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Seizing More Of The Economy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Obama Administration has acted to seize control of even more of the economy.

The EPA’s “Congress-and-people-be-damned” declaration on the regulation of greenhouse gases announces the arrival of another power grab by the president’s appointees and the agencies they control. The effort to seize control of the nation’s economy via cap-and-tax has failed because Congress understands that the American voters will punish it for burdening the economy with ideologically-motivated limits on emissions. In reaction, the bureaucrats at EPA have declared they will simply take the power that Congress has refused to give them, citing the provisions of the Clean Air Act. The 5-4 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007 was a very narrow ruling, and was not an invitation to the EPA to take control of the American economy. Perhaps Justice Kennedy will begin to reconsider his votes in such cases as he surveys just how far the new Administration will take any scrap of authority. Perhaps even Justice Stevens and Justice Breyer will take notice that this is an era in which restraint of regulators acting without Congressional consent should be a priority. Democrats control large majorities in both Houses. If they cannot secure a legislative grant of power in these conditions, ought the Supreme Court to be allowing the unaccountable agencies to simply seize the powers Congress is refusing to give them?

Many crocodile tears are flowing in Congress as a result, with none other than Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln leading the way, denouncing the agency for what will certainly be another massive job killing initiative by the Obama Administration.

The only solution to this and all the other power grabs –GM, the banks, Obamacare– will be a wholesale forced retirement of Democrats in 11 months, including Blanche Lincoln, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Arlen Specter, Evan Bayh, Ron Wyden and scores of Democratic Congressmen. The takeover of American industry like the takeover of American healthcare by the government will be reversed only when large majorities of free market proponents replace the Obama-Pelosi-Reid majorities which are presently in the saddle and riding the American economy into the ground.

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The “Hacked” E-mails

Monday, December 7, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I suggested on tonight’s show that a new drinking game develop around MSM’s use of the description “hacked” in the Climategate story. It is very funny how the writers on the networks cannot bring themselves to discuss the import of the content of the e-mails independent of the method by which they were obtained. The fury of the greens in the “newsrooms” cannot be contained.

When the New York Times was busy publishing national security secrets, did MSM precede every story on the surveillance program with a description indicating that the information had been obtained via a criminal act? Of course not, but the writers approved of that illegal pilfering of information.

Unlike the Times‘ use of wrongfully obtained information, however, Climategate threatens no one’s life and no nation’s security.

Obamacare: 3rd and 5

Monday, December 7, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

It is difficult to figure out what is spin and what is fact after yesterday’s visit by the president to the Senate Democrats. If health care reform is truly as important as he says, and the Senate version of health care is genuinely health care reform, then the public option will be tossed aside and the ban on abortion with federal money endorsed and secured, and the 60 votes.

But if it isn’t really about health care, then big fights over both issues and others should erupt.

Republicans and sensible independents and Democrats need to keep jamming the Senate with phone calls and e-mails via the “Take Further Action” button in the Free Our Health Care box in the right column.

They also need to visit and contribute to ReverseTheVote.org.

And they need especially to call three Democrats via the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121: Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Evan Bayh of Indiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. Lincoln, Bayh and Dorgan will face the voters in 46 weeks, so let them know that support for Obamacare will mean your support for their opponent.

Blanche Lincoln has cooked up one of the worst bits of class envy, pseudo-populism with her attack on executive pay within the insurance industry. I write about it in today’s Washington Examiner column, and will devote a lot fo the show to it as well. Her sponsorship of this bit of demagoguery leads me to conclude she will in the end throw in with Obamacare and be a loyal Pelosi/Reid soldier. That should doom her re-election. I will try and find for today’s show State Senator Gilbert Baker, one of the Republicans trying to get the nomination to take on Lincoln. You can contribute to his campaign here.

The maneuver of the day is to try and use the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employee Health Benefits Program as a vehicle to support the public option. Watch that space carefully. I administered the FEHB as General Counsel and Deputy Director of OPM from 1986 to early 1989, and the program was extremely expensive and suffered from all the problems associated with what the professionals call “adverse selection,” meaning that annually the federal workforce would switch plans to fit their circumstances, a practice that led to enormously high costs generally and to the loss of high-benefit programs which would see a flood of the entrants each year who were in greatest need of the most expensive medical procedures. FEHB is a wonderful benefit for federal employees, but it is wildly expensive, and the details about how the OPM and FEHB will be involved could change the CBO scoring of any plan dramatically.

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