Monthly Archives: November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

washington prayer
Washington Praying Before Crossing the Delaware

On October 3, 1789 President George Washington released this proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

(via Gateway Pundit)

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“Al Gore is so full of shit he has to light a match when he talks.”

I heard that joke today from some comedian, but I don’t know who the hell it was, but it was funny.

What’s not funny, yet not at all shocking to those of us who are not yet convinced that “the science is settled” on man-made global warming, is the discovery of the “Climategate” emails.  Do you homework on this one kids, because the next power grab  this administration will try to ram down our throats will be cap & trade.

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of “Anthropogenic Global Warming.”

Media Ignores Climategate Even as NASA is dragged into the scandal

Hiding Evidence of Global Cooling

Inhofe will call for investigation of “Climategate”

Interesting

What ever happened to Global Warming?

More

I saw this reader comment and thought it mirrored my own opinion on the Al Gore Show well:  “There are several problems with the current approach to global warming: First, is the general lack of recognition that climate change has been a constant part of the planet’s history for the last 4.5 billion years and is not a recent phenomenon. Second, is the view that data for a couple of hundred years is climate data instead of aggregated weather data– if you want climate data take a look over several hundred thousand years, at a minimum; if not several million years. What you will discover is that this current warming trend is not remarkable, but a fairly ordinary inter-glacial climatic event, much like the four that preceded it — not the warmest or the coolest. Third, look at the reality of greenhouse gases. CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas and only about 1% as effective a greenhouse gas as the much more common water vapor.”

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I knew I should have gotten that tummy tuck last year! Damn!

Out. Of. Control.  What is the basis for this tax?  Now *when* I get my well-deserved and much-needed tummy tuck after squeezing out 3 large boys in 27 months, I will be directly funding a program I couldn’t disagree with more.  Way to piss in my Cheerios, shitbags.  Congress needs a douching and hard. This must be tough for Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.

US Senators Target Plastic Surgery

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Americans opting to have surgery to suck out fat, grow or shrink breasts, shape their nose or banish wrinkles may pay for a health care overhaul that was unveiled by US Senate Democrats.

The White House-backed plan would impose a five-percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery that is estimated to raise an estimated 5.8 billion dollars over 10 years towards the 849-billion-dollar plan.

The measure exempts plastic surgery done to remedy a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring disease.

Individuals who seek purely elective procedures, which are typically paid for directly out of patients’ pockets, would have to pay the new tax starting in January 2010.

The global economic recession has not dented US demand for cosmetic surgery procedures, which were up three percent in 2008 to 12.1 million procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

But breast augmentations were down 12 percent from 2007, to 307,230, while wrinkle-banishing Botox injections were up eight percent to just over five million procedures.

The legislation does not exempt US lawmakers.

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Yes! Yes! Yes!

A piece by Andrew Napolitano that I agree with completely.  Love it.

Kiss Your Freedoms Goodbye If Health Care Passes

Why we cannot afford to sit out this fight

| November 16, 2009

Listen to Audio Version (MP3)

Congress recognizes no limits on its power. It doesn’t care about the Constitution, it doesn’t care about your inalienable rights. If this health care bill becomes law, America, life as you have known it, freedom as you have exercised it, and privacy as you have enjoyed it will cease to be.

Last week the House of Representatives voted on a 2,000 page bill to give the federal government the power to micromanage the health care of every single American. The bill will raise your taxes, steal your freedom, invade your privacy, and ration your health care. Even the Republicans have introduced their version of Obamacare Lite. It, too, if passed, will compel employers to provide coverage, bribe the states to change their court rules, and tell insurance companies whom to insure.

We do not have two political parties in this country, America. We have one party; called the Big Government Party. The Republican wing likes deficits, war, and assaults on civil liberties. The Democratic wing likes wealth transfer, taxes, and assaults on commercial liberties. Both parties like power; and neither is interested in your freedoms.

Think about it. Government is the negation of freedom. Freedom is your power and ability to follow your own free will and your own conscience. The government wants you to follow the will of some faceless bureaucrat.

When I recently asked Congressman James Clyburn, the third ranking Democrat in the House, to tell me “Where in the Constitution the federal government is authorized to regulate everyone’s healthcare,” he replied that most of what Congress does is not authorized by the Constitution, but they do it anyway. There you have it. Congress recognizes no limits on its power. It doesn’t care about the Constitution, it doesn’t care about your inalienable rights, it doesn’t care about the liberties protected by the Bill of Rights, it doesn’t even read the laws it writes.

America, this is not an academic issue. If this health care bill becomes law, life as you have known it, freedom as you have exercised it, privacy as you have enjoyed it, will cease to be.

When Congress takes away our freedoms, they will be gone forever. What will you do to prevent this from happening?

We Can’t Sit Back and Allow the Loss of Our Freedoms

We elect the government. It works for us. As we watch the Democrats’ plans for health care take shape, we can only ask how did our government get so removed, so unbridled, so arrogant that it can tell us how to live our personal lives?

On Saturday November 7, at 11 o’clock in the evening, the House of Representatives voted by a five vote margin to have the federal government manage the health care of every American at a cost of $1 trillion dollars over the next ten years.

For the first time in American history, if this bill becomes law, the Feds will force you to buy insurance you might not want, or may not need, or cannot afford. If you don’t purchase what the government tells you to buy, if you don’t do so when they tell you to do it, and if you don’t buy just what they say is right for you, the government may fine you, prosecute you, and even put you in jail. Freedom of choice and control over your own body will be lost. The privacy of your communications and medical decision making with your physician will be gone. More of your hard earned dollars will be at the disposal of federal bureaucrats.

It was not supposed to be this way. We elect the government. It works for us. How did it get so removed, so unbridled, so arrogant that it can tell us how to live our personal lives? Evil rarely comes upon us all at once, and liberty is rarely lost in one stroke. It happens gradually, over the years and decades and even centuries. A little stretch here, a cave in there, powers are slowly taken from the states and the people and before you know it, we have one big monster government that recognizes no restraint on its ability to tell us how to live. It claims the power to regulate any activity, tax any behavior, and demand conformity to any standard it chooses.

The Founders did not give us a government like the one we have today. The government they gave us was strictly limited in its scope, guaranteed individual liberty, preserved the free market, and on matters that pertain to our private behavior was supposed to leave us alone.

In the Constitution, the Founders built in checks and balances. If the Congress got out of hand, the states would restrain it. If the states stole liberty or property, the Congress would cure it. If the president tried to become a king, the courts would prevent it.

In the next few weeks, I will be giving a public class on Constitutional Law here on the Fox News Channel, on the Fox Business Network, on Foxnews.com, and on Fox Nation. In anticipation of that, many of you have asked: What can we do now about the loss of freedom? For starters, we can vote the bums out of their cushy federal offices! We can persuade our state governments to defy the Feds in areas like health care—where the Constitution gives the Feds zero authority. We can petition our state legislatures to threaten to amend the Constitution to abolish the income tax, return the selection of U.S. senators to state legislatures, and nullify all the laws the Congress has written that are not based in the Constitution.

One thing we can’t do is just sit back and take it.

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Dean of Harvard Medical School: Obamacare Fails

Health ‘Reform’ Gets a Failing Grade

The changes proposed by Congress will require more draconian measures down the road. Just look at Massachusetts.

By JEFFREY S. FLIER

As the dean of Harvard Medical School I am frequently asked to comment on the health-reform debate. I’d give it a failing grade.

Instead of forthrightly dealing with the fundamental problems, discussion is dominated by rival factions struggling to enact or defeat President Barack Obama’s agenda. The rhetoric on both sides is exaggerated and often deceptive. Those of us for whom the central issue is health—not politics—have been left in the lurch. And as controversy heads toward a conclusion in Washington, it appears that the people who favor the legislation are engaged in collective denial.

Our health-care system suffers from problems of cost, access and quality, and needs major reform. Tax policy drives employment-based insurance; this begets overinsurance and drives costs upward while creating inequities for the unemployed and self-employed. A regulatory morass limits innovation. And deep flaws in Medicare and Medicaid drive spending without optimizing care.

Speeches and news reports can lead you to believe that proposed congressional legislation would tackle the problems of cost, access and quality. But that’s not true. The various bills do deal with access by expanding Medicaid and mandating subsidized insurance at substantial cost—and thus addresses an important social goal. However, there are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care’s dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value.

Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.

In effect, while the legislation would enhance access to insurance, the trade-off would be an accelerated crisis of health-care costs and perpetuation of the current dysfunctional system—now with many more participants. This will make an eventual solution even more difficult. Ultimately, our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all.

There are important lessons to be learned from recent experience with reform in Massachusetts. Here, insurance mandates similar to those proposed in the federal legislation succeeded in expanding coverage but—despite initial predictions—increased total spending.

A “Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System” recently declared that the Massachusetts health-care payment system must be changed over the next five years, most likely to one involving “capitated” payments instead of the traditional fee-for-service system. Capitation means that newly created organizations of physicians and other health-care providers will be given limited dollars per patient for all of their care, allowing for shared savings if spending is below the targets. Unfortunately, the details of this massive change—necessitated by skyrocketing costs and a desire to improve quality—are completely unspecified by the commission, although a new Massachusetts state bureaucracy clearly will be required.

Yet it’s entirely unclear how such unspecified changes would impact physician practices and compensation, hospital organizations and their capacity to invest, and the ability of patients to receive the kind and quality of care they desire. Similar challenges would eventually confront the entire country on a more explosive scale if the current legislation becomes law.

Selling an uncertain and potentially unwelcome outcome such as this to the public would be a challenging task. It is easier to assert, confidently but disingenuously, that decreased costs and enhanced quality would result from the current legislation.

So the majority of our representatives may congratulate themselves on reducing the number of uninsured, while quietly understanding this can only be the first step of a multiyear process to more drastically change the organization and funding of health care in America. I have met many people for whom this strategy is conscious and explicit.

We should not be making public policy in such a crucial area by keeping the electorate ignorant of the actual road ahead.

Dr. Flier is dean of the Harvard Medical School.

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Recovery chief: Yeah, I can’t back up those numbers

And you want to give these clowns more dominion over your life?  Forgive me if I don’t share your liberal “logic.”

Recovery chief: Yeah, I can’t back up those numbers

posted at 10:12 am on November 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Over the last couple of weeks, the media and the blogosphere has dissected the numbers coming from Recovery.gov and found them laughably phony.  The pièce de resistance came when Watchdog.org noticed that the government-run accountability website appeared not to know that the US has only 435 Congressional districts, instead of the 875 listed on the website — but listed almost $6.4 billion in spending in the phantom districts.  However, as we have seen here, phony “saved or created” numbers are the norm, not the exception, and most of the jobs data are insupportable.

And even Earl Devaney, the man in charge at Recovery.org, can’t deny it.  In a response to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Devaney says that he cannot certify any of the jobs data published by the government:

The chairman of the Obama administration’s Recovery Board is telling lawmakers that he can’t certify jobs data posted at the Recovery.gov Web site — and doesn’t have access to a “master list” of stimulus recipients that have neglected to report data.

Earl Devaney, the chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, responded to questions posed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., late yesterday to say the board can’t vouch for the numbers submitted by recipients of stimulus funding.

“Your letter specifically asks if I am able to certify that the number of jobs reported as created/saved on Recovery.gov is accurate and auditable. No, I am not able to make this certification,” Devaney wrote, in a letter provided to ABC News.

Devaney rejected Issa’s suggestion that the site include a more prominent disclaimer, such as an asterisk or a footnote. He said the site already does mention in a note to users that “errors and omissions” are likely.

Issa responded:

“This just confirms what we already know, that [the] Administration cannot certify info on recovery.gov as accurate and auditable. The man charged with providing accountability for stimulus spending cannot verify the accuracy of the job reports that the Administration – filtered through [the Office of Management and Budget] – have provided him.”

“It’s a startling admission that he hasn’t even been provided with a list of who should have reported, which means he can’t know who didn’t report, which just adds fuel to the argument that the whole effort at transparency has failed. The Administration has provided inaccurate data, missing data, data that might be missing but they don’t even know for sure.

Issa should give Devaney a break. The problem isn’t Devaney, or at least not entirely his.  Devaney should get the heave-ho after the database errors that Watchdog.org discovered, for example.  The failure to set up an $18 million database to restrict for proper Congressional district data is inexplicable.  It’s the kind of error that people using a $200 copy of Microsoft Access would have easily avoided.

However, Devaney can’t certify the jobs data for a more fundamental reason: it’s all fake.  The “saved or created” formulas from the White House do not relate to reality, even when properly reported back to Recovery.gov.  As we have seen in state after state, the jobs listed as “saved” were mostly never at risk in the first place.  In most cases, they were public-safety and education jobs that would have been spared in favor of other, less critical bureaucrat positions that states didn’t want to highlight as existing, let alone being “saved.”

Devaney’s incompetence on database maintenance only makes the problem more obvious.  In fact, it may overshadow the real shell games being conducted with Porkulus funds as this administration desperately tries to claim job creation as unemployment spirals to new highs.

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What would you do with 39k? How about each of your kids?

Well, I know of one thing each of you will be doing: paying it towards the national debt.  That is if we spend NOTHING else.  Bhahaha!  Now that’s not going to happen.

On a somewhat related note: I am glad to know that when Obama has completely and deliberately bankrupted this country, when the dollar is worthless, I can look my debt-ridden kids in the face and tell them I did not vote for him, I did not support his killer spending policies, I did not rationalize his every fuck-up because Bush sucked and because he is our first black president so we are supposed to love him, but instead I let everyone I know know it, including my representatives.  How about you?

National Debt Now Tops $12 Trillion

 

(CBS/iStockPhoto)

It’s another record-high for the U.S. National Debt which today topped the $12-trillion mark. Divided evenly among the U.S. population, it amounts to $38,974.34 for every man, woman and child.

Technically, the debt hit the new high yesterday, but it was posted on the Treasury Department website just after 3:00 p.m. ET today. The exact calculation of the debt is a 16-digit tongue-twister and red-ink tsunami: $12,031,299,186,290.07

This latest milestone in the ever-rising journey of the National Debt comes less than eight months after it hit $11 trillion for the first time. The latest high-point is not unexpected, considering the federal deficit for the just-ended 2009 fiscal year hit an all-time high at $1.42-trillion – more than triple the previous year’s record high.

Much of the increase in the deficit and debt is attributed to government spending outpacing revenue – both exacerbated by the recession and the government response to it – including hundreds of billions in bailouts and stimulus spending and tax cuts along with decreased tax revenues due to rising unemployment.

In recent days, President Obama has spoken of the need to bring the rising deficit and debt under control.

“I intend to take serious steps to reduce America’s long-term deficit – because debt-driven growth cannot fuel America’s long-term prosperity,” he said in remarks prepared for delivery to the leader’s meeting last Sunday at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

The National Debt has increased about $1.6 trillion on Mr. Obama’s watch, though less than $4.9 trillion run up during the presidency of George W. Bush.

But the White House budget review issued in August projects that by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept 30th, the National Debt could top $14 trillion.

It gets worse. The same document projects that by the end of the decade, the National Debt will hit $24.5 trillion — exceeding the Gross Domestic Product projected for 2019 of $22.8 trillion.

The new debt number adds urgency to Treasury Department calls on Congress to quickly raise the statutory limit on the National Debt which now stands at $12.104 trillion. The debt ceiling was last raised in February as part of the $787 billion Recovery Act stimulus bill.

The debt also costs a fortune to maintain. In the fiscal year just ended, the National Debt cost taxpayers over $383 billion. And that amount means the government is only paying 3.3 percent interest. If interest rates go up, so does the amount paid on the debt.

And we’re paying it to scores foreign countries which hold $3.5 trillion of the U.S. Debt.
China leads the pack holding nearly $800 billion in U.S. Government securities, followed closely by Japan with $731 billion.

Among the smaller nations lending the U.S. money are Luxembourg, Taiwan, Singapore and Ireland.

Mr. Obama has said he hopes the health care plan pending in Congress will serve to curb the growth in the debt by reducing the amount government spends on health care. But it’s a claim disputed by critics who say it will have the opposite effect.

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