January 1, 2011

Krauthammer Explains Why the Disapproval Resolution Must Be Liberally Used

In his Friday Washington Post column (HT to an e-mailer; links are in original):

Government by regulation. Shhh.

Most people don’t remember Obamacare’s notorious Section 1233, mandating government payments for end-of-life counseling. It aroused so much anxiety as a possible first slippery step on the road to state-mandated late-life rationing that the Senate never included it in the final health-care law.

Well, it’s back – by administrative fiat. A month ago, Medicare issued a regulation providing for end-of-life counseling during annual “wellness” visits. It was all nicely buried amid the simultaneous release of hundreds of new Medicare rules.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), author of Section 1233, was delighted. “Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated ‘a quiet victory,’ but urged supporters not to crow about it,” reports the New York Times. Deathly quiet. In early November, his office sent an e-mail plea to supporters: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists . . . e-mails can too easily be forwarded.” They had been lucky that “thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it. . . . The longer this [regulation] goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

So much for the Democrats’ transparency – and for their repeated claim that the more people learn what is in the health-care law, the more they will like it. Turns out ignorance is the Democrats’ best hope.

And regulation is their perfect vehicle – so much quieter than legislation.

Such stealth works when no one catches it. You would think that orgs like Heritage and others would be dedicating resources to reading every word of every reg that gets issued and raising alarms when required. The reg to which Krauthammer refers is in the November 29 Federal Register. Hello???

The Times, apparently to get ahead of the inevitable discovery while minimizing its impact, published its item on the reg on Christmas evening for the December 26 print edition. While the article’s title is accurate (“Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir”), the browser window title has a distinct authoritarian whiff (“Obama to Enact End-of-Life Planning for Medicare”). Enacts? Gosh, I though Congress enacted laws and the President, if he agrees, signed them. Silly me.

Assuming that sensible, constitution-loving conservatives figure out how to catch what needs to be caught, the “Disapproval Resolution” discussed here on Thursday needs to be utilized liberally.

As to frequent presidential vetoes, please, let them come. Krauthammer is probably correct that the administration strategy is to appear to govern moderately while regulating radically. Thus, it is important to get President Obama on the record at every opportunity possible telling the American people that the government bureaucracy gets to unilaterally decide crucial environmental, medical and other matters — in the case Krauthammer noted, up to and including matters of life and death — despite clear opposition from the people’s elected representatives. There’s a word (“a sovereign or other ruler who uses power oppressively or unjustly”) for someone who routinely does that. Either he yields to Congress’s will when disapproval resolutions pass, or he demonstrates that he is one.

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Related: Marlo Lewis at Pajamas Media — “The Environmental Protection Agency’s End-Run Around Democracy”

Positivity: Murphy the Dog Marches in Chick-Fil-A Bowl Parade

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Atlanta (video is also at link):

Updated: Friday, 31 Dec 2010, 6:18 PM EST
Published : Friday, 31 Dec 2010, 6:18 PM EST

A dog that suffered life-threatening injuries and was left to die in a local park has fully recovered, and was invited to take part in a special New Year’s Eve tradition. Murphy the dog participated in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Parade in downtown Atlanta, and he had plenty to celebrate.

Murphy’s new owner found him lying in a ditch in 2008 after he had been beaten with a sledgehammer by his old owner. Now, he’s recovered from his injuries.

Robert Kennedy says he never thought Murphy’s ending would be so happy. When he found the dog in the ditch in Murphy Candler Park, he was covered in blood and had serious injuries to his eyes. He was also barely breathing.

Kennedy didn’t give up on the wounded dog. He nursed him back to health, and on Friday, the two marched alongside other rescue dogs in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Parade. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Happy New Year!

Filed under: General,Positivity — Tom @ 12:01 am

To a blessed 2011 for all:

London Fireworks 1_1_11