If You Take Requests

… I've got a few for you:

  • The good news is that House Democrats probably no longer have the votes to pass Obamacare on a straight up or down vote. Strong evidence is their exploration of the so-called "Slaughter Solution" for passage, a lagniappe of legislative legerdemain, a portion of parliamentary prestidigitation, or (as John Dickerson in Slate, describes it) a method to :
    allow the House to vote on the Bill B [its "fix" for the Senate's version of Obamacare] and, after doing so, simply consider the Senate health care bill … as passed. There would be no actual up-or-down vote on the underlying bill.
    The bad news is: this cowardly scheme might actually work. Because, obviously, Democrats consider this a must-do, no matter what sleazy, underhanded tactics they need to use. Daniel Foster has more. And even more.

    It's your stupid fault, voters. You voted for these slimy weasels. What did you expect they'd do?

  • This ignores the other sleazy, underhanded tactic being explored by the Democrats, this time on the Senate side: "reconcilation". This would (arguably) allow the Senate to avoid filibusterization on the further road to ObamaCare. This tactic is advertised as no big deal, having been used in the past by the GOP. A nice debunking of that talking point by James Joyner is available. What's the bottom line?
    The bottom line is that using reconciliation as an end-around to avoid filibusters is exceedingly rare, having happened at most 7 times since 1980. Of those 7 cases, all were budget or tax measures. So, using reconciliation to avoid a supermajority on health care reform would simply be unprecedented.
    Unfortunately, "unprecedented" is not the same as "impossible and won't happen." See "slimy weasels" comment above.

  • However, this is encouraging: "Ruling Kills an Option for Moving Health Bill". But I have about as much faith in politicians sticking to rules they've agreed to beforehand as I do in the Tooth Fairy. So we'll see.

  • And, as an entry in our occasional "not that the Republicans are much better" feature, please check out Dafyyd and his merciless flaying of GOPites who are undying fans of free market capitalism, unless it happens to involve …
    The bureaucratization of space exploration is one of the most disheartening aspects of contemporary society: Here we sit, verging on the sixtieth anniversary of Robert A. Heinlein's classic, "the Man Who Sold the Moon" (1951); and our "leaders" at NASA still scoff at the preposterous thought that private rocket ships, free-market space colonization, and entrepeneurial expansion to the stars can actually work... maybe even better than Michael Griffin ordering his civil servants to innovate, on schedule.
    I know it hurts to admit it, but on this particular point, President Obama is on target, the Congresscritters who view NASA as a jobs program for their states and districts are wrong.

  • On a lighter note, Dave Barry reveals his experiences as a joke writer for this year's Oscar telecast. Dave is the closest thing we have to a Normal Guy, and if you've ever wondered how the preparations and backstage stuff might appear to a Normal Guy, check it out. Although the only joke Dave specifically mentions is one that was cut, I thought I detected Barry Content:

    • Steve Martin's introduction of Carey Mulligan and Zoe Saldana: "Now we'd like to introduce two beautiful actresses. Because frankly, we're sick and tired of bringing out all these ugly actresses."

    • And introducing Sandra Bullock: "Please welcome my longtime dear friend, and by that, I mean I've never met her."

    At least in Hollywood, they're honest in their phoniness.

Last Modified 2010-03-12 5:55 AM EST