Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Coming Federal Health Care

Democrats are getting ready to do battle for universal health insurance, having learned valuable lessons from the failure of Bill Clinton's sweeping effort.
Before they spend the $634 Billion on supplementing and being a test run for future efforts at taking over one eighth of the economy, I wish they could get Medicare right first. Bleeding money, losing doctors, and growing in regulatory oppression, yeah, government run health care works so well.
Obama just wants the opportunity to make everyone's life just as miserable as those already on government health care. Shouldn't be hard to accomplish.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't You Want One of These?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Picture Being Worth a Thousand Arguments

How to deal with Pork Spending

Pork barrel spending, otherwise known as earmarks, are individual spending items added by a Senator or Representative without going through the normal appropriations procedure. Often inserted by committee chairmen prior to final passage, most people don't know that they even exist. But they are a valued part of governance it seems, even as Obama has called the massive spending bill known as the "stimulus" being free from pork, it still displays all of the basic elements of being pork, while at the same time amounting to over a trillion (Sorry, first time, it was billion, but that is just such a little number these days). Now we learn that the leaders of both houses are against the idea of removing pork as we spend our way into oblivion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants the White House to tread lightly on earmarks, saying that any push by the Obama administration to clamp down on pet projects would be met with strong opposition from congressional leaders.
Since it seems too hard for our elected officials to exercise any form of self restraint, we need to have a Constitutional Amendment along the same lines as that in our own State Constitution. The actual language could suit just as well for the feds:
Proposed Amendment

Section 11. Bills. (1) A law shall be passed by bill which shall not be so altered or amended on its passage through the legislature as to change its original purpose. No bill shall become law except by a vote of the majority of all members present and voting.
(2) Every vote of each member of the legislature on each substantive question in the legislature, in any committee, or in committee of the whole shall be recorded and made public. On final passage, the vote shall be taken by ayes and noes and the names entered on the journal.
(3) Each bill, except general appropriation bills and bills for the codification and general revision of the laws, shall contain only one subject, clearly expressed in its title. If any subject is embraced in any act and is not expressed in the title, only so much of the act not so expressed is void.
(4) A general appropriation bill shall contain only appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, for interest on the public debt, and for public schools. Every other appropriation shall be made by a separate bill, containing but one subject.

In this way, we the People will be able to do that which our elected officials seem hopelessly incompetent to do.

Criminal Justice for Fun and Profit.

The esteemed Sen. Shockley has proposed SB 263 which deals with the imposition of Public Defender fees.
I see this as having a tremendously chilling effect on the rights of the poor to plead and maintain their innocence. The gist of the fees in part are:

(5) THE COURT SHALL INCLUDE PUBLIC DEFENDER COSTS IN THE JUDGMENT AT THE FOLLOWING RATES:
(A) MISDEMEANOR GUILTY PLEA, OTHER THAN A MISDEMEANOR UNDER 61-8-401, 61-8-406, OR 61-8-410, $250;
(B) MISDEMEANOR GUILTY PLEA UNDER 61-8-401, 61-8-406, OR 61-8-410, $500;
(C) MISDEMEANOR TRIAL, $1,000;
(D) FELONY GUILTY PLEA, $1,000; AND
(E) FELONY TRIAL, $1,000 PER DAY OF TRIAL."


Nothing like law enforcement for profit. I wonder if they will go public and sell shares. Would certainly do better than any stocks I have right now.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Heresy

The Anchoress misses Bush. If you don't suffer from Bush Derangement Syndrome, it is a pretty good analysis of the false claims of outrage on so many levels that the Left employed to destroy someone who didn't deserve it. As she said elsewhere: Class shows.

The Biggest Scam Ever

No,I am not talking about Bernie Madoff. His $50 Billion Ponzi scheme is small potatoes compared to what this scam is (although Madoff has certainly established himself as a future commissioner of Social Security). This sting dwarfs all of the other forms of theft cumulatively. But you have to admire the audacity of this theft.
Any good con man knows that they have to keep the designated target of their theft on their toes, driven by two things: Fear and greed. And that is how the Obama stimulus plan was sold to us. Remember how Obama was saying that immediate action had to be taken, that any delay would prove disastrous? So much speed that out elected leaders had no chance to read the final bill and had to vote on it based on trust. Fools.
But now, the list of items that are included in the "stimulus" are starting to come out. For instance:
* $8 billion for high-speed railway (including an earmark for an Los Angeles to Las Vegas MagLev)
* $1 billion for the “FutureGen” not-ready-for-primetime near zero emission plant in Illinois
* $53.6 billion for the “state stabilization” slush fund
* $1.3 billion for Amtrak
* $24 million for USDA buildings and rent
* $176 million for renovating Agricultural Research Service buildings
* $290 million for flood prevention activities
* $50 million for watershed rehabilitation
* $1.4 billion for wastewater disposal programs
* $295 million for administrative expenses associated with food stamp program
* $1 billion for the 2010 Census
* $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
* $650 million for the DTV converter box coupon program
* $360 million for construction of NIST buildings
* $830 million for NOAA research and facilities
* $2 billion for Byrne JAG program
* $10 million to combat Mexican gunrunners
* $125 million for rural communities to combat drug crimes
* $1 billion for the COPS program
* $1 billion for NASA
* $300 million to purchase scientific instruments for colleges and museums
* $400 million for equipment and facilities at the NSF
* $3.7 billion to conduct “green” renovations on military bases
* $375 million for Mississippi River projects
* $10 million for urban canals
* $5 billion for weatherizing buildings
* $2 billion to develop advanced batteries for hybrid cars
* $3.4 billion for fossil energy research (possibly including an earmark for FutureGen)
* $5.1 billion for environmental cleanup around military bases
* $5.5 billion for “green” federal buildings
* $300 million for “green” cars for federal employees
* $20 million for IT upgrades at the Small Business Administration
* $200 million to design and furnish DHS headquarters
* $210 million for State and local fire stations
* $125 million to restore trails and abandoned mines
* $146 million for trail maintenance at National Park Service sites
* $140 million for volcano monitoring systems
* $600 million for the EPA Superfund environmental cleanup program
* $200 million to clean up leaking underground storage tanks
* $500 million for forest health and wildfire prevention
* $25 million for the Smithsonian Institution
* $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
* $1.2 billion for “youth activities” (for “youth” up to 24 years old)
* $500 million earmark for NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD
* $1 billion for Head Start
* $32 million for home-delivered nutrition services
* $160 million for volunteer programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service
* $500 million earmark for the SSA National Computer Center in MD
* $220 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission, U.S. and Mexico.

Now, can anyone spot an item in this list that couldn't have waited for the normal budgetary process? I didn't think so. No, the reasons that these items are in this emergency spending is because they never would have been passed through the regular appropriations process. Add to this spending the mortgage foreclosure boondoggle, and we are talking about an amount of money that is darned near unimaginable.
And to think that our own Max Baucus is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. I would be curious to know if Max approved these items, and if he did, why?
Well Max? What about it? Did you approve these items or not?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Revolt of the Producers

Jay Stevens at Left in the West is like many on the Left, taking Rick Santelli to task for railing against Obama's plan for people facing foreclosures. Titled "A Tea Party for Redcoats" the basic gist of both Jay's article and the self satisfied comments below, seem to be how dare anyone complain about a fiscally insane policy if its meant to help poor people. While Dave Budge does a good job in the comments section of correcting at least some of the most obvious errors (and these people that are being corrected want to run economic policy?) there is no sense that they are open to any opinion other than their own.
I only bring this up because I came across an article titled "The Revolt of the Kulaks Has Begun" and the comparison of what Jay and his ilk want to do compared with Lenin and Stalin is remarkably instructive. From the article:
The best example of this phenomenon is the forced collectivization of farms in the Soviet Union. At the time of the Revolution, Russia was a largely agrarian society which allowed more productive farmers (so-called "kulaks") to prosper. Since the kulaks represented a political threat to communism, the collectivization of farming was a focus of communist policy. From the start, the kulaks resisted, requiring Lenin to resort to repression:

Comrades! The revolt by the five kulak volost's must be suppressed without mercy. The interest of the entire revolution demands this, because we have now before us our final decisive battle "with the kulaks." We need to set an example.

1) You need to hang (hang without fail, so that the public sees) at least 100 notorious kulaks, the rich, and the bloodsuckers.
2) Publish their names.
3) Take away all of their grain.
4) Execute the hostages - in accordance with yesterday's telegram.

This needs to be accomplished in such a way, that people for hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know and scream out: let's choke and strangle those blood-sucking kulaks.

Telegraph us acknowledging receipt and execution of this.

Yours, Lenin

P.S. Use your toughest people for this.
and:
But the peasants, particularly the kulaks, refused to submit willingly, despite the promise that the contribution of their property would increase the collective good. "How did peasants initially respond to the idea of collectivization? Party agitators sent to the villages to persuade peasants of the benefits of collectivization often met with skepticism and mockery. Peasants who resisted the pressure of regional party officials to enroll in collective farms were labeled as kulaks; those who feared confiscation sold off their property as quickly as they could, in effect self-dekulakizing."
Obama's policies are being met with skepticism and mockery already. It's only a matter of time before the producers start to figure out that it is counterproductive to make more for the government to take. As a natural result, they will not make more.
If you read the whole thing you will find that it is human nature to avoid having your efforts confiscated, much as the proposed tax hikes of Obama will incur. Sometimes, it seems that people who are supposed to be so darned smart, sure do act stupid.

Barak Hoover Obama

While styling himself as Franklin Roosevelt, Obama keeps saying that we need to not return to the failed economic policies of the past. It lifts my heart to hear that, until I realize that he wants to return to the failed economic polices of Keynes. As Obama noted in his address to the Democratic meeting a couple of weeks ago, he is being accused of having a spending bill instead of a stimulus bill. Then he asks rhetorically, "what do you think stimulus is? It's spending!"
But does government spending actually create jobs? As the article linked to in the title says, government spending simply robs from Peter to pay Paul. Governments do not create wealth. Instead, through their tax policies, they destroy it. Right now, it takes thirty nine Montanans working full time paying taxes to pay for each government employee (of which I am one). If the Left's version of economics were to be carried to its absurdist position, then if everyone worked for the government except for one person, that one person would be richer than Bill Gates. But commonsense knows that is not a true statement.
Money is a measure of wealth. In a way, it is an imperfect measure, since with inflation it can be a falling measure, not a static one. It's as if your ruler keeps shrinking an inch at a time, even though it is still divided into twelve equal segments. By flooding the economy with borrowed, or worse, made up money, the value of your efforts is going to be compromised in direct proportion. Some of us are old enough to remember the old days when Jimmy Carter was president. With inflation running at 13%, retirees on fixed income were trying to find Alpo on sale, just so that they could afford something to eat. Are those days coming back? Yes, and even worse.
Obama has indicated that he plans to allow the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2010. Raising taxes during a recession is the same policy that Herbert Hoover tried, and it also failed miserably. But raising taxes at the same time as the interest payments come due on the borrowed money for the "stimulus" is only going to further suppress any private sector economic development. By stealing capital that would otherwise be available to the private sector for investment, growth or increasing productivity, the private sector will be kept stagnant. But at least we will have unemployment insurance for all the people who are not hired by the private sector. Or, we will until the Chinese stop buying our debt.
Just to shorten up the comments, let's predict the predictable responses: For instance, George Bush ran up the deficit and the debt through the war in Iraq. No doubt. But if deficit spending is supposed to get us out of the problem, Bush should have succeeded immensely under this theory, since he expanded government at a rate that Obama is going to be the only Democrat to exceed. Not to mention, that the "stimulus" bill is more expensive than the cost of the Iraq war plus all of the New Deal spending. Put together. At one time. I just don't think that you can argue that Bush was wrong for raising spending, and then say that it can be solved by more spending.
Another argument is that the last time that the deficit was eliminated was under Clinton and he raised taxes. And superficially at least, that is true. Except that there were several unique factors that make that scenario impossible to replicate. First, taxes were raised after we were coming out of a recession. In spite of the trite statements about the worst economy in 50 years, the recession had ended before the election. Second, the demise of the Soviet Union led to a reduction in defense spending. In fact, the entire surplus was equal to the amount of spending reductions in defense. Not that it wasn't needed, but to claim credit for an historical anomaly is either be cynical or stupid, and I am willing to bet that Bill Clinton is not stupid.
Finally, with the Republican revolution of 1994, one of the primary agenda items was welfare reform. Faced with poll numbers that showed the popularity of the reform, Clinton reluctantly signed off on the deal and then proceeded to claim credit for what he had long opposed. Fine, that's politics. But it wasn't Clinton's policies, as much as the forgoing and the tech bubble that provided for the prosperity. That is not going to happen over the next four years.
By raising taxes, accelerating pet Democratic policies that have no direct improvement on the economy, Obama is going to send us into a crater that will make Herbert Hoover's mistakes look like a mere misstep versus the catastrophe that is coming. My advice: Start buying guns and ammo. You will need them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Don't Know Why -

But this picture creeps me out. Can't tell if it's Schumer, Reid, or Murray juxtaposed with Baucus.

Or, maybe it's just Max.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Thousand Words

My wife (The Good Democrat) told me that Obama's coronation was "almost a spiritual event" for her. This bothered me, because I was never sucked into the mass psychosis of the rest of the country that voted for him. But then I saw this, and it all made sense.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm Sorry

I want to apologize to my children, my grandchildren, and to my great grandchildren who haven't even been born. We have just saddled you with over $300,000 each in debt, and we did it in just one day. Oh, and don't forget the interest. And for what?
To get a tax break that amounts to $13 a week? Funding for all sorts of strange stuff that we don't even know what it is, because no one has had the chance to read what was just passed? It's called a "stimulus bill" but that's just marketing to fool the people. There is very little stimulus, but a whole bunch of problems that are being pushed through under "emergency" conditions because they never would have made it on their own.
And to top it all off, because of the deficit and its impact on the debt, we will not be able to have universal health care. Add in the coming tsunami from Medicare and Medicaid, and in a few more years after that, Social Security going broke, and I am really sorry. My parents generation may have had their problems, but my generation has traded temporary gain for your long term debt.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Someone in D.C. has Principles?

Judd Gregg has withdrawn from being nominated for Commerce. His statement can be found here.
It was classy and well written. Well done Senator.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Well Said

Over at the Corner on NRO, they have been discussing liberaltarianism, which is that libertarians have more in common with liberals than they do conservatives. Jonah Goldberg has answered quite well, exactly how I feel and I especially like this part:
To say you are an economic conservative is to say you are a libertarian on 95% of the relevant issues. But to say you are a social liberal isn't anything like saying you are a libertarian on 95% of social issues.

Social liberals are often quite aggressive advocates of using state power to impose their preffered versions of "liberty." Most libertarians are disgusted by thought-policing political correctness, by forced "sensitivity" training, by so-called Hate Crimes tribunals and racial and gender quotas. They detest smoking bans, forced volunteerism and the whole panapoly of Nanny State outrages. They may detest religious incursions on government, but they also detest governmental incursions on religion. Most libertarians are localists who believe that the federal government doesn't have an all purpose writ to make everything better. They believe in the autonomy of business and other institutions to do what they want — within obvious limits — even if what they do is bad. For example, most libertarians I know may be in favor of gay marriage, but they're against the state forcing eHarmony to provide services to homosexual customers against their will.

The Dull and Frivolous

From Samizdata:
"We are ruled by people who have achieved the remarkable distinction of being both dull and frivolous."

Theodore Dalrymple. The problem is the idea that we need "rulers" at all.


I think that my analogy might be better: We have elected a government of six year olds, given them a truck full of dynamite, and told them to build something.

The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars . . . .

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What They Really Think

Abramoff Pt. 2

Remember Jack Abramoff? He was used by the Democrats to bring Conrad Burns down, to replace him with Jon Tester. Well, we still seem to have the same problem that was complained about (although Conrad was exonerated), where a lobbyist gives $500,000 to a politician, in exchange for that Congressman directing millions in appropriations to the same lobbyist.
Oh, wait. The Congressman in question is a Democrat, so I guess it's okay.

Bush-Obama Big Government

I resent that it is common to term former President Bush as a "conservative." Outside of his vigorous defense of the nation from further Al-Qaeda attacks, there is very little that he did that would be considered as conservative. Just off the top of my head - No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D the Department of Homeland Security, and more are not the programs that someone who espoused limited government would believe in.
Along comes Newt Gingrich with a plan for the restoration of Conservatism. From the article:
The Bush-Obama big government, big bureaucracy, politician-empowering, high-tax, high-inflation and high-interest-rate system continues to grow and to place the country in greater and greater danger from inflation, bureaucratic control of the economy, political interference in every aspect of our lives and massive debt.
and
Now President Obama represents continuity rather than change. The new spending bill (as the president called it in his Williamsburg speech last week) is more of the Bush-Obama continuity and represents more of the same instead of "change you can believe in."
Read the whole thing.

Two Americas

With ironic appreciation for former Sen. John Edwards, another Tale of Two Americas.

Today, under Barak H. Obama, there are two Americas, not one: One America that does the work, another that reaps the reward in the form of transfer of wealth. One America that pays the taxes, another America that writes the tax codes, and then ignores them until appointed to higher office. One America - middle-class America - whose needs Washington has long forgotten, another America - narrow-interest America such as Hollywood, unions, ACORN, - whose every wish is Washington's command. One America that is struggling to get by, another America that can buy anything it wants with borrowed money, even a Congress and a president.

One America, where Arlen Specter could receive treatment for his cancer, and another, where a bureaucrat could determine that it was not cost effective for him to receive treatment. One America where if you work hard, get a house mortgage you can afford and live within your means, and another, where if you do none of the above, you will be subsidized by those who do.

Which America do you live in?

Really?

Too Funny.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I Don't Care Which Side of the Abortion Argument You Are On - This is Horrible!

What have we become?
Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips.


Read the whole thing.

With Friends Like This

Byron York had this in the Corner. Apparently, President Obama is using his extensive campaign connections to try and push through America's $900 Billion Boondoggle/Generational Enslavement Act. You are invited to sign up and look for a group of like minded people who want to bankrupt future generations. This has to be the best of them all. Some great lines:
Reconcideration of Ethics (Economic Recovery Meeting)
and how to get there -
USA Speach By Our Most Ultimate Global Power (The President) For Our Nation On The Day That Symbolizes Love "Valentines Day"


Apparently caring, has more to do with anything than knowing about spelling, or how to give directions.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What is it with these people?

Just two weeks into Obama's Presidency, and the explosion of ethical violations just won't stop coming. Okay, this one is just another by Charlie Rangel, the head of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the house.
You remember Charlie, don't you? He is the guy who writes the tax code, and he forgot to report the income from his Dominican Republican properties. Oh, and his use of four rent controlled properties in New York City. Oh, and the fact that he never paid taxes on his use of the Capital garage for four years to store his Mercedes. Oh, and I forgot, the claim of a homestead exemption in Washington D.C. when his residence is in New York. Now we learn that he has failed to report his royalties from his book.
I sure bet that he is glad that he isn't a Republican. He would have been run out of town years ago.

Liberals and Numbers

From Nancy Pelosi's 500 Million Americans are losing their job every month (just a hint, but there are only just over 306 million Americans) to Mark T's famous assertions about the tens of millions that we have killed in Iraq, to the almost a trillion dollar bailout/generational-enslavement act, liberals seem to love numbers. Which is probably why they do so poorly in math.
Mark T has often accused me of parroting party lines. I am not sure why he does that, except it seems to be an alternate to his tactic of ignoring what a post says, so that he can rail about whatever he darned well feels like, even though it has nothing to do with the original post. But his favorite point is that the Lancet published a study showing how many Iraqis have died since the liberation in 2003.
Just one thing - the study that the Lancet article refers to, seems to have some very serious ethical questions about its conduct. What's that you say, science used for political purposes? Say it isn't so. Sorry, from manipulated data that is kept hidden from other peer review, to manipulation of reporting station data in the great global warming debate, the truth is never as good as they want to portray it for their own ends.
But I am not confident that they will have any shame that will stop them from carrying on with bogus information so long as it suits their purpose. So, if a liberal Leftist starts spouting numbers, just assume that they are making it up,

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

And On It Goes

In addition to those tax cheats listed in O-Oh, we can now add one more. Nancy Killefer, who was chosen to be Obama's Chief Compliance Officer, also owes taxes, and is apparently going to be stepping down. Is there anyone in this administration who has been paying their taxes?
Kind of makes you feel dumb, doesn't it, that you were afraid of the IRS, and dutifully, if not gladly, paid what you owed. Of course, if you were a bigwig in the Democratic Party, I guess you didn't have to.

UPDATE: Oh, and I keep forgetting Franken's $70,000 faux pas.

Monday, February 02, 2009

O-oh!

In addition to Charlie Rangel, Geithner, Daschle, Dodd's loans, Franks' intervention on behalf of a bank that was supposed to be shut down in exchange for campaign contributions, we now have Ms. Solis. Ms. Solis is the nominee for the Secretary of Labor position, but at her hearing, she has refused to answer seemingly innocuous questions related to her membership in the Americans Rights at Work, (a clever wording that would normally be prohibited under trademark laws if American Right to Work was to sue).
If she was lobbying, that is certainly illegal while a member of Congress. To say the least, she has failed to disclose the association. It's too bad that so many of the President's associates are involved in less than honest activities.
At least, they're not Tom Delay.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Unpatriotic Democrats

Remember when then Senator Joe Biden said that "paying taxes is patriotic? I first raised the issue when Chairman of the Ways and Means committee, which writes the tax code was caught up in his own mess for not paying taxes. Since then, the current Treasury Secretary has been found to have not paid taxes as well. Sure, he was confirmed because so many people said he was so smart that only he could save the economy. What, they couldn't find a smart person who does pay taxes?
Now, we have former Senate Majority Leader and former senator of South Dakota, doesn't bother to pay taxes on income that he knew he should have. It seems obvious that Senator Daschle is not a real American.
I just wonder how many other well to do Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief that they haven't been asked to assist the Obama administration. It could be expensive.