Conservative Wanderer

“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.” — Ronald Wilson Reagan

“The 60 Votes Aren’t There Anymore”

That’s not my interpretation, that’s from the AP:

WASHINGTON – The 60 votes aren’t there any more.

With the Senate set to begin debate Monday on health care overhaul, the all-hands-on-deck Democratic coalition that allowed the bill to advance is fracturing already. Yet majority Democrats will need 60 votes again to finish.

Some Democratic senators say they’ll jump ship from the bill without tighter restrictions on abortion coverage. Others say they’ll go unless a government plan to compete with private insurance companies gets tossed overboard. Such concessions would enrage liberals, the heart and soul of the party.

There’s no clear course for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to steer legislation through Congress to President Barack Obama. You can’t make history unless you reach 60 votes, and don’t count on Republicans helping him.

We need to keep pressure on the Blue Dog Democrats not to be talked, bullied, or bribed into voting for this monstrosity.

What We Have To Look Forward To If ObamaCare Passes

More problems with government-run health care from, where else, one of the pioneers, the United Kingdom:

Poor nursing care, filthy wards and lack of leadership at Basildon and Thurrock University NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust led to the deaths of up to 400 patients a year.

Figures compiled by a health watchdog showed death rates at the Essex trust were a third higher than they should have been.

Among the worst failings discovered by the Care Quality Commission were a lack of basic nursing skills, curtains spattered with blood on wards, mould in vital equipment and patients being left in A&E for up to ten hours.

Ahh, but these two are the only ones having problems, right?

The watchdog report comes just months after an investigation into Mid-Staffordshire NHS foundation trust found similar problems, with up to 1,200 avoidable deaths.

Hmm. Okay, but we know that the folks who let this happen are going to be fired, of course.

The CQC report has now been passed on to Monitor, the organisation in charge of foundation hospital trusts.

Monitor has the power to replace the management at the trust but it is understood none of the board members have yet been threatened with losing their jobs.

Yep, that’s government-run health-care for ya. Needless deaths, but the bureaucrats who let it happen get to keep their job regardless.

Food For Thought This Thanksgiving

From one of the people who helps bring us this bountiful harvest: a farmer.

Nobody but we farmers celebrates a great crop like this one. The rest of America should celebrate, and be grateful for the abundance that agriculture provides.

When all the locals are combining grain here in northwest Missouri, there is so much dust in the air that it makes for beautiful sunsets. Sort of a purple haze over the Corn Belt. Makes us sneeze, as well. The fall air is clear, and the colors are sharp, shades of brown, gold, and grey. The fall days are long, lasting well into the night, as we hurry to get the crops from the field.

Our harvest crew includes my two brothers, my dad, mom, wife, sisters-in-law, son-in-law, daughter, and three nephews. We’re all dressed in overalls or blue jeans, heavy jackets, and baseball caps. The family resemblance is strong, and my brothers and nephews are big guys, so the overall effect is a bit spooky. Think of a Faulkner novel, substituting rusted-out pickup trucks for mules.

Read the whole thing.

SEALs Face Assault Charges For Bringing In Terrorist!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, interrogative, over.

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.

The three, all members of the Navy’s elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral’s mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Gee, I wonder if everything would have been okay if they’d read the guy the Miranda warnings first.

Now Reid’s Real Problems Begin

So, over the weekend, in another late-Saturday-night vote, the Senate approved a motion to open debate on their own version of the health care bill.

Lefties may think they’ve won, but in reality, the fight has barely begun.

The problem is simple… many Democratic Senators who voted to open debate may not vote later on to close debate (“cloture”), which also needs 60 votes. At least some of the moderate Democrats in the Senate voted to open debate primarily to attempt to modify the bill to make it more palatable to them. However, what the moderates want (a weakening of the “public option”) is anathema to the hard-core leftists in the Senate.

Thus, Reid is caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. If he doesn’t weaken the public option, the moderates may not vote for cloture. If he does, the leftists may not vote. And Reid can’t afford even one defection unless he can pick up a liberal Republican to counterbalance it, and that’s pretty unlikely.

So in actually succeeding in opening debate, Reid might have started the demise of the bill.

Hmmm…

November 2009:

“There are core strengths to the American economy that will put us in good stead over the long term,” Obama said.

September 2008:

As we noted in a story yesterday evening, the Obama campaign quickly jumped on John McCain’s statement yesterday that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” McCain made the comment on the same day that two major Wall Street institutions effectively collapsed, and the Obama campaign portrayed McCain’s response as evidence that the Republican nominee is “out of touch with what’s going in the lives of ordinary Americans.”

I guess Minitrue hasn’t gotten around to flushing that campaign ad down the memory hole yet.

Mary Landrieu’s 100 Million Pieces of Silver

ABC News:

On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster.”

The section spends two pages defining which “states” would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that “during the preceding 7 fiscal years” have been declared a “major disaster area.”

I am told the section applies to exactly one state:  Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.

In other words, the bill spends two pages describing would could be written with a single world:  Louisiana.  (This may also help explain why the bill is long.)

Senator Harry Reid, who drafted the bill, cannot pass it without the support of Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu.

How much does it cost?  According to the Congressional Budget Office: $100 million.

Unfortunately, Sen. Landrieu was just re-elected in 2008, so it will be a while before she can be voted out of office.

2010 Isn’t Looking Good For Incumbents

Most non-political-wonks tend to “vote their pocketbooks,” which means this really doesn’t look good for the party in power right now (emphasis mine):

About 9.6 percent of borrowers were delinquent on their mortgage during the third quarter, according to the survey, and another 4.5 percent more were somewhere in the foreclosure process. Overall, about 14 percent of mortgage loans or 7.4 million households were delinquent or in the foreclosure process during the quarter, according to the group.

That is the highest level recorded by the survey, which has been conducted since 1972, and is up from about 10 percent of borrowers who were in trouble during the same period last year.

If unemployment rates peak by the middle of next year, foreclosures could reach their highest levels by the end of the year, Brinkmann said. But even after peaking, foreclosure rates are likely to remain elevated as borrowers in regions that have had steep price declines and now owe more than their home is worth continue to struggle, he said.

Looks like voters really won’t be in any mood to vote for incumbents of either party in November 2010. While that is bad for the GOP, it’s worse for the Democrats, because there are more Democrat incumbents, and there’s also more Democrats in vulnerable districts, including districts that voted for the Democrat for Congress but McCain for President.

2010 could really be a big GOP year… everything seems to be pointing in that direction, at least.

Lieberman Stands Firm On Filibuster Of Public Option

Gotta admire a politician who says what he means and means what he says:

Sen. Joe Lieberman’s threat to filibuster any health care bill with a public option could kill health reform this year — and embolden Democratic challengers who’d like to send him packing in 2012.

But Lieberman doesn’t seem worried.

“I don’t think about that stuff,” Lieberman told POLITICO this week. “I’m just — I’m being a legislator. After what I went through in 2006, there’s nothing much more that anybody [who] disagrees with me can try to do.”

It certainly looks like he’s not planning on backing down on this any time soon. That’s trouble for Harry Reid, because Lieberman’s firm stand is likely to embolden Democrats who aren’t too sure about the public option themselves.

Obama Calls Troops a “Pretty Good Photo-Op”

Washington Post:

Obama arrived on [Osan Air Base, South Korea] 3:19 p.m. local time (1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) and received a rousing welcome from 1,500 troops in camouflage uniforms, many holding cameras or pointing cellphones to snap pictures.

“You guys make a pretty good photo op,” the president said.

Crass? Yep.

But it’s probably also accurate… Obama seems to think of everything in terms of how it can make him look good, and thus troops are best used for photo ops. He certainly doesn’t seem to think they’re worth using to stop the Islamoterrorists in Afghanistan.

%d bloggers like this: