Regina Owens of the Washington Citizen Action group complains about the new ID requirements for signing up for free health insurance, aka Medicaid:
Starting this month, when you apply for Medicaid, take your passport along with you. Thanks to federal legislation passed in February, if you need health insurance, you’re going to have to work hard to prove you’re a citizen.Boo hoo. The fact is that the taxpayers subsidize Medicaid, and it is reasonable to ask recipients to endure a few more minor inconveniences to ensure that our tax dollars are going only to people who are here legally.
This represents a big change and a big burden. A passport costs almost $100, not a small amount for anyone. As an alternative, you can buy a birth certificate ($28) and a state identification card ($20) — and bring along proof of your limited income.
Then there is this gem:
It’s no leap to see that homeless people will be denied coverage and seniors will lose out on nursing home care. Victims of natural disasters, like those who survived Hurricane Katrina, will have to pack birth certificates if they hope to get treatment. Parents juggling multiple low-pay jobs will find it much harder to get the insurance they and their families need.I’m sure the rules will be suspended during Katrina-like situations. As for homeless people, getting them off the street should be priority one, not worrying about their Medicaid benefits—i.e., let’s get the horse before the cart. The feds relaxed the requirement for the elderly earlier today.
And this idea that there are lots of parents juggling multiple low-pay jobs is a myth. Looking at incomes statistics for individuals, more than half of those in the lower brackets worked less than fifty weeks a year (many didn’t work at all). I think they can find the time to get some ID.
Pennsylvania’s senior senator expects to run for re-election in 2010, barring health problems.
Kinsley’s article is a self-parody of his third-way liberalism. He compliments pro-lifers “as that rarity in modern American politics: a strong interest group defending the interest of someone other than themselves.” Be careful: when a columnist lays on such heavy compliments, he is softening his target for the sucker punch.
He delivers in the next sentence:
Or so I always thought — until the arrival of stem cells. Moral sincerity is not impressive if it depends on willful ignorance and indifference to logic. Not every opponent of stem cell research deserves to have his or her debater’s license taken away. There are a few, no doubt, who are as horrified by fertility clinics as they are by stem cell research, and a subset of this subset may even be doing something about it. But these people, if they exist, are not a political force strong enough to stop a juggernaut of medical progress that so many other people are desperate to encourage. The vast majority of people who oppose stem cell research either haven’t thought it through, or have thought it through and don’t care.
I wish they would think again.
Kinsley is gambling that opponents of federally funded embryonic stem cell research are not willing to extend their moral logic to in-vitro fertilization. Examples would be helpful here, because most morally serious writers do oppose both — George and Cohen addressed the subject this week. President Bush has suggested as much by touting “embryo adoption,” whereby mothers carry such discarded embryos to term.
Both embryonic stem cell research and in vitro fertilization are wrong because of their violence toward human life. But Kinsley doesn’t bother to engage this principle or moral reasonsing. Instead, he levels the cheap charge of hypocrisy: because the believers of a moral principle do not consistently apply it, that principle must be invalid.
Jeremy Lott dismisses such poor reasoning in his excellent book In Defense of Hypocrisy. Using hypocrisy against the underlying moral principle is just a weak attack on morality in general.
If embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) proponents hope to win over pro-lifers, they will have to dig up better moral thinkers than Michael Kinsley. He commits basic moral errors such as thinking that two wrongs make a right, and fails to distinguish between the intentional killing inherent in ESCR and the unintended death of embryos in the course of “normal human reproduction.” Intellectually honest writers engage the ideas of their opponents, rather than reducing them to convenient caricatures.
Hmmm. Maybe former Secretary of State Colin Powell is more conservative than he knows. Perhaps Powell got ill from something he ate with former President Bill Clinton. We’d like to think it was simply Powell’s untapped conservative constitution’s allergic reaction to being in the man’s presence.
The New York Daily News report this morning about what appears to have been an al Qaeda supported plot to blow up the Holland Tunnel in New York in order to flood the Wall Street financial district is drawing a lot of attention in the blogosphere on the heels of the New York and LA Times’ leaking of highly confidential intelligence tools that the U.S. was able to use to track terrorist financing. Why?
Because apparently al Qaeda had promised the purported lead plotter based in Lebanon financial support. Other plotters scattered around the world - some presumably in the U.S. - would have been in need of the funds to purchase explosives, to finance travel, etc.
We’ve been talking to a few folks inside DOJ, the FBI and Treasury this morning, and things are a bit unclear. But this what we’re being told.
Our Treasury source wouldn’t comment on the case. One DOJ source indicated that this case initially took off from monitoring of chat rooms that had been identified as havens for some of the plotters (that monitoring was undertaken in part by the NSA, and some of the monitoring required FISA court filings, something the the New York Times doesn’t support, either).
BTW: another DOJ source said that in the past year, counter-terrorism officials have noted a marked downturn in the use of cell phone and landline communications. There are a number of reasons for this, but they readily point to the NY Times story on NSA overseas terror-call monitoring as one reason.
Back to this latest case: The chat room activity allowed investigators to target several individuals, and at that stage, the DOJ source believes there is a good chance monitoring of certain bank account activity would have taken place. Without going into too great a detail, the source explained that U.S. investigators have identified a series of “tells” - some enabled by SWIFT and other monitoring tools - that help them determine when the time is ripe or necessary to move on plotters.
“People have to understand that sometimes just being able to track these guys for a few weeks not only helps with the specific case, but we pick up on new techniques the bad guys are using. This is particularly true if they don’t think we’re monitoring them. This case appears to be a good example of this,” said our DOJ source. “The way these guys use ubiquitous technology like chat rooms, instant messaging, wireless communications, it’s really startling what you pick up when you can lurk undetected. And most important, we’re doing it legally and within the boundaries set by Congress and the courts. [emphasis added]”
It is not clear that this case was one of several our sources claim they discussed in general terms with the New York Times, and which Treasury and Justice told the Times would be endangered if they went public with the SWIFT program. It appears the arrest of the plotter in Lebanon took place before the SWIFT story was leaked.
But another DOJ source added something interesting to the mix: “If you go back and look at some of our more successful anti-terrorism cases, they have focused on taking down entire networks. How do we do that? From the inside, peeling off a lead actor, turning him and using him to keep the plot moving forward so we can trace everyone else, the money, the accounts, the weapons dealers, everyone. I’ll just note that we weren’t able to do that with this case and leave it at that. We could have, but we weren’t able to. You’ll have to do the math for the Times.”
In the year since the
In contrast to what happened after the admittedly much bigger catastrophe in New York on September 11, 2001, there has been remarkably little panic. On this side of the Atlantic, we are perhaps more inured to terrorism. The bombers may do their worst but life goes on. Londoners, to their credit, have taken 7/7 in their stride.
That is the precise problem we have with
Yesterday’s report that Sen. Joe Biden put his big feet in his mouth again showed Joe not only displaying his characteristic smug bonhomie but yet again lifting material from someone of genuine stature. Watch the tape of Joe declaiming about the need to have an Indian accent to enter a 7/Eleven or Dunkin Donuts in Delaware and tell me he’s not doing his best Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) imitation.
Now that Felipe Calderon has apparently eeked out a win in Mexico’s presidential election, it might be worth revisiting this bit at AlterNet describing why the American Left should have prayed harder for a victory by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pal/ideological fellow-traveler Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Reason numero uno? Why “An Obrador win will drive Bush and his right-wing cronies batty!” of course! Isn’t that the firmest ground to be on in any ideological or philosophical dispute?
Indeed, Dave, two cheers. But not three. This language sounds right on enthusiastic skim but look again and it’s all wrong:
“the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives”
Not only must the present generation have that chance, that chance is not a chance but a certainty. There is no “should” about it, or there is only insofar as what is not unconstitutional “should” not be held to be unconstitutional. The duty is not moral. Even the right answer wrongly derived is to be appreciated on its merits, but I worry when even would-be strict constructionists lapse into normative language — the flashing red light of which is that bad old chestnut of imaginitive jurisprudence — “We believe.”
On gay marriage is a model of judicial restraint and clear writing:
We emphasize once again that we are deciding only this constitutional question. It is not for us to say whether same-sex marriage is right or wrong. We have presented some (though not all) of the arguments against same-sex marriage because our duty to defer to the Legislature requires us to do so. We do not imply that there are no persuasive arguments on the other side — and we know, of course, that there are very powerful emotions on both sides of the question.
The dissenters assert confidently that “future generations” will agree with their view of this case (dissenting op at 28). We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives. We therefore express our hope that the participants in the controversy over same-sex marriage will address their arguments to the Legislature; that the Legislature will listen and decide as wisely as it can; and that those unhappy with the result — as many undoubtedly will be — will respect it as people in a democratic state should respect choices democratically made.
I just happened upon this ad, “Free Lance writer avialable” on New Hampshire’s Craig’s List:
I am a free lance writer available for your writing
I write on every topic from hamsters to cars. You name it I can write about it.
Well, son, since the first two things I was going to name were hamsters and cars, I have no lingering doubt in either your literary abilities or mind-reading skills. Now let’s talk rates. How much do you want for the hamster racing story…..
James, the lede still reads like an editorial, calling the legal challenge “an attempt to win equal treatment under New York State’s marraige law.” That’s just begging for the retort: they can get married — to persons of the opposite sex.
Not even the New York Times, it seems, can get away with spinning the gay-marriage ruling of their state’s highest court. The breaking-news headline announced a holding that gay marriage “Should Be Considered” by the state. But this one-line editorial has been erased. In its place — only minutes later — one reads the fact of the matter, which is that the court “Rejects Challenge to Gay Marriage Ban.”
Hot Air reports that Yale did not admit Hashemi, the former Taliban spokesman, to its degree program.
Interesting that Senator Swift Boat has decided not to endorse Sen. Joe Lieberman in his primary race in Connecticut. Another cut and run routine, and a class act all the way around.
Some folks have misinterpreted our call for RNC support of Lieberman. The nut job leftists attacking Lieberman are doing so almost exclusively due to Lieberman’s strong and consistent support of the Bush administration’s war on terror and Operation Iraqi Freedom. And colleagues like Clinton and Kerry are enabling these buffoons. All of this, of course, is good for conservatives and Republicans.
But it would tragic for Lieberman to lose his primary on the efforts of our men and women fighting for freedom and to keep us safe. If the Republicans could tolerate the likes of Chafee and Snowe, they can tolerate six weeks of support for Lieberman.
Speaking of the President’s milestone day, the Washington Post yesterday was clearly disappointed that Mr. Bush wasn’t making a bigger deal of turning 60 or observing his big day ahead of time:
…Bush appeared annoyed when a reporter asked if he planned to treat himself for his birthday, which is Thursday.
“Generally, I celebrate my birthday on the birthday itself,” he scolded.
This “[i]n contrast to President Bill Clinton, whose 50th birthday in office was celebrated with an extravagant, star-filled, televised gala …” A nice reminder. Would Bush numbers be higher if he were an obsessive megalomaniac?
Ralph Hallow reports that Phil Gramm can look past John McCain’s attacks on the First and Second Amendments.
Along with many of our readers, I have my McCain hangups. But Hallow’s article shows the Senator from Television to be well positioned for the Republican nomination.
Not to be too Marilyn Monroe about it, but Happy Birthday Mr. President.
In 1999, when Gallup asked Americans whether they would vote for a Mormon, 17 percent said no.
A new Los Angeles Times/Blooomberg poll found that 37 percent would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate. The red herring of this report is that 21 percent said they would not vote for an evangelical Protestant candidate. My guess is that the anti-evangelical group is most outside the Republican Party, but the anti-Mormon group is well represented within the Republican Party. If anything, the Republican evangelicals would be Mitt Romney’s most reluctant voters if he were to run for president.
I wrote about Romney’s “Mormon problem” last year. Since then, there have been reports that he is planning a larger defense of his religion. Whatever he has planned, it will have to be better than “I’m never going to get into a discussion about the beliefs of my church.” People are curious. And the spotlight will only increase that curiosity.
As we reported a week ago, Sen. Joe Lieberman has now publicly stated his intention to pull in signatures for a petition that would place him on the November ballot as an “independent” should he lose the Democrat primary vote.
Right now, this is simply doing the smart, conservative thing, given the weird political environment we are living through. Lieberman is still expected to win his primary, but that hasn’t stopped people like Hillary Rodham Clinton from betraying just how nutty the Democrat Party is. She announced her support for Lieberman, but linked it to his winning the primary. If not, then he was out of luck.
Good riddance, we say. If the Republican Party were smart, it would be encouraging Republican votes for Lieberman, paying for TV ads for him, and doing whatever they could to help a true patriot and an honorable man who shouldn’t have to put up with the simple-minded shenanigans and foul-mouthed ravings of the loony Daily Kossacks and Deaniacs. This is a Democrat Party that under Dean’s leadership and Kos’s political mania is currying the favor and financial support of corporate entities that enable child pornographers on the Web. This is now a party that would prefer the votes of convicted murderers in their party’s elections than Lieberman’s vote in the Senate.
Come on over to the light side, Joe. You and the Republican Party would be better for it.
Contrary to some libertarians and a good portion of the pro-abortion crowd, pro-life conservatives don’t hate sex, Dave Freddoso writes. They just understand its significance better and place it in its proper context.
I’ll be on CNBC tonight talking about the North Korea situation. About 5 pm on Larry Kudlow’s show. Hope ya can catch it.
We’ve been nosing around over at WETA, the Washington area public broadcasting channel that helps produce the “Capitol Fourth” show each year. The script and “continuity” documents for the show had been in the works for months, and according to folks we talk to on the “corporate” side of things, were scrubbed for “sensitivity” issues.
At some point, the issue of the scrubbing came up and according to one source we spoke with, “When it was pointed out that changing President Lincoln’s words might outrage some people, the response was essentially, ‘It’s the people who would be outraged that we didn’t change it that we need to think about. They are the ones who are paying our salaries.’”
Yes, but perhaps they should be thinking about all of those who ponied up the dough for this ridiculous devolution into PC hell. According to our sources, the show is co-produced by WETA with a private production company called Capital Concerts, which also produces the Memorial Day concert in DC. The show’s budget was covered largely by a corporate grant from defense contractor, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and then extremely generous “grants” from taxpayers like you. The National Park Service, the Department of the Army, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting all were willing to spend your money so that a few Hollywood elites and has-been singers could preach to the American public.
When we asked folks over at WETA just how much taxpayer money went to produce the show, they got real quiet, which could mean they didn’t know, or, perhaps the figure is just too embarrassing for them to mention out loud. But really, how expensive could Jason Alexander be?
Thanks to a second fierce storm in three days that knocked power out in 61,000 homes in my county (Fairfax) late this afternoon, I missed not only the end of the Germany-Italy showdown but the annual pre-fireworks July 4 concert from the Mall. I did catch a bit of it on the car radio, while scrounging the area for hot food for my traumatized family (most shopping centers were as darkened as my neighborhood).
Two highlights: host Jason Alexander claiming Lincoln described America as “the last best hope of earth”; and honored singer Stevie Wonder failing to say a word about America as America; U.S. history to him consists of Native Americans and Crispus Attucks, but apparently not July 4 and the Revolutionary War itself. He praised those who fought for “oneness” and who are fighting for “peace.” He invoked “God” and “Allah.” Fortunately, the evening wasn’t entirely lost. The likable Cuba Gooding, Jr. somehow found a way to mention the word Jason Alexander avoided, as he put in a good word for “mankind” itself.
Kim has popped his top and air-mailed a number of rockets to the Sea of Japan. Attitudes have been leery and brittle regarding the launch; and why not? What could be worse than the man pilloried in “Team America” finally putting paid to the crackpot notion that the world’s worst pariah state can dig itself out of oblivion by indulging in the blackmail gambit of the nuclear gunsel?
Our friends at the Washington Realist, for one, suspect to the contrary that the real indulgence is ours to be had. Why not, it’s been suggested, let the Fools Themselves shoot off whatever third-rate missile (like last season’s Scuds) is at their disposal — and the use the occasion to both sum up the capabilities of the enemy and take advantage of the stunt to mobilize world distaste? And sure enough here comes Japan, while we scramble to assemble the data.
North Korea is digging its grave in the worst possible way, as it has since the day of its birth; the firings, for all their uppity would-be comeuppance, are unfortunate jokes told by a dying nation that has lost above all its sense of humor. But the laugh is on Kim: test shots that fail fail in more than the practical regard, and anyone who has doubted the wisdom of penning Pyongyang into a corner of managed containment (this means you, China) has now got to have doubts upon doubts. The fix is in. The world agrees. And the hoary old dinosaur regime of Baby Fat Kim is on thinner, more spindly legs than we could even hope of Cuba.
If the exit polls show that the leftist candidate is slightly ahead in Mexico, and the election results show that the conservative candidate wins by a small amount, most sane people would assume that the exit polls were slightly off.
But if you are part of the hard left, it is irrefutable evidence that conservatives stole the election. Go here to descend into the fever swamps.
Hope you all are flying the flag today. A lot of websites are posting various pictures of the American flag to honor America today. I don’t want this to become a contest, so here’s the best one ever:
Happy Fourth, and God bless all our guys and gals in harm’s way. (Picture from www.iwojima.com)
This is a celebratory day, so we should not permit the physical loss of Philip Rieff to cast a cloud. Those who have read me often will know the writings of America’s most incisive and profound sociologist have a powerful effect on my view of the world, and I can recommend no modern author more highly. When I spoke to Rieff in late May, it was clear he was ailing; he talked with the cutting wit and agility of a lifelong intellect, but seemed to have ceased bothering to remember much of his own life.
His legacy, I think, is secure in the release over the next several years of three volumes of new work; and then of course there is the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s reissue of perhaps his most important Triumph of the Therapeutic.
No obituary, then; no chiseling on the gravestone. I have said a lot already here and elsewhere, and for those looking to learn more and think yet more about this remarkable man, I have finished a compilation of Rieff-related writing, mine and others, here at Postmodern Conservative.
All over America, we’ll celebrate Independence Day today with block parties, barbecues, picnics and fireworks. A few will be at their regular posts, especially the police, fire and rescue folks who will minimize the damage we’d otherwise do to ourselves. And for many, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the streets of Fallujah, from the skies over Japan to the NORAD crew under Cheyenne Mountain keeping an eye on North Korea, today will be another day on duty and perhaps at risk. For all who serve, this is a day to work. For those of us who don’t, it’s a day to salute them. You see a cop on a street corner, sweating through his dark blue shirt? Take him a cold bottle of water (and make sure it’s still sealed as it was when you bought it.)
For most of us, this is a day to remember who we are and what we are. The fortunate citizens whose freedoms were gained because 230 years ago today a group of men signed a paper on which they pledged each other, “…out lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” The weren’t gods, but they were a group so foresighted and endowed with wisdom that they created the foundation of America and of the Constitution some of them later drafted. They weren’t gods, but they were a cut above. People whose firm values and courage have given us freedoms that have, so far, stood the test of time. If not the Times.
Leave it to the Keller Kiddies to trash Independence Day. An op-ed contributor, Francois Furstenberg does it as only Times can, proclaiming the Founders to have been nothing special, just the creation of 18th-Century spinmeisters. It takes a special kind of mean-spirited anti-Americanism to say it for the Times. For us, all it takes is to remember that but for these great men, America would have never been born. Happy Fourth, everybody.
Susette Kelo, the brave woman who tried to keep her house against the ravages of the town of New London, Conn., which wanted to seize it for other private development, will get to keep her house. Sort of. The national uproar against the Supreme Court decision that went against Ms. Kelo is a perfect example of how the public sides with conservatives most of the time when the subject is court decisions, and the judges/justices who make them. Why every GOP senator doesn’t understand that judges are a winning political issue is just beyond me. Individual women keeping their own homes? Check. Keeping foreign laws from influencing AMerican court cases? Check. Keeping “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Check. Prohibiting partial birth abortion? Check. And so on. When the subject is the courts and judges, we win, the libs lose. It bears repeating again and again, until enough senators finally understand.
I attended the Ways and Means Committee hearing on Health Savings Accounts last Wednesday. My thoughts on it are posted at the National Center blog.
Richard Lindzen had this great column about Al Gore’s Agit-Propumentary.
Speaking of which, despite increasing by 73 the number of theatres An Inconvenient Truth played at this weekend, its weekend gross declined by 20% from last weekend.
On the other hand, the WaPo occasionally publishes stuff like this.
Today the Washington Post, in its lead editorial, praises the Supreme Court’s Vermont ruling on campaign finance because appears to preserve “the court’s long-standing doctrine that appropriately crafted contribution limits can survive constitutional scrutiny.”
In the next editorial, it praises Senator Mitch McConnell for voting against the flag-burning amendment. It approvingly cites McConnell’s website which states, “No act of speech is so obnoxious that it merits tampering with our First Amendment. Our Constitution, and our country, is strong than that.”
Umm…is the WaPo familiar with McConnell’s position on campaign finance regulation?
Kim Jong-il’s government has — according to one report — threatened us with annihilation and nuclear war if we take out the ICBM Taepodong-2 missile they’ve prepared for launch. I’ll be on the Big Show with John Gibson tonight about 5 EDT to talk about this. Hope you can catch it.
Dana Priest mounts a rather novel defense of reporting based on leaked classified info.
This is a particularly absurd example of the “saint or shut up” standard that Jeremy Lott discusses in his new book In Defense of Hypocrisy. I recorded an interview with Jeremy about the book a few weeks ago.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?