It Is, Perhaps, the End of the Beginning
I can’t believe this day is here, but after over two years working for NRO I’m moving on. To say that these last two years at NRO have been a wonderful experience would be a big understatement. I ...
What's in the Pelosi Bill?
From a GOP source:
Fun Fact: Page 1255 of the bill makes veterinary students eligible for federal grant funding, including scholarships and loan forgiveness. There is $283 million in spending authorized under these sections – meaning we could be spending hundreds of millions ...
House GOP Responds to Pelosi Bill
House Republicans held a press conference to repond to the Pelosi legislation. Some highlights:
Republican Leader John Boehner highlights that the House bill is no different than the Senate’s in terms of it’s expansiveness and it’s also “...
Kyl Supports an Opt-In Public Option? Not So Fast...
Senate GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) on Tuesday said he supports the idea of allowing states to decide whether to opt in to a publicly run health plan.
Kyl told The Hill he remains opposed to the Senate ...
Kevin Chavous is an African American and former Democratic city council member from Washington, D.C. He says he’s an Obama supporter, but he is distinctly unhappy with the president. Elections may have consequences, but no one expected that ...
Obama Science Czar Quotes Mao -- On Population Control?
Media Matters’s defense of Anita Dunn — the White House communications director who declared Mao one of her “favorite political philosophers” — is pretty amazing:
Continuing Fox News’ witch hunt against members of the Obama administration, both Glenn Beck and Special ...
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid all but conceded Wednesday that a Medicare physician pay “fix” faces defeat in a procedural vote.
The Senate is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on a 10-year, $247 billion bill that would repeal the current ...
Senate Dems Don't Have the Votes to Buy Off Docs?
Congress Daily (subscription-only link):
The Medicare physician payment fix before the Senate is facing two major hurdles today: The bill does not have the necessary 60 votes, and House Democratic leaders said they would not take up the Senate’s version ...
Re: Dems Buying Off Doctors on Health-Care Reform
The Hill has more on this story:
The White House and Democratic leaders are offering doctors a deal: They’ll freeze cuts in Medicare payments to doctors in exchange for doctors’ support of healthcare reform.
At a meeting on Capitol ...
Ignoring the Laboratories of Democracy
Just a few minutes ago, Sen. McCain was on the floor of the Senate praising Texas’ medical malpractice reforms. By all accounts, Texas’ reforms have been largely successful in attracting and retaining doctors while helping keep costs down.
Dems Buying Off Doctors on Health Care Reform
In the special interest war over health care, the White House and congressional Democrats have the nation’s drug makers and hospitals generally on their side; the insurance industry, not so much.
Now the bill’s supporters are making ...
The legislative text of the Baucus health-care bill recently passed by the Senate Finance Committee is now online. (PDF link) It’s a mere 1,502 pages. By comparison, the Clinton health-care bill was only 1,342 pages. Also, be sure and check out ...
Getting Bipartisanship on Health Care
Senator Grassley says that Democrats could gain some Republican support if a health-care bill were to address tort reform and allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, provided the final bill doesn’t contain mandates or a public option.
Come for the Disaster-Preparedness Lecture, Stay for the Totalitarianism
It was in the web briefing yetserday, but my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I finally read “New Orleans mayor learns about disaster response in Cuba.” So one day after President Obama is in the Big Easy, ...
Senate Finance Committee Votes 14-9 in Favor of Baucus
As expected, all Republicans voted against it — save Olympia Snowe.
Recently in the Senate Finance Hearing, Sen. Crapo (R., Idaho) again fought against the idea that opposing the Democratic health care plans means you’re in favor of the unsustainable status quo of health care costs. In fact, he again ...
GOP: 'The Process is Moving Too fast'
This exchange from this morning’s Senate Finance hearings between Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) and the Congressional Budget Office director says volumes about how hard it is to determine the impact of health care legislation when it’s passed ...
Looks Like Lincoln Is Voting Yes
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D., Ark.) just gave a long speech in the Senate Finance Committee about how the Baucus bill will be very good for her constituents. However, Lincoln may be facing a very tough election and was clear that ...
There’s been a lot of shameful demagoguery and politicking in the health-care debate. But thanks to some 2 a.m. legislative maneuvering, the Democrats’ irrational hostility toward private insurance, and grandstanding by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.V.), we may ...
. . . to our Canadian readers.
You Can Take the Man Out of Talking Points Memo But You Can't Take the Talking Points out of the Man
Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent has apparently decided that today is a good day for self-immolation. First, he starts of the morning with a post “Conservatives, Critics Blast Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.” He begins:
Probably the main political impact ...
The Great Commuter Strikes Again
Via Twitter, even the AP’s White House reporter, Phil Elliot, can’t believe some of the things that come out of Joe Biden’s mouth:
“I hope to God you understand this race is winnable,” Biden says re Virginia ...
Louisiana Atty Gen: ACORN Corruption Much Worse Than Reported
Last week, ACORN founder Wade Rathke appeared in Washington, D.C., to promote his book. At the event, I asked Rathke about how his brother embezzled some $950,000 from the organization, and subsequently stayed on the payroll of the organization for ...
Who's Defying Common Sense Here?
During a recent 60 Minutes profile, General McChrystal revealed that, prior to their recent meeting in Copenhagen, the president had spoken to him once — repeat, once – in the first 70 days after he took command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Today, ...
Re: 'Sense of Stunned Bewilderment . . .'
For my money, this was the most revealing bit in that NYT story:
Still, several friends and aides to Mr. Obama said Friday’s outcome had a similar feeling to the campaign’s loss in the New Hampshire primary.
An Ohio artist — and I use that term loosely — has a new gallery exhibit. It’s apparently “a long narrowing tunnel that can be walked through, and he’s promising that anybody who enters it during the exhibition, he’ll ...
The Case for Government-Run Ketchup
From the Senate Republican Policy Committee:
Senator Kerry just went on about the outrageous profits of health insurers who dominate the market and offer little choice to consumers. That’s an interesting point considering that according to the website of ...
Health-Care and Abortion Funding Update
Over at RedState, Charmaine Yoest has a nice run down of the rhetoric vs. the reality regarding abortion funding in the health-care legislation currently being debated. This includes a tally of of all the pro-life amendments to the Baucus bill ...
Sen. Al Franken (D., ACORN)
Mickey Kaus points to this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Here in Minnesota, ACORN has boasted of playing a major role in the 2008 elections. It claims to have registered 43,000 new voters, which it describes as 75 percent of the state’s ...
Applebaum Defends Polanski
Anne Applebaum’s invaluable contributions to the anti-Communist canon give her a free pass on a lot of things as far as I’m concerned. But her item over at the Washington Post blog, “The Outrageous Arrest of Roman Polanski,” ...
Move along, nothing to see here . . .
Baucus Hearings Day 3: Protecting the White House's Secret Pharma Deal and Gutting Medicare Advantage
It’s day three of the Baucus hearings and there’s still no shortage of interesting developments in the health-care sausage making. This morning the Senate Finance Committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) to extract an ...
Democrats on Health Care: You Don't Need to Read the Bill!
On day two of the Baucus hearings, a major dispute erupted in the Senate Finance Committee. The dispute was over an amendment allowing the committee to vote on the conceptual language of the bill rather than the actual legislative wording.
WaPo: Sorry We Implied Giles and O'Keefe Were Racist
In the wake of the ACORN scandal, the Washington Post did exactly what you might expect of the major media. They wrote a series of petty and unhelpful pieces questioning the motivations of James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, the ...
The Baucus Bill -- A Visual
One of the key aspects of the Baucus’s health-care-reform bill is the claim that is that it was scored by the CBO as not only revenue neutral but that it would save $49 billion over the next ten years. This ...
Democrats Disingenuous '14,000 People Lose Their Health Care a Day' Claim
This morning the Senate Finance Committee began to mark up the Baucus health-care legislation. (They’re scheduled to resume at 2:45 p.m.) Democrats are obviously trying to create a sense of urgency regarding health care reform. This was the theme ...
Re: The 'Kennedy Killed by the Right' Myth
A lot of good reader mail regarding the-Right-killed-Kennedy myth that Jonah and I discussed yesterday:
You might add the following gem from Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed today as Exhibit D:
Think about the Oklahoma City bombing, and the assassinations of ...
This Weekend's Values Voters Summit
For the last few days, I’ve been poking in and out of the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit. The Washington conference brings together a good many religiously motivated conservative groups to network and strategize. But perhaps most ...
There’s a brief announcement over at The Weekly Standard. The godfather of neoconservatism was 89. I’m sure there will be many tributes to come, but for right now all I can think to say is what an immeasurable loss.
Excellent Timing on Missile-Shield Decision!
Aside from Thursday being the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, here’s the latest from the Associated Press:
Nuke agency says Iran can make bomb
VIENNA – Experts at the world’s top atomic watchdog are in agreement ...
Re: It's Snowe's World, We Just Live In it
A reader points out this tidbit from The Hill article I linked to regarding Snowe’s reticence to support Baucus’s bill:
Obama and Baucus have suggested paying for a big chunk of reform by levying new taxes on high-cost ...
Snowe Statement on Decision Not to Support Baucus Bill
Snowe Remains Committed to Developing Bipartisan Solution to Health Reform
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus introducing his health reform legislation today, senior Finance Committee member U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe said the following:
Marginalizing Peaceful Dissent
Jesse Walker has a terrific article at Reason on the panic over “right-wing” violence.
HRW Suspends Nazi Memorabilia Enthusiast
After initially defending him, Human Rights Watch has finally gotten around to suspending their senior military analyst, Mark Garlasco, while they look into his strange hobby. How does the New York Times report it?:
Yaron Ezrahi, a professor of political ...
The Old-School Education Approach Works
I have a book review up on the homepage today about Crazy Like a Fox: One Principal’s Triumph in the Inner City, by Dr. Ben Chavis. Chavis has achieved stunning educational sucess. In 2000, he took over the American Indian ...
Tales of Dr. Ben Chavis have been drifting out of the Bay Area for a while now. However, there have been few high-profile media stories, and the educational apparatus in this country is no doubt doing its best to squelch ...
Impressive time lapse aerial video of the crowd.
Another rooftop photo of the crowd.
Matt Welch’s scene report.
The sign of the day.
I’ll also be twittering more interesting links/items about today’s march, if you’re ...
Let's Go After the Real Criminals
STATEMENT OF STATE’S ATTORNEYS OFFICE FOR BALTIMORE CITY RELATIVE TO THE ALLEGED BALTIMORE ACORN INCIDENT
Baltimore, MD – September 11, 2009 – We have received inquiries from citizens and the media asking whether the Baltimore City State’s Attorneys Office would initiate ...
Pawlenty Talks Health Care with NRO
If you doubt that Virgina gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell would be a fiscal conservative, just pay a visit to his Alexandria campaign office. The carpet is dingy, the lighting is terrible, and a thin, low-paneled ceiling is probably all that ...
As for Representative Wilson’s outburst last night, let me just say upfront that it was inappropriate and I’m glad he apologized. That said, a couple of takeaways:
1) I don’t think all the media oxygen sucked up by ...
If you’ve been reading the papers lately you’ve probably concluded that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s political future doesn’t look good. The headlines speak for themselves: “Poll: Reid’s re-election numbers don’t add up”; “Harry ...
Pelosi 'Millionaire Tax' Could 'Creep Down Income Scale'
Congress Quarterly (subscribers only):
The House’s main revenue source for its health care bill is not indexed for inflation, meaning that more and more people each year will face a tax originally designed for millionaires.
It’s a significant ...
Nancy Pelosi unveiled the House Democrats health care reform bill (read it here) at a press conference this morning with the ususal boilerplate speech: “This an historic moment for our nation and families. For nearly a century, leaders of every ...
Medicare Fraud Puts Insurance Profits in Perspective
As Jonah noted yesterday, 60 Minutes did a great report on Medicare fraud this past Sunday. Among other things, the report noted that Medicare fraud was now more common in South Florida than the drug trade.
Medicare fraud amounts to $60 billion ...
Insurance Mandates a 'A Disincentive to Earn More'
Tyler Cowen has a good piece on insurance mandates in today’s NYT. Cowen notes an argument against mandates that’s been largely overlooked:
A subtler problem is what economists call “implicit marginal tax rates.”
The fiscal reality is that ...
Right before the cloture motion to proceed with the “Doc Fix” bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “I want everyone within the sound of my voice to understand that Washington is being driven by a small number of people ...
The Self-Immolation of the Scozzafava Campaign Continues
Two more developments of note in the dust-up between The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack and the Scozzafava campaign. One, this Associated Press report confirms that McCormack never “screamed” at Scozzafava as campaign spokesman Matt Burns claimed:
In the audio ...
'What If CBO's Assumptions Are Wrong?'
From the Republican Policy Committee:
In reaching its conclusion that the Finance Committee’s Health Care bill is budget neutral, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) makes a number of critical assumptions. The Washington Post reported that CBO’s lead health ...
Scozzafava Campaign in Damage-Control Mode
Last night I linked to an account by Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack. It seems McCormack was in New York reporting on the special election there. He asked some pointed questions of the liberal Republican congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava. Incredibly, ...
That’s true even though the motivations of the White House are clear: Fire up a liberal base disillusioned with Obama by attacking the hated Fox. Try to keep a critical news outlet off-balance. Raise doubts about future Fox ...
Fear and Loathing in Upstate New York
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack is reporting on the special congressional election in New York, where the Republican candidate is so liberal that the Club for Growth has been running ads against her. At a campaign event, McCormack asked ...
No, really. The legislative text of the Baucus bill is online — it’s only 1,502 pages.
One of the more insidious things about the Baucus bill is the way that it takes advantage of the fact that the Congressional Budget Office scores bills over a ten year horizion. By starting to collect fees immediately and not ...
More Telling CBO Responses From This Morning
To say that CBO director Doug Elmendorf provided little reassurance this morning regarding the cost of the Baucus bill would be a gross understatement. In fact, Elmendorf seemed unable to say much of anything at all about what the bill ...
Committee Votes 14-9 to Move Baucus Bill out of Committee
Snowe Ready For Her Close-Up
Senator Snowe is gathering up her coffee cup and other things and leaving the room. Perhaps we’ll see her crop up in a television interview in the next few minutes.
Her decision to fold faster than Superman on ...
A Republican source tells me that they’re impressed how unified the Senate Finance Committee Democrats were in their pushback to that devastating PriceWaterhouseCoopers report.
They Still Don't Know What's in the Bill
A short while ago in Senate Finance Committee hearings, Sen. Cornyn (R., Tex.) yet again made a push to have the most up-to-date language of the Baucus bill made public. And again, Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D., Mont.) acknowledged ...
Civility and Its Discontents
I was at gas station yesterday and saw the Washington Post had a big front-page story — “In Today’s Viral World, Who Keeps a Civil Tongue?” Not a bad idea for a story in theory, but given that the article ...
Obama Accepts on Behalf of Those 'Who Have Dared to Hope'
The latest e-mail from Organizing for America, fresh from my inbox:
This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.
Asked about the Nobel prize by CNN’s Ed Henry, Rahm Emmanuel said, “It’s clear Oslo beats Copenhagen any day of the week.”
The economy may be the worst since the Great Depression, the situation in Afghanistan rapidly deteriorating, ...
While there’s a lot in the Baucus bill to pick apart, for now here’s the Republican Policy Committee’s take on what’s notable about the CBO score:
Re: Preliminary Analysis of CBO Score · The total cost of ...
Speaking of Safe Zones . . .
Who are the ad wizards who thought that Levi Johnston and a bad condom joke were a good way to sell pistachios, of all things?
Also, the same “Wonderful Pistachio” people have another ad laden with sexual innuendo, featuring multiple ...
–It looks like ACORN’s New Orleans headquarters — also the site of SEIU local 100, the union chapter founded by ACORN founder Wade Rathke — is for sale.
–The Washington Post is reporting ACORN is losing funding from private foundations.
–I posted ...
National Right to Life Discusses Pew Abortion Poll
Obviously, the big news yesterday for the pro-life movement was the Pew poll showing eroding public support for abortion. I spoke with David O’Steen, the Executive Director of the National Right to Life Committee, on what the poll results ...
ACORN Founder Answers NRO's Questions
Last night, ACORN founder Wade Rathke spoke at Busboys and Poets, a Washington coffeehouse and well-known lefty hangout. Rathke was promoting his new book, Citizen Wealth: Winning the Campaign to Save Working Families. Given the controversy over ACORN, you’d ...
Re: Senate Finance Committee Rejects Public Option
Some WSJ coverage:
WASHINGTON–The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected a proposal to include a new government-run insurance plan in its health-care legislation, but debate over a proposed public plan isn’t expected to end at the committee.
Countrywide Destroyed Tapes with Public Officials Discussing Mortgages
I missed this item from the WSJ yesterday:
The discovery that Countrywide Financial Corp. recorded phone conversations with borrowers in a controversial mortgage program that included public officials — and that those recordings have been destroyed — has prompted new congressional calls ...
What's Hiding in the Health-Care Bill?
Congressional Democrats are proposing a sweeping overhaul of the American health-care system, which represents about 17 percent of the U.S. economy. You might think they would feel a responsibility to explain the precise implications of this legislation to the American ...
Regarding the Lions snapping their 19-game losing streak with a win over the Redskins, the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney remarks: “Washington bails out Detroit again.”
There’s another big story that looks pretty damning for ACORN in today’s Washington Post — “ACORN Funded Political, For-Profit Efforts, Data Show“:
ACORN’s tax-exempt groups and allied organizations, long a target of conservative ire, used more than half ...
89% of Americans Think Media Played a 'Strong' Role in Electing Obama
Results from a national Sacred Heart University survey released today reveal that many news consumers believe the media played a significant role in electing President Barack Obama and that the media continue to promote his presidency.Titled “Trust and ...
Hoyer: What ACORN Defunding Are You Talking About?
From today’s transcript of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s briefing with reporters:
Reporter: Switch gears real quick. You voted a couple of days ago for an amendment which prohibited Federal funding from going to ACORN.
Are you committed ...
While we all might have collectively moved on, our attention drawn more to Van Jones, ACORN, the NEA and other ensuing Obama scandals, Byron York reminds us that the firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin remains stubbornly unresolved:
Republican Sen. ...
The '14,000 People Lose Their Health Care a Day' Claim, Part 2
In sourcing the statistic, it turns out Democrats claim that 14,000 a day are losing their health insurance isn’t really a function of rising health-care costs which the health reforms aim to address. From Politifact:
Holahan and his co-author, using ...
Anti-Capitalist Filmmaker Enjoys Vulgar Displays of Wealth
Last night Esquire threw a party for Michael Moore’s new documentary Capitalism: A Love Story, which all about the vulgar displays of income inequality in this country and how Americans are suffering as a result of the recession. Then ...
Under the Table and Pleading
The NYT has a story about the ongoing John Edwards saga — he may admit paternity at some point down the road. I know, what a shock. But perhaps the most revealing detail was this:
In the proposal, which The New ...
The Reality-Based Community's Having a Breakdown
Exhibit A — liberal talk-radio host Mike Malloy, August 27:
So with the death of Ted Kennedy last night, liberalism in this country has lost its champion; the person who, in the modern era, personified liberalism to a greater degree than anyone ...
Rebooting American Foreign Policy
It has been a bad decade for America’s foreign-policy and intelligence establishment. We’ve seen a devastating terrorist attack in America’s largest city, followed by two protracted wars fraught with strategic missteps. Meanwhile, in the face of threats ...
Obama has a different plan for defending Europe.
It's Snowe's World, We Just Live In it
Senator Snowe’s decision not to support the Baucus health-care-reform bill caught many observers by surprise. That leaves Baucus’s bill without a single GOP senator supporting it. Unfortunately, Senator Snowe’s statement on the matter doesn’t explain much. (...
Yesterday, I posted a letter from a transportation planner:
The Obama inauguration saw around 1.1 million Metrorail trips, compared to a normal winter Saturday of around 150,000-150,000 (source: Metro website). Assuming this group rides Metro at the rates of other political ...
Rickey, a conservative Republican activist, was the individual most responsible for bringing about David Duke’s downfall and keeping him out of the Lousiana governor’s office. Quin Hillyer’s obituary in The Washington Times is touching, and highly recommended.
Since crowd estimates are still being bandied about, I’ll just offer this e-mail:
I’d guess there were somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 total. This is based on the relative spacing between people in your photos–which correspond to somewhere between ...
The 912 March: 'Stunningly Normal'
There’s still a lot of people trying to spin what happened at the March this weekend, everything from the numbers to media accusations the crowd was “angry” and “seething.” Nick Gillespie’s remarks about the march were spot-on:
Re: Re: NRO at the 912 Protest
Mark, believe me, I hope the Daily Mail is right. But crowd estimates aside, I’m almost incredulous at that Daily Mail report. It’s a fairly straight report, and it’s fair! What American media outlet would print this:
As a journalist who wears his cynicism like a badge of honor, to say that today’s tea party protest wildly exceeded my expectations would be an understatement. I’ve yet to see a reliable estimate of the crowd size ...
Meet the New Faith-Based Initiative . . .
A writer whom I respect and admire greatly has a piece in the WSJ today on Obama’s Faith-Based Initiative office. It seems under Obama the office is coopting its harshest critics and not receiving nearly the same scrutiny it ...
Several readers argue that I’m being too generous below. This e-mail is represenative:
Regarding your agnosticism on the subject at The Corner …
“Is that an intended outcome of the bill or just a practical result of ill-defined legislation? Well, ...