“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Palin was right all along

When Sarah Palin coined the term "Death Panels" liberals such as Nancy Pelosi branded it the Lie of the Year. It turns out that Death Panels not only exist, but Democrats are protecting this rationing from future change with a procedural hurdle.

No one is certain of what’s in the bill, but Senator Jim DeMint spotted one shocking revelation regarding the section in the bill describing the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (now called the Independent Payment Advisory Board), which is a panel of bureaucrats charged with cutting health care costs on the backs of patients – also known as rationing. Apparently Reid and friends have changed the rules of the Senate so that the section of the bill dealing with this board can’t be repealed or amended without a 2/3 supermajority vote.

We already see how getting a mere 60 votes is well-nigh impossible. But requiring 67 votes puts the Death Panels completely out of reach of accountability.


  1. It takes only sixty votes to demand that 67 votes change it?

    that's horse shit.....

    Is that classy enough?

  2. Colombia's FARC rebels kill governor, prompting calls for security shift

    Christian Science Monitor - Sibylla Brodzinsky - ‎5 hours ago‎

    The kidnapping and killing of Gov. Luis Francisco Cuéllar, by Colombia's FARC rebels, is renewing calls for tougher and smarter government security policies.

    While the EB posts the perspective of the "Left" which describes Obama as failing in Copenhagen, when the reality, the US won big time, there. While the PR lays the 'failure' on China.

    Obama loses some of his shine, with liberal Europeons, to which the only feeling is one of mirth.

    Obama put the interests of the US first, while letting China to fade the heat.

  3. SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -

    Hawaii's meticulous tourism records are thick with minus symbols, the basis for a projected state budget gap of $1.23 billion that Governor Linda Lingle says is a "fiscal crisis" that cannot be closed with spending cuts alone.

  4. 5 held hostage at rural Virginia post office

    (AP) – 36 minutes ago

    WYTHEVILLE, Va. — An armed man took five people hostage Wednesday at a post office in a small, rural town, officials said.

    Shots were fired, but there were no reports of injuries. Police cordoned off a three-block area, and Virginia State Police sent in a SWAT team and a bomb technician.

    "We've got quite a few folks on the scene," said Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police. "The individual is still in the office."

  5. From the link:
    In other words, Democrats are protecting this rationing “death panel” from future change with a procedural hurdle. You have to ask why they’re so concerned about protecting this particular provision. Could it be because bureaucratic rationing is one important way Democrats want to “bend the cost curve” and keep health care spending down?

    "...rationing to bend the cost curve".

    California will no longer be providing the same level of service in their "Every Woman Counts" mammogram program.

    Rationing to save costs. What the government gives, the government takes back.

  6. DR: Getting China to fade the heat

    China can get away with pumping CO2 like crazy for the next fifty years by making the US the fall guy. The narrative coming out of Copenhagen is that Obama came in at the last minute and his arrogance disrupted a very important consensus and the meeting fell apart. Now Obama knows what it feels like when he says he inherited this recession from Bush, or the war in Afghanistan from Bush.

  7. The Guardian writer from the previous thread says that Obama is taking the heat for China.

  8. The following link was from yesterday's Hot Air. It addresses DeMint's concerns on the "Death Panel" but it also brings up the issue of the constitutionality of the "individual mandate".

    Is Individual Mandate Constitutional?

    "A legal study by scholars at the nonpartisan Heritage Foundation concluded: “An individual mandate to enter into a contract with or buy a particular product from a private party, with tax penalties to enforce it, is unprecedented– not just in scope but in kind–and unconstitutional as a matter of first principles and under any reasonable reading of judicial precedents.”

    How can the government force you to buy something just because you happen to be alive? And this is not a tax like SSA or Medicare. You are being forced to buy it from a private company. And unlike car insurance you are not given a choice.

    There will be a legal challenge to the bill.


  9. Harry Reed says that he sees 60 leaders in the Senate who stood up and said that "healthcare is a right."

    If they wish to make it a right, the proper way is to amend the Constitution.

  10. There will be a legal challenge to the bill.

    There will be, should be, must be.

    But we've got a 'wise Latina' on the court now, and only four solid votes, with one waverer. We've drifted so far away now from the Constitution. I haven't much faith in the court anymore.

    No one wants anyone to go without a doctor and medical care. But this bill, it's a monster.

    It should all be redone, and some Republican ideas incorporated into it, with real freedom of choice.

    Another thing I don't understand about this, is how you can force a doctor to practice in such and such a way.

    Maybe some just want to have a 'private practice'. Meaning, just that.

    I had the happy experience of mailing back the latest AARP mailing to me, yes I'm over fifty, and writing across it "Get some end of life counseling."

    We've got to get some balance back into government in 2010.

  11. It takes exactly as many votes as 51 Senators says it takes. The exception being ratification of a "Treaty;" and that is set at 2/3rds by the Constitution.

  12. Lebanon has announced its repudiation of 2004 UN Security Council resolution 1559 which in 2004 ordered all militias including Hizballah disbanded and disarmed. Lebanese sources reported Wednesday, Dec. 23, that president Michel Suleiman had notified US president Barack Obama about this decision, while Lebanese foreign minister Ali al-Shami passed the word to heads of the diplomatic missions.
    The announcement came two days after Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Beirut and shortly after Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri held talks in Damascus with Syrian president Bashar Assad.
    The US embassy spokesman's only comment was: "We haven't received a verbal note on the matter."
    He did say whether the notice had been relayed to the embassy or directly to President Obama when Suleiman met him at the White House last week.

    yummie just cant WAIT for the illegal dam built on the Litani to get hit....

    Lebanon is about to be wasted....

    Now that the arab world has embraced the new concept of 1000 arabs for one jew... It's official.

    Arab blood, by their own valuation, is 1/1000th of a jew....

    I wonder if they kidnapped something other than a Corporal what he would be worth...

    Is a female worth more since they breed?

    Are all jews equal in hostage value? let's say arabs snag a sandra bernhard, is she as valuable natalie portman?

    I'd just up a lot for a natalie.......

    I might just let them keep sandra....

    She'd kick their ass in a day... riding crop and all....

  13. Mark Steyn confirms my gut instinct:
    Obamacare will be worse than Britains, as the Brits concocted theirs in 1948, before politicians were paid vast sums to include millions of subsections, addendums, and appendixes, and we're not talking surgical refuse.

  14. There is a video out there somewhere, with one of these 'czars', I think one of the Immanuels, maybe someone else, talking to some students, saying, basically, we're just going to bump the old folks off, to save money. Wish I could find it.

  15. The Resident Rodent has yet to respond to my query, to wit:

    "What about the second wave of illegals following Amnesty, 'Rat?"

    ...actually the third or fourth, following previous disasterous policies.

  16. You have yet to thank me for trying to cover over your behavior with my superior effort, al-Bob.

  17. A happier thought is, Ash too will get older, and be bumped off in his turn.

  18. Dennis Miller believes BHO's beliefs differ from Rev Wright's.
    His covey of Tsars puts the lie to that fantasy.

  19. I have wished you and Sonia, al-Doug, a long and happy life, with many pineapples to eat, very sweet, not the acidic kind.

  20. allen said...

    "…The 67-year-old radiation oncologist…"I want to make it perfectly clear that this bill is bad for our doctors," he said Tuesday. "It's bad for our patients. It's bad for the young men and women who are considering going into the health care field."
    Hey Rufus, did you ever respond to my query about doctors and hospitals not making money on medicare/medicaid, and make their living by cost shifting to the private sector?

    Anyone with half a brain can foresee what will occur when their is no private sector.
    I will unfortunately be right about doctors dropping out, and you, as usual, will be wrong,

  21. I like the acidic kind as a chaser after I have enjoyed lunching on Sonia.

  22. My wife makes pineapples sometimes with a little brown sugar on top.

    Try it.

    She puts them in the oven for a little while.

    Those are yummy.

  23. Have Sonia cook you up some of This al-Doug.

  24. Does anyone else remember one of Wretchard's threads going over 1,000 comments (most from the regulars here, I might add)?

  25. heh, that must have been when Buddy Larsen was at full throttle, with Doug yapping along, and Rufus howling in, and Teresita too, and there was a girl named Catherine, and, and.....

  26. Hell, we've been doing about 400 comments a day here.

  27. That's because Doug doesn't shut the hell up.

  28. I had responded, or thought I had, doug-o. Seems it was lost in the ether, so I'll paraphrase it, again.

    The US GOVERNMENT allowed those folks into the country. Has allowed them to work with gray and black market Social Security numbers and has collected the FICA taxes from them. Intentionally.

    Taxes paid by folks that would have never collected on the benefits, if a moderate reform had taken place during the Bush years.

    The Federal Socialists have encouraged the illegal portion of the work force to expand, to cover accounting deficits.

    The increased social costs that the illegal immigrant community creates are covered, so far, by the individual States, without recompense from the Federals.

    Now, just as with Health Care, "something" will pass with regards those residents without documentation. It'll be worse than what "Maverick" recommended, last go round.

  29. Bob, did someone imprint you with robotic personality? You seem very somber.

  30. I hope not, Melody.

    I am quite happy today.

    Things took a turn for the better.

    The skies look not so somber.

    This health care bill though is a bunch of crap, I can tell you that.

    We'd be much better off putting our money into creating more doctors.

  31. Oh good, cause you know Quirk was worried about you.


    Not all tidings are of great joy
    By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | December 23, 2009
    AS FAR BACK as the fifth century, the Monastery of Abu Fana in Upper Egypt was renowned, in the words of one travel guide, for its “exceptional splendor and prestige.’’ Today that grandeur is gone. Instead the monastery has become a symbol of the abuse and degradation to which Egypt’s ancient Coptic Christian community is regularly subjected.

    On May 31, 2008, a band of Bedouin Muslims stormed Abu Fana, destroying a small church and burning the monastery’s farm. Nine monks and monastery employees were wounded, and four others were abducted. “One of the [abducted] monks had his arm and legs broken,’’ the Egyptian lawyer and human-rights activist Nagib Gabriel later testified. “The other two were tied together with ropes, suspended from a tree, and severely beaten with hoses and sticks. Afterwards, they were placed - upside down and still tied together - on the back of a donkey and shoved off. The monks were further commanded to spit on the cross and proclaim the shahada [the Muslim credo that “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet’’], beaten every time they refused, and even threatened with death.’’

    Two millennia after Jesus was born in the Middle East, Christians living there often suffer greatly for their faith. Egypt is home to the oldest and largest Christian population in the region, yet the indignities heaped on them are many: They are prevented from building or repairing their churches, barred from many government positions, and treated with disdain when they seek help from the police or the courts. In the wake of the Abu Fana assault, the government arrested two Coptic brothers, who were held for 14 months and released only after the monastery agreed not to press criminal charges against those who had actually attacked the monastery.

    When President Obama spoke in Cairo last June, he noted mildly that “among some Muslims, there’s a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of somebody else’s faith.’’ But there was nothing mild about the violence at Abu Fana, or about other recent attacks in Egypt, including the vandalizing of a Christian center in Ezbet Boshra-East in June, the torching of a Coptic church in Ezbet Basilious in July, or the looting and destruction of Christian-owned businesses in Abou Shousha and Farshoot last month.

    What is most tragic about the plight of the Copts, however, is that they comprise only a fraction of the estimated 200 million Christians worldwide who face persecution because of their religion.

    In Iraq, Christians in the city of Mosul are being driven out by a wave of violence. In recent weeks, a car bomb exploded outside the Church of the Annunciation, grenades were thrown at a Christian school, and terrorists operating in daylight leveled the Church of Saint Ephrem. The Archbishop of Kirkuk calls it a campaign of “ethnic and religious cleansing.’’ Last week an anonymous source told Asia News: “The Christian community is destined to die.’’

    In China, Christians who decline to worship in government-affiliated “patriotic’’ churches are systematically harassed. “At least 40 Roman Catholic bishops or priests remain imprisoned, detailed, or disappeared,’’ the US Commission on International Religious Freedom noted in its 2009 annual report. “The Beijing Gospel Church, with a membership of 1,000 people, was raided by officials from four different agencies . . . Local police raided the Chengdu Qiuyu Blessings Church . . . telling church [officials] they were suspected of ‘illegal religious practices’ and confiscating Bibles, hymnals, and other education materials.’’

  33. In Somalia, at least 11 Christians who had converted from Islam were beheaded in 2009 by the jihadist group al-Shabaab. Another Christian convert was executed in Mogadishu last month; when his body was recovered, it “showed signs of torture,’’ the Compass Direct news service reported. “All of his front teeth were gone, and some of his fingers were broken.’’

    To such horrors could be added many others - in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Eritrea, Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia. It has been more than 2,000 years since the shepherds abiding in the fields near Bethlehem were told by an angel of the Lord, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.’’ But for millions of persecuted Christians, the fears are all too real. And so is their need for prayer and solidarity from all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, who seek to be our brother’s keeper.


    Osama bin Laden’s closest relatives are living in a secret compound in Iran, members of the family said last night. They include a wife and children who disappeared from his Afghan camp at the time of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
    There has been uncertainty about the family’s whereabouts for the past eight years, with reports that some of the children had been killed in bombings, while others had joined their father in planning terrorist attacks. However, relatives said that they found out last month that the group, including one of Osama’s wives, six of his children and 11 of his grandchildren, had been kept in a high-security compound outside Tehran.

  35. Hm...It's awfully quiet around here.

  36. I've been doin' some things. Our new cat Caesar, who I call yellow, cause that's his color, who just had his balls cut off not so long ago, so he won't impregnate the whole neighborhood, just meowed out my window. So I have to go rush and let him in, on his demand.

    That's what you get for rescuing a cat, from the pound, vet bills, and the cat's demands.

    He has me trained well.

    He is a cute critter though.

  37. I have a cat. His name is fluffy. When I called the vet to make an appointment to have him neutered the lady said don't you mean spayed. I said, "No, fluffy is a boy. He needs to be neutered." She paused and seemed confused, "But..." I told her fluffy was a fagot.

    I made my daughter drop him off the next day to have the surgery.

  38. When Juliet fell for Romeo, her whole language changed, and though she still thought in the old Latin forms she had been taught, with those images, her whole language became passionate, free flowing, and intense.

    She became herself.

  39. :) I had a cat named Tuffty. He was a lazy ass too. He had little hairs at the top of his ears, like a Minx Cat.

    Melody, did I tell you about my Brittany Spaniel called Ezra?

    The best dog alive. We bonded, when he was six weeks.

    He slept in my bed, always.

    His father, Brett, I wanted to shoot. I took him to training classes, the whole thing, but in the field he would always run off, excited, and flush the birds out of range.

    Ezra, however, I never taught at all, but he was perfect, intense, intelligent, if I moved my finger just a bit, over that way now, to those bushes, he knew exactly what to do.

    We were one.

    He always knew too, if we were going hunting that day, and if I put the boots on, his tail would always wag.

  40. I mention Juliet, and Romeo, cause I watched the movie yesterday, it was very well done, though it's true, the director of it, should perhaps be in jail.

  41. WiO,

    You are a XXX. Why the concern about Christians suffering at the hands of Muslims, among others? I thought you had only one concern and were of dubious loyalty and provenance :-) Am I to understand that a XXX can have a heart :-D

    Best, my friend, and thanks for the touching report.

    If XXXXXXXX were a bit larger or Lebanon was still democratic and Christian, we could encourage flight to safer environs.

  42. That's what I can't understand about people who think Israel is hitting on the Palestinians.

    The whole area, over many centuries, has been wiped clean, for the most part, of Jews and Christians.

    These bastards that beat up their women.

    I was born Lutheran, but I'm really not that.

    I think if you want to categorize me, mark me down as an Arian Christian, thinking Jesus may have had an experience much like Black Elk. And found his innate divinity.

    Read that book.

    Moslems we do not want. Everyone else can get along, but these bastards want to kill us.

  43. We could remember Danny Thomas a Lebanese of the Christian persuasion, and a good American.

    Now what is Lebanon becoming?

  44. e-mail from Mat

    And Happy Holidays to you, of whatever persuasion.

    brr, the temp has gone down here.

  45. " MeLoDy said...
    I have a cat. His name is fluffy. When I called the vet to make an appointment to have him neutered the lady said don't you mean spayed. I said, "No, fluffy is a boy. He needs to be neutered." She paused and seemed confused, "But..." I told her fluffy was a fagot.

    I made my daughter drop him off the next day to have the surgery.

    Wed Dec 23, 10:19:00 PM EST

    Melody and T, thank you both so much for your contribution, along with Trish and showing the men of this bar just who strong woman are. I have thoroughly enjoyed the shift.