Tuesday, August 27, 2013

War Powers and Syria

The War Powers Resolution is a tricky animal. There's a good argument that not all of it is constitutional, but it does represent a decent starting point for any discussion of the President's discretionary war powers.

A President probably has the authority to launch a one-off strike as we are currently considering with Syria, but this is really not the situation contemplated by the War Powers Resolution. This is not an emergency. There is ample time to consult with the Congress and obtain proper authority for the use of military force.

This is yet another example of Obama's disregard for the democratic process, which if allowed to proceed, would probably nix an attack.

Friday, August 23, 2013

To Defund

At some point, and soon, folks had better recognize that Obamacare is an existential threat.  An existential threat to the American way of life, and an individually existential threat to those whose care will inevitably be denied under the law.

In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Wolowitz is asked if his family has a history of heart disease.  His retort - "My family is the history of heart disease."

Similarly, I note that my family is the history of cancer.  My paternal grandmother had breast cancer twice before succumbing to melanoma.  My maternal grandfather died of lymphoma, as did one of his brothers.  His other brother died of liver cancer.  A great grandfather died of brain cancer.  Several of my dad's aunts died of various cancers. And my Dad is currently living with leukemia.

I'm sure I forgot a few, but you get the idea.

And who gets hit hardest by Obamacare?  Cancer patients! (h/t Mark Levin)

Guess who else gets hit? Insured spouses.  And wouldn't you know it, my cancer patient dad is insured through mom's workplace policy. Potential double whammy. 

So forgive me, but I'm taking this personally.

But beyond my family's horror story, and similar ones around the country, Obamacare promises to stifle the economy and strain the federal budget, most likely to the breaking point.  At what point do we stop treating Obamacare as a political game and take the most aggressive stance we can against it?

No, the polls don't favor "shutdown".  The polls don't favor Obamacare either.  Winners don't just read the polls, they influence them. And that is not just some partisan bravado, but a fact of life.  A poll is essentially incapable of capturing the potential for self-reinforcing trends. ("Reflexive" phenomena, to use George Soros' term.)  A poll can not look more than one or maybe two iterations ahead in a trend.  A poll can not predict a social tipping point.  And I say this as a big fan of polls, and a proponent of their proper use.

The most coherent opposition to the "defund" strategy is the percieved probability that the effort will eventually fail, and we will look weak for having tried and failed. But this is a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Navel-gazing Republicans are our worst enemies. By talking down the strategy, they diminish its probability of success.  And we need it to be a success.