Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Health Care Insurance or Getting Drunk...

French Kiss Obama Adieu!

According to the Wall Street Journal and several other sources, French President Sarkozy is "avoir les boules" at Mssr. Obama over the announcement of the secret Iranian nuclear site and the latter's overall policy. The French and the British wanted to confront the Iranians at the UN love-fest but Barry O and the boys would have none of it. They didn't want to spoil the "image of success" of President Obama chairing the UN Security Council and speaking fluffy butterfly language about nuclear disarmament.

Sarkoky's speech to the UN now makes more sense since we know he was "seething," about being told to be a team player (along with Gordon Brown, although Gordo just seems to like being near BHO and smiling - definite groupy candidate) and not bring up this untidy business.

Le Monde's diplomatic correspondent, Natalie Nougayrède, reports that a draft of Mr. Sarkozy's speech to the Security Council Thursday included a section on Iran's latest deception. Forced to scrap that bit, the French President let his frustration show with undiplomatic gusto in his formal remarks, laying into what he called the "dream" of disarmament. The address takes on added meaning now that we know the backroom discussions.

"We are right to talk about the future," Mr. Sarkozy said, referring to the U.S. resolution on strengthening arms control treaties. "But the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises," i.e., Iran and North Korea. "We live in the real world, not in a virtual one." No prize for guessing into which world the Frenchman puts Mr. Obama.

"We say that we must reduce," he went on. "President Obama himself has said that he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Before our very eyes, two countries are doing exactly the opposite at this very moment. Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council Resolutions . . .

"I support America's 'extended hand.' But what have these proposals for dialogue produced for the international community? Nothing but more enriched uranium and more centrifuges. And last but not least, it has resulted in a statement by Iranian leaders calling for wiping off the map a Member of the United Nations. What are we to do? What conclusions are we to draw? At a certain moment hard facts will force us to make decisions."

We thought we'd never see the day when the President of France shows more resolve than America's Commander in Chief for confronting one of the gravest challenges to global security. But here we are.

The French?? Dear Lord, this keeps up, I am going to start re-claiming some of my French ancestry. How will little French boys mock Americans in the years to come? "A bunch of hamburgahr eating talking monkeys?"

Obama Enfeebled

Caroline Glick over at the Jerusalem Post gets it spot on in her column titled "An enfeebled Obama." I get hate mail and posts from leftists who decry that there is nothing wrong with "talking to our enemies," and "acknowledging our mistakes and apologizing." There is nothing wrong with "engagement" and the peace "process." So it goes...utter pap, pure naivete. Ironically, if we were dealing with the semi-sane Soviet Union, like the good old Cold War days, some level of engagement makes sense. But we are not. We are up against madness in Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Iran, the likes of which we have not seen since Hitler put the luger to his skull in the bunker in Berlin. We are dealing with terrorist groups in Hezbollah and Hamas that are dead set on destroying our ally, Israel...and if they succeed in that, Western Europe and the United States are on their dance card. What hubris leads a man like Obama to believe that by force of his personality, he can overcome a Medieval death cult like militant Islam? But he persists:

As for Iran, during his meeting with Netanyahu in May, Obama gave the clear impression that the Iranian regime had until September to accept his offer to negotiate the disposition of its nuclear installations. But it is now September, and in its belated response to Obama's generous offer of engagement, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime rejected the terms of Obama's engagement out of hand. Obama did not retaliate by taking his offer to negotiate off the table or - perish the thought - working to implement the sanctions he had pledged would follow an Iranian rejection of his open hand.

Instead, Obama announced that he is sending a senior US official to meet with the Iranians on October 1. And with that announcement, any residual doubt that Obama is willing to live in a world in which Iran is armed with nuclear weaponry dissipated completely.

Sane people should reread that last sentence several times - "a world in which Iran is armed with nuclear weaponry," should make you take a deep breath. There are differing intelligence estimates, and we all know how accurate those can be to begin with, but in the worst case they are about three months away; the best, about a year. Now having a nuclear bomb, libtards would say, doesnt' mean much. You have to have a way to weaponize and deliver the device. OK, on the delivery front, how about this:

That's a Shahab-3 launched three days ago that puts Israel, U.S. bases in the Gulf Region and Saudi Arabia in range. Oh, did I say Saudi Arabia? The Sunnis (Saudis) and the Shiites (Iranians) don't like each other very much. Last time the two sects teed it up was the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) when we say children being used by the Iranians to walk through mine-fields ahead of their precious Revolutionary Guard...some 1.5 million people died in that dust up.

So instead of a leader who understands the grave nature of realpolitik in the Middle East, we are left with a man who adores the adulation of a crowd, a man who, disturbingly seems to want to be accepted for his personality rather than his accomplishments. As the columnist says:
Since Obama took office, he has been abandoning one US ally after another while seeking to curry favor with one US adversary after another. At every turn, America's allies - from Israel to Honduras, to Columbia, South Korea and Japan, to Poland and the Czech Republic - have reacted with disbelief and horror to his treachery. And at every turn, America's adversaries - from Iran to Venezuela to North Korea and Russia - have responded with derision and contempt to his seemingly obsessive attempts to appease them.
We are in serious trouble folks. The decision is simple at this juncture and was brilliantly spelled out in the Wall Street Journal yesterday: a) allow Iran to go nuclear and risk nuclear proliferation in the Gulf and potential nuclear conflict between Israel and Iran or b) take out their nuclear facilities before it is too late. What will it be Mr. President?

Monday, September 28, 2009

ACORN, SEIU and Heidi Klum

For the answer to what these three things have in common, go check out this write-up over at "the Real Barack Obama."

This little ball of filthy well-played kitty yard is going to slowly unravel. ACORN - SEIU - POTUS - this is simple graft and thuggery that makes the Nixon White House look like a bunch of Girl Scouts.

Opposition to Healthcare Reform at 56%

Rasmussen is reporting a new high for opposition to healthcare "reform" at 56%. Since the brief flip in the trend caused by Obama's public assault of a couple of weeks ago, the trend has resumed it's pattern. It has to be frustrating for the statist left to grapple with the realization that the American public actually DOES know what's good for them!

Sifting through your trash

More wonderful news of eco-crazed leftists at work. Now they are sifting through your trash to see if you are a good eco-citizen or not.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive at the TaxPayers' Alliance, condemned Northampton County Council for what he described as an 'aggressive' campaign.

He said: 'This sneaky behaviour on the part of the council is underhand and alarming.

'Taxpayers are sick and tired of being spied on by their councils, it is an infringement of both their dignity and personal space.

OK, so it's in only being done in the UK...for now. How much longer before some kook Congressman decides this would be a great project for ACORN? Leftists seem to like importing insane government programs that don't work.

60 Years of Mao

Interesting video over at the Guardian - a piece on the 60th Anniversary of Communist Party rule in China.

The video is worth watching - listen in particular to the old veteran describing what would happen when they would get a village to "go red." Political correctness at the left's best!

Bank of America no longer bank of ACORN

Wall Street Journal is reporting this AM that uber-bank, B of A is not going to play with ACORN Housing, a subsidiary of ACORN:

In response to questions from The Wall Street Journal, a spokesman for the banking company said it has "suspended current commitments" to Acorn Housing, an affiliated group, and "will not enter into any further agreements with Acorn or any of its affiliates," pending assessments by the bank of the organization's operations.

This could be window dressing - they have that great caveat of "pending assessments..." And with John Podesta doing the "internal review" of ACORN, I'm betting not much will be found. But it sure is nice to see ACORN getting the press and scrutiny it deserves. It is, at its core, a criminal enterprise and needs to be shuttered.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Contract with America (Redux)

One of the most successful strategies that the Republican party ran on in 1994 when they took back the House in an overwhelming repudiation of Clinton's progressivism, was the "Contract with America." It was essentially a pledge of legislative actions that, if elected to the majority, they would enact. I think it's high time a new version of the Contract be taken under consideration to provide would be challengers to Democrat hegemony some rallying points. Herewith, my first draft and I invite your suggestions.

1. We goofed, and we know it. We are a chastised party now, and pledge that we will enact no legislation that a) expands the power of the Federal government or b) that increases the national debt and deficit.

2. We pledge to tackle the problems that already exist and to fix those before any additional programs are considered. We will figure out how to restructure Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to make them solvent. We will not pass this ridiculous burden on to the next generation.

3. In order to do #2, we recognize that we have to seriously cut the scope of our current Federal government. We will appoint a blue-ribbon panel that will use the Constitution as its guide to identify programs, departments and agencies that are already un-Constitutional and should be cut along with a bottom-up review of ALL Federal agencies in an effort to streamline government.

4. We will enact term limits.

5. We are committed to defending those in our society that are least capable of defending themselves - the elderly and the unborn.

6. We believe that freedom is the most important gift we have and we aim to restore that value to the pinnacle where it belongs. For we believe that freedom, not dependency, should be the guiding principle of our American Republic.

7. We believe evil exists in this world and that it must be defeated. To that end we will restore our military strength with a robust ship-building program, a revitalization of our nuclear shield and a re-commitment to provide missile defense for all who seek shelter under the banner of freedom.

8. We make no apologies for the United States. Like all nations, we have erred, but we believe that in the history of the human race there has never been a nation so generous and so kind as the United States.

9. We believe that those that want to come to this country to work as part of the American experiment should be given that chance. We will eliminate immigration quotas and establish a more streamlined platform to allow people in to this country. We will not give amnesty to those who are here illegally, but we will give the opportunity to return without penalty to their native land and re-enter legally if they have employment here.

10. We believe America's best days are not behind her, but ahead of her and we pledge to protect that reputation as the "shining city on the hill."

Entitlements: The Elephant in the Room

Nabbed this chart from the Heritage Foundation site as a follow on to my earlier post about Great Britain's dilemma. This shows "as is" programs without adding in the proposed health care "reform" legislation (House version adds $1.4 trillion, current Senate bill a mere $850BB...this from the same people who told you that Medicare wouldn't cost that much).

As I have said frequently here - fix the current problems that we have first! Then see if there's any money to go around for other goodies and whether the American people want them. The Brits are already at the intersection of the red and blue lines - we are obviously heading there...how about some adult leadership that tries to solve a problem instead of expanding an existing one?

Obama's approval continues to erode

Heading for the alfalfa. What I am puzzled about is how did we become so racist nine months?

Britain's Woes

Excellent article in the Economist this morning that lays out the difficulties Great Britain faces in dealing with their crushing government debt. Wake up America! This is a harbinger of things to come:
  • Enormous unfunded entitlements? Check.
  • Socialized medicine? Check.
  • Unchecked immigration that adds to the welfare rolls? Check.
  • Having to go to the IMF for a bailout? Priceless.
That's right once "Great" Britain had to go to the IMF for a bail-out in the mid-1970's when their deficit reached 7% of their GDP. They are projecting a 12.4% of GDP figure for 2009-10. According to our government, and their rosy scenarios (which don't include Cap and Trade or Healthcare "Reform" legislation) we are going to hit 12.93% in 2009 and 8.54% next year.

Then there's the rate of increase - take a look at this chart from the article:

Two numbers pop - the first is the rate of increase - we are third at close to 50% over just 7 years! Then look at the forecasted debt as a percentage of GDP for 2014 - we're 4th at 112%. Think about that for a moment - the debt owed by the government will exceed the size of the gross domestic product. Repeat that a few times to yourself and see if you don't find yourself screaming "WTF??!!!"

Britain, as the article points out has the hard task of unwinding their socialist mess with reduced benefits and higher taxes (50% forecast). Why are we trying to put ourselves into their shoes?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ACORN Hamas Hezbollah

I asked a close friend of mine who travels frequently in the Middle East, why the Palestinians supported Hamas and the Lebanese supported Hezbollah when all they brought was terror and suffering. His answer was something like this: "what you don't see is the social services and welfare these organizations provide the poor people in these regions. Need a doctor, Hamas can get you fixed up. Roof sprung a leak? The Hezbollah contractor comes and fixes it for no cost.

I was reminded of this fact when I posted the article about the IRS dumping ACORN. It really is the same thing. People in these neighborhoods that are serviced by ACORN are willing to go out and do the dirty work they are told to do, and are willing to put up with the criminal activity of ACORN because they get something free in return. Need an IRS filing fixed? Talk to ACORN. Need advice on how to stash the illegal prostitution money? Talk to ACORN. Obama's got to get elected? March for ACORN.

Here's the visual connection:
Hezbollah rally in Lebanon.

Hamas rally in Gaza.

ACORN rally in Michigan.


In the "you've got to be kidding me!" category, of which there are far too many entries these days to keep tabs of...yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service decided it no longer needed the services of ACORN. Puhleeze tell me you are joking! OK, surely the IRS just used ACORN to poll neighborhoods to make sure people turned in their taxes on time, right?

Oh no - (ACORN) offered free tax advice to about 3 million low- and moderate-income tax filers this spring. ACORN provided help on about 25,000 returns, the IRS said.

You mean like the advice they gave James and Hannah in those delightful videotapes?? Jimmy Buffet said once in a song that "truth is stranger than fiction it seems," and this fits that tag.

Note to the IRS - how about getting out the forms that ACORN filed with you on behalf of these folks over the last however many years they have been doing this and review/audit them? Maybe Obama can pay for some of his health bill with the savings (tongue planted firmly in cheek.)
Hat tip Doug Ross.

North America Balkanization

The Russians have been predicting for some time that the United States would break up into a series of smaller states, so it is not a surprise to find Pravda reporting on our impending collapse this morning. Actually though, it's a pretty interesting read. Here's a video summary of the theory as presented by the father of the theory, Igor Panarin:

Now Pravda is taking exception to this - Igor says six pieces, Pravda is going with a baker's dozen, lucky 13. The Big Bear likes getting the "Republic of Alaska" back under it's claw in this scenario, while the "Kingdom of Hawaii," will return to it's rightful owners, the Japanese or Chinese. Looks like good ol' Tennessee will end up back in the "CSA" - yes, the "Confederate States of America," and we will be closely allied with the "Republic of Texas."

Give the article a read and see where your state ends up!

The scary truth is that if the Federal Government persists in it's unabated power grab, you will hear talk of secession increase. Eleven states already have provisions for rejecting unfunded mandates from the Federal government - what will happen when that hand gets forced?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The REAL Cost of Obamacare

Blitzer wins Jeopardy with Axelrod!

This is funny:

"...that is not endemic to the reform we are proposing..." Hell, nothing is!
This vid is particularly funny though, when you consider this:

Talk about dumb and dumber, but kudos to Wolf for actually asking a question and sticking with it without offering to lick Axelrod's shoes like the rest of the media. Maybe SNL can get some mileage with this, it certainly worked with Sean Connery:

Obama the Narcissist

Well, it's nothing new to those of us left with functioning brains, but it is getting embarrassing to watch our Dear Leader, err, President

a. Blame America for everything.
b. Diss our allies like Israel.
c. Kowtow to our enemies.

All so he can have a few minutes of adoration in front of this crowd.

Progressive Hopes

Taking a break from my periodic dropping in on the Circus of Shame that some call the UN, I stumbled on a wonderful column I had clipped out long ago...was doubly pleased to swiftly find it on line. Well worth sharing - it is Joseph Sobran's piece titled "Progressive Hopes." It was originally published back in 2000 and was an indictment of the past century's tragic flirting with Progressivism. Sobran could never have anticipated what America would serve up, eight short years later.

To whet your appetite - from the piece:
Similarly the end of European colonialism was supposed to allow African and Asian peoples, freed at last from foreign exploitation, to enjoy the fruits of self-determination. In most cases the former colonies have gone from modest contentment to wretched poverty, epidemic disease, and terrifying tyranny, with little prospect of improvement. The United Nations, advertised as "the Parliament of Man," has fallen somewhat short of expectations; the best that can be said of it is that it has been nearly impotent, serving chiefly as an arena of mutually contradictory propaganda efforts to which nobody pays much attention anymore. We can be consoled by the reflection that it must have disappointed its chief architect, Alger Hiss

And this:
"I have a dream," proclaimed Martin Luther King Jr., whose "dream" was inspired by his reading of Marx and other progressive prophets. Like countless visionaries, he was unaware of Michael Oakeshott's admonition: "The conjunction of ruling and dreaming generates tyranny." Which might serve as the epitaph for the twentieth century.

This will hopefully be the epitaph of the current administration, but in the meantime, we have tyranny to fight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Russia to train and upgrade Cuban military

Oh there's some good news! This one almost got past me over the weekend - but the Miami Herald actually reported the story.

Obama: "Gosh, geez Vladimir, I want to show you how nice I am...I am not going to protect Eastern Europe from you!"
Putin: "Ees good - I vill revard you by trhaining Cooban military."
Obama: "See, I knew we could get along!"
Putin: "Simpleton."
American Press Headline: "Obama scores major victory over Russians" Sub-head: "Russians to aid Cuban economy to reduce boat people population."

The reality - something simp-libs are blissfully unaware of:

``Although maintaining a military presence in Latin America has logistical and financial problems for Russia, it will still force the United States to address the Russian presence in its backyard,'' wrote Stratfor, a private geopolitical analysis firm based in Austin, Texas.

Moscow may also be interested in reopening the Lourdes electronic eavesdropping facility in Cuba that it closed under U.S. pressures in 2001, wrote Jaime Suchlicki, director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami.

Makarov has been in Cuba several days leading a delegation that the newspaper Granma reported includes Lt. Gen. Alexander Shlyakhturov, head of the Russian military intelligence agency known as GRU, and Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav M. Proshkin, head of the General Staff's International Military Cooperation department.

The Stratfor report said Makarov declared on Friday that Russia ``will aid Cuba in the near future in modernizing its Soviet-era equipment and in training the country's military personnel'' Makarov also announced ``that preparations are under way for Russian warships to visit Cuba soon,'' the report added


Saying "No" to Obama

Great commentary in the Jerusalem Post this morning in a piece titled "Why everyone is saying 'no' to Obama?" To summarize:

1. Saudi Arabia - "no" - twice!
2. North Korea - "no" - uncountable.
3. Iran - "no" - approaching infinity.
4. Palestinians - "no" - multiple times.
5. Israelis - "no" - (not suicide prone).

Let me add:

6. Scotland - "no."
7. Honduras - "no."
8. France - "non"
9. Venezuela - "laughing at him, no"
10. Russia - "nyet"
11. American people - "hell, no!"

On the foreign policy front, the author of the piece makes it clear (what all conservatives already know) : weakness begets challenge. No amount of community organizing can convince truly bad people like Chavez, Putin and Achmadinijad, to change their ways.

Bottom line, this guy is an abject failure who is making one man very happy: Jimmy Carter. He will not go down in history as the worst American President.

Star Wars - Environmentalist Style

Hat Tip: The BlogProf

Monday, September 21, 2009

Recruiting Families for Jihad

More good news from the "Religion of Peace." Der Spiegel is reporting on an effort by Pakistani Islamic terrorists to recruit German families to vacation in Waziristan and do a little jihad on the side. From the article:

The ad for Waziristan appears to be finding fertile ground in Germany. Security officials here believe the IMU is currently the largest and most active Islamic group recruiting in the country. But there's an unusual development here, too -- militants don't normally recruit women and children as the IMU appears to be doing. The families move to mujahedeen villages in the rough terrain which are used as bases for supporting the battle against the US troops and the Afghan army.

Considering Germany has one of the largest populations of Muslims in Europe (according to their Ministry of Migration and Refugees, they make up 5% of the population, somewhere between 3.8 and 4.6 million), it would be logical that these Jihadi nutjobs would be recruiting there. Keep an eye out, though, this will spread to the rest of Europe and then to here as Muslim populations grow.

A "Post-American" President

Methinks Mr. Bolton is on to something here. Obama is "above" all that "patriotism stuff." Why else would you continue to push your logo and color scheme (just like a good brand manager should) in lieu of the trappings of the office of the President? Nine months into this nightmare, and he still hasn't stopped campaigning.

Obama charges Racism!

Hat tip Missourah.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Health Care Opposition at new high

What a nice way to round out the work week! Just glanced at the Rasmussen Reports tracking polls on healthcare and found this gem:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters nationwide now oppose the health care reform proposed by President Obamaand congressional Democrats. That’s the highest level of opposition yet measured and includes 44% who are Strongly Opposed.

Just 43% now favor the proposal, including 24% who Strongly Favor it

Biking to the Brothel

Now here's a group of ladies committed to slowing global warming:

Apparently the recession in Germany has hit the prostitution business pretty umm, hard, so this is a marketing promotion event that will keep you umm, running back?

Madeline Albright "America not Exceptional"

What is it with aging lefties that they have to outwardly express their hatred for the United States? Latest episode comes from this lovely lady, Madeline Halfbright. Speaking to a group in Russia at a forum titled the "Non Economic Aspects of Entrepreneurship," (re-read that forum title - this is in Russia, I think that type of thing has been outlawed over here!). Halbright uttered the following bits of wisdom:

Madeleine Albright said during the meeting that America no longer had the intention of being the first nation of the world.

Ms. Albright started her speech in Russian. “Hello and thank you! It’s a pleasure for me to be here,” she said in Russian. Albright wrote in her autobiography that she was trying to learn some Russian during the 1960s.

The former US Secretary of State surprised the audience with her speech. She particularly said that democracy was not the perfect system. “It can be contradictory, corrupt and may have security problems,” Albright said.

America has been having hard times recently, Albright said.

“We have been talking about our exceptionalism during the recent eight years. Now, an average American wants to stay at home – they do not need any overseas adventures. We do not need new enemies,” Albright said adding that Beijing, London and Delhi became a serious competition for Washington and New York.

“My generation has made many mistakes. We give the future into the hands of the young. Your prime goal is to overcome the gap between the poor and the rich,’ the former head of the US foreign political department said.

Wow...truth hurts, but lets clarify. Change "America" to "Democrats" in the first paragraph and she is telling the truth. I am sure she believes that democracy is not the perfect system - she is a statist and believes that if her and her ilk are running things in an autocracy, THAT would be perfect. As far as new enemies goes, her type are doing a great job of creating new enemies. Just look at the list since Obama took office: Israel, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Honduras, Japan...it's impressive! Finally, stop with the solipsist pap, Madeline - EVERY generation makes mistakes, our generation has been plagued with self-centered, self-righteous fools like you. The mistake has been letting your type get anywhere near the center of power.

By the way, this little piece of fun was in Pravda.

The Geography of No

The New York Times (!) has an interactive map of the House vote yesterday to defund ACORN. Click on this link to see whether your Congressman is in the Hall of Shame.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

When I Grow Up...

I had no idea ACORN had a branch office in China! Soon our kids in the good ol' USA can respond just like this (hat tip Carpe Diem):

James and Hannah

Fake fur last used at Casino night over at the Frat House? Check
Ridiculous sunglasses that might have been cool when you were 15? Check
Insanely large plastic earrings that match 1960's sarong skirt? Check
Bringing down a corrupt, vicious organization that no other media outlet had the courage to challenge? Priceless

These two are national heroes.


Hell, just google the terms together and have some fun! One of the first links that pops up is an NPR story - NPR!!! - they must have taken a break from covering the latest art magazine launch to document the connections between ACORN and SEIU - something the "main-stream" media has been completely unable to do. Some interesting facts:

  • ACORN co-founder Wade Rathke founded SEIU.
  • ACORN's biggest backer is the SEIU.
  • A number of Federal Agencies are giving them money, including EPA and Justice! Department.
Love the concluding paragraph:

There's a lot more to ACORN's financial picture that we can't complete here. ACORN's network is complex, and money often transfers from one affiliate to another, making it hard for outsiders to keep track of it all. But one thing is for sure: ACORN is busy.

Jon Stewart on ACORN and Journalism

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Audacity of Hos
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Jon Stewart goes where ABCCNNCBSMSNBCNYTWP and the rest won't go...I guess you don't want to be accused of being racist!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Doctor's Poll

Investor's Business Daily has some pretty sobering information from a poll conducted among the nation's doctors: 45% would consider quitting if Congress passes the proposed health care overhaul.

And it gets better - according to the article:

  • 65% oppose government intrusion.
  • 72% say the government cannot cover an additional 47 million people without lowering the quality of care (and that's before some number of them quit practicing medicine).
  • 66% oppose the plan period.
Further, the AMA, which has come out in favor of the bill is seeing their membership decline. To begin with, they only represent about 18% of the practicing doctors - despite the White House's assertion that a "majority of doctors" support their initiative. As I have said on these pages many times, this has nothing to do with "fixing" healthcare. It has everything to do with seizing more power and controlling future "elections."

Four Words from Fred

Classic Fred Thompson.

Hat tip IMAO.

Economic Freedom Slipping

Well, this will come as no surprise - U.S. economic freedom is slipping under the Obama administration. This is coming from Cato Institute and their annual study of international economic freedom (Cool interactive map available by clicking here!) Here's the current standing:

1. Hong Kong (8.97/10)

2. Singapore (8.66/10)

3. New Zealand (8.3/10)

4. Switzerland (8.19/10)

5. Chile (8.14/10)

6. United States (8.06/10)

7. Ireland (7.98/10)

8. Canada (7.91/10)

9. Australia (7.89/10)

9. United Kingdom (7.89/10)


19. United Arab Emirates (7.58/10)

27. Germany (7.5/10)

28. Japan (7.46/10)

33. France (7.43/10)

86. India (6.45/10)

111. Brazil (6.00/10)

112. Iran (5.99/10)

And last place

141. Zimbabwe (2.89/10)

Here are the categories that are used to arrive at these numbers:

1 Size of Government: Expenditures, Taxes, and Enterprises;

2 Legal Structure and Security of Property Rights;

3 Access to Sound Money;

4 Freedom to Trade Internationally;

5 Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business.

Hmm, last year we were second...now we are sixth..."size of government?" Oh yeah we are growing that beast at a heretofore unseen rate. "Security of property rights?" Kind of hard to maintain those when the needs of the O supersede - how do you say "GM Bondholder?" "Access to sound money?" Well, the dollar is in free fall and the U.N. and the Chinese keep yammering about a new world currency. "Freedom to trade internationally?" Well, slapping tariffs on Chinese tires and continuing to exclude Columbia from the benefits of a trade deal has got that covered. "Regulation of credit, labor and business?" Ha, ha, ha, ha, hoo, hoo, hee, hee - dear Lord, this man is less than a year into his presidency and we are headed for the United Socialist States of America! Check on all five. Amazing. Incompetent.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From Consumption to Savings

Sobering post over at Motley Fool this morning. The author is laying out the argument that we are in a seismic shift in the United States, as big as the shift from agriculture to manufacturing. It is the shift from an economy based on mass consumption to one based on savings.

Most of our accounting jobs, advertising jobs, architecture jobs, engineering jobs, legal jobs, sales jobs, government jobs, and many other professions and occupations are simply funded by massive domestic consumption. As the fed continues to implement policies cutting off credit and raising interest rates on the private economy, consumption is sure to contract going forward as interest payments suffocate dollars away from good and services and more to savings..

None of this is the end of the world....simply massive convulsive change that you should now be prepared for as we are still in the early stages in 9.09.

Where it goes is anyone's guess...but you know it is going in that direction as the value of practically everything you own is crashing and we are bailing out bankers.

The big question comes with the BIGGEST consumer of all....the U.S. Governments...consuming $6.5 trillion dollars per year (50% and growing percentage of GDP)....right now running a $2 Trillion dollar deficit is supporting an unsustainable level of spending.....soon it will come to an end one way or another as receipts keep shrinking....and when it does at you will be prepared for the change....whether that is a benefit remains to be seen.

Overall, the Motley Fool is pretty apolitical, but you read the writing on the wall when you see that closing paragraph. We cannot spend our way to prosperity - the end of that road is Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe.

Monday, September 14, 2009

American Exceptionalism

Bill Whittle has pulled another superlative video together over at PJTV - the subject this time is "American Exceptionalism." It is well worth the 15 minutes or so that it runs...get your kids to watch it too. Then go and bookmark the America the Exception blog where daily posts of unique pieces of American history are brought to light that should make every citizen think about this great country we live in.

Steinbeck - Bombs Away

I stumbled on this little gem in the BWI Airport and read the darned thing in two days. I have always been a big John Steinbeck fan and had no idea he had written this. It is actually an unabashed piece of propaganda for the U.S. Army Air Corps (Air Force) during World War II, but it paints a loving picture of the American lads that signed up and went to war to defeat the Axis. Great read for a long flight!

Government fixing Healthcare

Government fixing healthcare is like a plumber fixing your computer. No...that's mean to plumbers.

Doctor Proposes to reform Legal Profession

Wall Street Journal had a terrific piece at the end of last week: A Doctor's Plan for Legal Industry Reform. Doctors have a reason to be offended by this President's callous and uninformed observations of their motives - hold onto your tonsils kiddies...watch out for your feet you diabetics! Great article, worth the read.

British Press on 9/12 Event

Well, thank God for our cousins across the pond. They are desperately trying to keep us from committing national suicide, unlike our own "media." The Daily Mail is reporting that up to two million marched in the Tea Party rally in Washington D.C. We do not know the exact number, but we do know that busloads of people were turned away by the Park Service, because the protest had already exceeded the allowed number!

Folks, 2 million people...that's almost TWICE the number of people that showed up for Obama's Inauguration, which was supposedly the event of the century (even though more showed up for LBJ's and Reagan's).

Here's a time lapse reel of the event:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The President's Speech

OK, I admit, I did not see it live. I tried reading the transcript late last night and fell asleep. I watched enough of the replay to see that Barrack Obama was on the campaign trail! Funny, the place he was speaking (was he in Iowa?) looked a helluva lot like the U.S. House of Representatives...kinda weird how he carts that botoxed diva, Nancy Pelosi and Joe "why do you keep saying 'plug healthcare'" Biden around behind him....OH! I get it, he's actually talking to Congress. Funny, from the tone of the speech it sure sounded like a lot of partisan attacks going on. I love the three seconds to the left, three seconds to the right head bob on the prompter.

Naw, seriously, I did get through the text this AM and what I saw was...nothing. Classic B.O.! No effort at bi-partisanship...c'mon Barry, you have the votes, ram it down our throats! Every time I watch or read what this guy says I am reminded of the story told by one of his law school classmates. BHO would wade into a debate between two students. Listen attentively to both sides, speak eloquently about the discussion and leave. Upon his departure, BOTH sides would assert that he had sided with them. This is a gift, but it is not leadership. And what we saw last night was not Presidential. He was a bully, a Chicago street thug in action. My guess is, brief bounce in the polls, then once the American people realize he said nothing, this thing is going to sink again. Let us pray.

For a great live report of the events last night, check out Vodkapundits live drunkblogging the speech. Classic

Japan is Growing up, will we?

Excellent column from the NYT last week by Ryu Murakami on the real story behind the landmark election in Japan a couple of weeks ago where the ruling party of the last 40 some odd years was thrown out.

Some highlights from the column:

The Japanese people are realizing that no government has the power to fix their problems. But this is a good thing — Japan is finally growing up

What a wonderful lesson that needs to be taught from Kindergarten up. Rugged self reliance and freedom are the hallmarks of a great nation, not dependence and subservience.

The depressing truth is hitting home. Though one stratum of Japanese society may benefit from the change in government, others may be hurt. Major corporations may be rescued with tax cuts while workers’ wages remain stagnant. If the minimum wage is raised, then corporations will shift production overseas.

The days when everything worked like a dream and everyone’s standard of living kept rising are over, and have been for a long time. Now that there is no longer enough money, the Japanese public has to make some hard choices.

Exactly. We desperately need to wake up in this country to the fact that WE DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY! Our government is printing or borrowing money from overseas to finance the largess they are incompetently attempting to bestow on us. This is a maelstrom and we are swimming to the bottom of the hole!

As I have posted here before, prior to ANY new Federal programs, we need to first repair/replace/address the problems we have already created for ourselves with the entitlement programs in place. Those decisions will not be easy, but they can be done in an equitable fashion if we address them now. Failing to do so is a certain train wreck. With examples like the USSR, which I posted on earlier, and Japan staring us in the face, what kind of liberal Koolaid do you have to drink to think that our experience will be any different?

Hat tip GSJr.

From Russia with Love

Investor's Business Daily published the following letter this morning in their on-line venue. It is from a former citizen of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Read this slowly and ask yourself, if you are an American citizen, is this the direction we really want to go?

In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I was taught to believe individual pursuits are selfish and sacrificing for the collective good is noble.

In kindergarten we sang songs about Lenin, the leader of the Socialist Revolution. In school we learned about the beautiful socialist system, where everybody is equal and everything is fair; about ugly capitalism, where people are exploited and treat each other like wolves in the wilderness.

Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures.

The government-assigned salary of the proletariat (blue-collar worker) was 30%-50% higher then any professional. Without incentive to improve their life, professionals drank themselves to oblivion. They — engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers — earned a government-determined salary that barely covered the necessities, mainly food.

Raising children was a hardship. It took four to six adults (parents and grandparents) to support a child. The usual size of the postwar family was one or two children. Every woman had the right to have an abortion and most of them did, often without anesthesia.

There is a comparative historical reality that plays out the consequences of two competing ideologies: life in the USSR and in America. When the march to the worker's paradise — the Socialist Revolution — began in 1917, many people emigrated from Russia to the U.S.

In the USSR, economic equality was achieved by redistributing wealth, ensuring that everyone remained poor, with the exception of those doing the redistributing. Only the ruling class of communist leaders had access to special stores, medicine and accommodations that could compare to those in the West.

The rest of the citizenry had to deal with permanent shortages of food and other necessities, and had access to free but inferior, unsanitary and low-tech medical care. The egalitarian utopia of equality, achieved by the sacrifice of individual self-interest for the collective good, led to corruption, black markets, anger and envy.

Government-controlled health care destroyed human dignity.

Chairman Nikita Khrushchev released facts about Stalin and his purges. People learned of the horrific purge of more than 20 million citizens, murdered as enemies of the state.

Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise. The majority of those immigrants achieved a better life for themselves and their children in this capitalist land.

These opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party. The freedom to pursue personal self-interest led to prosperity. Prosperity generated charity, benefiting the collective good.

The descendants of those immigrants are now supporting policies that move America away from the values that gave so many immigrants the chance of a better life. Policies such as nationalized medicine, high tax rates and government intrusion into free enterprise are being sold to us under the socialistic motto of collective salvation.

Socialism has bankrupted and failed every society, while capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system.

There is no perfect society. There are no perfect people. Critics say that greed is the driving force of capitalism. My answer is that envy is the driving force of socialism. Change to socialism is not an improvement on the imperfections of the current system.

The slogans of "fairness and equality" sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality.

Today we can define the better system not by slogans, but by looking at the accumulated facts. We can compare which ideology leads to the most oppression and which brings the most opportunity.

When I came to America in 1980 and experienced life in this country, I thought it was fortunate that those living in the USSR did not know how unfortunate they were.

Now in 2009, I realize how unfortunate it is that many Americans do not understand how fortunate they are. They vote to give government more and more power without understanding the consequences.

Svetlana Kunin, Stamford, Conn

This is the vision that the Obamunists have for this country. Is this what you want to leave for your children...a land that they will have to leave to seek real opportunity elsewhere? If not, then you had better start writing your Congressmen and Senators, because between cap and trade and health care "reform," that is where they are taking us. It's down to party loyalty on the Hill now, not the good of the American people. It must be stopped.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dead Donkey

Fixing Healthcare

One of the writers for Little Green Footballs has pulled together a list of questions that need to be answered prior to any vote on so called healthcare "reform." Here's the link. It is a great, interactive resource.

I still go back to a more fundamental approach, as I posted here earlier. Simply put, let's first agree on what the "problem" is before we agree on new legislation. I would take it a step further. Given the sky-rocketing costs of unfunded entitlements, how about we fix those FIRST. Then we can explore a new entitlement?

It's increasingly obvious that Congress and the president (regardless of the party in power) will deal with the political stink bomb of an aging society only if forced. And the most plausible means of compulsion would be for Social Security and Medicare to go bankrupt: trust funds run dry; promised benefits exceed dedicated payroll taxes. The sooner this happens, the better.

That the programs will ultimately go bankrupt is clear from the trustees' reports. On pages 201 and 202 of the Medicare report, you will find the conclusive arithmetic: Over the next 75 years, Social Security and Medicare will cost an estimated $103.2 trillion, while dedicated taxes and premiums will total only $57.4 trillion. The gap is $45.8 trillion. (All figures are converted to "today's dollars.")

The Medicare actuaries then note what happens once the trust funds for Social Security and Medicare's hospital insurance program are depleted: "No provision exists under current law to address the projected (Medicare) and (Social Security) financial imbalances. Once assets are exhausted, expenditures cannot be made except to the extent covered by ongoing tax receipts." Translation: Benefits would fall.

Social Security checks would shrink; some Medicare bills wouldn't be paid in full — and the shortfalls would progressively worsen. Retirees would scream. Hospitals might shut. No president or Congress would abide the outcry. Even the threat of imminent bankruptcy would rouse them to action. But restoring the programs' solvency would confront Congress and the White House with fundamental questions.

I know, I should stop making sense. Why bother fixing an existing problem, when we can create a new budget buster! This is the same logic that Pete Stark uses, glaringly illustrated here, that "the more you are in debt, the wealthier you are!" Think how practical this knowledge is in real life:

  • The more you drink, the soberer you get!
  • The more you read, the dumber you become!
  • The more sex you have, the less chance you have of becoming pregnant!
  • The more houses that are foreclosed, the richer the homeowners are!
You get the point, shame lefty statists don't...or can't.