"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Monday, August 31, 2009

Austin's Drought in Pictures: Lake Travis at Third Lowest Level

Come Labor Day, this is usually a boater's paradise. This year? Not so much. These photos look more like New Mexico than the Texas Hill Country. Here's what's left of Lake Travis outside of Austin after a hot, dry summer including 68 days with temperatures over 100 degrees. Records indicate this is the third lowest level the lake has ever been at and the lowest in almost 50 years. Simply amazing. I stopped at Windy Point, a lakeside park, and walked a good half mile before I got to the edge of the water. All boat ramps are closed and the landscape is anything but inviting without the usual cold beer and party boat. Click here to see more photos of the surreal terrain, not to mention a bone dry Bull Creek.

Swim at your own risk or walk at your own risk? This sign is a few feet from the water most summers.

The boat ramp ends here but the water is nowhere to be found.

All of this is usually under water. A few stolen cars and buried appliances have been found this year.

This is literally the bottom of the lake. When there's a lake. As this fish found out. Looks downright apocalyptic.

No wake? No problem. That's Bob Wentz Park at Windy Point in the distance.

Yes, this is really Lake Travis. Not Death Valley. File it away to show your kids.

If you've got a boat, better head to Lake Austin or LBJ, but expect them to be crowded. For more Austin drought pictures don't forget to go here. I'll be adding them until we get rain. Oh, and please pray for rain!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'll Take Mock Execution Over a Death Panel Any Day

With the Justice Department's release this week of previously classified documents involving enhanced interrogation techniques, Democrats have a new excuse to be outraged at Bush, Cheney, and company. The so-called "abuses" perpetrated on detained terrorists by the CIA include such unorthodox techniques as faked executions, false threats against their family members, and in at least one case a drill held behind a captive's head like it might be used to pick his brain.

Of course, no actual harm was done in any of these cases. Without harm, how do you define abuse? It's ridicule maybe, psychological trickery most definitely. But abuse?! Heck, if this is abuse, where do I sign up? Because given the choice, I'd rather face a mock execution than an Obamacare death panel any day. Who wouldn't?

What a wonderful time to be a terrorist. If you are an Al-Qaeda member detained by the United States, you have a White House and an attorney general in your corner. The ACLU is fighting for your rights. You have hundreds of the best lawyers championing your cause. You'll be back on the battlefield in no time, Allah willing, perhaps with a prosthetic limb that we provided in a rare case where we actually should have rationed health care.

If you're a Libyan bomber in Scotland and you are responsible for the deaths of 260 innocent airline passengers, even if you are found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison, you can be set free after only eight years under the guise of compassion. The bomber, al-Magrahi, received a hero's welcome back home, which had tyrants and terrorists joyfully singing."It's springtime for Gaddafi, winter for Lockerbie. We're marching to a jihad's pace. A Scottish judge threw out the case."

You'll excuse me for not singing along.

Everyone on the Left seems to be concerned about the most constitutional, humane, and compassionate way to treat the least compassionate, most vile jihadist, the undignified cowards often responsible for plotting to blow up innocent women and children. We must stand up for their liberties! But if you're an everyday American, not so much. In fact, if you've been speaking up at town hall meetings, please shut up. Your speech is offensive, radical, racist, and dangerous. Which reminds me, why haven't we passed the "Fairness" Doctrine yet?

Welcome to Obama's America, where we are supposed to be outraged over pretending to execute terrorists, but gladly volunteer ourselves to appear before real health advisory boards who can, for all practical purposes, hand out death sentences by rationing life-saving treatments. You can mock Sarah Palin all you want for calling them death panels, but just because they aren't supposed to officially kill people, doesn't mean they haven't had that effect.

In the U.K. for example, depending on where you live and what your income level is, the chance of receiving effective cancer treatment varies greatly. As many patient advocates have said of the poor single-payer system, it's a health care lottery. You are 400% more likely to survive most types of cancer in the United States than in Britain. Given that data alone, why change our system to look more like theirs when you've got to ask yourself, do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, statist punk?

Our vicious CIA interrogators might issue false threats against family members of Al-Qaeda operatives, but our bold health care reformers want to send end-of-life counselors into our homes to interrogate our vulnerable, eighty-year old moms and dads. Maybe we should be sending these bureaucrats out to visit the family members of Al-Qaeda, signing up terrorists for hospice and encouraging do-not-resuscitate orders. But the ACLU would probably suddenly step in and call it torture. It's amazing what you can get away with if it's against your own people, especially if the perpetrator is progressive and the victims are perceived to be old, white, and against progressivism.

As C.S. Lewis said more brilliantly than I ever could:

"A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their conscience."

I, for one, would appreciate the enhanced interrogation technique of a mock death panel. Pretend the person in the room next to me is having their treatments rationed for the benefit of the state's bottom line, and I'll give up almost any information. Just don't let the government decide how long I can live based on what treatment they will approve. If only it was all pretend. But the takeover is real. Obama and the Democrats are doing everything they can to make it happen. Even if there are constitutional questions that haven't been addressed. I'd tell Eric Holder and the boys over at Justice to look into it, but I understand they have their hands full protecting the civil liberties of wannabe suicide bombers.

Meanwhile, real atrocities are being confirmed in prisons in Iran, where protesters against the government's stolen election have been jailed, beaten, tortured, and raped. Funny, but I haven't heard any uproar coming from the U.N. or human rights activists who were so worked up about a few nude photos taken at Abu Ghraib. I haven't seen any outpouring of support from the Muslim world or massive demonstrations against this cruel oppression.

President Obama hasn't said a thing about the rights of these prisoners. Which is too bad, because his silence is the soothing sound of comfort that tyrants and terrorists are all too glad to hear. His silence gives hope to our enemies around the globe. That's probably not the kind of hope most people thought they were voting for.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remembering Senator Kennedy (1932-2009)

Too often in this nation, we let our political stripes divide us. Too often, we demonize the other side. Too often, especially on left leaning blogs, the death of a political opponent is celebrated. Vile things that no decent human would say to another person's face are written anonymously. It hinders us as a nation. It poisons us as a people. It diminishes our cause and cheapens the debate. This blog, even though it is a conservative blog that often serves up red meat, will do no such thing. We condemn any blogs that commit such acts of malice. In other words, we are not the Huffington Post.

We mourn today the passing of a longtime legislator, Edward Kennedy, who was the lion of liberalism in the Senate. He served almost 50 years for the state of Massachusetts. I will save my rant for Congressional term limits for another time. Senator Kennedy's life was one of tragedy and triumph. He lost three brothers during his lifetime; one in war, and two assassinated by extremists who clearly had no respect for the dignity of life, for the Constitution, and for the process through which we elect our leaders in America. Let us remember how important that process is, for though politics may divide us, we are all Americans.

We are too quick to forget in this country and we are too quick to judge, so let us do neither now. Senator Kennedy and his family deserve our gratitude and our respect. Even though we may disagree on key issues, including universal health care and abortion, even though we may have doubts about how the senator handled his affairs in the past, including Chappaquiddick, the appropriate time and place to have that discussion is not today. We do a great disservice to our nation and our own ideals when we can't separate the achievements of the person from the person, or for that matter, the life of the person from our philosophical disagreements. Let's not use the tragic end of his life to breathe life into our own personal biases and political agendas. He is neither hero nor villain.

We are bound by a common past and our destiny is a common future. Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, we share a common set of values. That all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. May no enemy take those away from us.

"Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation -- a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty and war itself."

The famous words of Ted's older brother, President John F. Kennedy never seemed more appropriate. If only he would have taken these words more to heart during his lifetime. Today, the trumpets have summoned Senator Edward Kennedy home.

Monday, August 24, 2009

You're Racist, America, So Get Behind the President

Are you against socialized medicine? Then you're a bigot. A redneck. A close-minded hate-monger. And you're probably racist (or a self-hating uncle tom). You are clearly a sore loser still bitter from last November's election. Get over it and stop using fear tactics to defend the status quo. The Republicans had eight years and they blew it. They have no plan and we have to do something. America voted for change.

There you have it in a nutshell. That's the "eloquent" argument most Democrats make for President Obama's health care reform. You may have noticed that none of these counterpoints have anything to do with health care policy. Republicans are dissecting the 1016 page bill, talking about the details of the legislation, while Democrats are talking about Republicans. Why do you think that is?

The answer is simple. The president and the Democrats are losing the health care debate and probably can't win it. At least not in America. Maybe in Switzerland. But fortunately, here in the states, we have enough informed citizens who are aware of the Constitution and individual rights: most importantly life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So if your policy works against the truths our founders held to be self-evident, as Obama's state control of health care does, it's going to be a tough sell. Hooray for America!

Enter Barack the Magnificent. If the public ain't buying it, better give them a better show. Obama has attempted just that. He's bussed in his union supporters and community organizers to shill for him at overstaged town hall events as far away as Montana. He's pre-selected town hall questions from contributors to his campaign. He's told his paid astroturf protesters to get in the faces of real American protesters, in some cases leading to violence. He's demonized insurance companies and doctors. And he's conducted closed-door negotiations with drug companies, ensuring their support for his legislation by promising not to reduce or negotiate payments they receive from Medicare.

He's got almost all the lobbyists from the AMA to the AARP on his side, not to mention the trial lawyers and unions, and yet he pretends he's fighting against the special interests. Did you ever think you would see the day when liberals would champion the big pharmaceuticals over the will of the people? It's happening under Obama, as Democrats sell out on all the principles their party held sacred under Clinton, from balancing the budget and reducing deficits to defending free speech. Yes, that's right. Protesters are dangerous, radical militants now that it's President Obama and not the Bush administration being protested.

The White House seems to have two strategies when it comes to defending their health care agenda, policies that would easily pass, I might add, if a majority of the public supported them. After all, the Dems easily control Congress. If Democrats in more conservative districts felt that their constituents were behind them, they would jump on the Obama bandwagon. Instead, they are seeing real anger and frustration at a president who hasn't delivered anything close to what he promised during the election - transparency, fiscal responsibility, and bipartisanship. Words. Just words.

These two strategies are the strategies of scoundrels, but we all know what political machine Obama hails from. They are to demonize and ridicule anyone who disagrees with the president and keep the public in the dark on the details of health care reform. One day the Secretary of Health, Kathleen Sebelius, is out there saying a public option isn't necessary, and the next day she is saying she was misquoted. One day the president is out there saying he will sign health care reform without a public option, the next day he is saying it's essential to bend the curve of health costs. One day Medicare is the model for Obamacare, the next day Medicare is the problem that necessitates health care reform. If you are confused at home, that's the intention.

There's a better chance state-controlled health care will gain support if its spoken in broad terms that keep you in the dark on the details of the "state-control" part. There's a better chance it will pass if there is more misinformation than information, so that you're not sure whether anything you've heard is true. The less you know, the less likely you are to oppose it. The less you know, the more it becomes an issue of trust. If you are confused, it must be because the Republicans and right wing "extremists" confused you. That's the strategy.

Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod know this. They know Obama won the election because he effectively convinced America that he is above politics, that he is someone the American people can trust, that he can bring change to all that is broken. These platitudes and slogans still sell better than any of Obama's policies, including health care reform. Obama the Symbol polls better than Obama the Liberal Salesman. So they are doing everything they can to make this a referendum on Obama the Symbol.

That's why Obama smiles and makes the talk-show rounds. He tells wild tales of health care failures and makes pretty promises of hope. Look at the president and his beautiful family. How can you not trust him? Are you going to believe the Republicans, the ones who got us in this mess? Are you a racist? Don't you want to bring the change that Obama wants to bring to health care?

Barack Obama said it's not about him, but believe me. It's all about him. The nitty-gritty details of the legislation are too convoluted and infringe on too many liberties to pass without a celebrity spokesman smiling all the way to the bank. Eliminate Obama from the equation and my guess is support for these reforms sinks to around thirty percent.

This is the future of every policy Obama is going to push as president. Whether it's closing Gitmo, cap-and-trade, state-control of health care, immigration, or reforming social security, expect Axelrod and Emanuel to make every debate about our dear leader. You are either with him or against him, for hope or against hope. And if you're against him you're a greedy, close-minded, hate-mongering, racist. So much for pragmatism.

If the debate is never about the policy or the details of the legislation, then we are no longer living in a democracy. We are living in a banana republic, a cult where charisma matters more than reason. The executive branch is becoming more powerful than ever with a complicit media that has decided to paint dissent as extremism. I ask you, who are the real extremists? Those who want to slow the process down, listen to a plurality of voices, and analyze our best options? Or the ones telling you to stop thinking and do what the president wants now?

If we continue down this path, the rights of the individual will be crushed by the whims of authoritarian hero-worship. The best way to prevent this is to stand up against state-controlled health care right now and make articulate arguments against tyranny. Even if it means being labeled an extremist or a racist.

The race card is the new McCarthyism of the 21st century, the last refuge of a scoundrel. And the scoundrels at the White House are playing it. Hmmm. Maybe Obama was paying attention to Rev. Wright's sermons after all.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Harry Reid in 2008: Nuclear Option Will Ruin This Country

Whoops. Speaking candidly about his book on C-SPAN less than a year ago, Harry Reid said that his proudest moment in the Senate was fighting against the nuclear option the GOP considered using to break a Democratic filibuster over Bush's judicial nominees. The same nuclear option he is now talking about using to push state-controlled health care through if Democrats can't find 60 votes.

Reid didn't just speak out against reconciliation or the nuclear option in the Senate. He vehemently opposed it, invoking the language of the framers of the Constitution.
"What the Republicans came up with was a way to change our country forever," Reid stated. "We would in fact have a unicameral legislature where a simple majority would determine everything that happens... the Senate was set up to be different. That was the genius, the vision, of our Founding Fathers."
When former Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle asked what the likelihood was we would see the nuclear option come up again, Reid passionately reiterated his convictions. [emphasis mine]
"As long as I am the leader, the answer is no. I think we should just forget that. That is a black chapter in the history of the Senate. I hope we never, ever get to that again. I really do believe it will ruin our country."
Daschle expressed the same concerns about reconciliation as Reid. Click on the following link and see for yourself. [Note: if you get a pop-up window error, simply click on the flash player icon on the C-SPAN page]

My how things have changed. Is Reid ready to abandon his convictions for the expediency of ramming unpopular health care reform down the country's throat? Have we really reached such a crisis that Reid will abort his principles (and those he ascribed to the founding fathers) to help dear leader get what he wants despite his belief that it will destroy the nation?

In April, Democrats set October 15 as the deadline for state-controlled health care reforms to pass. If they hadn't, according to the New Republic, the White House and Senate agreed to pursue the nuclear option. Reid's spokesman suggested last week that the nuclear option was still a possibility. [emphasis mine]
"We will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation until we have exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid. "However, patience is not unlimited, and we are determined to get something done this year by any legislative means necessary."
In the same interview, Reid also made several comments complaining that the Bush administration was too partisan, that they were willing to do anything to get the president's agenda passed, even without a mandate or any support from the opposition party. Pot? This is kettle. You're black. Click on the following link to watch more hypocrisy.

If Reid and the Dems proceed with this tactic, splitting the health care bill in two for reconciliation, as the Wall Street Journal reported on August 20, there should be a photo of Reid next to the word "unprincipled sell-out" in the dictionary. The nuclear option Harry Reid is suddenly comfortable pursuing was designed for budgetary measures only, and has never been used for major overhauls of highly controversial legislation, especially ones that take liberties away from the people like socialized medicine.

Anyone who seriously believed that Obama would bring a bipartisan effort of change to Washington can now officially admit they bought into a bag of Democratic falsehoods and demagoguery. And oddly enough, they did it to defeat a true moderate with a long history of bipartisanship, John McCain. Instead, Chicago thuggery has come to the White House.

(Note: These videos aren't on youtube and I couldn't find a way to embed them, so if someone knows how, please add them to your blog before they go down the memory hole.)

Update: To be clear, Republicans threatened but never used the nuclear option under Bush. And their threatened use of it was limited to confirming judges that the Constitution gives the executive branch the power to appoint. To compare this with a nuclear option to pass state control of health care is to compare apples and orangutans.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Raving Mad, Right-Wing Extremist's Shocking Protest Sign!

If it ain't broke, don't break it.

Now that's what I call patriotic. Beats comparisons to Hitler. And its enough food for thought to allow the statist/big government Democrat an opportunity to make a fool of themselves with a rebuttal. Just don't look for meaningful debate. Barney Frank and Obama have already given their stock answer, "Bush Did It!"

Yeah, flimsy. Too bad these are all government programs started by Democrats. How did Einstein define insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Of course, Obama thinks he's smarter than Einstein.

Hat tip: Charlie Foxtrot.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Exclusive Footage: British Death Panels Coming to America?

Thanks to some close contacts and in-depth investigative reporting, I was able to gain access to this top secret video showing how the Obama administration's public option is designed to work. Officially, this public option doesn't exist, although it is in the House version of the bill that most Democratic representatives support (H.R. 3200).

Obama has called it "just a sliver" and his health secretary, Kathleen Sabilius, suggested Sunday on Meet the Press that it's not essential to health care reform. But in March, President Obama said health care reform had to include a public option. And now Sabilius is backpedaling on backpedaling away from the public option. So you might say Obama and Sabilius are playing good cop, bad cop. Poorly, I might add.

The public option is modeled on the single-payer systems in Canada and Great Britain with health care boards (or rationing panels) making cost-effective decisions for every patient. This is what Sarah Palin has referred to as "death panels." In England, the decision-making board that oversees treatment of patients is called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Or NICE. Orwellian language to be sure. If you have cancer in England, the NICE people are the ones that deny you life-saving remedies. Not so nice. In fact, the British have some of the worst cancer survival rates in the developed world.

This is actual footage of England's end-of-life health care board in action. Notice the shoddy ambulance and how the bureaucrat treats the sick, elderly patient. Viewer discretion is advised.

This is the closest representation of the so-called Obama public option that I've seen. And as we all know, in the president's own words, the public option is just a trojan horse to single-payer, universal health care. To quote Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, "I see dead people."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Unbelievable: Bernie Sanders on MSNBC: Why is There No Progressive TV Network?

Sometimes when you're half-paying attention to the TV in the background, you have to hit the DVR button to make sure you heard things right. That's what happened when I caught this "interview" between Richie Maddow and Bernie Sanders the other night on MSNDNC. Turns out I did hear things right. I just can't believe my ears.

Maddow asks how to handle those that dare speak out against state-run health care, whether to mock them (the choice of Saul Alinsky, Obama's mentor) or refute them (done less since the Dems are losing the health care debate). Senator Sanders (I) answers by blaming talk radio and accusing Fox News of being "an arm of the Republican Party" (so more mocking naturally), and then he does the unthinkable. He asks a progressive talk show host on the most progressive cable news channel in America why there isn't a progressive television station.

It's like going on PBS and asking why there isn't a public broadcasting station. It's like going on Cinemax and asking why there aren't any skin flicks. It's like going on Jon Stewart and asking why there isn't any comedy. Okay, so maybe he'd have a point on the last one.

Business and Media caught this nonsense, too.

Granted Sanders is a self-avowed socialist with a 100% lifetime legislative score from the AFL-CIO. He supports a single-payer universal health care system. As in only a public option. No private insurers. And he's from Vermont, where there are probably fewer voters than volvos with Obama stickers. But still. That's quite a statement. Where did Bernie Sanders think he was? The O'Reilly Factor? This had to have hurt the gang at NBC's feelings. They've been trying sooo hard to out-Barack CNN.

Better kick it up a notch, Keith and Richie. Maybe put a bust of Lenin in the studio. Bernie ain't impressed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now? Sheila Jackson Lee Filibusters on Greta

When Sheila Jackson Lee speaks, does Sheila Jackson Lee listen?

We are all aware of her rude cell phone routine during a recovering cancer patient's questioning of health care reform at a Houston town hall meeting. But it gets even better. On Thursday night, Greta Van Susteren attempted to interview the Democratic congresswoman. I say "attempted", because Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee never heard a word. She talked right over every question. It would be downright embarrassing if it wasn't so hilarious. Saturday Night Live's weekend news parodies have rarely been this funny. Sheila Jackson Lee went on TV to prove that she wasn't an elitist with a tin ear, and yet she proved undoubtedly just that. She is indeed phone-y.

Delusions of grandeur? Check. I wouldn't say she's as bad as former representative Cynthia McKinney, but give her time. She's certainly as vocal. And worse she's from Texas, so I feel obliged to apologize to the nation for sending her to Washington. It's clear Sheila Jackson Lee doesn't represent the interests of her constituents. She represents the interests of Sheila Jackson Lee. But who knows? Because she speaks about herself in third person, she just might be convinced she is representing an outside party.

Here's the million dollar question, which Greta touches on briefly: why do legislators who support health care reform have to call a hotline to get answers about a bill that they wrote? Don't they know? If they've read it (as they claim) and still don't understand it, isn't that evidence that their health care reforms cause more problems than they solve? Isn't that evidence that the bill is too invasive and complicated? How do you accuse your opponents of intentionally misconstruing what's in the bill when you can't say yourself without calling a hotline?

Jackson Lee, however, dodged anything close to answering. Instead, she complained that the video of her at the town hall "looked strange." As if it were footage of Bigfoot or something. Greta, quick on her toes, shot back, "It looked bad. This behavior looks bad."

We are being governed by spoiled children who would rather whine and demonize their critics than do their homework. They don't like the status quo, they can vilify insurance companies for cheap political points, and their messiah is in favor of a single-payer system. Case closed. Any reform that strips power from the free market will do, making them heroes in their own twisted minds. They're not reading, they're not listening, and they sure as heck aren't leading. This is why people are infuriated.

Can you hear us now, Democrats?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Headline of the Year!


A little humor to break up all the health care talk. Although technically, this brings up more questions about single-payer systems and socialized medicine. If the system in Canada is so much better, why is there a market for counterfeit prescription drugs? Surely they're not rationing. No wonder Canadian birth rates are down (as they are in almost all European-style, socialist nanny states).

There's a joke here somewhere about a sore horse's ass, but I won't go there. Whoops, I think I just did. Exit question: has Brendan Fraser ever starred in a good movie?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pot? This is Kettle: Dems Suddenly Squeamish Over Tea Party Protesters

Question of the week: what's more artificial? The supposed astroturfers protesting state-controlled health care at town hall meetings or the outrage and disgust which the Left has been feigning at protesters? Do they remember what we put up with for the past eight years? There's hypocrisy and then there's hypocrisy. While President Obama organizes his own paid demonstrators recruited on craigslist, he could learn a lesson or two from President Bush, who was decent enough to accommodate Cindy Sheehan and often talked about the great American right to disagree and assemble freely. But that was the evil Bush administration. Obama is post-partisan and above that.

The only thing more fake than Democrats complaining about protests (except for Nancy Pelosi who really does disdain free speech), is the Fauxbama himself, who has been staging his own phony Hollywood style town hall meetings complete with pre-selected doughy-eyed girls (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit). Or as Laura Ingraham says, giving them the ol' razzle dazzle. It's such a set-up, it's like visiting an old county fair and watching a snake oil salesman push their Cure-All. "It's the health care fix that cures all licks!"

Are you buying it? Me, neither. Dissent is still patriotic, right? Maybe this will serve as a reminder.

To see more of Obama's astroturfing efforts, check out Yid with Lid's excellent blog. And none of this would have been possible without Zombie's wonderfully weird Hall of Shame catalog of protest photos. Music written and performed by Deadman.

If you are wondering why I haven't posted a blog in almost a week, I was in film school learning my new mad mac skills! More videos to follow.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What Price, Tyranny? Obamacare Won't Save You a Dime, but It Could Cost You Your Life

One of the biggest myths the Obama administration continues to push is that health care reform is necessary in order to control health care costs for you, the consumer. This is such a blatant lie, I laugh out loud every time they send out one of their spokespersons to repeat it. If only laughter really were the best medicine, we'd have found a cure in the nonsense that is Obamacare.

There are no guarantees health care reform will reduce costs for you, and the government knows it. That's why they are trying to ram it through as quickly as possible. In fact, it will most likely increase costs. How else do you expect insurance companies to cover the expense of high-risk patients with preexisting conditions that they will now be forced to insure? As the president said, "there are no free lunches." Someone has to pay for this and no surprise, it's you and me, hard-working and healthy individuals. If it takes higher premiums and higher taxes down the road, so be it. Obamacare is basically a universal surcharge disguised as "caring for people."

Think about it. If Democrats really cared about how much you have in your pocket to pay for health insurance, they would be in favor of letting you hold on to more of your money. That's called a tax cut. It's the quickest and most effective way to make sure families and individuals can meet their budgetary obligations. But when was the last time you remember a liberal proposing a tax reduction? They'd rather confiscate your wealth and redistribute it as they see fit.

So while the Obama administration talks about saving you money in health care reforms, they're planning tax increases that will eat up any savings you might see. Just this weekend on Meet the Press, Timothy Geithner left the door open for a tax increase on the middle class. You know, the one Obama promised he would never raise, "not even a cent", when he was campaigning for office last year.

Then there's the cap-and-trade legislation that will raise the cost of energy by taxing energy companies, eating into the budgets of small businesses and working families. Last time I checked, all those fancy machines that doctors and hospitals use to treat patients require energy, so if President Obama's crap-and-trade passes, the cost to treat patients will go up. Unless Obama is planning on rationing electricity. Maybe that's what he means when he talks about eliminating unnecessary tests. No more CAT scans, MRIs, heart monitors, dialysis machines, you name it. The energy costs too much!

How can an administration or anyone seriously claim that you pay too much for health care while at the same time trying to increase what you pay for gas and electricity? Or saying you don't pay enough in taxes? Yet they do, because the media lets them get away with it. This is a shell game, plain and simple, a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. No families will see a net increase in the money they bring home under this scheme. The only savings will be for the government. Which we know they will waste.

The fact of the matter is the government has become too involved in health care, killing choice and competition. In fact, 46% of all health care costs in this country are paid by Uncle Sam thanks to Medicaid and Medicare. The government has never set the appropriate amounts of money aside for these entitlement programs, underfunded them from the beginning, and now they are even skimping on payments to the doctors and hospitals who accept them, leaving private insurance to pick up the slack. Not surprisingly, Medicaid and Medicare are bankrupt government solutions sold to us by the same clowns selling us the new solution of universal health care. And they were sold to us for a lot less than they actually cost.

So what do you do when your Ponzi scheme is running out of money? As Bernie Madoff would say, find some new suckers! Enter Obamacare. It forces everyone to enroll in government-regulated insurance (including the public option) or be punished with a tax (2.5% for every uninsured member of your family). It forces businesses who don't supply their employees with health insurance to pay a tax (8%). And by forcing young, healthy people who usually don't have many medical claims into plans with unnecessary coverage and considerably higher premiums than the private sector has ever charged (you know, the evil ones that make a profit) it basically sets up a system like social security (also going broke), that relies on young workers to work harder to pay for the old and unhealthy.

If just Medicaid and Medicare are too expensive and underfunded, you can imagine what will happen when a health care entitlement program is expanded to include tens or hundreds of millions of new participants. We will be burdening ourselves under even greater amounts of debt, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has articulated. Heck, just for fun, ask a liberal to name one government program that has ever cost less than projected. Might as well make it a hundred dollar bet, because there aren't any.

There's no bending the curve on health care costs unless the government controls actual health care decisions by price fixing and rationing. In fact, that's exactly what the bill that has been proposed in the House is designed to do. It will be sending bureaucrats out and about to monitor procedures, monitor doctors, monitor medical devices, monitor expecting couples and young families, and monitor end-of-life decisions. There's never been so much Big Brother in a bill before. Not in America. Pundit and Pundette has done a great job of breaking down some of the details by providing pertinent page numbers in the 1000 page bill.

Even with rationing, the cost curve will eventually bend the wrong way and snap back to reality. Why else do you think Obama and the Democrats are only asking that the plan be deficit-neutral for the first ten years? Because that's the furthest they could cook the books without looking like Enron. After that, they can't keep the costs down without massive tax increases, as this chart shows. State-controlled health care will be contributing to the deficit in a big way twenty years out.

What does this mean for you, the consumer? Besides less choice, less money in your pocket, and a ballooning federal deficit that your grandkids will inherit? It means inferior service and longer waits, a shortage of ambulances, and lotteries to see a specialist (just ask Great Britain or Canada). These aren't scare tactics. These are real consequences of real governments making health care decisions based on the state's bottom line. And it's exactly what's wrong with Obama's plan, even if it can reduce some people's premiums.

Anyone who tells you otherwise isn't signing up for the public plan, you can count on that. They are the ridiculously wealthy, the politically connected, and the elites, and they will go outside the system for preferential treatment. The same way Fidel Castro traveled abroad for his health care rather than use the single-payer Cuban system, you can expect the same dastardly behavior out of our elected officials. After all, as Obama said in his press conference, he doesn't need the public system. "I have the best health care available. I have doctors following me around everywhere." Lucky him.

You don't reduce the cost of government by adding new entitlement programs that increase bureaucracy and the size of government. You don't reduce the costs to businesses by adding layers of invasive regulation. Obamacare is a massive transfer of wealth from the private sector to the state camouflaged as necessary reform just because it isn't the status quo. Funny, but isn't that the same way we were sold TARP, the government takeover of Chrysler and GM, and the failing stimulus bill? Obama seems to think any proposal is better than the status quo, even if it's handing over massive power to the state. Or I should say especially if it's handing over massive power to the state.

Given a choice, I would prefer to be poor and free rather than wealthy and enslaved. But it looks like state controlled health care will give us a third option: sick, poor, and bounded by bureaucracy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rep. Boehner was Here? "I'm Not a Doctor" Ad Launches

Oh dear, is someone in high places paying attention to my little blog? If so, I may have started something. House Republican leader John Boehner has a new video out regarding Obamacare and it mirrors pretty much everything I wrote the night of Obama's health care press conference. That was nearly two weeks ago. Here's the video and here's the blog. You be the judge.

My only disappointment is that they didn't include the "asthma/breathalyzer" stuff from the campaign trail last year. Of course, it's possible that great minds think alike. In which case, hire me. I can help articulate the conservative message in attention-grabbing ways better than almost anyone. Seriously. What are you waiting for?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blind Dart Thrower Picks Glowing Headline to Describe Obama's Economy

If the headline spins decreased consumer spending and negative GDP growth as a positive sign, you can bet there's a Democrat in the White House. Who else could make unemployment fun? The economic report on the second quarter came out earlier this week. Read the following article and see if you can find the good news. I couldn't either, but the Reuters headline says otherwise. Some things are too predictable, as I wrote about this phenomena yesterday.

Shhh! Don't tell any laid off workers or small business owners. They'll find out eventually.

According to the report, consumer spending reversed nearly 2% percent, business investment decreased almost 9%, residential investment fell around 30%, and business inventories declined by $141 billion, worse than the $114 billion drop during the first quarter. For those keeping track, the GDP has fallen for four consecutive quarters, the first time that's occurred since the government started measuring in 1947. Oh, and the length of unemployment for those out of work is the longest in 50 years (Wall Street Journal).

Of course, we all remember this Reuters headline from two years ago when the economy was really bad, unemployment was 4.7% (imagine!), and you-know-who was still president. But the recession is over according to the latest cover of Newsweek.

Frank Strategies does a video comparison of the coverage just for laughs. Funny how anyone can still claim there isn't a left-wing media bias.