Government shutdown: Oddly, we’ve survived the Apocalypse before

September 30, 2013

Real busy day today, but I wanted to share this graphic listing prior government shutdowns –including five during the sainted Carter administration– to remind us all that, should the Senate under Harry Reid refuse to fund the government, we’ve been there before.

And yet –somehow– we lived to tell the horrific tale.

shutdowns history government

Not that there won’t be people inconvenienced, some seriously, if a shutdown goes on for more than a few days. Jim Geraghty provides a good summary while asking “What does the Right gain from a government shutdown?” But it should help dispel the notion that this is the terrible, awful, we’re-all-gonna-die!! event Reid, Obama, and Pelosi would have us believe it is.

via someone on Twitter. Sorry, lost the link.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Playing Hardball on a Government Shutdown Is the only Short-Run Way to Make Fiscal Progress

September 29, 2013

The latest CR passed by the House (delay Obamacare for a year, repeal the medical device tax) should play better with the public than a total defunding. They should make Reid and Obama feel the heat on the “fairness” issue.

International Liberty

I haven’t written much about the budget fights over a government shutdown, Obamacare, the continuing resolution, and the debt limit for the simple reason that the battles are mostly about politics and strategy rather than policy.

At the risk of oversimplifying, here’s what’s happening.

On one side are those who want to use the debt limit (legislation allowing additional borrowing) and the continuing resolution (a spending bill for the fiscal year that starts October 1) as leverage to weaken Obamacare and restrain spending.

On the other side are those who say big confrontations are too politically risky, particularly since good changes are impossible with Harry Reid controlling the Senate and Obama in the White House.

In this “insurgents” vs “establishment” fight, I think it’s possible for good people to have opposing positions, but my sympathies are with the former over the latter. Here are a couple of observations to illustrate…

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Are Government Schools a Form of Child Abuse?

September 28, 2013

Not as satirical as you may think. Ending the monopoly of the teachers unions and education bureaucrats might be the best thing to happen to children in a long time.

International Liberty

I’m a big fan of school choice. If we bust up the government education monopoly and create a competitive education market, we’ll get a much better education system at much lower cost.

This isn’t just idle theorizing. The evidence shows that competition produces better results.

That will be especially good news for children from poor and minority neighborhoods, as even the Washington Post has admitted.

There’s even good evidence for school choice from other nations, such as Chile, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

And since we’re looking at international evidence, it’s worth noting that America spends more per student than any other nation, yet gets very mediocre results.

However, there’s also a non-educational argument for busting up the government school monopoly. Simply stated, we have to rescue kids from brainless school bureaucrats who impose crazy forms of anti-gun political correctness.

What am I talking about?…

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In which Ted Cruz grinds Dick Durbin under his heel

September 27, 2013

I’ve been critical of the Cruz-Lee strategy to defeat Obamacare, but there’s no denying that Senator Cruz’s 21-hour speech in opposition was, quite simply, marvelous. A tour de force of constitutionalism, wit, grace, and stamina. Like Rand Paul, Cruz is someone I can disagree with, while still greatly admiring him.

But somehow I missed what would have been my favorite part, in which Ted Cruz made the loathsome Dick Durbin look like the fool he is:

In the last hour, even as he said he grew “weary” as his time arguing against ObamaCare was coming to a close, he found himself in a debate with the able and smart Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin on the Congress’s generous health-care plan.

Durbin complained that Cruz wanted to deny health care to the uninsured; did he not, Durbin asked, enjoy the benefits of the generous congressional health-care package himself?

Cruz said he wouldn’t answer Durbin until Durbin first replied to three questions Cruz had posed. Durbin, with an “a-ha” gesture, responded by saying it was clear Cruz was simply refusing to answer his embarrassing question.

He’d walked into Cruz’s trap. For then Cruz said, no, Senator, I’m eligible for the congressional plan — but I’m not enrolled in it.

Durbin thought he had Cruz cornered by bringing up his reliance on the absurdly generous health package for Congress. But since Cruz doesn’t rely on it, Durbin humiliated himself in what was supposed to be his gotcha moment.

Despite his marathon of speaking and standing and arguing, after nearly a day on his feet, Cruz — there is no other term for it — squashed Durbin like a bug.

In the last hour of this marathon, Ted Cruz was still sharp enough to set a trap for Durbin and snap it shut.

Well played, Senator. Well played. smiley cheering

via The Morning Jolt

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

(Video) You really ought to go home

September 27, 2013

An interesting edition of Afterburner. Bill Whittle talks about a recent incident in which an American F-22 suggested that the pilot of an Iranian fighter “ought to go home” and then ties it to two well-known politicians who, themselves, should to do the same:

That Obama canceled the F-22 should surprise no one; cutting military spending regardless of strategic needs is par for the course for someone of his political stripe, someone who believes that American power causes problems in the world. It’s who he is.

But John McCain? It’s sad to say about someone whose service to his country was genuinely admirable, but, as also demonstrated by his uncritical enthusiasm for intervening in Libya and Syria, his reasons for ending the F-22 program show that whatever judgment he may have possessed is gone, and he himself has descended into a vain, old fool.

You really ought to go home, Senator.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Great moments in WTF: Obamacare has nothing to do with the budget?

September 26, 2013


Charles C. W. Cooke commented on the speech President Obama gave today on Obamacare, and to say he was flabbergasted would a vast understatement. After recounting the various lies, non-sequiturs, and insults that filled the speech (1), he turns to the whopper of whoppers: Obama’s assertion that the PPACA has nothing to do with the budget:

These were all astonishing and infuriating in equal measure. But they paled in comparison to the dishonesty of the president’s central claim, which was that the attempt to link defunding to the debt-ceiling fight is illegitimate because Obamacare has “nothing to do with the budget.” I struggle to imagine how the president could have kept a straight face when he said this. This is a law, remember, that was crowbarred through Congress with the questionable use of reconciliation, a parliamentary procedure that is reserved exclusively for budgetary matters; a law that was sold as a deficit-reduction measure; a law that contains a significant spending component, including a 5-10 percent increase in the size of the federal budget; and, alas, a law that boasts a central mandate that was upheld (rewritten) by the Supreme Court as a tax, thus ensuring that any changes to the penalties must be approved by the House. “Nothing to do with the budget”? This is what we call a lie, Watson.

Where’s Joe Wilson when you need him?

If we had an honest press, he’d be called out on this garbage every time he stepped anywhere within eyesight of a journalist. Instead, the vast majority will continue to kiss his shoes, just as they have since 2007.

(1) Such as comparing opposition to Obamacare to some unnamed (imaginary?) person saying that the law is the equal of the Fugitive Slave Act. I’m not joking. He really said that. That’s straight out of Rule 13 of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. The man cannot stop being a community organizer. I don’t think he can help himself.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

The Obamacare Chronicles: the Democrat wall begins to crack

September 26, 2013
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

One of the points Republicans and conservatives have made again and again since President Obama illegally delayed the Obamacare employer mandate is the gross unfairness of not also delaying the individual mandate, the requirement that Americans as a price of their existence buy heath insurance or pay a penalty tax. How, they ask, can it be just to force people to meet the law’s burdens, but not businesses? It’s a particularly difficult question for Democrats, since they’re on the hook for Obamacare (1).

And thus it is, having thought about that question, one Democratic senator has come up with the right answer: “Break ranks and save myself!”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia broke ranks with fellow Democrats and said he’d support a stopgap spending plan that delays the individual mandate in President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

“There’s no way I could not vote for it,” Manchin said at a Bloomberg Government breakfast today. “It’s very reasonable and sensible.”

The individual mandate is the linchpin of the law that requires most Americans to purchase health care through government-run insurance exchanges. Republicans, led by a group of newcomers in the House, are pushing to dismantle the health-care law and are using a ticking clock on a possible Oct. 1 government shutdown as leverage.


Manchin, 66, said he’d be willing to delay the individual mandate as part of the budget negotiations because the Obama administration in July gave businesses an extra year to provide their workers with health insurance.

“Don’t put the mandate on the American public right now,” Manchin said. “Give them at least a year. If you know you couldn’t bring the corporate sector, you gave them a year, don’t you think it’d be fair?”

Manchin is no dummy; he’s a Democrat because Democrats owned West Virginia for decades, but his instincts lean “conservative, do whatever I can to get reelected,” and he can see how unpopular Obamacare is in his home state. And Reid probably gave him the okay to defect, because he can afford to lose a few senators and still defeat any measure that limits or cripples Obamacare.

But not too many, and there are several Red-state senators up for reelection in 2014 (Manchin isn’t up until 2016) who might sorely tempted to be on the side of the angels on this one. My guess is that we’ll see a few more “stand with Joe” and that, while Obamacare won’t be defunded, there will be a last-minute deal delaying the individual mandate, too.

And it will be fun to watch Obama whine and cry and throw a fit… and then eventually knuckle under to sign it.

via Memeorandum

(1) No Republicans voted for it, after all, and most have promised repeatedly to repeal it — and they know they will be held to that promise. Unlike the Democrats’ sheep base, rank and file conservatives are quite willing to hold their employees’ feet to the fire.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)