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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Motive Power

December 12th, 2010 - 10:12 pm

Before you can have health care, you must have doctors — ipso facto, yes?

Government can’t just conjure up trained medical professionals by fiat, not like Ben Bernanke can snap his fingers and make $600,000,000,000 totally real and valuable dollars appear out of nowhere, thanks to his totally magic Federal Reserve pixie dust. The President can’t just make doctors treat patients by sheer force of personality, like he got the Winter Olympics to come to Chicago. Congress can’t just whip up doctors and nurses by passing a law, like it made all those stimulus jobs appear… and, oh, never mind — you get the point.

My point is this:

The Physicians Foundation asked 2,400 doctors and American Medical Association members what they thought of the new law; a full 67 percent were against it.

More important, it asked how they’d cope with the new rules (which don’t fully kick in until 2014). Sixty percent said they feel compelled to “close or significantly restrict their practices to certain categories of patients.” And 59 percent said the “reform” would oblige them to spend less time with the patients they do have.

Of course, many doctors already limit how many patients they’ll take on who depend on government insurance (whose fees rarely cover an MD’s costs). But it’ll get worse under ObamaCare: In the survey, some 87 percent said they would significantly restrict Medicare patients and 93 percent said they’d significantly restrict Medicaid patients.

How can the government claim its health programs are popular when folks who would actually deliver care are running away? I’m not worried about physicians (we’ll find ways to survive), but about our patients.

All in all, the survey found that 74 percent of doctors will alter how they practice.

So just maybe it turns out the government rationing of stuff results in less… stuff.

Whodathunkit?

Who’s Next?

December 12th, 2010 - 11:49 am

The announcement won’t come until tomorrow, but Politico reports that RNC Chair Michael Steele is expected “to drop out of the hotly contested race” for his seat.

I don’t understand why anyone wants the job, since the internet — especially Twitter and PayPal — has made the RNC’s top-down structure mostly irrelevant. As I argued on Trifecta last week, the RNC ought to be restructured (and considerably slimmed down) into talent scouting and recruiting organization.

The future is: Citizen-candidates garnering their own national support via the internet. The days are over, of the RNC deciding who wins, who loses, and how much money they get. The new RNC chair ought to recognize that, and act accordingly.

Ten Brief Items of Interest

December 12th, 2010 - 9:57 am

Maureen Dowd gets down to her skivvies, Gene Simmons turns against the President, and meet the pork-eating crusader — all on another exciting episode of… The Week in Blogs!

It’s a Long Way Down

December 12th, 2010 - 9:49 am

I understand that quick quips about weird stories — like the President’s press conference pullback — are why people come to VodkaPundit. And yet, two days of silence. That’s not entirely true. On the Tony Katz Radio Spectacular on Friday afternoon, I did manage to quip that apparently Obama feels that “the business of the nation can wait, but Michelle can’t,” or words to that effect.

But here on the blog? Silence. And this doesn’t happen often, but I was just too taken aback to write anything worthwhile. Here with the explanation is Roger L. Simon:

But there is a bigger reason not to gloat. We are stuck with this odd duck for another two years at minimum and now everyone, the entire world really, knows what he is like. They also know, if they have been paying the slightest attention, the etiology of his behavior: the man never had to face serious adversity until he was elected POTUS. And now he can’t deal with it. He’s the very model of Harry Truman’s famous advice about getting out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat. Obama was out of the White House briefing room the second he realized he was being outclassed by Clinton. And, boy, was he ever!

We need a leader and don’t have one. This is extremely bad news for our country, especially now.

This is exactly right, and I want you to read it again — “the entire world, really.” There is no longer any denying the (wee tiny) measure of the man. That is, we can’t deny it any longer. But I submit to you the rest of the world has understood for quite some time.

Here’s just some evidence:

But wait, there’s more.

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Banned in Cincinnati!

December 11th, 2010 - 11:24 am

Coast to Coast Tea Party: Meet Frantz Kebreau, retired Navy aviator, airline pilot, motivational speaker, recoverer of stolen history, and racist Tea Party hate-monger!

There’s a small chance that last bit isn’t quite true.

Impressive, Most Impressive

December 9th, 2010 - 2:30 pm

Demo video of the BlackBerry Playbook tablet in action. It’s iPad snappy, but I still think the 7-inch form factor is too small.

(Just Like) Starting Over

December 9th, 2010 - 10:32 am

Is the tax deal DOA on the House floor? Maybe, reports The Hill:

The House Democratic Caucus on Thursday rejected the tax deal negotiated between the White House and Senate Republicans.

The non-binding vote held during a closed meeting of the caucus puts tremendous pressure on House leaders to fight for changes to the proposal, and raises questions about whether the administration’s deal will move to the House floor.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that [Speaker Nancy Pelosi] will follow the caucus,” Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) told reporters.

The President can no longer get what he wants out of his own party’s Congress — makes you wonder how well he’ll do with the new majority next year.

Mail Bag

December 9th, 2010 - 10:27 am

Greg Hill writes:

Okay, here’s the red flag we all need to be watching for as far as Obama getting knifed in the back from the Left: Birthers. If Birthers start cropping up on the Left, he’s toast. He’s been able to dismiss the argument from the Right. He won’t if it comes from the Left. It won’t matter how many copies of his birth certificate he shows on live TV. He’ll get crucified by the press.

Heh. Incidentally, my unofficial comments policy is that truthers will be banned, and birthers will be mocked.

Trifecta: With or without Sarah Palin, does the RNC have a future?

The Accidental Victory

December 8th, 2010 - 10:16 am

Are iOS devices killing off dedicated portable gaming devices? It sure looks that way.

TANGENTIALLY RELATED: If I were in the market for a netbook, I’d wait for one of these Google Chrome OS units to ship next year. Great specs, and you’re not crushing a tiny little processor with Windows.

Why So Serious?

December 8th, 2010 - 9:08 am

Trifecta: It’s Zo’s turn to host, and he wants to know why the Democrats are so willing to play the Grinch this holiday season.

Bonus: Ugliest. Photoshop. Ever.

Testing the Primary Waters

December 8th, 2010 - 8:59 am

Poor Hillary, writes Michael Goodman:

She’d come so close in the primaries that State was the only job that didn’t seem like a demotion. Besides, signing on to his team wasn’t viewed as giving up anything in 2012 because there was no hope of challenging him. And 2016 was too far off to game.

But the demigod turns out to have clay feet, and Clinton is now stuck to him. He’s fallen and she can’t get up.

And the question that gets asked regularly now is, “Will Obama get primaried?” But I think that’s the wrong question. Typically, any President who disillusions his base, ends up with a primary challenger. George H.W. Bush over “read my lips,” Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam, Gerald Ford for detente, and Jimmy Carter for practically everything. And then that President goes on to lose the general election*, because the primary challenger was too weak to defeat him, but strong enough to wound him.

That is, a President who can’t master his own party cannot continue to master the country.

So the question we should ask is: If Obama gets primaried, who will be his challenger? Someone from the center, a moderate? Unlikely. Challengers typically come from the disillusioned base (Eugene McCarthy, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Kennedy) or the wacky extreme (Pat Buchanan). So the idea of Hillary rising from Obama’s ashes to take him on seems pretty silly.

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Amateur Hour Lasts for Four Years

December 8th, 2010 - 7:59 am

Rick Moran sent me Katrina vanden Heuvel’s latest dispatch from Planet Woot, and the third graf stood out, as maybe the perfect encapsulation of the progressive left’s frustration with President Obama:

On Afghanistan, the administration has intimated that the 2011 pullout date is “inoperable,” with the White House talking 2014 and Gen. David H. Petraeus suggesting decades of occupation. On bipartisanship, the president seems to think that cooperation requires self-abasement. He apologized to the obstructionist Republican leadership for not reaching out, a gesture reciprocated with another poke in the eye. He chose to meet with the hyper-partisan Chamber of Commerce after it ran one of the most dishonest independent campaigns in memory. He appears to be courting Roger Altman, a former investment banker, for his economic team, leavening the Goldman Sachs flavor of his administration with a salty Lehman Brothers veteran.

First off, look at how the nutty left sees their savior — he can do nothing right anymore. The disillusionment is complete. But that’s what happens when a man of very little experience takes on the toughest job in the world after setting expectations sky-high.

Secondly, I want you to perform a little mind experiment. Pretend for a moment that each of vanden Heuvel’s critiques is spot on the money, even the partisan ones against the GOP. Well, what does that tell you about the man in the Oval Office? It tells you he is a rank political amateur. He has no idea how the game is played — which is more than a little ironic, when you consider that he once compared his political skills to LeBron James on the basketball court, saying, “I can play on this level. I got some game.”

OK, great — he’s got game. He’s playing checkers while the rest of the world is playing 4th dimension Vulcan laser chess.

And Another Thing

December 7th, 2010 - 5:51 pm

Busy day — we taped five Trifectas, and then an hour later they had me back on The PJTV Report with Brandy and Danika to talk about Assange and Wikileaks.

Must-See Radio

December 7th, 2010 - 5:17 pm

I and my cocktail will be appearing on The Rick Moran show at 7PM Central tonight, along with Rich Baehr and Larrey Anderson, and presumably whatever they’re having to drink. Tonight’s topics include President Back Down, and the Democrat implosion.

Back Down Man 2: Electric Boogaloo

December 7th, 2010 - 5:00 pm

Trifecta: Watch as we dissect the lowlights of President Obama’s excellent tax cut press conference.

Bonus: Zo Rachel is back on the show this week.

Back Down Man

December 7th, 2010 - 3:32 pm

First taxes, now Israeli settlements. Reuters has the report:

The United States on Tuesday abandoned its effort to persuade Israel to freeze construction of Jewish settlements, officials said, dealing a blow to efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

But Obama’s capitulation wouldn’t have dealt a blow to anything, had he not made the initial, amateurish, demand. As I noted a few days ago:

Two years ago, Obama insisted that Israel halt building settlements as a precondition for peace talks — making the Palestinians dig in, wondering what other concessions Obama might force on the Israelis.

As it turns out, the President couldn’t even get that much out of the Israelis, not even after offering hi-tech bribes to get a temporary halt to the settlements. In diplomacy, never publicly demand anything the other guy isn’t willing to give — unless you have the means and the will to compel him.

This is pretty basic stuff, and it’s embarrassing for us to have a leader with so much egg on his face.

A Double Negative is a Positive

December 7th, 2010 - 11:58 am

Look around the right side blogosphere and the news and the Twitters and everywhere, and the consensus is clear: Obama was an idiot to agree to let the tax cuts expire in an election year. “It’s a trap,” they exclaim. “Obama gave us this issue to beat him about the head and shoulders again in 2012!”

Ah, but before you ascribe stupidity to your opponent, look at it from his side. Put yourself in Obama’s nicely-creased trousers and ask, “What’s in it for me?”

And you’ll see that in an election year when employment still won’t have recovered, they can promise to soak the rich some more. You know, just like they did all through 2010.

Oh, wait — that is stupid.

Nevermind.

You Get What You Pay For

December 7th, 2010 - 10:43 am

It’s not often Ed Driscoll misses one, but the punchline to his story is: Newsweek embraced socialism with such enthusiasm, that now it’s not even worth a dollar.

Steal Little, Steal Big

December 7th, 2010 - 10:30 am

At Salon today, Joan Walsh… well, just take a look at the lede:

I know they weren’t the best of friends when they left Washington, but I bet former President Bush and Dick Cheney at least had a phone call tonight congratulating one another on one of the great heists in history. In 2001, they knew they couldn’t make their budget-busting tax cuts for the rich permanent, so they agreed to phase them out in 2010, leaving the political consequences to another administration. Even with that chicanery, the Bush tax cuts were divisive enough that they required Cheney to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate. No problem. That’s how Republicans play: They reward their wealthy base.

Rewarding “their wealthy base” with its own money seems kinda cheap to me. On the other hand, it’s probably better than the Democrats rewarding its wealthy base — big banks, big unions — on my dime.

UPDATE: See what I mean?

This One Goes Out to All the Bleeding Hearts

December 7th, 2010 - 8:41 am

From The Hill‘s report on President Obama’s tax cut deal with the GOP:

It also is angering the left wing of the Democratic Party, which already has a long list of complaints about Obama.

“President Obama has shown a complete refusal to fight Republicans throughout his presidency even when the public is on his side — and millions of his former supporters are now growing disappointed and infuriated by this refusal to fight,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

In other words, here’s how the left sees Teh Won –

YouTube Preview Image

Yeah, that’s pretty much how we see him over here, too.

And the Winner Is…

December 7th, 2010 - 8:22 am

Julian Assange — Hair of Shame.

It’s the Stupid Economy

December 6th, 2010 - 3:25 pm

Hair of the Dog: It’s a very special episode devoted to all things stupid, so of course we have special guest appearances from David Brooks, David Gregory, the President’s deficit commission, and a non-speaking cameo from Christian Amanpour.

Victory Lap

December 6th, 2010 - 8:47 am

Coast to Coast Tea Party: Renee Ellmers is back on the show — this time as Congresswoman-Elect, instead of the longshot Tea Party favorite we met back in June. Find out how she did it, what comes next, and if incoming House Speaker John Boehner really gets it.

Three Priceless Minutes of Infotainment

December 5th, 2010 - 9:21 am

Cher insults the Tea Party, Osama bin Laden feels you up, and TARP is “priceless” — all on another exciting episode of… The Week in Blogs!

We Want You Morons Back

December 3rd, 2010 - 6:20 pm

Hey, Democrats, here’s a little tip for winning back the middle of the country: Keep calling us “politically sluggardly Americans.”

We seriously dig that. Seriously.

How the FCC is Exactly Like a Five-Year-Old

December 3rd, 2010 - 1:35 pm

A Perfectly True, If Fictional, Dialog

FCC: I wanna regulate the internet.

Mom: Not right now.

A little while later.

FCC: I wanna regulate the internet.

Dad: You can’t do that.

A little while later.

FCC: Mom? Dad? Anyone hear me? OK, I’m gonna go regulate the internet now.

With Apologies to Oscar Hammerstein & J. Kern

December 3rd, 2010 - 12:25 pm

Jen Rubin on the most recent (and unexpected) jobs data:

This is going to make the Democrats’ position on taxes even more precarious. Do they really want to vote to subject anyone to a tax hike? I mean, at 10 percent or 12 percent unemployment (though we hope we don’t get to those figures), would they give up their class warfare shtick?

Mmmmmmmmmmnope.

Sharks gotta swim, bats gotta fly, Dems gotta soak the rich ’til they cry.

Better, Stronger, Faster

December 3rd, 2010 - 10:13 am

They’re going to rebuild Jim Treacher’s busted knee with corpse parts. The 21st Century is a very strange place — but you’ve got to love it.

Heal up, Treach.

It’s Not Even the Beginning of the Beginning

December 2nd, 2010 - 1:29 pm

Good news: The private sector added 93,000 new jobs last month.

Bad news: It needs to add 100,000 to keep unemployment from rising.