Senator Tom Coburn On Passage of the Harry Reid Destruction of American Healthcare Act of 2009

Harry Reid, Master of “Screwgge You” Politics

Charles Rowley: Today, Christmas Eve 2009, a decisive majority of the United States Senate believes that it is acting as Santa Claus. Not so! For the poor and the elderly, the US Senate is Ebenezer Scrooge…

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn’s statement on the Senate’s passage by a vote of 60-39 of the Harry Reid Destruction of America’s Health Care Act of 2009, in the wee hours of the morning on the eve of a sacred holiday that celebrates peace on earth and good will toward men:

This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.

This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children.

Scott Johnson at Powerline would change Senator Coburn’s word “stupidity” to “tyranny,” although this tyrannic act will certainly stupidly destroy the finest health care system in the world.

The rest of Senator Coburn’s statement is at Real Clear Politics

Lincoln At Peoria, 1854

Lincoln at Peoria, 1854:

[Note: Then as now when politicians seek to pull a fast one on the public they disingenuously appeal to high ideals in an attempt to mislead us into believing they have our best interests at heart. Now it is “free health care for all,” whereas then it was an appeal to “the sacred right of self government” that was used in an attempt to make the expansion of slavery into new states and territories appear to be a positive good thing instead of the despotism that it truly was. Here Lincoln, with the skills of a great lawyer, reacts to the tactic used in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 to abolish the Missouri Compromise of 1820]:

But one great argument in the support of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise…is “the sacred right of self government.” …I trust I understand, and truly estimate the right of self-government. My faith in the proposition that each man should do precisely as he pleases with all which is exclusively his own lies at the foundation of the sense of justice there is in me. I extend the principles to communities of men as well as to individuals…. The doctrine of self government is right–absolutely and eternally right–but it has no just application as here attempted. Or perhaps I should rather say that whether it has such just application depends upon whether a negro is not or is a man. If he is not a man, why in that case, he who is a man, may as a matter of self-government do just as he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man, is it not to that extent, a total destruction of self-government, to say that he too shall not govern himself? When the white man governs himself that is self-government, but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self government—that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that “all men are created equal,” and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another.

Judge Douglas frequently, with bitter irony and sarcasm, paraphrases our argument by saying, “The white people of Nebraska are good enough to govern themselves, but they are not good enough to govern a few miserable negroes!”

Well I doubt not that the people of Nebraska are, and will continue to be as good as the average of people elsewhere. I do not say the contrary. What I do say is, that no man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I say this is the leading principle—the sheet anchor of American republicanism. Our Declaration of Independence says:

“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.”

I have quoted so much at this time merely to show that according to our ancient faith, the just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed. Now the relation of masters and slaves is, PRO TANTO, a total violation of this principle. The master not only governs the slave without his consent; but he governs him by a set of rules altogether different from those which he prescribes for himself. Allow ALL the governed an equal voice in the government and that, and that only, is self government. [Italics and capitals by Lincoln.]

–Abraham Lincoln, from the speech at Peoria, Illinois October 16, 1854.

I have posted here this long quote from Lincoln’s Peoria speech because I believe it is relevant to the current healthcare bills that Obama, Reid and Pelosi are attempting to force upon the American people. The reasons that a clear and sizable majority of the American people do not want any part of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi scheme to take command over one-sixth of the U.S. economy are the same sort of reasons that Lincoln stood against the abolition of the Missouri Compromise by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 that was forced through Congress by slaveholding interests.

The American people will not willingly become slaves. They believe in self government, that our government exists and derives its just power from the consent of the governed. The Triumvirate of Obama, Reid and Pelosi are trying to become our masters and us their slaves, to govern us by a set of rules altogether different from those which they prescribe for themselves. I don’t believe the American people are going to stand for it. This power grab will ultimately fail, just as the similar one attempted in 1854 failed. Lincoln ultimately won out, and America was blessed by a new birth of freedom.

More Guns, Less Crime

crime down

This FBI Press Release says that for the third year in a row, the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report shows that violent crime, property crime, and arson have decreased. The latest report compares January-June 2009 figures with the same time period in 2008.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation says the FBI statistics undermine a favorite argument of anti-gun groups and some mainstream media that “more guns equal more crime,” especially when you consider that the decrease in violent crime from late 2008 through the first half of 2009 occurred at the same time that firearm sales were surging.
Continue reading

Harry Reid’s Legerdemain and Political Trickery

“Kansas-Nebraska was an attempt to settle a fundamental issue by legislative legerdemain and political trickery. The Democrats’ health care bills are an attempt to settle a fundamental issue by partisan maneuver and cash-for-cloture. As Stephen Douglas learned, such tactics can work for a while, but the country — and the Democratic Party — can end up paying a heavy price.”

—Michael Barone, comparing the Senate health care bill that Harry Reid is jamming down America’s throat to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 which gave birth to the Republican Party and sent the Democrats into the wilderness for 20 years.

Read the entire article, When Legerdemain is Used to Pass an Unpopular Bill

Senator Whitehouse: Only Racists Oppose Obamacare

Rhode Island was founded in 1647 by Roger Williams as an outpost of freedom. It was the first colony to outlaw slavery. Today it produces left-wing cranks like Sheldon Whitehouse and elects them to the United States Senate.

A Rasmussen poll finds that 57% of Americans oppose government-run healthcare. Senator Whitehouse says they are all racists?

Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama Switches to GOP


Rep. Parker Griffith, a blue dog Democrat [See update below, he’s not a blue dog] from Alabama is switching to the GOP, he announced today.

See also this at the The Corner.

This could mean the blue dogs are getting nervous. It’s no secret that Nancy Pelosi doesn’t like them, finds them to be a nuisance, and wouldn’t mind seeing a few of them, maybe a lot of them, lose the next election so she’d be rid of them. It seems not to occur to her that she could lose her speakership in the same election.

Several of the blue dogs have announced they won’t run for re-election next year. That usually means they think their chances of winning are not good. We’ll have to wait to see if any other blue dogs decide to switch to the GOP, which they might if they think that will improve their chances of re-election.

Remember, the first law of politics is to get elected, and the second law is to get re-elected. Everything else is just more icing on the cake.

UPDATE: I was under the impression that Griffith’s district was a district that could go either Democrat or Republican, but I am now informed that it is a solid Democrat district which last elected a Republican in 1866. That makes his conversion more significant.

A “blue dog Democrat” is not clearly defined and often means different things to different people. To some it is an old-time Democrat in the mold of Harry Truman or perhaps even Hubert Humphrey or Henry “Scoop” Jackson. To others it is a conservative Democrat. The term itself seems to have evolved out of the term “yellow dog Democrat” meaning a Democrat that would as soon vote for an old yellow dog before voting for a Republican. The blue dogs are said to be Democrats that have been choked “blue” by the extreme policies and rigid attitudes of the yellow dogs. These days it makes sense to think of a blue dog as a Democrat from a district that could vote for a Republican candidate as easily as for a Democrat so that the seat is not considered “safe” for any Democrat that wanders too far to the left in his or her voting patterns or announced policy preferences.

Obama Slips to Lowest Approval So Far


The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-six percent (46%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21 That’s the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President.


That negative rating had never topped 42% before yesterday. However, it has risen dramatically since the Senate found 60 votes to move forward with the proposed health care reform legislation.
minus 21

Another Rasmussen poll released yesterday shows that 55% of Americans oppose Obamacare and 41% approve. A Quinnipiac University poll finds only 36% approval for Obamacare. The same poll finds that Americans are against public funding for abortion by a 3 to 1 margin.

This is the Day I Saved Our Sunlight


While our politicians were wasting time over in Copenhagen over a non-existent problem I was working day and night on a real problem that has been moving so slowly and imperceptibly you may not have even noticed. Or if you did notice you might have thought someone was handling it. Well, there was someone handling it. Me. And I’m happy to report that it’s fixed.

Without raising your taxes, without making you cut back on your use of fossil fuels, and without even trying to scare you to death, I have quietly solved a severe climate problem that left unchecked would have plunged us all into utter darkness, freezing temperatures and despair beyond all hope.

You see, about six months ago most of the countries in the Southern hemisphere, mostly left-wing dictatorships, started stealing our daylight. They used an insidious incremental approach of taking just a few minutes each day so, like the proverbial frog in slowly-heated water, we would not realize what was happening until it was too late and we could no longer do anything to stop it. Our world would be dark and cold before we even figured out what was going on.

But I am happy to report to you that the crisis is now over. I have reached a legally binding agreement with the Southern daylight thieves and beginning tomorrow they will start releasing our daylight back to us. I couldn’t get them to give it up all at once, but I will stay on this and I will hold their feet to the fire, I promise. I’m predicting that no later than 6 months from now, by June 21, 2010, we will have recovered all of the daylight they have stolen from us. Even then we will have to keep a close watch on this or it could happen again. We are dealing with some wiley coyotes down there.

You needn’t send me any money or presents. I did this on my own to help my country. I did it without any help from Michael Mann or any of the other scientists at the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University, nor with any help from the United Nations or the IPCC. I didn’t concoct a hockey stick trick or hide any data. I don’t expect that you will even read about what I have done in the main stream media. They are occupied with Tiger Woods right now. I probably won’t get a Noble Peace Prize but I don’t really need one because I got a free one with an order of shrimp tacos the other day.

I am quite satisfied to have been the one to have saved us from this calamity, and just to have served is reward enough. You who have done nothing can also feel good about yourselves because as a wise Briton once said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Senate Bill Unconstitutional?

Well, this is cool. Richard Epstein, professor of law at the University of Chicago says the Senate healthcare bill is unconstitutional because it turns health insurance companies into regulated utilites and then imposes an unconstitutional rate of return on their investment that will make it impossible for them to stay in business.

If professor Epstein is right that this bill will allow the government to regulate insurance companies out of existence it sure makes all the insurance executives who blindly support this travesty look like utter fools. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

This will put the libs who hate this bill into a quandary. They hate the bill because they think it helps big bad insurance companies. If instead it might put them out of business the libs will be ecstatic.

If you are up for it I recommend reading Professor Epstein’s lengthy article. It’s not light reading but it’s really good if you’ve got the time. You can read it online or download a PDF file.

I’ve heard Professor Epstein in podcasts and he is a walking talking encyclopedia of law and economic dissection and analysis.

UPDATE: There is a comment over at The Volokh Conspiracy on Professor Epstein’s essay.