Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cap & Trade Passes: Americans lose.

In their (now everyday) underhanded way, the Democrats in the US Congress passed this economy killer. Eight Republicans (update) turned their backs on America, while 44 Democrats revealed some common sense. Read it here and see if your representative has any common sense or not.

Underhanded because the renamed and revised 1300 page bill (Here) , with amendments (H.R. 513) was brought to the floor for debate early in the morning (3 AM) and voted on it at 7:17 Pm the same day. I wonder how many of our representatives were on hand for that? I wonder if anyone other than Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and his staff read any of it? House Resolution 587 limited debate, changed the name to HR 2998 and designates the bill as "read". Read by whom? Clerks & Staff? I hope you read it.

In an email to constituents, Rep. Vern Buchanan writes:
"The 1,200-page bill was being rewritten hours before the scheduled vote to attract support. Washington is broken, and nowhere is this more evident than in the fact that complicated, far-reaching legislation is being brought to the floor that no member could possibly have read ahead of time."
It is amazing that anyone could have read the thing while it made it's way through 13 committees in 3 days. ( The review period for each committee of 3 hours each was ordered by the Speaker.

Here are some of the mechanisms included to bankrupt the middle, now that they've bankrupted the US financial, mortgage and automobile industries.

Health care is next.

CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that over the 2010-2019 period
enacting this legislation would:
Increase federal revenues by about $846 billion; and
Increase direct spending by about $821 billion.
The US Congress and the current president are planning to raise your taxes by and additional $846 billion

$846 billion in new taxes!

The Heritage Foundation...
"An analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill (as reported out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce) by The Heritage Foundation found that unemployment will increase by nearly 2 million in 2012, the first year of the program, and reach nearly 2.5 million in 2035, the last year of the analysis. Total GDP loss by 2035 would be $9.4 trillion. The national debt would balloon as the economy slowed, saddling a family of four with $114,915 of additional national debt. Families would also suffer, as the bill would slap the equivalent of a $4,609 tax on a family of four by 2035."

The Heritage Foundations' Web Memo 2504, How the Waxman–Markey Climate Change Bill Would Affect the States, by Congressional District breaks the costs down. Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed this for in her district: The personal income loss for 2012 is $560.24 Million and averages $327.30 each year through 2035. In Author Henry Waxman's district it is –$550.66 and –$318.93. Edward Markey's district: –$560.24 and –$324.47. In my district (13 FL, Rep. Vern Buchanan) it will be –$504.97 in 2012 and –$292.46 each year through 2035. This means that in my district alone it will cost a total of $7,231,550,000.00 lost to the government through 2035.

The AP describes the bill as
"an effort to curb global warming"
Uh, OK.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cap & Trade: Letter to US Congressman

The US House of Representatives are debating the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill, officially the "American Clean Energy and Security Act", HR 5454. From This is a huge tax on American families. Even some Democrats acknowledge this fact.

My understanding is that US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is pushing hard on this one.

At the Heritage Foundation they are saying this law is bad for consumers and business.
"Presented as a comprehensive energy bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES)[2] offers nothing more than subsidies and mandates for unsuccessful, unproven energy sources coupled with taxes on reliable energy sources that falsely claim to stimulate the economy by investing in clean technology and creating green jobs. This government-centric approach will destroy jobs and drive up energy prices for years to come."

So I urge anyone reading this to contact their representative in Washington DC and repectfully request that they vote down this job killing legislation.

Here is what I said...

Dear Representative Buchanan,

This note is to ask you vote against the American Clean Energy and Security Act today.

Of the many agenda items the new president and Democratically controlled congress are trying implement, this one has to be near top of the list of Things That Will Kill the US Economy. Some of the others being Public Health Care, the lack of oversight on Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae, and two more trillion dollars of deficit spending.

While I support common sense ideas to reduce air pollution, placing an enormous burden on our economy is simply wrong headed and out of sync with the needs of the country and the world. The Democrats in congress have already decimated the financial, construction, and auto industries. They must be stopped.

What this country needs is to revive our economy ad that can only happen if government stops implementing expensive programs that slow everything down and cause unchecked inflation. Then start implementing common sense tax cuts in the form of realistic health care deductions, reducing or eliminating capital gains taxes and reducing or eliminating corporate taxes for starters.

Once again, I thank you for your support.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Public Health Care: A Letter To My Representative

A letter to my representative, sent June 25th, 2009.

Dear Representative Buchanan,

I have been watching the current health care debate and I have to say that the Kennedy plan is the wrong plan for our country and its future as the land of the free in a world where freedom is the exception.

While the president assured everyone that the public plan will be competitive and lower costs, we only have to look to the great state of Hawaii to know the outcome. Their program lasted 7 months before they decided to repeal it due to a massive shift in private sector insured to the state plan. They nearly bankrupted the private sector insurers and ran into the red in the state budget almost immediately.

I realize that the federal government can simply print more money when it runs out, but that solution is extraordinarily inflationary and will come back to haunt us when the real costs start settling in. Besides, the president and congress have already spent us into a hole that will take decades climb out of. We simply do not have the funding for a massive health care takeover by the federal government.

The president's claim of competitiveness is false. When employers see that the government will provide insurance, they will drop their employee coverage, just as happened in Hawaii. Private sector insurance companies cannot print their own money to make up for lost customers, so they will have to price themselves out of business. Additionally, how can he claim to be competitive when the Kennedy bill calls for taxing health care benefits, but excuses union members from paying it? In addition it is violation of equal protection under the 14th Amendment and will coerce middle and lower income families to join a union to be able to have insurance.

I have a better idea. Though I'm sure some or all of this has been passed around before, I need to know that it is known to my representative.

First, change the income tax law to allow at a direct 10% or more deduction for all medical expenditures. Currently only the amount over 7% of one's gross income can be deducted on a 1040, and only when itemizing. Make it part of the 1040EZ form. It has been this way for many decades and tells a sad story about American politics. I believe this helps force people into government sponsored programs, such as Medicare.

Two: An additional dollar for dollar deduction for insurance premiums paid out of one's income. This will encourage many to purchase their own coverage instead of relying on Rep. Barney Frank for our insurance needs.

Three: Allow insurance companies to compete for customers across states. Interstate competition will lower costs by expanding the customer base. There are around 1300 health care insurance companies around this country. Let's get them all competing with each other.

Four: Phase out Medicaid and Medicare. The president has already said he will cut Medicare and Medicaid by $509 billion and no one squawked about it. This opens the door to move away from the government solution to a regulated private solution. It is a well-known fact that government insurance programs leads to much fraud and waste (around $60 Billion last year). Additionally, the people who watch their own hard earned money very closely are not so careful with free money from (what seems like) someone else. However, we all know, or should know, that that money to cover the doctor and hospital visits come out of our own pockets when the government is picking up the tab.

Five: Tort reform. The Democrat pundits are claiming it is a non-issue as the lawsuit judgments are relatively small when compared to the total cost of health care. But what is not said is that the malpractice insurance industry has not lowered their premiums. Doctors and hospitals still pay outrageous rates for malpractice insurance and this is passed along to the patients.

Modern society has Americans on-the-go all of the time to earn a living, raise children, maintain homes and personal budgets. I can see how there may not be much concern over having too many labs at the doctor's office when the bill is something they do not have to think about.

The answer to health care reform is for Americans to get involved in our own health care, reduce insurance costs through fair competition and tort reform. Please remember that there can be no competition between the government, with virtually unlimited assets, and private sector insurance companies, who depend on a large customer base.

I understand that changing health care from government issue to personal responsibility is a big job that may ultimately be impossible. Nevertheless, it is important to prevent this country from failing due to a lack of responsibility on the part of its citizens and a need for ever more and more power by some members of the federal government.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some Bloggers. Sheesh

Some bloggers censor their blogs. I would like to believe that the main attraction to to blogging is the free exchange of ideas.

However, while looking for a quote on public health care insurance, I came across "GOP Lies About American Health Care", Our Rants & Raves - Politics, by Michael Boh. It appears that Mr. Boh is only interested in opinions that match his own. I posted a rebuttal to his rant at about 9 PM Tuesday night and it yet to appear. I normally wouldn't be spending time ranting about someone else's blog, but this guy is just way too in the can for the Democrat policies and President Obama, while spewing hate for opposing politicians, and, apparently, opposing opinions.

Of course I have no problem with managing one's own blog, but censoring for opposing opinions is un-American. Especially when he says, "All opinions are welcome!"

I kind of liked Mikey's rules and thought I might plagiarize them for this blog. He'll never see it, so it would probably not be a problem. Here are his, very reasonable rules. Some of which he has violated.

1. Write your own. (Did that)
2. Respect to be respected. (Did that)
3. Debate the topic at hand. (Did that)
4. Cite only reputable facts. (a matter of opinion)
5. No distractions, distortions. (a matter of opinion)
6. No "F" bombs, sexual language. (Did not do that)
7. No harassing, abusing bloggers. (Did not do that)

All opinions are welcome! Michael (Not so much)

You can read Mikey's rant and decide if I violated any of his rules.

My post to Rants and Raves:
This is incredible.

The singular cause of skyrocketing health care costs is the federal government.

Medicare and Medicaid set prices, control access and reduce the paying customer base for private insurance. The US Congress setup these programs while being influenced by lobbyists from the pharmaceutical, hospital, and doctors' organizations.

More government, especially a "public Program", will only make it worse. Look to the lesson of the great state of Hawaii. They instituted public health care insurance to compete with private insurance and fill in the the insurance gap. Hawaiians dropped their I-have-to-pay-for-it-out-of-my-pocket insurance for the better deal of the state program.

Some competition, aye?

Since the state cannot print their own hope dollars, they closed it after 7 months.

The lie is not the with the Republicans on this. The lie is that Obama's program will be competition.

The lie is that it will reduce costs. Only competition will do that. And competition is what Obama is trying to destroy.

Mr. Boh's response:
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

Mover/GR - I had to reject your recent comments for the following reason(s): they include misleading and/or disreputable facts (Rule #4) as well as distrations/distortions (Rule #5).

Unlike most "conservative" blogs, I will post comments that disagree with my own. However, I will not do it if I feel they are designed to mislead or disrupt the issue being discussed. Have a good day. June 24, 2009 7:55 AM

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Passes

I dislike being a pessimist all of the time, but...

Cash for Clunkers, officially known as Consumer Assistance Recycle and Save Act of 2009, pretends to offer consumers vouchers worth up to $4500.00 to trade in their presumed "gas guzzler" for more fuel efficient vehicles. You can find out how much your vehicle can qualify for at Fuel

So this will turn out to be another in the long line of Democrats in government, and Republicans going along for the ride, using voter dollars to buy votes from them. This one will likely be a zero some gain for car buyers and a boon to the UAW, who Democrats in government unquestioningly support. (Just look at the auto industry's government imposed failures that led to government supervised bankruptcies for proof. The result is the UAW receives a 17% ownership in General Motors. Now that is collective bargaining!)

What I predict will happen is this: Automobile manufacturers and Dealers, who are offering $1000 -$10,000 off of MSRP for new vehicles, will now be offering $500 to $5500 off MSRP. it will be a zero sum gain for consumers, and will be another government handout to autoworkers.

So we, as consumers, have to decide what we are going to do with this new free benefit. Use it or not?

I'm going to say "take it", and here is why. This government is going to ensure that gasoline prices become prohibitively expensive. They don't want to drill for domestic oil and natural gas and they want to squander billions on "alternative energy" and "green" research. They have spent us into a real hole already and are planning many more new spending programs, the most aggressive being "Public health care insurance".

So get a vehicle that will last and gets better gas mileage. Use your own money (Cash for Clunkers) to help pay for it. If your a good negotiator, it may be helpful. If you can, you should take as much advantage of this program as possible.

Go in to trade in your "high pollutin' gas guzzler". Just remember: It's a trick.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Say No to Public Health Care Insurance

The president's plan for universal health care is another bad idea in a long line of bad ideas on this subject. If he, or anyone is congress, would like to actually help folks obtain health care insurance he would push for tort reform, interstate competitiveness, medical savings accounts, and dollar for dollar tax credits to incentivise working Americans to purchase health care insurance for themselves.

Some folks already have medical savings accounts, but it should be made available to everyone.
Interstate competitiveness may be another hard nut to crack because it would in large part remove the several states' power to regulate medical insurance.

I realize this would be a long shot in today's political environment as our illustrious representatives do not understand the term "tax cut". If you explain it to them (and there is no camera or microphone near by) they may let you know that you're talking crazy talk. Tax cuts indeed! Tax cuts to elected Democrats is like garlic to vampires.

The other issue, tort reform, isn't going to happen anytime soon either. Can you imagine two rooms full of lawyers who get to make law and give themselves pay raises suddenly deciding to cut or remove the the largest jackpot lawyers have ever found? Yeah, me either.

All of these issues would have to take on life as a real grass roots issue. Much like the Tea Parties around the country, or the grass roots effort that killed the lame version of so-called "immigration reform".

But, I cannot just pick on the president all of the time as on some points, he gets it right. In fact this is his forte. He will say that which is so true that it defies contradiction. Wonderful. But then he will go on to say something that is completely contradictory or simply wrong. He outlines, as much as he has been able to, his government health care plan in a letter to congress.

In his letter to congress concerning health care insurance he says,
"Soaring health care costs make our current course unsustainable. It is unsustainable for our families, whose spiraling premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are pushing them into bankruptcy and forcing them to go without the checkups and prescriptions they need. It is unsustainable for businesses, forcing more and more of them to choose between keeping their doors open or covering their workers. And the ever-increasing cost of Medicare and Medicaid are among the main drivers of enormous budget deficits that are threatening our economic future."
I agree 100%. Like a hammer he's hit the nail on the head.

But then he ruins it with this...
"I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest."
Public health care insurance is going to lower costs for everyone?

To borrow a phrase: "Here's yer sign."

But I wonder if Mr. Obama, or anyone in government, know why Health care and health care insurance has become so expensive? I believe they either do know why, and are not saying, or they really do not know why, in which case, they should be replaced with people who have a clue.

Health care in America has become prohibitively expensive because of our government. Through Medicare and Medicaid, government set prices on services and prescriptions, allow waste and fraud to run rampant, has become an unfair competitor to private insurance, and a lawyer led get-rich-quick scheme called "malpractice".

Sorry folks, but attributing cost savings to government would not only be unlikely, it would be impossible. I'm afraid our president's advisers have not learned the lessons of public health care insurance from the great state of Hawaii, the government plan to fill the gap for the uninsured in Hawaii. It lasted an entire seven (7) months before being dismantled. The reason? The people who already had insurance dropped their expensive private insurance in favor of the free insurance and almost bankrupted the state while destroying the private insurance companies. People are not stupid. If the government is going to use someone else's money to buy them insurance, it would only be in their best interests to get in on the deal. Of course, private insurance companies cannot force dollars out of the pockets of their customers, so they were left hanging. It won't work.

A quick glance at Medicare and Medicaid's history is a huge clue. In 1980 Medicare accounted for .7% of the country's health care spending. It has now grown to 19.7% of total health care spending. To ensure participation in this government program, Americans are forced into Medicare at age 65 or earlier if they receive Social Security Disability payments. All of this has reduced the number of people buying private insurance and a smaller customer base means higher prices. (just look at your utility bill. Save a lot and they raise the price.) Read more about Medicare here, here and here.

On Medicaid, the numbers are scary as well. (from Reuters, Report says Medicaid spending "unsustainable")
"In 1970, the report said, combined federal and state expenditures for Medicaid represented 0.4 percent of the economy, but this percentage grew to 0.9 percent in 1980, 1.2 percent in 1990, 2.0 percent in 2000 and 2.3 percent in 2007."
Another inflationary problem with universal health care insurance is the same problem that continues to run up the cost of Medicare and Medicaid: Cost control.

When I have to pay for something out of my pocket, I go for the best price I can get. If someone else is paying for it, then the price is not so much of a concern.

Malpractice Insurance. Doctors are charged huge premiums for malpractice insurance, which they must pass along to patients and their insurance companies. In order to hold back these costs, some governors have frozen insurance premiums in their states. Also, back in 2002 in the article, "High Insurance Premiums Jeopardize Rural OBs" (Rural Health News, Vol. 9, No. 1), they report...
"Citing data from a survey by Medical Liability Monitor, ACOG said that nationally, the median insurance premium for OB/GYNs increased 167 percent from 1982 to 1998. In 2000, it rose seven percent. In 2001, it went up another 12.5 percent. For 2002, the expected increase is 15 percent.

According to American Medical News, eight states saw two or more liability insurers raise rates by at least 30 percent in 2001. In more than 12 states, one or more insurers raised rates by 25 percent or more."
How can this not affect doctor, prescription and hospital fees?

Sheila Guilloton, of the Examiner, writes that...
"Malpractice insurance for OB/GYNs is reported to have one of the highest premium for medical malpractice, with some areas reporting premiums of $100,000 per year for OB/GYN coverage. Premiums in major metropolitan areas can be as much as $250,000 per year."
You can read more on The Tort Threat at the the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)

On the Bill Bennett radio show, Morning In America, Senator Bill Frist said that when a doctor asked if a patient had insurance and the answer is "no", the doctor will prescribe generic, less expensive drugs. If the answer "yes", then the doctor can prescribe the more costly name brand drugs. Since a patient on Medicare or Medicaid is "insured", the fees and prescriptions will add to the taxpayers' burden.

If the federal government enacts public health care insurance, the same pattern will follow. People are not stupid. If they can get free (to them) health care insurance, they will abandon private insurers in favor of saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month. Wouldn't you?

So, there you have it. Medicare and Medicaid, along with malpractice insurance rates, are the prime reason that health care costs so much. The way to reduce these costs is not to add more government, as the president, his advisers and the US Congress believe. The answer is less government. Much less government.

Tax breaks will enable the working to afford their own insurance and that will act to keep medical expenses and insurance premiums lower. Tort reform will reduce the number of excuses insurance companies have to increase premiums while lowering doctor and hospital costs.

It needs to be mentioned that government is now intruding into areas of individual freedom that Americans are not accustomed to, such as deciding what to eat and how much exercise we need (or not), what kind of cars we need and what kind of energy usage is better for us. As government moves to further influence our lives, they will use the excuse of 'saving taxpayer dollars to reduce health care expenditures' by a reward and punishment system to be more healthy, just as I did when raising my children.

We are not children and do not need the impersonal government dictating lifestyles of Americans. Americans did just fine when there were no big government babysitting programs and we will do just fine again when they go away.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rebranding the GOP

The GOP's latest gambit is to rebrand the GOP/Republican/conservative name. Branding and rebranding are marketing terms that mean the brand name, such as "GOP" becomes synonymous what whatever image the leadership is searching for, such as being labeled as moderates, and moving the image away from its current implementation, such as right wing extremists, which is a loser for the party.

On May 9th, 2009, Myriam Marquez writes:

"Jeb Bush hopes to change the GOP’s tattered image from an immigrant-hating, privacy-meddling party of the Deep South to the national optimism of the Reagan years."
To get a handle on their image problem, the primary question is, "Why does the GOP have this image?"

The answer because they allowed it to happen.

From what I have seen of the GOP playbook, if one responds to these charges of hate or racism, one adds legitimacy to those charges. While that may be somewhat true, the GOP's deafening silence on the matter only allows the lies to live and grow. Granted there are some that call themselves conservatives who go way beyond today's standards of civility and use what can be described as hate speech. But those are few and far between and have no power in influencing politics, policy or politicians.

Note: In today's political and media lexicon, if a Republican agrees with a Democrat, that Republican is a moderate. If a Republican disagrees with a democrat, he/she is an extremist. The media never label Democrats who disagree with Republicans as extremists. The media are mostly Democrats.

By the way, if the media would like to see real hate and vitriol they should just visit the Daily Kos (today's featured speaker: Bill Ayers, 6/1/09), Huffington Post, many entertainers (Here, Here) and some preachers. I see no moderation in their speech.

So, I agree that the GOP's image needs changing. But what can they do?

First, they need to put the labels to bed. When the opposition's talking points include racism, when responding to the GOP's position on immigration, the GOP needs to get their own talking points out there, and do it repeatedly. When the DNC made noises about the presidential candidate being African American and that GOP'ers better tread lightly, the GOP should have pointed to the Clinton's rhetoric to show who is using race in that election. And they should have repeated it often.

Additionally, there is a new Gallup poll that shows conservatives are the single largest voting group in America. The next smaller group is moderates, followed by liberals. Among Independents and Democrats, 34% and 22% respectively are conservative, with 73% of Republicans saying they are conservative.

Compromising on issues, such as keeping alive programs that don't work, does not help. The base wonders 'why bother? I'm not being represented'. Reports are they were really proud of Republicans in congress who all voted against the President's spending plan. The same voters ask, "Where was these convictions when you were the majority?" To me, it looks like GOP politicians have been trying the DNC's political tactics, such as voting for liberal programs to make the legacy media like them. Even though that has never worked. The base knows better and if properly stated, moderates would support them as well.

They need the intestinal fortitude to vote their convictions. What the GOP should have learned from the 2006 elections is that conservative issues win votes. When the DNC ran their candidates on conservative issues in 2006 to take incumbent seats from Republicans, it should have been a rallying point rather than abdication of their platforms. The left's rhetoric that Republicans lose votes due to being too conservative is total nonsense.

So, If the GOP wants to win elections, how about being conservative? That would include voting and talking conservative.

Next, the GOP should be facing the media with clearly stated answers to the country's problems without the name calling, hostility or anger that their friends across the isle use.

There are several changes that the GOP could emphasize to put them back into the good graces of conservative voters.

1. All things in Moderation. The vast majority of Americans, including me, are moderates. Conservatism is moderate by nature. We don't don't want a lot of radical changes in the way government interacts with the people, make and enforce laws. We do not want the country to become bankrupt by the out of control spending that is going on now. And the scary part is that the Democrats are considering more "stimulus" money.

Personally, I want the government to restrict itself to those constitutionally authorized functions. And picking which businesses live, which ones die, who runs them and what they produce, is not listed anywhere in the US Constitution or in any US law, as the job of the federal government. All of this to the detriment of the average working family. Republicans need to go on ABC, NBC & CBS, and their subordinate outlets, to pleasantly and calmly explain in just a few words why government cannot keep spending Hope Dollars. The country is already broke and the value of the dollar is dropping fast (gas at the pump is up 25% in eight weeks) due to deficit spending.

2. The legacy media. Republicans need to take charge of the conversation and get up front on this label to prove the image wrong in the legacy media. Republicans talk, talk talk, on CNN, Foxnews network and MSNBC and have always portrayed a moderate point of view. They don't seem to know that most average American voters do not watch cable news channels. The Democrats in the legacy media has told them that cable news channels cater to right wing extremists and no one needs "extreme" anything. Why would they tune that in if they consider themselves to moderates?

O'Reilly may have the most popular cable news opinion show, but he reaches a very small percentage of the voters in America. Republicans need more face time on these legacy media programs.

Campaign Finance Reform. Revamping federal and state election rules to remove the money from people and groups that are not eligible to vote for that Mayor, councilperson, state or US senator or representative, Governors, etc. To me, this non-eligible group includes all non-residents, companies, corporations, unions, PAC's, lobbyists and foreign nationals. Many will claim a First Amendment right to donate to any candidate, but that is a twisting of the intent of the First Amendment. Just recall the Boston Tea Party. Its message was "taxation without representation". Since the colonials had no say in how government was conducted, they did not want to finance it. In our time, our representatives' should be focused on their own constituency, not campaign financing and perks from special interests and other entities who are ineligible to vote. (small note: I sent a letter to Senators McCain and Feingold during the debate over campaign finance reform and recommended what I've written here. You know the outcome.

3. Feelings. I've heard it said that many people agree with conservative principles and Republican policies, but the GOP must be doing something wrong because they don't talk like they care about anyone other than their big business friends. To remedy this, Republican candidates and elected officials need to use the words "feel", "feelings" and "my feelings" whenever they are being interviewed or make speeches. I can guarantee you that you will never here a Democrat making a speech or being interviewed that does not talk about his/her feelings. It seems to be a key factor in the likability index. The GOP speaks with passion, but does not reveal feelings. So, instead of saying something like, "The president's plan will bankrupt America". They should say, "I feel like we are headed for trouble with all this spending. My feeling is that the poor will suffer the most when the dollar is devalued. That's how I feel about it". Don't use any statistics or facts. We know this from the Obama campaign. Even some tried and true Republican voters start saying, "yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda, yadda", when you tell them any facts. They just don't have a feel for it.

On a final note. I doubt that many voters are going to fall for more marketing gimmicks. If the GOP really wants votes, they need to go back to the dictionary and look up the words "represent" and "representation". These are not hard words to understand. The voters understand the meaning and they think they've been shortchanged. That is why Republicans were replaced by Democratic Party candidates. The people want people to represent them, not lobbyists, special interests, big business or each other. The GOP seems to have forgotten this. The Democrats that won incumbant GOP seats by campaigning on less gun control, smaller and more responsible government and caring about the people's issues. As it stands now, many voters, such as myself, have a difficult time determining exactly who has been represented. My skeptical side says they have been representing themselves and this will not do.

Problem solved, Progessives' Language Barrier

Reputed comedian, Bill Maher, opines that President Obama needs to be a little less "transparent", saying,
"there's a fine line between being transparent and being overexposed. Every time you turn on the TV, there's Obama. He's getting a puppy! He's eating a cheeseburger with Joe Biden! ..."
Either Mr. Maher is being a comedian and abusing words, or he does not know the definition of the word "transparent". I think the latter. Of course we will have to learn the president's definition of transparent.

The Answers website's fourth entry defines transparent as
1. Easily seen through or detected; obvious: transparent lies.
2. Free from guile; candid or open: transparent sincerity.
That would be my definition in this context. If this is the definition the president is using, then all is well. If he has another definition, such as Mr. Maher's transparent = always visible, then we have a real problem. It's absolutely Orwellian, and there is a lot of Orwellian sound bites, policies and titles emanating from the White House.

It seems that the visibility version is the one that the president prefers. I mean, we know he has not been applying the presidential campaign version that everyone understood it to mean. But pundits aren't mentioning this so, in their act of forgiveness, they overlook these indiscretions. Virtually all of them are saying that his visibility is a large part of his leadership style. He is using his popularity and the bully pulpit to advance his agenda.

If the president had any common sense, any notion of the purpose of the US Constitution, or any idea of what made the USA and its people great, his use of the bully pulpit would be a very good thing. As it stands, he has been working diligently to stay popular while bankrupting the country and all of those reliable old ideals that made it great.

Bill Maher has one thing right.
"I don't want my president to be a TV star: Because TV stars are too worried about being popular -- and too concerned with getting renewed."
This is why Barry will fail to be a great president and may even end up as the one that destroys the country. Much like President Clinton, he would much rather be president than do anything as president. So he does what the lobbyists, contributors and what his adoring media want to see from him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

David Letterman “pathetic”

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gets it right again.

Letterman referred to her as having a “slutty flight attendant look.” in his Top 10 shtick*.

After hearing David Letterman's crude comments about her the Governor says Letterman is Pathetic, and that is not all she had to say. (story and video at Politico)

Also, Letterman said that and her daughter Willow, who accompanied her to NY, was "knocked up by Alex Rodriguez" (YouTube Video). The audience had a good laugh about it.

Some right leaning bloggers are characterizing Letterman's comments as rape. (e.g. Moe Lane, David Letterman jokes about Alex Rodriguez raping Willow Palin.). Strong words, but if you put a few facts together you might arrive at the same label. Willow Palin is 14 years old and that fact would characterize any sexual activity with an adult as rape.

Personally, I find no humor in rape jokes and no one with half a brain should be making these repugnant jokes involving anyone, let alone a 14 year girl.

Letterman Top Ten list from 8 Jun 09. Some are funny (10., 8.,4.), some are obnoxious (9., 7., 6., 5., 2.) and one was just stupid (3.) and one was correct (1.)

10. Visited New York landmarks she normally only sees from Alaska
9. Laughed at all the crazy-looking foreigners entering the U.N.
8. Made moose jerky on Rachael Ray
7. Keyed Tina Fey’s car
6. After a wink and a nod, ended up with a kilo of crack
5. Made coat out of New York City rat pelts
4. Sat in for Kelly Ripa. Regis couldn’t tell the difference
3. Finally met one of those Jewish people Mel Gibson’s always talking about
*2. Bought makeup from Bloomingdale’s to update her “slutty flight attendant” look
1. Especially enjoyed not appearing on Letterman

Monday, June 8, 2009

Why Does the UAW President Still Have His Job?

Barry fired GM's CEO and replaced a large chunk of the Board of Directors.

Why does the President, Ron Gettelfinger*, of the UAW still have his job along with his executives?

The UAW leadership helped usher GM into bankruptcy, yet Barry rewards them with a piece of the action (17% ownership).

The UAW will own over half of Chrysler if the judge approved Barry's bankruptcy plan.

Barry's new deal: He decides who wins and who loses.

*No link provided. the UAW's web site seems to be compromised.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Daily Kos: They Just Can't Help It.

I don't know why or how I came across this video from the dailykos, but nthey just don't get it over there.

In this link to Daily Kos TV, they describe a GOP ad as an attack on the Obama's new dog, Bo. Of course it is a satirical bit highlighting the President's irresponsible spending. But they don't want to talk about that.

I wonder why?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Obama to Cut Medicare and Medicaid

In a letter the president sent to Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Max Baucus last Tuesday (HERE) he outlines his plan for "public health care, or universal health care. Universal health care, otherwise known as the end of private insurance providers and a quickening march to the loss of individual freedom in America.

The president is...
"reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending by another $200 to $300 billion over the next 10 years,"
So he's going to cut spending on Medicare and Medicaid. While I'm all for that, I doubt he realizes what he is saying. Do you recall the Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives talking about saving money on Medicare saying, "letting it whither on the vine"?. You were told that he meant Medicare itself would whither on the vine and he was roundly criticized by the same people, Democrats, who are touting the current president's plan to cut these programs. universal health care plan. That's right, President Obama's plan mirrors the Democratic talking points against the Speaker. But suddenly, it's good to cut Medicare and Medicaid. Oo-kay.

Continuing the same sentence he says he will offset the extra expense of his public insurance policy by increasing taxes on those who create jobs in America.
"and by enacting appropriate proposals to generate additional revenues."
I suppose this is part of his 'creating 6 million or 3 million, or preventing the loss of 3 million or 100 million jobs each month' in these 57 United States. None of which is going to happen. He may create a few jobs, mostly in government, like Pay Czar and other czars.

So how is he going to save money on this "plan"? He says...
"These savings will come not only by adopting new technologies and addressing the vastly different costs of care, but from going after the key drivers of skyrocketing health care costs, including unmanaged chronic diseases, duplicated tests, and unnecessary hospital readmissions."
New technologies are cheap. Who knew?

I have to say that I have yet to hear of a new technology that comes in on the cheap. In fact, I'd have to say that I have never heard of any new technology that came on the market inexpensively. The norm is for a new technology to start out very very expensively, then become less costly as more are sold until the patent runs out then generics are seen. I've have yet to see a cheap MRI. Although it seems X-rays are very cheap. Of course X-ray technology has been around for a long long time.

He also adds this as a way to cut spending on Medicare and Medicaid.
"This reserve fund includes a number of proposals to cut spending by $309 billion over 10 years --reducing overpayments to Medicare Advantage private insurers; strengthening Medicare and Medicaid payment accuracy by cutting waste, fraud and abuse; improving care for Medicare patients after hospitalizations; and encouraging physicians to form "accountable care organizations" to improve the quality of care for Medicare patients."
Gee, there is another 309 BILLION DOLLARS in Medicare and Medicaid cuts. What's the total Medicare and Medicaid cuts he is proposing? A little math tells us the Medicare and Medicaid cuts will be in the 509 to 609 BILLION DOLLAR range.

What can I say? The President apparently wants to cut medicare and medicaid by $509-609 billion. He says he will "set aside" an additional "$635 billion in a health reserve fund as a down payment on reform".

A down payment.

Is he a giving us a hint that he knows it going to cost us trillions of dollars? Those are more dollars we don't have and that we are not going to have, ever.

Does he not understand that he has already spent close to TWO TRILLION DOLLARS this fiscal year alone? He does not have any money left to set aside for anything. He doesn't have enough left in the budget to take Bo to veterinarian. Maybe he will walk over the printing press and make some more Hope Dollars to pay the bills.

Here is the bottom line on government provided public (universal) health care:

If enacted in any form, public health care will destroy private insurance companies, making everyone dependent on public insurance and it will bankrupt this country.

There is no competition between a government who can merely print more money to cover its losses and a private insurers who depend on payments from customers who cannot print their own money.

Government bureaucrats will require so much of our money that we will no longer be working and earning for ourselves, but instead we will be working to support bloated government programs devised and managed by the same people that gave us the Vietnam, the oil embargo, the S&L crisis, Enron, the current sub-prime mortgage crisis, the banking crisis, the job loss crisis and the bankruptcies of Chrysler and GM, not to mention numerous financial institutions.

The president's plan is yet another horrible waste of the country's resources in a long line of wasteful self serving government programs. This program will bankrupt the country beyond recovery.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The left's universal health care plan, explained at Think Progress, The Case For A Public Health Care Plan, tries to make the case for government run "competitive" Medicare replacement. The smartest people in the room say that they want a "new public health insurance plan that can compete with private insurers equally and transparently within an insurance exchange" and is "on a level playing field with private health insurance plans". In several major sections, they describe the benefits, as they see them; Lowers cost, improves quality, designing fair public-private competition.

Is this a smart idea and will it accomplish those goals?

Uh, no. It is not a smart plan unless your goal is to wipe out private insurance companies and make virtually everyone dependent on the government's largess.

First off, it is impossible for private insurers to compete with government. Proffering the idea that it can be done "competitively" is pure nonsense designed to influence the slow witted, the uninformed and the gullible. Recall that the federal government is allegedly a "non-profit" organization with the ability to print money (hope dollars) and force us to pay for their mistakes.

Take the lesson from the Great State of Hawaii. In the editorial, Study: Hawaii's Lessons in the Perils of Universal Health Insurance, By Carrie Lukas, 4/3/2009, the consequences of government mandated universal health care are spelled out.

Highlights from the study:

• Before expanding government programs to create “universal” health insurance, policymakers should consider states' experiences with similar efforts.

• Hawaii created a universal health insurance program in hopes of reaching the uninsured population, but found that more than eight in ten of those who enrolled previously had insurance. Lawmakers decided to terminate this program just seven months after its launch.

• Government programs to create free or subsidized insurance will encourage many who currently have private insurance to join the government program. This is inefficient and will ultimately erode the private insurance system in the United States.

It was sold as "competitive" with private insurance policy rates, 8 of 10 who signed up for the government program already had health care insurance. This means that for those had to stay with their private insurance company, the costs were going to skyrocket. Fewer paying customers means higher premiums in order to provide the same level of coverage. They new that, so they dropped it in favor of the "free" health coverage.

Then, the legislature did not expect the mass migration to the state system
and it ran way over budget.

Congresses, state and federal, have a long grand tradition of unintended consequences. Normally, average citizens shouldn't worry too much about it, but in recent months their unintended consequences have cost us at least 6 million jobs, over $500,000.00 in debt to each household (TARP, Stimulus, budgets, etc.), and a breakdown of traditional families.

Finally, Hawaii had to rescind the law after 7 months to save their budget and to save those privately insured voters who were going to take a beating from their government. Just like President Obama is planning on doing to you.

Medicare and Medicaid spiraled up in a similar fashion and continues to spiral out of control even now. The US Congress created Medicare in 1965 (H.R. 6675) and have changed it many times. But nothing they've changed has helped to lower health care costs.

The power of government is a free market killer when abused by those who do not understand the US Constitution, the American way, or capitalism.

Republican Plan: A one page idealistic document at this point, looks a lot like an Obama campaign speech, only less substance.

My plan: There is a simple fix to health care in America: Tax cuts, tort reform and get government out of the way.

A direct one or one dollar tax cuts to those who buy their own health care insurance. It will incentivise individuals to buy their own insurance. This will be hard to enact because it would remove the need for our earnings from the US Congress. They don't like that sort of talk either.

Tort reform. Too many judgments are based on emotion rather medical fact. This vastly increases the cost of liability insurance for doctors, nurses, hospitals and emergency medical services. While I believe in holding medical personnel and pharmaceutical companies responsible for their services and products, the laws that allow any law suit to turn a "victim" into a prize winner needs to change.

Liability judgments have the additional consequence of making free clinics extinct. Remember them? Free clinics used to be everywhere and doctors along with other medical personnel could provide pro bono services to the poor. No more. It costs too much and the government is taking care of the poor, right? Not.

Government has been unfairly competing against private insurance companies with Medicare and Medicaid, as mentioned above. With the government's lack of oversight billions of dollars are wasted each year on fraud and abuse of the system. The answer is to get rid of that system.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Barry's New Toy: General Motors

Reuters is reporting the American people now own a majority share of General Motors. With the government unwilling to reduce spending and printing money like it's someone elses problem, I wonder if taxpayers will be offered an automobile in lieu of tax return checks.

The highlight will be that Barry and Barney Frank get to pick what car you get. GM (Government Motors) Obamamobiles* for everyone. Barry and his friends know this is all you really need, right?


The new GM (Government Motors) proudly introduces the 2010 Obama...
This car runs on hot air and broken promises. It has three wheels that speed the vehicle through tight left turns. It comes complete with two Teleprompters programmed to help the occupants talk their way out of any violations. The transparent canopy reveals the plastic smiles still on the faces of all the "happy" owners.

Comes in S, M, L, XL and 2XL.

Note: This picture and description arrived in an email that has been forwarded all over the place. I did a search and found it everywhere and I do not know who to cite and thank for it. But it sure is timely. Whoever: Thanks for the laugh.