proper sophistication that real wealth ensures. Again, note the hatred of Sarah Palin and her followers: how dare this upstart sell her memoirs, this winking, you-betcha tart whom we’d never let in a Georgetown party. For many, liberalism, in contrast, is the proper social accoutrement for big money, a tasteful indulgence like driving a XK-150 Jaguar rather than an Escalade, cruising in a Gar wood boat, or having hardwood, machine-worn hickory floors in the kitchen instead of linoleum. Yes, snobbery is part of high liberalism. It is a fashion marker that says: “I want high taxes, because for me they are as superfluous as white lace and crystal.”
Choice Three: There is some real big money in leftwing capitalism. Look at Gore again, and his outrage when asked about the propriety of it all (his argument boils down to: ‘How dare you to insinuate that me, Al Gore, savior of your planet, would ever be interested in making a hundred million off it!), or Charles Rangel’s furor at questions about his corruption, or the Kennedy shock that anyone would ask how the former bootlegging fortune out-trusted ninety years of inheritance laws to reach distant offspring intact.
We don’t associate hardball, tawdry shenanigans with the creation of the Buffett, or Turner or Gates fortune. Even modest fortunes like that of democratister Terry McAuliffe do not receive careful scrutiny when we understand their creators are “with the people” and for whom money-making was always incidental, a brief pause between public service.
Franklin Rains essentially looted what he could get from Freddie Mac, but as a man of the people such despicable compensation was, well, a mere distraction from populism. In other words, liberalism is smart business practice in the world of big money, an enhancement of right-wing capitalist me-first money-making. The wealthier the Wall Street wheeler-dealer, the more likely, in Robert Rubin fashion, one was to embrace Clinton and Obama. Hundred-million-dollar liberalism not only legitimizes and shields great wealth, but says, “Oh, by the way, for a few years I dabbled as one of those lucre-chasing capitalists and found what they do quite easy, actually.”
A couple of final thoughts. We are a long way from Harry Truman’s fair deal Democratic party, like it or not. The theme seems to be that high taxes hardly hamper liberal elites but are necessary to fund the entitlements for the poor and lower middle classes, who in turn promise political support for those for whom money has become of less interest. Not all of this is new: think of the noblesse oblige of FDR or JFK. But rarely has the quest for the good life so permeated the ranks of liberal elites and been so juxtaposed to the rhetoric of fairness and egalitarianism.
Government—the mother’s milk of the poor and wealthy
The push-back to all this is not Republican, but a populist distrust of elites and the cozy government they craft. Americans by and large not only resent higher taxes, but feel that the additional revenue makes things worse not better, by either politicizing public service or corrupting the nature of the recipient. The rich liberal has others go to the DMV for him. The lower middle class gets a job at the DMV. But the middle class waits in line for hours for service from the SEIU clerk behind the window, who can’t be fired as a loyal constituent of big government. Sorry about the stereotyping of hard-working public employees (who more than anyone deplore the corruption of their workplace), but you get the picture.
link to article here
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Mutiny in Scrutiny?
By Jeffrey H. Anderson
It was always clear that the real health-care battle would be in the Senate. But what would have been shocking eight months ago is to hear that it would take until November for the Democrats to pass a bill even in the House. It would have been even more shocking to have heard that, even after a full-court-press by the White House, the bill would pass by only five votes — meaning that if just three of the 435 members had changed their minds, it would have changed the bill’s fate. And it would have been shocking to have heard that 39 Democrats would jump ship.
The House bill has passed — barely and belatedly — and it is now dead. Nothing like it will ever pass the Senate. The question now is whether anything will, now that the voters have spoken in New Jersey and Virginia — and now that the exceedingly narrow margin in the House will likely invite even greater scrutiny of that which is being proposed.
Greater scrutiny will not help the Democrats’ efforts. In truth, their hopes for passage largely hinge on successfully hiding two plain facts from the voters: One, the House Republicans and the Congressional Budget Office have now shown that a bill costing $61 billion can lower Americans’ insurance premiums, while bills costing $1.7 trillion cannot (and instead would raise them substantially). Two, the Democrats’ plans would be paid for only if they follow through on plans to siphon hundreds of billions of dollars out of already-barely-solvent Medicare, and to do so just in time for the baby boomers’retirement.
Given the magnitude of the challenge of continuing to hide these plain facts from an increasingly attentive citizenry, the Democratic health-care train has a very bumpy ride ahead — as it rolls into the chamber that the American Founders thought from the beginning would ultimately decide our fate: the Senate.
— Jeffrey H. Anderson is a senior fellow in health-care studies at the Pacific Research Institute and was the senior speechwriter for Secretary Mike Leavitt at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during Pres. George W. Bush’s second term.
link to article here