With the public option seemingly off the table, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats had to look for another idea to sway votes for the healthcare bill. Their latest offering? Expand Medicare to allow a buy in for those between the ages of 55 and 64. This Medicare option now appears to be off the table, but what’s next?
While Democrats touted the Medicare expansion as an alternative to public option, in reality it accomplished the same thing as the public option: it paved the road to single-payer healthcare. By expanding Medicare to cover more Americans, raising the income qualifications for Medicaid and continuing to expand SCHIP (State Childrens’ Health Insurance Program) you have a ever growing number of Americans dependent on these entitlement programs.
Fortunately, Medicare expansion didn’t have the votes. This weak attempt at an alternative to the public option didn’t provide the 60 votes Harry Reid needs to pass this bill. Over the weekend Senator Lieberman confirmed that he would not support the Medicare expansion as an alternative to the public option.
At this point, one wonders what the point is of continuing with the current bill. Even if the Senate bill passes without a public option and without Medicare expansion, you still have to reconcile the House and Senate bills. You likely loose the vote of those Democrats that hoped for the public option. You also lose the Democrats that are truly opposed to abortion funding as the Senate bill does include federal funding for abortion services. Do you pick up any Republicans? Not if they are reading the latest polling numbers showing ever growing opposition to the bill.
As Democrats cling to the hope of eventual single-payer healthcare and try to save their bill, their desperation is showing. It’s time to scrap the current bill in its entirely and go back to the drawing board.
Last week the Department of Health and Human Services’s Preventative Services Task Force issued new mammogram guidelines for women. If the recommendations are followed, gone are yearly mammograms for women between 40 and 50 years old and women over 75. The Task Force claims that cost was not a consideration, but rather the concern for unnecessary biopsies and the emotional stress of a potential cancer scare. Despite the denials of a cost-benefit motive, this recommendation could not have come at a better time to highlight the future of preventative medicine under Obamacare.
Anyone who watched the “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on November 22, got a preview of women’s healthcare under the proposed bills. Despite denials by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, both Representative Marsha Blackburn and Stephanopoulos pointed out that in the bill the Preventative Services Task Force would be responsible for rating preventative services with A, B, C or D. Mammograms for women between 40 and 50 would be rated C by the Task Force. Only A and B are covered services under the proposed bills. Wasserman Schultz claims that more women would get access to free mammograms. More? Do we sacrifice one group of women for another?
Following quickly on the heels of the mammogram recommendations, came the Task Force’s recommendations that doctors no longer test yearly for cervical cancer. Why women’s preventative healthcare measures that save so many lives seem to be the first on the chopping block is uncertain, but a clearer red flag of the rationing to come could not have been waved. When it comes to rationing, Obamacare proves that chivalry is not dead.
TThe current economic crisis has many causes. Among these are the actions of the Federal Reserve chairman in keeping interest rates artificially low and the resulting housing bubble. Proposed legislation to attempt to tinker with the Fed’s authority was inevitable. Ron Paul first called for an audit of the Fed. Now Chris Dodd has stepped to the plate and proffered his plan to fix the system.
Dodd’s proposal has several key factors. First, gone are the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (regulates and supervises national banks) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (which supervises lending institutions). Second, Dodd proposes to strip the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation of autonomy in overseeing the banking industry. Control would instead be given to a new agency, the Agency for Financial Stability. The FDIC would still insure bank deposits but have no responsibility to maintain stability in the system. Additionally, Congress would have much more control over the Federal Reserve’s regional banks with a say in their choice of directors and Senate approval of their chairmen. The Fed would still control monetary policy but lack supervisory authority over banks.
The problem with Dodd’s proposals is again the problem of more government, not better. While the Fed has made errors that contributed to the crisis, adding more government oversight isn’t the answer. The more influence politicians have over monetary policy and stabilization of banks and lending, the more power and influence they can wield at the expense of taxpayers and investors. Additionally, the proposed Agency for Financial Stability does not appear to propose new or different ideas for managing the economy. This all feels a bit like a shell game- shifting responsibility but changing nothing. Remarkably, even the Obama White House thinks Dodd’s plan goes too far.
In the wake of the economic crisis, it was inevitable that the Congress would step forward and attempt to tinker with the powers of the Federal Reserve system. Although the Fed is flawed, Dodd’s proposals would inject politics into market supervision in a way that can only slow the Fed’s response to any future crisis while failing to address any of the real causes of the current recession.
Many people have asked what influence the Tea Party movement would have on actual elections. Could the Tea Party protests be turned into a viable political party? The first test of the Tea Party’s political power is taking place in New York’s 23rd Congressional District between Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
The local Republican Party selected Scozzafava over Hoffman as their candidate. Scozzafava is a liberal Republican who is both pro-choice and favors union card check. Newt Gingrich, who has thrown his support behind her despite her weak conservative credentials, notes that she fits the district and Hoffman shouldn’t split the vote. Rallying behind Hoffman is the local 9/12 Project and Tea Party, as well as several brave Republicans, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Fred Thompson.
What’s most surprising about Hoffman’s candidacy is that instead of embracing him, the local GOP is on the attack. Hoffman has siphoned vote away from Scozzafava and the Republican party is fighting back. Rather than admit that they misjudged local support and picked the wrong candidate, they’re tearing down a true conservative who actually stands a chance at winning. The Republican party is at a crossroads and they are picking the wrong path. If you continue to sell out your basic principles by picking candidates that will vote with the Democrats, why should we support you?
The Republican party has a choice. They can continue to hold tightly to the GOP establishment and allow no room for the grassroots campaigns or they can admit that they’ve strayed from their core principles. They can continue to stand in the way of true conservatives, or recognize the Tea Party for what it is, the conservative comeback.
So much to do. The poor man has to push his socialist healthcare plan, his obscene cap and trade mistake, he has to pick fights with Fox News and he has to pick out Sonia Sotomayor's wardrobe for her acceptance. Important stuff people. Image is everything.
After receiving a surge of attention in the 2008 Presidential primary, Congressman Ron Paul’s new book continues his mission to challenge the establishment and honor the Constitution. His new book, “End the Fed” takes on the Federal Reserve system and it’s ever expanding role in our government.
Paul begins by describing the political atmosphere that gave rise to the call for central banking and led to the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. Paul notes that through the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, “government would confer legal legitimacy on a cartel of the largest bankers and permit them to inflate the money supply at will[.]”
The Fed was touted as a means of stabilizing the business cycle but, Paul argues, has only served to “socialize losses.” The Fed works as a bailout for banks to prevent failure. Without the possibility of failure to reign the banks in, the Fed guarantee actually promotes unnecessary risks and ill-advised loans. Paul believes that the Fed’s activities exacerbate the natural highs and lows of the business cycle and that the manipulation of the interest rates created the housing bubble that contributed to our current economic crises. Paul contends that the Fed’s actions will only continue this trend.
Finally, Paul offers his case against the Fed. He notes that the existence of a central bank permits the limitless printing of money and deficit spending which allow the expansion of the government and creates the illusion of wealth, only to crash in the face of reality. He also believes that the Fed’s actions are slowly destroying the dollar. We can see rumblings to that effect in calls to replace the dollar as the global currency of choice.
Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” is an eye opening look at our current Federal Reserve System and the role it played in creating both past economic downturns as well as our current crisis. It’s also an excellent introduction to the politics that influence economic theory and a sound argument against the Fed. Considering the Stimulus Bill and the Fed’s control over those funds, Paul’s call for greater scrutiny is even more necessary than ever.
Barack, Michelle and Oprah went to Copenhagen. The goal was to impress the International Olympic Committee with the awesomeness that is that Holy Trinity. Barack spoke and the IOC was supposed to swoon and give the Olympics to Chicago on a silver plate. What went wrong?
That’s probably what Obama is asking himself today as Chicago was voted out of contention in the first round. Not even close. Wasn’t our President supposed to be loved by Europeans? And it seems he was. He was treated like a celebrity, everyone wanted a picture, but he was not taken seriously. Seems to be a trend.
Obama has spent a lot of time talking recently, with little show for it. Nicholas Sarkozy has noted that Obama’s “outstretched hand” to Iran has garnered nothing in return. Obama is constantly on the news, on late-night talk shows, on Sunday morning news shows with no increase in support for his agenda. The man cannot even get enough support to pass his pet projects of cap and trade or healthcare reform, which we were told the country was pining for. Obama has sold out long-standing allies by backing out of missile defense with the vague hope of starting over with Russia. Again, nothing to show for it, not even a guarantee of Russia’s support on Iran.
Obama told Harry Reid that he had a gift for public speaking, but the ability to give a good speech doesn’t make you a great leader. A great leader knows when a speech will persuade and when action is needed. The IOC rejected the “gift.” Seems like a trend.
September has been a hard month on the foreign policy front for Obama. His lack of experience is showing. To no one’s surprise, he announced that the U.S. would not be following through with the missile defense shield. The real question here is what, if anything was gained by this move? Did Russia agree to back sanctions against Iran? If so, that’s just peachy, but it doesn’t disarm Iran. Another ally sold out.
Then there’s Honduras. Why is the President publicly siding with the socialist dictators of South America? While it was the military that sent Zelaya packing, they acted on the order of the Supreme Court and Congress based on Zelaya’s violation of the Honduran Constitution. The military is not running the country, the interim President, Roberto Micheletti and Congress are in charge. Unfortunately, Obama’s public stance condemning Zelaya’s removal, along with the freeze on funding and Hillary Clinton’s pulling the US visas of the members of Honduras’ Supreme Court, have created an environment that has encouraged Zelaya and his supporters and undermined democracy in Honduras. Zelaya has now returned to Honduras and a “real” coup may be imminent. Say goodbye to another South American democracy.
Finally, there’s Afghanistan. The President appeased Republicans in the election by being hawkish on Afghanistan, calling it the “war of necessity.” He seemed willing to pursue a strong strategy to ensure victory. The hawk is now looking more like a dove. General McChrystal, was tapped to replace Bush’s choice of General McKiernan, and was touted by Robert Gates as the right man for the job. However, General McChrystal is expected to ask for more troops and suddenly he’s no longer the expert whose advice we should trust? Obama is planning to delay this decision and search for cheaper options. While troops are in harm’s way, delaying a decision on McChrystal’s advice is negligent at best.
How about a trade war with China, anyone?
Obama has had a hard month. He wants to focus on healthcare, but all these pesky foreign policy issues keep coming up. It’s no wonder he’s handled them so ineptly. Multi-tasking is certainly hard.
If Cap and Trade passes in it's Waxman-Markey incarnation, I will never be able to sell my house. It's almost 100 years old. It has plaster, probably lead paint under 10 layers of new paint. It has no insulation between the plaster walls and the outside. The old AC isn't energy star rated. My neighborhood isn't affluent, but it's starting to turn around. Scrap that idea, as it will become a rental neighborhood when people find out all they have to do before they are permitted to sell. Why does it seem that all the "unintended consequences" of these bills kill the middle class? I'm starting to think that's the goal. Everyone poor and dependent on the government.
First, ask yourself, what other President has had a logo? A logo that is included on his own personal basketballs? How about the vanity leash that dog Bo is sporting? He’s got his own promotional team in Hollywood. Obama is not just a President, he’s a brand.
Now he’s taking that brand into public schools. He’s going to give the schoolchildren of America a pep talk. A stay in school and stay off drugs motivational speech from the President. The original lesson plans that the Department of Education sent to schools to accompany Obama’s speech to students on September 8, included prompts to students suggesting they consider what they could do to ”help the President.” The lesson plan has now been revised, but only after objections. My question is, what happened to parents motivating their children? Why does Obama feel that his two cents are necessary here? I guess when you're a brand, you probably assume everyone is just waiting for your view on every topic. I guess in this media-driven society, the President as spokesman isn't too far from the truth.
Well, I was a more frequent shopper at Fresh Market, but now I will shop at Whole Foods. First, because of John Mackey's Wall Street Journalarticle on healthcare reform. Second, because of the rabid nutbags who are boycotting him. A guest on Greta Van Susteren just called him a bad person for not supporting single payer healthcare. Well, I guess I'm a bad person.
It seems like a great plan, right? Get people to buy new cars by offering a rebate if they buy a car with better gas mileage than their old car. People spend money and the car industry gains. The government probably hopes you’ll buy a GM, of course. But, like the government’s misguided meddling in lending practices that ultimately led to the housing crisis, this is another government brainstorm gone awry.
People are flocking to the dealerships to take advantage of the big rebate. However, what the program comes down to is taxpayers subsidizing the car industry. Again. You may not be taking advantage of the program because you don’t have a “clunker” or you aren’t in the market, but trust me, you’re paying for it. First you own the company and then you pay for the cars as well. The car industry gets a temporary and artificial boost and you get the bill.
In addition to this questionable soaking of the taxpayers comes the waste of destroying perfectly decent cars in the name of reducing emissions. Since the clunker cash only comes with proof that the old car was rendered inoperable, cars that run and would be reliable transport aren’t going into the used car market. People who can’t afford a new car now won’t have access to thousands of older reliable cars because they have to be destroyed. But, it’s all for the environment, right? So, it’s worth it, right? The cars still have to be scrapped, filling up with landfill with non-recyclable parts. Are people really trading in Ford F150s for Honda Insights? Just like cap and trade, the environmental benefit isn’t worth it when you consider the cost.
Just like everything else the government touches, cash for clunkers is a mess. Artificially inflating the car industry sales on the backs of taxpayers just adds more debt without solving any of the problems it pretends to tackle. Time to pull the plug and let the car industry succeed or fail on it’s own.
The Women’s City Club of Greater Cincinnati hosted a healthcare townhall on August 3, 2009, with Congressman Steve Driehaus. The event was held at a local church and was standing room only with overflow into an adjoining room with speakers. Congressman Driehaus began with a speech after stating that he had no prepared remarks. About ten minutes into his “speech” audience members lost patience and demanded that he move on to questions and tempers flared from that point on.
Driehaus echoed the talking points that we’ve all heard, first touting the number of uninsured in this country while failing to mention that that number includes those who can afford insurance but don’t carry it, children who qualify for SCHIP but aren’t enrolled, illegal aliens and the temporarily unemployed. When faced with the budget breaking examples of Massachusetts, Tennessee and Hawaii’s flirtation with government healthcare, he seemed to have faith that things would be different with the federal government’s public option. Remember that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
Second he bemoaned the pain of the small business owner trying to cover their employees. Certainly, things are difficult for small business owners and paying for health insurance is a burden. So are taxes. Either you will be paying for insurance for your employees, or you’ll be taxed by the government for covering your employees. Pick your poison. Hard as it may be, the solution to this problem is not government run healthcare, but separating insurance form employment (a quirk of our country which came about during WWII), as was suggested by McCain during the campaign. A suggestion for which he was soundly criticized.
He also addressed the end of life provisions of the bill. He claims that during discussions with doctors he learned that 70% of healthcare spending occurs at the end of life. He favors compensation to doctors for consulting with patients about the end of life decisions, believing this will save money in the long run. It will only save money if it leads patients to refuse those expensive treatments. So, your doctor will be receiving money to convince you to refuse what in some cases may be life-saving treatment? This should be a personal decision, not a source of pressure. What’s next? Rebate checks to family for voluntary euthanasia?
Eventually, both sides in the townhall meeting lost their cool. Conservatives attempted to get in their 10 second questions and give Driehaus their perspective, while liberals lost their patience with the opposition. The meeting ended with some chanting “vote for Chabot” (the former Congressman who Driehaus defeated and who will be running against him again). Hopefully, the Congressman will not discount these challenges as many in the media have done. Hopefully, he will see that Obama’s change is not the only change that is possible and will vote against this bill.
The Democrats are again steamrolling their agenda through Congress. Whether the vote takes place this week or after the August recess, it is likely that the Democrats’ plan for healthcare reform will include a public option or government run insurance program intended to compete with private insurance. Underestimating the damage this public option can do would be a mistake.
Democrats argue that the public option is the only way to keep private insurers “honest.” They believe it would control costs by competing with private insurance. This public option would be based on at least the current Medicare provider network. Democrats actually contend that this would cut costs. In reality, the public option would reimburse doctors and hospitals at the same meager rate that Medicare doles out and the private insurers would bear the cost of that shortfall. They would have to raise premiums, pushing more people off private insurance and on to the public plan, until the public plan is all that’s left. Presto, single-payer healthcare without actually voting for single-payer healthcare.
Additionally, Obama continues to spout the dishonest assertion that if you are happy with your health insurance you can keep it. Our brave media, when given a press conference at which to question Obama on these details, instead chose to delve into Obama’s opinion on a local criminal investigation. This lie continues to go unchecked. The fact remains that the government will decide what minimum coverage you must have. If you have a low cost, high deductible policy that doesn’t include everything on the government’s wish list, you’ll be required to buy more coverage. If you oppose abortion, you still may be required to obtain a policy that covers the procedure. You no longer can decide for yourself what coverage is appropriate. And this is just the beginning of the government dictating policy to doctors and patients.
Obamacare will soon streak through the House like one of Barack’s proposed high speed rail trains. If you want to remain in control and make your own healthcare choices, Obamacare must fail. This doesn’t mean healthcare reform is dead, just the public option that threatens to damage more than it fixes.
Or you’re with the terrorists. Remember those words? Remember the ceaseless criticism that those words brought from the Democratic Party?
Well, from the folks who felt that statement was radical and dealt in dangerous absolutes comes the following words of wisdom: ”It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well.” It’s now the Democrats turn to deal in absolutes. That’s Rep. Henry Waxman making sure that you know that all of Obama’s policies are infallible and if any of his wishlist of agenda items fails to pass, this country will also fail.
This argument assumes that Obama makes no mistakes. Now we know that isn’t true. He got the stimulus vote he wanted and how’s that worked out? Is unemployment in check? Nope, 9.5 percent and rising. So, if Obama getting what he wants doesn’t equal success for this country, why automatically assume that his failure to get each and every agenda item he wants passed would automatically equal failure for this country?
Being the leader of a country does not mean that every idea you have will benefit the country. Just crack open an history book and you’ll find examples galore. Waxman needs to quit the rhetoric and realize that there is nothing more behind the growing opposition to Obama’s plans than the simple fact that Obama’s case for cap and trade and healthcare reform is weak and strains the truth at best. That’s why the Democrats are playing defense. Just let them keep talking.
Now, if you think I’m referring to Obama’s condemnation of Iran’s suppression of election protestors, you’d be wrong. First, because there was no such condemnation, rather a light disapproval of the government’s murder of citizens rightfully protesting a fraudulent election. Second, because our President has instead chosen to turn his condemnation to the south and has taken that strong stand against the “coup” in Honduras. This is just another example of Obama siding with dictators and giving the cold shoulder to freedom.
At first it seemed that Obama’s snub of Gordon Brown, followed by his embarrassing gifts of non-functioning DVDs and an iPod for the Queen, were the result of arrogance and inexperience. However, a pattern has continued to emerge that shows dismissal of and disinterest in our democratic friends and allies and favor towards socialists and dictators.
Obama’s condemnation of the coup in Honduras was swift and strong. He demanded the return of elected President Zelaya. However, he failed to mention that Zelaya was removed by order of the Supreme Court after he attempted to force a rewrite of the constitution to extend his term beyond its constitutional limit. He was replaced quickly by the president of the Honduran Congress, a member of his own party, who vows elections will be held in November. Obama has painted this as a coup and Zelaya as a victim of dangerous overthrow. However, the truth is Zelaya had ambitions to be a Chavez-style dictator whose countrymen refused to roll over when he attempted his power grab.
If Obama’s excuse for failing to condemn the Iranian government’s suppression of democracy was his desire to not be seen as “meddling” in the affairs of other countries, Obama doesn’t seem so reticent when it comes to his socialist friends. It’s clear where his interest and his loyalties lie.
In fumbling through what he thought would be a slam dunk ad for his healthcare proposals, Barack Obama has presented us with a golden opportunity. He had, as Ed Morrissey on Hotair.com labeled it, a “Dukakis Moment.” He has given us his true opinion of his own healthcare plan. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher, notes that politicians often propose cost cutting measures that limit tests and treatments that are available to the general public, knowing that those same limitations won’t really apply to them. He asked if Obama would subject his wife and daughters to the same limitations the public will face and not seek services not available to you or me. Obama wouldn’t make that promise. That speaks volumes. Obamacare is good enough for you and me, but not for his family. The mask slipped for a moment and we must leap at the opportunity. Don’t let him sweep this moment of honesty under the rug. Keep this in the news. Keep it in people’s minds. It’s okay to limit your coverage, but not Sasha's, Malia's or Michelle’s.
Our friends at ACORN have decided to change their name to the much less memorable name of Community Organizations International. It seems that ACORN feels that it has somehow acquired a bad reputation. I can't imagine how that has happened. It couldn't possibly be the 14 states where voter registration fraud has been investigated? It couldn't be financial mismanagement or embezzlement? How about the lawsuits against whistleblowers and those shining the light on ACORN's fraud? ACORN is trying to make people forget their actions so they can turn around and do it all again. Don't let them slip between the cracks. Remember the name and remind others that Community Organizations International=ACORN every chance you get or we'll be repeating this same game in 2012.
President Obama has been saying for months that you can’t fix the economy without first fixing healthcare. Originally a supporter of single-payer government healthcare, Obama states that he now believes private insurance should remain, but in competition with a public government-run option. Obama has a very interesting partner in pushing his plan: ABC News.
On June 24, if you tune in to ABC, the news will be broadcasting from the White House, followed by a primetime special “Prescription for America.” This program will be a townhall style question and answer session with the President. ABC claims this program will present both sides of the healthcare debate. However, the only party who will be answering questions and using prime network time to sell his views will be Barack Obama.
Faced with a seemingly one-sided sales event for Obama’s healthcare agenda, Ken McKay, Chief of Staff for the Republican National Committee wrote to the head of ABC News. He requested the opportunity to share the Republican’s healthcare reform ideas. He was rebuffed.
ABC News claims that the audience who will question Obama on his healthcare agenda will be chosen exclusively by ABC. ABC suggests that this will somehow present both sides of the issue. ABC fails to realize that asking a challenging question of the President is not the same as having the opportunity to answer that question and the time to persuade Americans that government healthcare is what we need.
Considering the government takeover of GM and the President’s desire to expand the Fed to take over companies whose survival it deems necessary, it should come as no surprise that the media, already carrying water for Obama since day one, now seems to be serving as his propagandists. Conservatives need to call their congressmen, write to their local newspapers and talk to friends and family. All we can do is fight when the media appears to have taken sides.
Yet another of Barack's little plans goes awry. When they say hundreds are protesting in Bermuda, that's about half the population, right? Kidding. So, this little plan to dump a few detainees managed to snub the British and anger the citizens of Bermuda. Bravo, Mr. President.
Is there something about our culture that makes an ever growing number of Americans feel that they should be getting everything they want, with no real effort on their part? What happened to the values of working hard and saving, starter homes and delayed gratification? It seems they’ve disappeared from the landscape and it’s a trend that should concern us all.
Once upon a time, actions had consequences. If you didn’t have the money to buy a house, you didn’t buy a house. Then along came your friendly neighborhood government and made lenders give you money because everyone should be able to buy a house, no matter their financial situation. Fannie and Freddie loaned with abandon. People put no money down, took out variable rate mortgages and the loan defaults began. Everyone now has to pay for that pandering error in judgment with lower housing values and harder to get credit.
Social Security is another program that leads to government dependence. It was created at a time when the life expectancy was much shorter and it was a safety net, not a retirement plan. It has now become for many their only retirement plan. Why save for your golden years when you can spend now and the government will provide you a paycheck when the time comes.
And, don’t forget welfare or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families as it's more politely called. People used to take care of each other in hard times. We relied on family and church if things were dire. Then along came welfare and people learned that the more children you had the more money you received. Clinton tried to end that downward spiral by reforming the system, but the truth of the matter is that many life-long welfare recipients moved to Social Security in the form of means tested Social Security Insurance benefits (SSI.) They are deemed disabled, and there is little monitoring of their continued eligibility. Others spend their time and energy trying to find new ways to stay on benefits rather than using the assistance as a step up to independence. Welfare creates very few success stories. The cost of this program continues to expand, with no end in sight and no new reforms in the wings.
Finally, since it seems we haven’t learned that entitlements drain the life out of both their recipients and the economy, we have our President eager to dabble in healthcare reform. Rather than consider the example of Medicare, a program that grows more and more expensive each year, the President appears to subscribe to the idea that a government run option will reduce healthcare spending. He has already expanded SCHIP, the health insurance program for children whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. He will likely offer a government insurance option. Soon, to cut costs, rationing would start and again those entitled to this “free” insurance would suffer. Soon, so would the rest of us in the form of higher taxes and fewer and fewer private options until we are all in the same boat, our lives subject to what the government tells our doctor is appropriate treatment.
Social Security, welfare, misguided housing reforms have all trained people to look to the government for what they should provide for themselves. As our country’s entitlement programs grow ever larger and Obama seeks to add yet another large bureaucratic monstrosity in the form of healthcare reform, we must remember that entitlements depend on taxpayers to fund them. But what Congress and the President fail to realize is that the more they hand out to people, the fewer people will be out there working and paying the taxes that fund their "voter outreach." Entitlements will become unsustainable. It’s better to pull the plug now, while the patient still has a chance on his own.
As General Motors entered bankruptcy to trim its girth in the hope that it will survive to build happy environmentally friendly cars that no one wants, President Obama claimed 60% of the shares of GM stock for the government. Obama described this move as temporary and expressed, yet again, his reluctance to insert the government into the day to day decision making of America’s automotive industry. But, is this reluctance sincere, or the first step in Obama’s plan to grow government’s control over our lives?
First they came for the banks. Banks were forced to take bailout money and all the strings those came with, namely the government’s desire to control wages and determine bonuses for executives. Banks who received bailout funds are now limited in their ability to attract talent with financial incentives.
Then they promised stimulus, but it came with conditions. States who accept stimulus funds have to agree to the conditions that are wedded to those fund. For example, California is facing a budget crisis and needs to make deep cuts after a ballot measures to cut the deficit failed, but if they cut too deeply, they can lose access to stimulus funds they desperately need. So, they have to spend money they don’t have to get money?
Government Motors? Will Obama be hands off as he claims? Doubtful. First he fired GM CEO Rick Wagoner and replaced him with Fritz Henderson. Then Obama’s team pushed GM to drop a few brands. Finally, they pushed them into bankruptcy. Whether this was the best decision for GM (and I believe this should have happened earlier and without wasted bailout funds and attempts to salvage the company) or not, this all came at the behest of our leader. Obama forced bond holders to take huge losses, but required minimal bending from the United Auto Workers. Obama states that GM will be governed by its board of directors, not by him or by Congress. However, with Obama’s team selecting all but two of the new members of the board of directors the difference is negligible at best. Obama’s hands-off approach also seems to include a command to produce environmentally friendly, low emission compact cars. No, he’s not involved at all.
Finally, Obama is now rubbing his hands together at the prospect of going into the healthcare business. After all these successful maneuvers to bloat government, why not one more? Obama will likely build on Medicare, which is a wasteful mess, creating a similar program for those under 65 years who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP and do not have private insurance (or are not satisfied with their coverage). Launching the government further into the insurance business creates a new entitlement which will inevitably become permanent and will surely grow.
President Obama continues to deny that he wants government to run the banks, run GM, run healthcare, but his actions speak louder than his words. As government expands, so does it’s control over our lives, breeding dependence and wasteful spending. Criticism of Obama is coming from the Right as expected, but as time passes and these temporary interventions become permanent, hopefully Americans will remember their small government roots and call for the government to get out of our lives and our businesses.
Sonia Sotomayor is Obama's nominee to replace Justice Souter. The opportune announcement allows us a little more insight into what Obama values and gives us the chance to focus in on Sotomayor's views. Obama claims he was looking for empathy in his nominee. He seems more interested in her life story than in what she stands for as a judge. In my opinion, she has three glaring strikes against her. Didden v. Village of Port Chester, Doninger v. Niehoff and Ricci v. DeStefano.
In Didden v. Village of Port Chester the Second Circuit addressed the case of a taking of property by the village of Port Chester. Didden owed a parcel of property in a redevelopment district which was overseen by Wasser. When Didden requested permission to develop his property as a CVS pharmacy, Wasser demanded $800,000 or a partnership interest or he would condemn the property and take if for the village. When Didden did not meet these demands, the village did take the property and built a Walgreens. The Second Circuit upheld the taking. This expansive view of the government's right to take private property puts even Kelo to shame.
Doninger v. Niehoff dealt with a student's First Amendment rights. Doninger was running for student council when she objected to the school administration's cancellation of "Jamfest" calling the administrators "douchebags" on her livejournal. The school refused to let her run for student council based on her comments and ignored write in votes she received. The Second Circuit ignored the First Amendment implications and felt that the administrators were correct to punish private speech. This speech was made outside of school, but that mattered little.
Finally, Ricci v. DeStefano Sotomayor joined in an unsigned opinion that upheld the lower court's ruling without touching on the constitutional issues raised by the case. Frank Ricci and several other firefighters filed suit after the New Haven fire department refused to certify the results of an exam because no African Americans had passed to be promoted. The Second Circuit upheld what amounts to reverse discrimination.
Sonia Sotomayor may have an admirable past. She may have the right background in Obama's eyes, but from the decision she's supported, she clearly is no defender of the Constitution. She's an activist with an agenda and anyone who believes in property right, free speech or opposes discrimination should be concerned about Sotomayor's nomination.
The South Park gnomes teach us about Obama's policies. There is a lot of idealism in Obama's policies. Here and there he has made a decision that veered away from his campaign promises (for example, not releasing interrogation pics), which seemed to be based on having his eyes opened on the job. For the most part though, he has stuck with his naive "diplomacy cures all" approach to the Middle East and "apologies cure all" approach to Europe. I think this has worked, and will continue to work to his detriment.
Yes, folks, fear not. Mark Mallory is on duty. Somewhere else. Uh, I think in Vegas?! Well, anyway, he's still on top of things even when he's in Japan or wherever and he's eager to let us know that we needn't worry about that budget crisis. Nah, it's all cool. Is it time for Cirque de Soleil yet?
The call for universal healthcare has grown louder over the past few years. We constantly hear from the President and the Democratic majority that we can’t fix the economy until we fix healthcare. Now come the commercials preaching the same message. Is healthcare broken? Is the only solution to march down the path to socialized medicine?
Obama and the Democrats are rubbing their hands together and hatching their plans to “fix” healthcare. The ultimate goal being universal coverage, we can guess what some of those plans may be by looking at Obama’s campaign promises. Imagine a Medicare-like government program for those who don’t qualify for the newly expanded SCHIP program, but who are dissatisfied with their current insurance or who have none available. Medicare is currently a growing nightmare, with increasing costs and recent estimates showing its bankruptcy looming closer than expected. How would a new government program control costs where Medicare has failed? Rationing. Medicare has already seen the light and started down this path, refusing to cover new technology for less invasive colonoscopies currently being covered by many private insurers. This is just the start of the restrictions that people will have to face on their new universal coverage. Prescriptions drugs with be assessed for cost and efficacy. Procedures will be weighed by your age, potential for survival, etc. The United States currently has the highest cancer survival rate in the world. We may be sacrificing that too in the name of universal coverage. Michael Moore may think he’s willing to wait for access to doctors in the name of “fairness,” but is he willing to wait 19 months for bypass surgery? Knee replacement? A tumor biopsy?
Conservatives have been accused of finding fault with the Democrats’ plans, but offering no solutions themselves. This is not true. The love affair with European-style socialism has blinded people to smaller, more practical solutions that have been offered. First, tax breaks are key to making insurance affordable and portable. McCain offered the idea of replacing the tax benefit of employer-provided coverage with a tax credit for individuals and families. Removing the employer/insurance link that limits the portability of insurance is important and often misunderstood.
Another good idea that has been put forth is removing regulations that limit individual insurance policies sales. For example, living in Ohio, I can’t shop around for a cheaper policy designed in Oregon or Utah. If your state regulates insurance policies heavily and these barriers are removed, you can expand your choices and be responsible for your own coverage choice.
Obviously, innovation would help lower costs. I believe liberals and conservatives can both agree on that. Improved technology prevents duplicative testing and procedures and also reduces errors.
Finally, part of the reason that insurance is so costly is that it is so abused. Why do we run to insurance to cover day to day costs from routine doctor’s visits to antibiotics? Why is health insurance so different from car insurance or homeowner’s insurance. Paying for routine visits and having insurance for crisis or prolonged illness would put less strain on the system. Encouraging healthy people to opt for higher deductible insurance policies would reduce the drain on insurers and help curb rising premiums.
Universal coverage is a beautiful idea, but is America really ready for what it truly brings: rationing, wait lists, limited selection of doctors and little control over your own healthcare decisions? And we haven’t even mentioned how Obama plans to pay for it. Conservatives need to start screaming from the rooftops that universal coverage isn’t free and it won’t just harm our wallets, it will harm those we love the most.
Obama has certainly made his position clear on the issue of taxing the rich. A modern day Robin Hood, he sees it as fair to redistribute wealth. You tax the rich as much as you can and give that to the poor and magic happens and we are all equal, socialism abounds and peace reigns. Right.
What I fail to grasp about the revival of socialism v.2.0 is why this dead philosophy keeps being resurrected. How can something fail repeatedly and still be considered viable? The poor don't get richer. The rich just get poorer as they are taxed more and more to sustain the burden of carrying numerous social programs that, in the end, don't elevate the poor. The poor continue to stagnate, dependent on the social programs that the government doles out. They are also dependent on the government and will continue to vote themselves more and more benefits, thinking that maybe more will be better, more will bring wealth. I believe we will reach the tipping point soon, when those who don't pay taxes outnumber those who do. When you have that majority, how do you convince people to give up the dole? How do conservatives ever get a foothold again when liberals are passing out all the goodies?
What can people do if things keep going down this path? When states raise taxes, the rich can call "Two Men and a Truck" and move on to greener pastures with lower taxes. If they can't outrun the taxes because it's the fed that comes a calling, they may just go Galt. After the election there were numerous articles interviewing people who intended to reduce their incomes in protest of unfair taxation. If you cant soak the rich, they'll have to move on to the middle class, which I think will open people's eyes as to the unsustainable nature of entitlements. How happy will people be to pay 50% of their income to receive less competent medical care? When cancer survival rates start to match those of Europe, will it be enough comfort to know that we are all receiving the same reduced care? When will we realize that equal isn't always an admirable goal, if equal means we all suffer.
the more they stay the same. I think Arlen Specter has learned a valuable lesson. He learned that calling himself a Democrat hasn't improved his ability to negotiate a compromise on the Employee Free Choice Act or Card Check. I just have to wonder how long it will be before Specter caves and just votes for the bill as is and solidifies the grip of the unions in this country? Card Check ends the right to a private ballot. This enables union organizers, who certainly have an interest in the outcome of any vote as they collect a percentage of employees' income in dues, to more directly coerce or threaten employees. Union organizers can visit employees homes and could refuse to leave until a card is signed, not to mention the possibility of fraudulent signatures. Card Check also requires binding arbitration if the parties fail to agree on an initial union contract. Arbitration isn't a discussion or a chance to reach a compromise. The decision of the arbitrator if final and imposes a contract on both parties for two years. This destroys the right of employees to bargain with their employer. It just slaps a contact in place and both parties have to live with the results.
The unions tout this bill as necessary to save the middle class. They claim that the corporations deny people the right join unions, that they coerce and control their employees. Because unions are so much less coercive? Locally, Ohio's AK Steel employees were out of work for a year. They couldn't get other jobs if they wanted their AK jobs back through the union. People lost their homes because the union organizers stuck to their demands and AK Steel argued that it needed to cut positions and benefits to remain profitable in the current market. If a company starts losing profits due to union demands, does it really benefit the employees for the unions to keep pushing and push the company out of business altogether? How much fault do the unions bear for the problems America's car industry is facing? The economy of this country is changing and union membership is declining. Card check is a thinly veiled attempt to swing the balance back in the union's favor. Card check as it stands replaces the corporate bully that the unions claim controls the system, with the union bully.
What true sci-fi geek can resist a good Star Trek metaphor? Not this geek. I've got two. First, I was eavesdropping the other day at lunch and some folks were discussing the new Star Trek movie. This will include major spoilers, so beware! They commented that the movie's alteration of the original Star Trek timeline, on which all the series have been based, may upset the traditional Star Trek fans. My thoughts turned to politics. How's that for a one track mind? I thought that the new Star Trek movie represents more moderate Republicans. Traditional old school Star Trek is the hardcore right Republicans. Maybe the traditionalists will hate the new Trek for selling out or watering down the story line, just as some Republicans dislike the more inclusive moderate view that is moving through the Republican Party and wish to reject those who support it. But, new Star Trek seems to appeal to non-Trek fans just as a moderate focus for the Republican party would be more likely to attract Independents. Would traditional Trekkies rather have no new Star Trek movies because they want to stay true to the original series, or would they rather keep the story alive with a modern twist? Would traditional Republicans rather see the party lose national elections rather than welcome those who sit a little closer to the center than to the right?
The second metaphor is borrowed. I certainly think the comparison of Obama to Spock and Bush to Kirk as accurate. There's a reason that Spock was always better as a First Officer or Ambassador and when it came to a crisis, he turned things over to Kirk.
The train wreck that is socialized medicine is speeding towards us and it seems that there is little being done to stop it. It seems Democrats plans to use budget reconciliation, a procedure normally used to reduce spending, to ram healthcare through without meaningful debate. Clinton was tempted to use budget reconciliation to pass Hillarycare, but the story is that Sen. Byrd enlightened him to the fact that it would not be a proper use of the process. Clinton agreed. Hillarycare was also killed, in part, by the strong opposition of the healthcare industry. Doctors, hospitals, insurers voiced their dissent. Where is the dissent this time? It seems that the clamor for "free" healthcare is drowning out the sane voices that are pointing out the pending disaster. Obama paints his plan as a public alternative for those not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers, and that if you're happy with your current insurance you can keep it. But, when the government competes against the private sector, it will most likely win. Not because it's better, but because government can run at a deficit. Private insurers must be profitable or they go out of business. All government has to do it keep providing enough coverage to keep people happy until the private insurers tank and then they can start rationing and dictating your healthcare because then they'll be no alternative. Governments don't go out of business, they just provide shoddy service and tax you more for it. I regularly hear people comment that they'd pay more taxes if it would provide universal healthcare in this country. Really? How much more? Will 50% of your income be too much? 70%? Every government programs runs inefficiently and costs more and more over time. How many years will we have to live with this mistake before we realize that it's a failure everywhere it's been tried?
What was all that flack about the torture memos? Why were they even released? First they say there will be no prosecutions and then they hint that maybe there will be? Now they plan to refer the Bush administration's lawyers to their local bar's disciplinary boards for ethical violations? By the way, did you hear that after all that condemnation, Obama's Justice Department is now relying on that same legal analysis in a brief supporting the extradition of John Demjanjuk. The gist of the memos is that torture is defined by intent and if there is no evil motive to cause harm or suffering, it is not torture. Demjanjuk argued that at his advanced age/physical condition extraditing him to Germany and causing him to stand trial would amount to torture. The Justice Department cited the memos to argue that without evil motive, the extradition and trial would not amount to torture. I guess this is what it looks like to have ones cake and eat it too.
Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic party has added to the growing concerns about the future of the Republican party. While Specter's move was more about self-preservation and less about the nature of the Republican party, the question still must be asked: which way is the party heading, towards tolerant inclusiveness or a purge of those deemed Republicans-in-name-only (RINOs)?
I have identified myself as a conservative, a Libertarian and a Republican. In our current two party system, if you don't fit into the mold of one particular party, you worry that your voice won't be heard. Most people have an issue that is close to their hearts and mine is limited government. I can compromise on many things, but the expansion of government under the Bush administration was something I found frustrating and harmful to conservative ideals. I still voted for Bush in 2004, because I felt Kerry was too weak on national defense. I supported Ron Paul in 2008. I knew there was no chance that he'd get the nomination. I voted for McCain with many trepidations. I am one of the moderates that Olympia Snowe thinks the Republican Party is driving away
The question now is, will the Republican party embrace the moderates or push them away to their own detriment. I have to agree with Rick Moran's article on PJTV that opines that purifying the party is harmful and embracing moderates is the only way the Republican party can survive. A purified party is unified by it's ideals, but too small to garner a majority vote. Purity equals extinction.
The passing of Jack Kemp is an excellent time to reflect on how the Republican party has strayed from it's roots and what we can do to bring focus back to the party. The past eight years have seen Republicans sell out their core values of small government, low taxes, personal responsibility and free markets. Whether it was a sad attempt to pander to voters or just a lack of true conviction, our elected officials lost the confidence of the voters, and justifiably so. It's time that the Republicans remember their roots and stop being a subset of the Democratic Party. We know how this is done. Remember Carter? We are in that place again and we can come out of it again. Where are the new Jack Kemps and Ronald Reagans? They need to start making their voices heard again. Soon.
Very quietly and with little fanfare, the Senate did something right. I'm unsure why Obama didn't push this measure. Perhaps, given time, he came to realize the problems it posed, from increased bankruptcy filings to the plain old disgust felt by people who acted responsibly at the thought of bailing out those who fiddled the summer away.
An excellent perspective on where the GOP needs to go from here. The party needs to drop the litmus tests and stress the fiscal conservative aspect of the party. That's where the appeal lies. For too long the Republican party has been exactly the same as Democrats, except with more religion. That's not enough to appeal to independents. It's time to accept that limited government, freedom and self-reliance should be the focus of the party.
As Obama reaches 100 days in office, I'm sure the mainstream media will inundate us with warm fuzzy pictures of Barack, Michelle and the girls joyously inhabiting the White House. Oh, there's a swingset and a garden. Michelle's so fashionable. The dog is so cute. Can you guess how far they'll dig into Barack's actual accomplishments in those first 100 days? May his reach actually exceed his grasp.
Porter Goss spells it out for Obama and the Democrats. It will be interesting to watch Pelosi keep trying to deny she knew that the enhanced interrogation techniques were actually being put in practice. Selective amnesia, it appears, is catching.
And a bit more on why Napolitano's memo casts anyone who disagrees with the administration as a potential threat.
After that irresponsible memo casting veterans as potential right wing extremists, it's not surprising that conservatives are calling for Napolitano to step down. Considering the timing on the memo, I'd have to agree that part of the purpose was to cast a negative light on the Tea Parties. It may not seem like much, but this is how oppression starts. I think she should voluntarily step down to prove that the new administration isn't trying to stifle dissent.
Mario Lopez gushing nightly on the glory of Barack and Michelle? What will Michelle wear today? I thought that after the series of bad economic decisions and his disastrous attempt to dictate to the EU on Turkey's membership bid, we'd be over this, but no. "Washingtonian" with a shirtless Barack on the cover? Please let this blind, uncritical obsession end soon.
I know, I stole that from a t-shirt that I intend to purchase as soon as possible. It does sum up the accomplishments of the Obama administration to date.
Now if Obama takes things to the next level and decides to prosecute former administration officials, even Bush or Cheney, my good-humored embarrassment at his incompetence will turn to rage. Releasing the information on alternate interrogation methods was already a dangerous policy decision. It will allow our enemies to know exactly how far we can go in our interrogations and permit them to train their people to withstand those methods. But, prosecuting former administration officials is obscene. Wasn't his American Apology Tour 2009 enough? I guess he knows he's looking like a bumbling rube and has to launch a show trial to distract from his own inadequacy. I know, my rage is showing.
First Barack reveals the US interrogation techniques. Always a good idea to let the enemy know the limits of your techniques. Even if you don't intend to continue to use them, they now know exactly how much they would ever have to withstand in US custody.
Then, our heroic Homeland Security Secretary decides that terrorists, oh, sorry, that's man-caused disaster causers, aren't the real enemy. Nope, it's Veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan. Yes, we must fear right wing extremists more than the people who brought us 9/11. This is just the start of the government's subtle marginalization of conservative beliefs, released just in time for the Tea Parties.
An excellent commentary on the Left's Tea Party mock-fest. Yuck it up Rachel Maddow. The Left's complacency is excellent for our side.
Did you see that CNN clip with Susan Roesgen interview, or arguing with, a protester? Check it out. The off-air portion of the video is pretty revealing. It's almost pointless to argue with journalists as this point, or to expect them to not wallow in their bias. I just try to remember that New Yorkers, journalists and university professors are not the entirety of America, they are just the most strident and have the largest platform. While Obama won the majority of the vote, many of those voters were voting against McCain or voting as moderates. His entire voting base didn't necessarily sign on for socialism. I have to believe the tide will turn.
Done with those tax returns? Obama says he's going to streamline the tax process to prevent loopholes and end the dread of filing. I guess when we turn our entire paycheck directly over to the government, Tax Day will be much easier to face.
Did you go to a Tea Party? Me too! Thousands of people calling for limited government, reasonable taxation and an end to stimulus, bailouts and debt. I was initially discouraged by the media mockery of the Tea Parties (a prime example), but have decided that this is how they react to anything that scares them and that they don't understand. Hopefully, more and more people will see past the media's cold shoulder. The longer Obama is in office, the more this message will resonate.
Hillary Clinton assures us there are no concessions or ransom payments to pirates. She also states that the Somali pirate problem must be dealt with, in part, by Somalia. Hillary, perhaps we can set up a meeting with their leaders? Oh, that won't work? You say they are a country run by warlords? I guess they'll jump right on that pirate problem as soon as they form a government, have some elections, create a coast guard, military, police forces, etc.
I really do feel like I keep repeating myself, but I cannot emphasize enough how terrible I believe government run healthcare will be. This is the path we are on if we don't send a bold message to our elected officials that healthcare may need reform, but turning it over to the government in increments will be a disaster. People often compare the cost of public government healthcare with private insurance, claiming that government can control costs better. Maybe not. The control costs by rationing and underpaying. Do you think we'll be able to keep quality doctors and keep equipment in good repair if we have to wait for the government to pony up the cash?
same as the old boss. I imagine that you learn many things once you become president that may cause you to change your views. However, maybe Obama should have considered that fact before he mocked and berated the Bush Administration's policies.
If you can't inspire the troops and be lauded as a great military commander, just fake it. I hope that those who were in on the joke got to keep the cameras. They may be the only people to benefit from the Obama presidency.
Personally, I smell a conspiracy and the mainstream media is complicit. We are being manipulated every day in order to force an agenda we would otherwise question. First the fear-mongering on the stimulus bill and now the hand-wringing over the uninsured. Government healthcare is not the answer. It's a disaster. Why do we not pay for everyday doctor visits, prescriptions, etc.? Why is health insurance not like car insurance? I pay for minor repairs, oil changes, new wiper blades, but insurance kicks in for a wreck. Why not medical insurance? I get cancer, it's covered. Knee replacement, covered. I go to my general practitioner for a physical, I pay the bill. Why not promote catastrophic care insurance over the HMO?
Is this what we can expect from our future single-payer healthcare system, Obamacare? This quote sums it up: It's a question of resources and priorities focusing on "the biggest gain for the biggest need," Maybe I'm selfish, but if it were my mother, my friend or me, charge me the $6000 and fly me to the hospital. I'll find a way to pay. Whenever I mention that healthcare will be rationed by the government in a socialized system, people often argue that it is already rationed by insurance companies. No. Private insurance may deny coverage, but they don't deny treatment. I can take the financial hit if it's worth it and still have the procedure. If the government turns you down, you don't get the procedure. Stay healthy.
You really can't deny things nowadays since everything is caught on video. Now Obama tries to deny that he bowed to King Abdullah. Check out the video of the meet and greet with Queen Elizabeth vs. the King. What's their definition of bow?
I guess North Korea is making an honest man out of Joe Biden. How is Obama responding? Well, diplomatically, is the best spin I can put on it. Of course, Europe loves this, but who doesn't want a weaker America?
A girl can dream. I think it would be great if a third party could get a foothold in American politics. Unfortunately, it seems that any third party just draws votes directly from one party, rather than more evenly from both. I would hate to see the Democrats retain power because of a third party movement, but I also would like to see an alternative to the Republican party of the past decade or so. Less religious right and more small government. I felt the move towards that in Ron Paul's campaign and I have hope for it again due to the sound thrashing that Republicans took this time around.
Haven't heard much about the Tea Parties on the mainstream media, have you? Well, the goal is to make you think they are just small, isolated and occasional events. Take a look at the reality. Here's hoping it continues. Looking forward to April 15, in Cincinnati!
Obama's raising taxes on someone other than the "rich." He's raising taxes on cigarettes to fund SCHIP. What's so odd about this is that they are taxing the poor to fund a program for the poor. What's also odd is that they think it will reduce the number of smokers. Couple that with the stimulus anti-smoking programs and it seems they are taxing to fund a program and at the same time trying to eliminate that source of funding. So, what will fund SCHIP when cigarette taxes start to dry up?
And huh? How can Obama's team blame John McCain for killing campaign finance reform when Obama basically buried it by refusing to stick with his promise to follow the public financing system when he saw the opportunity to bury McCain by outspending him? McCain's just calling the time of death, not killing it himself.
This article argues that Obama is too smart for his own good. I'd agree. I certainly don't think he's stupid, but I do think he analyzes things to death and has trouble making firm decisions. He's trying to very hard to look thoughtful and intelligent, but he's already started micromanaging. His team is going to put their two cents into GM's board of directors? They've already shown that they're having difficulties running this country, much less running various private businesses.
Also, Glenn Reynolds on PJTV has added a clip from "Serenity" with Capt. Mal stating, "I aim to misbehave" to his latest chat about the Tea Party Movement. Got to love that. I'd say that's as good as any other statement about what's going on with the Tea Parties.
Finally, feel the vanity oozing out of Obama's gift to the Queen. *sigh*
This article from The Economist sums up Obama's first months fairly well. This sentence in particular caught my eye: "Almost as striking as the contrast between Mr Obama’s soaring ambition and his frequent incompetence is that between his promise to elevate politics and his willingness to continue with politics-as-usual."
It's also very true that Obama is wasting his time and his political capital continuing his campaigning. I don't know if it's just to distract from the incompetence or if he's already trying to rally for 2012. Either way he's in danger of becoming a joke.
You know, Obama's got to feel pretty low right about now. He goes in to the inauguration on a high note, people celebrating all over the world, Europe, Africa, etc. The media adoring him. He thinks it's unconditional love. Now he's got to face reality and the fact that it's a job and a hard one at that. He can't just skate by on good speeches and charming banter, not that he's not still trying with his press conferences and talk show appearances. But, now he's got to face the real leaders and their refusal to fawn over him. Poor guy.
Here's a bit on the real change we need. Of course, instead we are going to fire CEOs and run the economy into the ground with government regulations. And now the automakers are going to end up in bankruptcy anyway? Why didn't they just do this to begin with? I guess we are really going to have to learn the hard way that socialism isn't going to work.
Considering that global warming science varies from the hysterics screaming that the world will end if you light the barbeque to complete denials of global warming in general and/or man-made global warming in particular, it seems just a wee bit imprudent to jump into strict, business killing policies.
I've had about enough of Obama's "teaching moments." You know, those who can't do, teach. I caught a bit of his talking points and his evade and redirect strategy and decided I'd had enough. After the last press conference I recall the MSNBC hosts gushing about how refreshing it was to have a president who gave intellectual and in-depth responses. Have we noticed yet that the man gives a good speech or a good press conference, but hasn't accomplished anything? He flits from the economy to healthcare to cap and trade and doesn't finish anything like a kid off his ritalin.
It's about time that the media love fest came to an end. I still don't quite understand why it existed in the first place. You can appreciate someone's charisma and still analyze their substance, or lack thereof as is the case here. I've never experienced something like Obama's cult of personality. He was teflon during the election, despite some very scary information about his background. Everything negative was a conspiracy.
And, as proof that the love affair has ended, I give you Paul Krugman. Does anyone at the Times love Obama anymore?
Considering the multiple missteps and outright incompetence of the new administration (see, for example, this little tidbit on trade), it's time to start the charm offensive. During an economic crisis with a bumbling Treasury Secretary and multiple projects in his socialist agenda that he intends to jam down our throats, he's going on Jay Leno. Why? Because it is all he can do. All he is is an empty suit that gives a good speech. The only reason his approval rating is still fairly high is his charm, but that too will wear thin. So, go ahead Barack, chat about your NCAA picks and Michelle and girls and pretend that your presidency isn't slowly going down the drain.
If you want a fine example of why the government shouldn't try to run a business, the AIG uproar is a perfect example. My favorite quote:
Incidentally, has anybody asked Team Obama why it is more than willing to break mortgage contracts with a bankruptcy-judge cram-down, but won't cram-down compensation agreements for AIG, despite the fact that the U.S. government owns the company? Kind of odd, don't you think?
Things don't seem to be going well at Treasury, but don't worry, Geithner is on the ball. It's just that his job is more difficult than any other Treasury Secretary except maybe Alexander Hamilton. FIrst we have Biden telling us Obama has inherited the worst first 100 days of any President in history and now this. Gosh, I feel better knowing there's such a crack team on the job.
On the subject of bonuses...hear about this one? So, Obama is going to peddle democratic propaganda to the next generation of voters and make a bundle to boot.
Guess what happens when you pass a bill that specifically protects AIG's ability to make bonus payments? AIG pays their employees bonuses. Cue the shock and outrage. I can't fathom how the administration can keep a straight face while claiming they didn't know this would happen.
The thing that scares me the most about Obama is his plan to overhaul healthcare. Taxes can be lowered, the economy can be resurrected once he's done destroying American businesses, but he plans to change healthcare in a fundamental and possibly irreversible ways. Why does this scare me? Well, I've been reading "Fleeced" and it explains that coverage for all means millions more will be going to the doctor. Are there more doctors suddenly? Think supply and demand. Remember what happens? Yeah, prices will go up. Uh, oh, now what? Since the plan was to control costs what do you do? You ration. People keep telling me that rationing already exists. No, you're wrong. Your insurance company can deny coverage for a procedure, but you can still have it done if you find a way to pay. If the newly created government review board denies coverage you can't have the procedure. Period. You're young and healthy now so that's no big deal. But what if mom needs a knee replacement and she's 75? Will the government see that as a wise expenditure? How about cancer treatment for a person in their 80s? The government will make your healthcare decisions. At least now you can choose to put yourself in debt to stay alive. Soon you won't have that choice.
At the rally yesterday a friend noted that the majority of attendees were older and white. The GOP needs to appeal to a younger crowd and minorities. I think that young people are embracing the libertarian viewpoint, but maybe not through the GOP. Minorities are still not coming on board. This may help explain that fact.
It was awesome. There were several thousand people there. Estimates between 3500-5000. Everyone was great and I didn't witness any inappropriate behavior or see any of the fringe folks that sometimes attach themselves to a rally. It made me proud to be part of all this. I'll post some select pics tomorrow. I do have pics on my Facebook page.
Think Barry has your best interests at heart? Think he's trying really darn hard to fix the economy? Think again. How can you do everything that you and your Democratic colleagues want to do if the economy improves?
Fear of economic catastrophe is Obama's justification for his socialist agenda. If the economy improves he loses that wedge. So why would Geithner want to move quickly? Obama still needs to create universal healthcare, waste more money on failing schools and install overzealous and economically harmful environmental regulations.
Considering that cap-and-trade regulations will act as a tax on everyone, even Obama's sacred middle class, maybe he should try getting all the science straight before acting. But what's the fun in that, right? We've got a crisis, so we must take full advantage.
Obama, you can throw out as many disclaimers as you want. The economy is your problem now.
I find it interesting that Obama keeps rushing through so many bills and plans and none of them seem to actually be complete. I feel like we should start seeing some improvement in the economy before he can justify moving on to destroy healthcare. He's got 20 things in the oven and none are done cooking and he's going to obviously burn some and undercook others.
It's seems absurd to me that Democrats, so soon after winning the election, feel the need to demonize any Republican who seem to be showing an ounce of leadership. I know it's to their benefit to keep the Republicans unfocused by bashing Rush, Jindal and now Eric Cantor, but it seems frivolous for them to be having planning sessions and coordinating statements when there's so much else to do. I guess I should be grateful. Maybe if they keep messing around they won't destroy every part of this country. I think this is Rahm's baby though. He seems the vicious type who revels in this kind of political nastiness. Have at it, Rahm. People have figured out what you are doing and it just makes you look sleazy.
Rush Limbaugh was pilloried for his out of context statement about wanting Obama to fail. I think this article sums up well how hoping for failure isn't a crime. Patriotism isn't about supporting our leaders without question. What critics don't understand about those of us hoping for failure is that if you think that the President's policies will harm this country, it's really hoping for the best for our country to hope those policies fail.
Speaking of Rush, Michael Steele would do best to not balloon his importance by criticizing him. Let Rush be Rush and the less you say about him, the better. Perhaps he should focus on this instead. The Republicans need focus, not these silly distractions.
Finally, some folks are seeing the light. Now if the Republicans would just get on track with a strong alternative to Obama/Pelosi/Reid, they could capitalize on the growing opportunities Obama is presenting them.
Obama knows what's best. He plans to pick your charities for you. Yeah, he'll just tax you more, reduce incentives to give to charities by reducing the charitable deduction and then give government money to charities he picks. I think the ultimate plan though is to eliminate private charities and make your friendly neighborhood government the only game in town. Who needs private charities if you have socialism?
There is also increasing buzz about people intending to "go Galt." I think it's great. If you choose to tax productivity, what can you do if people decide to protest by being less productive? It's not "unfair" as it is being labeled. It's still their choice and the unsurprising consequence of a bad policy call. I can't comprehend why anyone thinks Obama's tax plans aren't an unmitigated disaster.
I loved this abcnews poll today. Dodge. Finagling. Sidestep. Nice spin. This accompanied an article on people who said they would find ways to reduce their income to avoid Obama's tax increase. It's "Atlas Shrugged" in action. This isn't unfair of them. It's legitimate protest. Obviously, I voted "yes" and would do the same.
Speaking of dodgy...some of Sasha and Malia's schoolmates are going to lose their chance at decent education. If these politicians, Obama included, think so highly of the public schools that they are willing to force these kids to attend them, why aren't their kids going there? Killing vouchers kills these kids' futures. Ohio Gov. Strickland also has his eye on killing vouchers too, but competition is the only thing that's going to save the public schools.