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March 08, 2010



We could hope Obama's push for health care will be as successful as Napoleon's push through Moscow, particularly the return trip.




Just having read Benioff's book on Stalingrad, I know exactly what Jacobson means.

Here's hoping the partisans soon send the Germans running home tails between their legs, because the city's defenders are really really really worn out,

Danube of Thought

Actually, Napoleon got to Moscow, sat around for a couple of days with no Russian in sight. The city began to burn, and he started for home and disaster.


This is what I was thinking of:

In the Baltic town of Vilnius, through which Napoleon's troops marched to their doom in the summer of 1812, there stands today a simple monument bearing two plaques. Together they tell the whole story. On the side with its back towards Moscow is written: 'Napoleon Bonaparte passed this way in 1812 with 400,000 men.' On the other side are the words: 'Napoleon Bonaparte passed this way in 1812 with 9,000 men.'

-- The Great Game, Peter Hopkirk

Danube of Thought

I'll settle for nothing less than the railroad car at Compiegne.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Massa is giving a parting shot to Rahm n Nan. He claims he is the deciding no vote on health care and was forced out by the Dem leadership because of it.

This is the first I heard that the vote was that close, and that he was a pivot point. I find it hard to believe.

His parting statement is LUN.

Dave (in MA)

I'm hoping Obamacare is their Hillarycare.

steve sturm

Using Stalingrad as an analogy would have the GOP shooting any Republican who refused to stand and fight? Maybe. The Russians took quite a hit at Stalingrad, I'm not sure the GOP is going to be as bruised and battered, they actually seem to be coming out of this looking pretty good... at least compared to the Democrats.

But I do like the other similarities: the battle that didn't need to be fought, the opportunities lost elsewhere while stuck, the realization that the vaunted German Army could be defeated, the deranged leader who refused to cut his losses and ensured an even bigger defeat.


Seven posts... no wonder I'm humming a tune by the Bangles this morning.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I met a survivor of the battle of Stalingrad in the fall of 1980 on a train between Strasbourg and Barcelona. He was a Frenchman from Alsace-Lorraine who'd been drafted into the German army and eventually sent to the Eastern Front. Single most interesting conversation I've had in my life.

Unfortunately Mark Steyn is probably right:

Why let "health" "care" "reform" stagger on like the rotting husk in a low-grade creature feature who refuses to stay dead no matter how many stakes you pound through his chest?

Because it's worth it. Big time. I've been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture.

It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible.

Even if Obama loses congress to the Republicans, it works for him, because he's a left-wing ideologue.


Steyn is correct, but I think that the overriding and driving force to anything Obama does is his idea of himself as an historical figure. Even if it kills the party, he will be the one [sorry] who finally pushed it through. That really is all he cares about and all he has ever thought about his entire life.

Nothing else matters and that is why Axelrod will be the very last person left with him. This is Axelrod's vision of Obama.

Patrick R. Sullivan

There's a good comment from 'GregS'

over at Steve Landsburg's blog. He's an actuary, and explains where the high premiums come from in insurance markets. Partly the cost of complying with regulators.

Denials of coverage? Again:

...a lot of the “uninsurables” are explained by regulatory effects. When the state passes a law that says, “You may not charge a higher rate for factor X,” our underwriters decide, “It is unprofitable to insure people with factor X.” There’s no reason these people couldn’t obtain insurance at a true market price, if we only had a free insurance market. I know some people can’t even obtain health insurance in the individual market because of this; the insurers look at your medical history and exclude you sometimes based on a trivial episode in your health history.

That's regulation's fault, not insurance markets. Finally:

I was a borderline socialist when I began working as an actuary; seeing the effects of ham-fisted, incompetent regulators (including self-anointed politicians) has turned me into a more-or-less laissez-faire capitalist. A proper economics education, which I’ve recently received, has had the same effect on my political outlook.

In short, regulation causes high prices in general, a steady stream of new regulation causes prices to rise, and anticipation of future regulation causes prices to rise. My personal experience comes from auto/home insurance, but most of what I said applies to health insurance, too.


I just watched a clip of Obama at his campaign healthcare rally in PA. Too bad he is the president now and not the nominee.


"Seven posts... no wonder I'm humming a tune by the Bangles this morning."

I keep hearing "99 Health Care Balloons."


"... Even if Obama loses congress to the Republicans, it works for him, because he's a left-wing ideologue. ..."

Bingo. This is Obama's real goal. Too many people want to dismiss Obama as "clueless" and "misinformed", but he's very aware of what he's doing .... as are the rest of the Dem leadership.

They're willing to suffer some losses in 2010 and 2012 for the permanent left-of-center culture that will result from the new healthcare entitlement.

Danube of Thought

I believe we're going to see the political battle of our lifetime fought out over an effort to repeal it in January, 2013. That battle will begin the day after this thing becomes law, and it will suck the air out of everything else for the next 32 months.

One thing we can be grateful for is that the GOP should by that time have no qualms whatsoever about ramming a repeal through via the reconciliation process.

Danube of Thought

Passage at 54.5 on Intrade now.


Gee, I wish someone would run some big docu-whatever or newsy magazine in-depth article or video, that these folks couldn't even MANAGE A 100-SPACE PARKING LOT SERVICE WITHOUT MESSING THAT UP! In the very least.

In politer terms I told my Senator that they should start over, at the most.


this is the Big Game for the Left. Steyn is absolutely correct. They simply don't care about anything else.

The undercurrent in the country is scary right now. They are watching their numbers tank and moving full steam ahead. People need to get on the phone to their representatives and senators office. Write letters to the op/ed pages, and we need another Tea Party fast.

This is the Obama playbook. He wants to blitz this thing through.Let's see what comes on the TV in the next week.


Hey Daddy,

Amy watched a show on National Geographic last night about a UFO over Alaska reported about 20 years ago - the size of 5 planes with disco lights. It was a fed -ex guy or someone carrying mail. 3 people in the plane and they were all determined to be not nuts.

Have you ever heard of it?



I just got a notice from the Tea Party asking if I could make it to Washington March 16th or 17th.

Danube of Thought

You wanna see what a lost year looks like, go here.

Thomas Collins

ObamaCare may be Stalingrad, but budget reconciliation is the Trojan Horse. The end game most likely will be to get the Senate version passed by the House. Obama then will have accomplished a key step in the Eurofication of America, (perhaps the step from which America will not recover). The LUN from Red State does a nice concise job of summarizing this argument.

In other words, it's the next week and a half and then the House vote on the already passed Senate bill that is key. And, while Massa may have some "issues," the Massa case makes it clear than Nan and Rahm will use every incriminating piece of info they have on any wavering Dem.

Jim Ryan

Thanks, DoT, now you've put me off my pie.


It was amazing Jane,

Spinning like a top, and lights like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They materialized in the cockpit and beamed up my co-pilot for a rectal probe, while one of 'em stayed behind and I let him have a couple hits off my hash-pipe and then we played pinocle tell they finished the exam. I asked him about ""Klaatu barada nikto" but he said it was Osaka Dialect so it didn't actually exist, just like him and bigfoot:)

No. Never heard of it. Me personally, in 30 plus years of this, have never seen anything unexplainable. I've seen comets, the ghastly red of the moon during a full Lunar eclipse, lots of meteor showers at altitude, great Aurora's (probably tonight even going to Newark) and Venus always rises bright red and mysterious going eastbound at dawn, but honestly I personally have never seen anything unexplainable and hadn't heard about this episode.

Gabriel Sutherland

I'm all ready to see Representative Rahm Emanuel subpoena Republicans in the House to testify about what they are saying behind closed doors.

What branch of government signs his checks?


I wish you had Daddy. Amy's retelling was spectacular. And I figured if anyone knew about it, it would be you.

Apparently the 3 are still flying. (The pilot was Vietnamese.) They made them take a kazillion tests after to make sure they weren't nuts - and they also had it on radar. Then it simply disappeared.


When do you fly to DC, daddy. I just cut out a great looking recipe for nutella panna cotta.


References to Stalingrad, Waterloo, Gallipoli, etc are lost on a political party that thinks the Iraq war was the greatest military debacle in history.

And I don't see why the Obamatons would be bothered by comparing health care to a war they won.



I think I want that recipe, but then again I'm not sure anything can beat the warm nutella crepe I had one cold, windy day in Camden Town. The man in the kiosk took more pride in making that crepe than I believe I have ever witnessed in any cooking before or since.

Funny, how sometimes the simplest food at exactly the right moment is unforgettable.


Jane, are you heading to the tea party in DC on the 15th? The newly named Sandy Daze and the rest of the clan are planning on coming up.


Jane ,

All that stuff is fascinating to me so I'll try to catch it on Nat Geo some time and I'll ask around today. If they're out there but trying to hide from us, they are doing a darn good job.

I have seen video of lightening in a Volcano ash cloud which is circular at altitude, and I could see something like that occurring 30 years back over the North Pacific rim of fire back when we had much les decent satellite coverage of exploding volcano's out in the middle of no-where. So that might be a plausible explanation, as up here 30 years back we had a PanAm 747 lose all 4 engines running thru an unannounced Volcano cloud and plummeting many thousands of feet till getting 1 engine re-lit. Same thing happened in Indonesia to an Aussie Flight Crew way back. Something like that just off the side of the Aircraft's path at nighttime might make sense to me. Other than that, I am agnostic but always curious.


Maybe a Naked Gun reference, is more appropriate, in the LUN



1 1/8 teaspoon powdered gelatin

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup Nutella

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts, for serving (optional).

1. In a medium bowl, whisk gelatin with 3 tablespoons cold water. Place chopped chocolate in another medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine Nutella and salt.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Pour half the cream over gelatin mixture and whisk gently to combine; stir in vanilla. Pour remaining cream over chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Combine two mixtures; whisk well.

3. Pour one-third of the gelatin-chocolate mixture over Nutella; beat using an electric mixer on low speed until a smooth paste forms. Pour in remaining mixture and milk; beat until fully combined.

4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into six ramekins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until set, about six hours or overnight. Serve sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings.

Fidy Fidy

Intrade is a slightly worse predictor mechanism than a coin flip.



Dan Rather on Chris Matthews:
DAN RATHER: Part of the undertow in the coming election is going to be President Obama's leadership. And the Republicans will make a case and a lot of independents will buy this argument. "Listen he just hasn't been, look at the health care bill. It was his number one priority. It took him forever to get it through and he had to compromise it to death." And a version of, "Listen he's a nice person, he's very articulate" this is what's been used against him, "but he couldn't sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic."


Thanks Clarice,

I think it sounds like Easter dessert, or maybe breakfast.

Cecil Turner

The critical part of Midway only lasted about five minutes. I wish we were so lucky. Stalingrad's about right . . . Vietnam? [shudder]


Jane, are you heading to the tea party in DC on the 15th? The newly named Sandy Daze and the rest of the clan are planning on coming up.

I thought Sandy sounded familiar. And I'm even more buoyed by that report than ever knowing where it came from.

I am picking Caro up in Baltimore for the April 15th Tea Party and then we have to rush back so I can be a delegate to the republican state convention and she can take pix.

I'm so glad you guys are coming! We will have to figure where to meet.


Yeah, we are all looking forward to it. I'll get the hockey player, yes she is still playing and loving it even with all the bruises, to facebook you.
We may only becoming up for the day, but everything is flexible right now.


Give me a hnt about Sandy,pls.


T. Coddington Van Vorhees VII has apparently had a bit of stomach distress...

Buckley now says scrap the Hope and Change

Kevin B

Just for you Daddy. "I've seen things"



He's related to a poster here. I'll email you in the AM if you don't figure it out.


OK,Jane. It's just Monday my grey cells are still resting.


it reminds me more of the siege of Byzantium in the Fourth Crusade, and just about as ethical.

You have the same levels of betrayal, greed, massacres, apostasy, schism and general mayhem.


I think I want that recipe, but then again I'm not sure anything can beat the warm nutella crepe I had one cold, windy day in Camden Town.


Almost 20 years ago today I also had some unforgettable street food on a wintry day in Camden Town. It was Japanese, I think - some kind of thick biscuit-like cake, sliced and grilled over coals, with a sweetened red bean paste filling and some smoky glaze drizzled over the top. It was simply amazing and to this day I don't even know what it was called but I'll never forget it.


Rather: [Obama] "couldn't sell watermelons if you gave him a State Trooper to flag down traffic".. That's incredible, and his attributing such a statement to imaginary Republicans is even more so. He's gone full Howard Beale, not that the MSNBC audience/staff are sane enough to notice.


Daddy, if things work out right for me, in two or three months I'll be passing through Anchorage. I'll be picking up a boat from a broker in Homer. If you aren't on a trip, I'd love to meet you for lunch. You could have the comely waitresses all to yourself. I'm quite happy with my gal. Thanks for your first paragraph of your reply to Jane. You're absolutely hilarious at times.



the only UFO's my brother ever heard of in his 20 years were spook planes that he could hear the controllers talking to. That would be in California and Nevada, specifically.

Mike Myers

Who knew that Obama would be like General George Pickett and lead his troops right up to, but not quite over, the top at Cemetery Ridge? After Pickett was done at Gettysburg, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was, effectively, broken.

And since there's a virtual army of liberal Democrat Congress critters living in Northern Virginia, let's hope that Obamacare is the liberal's Gettysburg.

Tom Maguire
One thing we can be grateful for is that the GOP should by that time have no qualms whatsoever about ramming a repeal through via the reconciliation process.

But what about Obama's mighty veto pen?

The critical part of Midway only lasted about five minutes.

Well, yes, but I have the image of Rahm and Obama exchanging high fives after shooting down some hapless but heroic torpedo bombers. Then Sarah appears in a dive bomber...

Danube of Thought

I hold no brief for Intrade's predictive value.

TC, the reason for my pessimism is that it's not, in fact, going to be decided in the next two weeks. The house can pass the senate bill any time betweeen now and January and it will become law. So they have ten months to do all the unethical things we've already seen they have no qualms about in order to bring the nation to heel.

At this point I simply don't believe Massa when he says he's the deciding vote, but I sure hope he sticks around. Ain't it depressing to see what kinds of nitwits and scumbags have so much of our fate in their hands?


It's a good thing i wasn't in grade school with TM or a number of others of you. I got in enough trouble on my own without hanging around with people who imagined Sarah dive bombing the enemy. (Of course, when I went to school every boy had bombers, ak ak and machine guns with bullets on their folders, drawings that now would get them sent into long term therapy and juvy hall.)

It's Little Round Top.

Fix bayonets. Charge.

Danube of Thought

"But what about Obama's mighty veto pen?"

If he's still holding it in January of 2013 all is lost anyway.


So I read somewhere today that Rahm wants to take over Giannoulias' candidacy. Has this rumor been out there for awhile and I missed it?


"it reminds me more of the siege of Byzantium in the Fourth Crusade, and just about as ethical"

Not to forget that a big part of losing Byzantium was a westerner selling to the besiegers the technology of massive newly invented cannons, capable of blowing holes in the 1000 year old previously impregnable walls of the City. Sort of like Rino's voting for Health Care.



Strangest thing I've ever heard of on a flight deck was Auburn Calloway.

That crew pulled off a miracle.

That freak should have been killed.

What was he, an A-6 BN?


"I've seen things"

Kevin B, Very best scene in a great Sci-Fi flick.

Mefolkes et al,

Always happy to drink a beer anywhere, anytime. May be pulling in to McSorley's tomorrow afternoon for a snort and to see if the donations to my Senate Candidacy for New York are reflected yet in my Bar Tab.


would love to come to DC, but unfortunately April is a lousy month for me. Annual examinations---ughh.


Like when Zoidberg's people got the computer disk, same principle



Auburn was an S-3 NFO (non-flying officer) as I remember it, who cooked his books after leaving the service, so as to get hired by a company. Then he got fired from that company when they discovered the cooked books, and he went and got hired by another company, afterwhich following a merger between the 2 company's, he was noticed and the question was raised, why is this guy here---he lied to us to get hired, and now he's lied to you to get hired. IIRC, It was while realizing he was caught a second time and about to get the ax that he brought out the ax.

He has since been stabbed ferociously in prison.



I read he was an NFO; there's a pic floating around with him wearing Naval Aviator wings...was that his dodge?

Stabbed huh? If the oxygen thief is still with us, his assailant used poor technique.

For all JOM'ers, read and stand by to be amazed.


is that comment by Rather racist?

I Won

In a spirit of bipartisanship, I could use your help, Republicans. I need a new word, or even a series of words strung together, to help me get my message out to the American people.

I'm thinking Radiant, Humble, Terrific, and Some Dude. But I don't want to appear too self-effacing either.


Team Obama predicted health care had a 51 percent chance of passing at the beginning of March, according to a preview of New York Times reporter Peter Baker’s Rahm opus, the last in a train of profiles on the tempestuous White House chief of staff.


Well then come another time, daddy. The place is always open.


"Is that comment by Rather Racist?

I'm really surprised we haven't heard a whole lot more about it. I guess the left figures they owe him for his attempt to get Bush.


Speaking of ak ak fire, a little controversy has arisen out of Sarah's Calgary speech, where she mentioned that her family had used
health care in Canada in the pre NHS era


I read elsewhere, that report was false.


oh o

Rep. Bart Stupak said he expects to resume talks with House leaders this week in a quest for wording that would impose no new limits on abortion rights but also would not allow use of federal money for the procedure.

“I’m more optimistic than I was a week ago,” Stupak said in an interview between meetings with constituents in his northern Michigan district. He was hosting a town hall meeting Monday night at a local high school.

“The president says he doesn’t want to expand or restrict current law (on abortion). Neither do I,” Stupak said. “That’s never been our position. So is there some language that we can agree on that hits both points — we don’t restrict, we don’t expand abortion rights? I think we can get there.”


the doomsday clock is now at 12:59:99



I meant 11:59:99

or did I?

JM Hanes

Would that be AM or PM, windansea?


From hot air:

Add Congressman Dan Lipinski of Illinois to the coalition of pro-life Democrats standing firmly with Bart Stupak in the fight over taxpayer-funding of abortion in the health care bill. Asked if the congressman is “open to voting for a health care bill that lacks the Stupak amendment,” Lipinski’s spokesman Nathaniel Zimmer replied in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD: “No. Congressman Lipinski will not vote for a health care bill that provides federal funding for abortion.”

In addition to Stupak and Lipinski, Congressman Jim Oberstar of Minnesota has said that he will not vote for the health care bill if it lacks the Stupak amendment: “I will not vote for a health care bill that doesn’t have the House abortion language in it,” Oberstar told Congressional Quarterly on February 24.

What does this tell us? So far, Stupak appears to have accurately described his caucus. There is still a core group of pro-life Democrats who refuse to get rolled by the Senate, especially after going out on a limb and succeeding in passing the Stupak amendment. It will only take a few of them to flip to No to stop the Senate bill from passing the House.


I thought I was the only adult who can't tell time or right from left. You provided me with great comfort, windansea.

Danube of Thought

As I've been saying, Bart Stupak is a rather groggy dolt, and an exceedingly undependable gossamer thread from wnich to allow our hopes to hang.

This poor fool will sign on to this catastrophe any day now, and will think he has been a hero.


Will the others follow him over the cliff or can we beam into their heads visions of Ben Nelson being shunned by the voters who elected him?

JM Hanes

I find it hard to put much faith in Stupak myself. If Pelosi can corral those blue dog Democrats who liked the Senate bill better than the House bill in the first place, she may not need Stupak at all. She's already bought him once, with language in the House bill, and he may be more ace in the hole than linchpin. In fact, I think he may be as much of a red herring as reconciliation is.

I'm keepin' hope alive, but I'm not optimistic about the end game here. Pelosi may not be able to put a decent sentence together, but she can kick butt, take names and play one hell of game of chicken.

Captain Hate

Karen Tumulty, according to Mark Levin a reporter for the Bammy-friendly Time magazine (iirc), reported on her blog that when she attended Il Douche's speech at Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College) in Pennsylvania she was unable to interview members of the audience because of security people. WTF.

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