What thrills the Left may scare away the center
Now that Obamacare is the law of the land, Democrats promise to take on global warming, card check, immigration and a regulatory crackdown on banks. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi would say, Democrats have kicked through the door. Now they are contemplating what to plunder.
Rep. Henry Waxman, whose tiny heel landed one of the first blows against the door of public opinion and Republican resistance when he introduced the House version of Obamacare, now has his boot pointed at the corporations disclosing upfront costs of the health program he helped create.
Waxman wants AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, 3M and many other companies to explain why they told shareholders to expect smaller profits and employees to expect changes in benefits.
Waxman, who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants their internal e-mails to review even before the executives come in to take their whippings.
Chairman Waxman, whose ego is a much larger thing than the law, will not be mollified when he's told that Securities and Exchange Commission accounting rules require the write-downs in the same quarter that a tax change is enacted.
While Waxman is re-educating corporate America, President Obama showed what the new Democratic boldness looks like with the recess appointment of union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.
Becker's nomination came up eight votes short of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate because he is known to Hill staffers as "human Card Check" for his opposition to secret ballots in union certification elections. Becker, who works for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO, has argued that if the laws pertaining to organizing nonunion workplaces couldn't be changed, the NLRB could simply act as if they were.
Now, Democrats believe that the time has come to be bolder still. They mean to convince the American people that the party so long associated with dithering has become a party of steely resolve. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
This may thrill liberal voters who spent much of Obama's first year in office complaining about his unwillingness to get rough with Republicans. And it may lessen the effect of having the Right fully mobilized against the president's agenda.
But it will also scare the dickens out of regular Americans. Neglecting the center and taking a "by any means necessary" approach will convince moderates that the Democrats are irresponsible with their new power -- and drive many independent voters away from the party even if the economy improves.
The new electorate
Voting is so central to the American system that three of the last five amendments to our Constitution deal with voting (Amendments 23, 24 and 26). Amendment 26, for instance, extends the vote to eighteen year olds.
But the American political Left (a.k.a. progressives) wants to extend the vote well beyond American teenage citizens. In hopes of creating instant Democrat voters, Al Gore's Citizenship USA program rammed through grants of citizenship by waiving qualifications. At WorldNetDaily in 2001, Kenneth R. Timmerman reported:
Citizenship USA was an initiative of Vice President Al Gore that was ostensibly part of his National Performance Review to "reinvent" government. Internal White House memos, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee in 1997, showed that the vice president was well aware that the effort could be perceived as a "pro-Democrat voter mill."
On March 28, 1996, White House aide Doug Farbrother e-mailed Gore detailing his efforts to get INS to waive fingerprinting and background checks "to make me confident they could produce a million new citizens before Election Day."
Gore then wrote Clinton: "You asked us to expedite the naturalization of nearly a million legal aliens who have applied to become citizens." The risk, Gore warned, was that "we might be publicly criticized for running a pro-Democrat voter mill and even risk having Congress stop us."
But why bother with granting aliens citizenship? In the Socialist Republic of California, San Franciscans want illegal aliens to have the vote. (If they can vote for office, shouldn't illegals be allowed to run for office, too?) In "The Threat of Non-Citizen Voting", Hans A. von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation notes:
Florida is not unique. Thousands of non-citizens are registered to vote in some states, and tens if not hundreds of thousands in total may be present on the voter rolls nationwide. These numbers are significant: Local elections are often decided by only a handful of votes, and even national elections have likely been within the margin of the number of non-citizens illegally registered to vote.
Yet there is no reliable method to determine the number of non-citizens registered or actually voting because most laws to ensure that only citizens vote are ignored, are inadequate, or are systematically undermined by government officials. Those who ignore the implications of non-citizen registration and voting either are willfully blind to the problem or may actually favor this form of illegal voting.
On January 5, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (the most reversed circuit in the nation) ruled: "Incarcerated felons should be allowed to vote in Washington to ensure that racial minorities are protected under the Voting Rights Act." The plaintiff was one Muhammad Shabazz Farrakhan.
On July 1, 2008 in The Nation, leftwing commentator Katrina vanden Heuvel expressed her sympathies:
In the twenty-first century, the other America is behind bars, literally and figuratively: with one of every 100 Americans in prison, we are establishing a perverse parallel America--a predominantly nonwhite one--and making it permanent by stripping those consigned there of the right to vote. It's a hopeful sign that a growing number of states are re-enfranchising ex-felons. Vermont, Maine and Puerto Rico never deny citizens the right to vote and even allow prisoners to vote from jail, while sixteen other states as well as the District of Columbia allow citizens to vote who are on probation or parole or who have been released from prison. Recognizing the right of ex-felons to vote would grant them the power to contest this status for others and help reintegrate them into society.
Ms. Vanden Heuvel never explained the necessity of allowing psychopaths, rapists, murderers, domestic terrorists and their like to take part in democracy. Do they have special insights on, say, the public option that the law-abiding don't?
Rachel La Corte of the AP reports: "an estimated 5.3 million people nationwide are ineligible to vote because of felony convictions." This cohort is a potential treasure trove of support for Democrats, as John Lott demonstrates that felons overwhelmingly vote Democrat. (What can we conclude from this fact about Democrat politicians?) From the Timmerman link above: "[M]ore than 80,000 aliens had fingerprint checks that generated criminal records, but they were naturalized anyway."
The Left sold your birthright for a mess of votes, and never batted an eye. Everything the Left has done vis-à-vis elections has been to expand the electorate; they couldn't care less about the integrity of our elections. In Ohio, a judge has ruled that a park bench can be used to fulfill the residency requirement for voter registration. The Left's latest assault on electoral integrity is universal voter registration, which would trample all over states' rights and create voter registration chaos.
The "new electorate" consists of convicted felons, illegal aliens, and citizens who should never have been naturalized, but were. The "new electorate" also consists of citizens who commit election fraud. What does this mean for democracy in America?
In the latest example of government's overreaching power and repudiation of the Constitution, Democrats have passed a bill that once again forces the productive to pay for the non-productive. We were told that 30 to 40 million people don't have, or don't want, health care insurance. Hence, they will now be forced to buy it against their will if they don't have it, or get it free if they can't afford it, in order to enable President Obama and Speaker Pelosi to construct a legacy for themselves. The predilections of the American people notwithstanding, these tyrannical glory-hounds have decided that public opinion is the least of their concerns.
The fact that workers are already paying about 50 percent of their earnings in taxes every year is of no interest to those who live by sucking the blood of the ambitious. Make no mistake about it: The government's hands just went even more deeply into our pockets.
All responsible citizens recognize the need for taxes to pay for services that provide security, infrastructure, school financing, etc. In addition, most people are decent enough to open their wallets a little wider when the need arises; Americans are the most generous people on earth. Yet they're the last people on earth you want to mess with if they feel like they are being treated unjustly. It is that spirit of righteousness, etched into our national genetic code by ancestors who struggled against tyranny, that sets us apart from the majority of the planet, most of whom genuflect obsequiously in the presence of their masters. That's not the American way!
It is this very spirit that has made the Tea Party movement a magnet for Americans who have become incensed at the level of arrogance being evinced by the Obama administration and those Democrats who have abandoned any concept of integrity in order to become slavishly devoted to "his highness." Repudiating their constituents, renegade Democrats have given the middle finger to the people who pay their salaries, their very generous health plans, and their stunningly generous pensions.
Thanks to the Tea Party patriots and millions of other freedom-loving Americans from sea to shining sea, this recent move toward an ever-expanding socialist state will be dutifully and publicly addressed in the November election. As Justice Brandeis, another sagacious member of the Supreme Court, once said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."
Is the health care bounce history?: "Pollster Scott Rasmussen’s latest sample suggests that Barack Obama’s approval rating bounced slightly upward when the House passed the health care bills March 21 and has since subsided. Rasmussen’s approval index, subtracting the percentage strongly disapproving from the percentage strongly approving, was -21 on March 20 (reflecting interviews conducted March 17-19), dropped to -10 on March 23 (interviews conducted March 20-22) and today is back up to -16 (interviews conducted March 25-27). Strong approval topped out at 32% on March 25 and is back down to 28%, just a little above the level in the month before passage of the bills March 21. Strong disapproval is at 44%, the highest it’s been."
Supreme Court may weigh coverage mandate: "The same Supreme Court justices whom President Obama blasted during his State of the Union address this year may ultimately decide the fate of his crowning achievement as more than a dozen states have called on the courts to strike down the health insurance mandate of Democrats' health care overhaul - a move that would threaten the entire law. Legal scholars are divided on the merits of the cases, and even Congress - through its research service and its budget scorekeeper - has said it's an open question whether the provision could pass constitutional muster. The mandate, which doesn't take effect until 2014, is central to Democrats' goal of insuring about 32 million more Americans."
Case against 3 SEALs weakens: "Cracks are beginning to appear in the military's prosecution of three Navy SEALs accused of striking a most-wanted terrorism suspect they had captured in Iraq. Maj. Gen. Charles Cleveland last week signed grants of immunity for five Navy colleagues of the accused. Some of those five, three enlisted men and two officers, are expected at trial to flatly contradict the prosecution's key witness, according to a Navy source close to the case, which centers on the September 2009 capture of Ahmed Hashim Abed".
Bigger danger of healthcare bill: The arrogance of Congress: "We may never fully know the damage that will be done by the massive healthcare bill Congress passed on Sunday, but one thing is certain: It will lead to lower-quality care at higher costs. Dozens of new health boards will come on line in the next few years, as bureaucrats gradually take control of our healthcare system. Who knows how many bright college students will decide to avoid medical careers because they don’t want to follow orders from these bureaucrats? As alarming as some of the bill’s provisions are, what’s more dangerous is the arrogance this Congress demonstrated.”
Wishful thinking on health care: "How an issue is framed is crucial to how it is decided. Advocates of the package of health insurance regulations, taxes, and mandates known as ObamaCare managed to frame the issue as ‘reform versus the status quo.’ But to call the Obama-Pelosi-Reid plan (OPR) ‘reform’ is to beg the question by assuming precisely what needs to be proved: namely, that the legislative package would actually reform — that is, improve — the medical system.”
“Seeing” red at reconciliation over medicine cabinet tax: "‘They won’t be so opposed to it once they see what’s in it.’ That’s the rationalization House leaders gave skittish Democrats to get them to walk the plank on Obamacare Sunday night. But one of the first things millions of Americans will ’see’ is an effective 40 percent tax hike on the over-the-counter medicines – from an antihistamine such as Claritin for allergies, pain relief medicine such as Tylenol or Excedrin, Pedialyte to prevent their kids from becoming dehydrated when they are sick, and even prenatal vitamins if they are expecting another one.”
Governor Moonbeam vs. eMeg: "The obvious question is why anyone would want to be the next governor of California. But three viable candidates — two Republicans and one Democrat — are defying logic by offering themselves for this post. One Republican, state insurance commissioner and former tech executive Steve Poizner, is running on a systematic right-wing platform of massive spending cuts, new personal and business tax cuts, and, for dessert, another effort to ban access to public benefits for undocumented workers and their families. The second GOP candidate, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, is running far ahead of Poizner, floating her campaign on an extraordinary sea of early money. … she is reportedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars building a library of negative information to use against her general election opponent, a guy named Jerry Brown. That’s right, Edmund Gerald ‘Jerry’ Brown Jr., who is, on paper, the least likely person imaginable to become the frontrunner for governor of a state that is so passionately disillusioned with politicians.”
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.
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