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Idiots Come In All Flavors
Why lobby or legislate when you can just wish really hard? Nancy Pelosi has been really busy praying for policy to go the way she wants it, blogs Politico:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that she prays for President Bush to change his policies “all the time” and specifically has prayed for him to sign SCHIP legislation that would expand health insurance for uninsured children.

“First of all, I pray for President Bush all the time, and I pray especially hard that he would sign the children’s health bill because it’s so important for America’s children,” she said on Fox News Sunday. “I pray that he makes the right decisions for the American people.”

But she added she doesn’t pray specifically “for a political outcome.”

Oh, hurl. So, let me get this straight: Pelosi believes that there's a big Imaginary Friend in the sky who will grant her wishes (otherwise, why pray?) yet she doesn't put in a special order or two? Except like in paragraph one of the piece. Word to Nancy and the rest of the nutters: More legislative work, less wishing to a god there's no evidence exists.

More here on the silly exercise of superstition that is prayer.

Posted by aalkon at October 7, 2007 5:16 AM



Don't encourage her to engage in MORE legislative work.

If praying keeps her from passing more idiotic laws, we all benefit. That woman is so bereft of intellect that I cannot comprehend how she came to wield such power. As long as she's in the chapel instead of the House, she can't fuck up my life.

Posted by: brian at October 7, 2007 9:34 AM

Heh heh...hmmm, you got a point there.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 7, 2007 10:18 AM

"Oh, hurl. So, let me get this straight: Pelosi believes that there's a big Imaginary Friend in the sky who will grant her wishes (otherwise, why pray?) yet she doesn't put in a special order or two?"

I'm feeling generous today, and so am pointing out that perhaps she is just trying to speak a language W understands. I'd be surprised to find out that San Fran Nan has any strong religious beliefs in real life, but pandering to those beliefs is a way to jerk W around.

Posted by: Steve Daniels at October 7, 2007 10:30 AM

Dear Nancy:

Parents who make $80,000 a year should be able to afford health insurance for their children. The tax dollars earned through the hard work of my faithful would be better used to feed and clothe genuinely poor children. I am sending you a message here by permitting the SCHIP bill to be overturned - I wish for you to use your time more valuably, by calling up Bill Bradley and designing a truly creative plan that expands health insurance options without introducing that socialized medicine plan that I went to such great lengths to kill last time.

However, I certainly won't try to silence you. By going on and on about how you're praying for George W. Bush to change his mind, you are fulfilling Karl Rove's prayers that Democratic leaders continue to say stupid things. Even deities love killing two birds with one stone.


Posted by: marion at October 7, 2007 10:32 AM

Steve: Nancy is supposedly a practicing Catholic; hence the five children. I am quite sure that she goes to church on a regular basis. She's spoken of her religious beliefs before - I may find this latest statement to be silly, but I don't think she's making it up out of whole cloth.

Posted by: marion at October 7, 2007 10:40 AM

Parents who make $80,000 a year should be able to afford health insurance for their children.

Absolutely. Drive old, but reliable cars and only eat out at bargain restaurants occasionally. Your sacrifices for your children, thanks, not the rest of ours.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 7, 2007 10:40 AM

Regarding the anti-SCHIP attitude, sorry, I don't follow the rationale. In order to prevent a few who might manage to get free insurance for their kids when they should be buying their own, we're willing to keep parents who can't afford insurance from getting it?

Is that what this is about? "I don't care if 10 million kids all die from meningitis, I will not pay the insurance for single kid whose parents make 80,000 a year!"

Quite frankly, if it gets the insurance to a million more underprivileged children, then I'm willing to let a few slip through the cracks.

Regarding Pelosi's public piety, she seems to have forgotten.

Matthew 6

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Indeed, they do have their reward. They get to announce to the world that they are "holier than thou." (Isaiah 65:5)

I never understood the rationale of those who ask God to do something. Is God good, or not? Does he need to be reminded to do good? Or does God only do good when we ask him to? As Mary Baker Eddy put it, "God is 'the same yesterday, and today, and forever;' and He who is immutably right will do right without being reminded of His province. The wisdom of man is not sufficient to warrant him in advising God.

Posted by: Patrick at October 7, 2007 11:09 AM

Where would god be without Nancy Pelosi as an advisor? Hmmm, I'm wondering - if a bunch of legislators are praying for the SCHIP, and a bunch of legislators are praying against it, how does god know where to cast his vote?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 7, 2007 11:27 AM

Sorry - if you're making 80 grand a year and can afford children, then you damn well ought to be able to afford to insure them.

And Patrick, what this is about is very simply the government's attempt to get incrementally what they could not get in one swell foop - socialized medicine. It is about the government attempting to seize control of one-seventh of the private economy of the United States.

Posted by: brian at October 7, 2007 11:43 AM

I have some serious questions for those of you who want the same people who run the IRS, DOE, HUD and FEMA to provide "health insurance" for "kids".

If you are responsible for the health of other people's children - then what are the parents of those children supposed to do?

To what degree are they responsible?

What mechanism do you suggest to make them care - to ensure that they don't run off and buy frivolities because they know you'll step up and save their kid for them?

What limit is fair, to avoid bankrupting the system, with terminal juvenile patients?

What about legal guardianship?

What agent is responsible for ensuring that a child is protected from poor treatment decisions?

Are you suggesting that legal guardianship be dismissed or transferred - or are you going to allow the (irresponsible or incapable) parent to decide the course of treatment at the expense of others?

When the child is an illegal immigrant, or the child of an illegal immigrant, what is your responsibility then?


I ask these things because entirely too many people are free with other people's money. I do not think that people actually read the bill. At best they will have seen a couple of activist articles. Be ready to claim that Social Security and public school funding are just fine. I know you want to be consistent when you talk about the benefits and liabilities of public programs.

In the meantime, I remind you of my "Health VISA Card" concept, where you are given credit, then your wages are garnished a percentage in the case that you do not meet a payment schedule linked to your reportable income.

Posted by: Radwaste at October 7, 2007 11:56 AM

I think more people need to get the idea that the only moral thing to do is to be personally responsible for your life, financially and in all other ways, and plan best you can for disaster. Cathy, most admirably, had disability insurance through Lloyd's of London -- which is the right thing to do if you are a single mother of a child. She was the picture of healthy behavior, and it still didn't turn out well for her, but she was prudent abut providing for her child in case of disaster.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 7, 2007 12:07 PM

Furthermore, too few parents imbue their kids with teachings about money, finance, and economics. Mine gave me only the most basic: Don't spend what you don't have. Hence, I have zero credit card debt and, every month, I pay about 35 percent more per month on my car loan (the only loan I have) than I owe. (I planned it that way -- financed it for a lower payment and then planned to pay more.) Beyond that, though, I'm kind of a financial naif -- less so thanks to books Lena has given me, and talks I've had about money and savings with Gregg. This is not good, and I'm working to change it. One of the few things I regret in my life is that I didn't take classes in personal economics and financial planning or at least read books about it in my 20s. (The road to serfdom, on a smaller scale, starts with financial moronism.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 7, 2007 12:13 PM

What mechanism do you suggest to make them care - to ensure that they don't run off and buy frivolities because they know you'll step up and save their kid for them?

Rad, there isn't one to be had! I'm dealing with this very problem with my ex - according to the terms of our divorce, HE is supposed to be paying for our daughters' health insurance. He hasn't worked in well over 8 years and even when he was working, he didn't pay for their health care, I did! I always have, because, yeah, I'm the responsible one. I've brought him to court twice now, once with his arm in a sling, and he tells the judge the same thing: I'll do it as soon as I am able. Problem is, he's never able! I can't count on him for squat, so I don't. As long as he tells the judge what the judge wants to hear, he's off the hook. Every time I take him to court, it costs me money, and I just can't do it any more. If a child's own biological parent refuses to take responsibility, even with the threat of the law, which he just scoffs at on a regular basis, and tells me, "can't get blood from a stone", how can you force other people to care, or pay, even, short of having them pay more taxes? My ex, as long as his parents are supporting him, hasn't got a care in the world.

Posted by: Flynne at October 7, 2007 3:01 PM

flynne -

Have you considered going after his parents? After all, if he's living off of them, then hasn't he reverted to their guardianship?

Posted by: brian at October 7, 2007 6:19 PM

Ah, brian, would that I could. He doesn't technically live with them, they have a condo that he lives in, which is in their name. I've tried every angle I had open to me, except denying him visitation. I tried that once, and the court ordered me to let him see them. At least I do what the court tells me! At any rate, I'm hanging on to the fantasy that once they're old enough, they'll realize who really took care of them.

Posted by: Flynne at October 8, 2007 11:51 AM

Oh, hell. I wish I'd seen this before I posted my support of her for president. Another one bites the dust. I wish we'd get a rational president (though I'm not sure anyone rational would want the job).

Posted by: Donna at October 9, 2007 8:26 AM

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