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Bryan Preston

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December 28, 2010 - 10:11 am

What did you get for Christmas? Maybe a new cell phone, some clothes, a TV or video game?

You also got the beginnings of a federally funded death panel. Merry Christmas!

When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

How nice.  This is our president in a nutshell: Public finds out about horrid policy, opposes it, Congress acquiesces and stops it, only to have Obama instate it by executive fiat anyway.

The amusing bonus in all this is that, in 2009, it was the New York Times that did its best to knock down the whole death panel thing.  Now here they are confirming that it has returned.

So…what else did you get for Christmas?  A feast?  Maybe a new Blu-Ray player?

How about federal control of your state’s air quality system, which will lead to higher energy prices at a time when gas prices are already sneaking up toward $3 a gallon.  If you’re in Texas, that’s just what you got.  Merry Christmas!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will take control of carbon-emission rules in Texas after Governor Rick Perry rejected new federal regulations intended to combat climate change.

The EPA will decide directly on greenhouse-gas permits for companies seeking to build or upgrade power plants and oil refineries in Texas, the agency said today in a statement. The EPA’s nationwide carbon rules, imposed under the Clean Air Act, take effect Jan. 2.

There are a couple of facts on this that are worth pointing out.  One, Texas’ air quality regime has been in place since the 1990s, has enjoyed bipartisan support, and has been extremely effective.  But the EPA just cannot abide not having control, and Obama is hell-bent on forcing energy prices to skyrocket via cap and trade, so here we are.  Once again, Congress considered a policy, the public rose up to oppose it, Congress opted out, but President Obama opted in anyway.

Texas is fighting the EPA on this, of course.

So…what else did you get for Christmas?  Maybe a new computer?  Or a new router to speed up your home network?

Well, you also got federal meddling in the Internet via the FCC.  Merry Christmas!  Once again, this is Obama imposing his will in spite of what the American people want.  As Rich Lowry writes, we’re seeing a triumph of bureaucracy over small-r republican governance.

More than half of likely voters don’t want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Web as it does radio and television, according to a survey from Rasmussen Reports.

Fifty-four percent of likely voters oppose such regulation, while just 21 percent support it, according to the survey of likely voters taken just after the FCC last week approved Chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan to prevent discrimination by Internet service providers against certain websites or applications.

The people oppose, even the courts oppose in this case, yet Obama rolls ahead anyway.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sarah Palin took and continues to take heat for the “death panels” rhetoric, but she was right.  She was smart enough to see what Obama intended, and she was strong enough to take the heat for pointing it all out, and never backed down.  Just thought I’d point that out.

The onus is now on the Republicans to push back on Obama’s regulatory advances in the 112th Congress.  That’s what they were elected to do, and it’s clear that post-shellacking Barack Obama intends to advance as much of his agenda as he can get away with.  Evidently, fighting Obama’s regulatory state is what the Republicans plan to do.  The next two years should prove to be very interesting.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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