Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pro-Choice? Under the Bus with You.

Wow. The pro-choice community has been a solid, solid, Obama backer since day one.

They too are expedient. The President has released a draft Executive Order laying out strict prohibitions on Federal support of abortion. He will sign as part of a health care "deal."

I went to check his position from the 2008... Looks like there is no promise there... looks pretty loose. REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE - Supports a Woman's Right to Choose: Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.

Not specific enough? In a speech on July 17, 2007 to planned parenthood he did promise to make "reproductive services" a part of his public health plan (Video here 1:48). "'ll be a plan that will provide ALL essential services, including reproductive services..." Everyone knows that's code for abortion services.

The restrictions in this EO are just the thing that NARAL has warned against.
Unable to make all abortion illegal, anti‐choice legislators have tried to make abortion services nearly impossible for women to obtain by imposing multiple restrictions on the right to choose. They have used the appropriations process to impose bans on the use of federal funds for abortion care in most situations. In other circumstances, they have imposed broad restrictions on how these funds may be used. For example, the federal Hyde amendment prohibits the use of public funds for abortion services unless the procedure is necessary to save the woman’s life or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
Lawmakers have also singled out abortion services for exclusion from federal health‐care plans that cover other pregnancy‐related care, jeopardizing womenʹs health and discriminating against low‐income women and women in public service. These restrictions impose significant, and in some cases insurmountable, obstacles to a womanʹs ability to exercise her constitutionally protected right to choose.

By that definition, the executive order looks pretty anti-choice to me.

Under the bus with you.

Who are the Rubes?
A Painful Loss

Via CDR Salamander, we are reminded of the personal, crushing cost of war. Marine Corporal Jonathan Daniel Porto was killed in Afghanistan. He was the husband of Mrs P, who blogs at "A Little Pink in a World of Camo."

Those good women, who faithfully maintain the home front while their men are out flying, riding, walking, or sailing into harm's way, are to be respected and cherished. Their loss is our shared loss.

This young widow wrote that she couldn't find the words to describe it. Then she went on to write them. What strength and courage. Her husband was blessed to have her as a wife and her daughter is blessed to have her as a mother.

My heart goes out to you Mrs. P. May God keep and protect you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The President Gets it Right

Via Hotair, Obama said. “What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise. And if they don’t, if they vote against it, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo.

Yes, yes, yes. I like the sound of that Mr. President -

I am pro status quo.

How 'bout a chant.

Vote No, Keep the Status Quo!
Vote No, Keep the Status Quo!
Vote No, Keep the Status Quo!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Will the Health Insurance Industry be the Next Subprime Mortgage Crisis?

I heard the news report on NPR this morning about the President's final push in Ohio where he blasts insurance companies for not giving coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and for raising rates. I can't find an NPR link, but here's a March 8 excerpt from the LA Times that quotes what is probably the same speech

Every year, insurance companies deny more people coverage because they have a pre-existing condition....Every year, they raise premiums higher and higher,” Obama says.

Wait a second. Does that mean he's asking that the insurance companies include people with preexisting conditions and keep premiums low? But if insurance companies bring people with pre-existing conditions into their risk pool, don't they have to raise premiums?

You can't have it both ways. Either exclude some people who will cost more and keep premiums low, or take them into the pool and increase premiums to cover it.

It sounds like the president is asking insurance companies to take on more known high risks but not plan their finances to cover it... Isn't that the same kind of market distortion that got the banking industry into the subprime mess?

Would the President have us set up the insurance companies for the same fall?

On another angle, what if I wanted to start an insurance company and cover, say, healthy non-smoking 25 year olds who want catastrophic coverage only? Could I do that, or would the government tell me I couldn't?

If we want to create a government social safety net for "uninsurables" I don't have a problem with that. But we don't need to take over everything.

(Full disclosure: The line I cut out in my quote above was "...Every year, they drop more people’s coverage when they’re sick and need it most..." Frankly, I think it's a fear-mongering, throwaway. If that's really a problem, it can be addressed with some regulation and oversight, not a takeover.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ouch. That Didn't Go So Well

Let's take a brief trip to Russia where Pravda is reporting that last night Georgian television did a mock news broadcast of what could happen if the Soviets Russians invaded again, killed the president, panic strikes the capital, etc. etc. As reported, it appears that on Friday, the news channel even seeded web stories about Russian exercises near the border.

Only problem, apparently, was that some people missed the disclaimer at the beginning of the broadcast and thought the country really was under attack. The president's press secretary even had to go to the TV station to reassure people.

Guess they don't read media history too much. Orson Welles found out the hard way in his 1938 radio braodcast of an alien invasion. Mock news reports have a strange way getting people upset.

I take Pravda's reporting with a grain of salt. They have their own agenda. One line in the report especially stinks. In describing the panic, "Viewers in horror called each other and the television studio to learn about what was happening. The number of visits to doctors dramatically increased. There was a panic ...

The number of visits to doctors dramatically increased? I don't know much about Georgian culture, but the idea that a panicked population, on a Saturday night, would turn to the medical community in "dramatic" numbers, and that the press could capture that data point on Sunday morning... Well, sounds like Pravda is doing a little bit of hysterical reporting of their own.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On Human Rights

Hotair linked to an article by Professor Williams that contains one of the most succinct and accurate descriptions of natural rights in recent memory

"True rights, such as those in our Constitution, or those considered to be natural or human rights, exist simultaneously among people. That means exercise of a right by one person does not diminish those held by another. In other words, my rights to speech or travel impose no obligations on another except those of non-interference."

Adding to the idea that exercising my right must cause no harm to another, this idea of others being free from obligation is another critical component.

My son stumbled across the stormfront site yesterday through a Google search result on "Why are." He was shocked, and sent me the link saying "Look at theses racist f*cks, is this legal?" I didn't follow the link. I know who they are, and frankly don't care to give them the traffic. I told him that freedom of speech doesn't mean that anyone has to listen. That's it. No obligation on my part. Except non-interference. They are free to say what they wish, and associate with others who feel the same way. It wasn't too long ago that racism was accepted in polite society. We as a society have moved on because people could freely share new ideas about what should be. The government didn't like those new ideas at first. So while I find the ideas of those "racist f*cks" anachronistic and repugnant, more repugnant would be to give government the power to decide what ideas cannot be shared.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dana Carvey Does Obama Impression on Leno

Impression begins at the 2:26 countdown timer. Check out the crowd response. Carvey goes after the professorial tendencies of the President, nice contrast with Reagan and Bush. (Warning that the volume is set high and a commercial will play before the clip starts... but I guess NBC makes that the price of providing an easily embedded clip.)

Notice how he zings the President for being ineffectual. Check out the set up, then the punch line...all in good humor...but the message is there. Masterful.

This reminds me that Bill Maher used do political humor too. Then he just got mean. Dana Carvey shows how it's done.

UPDATE: Welcome visitors! I have achieved hobby blogger Nirvana... linked by Instapundit and Hotair in the same day. Awesome. This is my second link from the good professor, the first was my post on our "Angry President"