Cafe Sanctimony

Just what you need in the morning with your overpriced status cup of coffee, a lecture from another Obama voter;

Here’s your overpriced pretentious specialty coffee drink, and would you like to check your white privilege with that? Apparently, Starbucks is not content with being the home to douchey hipsters pretending to be writers; they also want to be the destination for uncomfortable racial confrontations. The coffee giant is encouraging its employees to give customers crap about racism.

Here’s my question, which race do you think will get the majority of the “race together” cups, as opposed to the regular cups? And don’t you think that is inherently racist? Naturally the progs will love it, the white one’s will welcome the public flagellation , a badge of honor to exhibit empathy with the down trodden, and the minorities will welcome it as some sort of payback, like the OJ Simpson verdict.

Since I would not be caught dead in a Starbucks, my responses to this challenge is more an exercise in venting, but I can see endless possibilities of fun with this nonsense. First off, if given the offending cup a loud public display of outrage would be merited ,”Excuse me, but why did you give me this cup when the black gentleman ahead of me got a regular cup?, Are you calling me a racist? Does not “race together” matter for everyone? How are you furthering the concept of equality and tolerance by targeting (discriminating against) one race of people? Tell me, was MLK just addressing whites with his “I Have A Dream” speech, or can all people of all races do more for racial harmony? Oh, and wouldn’t you agree that Obama has proven to be the most racially divisive president in history, and that he and Holder have set race relations back 20 years?” Naturally this conversation would be held at appropriate decibels so that all the other progressives there might put away their symbolism and think about what they are applauding.

In other words, Schultz comes from a perspective that white people are racists, that cops victimize black people, and that our entire society unfairly places non-whites in a position of disadvantage. So when he says he wants Starbucks employees to engage customers in discussions on race, clearly he wants to push his guilty liberal position of “blame whitey” for everything.

I wonder if this guy sees the irony, championing the poor and the down trodden, all the while schlepping overpriced coffee and goods poor people don’t usually buy? In that respect McDonald’s is actually walking the walk, offering 1 dollar cups of coffee with free refills, and no sanctimonious cup to drink it in.

Transparency in Government

The mere fact that you have the legal authority…does not mean that you should always use it…Information will not be withheld just because I say so…Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this Presidency.

  • President Obama, 2009

This is the most transparent administration in history. I can document that this is the case. Every visitor that comes into the White House is now part of the public record. Every law we pass and every rule we implement we put online for everyone to see.

White House office to delete its FOIA regulations

The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office.

The White House said the cleanup of FOIA regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office is not subject to the transparency law. The office handles, among other things, White House record-keeping duties like the archiving of e-mails.

Sometimes the post just writes itself.

More Unintended Consequences

Last week there were a few here that had their eyebrows raised over the specter of a nuclear arms race erupting in the ME over the Iran deal, somehow like international agreements are crafted in a vacuum. The incredulity surprised me, and I commented that they must not be paying attention since this very brinkmanship has been front and center in the news for several months now. Sitting idly by while a belligerent and threatening neighbor gets stronger, hardly in line with self preservation;

As U.S. and Iranian diplomats inched toward progress on Tehran’s nuclear program last week, Saudi Arabia quietly signed its own nuclear-cooperation agreement with South Korea.

That agreement, along with recent comments from Saudi officials and royals, is raising concerns on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies that a deal with Iran, rather than stanching the spread of nuclear technologies, risks fueling it.

This is so Obama, the guy that publicly made it a priority to rid the world of all nuclear weapons, starts an arms race in the ME by bumbling into an ill conceived toothless agreement with a country that is actively working towards our demise.

Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the royal family, has publicly warned in recent months that Riyadh will seek to match the nuclear capabilities Iran is allowed to maintain as part of any final agreement reached with world powers. This could include the ability to enrich uranium and to harvest the weapons-grade plutonium discharged in a nuclear reactor’s spent fuel.

Several U.S. and Arab officials have voiced concerns about a possible nuclear-arms race erupting in the Middle East, spurred on by Saudi Arabia’s regional rivalry with Iran, which has been playing out in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen in recent months.

If anyone is surprised that Obama and minions could be caught so off guard, not foreseeing the inevitable, remember that for the last 6 years, every scandal coming down the pike has been addressed by this guy with ,”Hey, I just found out about it, reading the NY Times, just like you”. To think that other ME countries, watching Iranian hedgemony march onward, extending it’s sphere of influence, in what, 6 different countries now? and not feel threatened and want some firepower of their own, ludicrous.

A number of senior Arab officials have warned the White House in recent months the Saudi government could seek Pakistan’s aid in developing nuclear technologies—or even buy an atomic bomb—if it sees an agreement with Iran as too weak.

Guess what, it is too weak, here we go.

Funny, but how many times have we heard from Obama that it was “unacceptable” for Iran to have a nuclear weapons program? I guess if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. Allowing Iran to maintain large nuclear facilities and continue enriching uranium ( no big deal since Iran would have to allow inspections, they have never cheated or disallowed prior inspections before, have they?) And this worked so well with the North Koreans, what could go wrong? No mention of limiting or even monitoring weapons development or ICMB capabilities (at least what I have read so far), no mention of extracting themselves from Syria and allowing Assad to fend for himself, no mention of their expansion and meddling into the affairs of other sovereign nations, nope, this deal has one purpose, to pad Obama’s legacy of not being a complete and total jerkoff when it comes to foreign policy.

Inspections are useless, they were useless for NK and history has proven that they are useless with Iran;

Commenting on how the inspectors have repeatedly been surprised by what Iran hides, Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, told this newspaper in 2013, “If there is no undeclared installation today . . . it will be the first time in 20 years that Iran doesn’t have one.”

Attempting to constrain bad actors with arms control and peace accords, The Carter way and now the Obama way (and Bush with NK) and all have failed miserably.

There Should Always Be Freedom in OU

Over the weekend, you may have seen the video of the SAE fraternity at the University Oklahoma singing a racist song about how there would never be black SAE. Well, they were right about that. There never will be a black SAE. This is because the University responded to the video by dissolving the chapter of the frat and expelling two of the students.

The former decision is right and proper, I think. However, I’m having serious problems with the latter. And so are a lot of people:

The University of Oklahoma’s decision to expel two fraternity members who led a racist chant on a bus provoked criticism Wednesday from several legal experts who said that the students’ words, however odious, were protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.

“The courts are very clear that hateful, racist speech is protected by the First Amendment,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, a constitutional scholar and dean of the law school at the University of California, Irvine.

Official punishment for speech could be legal if the students’ chant constituted a direct threat, leading a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety, or if it seemed likely to provoke an immediate violent response, according to Mr. Chemerinsky and several other legal scholars, liberal and conservative alike.

But in this case, these experts said, there is no evidence of any direct threat or provocation, and as a publicly financed institution, the university is subject to constitutional boundaries.

I’ve seen similar commentary all over the blogosphere. First Amendment badass Mark Randazza:

I’m not going to get into a discussion of whether I approve of it or not. (I don’t, but that’s all I’ll say about it). You have the right to be racist. I want that freedom. But, somewhere along the way, we decided that eliminating bad thoughts is more important than freedom.

Like it or not, these kids were expressing a political and social opinion. I do not care if you agree with it or not. They have a First Amendment right to freedom of association – that means they can be in a private club that says “no niggers allowed.” I can’t say that I would want to belong to such a club, but the KKK and the American Nazi Party not only have a right to exist, but serve a valuable function — even if that function is only to serve as a negative example.

Further, they have a right to express themselves — even with views that you might find abhorrent. That’s what freedom is.

Several scholars have argued that the song constitute an action and “threat”. I’ll let Scott Greenfield take that one, referencing the famous Skokie cases where the ACLU defended the free speech rights of Nazis:

These SAE boys don’t deserve the protection of the First Amendment, any more than the neo-Nazis in Skokie did. But we don’t do it for them. We do it for us. We do it because speech is either protected for all or protected for none.

There are no wiggly lines that allow us to find some sneaky back-door around the protections of the First Amendment. There is no combination of words expressing our feelings about the relative worth of rights, the relative horror of flagrantly racist speech, the unworthiness of expression, that allows us to shed the protection of the First Amendment when we feel so strongly that it should not be provided. This is precisely when the protections of the Constitution must kick in, must apply, must be upheld in the face of our strongest feelings that we don’t want it to.

You can read more from Eugene Volokh and Doug Mataconis, who get into the Constitutional issues. As a public university, the University of Oklahoma is bound to respect the free speech rights of their students. And the attempt to end-around the First Amendment by claiming a racist song constitutes an “action” is offensive. Greenwald had this to say, albeit in a different context:

We’ve said it a million times: free speech isn’t just for speech we like. It’s for speech we hate. It’s for speech that offends us. It’s for speech that shocks the senses. But more than that: I want the bigots of the world1 to feel like they can say what they want. Which do you think is better? A society in which racists go underground? Or a society in which the ugliness be out and open for everyone to see? When I was a kid, some anti-semitic bigots burned a cross on the lawn of my synagogue. That was much scarier and more dangerous than a bunch of KKK jerks marching along the highway.

It’s become common to refer to incidents like this as “teachable moments”. Maybe. But if it is, the lesson being taught is the wrong one. The lesson is that we will punish speech we don’t like.

The other day, the ACLU took another unpopular stand: defending the free speech rights of the Washington Redskins. In doing so, they quoted the great sage Jeffrey Lebowski: “you’re not wrong; you’re just an asshole”:

The ACLU has a history of defending the speech rights of groups we disagree with, because the First Amendment doesn’t protect only popular ideas. The Washington team’s choice of name is unfortunate. They should be – and are being – pressured to change it. But it isn’t government’s role to pick and choose which viewpoints are acceptable and which are not.

Readmit the students, OU. Make this a teachable moment. And the lesson to teach is that free speech applies to everyone, including assholes.


1. Putting aside whether these students are actual bigots or are just drunken idiots singing a dumbass song.

Update: Jamelle Bouie

As far as the University of Oklahoma is concerned, I should say I’m not thrilled with the punishment. Disbanding the fraternity might be justified, but expelling students for hate speech is an extreme response that runs afoul of free-speech norms, if not the First Amendment.

Education would be better. The University of Oklahoma is two hours away from Tulsa, which in 1921 was the site of one of the worst anti-black race riots in American history. More than a thousand whites stormed the black district of Tulsa and razed it to the ground, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless and destitute. Black Tulsa never recovered, but memories of the attack live on among descendants of the victims.

Don’t expel the boys. Bring them to Tulsa. Have them see the memorials and talk to the children of survivors. Give them a chance to see what their words actually mean, and whether they want to be the kinds of people who sing about lynching for fun.

Indeed.

Seriously, Greece?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Greeks electing Syriza, a hard left-wing party that promised to walk back austerity. Since then, the Greek situation has gotten far worse. They negotiated some slight concessions, but most of Europe — including the other PIIGS — held fast. And Greek tax collection have collapsed as most Greeks assumed, with Syriza in power, that the days of having to pay their bills were over. It hasn’t even been two months and the coalition is already floundering.

Now they’re having a conniption fit:

Greece will unleash a “wave of millions of economic migrants” and jihadists on Europe unless the eurozone backs down on austerity demands, the country’s defence and foreign ministers have threatened.

The threat comes as Greece struggles to convince the eurozone and International Monetery Fund to continue payments on a £172billion bailout of Greek finances.

Without the funding, Greece will go bust later this month forcing the recession-ravaged and highly indebted country out of the EU’s single currency.

Greece’s border with Turkey is the EU’s frontline against illegal immigration and European measures to stop extremists travelling to and from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) bases in Syria and Iraq.

Panos Kammenos, the Greek defence minister, warned that if the eurozone allowed Greece to go bust it would give EU travel papers to illegal immigrants crossing its borders or to the 10,000 currently held in detention centres.

They’re now trying to walk back those comments so this may just be frustrated rhetoric. But I stand by what I wrote six weeks ago:

Fuck Greece. They’ve gotten tens of billions of dollars in help and their response is to whine and cry because they can no longer live high on the hog on a fraudulent system paid for by other countries. Don’t let them leave the Euro; kick them the hell out. Let inflation and default ruin their economy. Maybe then they’ll figure out that you can’t run a country on bullshit.

You can’t run it on threats either.

(Via Tyler Cown, who has been calling Syriza the Not Very Serious People. We may have to elevate that to the Not Very Sane People.)

Trying Their Hand at Diplomacy

Barack Obama has been negotiating with Iran for a potential deal that would delay their nuclear ambitions while lightening sanctions. We’ve been debating the wisdom of this in the comments for a while. The Republicans oppose any deal without more sanctions and invited Netanyahu to address Congress without consulting the President, an unusual move (although I found Netanyahu’s speech itself to be reasonable and conciliatory).

But this week, things took an interesting turn:

A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran’s leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama’s administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.

Organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton and signed by the chamber’s entire party leadership as well as potential 2016 presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process.

“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system … Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” the senators wrote. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

As a matter of law, the Republicans are right. Any deal will not be a formal treaty ratified by Congress. As a matter of practical politics, however, I find this meaningless. If, two years from now, Iran is violating the terms of the deal, there will no problem in revoking it. However, if the deal is working, I don’t see how a Republican President could possibly revoke it and basically put Iran on a faster path to a nuclear weapon. If we were to unilaterally back out, Iran would be able to resume a nuclear program without international sanctions, which is a worse situation than we have right now. In fact, I would argue that issuing this threat at this time is likely to make the Iranian situation worse. Doug Mataconis:

First of all, as several observers have noted since the letter was released yesterday, the threat that an agreement reached with the Obama Administration might not be honored by the next President, or that it could be undermined by Republicans in Congress through a variety of methods is likely to reinforce the position of Iranian hardliners who are against any agreement at all. This letter reinforces exactly what they already believe, that the United States cannot be trusted and that Iran must move forward with a nuclear program to protect its national interests. Second, the current sanctions regime is working largely only because the other major nations in the world are on board with it because they believe that it will help in the ongoing negotiations in Geneva to persuade the Iranians that there could be a benefit to agreeing to limits on their nuclear program, namely the gradual lifting of sanctions. Even the Russians and Chinese have signed on to this strategy, for now. If these other nations start to see the U.S. as taking a hard line position that makes diplomacy impossible, though, it’s unlikely that they are going to stick with the program or that they will agree to the kind of tougher sanctions that Republicans, and the Israeli Prime Minister favor. If the international sanctions regime is undermined, then there goes the pressure on Iran to come to the negotiating table. Finally, the simple fact of the matter that these Republicans seem to be ignoring is that Iran is not going to give up its nuclear program the way that nations like Libya and South Africa, to pick two examples that Senator Cotton cited this morning, did simply because history has shown them what happens to regimes who give up their WMD programs, such as Libya and Iraq, and those that do not, such as North Korea. Rather than aiming for an impossible objective, then, it strikes me that the best alternative is to try to get the Iranians to agree to confine their research to peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Senator Cotton and his colleagues just helped to undermine that objective.

I would also add that it endangers the cooperation Iran is giving us in fighting ISIS, which I regard as the greater of two evils at the moment.

Iran’s foreign minister has responded to the letter quite forcefully, indicated the letter is having the effect of encouraging Iranian hardliners. And parts of the Left Wing is accusing the Republicans of sabotaging Obama on foreign policy. I’m inclined to somewhat agree.

Foreign policy is one of the few arenas where the President has primary authority. Congress has some say — funding the President’s initiatives and ratifying treaties and so on. But it is not the job of Congress to act like amateur diplomats. Acting like amateur diplomats is the job of Obama’s bumbling State Department. I said as much when Nancy Pelosi went to Syria to meet with Assad: that was not her damned job. It was not the job of Congressmen to undermine the President’s foreign policy then; it’s not the job of Congressmen to undermine the President’s foreign policy now.

As is their wont, the Left is taking a reasonable point and becoming absurd, accusing the Republicans of “treason” for this. This isn’t treason, no matter what you think of it. I’d reserve that to … say … a sitting Senator negotiating with a hostile foreign power to influence an American election.

It’s one thing for Congress to influence policy through the power of the purse or the power of law. But this sort of direct communication with a foreign government during negotiations is a bridge too far. They need to cut it out. If they want to cancel any deal with Iran, they can try to pass a law over Obama’s veto. Or they can the election in 2016 and abrogate it then. But they need to leave off the theatrics. The situation with Iran is delicate enough without 47 senators barging into it.

US Government and Dietary Policies

The Federal Government, namely the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture, recently released their new dietary guidelines that we, as Americans, are supposed to follow.  These guidelines are put together by something called the “Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee,” and they put out new guidelines every five years.

I’d like to break down why ignoring the US Government in regards to these latest health guidelines may be a prudent thing to do.

For forty years, the “Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” has told us that eating cholesterol is bad, very bad.  Eggs – particularly egg yokes were the devil, and if you ate one you would die within 10 minutes of a heart attack.  I may exaggerate a little bit here.  But apparently Eggs are no longer the devil.

The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.

Great, we get to eat eggs again without worry that our arteries will spontaneously seize up as a result. But look at what such advice appears to have done to the average US citizen’s egg consumption:

Egg Consumption in the US

Shouldn’t somebody answer for that? Forty years of misinformed and incorrect guidelines put out for the “public good”, and all it did was damage one particular industry, and do nothing in regards to heart and artery health for Americans as a whole. I think egg producers may have cause to sue the government here. How about at least an “I’m sorry” from the US Government?

According to the government, salt is terrible for you. It causes hypertension, and increased blood pressure, and ups your risk for heart disease and stroke according to the CDC and other government agencies.  They say we should eat less than 2.3 grams per day to avoid these risks.  Unfortunately for them, study after study over the last several years are contradicting them, some saying up to as much as 6 grams per day has zero impact on health, and even benefits us.  There was even a study actually commissioned by the CDC that contradicted their caution against salt.  Despite these studies, they still included this erroneous caution against salt in their 2015 guidelines, and on the CDC’s website.

I love fat.  I love red meat.  Both are cautioned against by current and past government guidelines.  You see, Fat in and of itself increases risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, etc.  Except that it doesn’t.  A 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at 22 different studies, and showed that significant evidence doesn’t exist in regards to dietary saturated fat intake and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease.  A 2014 analysis of 72 different studies on cardiovascular disease and fat intake found nothing that backs up the current guidelines put out by the Government.  Yet still they tell us that consuming fat is the enemy.

And Red Meat?  A 2013 European study followed 450,000 people since the 1990’s, and found no increase in mortality rate tied to red meat consumption – interestingly they did notice a correlation between increased mortality, and processed meats.  But still we are told we shouldn’t eat red meat.

I see two primary problems as to why the Government appears to get it wrong so much of the time:

1) The Government gets much of their data and come up with many of their policies based on studies completed by the Harvard school of public health.  The problem there is that much of the epidemiological data from these studies is not reproducible in real life or in clinical trials.

2) Lobbyists in Washington.  When in doubt, follow the money.  But that can be tied to pretty much anything Washington funds, or regulates.

Does this mean you can go out and eat whatever you want?  Of course not.  There are plenty of studies out there pointing to moderation in our diets being the key.  Lots of Sugar by and large appears to be bad, no matter who you are. Eat too much of anything, and chances are you are going to get fat.  Just take the government’s guidelines with a large grain of salt.

If you are so inclined, you can submit comments to the “Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” until April 8th, and let them know what you think about their new guidelines.

On a personal note – I did Cross Fit for about a year, and loved it.  The pain, the sweat, the blood, it was awesome.  The best part about it was the community and friends I gained from the gym I went to.  Unfortunately I never managed to get my eating fully under control, and that is 80% of getting healthy (at least according to me).  I try to steer clear of processed foods.  The owner of my gym told me once that if it looks like it did when it came off the tree/bush or out of the ground, or it had a mother, then you can eat it.  Seems pretty straightforward to me, and I most definitely feel better, and notice my body responding well when I eat this way consistently.

So – What do you do to get healthy, or maintain health?  What dietary guideline do you follow?  What type of exercises do you like to do?  Any particular exercise regiment you stick to?  Share in the comments.

Islamists of the World, Unite

You know, it’s so great to have real professionals in the State Department again, running terrorism into the ground, preventing the rise of dangerous Islamist states and … oh:

With thousands of fighters and some parts of northeastern Nigeria under its control, Boko Haram is believed to be the largest jihadi group to pledge fidelity to the Islamic State. But terrorism experts say that the practical significance of the move announced Saturday is as yet unclear.

Some experts say that the pledge, or “bayat,” made by the leader of Boko Haram is a spiritually binding oath, which indicates that the Nigerian Islamist group has agreed to accept the authority of the Islamic State.

It’s easy for Boko Haram to pledge allegiance to something thousands of miles away. This doesn’t necessarily move us closer to a caliphate but it does lay the groundwork for a larger and more global terrorist network that can wreck havoc from Africa to the Middle East. And yet another sign that the world has become more under dangerous under Barack Obama, not less.

No More Bloody Sundays

Today marks the 50th anniversary of “Blood Sunday”, the day when civil rights demonstrators marching from Selma to Montgomery were set upon by a law-enforcement organized mob at the Edmund Pettis Bridge. There’s a lot to say about it, including the lame-brained decision of GOP leaders to not attend. But one thing really jumped out at me looking at all the grandstanding politicians.

There is no way a Selma protest would be allowed today:

Today, it would be impossible to obtain a federal court order permitting a five-day protest march on a 52-mile stretch of a major U.S. highway. Under contemporary legal doctrine, the Selma protests would have ended March 8, 1965.

Starting in the 1970s, however, the federal courts began rolling back this idea. A series of rulings erected what is known as the public forum doctrine, which lets a city, state or the federal government decide whether public property can be used for 1st Amendment activities. It also means that if courts do not designate a place a “traditional public forum,” government may forbid its use as a site of protest altogether.

Under this doctrine, the federal government has completely banned large protests at Mt. Rushmore and the Jefferson Memorial.

In fact, a few years ago, a bunch of people were arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, a decisions the Courts upheld. I can’t imagine what Jefferson, a staunch advocate of free speech, would have said about it.

Even in traditional public forums, government may strictly regulate the time, place and manner of speech activity. The National Park Service, for example, has created “free speech areas” and limited protests to them. Predictably, the federal courts have sustained this policy.

Likewise, local, state and federal governments have banned dissent near major political events, such as the presidential nominating conventions.

Protesters are relegated to “designated speech zones,” sometimes blocks or miles from the venue. The federal courts have sustained such regulations as justifiable security measures. The purpose and effect of these regulations, however, is to render the protesters invisible.

Krotosyznski goes on to note the crackdown on the peaceful side of the Ferguson protesters, which included firing tear gas at people standing on their own lawns. The courts belatedly decided that this violated the free speech rights of the protesters, but it was long past. Whether the Ferguson protests had merit or not, given the DOJ reports, is kind of beside the point. The point is that kind of heavy-handed response has become routine for protests that do not have official government sanction.

Many of the Tea Party protests got permission for their activities, but sometimes only after delays and only in designated areas. And the idea that the Tea Party need permission to oppose government policy is fundamentally ridiculous.

So, yeah, follow the commemorations of the Selma march today. But remember that every single one of those politicians speaking about Dr. King’s courage would have shut him down in a heartbeat today. Because for worshippers of government power, no matter what their political persuasion, dissenters are a problem, not something to be proud of. They are only something to be proud of decades after the fact.

Irony

The Affordable Care Act is back in the headlines this week.  The Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the law…again.  Once again it is looking like Chief Justice Roberts (or possibly Kennedy) will be the key to whether the law stands or not.  And he was very quiet this week at the hearing, which makes everybody nervous.

So you’re probably asking why I titled the post, “Irony”.  Other than an inside joke from Moorwatch, it applies to the fact that Nancy Pelosi’s words are coming back to haunt her.  You see, back in 2010, Nancy Pelosi was trying to get Congressmen to vote for “Obamacare”.  But Democrats were being questioned on what was actually in the law at the time, and some of them were getting pretty testy about it.  In an interview, Pelosi now famously said, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy.”  

So taking her words into account, Obamacare as passed was 425,116 words long (nevermind for the moment the over 2 million words that the Administration has added to it in regulations since its passage).  And nobody really understood what those almost half-million words really meant at the time it was passed.  And now just a very few of those words may be the entire law’s undoing.

This is why it is imperative that we have legislators in Congress who read, and understand the laws they are voting for.  It is unconscionable to me that anyone would ever vote for a law that they didn’t fully understand.  These things affect millions of people’s lives.  I would support limits on the length a bill can be so that we do not have “omnibus” spending bills, or laws that can’t be read until they are passed.  There should be no more “earmarks” ever.

On a personal note – the “Affordable Care Act” has been anything but in my life.  I am sure it has helped many people (at the expense of someone, somewhere paying more in taxes – nothing is “free”).  I have gone from pretty decent health insurance four years ago to absolutely terrible coverage through my employer, and less options.  I really hope this is not the end-game for Democrats in Washington – to make Healthcare so lousy, and expensive that they are “forced” to step in with a single-payer system.