Monday, August 31, 2009


--Patriot Post

In May, when the federal deficit was projected to be $7 trillion over the next decade, President Barack Obama was asked, "At what point do we run out of money?" His reply was actually rather candid: "Well, we are out of money now," he said. Last Friday, the administration adjusted its deficit projection -- upwards, of course. The White House now says the number will reach $9 trillion, including $1.6 trillion this year and $1.5 trillion next year. So much for The One's promise to end the years of "borrow and spend" budgeting.

The Congressional Budget Office simultaneously projected a deficit of $7 trillion over the next decade, a lower number because the CBO considers only current law, not White House proposals. The Wall Street Journal reports that "these deficit estimates are driven entirely by more domestic spending and already assume huge new tax increases. CBO predicts that debt held by the public as a share of GDP, which was 40.8% in 2008, will rise to 67.8% in 2019 -- and then keep climbing after that. CBO says this is 'unsustainable,' but even this forecast may be optimistic."

Among the problems with the White House estimate is that it depends, in part, on raising $640 billion through the cap-and-tax bill as well as another $200 billion in international business taxes. Both bills face opposition in the Senate, even from some Democrats. And these new taxes aren't guaranteed to produce more federal revenue. Instead, we can count on cap-and-tax to depress the economy, resulting in less revenue. The White House already expects unemployment to hit 10 percent this year.

The CBO estimate, meanwhile, is based on the ridiculous premise that Congress will hold spending to the rate of inflation. The Journal remarks, "CBO actually has overall spending falling between 2009 and 2012, which is less likely than an asteroid hitting the Earth." The CBO also assumes that all of the Bush tax cuts will expire, even those for lower and middle class families.

Finally, the president's crown jewel, ObamaCare, projected to cost at least $1 trillion over the next 10 years, is entirely omitted from the deficit estimate because Obama pledges that it won't add to the deficit. Next, he'll be trying to sell us some oceanfront property in Arizona.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Glenn Beck - Current Events & Politics - The New Republic: America's Future Recap

Glenn Beck - Current Events & Politics - The New Republic: America's Future Recap

This week Glenn Beck has courageously educated his audience about the communists, radicals and revolutionaries that have infiltrated our government at the highest levels. He has raised questions about the purpose of then candidate Obama's proposed civilian national security force, that he said would be "just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded as the U.S. military.

Beck has been under attack by one of these radical groups, that has attempted to shut him up by attempting to boycott his sponsors. It isn't working. Last night Glenn Beck had over 3 million viewers at 5pm, second only to O’Reilly for the night. But, Beck had more 25-54 viewers than O’Reilly. If you have not been able to access his programs, I have attached those of this past week. He tells a story that every American who loves this country needs to hear.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


---By Jim Pettit

As the Obama Administration completes its victory lap on behalf of the American people on the “Cash for Clunkers” program, automotive dealers will be navigating through a bureaucratic maze indefinitely. And U.S. taxpayers will pay the bill, having subsidized new cars for a tiny percentage of the population who happened to meet the government’s strict requirements, and who very well may have been in the market for a new car anyway. Cash for Clunkers is not working for the businesses it was intended to help or for the vast majority of consumers. The White House has moved on, leaving the messy details to the Transportation Department. This is government out of control.

To help the President finish this victory lap, the phrase “wildly successful” has been used consistently in Administration talking points, speeches and press releases. There is nothing successful, wildly or otherwise, about giving away free money. What’s more, the money isn’t free. There is interest to pay due to a chronic budget deficit and national debt. There are costs associated with what the Department of Transportation calls “private sector” contractors – a thousand or so part-time workers, probably temps, to process the paperwork. The Government had to create a new IT system so dealers can get paid. And while it doesn’t work well, it certainly was not free. Then, of course, there is the cost of the program itself.

This widely-reported $3 billion scheme, borrowed from Germany, involves consumers trading in relatively poor gas mileage vehicles and receiving up to $4500 to purchase a new, fuel efficient one. Cash for Clunkers, or C4C in industry short-hand, generated nearly 700,000 new car sales according to government data released August 25. To put this number in context, there are 136 million registered automobiles in the U.S. Most people did not qualify, unless they had a worn out SUV and desired a new small car and could afford to forego the trade- in value of the used vehicle. For everyone else - too bad.

Dealers, who live or die on a basic financial concept known as the time value of money, are left in the aftermath, with untold millions waiting to be processed in some Transportation Department office in Washington. The website that dealers were required to use to get paid crashed so many times that government-imposed deadlines had to be pushed back.

According to a survey published in Automotive News August 24, 61% of dealer respondents were not confident they will get paid for all their C4C transactions. Yet, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s web site has a prominent link to a statement that is remarkable in both simplicity and arrogance. This statement is now front and center on under bold type saying “CARS closed, ”the aforementioned required website for reimbursement submission. The statement says,

”The CARS program has been a wild success. It … has provided an economic boost to the car dealers, the auto manufacturers, the people who provide consumer loans and scrap yards.” A disclaimer at the bottom, in true bureaucratic fashion, reads: “Please note the submission deadline has no effect on continued processing of invoices that have been or will be rejected for errors.”

According to the U.S. DOT, Maryland dealers submitted $75 million for reimbursement as the program ended. DOT has not disclosed how much dealers in Maryland, or elsewhere, have received to date.

Darcars Automotive Group Vice President Tammy Darvish, who oversees multiple dealerships across Maryland, said 1651 vehicle sales are attributable to C4C. The work that remains is another matter – the dealership has been paid on just 16 of those deals. Stated another way, Darcars has $6.5 million outstanding, and they’ve only been paid 1%. This is what Darvish told me:

I can tell you that we have hundreds of hours of overtime, over 25,000 pages of photo copies that had to be made to scan the deals for requirements, and we had to purchase computer equipment for each of our dealerships.”

No wonder. The rule, not the law, but the final rule to implement the law, is 136 pages that goes into mind-numbing detail ranging from engine disabling procedures, assessing EPA mileage, and how dealers must mark the title of the trade in vehicle for submission. Darvish goes on to say that additional costs were incurred to comply with rules for junking the vehicles - draining the oil, storage and transportation to the scrapping facility.

As of now, C4C adds expenses to an industry sector already beleaguered with credit problems, dealer closures and slow domestic sales. According to the U.S. DOT, 7% of dealer reimbursements have been “reviewed and approved” for payment as of August 19. What does that mean? Maybe it means the DOT can’t say what the status is of 93% of payments owed to dealers all across the country. And they should know real-time because electronic funds transfer is specified in the rule.

Meanwhile, don’t expect delays in the White House message machine. The Council of Economic Advisors was ready for the August 26 DOT announcement that C4C had concluded, predicting a 0.3-0.4 percentage point boost in the GDP annual rate as a result of the clunker program. It’s hard to say whether that projected economic growth assumes dealers have been paid. Equally hard to say is whether the Council will project future negative impacts with 700,000 people now out of the market.

The only good thing to say about Cash for Clunkers is that it officially ended. However, it was a bad deal for business and consumers alike, sloppy in execution and expensive to administer. This is not what the American government is supposed to be doing. Maybe in Germany, but not here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


---Ellen Sauerbrey

If Mark Lloyd has his way, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Marr and Ron Smith may have to broadcast from an offshore Island. Mark Lloyd is the newly appointed Chief Diversity Officer for the Federal Communications Commission. His writings make it clear that he wants to tax and regulate “right wing” radio out of existence.

Liberals understand that talk radio is the major source of conservative grassroots networking and information sharing. It encourages and empowers individuals to have a voice and to use it. When the Congressional switchboards light up it is often because talk radio has admonished their listeners to “call your member of Congress and tell them how you feel”.

With virtually all of the major network and print media parroting the same liberal message, talk radio remains the only powerful obstacle to the passage of the leftist agenda. Case in point, the effort to jam a dismantling of the U.S. health delivery system through, unread and undiscussed. The strategy has foundered because Rush, Hannity , and a litany of local hosts have revealed on a daily basis new outrageous provisions found buried in the House health care bill. They were equally vocal about Cap and Trade and the budget busting deficits. Vermont’s Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders has complained that talk radio is drowning out their message.

The left knows that a frontal assault on talk radio, re-implementing the Fairness Doctrine would set off a firestorm in the United States. So while there are some members of Congress who are calling for it to be revived, the President said during his campaign that he is not in favor of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.

But there is more than one way to skin a cat. The Administration has created a diversity officer position that has never before existed at the FCC and appointed Mark Lloyd, whose stated goals would tax and regulate conservative and Christian radio into bankruptcy and give the proceeds to public radio.

As a senior fellow of the Soros funded Center for American Progress, Lloyd co-authored a report titled “The structural imbalance of political talk radio”. The conclusion is that there is too much conservative programming and not enough liberal talk. It matters not to the authors that radio station owners air Rush and Hannity and Mark Levin because that’s what the public supports and want to listen to, or that Air America could not attract enough listeners to succeed in the marketplace.

The report suggests remedies to fix the “imbalance” that would put local and national caps on commercial radio station ownership and ensure greater “accountability” over radio licensing.

Most astonishingly, Mark Lloyd is calling for each private radio station every year to pay a fee (tax) for their broadcast license, equal to their gross operating budget, with the monies going to the liberal public stations, with whom they compete for listeners. This is a clear formula for driving private radio out of business. And just in case any survived, Lloyd would regulate much of the programming on these stations to make sure they focused on “diverse views” and government activities.

He calls for national and local public stations to be funded at levels above that of commercial broadcasters. He further argues that funding for public radio should not come from congressional appropriations and that sponsorship should be prohibited for all public broadcasters.

It is hard to imagine that even this administration could adopt such whacky ideas but it not hard to imagine a left leaning FCC writing rules that set standards for more “local” programming and meeting diversity needs. The Senate has already passed a bill introduced by Senator Dick Durban that requires local radio stations to set up community advisory boards, including “under-served groups”. These groups would be involved in the license renewal process. Being confronted by Acorn or the Reverend Al Sharpton at a hearing contesting their license renewal would have a chilling effect on decisions made by station owners regarding conservative programming.

Michael Copps, an FCC commissioner has expressed concern that deregulation of media ownership has undermined democracy and has called for re-examining licensing regulations to make them “more reflective” of public interests.

People equal policy. In appointing a radical “Diversity Czar”, the Obama administration has placed a leftist into a position to promote policy that will squelch conservative speech.

Monday, August 24, 2009


--Ellen Sauerbrey

Few subjects in America are more controversial than abortion, but on one thing both opponents and supporters of abortion generally agree. Taxpayers should not have to pay for that “choice”.

Proponents of Obamacare have repeatedly asserted that their health care proposal would not pay for abortion. Most recently President Obama held a conference call with religious leaders in an attempt to build support from the pulpits for his program. He passionately argued that those who claim abortion would be covered are engaging in blatant fabrication.

But the President himself, while still serving in the Senate pledged to Planned Parenthood that abortion is a“fundamental issue” and “is at the center and at the heart of the plan that I proposed”. He further pledged “reproductive care is basic care, it is essential care.... Essentially, what we are doing is to say that we’re gonna set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services." So, where does he really stand?

In addition Senate and House Committees defeated every amendment offered to clarify that the health care plan would not fund abortion. If proponents really do not intend for taxpayer funding of abortions, why not just say so? If the bill passes with no reference to abortion funding, the matter will be resolved by Obama appointees who will write regulations or judges who will hear future complaints.

Elected officials have only so much political capital and only so much credibility. The President is using up a lot of both on his health care overhaul. It is obvious that he is not being square with the American people about many aspects of his health care plan. When voters realize that he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth on the abortion issue, he may have permanently lost their trust.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." --Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gingrich Predicts Anti-liberal Eruption

Posted in Human
There is a political energy in America now, reminiscent of the 2007 immigration debate that Republicans could capture and turn to their advantage next year. It could become a revival of the “Reagan Democrats” -- moderate Democrats and independents who vote for Republicans when they believe they are being betrayed by liberal Democrats.

In 2007, Americans were told that there was a crisis in illegal immigration. There was, and still is. But they spoke out in huge numbers against the McCain-Bush-Kennedy “comprehensive” immigration amnesty bill because it did too much, most of it wrong.

The sheer number of those vehemently opposing the bill was instructive: it was far larger than the numbers who are politically active on most issues. But illegal immigration then, and health care now, are “kitchen table” issues of concern to every voter. In 2007, their most common expression was frustration with a government that didn’t represent their interests.

The amnesty bill failed after millions of telephone calls and e-mails deluged Congress demanding it be stopped. But the Republican Party willfully ignored the lesson of 2007 and maximized the damage it incurred by nominating John McCain in 2008.

Now President Obama insists that there is a crisis in health care and has done his best to stampede an overly-liberal Congress into “reforming” the health care system. Like the “comprehensive” immigration “reform” bill of two years ago, the Obamacare bill that has passed three House committees does too much and most of what it does is just as wrong as the immigration amnesty bill was.

According to the latest Rasmussen poll, 54% of Americans believe that doing nothing would be better than what Congress is trying to do to health care. (An earlier Rasmussen poll last week found that 62% of independent voters oppose the Obamacare plan and 51% strongly oppose it.)

The same Americans -- a new generation of those who we used to call the “silent majority” -- are speaking out against it and for the same reason. They believe, rightly, that government isn’t listening to them and is trying to do something that will do more harm than good.

According to a recent poll, independent voters are siding 2-1 with the opponents of Obamacare. In one town hall meeting last week, according to US New & World Report’s Paul Bedard, only 20% of those in attendance raised their hands when asked how many had ever come to a town hall meeting before. It’s the 80% who had not been politically active before who present the Republicans with a huge opportunity.

Just like 2007, Washington isn’t listening. But this time it’s the Democrats, and they are not only refusing to hear, they’re insistently insulting their constituents.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx) called Obamacare opponents at his Austin town hall a “Republican mob.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said it was “un-American” to protest loudly. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv) called the town hall protesters “evil mongers.”

But none of them -- so far -- have plumbed the depths that Washington Democrat Brian Baird reached.

Last Wednesday Baird – having compared the town hall protesters to Hitler’s Brownshirts -- said the Obamacare opponents were using rhetoric that was "eerily reminiscent of the kind of things that led Timothy McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma." To Baird, those speaking out against Obamacare are domestic terrorists.

The liberals’ favorite weapon – the accusation of racism – was left for the New York Times to deploy, but even the Times could only manage to imply it. The Times’ Nobel Prize-winning calumniator, Paul Krugman, wrote that the Obamacare opponents are “…probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.”

(MSNBC talker Ed Schultz said he believes some opponents of Obamacare are “psycho” and want Obama to “get shot.” He added that some conservative broadcasters “want Obama to be taken out.” But that’s MSNBC, not America.)

These Democrats are willfully misreading America, just like the Republicans did in 2007. Today there is a crisis in confidence in government brought on by Obama’s over-reaching on everything from the phony “stimulus” package to Obamacare.

If Republicans can employ a little political jiu-jitsu, they can turn the liberals’ momentum against them and create another “Reagan Revolution.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says that the outpouring of opposition to Obamacare isn’t yet a “Reagan Democrat” resurgence.

In a Friday interview, Gingrich told me that it wasn’t that, because those voters still aren’t sure that they trust Republicans more than Democrats. He said, “It reminds me of 1992,” when the Ross Perot “independents” voiced the same sort of frustration and ultimately delivered the election to Bill Clinton.

Gingrich said of the Obamacare opponents, “They’re upset, they’re unhappy, and where they thought they were voting for ‘change’ last November they were voting to change Washington and now they’re afraid that the vote was to change America more than they want.”

“The Democratic leadership doesn’t listen to the country,” Gingrich said. “The president should listen rather than sell and convene a bipartisan group in September to write a bill from the ground up not to try to fix the current mess.” A good idea, but Obama isn’t interested in bipartisanship: he’s only interested in pushing his government-centric plan.

What happens if the Democrats try to stampede the Obamacare bill through Congress?

Gingrich said, “If they try to push forward, as Speaker Pelosi seems to want to and ram through a bill, I think we see a huge eruption among people who could become the Reagan Democrats of 2009.” So how do Republicans make that happen?

Gingrich recalled the sign James Carville put up in the Little Rock Clinton campaign headquarters in 1992 that said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

“Every political leader in America should have a sign up that says ‘It’s jobs, stupid.’ The first thing Republicans need to do is say what’s their jobs program? You have nine-and-a-half percent unemployment. You have 30% of Americans worried that they may lose their job.” Gingrich favors a series of tax cuts designed to create jobs.

The second thing, Gingrich said, is a Republican plan for real health care reforms beginning with the elimination of the $70 to $120 billion a year in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Getting the fraud out would, in his estimation, pay for everything that needs to be done.

Gingrich believes that the Democrats aren’t going to get far by insulting and ignoring the Obamacare opponents. “You’d think that Pelosi might go home and listen to the 53% of her district who voted [in the California referendum] against higher spending and higher taxes. But my sense is that they’re so insulated, sitting around in left-wing fundraisers and talking to left-wing lobbyists and left-wing PAC representatives they don’t realize what’s happening in the country.”

But do the congressional Republicans? This is a moment of opportunity they could easily miss. In 1992 and again in 2008, Republicans lost the independents and “Reagan Democrats” because they didn’t listen to those voices. If they listen now, and act on principle with enthusiasm and energy, this could be the beginning of the Second Reagan Revolution.

Behind Agenda Lies Mind-Set That Is Chilling

By THOMAS SOWELL | Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 4:20 PM PT

The serious, and sometimes chilling, provisions of the medical care legislation that President Obama has been trying to rush through Congress are important enough for all of us to stop and think, even though his political strategy from the outset has been to prevent us from having time to stop and think about it.

What we also should stop to think about is the mind-set behind this legislation, which is very consistent with the mind-set behind other policies of this administration, whether the particular issue is bailing out General Motors, telling banks whom to lend to or appointing "czars" to tell all sorts of people in many walks of life what they can do.

The idea that government officials can play God from Washington is not a new idea, but it is an idea that is being pushed with new audacity.

What they are trying to do is create an America very unlike the America that has existed for centuries — the America that people have been attracted to by the millions from every part of the world, the America that many generations of Americans have fought and died for.

This is the America for which Michelle Obama expressed her resentment before it became politically expedient to keep quiet.

It is the America that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright denounced in his sermons during the 20 years when Barack Obama was a parishioner, before political expediency required Obama to withdraw and distance himself.

The thing most associated with America — freedom — is precisely what must be destroyed if this is to be turned into a fundamentally different country to suit Obama's vision of the country and of himself.

But do not expect a savvy politician like Barack Obama to express what he is doing in terms of limiting our freedom.

He may not even think of it in those terms. He may think of it in terms of promoting "social justice" or making better decisions than ordinary people are capable of making for themselves, whether about medical care or housing or many other things. Throughout history, egalitarians have been among the most arrogant people.

Obama has surrounded himself with people who also think it is their job to make other people's decisions for them. Not just Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, his health care adviser who complains of Americans' "overutilization" of medical care, but also professor Cass Sunstein, who has written a whole book on how third parties should use government power to "nudge" people into making better decisions in general.

Then there's a whole array of Obama administration officials who take it as their job to pick winners and losers in the economy and tell companies how much they can pay their executives.

Just as magicians know that the secret of some of their tricks is to distract the audience, so politicians know that the secret of many political tricks is to distract the public with scapegoats.

No one is more of a political magician than Barack Obama. At the beginning of 2008, no one expected a shrewd and experienced politician like Hillary Clinton to be beaten for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States by someone completely new to the national political scene. But Obama worked his political magic, with the help of the media, which he still has.

Obama's escapes from his own past words, deeds and associations have been escapes worthy of Houdini.

Like other magicians, Obama has chosen his distractions well. Insurers are currently his favorite distraction as scapegoats after he tried to demonize doctors without much success.

Saints are no more common in the insurance industry than in politics or even among paragons of virtue like economists. So there will always be horror stories, even if these are less numerous or less horrible than what is likely to happen if ObamaCare gets passed into law.

Obama even gets away with saying things like having a system to "keep insurance companies honest" — and many people may not see the painful irony in politicians trying to keep other people honest.

Certainly most of the media are unlikely to point out this irony.

Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc

Thursday, August 20, 2009


---Ellen Sauerbrey

What on earth is going on here? Is the Obama administration now going into the oil drilling business? Why is the Obama administration lending up to ten billion dollars from the deficit ridden U.S. economy to Petrobras, an oil company owned by the government of Brazil, to drill for offshore oil. Are we now branching out from ownership interests in distressed banks and auto manufacturers into the energy field? And why would an administration that does not support drilling for American resources chose instead to invest in Brazil?

Bloomberg reported on August 15th, that one of Obama’s biggest benefactors, billionaire investor George Soros bought an $811 million stake in Petroleo Brasileiro SA in the second quarter, making the Brazilian state-controlled oil company his investment fund's largest holding. As of June 30, Petrobras, made up 22 percent of the $3.68 billion of stocks and American depositary receipts held by Soros Fund Management LLC, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Is there any connection there??

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the exploration field is believed to contain between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of oil. “But Brazil has been forced to seek external financing because the fields pose an enormous technical and financial challenge due to the depth and thickness of the salt and the drastic changes in temperature as the oil is brought to the surface… Acknowledging that Petrobras alone is not capable of developing the massive pre-salt reserves, Brazil announced in May that it will invite international oil companies to bid for concessions in that region beginning next year”, the Tribune reported.

Meanwhile 10 billion barrels of domestic oil located in ANWR, that private industry would like to retrieve, in an area with a proven track record for environmentally responsible drilling, remains off limits.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." --James Madison


--Ellen Sauerbrey

During the recent health care Town Hall meeting in Towson, Senator Cardin presented attendees a false choice by suggesting that there was the big government solution or nothing. He repeatedly responded to a variety of different questioners with, “If nothing is done ……. it will be worse”. President Obama presents the same options. We must pass “his plan”, which by the way does not exist, or sink under the weight of an existing system which leaves some people without affordable health insurance.

Nationwide, elected officials are very adverse to being charged with doing nothing and too often in trying to ”do something”, do the wrong thing. If a bad decision to raise taxes has adverse consequences, a future Congress can repeal them. If a massive government health system is imposed and destroys the infrastructure of the private health insurance system there will be no turning back,.

In reality most opponents of Obamacare want to do something. But they want to do the right thing. The states have always been the laboratories of democracy. Incremental changes tried at the state level would allow the opportunity to experiment with things that make insurance more affordable and accessible. If states get it wrong, people have the option of moving to another state. If the U.S. gets it wrong, there is no place left to go.

The attendees at the town hall meeting gave Senator Cardin a lot of things they think should be done, starting with tort reform. Citizens understand that doctors prescribe unnecessary tests to avoid the consequences of a law suit and these tests are very expensive to the system. Neither the Senator or the President have addressed why this obvious remedy is ignored

A really big step would be to provide individuals who are not covered by employer based health insurance the same tax break to buy their own insurance as General Motors currently gets for covering its employees. Is it fair that the waitress in the local diner whose owner can’t afford to insure her, has to buy her own health insurance with no tax break, while the insurance provided to the CEO of GM is a tax write off?

Proponents of Obamacare want a public option to provide “competition”. Well if we really want competition, allow a Maryland citizen to buy an insurance policy in other states. Why? Because the Maryland General Assembly in its wisdom has passed so many mandated benefits that it is impossible in Maryland to purchase an affordable “stripped down Model T” insurance policy. Instead, under Maryland law individuals, as well as businesses that offer insurance to their employees, are forced to buy the “Cadillac” version with many coverages that they neither want nor can afford. If consumers prefer a less expensive plan, limited to those coverages they need, offered in Texas or South Carolina why should they not have that right? If reformers are really serious about competition, that is a good place to start.

When my husband and I were first married we did not need insurance that covered every trip to the doctor for a cold or a sprained ankle. We were however worried about being wiped out by a major illness. And so, we purchased a major medical plan whereby we paid the doctor out of pocket when we showed up with the sniffles but were protected against the big things. If we apply today’s health insurance rules to auto insurance, we would be forced to buy auto insurance that covers oil changes and flat tires. Obviously, people take care of their minor auto maintenance and repair out of pocket. Why can’t we chose to do that with health insurance? .

Medicare and Medicaid are both ripe with inefficiencies and fraud. They are major drivers of the escalation in health care costs. Before applying a government run or regulated system to the entire population, why not start by fixing the problems in the existing programs.

Finally, it should be noted that if the government (or our employers) paid for our food, our housing or our new car, we would not have to make wise spending choices. We would not have to look at prices and decide on the best buy. And before long the cost of all of those things would skyrocket. That is the state of health care in America. Medical costs were not escalating out of control when Mom took me to the doctor for my vaccination or my scraped shin and she paid him the old fashioned way – out of pocket. And think of the money saved when the doctor did not have to file all those insurance claims!

The American people have already impacted the debate, but it is no time to let up. There continues to be a huge push to do the wrong thing but maybe to do it in disguise. Remember, when you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Excellent article on the health care "crisis"


--Ellen Sauerbrey

Anyone who has studied history knows the United States of America was founded as a Judeo-Christian nation. You can not read the numerous quotations of our founding fathers without coming to that conclusion. Children learned to read and write using the Bible as their text book. Many American college were founded by Christian orders.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reflects the understanding by the founding fathers of the importance of faith in the lives of people and nations. The Bill of Rights states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF…”

That seems pretty clear. The Federal government is prohibited from establishing a particular religion and it is prohibited from interfering with individual citizens’ religious activity. So how can a person today be committing a crime by saying grace?

Incredibly, a Santa Rosa Florida high school principal and athletic director are facing criminal contempt charges because they offered a simple prayer of blessing of a meal at a Field House Appreciation Luncheon for adults who helped the field house project. The ACLU filed a law suit which led to the U.S. Attorney prosecuting them criminally for the mealtime prayer. Trial is scheduled to begin on September 17 and if convicted they face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $5,000.

In addition, the School District agreed to an order fashioned by the ACLU, which essentially bans all employees from engaging in prayer or religious activities, whether before, during, or after school hours. (See for the full story.) How have Americans allowed groups like the ACLU and the courts to flagrantly violate the clear language in the Constitution?

Thomas Jefferson said, "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis - a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God"

One must ask today if the liberties of America are secure? The answer is frightening.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Town Hall Meetings Awaken Sleeping Giant

'I'm as Mad as Hell, and I'm Not Gonna Take This Anymore!' This sentiment is being voiced by large numbers of protesters turning out for health care town hall meetings around the country. People are angry and frightened by the prospect of government running their health care system, but their anger goes far beyond the 1000 page health bill. Health care reform is the spark that has touched off a forest fire of grassroots rebellion among a people who believe their representatives do not represent them, do not listen to them and do not care what they think. Many Americans feel that they are losing control of their financial well being, their values and their culture. Shell shock has resulted as they try to absorb the rapidity of drastic change.

The first stirring of protest came with the Tea Parties in the spring. These were completely misread by the media that both ignored them and dismissed the attendees as right wing kooks. The tea parties were about taxes, yes. But far more they were about the rapid intrusion of the federal government into private affairs, about deficit spending, and a growing understanding that America was heading down a very dangerous road to socialism. People see a government in Washington that is in the process of destroying the constitutional principles of limiting government and maximizing personal freedom that made America the freest and most prosperous country the world has ever known.

For many, it has been unnerving to see the federal government take unprecedented control of the banking industry, become the major shareholder of Chrylser and GM, and fire the CEO of General Motors. It is frightening to see the creation of staggering deficits that will lead to hyperinflation or will break the back of future generations. Anger also focuses on the failure of government to perform its fundamental responsibility of protecting America as it fails to protect our borders and weakens our national defenses.

The Tea Parties demonstrated that Americans were beginning to stir. But when a government that wants to run major industries, control our financial system and set draconian new rules regarding energy production, put forth 1000 pages of indecipherable gobbledygook to take control of health care as well, it was a bridge too far.

Americans want the right to make their own choices about how they live and are not about to turn life and death decisions over to an army of social engineers and faceless bureaucrats without a fight. A feeling of helplessness had taken root in many quarters but suddenly health care town hall meetings awakened a sleeping giant.

Once again the media has misread the demonstrations and has joined the Democrat choir in branding angry Americans as organized mobs and far worse. If elected officials continue to attack their constituents or ignore those they represent. If they continue to give misleading answers to people who have actually read provisions in the bill. If they refuse to be straight about whether they are covering illegal immigrants, paying for abortions, or putting themselves into the plan that Joe the Plumber has to take, the anger will only grow.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Defense: They Build While We Cut

While Americans are shellshocked by the burgeoning deficits and the actions of this administration to run our banks, car manufactures, health care, and ultimately our lives, our ability to defend the U.S. is being decimated.

Defense: They Build While We Cut
by Rowan Scarborough

Human Events 08/13/2009

Russia and China, two potential U.S. adversaries in a future war, are committed to big increases in defense spending and global military adventures in the coming years, just as President Obama is forcing the Pentagon to scale back.

The imbalance has defense experts worried that re-emergent Russia and China will be able to defeat U.S. forces in an air, sea and ground conflict because they will field superior fighters, ships and tanks in the next decades.

This week, China announced its most ambitious military exercise to date. The People's Liberation Army is sending 50,000 troops to far reaches of the country to fight land battles against theoretic foes.

"In the unprecedented exercise, one of the PLA's major objectives will be to improve its capacity of long-range projection," the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

Most troubling to pro-defense conservatives is the president's decision to terminate production of its most futuristic air superiority fighter, the F-22 Raptor, and retired in one year 200 other warplanes. Obama has also scaled back missile defense, a long-range bomber and Army ground vehicles.

His projected five-year defense spending, beginning in 2010, will not keep pace with inflation, meaning Pentagon eye-shaders will be forced to inflict more cuts in the 2011 budget and beyond.

"Shorting future defense programs, like missile defense, is a real mistake from a strategic standpoint," Larry Wortzel, a defense analyst and former military attache in Beijing, told Human Events. "Your have to worry about future relationships with China. You don't know what will happen with North Korea."

Wortzel said that in 2004 the Chinese communist party's central military commission decreed it "must develop the capability to protect China's global strategic interest. They need a more active navy so that they can project sea lanes all the way out to the Persian Gulf. There are theoretical writings inside the People's Liberation Army about long-range strike aircraft. They are thinking about becoming a more globally active military in the future and we don't know what our future relations will be."

It is not just conservatives sounding the alarm.

Michael O'Hanlon, a liberal defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, wrote in the Washington Post that Obama is providing the military with "no real growth" over the next five years.

"The administration is right to propose increasing resources for the State Department and aid programs," he wrote. "But it is unwise politics and unwise strategy to put these key elements of foreign policy in direct competition with each other, as appears to be the case in the new budget."

Although not a direct attack on Obama's defense budget, the Rand Corp. this month released a study that warned of China's growing might. The U.S. may well lose an air war with China over control of Taiwan because of Beijing's massive arms buildup.

"Chinese military capabilities have advanced rapidly over the past decade," said Rand. "China has deployed or is deploying modern fighter aircraft, such as the Su-27/J-11, Su-30, and J-10, in sizable numbers."

It added, "Our analysis of the air war indicates that China’s growing military power has changed the nature of the fight for air superiority."

The Air Force fighter community, which opposes Obama's decision to cap the F-22 at 187 planes, fears it will not have sufficient fighters to cover hotspots in Asia and the Middle East.

Said Wortzel, "We need to keep ahead of China significantly to be comfortable in terms of our air capacity."

In addition, the report said, China has stationed so many short-range ballistic missiles on its coast (over 1,000, the Pentagon says) it could unleash a barrage that would destroy every military runway in Taiwan, knocking its air force out of the war. China could also hit two U.S. Air Force bases in Japan.

"The United States is unlikely to be able to compensate for the hundreds of [Taiwanese] fighters burning on their parking ramps, trapped behind cratered runways, or hiding in underground shelters," Rand said. "The danger to both ROCAF and USAF operations in the Taiwan Strait is sufficiently grave that a credible case can be made that the air war for Taiwan could essentially be over before much of the Blue air forces have even fired a shot.

Titled "A Question of Balance: Political Context and Military Aspects of the China-Taiwan Dispute," the Rand report could be held up as a counter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He often complains of his generals having "next-war-itis" funding futuristic system for possible wars instead of focusing on the one they are fighting now.

But if the Air Force does not own sufficient tactical aircraft to fend off a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, then curing the top brass of one "itis" means you may lose the patient in this case democratic ally Taiwan.

Wortzel said it is not just Taiwan control that could ignite a fight with China.

"The next conflict with China could be over how you stabilize North Korea," he said. "It could be over some mistake over the way they defend their territorial claims in the South China Sea. There's still volatility in the western Pacific even without Taiwan."

Meanwhile, Russia's new prime minister, Dmitriy Medvedev, announced in March a "comprehensive rearmament" of his military.

Russia already has tested Washington. It invaded the republic of Georgia, flies long-range bombers near Alaskan air space and is again positioning nuclear-armed attack submarines off the U.S. coast.

The Defense Intelligence Agency has briefed Congress on both Russia's and China's major military expansions.

Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, until recently the DIA director, said China is improving its F-10 air-to-air fighter, and buying sophisticated surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles.

"The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is increasingly building its own sophisticated aircraft, surface combatants, submarines and weapon systems while still purchasing select systems from overseas," the general said. "China is looking beyond a potential Taiwan contingency and is pursuing capabilities needed to become a major regional power. The navy already operates a large surface fleet, an increasingly modern submarine fleet, and increasingly appears likely to pursue an aircraft carrier development program. The air force is developing an extended-range, land-attack cruise-missile-capable bomber."

If that is not troubling enough, China is working to make its nuclear ICBM force more survivable meaning it is gaming how to win an all-out war with the United States.

China's defense budget has grown to nearly $200 billion. While it may be less than half the U.S.'s, Beijing's cost for some items, particular personnel, is much less than the Pentagon's. It is focusing on dominating one theater southeast Asia while Washington must budget money to defend multiple regions.

The DIA says Russia has committed $200 billion in 2007-2015 to build new conventional and nuclear weapons. It continues to export advanced arms to U.S. adversaries Syria, Iran and Venezuela, creating more headaches for a stretched U.S. military.

"Perceived Western encroachment into its claimed areas of interest and Islamic or insurgent threats along its periphery are driving Russia’s current military activities and modernization efforts," Maples said.

Mr. Scarborough is a national security writer who has written books on Donald Rumsfeld and the CIA, including the New York Times bestseller Rumsfeld's War.

Fear for your freedom

Eleven Reasons to Fear For Your Freedom
What would you say if I gave you 11 reasons why the elections in 2010
will be the most important in the history of the United States?

1. What if I had told you in October 2008, before the last
presidential election, that before Barack Obama's first 100 days in
office, the federal government would be in control of both the
mortgage and the banking industries? That 19 of Americas largest
banks would be forced to undergo stress tests by the federal
government which would determine that they were insufficiently
capitalized so they must be supervised by the government?

Would you have said, Cmon, that will never happen in America?"

2. What if I had told you that within Barack Obamas first 100 days
in office the federal government would be the largest shareholder in
two US automakers, GM, and Chrysler? That the
government would kick out the CEOs of these companies and appoint
hand-picked executives with zero experience in the auto industry and
that executive compensation would be determined not by a Board of
Directors but by the government?

Would you have said, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

3. What if I had told you that Barack Obama would appoint 21 Czars,
without congressional approval, accountable only to him not to the
voters who would have control over a wide range of US policy
decisions? That there would be a Stimulus Accountability Czar, an
Urban Czar, a Compensation Czar, an Iran Czar, an Auto Industry Czar,
a Cyber Security Czar, an Energy Czar, a Bank Bailout Czar, and more
than a dozen other government bureaucrats with unchecked regulatory
powers over US domestic and foreign policy?

Would you have said, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

4. What if I had told you that the federal deficit would be $915
billion in the first six months of the Obama presidency - with a
projected annual deficit of $1.75 trillion - triple the $454.8
billion in 2008, for which the previous administration was highly
criticized by Obama and his fellow Democrats? That congress would
pass Obamas $3.53 trillion federal budget for fiscal 2010? That the
projected deficit over the next ten years would be greater than $10

Would you have said, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

5. What if I had told you that the Obama Justice Department would
order FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high-value detainees
captured on the battlefield and held at US military detention
facilities in Afghanistan ? That Obama would order the closing of the
Guantanamo detention facility with no plan for the disposition of the
200-plus individuals held there? That several of the suspected
terrorists at Guantanamo would be sent to live in freedom in Bermuda
at the expense of the US government? That our US veterans
would be labeled terrorists and put on a watch list.

Would you have said, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

6. What if I had told you that the federal government would seek
powers to seize key companies whose failures could jeopardize the
financial system? That a new regulatory agency would be proposed by
Obama to control loans, credit cards, mortgage-backed securities, and
other financial products offered to the public?

Would you have said, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

7. What if I had told you that Obama would travel to the Middle East ,
bow before the Saudi king, and repeatedly apologize for Americas past
actions? That he would travel to Latin America where he would warmly
greet Venezuelas strongman Hugo Chavez and sit passively in the
audience while Nicaraguan Marxist thug Daniel Ortega charged America
with terrorist aggression in Central America ?

Would you have said, Cmon,that will never happen in America?

8. Okay, now what if I were to tell you that Obama wants to dismantle
conservative talk radio through the imposition of a new Fairness
Doctrine? That he wants to curtail the First Amendment rights of
those who may disagree with his policies via internet blogs, cable
news networks, or advocacy ads? That most major network television
and most newspapers will only sing his phrases like state run media
in communist countries?

Would you say, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

9. What if I were to tell you that the Obama Justice Department is
doing everything it can to limit your Second Amendment rights to keep
and bear arms? That the federal government wants to reinstate the
so-called assault weapons ban which would prohibit the sale of any
type of firearm that requires the shooter to pull the trigger every
time a round is fired? That Obamas Attorney General wants to
eliminate the sale of virtually all handguns and ammunition, which
most citizens choose for self-defense?

Would you say, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

10. What if I were to tell you that the Obama plan is to eliminate
states rights guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment and give the federal
government sweeping new powers over policies currently under the
province of local and state governments and voted on by the people?
That Obama plans to control the schools, energy production, the
environment, health care, and the wealth of every US citizen?

Would you say, Cmon, that will never happen in America?

11. What if I were to tell you that the president, the courts, and
the federal government have ignored the US Constitution and have
seized powers which the founders of our country fought to restrict?
That our last presidential election may have been our last truly free
election for some time to come? That our next presidential election
may look similar to the one recently held in Iran?

I know, I know what you will say, That will never happen in
America .

If we don't do everything in our power to stop this madness in 2010,
may God have mercy on our worthless souls.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the
blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson

Meeting with Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer

Visiting Iraqi refugees at Jordanian girls' school.