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Thoughts on 2009.

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Well, another year has come and gone in the history of the United States and what a year it was. America elected its first black president to much fanfare, but outside of this development 2009 is shaping up to be one of the worst years in American history.

So much has happened this year that it is enough to make your head spin. On the political front, Obama has proven to be an ineffectual President thus far. He gave us a poorly designed stimulus plan that only added mounds of debt and did not perform as advertised. His healthcare plan has been an amalgamated, rushed mess that will make all Americans worse off. We have had two successful terrorist attacks on American soil, one resulting in 14 deaths (Ft. Hood) and the other a massive breach of security that only failed because of the amateurishness of the terrorist and the bravery of the passengers and flight crew of Flight 253.

For all of his “soaring rhetoric” his foreign policy has proven to be a dud. Iran is more belligerent than ever as they rapidly move towards getting a nuclear weapon. North Korea ended the truce and the Korean Peninsula is technically at war again. The removal of the missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland did not gain us any favor with Russia. The lack of not meeting the Dalai Lama did not gain us any favor with China. Democratic countries such as Britain, Israel and Honduras were given the cold shoulder. Copenhagen turned out to be a dud. Things were so bad for Obama that he couldn’t even get the Olympics for his hometown of Chicago!

We also lost some pretty famous people this year. Michael Jackson, Billy Mays and Farrah Fawcett all died within weeks of one another. Brittany Murphy died at the age of 33. Esteemed journalist Robert Novak died this year. Even though I don’t agree with his politics, Ted Kennedy died before the atrocious healthcare reform bill started. These are but a few of the famous deaths that occurred this year. I am pretty sure that I missing a great many others, but it is not on purpose and may you all rest in peace.

And what about that Tiger Woods? Talk about a fall from grace. This man was once on top of the world with millions in endorsements, a loving family and the respect of people in and out of the sport of golf. However, it turns out he was nothing but a pig. You know, it never surprises me the extent to which famous blacks will go to ruin their careers. Cheating is one thing. Cheating with multiple women is another. Cheating with multiple women and lying about it is another thing entirely. Painting yourself as a traditional values family man in order to garner endorsements and endear yourself to whites to only cheat with multiple women and then lie about it is the absolute sin in this country. I hope he can put back together his family life (the most important thing) and I hope he works to get back into the good graces of the country because the game of golf needs him, literally.

All in all, 2009 was a crazy year, but 2010 will be the year when America’s course will truly be determined. There will be a reckoning on all of the debt that we have incurred in just one year under Obama. The destruction of healthcare continues when Congress comes back into session next year. On the foreign policy front, I think it is going to get a lot worse. Indeed, because of his lack of wanting to “meddle” in Iranian affairs, Obama may be potentially ceding the ability to influence Iranian opinion to the Russians and Chinese. Obama has yet to recognize the full extent to which he must be President. He has dug himself a massive hole and climbing out of it is going to be a monumental task.

That being said, don’t worry about any of this stuff tomorrow. Instead, bundle up with your loved ones, drink to your heart’s content and be merry and ring in the New Year with a sense of pride and purpose. After all, America is still these best country on the face of the planet.

Have a wonderful New Year.

The only option left for the Republicans.

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Now that Obamacare is all but certain to pass, there is only one thing left for Republicans from heretofore: their only obligation to the American people is to repeal whatever law that Obamacare establishes. Once Obamacare gets hooked in, America will be constantly re-reforming healthcare and the entire budget will be consumed with nothing but talk about how to “reform” healthcare. As I mentioned in another post, nations that have socialized medicine find that it is much harder in practice than in theory to ensure that their citizens have a “right” to healthcare. It is the greatest deception to the a nation’s citizens that their perceived “right” is mired with bureaucratic red tape and regulatory burdens that make a free market all but impossible to attain.

So what should the Republicans do until they have enough numbers to repeal Obamacare? Continuously remind the American people that it was the Democrats that gave them this healthcare hell and point out all of the numerous inefficiencies the bill will no doubt raise. Point out the myriad taxes that were passed to fund the bill. Point out the price floors AND price ceilings that are placed on insurance companies so that they may not raise rates to cover any excess claims that will obviously be made by the sickest and take away from the prudent individuals who tried to control their own costs (don’t believe that insurance companies are doing this just for “profits”). Point how the numerous regulations telling doctors how to perform increases the wait time and the access for Americans who will need care. Point out how tort reform is sorely lacking and will cause doctors to be more cautious than ever and will cause doctors to “teach to the book” when it comes to practicing medicine and not deviate from the governmental regulations. Point out how because of the regulations, the shortage and quality of doctors is going to become acute and will affect access and quality of care. Oh, and remind the voters that benefits actually don’t start until 2014, but tax revenue collection and premium increases start in 2010.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Even before the bill was passed by the Senate, countless little nuggets was being revealed that would have a negative impact on the American people. One of those nuggets was a cap that the insurance companies could place on the amount of coverage they could pay for cancer patients. Another is the death advisory panely that the Dems tried to make unrepealable by invoking a super-duper majority 2/3 votes requirement. There is no doubt that as the years go by there will be other nuggets that will manifest themselves and prove to be a ridiculous burden upon the American people.

The Republicans will once again have to show that they are on the side of the American people, just as they did during the 19th century as it took up the battle against slavery. The modus operandi of Republicans until Obamacare is completely repealed is the repeal of Obamacare. Not only is this country dependent upon it, but so are all of the other countries that practice socialized medicine. After all, how exactly will those countries be able to practice “good” medicine if the only country that has a semblance of a free market decides to give it all up? REPEAL OBAMACARE REPUBLICANS.

Michael Barone gives a reminder that in politics things are rarely settled.

December 25, 2009 Leave a comment

In the New York Post, Michael Barone wrote a piece that gives an apt comparison between what the Democratic Party did to try and resolve slavery in the late 1800s and what the Democratic Part is trying to do today to try and resolve healthcare. The end result then did not look so pretty:

The issue that Douglas said the Kansas-Nebraska Act would settle forever was slavery in the territories. His bill repealed the 34-year-old Missouri Compromise, which prohibited slavery in territories north of Arkansas, and substituted popular sovereignty — territory residents could vote slavery up or down.

We can’t say with assurance that the Kansas-Nebraska Act was unpopular — Gallup didn’t start polling until 81 years later. But the results of the next election were pretty convincing: The Republican Party was suddenly created to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the 1854-55 elections transformed the Democrats’ 159-71 majority to a 108-83 Republican margin. Democrats didn’t win a majority of House seats for the next 20 years.

On the health-care bill, there can be little doubt about public opinion. Quinnipiac, polling just after the Senate voted cloture, found Americans opposed by a 53 percent to 36 percent margin. Polls suggest that Democrats may suffer as much carnage in the 2010 elections as they did in 1854.

Nor did the Kansas-Nebraska Act settle the issue it addressed. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers fought it out in “bleeding Kansas,” and Douglas felt obliged to break with the Democratic administration and disown election-stealing by the pro-slavery side. The issue roused a former congressman named Abraham Lincoln to re-enter politics, and he beat Douglas in the popular vote (but not in the legislature) in 1858 and then was elected president in 1860.

During that time, the Democratic Senator thought he was doing what he thought was right in addressing the problem of slavery. Unfortunately, as Barone points out, he only made matter worse. If there is one thing that the people do not like is when the government forces something unpopular down their throats, as this one Senator did with his pro-slavery bill (oh, and an aside, this is more evidence that shows that the party that was always pro-slavery was the Democratic Party and a third party, the Republican Party, was formed to counter the pro-slavery Democratic Party. That’s not taught in today’s schools, but I digress.).

Eventually, the issue of slavery would be solved a year later, with the advent of the Civil War. I am going to go out on a limb and say that America will not go to war with itself over whether we want socialism or capitalism, but it illustrates a point that legislation that politicians think will solve a problem rarely does so. Indeed, in the same article Michael Barone quotes The Atlantic‘s economics blogger, Meaghan McArdle:

“We haven’t even really started. Our budget problems are as big as ever, and we just used up both political capital, and some of our stock of tax increases and spending cuts, to pay for something else.”

She is absolutely correct. The minute this bill is signed into law, the Congress will have to meet over and over to try and fine tune the bill, trying to interpret what the law would mean, figuring out how to spend money and where to make the needed cuts, to try and entice people to go into the medical profession, where to build needed hospitals, and other traps that will spring forth. No country that practices socialized medicine is ever truly finished with healthcare because healthcare is complex and the needs of citizens must be balanced with how much money to spend trying to meet those needs. That is why it was pretty arrogant of Obama to say that he is “determined to be the last President” to deal with healthcare. It is all but certain that if Obamacare becomes law, a future President will have to deal with the mess that this bill will no doubt create.

The Democrats may think that the price they will pay for socialized medicine will not be of consequence and over time people will learn to love socialized medicine. They shouldn’t be too sure: when people begin to learn that benefits won’t start until 2014, but the pain of taxes and new rules for insurance companies start in 2010, they won’t easily forget that the party that heaped this monstrosity upon them was the Democrats.

Bonnie Erbe gets it right about Obama.

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

From Notable and Quotable at the WSJ:

If only the Nobel Committee and the American voting public had dug a bit deeper before they endorsed Obama, they might not have been so surprised when he morphed into an unexpected type of president. The New York Times reported in February 2008 that Obama had a history of stretching his accomplishments and playing to his audience of the moment. It would have been easy to see what was coming if only voters had paid more attention to his record as a twister of facts and prince of prevarication. . . .

Mind you, she is actually talking about the how Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize diminished its luster as a symbol of peace and major accomplishment. Of course, I think the prize was diminished when a terrorist, a shyster AGW-hocking politician, and a truly failed President received it, but let’s not argue over semantics. Erbe raises an exact point: those who knew Obama for what he is are not surprised that he has not lived up to his expectations in office. Every time he would talk he would always embellish or stretch his accomplishments to make himself look more pristine and polished, but that was all a lie (I’ll be a little more coarser than Erbe). Now he has been stripped bare for all to see.

So what has Obama done for the American people? Has he been the moderate who pledged to “cut taxes for 95% of Americans”? Has he introduced a “net spending cut” to help bring the deficit under control? Has he ended the “bad war” in Iraq earlier than expected? Has he closed Gitmo? Has he not escalated the “good war” in Afghanistan? Has he repaired our image around the world through charm? Has Iran stopped being bellicose even after we do not stand with the dissidents? Has he even brought about the new “green economy” that he was yapping about at the beginning of his term? What even happened to the talk about the “green economy”? What in the hell is the “green economy”?

The problem with frauds is that eventually they are found out. We tried to warn our Leftie brothers that Obama was not who he said he was. Now we all get to witness the “prince of prevarication” be undone by the awesome power of the Presidency.

Nope, nothing to do with politics.

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Chris Horner at NRO posts a portion of the EPA memorandum detailing EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s for the EPA ruling to regulate carbon emissions:

MEMORANDUM
SUBJECT: A Week to Remember
FROM: Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
TO: All EPA Employees

Colleagues:

This week we made history.

On Monday, I signed the finalized endangerment finding on greenhouse gases, a decision that has been years in the making. The long-overdue finding cements 2009’s place in history as the year when our government — and our agency — truly began addressing the challenge of greenhouse gas pollution and seizing the opportunities of clean energy reform….

Our actions also send a clear message to the global community that the United States — with EPA leading the way — is committed to acting on the greatest environmental challenge of our time.
That message to our global partners was absolutely critical this week in my talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. I can’t tell you how proud I was to represent the United States and all of us here at EPA in the meetings I attended. The world is watching – and they are excited about the hard work you are doing.”

Yep, the end result of our scientific method demands that we make a decision to satisfy our “global partners”. This isn’t politics, mind you, this is “putting science back in its rightful place”, just like Obama said.

If you don’t know what the HELL is in it, why in the HELL are you voting for it?

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Apparently not even the Democrats know what’s in the bill and what its impact will be on our existing healthcare system:

“It is a major part of health reform that has clearly not gotten the airing of, say, the public option,” acknowledged Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. Wondered Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland: “What is the impact on the stability of Medicare? If we are going to expand it to three million people, then how are we going to pay for it? One of the ideas of health reform was to ensure the stability and solvency and benefit package of Medicare.”

Ron Wyden asks a really good question: what IS the public option? That question just leads to more questions: What does it entail? What services will it provide? What will it cover? How much will it cost? How many people will it cover?

“It is immoral to vote against healthcare reform” Mikulski should’ve considered the impact Obamacare would’ve had on Medicare BEFORE undergoing the debate on this thing. The simplest answer is that Medicare would be greatly impacted by Obamacare as it would’ve caused 1 of 2 scenarios: 1) Obamacare would replace Medicare as it is absolutely stupid to have two government run systems tripping over one another to provide the same services to one group of people (then again, maybe it’s smart because the government’s doing it) or 2) Obamacare would parasitically suck resources from Medicare to fund its ever increasing budget. Since #2 does the least damage politically, the Dems decided to go with that one. Both, however, does great damage to senior care. Now, mind you, I WANT Medicare to go away, but what the Dems are doing to seniors now is a raw deal: they are proposing to take something from the seniors and give them something absolutely worse in return.

This debate on healthcare has been utterly irrational from the moment Obama proposed this stupid takeover. This wondering out loud of what impact Obamacare would have on the current healthcare system should have been undertaken BEFORE the bill to try and take over the healthcare system.

Oh, and if you wonder whether there will be rationing in healthcare, don’t worry, the government ain’t going to do it. They’ll have the insurers do it. Yep, that’ll make Americans even more happier to have insurance companies paying for their healthcare. This is what happens when you don’t read your own stupid bills, Rep. Wyden and “it is immoral to vote against healthcare reform” Mikulski.

So much for bending the cost curve down.

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

It looks like that cost bending isn’t going in the direction that the Dems were hoping for:

“A new report from government economic analysts at the Health and Human Services Department found that the nation’s $2.5 trillion annual health care tab won’t shrink under the Democratic blueprint that senators are debating. Instead, it would grow somewhat more rapidly than if Congress does nothing.

More troubling was the report’s assessment that the Democrats’ plan to squeeze Medicare for $493 billion over 10 years in savings relies on specific policy changes that “may be unrealistic” and could lead to cuts in services. The Medicare savings are expected to cover about half the nearly $1 trillion, 10-year cost of expanding coverage to the uninsured.”

The first paragraphs of the article tells you everything you need to know. However, the article then tries its best to give cover to the Dems:

“The one bright note: The bill would provide coverage to 93 percent of Americans, reducing the number of uninsured people by about 33 million, the report said.”

If that’s a bright note, they’re intent on making as bright as the sun. There is no positive in any of this. Is it really worth $2 trillion to increase the number of insured from 85% to 93%? Also, what about access? Does increased coverage lead to increased access? Of course not, but don’t reign on their parade. The Dems will have their new talking point and they are sticking with it.

I’m going to come out and say it: anyone who thought that socializing medicine would result in “bending the cost curve down” is a damned idiot.