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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Here comes the judge. And these goes healthcare reform. The New York Post discusses the likely unraveling of ObamaCare.

That’s what happened this week. There appears to be no question in the mind of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s advocates and the liberal members of the court.

This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court.

Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker and CNN confidently asserted on Charlie Rose at the beginning of the week that the court would rule 7-2, maybe even 8-1 in favor of ObamaCare. The previous week, he called the anti-ObamaCare arguments “really weak.”

His view was echoed by an equally confident op-ed assertion by the veteran court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who in The New York Times declared the case against ObamaCare “analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection.”

It was quite a change, then, to see Toobin emerge almost hysterical from the Supreme Court chamber after two hours of argument on Tuesday and declare the proceedings “a train wreck for the Obama administration.”

Yesterday, after another two hours of argument, he suggested it might even be a “plane wreck.”


Is the Republican party the party of war? Pat Buchanan opines on the blood lust that continues to the theme of every Republican candidate short of contrarian Ron Paul.

Denouncing “bluster” about with , President Obama went on the offensive Tuesday:

“Those who are … beating the drums of should explain clearly to the American people what they think the costs and benefits would be.”

The president had in mind such remarks as those delivered to the Israeli lobby that same day: “The red line is now … because the Iranians are deepening their commitment to nuclear weapons” — an assertion the Joint Chiefs and U.S. intelligence agencies say is blatantly false.

They insist: has not made the decision to build a bomb.

Perhaps the president was referring to ’s pledge to that same cheering throng to “station multiple carriers and warships at ’s door” and deny Tehran even “the capacity to make a bomb.”

But if “the capacity to make a bomb” means knowledge of how to build one and an ability to enrich uranium to bomb-grade, should they decide to do so, already has that.

Does Mitt want now?

Perhaps the president had in mind ’s call for U.S. air strikes on Syria, an act of rejected even by GOP Speaker John Boehner as “premature,” since the “situation in Syria is pretty complicated.”

Have the uber-hawks learned nothing from the for which they beat the drums 10 years ago?

Then they told us Saddam Hussein was implicated in 9/11, that he had chemical weapons, that if we didn’t invade his country we could expect anthrax attacks by Iraqi crop-dusters up and down our East Coast.

Those who asked for proof Saddam was a mortal threat were dismissed by Condi Rice: “There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

The price of our heeding that bluster? Some 4,500 American dead, 35,000 wounded, $1 trillion sunk, 100,000 Iraqi dead, half a million widows and orphans.

The fruits of our victory? A Shia-dominated Iraq descending into sectarian and civil war.

The GOP’s political reward for marching us up to Baghdad?

Loss of both houses of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, when the antiwar Obama crushed the war hawk McCain.

It seems to be the question of the day. Was Rush Limbaugh “sincere” in his public apology to a young lady that he had called a “slut” for her advocacy of contraception?  That’s a fair question. So let’s ponder it.  It doesn’t strike me as unlikely that someone whose job it is to run his mouth off for several hours a day would have his share of regrets. It also seems very likely that even a self-impressed windbag like Rush Limbaugh is capable of such a feeling as remorse. But what is clearest to people of all political stripes, I believe, is that when a steady stream of sponsors pull their ads from your program we can all manufacture expressions of repentance that are quite compelling. And maybe, just maybe, that counts as heartfelt sincerity.

The more you try to parse this thing with the Republican base, the worse it gets.

Another conservative has gamely stepped up to the challenge of arguing that Romneycare is to Obamacare as day is to night, up is to down, virtue is to vice, liquid is to solid, etc., etc. I suppose someone had to try again after Ann Coulter failed so miserably. It’s not an enviable assignment, and I hope National Review paid Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who is now president of the American Action Forum (a think tank chaired by Republican hack Fred Malek), twice its usual word rate to make his case. This is hardship duty.

“Yes,” Holtz-Eakin writes, “Massachusetts re-directed existing health spending to expand coverage. The resemblance ends there.” He then lists various features of Obamacare that cannot be found in Romneycare:

$500 billion in new taxes on investment income, medical devices, health insurance companies, and “Cadillac” health-insurance policies. Massachusetts did not have a dangerous Independent Payment Advisory Board, misguided Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, futile Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, and myriad other agencies, boards and bureaucracies. Massachusetts did not rely on budget gimmicks like the CLASS Act, student loan “savings,” and mythical Medicare cuts to squeeze past the finish line.Mitt Romney loves to talk about how Romneycare didn’t raise taxes, as if increasing tax liability while sucking on the federal teat constituted thrift. As of fiscal year 2010 Romneycare had increased Massachusetts health care spending by about $700 million, with roughly half paid by the federal government through the Medicaid program and about half paid by the state. (For what it’s worth, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute says this calculation lowballs the actual cost by a factor of 19. Incidentally, no “budget gimmick” in Obamacare can compete with Romneycare’s getting the feds to pick up half the tab.)

…is a dead conservative blogger.  Andrew, you will be missed. Not Davey Jones of the Monkees missed, but who would be?