Thursday, October 29, 2009
If you haven't been living in a cave, you know there has been healthcare bill proposed in the Senate by Senator Max Baucus and was supposed to be the work done by the Gang of Six, a committee of six senators headed up by Senators Baucus(D) and Grassley(R). Magically, Senator Baucus released his own document which he alone sponsored (no one else apparently wanted to lay claim to it!) and which is referred to as the Baucus Framework. It outlines key provisions that Senator Baucus would like to see in the final healthcare bill. With the acceptance of the Framework by the Finance Committee, this proposed legislation spent several days behind closed doors where Harry Reid, Rahm Emanuel, and others got their hands on it. It emerged with an inserted Public Option....Uh-oh, they instantly lost some support! So, then they altered it to be a "States Can Opt Out Plan". But that won't work either. States will still have to fork over taxes to the federal government to pay for the States who opted in! That means that taxpayers in non-opted-in states will STILL be paying for someone else's health care!
Besides "Doctor Fix" as a proposed way to disperse the cost for this monstrosity, the Baucus Framework has introduced several new taxes on pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, clinical laboratories and insurance companies. Let me put it a little clearer. Heart stents - new tax, motorized wheelchairs - new tax, and there's more! In fact, anything that can be construed as a "medical device" (something that is used to improve health) and costs over $100 will have a new tax imposed upon it. The new taxes (Democrats call it "fees"!) over the ten year period would total $63 billion dollars just for pharmaceutical and the medical device industry. That's a FAR cry from the more than $1 trillion cost as this legislation now stands! And guess what.... the cost of this reform is coming not from the filthy rich! It's coming out of the hard-earned wages of middle America, those how are finding it more and more difficult to keep their heads above water. It's coming from you!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So, what is our global position now under Obama's reign? Rich Lowery has said it much better than I. Read his remarks at http://bit.ly/1pin24 .
Mr. Obama not only lies to our international friends, he is systematically breaking his pledge not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. He already signed a cigarette tax increase in February, and this tax could be as much as $3,800 a year for a family and is therefore a more tangible breach of his promise than most of his fairy tales. His Cap and Trade program (which has been renamed to a more palatable "Clean Energy Act" will tax energy and manufacturing corporations who will pass those costs down to the rest of us (so it's an indirect tax). His massive healthcare overhaul will increase costs (though that's not technically called a "tax" either - it's really a matter of semantics) on everyone because they are requiring EVERYONE to purchase insurance or pay a stiff penalty. The healthcare overhaul, again will cost you in either premiums or penalties - take your pick!
So, with the cost of health insurance (or subsequent penalty for not purchasing insurance and the increased premium cost if you happen to be over weight), the cost of Cap and Tax, the cigarette tax, the proposed soft drink tax and on and on, you can see that your standard of living is going south very quickly. So, where's the prosperity he promised for everyone! This redistribution of wealth.... doesn't seem like that's a possibility because all his programs are creating big hits on the wallets of the majority of Americans.
So, not only is Obama losing allies on the international front, he's losing his own allies right here at home.... some in his own party who are questioning all this flip-flopping on campaign promises... and many of those who supported his campaign are now having voters remorse. (I wonder if the tingle up Chris Matthews leg is still as strong.)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In my opinion it is an individual's responsibility to either pay insurance premiums to cover their medical emergencies, or pay for the emergencies when they occur, or perhaps a combination of both of them. It's not an impossible idea. I have been included somewhere within the "middle class" most of my adult life, usually closer to the bottom. There have been times when money was so tight that I couldn't pay for some of the nice things I wanted. So, I waited until I could afford it; but I always had insurance to cover in case of emergencies. When we started our family, the health insurance we carried paid a flat fee of $250 for pregnancy. That didn't even cover the doctor's expense. So, we were on the hook for the rest of his fee plus the hospital expenses as well. Whenever we did apply for federal or state assistance, we were qualified as far as our income was concerned, but - and here's how it has been all our lives - we didn't have enough DEPENDENTS to fit the federal or state assistance programs criteria. (Hmmm. It's a little like trying to get your first job and being turned down because you have no experience.)
BUT, here's the difference in how we as a couple handled our medical situations: we accepted our responsibility! Plain and simple. We took the initiative to get insurance coverage, to save some money for the emergency, or else workout payment plans with the doctor and the hospital to pay monthly payments until the balance was paid off. And that also meant that we didn't run up credit cards for "stuff" we wanted while we were paying off our debt. We understood that the debt was our own. Not one cent was paid by taxpayers. Not one cent was written off by either the doctor or the hospital. That's taking responsibility for yourself! That's what it means to not be a burden on anyone.
And so this is how we have lived our lives for all these years. If we want to buy something expensive we either make sure we have cash on hand to pay for it, or if we want to charge it, we look at our budget and see if we can work it into the budget and make the payments (and not just the minimum payment, either!) - before we buy it. That's called being responsible adults.... that's what makes a responsible society.
Somewhere along the way people failed have to teach that principle to their children. And so the Socialists have been right there to implement their strategies to collect more taxes from the responsible adults to pay for programs to pay for the necessities of those who were irresponsible. It has been the Socialist's purpose to enslave everyone by making them dependent upon the government, and yes, people have played right into their hands by teaching their children to "get what they can, any way they can". People now believe that they're "entitled" to whatever they want whenever they want it, and the cost will be born by taxpayers!
Those who have become enslaved to government programs have taught their children that it is the government's job to take care of them and there would be no backlash if they took all they could from the government. And so that's what the government has been doing - to the tune of $14 TRILLION in debt at this point, plus the trillions in unfunded debt. And it's not over yet - or is it? I'd say that is up to those who want to be responsible and accountable citizens, those who don't want to take from the government until the government becomes the slave of yet another government.... otherwise, that's where we're headed, folks! That's where we're headed!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Apparently Democrats are growing nervous about how the far left's "best laid plans" are being revealed by the floodlights of fair and balanced reporting done by Fox News. A prime example very recently was when the White House tried to strip Fox News from having access to a press conference with "Pay Czar" Kenneth Feinberg. (Kudos to the other media outlets that banded together in a "one for all, and all for one" on behalf of Fox News.) The campaign is over (though the Obama Administration doesn't seem to know it) and the battle may now being waged on a new front. The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may have joined the White House in trying to stop the "unfavorable" reporting of the goings on in Congress.
Hugh Hewitt reported in his blog that Pelosi appeared on Keith Olberman's program on Friday and declared that she plans to bring to the floor of the House this week a vote to strip Fox News of its journalistic rights of access to Congressional activities, saying basically that Fox News falsely reports what is going on in Washington or that it is biased in its reporting. (This vote, by the way, would not affect other new agencies or reporting entities - just Fox News.)
He also said reported in his blog that Mrs. Pelosi argued "That Fox regularly grants access to Republican Congressman to spread their lies and propaganda on their airwaves is a violation of the public trust, and their continued desire to challenge such well documented facts as Global Warming, and the efficacy of single payer health insurance, proves that they are simply doing the work of the special interests. They should thus be stripped of their journalistic access in the halls of Congress." (Whether this Pelosi/Olberman scenario occured or not, that would be an egregious abuse of power!)
Democrats have been given equal opportunities (and a few have taken them) to speak on Fox programs from the steps of the House and Senate to discuss their positions on certain issues. They have also been given many invitations to appear on panels and debate the issues, but most have flatly refused to do so. At times the Democratic leaders in Congress have even told their party members to not speak to Fox News. (Sounds like grade-schooler activity doesn't it?)
Why is that Democrats don't want to deal with Fox News? Is it because the Democrats don't have a convincing argument for their political positions sufficient to sway the public? Is it because they don't all speak with the same voice? Is it because their agendas are flawed - or worse, un-Constitutional? Is it because their intent is to chop away at our freedoms until the American way of life is no longer recognizable? Is it because they just don't like hearing some news agency giving both sides of the political argument so that people can be fully informed? Is it because they want only one voice to be heard - theirs?
Pelosi and the uber-liberals like her in the Obama Administration (including the President – though he’s too slick to say it out of his OWN mouth) seek to shut down any reporting that is in opposition to their extremely liberal agenda. This is an appalling infringement on America’s basic freedom of speech. If that freedom is to remain from now on, any such vote against freedom of speech on the House or Senate floors must never take place. If you ever want to be heard, or if you want to hear both sides of what is going on, you better step up – speak up! Just imagine the ramifications of such a vote!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
As an example, do you remember Linda Tripp who recorded Monica Lewinsky's sordid tales of her encounters with then-President Bill Clinton? They tried to prosecute her under this same law. But she was a more valuable witness for another case, that being the impeachment of a President. She was given immunity for her testimony, but I daresay that they would have found it extremely difficult to prosecute her under that law anyway.
You see, the Maryland state law is not a "wiretapping" law per se. It's an "interception" statute that regulates the "interception" of communications, and that is spelled out precisely in the law. In Linda's case, it was her own phone that she was using. And she didn't intercept a communication, she was participating in the conversation. In that same vein, it is easy to see that there was no "interception" of communications by O'Keefe and Giles. In fact, it was, as with Linda, their own conversations with ACORN employees.
If this law is used successfully to prosecute O'Keefe and Giles for exposing the corruption within the ACORN organization, then people with cell phones that capture videos and records voices had better turn off their phones while in Maryland to avoid the temptation to break this law at some party or event!
But ACORN has other legal issues as well, this time on the defensive side. When ACORN went to Las Vegas and started playing what they called "Blackjack" or "21," the activist group was making a far greater gamble than it could ever have guessed, or so think the Nevada prosecutors who are, by the way, Democrats.
There's nothing wrong with playing the tables in Vegas, but the authorities claim that ACORN was using the common names of popular casino game as a cover-up term for paying workers bonuses to sign up voters as part of a quota system which is illegal in Nevada. As a result of an extensive investigation, a preliminary hearing in the Clark County courthouse has put ACORN on trial for the first time as a criminal defendant.
Until now, prosecutions for voter registration fraud have focused on the ACORN workers themselves rather than the organization leadership, and yes, the authorities have secured guilty pleas from several workers who have admitted to falsifying voter registration forms. But when investigators from Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller's office raided the ACORN Las Vegas office, Ross says they found a paper trail that not only was ACORN organization itself aware of this practice, it was actually promoting this behavior.
In an interview with Fox News, Miller said, "We came across policy manuals that outline their policy of creating a quota system, which is against the law. This, in fact, was something that was widespread and something the organization itself knew about, and it's important to hold the organization criminally accountable as opposed to the individual field directors."
ACORN, of course, has consistently denied that it had a quota for the number of voter registration forms, and that it required its workers to turn in a certain minimum number every day. The organization does say that there were "performance standards" — that standard was "an expectation" that workers would find 20 new voters each day. But prosecutors say ACORN paid a $5 bonus to workers who would sign up 21 or more voters per day. That's where the "code" name "21" or "Blackjack," came in. It was an alleged quota system that Miller says is the first step toward corrupting the entire democratic system.
"These charges strike at the heart of having integrity of the electoral process. That's something that is important in Nevada and the entire country," he told FOX News. "By filing these charges we are sending a clear message we are not going to tolerate these kinds of activities. We have seen voter registration abuse before and we are holding these people accountable."
With the undercover videos from several offices done by O'Keefe and Giles, and the search and seizure of such incriminating evidence in the Las Vegas ACORN office, pressure from all sides has been mounting on ACORN in recent weeks. But it seems that the "lame street media" would rather focus on the alleged illegal actions of two young people rather than go after the organization that counsels people to commit obviously illegal activities and cheat on paying taxes.
There has been some other fallout from the expose' done by O'Keefe and Giles, and the revelation of the manuals and documents discovered in Las Vegas. The IRS and Census Bureau have since severed direct ties with the group, and even the inspector general of the Department of Justice is reviewing its own involvement with ACORN. Other state and local authorities are also beginning to distance themselves from ACORN, while others are watching them closely, including Maryland's own attorney general.
As of this writing, I haven't heard or read anything further on ACORN's lawsuit against O'Keefe and Giles. But Las Vegas officials are proceeding with their case against ACORN. And if ACORN is convicted, the Nevada ACORN operation could lose its tax-exempt status and that would have national implications for the organization as a whole — meaning that ACORN would end up with a losing hand!
Friday, October 23, 2009
- AARP - You know where they are in the healthcare debate.... they're doing like GE - getting on the Obama bandwagon (Or snuggling up to the liberals, if you prefer) so that they can get Presidential privilege that other similar organizations won't have.
- A. Phillip Randolph Institute
- AFL-CIO (ACORN Associate)
- American Federation of Government Employees
- AFSCME has 1.6 milion members including health care workers, corrections officers, child care providers, educators , and sanitation workers. From a statement of AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee on the 2008 Election: "With Barack Obama and Joe Biden, we will have a team of proven fighters committed to providing state and local fiscal relief, fully funding and supporting public services and the workers who provide them, and guaranteeing that everyone in our country has quality, affordable health care they can count on...We knocked on 10 million doors, made 70 million phone calls, and distributed more than 27 million workplace flyers focusing on economic issues. AFSCME alone spent $67 million on political activities, including our aggressive independent expenditure campaign which played a key role in the most competitive House and Senate races. Forty-thousand AFSCME members volunteered along with more than 500 staff because we all knew we could not afford four more years like the last eight."
- American Federation of Teachers
- Coalition of Labor Union Women
- Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
- Community Action Partnership
- Families USA
- International Brotherhood of Teamsters
- Labor Council for the Latin American Advancement
- League of Women Voters of the United States
- National Black Justice Coalition
- National Council of La Raza (ACORN Associate)
- National Education Association (ACORN Associate)
- Pride at Work
- Rainbow Push Coalition (ACORN Associate)
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU) (ACORN Associate)
- Southern Coalition for Social Justice
- United Workers
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The Obama Administration has claimed the endorsement of the AMA for Obama's healthcare reform, but as many physicians will tell you, most practicing physicians are not members of the AMA. Do you remember the staged doctors' meeting in the Rose Garden at the White House? Where the hundred or so doctors were given white lab coats to wear so they would "look" like doctors? Nice photo op - except the there weren't any hospital or practice logos or names embroidered on them and the unfortunate pictures of staff handing out lab coats didn't lend any credibility to the effect, either. If one was so inclined, they could assume (as seen from the back anyway) that these may have been lab techs -- or butchers from local grocery stores! Apparently that gathering wasn't an accurate representation of a wide-ranging support of physicians for Obamacare.
As you know, the Senate elite plus Rahm Emanuel have been holed up behind closed doors - and EVERYONE knows this is in direct opposition to the promise of total transparency Candidate Obama promised - everything would be on CSPAN - indeed!) trying to hammer out a Senate healthcare bill that will be acceptable to the wary moderates in the Senate. On Day Seven of the closed door sessions, the White House and the Senate leaders came up with this brilliant idea of ordering Congress to pass a $247 billion bill (S1776) as a payoff to doctors to try and gain their support for this comprehensive healthcare reform.
In regards to the "Secret Bill", as reported by The Hill, "The White House and Democratic leaders are offering doctors a deal: They'll freeze cuts in Medicare payments to doctors in exchange for doctor's support of health care reform." The $247 billion "Doc Fix" bill totally excluded any public debate, or for that matter, any public knowledge. This "secret" bill was designed to get a large block of physician support - only it didn't work as planned and Harry Reid blames the AMA, though not by name. (Apparently the AMA lobbyists were supposed to "deliver" about two dozen Republican votes for this bill, but that didn't materialize even though some Republican Senators have supported short-term freezes to Medicare cuts in the past.)
Physicians have been forced to take cuts in medicare payments for quite some time and now a promised half-trillion dollars more in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid over the next ten years. The only place that cuts can come from is from the payout to doctors who are treating Medicare and Medicaid recipients. However, I would imagine that the doctors would much rather see the Medicare/Medicaid payment structure be a part of the reform and not be the "backbone" of how Obama/Pelosi/Reid plan to pay for their healthcare system.
Anyway, this week the Senate used cloture to bring the "Doc Fix" Bill (S1776) to a vote, but it failed 47 to 53. So, it looks to me like perhaps our lawmakers are aware that the public has become more enlightened about what is going on in Washington and ordinary citizens have become focused on their legislative activities. Perhaps this closer scrutiny and the sharing of information between people and groups are making lawmakers squirm a bit when it comes to ramming something like this "Doc Fix" bill through without much semblance of debate or use of "legal trickery" to move a bill through quickly.... afterall, it is their political futures that are on the line!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
When the House rushed their version of the bill through, the CBO was called upon to make an assessment of the cost to American families. The CBO analysis looked only at the "day-to-day" costs of operating a trading program and did not include what the greater consequences that the necessary energy restrictions would ultimately have on the overall economy. The CBO added this footnote to their analysis: "The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap."
The Democrats in the House have said the cost would equal approximately the cost of a postage stamp. (Nevermind that the Post Office increases the price of the postage stamp every year or so with less and less efficiency. Symbolic?) However, the Obama Administration has estimated that the Cap and Trade bill would cost the taxpayers up to $200 billion per year, which figures to about $1,761 per year. (Geez, seems like that's in the neighborhood of what the penalty for not buying health insurance will cost!) If you listen to what Obama said about his proposal, even he says that the cost of electricity is going to go up significantly. OUCH!
Again, it's time to put the pressure on our legislators about Cap and Trade or the "Clean Energy Act", stand our ground, and make them realize that every one of the issues that they have pushed through (piling one on top of the other) in the last few months is going to place upon the average American citizen a burden that they cannot afford. These issues do not affect the wealthy lawmakers - especially those who conveniently forget to pay their taxes - so they have no context on how it affects the daily lives of "normal" Americans. Those who are just getting by will no longer be able to make ends meet, and those who have been falling behind due to loss of jobs will never be able to get their feet back on the ground. It will utterly destroy many families financially.
If you haven't read my article of about three week ago on this subject, you may want to check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/y9zg73a.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The American people are being treated like lambs led to the slaughter - or rather, the American way of life is being pushed and shoved toward the slaughter. And in preparation for the finality of it all, everything that has made the United States unique as a nation is being quickly and systematically stripped from it. Concerned citizens are organizing Tea Parties, some are writing blogs, some are talking to their neighbors and friends, and all are expressing their opinions under the same rights that PETA, an ultra far-left organization, uses against the poultry and beef industries - only without smearing fake blood or red paint on things and scaring small children who only want their Happy Meals.
Conservative Americans, both morally and fiscally, are beginning to express their concern over the future of America. They're holding peaceful rallies of protest, carrying banners and handmade signs, and they're contacting their representatives about their concerns on the issues that are reshaping or restructured our country toward the leftist's position. These citizens are voicing their objections to the unethical practices of their own elected officials in Washington. Those unethical actions include, in part, pushing huge laws (literally and conceptually) through the legislative process in the most obscure and unprecedented ways possible, and often under the cloak of darkness, with the full intent of keeping the American people ignorant while this takes place. What happened to the very detailed promise of transparency of the Obama Administration?
Even the majority of the legislators don't know exactly what are in the bills because most of them refuse to read them. For example, a bill may be called a stimulus package, but within that bill are many amendments or sections that do not pertain to stimulating economy in any way, shape, or form. And sometimes those inserted amendments have restrictions on certain freedoms we have enjoyed or they may impose a new tax or cost to the taxpayer, or they may send millions of tax dollars to a particular lawmaker's state or district for special projects to garner votes and political support.
Let's take the $787 Billion Economic Stimulus Package. In it was money for Sen. John Murtha's (D-PA) airport renovation, which is an abomination! The airport was given $800,000 of stimulus money for a new cross-wind runway. (Three passengers a day! And all to Washington DC! How many new jobs did that create, and just who does that benefit?) That's just one example of the waste and little political favors payoffs that occur! It's our tax money and as taxpayers we should have a say on where our money goes; after all, that's what our representatives and senators are for - to protect our interests.
We, the people, have sent our representatives to Washington to look out for our interests. However, they have forgotten their campaign promises and are no longer representing their constituency. Instead they put party interests, pet projects, political favors, and partisan politics above the best interest of the American people and do not consider themselves accountable even to the people who elected them. They have their own personal crusade to gain power, influence, and wealth as they continue the "Washington as usual" politics and the American Democracy is falling down around our ears.
America is at an important crossroad at this point in its history. It's reputation is being quickly dissolved in the opinion of other nations because there is no integrity and no honor in our President's words any more. If we do nothing to change what's happening in Washington, the great nation of the United States will be unrecognizable before the passing of this generation. The jury is still out until November 2010 during which time we will see if the recent voices of the American people at the town hall meetings and at Tea Party rallies have been heard. But the pressure on our representatives needs to be maintained, because there's still a lot of time for more wholesale slaughter between now and then -- just look at what has happened over the past year. Think about these things:
» The House energy and global warming bill HR2454 was passed June 26, 2009. It consisted of more than 1,400 pages and was available online only 15 hours before being vote upon. This bill is presently before the Senate and is projected to cost taxpayers up to $200 million per year.
» The $789 billion stimulus bill was passed Feb. 14, 2009 and had over 400 pages. It was available online only 13 hours before debate.
» $700 billion financial sector rescue package, known as TARP 1, was passed Oct. 3, 2008. It has 169 pages and was available online only 29 hours before voting took place.
» The Baucus Bill on health care reform is reported to impose nearly $2,000 per family annually just to cover the mandated cost. And if you don't take out insurance, you'll pay nearly that amount in an imposed penalty. It is presently being re-worked to include a version of public option - and this is being done BEHIND CLOSED DOORS! So, we won't even see what they come up with before it goes to the House.
So, if you're not sure how those bills that were passed in such a rush earlier this year will impact your life, you need to become aware - fully aware! Even if the rich and the not so rich ponied up all their wealth, they wouldn't have enough money to pay for those bills that have already passed. And we're still awaiting the outcome of the Clean Energy/Global Warming bill in the Senate and the Healthcare Reform Act to pass.
If that wasn't enough, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has gone on record as saying that a new tax is on the table to help America address these fiscal responsibilities. (She is assuming that the healthcare bill will pass and that manufacturers will be required to include healthcare in their operating costs.) Her proposal is "a tax" called a VAT, a value added tax, to foreign manufacturing to level the playing field. Only it doesn't really. The value added tax is a tax put on manufacturers at each stage of production and is based upon the amount of value another producer may add to a product. Think about this: most of what the US consumes is imported these days - produced elsewhere. So those taxes on foreign companies will have costs that are directly passed on to you and to me. The VAT on manufacturing and services will only drive up the costs on all consumer goods. Critics of VAT say that this tax disproportionately affects the middle- and low-income customers. Whoa! No taxes on middle class? What happened to that promise?
Just so you know, it's politi-speak. That's how they're going to end up taking money out of your pocket even if you're not among those who make more than $250,000. No, it won't be a straight forward "tax" on the individuals of the middle class, but by such taxes and restrictions on the manufacturing and producer of goods (and services) they take money straight out of your pocket at the consumer end. It will also give the government more regulatory control over the manufacturers.
So, get ready. You're going to have to spend a whole lot more for goods and services - and real soon!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Since I started this blog a couple months ago, I have been continually educating myself through research for my blogs and through other avenues. I watched town hall meetings on television. I went to a local tea party rally. And even more intimidating to me, an apolitical person, I became a member of a new activist group who holds the same values and political views that I have, and whose members feel the same emotions.
"It's not what you say; it's what they hear." - Luntz Maslansky Strategic Research.
- A used car is now pre-owned vehicle.
- A secretary is now an administrative assistant.
- A stewardess is now a flight attendant.
- Garbage removal is now sanitation services.
- Gay marriage is now same-sex marriage.
- Instead of process, use progress.
- Instead of strategy use step-by-step approach.
- Automobile manufacturers rather than automobile companies.
- Fuel efficiency rather than fuel savings.
- "Why?" - and if asked about your sign. Get them to explain their position.
- "Accountability - Why not?"
- "I have a right to be heard."
- "How much will it cost?" Stop wasting my money.
- "Who will $ for it?"
- "Before you sign it - READ IT."
- "Don't make promises you can't keep."
- "The IRS, the Post Office, Katrina... now healthcare?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Right now there really isn't a single healthcare plan. There are at least five proposals out there right now. Some pet aspects from each of the versions will have to be cut when they put the different versions together - but they will not be forgotten. So, you could expect "disgruntled" Democrats to come back time and again to get those added to whatever version gets passed into law. This scenario is not so far fetched with the healthcare plan that is being shoved through our Congress right now and given how much debate is going on - even within parties. However, none of the proposed plans will contain the crucial elements that most Americans are adamant about - those being tort reform, capping drug and insurance costs, and cutting waste in Medicaid and Medicare.
No one is saying that malpractice shouldn't be litigated, but there should be some restrictions in place in such a way as to what constitutes frivolous lawsuits, time limits for litigation should also be shortened, and there should be caps placed on the awards. Drug companies should not be allowed to rob US citizens in favor of citizens of other countries to make their businesses profitable. The insurance companies should also be held accountable for running premiums costs up just to increase their bottom line. Waste in the administration of Medicare and Medicaid and fraudulent claims should be addressed and dealt with, too. And you know what? If these things were added to the legislation, that would be real healthcare reform!
I have heard one individual say that it could depend upon what type of coverage you had; in other words, if you had insurance that covered dental and vision, that could be considered a Cadillac insurance plan.
When I was younger, I had insurance coverage based upon what I could afford to pay out of pocket in premiums, co-pays and deductibles. And it was sort of a balancing act between out of pocket expenses and how much coverage I could get. Just getting started in life, I didn't have a much extra cash on hand to pay for the occasional drugs and doctor visits and I certainly didn't have anything that I could save since I was just starting out. So, I had to have low deductibles and co-pays. I could also opt for a policy that would pay a higher percentage of the healthcare cost in the event of hospital visits, etc. - if I could afford it in the additional premium cost. Of course, all that meant was my payroll deducted premium would be somewhat higher than average. So, I guess I had a "Cadillac" policy and didn't know it.
So, just who is it that have these Cadillac plans in the government's estimation? Getting a straight and definitive answer is about the same as asking them if they can say with certainty what is and what is not included in the healthcare bills from the House and Senate... all five versions apparently say different things. And who the heck really knows since they're not reading the darn things???
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Finance Committee, had set the threshold for most people at $8,000 in annual premiums for an individual and $21,000 for a family. However, the estimate is that only 2 or 3 percent of covered workers and families would hit that benchmark, so there are clearly not going to be enough people to "rob from" through taxes to cover the 40-million-some-odd people who supposedly don't have any coverage. In fact, the Baucus plan still leaves about 15 million without coverage.
So, besides taxing the very tiny percentage of people who fall into the rich category and robbing $500B from the old folks' Medicare Advantage plan (for which they pay extra to have!), there hasn't been any other revelation as to how this healthcare reform is going to be (1) deficit neutral and (2) not increase taxes on the middle and lower income people.
That presents a major problem. So, just how will the politicians decide what constitutes a Cadillac insurance plan? Oh, that's easy. They're going to review the majority of the plans that the 90% of Americans have now. They're going to determine the average coverage and then determine that anything above that average will be considered the "Cadillac".
As mentioned before, the BaucuSCARE bill isn't going to cover everyone. They're still saying that 15 million or more will not be covered. So, the arbitrary number of the 47 million, which had dropped down to something in the high 30 millions (you just pick any huge number) only about half of them will be covered under his plan. How is that so much better than what we have now? We will still have the lawyers skinning doctors and drug companies alive. We will still have drug companies gouging US citizens while practically giving drugs to other countries for pennies on the dollar. We will still have the Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse.... all of which will remain under HR3200 AND the Baucus' bill - as well as any of the others, I'm sure. So, ALL of the problems with our current US healthcare system we'll just carry those over to the next healthcare system, and for the switch we'll have less quality care, but add 15 million "to the rolls" who are basically getting free medical care now.... just check any hospital emergency room!
The other thing of great concern is the fact that when the new healthcare reform act is passed and signed by the president, the changes will not take effect immediately. Paying for the plan will begin immediately, but the actual plan itself will not be implemented until 2013. That means that we will be paying for a healthcare plan over three years before we can utilize its benefits. (Why don't I go buy a real Cadillac right now on a ten-year loan and wait for them to deliver it to me in three years. How smart is that?)
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report last week which claimed the Baucus bill would not add to the national deficit. This was the "plain speak" version not the "political-speak" one with all the confusion - I mean - all the details, either! But this report assumes that those employers who had previously provided healthcare coverage for their employers and who would drop employee coverage in favor of the less costly non-coverage tax penalty as provided under the Baucus bill would increase their worker paychecks by an equal amount which they spent on the insurance coverage. (I'm not sure if this would be less the penalty they would have to pay!) This practice will take a nontaxable event for the employer (the health care provision) and replace it with a taxable one (employee wages). Proponents of the bill say this will produce $83 billion in government revenues. If this revenue doesn't come into the coffers, then the Baucus bill will add billions of dollars to the federal deficit in the next ten years.
So I'm asking, why would a company drop employee coverage just so it could pay more (in fines, taxes, and wages) than it did before? It does seem more likely they'd just drop the expensive insurance, pay the fine, and let the insurance part go! Sounds more logical, doesn't it?
Overall, it would be much more effective and much less expensive if politicians would just address the problems that presently exist in our current healthcare system rather than building a whole new system around those problems. It's like building a new house on a crumbling foundation. And that is exactly what the American people are trying to tell Congress - only they're not listening.
All I can say is any Democrats who supports any final bill of this type should be and will be held responsible for this healthcare mess when premiums rise, taxes increase, deficits skyrocket, and Big Government's power grab reaches farther and farther into the American's wallets and way of life.
Monday, October 12, 2009
By now, the whole world knows that President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. This dubious (and I use that word in its truest sense) honor was based upon only the first 12 days of Obama's presidency. Let's see just what Obama accomplished in his first few days of office:
Day One (half day really): He was sworn in as president, then went to a parade, and later attended a huge "party".
Day Two: He asked bureaucrats to re-write guidelines for requesting information and held an "open house" party at the White House (for certain "invited" guests only??)
Day Three: He signed a few Executive Orders, among which was one requiring Executive Branch workers to take ethics pledge (Oh, yeah? That's not working so well, is it?), another was for re-affirming Army Field Manual techniques for interrogations (and later added the requirement of Miranda rights to be given in the field of battle!), and yet another was to close Gitmo Detention Center within one year (but no one wants to take the prisoners - so, now what?).
Day Four: He ordered the release of federal funds to pay for abortions -- in foreign countries (WHY?), and then had lunch with Joe Biden before meeting with Tim Geithner later in the day.
Day Five: He held a budget meeting with his economic team. (Here comes the "fundamental transformation" of our monetary system!)
Day Six: Whew! He was so tired from all that activity, he skipped church.
Day Seven: He gave a speech about jobs and energy, then had a quickie meeting with Hillary Clinton before attended Geithner's swearing in ceremony.
Day Eight: He took time to meet with some Republicans and later hopped on Air Force One to go speak at a clock tower in Ohio.
Day Nine: He sat through economic meetings in the morning and then met with the Defense secretary in the afternoon.
Day Ten: He signed the Ledbetter Bill which overturned a Supreme Court decision on lawsuits over wages. Then it was party time in the State Room. And, he met with his buddy Joe (Biden - not the plumber!) before the end of his workday.
Day Eleven: He met with his economic advisers, gave speech on the Middle Class Working Families Task Force, then met with a few senior enlisted military officials.
Day Twelve: He took the day off, (Even Presidents are actually due one, you know!) And stayed pretty much hidden from public view.
Day Thirteen: Being off yesterday wasn't enough rest, so Obama skipped church again, but he threw one heck of a Super Bowl party from all reports.
So, with the honor of the Nobel Peace Prize being bestowed upon Obama based upon those "accomplishments", one can't help but be in a quandary about why he was selected when there are many others who have the "credentials" usually associated with a Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Nobel Prize, according to the Nobelprize.com site, has been awarded for "humanitarian efforts and peace movements... for work in a wide range of fields including advocacy of human rights, mediation of international conflicts, and arms control." (Somebody please give me some concrete examples of just how Obama has fulfilled these things?)
Let's face it. It actually speaks volumes on the Nobel Committee's politics rather than their humanitarianism, and thus in my opinion, it is not at all flattering to the Nobel organization and even cheapens their integrity. (If you're one of those who think perhaps they were including his accomplishments up to and including his first 12 days in office. Just as a reminder, he was one of the best "present" voters in the Senate prior to campaigning for President!)
Awarding Obama this once prestigious award (specifically based on those first twelve days) just says that words count more than actions. (But let's face it, Obama can read a speech that someone else has written better than just about anybody out there. We know he doesn't use original material, he even had to borrow parts of his campaign speeches from his friends to make some of his points - even if he didn't remember to mention it to the friend beforehand.)
Because the Nobel Committee gave this award to an "as yet tested or proven" nominee simply because of the implication of politics involved, it casts a shadow upon the award for those previous award winners who certainly proved their qualifications. (So, it's politics, not actual effort?) That is not to say that any of those individuals didn't deserve to earn their awards (except perhaps Al Gore, but granted, he has worked hard on his global warming shtick that is now being called climate change!). It is to say, however, that previous winners had done some really meaningful things to earn the respect of the world. Those winners truly deserved the kind of recognition the Nobel Prize once stood for, and therefore, the award should remain reserved only for those who have spent considerable time impacting the world.
So, again in my opinion, this award granted to Obama was based upon literally no accomplishments of that caliber, and further -- and worse -- has lessened the true value of the prize that has been enjoyed by the special few since 1901. Indeed, it has served to undermine the prestige of both the committee and the prize.
Friday, October 9, 2009
And if you want to know just who really is behind the government takeover of healthcare?
We probably wouldn't have known as this much about ACORN to this day if Obama had not been the candidate of choice for this organization. It's as if they have overplayed their hand, meaning that there was a more blatant movement by ACORN to get people registered to vote.... and "quotas" apparently were the method of choice for registrations, even if they didn't exit or were cartoon characters! Uh-oh!
There are alleged voter registration fraud cases uncovered in several states involving ACORN, particularly in Nevada where officials have uncovered actual proof that the rank-in-file have been following a manual of instructions laying out how to register people. It describes a pay-per-registration program, which in Nevada is a felony. Some of these workers have already been indicted and in the Nevada case, ACORN is also a co-defendent.
Then there's the undercover videos provided by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles in several of ACORN's Housing Corporation offices in several states that have revealed ACORN's involvement in tax evasion practices, their counseling on how to set up illegal businesses, and assisting in making fraudulent housing loans.
But we can go back years when Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN's founder Wade Rathke, was reported to have embezzled approximately $1M, which was supposed to have been repaid by Dale and a private individual. but kept quiet even from the ACORN Board. And he was never fired. (However, a more complete investigation by a Democrat Louisiana prosecuting attorney is now showing that it's more like $5M that had been embezzled during Wade Rathke's tenure as head of ACORN. It is becoming more apparent that corruption in this organization began at the top and has filtered down to the bottom. Thus far, the blame for infractions have been pushed off on those poor shmoes at the bottom who have been fired or charged with their misdeeds.
Just the vastness of organizations and the individuals who have ties to ACORN in either giving or receiving funding is very disconcerting. Just how much more illegal activities are there to uncover? The volume is overwhelming and extremely alarming. Thus, it appears it will take an enormous amount of push to keep the pressure on until this gigantic organization with all it's many, many tentacles can be examined and all the corruption exposed. But it has to be done! It's a HUGE start in cleaning up the corruption that goes on at all levels in this country.
Americans are getting fed up with the government pandering to special interests groups like ACORN and their turning blind eyes and deaf ears when corrupt organizations are brought to their attention. Most of the politicians are in bed with ACORN. And they have been lining their pockets with kickbacks and gaining votes by granting favors. It keeps politicians in power and rich. But if those who are expressing outrage at this point in time will continue to rattle cages and act upon their disgust, these things can be reined in, and we can begin put a stop to this blatant corruption which is pervasive.
As voters, we have the opportunity over the next 13 months to evaluate who is and who is not willing to take on the challenge of cleaning up ACORN and SEIU. At the end of that time, we will have the right and the responsibility to vote out those Congressmen who are sleeping with corruption. And we will!
It's obvious that you Members of Congress do watch the polls. You may say that you don't take any stock in them; but lately, there have been some hints in your public statements that reveal you not only pay attention to the polls, but you will go out of your way to find a poll that favors your particular political position, especially on the hot items of public interest. That way you can spin the media reports the way you want them and give validity to your actions which are in opposition to what most polls show the majority of Americans want.
Of course you know you were elected based upon your promises to represent your state or district in Washington and you vowed to uphold the Constitution of the United States. In terms of legislation, though, how many of you have actually considered the constitutionality of the laws when you either wrote or voted on them? In addition to upholding the Constitution and representing your constituents, you made pledges of reaching across the aisles and bipartisanship which have been but empty words.
Instead of keeping the promises you made which got you to Washington, you play stupid political games and participating in hateful partisan politic. All the while, the folks back home have blindly trusted you to do what was best for them. They never expected that your endeavours would almost entirely comprise favors you could for another congressman in exchange for a position on a committee or their vote on particular piece of legislation or sponsorship of legislation that would promote the desires of special interest groups. Instead of fidelity to your constituents and to your sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, you have become faithful to your "party". You have made a career of participating in partisan politics and political game-playing and in dealing with special interest groups. You haven't contributed to changing these activities. They are just as rampant in the halls of Congress as they ever have been, and in fact, getting worse!
But here's a flash for you! It's not going to be "politics as usual" anymore. American's aren't blind and they're not stupid. You can't keep on playing your political games as before because the people are now wise to the corruption of Washington's wealth and power and to your deviate ways of doing business there. Both political parties are equally guilty of greediness and both play the same political games - with each other and with the public. They see you talking out of both sides of your mouth, like when you stand before the media and say things out of one side of your mouth to John Q. Public and then speak out of the other side to your peers. They see that you are making deals in backrooms that are in opposition of what you just spoke in public. Again, it's both parties who are equally guilty of massaging truth to fit their positions - neither side of the aisle has a monopoly on this - and both sides are guilty of exactly the same highly questionable practices.
Since the town halls of August, Republican representatives and perhaps a few moderate Democrats have begun to talk about some of concerns that were expressed in those meetings. However, the old Washington way of doing things (the both-sides of the mouth talk) makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to be taken seriously by the opposition or by the public. So, when these congressmen, usually Republican, present the legitimate concerns of the people in their committees or on the floor, it's perceived as politics as usual - same ol', same ol'. Democrats considered it as just more whining because, after all, the Republicans "lost" the election and, of course, they would do or say anything to "go with the flow" of the public swell.
Therefore, Republicans, you have heard the people and some of you are truly wanting to get the people's concerns before the Congress. But those stupid political games that you have played for so many, many years have to this point made the legitimate conservative voice in Congress impotent. So, that has made you pretty useless, hasn't it? If you cannot be effective among your peers and your sincerity is in question, you're done politically. You have no value as a representative of the people.
Democrats, you have proudly displayed a double standard and double-dealing which is turning the stomachs of more than just the conservatives. You display your immense pride because you areriding a high wave with control in both houses. But your partisanship has shown that you don't want to listen to anyone but your own party and only those who agree with you. But Americans in huge numbers are saying something different than your own personal agendas. That is not healthy for this country and not paying attention to Americans and discounting them as "astroturf", not giving validity to their concerns will also cost you.
Americans are clearly seeing all the hyprocisy in Congress. They see how uncompassionate the Democrats can be when a Republican fails morally and how he's virtually and almost immediately drummed out of Washington, but people like Rangel can remain not only in their congressional seats while it takes an eternity to begin an investigation for ethics violations, but remain as chairmen of his committee for months if not years. And what about Congress stealing millions of dollars from the American people's treasury for things like personal airports and eco-bridges for turtles who can't even read the road signs? There's truth to the phrase there is no honor among thieves. Might we paraphrase that into a question: Is there no honor among Congressmen?
It used to be that people believed their representatives would bring change to Washington and some looked to their congressmen for truth and wisdom and some naively trusted them to do what was best for them and for the country. They'd vote out the "dead wood" and just get more of the same. So over time, Americans have become disillusioned. Their apathy has kept lawmakers in office - far too long. However, dear Members of Congress, your eloquent and loquacious words no longer have an effect on the people. It's your actions that are now being closely scrutinized (and reported on primarily through blogs) by Americans exercising their right to free speech. The double standards of Washington have become abhorent to the people, and mainstream America is growing extremely weary of the practice of political games for personal gain. That's why there will be a shake up in Washington beginning in 2010.
What is different this time is that many of those people who have always been apolitical are now becoming actively involved in organizing political groups to keep their neighbors and families informed of the shenanigans and conniving that's going on in Washington. This political activity it's not only going to affect Washington; these people are starting from ground zero. They are looking for candidates to get behind that have the same values and ideals they do. So, those of you reading this who are in local politics, the same politics as usual will not be tolerated there either. So, look for changes in your own towns beginning next year!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
As concerned people come together in groups around the country whether at townhalls or at Tea Parties, that same spirit and call to rally against seemingly impossible odds is very much alive today. Americans, primarily Conservatives, but which include moderate Democrats and Independents as well, are finding a new rallying phrase which is strikingly similar to "Remember the Alamo!" To the chagrin of liberals, a new battle cry which began several months ago is growing louder and stronger.
As time marches on, and the Obama Administration pushes this country further and further into Socialism, imposes governmental takeovers of every sector of the economy, and place limitations on basic American freedoms and Constitutional rights, it's no longer "Remember the Alamo" which is a retrospective battle cry. Rather, there is a new battle cry which is forward-looking. It has become "Remember, 2010 and 2012!"
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Anne Leary, as it is pointed out in Humphries article, is a conservative blogger who happened to run into Bill Ayers at Reagan National Airport. She claims that Ayers, for whatever reason, claimed that he, not Barack Obama, is the real author of his bestseller Dreams of My Father. I am a little sceptical of this because while he has been candid about many things in his colored past, he has been tight-lipped on others. It would be to no advantage politically for him to claim authorship of this book at this point in time. I mean, after all, he's seeing someone in office that is pushing the agendas that he espouses. And he's seeing the government transforming before his eyes.
There has been speculation that Obama didn't write the book without help since he hadn't demonstrated that level of skill prior. The reason I would tend to believe that he did have a ghost writer is that without the TOTUS, Obama isn't nearly as smooth in his communication skills as when he reads the words others have written. In fact, sometimes it appears that if he ventures beyond his practiced rhetoric, he doesn't know what to say and resorts to cliches and satirical phrases, as well as throwing blame on the republicans, and in particular Bush. Watch him say, "Hey, look..." and you know it's not going to be eloquent!
There has been some research into whether Ayers played a role in writing the book. Christopher Andersen has written a book on the First Couple and claims that he did in fact play a significant role in authoring the book, even though Obama claims he wrote it with no help. It is suspected that Ayers, if he did ghost write for Obama, even ascribed some of his own life experiences to Obama. That could account for the many discrepancies in Obama's "history". There are too many irregularities and inconsistencies in Obama's recollection of his life as a child... and too many gaps in his life as a young adult.... the tales and gaps continued -- until he became president.
Jack Cashill’s research on the subject and Christopher Andersen’s book combined with the reported Ayers' voluntary statement about him having written the book have created an "uh-oh" moment for the lame-stream media. What will they do about this information? Will they do their job and report on it, dig for the truth, or continue to deny the public the truth? Why would it matter? It would matter because the President’s credibility is on the line -- again. So in that regard, this intriguing revelation demands our attention.
Jack Cashill investigations can be found at The Improvised Odyssey of Barack Obama, Who Wrote Dreams and Why It Matters, and Literary Lion Obama Will Roar No More. Anne Leary's blog is found at http://backyardconservative.blogspot.com/. Rusty Humphrey's article is found at http://bit.ly/34Ddh.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Huh?! We don't have a national healthcare bill passed yet, but he's got problems with government-run healthcare already? You betcha!
When Brian turned 65, even though he had private healthcare insurance he wanted to keep, he was forced by the government to enroll in Medicare. That meant he would have to give up his private health insurance which he believed was better than what Medicare offered. He contacted the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration and was told he could not opt out of Medicare.
Actually what the Social Security Administration said was that even though he paid into Social Security for his entire working career, he cannot opt out of Medicare without giving up his Social Security. So, he consulted with his own attorneys and he's now suing the government for what he rightfully deserves - his Social Security check.... without the strings of Medicare attached.
We know that Medicare and Social Security are virtually financially broke or soon will be. Actually, Social Security will pay out more in 2010 than they take in. Medicare will be bankrupt within five years. So why are these government's entitlement programs forcing seniors into their healthcare program?
If seniors have the ability to pay for their own hospitalization coverage through private insurance, from a financial standpoint, doesn't it make better sense to let them do it and get them out of the money pit of Medicare? Why won't the government allow seniors to opt out of their most costly portion of their program, Medicare Part A which covers hospital insurance?
The answer is because with each person who opted out of Medicare, it would require the government to give up a small piece of power, and that would put a crack in their universal healthcare plan. They do not want anyone to be able to exercise their legal right to pay for private insurance if that's what the people prefer. So, if you ignorant enough to think that your private insurance will survive if a public option (of any version) gets into healthcare reform, think again!
Just so we're clear, there is no law that says any Social Security recipient must subscribe to Medicare, but some "backdoor" administrative measures which were adopted back about 16 years ago by these entitlement programs are what they are using to push seniors into enrolling in Medicare Part A -- under the threat of losing their Social Security. This current policy is a violation of the individual's right to make their own healthcare choices; and further, it violates both the Social Security and Medicare laws.
So, if this is a foreshadowing of what is to come under the ObamaCare or BaucuSCARE, then even if a "private option" remains on the table along with the "public option", policies have already been put into place that can be adopted across the board which will eventually eliminate the option to chose private insurance or to opt out of Medicare, thereby forcing you out of your private insurance coverage into a governmental plan for health care coverage.
This slight of hand, this political mumbo-jumbo (is it a public option or is it a co-op?), these scare tactics cannot be allowed any longer. Call it what it is. And if you talk to people about the issue, point out the deceptions.
People must be allowed their basic life and health choices rights without governmental blackmail. Go get them Brian Hall!
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks up to a podium to speak (other than her press conferences), she has some of her entourage/puppet-congressmen standing behind her, as well as staff members to the side and left-leaning media in front of her. So, no matter what she says, she has a pro-message audience to preach her propaganda to.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does the same thing with his cronies, staff, and media, as does John Boehner and most, if not all, of the others in Washington. It's a modus operandi in Washington to surround yourself with "yes" people and even to plant some in the audience for Q&A so you can get at least a few questions to answer to promote your agenda. Obama did the same thing during the campaign, and since he's still campaigning (because that's all he really knows how do to), he's is continuing that practice as of today when, as an example, he invited 150 doctors to the White House to discuss healthcare reform. Well, it was reported that these doctors were handpicked, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that these physicians are mostly likely pro-Obamacare. Otherwise, if history teaches us anything, their voices would be ignored.
He did the same thing with some nurses' association representatives not long ago. Well, most healthcare providers, those who are practicing, do not support the ObamaCare plan. And as we learned last week, NY medical caregivers, primarily doctors and nurses are opposed to the mandatory inoculation - just as their peers in other states do as well. So, logically, we can assume that AMA (which represents only a small minority of doctors, and most of whom do not practice medicine) and ANA (American Nurses Association) do not represent these medical professions as a whole. In fact, polls show the opposite - just ask your doctor and nurse.
So, if this meeting Obama has planned today with the doctors is for "show and tell", it's obviously another ruse. If he brought them to the White House truly not knowing where they stood on the issue and is really seeking to listen to their input, then count this as one of the campaign promises he made that he's really adhering to - and that is to listen to serious debate. Even so, I wonder what he constitutes as "serious" debate. The American people have been trying to debate his issues for months now and he's done his best to not hear what they're saying.
The problem with the issue of preaching healthcare to the choir is that if the preacher turns to preach to the choir, it's obvious that he has his back turned to the congregation. Look for Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Baucus, as well as others, to continue to preach to the choir over the next couple of weeks.... but the choir isn't the congregation. They've stopped listening to a message where cost numbers don't add up, where answers about maintaining quality of care are not direct - much less honest, and discussion on issues that would give incremental reform without trashing everything that works are evaded. There is no open and honest debate from The One who is preaching to the choir!
Friday, October 2, 2009
The Obama luster has been coming off of President Obama here in the States lately. Now with a "last place showing", which was worse than anyone anticipated - even it he hadn't made the trip we wouldn't have finished in a worse position! In light of this "snub", it appears that perhaps the loss of luster is happening internationally as well. In my opinion, there are two primary reasons for this last place showing. One is a weak showing as the leader of the free world, and two is his dishonesty and untrustworthiness as was internationally revealed with the Missile Shield about face. And so quickly, too, after confirming his support for the program.
As I and others have pointed out, everything that Obama utters has a truth time limit on it. It may be the truth as he sees it at the instant it is spoken, but by the next speech, all bets are off and he may proclaim the exact opposite as truth. We have found that out here in the US with who he's puts in as czars and with the healthcare issue. Will he or won't he sign the healthcare bill if it doesn't have the public option. (I bet we all know what he'd do!) The world got a real good example of his vacillation with his smack in the face of Poland and other Eastern European countries and his concession to Russia over the Missile Shield program. And I'm sure the world is watching him as closely as we are here, but they're not being fooled like some Americans are.
So, Obama is playing a game, huh? Okay. Let's play out that analogy just one more time. Strike one was turning his back on a promise he made last spring to Eastern Europe to not leave them without the shield, vulnerable to attack. Strike two is his inability to persuade the IOC to hold the Olympics in Chicago. Strike three - do I hear healthcare coughing? Do I hear a death rattle?
The story Obama told of a woman named Robin Beaton from Texas, whose insurer dropped her health insurance just as she was about to have a double mastectomy. Obama claimed in his tale that it was because she forgot to declare a case of acne! Well, that was not the truth - not even near it. So, if it's not accurate and it's deliberately slanted to favor one's view.... it's a lie!
Yes, Ms. Beaton did lose her health insurance right before she was to have a double mastectomy; that part is true, but not declaring severe acne had nothing to do with it. The fact is that Ms. Beaton had a previous heart condition that she "forgot" to mention to the insurance provider. She also incorrectly stated her weight. When the insurance company discovered these discrepancies, they opened an investigation which occurred unfortunately right before her surgery. The timing of the investigation delayed her from having surgery right away and ultimately the insurer dropped her coverage. Another inaccuracy is that Obama also failed to include in his tale is that Ms. Beaton’s Congressman, Joe Barton (R), intervened and got her insurance coverage back and she was then able to have the surgery that she needed.
Though he campaigned on "it won't be politics as usual", what Obama is doing is using old and tired scare tactics to get what he wants. He is using inaccurate information about the lives of individual Americans (while accusing the Republicans of spreading "misinformation") to sell his socialized medicine program to the American people, and using who knows what other strong-armed tactics to push his program through the Senate. What we are finding out about Obama's Healthcare Program is that it's not about getting everyone insured; it's about giving the government more control over the personal affairs of Americans.
We have heard him in one speech saying, with finger shaking in the air, that he wouldn't sign any healthcare bill that didn't contain the public option. Then when his polls began to tank and the town hall meetings bubbled up so quickly against public option that he began to back pedal and even denied that was his intent... that the public option was only a "small slice" of the pie. This is one example of where in his speeches (practically back to back) he has said the polar opposite - not just a hedge, but the direct opposite - of what was previously stated. It's a lie - and it's caught on video tape as are others!
What about the "no lobbyists in my administration"? Mark Patterson, William Lynn, Valerie Jarrett, to name only a few, have histories as lobbyists. Even if lobbyists didn't get into the "official" Obama Cabinet, they are in places of influence in his administration. They have the President's ear - at his invitation! One more lie?
Transparency doesn't mean "open and revealing" to Obama. What about posting legislation online for everyone to know what is going on? That hasn't happened yet. Instead, bills are rushed through with no discussion or debate, and changes are being made in the dead of night that no one but the ones involved in the insertion or deletion is aware of. He said we would know what was in those bills before they came to a vote - another lie?
The latest example of this "Obama transparency" is the closing of Gitmo. No, not shutting down the facility, but closing the facility to reporters who are now limited in where they can go and basically what topics can be covered on that particular visit. In other words, if they schedule an interview on a certain topic, reporters can't change the topic of questioning nor can they inspect the conditions of the prisoners if that's not part of the topic at hand. And why? Earlier this year, the Ouigers (Chinese Muslim prisoners) made signs asking if Obama wasn't guilty of the same violation of human rights as China by holding them there. Someone in the Obama Administration didn't like the negative exposure. So as a result, freedom of the press has been squelched, and Obama's transparency has hit a new low. (ACLU is even getting involved on this one!) Where's the transparency? Apparently another lie?
So, these are only a few of examples of the portrait of a liar who happens to be our president.
Let's keep the pressure on for real transparency and honesty. We need it more now than ever because so many things are transpiring that are changing the direction of our country - things that are happening under the cloak of darkness or behind veils of deception. We have to voice our opposition to the threats to our liberties, and protect our Constitution from being re-written into a Socialist Agenda. And we must hold the President accountable for his promises and his statements and demand the truth from him - and from Congress. No more lies!