Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Obama - more to the Left than France

If Obama gets his way, the USA of 2016 would be to the *LEFT* of most of the European states - larger Government, higher taxes, tighter regulations, less freedoms than EU countries.

I made that statement on this blog and got challenged on it:

“I would disagree with your assessment. In what regards is Obama to the left of France or Germany?”

My response:

I was speaking of a trajectory that if continued might get crossed by 2016, should they tack right and we race left. I am speaking of trajectory not current position.
America’s heritage of freedom, and previous 28 years of Governance that has been overall centrist has kept us from trending left … but Obama is outside that historical envelope, and is seeking to move USA to a place we’ve never been.

And I think the assessment that Obama is racing USA to the left, to a massive Federal Government more bloated than any Government in history, is accurate. Disagree?

Perhaps you are unaware of how gargantuan ObamaCare, even with the Baucus all-pain-no-gain version, will be. The true ten-year cost once the program is fully loaded is about $1.7 trillion (not the $800 billion 10 year number they tout). That’s the CBO estimate, or as best we can get, since the Senate is arrogantly going to forge ahead without even the legislative language required to enable a real scoring.

Perhaps you haven’t accounted for the 50+ agencies that bill will produce, the squeeze on the entire healthcare industry it will create.

Perhaps you haven’t added in the added pestilence of “Cap and Trade” on industrial America, adding regulations, taxations and bureaucracies galore. That bill will shift another $200 billion per year through the Federal Govt over time, taxing/punishing some and rewarding others. This is another $2000/ year per family, or more, of either direct cost or Govt redistribution, depending on how the Govt set it up - and Govts get sticky fingers.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed that our deficit this year is - for the first time sine WWII - in double digits of GDP, and that the *lowest* deficit that Obama projects over the next 5 years is higher than the last Bush+republican budget in 2006.

Perhaps you havent noticed that every year the Pelosi Democrat Congress has passed budgets, they have increased discretionary spending by double digits. Perhaps you havent noticed that the Federal budget is a higher percentage at any time in USA’s history than in the last 50 years, jumping from historical 18-20% levels to over 28% of GDP.

Perhaps you havent noticed that if you take that higher number and include state and local Governments, the share of Government to GDP is now eclipsing the ratio in many of the European nations, exactly the metric some would use to assure us we are not as ’socialist’ as Europe.

Perhaps you haven’t considered the tidal wave of additional welfare state obligations that are inherent in Obama’s proposed amnesty legalization of 12-20 million illegal aliens, who will be on track for a plethora of Government assistance programs which they are currently legally excluded from.

And last but not least, perhaps you are not noticing the collapse and the discrediting of the left in Europe, the rise of conservative and right-wing / liberal-economics parties in that continent.

Meanwhile in USA, President Obama says that his ideal Justice is a leftwing agitator on the Supreme Court by the name of Ruth Bader Ginsburg; she has disallowed the right of states to democratically protect unborn human life in law, and such judicial legislation will remain in force is so long as Obama nominates similarly leftwing Judges.

“His foreign policy is still tougher than Germany’s or France’s.”

Not really. Bush’s foreign policy trajectory continues, and I give credit to Obama for not bugging out on Iraq or Afghanistan (yet), but almost everything Obama has done new has been in the direction of weakness. His missile defense giveaway was positively Carteresque. I have France’s own Sarkozy in my corner on this, and any cogent reading of Obama’s dreadful UN speech backs up this assessment:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574441402775482322.html
http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2009/09/sarkozy-on-obama-naive-and-grossly.html

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Secret Medicare Cuts

ObamaCare will cost several trillions of dollars over ten years, and the only way to pay for this expansion of Government, that will add millions to Medicaid and other Government programs, other than higher taxes and deficits, is a bunch of cuts to Medicare that will inevitable hit the elderly hard, or won't happen because the political pressure will be too hard.

So the young or the old, or both, will get hurt.

Glenn Bass files to run for State Rep, House District 48

Local businessman Glenn Bass has filed papers to run for State Representative, House District 48, challenging Rep Donna Howard. Here's a press release that he has sent out:

AUSTIN, TX, September 29, 2009: Travis County Republican and local business owner Glenn Bass filed documents today with the Texas Ethics Commission to allow him to start his campaign for Texas House of Representatives, District 48. A fiscal and economic conservative, Bass seeks to reduce the role of government. “I believe in smaller government, less government intervention and personal freedom. Further, it is not the role of government to create jobs, but rather to see where it can get out of the way and let our small business owners do what they do best. While I’ll certainly be providing more specifics soon, those are the basics of who I am and that will be reflected in this campaign,” Bass said.

He entered the banking profession while in college in Dallas at the age of 19, advancing to the rank of Bank Officer by the age of 23. He left banking in 2007 after 20 years in the industry and is now President and Chief Executive Officer of The Bass Group, Inc. The Bass Group, Inc. is based in Austin, Texas and in involved in several business interests. Among those are Glenn Bass Productions, American Q&A with Glenn Bass, and Upstream Staffing & Recruiting, which provides searches for Bankers and Investment Brokers in all areas with exception to Central Texas and for Lawyers anywhere in Texas.

Bass began writing a newsprint column in 1998 titled, American Q&A with Glenn Bass. While it went on to appear in various publications around the state, the column first ran in The Free Press, a newspaper founded by a member of his family. Even though the family sold the newspaper prior to his entry into journalism, he took pride in knowing that his column first ran on the same pages as those by his grandmother - the late Hazel Durham Bass. American Q&A featured one-on-one interviews with newsmakers from around the world, as well as people from the community. Whether reading a first- hand account of the Kennedy assassination given by Nellie Connally, catching up on Willie Nelson's golf game or talking with the teacher down the street, the column brought readers a perspective not so easily found elsewhere.

Also in 1998 he produced and hosted his first made-for-television special titled Christmas at the Governor’s
Mansion. This production featured an interview with then-Governor and Mrs. George W. Bush, as well as a holiday tour of the mansion by the First Lady.

Two years later he moved to Austin and in 2001 began work on Heroes and Legends of the Texas State Cemetery. Eight years in the making, this production premiered at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum on September 17, 2009 to a sold out audience. A short clip of that production is available in the center of the home page at www.glennbassproductions.com.

Austin Energy - Travis County Services Fall Short

Two recent encounters with our local government fall short on customer service and make me wonder how people can think that government-run health care could ever be the answer to any question, except "What's the most stupid thing you could ever think of?"

Encounter 1 -- In my work on the Board of a park association I'm trying to gain restitution from a young person who backed into a security gate causing $2,000+ in damage. The young man, 24, didn't have liability insurance and doesn't have the means to pay for the gate, allegedly. Although he does have the means to drive around our neighborhood all day in his truck. I can't figure out what he does for a living. Anyway, we filed charges against him for criminal mischief and he was arrested on a felony warrant. The charges were reduced because he did not 'intend' damage to our security gate. And I agree with that. However, he should not have been on our park's private property, he should have liability insurance and he should be making some sort of payment to us for restitution. There are still lesser charges against him and I tried to call the Victim Witness at Travis County to make that case. 854-9415. Good luck. The phone system there is the most user-unfriendly system there is. Except maybe for Austin Energy. See Encounter 2.

Encounter 2 -- We've had the misfortune lately of experiencing power outages in our neighborhood and my wife tried to call Austin Energy to report it. Again, Good luck. Their main phone line rings and rings and rings, but no one answers. Ever. No message. No press 1 for Spanish. Nothing. I guess they will be handling customer intake for ObamaCare. In all fairness though, our power was restored in both cases within three hours, so at least they are doing something -- because they're not answering the phone.

So, if you're a victim of a crime or need electricity in Travis County, don't bother calling.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Brianna Becker, Rest in Peace

Brianna Becker, a remarkable UT pre-law student and friend to many in the young conservative community in Austin, had her life cut short in a tragic accident on Friday. Urban Grounds recounts her life, including her conservative activism and her active Christian faith.

She touched many lives, but her life was Christ-centered. A favorite biblical verse of hers included in the Urban Grounds tribute was:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God
so that at the proper time He may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
God has exalted her, but God's time is not our time. She was taken before the promise of her life could be fulfilled. As her friend Michele put it at Blue Dot Blues in a warm remembrance: We lost a Star, and Heavan gained a Saint. We know she passed the test.

There will be a Prayer Vigil for Briana Becker on Tuesday evening 7:30pm at the University Lutheran Center. See: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=143819526573.

Downballot Radio will have a tribute radio show:
The Down Ballot Radio broadcast tomorrow will be a tribute to Brianna Becker, an outspoken activist not just for conservatism but also for student involvement in the political process, women’s empowerment, and her faith. We hope that we can come close to doing Brianna’s memory justice.

As a reminder, Down Ballot Radio will air at 8:30pm, Monday, on http://www.facebook.com/l/5d40c;KVRX.org or 91.7 FM .
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord,
And let perpetual Light shine upon them.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed
Through the mercy of God
Rest in peace.
Amen.

Obama: "I'm not interested in victory"

Obama disdains the V word in a press conference exchange.

RPT's 10 for 10 has a familiar ring

The Republican Party of Texas is running on a theme of "Strong, Prosperous and Free" , that is being in favor of it (phew, because with a President running down USA, adding taxes and regulations, at least ONE political party needs to be for that). They've got a new website and as part of it put an article on their 'top 10' list of agenda items. Nice list, but .... that's the Laura Ingraham 10 for 10 list:
http://www.lauraingraham.com/petitions/viewpetition?petitionID=1010

I like the list and put it on Travis Monitor blog, but its funny the RPT doesnt have their own Texas-based list and didn't bother to attribute. Maybe they need to wheel out that 'Pledge to Texas' again and do a refresh ...

http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2008/10/pledge-with-texans.html

My top 5 (er, 6) based on that top ten might be:

  • Protect the right to vote by requiring photo ID and citizenship verification
  • Keep lower electric rates while maintaining a clean environment
  • Make Texas a leader in K-12 and higher education (with choice, accountability and focus on science and math)
  • Make healthcare more affordable for families
  • Limit the growth of Government
  • Reduce and reform business and property taxes

Colonel West on the 9-12 Marchers

15 September 2009
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B West (US Army, Retired)

“The Kids Who Never Got Picked to Play”

Greetings fellow South Florida riders, South Floridians, and Americans, here we are for another monthly installment of our Wheels on the Road political assessment. What an incredible few days it has been for me. Just last Friday I had the pleasure to address Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy lunch seminar in the Nation’s Capitol, topic Afghanistan.

I had been invited to DC as part of the National Taxpayer Day March on 9-12, co-sponsored and hosted by the Free Republic. It was a true honor to speak to the “Freepers” on 9-11 and 9-12, thanks Gang!

However, the most phenomenal event was to be there on 9-12 for the march on Washington DC with close to 2 Million American Patriots. I will never forget the moment when the National Anthem was sung in unison. There is an energy building in America and it has a voice which must be heard….which brings me to the topic of this month’s missive.

Do you all remember growing up and the kids who never got picked to play? They would always just sit on the sidelines and decide to heckle those in the contest. Many times they would go off to home, sulking, and just ridicule those playing as dumb and stupid. It became a focus in life for them to make those that did not allow them to play pay for that decision. They could have developed the skills and courage to try, but that was just beneath them. They preferred to be allowed in just because and believe that everyone should be allowed, and get a trophy for showing up.

As I sat there in DC this past weekend it dawned upon me that those kids did indeed grow up, and now they are in control of America.

Yes, the effete, petulant, elitist, intellectuals educated at our “finest” universities are truly making us pay for not letting them play. I realized that when I watched the news media reports on the 2 Million gathered on 9-12. David Axelrod stating that we were not representative of mainstream America. Robert Gibbs boasting that he had no idea what was going on. There were the typical media outlets downplaying the crowd and calling them racists who just don’t like having a black (actually half-white) President.

See, the kids who never got picked to play believe, as they always have, that ignoring and ridiculing is a means of engaging debate.

The problem is that when you are in control of our America, ignoring and ridiculing are not viable means to govern and lead. It is just hilarious to see the left in such disarray when they have always been the greatest of protesters and hecklers. If 9-12 had been a Code Pinko anti-war rally it would have been on every news outlet in America. Heck, how many times were we forced to watch Cindy Sheehan camp out in Crawford Texas?

These are the kids who never liked to face hard problems but would just run home expecting pity and adoring parents to comfort them.

Did any of you find it interesting that last week President Obama decided to “call us out” during his joint session address to Congress? Well, we answered his call and about 2 Million came to Washington DC. What did the President do?

He ran away to Minnesota so an adoring crowd would cuddle him….what a coward!

And obviously there are others who recognize the lack of resolve and courage in our fearful leader…..Osama Bin Laden just released a tape calling the President of the United States, powerless.

The irrational emotionalism which guides liberals renders them incapable to lead even a kindergarten class to recess. We see them unable to decide what they should do for Healthcare reform, but as always; the kids who never got picked to play blame others. Their lack of a sense of responsibility and accountability is indicative of a childlike immaturity.

Here are some clear examples; if we do not call it a war on terror, we don’t have to fight….it is just an overseas contingency operation. Let us not call anyone an enemy and release terrorists to exotic vacation locations, then they will like us. Let us grow government and take over various levels of economic production and tell taxpayers it will not cost them anything. Let us cheat on our taxes but be Secretary of Treasury and Chairman of Ways and Means Committee. Let us create a Department of Energy to make America energy independent, but become more dependent on foreign energy.

Doggone, they are making us pay for not picking them with their inept policies based upon failed socialist dogma!

I am so glad that I did get picked to play, but also I got in the house in time to study and develop my intellect. It has always been fun challenging the intellectual elites not just mentally but also physically, where they cower and retreat. My principles of governance are rooted in conservative ideology, not likeability and emotionalism.

I had the great opportunity to have parents that did not shield me from tough situations but admonished me to develop my courage and competence. And after a career in the Army I realize that leaders make tough decisions based upon insight and intestinal fortitude.

Since the mid-term elections of 2006 we allowed these poor souls who have never truly known thrill of victory or the sting of defeat, while growing up, to control our Republic. Each day they have proven themselves incapable of guiding this great Nation. Sure, the liberals reading this will go into their typical Bush derangement syndrome and start yelling about Republicans. As I stated, my ideology is conservative, and when you move away from those principles of governance you lose. However, one thing I give President G W Bush, he never ran from a fight or the chastisement of the party of hecklers…..yes, long before Congressman Joe Wilson.

Imagine, we now have a group in charge of America who I cannot envision throwing a ball, catching, running, and shooting, just nothing. Look into the eyes of Reid, Pelosi, Rangel, Frank, Schumer, Waters, Wexler, Klein, Dingle, Clyburn, any of them and think about what do you see? They remind me of the basic training platoon from the movie “Stripes” with Bill Murray.

Examine President Obama without his teleprompter, certainly not a lean mean fighting machine….but he sure can give a speech.

There is a part of me which actually has pity for the left because of their sad pathetic existence. But I do not feel this way for long because I have nothing but contempt for them and the complicit media machine they have created.

I would prefer them to stay on the sidelines and heckle……even better, go home and have some warm milk and graham crackers while Men and Women of courage, competence, commitment, conviction, and character take the reins of leadership.

After seeing the 2 Million in Washington DC on 9-12 that is exactly what shall happen in 2010.

Steadfast and Loyal! LTC(R) A B West

QOTD: MacArthur on Appeasement

“They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.” - General Douglas MacArthur

When Obama doesn't know his history, Team USA is condemned to repeat it.

Bilingual Education Does Not Work

TPPF issues a report on Bilingual Education:

“Bilingual education has a negative effect on reading, math, writing, and science achievement in English,” Dr. Rossell said. “Furthermore, lower testing rates for ELL students artificially raise ELL achievement because the lowest scoring students are not tested.”

Saturday, September 26, 2009

ObamaCare Showdown Coming this week

Big ObamaCare Vote on Tuesday - amendment to get public option re-inserted into the bill:

Originally the Senate Finance Committee was to vote on the Public Option Amendments today, but it seems that it has been pushed back until Tuesday September 29, 2009. It has been called the beginning of the battle; in an interview Wednesday night, Charles Schumer is quoted saying, “Tomorrow is the opening day in the big fight…It will be a big fight all the way down to the wire. The health-care bill that will be signed by the President will have a good, strong, rubust public option.”
However, the fight will not be beginning until Tuesday when the Senate gets back from its long weekend. Senator and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mt) is using time constraints as his reason for pushing back the vote on the amendment that is being proposed by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Charles Schumer (D-NY). Senator Baucus has said, “We don’t have time today to bring that up.” There is a health care reform bill moving through this week but it excludes the public option, which Democrats have been wanting. So this amendment is being proposed.

For those who don’t know, these are the senators on the Finance Committee:

Max Baucus (D-MT), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), John Kerry (D-MA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Ensign (R-NV), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

Against Net Neutrality Regulation

For the longest time, I didn't know what exactly to think about "Net Neutrality", the attempt to get the Federal Government to set up rules to ensure fair and open access to the internet. This has been a bit of a bother, since as a techie and someone who set up "Austin Tech Republicans", I probably need an answer and not appear clueless on an 'important' issue. On one hand, it sounds so benign, sensible and 'the right thing'. But, in fact, despite my concern about information, internet technology, truth and freedom ... I just DIDNT CARE about the issue. Not even enough to form a position.

My 'attempt to give a damn' algorithm just never got in gear enough to form a conclusion.

Kim Commando (AM radio show for PC geeks) today came up with the answer that settled in my mind the correct position, and confirmed that perhaps my complacency wasn't misplaced after all: She expressed the view that 'net neutrality' wasnt needed because market forces were doing fine.

"If it aint broke dont fix it" - is what she said. And that IMHO brilliantly settled it in my mind.

All this time I was puzzling vaguely over what problem there is to solve, and she cut the Gordian
knot: There is no problem.

Net Neutrality supporters claim to want to prevent the carriers from preferring hosted content or blocking the full internet. Here's the reality check on that: Every attempt by carriers to do exactly that have been a huge and massive FLOP. Remember CompuServe? Prodigy? AtHome? You dont? Neither do I. These prior iterations of 'walled garden' content providers have been absorbed by "The Net". We only remember AOL because back in the day (mid-1990s) they went through the process of becoming a pure and more open internet provider. They tore down their own wall.

If my carrier (RoadRunner) pulled stunts on me that put up walls or restricted the full internet, I'd go elsewhere pronto. Thankfully, high speed has dueling technologies in DSL and cable modems, so the switch is not arduous. Not only does information want to be liberated, but also people want access to the internet without roadblock. Free market consumer choice has run off the 'walled garden' providers long ago and opened up the internet.

So 'net neutrality' is really yet another feel-good regulation to tell companies to not do something that the marketplace has already voted off the Island. My "non-position" was really humility in thinking that I must be missing something on such a 'serious' issue if I couldn't figure out what the big problem was to fix. Wrong! There is no problem to solve! Problems don't need to be real for a Federal regulation to be proposed! As Menken put it:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - Henry Louis Mencken

Given the potential for initially benign regulation to gather moss and malignant aspects, the "Net Neutrality" rules prevent no real existing harm now while setting us up for regulatory mischief later of far greater consequence.

So I'm onboard with my Congressman Lamar Smith on this: "I want a vibrant Internet just like they do. ... Our disagreement is about how to achieve that. They say let the government dictate it. . . I urge my colleagues to reject government regulation of the Internet." - Rep Lamar Smith, 2006

Thanks to Kim Commando, another annoying PC problem is solved!

Do We Really want to End the Fed?

In 1835, Andrew Jackson ended the first National Bank, and here's what happened after that:

The bank's money-lending functions were taken over by the legions of local and state banks that sprang up. This fed an expansion of credit and speculation. At first, as Jackson withdrew money from the Bank to invest it in other banks, land sales, canal construction, cotton production, and manufacturing boomed.[27] However, due to the practice of banks issuing paper banknotes that were not backed by gold or silver reserves, there was soon rapid inflation and mounting state debts.[28] Then, in 1836, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, which required buyers of government lands to pay in "specie" (gold or silver coins). The result was a great demand for specie, which many banks did not have enough of to exchange for their notes. These banks collapsed.[27] This was a direct cause of the Panic of 1837, which threw the national economy into a deep depression. It took years for the economy to recover from the damage.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

QOTD: An immigrant speaks

”I have been here for 4 years looking for a better life. For 3 1/2 years, I ran my business and no one bothered me, but, in the last 9 months all is see on TV is Obama talking like the leader I escaped.” - immigrant business owner, via Patterico.

Elections Have Consequences .... for ObamaCare

Via Instapundit, an analysis that New Jersey and Virginia races will impact ObamaCare's chances:

MICKEY KAUS ON HEALTH CARE DEADLINES: “The 6-week frame is not an accident, because something happens in 6 weeks: elections. If Democrats lose big gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, that could produce a new wave of jitters among already skittish Congressional swing Democrats. That’s one of the extraneous factors left out of some sophisticated positive assessments of the bill’s chances. Better to get it done before the ax might fall. … Meanwhile, Ezra Klein says we’re on the 10 yard line. Sure! But we are playing 43-man Squamish.” I guess that means that people who don’t support health care reform — or people who do — should get involved in the New Jersey and Virginia elections.
This makes clearer the political calculus behind the insulting and arrogant refusal by Democrats to wait for a CBO scoring of their bill to vote on it. That, plus the even more arrogant refusal to wait 72-hours and READ THE BILL before they vote indicates that unfortunately the Democrats are hell-bent on passing a bad bill as soon as possible. The politics of delay is in order to resist that.

Baucus ObamaCare Bill Markup Update

SEN CORNYN'S UPDATE ON BAUCUS OBAMACARE BILL - bad news is, the train wreck is advancing down the track:

Rejected: Amendment To Preserve Seniors’ Medicare Advantage Plans

HATCH AMENDMENT: “This Amendment Would Strike The Medicare Advantage
Provisions Of The Chairman’s Mark If CBO Certifies That Beneficiaries
Currently Participating In The Medicare Advantage Program Will Lose
Plan Benefits when the Medicare Part C reductions are implemented by
the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. CBO is required to make
this certification 3 months after the enactment of the health reform
bill.” (“Amendments Submitted To The Chairman's Mark: America's
Healthy Future Act Of 2009,” U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, P. 151)

Amendment Rejected 9-14

(Hatch Amendment #D7, Rejected 9-14; R 9-1; D 0-13, 9/23/09)

SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR): “[Medicare Advantage Is] Essentially Access.
We’ve Been Hammered Under The Traditional Fee For Service Approach So
Without Good Quality Affordable Medicare Advantage We Simply Don’t
Have Access To Care For Seniors.” “Oregon has the highest percentage
of Medicare Advantage in the country, highest percentage by far. And
one of the things that we have learned over the years is that not all
Medicare Advantage is created equal. Oregon and Washington have good
quality efficient care and in our part of the country it’s a lifeline.
It’s essentially access. We’ve been hammered under the traditional fee
for service approach so without good quality affordable Medicare
Advantage we simply don’t have access to care for seniors.” (Finance
Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/23/09)

Rejected: Amendment To Provide Legislative Language And Price Tag
Before Voting

BUNNING AMENDMENT: “This Amendment Requires That Before The Finance
Committee Can Vote On Final Passage Of ‘America’s Healthy Future Act
Of 2009,’ The Legislative Language Must Be Publically Available On The
Finance Committee’s Website For At Least 72 Hours.” (“Amendments
Submitted To The Chairman's Mark: America's Healthy Future Act Of
2009,” U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, P. 279)

Amendment Rejected 11-12

(Bunning Amendment #C4, Rejected 11-12; R 10-0; D 1-12, 9/23/09)

CBO DIRECTOR DOUGLAS ELMENDORF: “A Formal Cost Estimate Would Require,
We Have Said This To People On The House And Senate Side, Would Really
Require Two Weeks Of Work By Us, Once A Package Is Settled. And That
May Seem Like A Long Time, But It - There Are A Lot Of Complications
In Doing This Right, As You Need It To Be Done And It Is The
Interaction Effects Among The Provisions, It Is Reading The
Legislative Language. Our official cost estimates are based on reading
of actual language, very complicated to write this language and to
interpret it correctly, and that often involves a certain amount of
iteration between us and the staff of the relevant committees. We also
need to develop a more complete budget presentation rather than just
the effects on the deficit, which is the way we have been summarizing
for you so far. So we’ve told all the people who’ve asked that it
will take us about two weeks to do a formal cost estimate after we
have a full bill, but as I said we can do a updated preliminary
analysis more quickly than that.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate,
Hearing, 9/22/09)



SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “CBO Scores Are Really Important.” “‘CBO
scores are really important,’ said Baucus, after members of the
Finance Committee decided to re-craft portions of its legislation
based on the CBO estimate.” (“Baucus To Chop $600 Billion From
Healthcare Bill,” The Hill, 6/17/09)

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): “With Respect To The Issue Of When Scoring
Might Be Available, Because This Is Obviously A Sensitive Matter, It
Is Critically Important That We Have Scoring Before A Final Vote Is
Cast On The Committee.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing,
9/22/09)

Rejected: Amendment To Stop “Gag Order”

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “Maybe CMS Overstepped.” “I’m not going to get
into that letter, because that’s a whole separate issue. Maybe the law
was not properly executed. Maybe there’s a – maybe CMS overstepped. I
don't know.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/23/09)

SEN. JON KYL (R-AZ): “[A]n Example Of One Of The Most Heavy Handed,
Unconstitutional Actions That I Can Think Of That Our Federal
Government Has Ever Attempted to take against private citizens,
private organizations in this country because they disagree with the
administration with respect to its ideas on health care
reform.” (Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/23/09)

SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): “This Is Not Right. This Is, Quite Frankly It
Smells Exactly Like Tough Hardball Chicago Politics Abridging The
First Amendment. If We’re Not Able To Pass This Amendment We Have
Reached A Very Dark Day Here On This Committee.” (Finance Committee,
U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/23/09)

KYL AMENDMENT: “Amendment That Would Clarify That A Health Plan May,
Pursuant To Constitutional Rights Guaranteed By The First Amendment,
Express Its Views About Legislation Or Legislative
Proposals.” (Amendment To The Chairman’s Mark, “America’s Health
Future Act Of 2009,” U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, 9/23/09)

Amendment Rejected 10-13

(Kyl Amendment, Rejected 10-13; R 10-0; D 0-13, 9/23/09)

FLASHBACK:

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “At The Urging Of Senate Finance Committee
Chairman Max Baucus (D‐Mont.) The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid
Services (CMS) Has Cracked Down On Insurance Compan[ies] … The CMS
Investigation Into The Beneficiary Letter Was Prompted By A Baucus
Request.” “At the urging of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max
Baucus (D‐Mont.) the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
has cracked down on insurance company attempts to mislead and confuse
beneficiaries about how they would be affected by health care reform
legislation being crafted in the Finance Committee and other
congressional committees. The CMS investigation into the beneficiary
letter was prompted by a Baucus request for the agency to review the
insurance company’s tactics last week. Baucus condemned insurance
industry scare tactics and stressed that health reform legislation
will include significant improvements to the Medicare program that
will benefit seniors.” (Sen. Baucus, “At Baucus’ Urging, CMS Cracks
Down On Insurance Company Scare Tactics,” Press Release, 9/21/09)

Rejected: Amendment Prohibiting A Federal Rationing Board

KYL AMENDMENT: “The amendment would strike the following language from
the Medicare Commission in subtitle E of Title III: ‘By April 1,
2014, the Senate Finance Committee, along with the relevant House
committees, would be required to report out either the Commission’s
(or Secretary’s) proposal or an amended proposal that achieves the
same level of reductions in excess cost growth.’” (“Amendments
Submitted To The Chairman's Mark: America's Healthy Future Act Of
2009,” U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, P. 203)

Amendment Rejected 8-8

(Kyl Amendment D7, Appeal Ruling of the Chair Failed 8-8; R 8-0; D
0-8, 9/23/09)

Ruled Out Of Order: Medical Liability Reform Amendments

ENSIGN AMENDMENT: “The amendment will insert language in Title III,
Subtitle H of the Chairman‘s Mark to improve patient access to health
care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the
excessive burden the liability system places on the health care
delivery system.” (“Amendments Submitted To The Chairman's Mark:
America's Healthy Future Act Of 2009,” U.S. Senate, Finance Committee,
P. 184)

CORNYN AMENDMENT: “Any state receiving funding under Medicaid shall
enact a limit on total noneconomic damages against doctors and health
care facilities of one million dollars or less.” (“Amendments
Submitted To The Chairman's Mark: America's Healthy Future Act Of
2009,” U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, P. 210)

KYL AMENDMENT: “This amendment would limit noneconomic damages in a
civil medical liability lawsuit to $250,000 from any provider or
health care institution, not to exceed $500,000 from all providers and
health care institutions. It would also make each party liable only
for the amount of damages directly proportional to such party's
percentage of responsibility.” (“Amendments Submitted To The
Chairman's Mark: America's Healthy Future Act Of 2009,” U.S. Senate,
Finance Committee, P. 273)

Ruled Out Of Order

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kids taught to praise Obama

Cult-of-personality-disorder alert!

The conservative answer to ACORN: WALNUT

This is a hoot: WALNUT stands for "WORKERS AGAINST LAZY NON-PRODUCERS UNITED TOGETHER." This group came to DC on 9/12:


Deadly Fine Print in Baucus bill

Baucus bill discourages care for the most sick elderly with Doctors' penalties:

As Burke Balch, director of the National Right to Life's Center for Medical Ethics, says: "This (part of the Baucus bill) means that all doctors treating older people will constantly be driven to try to order the least-expensive tests and treatments for fear they will be caught in that top 10 percent. Note that this feature operates independently of any considerations of quality, efficiency or waste. If you authorize enough treatment for your patients, however necessary and appropriate it may be, you are in danger of being one of the 1 in 10 doctors who will be penalized each year."

The Frog Jumps Out of the Pot

"We should thank God for the overreach that caused the LobsterAmericans to leap from the socialist pot of boiling water." - Redstate blogger Mike 'gamecock' Devine. He excellent article pleads with conservatives to stop trying to save the Obama administration's agenda with 'helpful' advice.

It is after all, more than likely that a Snowe Job of a compromise will emerge and thereby destroy the next pillars of our freedom, forcing us to spend decades to undo the damage of one mere Obama term.

40 Days for Life

A pro-life vigil effort called 40 days for life just kicked off, in Austin and nationwide:


Austin is excited to unite with 211 other cities across the the fall 40 Days for Life campaign from September 23 - November 1. After Austin's first 40 Days for Life phenomenally successful campaign this past spring, Austin is gearing up for a bigger and better prayer vigil this fall."
...
"Last night's Kick-Off was phenomenal. Over 150 people showed up to get motivated for this 40 day prayer vigil, former abortion provider Carol Everett shared eye-opening details about how abortion facilities operate, and local media KVUE captured the event."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Great March on DC

Via http://patriotsforamerica.ning.com/, a nice video of Patriots on Parade ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

HOLDREN SHOULD BE NEXT

By Bob Ward

With the forced exit of Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, after his exposure as a dangerous
radical and self-described communist, some liberals are concerned that conservatives may be encouraged to go after other member of President Obama’s team. We can only hope they’re right.

The next suitable target should be John Holdren, the President’s Science Czar, who is something out of Aldous Huxley’s "Brave New World."

Holdren’s hobby horse is population control. On this subject, he shares the opinions of Paul Ehrlich who predicted, in a 1968 book, that the game was all over. “The battle to feed all of humanity is over,” he said, predicting that, “In the 1970's the world will undergo famines – hundreds of million of people are going to starve to death in spite of any cash programs embarked upon now.”

In 1977, Holdren teamed up with Paul and Anne Ehrlich to co-author "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment." In this work, Holdren advocates forcing women to have abortions. He even claims that the U.S. Constitution permits the government to compel abortions.

In addition to coercing abortion to control population, Holdren suggests that chemicals could be introduced into the drinking water supply that would render women incapable of conceiving.

Other methods of sterilization advocated by Holdren include a "long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin" at puberty and then "might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births."

But Holdren doesn’t limit himself to control of family size by the U.S. government. He sees a role in population control for a "Planetary Regime" to enforce mandatory abortions for population control and to limit the use of natural resources. Such an international, body, he proposes, "could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable.”

This “Planetary Regime,” he suggests, could determine the “optimum population” for the world
and deciding each country' share of population.

What is perhaps most disturbing about this man is that he considers his proposals perfectly reasonable. As he puts its, "Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?"

In examining Holdren’s views we need to keep reminding ourselves that this is not some character out of a science fiction horror movie, but an official of the U.S. government chosen by the President.

The White House is trying to convince Americans that Van Jones, the race-baiting Communist,
somehow slipped through the net when he was given an important job in the administration. In light of the people that Obama has associated with throughout his career, there is no reason to believe his does not share Jones’ ideas.

And the same goes for Holdren. All the evidence indicates that these men, and the other dangerous radicals among the President’s Czars, accurately reflect Obama's views.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Obama - The "More Cowbell" meme advances

Via Instapundit.

Odds n Ends on First Football Sunday

Laura's 10 for '10: WINNING WASHINGTON BY EMPOWERING AMERICANS, a good 'contract for America'-like agenda.

Irving Kristol, father of neo-conservatism has passed away.He was a towering and important intellectual in the conservative movement.

Technology diffusion is accelerating.

A magnetic space launcher can launch payloads into space - "there are a large number of ways to get to Earth orbit at costs far lower than we have now."

Singularity or bust can detect market bubbles and crashes.

Counterpoints to this futurism: Recent progress is a myth. Not sure I agree, but thought provoking.

Signs of US decline. We are losing our manufacturing base and our manufacturing edge, and there is little leadership from those in power to fix this - our education system, legal system, tax system, and attitude towards economic activity needs to change.

The weird 'genius' of Austin's eco-boondoggles

This invite on Linked-in to Clean Energy Venture Summit, went over the top in Austin clean-energy self-congratulations:

If having a “near-genius” public utility, all of the resources to kick off a trillion-dollar industry, a leading Green Building Program, the most aggressive smart grid project in the nation, and one of the top ranked incubators in the United States is weird, then Austin epitomizes the meaning of the word. As if all that is not enough, Austin jumps even further ahead with the Clean Energy Venture Summit: Bringing the Smart Grid to Life. Growth stage companies will contribute technologies that help make smart grid a reality while competing for prizes from local companies.
For more information, visit: http://budurl.com/CEVS2009/

I have to respond to "If having a “near-genius” public utility"Did they mean the utility that, at the behest of our Austin city council, ended up buying a bunch of expensive renewable energy for the Green Choice program and now has 99% of it unsold and now plans for all Austin Energy ratepayers to share the load of this added cost? And that will be required, due to city council decision, to spend $2+ billion on energy from burning wood chips, when a natural gas-fired plant would provide more energy at fraction of the cost and lower emissions? Not to mention that very expensive ($250m) solar power array in east Austin; they turn down a chance at more emissions-free nuclear energy because they fret about 'cost', then they blow money on solar array thats are almost ten times more expensive on dollar per Kwh basis.
Yes, if these rate-hike-inducing policies are 'genius' then Austin is indeed 'weird'. Ah, the 'genius' of spending $9.50 for $3.60 worth of energy!

See: http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/2009/07/12/0712greenchoice.html

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Death of the Marketing Budget

The success of mint.com tells how message and content beats money in the new marketing world:

Yesterday, at a panel I moderated in San Francisco, Donna Wells, Mint.com's chief marketing officer, stunned a room full of digital marketing pros by noting that she really didn't have much of a marketing budget. Mint.com has gone from zero to 1.5 million users in two years with no ad campaign, save a mid-five-figures sum spent on search engine terms. Rather than purchase traffic, it has pursued the same type of strategy that food trucks and online magazines do: Using free social media and piggybacking on popular new communications technology. Mint.com has more than 36,000 Facebook fans and 19,000 Twitter followers, a well-trafficked blog, and a popular iPhone application.
Web 2.0 has unleashed utterly cheap to free tools used to keep tabs on and interact with customers:
Mint.com, which advises customers on how to pinch pennies, does some penny-pinching of its own. It uses Wordpress (free) to run its Web site and blog. To analyze traffic partners, conversion rates, and other essentials of an online business that generates its revenues through lead generation, it uses Google analytics (free and sufficiently simple that Wells' marketing staff can use it without the help of software experts). Wells referred to a bunch of other services it uses to keep tabs on its site, such as ClickTale and Crazy Egg and Compete, as "virtually free"—costing a few hundred dollars a month. Mint.com's main market research tool is Zoomerang, which helps companies conduct online surveys and collect user feedback. The cost: about $700 per year.
Marketing money is better directed on a product that can win in the new arena of viral marketing. Viral content leveraging social media beats big-bucks-bland-marketing in the new era.

9/12 March - A view from the capitol



A fuller view shows the details of this 'million patriot march'.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Sons of Anarchy" Show Pitching in to Demean Tea Party Conservative Movement

Is it just me or is it somewhat ironic that producers of "Sons of Anarchy" are juxtaposing dope peddling, murdering, gun smuggling, porn producing bikers as the good guys when they come up against white separatist businessmen ("not supremacists") who are fighting 'that bunch of black radicals in Washington' and not towing the party line on multi-racial inclusion?

That was the despicable gist of the new story line in the premiere episode of the FX Network series last week. There's so much to write about this and yet I am so tired tonight. I promise to do so in future posts.

Just know that "Sons of Anarchy" might as well be produced by ACORN organizers and Nancy Pelosi in its demented story line this year. Once again conservatives come under attack from Hollywood by being portrayed as being similar to racists and neo-Nazis.

And once again, I turn off, tune out and pray. What else can one do when the odds are so stacked against you with the brainwashers in the mainstream media and entertainment industries spinning their agitprop? That means "agitation propaganda," for those you of post-Cold War readers who don't know what "agit-prop is.

More on this later. Watch "Sons of Anarchy" at your own risk. It's demonstrative of what Hollywood is likely to start spitting out en masse in our near future as they support their President and position all opposition to him as originating from racist, neo-Nazi sources.

Makes me sick.

QOTD: Mencken

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - Henry Louis Mencken

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cornyn calls for investigation - "Crack open ACORN"

“It is irresponsible and a disservice to American taxpayers for Senate Democrat leaders to stall any longer on bringing ACORN under investigation. As the organization’s laundry list of fraudulent activity and abuse of taxpayer dollars continues to grow, it is time to crack open ACORN and expose once and for all the organization’s full record of offenses. I hope Majority Leader Reid will demonstrate responsible leadership and instruct committee chairmen to begin investigations at once.” - Senator John Cornyn

Lamestream media and ACORN go nuts

A few bad apples. Yeah, it's that bad 99% of ACORN workers that ruin the image of all the rest.

RightPundits applauds Jon Stewart's "Audacity of Hos", a hilarious lambasting of ACORN and the lamestream media for failing to report the story. Stewart is amazed that the MSM got beat to the punch on a big story by a guy who was 25 and had "Grandma's chinchilla over his Andover uniform" to look like a pimp out of central casting.

He shouldn't be. The liberal lamestream media will not go after left-wing groups.

Two protection rackets have been exposed in one report - "ACORN’s —and the ostrich media’s."

Chavez coming before Einstein and Christmas

Texas lege update' is blogging the SBOE session, where the issue of removing Christmas has come up and has faced vocal backlash:

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez is making a presentation speaking in support of keeping Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall in the social studies standards.
Huh!?! Even though SBOE chairman said: "“I am not aware that any SBOE member is in disagreement which this." and even though ...
Testifying-Jewish organization representative recommending Jonas Salk (polio vaccine inventor) and Albert Einstein being kept in the standards, ... Salk and Einstein have been removed in the proposed changes. Great points! You’ll remember we brought the Albert Einstein issue to your attention.
So our local Democratic Rep is more concerned about a union organizer of minor importance (who was not being removed anyway) than about the greatest scientist in the 20th century and a man who saved millions of lives.
Kathy Miller testifying,: Observing process- she’s very concerned, “looks like were putting politics ahead of education. ”
A definite "Physician, Heal thyself!" moment for the liberal activists trying to change education standards.

Isn't it odd that liberals put Chavez as more important than Einstein or Christmas? Or insist on a minor leftwing political leader getting (and staying) inserted into curriculum, ignoring giants like Einstein and fundamentally important traditions like Christmas? Rep Eddie Rodriguez might not have as many brilliant Jewish scientists in his district as he does union organizers, but doesn't that calculus appear, gee, I dunno ... like "putting politics ahead of education"?

All-Pain No-Gain Obamacare Plan B Falls Flat

The "Plan B", i.e., the Baucus bill is already being met with criticism on both sides of the political aisle.

The Note twitters "Leading House Dem: Baucus Bill Means Tax Hike." Actually, any Obamacare bill means mandates and a tax hike. But shooting at their own compromises is one way to ensure gridlock.

UPDATE: Via instapundit, wheels-coming-back-off-the-bus:

MICKEY KAUS: “Rasmussen’s robo-poll, which discerned a big bounce in Obama’s favor on health care after his speech last week–a bounce that soon dissipated–now reports opposition to health care reform has risen to a new high of 55%, with only 42% in favor. Yikes.”



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Michael Williams on Carter's Racial Politics

Michael Williams responds to Jimmy Carter's incendiary charge:


“I have immense respect for President Carter, but I fundamentally disagree with the notion that opponents of President Obama’s immense spending proposals are motivated by race....

“America has come a long way on the issue of race, so much so that we elected the first black president in the history of our country. The president’s supporters seem to want to denigrate the motives of the opposition so they don’t have to actually engage in a debate about reforms that will forever change the direction of this country."

“It is no coincidence as the liberals continue to lose public support for a budget-busting healthcare plan that they have begun a seemingly orchestrated effort to change the subject from the content of the reforms to the character of their opposition. From the former president of the United States, to the opinion pages of the New York Times, a new ugliness has permeated our discourse. I say to them that I can disagree with my president based on the politics of ideas rather than the politics of identity."

Conservative leaders of all races and backgrounds have restated these clear points - disagreement with Obama's agenda is not about where Obama came from, but about where Obama wants to take this country.

UPDATE:
I am reminded of a Tea Partier's sign ...



Monday, September 14, 2009

How big was the march?

How big was the crowd at the 9/12 march?

Several estimates, and quite a range, although the most realistic estimates come up with at lesat 250,000 and in the 300,000 to 500,000, but one basic answer: A lot more than what the liberal MSM said it was. Why are they lacking curiosity about the truth?

The Baucus Bill - Obamacare the sequel

Here is the summary from US Senate Finance Committee:

Beginning in 2013, all US citizens and legal residents would be required to purchase health insurance or have health coverage from an employer, through a public program (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP), or through some other source that meets the minimum creditable coverage standard. Exemptions from the requirement would be allowed for religious objections consistent with those allowed under Medicare and for undocumented immigrants. Individuals who choose to keep the plan they have today would be deemed to have satisfied the requirement.
In other words - If you are an American citizen, you have to do what we say ... if you are an illegal alien, do what you want.

The bottom line is that where this mandate starts is where healthcare freedom ends: Out of this mandate, forcing Americans to buy what the Government dictates, flows bureaucratic definitions of acceptable coverage, care, and massive subsidies that shift money from almost everyone to almost everyone else. In the pursuit of the mythical bureaucratic solution to an intractable problem (of total health insurance), we hurt healthcare freedom, choice, innovation and quality.

There are ramp-ups in Medicaid, S-Chip and Medicare requirements, all to wrap more and more people in Government-run healthcare. It makes a broken system more broken.

QOTD: Newt Gingrich

"We should rebuild the grassroots conservative movement. From the Reagan Revolution of 1980 through the Contract with America in 1994, it was this movement from outside Washington that carried us to the first center-right majority governing coalition in more than 60 years.

The problem has not been with conservatism or with our voters.

The problem has been with Republican leaders who forgot who elected them and what values their supporters expected to see implemented in Washington." — Newt Gingrich, 11-13-2006

Taxpayer Champion Awards

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility awarded State Reprentatives Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) and Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) with Taxpayer Champion Awards for scoring a perfect 100% on their 2009 Legislative Rankings. Congratulations to both Representatives!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

War on Christmas in the Social Studies TEKS

Proposal Would Drop "Christmas" And Add "Diwali".

Notably, they reduce/eliminate Christian-centric traditions and build up other cultures traditions in the learning focus, they call it "multi-culturalism" but what it really is is the gutting of the cultural assumptions that make America a great freedom-loving place to live. Liberal academics in Texas are trying to remove understanding of our traditional American culture so students feel no allegiance to our traditions. Any patriot should be appalled at the overall subversive agenda at work and should push back on these efforts large and small to undermine understanding of the roots of Western civilization.

Million Patriot March

The 9/12 march is "The largest limited-Government pro-liberty rally in our nation's history" as a speaker put it. There are several hundred thousand protesters at this massive rally today.

The liberal MSM is unsurprisingly coy about numbers ("tens of thousands"), but via Rightwing Nuthouse:

Stacy McCain just called and told me that Barbara Espinosa , a volunteer with Freedomworks, reports that the organization’s “metered” count of protestors is “more than 450,000.”

I think they missed a few hundred thousand but it won’t matter. ...

Michelle Malkin reports that Capitol Police are estimating crowd at 1.2 million.

More Government is not the Solution for Healthcare

By Dr. Steven F. Hotze, M.D.
September 10, 2009


No amount of speech making can hide the fact that Obama believes that federal government is the solution to America’s healthcare problems. Common sense tells you that adding trillions of dollars to the deficit will not reduce federal health spending, but since when has common sense been used by those who want to dramatically expand the role of government.

In his 1981 Inaugural Address, President Reagan presented the opposite view, proclaiming, “Government is not the solution to our problem, it is the problem.” Reagan was as right as rain. Obama is dead wrong and the public tide is turning against him and his healthcare proposal.

Look at the government’s track record: Social Security has no money to meet its long term obligations. If an insurance company were operated like Social Security, its executives would be charged with fraud. Medicare and Medicaid are financial sinkholes. Amtrak is broken and broke. So were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Post Office loses money every year and can’t compete with FedEx or UPS. What makes you think that socialized healthcare would end up any different?

Despite these facts, Obama continues to proclaim that big government can save us from our health problems. He and his socialist comrades must believe that there are enough gullible Americans who will believe their hype.

Government insurance programs, government regulations, entitlement programs and HMOs are leading us down the road to socialized medicine which dead ends at poor quality of care and rationing of services. Some government bureaucrat will determine what type of care your doctor may provide you and whether you qualify to be cared for by him. You may be too old or not well enough connected to get medical procedure you need.

Obama has tried to frame the argument that his view of health care reform must be passed quickly or Americans will suffer. He forgets or ignores that we are a super power that was built by hard working entrepreneurs and the best ideas have always come from free enterprise, not government.

In 1960, only 21 % of personal medical care expenditures were paid by the government, 24% by insurance companies and 55% were paid by consumers out of their own pockets. Today, the government pays for over 50% of all medical expenses while consumers pay for only 15% of care out of pocket. HMOs and other insurance schemes pay the rest.

As a physician, I have witnessed private medical practice being choked by corporate socialism, which is the cooperative effort of insurance companies and government to destroy competition and replace it with central planning called “managed care.”
Private enterprise encourages businesses to compete for consumer dollars. This system of independent economic actions, freely taken by millions of consumers and businesses, has produced the highest standards of living in every country where it has been adopted. Free enterprise capitalism is the soil in which liberty flourishes.

Everywhere socialism has been tried it has discouraged innovation and led to shortages and rationing of goods and services. Socialism is the drought in which liberty wilts and dies.

Socialism undermines the doctor-patient relationship. If you are covered by an HMO or by Medicare, then your doctor no longer works for you but for whoever pays his bills. The doctor must follow their rules and accept their fees. This is why you may feel that your doctor is not listening to you or doesn’t seem to care. Your physician can only serve one master and it’s not you. Do want a doctor who works for the government?

The only thing that will save health care is a good dose of free enterprise, with doctors charging a fee for service, just like any other business. Treatment is consumer-based and permits the patient to choose how to spend his money. This can be easily achieved through the use of a Health Saving Account (HSA) coupled with a high deductible catastrophic insurance policy. HSAs are tax free and what you don’t spend you can save.

Medical insurance can be made more affordable by allowing it to be purchased across state lines, providing more competition and lowering premiums.

Here is an idea that can be implemented to help those who need medical care but cannot afford it. Before the government became involved in healthcare in the 1960s, there was an abundance of hospitals operated by various Christian denominations and charitable organizations. These organizations should be encouraged to once again provide medical care for the poor and indigent as was done in the past. Those who donate to these organizations should be given a tax credit. This would stimulate the private funding of these organizations keeping them independent of government control. You can be sure that that they would operate much more efficiently and effectively than the government.

The real intent of the socialists in attempting to take over the healthcare industry, which represents 17% of our gross national product, is to consolidate and centralize their control over the economy. They desire the power that comes with the control.

Our founding fathers fought the American Revolution to break the power of centralized government and establish a Republic which decentralized the powers of government.

We must follow in their tread by exerting whatever political force is necessary to defeat Obama’s radical socialized healthcare plan.

Huge Crowd at 9/12 March in Washington

Patriots for America has a live cam and reports on the Washington DC 9/12 march.



Via Trafficland. More pics of the building crowd.

"There are so many people so far it's unbelievable" ... and "The crowds are growing into the million range so they will not be able to ignore it much longer."

Not much on the cable channels, but CSPAN will be covering from 1-4PM (EST).

Meanwhile, here in Austin, there is a Handsoff Texas rally at 2pm at the State capitol.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Patriot Day ... 9/11

We remember ...





Fly your Flag in remembrance ...

Government Option Dead, but All-Pain No-Gain ObamaCare Is Alive

The Government-Insurance Option Is Dead.

The risk now is to have a bill 80% as bad as full Obamacare. Take off the table Government run 'option'... but keep the 53 agencies, the $900 billion price tag, the higher taxes, the Medicare squeeze, the unfunded mandates, and the freedom-destroying individual mandate and job-killing employer mandate on healthcare. They will throw in monkey-wrenching the health insurance market with 'community rating', a way to shifts costs from unhealthy to healthy people.

That's the 'compromise'.

It's not a compromise. A real compromise would address the 'pre-existing conditions' issue with some sort of assitance and regulatory changes and stop there - no mandates, no higher taxes, no huge new bureaucracies. The Baucus Plan is the all-pain no-gain version of ObamaCare.

News of the Obvious

Econ 101: College Students Get More Drunk When Drinks Are Cheap.

Biology 101: Men get distracted by pretty women and do worse on tests after chatting them up.




... there was a third item but I forget what it was.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gold’s Advance Indicates Failures of Bush-Obama-Congress Weak Dollar Policy

The U.S. dollar is teetering on the edge of relative worthlessness, but polite market reporters won’t really say it that way.

The news in recent days has been gold’s advance , from roughly $930 an ounce to $990 an ounce in the last few months. Gold’s luster isn’t from demand for jewelry or industrial applications for the metal. Instead, it’s climb is due entirely to a lack of faith by international businesses and investors in the value of the dollar.

This Bloomberg story spells it out clearly:

“The underlying factor [in the movement of gold’s price] is still the dollar,” Dan Smith, a Standard Chartered Plc analyst in London, said by phone today. “If we do see a break in the dollar, it could be one of the triggers to take gold higher.”

To interpret City speak for you, “a break in the dollar” means that dollar-holders in international markets will sell the dollar in order to buy other currencies. People sell a country’s currency when they see current or future weakness in its economic outlook. If they don’t think your economy will come out of a recession any time soon, or they your political situation stinks, they sell the currency. If they think your monetary policies stink – including the printing a lot of paper and flooding markets with it to create a short term ‘stimulus’ – then they sell that currency. Who wants to hold a currency that’s as good as toilet paper?

That’s what we’ve seen with all these “bailouts” and “loans” from the U.S. government to industry. It’s been an increase in supply in dollars. More dollars chasing fewer goods creates inflation, which means everyone’s current dollars are worth less and less. And hard assets, like gold, whose supply can’t be artificially inflated, increase in value.

A lot of blame can go around, to Alan Greenspan, George W. Bush, Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama, and the feckless idiots in Congress. Whoever you chose to blame, we’re in for a continuing rough ride, if gold’s move to $1,000 and beyond is the indicator it has been in the past. I think it will.

Oh yeah, just so you might recall, gold was selling for roughly $250 an ounce in 1999 or so. The inflationary policies of our government aren’t neatly pinned on one political party or another. There’s something else going on that’s more dastardly, as government pushes its continuing reckless spending onto our pensioners and elderly. It’s truly unforgivable what our so-called leaders are doing to us, now and in the past ten years. It’s also unforgivable what we’ve been electing to office, in terms of complete idiots, from both parties, at nearly every level of government.

Enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a doozy.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Obama Machine tries the "more cowbell" approach

I called Obama the "more-cowbell of American Liberalism" and now his team is trying the "more cowbell" communications strategy. That's almost as dumb as hiring a 9/11 Truther and letting the Truther lie about his past. Oh wait.

Open Seat Races in Travis Criminal Court

H/T twitter(*) - John Lipscombe, a Democrat running for Country Court at law #3, got the endorsement of Travis County Sheriff's Law Enforcement Association. His race also got a writeup in the Austin Chronicle, looking at the open seats for 2010 at the Travis county criminal court:

"Last week we kicked off coverage of the spring Democratic primary race for what ultimately will be three open seats on Travis County's criminal court bench. There will be several contenders for the 147th District Court felony bench (to be vacated by retiring Judge Wilford Flowers) and the County Court at Law No. 3 misdemeanor seat, when current occupant Judge David Crain steps down to run for Flowers' seat (a move he's expected to make in January)....

In the race for Flowers' seat, Democratic contenders Crain and Cliff Brown, currently the city's appointed police monitor, will also face current Assistant District Attorney Karen Sage (www.karensageforjudge.com)....

In the race to fill Crain's seat on County Court No. 3, veteran Assistant County Attor­ney John Lipscombe will face Olga Seelig, an associate Municipal Court judge, in the Dem primary. ...

A third race is also under way, for County Court at Law No. 6, which will be vacated in 2010 by Breland. One sure candidate has so far emerged: former prosecutor Brandy Mueller, who has already banked more than $44,000 for the race."

(*) Nice leverage of twitter, facebook, and website by the Lipscombe campaign.

Tea Party Sept 5th - Hands off Texas Rally Sept 12th

Tea Party in Austin on Sept 5th: Saturday September 5th 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. South steps of the Texas State Capitol – 1100 Congress Ave., Austin.

An encapsulation of what the Tea Party movement is all about, defending against the (bizarre) charge of astroturfing:

This is just the same old tired line the statists use because they cannot
confront us on the facts. By their new definition of Grassroots, there can
be no organization at all or it is not "authentic". If we are a
conservative movement it stands to reason there will be conservative
connections, and some of those connections will be republicans. So what?
Some of Obama's hand-picked czars are communists - yet if we call The One a
communist we are all racist terrorists.

For my part I could care less about the parties - they are both equally
worthless and have both sold We The People down the river for their 30
sheckles of silver. 9/12 is not about parties or grassroots or specific pet
issues - it is about We The People demanding the restoration of our liberty
and the resurrection of our Constitution. It is about the rule of Law, and
about right vs. wrong. That is why I am going - not because someone in some
party headquarters decided this was their event - this even belongs to the
People.

One People, One Voice, One Message and One Word - Liberty.

No disrespect to anyone, but the ones who "organized" the event are like the
skier that started the avalanche - they may think they are in control, but
the snow is going to take them and everyone else wherever It decides to go,
and it will not be stopped.

"If this be treason, make the most of it!" - Patrick Henry

QOTD: Adams on education

"Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom." --John Adams

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Austin Tech Republicans to discuss Healthcare policy on Sept 9th

The Austin Tech Republicans group, for Sept 9th meeting, will be having Speaker Arlene Wohlgemuth - former State Rep and Sr. Fellow, Center for Health Care Policy, The Texas Public Policy Foundation - on the Topic "Health Care Policy in America" including ObamaCare.

Meeting Time: Wednesday Sept 9th, 11:45am to 1:00pm
Location: Mangia's at Mopac and Duval, 12001 N MO Pac Expy, Austin, TX

Obamacare speech Talking Points Are Same-old vague pap

Obama's ObamaCare talking points are same-old vague pap that ignores the real issues with his proposals.

Example of the self-delusion - calling opponents of ObamaCare “opponents of health reform”

Nother but sophistry. When will they give up on that tired talking point? I want medical tort reform, the opportunity to buy health insurance across state lines, posted prices for medical care, expansion of health savings accounts, and focus of NIH funds on research on cost-reduction in medicine.

Opponents of the above health reforms will need to propose why these won't work or quit the lying about socialized medicine being the only solution to what ails health care. It aint.

"Apologizes for Past Comments"

Van Jones apologizes for past comments, denies he's as nutball-radical-crazy as he sounded way back when.

Well, bite my finger! ... If I had a nickel for every Obama administration official who "Apologizes for Past Comments" or who got thrown under the bus to protect Obama ....

Round Rock (oops, Christian Academy) says "No thanks" to Obama's Kiddie Speech

Update: I posted what I thought was an email from Round Rock ISD, but is in fact from Round Rock Christian Academy, a private school in Round Rock:

Dear Parents,
We have had several questions asking whether our classes will view President Obama's speech that is intended for students across America. While I want our students to respect the office and the President, we feel this is a parent's decision whether or not they want their child to view this speech. Therefore, we will not be broadcasting this speech in our classrooms on Tuesday, September 8th.
Blessings,
Susan Owen
Administrator

Leander ISD is bowing out (along with many ISDs in Texas), and unfortunately Round Rock ISD may still be showing the Obama speech. AISD has left it up to principals and teachers.

If you want to watch the speech with your kids, it will be available at CSPAN and Whitehouse.gov.

Gov Perry raises Federalism and parental rights concerns over the speech:
“While President Obama talking directly to school children could be a memorable moment in their young lives, I am troubled that local school boards and superintendents were not involved in the process. State law gives parents the discretion over whether they think this is appropriate for their children. I hope schools will provide a suitable alternative for students not participating in this event. I also hope that this is not an indication of the federal government further encroaching on states’ authority over education.”

The point on parental rights and failure to involve school boards is well taken. Showing the Obama speech in Texas classrooms without giving parents notice and opportunity to opt out is a violation of Texas law. A helpful school board member directed me here:

TX Education Code - Chapter 26 deals with parental rights.

26.001 - Parents are PARTNERS in their education and should be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing programs for their children. No opportunity for parental involvement has been offered.

26.006 - Access to teaching materials - parents haven't been given access to this speech to review it to determine if it's appropriate for their child. Teaching unreviewed materials is likely a violation of Texas law. Subsection (b) provides that the district must make the materials available for your review. Ask them to provide you with an advance copy of the speech! Make this request IN WRITING!

26.010 - Exemption from Instruction - parents must be given an opportunity to opt-out of any school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs. You need to deliver a written statement -- and they'll have to pull your kid out of class. Suggest that they offer an alternative, like studying the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution!

As for RRISD, policy EMB - instruction of controversial issues - teachers must be well-informed of the areas being taught. Since the speech isn't available for teacher review, how can they be well-informed? Also requires that they are CERTAIN (emphasis on that word) that the material is appropriate. Again - how can they be CERTAIN?

TASB policy on controversial topics.
The bottom line is this: Given the logistics involved of handling parental requests on such short notice, and the failure of the Obama administration to provide text of the speech prior to ensure it is not controversial, it is likely that any school district that puts this speech in their classrooms without giving ample opportunity for parents to opt out will be violating Texas law!

And in the 'my how the tables turn' Dept, quote from the Democrats complaining about a 1991 speech:
“The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said. “And the president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.’ “

UPDATE: AISD cops out - they won't show it district-wide but leave it to principals and teachers.

QOTD: Peggy Venable on the Obama Kiddy Speech

Schoolchildren should not be indoctrinated in obedience to and service in support of the president of the United States. Our system is based on the rule of law, and a robust tradition of loyal opposition, not blind support for the president in power. –Peggy Venable, Americans for Prosperity, Texas

What's the big deal with Obama's speech to kids?

We see a fascinating dichotomy: Some say "Respect the President. It's just a speech. What me worry?" Others: "This is another pernicious attempt to indoctrinate kids. Keep your hands off off my kids!" it's a Rorshach test of Obama-philia and Obama-phobia.

The Sept 8 rebellion is gathering support in the right-o-sphere.

Yet the issue is it's not just the speech - it's the context. Thinking of it as "just a speech" without the context of multiple other efforts to enlist kids for political activism misses the point. Putting it in context, we see a cult-of-personality disorder among the President and his followers, with this part of a pattern to create a certain, inappropriate view and relationship from the people to the President.

The Dept of Ed gave instructions to how to teach around the speech. The instructions to educators, written by White House appointed 'fellows' who are Ayers-like leftists, tells educators to instruct kids:
" “Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."
Help the President?!?
Is asks kids to ask what he president is telling them, and over and over use the word "president Obama" more than other terms. 9-12th grade instructions are to create large print quotes of President Obama to put in the classrooms.

This is not about learning or the kids, but about President Obama inculcating a cult-of-personality around him, feeding the false, politicized notion that 'community service' and 'service to country' will be about helping President Obama and not the country as a whole.


If a student writes "I will help my country maintain its freedom and fiscal security by opposing Obama's tax increases, spending boondoggles and socialized medicine plans" will a teacher say that meets the test of 'helping President Obama"?

Those instructions are sickening, wrong and so over-the-top the Dept of Ed has started rewriting them in the last 24 hours. See the story on the white wash.

When Bush was president, Then-House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Missouri) said, “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the President.”

That's exactly what the Dept of Ed has tried to do for President Obama. President Obama has a cult-of-personality disorder and his team is feeding it. Bravo to all the parents who are smart enough to not participate and to tell their government schools and private schools - "You want to have kids learn. Keep them learning, this is not a necessary or useful thing for them to watch."

In the end, the President is supposed to serve us, not the other way around. We owe political leaders no loyalty, they owe us service, integrity and a respect for their own office through not abusing it to gain political power illegitimately. That's what we fear is happening, and Obama's actions - this among many others - do not allay them.

If RRISD shows this speech to my kids in Government-run RRISD schools, it won't scar them to see it, as they are smart kids. But it will be a waste of their time, as they get more motivation from parents and teachers than a politician. (Do we promise a Wii for straight-As or not?) The speech won't help them learn; it will not get them more motivated; it won't be a useful aid to real learning. I would urge RRISD to put it on a website and let kids watch it off-school hours if they so wish. A speech like that is not useful nor appropriate for them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Twisting Good Things in New Things

Twisting Good Things in New Things Robs the Old Good Thing of Meaning.

That's the problem with the whitewashing of Patriot's Day - 9/11 - and turning a 'day of remembrance' into a day of forgetful, blase, volunteering.

That's the problem with this: An Earth-worshipping pledge for 2nd graders, that's riffs off the real "Pledge of Allegiance". God & Country - poof, gone. Liberty and Justice for All - oughtta there. Let's just worship mother Earth.

The Conservative Minority Vote

Reagan Democrats - the elusive Jackelope are not enough to build a Republican majority coalition.

"If it’s right that white conservative Republicans make up 23% of the population and that white conservative Democrats make up another 6%, things do not look promising for advocates of an all-conservative electoral strategy."

If this is the same poll or related to poll that finds that 40% of voters are conservative?

Is that true? And would no a corrolary of those two statistics be that 10% of the electorate are CONSERVATIVE MINORITIES? That would be Asian, hispanic, and black. If so, we have a huge insight on the simple dynamic of more conservatives than Republicans, but more Democrats than liberals.

Minority voters, for a variety of reasons, are locked into voting Democrat in larger numbers than their ideology would suggest. That's why McCain lost California, while minority voters delivered a pro-traditional-marriage vote along with their Obama vote.

If so, wouldn't the path to political success for the GOP be simple? Just figure out how to win the CONSERVATIVE MINORITY VOTE, and the party ID disadvantage would be partially erased.

Mr Cult-of-Personality Disorder Plans Congressional Harangue

President Obama to address Congress on September 8. He will not talk about plans to save us from losing the war in Afghanistan, nor will he give us any plans to reduce the massive deficits his spending plans are creating - trillion-dollar plus deficits. Rather he will harangue us, yet again, on his ObamaCare healthcare plans. Apparently, he thinks talking about an issue that caused his poll numbers to go from 60% to 45% is his best shot at bouncing back.

Obama will surely try to 'debunk' 'lies' that are actually valid concerns. Just like (Via Weekly Standard) Newsweek's list of Obamacare "lies" that aren't lies.

This is like tying yourself to an anchor to stop from drowning.

Mr Cult-of-Personality Disorder has really dumb advisors.