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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Warning Signs

The Economic Collapse Blog has a great article up at the moment: 20 Economic Statistics To Use To Wake Sheeple Up From Their Entertainment-Induced Comas. Great title!

Statistic #1: The United States has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

Caught your interest? I should hope so. You can catch the rest of the 20 using the link. This blog tends towards the dramatic and the doomsday, but the points are valid. They're always things that a more responsible media would be telling us. Here's the conclusion:

"Unfortunately, Barack Obama seems to believe that the worst of our economic troubles is now behind us.
If only that were true.
During this short-lived bubble of false hope, we should all be working hard to prepare for what is ahead.
A menacing storm is on the horizon and it will be here way too soon.
Let us wake up as many of the sheeple as we can while there is still time."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Obama Proposes Slashing Military Healthcare but Leaves Union Benefits Untouched

Doesn't that just sum up Obama's entire philosophy? Perks for friends and donors, and slaps in the face for the rest of us. Thanks to Rush Limbaugh for pointing out the site where I found this information, Free Beacon. Their article yesterday, Trashing Tricare, infuriated me even though I should have seen it coming, being sufficiently familiar with how Obama rolls.

"Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare."

Doesn't that just make you sick? It should. It's time I reiterated the problems inherent in Obamacare. It's not just that it will add trillions annually to our ballooning deficit once the ten year 'budget' window is up. It's not just that it doesn't meet the goal of reducing health care costs, despite all the lies thrown at us from Obama via Pelosi and Reid.  It is a poorly crafted piece of legislation, utterly at odds with common market sense!  Have you read it or talked to someone who has, your doctor perhaps? Yes, our health care system needs some serious reforms, but Obamacare doesn't address those areas, such as reliance on expensive technology to practice defensive medicine against rising medical malpractice lawsuits: it creates new regulations adding even more costs!. It must be repealed if the Supreme Court doesn't strike it down.

Now let's enumerate all the ways in which Obamacare fails us. Even before the full implementation of Obamacare, doctors are retiring and fleeing in droves. Bad for patients. Some smaller hospitals are closing. Bad for patients. Employers can't afford the more expensive insurance required under Obamacare and aren't expanding if not shrinking, bad for jobs and patients. Insurance companies are raising premiums because of Obamacare's expensive requirements: bad for patients. Bad for jobs if those companies fold. Even the public option isn't attractive: I've been on public and private and there is NO comparison in quality of care. Bad for patients. And of course, the costs will be astronomically higher than projected like every other government program, which taxpayers get to cover. Bad for everyone!

You got that? Obamacare doesn't help doctors. It doesn't help insurance companies and will likely drive most of them, if not all, out of business. It affects employment which is struggling enough already. It creates a new bureaucracy with more overhead costs and increased wait times on medical decisions that used to be, and should still be, in YOUR hands.

The current law also says that come Mar 1, 2012, Medicare (perhaps Congress punted this towards later in the year, as they already have once or twice) will no longer reimburse individuals involved in care, but give out a certain amount based solely upon diagnosis. This amount of money would not change based upon severity of the disease, length of stay, extra testing, etc. That means all doctors (and the hospital) will have to divide up the money in some way hopefully reflective of care given, and the result is projected to halve doctors' pay to a little over $100k. This might not be a big deal were medical education so long and expensive and malpractice coverage so high. But Obamacare lacks any tort reform, so medical costs will continue to be high so that doctors can assure lawyers in court that they did everything possible to care for their patients, including unnecessary expensive tests and labs. Not that I blame them for not wanting to get their butts sued off. I blame Obamacare for leaving out changes to the biggest cost driver in medicine, but what do you expect from a bunch of lawyers?

In essence, Obamacare will ruin us all and forcing the military to rely on it is hitting below the belt.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Afghanistan

Correct me if I'm wrong. There are so many misleading articles out there about the Koran burning that I'm not sure I've got the story straight. According to Rush today, prisoners were allowed to have Korans. Eventually, these prisoners were caught passing messages written in their Korans. Messages the guards couldn't read because they weren't in English.  This led to the confiscation of the Korans, and then, when they were handed off to be disposed of, and they were burned as seems to be standard with any waste over there. The people who burned them probably didn't know there were Korans in the trash anyway, and it's not like there's an English title on them even if they did. Anyway, so then the hoopla follows, Obama apologizes (idiot), and Americans are shot in Afghanistan. This tells me that a) our media sides with terrorists; b) our president is scared of terrorists and 'apologizes' when the Koran was written in by Islamic prisoners in the first place (isn't that a sin too, not just burning?); c) then Americans in the military are shot because the media sides with terrorists who don't know that this wasn't deliberate, having heard the news media reports only, which are then repeated across all Islam as a despicable act.

My point is this: Our president is a weakling, just as Gingrich and others are saying. The world is becoming a more dangerous place - no thanks to our anti-American media - and we need a stronger leader. We really need a strong leader. Any of the GOP candidates would do except Ron Paul!

What desparately needs reporting:

A) The first despicable acts were the acts of war on Americans, bringing terrorists into our prison system, the same prisoners writing in the Korans to have them confiscated in the first place.
B) Burning a Koran by accident is not the same thing as deliberate and the news media did our country no favors by reporting it the way they did. Did it even need to be reported?  Don't wash dirty laundry in public. The system could have noted their mistakes themselves privately and put measures in place to not repeat them and move on. But no, the media is always championing the causes of the left such as America is evil, America is racist, America should be punished for its success.
C) Obama is a foreign policy idiot. Apologizing, instead of saying it was an accident, which isn't much better? Or anything else a more intelligent person might have said? Such as, if you really don't like America so much then why are we still here helping you by your request? Such as burning a Koran is not as heinous a crime as killing and murdering innocent men? That they were soldiers has nothing to do with it - those men did not burn the Korans. And now the terrorists are calling for the arrest and trial of the men who did burn the Korans, however innocently.

This is all ridiculous. And tragic.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Understanding Michigan and Arizona Polls

Deseret News has an article up analyzing the polls of likely Republican voters in Michigan and Arizona, both of which have primaries on Tuesday. The whole thing is informative. Here are quotes regarding perceptions of Romney's Mormonism, the general election, and voter satisfaction:

"In sum, both Arizona and Michigan reveal continuing evangelical resistance to Romney, suggesting that the supposed "conservative" distrust of Mitt Romney is hard to disentangle from religious tensions.
The good news for Romney is that just 20 percent of those Michigan voters who doubt Mormons are Christian would consider Romney an "unacceptable" nominee. A matching 20 percent of Michigan evangelicals polled find Romney unacceptable, while only 10 percent of evangelicals in Arizona feel that way — more evidence that familiarity with Mormons reduces prejudice."


"Among likely general election voters in one-on-one matchups against Obama, Romney led the president by nine points, Santorum by five and Paul by three. Gingrich trails Obama by one point. Arizona is a state the Republicans must win in November to prevail nationally."

"Satisfaction with the GOP field remains low. Just 55 percent of likely voters in Michigan and 49 percent in Arizona are happy with the current choices. Even more telling is the enthusiasm gap. Sixty-five percent of Romney voters in Michigan and 61 percent in Arizona are satisfied with the field, but just 41 percent of Santorum's Arizona support is satisfied, and 51 percent in Michigan.
This suggests that Santorum and Gingrich both remain mere placeholders for protest votes against Romney rather than being voter soulmates."


I feel validated in my line of thinking. Any candidate is within striking distance in a matchup against Obama. Most evangelicals are willing to swallow a Mormon if it means no more Obama. And the conservative displeasure is not unified, with less satisfaction and enthusiasm for the perceived 'conservative' candidates than for those supporting Romney. In my book, they've all got differing though comparable strengths and weaknesses for a matchup against Obama. We'll get behind the frontrunner when it's time. No voter should be belittled by other members of the party for choosing one candidate over another. This is democracy, for crying out loud!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Musings and Comments

There has been a LOT of talk about the GOP and the Democrat platforms of late. You know, like the Democrats started falsely accusing the GOP of not wanting women to have contraception and that all the GOP candidates are idiots. Count on the Democrats (through leftist news media) to drive the way people think about issues without people realizing they're being duped. Only more people DO realize they're being duped, so that's a good sign that Democrat's lies have gotten more blatant. The GOP, on their side, are all tangled up about the 'right' way to handle these attacks from the left, and which candidate is the 'only' one to take it to Obama.
Most of these people in the GOP are missing the obvious: they're accepting the premises of the left! Just because the left directs the national narrative doesn't mean we can't call them out on their falsehoods and redirect the conversation back to Obama. Gingrich is good at this, for example. The truth is Obama doesn't have a ghost's chance of succeeding and the GOP candidates could all beat Obama if they played their cards right because Obama has only 'anti-GOP' cards and no 'pro-Obama' cards left! His record is atrocious! The GOP historically hasn't been one to verbally attack their opponents but I'm thinking it's high time they did. Even if we can't count on our leaders to stick up for themselves, we the people sure can voice the truth about Obama's record (unreported or underreported in news media), the Democrat's lies about just about everything, and send them running for cover! By which I mean that we had better swarm the interwebs, people. Educate. Enlighten. Explain. This can be a civil process or more inflammatory, but remember the objective is to make people stop and think and reevaluate.

For example, you could tackle the media bias and comment thus as I often do - I have a file with these comments saved for replying to pertinent ariticles:

"Some Democrats will just shout the same talking points over and over without looking at facts, and especially without looking at both sides of an argument. Republicans and their positions are mischaracterized by the leftist media all the time. You can tell how afraid the left is in 2012 by how much they focus on, criticize, and mock the right - all to distract from Obama's (unreported) horrible failures in office! And so many liberals are duped by this! There is plenty of flip-flopping and corruption with Democrats too. Partisanship causes blindness on both sides. You've got to read both sides anymore to get a good idea of what's really going on, because both sides leave stuff out. The liberal media counts on its followers being gullible enough to not think for themselves. It is your duty to be a well-informed voter, not a brainwashed and partisan voter."


Or you could take a more informational attack about Obama's record:

"We literally can't afford more of Obama. Whoever the GOP nominee is gets my vote. The leftist media doesn't admit this, but the national debt has accelerated at an unprecedented rate under Obama, and it wasn't pretty to start with. It now EQUALS our entire GDP. Reported first in the UK, because the news media here isn't honest enough to do so. This debt doesn't even count the fact that things like Obamacare won't add into the total debt until all parts of the law go into effect, and you can count on the fact that it will be much more expensive than projected, just like any other government program. To top off the horrible debt, all branches of the federal government get an automatic 10% increase in budget each year, based upon spending of the previous year. This is since the 1974 Budget Reform Act. Any proposal to lower the automatic increases are met with cries of "Draconian cuts!" from the left. It doesn't take a mathematician to realize this is unsustainable growth and will quickly turn us into the EU if we aren't already."


Or you could tackle Obama's energy policy (or lack thereof):

"Domestic oil means jobs, a growing economy, and lower cost of living. Especially after the exposure a couple months ago of Obama's domestic oil exports in the past three years (found at CNN Money) at a time that our domestic gas prices are so high, one must wonder what Obama's really going for. If he cared about the economy or jobs, he'd lift the oil-drilling moratorium and allow domestic oil to be used domestically. Prices would plummet and we would have spending money! If on the other hand, this is about the environment as he'd like you to believe, why do you believe we're saving the environment when we're instead buying oil from distant, hostile, human-rights violating countries with less stringent environmental standards then our own? That doesn't fly. It must be the ensuing economic hardship driving citizens of the United States to turn to their government instead of relying on themselves. In other words, he's laying the building blocks of socialism despite the failure of socialism everywhere in the world where it has been implemented. Do you really want to follow in the footsteps of the EU?"


Or even Congressional issues:

"Contrary to the understanding of those 'standing with the 99%,' Washington has no intention of fixing any problems within Wall Street - they've been in bed with them (on both sides) for generations, and have rigged things in the personal favor of their insider trading and political donors in the forms of tax exemption and government money. According to the recent book, "Throw them all out," a strong majority of the corruption is on the Democrat side. Obama himself has more campaign cash from Wall Street than all the GOP contenders combined. We absolutely need to look for politicians - on both sides- who recognize the culture of corruption in Washington bringing us headlong into financial crisis, and who have the character to withstand Washington's corruption and change things for the citizens of the country. We shouldn't be distracted by the partisan bickering in Washington and be partisan ourselves, that will hardly help the problem."

Or on topics related in any way to healthcare or Obamacare:

"Obamacare is a poorly crafted piece of legislation which doesn't even measure up to its own objectives of lowering health care costs. Why? It doesn't address cost-drivers in medicine at all! Have you read it, or talked to someone who has? Your doctor, perhaps? Even before the full implementation of Obamacare, doctors are retiring and fleeing in droves. Bad for patients. Some smaller hospitals are closing. Bad for patients. Employers can't afford the more expensive insurance required under Obamacare and aren't expanding if not shrinking, bad for jobs and patients. Insurance companies are raising premiums because of Obamacare's expensive requirements: bad for patients. Bad for jobs if those companies fold. Even the public option isn't attractive: I've been on public and private and there is NO comparison in quality of care. Bad for patients. And of course, the costs will be astronomically higher than projected like every other government program, which taxpayers get to cover. Bad for everyone!
"The current law also says that come Mar 1, 2012, Medicare will no longer reimburse individuals involved in care, but give out a certain amount based solely upon diagnosis. This amount of money would not change based upon severity of the disease, length of stay, extra testing, etc. That means all doctors (and the hospital) will have to divide up the money in some way hopefully reflective of care given, and the result is projected to halve doctors' pay to a little over $100k. This might not be a big deal were medical education so long and expensive and malpractice so high. But Obamacare lacks any tort reform, so medical costs will continue to be high so that doctors can assure lawyers in court that they did everything possible to care for their patients, including unnecessary expensive tests and labs. Not that I blame them for not wanting to get their butts sued off. I blame Obamacare for leaving out changes to the biggest cost driver in medicine, but what do you expect from a bunch of lawyers?"


These are my standard comments but I have used other ones as the need arises, like for the cause of balancing religious liberties with gay rights. Or explaining the context of a quotation from someone in the GOP which has been mischaracterized. Or explaining what Mormons believe when 'facts' are not quite accurate. Or talking about the raw jobs numbers which are not nearly as hopeful as the ones manipulated by the media in Obama's behalf. Or explaining the GOP side of a particular issue by stripping away the media bias.

Did you know there are tons of liberal commenters in this country who honestly believe that everyone on the right is an idiot, hates gays, blacks, and women, and are counter-progressive? As if hating the welfare program as presently constituted and the unrelenting march of gay rights against religious rights are the same thing as being a racist and a gay-hater! The left continually writes articles pointing out the inanity of the right, knowing that Obama's only chance at reelection is making people hate the GOP while simultaneously keeping them ignorant about Obama's policies and record in office.  I invite you on the right to engage yourself in the public forums. I give any of my readers permission to copy these comments directly and use them for their intended purpose: to educate the people on the left who don't really know what their party is up to or what the GOP is up to either, for that matter.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's Their Problem With Romney?

That is the title of Ann Coulter's weekly article, released yesterday. I'm still thinking about what she said. Perhaps I can make more sense of my thoughts as I write. In essence, she says that conservatives' opposition to Mitt Romney - though they uniformly supported him in 2008 - comes from a feeling that the 'establishment' wants Romney this time around. She says:

"I'm not sure what part of the Establishment supports Romney. Is it Romney supporter Christine O'Donnell, erstwhile tea party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware? Am I the face of the Establishment? (If so, the country is going to be just fine.)
"I would think that the pristine example of the Republican Establishment is Weekly Standard editor and Fox News contributor Bill Kristol. But he wants anybody but Romney, even proposing that we choose someone not running by means of a contested convention.
"Who are we trying to get nominated in a contested convention, anyway?

"Without having seen this mystery candidate in action, how do we know he won't be another Rick Perry? You'll recall that Perry was the dream candidate until we saw him talk."

Certainly food for thought. I honestly don't remember reading any 'establishment' pro-Romney positions, I heard that elsewhere. As usual, Coulter talks about all of Romney's strengths and how he of any candidate would be in a prime position to defeat Barack Obama. But back to this idea that the establishment wants Romney. Do they? I hadn't really pondered this point before - I accepted it as a given. The GOP in Washington certainly seemed to think the nomination should have been wrapped up by Romney by now, and have seemed rather nervous and jittery that he hasn't. I'm not worried about that, as you know. A longer process ensures the best candidate wins because they're all well vetted. Let's continue.

Later on in the article, she says:

"Conservatives scratch their heads wondering how the NFM can convince millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans paying $3.57 for a gallon of gas that the economy is improving simply by repeatedly saying so.
"But then a large minority of those same conservatives are completely convinced that Romney is an Establishment candidate simply because they have heard that repeated so often."


She might be right about that. Certainly the image of Romney as a 'flip-flopper' or 'liberal' or the like is promoted by the left and copied by conservatives who accept the premise that liberal media is accurate. I think that the Washington GOP establishment probably do want Romney or did initially, but I'm not sure about that. It's the repetition elsewhere (talk radio and Foxnews, for example) that has drummed it into our skulls. Just like with a month-long break from debates, I was only reading media reports on the candidates and even though I have a deep distrust of the media - trusting only their blantant bias - I was still feeling more depressed about the primary season by association. It's not like I don't like Romney every time I hear him speak. On the contrary, he's my favorite candidate every time I hear him speak! I certainly agree with Coulter that Romney has what it takes to cream Obama - though any of them could win. Sure, Obama has the media on his side, but once the nomination process is behind us, I sincerely doubt that the GOP will have difficulty unifying behind Romney to defeat Obama regardless.
Again, a quote to leave you with:
"This strange new version of right-wing populism comes down to reveling in the feeling that you are being dissed, hoodwinked or manipulated by the Establishment (most of which happens to oppose Romney) the same way liberals want to believe that "the rich," the "right-wing media" and Wall Street Republicans (there are three) are victimizing them.

"It's as if scoring points in intra-Republican squabbles is more important than beating Obama. Instead of talking about the candidates' positions -- which would be confusing inasmuch as Romney is the most conservative of the four remaining candidates -- the only issue seems to be whether "They" are showing respect for "Us."
"Striking a pose as the only true fighter for real Americans may be fun, but this is no way to win elections. This is Sharron Angle on a national level."


I hope this means she's suggesting that these suggestions and hopes of an open convention are out of the question! I completely agree that a hasty decision is regretable and would be regretted. This lengthy primary season, on the other hand, allows us to know the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate better than any other election season in my memory.

2/22 Debate

What a night! I was laughing my head off throughout the entire thing. The candidates really had a good time up there, kept their cool, enjoyed the night or seemed to. Don't trust any media report on it, you'll just have to see it.  Winner? Romney, hands down. Santorum did well, but not well enough to stay on top. Ron Paul dinged him repeatedly on big government issues, which is funny because that what Santorum always goes after Romney for. Ron Paul continues to stick out like a sore thumb on anything related to foreign policy, and doesn't take the nuclear threat in Iran seriously enough for my peace of mind. He shines on anything related to the workings of Congress and the economy. Romney shines on anything related to business and holds his own in all other areas. Gingrich was forgettable. Didn't shine but didn't combust either, a good thing in my opinion. I'll next include a few educational quotes from the transcript.

On Earmarking
RON PAUL: "But this whole idea of earmarking -- earmarking is designating how the money's spent. What a lot of people don't understand is if -- if the Congress doesn't say the way the money should be spent, it goes to the executive branch, and that's the bad part. If you were actually cutting, it would make a difference. But you don't want to give more power to the executive branch.

"Even if I'm president, I don't want more power over that -- over that funding. That should be with the people and -- and with the Congress. But earmarking -- the reason we get into trouble is -- is the irresponsibility of Congress.

"Take your highway funds. We're supposed to pay a user fee. If we pay our gasoline tax, we should get our fair share back. But what do they do? They take the highway funds and other of these trust funds and they spend this money overseas in these wars that we shouldn't be fighting. And then when the highways need building, then you have to go and fight the political system and know who to deal with and maneuver and try to get some of your money back.

"But if you say you're against -- against the earmarking and fuss and fume over, the answer is vote against the bill. That is what I do. I argue for the case of the responsibility being on the Congress, but it's the responsibility of us who believe in fiscal conservatism to vote against the bill. We need to vote against the spending is what we need to do."


A line-item veto (mentioned by other candidates, and struck down by the Supremes) would  give too much power to the executive branch. At the same time, putting through these bills of 1000+ pages of earmarks lumped together as a take it or leave it can't be the answer. Maybe a limit to the number of pages for any bill to pass? Anyone else have an idea?

On Bail-outs
ROMNEY: "Because, you know, I wrote my piece and I said look, these companies need to go through managed bankruptcy. And the head of the UAW said, we can't go through managed bankruptcy. The industry will disappear if that happens. And the politicians, Barack Obama's people, oh no, we can't go through managed bankruptcy. Six months they wrote, I think it was $17 billion in checks to the auto companies. Then they finally realized I was right. They finally put them through managed bankruptcy. That was the time they needed the help to get out of managed bankruptcy.

"Those monies they put in beforehand were -- it was wasted money. And number two, because they put that money in, the president gave the companies to the UAW, they were part of the reason the companies were in trouble. Giving these companies to the UAW was wrong."
....
GINGRICH: "It's not tough. First of all, there's a huge amount of the American auto industry that was just fine. BMW in South Carolina was terrific. Mercedes in Alabama was doing just fine. Honda in Ohio was just fine. So the -- Toyota was just fine. What we have is the United Auto Workers and a management system that had grown very, I think incapable of tough decisions because they were used to selling out to the United Auto Workers. And so they came in and said, oh we can't change. And this president on behalf of the United Auto Workers said, you're exactly right.

"Now, the fact is, Chrysler is now Fiat. So when we talk about saving the American auto industry, let's be clear what they were doing. I think that they would have been much better off to have gone through a managed bankruptcy, I agree with Governor Romney. I think it would have happened. I think what would have happened is the UAW would have lost all of their advantages and the result was, what you had I thought was an unprecedented violation of 200 years of bankruptcy law by Barack Obama to pay off the UAW at the expense of every bondholder."


There was a lot of dialogue about bail-outs last night, and it's work your time to read over that part if you don't plan to watch it. This idea of managed bankruptcy and violation of bankruptcy law were new to me, since I'm not in business. They're a vital part of business that voters should properly understand if we're going to avoid this mistakes in the future.

Freedom of Religion (why birth control is an issue)
ROMNEY: "John, what's happened -- and you recall back in the debate that we had George Stephanopoulos talking out about birth control, we wondered why in the world did contraception -- and it's like, why is he going there? Well, we found out when Barack Obama continued his attack on religious conscience.

"I don't think we've seen in the history of this country the kind of attack on religious conscience, religious freedom, religious tolerance that we've seen under Barack Obama. Most recently, of course --
     (APPLAUSE)
ROMNEY: "-- most recently requiring the Catholic Church to provide for its employees and its various enterprises health care insurance that would include birth control, sterilization and the morning-after pill. Unbelievable.

"And he retried to retreat from that but he retreated in a way that was not appropriate, because these insurance companies now have to provide these same things and obviously the Catholic Church will end up paying for them.

"But don't forget the decision just before this, where he said the government -- not a church, but the government should have the right to determine who a church's ministers are for the purposes of determining whether they're exempt from EEOC or from workforce laws or labor laws.

"He said the government should make that choice. That went all the way to the Supreme Court. There are a few liberals on the Supreme Court. They voted 9-0 against President Obama. His position --
     (APPLAUSE)
ROMNEY: "  -- his position -- his position on religious tolerance, on religious conscience is clear, and it's one of the reasons the people in this country are saying we want to have a president who will stand up and fight for the rights under our Constitution, our first right, which is for freedom of religion."


This is another thing vital to understand in today's political climate. The contraception battle has nothing to do with contraception, and everything to do with religious freedom and illegal power grabs by our president.

Illegal Immigration
GINGRICH: "Look, the fact is I helped Duncan Hunter pass the first fence bill in San Diego when I was Speaker of the House. San Diego and Tijuana are the most densely populated border. It turned out it worked. It worked dramatically. Duncan and I would be glad to testify. He's former chairman of the national -- of the Defense Committee -- how much it worked.

"However, it stopped. It stopped in part because there was a wetlands. It turned out none of the illegal immigrants cared about wetlands policy. Then you had to go and build around the wetlands, which we did. The further we have gone with the fence, the fewer the people have broken into California.

"Now, the thing that's fascinating, though, John, is you quoted a government study of how much it would cost. That's my earlier point. If you modernize the federal government so it's competent, you could probably do it for 10 percent of the cost of that study."


Ain't that the truth of it! Everything costs more under this behemoth of a bureaucratically-heavy federal government. Gingrich sounded this theme of modernizing the government out of and away from centuries-old civil servants laws frequently. The other main point of illegal immigration was that if we begin with securing the border and enforcing the laws already in place, we'll see our societal costs drop because of fewer freeloaders in our schools, hospitals, and prisons. Which is true. It was also brought up that Arizona illegal immigrants are in fact self-deporting because it's harder for them to find work with the use of E-verify.

Foreign Policy
SANTORUM: "Syria is a puppet state of Iran. They are a threat not just to Israel, but they have been a complete destabilizing force within Lebanon, which is another problem for Israel and Hezbollah. They are a country that we can do no worse than the leadership in Syria today, which is not the case, and some of the other countries that we readily got ourselves involved in.

"So it's sort of remarkable to me we would have -- here again, it's -- I think it's the timidness (sic) of this president in dealing with the Iranian threat, because Syria and Iran is an axis. And the president -- while he couldn't reach out deliberately to Iran but did reach out immediately to Syria and established an embassy there. And the only reason he removed that embassy was because it was threatened of being -- of being overtaken, not because he was objecting to what was going on in Syria.

"This president has -- has obviously a very big problem in standing up to the Iranians in any form. If this would have been any other country, given what was going on and the mass murders that we're seeing there, this president would have quickly and -- joined the international community, which is calling for his ouster and the stop of this, but he's not. He's not. Because he's afraid to stand up to Iran.

"He opposed the sanctions in Iran against the -- against the central banks until his own party finally said, "You're killing us. Please support these sanctions."

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a president who isn't going to stop them. He isn't going to stop them from getting a nuclear weapon. We need a new president or we are going to have a cataclysmic situation with a -- a power that is the most prolific proliferator of terror in the world that will be able to do so with impunity because they will have a nuclear weapon to protect -- protect them for whatever they do. It has to be stopped, and this president is not in a position to do that."


He's right. Everyone on stage but Ron Paul recognizes the dangers and shows a lot of understanding of foreign policy. Everyone but Ron Paul seems to recognize the precarious position Barack Obama has placed us in under his tenure. Any of these people could beat Obama. I would still vote for Paul over Obama should he become the nominee because he could scarcely do worse.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Santorum and Faith

Continuing the theme from yesterday: the media is attacking Santorum for having politically incorrect beliefs, not that we should care, since we don't like our political leaders who determine - along with their media allies - what is PC. Santorum said in a CNN interview, in response to the media upheaval over him having mentioned God and Satan, "I'm a person of faith. I believe in good and evil. I think if somehow or another because you're a person and faith and you believe in good evil is a disqualifier for president, we're gonna have a very small pool of candidates who can run for president. Ronald Reagan talked very much in terms of good and evil and the fact of the matter is good and evil exists. Ronald Reagan recognized it. I think, again, vast, vast majority of Americans recognize it."

Right you are, sir.

Rush Limbaugh has kindly dug through the archives to pull out President Ronald Reagan's March 8, 1983 speech often referred to as "The Evil Empire Speech." I'll put all the Reagan quotes here in the order that Rush presented them. If you want Rush's response or explanation you can go to his website.

REAGAN: That shrewdest of all observers of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, put it eloquently after he had gone on a search for the secret of America's greatness and genius, and he said, "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America. America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." I want you to know that this administration is motivated by a political philosophy that sees the greatness of America in you, her people, and in your families, churches, neighborhoods, communities, the institutions that foster and nourish values like concern for others and respect for the rule of law under God.

I don't have to tell you that this puts us in opposition to or at least out of step with a prevailing attitude of many who have turned to a modern day secularism, discarding the tried and time tested values upon which our very civilization is based. No matter how well-intentioned, their value system is radically different from that of most Americans. And while they proclaim that they're freeing us from superstitions of the past, they've taken upon themselves the job of superintending us by government rule and regulation. Sometimes their voices are louder than ours, but they are not yet a majority.

More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of 50 states statutes protecting the rights of unborn children. Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to one and a half million unborn children a year. Human life legislation ending this tragedy will someday pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does. (applause) Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected. There is sin and evil in the world, and we're enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might.

I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority. You know, I've always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the church. So in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals I urge you to beware of the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault; to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an Evil Empire; to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.

Let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness. Pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.

I notice a few things. Reagan unequivocally and unapologetically forwards religion as a strength of the country. I agree wholeheartedly with him, or de Toqueville, as the case may be. This is the direct opposite view of religion from the left. Reagan says, rightly, that the vocal few opposed to the principles he spoke of where really in the minority and should not be allowed to change things against the will of the majority (i.e. Roe vs. Wade). Lastly, he strongly believed that the United States should maintain and military and moral superiority and that no one should put himself above the fray. That reminder ought to take the wind out of Ron Paul's sails, not that conservatives make up the majority of his base. The whole speech props up Santorum when he talks of religion or the existence of good and evil, or Mitt Romney when he talks about the greatness of America coming from its people and that a strong military means a free America. In the context of Santorum, it's obvious that the media tactics haven't changed since Reagan's day!

GOP Debate Tonight!

8 PM Eastern, livestream and CNN. Are you excited? I am. I'll tell you why: this debate, after a lengthy break, will show where all the candidates presently stand. In all likelihood, the debate is Santorum's to lose.

Santorum has hit the spotlight since the last debate, and he's going to have more to defend than he ever has before. I think he'll pull through with flying colors, because he speaks from the heart and these social issues that he embraces are not a problem for him thus far. On the contrary, they resonate with the people of America - just not our ruling class politicians on either side and their news media friends.  I am curious what the other candidates will throw at him tonight in the sense whether it will damage themselves more than him. So far, this vetting process is showing Santorum to be what he says he is, unlike what happened to Gingrich.
Romney will have to fight to prove his relevance, as surprising as that is to say. I expect he'll have some self defense going on, and usually he does well with that. I expect he'll also tout his executive experience and budget-cutting experience which no other candidate has - and that is a major plus in this election. Santorum is a stiff competitor for him becuase he comes across with more sincerity. If Romney can muster that same quality, he'll do well, and probably win the primaries of at least one of Arizona or Michigan this weekend.
Gingrich I hope will remain a has-been. He debates well, yes, and he calls the media out, yes, but he sure has a lot of baggage and more ego than is healthy in a leader. Not to mention he's not dependable, reliable, trustworthy, etc. He's really upset about the March 1 and March 5 debate cancellations because debates are the only times he shines.  Sorry, dude. Oh, wait. I'm not!
Ron Paul still has loyal support though he still seems a long shot for nomination. Not to mention that he wouldn't be able to get Congress to follow his economic plan in a million years unless we vote out each and every incumbant who doesn't follow through with promises. We'll also see whether foreign policy comes up again tonight because Santorum always creams him there.

Does this debate matter, in the end? To the extent that the better we get to know each candidate, understand who they are and what their strengths and weaknesses are, then yes, it matters. To the extent that any one of these candidates could beat Obama, then no, it doesn't.  After we have selected a candidate, who will be well-vetted at that point, we will focus on Obama. The issues of any GOP candidate will be old news by then. We can instead bring up all sorts of issues with Obama's record never mentioned by the media because they're behind him. That alone is enough to be Obama's downfall. Obama himself is not vetted, and people will be surprised and dismayed when they hear what his real record is in office. Like Rush Limbaugh said yesterday:

"Obama has come down to earth. He's now concerned with the most building blocks of middle class economic security: a job, a house, a college education for the kids, health care, money for retirement. That's it. That's what he's focused on. That's it, no more grandiose dreams. He's come down to earth. And they're happy. They at AP think this is reasonable, responsible. My question is can you dorks at AP, Ms. Werner, can any of you point to where Obama has improved any of this is? He controls the student loan program. He controls health care. Hell, he controls the housing market. Can anybody tell me where any of this is any better with Obama in charge? Don't try. You can't."

He went on about oil prices and the like, but you could read it yourself if you're interested. Point is, Obama's in hot water come general election season if he isn't already.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rick Santorum and Social Conservatism

There's all kind of talk everywhere - both right and left - of how bad Rick Santorum would be as a candidate. Why does everyone in power hate him? He's socially conservative and blatantly religious. This is my opinion, mind you, though others have hinted at the same thing. The left mocks him for saying things like protecting traditional families is the best way to protect societal and economic decay. Even though the facts (unreported by news media) are on his side. The right says he's 'unelectable.' They have no proof, but they hate the man because he won't shut up about the social issues which they consider to be losing issues. Even Ron Paul has jumped on that boat.
The interesting thing to me is that while liberal politicians and their accomplices the news media have long sought for discussion of religious beliefs to become taboo (politically incorrect), the GOP establishment has bought this premise hook line and sinker. Since when is it incorrect to talk about one's beliefs, particularly when they're shared by a majority of Americans? Since the liberals told us that other people are 'offended'by it, that's when. Which is also pretty ridiculous, if you think about it. I may not share the same exact beliefs as Muslims, Jews, some Christians, or atheists, but all religions I know of preach tolerace (excepting radical Islam, which is in a different boat) and not offense. (Aside: the Southern Baptists and their like need to work on tolerance for gays, I freely admit.) The premise that people are offended is just another one sold by the left, is all I'm saying. Of course there are plenty of people ought there who might be easily offended at a wide range of things, but these people do not constitute a majority.

Think about it: does Rick Santorum 'offend' you personally? Or do you just twinge because he's politically incorrect? What do we care for political incorrectness? We're not happy with politicians right now. Why on earth would we buy their premise that being PC matters to anyone except them - who we don't like anyway!

I am not endorsing Rick Santorum, as a clarification. I still like Mitt Romney and would be happy with either one as the nominee. I still think either one of them could easily beat Obama if he plays his cards right. I merely caution my audience not to believe for a moment that all this anti-Rick Santorum media attention is going to matter to people who value character over political correct-ness. And these people seem to be in the majority from what I can tell about polls on religiosity, personal beliefs against abortion, and social issues in general. The fact that the ruling class on both sides attack Rick Santorum so heartily is a good sign that he's the sort of man we'd really want as president of the United States.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Scare Tactics and the Media

The media has always stirred up angst to attract an audience. I think their standard plan is backfiring these days, because the news is so depressing that who would want to follow it?! Besides the ultra-liberals, who eat all this up and spit on conservatism with every opportunity. Don't fall for their scare tactics steering people away from involvement and into despair, because in reality there is enough to scare any American just in raw numbers and events, unanalyzed- the kind of information that ought to scare Americans into political involvement.
Higher gasoline prices
Higher costs of living projected
Higher taxes projected
Impending EU collapse and downgrades
Skyrocketing spending and federal debt
Impending US downgrades and eventual collapse if we don't right our course
Corruption issues with our elected leaders, and politicians not fulfilling their promises
Delayed vacations and retirements
Housing bubble issues like foreclosures
Businesses being burdened with excessive government regulations
Rising Crime
Inpending insolvency of Social Security and Medicare
Media reports of how 'weak' the GOP field it - not that we should take their word for anything
An out of touch president who vacations and golfs constantly, in between campaining
Lower OPEC output and Iran's refusal to sell oil to some European countries
Iran's nuclear war talk
Worldwide health epidemics
Fewer hiring employees
Federal control over what kids can bring to school for lunch
Obama's extra-constitutional power grabs, mandating contraception coverage by insurance being the most recent
Etc
Etc
Etc
I'll stop there. You don't want to hear it any more than I do. The American dream is under attack from our own government. You don't need me to tell you.

We don't have to worry about these things or let them bother us, because we move forward with faith that things will work out somehow as we do what we can. We can count the little successes. We can celebrate a widely watched religious funeral (shown on leftist media sites!) for Whitney Houston. Likewise, that communities are banding together and helping each other out. We can hope that if we all become more politically involved, we'll choose leaders who know they have to follow through on their promises or get voted out of office. We can remember that it's not too late (yet) for America to change course. Also that Obamacare isn't (yet) fully implemented and could still be repealed. We can remember the never-ending optismism of Rush Limbaugh and those like him championing conservatism and explaining how most media are scared to death of Obama losing in 2012. And above all, we can remember it's not too late to teach fellow Americans that voting in the short term means the death of the country. Apparently it's already too late in Greece for them to learn that lesson....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

LDS Church Welfare Highlighted in Wall Street Journal

As quoted on Deseret News since I lack a WSJ subscription: "If presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to find a welfare system that 'lets almost no one fall through the cracks while at the same time ensuring that its beneficiaries don't become lifelong dependents, he could look to his own church.'"

Thanks for noticing! I've written about this topic before.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Mormon Bubble Myth

I had to laugh when I saw this article in the Deseret News, entitled Are Mormons spared from reality? Hardly.

If you've never heard that Mormons live in a bubble, then you're probably not Mormon so don't worry about it, and it's not true, anyway. Back at BYU, some students used to joke that the kids who grew up in predominantly LDS communities (such as some in Utah or Idaho) had lived in a bubble, because they were exposed to less of the standard adolescent problems and behaviors. This isn't to say these problems didn't exist in these communities, but they comprised a smaller part of it.  These students were certainly more naive on average than students who had lived elsewhere. But of course over the course of a lifetime, any body from anywhere is going to get plenty of life experience to learn from.

The author seems to take issue with some statement that Mormons live in a bubble by serving missions. He (rightly) points out that this is ridiculous, because it is while serving missions that missionaries receive concentrated life experiences talking to people with all kinds of pasts and histories and beliefs, they may be in threatened or put in physical danger, etc. Not a bubble! Quoting:

"Furthermore, Latter-day Saints are no more strangers to "the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to" than are non-Mormons. We get sick. We die. We lose loved ones. We're not magically immune to the effects of substance abuse, immorality, emotional challenges, job loss and dissolving families.
"We can't live in a bubble. It's impossible.
"Moreover, the church constantly sends us out — out of ourselves and, often, far out of our comfort zones — as home teachers and visiting teachers, as young missionaries and senior missionaries, as bishops, as employment-service volunteers and addiction counselors."

One difference between a Mormon and the average irreligious American is in the personal response to these hardships.  Like practicing members of other faiths, Mormons tend to rely on their faith and understanding of God's love to see them through the hard times. Again, that hardly constitutes living in a bubble!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Depression

Remember your grandparents' stories of living through the Great Depression? Someday, if we're lucky, we'll be doing the same thing. There isn't enough work to go around. The number of jobs in America is shrinking. The cost of living is skyrocketing, principally because of energy prices (where government meddles) and health care costs (where government meddles). We haven't hit the point where we stand in bread lines but with the number of people on welfare these days we might as well count that as the same thing. There are plenty of depressing things about our economy, enough that many people are desperate and depressed themselves.  What can pull us through?

Hope, Faith, and Resourcefulness. Our faith in something higher than ourselves, in a God who loves and blesses us. Our hope that things will get better tomorrow or eventually. Our determination to change what we can by for politicians who are willing to get to the bottom of our financial and economic issues and transform this country instead of add to its fiscal woes. Our determination to do the best we can under the circumstances - whether that means going without new clothes and dining out, planting a garden to defray living expenses, learning how to make soap, sewing, 'staycations,' learning to do more home maintenance, small engine repair, etc. I've heard of tons of resourceful people doing things that haven't been widely done or admired for decades because of the ease of our labor-saving devices. That's all changing now and we value the people who have remembered and taught the skills from days gone by. People are reaching out now and helping each other at levels not seen since times were simpler.

Here's the caution about living through this time. It's going to get worse before it gets better. And IF we don't reverse the economy by reversing some particularly economically destructive government policies as well as tackling the deficit, it will be a Very Long Time until we can achieve prosperity again in America. There's an article over at The Economic Collapse called A Warning Sign For The World. In it, the author describes how Greece ought to be a direct warning to each and every country headed down the path of insolvency.
"Despite all of the austerity measures that have already been implemented, the truth is that Greece is very likely to default soon anyway." Then skipping down:
"Some in the financial world almost seem eager for a Greek default.  The following is what Jon Moulton, the chairman of Better Capital, recently told CNBC....
"If I was Greek, I wouldn’t be going for these measures, I’d be going for default and getting it over with. Would you like two to three years of pain or 20?"
"But a disorderly Greek default would not be a pleasant thing for the global economy at all.  A recent article in the Guardian detailed what some of the consequences of a Greek default and exit from the eurozone might be....
But default and "re-drachmatisation" would be a costly and chaotic process. In the long term the euro might be strengthened if some of its weaker members headed for the door. But in the short term banks across the eurozone might have to be closed to prevent a run on the single currency as investors speculated about which country might be next. A new wave of bank nationalisations would be likely to follow as lenders counted their losses on now worthless Greek debt.
Capital controls would have to be imposed and borders shut to stop money flooding out of Greece. Portugal, Italy and Spain would come under intense pressure from investors wary about the risk of another victim. Banks everywhere, already reluctant to lend, would cut back hard, nervous about their exposure to the bonds of all Europe's crisis-hit states.

 And skipping down a little further and referring to the gloomy warning Greece provides us all:

"But Barack Obama does not seem to understand this.  He continues to pile another 150 million dollars on to our national debt every single hour.  He knows that cutting spending significantly right now would hurt the economy and that would significantly hurt his chances for another term.
"Needless to say, Barack Obama is not likely to do anything that is going to significantly hurt his chances for another four years in the White House.
"So we continue to roll on toward disaster."

A follow up to Obama's lack of a plan for dealing with the deficit at RealClearPolitics, Geithner to Ryan On Debt: We Don't "Have A Definitive Solution to Our Long-term Problem"
And on US News, CBO: Longest Period of High Unemployment Since Great Depression
And on Heritage, Morning Bell: Obamanomics Has Failed

Yup.  In essence, our hope of a bright future (now, as opposed to the afterlife) is doomed as long as we think only in the short term. We MUST address the accelerated spending (compounded with lower revenue), the accelerating deficit accumulation, and the entitlements contributing to both. We MUST make the US a more competitive place to work and live by changing energy policies and business regulations. We MUST inform the majority of the voters in the United States the precarious of our position, or they will always vote for the short term. Most people want freedom to do what they please without thinking of government or the economy, just wanting to be left alone by both of them. People living in democracies do not have that luxury - we must fight to preserve our freedoms by our continued participation and education in the democratic process. If we don't, we find ourselves hurtling ever faster towards a global depression. Consider yourselves warned. Every man who has been warned should warn his neighbor.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Not About Contraception

In the past week, I've seen tons of anaylsis and ideas about why the left is fighting this battle for contraception to be covered by insurance. In very few of these discussions, someone has noted that it's not really about contraception! It's about liberty, and about abuse of power. The president does NOT have the power to tell insurance companies what to cover. This is illegal in more ways than one. It's also about the freedom taken away from people and religious institutions by the government.
Ann Coulter dove right into this topic in her article released yesterday.
"Insurance is not supposed to be for normal expenses in the ordinary course of events, such as multivitamins, house painting or oil changes. Insurance is for unexpected catastrophes: fires, accidents, cancer.

"The basic idea is to spread the risk of unforeseen disasters. Filling up your gas tank, for example, is not an unforeseen disaster (though it's getting to be under Obama).

"So why is birth control covered by insurance? Birth control pills aren't that expensive -- generics are about $20 a month -- nor is the need for them a bolt out of the blue. Why not have health insurance cover manicures, back massages, carrot cake and nannies?"

Then skipping down the article a little:
"Following Betty Friedan, gender feminists believe the pill is so central to what we are as a nation that it must be paid for by all, i.e. by insurance. The argument for fully subsidized abortions will be: We don't vote on a basic human right!

"Whether or not it's a "right," it's not an area for "insurance." Abortion is an elective procedure. No families are going bankrupt because they had to pay for an abortion -- which costs about as much as a haircut for John Edwards or Bill Clinton. Can't we limit the health insurance we are all required by federal law to purchase to financially ruinous, actual medical problems?

"No, that is not in the cards. Just as liberals have turned the Constitution into a vehicle for achieving all the left-wing policies they could never get Americans to vote for, now they are going to use "insurance" for the same purpose. Their new method doesn't even require them to get votes from five justices on the Supreme Court.

"The secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, will do it all on her own."
Ugh, she's right. I don't like what liberals are doing with civil liberties, err that they're doing away with civil liberties!

To return to the question, why is the left making a big deal about contraception!? Rush reminded his listeners this week of Stephanopaulus's debate question a couple months ago to Mitt Romney about whether states had the power to ban contraception. It seemed unconnected, even irrelevant at the time. Romney's answer was that the question was silly because no state wants to ban contraception. Santorum was later asked the same question on the campaign trail and said something to the effect that sure, states have the power to ban contraception if they want to, but he doesn't know of any that do. The media took his statement and ran with it accusing him of wanting to ban contraception! It's really a ridiculous argument. The GOP is not against contraception. The left wants to make the GOP look like they are against contraception because then unsuspecting voters will say the GOP is crazy and vote Democrat. But the GOP is not against contraception. They are against the abuse of power, the idea that contraception must be covered by insurance, and against the encroachment of  individual liberties by the left.

PS. (Added later) Rush talked more about this today - specifically that the media reported Dem Congresswomen left a hearing on contraception because of the lack of women on the panel - but the panel was organized to talk about whether Obama had the power to mandate coverage to the insurance companies, not anything to do with contraception! Count on the Democrats to make a mountain out of nothing to suit their purposes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Washington is Out of Touch

They're out of touch with a lot of things, to be honest. Politicians either don't understand or don't care that we're becoming just like the EU and will be experiencing the problems in Greece now if we don't change things for the future now. They're out of touch with their voters, causing widespread Congressional and Presidential dissatisfaction. They're also out of touch with reality! Hello - you can't spend money you don't have! Unless you're the federal government, apparently. It still doesn't mean that they should. This is all true of both parties, by the way, with very few exceptions in individual politicians like Ron Paul who is the most recognizable example.

RedState has up an article about the highway bill. In it, author Horowitz talks about the trap the GOP House leadership has laid out for the more conservative House members by separating out elements of the highway bill to debate and pass on their own, but then merge them later.

"Hence, any good will on the part of conservatives to vote for the good bills (pension reform and drilling) will be pocketed and rejoined with the unappealing highway bill. The Rules Committee will meet tonight and write a structured rule to combine the bills upon passage, and have them shipped off to the Senate as one entity. This will facilitate passage of the highway bill and allow a future conference committee to denude it of the offsets, leaving House members with a plain deficit-inducing highway bill."

And his conclusion:
"The end result will be a top-down federal highway bill that requires an immediate $40 billion bailout for a new mass transit account and future bailouts down the road. Either way, there will be no pension reform or expanded oil drilling from the final version of the bill. This is yet another example of the shenanigans that are so endemic of Washington politics."

He's right. Same old in Washington. Do you begin to understand how desperate I feel (and others like me) that our elected officials refuse to address the big problems for which they were sent to Washington in the first place? The book "Throw Them All Out" has the right idea. Only if the people refuse to reelect any politician who doesn't follow through will we see any change in our deficit, our out-of-control spending, welfare reforms, or even repeals such as Obamacare.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Payroll Taxes

Think about what you've heard about payroll taxes and the proposed payroll tax cut extension. Remember - because the media will never tell you - that payroll taxes are the only funding mechanism for Social Security, which is growing with our aging Boomers. Remember also that Social Security hasn't been its own separate part of the budget for decades, lumped instead into the total budget in to hide the growing federal deficit. Remember also that Social Security is nothing like a savings account. At this point, you can rest assured that you will not get out what you put in.

On to the payroll tax battle of the day: I quote Rush Limbaugh once again from something he explained today.

"I don't know where to begin on this.  I really don't know where to begin.  I do not understand why somebody doesn't characterize this payroll tax cut for what it is, gutting Social Security.  Because it is not being, quote, unquote, paid for.  'House Republican leaders said Monday that they will support extending the federal payroll tax holiday through the end of the year without demanding spending cuts to pay for it, a concession aimed at averting another po­litically damaging showdown in Washington.  The House leadership could offer a pared-down measure to extend the tax cuts later this week. But the top three GOP leaders backed off previous demands that the tax break’s extension be accompanied by spending reductions to shore up the finances of the Social Security program.'

"So the payroll tax cut is a whopping $40 a month, and the Republicans were holding fast, but you gotta find a way to replace what you're gutting. The Republicans, for as long as I've been alive, have been accused of gutting Social Security.  Here's Obama doing it, Obama and the Democrats are actually doing it, the payroll tax is the only funding mechanism for Social Security, and this continuing tax cut is -- look, if they want to do it, fine and dandy.  I'm just telling you, from a political standpoint, it's a gold mine here, and they're not using it.  The Republicans instead decide to reach across the aisle, they want to show that they can compromise, they want to show that they can get along, and Obama and his media minions just slap them down."


Now, here are my two cents. I don't know why the GOP caved, but I'm glad they did- plenty of them should be voted out of office along with Obama anyway. Payroll tax cuts may mean $40 a month for the average worker, but that is $40 a month I don't have (and I suspect the same is true for many people) while Obama continues to export domestic oil to deliberately inflate domestic oil prices at home. For whatever reason - high federal gas taxes, 'greenness,' or something more malignant as he wants us to be struggling enough to turn to government for help financially, leading ultimately to socialism in the most seemingly natural of transitions. Using our domestic oil instead of buying from hostile human-rights-violating countries with far lower environmental standards tells me that Obama isn't ultimately interested in going green, so I strongly suspect the latter reason is behind this. And the forecast is now $5 per gallon! I can't afford this! No one can afford this! Cost of living will shoot even higher since we all depend on goods and services moved to and fro by standard shipping methods. Cost of doing business will also go higher, more businesses will fold and unemployment will go up- not that the numbers Obama talks about will reflect it because there will be fewer jobs for people to hold.

I keep thinking that the nightmare will end soon and prices will come down again but I'm beginning to see that Obama will not LET them come down by intent. We MUST vote him out. We can't afford his $70k federal budget per family - where would the average family (making less than $70k) get $70k to pay their 'fair share' of the debt!? Why does he continue this class warfare against the rich when the top earners, about the top 10% of the earners pay 90% of all the taxes!? This is before Obamacare (and his 'budget') add further trillions to the $15+T deficit already existing. We've got a president dumping an exponentially growing mountain of debt in our path to prosperity, one we'll have to dig out to ever achieve prosperity again.

In conclusion, I will be happy to restore payroll taxes to normal levels if and only if incomes and employment are also restored to normal levels. This truly is a critical election. A critical time. We must be aware and involved to preserve our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And to paraphrase a pertinent scripture: It behooves those who have been warned to warn their neighbors.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Word of Warning from EU

A member of the British parliament named Daniel Hannan spoke at CPAC.  Rush talked about it today, which is how I found out that Hannan spoke at CPAC in the first place.  The media didn't publicize his speech, and barely mentioned others such as Palin's - I'm sure you're surprised. I quote Rush quoting Hannah.

HANNAN:  "If you repeat our mistakes, if you shift power from the 50 states to Washington, from the elected representative to the federal czar, from the citizen to the state, we know exactly what lies in store for you.  I've been a member of the European parliament for 12 years.  I am living in your future, or at least the future towards which your present leaders seem intent on taking you.  And believe me, my friends, you are not going to enjoy it."

"European health care, European day care, European college education, European nuclear disarmament, European carbon taxes, the whole package.  And I'll tell you, when you adopt those things, you don't just become like any other country.  You become less prosperous, less independent, less Democratic, and less free.  We are at the end of the road that you have just set out along.  We're screeching towards the cliff, and a couple of us, a very small number of us in the parliaments of Europe are trying desperately to jam the brakes on while there is still time. And you know what?  We look up and what do we see in our rearview mirror, we see you trying to overtake us, accelerating frantically in the direction that we have been going in.  My friends, there is still time to turn aside."

"Let me end with a heartfelt imprecation from a British conservative who loves his country, to American conservatives who still believe in theirs.  Honor the vision of your founders, cleave to the most sublime Constitution devised by human intelligence.  Don't be the generation that cuts itself off from the wisdom of your fathers and disinherits your children.  Never be afraid to speak to and for the soul of this nation, of which by good fortune and God's grace you are privileged to be a part.  God bless you, my friends, God bless America, and God bless the alliance of the free English speaking nations.  Thank you."


I tell my audience this stuff all the time. I appreciate this validation coming from someone working within the European Union.  The bigger question and answer lies in how many people in the United States are going to wake up and smell the burning mess that is our economy! Spread the democratic word. Freedom needs - nay, requires - protection and involvement and our vigilance. Freedom requires protection from Barack Obama and his ilk, proposing a federal budget DOUBLE the typical federal revenue. Out of touch! Hello, the federal deficit ALREADY equals the entire GDP!!!  We don't want to become the EU!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gay Rights Versus Religious Liberty

I've just found one of the most thoughtful articles I've yet read about the topic on Deseret News. There are the rights of two entities at stake here, not only the rights of the homosexual community. This article specifically seeks out the roots of the issues currently blocking a compromise between the two.
Colliding causes: Gay rights and religious liberty

Saturday, February 11, 2012

War with Social Issues

Politico has two conflicting points of view displayed today. Both written by the left, don't think they're supporting the opposing viewpoint, but at least it's mentioned.
Bishops call Obama's contraception compromise 'unacceptable'
Why Dems keep stepping on health care land mines

According to Rush, the compromise in question isn't really a compromise at all. It's what Obama wants by another name.
Obama Didn't Cave on the HHS Mandate; He's Making An Unprecedented Power Grab
Wake Up, America! Your Freedom is Under Assault Each and Every Day

Friday, February 10, 2012

Global Warming

There may be global warming, but there may not. I'm a scientist by training, and am related to several more scientists, one of whom studied climatology. Here's the problem with the global warming models: they're models! They cannot and do not account for every single influence in global temperatures. So while there is much we know about the earth, you've got to understand that what we don't know is more to the point. The assumption that not only is global warming definite, but that it is also because of human activity is inherently false. Both of those are possibilities, but not certainties. The earth is a dynamic place, and weather patterns have been in constant change and flux since it was created. The arrogance of man, that he could claim to understand all about something which has existed billions of years longer than he has!

Back in the 60's, the big thing was global cooling. Later accepted as false. Today, there is plenty of evidence that the earth is NOT warming at all, but these are the studies which are widely ignored by the liberal press and liberal politicians. And most politicians as a whole, actually.  This idea of cap and trade as a solution is a joke! What does cap and trade do? Give government more money and people (businesses) less money, thus enhancing the economic problems already too apparent in this day and age. The government could bleed us dry with various taxation, but it doesn't solve their spending problems.  I would not be surprised if the government funds climate warming scientists precisely because they want an excuse to raise more money.

You want details about some of the reports the media missed? Al Gore's movie was fact checked and found to be chock-full of lies. I remember clear back in 2008 that the yearly worldwide average surface temperature had dropped an entire degree. Then the famous polar bear floating on ice image was proved to be from lifted from some previous publication, and that the 'drowning polar bears report' was debunked. The sea level hasn't raised as much as predicted. Polar caps haven't melted as much as predicted. The more recently released global map of carbon emissions shows that most guilty are third world countries with the Middle East leading that pack, NOT the US and Europe. Scientists - even climate scientists - have banded together and signed statements by the hundreds that accepting global warming as truth when it is unsubstantiated is not good science and should not be acted upon in the political world.  I've had a terrible time tracking down these articles published long enough ago and ignored enough that hardly anyone remembers they were published in the first place, but here's a link to one current article: Glaciers not melting in the Himalayas

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Federal Reserve

Do you know much about the Federal Reserve? Me neither - only what I've gleaned from Ron Paul. But thanks to this article on Economic Collapse Blog, now I know a lot more. And basically - it's privately owned and NOT working in the interest of anyone in America except Wall Street. Read it! It's called "10 Things Every American Should Know About the Federal Reserve."

Interference between Church and State

Has anyone else noticed that Obama shows no respect for Christian charitable institutions?  This whole idea that Obama can force a religious institution, a hospital for example, to provide services which are forbidden by the religion is appalling. Revolting, even! It's not like a person who didn't believe in that doctrine couldn't seek out those same services elsewhere at a non-religious institution. Why this absurd intent on destroying religious charities!? I really would like that one anwered. What does America benefit from destruction of religion, moral institutions, and charity?

A slighty different yet related topic: while I completely accept the premise that liberals love to champion that gay rights means nothing less than legalized gay marriage (I disagree, I think civil unions give them what they're looking for while protecting the moral sanctity of marriage), why do the courts continue to legislate behind the bench? Twice now the people of California have voted against legalizing gay marriage. And twice the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the vote reflecting the beliefs of the majority of the people in the state. Why even have a democracy if the will of the people isn't protected!?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Santorum Surprise!

Congratulations to Santorum, he has arrived! May Newt Gingrich rest in peace and stay out of the way. While Minnesota and Missouri were anticipated wins for Santorum, Colorado must have been a shock for Romney.  Why did Colorado vote Santorum? I think it may have had quite a bit to do with a recent poll showing that Santorum CAN in fact beat Obama in the general election. I don't know that Santorum spent much time in Colorado but I know he impresses the crowds who attend his meetings with his sincerity and steadiness. It may also have to do with Romney's slip ups and gaffes, though that's hard to say for sure. The Politico has up an elaborate analysis of Santorum's success yesterday and what it might mean for the future.  What it will really mean is anyone's guess because this entire primary process has been anything but predictable! If I were a Democrat, this would make me nervous. If this entire primary season is unpredictable, what might that mean for the general election? A clean sweep? Not likely, but stranger things have happened already. The GOP can hardly lose if they remain focused on Obama's failed policies and the bad economy. Media-spin to the contrary regardless.

Here are the delegate counts for each candidate thus far. Romney's ahead of any other by a factor of three.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Right-to-Work and the economy

Breitbart had this link up yesterday, "Big Labor Bosses Demonstrate Why Right-to-Work is Necessary." Can I just say YES!  The union powers that be sure like to 'shame' everyone else into either joining them or giving union workers more 'rights' or 'benefits' than the average working person. Right-to-work can and will go a long way to reducing deficits on local and state levels (federal, if we ever achieve that level of cooperation) and reducing the disparity between union and non-union workers. No one should feel forced to join a union, or obligated. If they choose to, that's fine. I remain strongly opposed to public sector unions.

Speaking of reducing deficits, The Economic Collapse Blog has an awesome article up. You can always count on this blog for accurate and well-explained economic information. Unlike the news media.

But back to unions. This article below is my response to the Wisconsin battle as it was happening, as published in my private blog on March 4, 2011.
Collective Bargaining Rights versus Solvency?
warning: full of rhetorical and philisophical questions. I'm trying to make sense of the current political atmostphere.
How is this even a question? I'm confused. For all the tizzy that Wisconsin and Indiana lawmakers (whining in Illinois, a state in even more financial trouble than theirs) are in about giving up collective bargaining 'rights,' you'd think it was actually in the Constitution. But it's not! They didn't even exist more than 50 years ago. Most states never have allowed collective bargaining, and those are the states that are fiscally solvent. Why do some states allow them? My own understanding is that unions lend their weight and donations to political causes (is that legal?), which means that blue states want collective bargaining. What I can't figure out is why collective bargaining was ever allowed in the first place: it seems to weight the vote of certain citizens above that of other citizens. How is that constitutional? And in the case of public sector unions, it is the average citizen who is paying for other citizens to have benefits and salaries and work hours on average far better than their own! That smacks of unsustainability to me. And injustice. No wonder so the citizens of these states have voted in new leadership.

I wonder if Illinois would be attempting this discussion too, supposing that Quinn, who narrowly 'won,' hadn't cheated the military out of their votes (he sent them ballots way too late, with no penalty), and hadn't allowed convicted felons now in prison to vote. Which is against the law, in case you didn't know. But did anyone call him on it? Not a chance. Chicago and Chicagoans run the state. Chicago is too true-blue to consider blowing whistles. It surprises me to some extent that everyone outside of Chicago hasn't fled the state to avoid the ridiculous laws and taxes here. Everyone knows Chicago politics and politicians are corrupt. It's a given. What's sad is that it's accepted and even expected.

In Chicago, there are so many unions with so many rules that many companies have fled the city or the state. For just one example, many large conferences no longer convene in Chicago because of the prohibitive cost of putting up a conference in McCormick Place. Companies are required to have a certain Chicago union unload and load their trucks, rather than members of their own companies, which would cost half as much. It seems like there are unions with great salaries and benefits in every aspect of city life: education, transportation, construction, trash collection, fire, police, nurses, health... On the other hand, all city workers are required to live within city limits so as to not avoid the taxes.

There are so many public services and entitlement programs here. To support them, the sales tax here in Chicago is 10.25% (7.25% or so for the rest of Illinois), with 2.25% on grocery items. That is why we did NOT buy our minivan here - let's say we pay $20,000 for a van, the tax on it would be an additional $2,050. The state income tax was just raised 66% for the middle class. The price per gallon of gasoline is nearly 50 cents higher in the city than out of it because of whatever taxes are slapped on it. The property tax ranges from 6 to 16% in Chicago. Can you imagine? Suppose your mortgage was a mere $120k, and your property tax was 10%. That's 12,000 a year on top of your mortgage, or an entire $1,000 each month just for property taxes. To start up a business, it costs some thousands in fees, while in Indiana across the border it's about $200 (and less red tape) if I remember correctly. How has this sort of tax burden lasted this long? Good question. Very, very good question.

Trivia for the day: doctors are not allowed to unionize. You can imagine why, I hope. Doctors would be jeapordizing lives if they went on strike. But it occurs to me, how is that different for nurses, police, fire, or even educators? If human lives and quality of life are what we value, why do we allow educators to walk out on their students? For police to leave dangerous neighborhoods unguarded and unwatched? Do unions really need to exist anymore? The days of the monopoly barons are over. Do unions really exist solely for the greed and selfishness of their constituents, seeking better pay and hours than their non-union peers? Even stranger, I know in some places (like Wisconsin teachers' union) the unions force every member of the profession to join, which sounds illegal to me. No one should be forced to have to pay dues to support a union which may not support the members' policital or societal views.

My solution (not going to happen, dream on): dissolve all unions and combine overlapping entitlement programs. The states and local governments no longer break the bank. Income taxes probably go down. No citizen pays dues to a union. Everyone receives merit based pay. If one does bad work, one doesn't get work (think of bad teachers being fired or put on probation to get more training!). Most companies would still offer health insurance and retirement plans and hopefully people would exercise financial responsibility by saving towards their own retirements. Business would thrive. More jobs would be created. Our economy recovers! Taxes pour in to the federal government because more people are working and more businesses have more money. Federal deficit goes down! Win, win, win!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Santorum on the rise?

From the looks of the polls, Santorum has a good shot in both Minnesota and Missouri. If he takes both of them, not only does Gingrich get pushed out of the way, Romney is also pushed to either defend his record better or to vet Santorum, since he's not had much vetting to date. Colorado is the third state of the day, tomorrow, but Romney will likely take that one. I still see the Romney becoming a stronger candidate over time as he responds to attacks from the right to prepare for (presumably) eventual attack from the left. And I disagree with 'conventional wisdom' that this infighting hurts the GOP candidate's chances against Obama in the primary. Any dirt dug up now by the GOP will be old news by general election time. Obama, on the other hand, has tons of naive voters about to be enlightened as to his true record in office.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

1974 Congressional Budget Reform Act

Otherwise known as Baseline Budgeting. This absurd title is the name of the bill granting various departments of the federal government automatic 10% increases in annual budgets utterly disconnected from annual government revenue, projections of actual budgetary needs, or any other common sense idea regarding budgeting. This is the absurd idea behind the Democratic politicians crying 'Cuts!' any time someone proposes granting a lower increase in funding than the full 10% - even though it's really still an increase. This absurd idea is the reason our federal deficit is spiraling out of control - compounded by all the additional programs and spending authorized by the Obama administration, which compound in the annual budgetary increases
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Thursday night, Rep. Louis Gohmert of Texas in The House of Representatives led the successful vote in the House to repeal this 1974 Budget Reform Act. It's not predicted to go anywhere in the Senate. It sure as sunrise isn't going to get attention from the big-government-loving media. Call your senators! Email your senators! Talk about this with friends and neighbors! The only hope we, as a people of the United States, have in reclaiming our government is by making sure the politicians know we will vote them out of office if they don't do what the people want them to do. No patriotic American wants to see our country digging its own grave.No patriotic American wants corrupt leadership unwilling to listen to the public, as happens all too often.

Rush Limbaugh interviewed Louis Gohmert for the Limbaugh Letter (his subscription publication) last month, featuring the effort to repeal Baseline Budgeting, but in light of the passage of the repeal in the House, he's posted online an article from one of last year's Limbaugh Letters. This baseline budget explanatory article will help you (and as many people as you can convince to read it) of the deep trouble we're in, and what we're up against in getting rid of "Baseline Budgeting." What we need is "Zero-Based Budgeting," starting each department at zero and having them prove what money they really need to operate and serve the American people. Then, and only then, will we see the federal deficit start to shrink in meaningful ways.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Warning: Jobs Numbers are Misleading

Jobs numbers, reported today as 8.3% unemployment, don't include people who have given up looking for work. Not to mention that initial reports are always rosier than the revised reports issued a week later. This list of links is up on Drudge Report today. Rush said today, "Why, do you know we created seasonally adjusted 200-some-odd-thousand jobs?  Do you know what the raw number is?  From the Bureau of Labor Statistics' own table, the raw number, before there's any seasonal adjustment, the raw number is that from December to January, we lost two million jobs." Ten points to the first person who finds any of this depressing information referenced in the news media! Such reporting doesn't often occur under Democratic presidents. Especially Democratic presidents in a reelection year. Don't be fooled!


+243,000 jobs in January...
Record 1.2M Fall Out Of Labor Force...
Participation rate falls to 63.7%...
30-year low...



What Mitt Romney Should Say

Romney, like all the other candidates, has some issues to defend if he becomes the nominee. Romneycare is the biggest of those. I feel like he has defended himself pretty well on it during debates, but I have every confidence that the media is never going to talk about his defense on any subject, instead calling him the same names over and over. What Romney needs to do is talk about Romneycare the way Ann Coulter talks about Romneycare!

Her article this week is a thorough and brilliant defense (and hilarious), as usual.  She slammed down accusations from both the left and right on Romneycare this week. Read it! Here's the introduction to get you started.

"If only the Democrats had decided to socialize the food industry or housing, Romneycare would probably still be viewed as a massive triumph for conservative free-market principles -- as it was at the time.

"It's not as if we had a beautifully functioning free market in health care until Gov. Mitt Romney came along and wrecked it by requiring that Massachusetts residents purchase their own health insurance. In 2007, when Romneycare became law, the federal government alone was already picking up the tab for 45.4 percent of all health care expenditures in the country.

"Until Obamacare, mandatory private health insurance was considered the free-market alternative to the Democrats' piecemeal socialization of the entire medical industry."


On to other Romney campaign issues. If you're looking for a response to what I think Trump's endorsement will mean for Romney, my answer is not much. Endorsements don't make that much of a difference anymore. What may help Romney, is what Trump said at the time of the endorsement, when asked to respond to why he favors him now when he previously had spoken against him regarding Romney's record at Bain. He answered, "That was a long time prior to my getting to know him. But I have gotten to know him and he's a terrific guy. I don't know if he really comes out like he really is in person. He's a warm, smart, tough cookie and that's what this country needs. We need somebody that's tough, that will stop China and OPEC and all these other nations from just ripping us up. And I think he can do it."  I get the same vibes from Romney, and I have the same confidence in his abilities to turn our country around and beat the path back towards fiscal solvency and world leadership.
Speaking of such things, did you hear what Marco Rubio said at the Hispanic Leadership Conference? "And so, when the choices that are put before us today are dangerous ones because if we choose this path of pitting people against each other, if we buy into this notion that our economy really can't grow fast enough for all of us to prosper so we're going to have to somehow empower government to distribute the wealth of this country among us, we've chosen to become like everybody else. We've chosen to become like the countries that your parents and grandparents came here to get away from. And that's a powerful message. And that's the message that we need to deliver. And that's the message we need to work on delivering. It's a winning message."
This is another message that Romney repeats at every debate, though not as eloquently as Rubio expressed it here.