Month: October 2013

Who the &#^% Did You Think Was Going to Be Paying For It?

I’m hearing a lot of this from the sudden victims of Obamacare.

Most young, middle-class Americans I know are happy that millions of previously uninsured people will receive free or heavily subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

We just didn’t realize that, unless we had health insurance at work, we’d be the ones paying for it.

There’s an old axiom among con-men: you can’t cheat an honest man. An honest man knows he can’t get something for nothing, so when you offer him something for nothing, he’ll assume you’re full of it, and walk away. That’s why I ignore all those “This one weird trick will save you $58,746 dollars on your car insurance!” flash ads that appear on websites. It’s why most people never gave their bank info to that Nigerian prince.

Dishonest people, on the other hand, believe that they’re smarter than the sharpers, even though it’s the sharpers’ game, and that they’ll come away with something for nothing. They’re marks, every single one of them.

How the hell did any young, middle-class Americans expect that the Government would expand health insurance for the poor, without anyone in the middle class ponying up? Simple: they expected that someone else would pay the tab. Someone who deserves to be made to pay it. Like corporations, or the wrong kinds of white people. Mitt Romney or those Wall-Street, 1%-ers. Not the virtuous, bien-pensant progressives. Why, they’re the smart ones, who can see the need for others to have insurance. The poor bastards – someone should really pick up the check for them.

But not us.

The government should do it. Yeah. Government money comes from a magical land of of happy pink bunnies and angels with puppy dog faces and the printing machines are powered by chocolate rainbows and baby farts. It’s not something that primarily gets taken out of the paychecks of the middle class before they even get it.


Apparently Feminists Advise Their Daughters to Get Completely Blotto Whenever Possible

Feminism. Actual Picture.

Feminism. Actual Picture.

I have a daughter. She is young. She won’t be young forever. One day she will leave the nest, to go to college or some other place where she will be around many young people. She will likely ignore the drinking laws of this country with the alacrity and skill that her parents did. What will be my advice to her?

Probably something like this:

Be careful. Keep things within balance. Don’t try to go shot for shot with frat boys. They don’t have your best interests at heart. Make your own drinks and know what you’re putting into your body. And when you’ve had enough, STOP. Keep an eye on what’s going on and an eye on yourself. It’s dangerous out there for a young woman.

Apparently this makes me the Patriarchal Monster of the Year. Because, reifying rape culture.

Telling women to be careful precludes the moral education or punishment of men, you see.

So my advice to my daughter ought to be more like:

Honey, if you’re not completely shellacked by six o’clock every evening, then the patriarchy will win. So start with your basic cheap lagers before graduating to some liqueurs, Goldschlager or something, and then end the night knocking back Jaeger bombs with the rugby team. That can only end well.

And I should go further than this. I should manfully resist any suggestion of looking both ways before crossing the street, because it is the responsibility of drivers not to run her over. I should denounce bike locks as an execrable attempt to reify Bike Theft Culture. I should extol the right to leave my wallet and keys on top of my care whenever I leave them, because to do otherwise makes it impossible to arrest someone for grand theft auto.

Sarcasm aside, what about the other side of the equation? What would be my advice to my son?

Probably something like this:

Be careful. Keep things within balance. Don’t try to prove your manhood by binge drinking. Don’t be that one freshman who dies every year of alcohol poisoning.  Make your own drinks and know what you’re putting into your body. And when you’ve had enough, STOP. Remember, you are responsible for everything that you do, whether drunk or sober. If you do something stupid, no one will sympathize with you. They’ll call you an idiot, and they’ll prosecute you. And they’ll be right.

I leave you with my thoughts from the Steubenville Rape Case:

Let’s break this down. A girl gets so drunk that people start making fun of her, then proceeds to go to another “party”, where she spends 20 minutes puking and then gets kicked out. Hey, we’ve all been there. The sensible thing to do is cut your losses and go home. Instead, she rallies for the third party, where two goons are charged with raping her.

Is it her fault she got raped? No, by definition it can’t be. Is it her fault she’s stupid? Yes.  Because getting raped is not the only bad outcome of her state. She might have driven a car and crashed it, killing herself or someone else. For that matter, she might have died from alcohol poisoning. Nothing good comes from getting blackout drunk, and even a 16-year-old girl should be expected to know that.

But never mind, I’m sure feminists hope and pray that their daughters become exactly the kind of girls who consider the party not over if they can still remember it. That’s almost exactly what Susan B. Anthony had in mind.

Harrison Ford Hates Journalists

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that what he really wants to say is “Oh, for God’s Sakes. I did a movie. I acted. It’s coming out soon. It’s not high art, but it’s not bad. People will enjoy it. Stop trying to dredge for controversey, you numb-skulled little guttersnipe.”

I suspect that deep down, Ford does enjoy working on a movie, putting a character together. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t keep doing it. But he hates talking about it with people who don’t know anything about it and aren’t really interested beyond mining his words for a click-baiting quote.

Against Complacency

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnoru and Rich Lowry have attempted the difficult task of finding middle ground between the fighting camps of the Great Republican Civil War. They call it “Against Despair,” and it has been making the rounds in the conservative blogosphere. Instapundit linked approvingly (albeit with a cross-link in praise of Ted Cruz) Erick Erickson at Redstate calls it a betrayal of Buckley’s legacy, which is a lamentation I have been hearing with increasing frequency since the Old Man died.

I don’t know how true that is, but I do think the Ponnoru-Lowry Axis, and others of their ilk, have misread the moment. The issue is not, as many would like it, to be a matter of tactics. Tactics is determining how you fight. Today’s intra-party squabble is about whether the GOP has any plan to fight at all.

The NRO editorial grasps this, but not firmly:

The federal government seems constantly to expand even as — and sometimes because — it proves itself incompetent. Republicans have done precious little to reverse or even halt the trend. Obamacare is a disastrous and unpopular law; but if the Republican party has a strategy for bringing about its eventual end, it has been kept well-hidden.

But they go no further. They spot the symptoms, but will not diagnose. Which is to say, they bury the diagnosis in jocularity:

These have been long-standing themes on the right. When our people get power, they immediately stop being our people, the great conservative journalist M. Stanton Evans quipped decades ago.

But then they argue that isn’t true anymore, because today’s congressional leadership is super-conservative. Severely conservative, you might say. They buttress this point with statements of what the leadership is in favor of.

Today’s Republican party has a bolder plan to rein in our fastest-growing entitlement program, Medicare, than Ronald Reagan did, and that plan has the support of such establishment Republicans as John Boehner and Mitt Romney. What they don’t have are the votes to enact it. Today’s Republican party is more committed to confirming judicial conservatives and blocking judicial liberals than it has ever been. (Compare the confirmation votes on Robert Bork and Samuel Alito, or Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.) It just isn’t in a position to win those fights. Replace Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican leader with Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who led the defunding brigades, and that would still be true.

Let us parse this: in the past, Republicans would ape conservatism to get elected, but then fail to deliver conservatism when in office. Today, we have a bunch of really, really conservative guys, but they can’t do conservative stuff, because they need more Republicans in office. Give us that, and we will reform the crap out of entitlements. For realsies.

I’m afraid not. You want my vote, you need to prove to me that you’re going to do something worthwhile with it. You need to show me that you’ve actually got the minerals for a fight, that you have the plan and are ready to provide the leadership to see said plan through. At this moment, I don’t trust that the leadership (which by the editorial’s admission, has failed to lead) has those things. I want evidence of the will to fight before I exert a finger on your behalf.

I held my nose and voted for two establishment-picked compromise candidates who, surprise surprise, lost elections to an impassioned progressive. I gave my votes and my vocal support to George W. Bush, and have the scars to prove it. What did I get for my trouble? Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and K Street playing Conservative Kabuki.

And now I am enjoined once more to carry the scorpion across the river.


Saul Alinsky & Westboro Baptist Church


The possibility that the WBC is punking us doesn’t really seem that far-fetched. Especially given the recent tweet in support of Obama.

Originally posted on Eyes That See:

If you’re like me, you’ve had a hard time understanding Westboro Baptist Church.

They are portrayed as fundamentalist Christians who are making a stand against homosexuality.  Nothing unusual so far, right?  The extremely unusual part is that they picket funerals of AIDS victims holding signs that say “God Hates Fags!”

But apparently picketing the funerals of AIDS victims was not extreme enough for them, so they moved on to picketing military funerals.  They say that military deaths are the just wrath of God against people who fight to defend a nation that accepts gays.  In recent news, Westboro Baptist Church has said they will picket the funeral of one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing as well as a memorial service for the victims of the explosion last week at a West, TX fertilizer plant. More of the just wrath of God against our gay loving nation, according…

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Megan McArdle Discovers the Problem with A Government-Instituted Health Exchange:

Politicians were making decisions about it:

So no, this is not a good project undone by Republican “sabotage,” as I saw suggested on Twitter this morning. It’s a potentially good IT project undone by system design and deadlines chosen for political reasons, rather than feasibility. What we’ve been through in the last week, I’d argue, is the inevitable result.



This is a fair recitation of Patrick’s Iron Law of Politics #1: What is done by politicians is done for political reasons to achieve a political end. Judging anything politicians do on any standard other than political expediency – moral rectitude, or economic success – is an exercise in folly.  It doesn’t surprise me to see McArdle, who’s an astute observer, discover this truth.

The speed with which she loses it, on the other hand…

That does not mean that it will never work. We shouldn’t rule that out — there are nightmare stories of databases in Britain’s National Health Service and Canada’s criminal justice system, which had to be junked after going wildly over budget. But while I assume that’s possible in this case, I don’t think it’s very likely. This system is the linchpin of President Barack Obama’s biggest legislative achievement. The administration is going to try very hard to make it work over the next few months, and I assume that at some point — in a few weeks, or a few months — it will succeed.


Her premise, that Obama will definitely get super-serious on this health-care thing now, seems reasonable, because one can argue an actual political need for it. But there isn’t. Fixing ObamaCare might have some political dividends, but it’s far from  the expedient thing to do. The expedient thing to do is what the White House is currently doing, through its surrogates in the palace-guard media: blaming Republicans. An IT project may succeed or fail: getting compliant journalists to bleat denunciations of the wreckers and saboteurs who failed to support the New Order pays out pretty regularly. Government programs don’t need success to survive; they only need a scapegoat:

A Ph.D. economist, Sowell describes the moral narcissism at the root of the liberal worldview — they support bad policies because doing so makes them feel good about themselves. Do these policies actually help the people they’re supposed to help? It doesn’t matter, Sowell explains in Chapter 4, “The Irrelevance of Evidence.”

What matters to liberals is the sense of virtue by proxy they derive by espousing the cause of helpless victims allegedly oppressed by evil greedy Republicans. What matters to liberals is their feeling that they’re “doing something” to advance their own good intentions.

I would have thought that, given how much of McArdle’s piece is devoted to refuting the meme that Republicans sabotaged Obamacare (by not setting up the state exchanges, et al.), that she would have understood that the lackadaisical rollout of Obamacare was going to be followed by an equally lackadaisical repair effort. The longer this mess goes on,  the more Obama can grandstand against the GOP for fighting it. The question of whether the mess should have been enacted into law in the fist place?



More People Discovering What’s in the Bill

At Redstate, an Obama Supporter suddenly realizes why the Republicans want to stop this thing.

As only a $10,000-increase in your premium can.

This is why I don’t care about the shutdown: who “wins” it, what the legislative result will be, etc. because it doesn’t matter. This hog is going to butcher itself, simply by making Democrats understand why Republicans want to butcher it.

ObamaCare: When You See It….

Young people are shocked, Schocked! to discover that Such A Thing As A Free Lunch Exists Not…


This is, of course, the downside of the Media Blackout on ObamaCare’s less than savory aspects. Eventually, when those aspects invest themselves in people lives, the WTF-factor gets down even into low-information voters. And then suddenly arguments about the basic injustice of requiring people to buy something, merely for breathing, become downright lucid.


And now we are. The truth will set you free.

via Ace.