No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for December, 2009

December 31, 2009

An Obama Carol

by @ 17:05. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

Listen my children and hear the drama of the one, the only Barack Obama.

Our story starts as President Obama leaves the golf course and returns to his family.  As he approaches his house he is met by the Hawaiian god Pelee.  Pelee tells Obama that he will has not been a good steward for America.  He says that Obama has made a mockery of the term “fiscal restraint.”  Pelee goes on to tell Obama that he must change his ways.  He tells him that Obama will be visited by three spirits during the evening.

Obama, as all good scrooges including George C. Scott, refused to believe that what he had just seen was real.  That said, he was unsettled from the experience.  He entered his house, bypassed the reports authored by Janet Napolitano which attempt to show she has any competency, kisses the woman who is recently, just proud of her country and heads to bed.

At about 11 PM the first spirit arrives.  As Obama peers out from under his blankets and four poster bed with all the trimmings, he can’t believe his eye.  There stands the spirit of economy past; Ronald Reagan!

Reagan tells Obama that he’s mucked up the economy something terrible.  He tells him that increasing the deficit and attempting to buy jobs via “stimulus” is the wrong way to go.  As Obama begins a retort that included, “I inherited,” Reagan stops him with “There you go again!”

Reagan tells Obama that he too inherited a recession.  One that had not been seen since the days of the great depression.  On top of that, there was a malaise in the country that had seriously hindered the ability to harness any hope and optimism from the American people.  Reagan told Obama that the only way to deal with a serious recession is through taxes.  Reagan told Obama how through his tax reductions, the country was able to pull itself up by its bootstraps and right its economic self.  Reagan pointed out to Obama that regardless of what you do, tax receipts will always hover between 8% to 8.5% of GDP.  If you cant to spend more you have to grow the economy.  There is no way to tax or spend your way out of a recession.  To enforce his point, Reagan put the following graph up for Obama to study.

With the presentation of the graph, Reagan was gone. Obama was unconvinced and went back to sleep.

Barely an hour went by and once again, Obama was awaken. This time he was awakened be the spirit of economy present. This spirit greatly resembled Sarah Palin, although it couldn’t be, she hadn’t be done in by the left, was still alive.

Sarah, ah, the spirit, told Obama that despite his protestations, he and he alone has put the federal budget on a path where in just a few short years the budget will require the public portion of debt to be over 80% of the GDP.  Of course, this doesn’t count the unfunded debts like social security, medicare etc.  Sarah departed after leaving Obama the next graph and warning him that without changes, dire consequences will come.

Obama remained unmoved by the pleadings of Sarah and once again, went back to bed.

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Obama was awoken once again. This time, as he looked out from his bed linens he saw not one but many, many spirits. These were the spirits of the future economy.

Theses spirits were the faces, if not the bodies of all of our children, grand children, great grand children etc. They moaned and wailed as their leader approached Obama. This time Obama was taken aback. As he peered beyond his blankets, he looked into the face and eyes of his own daughter, Sasha.

Sasha began to explain that the reason for all the moaning and wailing was that these generations had become enslaved. Enslaved to the debt that Obama and others had left for future generations to deal with. These future generations have no hope, and expect no change as unlike her father and his administration, these future generations don’t get the ability to ignore and avoid realities. By the time Sasha is an adult, the annual taxes collected will no longer be enough to cover even the obligations of the entitlement programs that exist. This is a fact even before the enactment of placebocare which is sure to accelerate the date on which this occurs. Sasha left with the other spirits after telling Obama that if he doesn’t change, he will go down in history as the most reviled president ever for having eliminated the economic freedom of all future generations.

Obama was returned to his room just as the sun was dawning.

In all other versions of “The Carol,” the scrooge has a change of heart and immediately goes about to right the wrongs of his past and present. Will Scrooge Obama experience the same impact? It’s not the new year yet so we don’t know. Perhaps this version too will end like all those that are true to Dickens’ version. If not, we may well see a new version. This version will be one penned by the Brothers Grimm!

Happy New Year to all!

My thanks to Heritage.org for each of the graphs.

Tick, Tick, Tick….

by @ 11:02. Filed under Politics - National.

With a title like that at this time of the year, I’m sure you’re expecting a post about “the year that was.”  Well, kind of, except that I’m really only focused on the last week of it.

A week ago tomorrow we heard about the harrowing experience of NWA flight 253.  After a complete breakdown of routine security procedures, the passengers aboard the plane subdued a terrorist who attempted to ignite explosives to destroy the plane and all of those aboard.

Within 48 hours of the attack, Janet Napolitano, the individual responsible for Home Land Security including things like air safety, no fly lists and the like, was on camera telling us “the system worked.”  Not since the world watched the aftermath of Katrina and heard President Bush utter the phrase “heckuva job Brownie,” has there been a public comment by a senior government official that was so obviously out of touch with the situation that was right before their eyes.

The day following her assertion that “the system worked,” and after hearing the response to her absurd proclamation, Napolitano moved into high damage control mode.  On Monday, December 28th, Napolitano claimed her words were “taken out of context” and that “our system did not work in this instance.”

Even with Napolitano’s admission of “oops,” bloggers and even the MSM continued to ask how Napolitano could take the situation so cavalierly.  In the course of a couple of days it was determined that the terrorists father had warned the CIA that his son was dangerous, that the terrorist had been put on a watch list but not a no fly list, that groups within the government were aware of concern about the terrorist but did nothing to follow up on the concern or share the information with other agencies.

The level of incredulity over Napolitano’s, “we did great.  Wait, maybe we didn’t,” grew so large that on Tuesday, President Obama had to find some time between golf rounds and tennis sets to tell us that the Christmas day terror attack was allowed by a “systemic failure.”  Of course, he was quick to point out that the system that failed was one that he had inherited from President Bush.  Perhaps the most interesting aspect of President Obama’s comments is that they were assembled so quickly and in such a panic that the White House was unable to arrange for live coverage of his comments.

It’s clear as we watch these and other events this week, that President Obama was and is put in a bad light as a result of this event.  We also know how well he handles anything that impunes his ego; hello Reverend Wright, White Grandma etc.

In the case of Michael Brown, President Bush made his infamous statement on 9/2.  Brown was removed from Katrina responsibilities for Katrina on 9/9, one week later.  On September 12th, Michael Brown resigned.

The Obama administration has made an art of releasing news it finds embarrassing at the start of weekends and especially holiday weekends.  Tomorrow makes one week since the Christmas terrorist attack.  One week of Napolitano making a bad situation worse.  This also happens to be the last “off” weekend before things get refocused on an issue that Obama absolutely needs to win; placebocare.

I wonder if Janet has started cleaning her office yet?

December 30, 2009

And Yet, They Proceed

Folks,

I have run out of words and thoughts that would attempt to explain the thinking of the left.  As the posts by Birdman, Steve and myself discuss, we are each unable to reconcile the high desire of self preservation that every elected official has with the “CHARGE” mentality of forging ahead with placebocare.

In an attempt to create a mental picture of what I’m seeing, imagine that the look out on the Titanic had just spotted the iceberg while it was still about two miles off.  Most of us would expect that upon notification, the Captain would tell the helmsman to slow down and steer a course to avoid the iceberg.  If Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid were that Captain, I’d see them responding by telling the helmsman to set a course directly for the iceberg and yell loudly for the engines to be increased to “full speed ahead.”  They would do this because while they know there will be casualties, they’re OK with those casualties.

The latest evidence of Pelosi and Reid giving the American people the middle finger comes from Rasmussen.  Amongst their latest findings:

  • Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters nationwide say it’s at least somewhat likely that the health care reform legislation working its way through Congress will cost more than projected.
  • Eighty-one percent (81%) also think passage of the legislation is at least somewhat likely to lead to higher middle-class taxes.
  • The survey finds that 68% believe the legislation will increase the federal budget deficit.

No more is it sufficient to say that the American people are not in favor of placebocare.  With the latest Rasmussen results, we are now able to say that up to 81% of the American people believe that both Houses of Congress AND President Obama are lying to them about the implications of this legislation! 

Stop for a moment…………………………………………..Just sit still………………………………………Sip your coffee…………………….breath deeply………………………………………consider that last statement…………………

Up to 81% of the American people believe that both Houses of Congress AND President Obama are lying to them about the implications of this legislation! 

And yet, they proceed!

December 29, 2009

Re: Coming Out

by @ 19:59. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

Shoebox and Birdman have been having a spirited debate on the future of PlaceboCare. While I hope that Birdman is right that this can still be scuttled, I’m of even a more sour opinion than Shoebox. Allow me to put in my 2-cents’ worth:

  • There are actually three versions of PlaceboCare out there: the version that passed the Senate on a party-line vote (the hijacked H.R. 3950), lacking any sort of public option but financing abortion-on-demand; the version that barely passed the House (H.R. 3962), lacking financing for abortion-on-demand but having a public option; and H.R. 3200, still lurking in the shadows and having both the public option and financing for abortion-on-demand. Of the three, only H.R. 3200 and a completely-unamended version of H.R. 3950 would not have to go through a 60-vote test in the Senate.
  • The limited debate on H.R. 3950 strongly suggests that there would be 50 votes (plus Biden) in the Senate for H.R. 3200.
  • If Nancy Pelosi can get a majority to support an nearly-unchanged (from the Senate-hijacked) version of H.R. 3950 (or even a completely-unchanged version), it is likely that she would also be able to get a majority for H.R. 3200. After all, the bigger stumbling block in the House has been abortion-on-demand funding.
  • If Scott Brown pulls off the upset in Massachusetts and wins next month’s special election to permanently fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat (and if the ‘Rats seat him), the Democrats would not be able to get to 60 votes for either an amended H.R. 3950 or a Senate-considered H.R. 3962 (at least without the defection of one of the Maine Wonder Twins).
  • As Shoebox said, Pelosi doesn’t much care about losing 40 ‘Rats, especially if they’re Blue Lap Dogs. I’ll add to that by saying Harry Reid and company aren’t at all worried about losing a majority in the Senate. Indeed, given the lack of NRSC/NRC support for Brown, I have my doubts about the Republicans’ desire to pick up even one net seat in 2010.
  • However, I disagree with Shoebox that just “anything” will mollify the moonbats’ anger that full-out Communism hasn’t broken out yet. If the Dems lose control of the House in 2010, it will be in large part because the ‘bats stayed home to protest “nothing” being done, much like how the Republicans lost control in 2006. That is the threat that Pelosi will respond to.

Damn, I hope I’m wrong. I REALLY hope I’m wrong.

How much for no daytime lane closures?

by @ 18:59. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the only entity to bid on the replacement of three compromised bridges in the Zoo Interchange, a consortium of Edward Kraemer & Sons Inc., Lunda Construction Co. and Zenith Tech (which also was a prime contractor for the rebuild of the Marquette Interchange), won the contract with a $11.3 million bid to relocate the bridges and adjust the traffic patterns accordingly. During “negotiations” with the Department of Transportation to actually meet the terms of the bid (one and only one weekend full closure per structure, with all remaining shoulder/single-lane closures limited to overnights), that amount rose by $4 million to $15.3 million.

Given that the bid request stated that any bid that contained more than the alloted amount of full closures would be considered “non-responsive”, and that all single-lane/shoulder closures be done during the overnight hours under pain of penalty, why would the cost go up by over 35% to ensure that would happen?

Coming Out

Well, it’s official now.  I feel the need to get it off my chest.

Birdman and I have been having an ongoing, private debate.  He believes placebocare will yet meet its Waterloo.  His primary belief, which he outlines nicely here,  is that the looming deficit will be the piece that brings enough Democrat votes together with Republicans, to kill this freedom obliterating bill.  I don’t want to make Birdman sound like a myopic Pollyanna.  He also believes that abortion, public option or a host of other issues could also cause the bill to stall.  In short, if I may paraphrase, he believes there are too many moving pieces and too many Democrats who will have to face election next year, to hold together the votes that were there on the passage of the original House and Senate versions.

I on the other hand, have complete confidence in the Democrats to push this bill through to the end.  Let me lay out my rationale.

  1. As I wrote yesterday, Payola Palooza is now in play.   Any Democrat member that Pelosi or Reid would need in a second vote, now have a price tag on their head.  Most Senators have already been bought.  Representatives go for much much less.  While there is a lot of talk about deficits, Harry, Nancy nor President Obama really care about them when it comes to passing this legislation.
  2. Obama is in trouble.  Read any poll you want and it is clear that Obama’s approval is falling on all political fronts.  Heck, even African Americans are down in the 60% approval level.  If Obama fails to get placebocare passed it could be argued that he is Ofer in his first year with no where to go but down.  All of his chips are in on placebocare.   He’ll get Nancy and Harry to do everything possible to keep him from becoming irrelevant before his first State of the Union.
  3. Elections – all the talk about Democrats having to face the electorate is a smoke screen.  Nancy Pelosi has already said she expects to lose up to 40 seats next year.  She considers these “transitional” seats.  She believes that they are the Democrat version of RINOS and should be replaced by more vigilant Marxists! 
  4. To the argument that Birdman makes about self preservation, I present exhibit A.  Expect to see many more “centrist” Democrats to announce their “retirements” in the next few weeks.  These are people who know they are dead people walking i.e. vote for the bill and they won’t get reelected, vote against the bill and Pelosi will have them cleaning the Republican urinals until they retire.  Oh, and if you think, “poor people, they’ll be out of work!”  Don’t worry, for anyone that goes willingly, Nancy has cushy, high paying and high pension jobs lined up for each of the votes she needs to buy.
  5. It doesn’t have XXXXX (name your favorite feature.)  Sorry, it doesn’t matter whether it is the public option, abortion, the deficit or any of the other items id’d as “deal breakers.”  None of them will ultimately be “deal breakers!”  In the end, the far left, the moderate left and all other versions of the left will accept anything that will pass with the understanding that if they pass it now, regardless of what is actually passed, they can fix it later.  Perfection is not required, passing something, anything is!
  6. Finally, history!  There is no doubt that every Democrat looks at this bill as historical.  While I admit to not understanding it, I see a similar pattern with placebocare as there was with the election of Barack Obama.  It was clear from early on that Obama was a Marxist and apologist who would do this country harm.  Objective people, people who actually wanted to look at the information, saw through the veneer of public persona that was being created.  Unfortunately for our country, in the end, too many people got caught up in the sale of “change” and the historicity of the first black president.  Placebocare is on the same track.  Any logical, thinking person can see the line of broken promises we’ll experience if placebocare is based.  That said, this isn’t about logic.  This is all about emotion and history for the Democrats.

There, now you’re on the inside of a debate that Birdman and I have had for several weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, I hope I’m wrong and Birdman is right.  Unfortunately, I’m used to the Democrats going against anything that resembles America but I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised!

December 28, 2009

Spending, Deficits, and Health Care

by @ 13:05. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

Some time ago I wrote that the health care legislation may well be sunk by its cost, given the public’s concerns over soaring deficits, increased government involvement in the economy, and the belief that taxes will have to increase dramatically.  Not many pundits are focusing on how this impacts the health care debate, but I still think it matters.

Minnesota Governor (and likely 2012 presidential candidate) Tim Pawlenty has called for a federal balanced budget amendment.  While nobody believes a balanced budget amendment is in this nation’s future any time soon, Pawlenty is appealing to the sentiment shared by the vast majority of Americans: irrational government spending is going to sink this nation’s economy.

The Administration and congressional Democrats take the position that the health care overhaul will be deficit neutral.  This, of course, is nonsense.  But even if you are naive enough to accept this argument, you cannot escape the fact that taxes are increasing in order to pay for this.  Americans are tired of growing government.  All rational Americans are concerned about the financial burdens being placed upon our children and grandchildren.

You can be sure members of Congress are learning of the angst over this legislation.  Polls are starting to clearly show a desire for more fiscal responsibility in Washington.  I am convinced that first and foremost, politicians are into self-preservation.  If constituents make it known that politicians who vote for bigger government and more spending will not be re-elected, pressure will build.  If I am right, passage of health care legislation is still far from certain.

Placebocare – Payola Palooza

The toner hasn’t yet set on the Harry Reid’s version of placebocare and positions are already being taken on how the House and Senate will reconcile their bills.  The AP has an enlightening article that quotes numerous Democrat Representatives laying out how they see the House and Senate bill harmonizing:

James Clyburn, a strong advocate for the public option, when asked whether the final bill would be required to have a public option answered:

“We want a public option to do basically three things: Create more choice for insurers, create more competition for insurance companies, and to contain costs. So if we can come up with a process by which these three things can be done, then I’m all for it. Whether or not we label it a public option or not is of no consequence.”

Representative Chris Van Hollen said:

“Before the House was to give up the public option, we would want to be persuaded that there are other mechanisms in whatever bill comes out that will keep down premiums.  We’ve got to make sure that the final product is affordable.”

At first blush, these and other similar quotes, look like the normal “congressionalese” that is spoken any time a negotiation is about to take place.  However, in light of what we just watched in the Senate, particularly with the purchase of Ben Nelson’s vote (a side note:  I thought “Pay for play” was illegal?  Wasn’t that what Blagojevich and Burris were/are accused of?), comments like these need to be understood in a whole new way.

“Hey, I’m not fixated on a name.  I want to make sure we accomplish some specific goals,” is what appears to be Clyburn’s thoughtful response.  However, let’s take another look at Clyburn’s quote after putting on our official “Ben Nelson, you too can look like a whore” brand reading glasses.  With our special glasses, what initially looked like a principled, practical response, now reads:

“I could be persuaded to give up the public option.  First, while I don’t care if it actually does it, I need to be able to tell my constituents that the bill does three things:  Create more choice for insurers, create more competition for insurance companies, and to contain costs.  I’m sure we can add several hundred pages of confusing language that will give the impression that we’ve done this even thought we won’t.   Second, after seeing what has transpired in the Senate, I’ve developed a price that my vote can be purchased for.  Whether we end up having a public option or not is of no consequence as long as I get the appropriate gratuity!”

Let’s now look at Representative Van Hollen’s comment.  After you’ve used your official “Ben Nelson, you too can look like a whore” brand reading glasses once, subsequent quotes are much easier to decipher.

“Before I give up the public option, I would want to be persuaded that there are other mechanisms in whatever bill comes out that will keep down premiums.  We’ve got to make sure that the final product is affordable.  I expect other taxpayers to be subservient to the sluggards of my district so that my constituents will not have to pay any of the ridiculous taxes that have been placed in this bill.  With this benefit and the agreed to publicity that the DHCC will guarantee to provide me on this topic, I should be well on my way to buying myself another term in the House!”

Now that we’ve seen the vote purchasing in the Senate we will never again read or hear, any comment by any Congressperson about what he/she will or won’t accept in legislation without thinking, “I wonder how much they expect to be bribed for their vote?”  Keep you pair of “Ben Nelson, you too can look like a whore” brand reading glasses handy.  You’ll be reaching for them every day from now until November of 2010!

December 27, 2009

Tiebreak THIS!, AFC 8-way 8-8 edition

by @ 22:58. Filed under Sports.

NBC Sports’ Gregg Rosenthal challenged the Twittersphere to tiebreak a hypothetical 8-way 8-8 tie between the Miami Dolphins (7-8), New York Jets (8-7), Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7), Baltimore Ravens OldBrowns (8-7), Houston Texans (8-7), Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8), Tennessee Titans (7-8) and Denver Broncos (8-7) for the two AFC wild-card playoff spots. The NFL tiebreaking procedures state that ties within the division get broken first.

Let’s start with the easiest division, the AFC West. Denver would be the only team at 8-8, so they go on to the first wild-card tiebreaker

Next, let’s go to the AFC North. Baltimore split their season series with Pittsburgh, but they have a better division record (3-3 versus 2-4). Baltimore would go on to the first wild-card tiebreaker.

The AFC East is a bit easier as Miami swept New York, and they would go on to the first wild-card tiebreaker.

Finally, we get to the wild division, the AFC South. Jacksonville has the best head-to-head-to-head record of the three teams (3-1 versus 2-2 for Tennessee and 1-3 for Houston), so they would go on to the first wild-card tiebreaker.

Now, we can go to the conference-level tiebreakers between Denver, Baltimore, Miami and Jacksonville:

  • No team either beat or lost to all of the others, so the first tiebreaker (head-to-head sweep/swept) is out.
  • Each team would have a 6-6 conference record, so the second tiebreaker (conference record) is out.
  • The four teams do not have 4 games against common opponents (sharing only Indianapolis and New England), so the third tiebreaker (record against common opponents, minimum of 4 games apiece) is out.
  • That devolves to the 4th tiebreaker, strength of victory. Between the games through tonight and the games necessary to create the 8-8 tie, Denver would have a SoV of 66-59, Baltimore would have a SoV of 58-67, Miami would have a SoV of 55-69, and Jacksonville would have a SoV of 46-80.

Denver would get the first wild-card spot based on strength of victory (none of the other 3 teams can make up the 10+ games). If either Baltimore or Miami has the 2nd-best strength of victory outright, that team would get the second wild-card spot since Jacksonville would not be able to catch either team. However, a difference of 2 1/2 games going into tomorrow night’s game means that it is possible they would tie. In that case, they would go to a two-team tiebreaker:

  • Baltimore and Miami did not play each other this year, so the first tiebreaker (head-to-head) is out.
  • Once again, they would have identical 6-6 conference records, so the second tiebreaker (conference record) is out.
  • They would have identical 2-3 records against common opponents (Indianapolis, New England, Pittsburgh and San Diego), so the third tiebreaker (record against common opponents, minimum of 4 games apiece) is out.
  • We already stipulated that strength of victory would be identical, so the fourth tiebreaker is out.
  • Between the games through tonight and the games necessary to create the 8-team 8-8 tie, the two teams’ strength of schedule is an identical 138-111. If one team pulls ahead, they would get the last wild-card spot. Otherwise…
  • …Things devolve to best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed. Miami has scored 336 points (8th in the AFC) and given up 360 points (14th in the AFC), for a combined 11th. Baltimore has scored 370 points (4th in the AFC) and given up 248 points (2nd in the AFC) for a combined 3rd, easily favoring Baltimore.
  • Revisions/extensions (11:20 pm 12/27/2009) - Things only start over if a tie remains after breaking up a 4-way tie. The post has been shortened to reflect that.

    R&E part 2 (11:25 pm 12/27/2009) - Corrected a rather-embarrassing typo. I originally listed Houston twice in the list of 8.

    December 26, 2009

    How to Clear a Real Snowfall

    by @ 10:35. Filed under Miscellaneous.

    I’m sure you all lay awake at night asking, “I wonder how Shoebox will keep his driveway (and that of those around the neighborhood) with all the snow?”

    Answer:  A diesel tractor with an 8′ snowblower!

    December 25, 2009

    Have a blessed Christmas

    by @ 0:01. Tags:
    Filed under Miscellaneous.

    Once again, we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth, with St. Luke’s account (Luke 2:1-12, NIV):

    In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

    So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

    December 24, 2009

    Merry Christmas!

    by @ 16:39. Filed under Miscellaneous.

    May you have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

    Hey, You’re Giving Us a Bad Name!

    by @ 12:27. Filed under Politics - National.

    President Obama’s approach to politics is often referred to as the “Chicago Way.”  What is the “Chicago Way” you ask?  Well, to quote Sean Connery from the Untouchables:

    Here’s how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!

    In short, the “Chicago way” is bribing, bullying or threatening anyone and everyone necessary so that you get your way.

    In today’s Washington Post, William M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, a well known user of the “Chicago way,” gives some advice to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    Billy, if I may be so bold, is concerned that the Marxist triumvirate is setting up trouble for the rest of the Democrats. Billy points to recent polls, the November election results and finally, the recent party affiliation change of Representative Griffith as evidence that the Marxist trio has taken the party too far to the left. Billy is concerned that the result of this “student body left” tilt will be that Democrats may have a problem getting or being re elected next year.

    Past his warnings, Billy gives the Democrats hope. “Stop ye whilst there is still yet time,” cries Billy!

    Despite this raft of bad news, Democrats are not doomed to return to the wilderness. The question is whether the party is prepared to listen carefully to what the American public is saying. Voters are not re-embracing conservative ideology, nor are they falling back in love with the Republican brand. If anything, the Democrats’ salvation may lie in the fact that Republicans seem even more hell-bent on allowing their radical wing to drag the party away from the center.

    “See,” says Billy, “I know it’s not that people want to be more conservative, it’s just those damn Republicans keep making us look bad!”  In fact, Billy believes that the country really does like Marxism, it’s just that they don’t know it yet!

    For liberals to accept that inescapable reality is not to concede permanent defeat. Rather, let them take it as a sign that they must continue the hard work of slowly and steadily persuading their fellow citizens to embrace their perspective.

    It never crosses Daley’s mind that the American people are revolting against the Democrats because they don’t like the policies.  It never crosses Daley’s mind that America is still a country whose people have a desire for personal freedoms.  It never crosses Daley’s mind that perhaps the Marxist triumvirate has over reached and in doing so, awakened a spirit that has been slumbering since the 1940s. 

    No, Daley, a member of the family who if not created, perfected the “Chicago way,” is complaining because Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have taken the “Chicago way” and applied it to national politics. Daley thinks that could create a problem.  Daley is concerned not for America but for himself and his “suck everybody dry as long as it gets me power” party!

    I could have titled this post “Pot meet Kettle,” but I’ve used that too many times this year.  Besides, what it really seems to me that Billy is complaining about is not the tactics being used but rather, that if the Marxist triumvirate are successful in driving the country to bankruptcy, it might give the “Chicago way” a bad name!  I didn’t know the “Chicago way” had a good name!

    Al Qaeda in Arabia decimated by delivered presents, falling bombs, but mostly…well, both

    by @ 9:02. Filed under War on Terror.

    Jake Tapper reports on an air strike delivered to the leadership of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen by undisclosed forces this morning. Among the 30 believed to be killed (H/T for the number – Ed Morrissey):

    • Anwar al-Awlaki, who offered advice to Hasan Nidal on whether he should murder his fellow US Army soldiers.
    • Nasser al-Wahayshi, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
    • Saeed al-Shehri, the #2 guy of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. As Jake noted, al-Shehri was transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi custody in November, 2007 to go through the “Prince Mohammed bin Nayef Centre for Care and Counseling”, a “12-step” plan to rehabilitate terrorists, but instead returned to Al Qaeda.

    Whether it was the US Air Force, the US Navy, the US Marines or the Yemeni Air Force (I don’t think the US Army is operating in Yemen) that delivered justice to the clan, it is a welcome early Christmas present.

    Revisions/extensions (9:24 pm 12/24/2009) - DrewM notes that this is the second strike on Al Qaeda in Yemen in the past week. I seem to recall these being a regular occurrence between late 2001 and early 2004, and I missed these over the last 6 years.

    Also, thanks for the link, Ed.

    December 23, 2009

    Couldn’t Have Said It Better

    by @ 14:59. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

    Ray Stevens with his thoughts on Placebocare

    My Colleague, the Senator From the State of Denial

    Late this afternoon, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell waved the white flag.  As reported by RollCall, McConnell made an agreement withHarry Reid to pass a two month extension on the debt limit and waive the remaining time required to get to the final vote on the passage of Placebocare.  McConnell, recognizing that he never had any bullets (heck, even Barney Fife at least had one bullet) decided it was the better part of valor to waive the time and allow a timely departure for the Christmas holiday for all senators and staff rather than hold to the last second and be labeled a Scrooge on top of the label of “dolt!”

    By Christmas there will be two versions of Placebocare that couldn’t be more different.  In fact, about the only thing the two bills have in common are the allegation that they both pertain to health care.  Now that both houses have passed a bill, the questions become these:  Can the two bills be reconciled and if they are, will both houses vote to support the reconciled bill?

    The question of whether the bills can be reconciled is obvious.  Nancy, Harry and Rahmwill do anything and everything to get a bill that will go back to both chamber floors.  Don’t think for a second that there will be an issue that one of them can’t strong arm or buy their way through.  So, that leaves the question of whether the reconciled bill can be passed.

    There’s lots of new bad news out for President Obama the Democrats and Placebocare.  In a new Quinnipiac poll, 72% oppose using any public money from placebocare to pay for abortions.  The same poll found that by a margin of 52% to 36%, Americans oppose placebocare and by a margin of 56% to 38% they disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling the issue of health care reform.  Perhaps most significant out of the Quinnipiac poll is that there is no economic or age demographic that now supports Obama’s handling of placebocare.  Not even the young people support Obama on placebocare any longer.

    The latest Rasmussen polls are even more damaging to President Obama and Placebocare. After having shrunk to about a 10 point deficit, Rasmussen now shows that public opinion is back, and holding, near it’s high of a 15% deficit, and that’s the good news!

    Early today, Rasmussen released it’s daily presidential tracking report. After hitting a new high, or rather low, of -19 ten days ago, the trend had been improving for President Obama recovering to a -12 a week ago. However, in the past few days the trend has not only reversed, it’s reversed at a staggering rate. On December 20th, the rating was -15. In just two days the poll leaped to a -21, a 6 point swing! Does anyone thing it coincidence that the health care votes are occurring during the same time frame as this dramatic change? The same daily poll shows even amongst African-Americans Obama’s support is now only 58%. Do you remember when 90% of African-Americans voted for President Obama?

    Finally, early last evening, Rasmussen released the latest generic poll. Republicans now lead Democrats by 8 points, the highest level this year and the highest level for a considerable period of time.

    Back to the question.  It’s clear that placebocare is shunned everywhere and by everyone.  It’s clear in all the polls, including President Obama’s favorability rating, that the public is rigidly set against the bill.  That said, I won’t put one penny of a bet against Nancy, Harry and company and their ability to rig another set of votes.  I will say this though, if the Democrats manage to pass this bill, the political tables will turn 180 degrees from where they were in 2008.  In 2008 you almost couldn’t buy an election if you were a Republican.  If placebocare is passed, in 2010, Democrats won’t be able to buy an election and that’s saying something!  The fact that the Democrats either don’t see this or believe that they can somehow avoid it is a willingness to suspend disbelief that is far worse than that required by Hillary Clinton when she questioned General Patraeus!

    Regardless of the way that placebocare proceeds from here, I have a suggestion for the Republicans.  Rather than the normal congenial hand off of time on the chamber floor i.e. I yield my time to the good Senator from the State of XYZ, I propose that the Republicans brand the Democrats in a way that will keep the issue in the forefront for the foreseeable future.  I propose the Republicans brand the Democrats what they are by saying each time, “I yield my time to the good Senator from the State of Denial!”

    December 22, 2009

    Tuesday Hot Read Part Deux – Scott Gottlieb’s “Obamacare – No Exit”

    This piece from the American Eneterprise Institute could also be titled, “You can have any health insurance plan you want, as long as it’s black Communist Red.”:

    All of which brings us to the question of whether you’ll be able to spend extra money to add benefits that exceed the government’s basic package or opt out of that plan entirely. The bill doesn’t address this question directly–yet I can say with great confidence that it will be costly and in some cases impossible.

    The bill leaves these issues in the hands of the bureaucracies that will write the law’s enabling regulations. And it’s clear both what the spirit of the Obama plan and the habits of these bureaucracies will produce.

    I’ll temporarily stop the quote to remind you that under the current version of PlaceboCare, anything that the bureaucrats write will essentially not be reviewable by Congress. Let’s continue.

    The overriding goal of this reform is to turn health insurance into a more “egalitarian” benefit that’s the same for everyone, regardless of income, personal preference or need. So rules written under President Obama to implement the Obama plan are a sure bet to intentionally curtail anyone’s ability to wrap around this national coverage with a supplemental policy or to contract privately with doctors to pay your way out of its limitations.

    This is exactly what the bureaucracy’s done with Medicare. Doctors accepting Medicare can’t contract privately with Medicare patients to bill for services that Medicare doesn’t cover. Nor can patients buy added coverage to help plug Medicare’s gaps. (The “Medigap” that many seniors now buy are tightly regulated by the government to limit how much they expand on Medicare’s basic benefits; they mostly just help defray co-pays.)

    In short, beneficiaries are trapped inside the Medicare insurance scheme, just as they’ll soon be trapped inside the ObamaCare exchanges. Doctors can’t offer benefits not covered by the government plans, and patients can’t buy extra insurance to make up for many gaps….

    The very rich, of course, will be able to buy their way out of ObamaCare. Many of the best doctors will go cash only, opting entirely out of the Obama program, to cater to a wealthy clientele. But only the truly affluent will have the cash to escape.

    Testing a fix for scheduled posts bug in WP 2.9

    by @ 8:10. Filed under The Blog.

    It seems that something broke with cron jobs in WordPress 2.9, which meant that, among other things, posts scheduled for a future publish date would not publish and trackbacks and pingbacks would not happen. The WordPress team put together what they tested to be a fix, and scheduled it for WP 2.9.1, but since Shoebox uses post-dating, and we both use trackbacks/pingbacks, I couldn’t wait to implement it.

    That means, if you see this, it works.

    You’re An Egotistical Boor

    And you’re stupid too!

    I chronicled last week, how Al Franken is easily the most egotistical, boorish member of the Senate. In less than 6 months, Franken has managed to alienate more Senators than President Obama has alienated world leaders in almost a year. While Franken is egotistical and boorish, we find out today that these are not his worst traits. No, his worst trait is that he’s plainly stupid.

    As the light begins to shine on Harry Reid’s disaster of placebocare, we find that several states including Nebraska, Louisiana, Vermont, Conneticutt and Massachusetts received sweat heart deals to secure the vote of their senators. We also see that several special interest; AARP, longshormen, under construction private hospitals as examples, received sweat heart deals to secure the votes of the senators that were lobbying for them.

    Seeing all the money tossed about to secure votes for Reid’s abomination, I started looking to see what goodies Minnesota received. I looked in the first 500 pages and found…..nothing. I looked in the second 500 pages and found….nothing. I looked through the entire bill for something good for Minnesota and found….nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I did find one thing that Senator Franken was able to obtain.

    In one of his few position statements about placebocare, Franken stated that the implementation of a medical device tax:

    will seriously threaten thousands of American jobs and deter innovation

    With that brief statement, Senator Franken put his large foot down. He wasn’t going to stand for taxes on an industry that has over 300 companies in Minnesota and is the core of a significant state industry not to mention thousands of jobs. Senator Franken stood for the principle right up until the point where he had to choose between his principles and being a member of the good ol’ boys club. Guess which he chose?

    Oh, Al will tell you he got something for Minnesota. Yeah, he managed to get an entire year delay in the implementation of the tax! I fail to understand how a tax that “could threaten thousands of American jobs” doesn’t threaten those jobs if it is implemented a year later! Maybe the jobs that will exist for one more year will now be counted as “saved” jobs?

    Al, you’re amazing!

    Even Harry Reid agrees with me that Al Franken is a pathetic senator. In discussing why all the pork and special interest provisions were in the placebocare bill, Reid justified it by saying:

    “That’s what legislation is all about,” said Reid at the press conference. “It’s the art of compromise.”

    Later, in explaining why some senators got a lot for the vote while others didn’t, Reid said:

    “If they don’t have something in important to them, it doesn’t speak very well for them.”

    So, there you have it. While other senators negotiated for millions, nearly billions of dollars for their constituents, Al Franken gave away jobs, just not immediately. I never thought I’d say it but Harry Reid and I have one thing in common; we both believe Al Franken is stupid!

    Oh, BTW, Senator Klobuchar, while you may have a slightly less grating personality, you too are stupid!

    Coming in January – the NRE 2009 Awards

    by @ 7:45. Filed under NRE Awards.

    Shoebox, the guest-bloggers, and I will be announcing our choices in several categories for the best and worst of 2009 starting January 1. The reason why we’re breaking with the usual “name them at the end of the year” meme is that there’s still time for some big things to happen. In fact, I’ve already had to change my mind on one of the categories since I ran this up the flagpole.

    The full schedule is:

    Jackass of the Year – January 1
    Thank You for Existing – January 2
    Dumbest Thing Said – January 3
    News Story of the Year – January 4
    Person of the Year – January 5

    Tuesday Hot Read – Erick Erickson’s “We Are No Longer a Nation of Laws. Senate Sets Up Requirement for Super-Majority to Ever Repeal Obamacare”

    Yes, folks, you read the headline right – The Dingy One has, as part of the Dingy version of PlaceboCare, made it “out of order” for either House of Congress to overrule any decision rendered by the Death Panels (aka the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards) (emphasis in the original):

    To change the rules of the United States Senate, there must be sixty-seven votes.

    Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards a/k/a the Death Panels.

    Section 3403 of Senator Reid’s legislation also states, “Notwithstanding rule XV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a committee amendment described in subparagraph (A) may include matter not within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance if that matter is relevant to a proposal contained in the bill submitted under subsection (c)(3).” In short, it sets up a rule to ignore another Senate rule.

    Senator Jim DeMint confronted the Democrats over Reid’s language. In the past, the Senate Parliamentarian has repeatedly determined that any legislation that also changes the internal standing rules of the Senate must have a two-thirds vote to pass because to change Senate rules, a two-thirds vote is required. Today, the Senate President, acting on the advice of the Senate Parliamentarian, ruled that these rules changes are actually just procedural changes and, despite what the actual words of the legislation say, are not rules changes. Therefore, a two-thirds vote is not needed in contravention to longstanding Senate precedent

    And that motherfucker had the balls to say that he hoped the Senate would return to civility once he finishes fucking everybody over. Well, FUCK HIM AND THE HORSESHIT HE SPEWS OUT!

    Revisions/extensions (8:40 am 12/22/2009) - With a tip of the hat to Ed Morrissey, here is the video of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) questioning the Parliamentarian of the Senate on this:

    YouTube Preview Image

    December 21, 2009

    NFC playoff picture – after week 15

    by @ 22:47. Filed under Sports.

    There’s two weeks left, and things really tightened up in the NFC, where a 9-7 record and a 7-5 conference record is required for wild-card consideration. Four of the six spots are now locked up, including two more division crowns, and three teams remain in contention for the last two spots:

    • The Dallas Cowboys knocked out the remaining teams that could have finished 8-8 going into the weekend (the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers) as well as the Atlanta Falcons by defeating the previously-unbeaten New Orleans Saints.
    • The Minnesota Vikings failed to take advantage by losing to those same Panthers, but backed into the NFC North crown as the Green Bay Packers choked against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    • The Philadelphia Eagles got into the playoffs by beating (and knocking out of wild-card contention) the San Francisco 49ers.
    • The Arizona Cardinals finally seized the opportunity to take the NFC West crown by knocking off the Detroit Lions.

    In the playoffs

    New Orleans Saints (13-1, 9-1 NFC, won the NFC South) – The Saints, who have already claimed the NFC South crown and a first-round bye, are still in the driver’s seat despite losing to the Dallas Cowboys. However, if they and the Minnesota Vikings tie, the Vikings would win the tiebreaker for home-field advantage based on a better conference record. The good news is that since the Vikings also lost, the magic number to clinch is 0.5 (or a tie by either the Saints or the Vikings). Given the schedule of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12) on Sunday and the Carolina Panthers (6-8) on the road on 1/3, it is very likely they will get home-field advantage.

    Minnesota Vikings (11-3, 8-2 NFC, won the NFC North) – The Vikings backed their way into the NFC North crown as they swept the Green Bay Packers. They would hold the tiebreaker against the New Orleans Saints (conference record) for home-field advantage, but would not hold any tiebreakers involving the Arizona Cardinals (who beat the Vikings, and would have a better conference record), Philadelphia Eagles (conference record) or Dallas Cowboys (conference record). Their magic number to get a bye is still 1.5 against the Eagles, and 0.5 against the Cardinals and Cowboys. They have the Chicago Bears (5-9) on the road Monday, and the New York Giants (8-6) at home on 1/3.

    Philadelphia Eagles (10-4, 9-2 NFC, 1st in the NFC East) – The Eagles already swept the New York Giants, so they’re in the playoffs. They would hold any tiebreakers involving the Minnesota Vikings (conference record) or the Arizona Cardinals (conference record or common opponents). The magic number to clinch the NFC East crown is 1.5 over the Dallas Cowboys (who already beat the Eagles once); they also would win the NFC East if there were a three-way tie at 10-6 (the Cowboys would be out on division record, with the Giants out on the head-to-head sweep). Their remaining games are against the Denver Broncos (8-6) Sunday and at the Cowboys (9-5) 1/3.

    Arizona Cardinals (9-5, 7-3 NFC, won the NFC West) – They hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Minnesota Vikings (by victory) and the Dallas Cowboys (common opponents), but would lose any tiebreaker to the Philadelphia Eagles (conference record/common opponents). Their remaining games are both at home – against the St. Louis Rams (2-12) Sunday and against the Green Bay Packers (9-5) 1/3.

    Scrambling to get in

    Green Bay Packers (9-5, 7-3 NFC, 1st in the wild-card race) – The Packers hold the tiebreakers against the Dallas Cowboys (by win) and the Atlanta Falcons (conference record), but lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to the New York Giants (common opponents). Their magic number is 2 over the Cowboys or 1.5 over the Giants. Their remaining games are against the Seattle Seahawks (5-9) Sunday and at the Arizona Cardinals (9-5) 1/3.

    Dallas Cowboys (9-5, 7-3 NFC, 2nd NFC East, 2nd wild-card) – The formula is deceptively-simple – win out and they’re in as NFC East champs by virtue of sweeping the Philadelphia Eagles (10-4). Unfortunately, not only do they have a horrid December record over the last several years, they also don’t have the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Green Bay Packers (lost to them) or the New York Giants (got swept by them), or the three-way tiebreaker against the Eagles and Giants at 10-6 (they would have the worst division record). They did, however, beat the Eagles once, with the rematch in Dallas on 1/3, and would have the tiebreaker against the Arizona Cardinals (common opponents), the Minnesota Vikings (conference record), and the Atlanta Falcons (conference record). Their magic number is 1.5 over the Giants. Besides the Eagles to close the season, they get the Washington Redskins (4-9) on the road Sunday.

    New York Giants (8-6, 6-4 NFC, 3rd NFC East, 3rd wild-card) – They can no longer win the NFC East as the Philadelphia Eagles swept them. However, they do hold the tiebreakers over the Green Bay Packers (common opponents), the Cowboys (swept them) and Atlanta Falcons (conference record). Their remaining games are against the Carolina Panthers (6-8) Sunday and at the Minnesota Vikings (11-2) 1/3.

    The AFC is just too crowded to summarize. Besides, my allegiance is to the Pack, and they’re in the NFC.

    Cash for Cloture worked – PlaceboCare now greased in the Senate

    Michelle Malkin has the sordid details, as well as the newest catch-phrase. We know what Mary Landrieu’s and Ben Nelson’s prices were. The question is, what was Joe Lieberman’s?

    Time for a start of another PlaceboCare carol:

    On the first day of PlaceoCare, Dingy Harry took from me
    My right to not pay for your health care.

    On the second day of PlaceboCare, Dingy Harry took from me
    Two Senators’ bribed votes,
    And my right to not pay for your health care.

    On the third day of PlaceboCare, Dingy Harry took from me
    Three trillion dollars,
    Two Senators’ bribed votes,
    And my right to not pay for your health care.

    On the fourth day of PlaceboCare, Dingy Harry took from me
    Forty Republicans’ Sunday,
    Three trillion dollars,
    Two Senators’ bribed votes,
    And my right to not pay for your health care.

    On the fifth day of PlaceboCare, Dingy Harry took from me
    All the nation’s gold,
    Forty Republicans’ Sunday,
    Three trillion dollars,
    Two Senators’ bribed votes,
    And my right to not pay for your health care.

    It’s late, so I’ll leave this unfinished, at least for now.

    December 19, 2009

    Demon Snow hits the East Coast

    by @ 23:26. Filed under Weather.

    With my friends up and down the East Coast buried under a lot of snow, I figured I should try to cheer them up by giving them the heart of the transcript of Bob and Brian’s “Demon Snow” (from their 1995 album “Tahellwitchoo”. We’ll pick it up just before Brian takes over (the picture is courtesy The Saginaw News):

    (Bob) There’s a lot of pictures of salt trucks.
    This is a salt truck.

    (Start the Brian monologue) This is the machine that will deliver us from Demon Snow,
    That fell, like poison from the sky,
    Coating our roads with icy death,
    Untill the brave men rose
    That steer the monster orange 10-wheelers.
    Throwing themselves into the teeth of the monster,
    Defying nature, and all its forces,
    Saying, “I stand on this wall. You will not pass.
    “Go back, Demon Snow, back from whence you came.
    “Leave the good people of Milwaukee alone.
    “I melt thee, I melt thee with SALT!
    “Damneth thee!” (Bob chimes in with a “Shut up!” because he’s been laughing uncontrollably)
    “Damn thee to Hell now, white monster!”
    There’s a guy on the back of a salt truck,
    Caught up in all kinds of lines and wires,
    Going into the snowstorm.
    “Look! He beckons! Ahab beckons!”

    I know, it’s a poor substitute for the actual audio, but since I don’t have permission to post that,….

    John Kerry To The Rescue!

    by @ 17:26. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

    In less than 72 hours, Ben Nelson went from centrist Democrat to Ashley Dupre in comparison to Mary Landrieu’s saloon girl pricing commands.

    On Wednesday, reports were out that argued that Ben Nelson could not support any form of placebocare that didn’t have the sign off of Nebraska’s chapter of national right to life.  Also on Wednesday, The Weekly Standard published a poll showing that while 51% of Nebraskans approved of Nelson’s job, 67% opposed placebocare and 61% said they would be less likely to support Nelson if he voted for placebocare.

    In spite of the risk to his political career, today after receiving lots of financial goodies for Nebraska and a poorly worded attempt at hiding the fact that abortion will ultimately still be required by placebocare, Nelson has agreed to vote for cloture.  Assuming there are no other Democrat whores whose conscience can be bought, it appears that the Senate will be passing Harry Reid’s version of placebocare. 

    With the now apparent, imminent passage of placebocare, a question arises.  With the polls solidly against placebocare in places like Nebraska and other fly over states, how do Democrat Senators expect to pass placebocare out of the Senate and not receive reelection repercussions?  Easy, they’ll pull the “John Kerry!

    in October 2003,  Kerry voted against an $87 billion supplemental funding bill for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He did support an alternative bill that funded the $87 billion by cutting some of President Bush’s tax cuts.  Whenit was apparent the alternative bill would not pass, he decided to go on record as not supporting the legislation to fund soldiers.  It was after this combination of positions and votes that Kerry uttered his now infamous quote:

    I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.

    Cloture, or the approval to proceed, requires 60 votes in the Senate.  This is the issue that has stymied Harry Reid until now.  However, the final vote for the passage of a bill, only requires a simple majority or 51 votes.  In fact, if the vote is split at 50/50, Vice President Joe Biden would cast the deciding vote.  While it now appears that Reid has spread enough of our money around to get 60 votes for cloture, you can bet that there will be no where near 60 votes for the final votes.

    Between today and whenever the final vote comes, you can bet that Senators like Jim Webb, Ben Nelson, Byron Dorgan, Evan Byah and a few others, will be talking about how they are yet “unsure” as to how they will vote on the final vote.  They will talk about the need to “move the process forward.”  In fact, I’m certain that several Democrat Senators will vote against the final passage of the bill.  Not too many, something less than 10 will vote against the bill, but there will be some who believe voting against the final bill will give them political cover.

    By voting against the final bill, these supposed “moderate” Democrats will go back to their states and attempt to claim that they weren’t really for the atrocity that is placebocare.  When they return to their states, these senators will tell their constituents that they voted for the bill before they voted against the bill.  Actually, this is an incredibly difficult maneuver as it is not the “John Kerry” but the “Reverse John Kerry.”  I doubt you’ll see many of these folks successfully execute the move.  Several of those attempting this move will get zeros, not from the Russian judges but from their home state constituents!

    If you haven’t seen it, here’s the last ditch plea from the Republican Senators.  If you have a phone and have a Democrat Senator, especially ones about to attempt the “Reverse Kerry,” call them and let them know that no matter how hard they try to explain otherwise, they will be held accountable for all votes that had any part in allowing placebocare to become law!

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