Our Government Is Too Broken To Fix What It Broke

Obamacare is not working. The Senators who voted not to repeal Obamacare knew that when they voted. However, the situation for Obamacare has deteriorated further since that vote.

The Washington Free Beacon reported today that he Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance has announced that the Obamacare co-op is now under its control as the Supreme Judicial Court granted the commissioner receivership. The commissioner said Minuteman Health’s capitalization is very thin, and this action was done to protect policyholders and health care providers. In June Minuteman Health of Massachusetts and New Hampshire announced that it was pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges next year.

The article reports:

“Minuteman Health is subject to certain co-op rules that limit Minuteman Health’s ability to adjust its business model to mitigate the impact of the dysfunctional risk adjustment program,” the company stated in June.

“The program also unfairly penalizes issuers like Minuteman Health that are small, low cost, and experience high growth,” the co-op said. “The significant negative impact from risk adjustment has been the principal driver of a reduction in Minuteman Health’s surplus and capital over time.”

If Minuteman Health opts to create a new insurance company, that company will not be subject to these rules.

As I have said before, government programs don’t understand actuary tables–insurance companies do. Insurances companies are in business to make money. That is legal and should be encouraged. When the government interferes with the free market, bad things happen. Obamacare is a shining example of that principle.

 

Government Intervention Will Eventually Eliminate The American Fishing Industry

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article on its website called, “A Fisherman’s tale of fighting Uncle Sam.” The article deals with a lawsuit that has been making its way through the legal system since 2015 and may be coming to the Supreme Court later this year.

The article reports:

It involves a small volume fisherman who is fighting back against onerous regulations from the Department of Commerce which are threatening to put him (and so many other family operations) out of business. David Goethel is in the fight of his life because new government regulations are costing him more per day than he can generally earn in profit from his fishing operation. Cause of Action Institute (CoAI) is working on this case and provides the details.

Meet New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel. The federal government is destroying Mr. Goethel’s industry through overregulation and forcing ground-fishermen like himself to pay $700 per day to have authorities monitor them on their boats. Even the government estimates these additional costs would put 60% of the industry out of business. CoAI is helping Mr. Goethel fight back through the courts to save his livelihood.

This is a story that is being told by commercial fisherman with family businesses who are under attack by federal and state regulators making legal changes that favor either sports fishermen or large commercial fishing enterprises. This over-regulation needs to stop. The state and federal government is attacking the family fisherman while at the same time over-fishing by foreign fleets continues off of our coasts. What is the government trying to accomplish?

The video below provides the background to the story:

The article concludes:

Besides the gross unfairness of the situation, I’m left wondering how this was the only solution the government could come up with. This is 2017, not 1817. Even if you feel you need to peer over the shoulders of these fisherman every time they leave port, do we really have to station a human being on every boat? Couldn’t there be a camera hooked up via satellite using Skype or something so a single person back on shore could monitor multiple boats?

Goethael has already been through two rounds of court action protesting this crippling regulatory burden but has been rejected in the lower level courts. Thus far they haven’t even been ruling on the merits of the case, but rather on a technicality, claiming that the plaintiff didn’t file soon enough after the regulation went into effect. (This ignores the fact that the government didn’t transfer the cost of these monitors to the fishermen until much later.) CoAI has filed a petition for writ of certiorari urging the Supreme Court to take up the case and rule on the merits and consider the damage that this regulatory albatross is doing to an industry as old as the nation itself.

If we have reached the point where we have surrendered so much of our freedom that the state or federal government can put small businessmen out of business, it is time to take a second look at our government. Is our government operating under the principles our Founding Fathers set forth? I think not.

It Really Is Time To Investigate Voter Fraud

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about one researchers findings on voter fraud.

The article reports:

A study by political scientist Jesse Richman from Old Dominion University in Virginia found that 6.4 percent of the 20 million noncitizens who reside in the United States voted in November’s presidential election.

Obviously we have no idea who they voted for, but we can make a fairly educated guess.

Mr. Richman explains the other conclusions drawn from his research:

He then extrapolated these results into support for each presidential candidate, estimating that Clinton would have received 81 percent support from noncitizens, therefore receiving an extra 834,000 votes.

The number of 834,000 is significant enough to have tipped some of the closest races in Clinton’s favor, including New Hampshire, Nevada, and Maine, all of which Clinton won by margins of under 3 percent.

It would also have reduced Clinton’s margin of victory in the popular vote, which she won by 2.8 million by dominating cosmopolitan centers such as New York and California.

Most countries with free elections have voter ID requirements. It’s time we joined the club!

The Experiment Of The States

America is made up of 50 different states. Each state is unique–politically, economically,  geographically, ethnically, etc. So if people could live anywhere they wanted to, where would they live? Actually, the age of the internet has made that somewhat possible–telecommuting has grown in recent years. So let’s look at where people live.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a study of trends in population growth in states within America. The data for the study came from the IRS. The results were not really surprising.

The article reports the findings of the study:

To measure the states that are most attractive to Americans on the move, we developed an “attraction” ratio that measures the number of domestic in-migrants per 100 out-migrants. A state that has a rating of 100 would be perfectly balanced between those leaving and coming.

Overall, the biggest winner — both in absolute numbers and in our ranking — is Texas. In 2014 the Lone Star State posted a remarkable 156 attraction ratio, gaining 229,000 more migrants than it lost, roughly twice as many as went to No. 3 Florida, which clocked an impressive 126.7 attraction ratio.

Most of the top gainers of domestic migrants are low-tax, low-regulation states, including No. 2 South Carolina, with an attraction ratio of 127.3, as well as No. 5 North Dakota, and No. 7 Nevada.

…Overall, many of the most affluent states are the ones hemorrhaging high-income earners the most rapidly. As in overall migration, New York sets the standard, with the highest outmigration of high income earners (defined as annual income over $200,000) relative to in-migrants (attraction ratio: 53). New York is followed closely by Illinois, the District of Columbia and New Jersey, which are all losing the over-$200,000-a-year crowd at a faster pace than California.

The big winners in terms of affluent migration tend to be historically poorer states, mainly in the Sun Belt and the Intermountain West. Florida has an attraction ratio for people earning over $200,000 a year of 223, the highest in the nation, followed by South Carolina, Montana, Idaho and North Carolina.

Given the opportunity, Americans move to states with lower taxes and less regulation over their businesses and daily lives. Now if we could only teach them to vote that way in national elections…

 

Why The Democratic Primary System Does Not Represent The Voters

The Hill is reporting today that Hillary Clinton will leave New Hampshire with the same number of delegates as a result of the New Hampshire primary as Bernie Sanders. Despite the fact that Sanders won by approximately 20 percent, they will have an equal delegate count. If this doesn’t make the average Democratic voter furious, nothing will.

The article reports:

Clinton won nine delegates in the primary but came into the contest with the support of six superdelegates, who are state party insiders given the freedom to support any candidate they choose.

Superdelegate support is fluid, though, so some of those delegates now backing Clinton could switch to Sanders before the Democratic National Convention in late July.

But as it stands, the superdelegate support gives Clinton a total of 15 New Hampshire delegates.

The Clinton campaign has mounted an aggressive effort to secure about 360 superdelegates across the country, according to The Associated Press. Sanders has a total of eight superdelegates.

This is amazing. There is actually a possibility that Bernie Sanders could win every state primary and Hillary Clinton could be the Democratic party nominee for President. If that doesn’t make voters angry–nothing will. Either your primary vote counts or it doesn’t.. In this case, it looks like it doesn’t.

The article concludes:

Clinton’s superdelegate supporters includes Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Rep. Annie Kuster.

She’s also backed by Democratic National Committee members Joanne Dodwell, Billy Shaheen and Kathy Sullivan.

It looks like the fix is in.

The First New Hampshire Primary Votes Are In

Mediaite posted an article this morning about the first primary election results from New Hampshire. Dixville Notch votes at the stroke of midnight, so their results are in.

The article reports the results:

On the Republican side of things, Ohio Governor John Kasich brought in one more vote than Donald Trump, for a total of 3 votes Kasich and 2 for the real estate mogul. As for the Democrats?

Call it a Dixville clean sweep for neighboring Senator Bernie Sanders, who brought in 4 votes compared to Hillary Clinton‘s 0.

Obviously, Dixville Notch may not be representative of the rest of America, or even of New Hampshire, but the numbers are interesting. The thing to remember when looking at the New Hampshire primary is that southern New Hampshire is generally inhabited by people who left Massachusetts because of the high taxes. It tends to reflect the liberal mentality of the northeast–even in the Republican party. A true conservative or an evangelical Christian running for President should not be expected to do well in New Hampshire.

It will be interesting to see how the media attempts to spin this. Will Hillary declare victory? Will the media attempt to push Kasich as a result of this vote? Stay tuned.

Why I Think The Republican Debate Is A Joke

I am watching the Republican debate. This is a collaboration between the Republican establishment and the media to make sure a non-establishment candidate does not win the Republican nomination. The media would like Hillary Clinton to win the presidency, but a lot of Americans are not necessarily following the media in this plan.

Note that Carly Fiorina is not on the stage and the John Kasich is. The only voting that has taken place in this election cycle has been in Iowa, where Carly Fiorina got more votes than John Kasich. Since that number represents actual votes, rather than inaccurate polls, I believe the people on the stage tonight were not chosen fairly. The establishment candidate is on the stage; the non-establishment candidate is not. Admittedly, the difference in the number of votes is small, but the fact remains that Carly Fiorina got more votes than John Kasich.

To add insult to injury, Breitbart.com has posted an article today about one of the moderators of the Republican debate. Martha Raddatz is married to a Harvard Law School classmate of Barack Obama. President Obama attended her wedding. President Obama appointed Julius Genachowski (Ms. Raddatz’s husband) to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Ms. Raddatz is one of the moderators of the Republican debate. Does anyone actually believe that she will be an unbiased moderator?

The Republican Party needs to choose the moderators for the Republican debates. These moderators need to be people who do not have strong ties to the Democratic Party. What is happening now on ABC is an attempt to use the Republican Presidential candidates to ensure a Democratic victory in the Presidential election in November.

What In The World Is Happening In Our Schools?

This is not an article about Common Core. This is an article about common sense. Fox News posted an article today about an incident in a high school in Maine. In today’s world, students are encouraged to do community service. I think that is a really good thing, but there do need to be some parameters around what qualifies as community service.

The article reports:

A public high school in Maine was caught red-handed trying to recruit students to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a “community service opportunity” – without the knowledge or consent of parents.

…Students at Marshwood High School in South Berwick received an email from the Clinton campaign – urging them to sign up for positions as unpaid “fellows”.

“Hillary for New Hampshire is looking for smart, energetic winter fellows who are committed to winning the New Hampshire primary for Hillary Clinton,” read the email from a campaign staffer. “Everyone working on the campaign now started off as a fellow at some point so it is a great way of getting a different skill set whilst helping an important cause.”

Tim and Elita Galvin were furious that their teenage son had received the solicitation – calling it “disingenuous and sneaky.”

“My son didn’t appreciate being targeted by anybody via his school email for a political campaign,” Mrs. Galvin told me. “I’ll be honest – he’s not a fan of Hillary Clinton to begin with. He’s done his homework and he doesn’t like her.”

If the students had received emails from all of the political campaigns and were asked to choose one, that might be a good lesson in civics. However, this seems to be another example of Hillary Clinton ignoring obvious rules–evidently the school staff person who forwarded the email did not “additional information regarding this community service opportunity.”

I have not objection to schools encouraging civic involvement–they just need to be balanced in their approach.

A Really Bad Idea–Both Politically and Practically

Yesterday, Bloomberg,com reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has released his plan to reform Social Security.

The article reports:

Christie, the 52-year-old Republican governor of New Jersey, called for phasing out retirement payments to those with more than $200,000 a year in other income and smaller reductions for those earning $80,000. Together, he said, the overhaul would save $1 trillion over a decade.

“It is about telling all Americans the truth — and without delay,” he said during a 40-minute speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester. “If you believe we should keep this promise, as I do, that all Americans should have access to the economic security these programs provide, then that costs money.”

Spelling out his plans in detail for the first time, Christie proposed:

— Raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69 from 67, for those born in 1960 or later;

— Raising the age to qualify for Medicare by one month per year until it reaches 67 from the current 65.

— Eliminating payroll taxes for seniors who remain in the workforce.

I have some major problems with this idea. Social Security is deducted from almost everyone’s paycheck from the time they begin work. Federal employees, active duty military (and Congress) are exempt. The money was supposed to be put in a lock box where it could accrue interest and grow to meet the increasing need. In 1965 (or so) that lock box disappeared and the money was used to fund the war in Vietnam and the Great Society programs. Since then it has been used to fund welfare and entitlement programs. Generally speaking, these entitlement programs do not have a work requirement and the people collecting the money do not have to do anything to earn the money they receive. In most states welfare recipients are not drug tested (most working people have to pass a drug test in order to get a job). Social Security is not the place to cut the federal budget–the people collecting it have paid money into it–it is not their fault the government chose to spend the money.

Recently my husband and I took a vacation to Iceland and Wales. In Wales I learned something about giving to people who may be in need. My husband and I volunteered in a restaurant run by a church. In America, it would be similar to a soup kitchen. However, there was something about the restaurant (which served dinner once a week) that impressed me. The meals were not free. There was a small charge for dinner and a somewhat limited menu to choose from. If someone came in who could not pay, they were given a free meal, but generally speaking, a diner paid something for his dinner. Somewhere along the line, we have taught a group of Americans that there is a free lunch. It is time for that to end. We are accomplishing nothing by denying benefits to those who have paid for them and giving benefits to those who are contributing nothing. That is the wrong message to send.

As an afterthought–does anyone really believe that once an income limit is set on receiving Social Security there will be no changes to that limit? Governor Christie’s plan has the potential of turning Social Security into a plan that everyone who works pays into but is only available to those making less than $50,000 a year in retirement. His plan will create another entitlement that everyone who is working pays into and everyone who is not working can collect from.

Sometimes Facts Are Simply Inconvenient

Yesterday the Washington Post published the following chart:

Obamatons

The graph was also posted at Power Line by Scott Johnson. So what is the value of this graph?

The article at Power Line reports:

On two occasions this campaign season, against all the odds, President Obama has said something useful and, even more improbably, something true. On those occasions he advertised the fact that the Democratic Senate candidates running for election or reelection in states such as Colorado, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Alaska, North Carolina, and Arkansas are in the bag for him. When their vote is needed, Obama can count on it, and when they tell the voters of their states they wake up every day thinking how best they can protect their interests, as Jeanne Shaheen did last night in her debate with Scott Brown, they are playing the voters for chumps. 

The article at Power Line also includes the following footnote:

FOOTNOTE: The layers of fact checkers and editors at the Post apparently failed to observe that the Colorado Senator’s first name is Mark, not Tom (who is Mark’s first cousin and the Senator from New Mexico). Tom Udall is not to be confused with Mark Udall. Tom Udall only votes with Obama 94 percent of the time.

The current Democrat party does not allow for voting independence on the part of its elected officials–they are required to follow the party line. If we want a Congress that represents the people it is supposed to represent, we need to change our voting habits.

Facts Versus Spin

We have all heard the whining and moaning about the Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby. Some of the media has painted a picture of Hobby Lobby that makes you wonder why anyone would work there. As usual, the picture the media has painted has little to do with the reality of the situation.

On Monday, The Corner at National Review posted an article citing actual facts about Hobby Lobby and the benefits it provides for its employees.

The article includes some of the comments the political left has made about the decision:

“This is going to turn the dial back,” Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz warned on MSNBC. The Democratic party’s national chairwoman added: “Republicans want to do everything they can to have the long hand of government, and now the long hand of business, reach into a woman’s body and make health care decisions for her.”

“Today’s Supreme Court decision unfortunately jeopardizes basic healthcare coverage and access to contraception for a countless number of women,” said Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

Consequently, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said that his party now must “fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage.”

The article also includes some facts about Hobby Lobby:

Imagine that a woman starts work at Hobby Lobby tomorrow morning — July 1. She joins Hobby Lobby’s health care plan. It includes access, copay-free, to the following categories of FDA-approved birth-control:

  1. Male condoms
  2. Female condoms
  3. Diaphragms with spermicide
  4. Sponges with spermicide
  5. Cervical caps with spermicide
  6. Spermicide alone
  7. Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
  8. Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
  9. Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
  10. Contraceptive patches
  11. Contraceptive rings
  12. Progestin injections
  13. Implantable rods
  14. Vasectomies
  15. Female sterilization surgeries
  16. Female sterilization implants

That really doesn’t sound like she is being denied healthcare. The article reminds us that Hobby Lobby offers medical coverage for 16 different kinds of birth control for its employees. The legal case was to exclude four methods that are seen to cause abortions. Again, there is no ban on employees using these four methods, but Hobby Lobby will not pay for them.

The article concludes:

Those who are screaming themselves hoarse after the Hobby Lobby decision would agree that Yeshiva need not serve unkosher food, and PETA need not include calf meat on its menu. Yes, somehow, Hobby Lobby is evil because it pays for 16 kinds of contraceptives, and expects its employees themselves to purchase four others that might kill human babies.

At its core, the Left’s moaning over Hobby Lobby is less about access to medicine and more about access to free stuff. 

I disagree with the writer’s conclusion. This is not about free stuff. It’s about convincing the low-information voter that there is a ‘war on women’ in conservative politics and that they need to vote for Democrat candidates. There are very few Americans who will do their homework and get the facts on this case–most will rely on news that quotes the type of statement quoted in the beginning of this article as fact. Would it be fair to say that Democrats regard women’s healthcare as the right to kill babies and that right must be protected?

The Problem With Walking Down The Middle Of The Road Is That You Tend To Get Run Over

Hot Air posted an article today about the New Hampshire Senate primary. It seems as if Eric Cantor‘s defeat might have been the beginning of a trend. Scott Brown has been seen as the favorite to be the New Hampshire Senate candidate, but things may not be that simple.

The article explains:

One of the candidates, Karen Testerman, has dropped out of the race and tossed her support to former Senator Bob Smith…

Ms. Testerman made the following statement:

It is time for all of us to put aside pride and focus on our greater GOAL, that of fighting for Family, Faith and Freedom. I will not force our principle-driven primary voters to make a self-defeating choice. After much prayer and consultation, I will step aside to allow Senator Bob Smith to be the ONLY conservative name on the primary ballot.…

Senator Smith has a well-earned reputation of standing firm for our conservative beliefs and values and for fighting Washington to stop their overreach. Bob Smith was TEA Party before it had a name.

Scott Brown is a good man, but he has never claimed to be a conservative. He won the special election in Massachusetts to become the Senator to replace Ted Kennedy for two reasons–first of all, the Democrats did not see him coming and did not mobilize, second of all, he knocked on almost every door in the commonwealth and ran as the fifty-first vote against ObamaCare. The fifty-first vote didn’t work out because the Massachusetts Secretary of State delayed seating him in the Senate long enough so that he didn’t get to vote on ObamaCare, but that was the intention. The second time Scott Brown ran in Massachusetts, the Democrats threw everything they could at him to make sure he didn’t win. He didn’t have the support of the Tea Party and was totally outspent and outmaneuvered.

The New Hampshire Tea Party conservatives have never been a fan of Scott Brown. It is not a surprise that they would support a more conservative candidate.

A Man Who Is Making A Difference

Worcester County Massachusetts Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelides was elected to office in 2010. After learning that roughly 90 percent of the 1,100 inmates at the Worcester County Jail got there because of drug and alcohol addiction, Sheriff Evangelides began the Face2Face program to help prevent substance abuse. Over the past three years this program has allowed 100,000 students in Central Massachusetts  to see the physical effects and hear a debunking of the myths of opioids, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.

The Telegram & Gazette posted an article yesterday about the Face2Face program.

The article reports:

Mr. Evangelides told the students that they were members of “Generation Rx,” reflecting the rapid growth in abuse of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin over the last decade. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2010 nearly as many youths tried prescription painkillers for the first time as tried marijuana.

Instead of the bring-your-own-bottle drinking parties of many middle-aged parents’ youth, high school and middle school students today go to “Skittle parties,” where they bring pills they’ve procured from medicine cabinets, Mr. Evangelides said. The practice is also known as “pharming” or “trail mixing.”

“Young people don’t even think they’re real drugs and they’ll send you to places you wouldn’t dream you’d go,” Mr. Evangelides said, as he showed video footage of the 24/7 monitoring and lack of amenities such as toilet seats that jail inmates live with.

“None of you are thinking that if you pop a Perc or an Oxy or Vicodin, you’d end up addicted,” he continued. “No one is going to offer you that Oxy and tell you, after a while you’re going to need three, six, 10 (pills), and 80 milligrams of Oxy costs $80 … and a bag of heroin is cheaper than a six-pack. You go right from that pill to that needle.”

He also exploded myths about popular club drugs such as “Molly,” a supposedly pure form of Ecstasy. Citing two deaths in one week last year of New Hampshire students who overdosed on the drug, Mr. Evangelides said, “There is no such thing as a safe dose of Molly.”

Even marijuana, which many baby boomer parents consider relatively safe, causes brain, behavioral and physical damage similar to that caused by alcohol and other drugs.

Police Chief Alan Gordon said before the program: “We have a heroin problem. We have opiates. We just did a drug search here last week and had two hits of marijuana. We’ve had overdoses.

The medical benefits of marijuana can be obtained in ways other than smoking it. The move toward legalization is a smokescreen and will have a seriously negative impact on our children and teenagers. If you believe that we need to legalize medical marijuana, take a look at the advertisements in the Sunday papers in California which promote doctors who will write prescriptions for the drug for anything from headaches to lack of appetite.

Thank God for public servants such as Sheriff Evangelides who are willing to tell our children the truth about marijuana and other seemingly harmless drugs and to show them the results of recreational drug use.

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Voting With Your Feet

CBN News posted a story today about the relationship between tax rates in different states and where people choose to live.

The article reports:

Brown (author Travis H. Brown) discovered that the nine states with no personal income tax gained $146.2 billion in AGI. Those states include Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Conversely, the states with the highest personal income tax rates lost a total of $107.4 billion. They are California, Hawaii, Oregon, Iowa, New Jersey, Vermont, New York, and Maine. Washington, D.C., was also included.

Another measurement delivers similar results. Brown looked at the 10 states with the lowest per capita state and local tax burdens and found they netted $69.9 billion in AGI. Those states include Alaska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Wyoming, Texas, New Hampshire, Alabama, Nevada, and South Carolina.

The 10 states with the highest state and local tax burden lost $139 billion in AGI. They are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

This story has personal relevance to me. My husband will be retiring at the end of the year, and we are about to put our house on the market. (If anyone wants a five-bedroom house in Southeastern Massachusetts, please leave a comment). We are moving for many reasons–one of those reasons is the cost of living in Massachusetts. We will be headed to North Carolina where we have family and the cost of living is lower.

Recently, Massachusetts raised the taxes on cigarettes. I don’t smoke, so that doesn’t impact me, but I was in a store yesterday in Rhode Island near the Massachusetts state line. The person ahead of me in line was commenting that she would no longer be buying cigarettes in Massachusetts because they were cheaper in Rhode Island. Right now, gasoline is more expensive in Rhode Island than in Massachusetts, but since the gasoline tax in Massachusetts is now indexed to inflation, I wonder how long that will be the case.

When people have an option, they give less money to the government, whether it is state or federal government. The Laffer Curve explains one aspect of that.

At some point, government needs to realize that at some point it has all of the money we have earned that it is entitled to. The question is exactly where the point of enough taxes is reached.

 

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A Different Side Of Heroism

I don’t know what the official definition of heroism is, but most of us equate it with bravery in battle or overcoming odds. Sometimes heroism takes a different path. On Tuesday, the U.K. Daily Mail posted a story about Cameron Lyle, 21, of Plaistow, New Hampshire, a student at the University of New Hampshire.

Cameron is a star athlete who competes in the discus, hammer and shot put. He has made the decision to give up the last two track meets of the season, one of which is the America East Championship. This is Cameron’s final athletic season. Cameron is doing this in order to donate bone marrow to a 28-year-old cancer victim who has six months to live.

Wow.

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Congress Is Preparing To Make Another Mess

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted a story on Congress‘ latest attempt to grab more of your hard-earned money. That’s not really anything new, but every now and then their chutzpah amazes me. Last Tuesday a bill was introduced that would impose a sales tax on the Internet. It may be voted on as early as tomorrow. I am sure all of the people voting on it have read and understood it, right?????

The article reports:

For Senators curious about what they’re voting on, it is the same flawed proposal that Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) introduced in February. It has been repackaged to qualify for a Senate rule that allows Majority Leader Harry Reid to bypass committee debate and bring it straight to the floor.

Mr. Enzi’s Marketplace Fairness Act discriminates against Internet-based businesses by imposing burdens that it does not apply to brick-and-mortar companies. For the first time, online merchants would be forced to collect sales taxes for all of America’s estimated 9,600 state and local taxing authorities.

New Hampshire, for example, has no sales tax, but a Granite State Web merchant would be forced to collect and remit sales taxes to all the governments that do. Small online sellers will therefore have to comply with tax laws created by distant governments in which they have no representation, and in places where they consume no local services.

I thought we settled this ‘taxation without representation’ thing a few hundred years ago.

The article continues:

Meanwhile, New Hampshire’s brick-and-mortar retailers will bear no such burden. They will not be required to collect taxes on the many customers who drive across the Maine and Massachusetts borders to shop in New Hampshire. Bill sponsors say it would be too big a hassle to force traditional retailers to ask every walk-in customer where they live, but these Senators are happy to impose new obligations online.

This has the potential of being a worse mess than ObamaCare. Let’s remember who votes for this and vote them out of office next year.

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Losing Revenue By Raising Taxes

Hot Air is reporting today that the Midland, Mich.-based Mackinac Center has released a report stating that in 2011 New York had the highest cigarette smuggling rate in America. In 2006, when the cigarette tax was $1.50 a pack, New York was the fifth highest. In 2008, the tax went to $2.75 a pack, in 2010 it went to $4.35 a pack. That increase was enough to move New York from fifth place to first place in the number of cigarettes smuggled into the state. It is now estimated that 60.9 percent of all cigarettes smoked in New York are not taxed there!

What can we learn from this? Simple. People don’t like to pay taxes and will do almost anything to avoid them. Some state is making money on the sale of these cigarettes–it’s just not New York. New Hampshire seems to be where most of the smuggled cigarettes are coming from–New Hampshire does tax cigarettes, but only $1.68 a pack. I suspect New Hampshire collects more revenue from its lower tax than New York does from its higher tax. Maybe we could learn from that.

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More Chicago Thuggery

On Sunday I posted an article about the Obama Administration’s attack on Frank VanderSloot, a major donor to Governor Romney’s presidential campaign (rightwinggranny.com). Now the Obama campaign has turned its focus to Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating of Hudson, New Hampshire.

Yesterday’s Union Leader reported:

The New Hampshire businessman (Jack Gilchrist) who appears in a Mitt Romney television ad accusing President Barack Obama of “demonizing” small business owners has gone to his local police after receiving two “harassing” telephone calls and, he says, hundreds of nasty emails.

The Obama campaign is getting out of hand.

The article reports the details:

But two profanity-laced telephone calls prompted Gilchrist to call the Hudson police.

One call came directly to his voice mail, while another went to the voice mail at the home of what Gilchrist called “a professional associate.”

Gilchrist emailed what he said were the voice mails to UnionLeader.com on Thursday.

One called him a “vile piece of (expletive),” among other things, and demanded he call Obama to apologize.

The caller was identified by Gilchrist through his caller ID. The man called from area code 630, which is the Chicago area. He has posted anti-Republican and anti-conservative messages on Twitter in the past, including a 2009 posts that said, “GOP needs to be eliminated,” and, “I am prepared to kill people. Let the tea bagers fire the first shot and I will pile up the bodies of the traitors.”

The other caller, to Gilchrist’s associate, names Gilchrist and calls him “a (expletive) liar,” a “(expletive) Republican piece of (expletive),” and told him to “burn in hell.”

Gilchrist said that between the emails and the calls, “I have to believe that this is an orchestrated effort. There are quite a few coincidences.”

This sort of activity has no place in a presidential campaign.

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Common Sense Happens

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill requiring voters to show identification when they vote.

This is in response to the following video:

 

The video was done by James O’Keefe and shows people giving the names of people who had recently died receiving ballots to vote. The legislation still has to be passed by the New Hampshire House.

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This Is Just Getting More Complicated

As I have previously stated, I have no idea what to make of this. There seem to be some valid questions about President Obama’s eligibility to be President. On Monday wnd.com reported that in addition to the court case in George about putting the President on the ballot (see rightwinggranny.com), there are other states taking a closer look at how they qualify candidates for elections.

The article reports:

Whatever the outcome in Georgia, the issue is gaining traction in other states, too, including Alabama, Tennessee, Arizona, New Hampshire, and even Illinois, Obama’s home political base.

There, in a complaint recently filed by Stephen F. Boulton of McCarthy Duffy LLP and Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation, their client is asking for a change in state law to allow the vetting of political candidates.

Whatever happens in Georgia, Americans have the right to be fully confident that a candidate on the ballot has been checked to make sure he meets the qualifications for the office he is seeking.

The article points out:

The newest round of court actions do not try to have a judge determine Obama is not qualified for the Oval Office and remove him from it, they simply challenge his eligibility for the 2012 election.

Many of the cases cite Minor v. Happersett, a U.S. Supreme Court opinion from 1875 that said a “natural born citizen” would be a person whose parents both were citizens.

“This complaint does not request any injunction against any state or federal government official. Instead this complaint asserts that the private entity, Defendant Democratic Party, intends to act negligently or fraudulently in a manner that will cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs, to the states, and to the citizens of the United States,” said one of the filings.

It continued, “Because Mr. Obama has admitted that his father was not a U.S. citizen, and because this fact has been confirmed by the U.S. State Department, any reasonable person with knowledge of these facts would doubt Mr. Obama’s constitutional qualifications. Therefore, any representation by the Democratic Party certifying said qualifications would be negligent, absent further evidence verifying Mr. Obama’s natural-born status.

“Plaintiffs further request an injunction prohibiting the Democratic Party from making any representation to any state official asserting, implying, or assuming that Mr. Obama is qualified to hold the office of president, absent a showing by the party sufficient to prove that said representation is not negligent.”

Van Irion, lead counsel for Liberty Legal Foundation, also is working on several of the issues, and has brought the question in court in Arizona.

The question is out there. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Meanwhile, have you read about this in the mainstream media?

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This Kind Of Thing Makes My Head Hurt

Earlier today I posted an article about the James O’Keefe and Project Veritas video showing how easy it is for dead people to vote in New Hampshire. I would think that after watching the video, the people who monitor elections would be hanging their heads in shame. I guess shame is something of a lost emotion.

The Blaze reported today that the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office is investigating James O’Keefe and Project Veritas. What?! How about investigating election procedures in New Hampshire and figuring out what actions can be taken to prevent dead people from voting? This is a true instance of shoot the messenger.

James O’Keefe exposed a problem in the New Hampshire voting procedures. Rather than fix the problem, the Attorney General has decided to attack the person who exposed it. The Attorney General should be fired.

Has our political system in America become so corrupt that we won’t even attempt to protect the integrity of the vote?

 

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Why We Need Voter ID Laws Before 2012

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the dead people who attempted to vote in the New Hampshire primary. Yes, you read that correctly. None of them actually did vote (that would be a felony), but in most cases they would have been able to vote.

Here is the story. James O’Keefe of Project Veritas wanted to show that voter fraud is easy:

On January 10th, Project Veritas reporters walked into New Hampshire Polling Locations during the Presidential Primaries, saying dead people’s names. We stated the name of a dead person we got from the NH obituaries. The names of the deceased were both Registered Republican and Democrats And in almost every case, saying a dead person’s name, we were handed a ballot to cast a vote. We used no misrepresentation and no false pretenses. in fact, in almost every case, we insisted we show ID and they insisted that we vote without showing ID.

There is a video at Power Line showing a number of these encounters.

John Hinderaker concludes at the end of his article:

How much does this kind of fraud go on for real? I think the best evidence that it is widespread is the Democrats’ hysterical reaction to every effort to protect ballot integrity–including, now, threats by Obama’s Department of Justice to persecute states that try to prevent voter fraud.

It sounds as if we need to demand voter ID if we want an honest election in 2012. Otherwise we are taking another step in the direction of becoming a banana republic.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Experts Talk About New Hampshire

 

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney

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National Review Online posted an article today by a number of its political pundits on the meaning of the results of the New Hampshire Primary. I will try to summarize, but please follow the link to the article–it is very informative.

Hunter Baker stated that Mitt Romney benefited by the winner in New Hampshire being declared early–more people saw him give his victory speech, and the speech was very effective.

Mona Charen pointed out that both Iowa and New Hampshire chose Romney. She also noted that the attacks on capitalism from Newt Gingrich may have helped shore up Mitt Romney’s conservative credentials. Regardless of how you feel about Mitt Romney, you have to admit that he is a capitalist!

Jim Geraghty points out that after the Romney win in New Hampshire, the only viable opponent to Mitt Romney is Rick Santorum. Mr. Geraghty wonders if Senator Sentorum will be able to overcome the Romney momentum.

Hugh Hewitt also agrees that Santorum is the only other candidate who could possibly beat Mitt Romney. He states that Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich ended their campaigns when they went after Romney and Bain Capital. Mr. Hewitt ends his comments with the question, “So who does Jim DeMint endorse?” Interesting question.

Kathryn Jean Lopez also comments that the attacks by Newt Gingrich helped Mitt Romney from his candidacy as a defense of capitalism. This is the beginning of the narrative Mitt Romney will use in his run against President Obama.

Grover Norquist takes a different approach. He has three suggestions for Mitt Romney–who to choose for a running mate, who to choose for a chief-of-staff, and to convince Ron Paul to speak at the Republican convention. He believes the Romney needs to include Ron Paul in order to insure that Ron Paul does not run as a third-party candidate.

Henry Olsen stated that the strong victory in New Hampshire almost assures that Mitt Romney will be the candidate. He makes an interesting observation though:

Jon Huntsman? He carried only four groups — those who consider themselves Democrats, those who strongly oppose the Tea Party, those who are satisfied with Obama, and those who are dissatisfied with the GOP candidates. ’Nuff said.

Great comment.

John J. Pitney commented on the morphing of Newt Gingrich into Michael Moore. Mr. Pitney states that he hopes Newt will go back to being the Newt we saw early in the campaign–focusing more on attacking President Obama than attacking fellow Republicans.

Cal Thomas notes that Mitt Romney is well on his way to being the Republican nominee for President. Although he is not universally loved, the other candidates will be running out of money and organization soon. Mr. Thomas notes that it is still a long way to the White House.

Now, my comments. I live in Massachusetts. Governor Romney was a good governor. He did not move the state in a conservative direction (it’s Massachusetts, I am not sure that is possible, we are one of two states that voted for George McGovern for President!) He is an honest, hard-working man. If he is elected, I am sure he will do everything in his power to rescue the American economy, and I believe that he has the knowledge and work ethic to do that. He is not my first choice, but I believe that he is a good choice.

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America’s Political Sage Sums Up The Debate

Late last night, Michael Barone posted an article at the Washington Examiner analyzing the night’s debate in New Hampshire. Michael Barone is the main author of The Almanac of American Politics, which is published every two years. He a very knowledgeable political observer and very accurate predictor of future political events.

Mr. Barone states in the article:

At about 10:28pm tonight, as Mitt Romney pivoted from a question on tax loopholes and started in with, “the real issue is vision,” I had recorded this thought in my notes, “He just clinched the nomination.”

Romney said, as he often has, that Barack Obama has put America on the road to decline and is trying to make America more like Europe. He made reference to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as he often has—which helps to explain why he polls about as well with supporters of the tea party movement, who revered and often reference the Founding documents, as with non-supporters—and proclaimed that the question in this election was whether America was going to remain “a unique nation”and whether it would “return to the principles on which it was founded.” To which Newt Gingrich then meekly concurred, adding some caveats.

The article goes on to detail the performance of each of the candidates in the debate. According to Mr. Barone, Mitt Romney moved forward in the debate, and Rick Perry positioned himself for the race in South Carolina. The other candidates pretty much stayed where they were before the debate.

I live in Massachusetts. I lived here when Mitt Romney was Governor. He did a good job considering the legislature he had to work with. I think Romneycare would have been a lot worse without Romney as Governor. I could easily vote for him in the 2012 election, although frankly he is not my first choice. I think his success in running against Barack Obama will largely depend on his choice of a running mate. There are a lot of very good options for him out there.

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Fact Checking The Associated Press

"The Honorable Rick Perry (front right), ...

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Rick Perry was in New Hampshire on Saturday. He spoke at an event at the home of Chuck Stephen co-hosted by John Stephen, the former Republican gubernatorial nominee. Human Events reported on Sunday that the coverage of the event by the Associated Press left out some significant information.

This is an excerpt from the Associated Press article:

Speaking to hundreds of Granite State voters at a private reception, the Texas governor was asked whether he supported a fence along the Mexican border. “No, I don’t support a fence on the border,” he said.

“The fact is, it’s 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Two things: How long you think it would take to build that? And then if you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good.”

The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member.

Channel 7 (WHIOTV) in Ohio did a slightly better job of reporting the speech:

“No, I don’t support a fence on the border,” he said, while referring to the long border in Texas alone. “The fact is, it’s 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Two things: How long you think it would take to build that? And then if you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good.”

Instead, Perry said he supported “strategic fencing” and National Guard troops to prevent illegal immigration and violence from Mexican drug cartels.

The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member. And it exposed an ongoing rift with some conservative voters over Perry’s immigration record.

That’s a little better. However, a website called Instapundit posted a first-hand account:

A BLOG REPORT FROM RICK PERRY’S SPEECH IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: “I attended that event, stood about 15 feet from where he delivered those remarks and never heard an ‘angry shout’. Either the AP is making it up or it wasn’t much of a shout. Perhaps they can supply the audio.”

Maybe it was a reporter in the back who was doing the shouting. But after the 2004 bogus-boos incident, I encourage bloggers and others attending these events to record audio and video. You never know what’ll happen — or what people will report happened, even if it didn’t.

This election season every voter will need to be careful when gathering news and deciding on candidates. Unfortunately much of the major media is no longer objective and is reporting things that didn’t happen or not reporting important facts. There are many places on the internet (hopefully this is one of them) where a voter can go to fact check and get the whole story. Be careful what you read, and stay informed. That is the only way to preserve our freedom.



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