Sunday, August 30, 2009

Winning On Healthcare, Still Losing On Energy Tax

The over-the-weekend comments of Democrat, Sen. Joe Lieberman, and Republican, Sen. Michael Enzi, indicate we may have won the battle against government-run healthcare, but we need to work harder to defeat Cap & Tax. You can see what the Waxman-Markey Cap & Trade Bill will add to the cost of just gasoline in your state by going here. .


By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 08.26.2009 (Excerpt)

"Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s criticism of the Obama health-care initiative may prove to be a pivotal turning point.

Others have focused exclusively on the Obama plan’s impact on health care. The elderly worry about bearing the brunt of the inevitable rationing; others look with alarm at the de facto socialization of one-sixth of our economy.

But Lieberman’s critique doesn’t center on the program’s health-care aspects or even on its ultimate desirability. Rather, he questions the wisdom of attempting so radical a transformation and so extensive — and expensive — an extention of government’s role in our economy during a major recession attended by a huge budget deficit.

His go-slow commentary integrates worries about the economy, the deficit and interest rates with those about the health-care proposal itself. In making this linkage, Lieberman cautions supporters of the idea and of the plan that this might not be the right time to try to do it all."

GOP senator signals fading hopes on health care

By JIM KUHNHENN (AP) August 29, 2009 (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON — "A leading GOP negotiator on health care struck a further blow to fading chances of a bipartisan compromise by saying Democratic proposals would restrict medical choices and make the country's "finances sicker without saving you money."

The criticism from Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., echoed that of many opponents of the Democratic plans under consideration in Congress. But Enzi's judgment was especially noteworthy because he is one of only three Republicans who have been willing to consider a bipartisan bill in the Senate." AP


On Energy, Obama Finds Broad Support

Poll Shows Backing for Reform Efforts, But Cap-and-Trade Bill Is Harder Sell

August 28, 2009 Washington Post (Excerpt)

"Most Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling energy issues and support efforts by him and Democrats in Congress to overhaul energy policy -- including the controversial cap-and-trade approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Even as public support has slipped for Obama's health-care proposals, support for ambitious changes in energy policy has been steady. Although the issue of health care arouses more intense feelings than energy policy does, those who do feel strongly about energy and climate policy tend to tilt toward the administration's position and a broad majority of people echo Democratic lawmakers' views on the benefits of proposed changes.

Nearly six in 10 of those polled support the proposed changes to U.S. energy policy being developed by Congress and the administration. Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the issue, compared with 30 percent who do not.

A narrower majority, 52 to 43 percent, back a cap-and-trade system; that margin is unchanged since June. A cap-and-trade system would set a ceiling for the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, and it would allow firms to buy and sell emissions permits." Washington Post

You can see what the Waxman-Markey Cap & Trade Bill will add to the cost of just gasoline in your state by going here. The link is:


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Friday, August 28, 2009

Honoring Teddy By Opposing Health Care

Below is a small excerpt from a remarkable piece on Senator Kennedy by someone who, like me, spent many years in Massachusetts under the shadow of the Kennedy dynasty. It is a tribute to Kennedy from a liberal turned conservative, and the whole piece deserves to be read – no matter how you felt about the Senator.

Nevertheless, its main point is that conservatives and moderates from every perspective should not put aside their opposition to the horrendous government health plans now making their way through Congress thinking it would be some sort of testimonial to Senator Kennedy. This would be just the opposite of what Senator Kennedy would want. He was for government healthcare, yes, but he wouldn’t want it passed for this reason.

Honoring Teddy By Opposing Health Care

Jeffrey Lord August 27, 2009 American Spectator (Excerpt)

“For me, in a political sense, moving from a Kennedy-crazed kid to a Reaganite conservative, what I learned from Ted Kennedy are two things.

First, his liberalism wound up helping to make me a focused conservative. If you were going to combat the ideas he had you needed first to know your own, and know them well. It wasn't enough to think him wrong -- and by extension his supporters -- you had to understand why he was wrong. Then, with all the zest and zeal you can manage, just sail into the teeth of the opposition, just as Ted Kennedy did. He certainly did that, and expected no less from his opponents.

Waiting to join the White House staff, I remember President Reagan heading over to Teddy's house to raise funds for the John F. Kennedy Library. The President gave a wonderfully Reagan-esque speech, crafted in part I believe by Peggy Noonan.

Somewhere along the line, in appreciation, Ted Kennedy gave Ronald Reagan an eagle bookend that belonged to JFK and had sat on the famous Resolute desk that both men had occupied in the Oval Office. Reagan, ever the gracious patriot, had accepted the invitation in tribute to a former president whom he had opposed in life, a president who had been unable to raise funds for his own presidential library because of the tragedy of his death. There is a wonderful picture of Ronald Reagan and Ted Kennedy admiring the bookend, the photo itself a tribute to a pair of legendary American ideological bookends.

That picture sums up for me what the best of politics should be in America. The well thought out ideas, the fearless willingness to do political combat, pulling no punches. And, as President Reagan always liked to say, after six o'clock, it was time to get together and lift a glass to friendship.

As with us all, Ted Kennedy's life will speak for itself. But here in this corner, on the occasion of his death, condolences go to his family -- for whom he was such an amazing patriarch. As with all figures in history, his legacy will be debated for eternity. The legacy I most appreciated was the ever-present idealism, the commitment to his principles -- and the lasting lesson that you should not just find your principles but fight for them as vigorously as he did for his.

Right about now, Ronald Reagan is welcoming Ted Kennedy home. And after the pleasantries, I have no doubt Reagan is saying, "Teddy, about that health care reform, well…"

Rest in peace, Senator.

Now, as to that health care business that the rest of us have to settle? It would be both untrue to the facts and unwise in the moment to tiptoe around the truth that one of the things Senator Kennedy took great joy in -- and was in fact a connoisseur of -- was hardball politics. He reveled in it. He gave full political measure to his political opponents and expected nothing less in return. Senator Kennedy's death is already being used by his allies as a reason to support the Obama version of health care. Wherever he is at this moment, the Senator is doubtless cheering them on.

But to be really true to the Kennedy view of politics, he would expect from his conservative friends nothing but the best opposition to this in what he knew to be a fierce debate. He would expect -- demand -- a sharply reasoned and passionately delivered conservative response.

For conservatives to be intimidated into silence on this issue out of respect for Senator Kennedy would show, as Senator Kennedy himself would understand, nothing but disrespect to the idealism he cherished and the political clash of ideas he loved. The Lion of the Senate became that because he roared.

So now should the opposition to Senator Kennedy's position -- President Obama's position on health care -- roar. Loudly.

Ted Kennedy would expect no less
American Spectator

Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bringing Home the Bacon and the Downfall of the Republic

Until recently I have always been luke-warm on the concept of term limits for Congress, believing that, under term limits, personal corruption would increase, and the loss of institutional memory would have negative effects. Also, there are a few good Congressional members who put their country first, and I would hate to lose them.

However, after experiencing the corruption by the last Republican Congress of the principles that got them elected - and now the unbelievable shenanigans of this current Democrat Congress, I have changed my mind. The selling of one’s vote for dollars is inexcusable, but it pales in significance to the selling out of a system of government that has preserved our freedoms for over 200 years.

Under our current system, the arrogance of seniority shown by Members like Barney Frank and Barbara Boxer, and the bribery of constituents with federal dollars in order to hold onto power has become an epidemic. Representatives and Senators vote to spend billions in order to bring ‘pork’ to their states to retain office, and they tie strings to the money so states will give up Constitutional protections to get the money. Seat belt laws are one tiny example of this insidious diminishing of our freedoms.

Every college that accepts federal aid loses some freedom of action and subjects itself to innumerable rules and regulations that have no place in a free society. The same is true for every hospital and for every other important institution of American life. We have lost the concept of a republic and have substituted for it an all-powerful federal state. In our greed for federal dollars we have surrendered, and in their quest for power, our Congressmen have applied the coupe de grace.

We have already lost many of the safeguards our Forefathers created, and we have lost much of our freedom. We have to reverse the trend, or we will no longer be a free people. Term limits for Members of Congress is the only way I can see to do this.

Editorial: Term limits for Congress

August 18, 2009 Providence Journal

After Franklin Roosevelt was elected to four terms, Congress and the American people moved to limit presidents to two. It was a good move, one that has helped restrain the power of the presidency while the size of the federal government exploded. Most of us are glad there are such limits. After eight years, people are ready for a fresh start.

Now, it’s time for Americans to look at limiting the terms of members of Congress, too. A good way to start the discussion would be proposing to limit the time in office to, say,10 or 12 years (five or six terms) in the House and 12 years (two terms) in the Senate. That’s enough to provide a necessary learning curve but not so much that these legislators become life-tenured barons whose incumbency, supported by economic interests giving campaign money, thwarts democracy.

Though the Founders did not impose such limits in the Constitution, they certainly did appreciate the danger of “career” politicians’ amassing too much power, one reason that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe voluntarily stepped down after eight years in office, setting a standard that other presidents, until FDR, felt compelled to respect.

But the government has changed dramatically since 1789, and in ways the Founders did not anticipate. Its power and reach have expanded vastly, extending into every nook and cranny of modern life. Special interests determined to twist government to their benefit (or, in self-defense, buy protection from government threats) contribute heavily to politicians.

Ask a career politician about term limits, and chances are you will hear him make the banal statement that we “already have term limits. They’re called elections.”

But the elections are, in many cases, heavily tilted by campaign contributions that cannot be easily eliminated without threatening the First Amendment and citizens’ rights to participate in their government.

The result has been re-election rates that put the old Soviet Politburo to shame. Even in last year’s supposedly “transformational” election, sweeping in large numbers of Democrats, 94 percent of the House incumbents who sought re-election got their wish, and 83 percent of senators. The economic interests who wanted something were more than happy to provide the campaign cash to keep these incumbents incumbent.

Such re-election rates depress competition for offices. Who wants to run when incumbents hold a nearly prohibitive edge? And, without competitive elections, incumbents can grow smug and indifferent to the public’s will. They listen to those whose money scares off challengers. That’s human nature. It’s happening now in the health-care debate.

Term limits, while not eliminating special-interest influence on Washington, would at least encourage a greater number of competitive elections, and thus stimulate public debate over important issues and bring politicians closer to the voters

More movement in and out of office would bring many advantages. New and more vigorous candidates could bring fresh ideas to office. Superannuated senators and representatives unable to fully perform the duties of their offices would leave before death finally got them out. Elected and would-be officials would be encouraged to challenge each other’s ideas, instead of treating those in office as members of a lifetime club.

This will not happen, of course, if left to the politicians. Even Republicans, who in theory are more inclined to favor limits on government power, got swept into Congress in 1994 on a pledge to impose term limits, then promptly shelved their promise. No, this will only happen if citizens rise up, demand it, and in effect force it down the incumbents’ throats.

With Washington so often disconnected from the will of Americans and the common good, now is a great time to begin, again, the public debate on this long-overdue reform.

Editorial Note: I agree with the above editorial except for its recommendation of 10-12 years for a Representative. You would need to limit them to less than that (say six to eight years) in order to minimize the deluge of pork with strings attached that has robbed us of so many individual rights and has decimated states’ rights.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Disgraceful Ploy But Bound to Fail

As Obama’s Presidency sinks, and his healthcare plan continues to fall apart, mention of dropping the ‘public option’ has enraged his far-left base. As a diversion, and as a sop to them, Obama has backed away from previous promises and has thrown the CIA to the wolves. He has named a special prosecutor to investigate, harass and possibly prosecute CIA interrogators who saved us from a dreaded second attack – thus ensuring that no-one will want to serve our country in this role again – to the detriment of all of us and to the deaths of some of us.

This is a huge mistake, because Americans overwhelmingly support the actions taken to protect us, and because of the damage it does to the CIA and to our military – who have already been instructed to extend Constitutional rights to Al Qaeda soldiers captured on the battlefield. We must wonder, is this administration crazy?

A liberal Democrat, Leon Panetta, was appointed by Obama to head the CIA. Apparently he takes his job seriously:

Obama White House v. CIA; Panetta Threatened to Quit
Tensions Lead to CIA Director's "Screaming Match" at the White House

August 24, 2009 (excerpt)

“A "profanity-laced screaming match" at the White House involving CIA Director Leon Panetta, and the expected release today of another damning internal investigation, has administration officials worrying about the direction of its newly-appoint intelligence team, current and former senior intelligence officials tell ABC

Amid reports that Panetta had threatened to quit just seven months after taking over at the spy agency, other insiders tell that senior White House staff members are already discussing a possible shake-up of top national security officials.

"You can expect a larger than normal turnover in the next year," a senior adviser to Obama on intelligence matters told”

What the Obama White House is trying to do and why:
The Collapse of Obama's Hot Air Balloon

By Ralph R. Reiland on 8.25.09 American Spectator

What we're seeing with Obama's plummeting poll numbers is a quick case of buyer's remorse.

More broadly, Gallup reports that conservatives now outnumber liberals in all 50 states, with more Americans self-identifying themselves as conservative than at any time in the past four years.

Gallup surveys from January 2009, the month of Obama's inauguration, through June 2009, show that 40% percent of respondents described themselves as conservative -- 31 percent "conservative" and 9 percent "very conservative." Only 21 percent of respondents described themselves as liberal ---16 percent "liberal" and 5 percent "very liberal."

That 2-to-1 margin is big news even if the New York Times doesn't see it as newsworthy. Or to rephrase an old question, if liberalism crashes to the ground and the Times doesn't report it, does that mean it didn't happen?

"You know this is important polling news, because the establishment media is pretending it doesn't exist,"
wrote Tom Blumer last week in the Wall Street Journal. "You can't find a relevant reference to it in searches on 'Gallup' at the New York Times,, the Washington Post, or the LA Times."

What went wrong for Obama is everything.

It started with the $800 billion non-stimulating stimulus bill, overstuffed with pork by Congressional Democrats. The idea was to give a fast "jolt" to the economy, speedily create millions of jobs and quickly end the hardships of the unemployed. So important was the speed that legislators didn't even take the time to read the bill.

Now, half a year after the rushed enactment of the Democrats' idea of "shovel-ready" stimulation, 90 percent of the money is still stuck in the political pipeline, waiting for politicians to decide which pothole to fix or which nephew to hire, and three million more jobs have been lost since January.

In the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, the majority of respondents say that the stimulus package is having no impact on the economy or making it worse.

What would have worked better and faster at getting people back to work is a cut in personal income taxes -- personal consumption expenditures account for most of the spending and job creation in the U.S. economy -- and tax cuts for small business, the sector that's produced 60 to 80 percent of the new jobs per year in the American economy over the past decade.

Instead we got billions in slow-moving pork, more bailouts for bloated state governments and calls from Obama for higher taxes and more federal mandates on businesses that are already struggling to maintain their current levels of employment. Plus Obama's push for card-check, i.e., unionism without elections, so a grievance chairman and victimology advisor could be assigned to watch over any entrepreneurial type who still has any semblance of self-reliance and independence remaining in his soul.

Then came Obama's record-smashing federal budget with a deficit now projected at $1.85 trillion, four times larger than George W. Bush's largest deficit. Plus another trillion or so in projected costs for Obama's cap-and-trade scheme in order to slow down the "crisis" of global warming, disregarding the fact that things have been cooling down for a decade.

Add the trillions we're on the hook for in the Troubled Assets Relief Program and the Congressional Budget Office's estimated price of $1 trillion-plus for Obama's health reform plan over the next decade and it looks like we're going to be floating on a massive flood of red ink into a full state of peonage.

Or as Investor's Business Daily recently put it: "Eventually, the total take by government at all levels will be well over 50 percent of GDP -- enough to sink the U.S. economy into a state of semi-permanent stagnation, a socialist stupor."

And what about the kids and grandma in this collectivist utopia? There won't be as many.

Obama's new science czar, John Holdren, declared in his book co-authored with the environmental Cassandra team of Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich that "compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution." Just put people like Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, the historic figure who couldn't see anything wrong with throwing out employment tests when too many pale-faced gringos score at the top.

As for Grandma, Obama health advisor Ezekiel Emanuel, Harvard-produced bioethicist and brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, explained the "shovel-ready" final solution: No medical treatments for anyone falling short in their required role as "participating citizens," as defined by the central committee


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Monday, August 24, 2009

A Summary of Where We Stand on Healthcare

Despite the assurances of the President and Congressional Democrats, anyone who can read can see that the bills in the House do contain “Death Panels” (see related article), that rationing and cutting $500 Billion from Medicare is the primary financing mechanism, that even with these cuts, Obamacare adds more that $1 Trillion to our deficit, and that the 8% tax on small businesses will make them drop their own plans – forcing their employees into a government plan.

They keep spouting their mantra about 47 million uninsured, while many independent studies show only about 9 million American citizens really needing help with health insurance, and despite their assurances, we know as sure as the sun rises that the final version will insure illegal aliens and finance abortions.

The liberal Democrats are advancing plans that suit their ideology – not the needs of the country. All independent studies have concluded that the way to cut costs and reform harmful practices is 1. tort reform to reduce unneeded testing and cut malpractice insurance rates, 2. some protection against loss of insurance when laid off for lack of work, 3. some protection for those with pre-existing health problems, and 4. removal of the federal prohibition on interstate offerings of health insurance in order to increase competition in the private sector.

In the following article, Michael Steele also advances a position of the GOP on some of these issues. While I agree with Mr. Steele, he does not go far enough.

Protecting Our Seniors
GOP Principles for Health Care

By Michael S. Steele August 24, 2009 Washington Post

Americans are engaged in a critical debate over reforming our health-care system. While Republicans believe that reforms are necessary, President Obama's plan for a government-run health-care system is the wrong prescription. The Democrats' plan will hurt American families, small businesses and health-care providers by raising care costs, increasing the deficit, and not allowing patients to keep a doctor or insurance plan of their choice. Furthermore, under the Democrats' plan, senior citizens will pay a steeper price and will have their treatment options reduced or rationed.

Republicans want reform that should, first, do no harm, especially to our seniors. That is why Republicans support a Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights, which we are introducing today, to ensure that our greatest generation will receive access to quality health care. We also believe that any health-care reform should be fully paid for, but not funded on the backs of our nation's senior citizens.

The Republican Party's contract with seniors includes tenets that Americans, regardless of political party, should support. First, we need to protect Medicare and not cut it in the name of "health-insurance reform." As the president frequently, and correctly, points out, Medicare will go deep into the red in less than a decade. But he and congressional Democrats are planning to raid, not aid, Medicare by cutting $500 billion from the program to fund his health-care experiment. The president also plans to cut hospital payments and Medicare Advantage, all of which will mean fewer treatment options for seniors. These types of "reforms" don't make sense for the future of an already troubled federal program or for the services it provides that millions of Americans count on.

Second, we need to prohibit government from getting between seniors and their doctors. The government-run health-care experiment that Obama and the Democrats propose will give seniors less power to control their own medical decisions and create government boards that would decide what treatments would or would not be funded. Republicans oppose any new government entity overruling a doctor's decision about how to treat his or her patient.

Simply put, we believe that health-care reform must be centered on patients, not government.

Third, we need to outlaw any effort to ration health care based on age. Obama has promoted a program of "comparative effectiveness research" that he claims will be used only to study competing medical treatments. But this program could actually lead to government boards rationing treatments based on age. For example, if there are going to be only so many heart surgeries in a given year, the Democrats figure government will get more bang for its buck if more young and middle-aged people get them.

Fourth, we need to prevent government from dictating the terms of end-of-life care.

Many of the most significant costs of care come in the last six months of a patient's life, and every American household must consider how to treat their loved ones. Obama's government-run health "reform" would pay for seniors' meetings with a doctor to discuss end-of-life care. While nonthreatening at first, something that is quite normal for a family to do becomes troublesome when the government gets involved. Seniors know that government programs that seem benign at first can become anything but. The government should simply butt out of conversations about end-of-life care and leave them to seniors, their families and their doctors.

Finally, we need to protect our veterans by preserving Tricare and other benefit programs for military families. Democrats recently proposed raising costs for the Tricare for Life program that many veterans rely on for treatment. Republicans support our veterans and believe that America should honor our promises to them.

Barack Obama campaigned on "post-partisanship." As president, however, Obama has shown that he is beholden to his party's left-wing ideologues. It's not too late for him to honor his pledges for bipartisan health-care reform. Reversing course and joining Republicans in support of health care for our nation's senior citizens is a good place to start. Doing so will help him restart the reform process to give Americans access to low-cost, high-quality health care.

The writer is chairman of the Republican National Committee.


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Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Ex-Marine Speaks Out at Healthcare Forum

I, David William Hedrick, a member of the silent majority, decided that I was not going to be silent anymore. So, I let U.S. Congressman Brian Baird have it. I was one questioner out of 38, that was called at random from an audience that started at 3,000 earlier in the evening. Not expecting to be called on, I quickly scratched what I wanted to say on a borrowed piece of paper and with a pen that I borrowed from someone else in the audience minutes before I spoke. So much for the planned talking points of the right wing conspiracy.

If video doesn't load, go here.

"Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) apologized yesterday for accusing town hall protesters of "brown shirt tactics" and comparing them to a "lynch mob."

Baird, who originally decided against holding town hall meetings because of expected protests, now says he'll schedule some forums during the August recess.

"Frankly, I have had concerns about how we can have constructive dialogue and, unfortunately, in response to some of the things we've been seeing across the nation I have said some things myself that I regret," Baird said, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.

"I want to express that regret directly and announce that we will be holding a series of five town halls so people can express their opinions and ask questions.""

Cross-posted from


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Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Barney Frank Doesn't Understand About Death Panels

The Death Book for Veterans

By JIM TOWEY August 19, 2009 Wall St Journal (Excerpt)

"If President Obama wants to better understand why America's discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

"Your Life, Your Choices" presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political "push poll." For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be "not worth living."

The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to "shake the blues." There is a section which provocatively asks, "Have you ever heard anyone say, 'If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug'?" There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as "I can no longer contribute to my family's well being," "I am a severe financial burden on my family" and that the vet's situation "causes severe emotional burden for my family."

When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?

One can only imagine a soldier surviving the war in Iraq and returning without all of his limbs only to encounter a veteran's health-care system that seems intent on his surrender.

I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update "Your Life, Your Choices" between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as "Compassion and Choices").

This hurry-up-and-die message is clear and unconscionable. Worse, a July 2009 VA directive instructs its primary care physicians to raise advance care planning with all VA patients and to refer them to "Your Life, Your Choices." Not just those of advanced age and debilitated condition—all patients. America's 24 million veterans deserve better." Wall St Journal


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Friday, August 21, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Last Will and Testament

Back when I was active in Massachusetts politics, one of my roles was as a coordinator working for Romney when he ran against Ted Kennedy for the Senate. My best friend at the time was an Irish-American, retired airline pilot who loved boating as much as I did, and who did boating stuff with me almost every day (as a college professor, I had summers off). One time I laid out the case for Romney over Kennedy to him, and he sadly agreed, but then said that he had to vote for Kennedy because “we owed it to him”.

In Rhode Island, where I was born and now spend my summers, one of the state’s two House seats is held by one of Kennedy’s sons, a drug-addicted nitwit named Patrick Kennedy. He holds the seat for two reasons: he’s a Kennedy, and “we owe it to him”, and Rhode Islanders believe he can bring home the bacon better than anyone else.

The reason I am bringing this up is because the main topic of discussion in Massachusetts right now involves Ted Kennedy’s attempt to change the rules again in order to ensure that whoever follows him will do what he, Kennedy, wants. The following excerpt from the American Spectator explains this latest example of political arrogance:

Ted Kennedy's Last Will and Testament

By Daniel J. Flynn 8.21.09 American Spectator (Excerpt)

“"It is vital for this Commonwealth to have two voices speaking for the needs of its citizens and two votes in the Senate in the approximately five months between a vacancy and an election," an ailing Ted Kennedy wrote the leaders of the Massachusetts General Court in a letter made public yesterday. "I therefore am writing to urge you to work together to amend the law through the normal legislative process to provide for a temporary gubernatorial appointment until the special election occurs."

Five years ago, with high hopes of electing their junior U.S. senator to the presidency, the Massachusetts state legislature stripped the governor of the power to fill senatorial vacancies. Every Democrat voted for the measure. Then, the governor, Mitt Romney, was a Republican. Now, the governor is a Democrat.

Welcome to the banana commonwealth of Massachusetts, where more than fifty years of one-party dominance has fostered a make-up-the-rules-as-you-go-along mentality among those who make the rules. Almost a half century ago, in the infancy of the Democrats' Bay State hegemony, Jack Kennedy maneuvered his baby brother Ted into a Senate seat, though he had never held a steady paying job (save a stint as an army private) prior to that point.

After his election to the presidency, John Kennedy refused to resign his Senate seat until the outgoing governor, a Democrat, agreed to appoint a seatwarmer senator -- John Kennedy's Harvard roommate -- who would essentially cede the seat to Ted once he became constitutionally eligible. President-elect Kennedy threatened to allow the incoming Republican governor to make the appointment if the outgoing Democrat didn't do his bidding.

With both nephew Joe Kennedy and wife Vicki Kennedy reportedly interested in the seat, Ted Kennedy seeks to orchestrate for the benefit of his relatives a repeat performance of the skullduggery that helped make him a senator in 1962. The banana commonwealth way of doing political business a half-century ago is still the way of doing political business in Massachusetts today. So is Ted Kennedy's habit of abandoning professed principles for personal benefit.” American Spectator


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To My Friend, Jim, Who Worries Obama Will Destroy Us

I'm in RI right now, and I called my good friend, Jim, down in Punta Gorda, to see how he was doing. I found him still in a state of despair over Obama and his cabal of radicals who have taken over our government. I hope I cheered him somewhat when I asked him if he ever thought, last November, that things would be in the state that they are right now. I asked him if he would ever have thought that they would have imploded as fast as this - with the whole country turning conservative and with even independents getting fed up with Obama and his programs. There is general recognition that the stimulus is a total failure, that government healthcare is a fiasco and that the ridiculous Cap & Trade bill seems dead on arrival in the Senate.

Not only have 60,000 members cancelled their memberships in AARP (I cancelled mine years ago), but Gallup reports that in all 50 states majorities are calling themselves conservatives, and Republicans have gained the position of being trusted more than Democrats on most major issues. See End Note Below

All this has happened in only seven months; the last few times this happened to a liberal administration (Clinton), it took two years - and with Carter, it took three (the undermining of the Shah and the fall of Iran in 1979).

Conservatives Now Outnumber Liberals in All 50 States, Says Gallup Poll

By Terence P. Jeffrey August 17, 2009 (Excerpt)

( - "Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll.

At the same time, more Americans nationwide are saying this year that they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years.

In 2009, 40% percent of respondents in Gallup surveys that have interviewed more than 160,000 Americans have said that they are either “conservative” (31%) or “very conservative” (9%). That is the highest percentage in any year since 2004.

Only 21% have told Gallup they are liberal, including 16% who say they are “liberal” and 5% who say they are “very liberal.”" CBSNews

Everything's Just Fine

By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. August 13, 2009 American Spectator (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON -- "Allow me a word of encouragement to our president. Mr. Obama, you are doing just fine. You wanted to set a new tone in Washington, and you have. You wanted an open debate on healthcare, and you have it. Admittedly, the tone is astoundingly rancorous, and not incidentally your approval ratings continue to decline. Then too, support for your healthcare reform is dropping, especially among independents. Yet I believe you can take heart. You have roused the interest of the American people in you, the Democratic Party, the Congress, and healthcare. That is good news, at least for us conservatives. Again, you are doing fine. Ever larger numbers of Americans are alarmed by you, your party, the Congress, and your healthcare monstrosity. Mr. President, you are doing fine. Keep it up. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Truth be known, what else were we to expect from the new administration? In the Senate our president was the most left-wing member by a lot. That is a fact, clearly visible to those who followed his voting record. He is also the least experienced major-party presidential candidate in over a century. As for his experience before he entered upon his brief political career, he has never been in the private sector where he might have gained knowledge about profit margins, the difficulty of maintaining a workforce, or the burden of even a slight tax increase. His sole experience has been a fleeting period teaching law and the anomalous experience of being a community organizer, that is to say, a rabble-rouser who organizes needy people to pester governments and corporations for cash or services.

This campaign for healthcare reform has been an ongoing chaos. From all I have been able to tell, the Obama White House is a chaos too. The other day I heard of a highly placed White House staffer, with glittering credentials, who sits in a cubicle answering 300-400 urgent e-mails a day. That only reinforces the reports that this White House is nearing a state of "burn out." The word circulating about the Democrats is that they are "desperate" over the state of the Obama healthcare plan. They have reason to be and my guess is that things will get much worse. Democrats, what were you thinking of when you nominated the most left-wing and inexperienced candidate in the 2008 Democratic field?

Out on the campaign trail where the Prophet Obama is thumping for healthcare reform, he should be very much at ease. Campaigning is the one aspect of politics he does well. But here too we see desperation. The other day he accused his critics of engaging in "scare tactics." He objects to their claim that the bill is exorbitant, though that claim is reinforced by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that puts the price tag at over a trillion dollars. He says he will shave off $500 billion from that sum by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse, though the CBO estimates the savings at only 1% of the trillion dollar cost increase. He says his reforms will not fall heavily on the elderly or the disabled, though his own healthcare advisors have written that reforms should fall heavily on these groups. We can quote them. Call it smear tactics if you will.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who is health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research as well as being White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's brother, propounds discrimination against the elderly and other less than robust patients. In the medical journal Lancet he wrote in January, "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious [an irrelevancy] discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years." As for the less than robust, in a Hastings Center Report he has written, that medical care be withheld from those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens….An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia." Thus the state should decide when and if you get treatment. Does that not have a grisly ring to it?" American Spectator

End Note: The AARP thing is really interesting as it shows how perceptive seniors are on the healthcare issue. Obama mistakenly claimed that the AARP supported his healthcare plan. The AARP denied that they supported Obamacare while AARP spokesmen were quoted saying they would "probably" support whichever plan passed. Seniors saw through this doublespeak. AARP does NOT represent the interests of seniors, it is a profitable insurance company.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

Standing Up to the Hatred of the Left

By re-entering the political scene and single-handedly wrecking the plans of the left to control all our lives through government healthcare panels, Sarah Palin has taught us all a valuable lesson: you can fight the sliming and demonizing tactics of the radical leftists. Obama can mischaracterize the position of the AARP and demonize doctors; Reid, Pelosi and Durbin (among other leftists) can call us NAZIs and "organized disrupters", but if you hold your ground and stick to the facts, America will listen.

George W. Bush-by-Proxy Syndrome

By Andrew Breitbart August 17, 2009 RealClearPolitics

There is an extensive body of writing from both sides of the political aisle that has analyzed the extraordinary depths of hatred leveled at former President George W. Bush.

His birth into a wealthy and politically connected family is where a lot of the animus starts. His rejection of his Connecticut roots and adoption of a rugged Texan persona naturally riled his birth-constituency. His disjointed speaking style also alienated many others - especially those who covered him in the Northeastern media. Naturally, some of his initiatives were controversial. His allies say he didn't do enough.

But all presidents make mistakes, pursue unpopular ideas, possess off-putting personality traits and don't do enough to appeal to their core supporters. Something far more insidious was at work in the hatred of our most recent former president.

Now that Mr. Bush is quietly going about his retirement, this strain of rage - the GWB43 virus - has spread like wildfire, finding unsuspecting targets, each granting us greater perspective into what not long ago seemed like a mysterious phenomenon isolated only on our 43rd president.

The first person to catch the virus was Sarah Palin, whose family also was infected, including, unforgivably, her children.

Then it was Joe the Plumber, for asking a question.

Next were the Mormons.

Then it was Rush Limbaugh - who hit back.

Next, tax-day "tea party" attendees were "tea bagged."

Then there was a beauty contestant.

And a Cambridge cop, too.

And now we have town-hall "mobs."

Smile ... you've been "community organized."

When put on the media stage, these individuals and groups have been isolated for destruction for standing in the way of a resurgent modern progressive movement and for challenging its charismatic once-in-a-lifetime standard-bearer, Barack Obama.

This is their time, we've been told. And no one is going to stand in the way.

The origins of manufactured "politics of personal destruction" is Saul Alinsky, the mentor of a young Hillary Rodham, who wrote her 92-page Wellesley College senior thesis on the late Chicago-based "progressive" street agitator titled, "There Is Only the Fight."

Mr. Obama and his Fighting Illini, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, have perfected Mr. Alinsky's techniques as laid out in his guidebook to political warfare, "Rules for Radicals." In plain language, we see how normal, decent and even private citizens become nationally vilified symbols overnight - all in the pursuit of progressive political victory.

"Rule 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)"

With the complicity of the mainstream media and abetted by George Soros' money and netroots nation, Mr. Bush never stood a chance.

But the more the virus spreads, the more we study it and, perhaps, find the cure.

The repetitive use of the same technique against anyone who would dare stand up and oppose the progressive movement and especially its leader has exposed the game and rendered its tactics less effective.

In fact, one could make the argument that the Republican Party, usually slow on the uptake, has finally figured it out. There are no major Republican targets out there opposing Mr. Obama and his aggressive agenda. The conservative movement appears leaderless, but perhaps for the best.

Maybe that is the strategy: Standing back and letting the Obama machine flail in its pursuit of its next victim.

A grass-roots movement of average Americans has stood up, making it extremely difficult to isolate and demonize an individual.

Mr. Alinsky noted in "Rule 12" that it is difficult to go after "institutions." And attacking "tea baggers" and "mobs" has only created more resistance and drawn attention to the left's limited playbook. Even Americans expressing their constitutionally protected right to free speech are open game.

Now that many people are Googling the Alinsky rule book and catching up with the way Chicago thugs play their political games, Mr. Obama and the Fighting Illini are going to be forced to create new rules - or double down on the old ones.

Worse yet, as his approval ratings descend rapidly - Rasmussen has him at 47 percent, the lowest of his presidency - angry citizens may be turning the tables on him, using Mr. Alinsky against him.

They won't have to "freeze" and "personalize" him either. He's got 3 1/2 years left with the klieg lights focused on him. And if Mr. Obama can't get the economy rolling and continues to demonize everyday folks for his failures, he will be further isolated from sympathy and even ridiculed.

Yes, it's cruel - and effective.

Ask Mr. Bush, the magnanimous guy who gave the new president a heartfelt hug the day he took office. He knows.

Boy, I wish I could see his famous smirk right about now. I always loved how much they hated that.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Don't Forget Cap&Tax is Slumbering in the Senate

Graphs provided by Heritage.Org

In Florida where I winter and reside, we have Sen. Nelson, a Democrat who sometimes listens, and a RINO Republican, Sen. Martinez. I have been e-mailing and calling Nelson almost daily urging him to vote no on Healthcare and on Cap & Trade. Martinez just annouced his immediate retirement, and Gov. Crist, another RINO, will appoint his successor shortly. I started contacting Gov. Crist - telling him he better appoint someone who will vote against these two measures.

In RI, where I stay for the summers, there are two Democratic senators, Whitehouse and Reed and two Representatives, Kennedy and Langevin. All four are idealogues and party hacks in a state run by public-employee unions, and it is a wasted effort to contact them on anything.

To the bottom right of my blog, there is a banner anyone can use to contact any politician. Just enter your Zipcode, and click "go"

A long-time professor at the US Naval War College published the following article that summarizes what we know and what we don't know about global warming. It provides considerable ammunition for anyone who wants to stop the energy tax called Cap & Trade, which passed the House by a slim margin and is coming up in the Senate.

(Note: as I write this word comes in that Australia has defeated their version of Cap & Trade, while European nations are finding that their Cap & Trade regulations are harming their industries.)

In our outrage over the socialized medicine they are attempting, let's not forget that they passed in the House this Energy Tax bill that is slumbering in the Senate!

Mackubin Thomas Owens: Energy plan will wreck U.S. economy

MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS August 12, 2009 Providence Journal

WHILE THE ATTENTION of the public focused on the circus around Michael Jackson’s death, the House of Representatives was laying the groundwork for picking the public’s pockets on a massive scale. The Waxman-Markey energy bill, now set for debate later this year in the Senate, will, if it ever becomes law, hamstring the U.S. economy, raise unemployment and burden taxpayers.

The centerpiece of the legislation is a “cap-and-trade” provision designed to reduce carbon dioxide (CO{-2}) emissions by raising the price of CO{-2}-intensive goods and services such as gasoline, electricity and many industrial products. Legislation should be subjected to some basic cost-benefit analysis. Such analysis is woefully absent from this legislation, which provides little in the way of benefits to American citizens but imposes very high costs.

The goal of the bill is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that allegedly cause “global warming,” or as it is now known, “climate change.” But the fact is that global temperatures have been falling since 1998 and have plummeted in the last two years. The melting of Arctic ice caused alarm in 2007. But now the ice is at a 50-year high.

With regard to anthropogenic (man-caused) climate change, there is a growing scientific backlash against global-warming alarmism. Many of the models used to implicate human activity in rising temperatures have proven to be methodologically unsound.

Finally, we don’t know for certain what impact warmer global temperatures will have. The planet has been both warmer and cooler than it is now. And while we know what a normal temperature is for a human being, no one can say what the “normal” temperature of Earth is.

On the benefits side, there is another problem as well. Even if the United States were to significantly reduce CO{-2} emissions, it would have little global effect, given that the biggest producers of greenhouse-gas emissions are rapidly developing countries such as China and India that favor economic growth over environmental concerns. And the fact is that businesses in the United States have cut such emissions in response to market forces.

On the other hand, the costs of something along the lines of Waxman-Markey are staggering. Carbon-based fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) provide about 85 percent of U.S. energy needs and generate most greenhouse gases. Under the legislation, companies would need annual allowances issued by the government in order to emit greenhouse gases. Under the “cap” part of the legislation, these allowances would gradually decline. Indeed, Waxman-Markey requires the CO{-2} level in 2050 to be 83 percent less than it was in 2005. The “trade” part of the legislation permits utilities and oil refineries that need extra allowances to buy them from companies willing to sell. As the annual allowances permitted by the government are reduced in number, their price would rise. The Environment Protection Agency estimates that the price of a permit would increase from $20 a ton in 2020 to $75 a ton by 2050. Of course, the companies would pass the extra expense of the permits on to customers.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that reducing the level of CO{-2} to 15 percent less than the total level of emissions in 2005 would increase a typical household’s cost of living by $1,600 a year. As Martin Feldstein, the Harvard economist, observes, a typical family of four making $50,000 currently pays an income tax of $3,000. Thus Waxman-Markey would essentially raise this family’s income tax by over 50 percent, and only in the short run. In the long run, the cost to American households would skyrocket.

Meanwhile, U.S. businesses would become less competitive in the world. American companies would suffer in export markets as American prices rose. Domestic producers would suffer because of competition from imports from countries that do not impose the CO{-2} tax on their companies.

It is undeniable that if we reduce CO{-2} emissions, we also suppress today’s energy sources, which in turn suppresses the economy. The idea that we can shift effortlessly from carbon-based fuels to alternative “clean” forms of energy and conservation is a pipedream. Population increases in the United States alone will raise energy demand. According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. population will grow by 22 percent (to 366 million) and the number of housing units by 25 percent (to 141 million) by 2030. If the supply of electricity doesn’t keep pace with demand, brownouts, blackouts or other disruptions would mount.

As the Senate debates its version of cap-and-trade, it might learn from the example of Europe. Western European countries have found that it is very difficult and expensive to reduce carbon emissions. To the limited extent that they have succeeded, it has hurt their economies: Nearly every western European state has had higher unemployment and energy costs than America, and a weaker overall economy. And the promise of the new “green” economy is proving elusive as well. For example, Spain is often used as the example of a successful clean-energy economy and source of green jobs, but it is rarely mentioned that Spain currently has 18 percent unemployment.

Let’s hope the Senate does a better job of cost-benefit analysis than the House. It should not be the government’s job to wreck the economy.

Mackubin Thomas Owens is a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Newport and editor of Orbis, the quarterly journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, in Philadelphia.


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Thursday, August 13, 2009

What the Government Healthcare Bill Actually Says

Sarah Palin has been criticised for referring to the proposed Federal Panel, which will have unlimited authority to ration healthcare, as a "death panel", and seniors in wheelchairs have been called 'NAZIs' and 'organized disruptors' for objecting to this takeover of everyone's healthcare and lives. Since the bill in Congress, HR 3200, is 1017 pages long and filled with legalese, all Americans owe an enormous debt to a philosophy professor from Duke University, John David Lewis, for carefully reading and translating into plain English some of its more important provisions. That analysis is shown below:

The Health Care Bill:

What HR 3200, ‘‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” Says

John David Lewis

August 6, 2009

What does the bill, HR 3200, short-titled ‘‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” actually say about major health care issues? I here pose a few questions in no particular order, citing relevant passages and offering a brief evaluation after each set of passages.

This bill is 1017 pages long. It is knee-deep in legalese and references to other federal regulations and laws. I have only touched pieces of the bill here. For instance, I have not considered the establishment of (1) “Health Choices Commissio0ner” (Section 141); (2) a “Health Insurance Exchange,” (Section 201), basically a government run insurance scheme to coordinate all insurance activity; (3) a Public Health Insurance Option (Section 221); and similar provisions.

This is the evaluation of someone who is neither a physician nor a legal professional. I am a citizen, concerned about this bill’s effects on my freedom as an American. I would rather have used my time in other ways—but this is too important to ignore.

We may answer one question up front: How will the government will pay for all this? Higher taxes, more borrowing, printing money, cutting payments, or rationing services—there are no other options. We will all pay for this, enrolled in the government “option” or not.

(All bold type within the text of the bill is added for emphasis.)


This is what the bill says, pages 284-288, SEC. 1151. REDUCING POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE HOSPITAL READMISSIONS:

‘(ii) EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN READMISSIONS.—For purposes of clause (i), with respect to a hospital, excess readmissions shall not include readmissions for an applicable condition for which there are fewer than a minimum number (as determined by the Secretary) of discharges for such applicable condition for the applicable period and such hospital.
and, under “Definitions”:

‘‘(A) APPLICABLE CONDITION.—The term ‘applicable condition’ means, subject to subparagraph (B), a condition or procedure selected by the Secretary . . .

‘‘(E) READMISSION.—The term ‘readmission’ means, in the case of an individual who is discharged from an applicable hospital, the admission of the individual to the same or another applicable hospital within a time period specified by the Secretary from the date of such discharge.

‘‘(6) LIMITATIONS ON REVIEW.—There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1869, section 1878, or otherwise of— . . .

‘‘(C) the measures of readmissions . . .


1. This section amends the Social Security Act
2. The government has the power to determine what constitutes an “applicable [medical] condition.”
3. The government has the power to determine who is allowed readmission into a hospital.
4. This determination will be made by statistics: when enough people have been discharged for the same condition, an individual may be readmitted.
5. This is government rationing, pure, simple, and straight up.
6. There can be no judicial review of decisions made here. The Secretary is above the courts.
7. The plan also allows the government to prohibit hospitals from expanding without federal permission: page 317-318.

2. Will the plan punish Americans who try to opt out?

What the bill says, pages 167-168, section 401, TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE:

‘‘(a) TAX IMPOSED.—In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of—

(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over
(2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer. . . .”


1. This section amends the Internal Revenue Code.
2. Anyone caught without acceptable coverage and not in the government plan will pay a special tax.
3. The IRS will be a major enforcement mechanism for the plan.

3. what constitutes “acceptable” coverage?

Here is what the bill says, pages 26-30, SEC. 122, ESSENTIAL BENEFITS PACKAGE DEFINED:

(a) IN GENERAL.—In this division, the term ‘‘essential benefits package’’ means health benefits coverage, consistent with standards adopted under section 124 to ensure the provision of quality health care and financial security . . .

(b) MINIMUM SERVICES TO BE COVERED.—The items and services described in this subsection are the following:

(1) Hospitalization.
(2) Outpatient hospital and outpatient clinic services . . .
(3) Professional services of physicians and other health professionals.
(4) Such services, equipment, and supplies incident to the services of a physician’s or a health professional’s delivery of care . . .
(5) Prescription drugs.
(6) Rehabilitative and habilitative services.
(7) Mental health and substance use disorder services.
(8) Preventive services . . .
(9) Maternity care.
(10) Well baby and well child care . . .



(A) IN GENERAL.—The cost-sharing under the essential benefits package shall be designed to provide a level of coverage that is designed to provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to approximately 70 percent of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the reference benefits package described in subparagraph (B).


1. The bill defines “acceptable coverage” and leaves no room for choice in this regard.
2. By setting a minimum 70% actuarial value of benefits, the bill makes health plans in which individuals pay for routine services, but carry insurance only for catastrophic events, (such as Health Savings Accounts) illegal.

4. Will the PLAN destroy private health insurance?

Here is what it requires, for businesses with payrolls greater than $400,000 per year. (The bill uses “contribution” to refer to mandatory payments to the government plan.) Pages 149-150, SEC. 313, EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS IN LIEU OF COVERAGE

(a) IN GENERAL.—A contribution is made in accordance with this section with respect to an employee if such contribution is equal to an amount equal to 8 percent of the average wages paid by the employer during the period of enrollment (determined by taking into account all employees of the employer and in such manner as the Commissioner provides, including rules providing for the appropriate aggregation of related employers). Any such contribution—

(1) shall be paid to the Health Choices Commissioner for deposit into the Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund, and

(2) shall not be applied against the premium of the employee under the Exchange-participating health benefits plan in which the employee is enrolled.

(The bill then includes a sliding scale of payments for business with less than $400,000 in annual payroll.)

The Bill also reserves, for the government, the power to determine an acceptable benefits plan: page 24, SEC. 115. ENSURING ADEQUACY OF PROVIDER NETWORKS.

5 (a) IN GENERAL.—A qualified health benefits plan that uses a provider network for items and services shall meet such standards respecting provider networks as the Commissioner may establish to assure the adequacy of such networks in ensuring enrollee access to such items and services and transparency in the cost-sharing differentials between in-network coverage and out-of-network coverage.


1. The bill does not prohibit a person from buying private insurance.
2. Small businesses—with say 8-10 employees—will either have to provide insurance to federal standards, or pay an 8% payroll tax. Business costs for health care are higher than this, especially considering administrative costs. Any competitive business that tries to stay with a private plan will face a payroll disadvantage against competitors who go with the government “option.”
3. The pressure for business owners to terminate the private plans will be enormous.
4. With employers ending plans, millions of Americans will lose their private coverage, and fewer companies will offer it.
5. The Commissioner (meaning, always, the bureaucrats) will determine whether a particular network of physicians, hospitals and insurance is acceptable.
6. With private insurance starved, many people enrolled in the government “option” will have no place else to go.

5. Does the plan TAX successful Americans more THAN OTHERS?

Here is what the bill says, pages 197-198, SEC. 441. SURCHARGE ON HIGH INCOME INDIVIDUALS


‘‘(a) GENERAL RULE.—In the case of a taxpayer other than a corporation, there is hereby imposed (in addition to any other tax imposed by this subtitle) a tax equal to—
‘‘(1) 1 percent of so much of the modified adjusted gross income of the taxpayer as exceeds $350,000 but does not exceed $500,000,
‘‘(2) 1.5 percent of so much of the modified adjusted gross income of the taxpayer as exceeds $500,000 but does not exceed $1,000,000, and
‘‘(3) 5.4 percent of so much of the modified adjusted gross income of the taxpayer as exceeds $1,000,000.


1. This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code.
2. Tax surcharges are levied on those with the highest incomes.
3. The plan manipulates the tax code to redistribute their wealth.
4. Successful business owners will bear the highest cost of this plan.


What it says, page 124, Sec. 223, PAYMENT RATES FOR ITEMS AND SERVICES:

(d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed as limiting the Secretary’s authority to correct for payments that are excessive or deficient, taking into account the provisions of section 221(a) and the amounts paid for similar health care providers and services under other Exchange-participating health benefits plans.

(e) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed as affecting the authority of the Secretary to establish payment rates, including payments to provide for the more efficient delivery of services, such as the initiatives provided for under section 224.


The government’s authority to set payments is basically unlimited.

The official will decide what constitutes “excessive,” “deficient,” and “efficient” payments and services.

7. Will THE PLAN increase the power of government officials to SCRUTINIZE our private


‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, upon written request from the Health Choices Commissioner or the head of a State-based health insurance exchange approved for operation under section 208 of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, shall disclose to officers and employees of the Health Choices Administration or such State-based health insurance exchange, as the case may be, return information of any taxpayer whose income is relevant in determining any affordability credit described in subtitle C of title II of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. Such return information shall be limited to—

‘‘(i) taxpayer identity information with respect to such taxpayer,
‘‘(ii) the filing status of such taxpayer,
‘‘(iii) the modified adjusted gross income of such taxpayer (as defined in section 59B(e)(5)),
‘‘(iv) the number of dependents of the taxpayer,
‘‘(v) such other information as is prescribed by the Secretary by regulation as might indicate whether the taxpayer is eligible for such affordability credits (and the amount thereof), and
‘‘(vi) the taxable year with respect to which the preceding information relates or, if applicable, the fact that such information is not available.


(3) PROVISION OF INFORMATION.—The employer provides the Health Choices Commissioner, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of the Treasury, as applicable, with such information as the Commissioner may require to ascertain compliance with the requirements of this section.


1. This section amends the Internal Revenue Code
2. The bill opens up income tax return information to federal officials.
3. Any stated “limits” to such information are circumvented by item (v), which allows federal officials to decide what information is needed.
4. Employers are required to report whatever information the government says it needs to enforce the plan.

8. 8. Does the plan automatically enroll Americans in the GOVERNMENT plan?

What it says, page 102, Section 205, Outreach and enrollment of Exchange-eligible individuals and employers in Exchange-participating health benefits plan:

(3) AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT OF MEDICAID ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS INTO MEDICAID.—The Commissioner shall provide for a process under which an individual who is described in section 202(d)(3) and has not elected to enroll in an Exchange-participating health benefits plan is automatically enrolled under Medicaid.

And, page 145, section 312:
(4) AUTOENROLLMENT OF EMPLOYEES.—The employer provides for autoenrollment of the employee in accordance with subsection (c).


1. Do nothing and you are in.
2. Employers are responsible for automatically enrolling people who still work.

9. 9. Does THE PLAN exempt federal OFFICIALS from COURT REVIEW?

What it says, page 124, Section 223, PAYMENT RATES FOR ITEMS AND SERVICES:

(f) LIMITATIONS ON REVIEW.—There shall be no administrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology established under this section or under section 224.

‘‘(C) LIMITATION ON REVIEW.—There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1869, 1878, or otherwise, respecting—

‘‘(i) the identification of a county or other area under subparagraph (A); or
‘‘(ii) the assignment of a postal ZIP Code to a county or other area under subparagraph (B).


1. Sec. 1123 amends the Social Security Act, to allow the Secretary to identify areas of the country that underutilize the government’s plan “based on per capita spending.”
2. Parts of the plan are set above the review of the courts.


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Incredible Climate Change Timeline


Cross-posted from

Climate Change Timeline – 1895-2009
There is most certainly a pattern to climate change…but it’s not what you may think:
For at least 114 years, climate “scientists” have been claiming that the climate was going to kill us…but they have kept switching whether it was a coming ice age, or global warming.

Global Warming Alarms Shown in RED

Global Cooling Alarms Shown in BLUE

1895 - Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up AgainNew York Times, February 1895
1902 - “Disappearing Glaciers…deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation…scientific fact…surely disappearing.” – Los Angeles Times
1912 - Prof. Schmidt Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age –
New York Times, October 1912
1923 - “Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada” – Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, – Chicago Tribune
1923 - “The discoveries of changes in the sun’s heat and the southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age” – Washington Post
1924 - MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age –
New York Times, Sept 18, 1924
1929 - “Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that it will continue to get warmer” – Los Angeles Times, in Is another ice age coming?
1932 - “If these things be true, it is evident, therefore that we must be just teetering on an ice age” – The Atlantic magazine, This Cold, Cold World
1933 - America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise –
New York Times, March 27th, 1933
1933 – “…wide-spread and persistent tendency toward warmer weather…Is our climate changing?” – Federal Weather Bureau “Monthly Weather Review.”
1938 - Global warming, caused by man heating the planet with carbon dioxide, “is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power.”– Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
1938 - “Experts puzzle over 20 year mercury rise…Chicago is in the front rank of thousands of cities thuout the world which have been affected by a mysterious trend toward warmer climate in the last two decades” – Chicago Tribune
1939 - “Gaffers who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right… weather men have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer” – Washington Post
1952 - “…we have learned that the world has been getting warmer in the last half century” –
New York Times, August 10th, 1962
1954 - “…winters are getting milder, summers drier. Glaciers are receding, deserts growing” – U.S. News and World Report
1954 - Climate – the Heat May Be Off – Fortune Magazine
1959 - “Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures” – New York Times
1969 - “…the Arctic pack ice is thinning and that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two”
New York Times, February 20th, 1969
1970 - “…get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come…there’s no relief in sight” – Washington Post
1974 - Global cooling for the past forty years – Time Magazine
1974 - “Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age” – Washington Post
1974 - “As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed” – Fortune magazine, who won a Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics for its analysis of the danger
1974 - “…the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure…mass deaths by starvation, and probably anarchy and violence” – New York Times
Cassandras are becoming
increasingly apprehensive,
for the weather
aberrations they are
studying may be the
harbinger of another
ice age
1975 - Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate is Changing; A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable –
New York Times, May 21st, 1975
1975 - “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind” Nigel Calder, editor, New Scientist magazine, in an article in International Wildlife Magazine
1976 - “Even U.S. farms may be hit by cooling trend” – U.S. News and World Report
1981 - Global Warming – “of an almost unprecedented magnitude” – New York Times
1988 - I would like to draw three main conclusions. Number one, the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements. Number two, the global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect. And number three, our computer climate simulations indicate that thegreenhouse effect is already large enough to begin to effect the probability of extreme events such as summer heat waves. – Jim Hansen,
June 1988 testimony before Congress, see His later quote and His superior’s objection for context
1989 -”On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.” – Stephen Schneider, lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Discover magazine, October 1989
1990 - “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing – in terms of economic policy and environmental policy” – Senator Timothy Wirth
1993 - “Global climate change may alter temperature and rainfall patterns, many scientists fear, with uncertain consequences for agriculture.” – U.S. News and World Report

1998 - No matter if the science [of global warming] is all phony . . . climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” —Christine Stewart, Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald, 1998
2001 - “Scientists no longer doubt that global warming is happening, and almost nobody questions the fact that humans are at least partly responsible.” –
Time Magazine, Monday, Apr. 09, 2001
2003 - Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as “synfuels,” shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration” – Jim Hansen, NASA Global Warming activist, Can we defuse The Global Warming Time Bomb?, 2003
2006 - “I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” — Al Gore,
Grist magazine, May 2006
Now: The global mean temperature has
fallen for two years in a row, which is why you stopped hearing details about the actual global temperature, even while they carry on about taxing you to deal with it…how long before they start predicting an ice age?

The actual Global Warming Advocates' chart, overlayed on the "climate change" hysterics of the past 120 years. Not only is it clear that they take any change and claim it's going to go on forever and kill everyone, but notice that they even sometimes get the short-term trend wrong...
Worse still, notice that in 1933 they claim global warming has been going on for 25 years…the entire 25 years they were saying we were entering an ice age. And in 1974, they say there has been global cooling for 40 years…the entire time of which they’d been claiming the earth was getting hotter! Of course NOW they are talking about the earth “warming for the past century”, again ignoring that they spent much of that century claiming we were entering an ice age.
The fact is that the mean temperature of the planet is, and should be, always wavering up or down, a bit, because this is a natural world, not a climate-controlled office. So there will always be some silly bureaucrat, in his air-conditioned ivory tower, who looks at which way it’s going right now, draws up a chart as if this is permanant, realizes how much fear can increase his funding, and proclaims doom for all of humanity.
2006 – “It is not a debate over whether the earth has been warming over the past century. The earth is always warming or cooling, at least a few tenths of a degree…” — Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT
2006 – “What we have fundamentally forgotten is simple primary school science. Climate always changes. It is always…warming or cooling, it’s never stable. And if it were stable, it would actually be interesting scientifically because it would be the first time for four and a half billion years.” —Philip Stott, emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London
2006 - “Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media peddled a coming ice age. From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.” – Senator James Inhofe, Monday, September 25, 2006
2007- “I gave a talk recently (on fallacies of global warming) and three members of the Canadian government, the environmental cabinet, came up afterwards and said, ‘We agree with you, but it’s not worth our jobs to say anything.’ So what’s being created is a huge industry with billions of dollars of government money and people’s jobs dependent on it.” – Dr. Tim Ball, Coast-to-Coast, Feb 6, 2007
2008 – “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress” – Dr. John S. Theon, retired Chief of the Climate Processes Research Program at NASA, see above for Hansen quotes

Next time you see the usual "global warming" chart, look carefully: it is in tiny fractions of one degree. The ENTIRE global warming is less than six tenths of one degree. Here is the Global Warming Advocates' own chart, rendered in actual degrees like sane people use. I was going to use 0-100 like a thermometer, but you end up with almost a flat line, so I HELPED the Climate Change side by making the temperature range much narrower, and the chart needlessly tall to stretch the up-down differences in the line.


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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Have You Heard Ken Gladney's Story?

Democrat operatives are sending out thugs from the Service Employees International Union to harass and attack anyone protesting Obamacare at town hall meetings across the country. As this is going on, a veritable onslaught of TV commercials and talking heads are everywhere portraying seniors, some of whom are in wheelchairs, as racists, NAZIs and organized disrupters. As ususual, the liberals cannot sell their nonsense on the merits, so they try to attack and destroy the character of their opponents. They seem ignorant of the fact that NAZI stands for a particular brand of socialism where the same tactics were employed.

One of many such physical confrontations being conducted by the SEIU was caught on video. Don't give in.

If video doesn't load, go here.

Have You Heard Ken Gladney's Story?

By Andrew Breitbart August 10, 2009 RealClearPolitics

The first round of protests against the Obama administration's chaotic and rapid-fire expansion of government came in the form of grass-roots "tea parties," which were predictably met with scorn by the Democrat-Media Complex (the natural coalition of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media.)

CNN's Anderson Cooper and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow led the charge, declaring concerned Americans "tea baggers," an allusion to an absurd sexual fetish beneath describing in a family newspaper. This attack on hundreds of thousands of people practicing their constitutional right to protest speaks volumes not just about the hardened sociopolitical leanings of America's journalistic elite, but about the brazenness with which they are now wielding their unprofessionalism.

Last week on the grounds of the once-venerated White House, Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, taking his cues from his allies in the media, referred to last week's health care town-hall protesters as "tea baggers."
How far we have fallen.

Stepping up the rhetoric from mockery to pure hatred, and absent any evidence, Mr. Olbermann has called the president's public protesters "worse than racists."

Political activist and comedian Janeane Garofalo colored them "racist rednecks who hate blacks." And at the somewhat higher end of the food chain, liberal economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times wrote last week that they were motivated by "cultural and racial fear

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is having a hard time these days explaining the president's Israel policy to her Jewish constituents, blatantly lied and said that the protesters were wielding "swastikas and symbols like that."

Supporters of the president understand what is going on. So do his detractors.

The mainstream media and the Democratic Party are working in concert to make sure that what happened to President Bush -- sustained organized grass-roots protests ("mobs," if you will), relentless media criticism and permanent opposition-party obstructionism -- does not happen to their guy. Complicating matters, the media's fate is directly tied to the president's. Without them, Barack Obama would still be a backbencher from Illinois.

But the mockery. The recklessness. Unsupportable libel isn't working. The tea parties and, now, the health care protests at town-hall meetings have only gotten bigger and stronger. The anti-big-government movement is pure. Its participants represent something close to what used to be considered normative in this country.

Tea Party attendees and health care town-hall protesters share the common belief that the extravagant spending of President Obama and the Democratic Party -- absent any checks and balances -- will eventually lead more people into government dependency, higher taxes and, perhaps, our country's financial ruin. These are legitimate fears felt by millions of Americans

That's why the media and the Democratic Party are scared and are throwing outrageous and hateful accusations at everyday Americans -- hoping that people stay home out of fear.

I've attended two tea parties so far. One was in Santa Ana, Calif., on April 15, where my 81-year-old father-in-law, the actor Orson Bean, joined fellow actor Gary Graham and newly naturalized American citizen Ian Mitchell, from the Scottish '70s music sensation, the Bay City Rollers.

I saw no "tea bagging." Blacks and Hispanics carried signs along with the white majority. But there was a sketchy dog dressed in a red, white and blue sweater.
Make of that what you will, Mr. Olbermann.

Last week, a black gentleman named Kenneth Gladney went to a town-hall meeting hosted by Rep. Russ Carnahan, Missouri Democrat. While passing out "Don't Tread on Me" flags, he was viciously attacked by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members. One called him a "nigger."

These union thugs were directed by the White House to go to the protests and "punch back twice as hard." And they did.

While the attack was captured on video and is available on YouTube, Mr. Gladney's horrifying story is absent from MSNBC's 24/7 media cycle. Mr. Krugman has yet to write about it. And Mr. Cooper has yet to condemn the attack

On Sept. 12, I will be attending a tea party in Quincy, Ill., joining Instapundit professor Glenn Reynolds, Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft, and Tucker Carlson.

With the Democratic Party in control of all branches of government and the Fourth Estate acting as the Democratic Party's protector, the tea party movement is the closest thing America has to checks and balances.

If that isn't enough to motivate you, perhaps showing your solidarity with Kenneth Gladney, a fellow patriot, is.

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