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 Now for the Slaughter 
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Post Now for the Slaughter
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On the road to Demon Pass, our leader encounters a Baier.
By PEGGY NOONAN

Excuse me, but it is embarrassing—really, embarrassing to our country—that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he's having trouble passing a piece of domestic legislation he's been promising for a year will be passed next week. What an air of chaos this signals to the world. And to do this to Australia of all countries, a nation that has always had America's back and been America's friend.

How bush league, how undisciplined, how kid's stuff.

You could see the startled looks on the faces of reporters as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who had the grace to look embarrassed, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon. The president "regrets the delay"—the trip is rescheduled for June—but "passage of the health insurance reform is of paramount importance." Indonesia must be glad to know it's not.

The reporters didn't even provoke or needle in their questions. They seemed hushed. They looked like people who were absorbing the information that we all seem to be absorbing, which is that the wheels seem to be coming off this thing, the administration is wobbling—so early, so painfully and dangerously soon.

Thursday's decision followed the most revealing and important broadcast interview of Barack Obama ever. It revealed his primary weakness in speaking of health care, which is a tendency to dodge, obfuscate and mislead. He grows testy when challenged. It revealed what the president doesn't want revealed, which is that he doesn't want to reveal much about his plan. This furtiveness is not helpful in a time of high public anxiety. At any rate, the interview was what such interviews rarely are, a public service. That it occurred at a high-stakes time, with so much on the line, only made it more electric.

I'm speaking of the interview Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report With Bret Baier." Fox is owned by News Corp., which also owns this newspaper, so one should probably take pains to demonstrate that one is attempting to speak with disinterest and impartiality, in pursuit of which let me note that Glenn Beck has long appeared to be insane.

That having been said, the Baier interview was something, and right from the beginning. Mr. Baier's first question was whether the president supports the so-called Slaughter rule, alternatively known as "deem and pass," which would avoid a straight up-or-down House vote on the Senate bill. (Tunku Varadarajan in the Daily Beast cleverly notes that it sounds like "demon pass," which it does. Maybe that's the juncture we're at.) Mr. Obama, in his response, made the usual case for ObamaCare. Mr. Baier pressed him. The president said, "The vote that's taken in the House will be a vote for health-care reform." We shouldn't, he added, concern ourselves with "the procedural issues."

Further in, Mr. Baier: "So you support the deem-and-pass rule?" From the president, obfuscation. But he did mention something new: "They may have to sequence the votes." The bill's opponents would be well advised to look into that one.

Mr. Baier again: So you'll go deem-and-pass and you don't know exactly what will be in the bill?

Mr. Obama's response: "By the time the vote has taken place, not only will I know what's in it, you'll know what's in it, because it's going to be posted and everybody's going to be able to evaluate it on the merits."

That's news in two ways. That it will be posted—one assumes the president means on the Internet and not nailed to a telephone pole—should suggest it will be posted for a while, more than a few hours or days. So American will finally get a look at it. And the president was conceding that no, he doesn't know what's in the bill right now. It is still amazing that one year into the debate this could be true.

Mr. Baier pressed on the public's right to know what is in the bill. We have been debating the bill for a year, the president responded: "The notion that this has been not transparent, that people don't know what's in the bill, everybody knows what's in the bill. I sat for seven hours with—."

Mr. Baier interrupts: "Mr. President, you couldn't tell me what the special deals are that are in or not today."

Mr. Obama: "I just told you what was in and what was not in."

Mr. Baier: "Is Connecticut in?" He was referring to the blandishments—polite word—meant to buy the votes of particular senators.

Mr. Obama: "Connecticut—what are you specifically referring to?"

Mr. Baier: "The $100 million for the hospital? Is Montana in for the asbestos program? Is—you know, listen, there are people—this is real money, people are worried about this stuff."

Mr. Obama: "And as I said before, this—the final provisions are going to be posted for many days before this thing passes."

Mr. Baier pressed the president on his statement as a candidate for the presidency that a 50-plus-one governing mentality is inherently divisive. "You can't govern" that way, Sen. Obama had said. Is the president governing that way now? Mr. Obama did not really answer.

Throughout, Mr. Baier pressed the president. Some thought this bordered on impertinence. I did not. Mr. Obama now routinely filibusters in interviews. He has his message, and he presses it forward smoothly, adroitly. He buries you in words. Are you worried what failure of the bill will do to you? I'm worried about what the status quo will do to the families that are uninsured . . .

Mr. Baier forced him off his well-worn grooves. He did it by stopping long answers with short questions, by cutting off and redirecting. In this he was like a low-speed bumper car. In the end the interview seemed to me a public service because everyone in America right now wants to see the president forced off his grooves and into candor on an issue that involves 17% of the economy. Again, the stakes are high. So Mr. Baier's style seemed—this is admittedly subjective—not rude but within the bounds, and not driven by the antic spirit that sometimes overtakes reporters. He seemed to be trying to get new information. He seemed to be attempting to better inform the public.

Presidents have a right to certain prerogatives, including the expectation of a certain deference. He's the president, this is history. But we seem to have come a long way since Ronald Reagan was regularly barked at by Sam Donaldson, almost literally, and the president shrugged it off. The president—every president—works for us. We don't work for him. We sometimes lose track of this, or rather get the balance wrong. Respect is due and must be palpable, but now and then you have to press, to either force them to be forthcoming or force them to reveal that they won't be. Either way it's revealing.

And so it ends, with a health-care vote expected this weekend. I wonder at what point the administration will realize it wasn't worth it—worth the discord, worth the diminution in popularity and prestige, worth the deepening of the great divide. What has been lost is so vivid, what has been gained so amorphous, blurry and likely illusory. Memo to future presidents: Never stake your entire survival on the painful passing of a bad bill. Never take the country down the road to Demon Pass.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704207504575130081383279888.html

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Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:47 am
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Post Re: Now for the Slaughter
Thats all fine and dandy.. It might be political suicide for him. But, I don't want this fricken bill to pass.. And it's looking like it will.

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Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Now for the Slaughter
I believe the government...ANY government, has no right to tell me how I should live.
I understand the need completely to mandate certain expenditures...such as auto insurance. If you drive a car, that's an option you select to facilitate your travels. It's not a birthright. I also concur that certain other expenditures should be mandated, such as if you purchase a house or car (or any other significant item), the financiers have the right to expect homeowners' insurance (or whatever is applicable) while you finance it so as to protect what is essentially still theirs until you pay for it.
For the government to tell me I MUST pay something just for being alive is horsesh%$.

What has happened to the American Dream? The notion that what you are willing to work for you can most certainly earn in the USA, if you work hard enough. It's still true in the USA, but the larger the government control gets over aspects of the dream the harder it will be for us to do.
The readers are very lucky that I am not in control.

I would completely dismiss Income Tax in all it's forms and go to a national Flat sales tax. EVERYBODY pays the same percentage regardless of whether they were black, white, young, old, rich, poor, legal or illegally immigrated, nationalized or born American. Equality. Fairness. Stimulating the economy with the notion that now you work for 400$ a week, you bring home 400$ a week and spend it on what you want, not 320$ whilst some political whore on Capitol Hill decides that the 80$ he took from you needs to be given to someone who won't go out and earn it themselves.
Note: I am not against Welfare, WIC, AFDC or any of those other supportive gestures. I think it is perfectly fine for someone to be able to walk into a government office and go 'I need assistance'. The government official says 'Certainly. Here are the county park trash cans to empty, the truck leaves at 8:30 am from here. That will take a few hours, and then at 11:00am you will be dropped off at the courthouse to help with the repairs on the windows. You will get a note from the supervisor and then can come here and get your check.'
Psssst: a Flat Tax stimulates spending because the people find themselves with more money. A greater economy means more commerce, and thus more generated sales tax. We'd have MORE money for the government than we do now, AND THERE WOULD BE NO TAX CHEATS.

I would completely revise the Unemployment structure. Understand, you and I pay into it whenever we have an over-the-table job. My next-door neighbor had paid into the system for 20 years straight when his work dried up (he wasn't even fired, the co. simply had no work for him). He diligently tried to find work for several months until his savings dried up. He then went to unemployment...and was refused because he had not been paying into it for the previous six months...after twenty years of it. You mean to tell me somebody can work for a year and then lose their job and draw 50% salary (for currently up to two years if each supplement is qualified for) while somebody who has paid all their working lives into it can't?????????
Give me a break. The money that you pay into unemployment insurance goes into a pool which the government draws interest on. Each individual has the total amount of their paid-in insurance to draw from (the government keeps the interest made on it in the interim; sorry, but that's a rainy-day bailout plan and you shouldn't begrudge an agency to maintain and disperse it from defraying costs). Once that person's insurance runs out, they're done. Why should anyone pay for anyone else? Isn't the idea of this country supposed to be you make of yourself what you can through audacity, determination and effort? If you've made something of yourself, why should you pay for someone who hasn't?

I would completely thrash the pharmaceutical companies and the AMA in general. What nonsense these scum have generated. Remember when the rush was on a while back to get drugs from Canada? Not the illicit kind, but the heart-, liver-, etc. etc. pills that keep Grandma alive. US companies were charging DOUBLE what the Canadian pharms were, and the medicines were made with the same materials and in some cases the same labs as their US counterparts. Mix that in with inducements to physicians to prescribe, prescribe, prescribe and you have a situation like my step-dad. He takes twelve OR MORE pills a day (12 is the fewest). Some are not to be taken while he's on the others. He has mood swings and bouts of semi-lucidity that are totally out of character for him, and has had bad reactions requiring medical attention to some of them. People, we have survived as a species for thousands of years without a steady stream of chemicals playing with our insides. Can some medicines help? Sure, but what is help when it does worse things to you? Turn on the tube for any length of time and you'll see the billion-grubbing scum in action.
"Feeling downcast? Unable to focus? Try Scruyuall, it will pick you up. Certain side effects may be dependence, stupidity and gullibility."
"Not been the tiger lately? Try Gotsomewoodnow, and you can recapture that feeling of being the swordsman again. Certain side effects include glowing in the dark and bad gas."
These clowns don't know what they're doing, and they haven't for a long time. They do know that money is very good, and they are willing to experiment with our bodies to make it, and willing to convince us that we need it.


Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Now for the Slaughter
pawfectgent wrote:
I believe the government...ANY government, has no right to tell me how I should live.
I understand the need completely to mandate certain expenditures...such as auto insurance. If you drive a car, that's an option you select to facilitate your travels. It's not a birthright. I also concur that certain other expenditures should be mandated, such as if you purchase a house or car (or any other significant item), the financiers have the right to expect homeowners' insurance (or whatever is applicable) while you finance it so as to protect what is essentially still theirs until you pay for it.
For the government to tell me I MUST pay something just for being alive is horsesh%$.

What has happened to the American Dream? The notion that what you are willing to work for you can most certainly earn in the USA, if you work hard enough. It's still true in the USA, but the larger the government control gets over aspects of the dream the harder it will be for us to do.
The readers are very lucky that I am not in control.

I would completely dismiss Income Tax in all it's forms and go to a national Flat sales tax. EVERYBODY pays the same percentage regardless of whether they were black, white, young, old, rich, poor, legal or illegally immigrated, nationalized or born American. Equality. Fairness. Stimulating the economy with the notion that now you work for 400$ a week, you bring home 400$ a week and spend it on what you want, not 320$ whilst some political whore on Capitol Hill decides that the 80$ he took from you needs to be given to someone who won't go out and earn it themselves.
Note: I am not against Welfare, WIC, AFDC or any of those other supportive gestures. I think it is perfectly fine for someone to be able to walk into a government office and go 'I need assistance'. The government official says 'Certainly. Here are the county park trash cans to empty, the truck leaves at 8:30 am from here. That will take a few hours, and then at 11:00am you will be dropped off at the courthouse to help with the repairs on the windows. You will get a note from the supervisor and then can come here and get your check.'
Psssst: a Flat Tax stimulates spending because the people find themselves with more money. A greater economy means more commerce, and thus more generated sales tax. We'd have MORE money for the government than we do now, AND THERE WOULD BE NO TAX CHEATS.

I would completely revise the Unemployment structure. Understand, you and I pay into it whenever we have an over-the-table job. My next-door neighbor had paid into the system for 20 years straight when his work dried up (he wasn't even fired, the co. simply had no work for him). He diligently tried to find work for several months until his savings dried up. He then went to unemployment...and was refused because he had not been paying into it for the previous six months...after twenty years of it. You mean to tell me somebody can work for a year and then lose their job and draw 50% salary (for currently up to two years if each supplement is qualified for) while somebody who has paid all their working lives into it can't?????????
Give me a break. The money that you pay into unemployment insurance goes into a pool which the government draws interest on. Each individual has the total amount of their paid-in insurance to draw from (the government keeps the interest made on it in the interim; sorry, but that's a rainy-day bailout plan and you shouldn't begrudge an agency to maintain and disperse it from defraying costs). Once that person's insurance runs out, they're done. Why should anyone pay for anyone else? Isn't the idea of this country supposed to be you make of yourself what you can through audacity, determination and effort? If you've made something of yourself, why should you pay for someone who hasn't?

I would completely thrash the pharmaceutical companies and the AMA in general. What nonsense these scum have generated. Remember when the rush was on a while back to get drugs from Canada? Not the illicit kind, but the heart-, liver-, etc. etc. pills that keep Grandma alive. US companies were charging DOUBLE what the Canadian pharms were, and the medicines were made with the same materials and in some cases the same labs as their US counterparts. Mix that in with inducements to physicians to prescribe, prescribe, prescribe and you have a situation like my step-dad. He takes twelve OR MORE pills a day (12 is the fewest). Some are not to be taken while he's on the others. He has mood swings and bouts of semi-lucidity that are totally out of character for him, and has had bad reactions requiring medical attention to some of them. People, we have survived as a species for thousands of years without a steady stream of chemicals playing with our insides. Can some medicines help? Sure, but what is help when it does worse things to you? Turn on the tube for any length of time and you'll see the billion-grubbing scum in action.
"Feeling downcast? Unable to focus? Try Scruyuall, it will pick you up. Certain side effects may be dependence, stupidity and gullibility."
"Not been the tiger lately? Try Gotsomewoodnow, and you can recapture that feeling of being the swordsman again. Certain side effects include glowing in the dark and bad gas."
These clowns don't know what they're doing, and they haven't for a long time. They do know that money is very good, and they are willing to experiment with our bodies to make it, and willing to convince us that we need it.

Amen brother


Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:12 am
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Post Re: Now for the Slaughter
Dont you think these aholes who we elect at some point can stop playing politics & partisanship & come together & pass something with both sides supporting it for the good of the people. The hatred runs so deep between the parties , has spilled into the media & has now trickled down to the people. In all my years it has never been like this. I dont know how anyone can say they are a member of any of these 2 parties or feel that any the parties have your best interests at heart. They are all about keeping their jobs , their health coverages , their country club memberships , their freebies.
They could have come together on this , laid down their arms & passed something that would have united not divided. When will they learn it is all cyclical ... sure the Dems have a majority now but that will change & then eventgually change back again as the public gets frustrated.
Honestly my 5 year old daughters make more sense than anyone of these people .. no matter what party affiliation. They all suck & it amazes me how anyone thinks anyone of them has our best intersts at heart. Its all about them , & them doing anything they can to continue their cushy lifestyles.

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Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:30 am
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Post Re: Now for the Slaughter
FINesse wrote:
Dont you think these aholes who we elect at some point can stop playing politics & partisanship & come together & pass something with both sides supporting it for the good of the people. The hatred runs so deep between the parties , has spilled into the media & has now trickled down to the people. In all my years it has never been like this. I dont know how anyone can say they are a member of any of these 2 parties or feel that any the parties have your best interests at heart. They are all about keeping their jobs , their health coverages , their country club memberships , their freebies.
They could have come together on this , laid down their arms & passed something that would have united not divided. When will they learn it is all cyclical ... sure the Dems have a majority now but that will change & then eventgually change back again as the public gets frustrated.
Honestly my 5 year old daughters make more sense than anyone of these people .. no matter what party affiliation. They all suck & it amazes me how anyone thinks anyone of them has our best intersts at heart. Its all about them , & them doing anything they can to continue their cushy lifestyles.


:goodjob:

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Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:08 am
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Post Re: Now for the Slaughter
Rich wrote:
FINesse wrote:
Dont you think these aholes who we elect at some point can stop playing politics & partisanship & come together & pass something with both sides supporting it for the good of the people. The hatred runs so deep between the parties , has spilled into the media & has now trickled down to the people. In all my years it has never been like this. I dont know how anyone can say they are a member of any of these 2 parties or feel that any the parties have your best interests at heart. They are all about keeping their jobs , their health coverages , their country club memberships , their freebies.
They could have come together on this , laid down their arms & passed something that would have united not divided. When will they learn it is all cyclical ... sure the Dems have a majority now but that will change & then eventgually change back again as the public gets frustrated.
Honestly my 5 year old daughters make more sense than anyone of these people .. no matter what party affiliation. They all suck & it amazes me how anyone thinks anyone of them has our best intersts at heart. Its all about them , & them doing anything they can to continue their cushy lifestyles.


:goodjob:

2nded :yay:


Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:21 pm
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