31 July 2009

Why Thank You, Eric Cantor!

Many in the blogosphere, namely yours truly, has been calling attention to the endless number of Czars the Obama administration has put in place for an end-around on that pesky Constitution.

First, it was the ever-growing list for things that cabinet level officers should be doing. Then the fact that some were not even doing what we think they were supposed to be doing. Most recently, Steven Rattner decided he would return to private life for various reasons. Yeah, right... things were getting a little too hot with formal investigations into his "private life" alright. This is exactly why Congress confirms those accountable to the President. Oh, by the way, it has a name... Checks and Balances...

But, wait! Is that someone knocking at the door? Hang on a second... Well! Hello Minority Whip Eric Cantor! It's so good to see you! What's that? You've got an opinion on all the Czars published in the Washington Post? Well, by all means, share with the general public ALL that you know!

I'm struggling with the GOP leadership these days as well, so don't paint me into a corner just yet. It seems that Cantor is not just a little, but a lot late to the game on this. Perhaps he should have been tugging a little harder at Minority Leader Boehner's pant leg to get this front and center earlier. The quote showcasing Obama's hypocrisy is great work, but let's see about pressing issues when they are, well, pressing. That's what we expect from those who will be expected to lead in January of 2011.

Quick Hits: Health Edition

No More Mosquito Spray - While this was indeed a risky experiment, this is absolutely amazing. Researchers in Europe actually used mosquitoes as "flying vaccinators" to prevent and immunize people from the very malaria they spread. It is still sad that a disease that is mostly gone from industrialized societies still kills so many people in societies that aren't. This is the kind of outside the box thinking that leads to good outcomes.

Have a Coke and a Tax - Here we go again with the nanny state. Lawmakers looking for additional sources of revenue, and seeking ways to legislate better health choices, now want to tax soft drinks and other "sugary" food items to magically transform Americans into models of health.

The article states, "A soda tax would not only help Americans to slim down but could raise revenues that would help to offset the rising sums spent to treat preventable health conditions caused by obesity." Simply not true. Typical politispeak to justify their legislative actions. No similar effort has ever resulted in Americans making better health decisions. Otherwise, many health issues would have been eradicated by high taxes long ago.

The article also quotes New York's Health Commissioner as crediting taxation as the reason smoking rates have dropped. Ever think that people just realize it's a nasty habit, Commish? His validation is incredibly misguided and pure conjecture made to maintain outrageous taxes.

There is no argument that obesity is an epidemic in this country that has far-reaching ramifications on healthcare (imagine what it will do to the public option!). However, as I've heard recently, a tax never made anyone healthy. Look at cigarettes. Taxes continually go up to pay for health programs, but people continue to smoke. It simply doesn't work.

While lawmakers hide their insatiable thirst for more money behind noble causes like making people healthy, they are ignoring the root causes of the obesity crisis. There are few, if any, effective education programs in schools and communities that encourage people to make good choices in food and diet. Marketing by food companies and fast food restaurants have made it easy for people to rationalize their decisions. I won't go into the need to make the nutritional information by restaurants more prominent, but couple that with promoting the benefits of engaging in physical activity, and you've got one heck of a start.

The fact of the matter is that taxing Americans does not change behavior. It never has. So, this is more of the same from elected officials looking to position themselves as protectors of the public good. But until they decide to do something that makes people personally responsible for their own decisions, nothing is going to change except the price at the Coke machine.

30 July 2009

Hey John Kerry! Are You Listening?

A soldier at an anti-Obamacare rally explains the limits on federal powers outlined in the Constitution while demanding that Claire McCaskill oppose nationlized healthcare. So much for getting stuck in Iraq, eh Senator?

(hat tip: Doug Ross, Hot Air)

29 July 2009

The Importance of People Skills

(hat tip: Lance)

But I just created a blog, instead... therapeutic perhaps...

26 July 2009

A Teachable Moment from Decades of Lies

UPDATE 7/28: I'm proud to have the company of Glenn Beck who also calls it like he sees it. Are we still a "nation of cowards" now, Mr. Holder?

UPDATE 7/27: The police report and 911 tapes suggest that the only person discussing race was Professor Gates, when he refused to show proof of ID or residence. The chip on his shoulder must have fallen off when he used it on his locked front door.

While I'm fairly certain Obama's immediate reaction was a clear reflection of his attitudes towards law enforcement, the backtracking provided a glimpse into the damage control the White House flew into given the heated nature of his response.

However, Doug Ross drills down on how the administration's (and Obama's) lack of post-racial policy is being overshadowed by sound bites and platitudes - all of which the media is too happy to accept at face value.

The following quote was attributed to Charles Barkley; "Poor people have been voting for Democrats for 50 years... And they're still poor." Well, here's why...

(hat tip: Doug Ross)

25 July 2009

The Wisdom of Simplicity

Regarding the Gates-Crowley dustup in Cambridge this week, there are so many factors, he said / he said, pundits opinions, etc., that it really takes a snapshot to sum it all up. Once again, Michael Ramirez hits the bullseye:

Personally, given the fact that Dr. Gates is a Professor at Harvard, and that we supposedly elected the first post-racial President, I'm finding a lot of difficulty seeing this as a racial incident framed in the Civil Rights era mindset - especially in light of the stated facts and police report. It is, however, ultimately for the individual to decide, but affects us all in how we interact as different races.

Additionally, the usually harsh Ann Coulter, steps back from the abyss and provides a thought-provoking, simple approach to the healthcare "crisis" that has lasted the past 50 years... Like her or not, I strongly encourage you to check it out.

23 July 2009

5 Questions for Obama

I too would like a simple answer to these simple questions...

Jim DeMint's Five Questions for President Obama:

1. "If the major provisions of the health care bills will not kick in until 2013, four years from now, why the hurry to pass a thousand-page bill before the August recess; a bill you admit that you haven’t fully read yourself?"

2. "You have said your health care bill will cut costs and not increase the deficit. But, independent analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office contradicts both claims, saying it will raise costs and increase the deficit by $240 billion in the first ten years. What independent analysis will you provide that supports your claims and refutes CBO's?"

3. "You have repeatedly said that your health care bill allows any American who likes their current employer-based plan to keep it. But the most comprehensive independent analysis available, by the Lewin Group, contradicts your claim and found your bill will force over 80 million Americans to lose their current coverage. Will you provide independent analysis to refute this study?"

4. "Your own record in the Senate reveals you spent years voting against nearly every reform to make health care more affordable and accessible, but this week you said that opponents of your plan are 'content to perpetuate the status quo, and are, in fact, fighting reform on behalf of powerful special interests.' Which specific elected officials will you cite that have proposed to keep the status quo, and is that how you characterize the opposition of the 52 Blue Dog Democrats in the House...?"

5. "Yes or no question: Will you guarantee pro-life Americans that, under your plan, they will not be forced to subsidize elective abortions?"

A 6th, and very important question should be, "Will your legislation require that you, your family, White House staff, and all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate and their staffs participate in the public plan that will be required of all citizens?"

(Hat tip: Doug Ross)

If I Were President...

I often like to think of the viability of a TRUE third party. Perhaps a party based on simple common sense. I think it would do wonders by providing some much needed oil for the tired machinations of today's DC. As they say, "Some people go to Washington to do good. Most go to Washington to do well."

A good friend of mine, Nathan G., sent me an email with a few good ideas on how to whip Washington into shape. I think we all agree that government has the extraordinary power to do great things for its citizens. But the corruptocrats currently abusing us have bastardized our Constitution in such a way that makes high school class officers look more competent.

A potential peek into the future? I yield the floor to my esteemed colleague from Virginia:

If I ran the show out here in Washington, D.C., I have a few ideas which would need to be addressed...

TERM LIMITS. TERM LIMITS. TERM LIMITS....THIS IS FIRST AND FOREMOST... NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, will be passed through that dysfunctional Palace on the Potomac (The Capital) until maximums of 2 terms are legislated for Senators and 4 terms for Representatives....'Bye Bye Birdie' to the days of career politicians. As a result, more Americans will be inclined to SERVE in public office and true representation will take place.

Just like every citizen in the country, we balance our federal budget. And that is the 2nd #1 priority.

My inaugural address will be about 3 minutes long, because I would demand every Representative and Senator to be in their seats within 20 minutes ready to vote on term limits. And if a member votes 'PRESENT', that person’s congressional pay will be docked each time they do. We don't send them to DC to occupy a seat. If a service member can have it done to their pay, elected officials to the House and Senate are also not immune.

I would make it known far and wide that no more subsidies will be doled out from the Federal Budget to Non Profits and Non-Governmental Organizations. The likes of ACORN need to wither and die and the same goes for Conservative leaning types as well. If you feel so strong about your so called 'issue'...then get off your butt and raise the money yourself! Millions of charitable organizations do it daily. What? Not enough? Too bad. Combine resources with another group. I heard Harvard has a HUGE endowment. Go beg from them.

US Foreign Aid is provided to ‘approved’ nations based upon a percentage of their population. Yes, Djibouti would get far less than say, Ethiopia. Still, we make it clear and set the example that if you squander away US Money or aid in any method, it will be yanked from your coffers and you will learn how to reap what you sow. Suckling from Momma America has been going on far too long. Our taxes benefit OUR citizens before we assist others.

If Israel wants (or needs) to BOMB a country deeper into the Stone Ages...let them. They are big boys and girls and they know what repercussions will happen if they do something unprovoked. But, if another nation does something to Israel first, then we should just whistle past the graveyard.

All federal agencies, besides the military, will be drawn down by 10% my first year in office. That’s how you save money in a bloated government. However, the military will also be held responsible for their spending. No more “Billion Dollar Bullets”. We love you Department of Defense, but you need to run a tighter ship!

Amtrak will no longer be federally funded or subsidized. No more intervention by Congress and you are free to make and live by your own decisions. If you fail, sell those rail cars to Kim Jong Ill. His eyesore of a country could use them.

Bio-Fuels Industry... Go talk to T. Boone Pickens about his wind farm project. Meanwhile, crank up the drills at home.

Any director of a federal agency will make no more than half of what the President makes. No bonuses, no perks. You’re serving the public, not here to get rich on the taxpayer dime. Want to make tons of money? Go earn it elsewhere.

Bailouts will never happen again. Companies must lie in the beds they make. Want to play big shot, Mr. CEO? Live with the consequences. Shareholders can be vengeful people. Private enterprises are not owned by the Feds. Whether they run a company well or poorly...not a government issue unless they are breaking the law – in which case, we drop the hammer of justice on them and protect Main Street.

TORT REFORM...the “John Edwards” of the world need to earn an honest living, and that doesn’t happen by whimsically suing everyone under the sun. For the attorney who files and loses a frivolous lawsuit, you pay all costs to all parties associated with the process. Oh, and you’re disbarred for at least 1 year. HELLO HEALTH CARE COST REDUCTION!!!

Lastly, public BBQ's on the South Lawn!


20 July 2009

Quick Hits

Government Track Record on Healthcare - (From Cato) Exactly why do Americans think that the government can effectively administer a NEW national health program for ALL of its citizens? The programs the government is in charge of today are all shining examples of colossal failure and inefficiency:

The Veterans Administration (VA Hospitals)

Dare I include Social Security?

Bobby Jindal Votes Present - Let's not start signing Bobby Jindal's praises just yet. He's basically doing the Obama equivalent of voting "present" by allowing bills he's not crazy about to become law by simply not signing them. This is not leadership. It's a lack of courage to be the chief executive of state government. Couple this with his failure to initially stand up to legislators' self-voted threefold pay raise, and you've got... Charlie Crist! The GOP does not need to dabble in identity politics to compete with the Left. As appealing as his diversity may be, Jindal is not ready for the national stage, and isn't giving any indications that he will be anytime soon.

Solient Green is made of...Fluorescent Light Bulbs! - Here's a fantastic example of the "green" movement getting entirely too far ahead of itself, making hasty decisions based on limited, agenda-driven information. Can you imagine what dangers lurk with Cap and Trade?

US to Pay for Chinese Pollution - (hat tip: Doug Ross) - The administration wants YOU to pay for China's right to pollute. It's all your fault for buying that widget made in China.

Who's Teaching Our Kids? - (Dan Lawton) Finally, some solid journalism that pokes liberal hypocrisy in the eye. And surprise! It isn't from the MSM... not that you'd be surprised...

19 July 2009

Globalizing Government Healthcare

In the hurry to pass a 2-foot tall bill that no one has read (again), it is interesting that other countries are not speaking out against Obamacare. I would think practically every other country would have something to lose if the US nationalizes healthcare. Let’s look at a few of the issues:


Two countries primarily used when discussing nationalized healthcare are Canada and the UK. Canada has 34 million citizens while the UK has roughly 61 million citizens. That’s roughly one TENTH and one FIFTH, respectively, of the US population of 307 Million.

In the US in 2008, an estimated 42-45 million are said to be uninsured. So comparing the proposed US plan with nationalized healthcare in those countries is not even apples and oranges. We have, on average, as many uninsured as they have total citizens! It’s more like grapes and watermelons!

So, it stands to reason that if healthcare in those countries is already less than desirable (see side note below) for the fraction of citizens each country has, then it will be up to TEN TIMES worse in the US! It would also be TEN TIMES as expensive… and that’s based on Congressional estimates which are usually dramatically underestimated. You can expect quality issues here to be exported to countries that depend on our medical system to run their own.

Side note: When a Canadian government entity has a publication on wait times for healthcare and the BBC is reporting on average wait times, no matter how you position it, you have de facto rationing of care.


New medical innovations will suffer as a result of national healthcare reducing or eliminating the profit motive. Glenn Reynolds provides firsthand experience with today’s healthcare systems. While I’m certain there are physicians who choose to work simply to heal and help, those who make the tools of the trade are mostly capitalists. They don’t come cheap. So then, who will provide the government plan with all the cutting edge technology that no one will be interested in investing the time and energy in just to have it bought at lowball prices from (or stolen by) a government bureaucracy?

Legislation currently in Congress (HR 3134) seeks to establish “Healthcare Innovation Zones”. This legislation is designed to encourage “innovative models of care that improve quality and decrease costs” and create “a provider network that will provide the full spectrum of care.” And if national public healthcare – as proposed – passes, who do they think will be left to participate in these programs? Already in the pocket of the Obama administration for cap and trade, General Electric can’t expect to also solve the world’s healthcare needs as well.

HR 3134 gives the appearance of government bribes for those who want to stay fully funded as their national program slowly kills provider incentives and private plans. The intent appears to be asking medical communities to recommend to the government how to run its nationalized program. This gives them “expert” cover in selling the idea to the public. Like other government incentive programs, it too will fail.


But what will happen to the rest of the world’s healthcare programs when our incentive to innovate goes away? For all the countries that have socialized medicine - ones that adopt technologies developed by for-profit pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment companies in the US - how bad will things get for them if they no longer have innovative programs their governments can buy from the US? Do they have money to invest in those technologies themselves? Likely not. Will they foster innovation in their own countries to provide the medical advances they will need? Doubtful. So, our newest export will be self-inflicted misery.


Ultimately, I predict there will be a shortage of medical professionals who refuse to work for the government program (unless perhaps they unionize to protect their interests). But more than that, these are EXACTLY the “rich” people the government plans to increase taxes on to pay for the national program. Medical students from around the world aren’t lining up to get into US schools because they can make more money at home.

How does the government expect physicians and other professionals in the medical field to feel about being taxed at rates of 50-60% of their incomes, which are most likely going to be negatively impacted (as they already are) when single-payer programs pay them pennies in reimbursement due to lack of competition? Never mind that tort reform or the soaring costs of malpractice insurance haven’t crossed a Congressional mind as a much needed part of controlling costs…


Quite frankly, I’m shocked that the rest of the world is not rising up against this fiasco as it will have ripple, or should I say tsunami-like effects throughout the world’s healthcare systems. Surely other countries realize how important the current US system is to their own. Given that the administration is doing all they can economically to devalue our currency, once they devalue our healthcare and energy systems, there will be no one to pick up the slack. Things will not get better for Americans, it will get worse because those who have depended on us for so long will now abandon us and perhaps even turn against us.

As they say today, when the US sneezes, the world catches a cold. If this healthcare plan goes through in the US, when the US sneezes, the world will be hospitalized forced to rely on their own failing programs.

16 July 2009

The Chilling Prophecy of Ayn Rand

A lot has been made recently of Ayn Rand's prophetic novel, "Atlas Shrugged", and its application to today's political climate. While the parallels are absolutely striking - out of control government spending, rampant attacks on the wealthy and prosperous for the benefit of the poor and downtrodden, and government bureaucrats seeking to legislate prosperity through taxes and other oppressive programs - I think this comparison may not the best one.

A more fitting comparison of Ayn Rand's works to today's America would be "Anthem" - a story about the control and elimination of the individual. I strongly encourage you to read it, as it is a relatively short book. However, let me share with you the author's foreword written in 1946. This could not be a more accurate description of the direction the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress appear to be taking the country... as well as exposing the blissfully ignorant electorate who's been all too happy to oblige without question:

"Some of those who have read the story when it was first written, told me that I was unfair to the ideas of collectivism; this was not, they said, what collectivism preaches or intends; collectivists do not mean or advocate such things; nobody advocates them.

I shall merely point out that the slogan "Production for use and not for profit" is now accepted by most men as a commonplace, and a commonplace stating a proper desirable goal. If any intelligible meaning can be discerned in that slogan at all, what is it, if not the idea that the motive of a man's work must be the need of others, not his own need, desire or gain?

Compulsory labor conscription is now practiced or advocated in every country on earth. What is it based on, if not the idea that the state is best qualified to decide where a man can be useful to others, such usefulness being the only consideration, and that his own aims, desires or happiness should be ignored as of no importance?

We have Councils of Vocations, Councils of Eugenics, every possible kind of Council, including a World Council - and if these do not as yet hold total power over us, is it from lack of intention?

"Social gains," "social aims," "social objectives" have become the daily bromides of our language. The necessity of a social justification for all activities and all existence is now taken for granted. There is no proposal outrageous enough but what its author can get a respectful hearing and approbation if he claims that in some undefined way it is for "the common good."

Some might think - though I don't - that nine years ago there was some excuse for men not to see the direction in which the world was going. Today, the evidence is so blatant that no excuse can be claimed by anyone any longer. Those who refuse to see it now are neither blind nor innocent.

The greatest guilt today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one's eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: "But I didn't mean this!"

Those who want slavery should have the grace to name it by its proper name. They must face the full meaning of that which they are advocating or condoning; the full, exact, specific meaning of collectivism, of its logical implications, of the principles upon which it is based, and of the ultimate consequences to which these principles will lead.

They must face it, then decide whether this is what they want or not."

Ayn Rand
April, 1946

Those who choose to ignore history...

15 July 2009

Wanna know what Sarah Palin is up to?

She's doing what she wanted to do during the campaign... intelligently impart some common sense to those who need to truly understand the fallacies of the Obama/Democrat plan to artificially send energy prices soaring while enriching Wall Street types who will dabble in the trading of cap licenses, aka "pollution indulgences".

Expect to hear more from Sarah Palin on a variety of issues once she officially leaves office. Her gloves will be off and I expect her to come with "both guns blazing".

13 July 2009

La Sra. Sotomayor que Confirma

All the headlines today are already indicating that Sonia Sotomayor will be an "impartial" judge and decide cases on their "merits" if she is confirmed to the Supreme Court.

What did you expect?

Just because she is not expected to change the balance of the court, that is no reason to give Obama a tip in. The truth is, we never know what the judges will do until they are on the court and by that time it's too late. In fact, the justice retiring was expected to be a winner for GOP ideals and clearly turned out to be more of the opposite. Regardless of media spin, the basis of this appointment is identity politics, consistent with Obama's belief system.

So, as I've mentioned before, and as the grandstanding opening statements show, these confirmation hearings are nothing but window dressing on what is otherwise a job interview where the applicant will say all the right things to get the job.

Wouldn't you for a well-paying position with a lifetime appointment?

(picture credit: Michael Ramirez / ibdeditorials.com)

Circumventing the Constitution

I've blogged before about the number of unelected "czars" the Obama administration has "appointed". Since then, I believe the number has increased to 33 or 34, but who's counting. Well, thankfully, Congressman Jack Kingston is. He's introduced legislation that would basically curtail and eliminate this practice lest the "appointee" be approved by Congress as is explicitly stated in the Constitution.

(hat tip: Doug Ross)

11 July 2009

The Best Way to Get a Kidney (or Heart, Lung, Liver

The Best Way to Get a Kidney (or Heart, Lung, Liver…)

Posted using ShareThis

The GOP Boogeyman Takes Aim

In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove takes on Obama's fear-mongering, everything's an urgent emergency, get it done now approach to legislation. Not only do Congressional members not bother reading the legislation they pass, but the White House mantra of not letting a crisis go to waste - especially when everything is a crisis - now has a majority of Americans second-guessing what they did in November 2008.

The public is shifting back to desiring a relative balance in Washington, if not exhibiting the early signs of buyer's remorse with the Democrats. After only 6 months, the Democrats once again prove they can't be trusted with power.

08 July 2009

You Heard It Here First...

A while back, I posted on the issue of Cap & Trade and the ridiculous expectations it makes of American business as well as the impact it will have on EVERY consumer of energy in this country. And just as predicted, China and India have come through with flying colors.

From Reuters: "China and India have been opposed to a goal of halving world greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as part of a declaration by MEF nations, which account for 80 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions." An earlier story indicated that the two nations vetoed a G8 joint statement on commitments to reducing greenhouse emissions, which was designed to serve as a base for a new Kyoto type of climate treaty later in Copenhagen.

What did we expect to happen? Are we naive enough to believe that just because we seek to wreck our our national economy by unilaterally implementing misguided policies based on agenda-driven junk science that every other industrialized nation will too? Why would China and India want to hamper their own economic development at such critical times when they are becoming more important to the global economy? While they pay it the proper lip service to keep us and Europe off their backs, they too still believe it does not make sense.

And, on top of this, there is another reason that all of these "green" jobs Obama has promised will not materialize as expected. T. Boone Pickens who has been clamoring over the past year to revolutionize the nation's energy through windmill farms has discovered that it just isn't as easy as buying a bunch of oversized fans. He's abandoned his Texas wind-farm because of the difficulties associated with getting generated power ON to the grid (ironically for people who want to get OFF the grid...).

Long story short, going "green" is not all rainbows and unicorns as the administration keep promising. For that matter, it's not Nazi Germany either, Mr. Gore. To continue to bet the (wind) farm on this strategy doesn't make much sense, and in a global sense, actually puts the US in a weaker position on many issues.

As I've been saying, there just isn't yet enough proof to put so much energy into "green" energy. Ignoring the vast reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas that sit well within our reach and out of sight of protectionist eyes, is a strategy of failure and arrogance. It's time we stop thinking about special interests, and start thinking about national interests.

06 July 2009


The New York State Senate proves once again why we need to clean house with ALL elected leaders from both parties. The Governor has no power over these self-important weasels from both sides of the aisle who are more concerned with their own political careers and power than they are with what's best for a state that is crumbling under the weight of its own fiscal stupidity.

What is so hard about sending reasonable adults to serve in public office instead of immature children? At what point does this type of behavior become entirely unacceptable to the voting public? Will anything ever wake up the populace?

03 July 2009

On this 4th of July Weekend...

I challenge you to stop and think about what the 4th of July REALLY means to us as Americans. Many people see it as simply a day off to cookout with friends and family and then watch some fireworks along the banks of the river. Not that it isn't a fun time to get together, but it doesn't entirely reflect the true spirit of our nation's independence and birth.

But in the current political and economic climate we find ourselves in, it is critical, now more than ever, to really understand and appreciate the independence and freedom we sought from a tyrannical government. The big question is whether or not we are regressing by ceding too much authority to a government that was originally meant to be limited in scope.

So while you are enjoying your hot dogs and sparklers, think about this quote and to what extent our personal freedoms from an increasingly intrusive government are worth to us as individuals and how far we'll be pushed, or lengths we are prepared to go to, to defend...

(graphic courtesy of thepeoplescube.com)