Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
The more Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and select Democrats meet behind closed doors to formulate their partisan version of health care reform, the more it starts to look like the government's version of Goldilocks. If they don't think your private health insurance coverage is just right, they're going to penalize you for it. And what is "just right"? Whatever the government arbitrarily decides it is. In fact, they're going to penalize just about everybody outside of government, because one assumes only government can meet their high standards of colossal waste and inefficiency. Think of your neighborhood association times a hundred. Thus, the House's new bill on health care, along with the Baucus bill, are setting the standard for Big Brother's intrusion into our private lives with endless fines and regulations.
Let's examine the absurdity of the proposed legislation in a little more detail. If you don't have health insurance, you will be fined. If you don't have enough health insurance (according to the government's strict regulations), you will be required to pay more to cover things you don't need or be fined. If you have too much health insurance, your benefits will be taxed as part of your income.
Just like there's no such thing as a free lunch, there's no such thing as free health care. But not only is it not free, no one is free under these plans to make their own choices. ObamaCare appears to come with more strings attached than the $700 billion of TARP money, which you may have noticed last week, resulted in mandatory government-enacted salary cuts of 50 to 90 percent for employees at bailed out companies. Just wait until 50 to 90 percent of your health care treatment gets cut by some unelected bureaucrat based on the same rationale.
The attacks on the private sector don't stop there. If you're a small business who can't afford to provide health insurance, you will be taxed. If you're a big business who doesn't provide enough health insurance, you will be taxed. If you're a business who provides too much health insurance, you will be taxed. If you're a private health insurance company that makes "too much" profit or spends "too much" on administrative costs, you will be fined. Somehow this all seems very bad for business. Good thing the stimulus bill created all those jobs, or I'd be worried about rising unemployment.
If you're a doctor or hospital, more of the medical devices you offer your patients will be taxed, from breast pumps to dialysis machines. When the government's taxing breast milk, suffice it to say we've moved well beyond the nanny state. In essence, the government will now own you.
Doctors who order "too many" tests will also be fined. Ten percent of doctors will be fined under this system every year, so there's no escaping the fine, even though tests are often ordered as a safeguard against medical malpractice lawsuits brought by trial lawyers (trial lawyers, of course, will not be fined). If you're a patient, you will end up paying more for everything as these expenses are passed down to the consumer.
If you're on Medicare, your benefits will be cut. If you're someone facing expensive treatment options or a possible terminal illness, you will be asked to take pain medicine and die quickly (Democrat Alan Grayson's favorite phrase) if the number of "quality years" you have left fails to meet the government standard.
If you're a state, you will be asked to pick up more of the tab for Medicaid, forcing state legislatures to make drastic cuts or raise taxes. And if you're a taxpayer, you will have less disposable income, less money to spend in your community and on your family.
The ObamaCare bills proposed so far can best be described as Government On Steroids, and the unintended consequences are just as dire. This is the beginning of a war against the autonomy of the individual. If ObamaCare passes, we will all be funding a new entitlement program doomed for bankruptcy, taxing ourselves to death while the big donors of the Democratic Party fleece America.
WHO GETS PENALIZED BY OBAMACARE?
Medical Device Manufacturers
Private Health Insurers
Those Without Insurance
Those With Not Enough Insurance
Those With Too Much Insurance
WHO GETS REWARDED?
(all Democratic Party special interests... coincidence?)
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Too funny to not pass along. Hat tip: Moonbattery
Monday, October 26, 2009
"The president, after all, is an unabashed First Guy's Guy. Since being elected, he has demonstrated an encyclopedic knowledge of college hoops on ESPN, indulged a craving for weekend golf, expressed a preference for adopting a "big rambunctious dog" over a "girlie dog" and hoisted beer in a peacemaking effort.
He presides over a White House rife with fist-bumping young men who call each other "dude" and testosterone-brimming personalities like Rahm Emanuel, the often-profane chief of staff; Lawrence Summers, the brash economic adviser; and Robert Gibbs, the press secretary who habitually speaks in sports metaphors."
"In interviews, five women who work in the White House or advised officials there described the culture with more of a collective eye-roll than any real sense of grievance or discomfort."
"Barack Obama, raised by a single mother, born with no discernible financial advantages, clocked Hillary Clinton, clocked John McCain, and got himself elected the first African-American president of the United States. He got himself elected in a country that was still lynching black people when he was a child. Barack Obama... doesn't need anyone telling him to man up. Especially visual op-ed columnists."
Saturday, October 24, 2009
“Let’s assume they left us a review that was absolutely correct. Is that review relevant and totally applicable to today in light of the changes that have taken place in the region, in Afghanistan itself? So I think that is sort of irrelevant. Not sort of – I think it’s irrelevant.
"That’s why the president asked me to get in the place in January and go to Afghanistan. I came back with a different review. I came back with an assessment as to what I thought was, what we were inheriting, okay?...He has sought my opinion not generically but in detail. And if he reaches a different conclusion than I do, that's okay. He's the president. But, I am... Anyway, I guess that's the best way to answer the question."
Who is this expert? A military strategist or a general perhaps? Only if you refer to him as General Knowledge (and even that's mostly in his own mind.) That's right, the man who wanted to divide Iraq into three separate nations, the bumbling mouthpiece who accidentally disclosed the hidden bunker at Number One Observatory Circle, our current vice-president.
Rest easy. No one messes with Joe.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Last week a megalomaniac in Colorado launched a balloon and called 911, claiming his six year old son had climbed inside. We all know now it was a hoax, and the media helped sensationalize it every step of the way. But that was hardly the biggest hoax that the media perpetuated last week. In fact, it was nothing compared to the fraudulent charges that so-called news organizations launched against talk show host Rush Limbaugh for simply seeking to buy an NFL franchise.
Rush Limbaugh, of course, is not the most popular person in the world. The way he presents the conservative case, though usually accurate and always entertaining, can be abrasive and off-putting to some, even conservatives on occasion. But you don't have to agree with Rush to come to his defense when the media attacks his character based on unsubstantiated allegations and false charges. That's what occurred last week when CNN, MSNDNC, and dozens of pundits started making up racist quotes that Rush Limbaugh never uttered.
Think about that. The media took on a mob mentality, making up facts to stop an American citizen from completing a private transaction in the free market. That's the stuff of authoritarian regimes and Pravda. It's banana republic in nature, showing a complete disregard for truth, justice, and reason. It's the exact type of abhorrent behavior that the Left accused the Bush administration of despite the facts in the Valerie Plame case. Now we see that the Left was merely projecting how they would use their own power.
Rush has been on the air for 15 hours a week, almost every week, for the last twenty years. In the age of YouTube, with all that audiotape, they couldn't find any evidence of incendiary, racist remarks to back up their claim that Rush was a bigot. So they made them up. Or they took quotes out of context where Rush was clearly being sarcastic. In one case he was quoting a liberal columnist.
But perhaps the worst part of all this is that no one in the media has expressed shame over their coverage. Even the retractions and apologies have been snarky. They may have missed the exact quote or even made it up, but still in their minds that doesn't prove that Rush isn't racist. In today's poor state of journalism, if the truth doesn't back up their agenda, the truth falls by the wayside.
These are dark days for America, brought to you by the most intolerant people our nation has produced - progressive Democrats. I don't think I'm understating that fact. I have never seen an angrier, more cowardly bunch than the progressive thought police. They undermine our freedom to act as individuals every step of the way, attacking not our ideas, but the very essence of our being. Disagree with their limited world view and you will be demonized, often labeled a racist, divisive, or an ignorant bigot.
The Left orchestrated a smear campaign against Rush, because they disagreed with him. Rather than debate his views point for point, they attacked him personally. They actively set out to destroy his pursuits outside of politics, to ruin him for his audacity to speak his mind. If it can happen to Rush, it can happen to anyone who finds themselves speaking truth to power. The Left's goal is to intimidate all conservatives into silence, not to debate but to suppress debate.
This runs completely contrary to the founding of this nation, but that's no surprise given the Left's hostility to America's founding principles. These people would shred the Constitution tomorrow if they could get away with it, because it's the only thing that prevents them from establishing a government that controls which rights are granted to the people, as opposed to a state where people grant power to the government.
If there's a phrase that best describes the democratic foundation of our country, it's "E Pluribus Unum," a latin inscription that means "Out of many, one." It's been a part of our national fabric since the founding, a motto that appears on the official seal of the United States as well as all of our coins.
Out of many, one. We are one nation made up of many ideas, many backgrounds, many religions, and many political persuasions. We don't agree on everything, but we elect a government that represents all of us, takes all differing opinions into account. We don't demonize those that disagree with us. We don't try to punish those that don't share our views. We take our debate to the open floor. We honor the traditions of this country and we make adjustments slowly after lengthy debate. America is a marketplace of ideas, and may the best ideas win.
E Pluribus Unum. This ideal is why we have succeeded like no other nation before us. It is the call to accept others, to work with others, to value individuals for their contributions to society rather than walk over individuals for fear their contributions may run counter to society.
Unfortunately, the Far Left in this country, the Obama administration, and to some extent the Democratic Party in general, no longer holds this to be true. We are supposed to be of one single mindset - to support the president as he passes his progressive agenda. Dissent and risk being called out as racist, homophobic, a hate monger, un-American, or standing in the way of progress. You will be vilified. Your motives will be questioned. For a political ideology so focused on diversity, progressives sure seem to have a problem with diverse points of view.
You might say the Democratic Party believes the motto reads backwards, "Out of one, many." They believe we are one collective, where the rights of the individual are infringed upon in the name of "the greater good." To defend the rights of many individuals is to break from the necessary conformity the Left desires to attain their collective Utopian vision. When the Left refers to the many, they refer only to the cosmetic ethnic makeup of the country. They don't wish to celebrate America as a whole. Instead they divide it up so that there's a celebration for black America, a celebration for gay America, a celebration for Islam or Jewish America. They fragment us and pit us against each other, try to make us envy one another, in the hopes we'll be too distracted to notice the loss of our liberties, negotiated behind closed doors.
So the Left pits minorities against Rush Limbaugh, organized by race-baiters like Al Sharpton. The Left pits a Van Jones or Anita Dunn against Glenn Beck. The leftist administration pits the media that they can influence, the media in line to receive huge amounts of money from the government (like General Electric, owner of NBC) against the independent-minded Fox News. They pit unions against tea party protesters. All of it is orchestrated from the highest levels of the left wing machine, whether it's Rahm Emanuel, the Center for American Progress, or MoveOn.org. If you don't believe me, just take a look at this video where Juan Williams, a liberal Democrat, starts to wake up to the truth behind the politics of personal destruction as left wing attack dogs try to paint him as "a house n**ger." Remind me again why conservatives are considered the divisive ones.
First they came for the banks. Then they came for the insurance companies. Then they came for Rush and Glenn Beck and Fox News. How long do you want to wait to stand up before they come after you?
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
There's no denying saunas can be stimulating. But stimulus dollars for saunas? Sadly, but not surprisingly, our tax dollars are now being used to build saunas. So if you know one of the millions of people of Scandinavian descent lucky enough to work in the sauna industry, rest easy. The government is committed to saving their jobs. This, according to the recovery.gov website:
ROCKWOOD GENERAL CONTRACTORS INCORPORATED
57 3404::TAS RECOVERY -- KRSM050144 - REPAIR MENS AND WOMENS LOCKER ROOMS, BASE GYM, B- 520, HILL AFB UT. REPAIR WOMEN'S AND MEN'S LOCKER ROOMS IN BLDG 520; PROVIDE AND INSTALL A NEW HEATING UNIT, DOOR, LIGHTS, WALLS, AND BENCHES IN THE MEN'S SAUNA; PROVIDE AND INSTALL A NEW SAUNA IN THE WOMEN'S LOCKER ROOM,
It's true these saunas are for the air force, and I'm usually the last person to criticize our troops. After all, we all want to provide the men and women who serve this country with world class amenities. But Hill Air Force Base just built a brand new, state-of-the-art recreation center with a rock climbing wall, a child care center, and saunas in 2006. That was less than three years ago. Spending three-quarters of a million of taxpayer dollars during a recession for more hot rocks seems frivolous to say the least. Besides, without world class models like Svetlana, pictured above, what's the point? And why not request this in an appropriations bill? It's hardly a project that will create many jobs, the supposed aim of the stimulus.
Not that it matters. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (i.e. the stimulus bill) is a boondoggle that commits money to all sorts of pet projects that have nothing to do with jobs, which is one reason why unemployment is about to reach 10% nationally (and could hit 15% in some states).
While the Democrats have been busy "stimulating our economy" with such frivolous investments as hiking paths, frisbee golf courses, turtle tunnels, and yes, even saunas, the rest of the world that didn't follow our lead into debt is climbing out of the global recession. Asia just experienced their best month of retail sales in 14 months. Australia and Germany are looking at robust GDP growth for the second straight quarter. In the meantime, our economy remains stagnant, burdened by increasing and unsustainable debt. In fact, a new report shows that America will soon have the seventh highest amount of debt relative to GDP of any nation. Turns out Obama does believe in making us exceptional at something after all. Look out, Zimbabwe, we're gaining on you!
Everyone but the Sheila Jackson Lees of the Democratic party know that Cash for Clunkers was an abysmal failure, triggering an artificial boost in auto sales at the expense of long-term, market adjusted growth. Witness the 23% decrease in car sales the month after the program ended, not to mention all the other retail businesses that lost out on August customers while everyone was encouraged to buy tiny Japanese cars. And we all know what a boost selling tiny Japanese cars does for America.
But that's chump change compared to the Democrats' stimulus bill. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is basically a trillion dollar Cash for Clunkers, an attempt to spend our way out of too much spending. As a result, the private sector has shrunk at the expense of Big Government. Companies with long term viability and a solid foundation of capital are suddenly losing out to failing companies on the receiving end of bailouts or those with close political ties. As the anemic results of the stimulus trickle in, we see profitable companies facing increased regulation and higher taxes to prop up companies that have an "in" with the feds. The companies being propped up by stimulus money are draining resources away from those who can compete on their own merits.
This country was founded as a meritocracy, but it is quickly becoming an Obamacracy, where the government, and in particular the Left, picks winners and losers. ACORN, for instance, received a million dollar grant for fire prevention awareness, beating out actual fire stations. Many recipients of stimulus dollars have received contracts based merely on their skin color. These minority-owned businesses may not offer the best services or the lowest bids, but the government awards them cash based on laws that require "diversity." Rockwood Contractors is one such company, located in California, but being awarded the sauna contracts in Utah, not to mention construction projects at air force bases in North Dakota and Texas.
Diversity is hardly a worthwhile goal if we have to inhibit the liberties of others to achieve it, if we punish successful proprietors to support the ones we feel have the right "cosmetic look". Diversity shouldn't override freedom. In fact, real diversity can only be attained as a result of freedom. That's what Martin Luther King argued for in his "I have a dream speech" - that one day we would all be free. The diversity that matters is a diversity of ideas and political philosophies, freedom for all men. In other words, the exact opposite of the Left's smear campaign against Rush Limbaugh. But more on that in my next post.
In the meantime, I did some research online and discovered a way to save hundreds of thousands of dollars at Hill Air Force Base. If you call now they'll even throw in an extra belt for free:
Sauna photo compliments of Rule 5 (How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog)