Invest in precious metals say two of the people that I read regularly.  One of them is talking about Silver and Gold and the other is talking about Brass and Lead.  I’m trying to decide now, which of them is most correct. 

With democrats losing the fight on healthcare they’re digging hard to find new ways to pass a bill that they don’t have the votes for.  Now, they’re approaching a threshold that is scary.  Very scary.  The are on the brink of an abyss unlike any seen in this country for decades and are blindly pushing ahead.

The Wall Street Journal points out part of the problem in this article.

Democrats, without the votes to pass the healthcare bill are working to discover ways to pass the bill without having to vote on anything.  The constitution, of course, says that they can’t do that but “house rules” say that they just might be able to.  I’m not sure when “house rules” overrode the constitution but Nancy Pelosi seems to believe that she can do it.

Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution says that in order for a "Bill" to "become a Law," it "shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate." but democrats are claiming that they can do that without voting.  So, we’re passed partisan politics.  We’re past reconciliation being misused.  We’re past strong-arming and threatening votes out of people.  We’re past, even, buying votes with billions of dollars of your money and we’re straight into executive/royal decree.  The statement that “this shall be because it shall be.”

The WSJ article finishes up by saying, “Democrats are, literally, consuming their own majority for the sake of imposing new taxes, regulations and entitlements that the public has roundly rejected but that they believe will be the crowning achievement of the welfare state. They are also leaving behind a procedural bloody trail that will fuel public fury and make such a vast change of law seem illegitimate to millions of Americans.”

I don’t know what form that “public fury” will take but I know that some people think that they know and I know that they might be right. 

All I know is that I’m investing in “precious metals” just to be safe.

A little benevolent dictatorship never hurt anybody

16 thoughts on “A little benevolent dictatorship never hurt anybody

  • March 16, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I’m confused. Precious metals? Did you include me in that number? ‘Cause I agree precious metals should be on every thinking person’s list of “needs”, but I meet both categories you list above…
    A huge bag of pre-1965 dimes stowed away, and I’m now feverishly purchasing a minimum of 100 rounds for every firearm I own. (I’m still waiting on the 600 rounds of .45 ACP from Cabela’s… they promised delivery a month ago and are now pulling the same shenanigans they did with the 2000 rounds of .30 Carbine, which they DID finally deliver.)

    To the root of your post… if they do pass this with either the “slaughter” method or reconciliation, this government will officially be de-legitimized, and I think the damage may be irreparable.
    Funny thing… I’m not sure that’s bad. The country hasn’t resembled the one I risked my life for since Reagan left office.

  • March 16, 2010 at 1:22 am

    As long as we are looking into the constitution, point me out the part that states how a single senator can stop legislation by declaring his or her objection? Where does it state that the minority party and stop the Congress from pursuing it’s Constitutional duty simply by blocking cloture votes?

    Despite all the crap pouring from the right, the House is not planning on passing something WITHOUT a vote. The proposed rule is a package approval of the Senate bill tied to the reconciliation bill. If the second bill is approved, the Senate bill’s approval is included. If the second bill gets denied, the Senate bill is effectively voted down.

    As everyone in the GOP knows, the Senate bill has numerous poison pills in it. What I find humorous is the GOP arguing about parliamentary procedure when the reason for not doing a proper conference committee (btw, also a House and Senate rule) is because the GOP are manipulating their own parliamentary procedures by filibustering the cloture votes.

    Funny world.

  • March 16, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Oh .. and as to the precious metal’s thing ..

    Be careful (a) where you buy it and (b) when you enter the market.

    As to (a), don’t buy it from Gold Line or any of the other major commercial centers advertising on Beck and other conservative shows. Their spread is obscene tipping the scales at more than 35%. Buy it on the open market.

    As to (b), Gold is currently trading at it’s all-time high. Always a great time to enter the market! I also assume you want to own and hold the gold bars (because you don’t trust the market), right? If so, should I also assume you believe this country will go bankrupt and the world will revert to the 1850’s where you can buy groceries for a hunk of gold ore?

    If you want to hedge against the US currency, there are lots of other ways to do it. If you take a look at inflation adjusted gold verse the dollar, you will see it isn’t as huge of a hedge as you may thing.

  • March 16, 2010 at 1:47 am

    What I find humorous is the contortions to find a way to pass a bill that is OVERWHELMINGLY UNPOPULAR with the constituents.

  • March 17, 2010 at 12:16 am

    What I also find amusing, Greybeard, is that the current administration, which PROMISED that it would be THE most ETHICAL and HONEST and OPEN and TRANSPARENT administration in US history is precisely the opposite quite specifically because they know they do not yet have the actual hands-in-the-air-yes-I’ll-stake-my-job-on-this VOTES necessary to simply wipe away the GOP and proceed, full speed ahead, with ObakaKare.

    But, of course, the peeps don’t matter. The peeps can go straight to Hell because, after all, only the east coast DC/Martha’s Vineyard intellectual elites know best. You know, as opposed to those knuckle-dragging guns and bibles bitches and bastards from flyover states and scattered bastions of Neanderthalic behavior.


  • March 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Polls are funny things.

    As of the last NBC/WSJ poll, 57% disapprove of the way Obama has handled healthcare. This is the quote the GOP uses all the time. The same survey quotes that 59% disapprove of the republican perspective. Damn those details! Also, a number of people are upset because the bill doesn’t go far enough .. not really siding with the Repubs.

    History also gives us some interesting perspective here as well. Medicare was also not popular when it was proposed by Kennedy or passed by Johnson. Only 28% viewed in favorably in 1962 and only 46% supported it in polls when it eventually passed Congress.

    The danger that GOP has here is that once it is approved, it will be wildly popular. Can anyone really say removing annual caps, removing pre-existing conditions (especially for kids), allowing cross-state selling of insurance plans, and tax credits for small businesses are bad things?

    And I am assuming, Zepplin, that your statement on the lack of “hand in the air votes” is because of the ‘deaming’ thing. Personally I think it is a stupid approach because it is too easily framed poorly but the exact same approach was used more than 30 times under the GOP run congress.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think the Dem leadership is inept and unable to properly articulate the message. I do think, however, that remaining the only western democracy without some type of general purpose healthcare for our people is an embarassment.

  • March 17, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    mctagub, out of curiosity, can you tell me what one of those 30 times involved? What substantial change in how Americans live was wrought by the GOP using this process? What grand new entitlement was created? When and where did the GOP take control of such a large portion of the economy by such underhanded means? Just one example, please.

    Oh, they raised the debt ceiling. Hardly the same thing.

    And why is it that when liberals argue people like Jinsto, GB, and BZ, they always assume any of them were blind supporters of the Bush administration or the GOP for that matter?

    I think, if you bothered to look, you’d find out that we’re no happier with the GOP than we are with the Dems.

    Oh, and Medicare and Social Security have become necessary evils but I don’t think even you would say they’ve changed things for the better. Both are bankrupt, both have been mis-managed by the government – the same government you want to give control of my health care to.

    Thanks, but no thanks.


  • March 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I don’t think that yo can draw a conclusion from the percentages that you provided.
    57% don’t like the healthcare bill
    59% don’t like republicans handling of the bill.
    I don’t see how the two are connected. Are you saying that because people dislike this bill less than they dislike republicans that it should be passed?

    People were wildly upset with Medicare then for the same reasons that they are now. It was providing a subsistence service that couldn’t be managed and would be ruined by fraud. The difference is that we have proof of that now.

    Do I think that we should discontinue Medicare? No. However, I DO think that we should punish Medicare fraud at the same levels and with the same vigor as with other Grand thefts. I know people that are illegally using many different social services. I have reported them. Some of them several times and have never seen a single action taken because of those reports. It’s easy to steal from the government if it doesn’t bother doing anything about it.

    Embarrassed? At what? That we don’t have the same poor healthcare that the rest of the western world does? Which do you prefer exactly? The rationed Canadian version or the third world rated and unsanitary UK version? I visited “hostpital” in the UK once. I found it very quaint and as a tourist got a huge kick out of it. At the same time, I was very very happy that I wasn’t seriously ill and looking for help.

    I’m not saying that there isn’t good that can be done here but I DO say that there is no reason to take everything apart and start over. You summarized what you consider to be the good points of this bill in a paragraph. Even using legal language it shouldn’t take more than 100 pages to draft that and only that.

    The bill currently on the table is too big and too invasive. It has become a telling vote on the success of Obama and has nothing to do with healthcare. The want it passed for purely political purposes and the Republicans want it stopped for the same reason. I happen to agree with them but for different reasons.

  • March 19, 2010 at 4:50 am

    CJ, raising the debt ceiling is no big deal? If it isn’t a big deal, why the continuing resolution (ie, the self-executing rule)?

    And I’ve never said any of you were blind supporters. I can say that so many of the people who now claim to have not supported GWB did, for a very long time, take proactive steps to keep him in office and support his positions. These same people choose to forget that the economic situation we are in today was created during the previous administration. Housing began to drop in 2006 and unemployment began spiking in early 2008.

    If you want, we can go into Medicare discussions as well. Is the US better off? I guess to answer that you need to understand why it was created.

    If you want, we can talk about Medicare. It was created to address a very specific problem: The elderly couldn’t get affordable insurance. Is that problem still there today? I guess it was successful. To the more objective measures:

    > Coverage. nobody gets kicked out of Medicare because of pre-existing conditions or because annual or lifetime caps have been reached. If you qualify, you get it.

    > Effectiveness. Like private insurance, Quality of Care varies widely based on many factors but largely .. quality is the same as private insurance.

    > Satisfaction. The only study I could find was from 2002 where Medicare consistently was ranked higher than private insurance.

    > Fraud. Much of this is due to the arcane payment rules of Medicare. There is too much fraud. it is estimated to be twice the level of private insurance. Interstingly enough, if you were to identify it and write it off as an overhead charge, Medicare is still pays more dollars to legitimate care than private insurance pays in total.

    – To this point, Obama’s only been in office since 2009 and the Dems controlled congress only since 2007. Fraud in Medicare isn’t new .. why didn’t the GOP focus here when they were in charge?

    – Personally, I think they need to increase the funding for Medicaid fraud invetigations. Today, only about 5% of returns are audited.

    > Cost Effectiveness. Everyone’s favorite “bankrupt” line. Yes.. it is becoming increasingly insolvent but you seem to indicate it is due to poor management. It is actually nearly completely due to unfunded liabilities. Like DocFix, medicare tax rates are indexed to the wrong index. In this case, to wage inflation instead of medical cost inflation.

    Bottom line? You may not like Medicare and you may disagree with the premise of the gov providing a service like this to the elderly but it doesn’t suck.

  • March 19, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Finally .. jinksto knows I’ve spent time living in London and I work for a Canadian bank today. I am more than aware of both systems. While both have flaws .. I prefer the UK system.

    1. Some hospitals are older with less equipment but not all. Chelsea Hospital, for instance, is as modern as any hospital in the US.

    2. Some services are BETTER than in the US. We had a midwife overseeing prenatal care in the UK and she was spectacular. We also had more access to ultrasounds in the UK than we did for our second child in the US.

    3. In the UK system, you aren’t limited to the public doctor. The UK has an extensive private medical system that you can partake assuming you have private insurance.

    But high-tech medical technology isn’t only available in the private-only insurance markets. Japan, for instance, has a thriving public healthcare system and they maintain a MRI machines per population ration HIGHER than the US.

    And finally .. the bill is complicated because .. well .. it is complicated. I love the “its 2074 pages!” argument. Given the way bills are formatted, each sentence is about 8 words long. Here is an example of one from page 259 “Labor, and the Committee on Energy and Com-” that’s it.

    Setting up the interstate exchange process takes hundreds of pages of legislation. Yea .. it would be easy to say “all insurance can be sold across state lines” but we both know the market would simply push it to the most lenient states with the fewest consumer protections.

    The bill is also human readable. Have you read the GOP bill? it isn’t human readable. Here is one bullet from page 13 (of 219 btw):
    (2) in subsection (a), by inserting “, including without rescission,” after “continue in force”; and ..”

    The bill is not ideal. Hence my comments to CJ that I wished the GOP really attempted to be involved instead of showboating for the cameras. There are things here that are too liberal but tough .. they can be fixed in the future. I wasn’t a big fan of the stem cell restrictions that Bush did either.

    Most people I’ve spoken to feel the individual mandate is the invasive bit but can you offer an alternative? If you remove pre-existing condition clauses .. more sick people enter the pool. If there is no mandate, the young (and mostly healthy) don’t get insurance because costs are going up which drives more healthy people out, etc.

    I’ve never heard a valid response to that .. looking forward to one now.

  • March 19, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Ha. “Invasive”? Is that what you call forcing someone to buy something they don’t want to spend their funds on?
    I see NO WAY it will make it through the Court.

  • March 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I think the court question is an interesting one. I pay a huge amount of tax and much of it goes to things I don’t support and provide me no direct benefit. This, on the other hand, does provide a direct benefit. It will be interesting to watch this one play out.

  • March 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    mctagub –

    I’m not willing to take over someone else’s blog for an extended debate on Medicare so I’ll mention a couple of things here:

    First – I said raising the debt ceiling was not the same thing as taking over one sixth of the economy. I didn’t say it wasn’t a big deal.

    Second – your claim that medicare services are essentially as effective as private insurance intrigues me. Mayo Clinic recently announced they would no longer accept Medicare in Arizona. Doctors are dropping out of the Medicare system all the time. How does any of that equate to being ‘as effective as private insurance’? What good is an insurance that no one honors?

    And Third – as to why the Republicans didn’t fix these problems when they were in charge, I’ll simply throw it back to you – why didn’t the Dems, in the 40 years they were in charge before the Republicans winning control take care of it?

    You seem to have missed my point. I understand why Social Security and Medicare were enacted. My claim is that since they were enacted, they have become nightmares – mismanaged and poorly run, on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Is that the future you want for the health care system in this country?


  • March 20, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Now CJ, don’t be asking questions that make others uncomfortable.
    He’ll have to find a way to blame everything on GWB.
    (Which always amazes me. Who held the purse strings during most of GWB’s administration?)

  • March 20, 2010 at 1:55 am

    You have a point about consuming jinksto’s blog so I will leave it with this ..

    Doctor’s are dropping out of Medicare because the reimbursements in certain regional areas are too low. This is tied to the tiering of payments as well as the reimbursement index that Docfix is addressing. Most of these reimbursement problems were put into effect in 1992 when Medicare moved away from the fee-service approach. From then until 2006, the GOP controlled the congress so your “throwing back” didn’t work.

    And Greybeard, I don’t blame GWB or anyone really for the current healthcare insurance problem. I simply believe in incentives management. The current system has a strong incentive for insurance companies not to pay claims. The fewer claims they pay or they delay paying, the more money back to the shareholders. It is capitalism in its purest form. It is a shame that the current legislation doesn’t do more to fix this.

    I do blame GWB for the economy but that is more straight forward justification. He enacted two tax cuts .. one in the middle of 2 wars .. without any corresponding cuts in the budget. Those, plus Medicare Part D, added more than 2 trillion dollars to the deficit. Where was the outrage then? He funded both wars off-budget with supplemental appropriations.

    If you trace the beginnings of the economic melt-down, it can be traced to a laissez-faire approach to the mortgage and financial industries. A lack of government oversight to the rating agencies, the banking sector, and the reinsurance markets allowed things to get out of control. Do I blame the man directly? No. He followed his convictions. The problem was he was wrong.

    So with this I will return things to jinksto .. this blogs benevolent dictator.

  • March 20, 2010 at 4:30 am

    “Capitalism in its purest form”…
    Horse manure.
    The health insurance industry is so regulated, some companies cannot even sell policies in certain states.
    Why is that?
    I fear you don’t understand what the word means.


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