“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wonderboy's Big Healthcare Lie In The State of the Union Address

I couldn't bear to watch the lengthy whining that promised to be Wonderboy's State of the Union address last night.

However, I saw salient passages on the various news programs. And the one that really struck me as the baldfaced lie our First Rookie told when he claimed to be open to ideas about health care reform.

I don't have the exact quote, but he essentially said,

'If anyone has an idea to improve the quality of health care and reduce its cost, I want to hear it!'

Of course, this is a total lie.

The Congressional Republicans put forth alternative plans and amendments addressing the following aspects of health care reform:

1. Tort reform.
2. Interstate marketing of health insurance
3. Uniform pre- or after-tax treatment of health insurance premiums
4. Removal of mandates so that each buyer may purchase exactly what health insurance fits their needs.
5. Health savings accounts.
6. Federally-provided vouchers to the poor to buy health insurance, including, if necessary, for those with pre-existing conditions, federally-supplied health insurance of last resort.

Congressional Democrats ignored all of these ideas. So did Wonderboy.

Even last night, he continued to lie through his teeth, claiming to be open to all ideas which would improve US health care.

Looks like three more years of the same from this president. A lot of self-impressing rhetoric composed mostly of lies.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wonderboy's Disingenuous Spending "Freeze"

Only a few days ago, I wrote about Karl Rove's analysis of Wonderboy's spending binge of early 2009. Growth rates of 20%+ in some spending categories were not uncommon as part of the new administration's first fiscal moves.

Now, in addition to the Congressional Democrats' attempt to snooker Republicans into joining a 'deficit commission,' Wonderboy is floating a ploy to trap them by means of a faux spending "freeze."

The "faux" part comes from the fact that the so-called freeze will only cover about 17% of the federal budget. A mere sliver of its total outlays.

But, as Glenn Beck pointed out on his program last night, there's a seamy underside to Wonderboy's gambit.

Not only does freezing such a small portion of total federal spending, about .5%, as Beck calculated, not do much of any significance for the deficit, but, by freezing certain spending categories, the First Rookie makes them off-limits to Republican cutting, should they regain one or both Houses of Congress in November.

It's a pretty slick trick. For example, Beck pointed out that the EPA would fall under the freeze. I believe he said its budget had been swollen by 25-30% last year. Freezing it now would effectively leave such bloated spending levels intact for the rest of Wonderboy's term.

Fortunately, Americans are being bombarded with punditry exposing this expedient trick by the president. And not buying it.

Numbers after last night's State of the Union address indicated that few voters were swayed by the First Orator's magical wordsmithing. Rather than move back to the center, following three straight major Democratic losses- two governships and a Senate seat in deep-blue Massachusetts- he's moving full speed ahead to the left.

And this parlor trick of having pumped up spending levels in his favorite departments, then offering to freeze them, is cynical and disgusting In effect, Wonderboy is betting that voters are too stupid to realize what he's doing.

So much for transparency, eh?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beau Biden Drops Out of Delware Senate Race

Apparently the fallout from Scott Brown's win in the recent Massachusetts Senate race continues and spreads across the country.

Michelle Malkin wrote this piece explaining the real reason why VP "Lying" Joe Biden's son Beau dropped out of the race to replace his father in the Senate.

According to Malkin, the younger Biden began to realize how much of the shady deals, deep-pockets connections of his family to the trial bar, and all round sleazy litigation deals would come to light, were he to remain in the race.

Maybe Scott Brown has become a sort of modern day political Paul Revere, warning American voters everywhere of the danger that is cresting in this era of the Chicago Way.

Whatever the reason, and I think Malkin is on target, let's be grateful yet another Senate family line of corrupt succession has been broken.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SuperFreakonomics On Solving Alleged Climate Problems

I recently finished reading Steven Levitt's and Stephen Dubner's SuperFreakonomics, the sequel to their incredibly popular Freakonomics of several years ago.

I cannot recommend both books highly enough. Though not partisan in any explicit fashion, the authors come across, by virtue of their subject matter and methods, as quasi-libertarians.

The last chapter of SuperFreakonomics deals with the current fad involving global warming. To say it is scathing is an understatement.

However, the chapter illuminates three interesting things.

First, it reveals that ex-Microsoft chief scientist, Nathan Myhrvold, has built the modern equivalent of Thomas Edison's invention laboratory. The eclectic mix of scientists and deep thinkers is impressive, as are the few inventions which Levitt and Dubner describe in their recent book.

Second, thanks to open-minded evaluation of empirical evidence, Myhrvold's team has deduced that the most effective way for humans to cool the planet is to mimic nature's most effective device, the sulphur-dioxide spewing volcano. They have developed an efficient and effective means of introducing modest amounts of the gas into the earth's polar regions for, at most, $250MM. The authors note that this sum is less than Al Gore spends annually to promote the cause of worrying about global warming.

Another, less expensive method to augment global cooling, involving the creation of clouds over oceans, is also mentioned.

That such a sensible, effective and cheap means of simulating what we know cools the planet, i.e., post-volcanic sulfur dioxide emissions, exists, and isn't already being implemented, at least on a test basis, ought to tell you what you need to know about the sincerity of Gore, Wonderboy's administration, or the global climate change community's sincerity about solving the alleged warming problem.

Finally, to put a fine point on how stupid Al Gore actually is, consider this quote of his in the final chapter of Freakonomics,

"If we don't know enough to stop putting 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the atmosphere every day, how in God's name can we know enough to precisely counteract that?"

For the record, when asked what he thinks of geoengineering, the term Myhrvold's team gives to manipulating the environment to affect things like climate change, Gore replies,

"In a word, I think it's nuts."

Just reading Gore's first quote makes my head hurt, it's so stupid. The consequent is completely unassociated with the premise. Knowing that we pollute has nothing to do with knowing how to counteract it. Notice the point isn't to stop pollution, but to counter its alleged bad effects.

The only nutty thing is Gore's total inability to actually think about real problem solving. Being a politician, he apparently only knows how to cry "wolf" and then try to punish the alleged perpetrators, no matter what the cost to society.

I really hope a lot of people buy and/or read this book. It's inspirational on so many levels.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wonderboy's Fiscal Sleights of Hand

Karl Rove wrote a succinct, fact-based piece in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago entitled "Obama's Fiscal Fantasy World."

Apparently, this piece was the first shot fired in Rove's recent explicit on-air war with Wonderboy chief political adviser David Axelrod. The latter has, of course, attempted to blame all spending on the prior administration.

Rove's piece from January 7 shows that won't wash.

What was really eye-opening was Rove's focus on how Wonderboy, under the guise of all sorts of emergency spending, as Rove notes, pumped up various expenditures,

"He did that by increasing discretionary domestic spending for the last half of fiscal year 2009 by 8% and then increasing it another 12% for fiscal year 2010.

So discretionary domestic spending now stands at $536 billion, up nearly 24% from President George W. Bush's last fully year budget in fiscal 2008 of $433.6 billion."

Rove then points out that our First Rookie plans to raid the $240B of repaid TARP funds, which were never meant to be spending, but, rather, temporary investments into then-troubled banks.

According to Rove's analysis, Wonderboy's administration is going to ratchet federal spending up to 24% of GDP, far above the long term post-WWII average of 20%.

Elsewhere, Rove has subsequently noted that the modest 2-3% domestic discretionary spending cuts now floated by Wonderboy's minions amounts to pocket change, in the wake of the 24% increase already swelling such spending.

One hopes Congressional Republicans heed Rove's caution in being sucked into the Democrat-dominated, prospective 'deficit reduction commission.' Rove, along with New Gingrich, worries that this is simply cover for Democrats to call for higher taxes to reduce deficits, rather than reduce spending.

Rove can be counted on to provide a cold, clear-eyed view of the reckless spending being perpetrated by Wonderboy, no matter what sorts of games his administration's lackey's try to play with the numbers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Court Takes Back First Amendment Rights Congress Took Away

Whenever New York Senator Chuck Schumer complains about and is against something, you can be pretty sure that something is good for you.

In this case, that "something" was the completely unconstitutional element of the more than a decade-old McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

The bill baselessly banned corporations (and unions) from publishing anything mentioning a candidate in a federal election within a fairly short period of time prior to said election.

Schumer and his cronies, taking the free speech-robbing law as their baseline, are screaming that the Supreme Court has erred on the side of allowing large organizations- both corporate and labor- to swamp individuals by their prospectively large influences in campaigns.

However, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer had it right when he explained that the court has quite simply gutted yet another attempt by Congress to suppress free speech.

Krauthammer went on to note that laws such as McCain-Feingold, while appearing to allow more weight for the individual, in fact give loosely-defined and overseen powers to federal government officials to police campaign speech. Political speech, he observed, is precisely the sort that incumbents like to muzzle. So the Supreme Court's ruling is a victory for American voters, because it removes a rather longstanding and unconstitutional attempt by Congress to control political speech in elections.

Why shouldn't corporations be allowed the same rights to political speech as persons? Corporations have interests, owners who are harmed by government, and have legitimate views which are entwined with their private property rights. Many billions of dollars of America's private property are owned via the corporate form.

Why, then, should that form, and those assets' owners be forbidden to speak out on their own behalf?

They clearly should not. Nor should unions.

In fact, if anything, the recent court decision striking down the offensive part of McCain-Feingold somewhat levels the playing field. It's well known that unions often use their funds and members in ways focused on getting out the vote and influencing elections in ways that corporations cannot match. Now, corporations are allowed to return to the political fray and provide an offset to the time, energy and money which unions like SEI, AFSCME and other liberal, Democrat-leaning labor organizations have been dumping into their chosen candidates' campaigns for years.

Rather than be misled by Schumer's lies and complaints, cheer instead for the return of an important freedom to the American political scene, and free political speech to the First Amendment.