31 July 2009

ObamaCare is SOOO Good . . .

The US Congress wants no part of it:
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., decided Thursday night not to allow a vote on adding members of Congress to the “public-option” government health plan.

“If this is a good plan for (the people),” added U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., “it ought to be good enough for us.” And U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., called it “a put-up-or-shut-up amendment.”

The only thing Democrats put up, however, was a procedural objection.
And the fraud rolls along.

Smell That?

It's coming from Sacramento . . . and maybe Washington DC, too.

(Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL) interest was piqued by a statement made in a late March television interview by Rep. Doris Matsui, the Democratic congresswoman who represents Sacramento. Asked whether Johnson’s problems could prevent the city from receiving stimulus funds, Matsui said that, at Johnson’s request, she had “been in conversation with officials at the White House and OMB [Office of Management and Budget] and others to ensure that we don’t lose any money at all.”

Within days of Matsui’s statement, a settlement was reached. Johnson was unsuspended, and in a particularly unusual move, acting U.S. Attorney Brown issued a press release hailing the arrival of stimulus funds. “The lifting of the suspension against all parties, including Mayor Johnson, removes any cloud whether the City of Sacramento will be prevented form receiving much-needed federal stimulus funds,” Brown wrote.

Republicans on the Judiciary Committee want to know why a U.S. attorney was touting his own actions in bringing stimulus money to the city. That’s not the normal role of prosecutors. “We need to hear whether the settlement in this case was tainted in any way by political influence or political factors,” says the senior Republican aide.

So far, Brown has refused to answer any questions. In June, Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a list of 20 questions to Brown and received no response. A follow-up in July was similarly ignored.

30 July 2009

Wither England

More evidence that Mark Steyn is the best out there.
In essence, Michael Savage was added to the banned list as a beneficiary of non-affirmative action. The "Britain's Least Wanted" hit parade was felt to be a bit heavy on chaps called Mohammed and Ahmed and whatnot, and the Home Office geniuses decided that it would upset the, ah, "extremists" if there were too many "extremists" on the list. Persona non grata-wise, they felt it was important to celebrate diversity:

'We will want to ensure that the names disclosed reflect the broad range of cases and are not all Islamic extremists.'

Michael Savage is certainly not Islamic, but is he extreme? The civil service felt it was a bit wobbly, but you could make a case:

'The fact that he is homophobic does help.'

Excellent. As John notes, Savage isn't too "homophobic" for San Francisco, from where he does his show.

I'd also add that the point of the Home Office banning him was to look even-handed to "moderate Muslims" — such as Sir Iqbal Sacranie, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, who on the BBC a while back expressed the view that homosexuality was "immoral," "not acceptable," "spreads disease," and "damaged the very foundations of society." But that's not homophobic, just vibrantly multicultural.

I weep for the UK.

"What's Going On" Indeed

Hey, do you remember this from election day:

Of course you don't. The pro-Obama lapdog media would never have put this on the Katie Couric Show. Well, thankfully some folks did take notice but, unfortunately, Obama's appointed flunkies made sure this manner of thuggery will continue:
Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli overruled career lawyers at the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division to drop a complaint against three members of the New Black Panther Party of intimidating voters in Philadelphia during November’s election — including one member Samir Shabazz who brandished a nightstick.

By dropping the complaint, the Obama Administration suggests that other groups could show up at polling places with such weapons and military-style uniforms. What if this were the Aryan Nation or Soldiers of God? Doesn’t brandishing a weapon have an intimidating effect on voters? I understand that the case was weakened by the fact that a police officer allowed at least one man to remain. However, it seems that the section was seeking a modest sanction to keep this group (or other groups) from showing up in paramilitary outfits and weapons.
For the record, a camera phone is not a weapon, which seems lost on what passes for a Black Panter these days.

29 July 2009

Why Do the Feds Screw the People?

because they CAN!
As it prepared for its "cash-for-clunkers" program, the government rejiggered gas mileage figures on about 100 older vehicles last week in a way that changed whether they would be eligible for up to $4,500 in sales inducements.

(Older vehicle) suddenly did not qualify because their combined mileage rating was revised upward.

"We had everything lined up. We had a couple car dealers that had verified our car qualified, and we were ready to purchase a new car this weekend," wrote one potential buyer, identified on (Edmunds.com) as John1152. "But it will not happen now because at the last second the EPA updated the information at their web page for a 1993 Toyota Camry wagon ... from 18 mpg to 19 mpg."

Karl Brauer, editor in chief of Edmunds.com, said, "It's unfortunate that consumers who had been researching and planning to trade in their vehicle ... are now left in the dust."

Ha ha, silly citizens; they thought that a deal was a deal. Well let me tell you something - when the federal government writes the rulebook, you can bet they have more erasers than pencils.

If you love this Three-card Monte bullshit and prefer your congressperson utilize the shell game, you're going to love having Obama tell your doctor what they can and cannot do.

More here:
Scott Lambert, vice president of the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association, said he was "astounded" to learn at a meeting Tuesday representing about 150 Minnesota dealers that not one has had a deal approved. "We had dealers representing 1,500 to 2,000 transactions," he said. "We asked how many had a deal approved yet, and not one hand went up."

Lambert said the government has created a program that's "so big and cumbersome that it can't find a way to accept anything. We're sending in good, reliable deals."It's nerve-racking for the dealers, he said, because they have given the customer $4,500 and now the dealers need to be reimbursed.

The program took effect July 1, but traffic at dealerships is up now because dealers had been reluctant to participate until the rules were published, which happened Friday (July 24th).

Yea, the current administration has really got this program singing don't they.

The Death of Representative Government

Your federal government at work:
“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”
Yea, what's the big deal; it's not like these cowards are charged with writing and passing the laws that govern all of us from the barrel of a gun. Hope and Change, baby!

More here:
Thousand-page bills, unread and indeed unwritten at the time of passage, are the death of representative government. They also provide a clue as to why, in a country this large, national government should be minimal and constrained.

21 July 2009

Scratch my Ears

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then you are probably the family dog.

The Selling of the Whitewash

Are you buying it?

Erisa (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) allows employers that self-insure—that is, those large enough to build their own risk pools and pay benefits directly—to offer uniform plans across state lines. This lets thousands of businesses avoid, for the most part, the costly federal and state regulations on covered treatments, pricing, rate setting and so on. It also gives them flexibility to design insurance to recruit and retain workers in a competitive labor market. Roughly 75% of employer-based coverage is governed by Erisa’s “freedom of purchase” rules.

Goodbye to all that. The House bill says that after a five-year grace period all Erisa insurance offerings will have to win government approval—both by the Department of Labor and a new “health choices commissioner” who will set federal standards for what is an acceptable health plan.

In other words, the insurance coverage of 132 million people—the product of enormously complex business and health-care decisions—will now be subject to bureaucratic nanomanagement. If employers don’t meet some still-to-be-defined minimum package, they’ll have to renegotiate thousands of contracts nationwide to Washington’s specifications. The political incentives will of course demand an ever-more generous “minimum” benefit and less cost-sharing, much as many states have driven up prices in the individual insurance market with mandates. Erisa’s pluralistic structure will gradually constrict toward a single national standard.

So when Mr. Obama says that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,” he’s wrong. Period. What he’s not telling the American people is that the government will so dramatically change the rules of the insurance market that employers will find it impossible to maintain their current coverage, and many will drop it altogether. The more we inspect the House bill, the more it looks to be one of the worst pieces of legislation ever introduced in Congress.

This is bad news. You representative has not read what Obama is trying to ram through congress with unnecessary urgency. Obama himself doesn't know what he's so hastily promoting. How's this all sound to you, voters? But wait, there's more:

We hear endlessly about how many Americans don't have health insurance. But, if we stop and think — which politicians hope we never do — that raises the question as to why that calls for government-controlled medical care. A bigger question is whether medical care will be better or worse after the government takes it over.

As for those uninsured Americans we keep hearing about, there is remarkably little interest in why they don't have insurance. It cannot be poverty, for the poor can automatically get Medicaid.

Such questions seldom get asked, much less answered. We are like someone being rushed by a used car dealer to sign on the dotted line. But getting stuck with a car that is a lemon is nothing compared to signing away your right to decide what medical care you or your loved ones will get in life-and-death situations.

Politicians can throw rhetoric around about "bringing down the cost of health care," or they can even throw numbers around. But the numbers that politicians are throwing around don't match the numbers that the Congressional Budget Office finds when it analyzes the hard data.

The point is that health care is largely in your hands. Medical care is in the hands of doctors. Things that depend on what doctors do — cancer survival rates, for example — are already better here than in countries with government-run medical systems. But if political rhetoric prevails, we may yet sell our birthright and not even get the mess of pottage.

Shooting Fido in the Back.

If cops "have to" shoot dogs for their own protection, why aren't there thousands of dead mail carriers across the country?

The raid made headlines around the world, not only because the police mistakenly busted into the home of a sitting mayor (believe it or not, that has happened elsewhere), but because they killed Calvo's two black Labradors, Peyton and Chase. Peyton was shot four times. Chase was shot twice, once from behind as he fled.

Within days, Calvo and his family were cleared of any wrongdoing, but Prince George's officials have steadfastly refused to apologize. As Calvo later told a local TV station, "The county has defended their actions, saying basically that what they did to us is standard operating procedure. That's the chilling message."

Somewhere between lack of training, occupational hubris and just being a sissy, cops often seem too eager to plug a family pet, frequently when it's the stupidest and most cruel of all their options.

16 July 2009

While You Are Sleeping

I continue to ask in vain, as I wave my arms in the air: "You who voted for this, start defending it!"

It didn't take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House's "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.

Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn't be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans' lives.

It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It's scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we'll come across in the final 1,002.

The real problem here is 47% of America ran outside, got fired up, went to rallies, covered their Kerry/Edwards stickers with Obama/Biden stickers, voted, partied, and then completely disappeared and have no idea what's going on.

Stop Thinking for Yourself

Everything you have been told before is now different.

See - at one time you knew enough to trust your own sensibilities. That does not work anymore. For instance, Al Gore tells us that a hot day is because of global warming climate change and a cold day is also because of global warming climate change. Which is it?

Then you were expected to believe what they told you on the evening news. But that did not pan out either, since establishment media is stocked with lapdogs for the current administration.

Now and a more profound twist, you can no longer believe what was bad during the campaign is still bad now because, now; it's policy!

Remember, before the election, when Wall Street profits and largess were evil?
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc said quarterly earnings surged 33 percent on blowout trading results, trouncing forecasts and putting the bank on pace for hefty bonuses that could draw unwanted scrutiny.

The results continued Goldman's extraordinary rebound from a near meltdown of the U.S. banking industry last fall that led to a $125 billion taxpayer bailout for its largest members.

Goldman set aside $6.65 billion for salary, bonuses and benefits in the quarter, up by nearly half from the quarter ended in May last year.

That puts the average Goldman employee on pace to earn more than $900,000 this year. Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, senior officers and star traders will likely receive tens of millions of dollars.

Remember, before the election, when we'd see a leaner, more effective government?

Recovery.gov is the Obama administration's website for tracking government stimulus spending. Will there soon be a tracking explanation of the $18 million that the administration has recently dedicated to redesigning and maintaining the newly-launched site for the next four and a half years?

The Maryland-based Smartronix Inc. won a bid for $9.5 million to redesign the already-functional Recovery.gov by January and up to $18 million through 2014, according to a press release from the General Services Administration.

Smartronix isn't giving interviews right now about the deal.

No kidding.

"That's insane," said Brad Crowell, a Los Angeles-based Web designer who worked on a now-defunct media-rich social network. "I would never have to work again in my life... It doesn't even take a million dollars a year to keep a site up."
What a novel use for $18 million of stimulus money; stimulating the website that's keeping track of the stimulus. Remember, before the election, when wasteful junkets were a clear sign of excess?
PHOENIX -- A Social Security Administration motivational management conference held at a high-end Valley resort last week cost $700,000, the SSA told the ABC15 Investigators.

Costs for the conference at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa included airfare, hotel entertainment, dancers, motivational speakers, and food, an administration official said.

A spokesperson outside the SSA's Phoenix office declined to comment.
You don't say.
A spokesperson from the SSA's regional office said the conference was essential, that teleconferencing was not an option, and that all 675 managers needed to meet in person. The SSA provided ABC15 with a list of courses provided at the conference, which included "Techniques to Empower You," "Mentoring the Generations," and "Emotional Intelligence."
What am I thinking; it's only wasteful excess in the PRIVATE sector.

Hope, change; horseshit.

14 July 2009

Looking at it One Way

There are no more Desotos, no more Criterion and no more Prom Ballroom.

There are no radio stations playing big band music. There are no more street cars to take you where you want to go.

The grocery stores my grandmother shopped at aren't there anymore. There are less and less attending her church. Milo's Skelly is long gone and no one would recognize her at her bank.

Since she was born in Saskatchewan, she could never aspire to be president. So, maybe it was grandma's time to go.

11 July 2009

Playing VP Can Be a Fun Game

Good for Joe Biden that criticism of VP secret dealings started and ended with that ol' Dick Cheney.
We've especially noted Biden's innumerable "private meetings" that are closed to the press because, well, they're private.

And we've wondered aloud how this Democratic VP's private meetings with unnamed people on unnamed subjects differs from the private meetings with unnamed people that his evil predecessor had that got so many Democratic senators and representatives worried about nefarious secrets.

Well, today's schedule, unlike many at the end of Biden's work weeks, contains no "private meetings." Not one.

According to the White House schedule, Biden will not spend the remainder of the workday in private meetings that are closed press.

Instead: "The Vice President will spend the remainder of the day in meetings that are closed press."
Move along, lapdog press; nothing to see here.

06 July 2009

Let Me Offer This . . .

. . . as something most everyone else is not thinking about: I think there's a lot more strategy here than meets the eye.

I will admit I don't know why Governor Palin is resigning and neither do you. All I know is that she's really forcing her hecklers into also referring to President Obama, who also his post for another gig, as a "quitter." She's also solidified the hypocracy on the left that would otherwise be worshiping a woman with her accomplishments if she had a 'D' after her name.

For now, the spiteful freaks like Maureen Dowd and the hit/runners in the fever swamp at HufPo are feeling pretty smug. Problem for them is that they are not smart enough to know from where the last laugh may very well come.

"If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

Michael Who?