Monday, August 31, 2009

Patriots Day - September 11th

On Friday, September 11th, 2009, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States . Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this eighth anniversary of one of our country’s worst tragedies.

We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn’t take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.

Action Plan:

(1) Forward this to everyone you know (at least 11 people). Please don’t be the one to break this chain. Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.

(2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don’t, then at least make it a priority on this day.

Thank you for your participation. God Bless You and God Bless America !

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Astroturfing and Media Bias

This is unreported by NPR. who report Senior Groups Reject Health Care 'Scare Tactics is an NPR story. Alliance for Retired Americans is the group they tout in the story. "Protester Michael Gravinese ... isn't the only one who thinks his gray hair makes him a target for misinformation" for example.

Unmentioned is the fact that this is an AFL-CIO union advocacy group. Gravinese and Betty Zimmerman are AFL-CIO paid activists and Mike G. was "Employed by the Social Security Administration since 1974."

NPR fails to tell their viewers about this Classical astroturfing. NPR is silent on the subject and there is no mention of the UNION. They want the public to think it's just ordinary citizens. They also fail to mention that the unions have a $10 billion incentive to be for the bill.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Doggett's ObamaCare Pep Rally

An account of the Doggett "pep rally". Having been unable to do real townhalls without in effect getting an earful from vast numbers of citizens outraged by ObamaCare, the liberals have instead been reduced to running pep rallies of the faithful that attempt to exclude ObamaCare opponents.

This rally was organized by among others Democrat operative and ACORN activist Mike Litt, who pumped the rally up on facebook and elsewhere: "Together, we will show the strength of support for President Obama's three reform principles here in Central Texas!" The Obama campaign (now "Organizing for America"), ACORN and the DNC have organized this rally using the same 'astro-turf' techniques that they accuse their opponents of using, and which the DNC is doing elsewhere, like Washington state.

How did the rally go down? A first-hand report from a non-liberal who attended and then walked out mis-speech on Doggett:

You didn't miss a damned thing ... at Doggett's health care rally. That's exactly what it was, a pep rally and not a town hall meeting. ... The capacity of the church was 1,200 but, by the time we got in, at least 900 of the seats were already filled by the Obama faithful. The lineup of speakers spewed nothing but b.s. about how un-Christian it was to be opposed to universal health care for everybody. The preacher, Jim Rigby, kicked off the worship service, falling all over himself expressing how terrible it is for people of faith to, "....even consider how awful it is to profess Christ and ignore the plight of the poor."

Than an attorney, Geoff Tudor, painted himself as a destitute emigrant from California and a victim of the insurance industry. He has a pacemaker battery that is about to wear out and, without health care, will surely die.

Our embarrassment of a mayor, Lee Leffingwell, talked about what a wonderful job he had done promoting universal health care in line with all the other mayors in the United States.

And then it was time for Doggett. When he declared that he didn't care what his constituents had to say and that he had his mind made up and that, ".....he was going to vote his heart", I got up and walked out.

I couldn't stand to sit through any more of the fecal matter and there were a lot of us who didn't stay for even as long as I did. I decided that the best way I could show my dissent was to leave in the middle of Doggett's speech and, since I was on the front row of the balcony and three of my similar-minded friends were with me, we were not invisible in our expression of our point of view. I can't say it for sure but I doubt if any of us managed to sit through the whole thing.

It was awful but I'm glad I went because it reinforces my understanding of the lemmings that continue to worship our liberal leadership and makes me more determined to resist them.

I would ask this liberal Rev Rigby if "universal health care for everybody" extends to the unborn, to those whose husbands want to pull the plug on them, and to the possible future victims of Government rationing of healthcare. If the answer is no, then perhaps the good Reverend is on the wrong side of the issue.

What the liberals don't seem to get is that having a successful rally in a liberal stronghold like central Austin will mean nothing. Preaching to the converted won't win anyone else to their side of the argument, and it's not like they needed this to get their talking points out there. The Democrats already have the Congressional majority. They already have the megaphone of the White House. Yet that won't change the realities of our $9 trillion deficit estimate for Obama's terms and the cold hard reality that ObamaCare would add more tax-and-spend burden on top of that unaffordable amount.

Doggett's failure to hold his own in real townhalls, his failure to allay concerns of senior citizens about Medicare getting squeezed and care getting rationed, and his willingness to create cheerleading rallies instead is a retreat. Which means this: The "Summer of Patriots" was a success for American freedom.

About That Liberal Boycott ...

Glenn Beck smashes ratings records. This is after liberals organized a boycott and campaign to drive Glenn Beck off the air, intimidating advertisers to drop his program. And after former Governor Palin gave a facebook bump to his show. Or maybe Glen Beck is just worth watching lately as he takes on the leftists in the White House.

Maybe we'll see Whole Foods with a sales bump too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Fair Tax - the "Single payer" of tax reform?

Here's a meme that occured to me in reading this on Patterico on the fate of ObamaCare (or KennedyCare or TrojanHorseSinglePayerCare). The healthcare reform agenda of Obama is caught in a vice of multiple conflicting problems. It seems too much to bite off at one time. However, when you look at possible half-measures to get you there in slices, none of them are palatable. They will break the current system worse without providing the relief of a coherent alternative. Patterico shows a post mortem from the 1994 healthcare debate that makes 2009 sound like Deja Vu:

From the beginning, the proposals in the center had failed to generate any public excitement. Economists and conservative intellectuals may like the individual mandate in the Chafee plan and the cap on tax benefits that both the Chafee and Cooper plans originally included, but no one has built public support for these measures.

Obama is left with his choice to go 'all in' on the Public Option. Any compromise will be pecked to death and won't really work. As Michael Steele put it: "Up or down baby."

What does this have to do with the Fair Tax? The Fair Tax is a huge, huge leap from an income tax to a different tax system. Too big a leap to do in one jump. Can you make small incremental steps then? Only in the direction of tax simplification and tax reduction, but NOT in the direction of adding a VAT/sales tax while keeping the income tax. People are gung ho about the Fair Tax because they want to get rid of the IRS; a half-measure that adds a VAT and keeps the IRS would get you a "Huh?" response from Fair Tax supporters.

WE get caught in 'local minima' of policies ... like our being saddled with Social Security, about as modern and convenient as a 1939 Packard. Can we change it? Too many interests lock us into the status quo. When it comes to preventing Obama from messing up too much, the status quo is our friend, but someday the same dynamic will thwart conservative reforms as well.

The Universal Savings Account

Combining Medical and Retirement savings accounts is a Great idea! It's an idea I've thought of myself. I extend it one step further - include education spending as well... and call them UNIVERSAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS:

Choice Agenda: Universal Savings Accounts - “USA Saves” - This simplifies the plethora of tax-advantaged programs by making a simple and portable “USA” that covers the current Coverdell IRA, IRA, Roth IRA, HSA, etc. A simple pre-tax and tax-advantaged account for all qualified expenses, including healthcare and education, would be a key component of the ‘choice agenda’ for education, healthcare and retirement.

This can be used for tax-free expenditures in health and education and can be used as a vehicle for retirement. The flexibility means that you can - if you need - dip into it for medical emergencies, and for those with children ,you dont have to divide between your kids college and your retirement. Why not one savings account for all these purposes?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Travis Housing Authority Misspent Millions

Federal audit finds mis-spent money and undocumented spending:

Federal auditors found that the Housing Authority of Travis County could not fully account for millions of federal dollars, including more than $2.5 million "haphazardly" transferred between federal and nonfederal programs without justification, more than $600,000 in undocumented spending and more than $3,000 that was improperly used for travel expenses.

The worst part of this report is the response ... they seem to be minimizing the issues with comments like The federal audit is "a bump in the road," Alter said.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

QOTD: Adams on democray

"Remember," said John Adams, "democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

Used here.

Bringing American ideals and traditions back to the University

Too many Colleges and Universities have hollowed out the academic core and walked away from the responsibility of instilling American citizenship values and knowledge in their students, instead leaving them with cafeteria curricula, politically correct indoctrination, and multiculturalism. We need to fix this by encouraging Universities to create and deliver coursework that gives students a strong background in American ideals, institutions and traditions.

A new group called the Coalition for American Traditions and Ethics in Texas (CATE) rolled out in Austin today to address this issue here in Texas, to encourage Texas Universities to improve in the education of Western and American civilization. If you agree with the CATE you can go to and sign the petition:

“I agree universities in Texas should create coursework and programs studying Western civilization and American traditions to foster the development of civic responsibility and ethical character among college and university students. I support the CATE Texas mission and wish to join the coalition.”

More resources and articles on this topic.

Dogging Doggett - Saturday 8/29 rally event

The Congressional Democrats have tried a few tactics to get out their ObamaCare marketing without those pesky patriots asking pertinent ponderings, and Lloyd Doggett has been trying them all.

One tactic is phoning in the townhall - easy to put the protesters on 'mute' while you babble on ... Two friends of mine participated inlast night. Reports on Lloyd Doggett's tele-townhall held earlier this week are here and here.

The other tactic is to stack the meetings with your own supporters and tell only your side to show up. Doggett is trying that with a Healthcare rally on Saturday. Here is the event:

Congressman Doggett is hosting a health care rally on Saturday, August 29. We encourage citizens to go with thoughtful questions and discussion points.

What: Health Care Rally with Rep. Lloyd Doggett

When: Saturday, August 29, 2009 2:45 PM

Where: First United Methodist Church, 12th and Lavaca, Austin, TX 78701
Word has gotten out via the grapevine on both sides. If you want to be a part of the "Summer of Patriots", this may be a last chance to let Rep Doggett know what you think of ObamaCare.


First rain in over a month hitting our home and yard right now. Thunder, lightning, and thirty minutes of hard rain so far. It's sorely needed, so I hope it continues.

QOTD: Hillary Clinton

“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." - Hillary Clinton, 2003

An apropos reminder given this summer of patriotic discontent and rowdy townhalls.

Leftwing Austin activist on trial for death threats

Via the Weekly Standard - a leftwing bomb plot, attempts to disrupt the Republican convention, and death threats to Govenment informers who busted the conspiracy. ... It was all done by left-wing activists in Austin, leading to a trial of one of them this month:

A Texas woman faces trial this month in Austin on charges she threatened to kill a government informant who infiltrated an Austin-based group that planned to bomb the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., last fall.
Is this front page news in the Austin American Statesman? Or back pages of the local section. I dunno, I don't get that rag anymore, but it sure seems to be an under-reported story.

PS: Great comment at the Statesman blog - "Notice that the Southern Poverty Law Center has never said anything about this violent leftist organization."

The Ted Kennedy Legacy

The Ted Kennedy Legacy: An undisciplined liberalism that doesn’t know its limitations.

Falling prey to the same type of brain cancer that recently took journalist Bob Novak, Senator Ted Kennedy died yesterday.

In his young years, he was overshadowed by his prominent older brothers. He was the weaker brother, lacking Robert’s passion and intensity and Jack’s intelligence and wit. He got kicked out of college for cheating and then used someone to cheat for him to pass the law exam. On the basis of his Presidential brother and his Kennedy political family strength, yet having no real prior experience or accomplishments save for his name, he became in 1962 a young Massachusetts Senator.

Who would have thought that this man would end up as important a member of the Kennedy clan as any other? Yet he did. Ted Kennedy’s near life-long and almost half-a-century career was as a US Senator from Massachusetts, and in that position he has impacted nearly every issue of this whole era.

Ted Kennedy’s lack of discipline in his personal life led to the tragedy of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Drunk and with Mary Jo in July 1969, Ted drove off a bridge in Chappaquiddick, submerging his car; he escaped from the sunken car, but instead of seeking help to save her life he ran and swam away. His actions killed Mary Jo, and it took remarkable control of the media and the local judicial process by his powerful family to coverup his true crime and save his political career. In the end, it would doom his chances for the Presidency when, in 1980, he was simply unable to account for and explain his actions. Scandal didn’t leave him. He was accused of using drugs in the 1980s and in 1991 was caught up in the date-rape charge made against his nephew.

Kennedy’s legacy politically will be his actions for 45 years on the Senate floor. Admired so much by liberals, he became for them the 'lion' of the Senate. To Ted Kennedy, Federal Government was the hammer and every social issue was the nail. His political legacy, like his personal one, is one of undisciplined liberalism. Unmoored by constraints of fiscal discipline or policy constraints of asking whether Government programs are effective, efficient and worthwhile.

Kennedy pushed through a 1965 immigration bill, predicting wrongly that it would not
Greatly change or expand immigration:

"First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same ... Secondly, the ethnic mix (of the country) will not be upset..." -- Kennedy, speaking in the Senate in favor of his 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act.
Kennedy was wrong. The immigration bill's impact was huge, and it helped spawn the ongoing endemic problems of illegal immigration while radically shifting the types of immigrants that come to America.

Kennedy wrongly predicted when the oil and gas prices were being decontrolled in 1981 that priced would skyrocket. The opposite happened. In the 1980s, the price of oil fell as previously high prices put demand down and the new OPEC supplies overwhelmed demand.

Kennedy incited the era of “Borking” and ugly Supreme Court nomination politics with his inflammatory and slanderous charges against Robert Bork on the Senate floor. The truth would not suffice to defeat Bork, So Kennedy scare-mongered against Bork:
Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is -- and is often the only -- protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy....
This was not an outburst but a calculated political slander. Kennedy’s lies worked. What was before that time a mostly rubber-stamp confirmation of Presidential picks, which in turn were in many cases guesswork, became a high-stakes arena for the right and left to duke out to control the interpretation of the Constitution.

At various times, Senator Kennedy has made other inflammatory remarks, for pointed political effect. Just as remarkable has been the restrained and often kind way the targets of his attacks have responded. After Kennedy attacked President G W Bush on the Senate floor, in effect accusing him of starting the Iraq war for oil profits, he was lauded by the GHWBush library for his ‘public service’ as a Senator.

Ted Kennedy over the years added gravitas and accomplishments, mainly by pushing through Government expansion bills. Under President Bush, he wrote (his staff wrote) the No Child Left Behind act. President Bush in effect allowed his domestic agenda to get written by Kennedy. Republicans such as Senator Hatch and Senator McCain worked with Kennedy on 'bipartisan' bills.

Ted Kennedy’s true legacy is that of liberalism to excess. He would think nothing of proposing more spending in an era of trillion dollar deficits; he ushered in the era of making political blood sport out of judicial nominations. He would think nothing of tearing down a president for political gain. For good or bad, Ted Kennedy has shaped much of politics today. His legacy? Look to our leviathan Federal Government itself. It's the house that Ted built.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Statist of the Economy & the Summer of Patriots

What Hath Obama Wrought? The State of the Obama Economy:

  • A 10-year federal deficit of $9 trillion — more than the sum of all previous deficits since America’s founding. Liberals are reduced to saying it's not so bad because it's no worse than living through a World War.
  • By the next decade’s end the national debt will equal three-quarters of the entire U.S. economy.
  • Unemployment hit 9.4 percent in July and is estimated to go to at least 10 percent.
  • The American economy will “shrink by 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year even as it begins to climb out of the recession.”
The pre-inauguration 'demo version' of Obama was Hope and Change. When we brought the box home, though, it became Hoops and Chains. We now have 9 trillion reasons to want to send it back.

UPDATE - but why is the stock market rising then? Let's stipulate that there will be no Great Depression but a recession that will be ending late this year. Unemployment is high, but is a lagging indicator. Another factor is the market is liking the failure of ObamaCare; as Obama falls, the market revives.

We had a wonderful happening this summer --- the Summer of Patriots. Patriots came to protests and townhalls and stopped the Obama machine.

Obama covered a lot of territory but, akin to stopping Hitler or Napoleon in moscow, patriots harried Obama's plans and he ended up beyond his supply lines and in a battle of attrition finds his agenda without needed support. This has FUNDAMENTALLY RESHAPED the future trajectory of American politics in the Obama era. Obama may indeed revive and pass something he can call an accomplishment, but the ground-shaking earth-shifting realignment that the liberals were hoping for is NOT supported by the 60% of Americans who are not liberals and hardcore Democrats. There will not be a New Deal II or massive Great New Society; you can put the LBJ and FDR analogies back on the shelf. Obama is stuck between Carter (choose one-term liberal incompetence) or Clinton (choose political face-saving triangulation).

Market watchers and political prognosticators are now observing the probability of a GOP rebound in 2010. Now the Obama agenda is known, quantified, and the bounds of it assessed, the smart money is able to predict - as Obama goes down the market will go up, and vice versa.

Cash for Felons

"Federal economic stimulus cash was handed out to cons behind bars in Bay State prisons after a bureaucratic snafu resulted in $250 checks being sent to some inmates". Insert obligatory "and they expect us to trust them with healthcare?" comment here.

QOTD: Ronald, Barry, and Cal

“If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.” - Calvin Coolidge

"Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism." - Barry Goldwater

"We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they are going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer and they've had almost 30 years of it, shouldn't we expect government to almost read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn't they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing? But the reverse is true." - Ronald Reagan, 1964, via "Who's today's Barry Goldwater?"

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't
pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for,
protected, and handed on for them to do the same." Ronald Reagan

Monday, August 24, 2009

Texas Constitutional Amendments

The Texas House Research Organization released their report on the amendments to the Texas Constitution that will be on the ballot in November this year.

I'm going to break down these amendments one at a time in future posts, but I want to go ahead and list the 11 propositions that Texans will have the ability to vote on in November.

Proposition 1: Allow local governments to finance the purchase of land to create buffer zones around military bases.

Proposition 2: Stipulate that appraisals of homesteads will be based on the current use of a residence homestead and not the potential value of the property if it is flipped into a commercial development.

Proposition 3: Allows the Comptroller to enforce uniform appraisal standards for property tax purposes.

Proposition 4: Establishes the National Research University Fund.

Proposition 5: Allow for the consolidation of appraisal review boards across counties.

Proposition 6: Renew the Veterans' Land Board bonding authority for home loans to veterans.

Proposition 7: Allow members of the Texas State Guard to hold civil office.

Proposition 8: Allows the state to contribute resources to build veterans hospitals.

Proposition 9: Establishes a constitutional right to access and use public beaches.

Proposition 10: Allows the elected board of directors for emergency service districts to serve 4-year terms instead of 2-year terms.

Proposition 11: Restricts the use of eminent domain by a government entity to one that is for public use.

John Stossel talks Canadian Health Care

Time for Performance Reviews of the Politicians

Insightful (or is it also inciteful?) comment found Michael Barone article:

Hold YOUR OWN Town Hall meetings. Don't invite the incumbent, but invite their opposition or better yet, hold a citizens PERFORMANCE REVIEW of your elected officials. Don't stop at Federal Level - include State and Local officials as well.

You get a performance appraisal at work - why not Congress, State and Local officials as well.

It's time the loudmouth activists are pushed off the stage and let REAL CITIZENS speak for themselves.

The Appoint Michael Williams Twitter movement

Via Redstate:

Tonight a small Twitter movement was started to get Rick Perry to appoint Michael Williams to the US Senate when KBH resigns in the next month in a half-two months. Everyone who has a Twitter account please Tweet Everyone tell @GovernorPerry to appoint @MichaelWilliams to the US Senate when KBH resigns #tcot

For those who don’t have a Twitter account, or even for those who do, you can e-mail Governor Perry @

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Austin Energy users to pay big price for 'green'

Branch Carbonian Cult is coming to Austin. The higher cost of 'green energy' will be spread across all Austin Energy users under a plan the City Council signed off on. In the past, greenies could sign up for 'green energy' ie, wind and solar, and would pay the higher price. But now the cost will be spread over all users to give the 'green energy' consumers a break:

"Pace says that by 2020, Austin Energy's plan will have raised homeowners' monthly electricity bills 22 percent over what they now pay."
They call it a small amount. 22% iincrease and they are pretending its a small amount? The reason we have historically had low rates in Austin is that we rely on cheap energy - LCRA hydro and LaGrange coal, plus nuclear that has low fuel and operating costs. The City Council is now squandering money to pursue wind/solar/biofuels follies that are very expensive, in particular a multi-billion bio-fuels deal. To make all ratepayers pay for the folly/desire of a few is wrong.

Furthermore, expensive wind and solar energy does nothing to actually help the environment. First, global warming fears are overstated and are in any case not mitigated by a tiny shift in power generation in a single locale; CO2 is harmless; third, we get a goodly portion of electricity from nuclear energy which is zero emissions anyway. If CO2 is the problem, then why isn't the nuclear electricity in the 'green energy' program as a solution? Not politically correct to mention all these facts, but they add up to the fact that w
Wind and solar are taxpayer and ratepayer subsidized boondoggles, already aided by massive federal subsidies. So we will pay a lot of extra money for something that will have no meaningful benefit to the environment. The price of environmental greenwash is not cheap.

Big Govt Agenda goes Clunkety Clunk

Another government program goes Clunkety Clunk - Cash for clunkers has been beset with missed deadlines, massive mis-estimate of demand (ended up spending 3 times the original program case), and car dealers left in the lurch for now with many getting no payments. Sure it's popular, it's a program to buy dollar bills for 3 dollars... But who'd a thunk a 'free lunch' could be so complicated? As one sarcastic commenter put it: 'I feel quite comfortable giving the government control over healthcare. What could go wrong?'

These kinds of mishaps help Obama sink further in polls, and forces the elites to dissect what is going wrong with Obama and his Hindenberg Obamacare, which they thought was a slam-dunk. Some say his misread his mandate: "the subterranian longing for racial expiation can hardly be confused (by rational people, anyway) as a longing for socialized medicine." Others talk of his inability to sell programs rather than himself. Nor does it help that Liberals are starting to notice the shady deals Obama engages in, and the Obamessiah sheen is wearing off.

Yet the fundamental issue is simple: It's the Big Government stupid. Big Government bailouts, then Big Govt Stimulus, then Big Govt Cap & Trade ... The American people see DC running amok and they don't like it. They SHOULD be outraged, because the President is not. The announcement of a $9 trillion debt increase in Obama's term should be an instant and stunning wakeup call. We've maxed out the credit card and we simply CANNOT afford to splurge on yet another tax-and-spend-and-regulate massive Government program.

Matt Welsh wrote above about the big government problem and in it identified top 10 Government power grabs under Obama:

1. The Stimulus ($787 billion)

2. The Omnibus ($410 billion)

3. Health Care Reform ($1 trillion?)

4. Cap and Trade.

5. Antitrust lawsuits against Google, et al.

6. Pay Czar.

7. Turning Pell Grants into an entitlement.

8. Having the Food and Drug Administration regulate tobacco.

9. Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

10. Federal Trade Commission overreach.

If President Obama attempts to 'fix' his problems with salesmanship, he will fail. The problem is fundamental: Obama has the wrong focus, the wrong agenda, the wrong priorities, and the wrong ideas. It is an ultimate act of mis-leadership by President Obama, and an act of ideology triumphing over common sense, that he pursues his command-and-control programmatic agenda, including these ten items, while failing to focus on economic recovery and private sector job creation as Job One.

Obama's Big Government Agenda is a clunker. Time to trade it in before it breaks down.

Rep Ortiz (TX-27) Phones in his Townhall

H/T FR, Rep Ortiz (TX-27) won't do a real Townhall, so his opponent is doing it for him(!):

My congressman won't hold a real townhall meeting. He just wants to have a "telephone townhall" instead. Republicans and the local tea party group orgnanized a protest against Ortiz outside Solomon Ortiz' local office at 12:00 pm today. The Democrats tried to organize a counter protest by advertizing for a rent-a-mob on Craig's List. There were at least 250 people in front of Ortiz' office, and at least 80% were our protesters. I think Ortiz was out of the country lining his pockets.

On Wednesday, September 2, Ortiz will have a conference call from Washington with us peons here in his fiefdom. We who are working to unseat Ortiz have other plans. Two hours before the conference call, James Duerr, Ortiz' only delcared opponent for the Texas 27th congressional district in 2010, will have a real townhall meeting at the Ortiz center. At the end of the meeting everyone is invited to stay to listen in on the conference call with Ortiz.

Obama's Four Vicious Lies

This video was shot at the Recess Rally in downtown Austin on Saturday, August 22, 2009.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recess Rally News

Hundreds rallied today against Obamacare in Missouri and 1000 people rallied in Rep Gifford's district in Arizona, as a part of dozens of rallies, protests and townhalls across America known as the Recess Rally.

A marine reads a Congressman the riot act: "I kept my oath. Will you keep yours?". Some Blue-Dog Congressmen are saying "the anger seems real to me". Thanks to these ongoing rallies and raucous townhalls, ObamaCare opponents are starting to counter-point the Obama spin, and are debunking the Democrat talking points about the opposition itself.

If this granny is part of a dangerous mob or an 'astroturf' cabal, I'll eat my tri-corner patriot hat.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Email to the AARP

As a response to a solicitation for membership in AARP (I'm 49 -- never too young to be considered a retired person), I sent an email message to AARP Membership on Monday, August 10, 2009 11:40 PM. Just in case AARP management didn't get my message (to date, I have not received a reply) they can read it right here.

To The Leftist Leadership of The AARP:

Now why would anyone want to join an organization purporting to represent the interests of retired persons, but that is so willing to throw such people “under the bus” on behalf of Lord Obama and his plan to ration healthcare to the non-productive, especially non-productive Seniors. Give me a break. You’ve got to be kidding. There is a special place in Hell for people like those who run the AARP. Enjoy your Oamacare there.

BTW, you might want to stop sending this 49 year old your AARP propaganda. I’ll just use it against you. Also, you left off “Death Planning” from your list of “Services”.

Go ahead, report me to I’m exercising my free speech rights, guaranteed by the US Constitution. I’ll see Obama at the impeachment hearings.

Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take it Anymore,

Originally signed by me

Coincidentally, the day after the email was sent to AARP, published this story AARP to Obama: No Health Plan Endorsement Yet to distance itself from President Obama's statement that AARP had endorsed "Obamacare". Tom Nelson, AARP's chief operating officer, said, "Indications that we have endorsed any of the major healthcare reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate."

Now, it seems that the AARP is getting sucked back into the Obamacare orbit as it bleeds anti-Obamacare members (see AARP Exodus Illustrates Obamacare’s Effects On Seniors)

I'm all atwitter over this

Liberal bloggers admit conservatives are winning on twitter.

Whole Foods Protesters: Honk 4 socialized medicine

The Whole Foods boycott - a local view:

I went to the protest at Whole Foods HQ in Austin, Texas today. I was expecting hundreds of college kids from the university, but only 15 showed, and there were 9 anti-Obama people with signs. Seeming to caricature his own cause, one of the pro-Obamacare signs said "Honk 4 socialized medicine."

But both groups were overwhelmed by hundreds of shoppers. I don't think Whole Foods has to worry.

I had trouble finding a place to park, but found a place on the 2nd underground level. I bought 3 times as much stuff as I normally would. I made my way back to my car, and saw a car crash into one of the supports. Sure enough, it was one of the "Honk 4 socialized medicine" guys. He ripped off his fender. A visual message meaning "The wheels are coming off?"
UPDATE: Here is Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's Wall Street Journal oped that set of the boycott movement among the left. Here are Mackey's views that the leftists are so intolerant of:
Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:
• Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
• Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.
• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.
• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
• Enact Medicare reform.
• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.

Mackey has inadvertently exposed the massive intolerance of the left. Mackey is speaking from the experience of his own success with using an HSA-like plan to cover very well the healthcare needs of his employees. If you cannot tolerate differences of opinion then you cant really tolerate anything.

Obama loses $2 trillion, whines, flies off

Obama seems to have Lost $2 trillion - the Obama administration will increase its 10-year budget deficit projection to roughly $9 trillion, an increase of about $2 trillion from the previous projection.

That $2 trillion loss might be reason enough to have a 'time out' on new Government spending, taxes and programs, say until we actually get jobs losses under control, I mean private sector job losses: " While the private sector has shed 6.9 million jobs since the beginning of the recession, state and local governments have expanded their payrolls and added 110,000 jobs."

Obama seems to forgotten that as the leader with a Congress on his side, it's up to him to lead, not to be to whine about the opposition. Obama's got 60 Democrats Senators and over 250 Democrats in the House. If he can't bring them together and get a bill with such a majority, then he is just an incompetent in the quicksand. Man up, Obama, or as Steele challenges Obama: "Up or down, baby."

Have a nice vacation, Mr President. See you in the fall.


Rich Lowry on the Obama's attempt to appeal to voter's gullibility: How stupid does Obama think the American people are? Obama sure is testing the gullibility of us all. Somehow the 'magic unicorn' ploy stops working when you have HR3200 handy to leaf through.

My son tried the old joke on me during a car ride recently: "Did you know that the word 'gullible' can't be found in the dictionary?"

Fast on my rhetorical feet, I said "No, it's on your birth certificate."

He responded, "Yeah, where it says 'parents.' "

Ah, a chip off the old block. On some days we call him "piece-of-work Number one."

More gullibility stories.

Lamar Smith: ObamaCare's loopholes for illegal immigrants

"Are illegal immigrants covered by ObamaCare?" asks Patterico. Obama insisted that HR3200 doesn't cover illegal aliens, but Rep Lamar Smith corrects President Obama:

The Democrats’ bill in the House, H.R. 3200, contains gaping loopholes that will allow illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded benefits. And these loopholes are no accident.

The legislation contains no verification mechanism to ensure that illegal immigrants do not apply for benefits. Republicans offered an amendment to close this loophole — it would have required verification using the existing methods that are already in place to verify eligibility for other federal benefits programs. But, when they were asked to put the language of the bill where their words were, in a party-line vote, House Democrats rejected the amendment to require verification and close this loophole.

News article on Republican attempts to add verification turned away by the Democrats in Congress. So the citizenship status of ObamaCare beneficiaries is not verified, and statements in HR3200 that illegal aliens are not covered is just papering over the issue. About 10 million of the 45 million uninsured are illegal immigrants. So how can they claim to solve the 'problem' of 45 million unsinured without giving health insurance to illegal immigrants? (Wait, we know the answer to that conundrum - Amnesty!)

Palin: No Healthcare Reform without Tort Reform

Sarah Palin lays down the challenge:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas “skyrocketed by 57 percent” and that the tort reforms “brought critical specialties to underserved areas.” These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care. [5]

Dr. Weinstein’s research shows that around $200 billion per year could be saved with legal reform. That’s real savings. That’s money that could be used to build roads, schools, or hospitals.

If you want to save health care, let’s listen to our doctors too. There should be no health care reform without legal reform. There can be no true health care reform without legal reform.

- Sarah Palin

On Creativity

Via Instapundit, came upon What is "creativity"? post, expounding on the folly of Kansas University School of Journalism dean, Ann Brill, saying that:

"Men tend to be drawn to more analytical majors such as engineering or business, whereas women enjoy the creativity that journalism allows for, she said."
Whoa - Journalism is creative? And engineering is not? Commenters had a field day on this one. An algebra: Logic + Facts = Science. Science + Inventiveness/creativity = Engineering.

There is creativity in most every field of endeavor, but in each field that creativity has to abide by the rules - you optimize within the constraints of reality. Yes, you use both sides of the brain for that.

One comment added: "I observed an even more insidious effect, however. A myth has grown up in our culture that truly creative people spend a lot of time gazing dreamily at the sky and then, WHAM!, a brilliant idea strikes! It’s not surprising why this idea is so attractive. It is an easy rationalization for, essentially, sitting around on your duff and pretending that you are being “creative.” I admit to using it to rationalize my own laziness at times."

Indeed. Thomas Edison, a man with more creativity than any other American said it was 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration. That's not to say that theta-wave inspiration isnt needed, but your brain has to be prepared with the fertile soil of thinking through the problem/challenge/expression attempted. A prepared mind can then take the next leaps.

Someone said: "I would bet that the lady quoted above is not talking about “creativity” in any kind of rigorous sense" Amazing, she is teaching the trade of dealing in words and lacks precision in her own use of them! What the J-school Dean Brill really means is "creativity" as defined as not being constrained and hemmed in by the rigors of facts, logic, and detailed analysis that the engineers suffer under. This is not RealityWorld where 2+2=4, but CreativityWorld, where you can write post-modernist mumbo-jumbo essays on how 2+2 could really be 5. It's treating stupid and intellectually lazy as an odd sort of virtue.

What is even funnier is that if you peel it back another layer, you have her basically saying the same thing that got Larry Summer fired from Presidency of Harvard Univ. - those women dont like those boring analytical fields because they arent wired for it: “It’s probably a right brain/left brain thing. That sounds sexist, but there’s some truth to it.”

Creativity in journalism? That's a bug not a feature, and a truly mockable concept.
Journalism should be akin to the "Science of Current Events" - just the facts ma'am on what is going on. Anything beyond that is a donkey trying to tapdance (viz the Aesop Fable).

Journalists should be reporting on what is new, not creating it. The creating of new things, leave to the creative types. You know, like the engineers.

Quote of the Day - Humble Excellence

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." - John Gardner

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In the Matter of Judge Sharon Keller

Judge Sharon Keller defends her actions in a case where lawyers for a deathrow inmate tried to get extra time for last-minute appeal and were denied:

In her testimony Wednesday, Keller blamed her legal woes on Richard's lawyers with the Texas Defender Service, or TDS, and said her decision to close the court clerk's office at 5 p.m. should not have stopped them from filing their briefs directly with one of the court's nine judges or with the general counsel."
"Those articles were the result of misinformation from TDS attorneys to the press regarding the time they had been ready to file, the length of the pleadings and whether they were volunteers," she said. "

The COURT CLOSED, but the opportunity to accept briefs did not. The TDS lawyers filed NO briefs. They screwed up. End of story. It's not a Judge's job to turn a court into an 24-hr 7-11 mart for lawyers. It's the lawyers job to know and follow the rules, and they did have the opportunity to serve filings outside the court, directly to Judges. This was noted by the defense in closing arguments, as the Judge Keller trial wrapped up:

By saying the court clerk's office closes at 5 p.m. — a time set by state law — Keller did not stop lawyers with the Texas Defender Service from filing any appeals, Babcock said.

Those lawyers failed to remember, or did not know, that appellate rules allow the court's general counsel or any of its nine judges to accept pleadings, he said.

"Judge Keller didn't close the court to anyone. Mr. Richard's lawyer never knocked on the right doors, and they gave up," Babcock said.

Incompetent TDS lawyers who screwed up made her the scapegoat for their own failures, as a way to go after a Judge who is not similarly anti-death-penalty. This editorial is wrong. This: "Keller's critics say closing the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to the appeal was callous. " ... is a lie. the courthouse was closed, but Keller did NOT stop after-hours appeals to the Judges from being filed, and TDS knew who the Judge was who was assigned (Judge Johnson *not* Keller).

This appeal was about a convicted man who committed a rape and murder in 1986 and was finally after over 20 years getting his just punishment. 20 years wasnt enough time for appeals, but they needed another 20 minutes and that would make a difference?!?

If Judge Keller is going to get railroaded because she didn't handhold a sloppy last-minute appeal, any Judge will be at risk to such abuse. So appeals will get ever more frivolous and
unbound by rules of procedure. TDS has lied about this, and Judge Keller's good name has been dragged through the mud. Keller did nothing wrong with the possible exception of informing Judge Johnson (although it's odd that the Court Counsel wouldn't be the one held responsible for that - and he claims he did speak with Judge Johnson).

Judge Keller deserves to have her name cleared on this.

How's the Obamessiah Doing now?

Via A breaking Zogby report published late Thursday evening indicates that President Barack Obama is enduring the lowest approval rate in his presidency, with only 45 percent of Americans approving of his job performance.

Michael Williams wants U.S. Senate appointment

Michael Williams wants U.S. Senate appointment. Hey, if it was up to me, I'd give it to him.

The Ivy League College bubble bust

Another "High-priced College Isn't Worth It" story. It's gets more believable to me the closer my kids get to College-age.

UPDATE 8/21/09: Via Powerline, a link to What Will they Learn? a guide that looks at the required core courses at particular colleges, which is the only way to ensure that college students actually learned the core "need to know" things in science, math, literature, history, etc. Interestingly, their "A list" of the best Colleges in terms of requiring basic core courses includes Baylor, UT Austin, and Texas A&M. Harvard? Rated D. Rice University, Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, and Smith College are rated F.

Ted Cruz picks up endorsements

Pondering Penguin talks about endorsements for Ted Cruz from 50 leaders in the Texas Federation of Republican Women.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend

From State Representative Ken Paxton's Capitol Steps Newsletter:

Sales Tax Holiday

The State's annual sales tax holiday will take place this year August 21-23. During the tax holiday weekend, shoppers may purchase most clothing items and shoes priced less than $100 tax-free. The tax break applies to both children's and adults' apparel. Lay-away plans can be used again this year to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.

Additionally, the Legislature passed House Bill 1801 this past session to expand the list of items qualifying for exemption from Texas state and local sales and use taxes during the annual sales tax holiday to include school supplies. This means that Texas families will now also receive a sales tax break on most school supply items priced less than $100 for use by an elementary school or secondary school student (a purchaser buying school supplies using a business credit card or checking account must provide an exemption certificate certifying that the items are purchased for use by an elementary or secondary school student).

The tax-free holiday includes the following clothing items:

Baby clothes
Backpacks for use by elementary and secondary students
Belts with attached buckles
Boots - cowboy, hiking
Caps/hats - baseball, fishing, golf, knitted
Coats and wraps
Diapers - adult and baby
Gloves (generally)
Gym suits and uniforms
Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts
Jerseys - baseball and football
Jogging apparel
Neckwear and ties
Pants and trousers
Raincoats and ponchos
Shoes - sandals, slippers, sneakers, tennis, walking
Socks (including athletic)
Suits, slacks, and jackets
Sweat suits
Work clothes and uniforms
The tax free holiday also includes the following school supply items (if priced under $100):

Book bags;
Cellophane tape;
Blackboard chalk;
Composition books;
Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic and manila);
Glue, paste and paste sticks;
Index cards;
Index card boxes;
Legal pads;
Lunch boxes;
Paper (loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper);
Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes;
Pencil sharpeners;
Scissors; and
Writing tablets.

A complete list of items that are exempt and ones that are not exempt may be found at the Comptroller's website.

Obamacare in Meltdown

Who's to blame for Obamacare's woes?.

We are seeing the American people rising up to reject the bill, over the threat to Granny's medicare, over bureaucrats denying/rationing care, over the huge cost on top of our $2 trillion current deficit, over the Trojan Horse public option that will end up being single-payer, over taxpayer-funded abortions, etc. As a result, the Obama Team has gone into major spin mode, denying and calling 'myths' factual critiques of the bill. There is 'mininformation' misinformation.

Congress has gone into meltdown over it, from AWOL Congressmen and Reps 'phoning in' their townhalls to McCarthyite tactics. Democrats in townhalls are tacking right to escape voter wrath. America didn't sign up for socialized healthcare when they voted for Obama, and the angry townhall protests are making even the most dense of liberals realize this. For Congress, their Job One is re-election, and a public-option healthcare bill - which the left-liberal core Democrats demand - will be election suicide. This contradiction, and the fact that 2010 is looking like 1994 redux is creating the meltdown.

Sen Reid is willing to 'go nuclear' on this bill. If they do that, it will be a true electoral death-wish. Maybe he will rethink this after Congress gets back in session. If this bill was a genuinely good bill, the Republican minority in Congress would be irrelevent and it would find the needed support in the Democratic majority and with Republicans. But it is an ideologically driven left-wing Big Govt bill. So the right can credit Obama for their rebound. Obama's extremist agenda is the real driving force behind the Tea Party movement and townhall protests. As a result, we see new leaders emerging in the opposition to Obamacare, and Conservatives are finding their voice on healthcare reform.

The Team Obama log-rolling of intimidating corporations, enlisting/abusing organizations to sign up, etc., is backfiring. A case in point: AARP is losing membership due to their unwise support of ObamaCare. Trickery like phony doctors planted to support ObamaCare is getting exposed. Maybe the real problem is the top guy keeps contradicting himself.

It certainly was foolish to cost-bend Medicare to the point of stirring up the over 65 crowd. As one commenter put it: "They have however stepped in it, they took on Seniors. Many of them are well informed, well read, crusty and tough. The man who sleeps in the White House will lose this round."

Disorganized populist rage against the Obamacare bill is leading to tut-tutting over some of the expressions used. But it's a predictable double-standard: The Oba-media use a Larouchite's Obama=Hitler poster to tar Obama opponents (while failing to note her Larouche Democrat background), but where was the MSM the past 8 years on this point? MSNBC insinuates a gun-toting black Obama supporter is a white racist Obama opponent. Way back when, dissent was patriotic - now Democrats are accusing GOP Senators of 'treason' for dissenting on ObamaCare. Liberals are expressing their intolerance by demanding boycotts of Whole Foods stores because CEO McKay made a sensible alternative proposal to ObamaCare, and boycotting Glen Beck for exercising his first amendment rights in ways that might be over-the-top, but are less so than what you see and hear on MSNBC or Air America on a daily basis.

What gives?

The Obama Machine is sputtering. Many ugly details remain to be hashed out and negotiated, and fall season legislative slog to get this passed could get even worse for the Democrats. Corruption and self-dealing and union payoffs will get exposed. Intrade now has chance of Public Option bill near single digits percent probability. Co-ops? A mini-Trojan Horse to replace the Public Option Trojan Horse.

Sooner or later, in this representative democracy, the voice of the people will be heard. It's Obama's call on whether he listens now or has to be instructed in the next election.

Obama's Big Mis-adventure

Nice turn of phrase: The Alinskyite's Big, Fat Governance Failure.

Rep Lamar Smith's Healthcare Townhalls

Congressman Lamar Smith is holding two health care town halls next week, though neither are in Travis County. Both are on MONDAY, August 24.

9:30 a.m.
The Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts
910 Main Street, Kerrville, TX 78028 - 830-896-9393

San Antonio
12:30 p.m.
Schertz Civic Center
1400 Schertz Parkway, Bldg. #5 in the Municipal Complex
Schertz, TX 78154-1634 - 210-619-1611

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

House Democrat Waxman Puts Inquisition Screws on Health Insurers

Democrats in Congress are investigating opponents of ObamaCare:

Democrats on a House committee are seeking detailed financial records from dozens of large insurance companies, officials disclosed Tuesday, part of an investigation into "executive compensation and other business practices" in an industry opposed to President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul health care. ...
The requests were made in letters signed by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ... and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. ...
They wrote that the committee was "examining executive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry." ...
Nick Choate, a spokesman for Stupak, said 52 letters were sent late Monday to the nation's largest health insurers, those with $2 billion or more in annual premiums. He said letters were not sent to other industry groups, some of which have been airing television advertising in support of Obama's call for legislation.
This is an unseemly and outrageous misuse of power by Democrat leaders in Congress. The leaders had previously called out these insurers as the 'enemy' on ObamaCare. This fishing expedition is an attempt to advance that narrative that demonizes the private health insureres, as well as a method for intimidation. I'd make some pithy partisan potshot, but I am left speechless with how breezily Democrats in DC abuse power to supress dissent.

If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention.

May God give us the strength, and foresight to persevere, in our task to keep this Republic.

Will KBH's Senate Resignation be a Smart Move?

Reading yet another second-guessing poll result about Palin's resignation as Governor made me contemplate a better question: Will KBH's Senate Resignation be a Smart Move?

I previously predicted against conventional wisdom and her previous hints that Senator Kay wouldn't resign. I also said Sen Watson would run statewide. Oops. My crystal ball is being thrown in the trash. My logic was that KBH wouldn't be helped electorally by resigning and was not likely to win in a primary run against Perry anyway. Clearly, she's using resigning as an 'all in' move, which helps by bringing her full-time back to Texas, while losing a Senate platform. Smart move? Beats me, I lost my crystal ball.

Obama joker artist exposed

The Obama Joker poster artist is a Kucinich supporting palestinian college student, 20 year old Firas Alkhateeb. Aside from bursting the bubble of liberals assuming this was the work of some white racist, it's yet another example of our viral culture. Some guy playing around with Photoshop helped express visually the thoughts of many - hey, we elected a joker - and it became an icon.

Colonial Protests cannot derail King's Tax Policy

Great satire: Un-British Stunts Cannot Derail Colonial Policy Debate.

Candidates for Doggett's CD25 seat

Several Republicans are popping up to challenge Rep Lloyd Doggett, including Dr Donna Campbell and previous challenger George Morovich. No free ride for Liberal Lloyd this time.

The Alinsky Judo

Exit, voice and Alinsky on how and why Obama and the Alinskyites are currently getting the Alinsky treatment from the right:

We suffer from monopoly in many places. Because our government grows larger and stronger, and because we do have an option to exit (in a Hirschman sense), we are left with voice. Ways to make voice more effective will be preferred, and that is what Alinsky offered his followers. The right has simply adopted George C. Scott’s line from Patton: “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!”
The key point: "there’s nothing inherently left-wing in Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. It’s a schematic for running popular opposition" The right can run the same plays. The right HAS run the same plays, in townhalls and Tea Parties and other activist activities. And so far, the right-wing "truth to power" is running rings around the Obama Machine. Fancy that.

Monday, August 17, 2009

RightOnline 2009

CSPAN video and Tweets from the RightOnline conference, held this week in Pittsburg. Links and overview here. One item was TechRepublican on online community building. Another was Erick Ericson with a special message: "Victory comes, though we know not when. We must be happy warriors until the end."

HT - A Redstate review.

Is the Public Option retreat for real?

What the public Option retreat really means. Answer: We are not sure. We are sure that (1) Team Obama screwed up in selling their plan, (2) American voters are rejecting the pan,
(3) the The Nutroots feel betrayed.

Could it be a false retreat to lull opponents? Possible but not likely. Public Option was always a liberal Trojan Horse for single-payer Government-run healthcare, like UK and Canada have. More likely, they will use the co-op concept to get them moving in that same direction. Still, ObamaCare opponents will need to be vigilant to oppose these shape-shifting proposals.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Did you celebrate Cost of Government day?

It was August 12th.

Three ideas on how to cut healthcare costs

Some thoughts on a better "healthcare reform is teetering on the edge of failure".

#7: "It is my opinion that the main cause of increasingly higher health care costs is the American Public. We want it all, we want it now, and we don’t want to pay for it. It’s that simple."

While I agree that Americans will not tolerate a system of rationing, as odious both to our freedom and our health, I disagree that we have to resign ourselves to an expensive healthcare system and that the American Public is to blame.

There are 3 structural issues, and 3 structural fixes:
1. The American public is not in favor of defensive medicine, which sucks up a good amount of medical costs, and is a result of over-litigious actions against doctors. Solution: Medical tort reform.
2. The 'we dont want to pay for it' statement actually should state that 'we do not pay for health costs directly as we do with other goods'. only a fraction of healthcare costs are direct payer. What IS the way to go is to get more direct payment of medical costs and move away from kitchen-sink style health insurance. If people have to pay a portion of health costs directly, they will act more like rational consumers and less like kids in a candy store. Solution: Allow 'bare bones' health insurance, allow getting health insurance across state lines, have 'healthcare savings accounts.'
3. We choose to have healthcare to cover diseases and the 'frontier' of research has been to grapple with more and more challenges. We've made great progress, but the 'cost' of progress in healthcare is a rampup in how much we spend on care, from expensive neo-natal care to kidney dialysis. In short, technology got us into this fix, and an entirely different set of technologies could be used/applied to greatly reduce the cost of healthcare delivery. Remote diagnosis (imagine getting a consultation by videophone), leverage nursing, posting prices, standardizing medical data, reducing the overhead of hospital stays, less invasive procedures. The list of possibilities is endless. Solution: If we directed some of the $40 billion the NIH spends to the challenge of "reducing direct medical costs", we could fundamentally change the medical cost equation with new technologies targetted at medical care cost reduction.

Rationing is NOT the way to go, as it merely supresses rather than fixes the cost drivers in healthcare. Moreover, rationing doesn't work on economic principles; decisions of bureaucrats have been proven to be less effective than price action, competition, and choice. This and other bureaucratic solutions will end as failures. Instead, we should focus on tort reform, recasting healthcare in more direct payer ways, and technologies for low-cost medical care. THAT will solve the problem.

Obamacare's "public option" on life support, given DNR order

Public Option looks to be 'off the table'... Sen Conrad on Sunday news shows called it a 'wasted effort', as Team Obama cuts and runs from previous statements demanding it. Of course, since Obama suffers from Cult-of-Personality disorder, a massive flip-flop like this requires an Orwellian rewrite of history- from "(A)ny plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" to calling it "just one sliver" and "not the essential element" of healthcare (oops, health insurance) reform.

Obama is in his heart, for single payer and 'public option' has always been a Trojan Horse for that eventuality:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.” - Barack Obama, 2002

So much for the Axelrod-spun meme that conservative townhall activism was backfiring. On the contrary, the ambitious Obama agenda has backfired by rousing the sleeping giant of American love for liberty. Team Obama will try to save the ObamaCare patient by amputating controversial elements of it, and the vigorous actions of patriots and freedom-lovers across the nation at Townhalls is alerting Americans that it IS controversial to take away private healthcare choice, health insurance options and centralize and bureaucratize the healthcare system.

Also off the table apparently is the 'death consultation' language. Two ObamaCare outrages down (or at least on life support), but many more to go - Govt approved care board, taxpayer funded abortions, mandates, taxes, Medicaid/Medicare squeeze, coops, etc.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blogs expose fake-doctor Obama plants in townhall

A student introduced herself falsely as a doctor in order to make a pro-ObamaCare statement at Rep Shiela Jackson-Lee's townhall. This fake doctor was busted by Patterico and LoneStarTimes, who discovered the fake doctor Roxana Mayer was not only not a doctor but a Texas delegate for Obama. LoneStarTimes further uncovered that fake doctor Mayer was sitting next to Obama organizer Maria Isabel. As Patterico put it "So you have two Obama activists sitting in the front together, one of whom invited the other via a listserv. One is a Che Guevara fan and the other lies about being a doctor." Patterico acknowledged the role of LoneStarTimes in exposing this:

UPDATE: As I reported last night, the Lone Star Times was the first to report Ms. Isabel’s presence, and her Che Guevara connection. What this post adds is the fact that Ms. Mayer was invited by Ms. Isabel (who is, by the way, one of Ms. Mayer’s Facebook friends).
Glenn Beck reports on fake doctor, while the Houston Chronicle, as shown in the above linked blogs, shows themselves to be pathetic at cross-checking sources, gullibly reporting Roxana Mayer as a doctor and then doing the minimal acknowledgement when the blogs broke the story and exposed the plant. Most of the stories the liberals tell are just that - stories.

Team Obama/MSNBC are manufacturing stories about Astroturf opposition to ObamaCare. Yeah right. 41% of Americans now STRONGLY disapprove of Obama and a majority prefer no healthcare reform to the monstrosity that Congress is contemplating, according to Rasumussen polling.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 Tries Disinformation Stunt in Austin

President Obama and his merry band of Freedom Thiefs have accused protesters who are against Healthcare Denial of Service of engaging in disinformation and misinformation campaigns -- without proving evidence of that claim.

Of course, the real situation is that the Freedom Thiefs are engaged in misinformation and disinformation campaigns.

Today tried to initiate a misinformation campaign in Austin today, when they sent out emails to their supporters advising them to appear on Thursday evening at a building in downtown Austin for a townhall meeting which would be attended by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Senator John Cornyn.

They apparently wanted a lot of their folks to be there -- all of them supporters of the Healthcare Denial bill -- along with the news media.

Slight problem.

Neither Senator had ever indicated they would attend the event. They claim was bogus.

The MoveOn folks were setting the Republican Senators up so that, when they didn't show -- because they had never accepted the meeting in the first place -- the Freedom Thiefs could tell the local media lackeys that the Senators were cowards and not listening to the voices of people who want Healthcare Denials of Service that are offered in the U.S. House bill.

Be careful out there. Mean-spirited leftists at are having to resort to dirty tricks and nasty tactics because they have lost control of their message. Losers.

Here's the content of the email they sent out:

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 08:12:41 -0700


Subject: Health care event in Austin tomorrow

On Thursday, MoveOn members are gathering in Austin to show Sen. Cornyn that constituents are counting on him to support real health care reform. Can you make it?Click here for more details and to RSVP

Dear MoveOn member,Your local MoveOn Council is organizing an important event
tomorrow in Austin-can you be there?We're taking action at events like these because this is a make-or-break moment-right-wing extremists are crashing political events around the country and trying to dominate the public debate over President Obama's agenda.We can't let that happen in Austin.

Local MoveOn members are making sure Sen. John Cornyn knows that we're counting on him to support health care reform with a real public health insurance option that will help expand coverage and bring down costs for all of us.The event is on
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009, at 6:00 PM in Austin. Click here for more details and
to RSVP:Yes, I'll be there on Thursday at 6 p.m.Sorry, I can't make it.Location:

Here's the description provided by the event host: [ORGANIZATION NAME EXPUNGED HERE] will hold a meeting here in Austin to take questions and comments on health care reform, and both Senator Hutchison and Cornyn will be present. The public is welcome and invited to attend. The [ORGANIZATION NAME EXPUNGED HERE]wants to know what Texans want in terms of health care, and this is a great opportunity to let our senators know that we need a R.E.A.L. public option.

Please be at the event one hour early (at 5:30 PM) if possible, as the opposition will try to take all the seats, and we need to claim our majority!Sen. Cornyn needs to hear from his local constituents. Right-wingers are doing everything they can to hijack the debate-they're even using fraudulent tactics, like bringing people who don't live in the district to town halls.

That's why we're organizing "Real Voices for Change"-an ambitious campaign to show that the overwhelming majority of Americans continue to support Obama's plans for change.We have numbers on our side, but Sen. Cornyn won't know it unless we all show up. Coming to this event is a timely and easy way to make sure thoughtful constituents are heard in the public debate over health care.

Can you join us on Thursday at 6 p.m.?Yes, I'll be here:

Sorry, I can't make it:

Thanks for all you do.-Nita, Anna, Ilya, Matt, and the rest of the team.

Austin Business Leader Speaks out on Healthcare Debate

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, Inc. John Mackey started his business in Austin and is known as being exceptionally business-savvy. A former democratic socialist, John Mackey learned free market economics through owning and operating businesses. Many of the reforms that conservatives argue for are iterated by Mr. Mackey in his recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Here is a summary of his 8-point plan:

1. Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).

2. Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.

3. Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines.

4. Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover.

5. Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

6. Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.

7. Enact Medicare reform.

8.  Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Well said, Mr. Mackey. We all recognize the need for reform and the need to cut the costs of medical services which will drive down costs for every American. These common sense reforms are necessary to achieve a cheaper and more balanced approach to health care and insurance through competition and deregulation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Calling all Blue Dogs

Here is a list of Blue Dog Democrats that are key to the health care bill. Democrats cannot win the vote without their support. The administration will make every effort to pressure these Congressmen to support socialism. We must make every effort to remind these Congressmen to support freedom and stand up for their constituents and oppose the health care proposal before Congress.

Blue Dog Democrats:

Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
DC Phone: 202-225-6131

Mike Thompson (CA-01)
DC Phone: 202-225-3311

Jim Costa (CA-20)
DC Phone: 202-225-3341

Adam Schiff (CA-29)
DC Phone: 202-225-4176

Jane Harman (CA-36)
DC Phone: 202-225-8220

Joe Baca (CA-43)
DC Phone: 202-225-6161

Harry Mitchell (AZ-05)
DC Phone: 202-225-2190

Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08)
DC Phone: 202-225-2542

Henry Cueller (TX-28)
DC Phone: 202-225-1640

Dan Boren (OK-02)
DC Phone: 202-225-2701

James D. Matheson (UT-02)
DC Phone: 202-225-3011

John Salazar (CO-03)
DC Phone: 202-225-4761

Dennis Moore (KS-03)
DC Phone: 202-225-2865

Walter C. Minnick (ID-01)
DC Phone: 202-225-6611

Earl Pomeroy (ND)
DC Phone: 202-225-2611

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD)
DC Phone: 202-225-2801

Collin Peterson (MN-07)
DC Phone: 202-225-2165

Leonard Boswell (IA-03)
DC Phone: 202-225-3806

Marion Berry (AR-01)
DC Phone: 202-225-4076

Mike Ross (AR-04)
Energy & Commerce Comm.
DC Phone: 202-225-3772

Charlie Melancon (LA-03)
Energy & Commerce Comm.
DC Phone: 202-225-4031

Travis Childers (MS-01)
DC Phone: 202-225-4306

Gene Taylor (MS-04)
DC Phone: 202-225-5772

Bobby Bright (AL-02)
DC Phone: 202-225-2901

Parker Griffith (AL-05)
DC Phone: 202-225-4801

Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02)
DC Phone: 202-225-3631

Jim Marshall (GA-08)
DC Phone: 202-225-6531

John Barrow (GA-12)
DC Phone: 202-225-2823

David Scott (GA-13)
DC Phone: 202-225-2939

Allen Boyd (FL-02)
DC Phone: 202-225-5235

Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
DC Phone: 202-225-2731

Heath Shuler (NC-11)
DC Phone: 202-225-6401

Lincoln Davis (TN-04)
DC Phone: 202-225-6831

Jim Cooper (TN-05)
DC Phone: 202-225-4311

John S. Tanner (TN-08)
DC Phone: 202-225-4714

Bart Gordon (TN-06)
DC Phone: 202-225-4231

Ben Chandler (KY-06)
DC Phone: 202-225-4706

Joe Donnelly (IN-02)
DC Phone: 202-225-3915

Brad Ellsworth (IN-08)
DC Phone: 202-225-4636

Baron Hill (IN-09)
DC Phone: 202-225-5315

Charles Wilson (OH-06)
DC Phone: 202-225-5705

Zack T. Space (OH-18)
DC Phone: 202-225-6265

Glenn Nye, III (VA-02)
DC Phone: 202-225-4215

Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03)
DC Phone: 202-225-5406

Jason Altmire (PA-04)
DC Phone: 202-225-2565

Patrick Murphy (PA-08)
DC Phone: 202-225-4276

Chris Carney (PA-10)
DC Phone: 202-225-3731

Tim Holden (PA-17)
DC Phone: 202-225-5546

Frank M. Kratovil, Jr. (MD-01)
DC Phone: 202-225-5311

Michael Arcuri (NY-24)
DC Phone: 202-225-3665

Texas Legislators Send Letter to Congress

Yesterday, members of the Texas Conservative Coalition sent letters to Congress asking Congress to oppose the federal healthcare plan. Representative Phil King has a statement on his website on the letter today.

The full text of the letter can be seen here.

Real Folks' Pictures of Nationwide Healthcare Takeover Protests

The lame stream media is having a hard time capturing the true spirit of revolt that is occurring before our eyes, so here are some Web sites that show the size, breadth and depth of the health care revolts. Be sure to pick up some ideas for future protests. .

Protest Turns into Spontaneous Tea Party at the Texas Capitol

Nancy Pelosi Dodges Protesters in Denver
Please send in more examples as you run across them and we'll add them here.

New Hampshire Rally Against Healthcare Denial of Service:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sarah on Current Health Care Debate

Sarah Palin's comment below are like words from my own heart (that is not unusual and is one reason I urged candidate McCain to pick Sarah for his running mate last year). You see, I am the father of a Down Syndrome child, a child that we tragically lost on November 21, 2005 in a freak accident. Our loss was only magnified by Daniel's disability. He is an enormously important person in the lives of my wife, kids, and many other who knew him, and his death left a void that cannot be filled. I will not accept anyone degrading Daniel's humanity and value, simply because he had an extra 21st chromosome and might not have turned out to become the most productive member of society. As the pop-culture commercial says, [the love of a human being is] priceless.

So the main problem I see with Obamacare (now isn't that an oxymoron?) is the focus on a utilitarian view of human life, rather than the idea that life is sacred. Do I want the President to fail in getting Obamacare passed. You bet I do. I hope he and all his leftist friends fail to castrate the heath care system in this great country through the imposition of Obamacare or any other Statist approach to health care that takes the care out of "health care" and treats people as statistics to be rationed to death for the sake of the collective.

There, I said it, and below are Sarah Palin's words:
As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.

We must step up and engage in this most crucial debate. Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back. Ronald Reagan once wrote, “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Let’s stop and think and make our voices heard before it’s too late.

- Sarah Palin

Rep. Bachmann's speech (from 1 week ago) can be viewed here: