Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On the Record with Joe Wilson (Again)

Late this afternoon, I had the privilege of speaking (again) with Rep Joe "You Lie!" Wilson (R-SC) about a number of issues, most prominently ObamaCare v?.0. Rep Wilson began by mentioning his new site, Joe Means Jobs, Rep Kucinich's "Retreat from Afghanistan" resolution, and the recent vote in Iraq (interestingly, they had a 62% turnout; we're thrilled to see 55%).

I was joined on the call by Jeff Dunetz of Yid With Lid and Richard Zuendt of Conservatives With Attitude. Both of these fine sites belong primarily in the political sector of the blogosphere (as opposed to IB, which is considered a MedBlog).

Both Jeff and I asked Rep Wilson about the late-breaking Slaughter "Rule" in the House [ed: the SlaughterHouse Rules?]. This is a desperate, almost laughable, attempt to bypass a formal vote on ReidCare (more here for those who are interested). Rep Wilson was unfamiliar with the details of this latest gambit by those bent on the destruction of the world's best health care system, but quickly came up to speed.

I asked the congressman about the dozen or so states taking pre-emptive action to opt out of a gummint-run system, and he replied that not only is he quite pleased, but that it is, in fact, an organized and concerted effort, led by the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). ALEC is a group of state-level legislators working together on a national level.

The congressman also pointed out that the current version(s) of "reform" have been compared to both TennCare and MassCare, both failed systems. In fact, it's his contention (and one with which I agree) that MassCare is the overarching reason that Scott Brown was elected to the Senate.

Mr Zuendt (of Conservatives With Attitude) asked about the impact of "reform" on states' budgets, and Rep Wilson replied that these are classic examples of "unfunded Federal mandates."

I then asked him how firm he felt the vote on the 18th really was, and he answered that, much to his own surprise, he agreed with Rep Waxman that "there's not a date." Looks like I might have to reset (or delete) the countdown timer on our sidebar.

Following up, I asked about reconciliation; his response was to point me to a new report by Representatives Kyl and Cantor which effectively confirms our view on the matter. TThe Kyl/Cantor document can be found here.

Our own Mike Feehan had wondered about whether or not legislators would be bribed with stimulus funds, and Bob had wondered the same about other "favors;" Rep Wilson answered both of them by characterizing the current process as "The Chicago Way." That is, a combination of carrot and stick, regardless of legality or propriety, and felt it would backfire.

He was also quick to point out the value of blogs and social media for breaking through the wall of silence thrown up by the Main Stream Media. I'm sure we all blushed.

All in all, a very interesting call, and I appreciate the Congressman's time.

A very special IB Thank You to Lyndsi Thomas for setting this up.
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