“This bill (“The
Affordable Care Act”) was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO
did not score the mandate as taxes. If (the Congressional Budget
Office) scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s
written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a
law which said that healthy people are going to pay in — you made
explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it
would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political
advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American
voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical
for the thing to pass.”
— MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, who was paid almost $400,000 for
his consulting work on Obamacare, speaking at the University of
Pennsylvania, October 2013.
This week I’m creating a new holiday, Unthanksgiving, to uncelebrate
some things I’m not thankful for, so I can focus on Thanksgiving
Let’s begin with Obamacare. I’m ungrateful for the arrogance of
liberal academic and political elitists who think we are all stupid
because we don’t understand that we’d be better off if only they
could run the country without having to explain anything to us.
Poster boy for said elitists, now and probably forever, is professor
Jonathan Gruber, who was showing off his deceitful cleverness at an
academic forum; it took a year for this admission of trickery to
reach said stupid public.
I started getting the YouTube video of Gruber’s remarks on Veterans
Day; it was soon picked up by talk radio and Fox News and eventually
even CBS host of “Face the Nation” Bob Schieffer said he was
“dumbstruck” by Gruber’s remarks. The other networks have barely
mentioned ObamaGate, though.
Odd that most of the mainstream media hadn’t noticed before that the
Obama administration lied about specifics of the new law. I wrote
about this myself in October 2009:
“I got through Congressman Tierney’s town meeting on health
insurance last Saturday, where we in the audience were told the same
impossible combination of ‘facts’ that the president keeps telling
us: All of us can keep our present insurance if we like it; the new
government involvement won’t increase the national debt; there will
be no rationing.”
Having watched the entire congressional debate, I also heard the
lies about the funding mechanisms, now heading for the Supreme
Court. Republican opponents brought up multiple concerns that were
dismissed, we now learn, as part of the Obama administration’s
deliberate attempt to deceive the voters by way of the Democratic
congressmen who didn’t read the bill, figuring they’d find out what
was in it after it passed. Now we’re finding out what’s in it, and
why they hid the facts.
I have to admit I’m grateful for a chance to see the healthcare
law’s supporters, including President Obama, scrambling to distance
themselves from professor Gruber and his contempt for us.
Remember how the Republicans tried to repeal or defund Obamacare in
2013, which led to a partial government shutdown that Republicans
were blamed for and supposedly fear being blamed for again? You’d
think it would be the Democrats who’d be afraid; they’re the ones
who just lost the Senate and several seats in the House.
Now the issue of government shutdown arises again in the context of
a threatened presidential executive order to grant visas to illegal
immigrants, which Republicans are expected to resist. Looking at the
results of the election this month, if I were a Republican leader,
I’d suggest he go ahead and make my day.
That challenge sounds pretty positive for an Unthanksgiving holiday
though, as it reflects awareness that the “stupid American voters”
are starting to pay attention.
So let’s be unthankful in Massachusetts for the scathing indictment
of the patronage culture in the state Probation Department from U.S.
District Court Judge William Young as he meted out light sentences
to former probation commissioner John O’Brien and his
Somehow Judge Young felt that harsher sentences would be
inappropriate because the defendants were just operating in an arena
where corruption has become the norm. “What we have here in this
court’s considered judgment is fundamentally decent people utterly
without a moral compass at sea on a field awash of political
patronage… Today, every judge in Massachusetts must stand ashamed
and appalled at the extent of corruption within the Probation
Department of the Massachusetts judiciary.”
Let’s all be appalled with them. Forgive me for being unthankful
when our state government is deemed so corrupt that no one can blame
its practitioners too much for just fitting in with the culture.
However, our recent choice of governor suggests that a slight
majority of Massachusetts voters are also paying attention.
Gee, I’m starting to sound thankful again. Maybe it’s time to start
shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.
Walking down the aisle at Stop & Shop, I try to find some items that
are now located behind the portable display shelves blocking the
fixed shelves and half-blocking the aisle that was originally
designed to allow carts to pass each other.
Am I the only one feeling overwhelmed with so much stuff? And
wishing everything would please slow down a tad? I watch news
stories rush by, one subject flowing into another before I can
absorb the first one: sometimes a final sentence from a reporter is
cut off as the anchors move quickly on to something else. Interviews
with experts are combined with a half-screen of action video, maybe
somehow relevant to what the expert is saying. Other news rushes
past at the bottom of the screen.
In-depth analysis is almost impossible: I have to go to the Internet
to find follow-up, and there I am besieged with ads for more stuff
popping up on my screen because that’s how being overwhelmed is
OK, that’s it for Unthanksgiving. Thank you for letting me vent.