A True Story–I Personally Know The People Involved

The kids, (my 9 year old step-son and my 3 year old son), were looking over their Halloween haul after dinner tonight.  They spread the candy across opposite ends of the table and began to compare their favorites.  The 3 year old took every lollipop he could; most of the time he graciously refused when offered an additional piece of chocolate by a house that thought a mere lollipop wasn’t enough.  But he knew what he wanted.  The 9 year old is all about the chocolate bars – Snickers, Milky Way, Baby Ruth…

So I asked my step son if he would like to take the candy back to his mother’s house.  Why not?  It’s his candy!  He said no, he would like to leave it at our house to enjoy over the coming weeks.  It seems that his mother dumps all of the candy from all of the kids into one bowl and anyone is free to take what they want when they want.  I suppose that leaves only a few bags of pretzels and boxes of milk duds at the end of a few days.  You have to gorge yourself to get your favorites before someone else does.

“That’s candy socialism”, I cried.  “You walked to those houses, you rang those doorbells, you picked out your favorites.  You are free to walk through any neighborhood you want to, even the ones you know have the good candy.  Why should you have to give your favorites to someone that didn’t want to go to as many houses or go to a better area?”

“We are a free market capitalism candy household.  It is your candy to do as you please.”

My husband than chimed in, “I’ll be taking a few pieces of your candy from your bag.  That’s called taxes.  I’m the government.”

A few minutes later, in an attempt to drive home the lesson, I asked him, “So tell me, what is free market capitalism?”

He said, “You get to keep what you get”, then he paused a minute and said, “No, you get to keep what you earn!”

I was so proud.

Then my 3 year old walked over and offered me a snack size bag of Cheetos that he had gotten.  “Here mom, you like these.  You don’t have a candy bag.”

I said, “That’s charitable giving and that’s important too.”

If a 9 year old can get it, why can’t the rest of the nation get it?

This Arrived In My E-Mail On Friday

Go Green…..2010
I do not like this Uncle Sam, 
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks, 
Or how they lie and cook the books.
I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like this speaker  Nan  ,
I do not like this ‘YES, WE CAN’.
I do not like this spending spree—
I’m smart, I know that nothing’s free.
I do not like your smug replies, 
When I complain about your lies.
I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it. Nope, nope, nope!
Go green - 
recycle Congress in 2010!

Another Reason We Need A New Senate

Did you every wonder why 44 percent of the people serving in the United States Congress are millionaires?  Offhand, that seems a little higher than the average among the general population.  I suppose you could make the arguement that you have to be a millionaire to be elected, but how about the arguement that you can make decisions that benefit you financially?  Well, let’s take a look at one California Senator.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported yesterday on the activities of Barbara Boxer concerning a casino deal in California.  The story was originally up at The Hill, but has been taken down.  The story begins with Barbara Boxer pushing a bill reinstating a tribe designated as “defunct” by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 40 years earlier.  In the legislation she passed to reinstate the tribe she included an amendment to remove a prohibition on gaming on any land the tribe owned.  Shortly after the tribe had been reinstated, they decided to open a casino. 

According to the article:

“The tribe turned its fortunes over to two firms to make its dreams of wealth come true — Platinum Advisers, a political consulting/lobbying firm, and Kenwood Investments 2. Amazingly, and I’m certain quite coincidentally, Barbara Boxer’s son, Doug, was a partner in each firm.”

The article explains that Senator Boxer exempted the casino project from the environmental regulations that have so cripped the California economy.  This is the same Senator that opposes offshore drilling and has refused to turn the water back on in the Central Valley of California.  Meanwhile, she waives the environmental considerations on this casino and her son (according to The Hill) pockets $8 million for his role in the project.  Do you suppose he gave mom a nice Mother’s Day present?

Rewriting History To Suit Your Own Purposes

Vice President Biden has always had a way with words, but he also has a way with history.  According to the Washington Examiner on Thursday the Vice President recently stated in a speech that, “Every single great idea that has marked the 21st centery, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive.  In the middle of the Civil War, you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States….No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years.”

Wow.  Cato Institute’s Tad DeHaven commented on the statement.  Mr. DeHaven pointed out that the railroads in the eastern United States were built almost entirely without government subsidies and succeeded because they were a superior form of transportation at that time.  The government subsidies built the transcontinental railways because there was no market for that railroad line at the time.  The article also mentions that the subsidies also inspired Credit Mobilier, one of the worst government corruption scandals in American history.  The article at the Washington Examiner goes into the details of that scandal.

Somehow I can’t picture Eli Whitney, Henry Ford or Thomas Edison waiting for a government check to pay for their research.  Somehow we have lost the idea that the individual can create and invent independently from the government.  I think we need to get that idea back.

Vice President Biden’s statement is an example of the thinking that has invaded the political left in recent years–the only way anything valuable happens is if the government sponsors or subsidizes it in some way.  That sort of thinking is almost certainly guaranteed to send the country into backruptcy. 

If you believe that individuals are capable of solving the problems that our country faces (rather than government), I strongly suggest that you vote Republican on November 2.  The Republicans are not the best answer, but right now they are the only answer.  They can be held accountable for what they do and voted out in two years if they do not stop the runaway government spending.  At least they believe in individual problem solving–not government funding for everything.

To quote Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Two Good Sources, Two Opposing Stories, I Have No Idea Who Is Right

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Bill Clinton had asked Florida Democratic Representative Kendrick Meek to drop out of his U.S. Senate race and support Governor Charlie Crist’s independent candidacy in hopes of thwarting a victory by Republican Marco Rubio.

The Hill reported yesterday that former President Clinton stated, “I didn’t ask Kendrick to leave the race, nor did Kendrick say that he would. I told him that how he proceeds was his decision to make and that I would support him regardless.”

I am really not sure who is telling the truth here, but I have a few observations on the kerfuffle.  First, some basic facts.

According to The Hill:

“A number of news organizations reported Thursday evening that Clinton asked and Meek agreed to drop out due to trailing poll numbers. According to the reports, Meek was supposed to endorse Gov. Charlie Crist (I) in order to stop conservative Republican Marco Rubio from winning the seat.”

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Crist campaign spokesman Danny Kanner called the report “accurate.” He said Mr. Crist was focused on “uniting common-sense Democrats, independents, and Republicans behind his campaign because he is the one candidate who can defeat” Mr. Rubio.””

One of the strategies the Democrats have used in this election cycle is to run third-party candidates in order to split the votes of those opposing Democrat incumbents or candidates.  I don’t know if Charlie Crist’s decision to run as in independent was made with or without Democrat input, but as a former Republican, he was expected to take votes away from Marco Rubio.  However, even at the beginning of the campaign there were a few problems with that idea.  When he began running as an independent, Charlie Crist reversed a lot of his previous positions on issues.  His reversals put him more in line with Kenrick Meek than with Marco Rubio.  He was not taking votes away from Rubio, he was taking them away from Meek.  Eventually it occurred to the Democrat leadership that this was a problem–thus the Clinton vist and conversation (whatever the conversation actually was).

The problem with Marco Rubio (for the Democrats) is that he is a likeable, dynamic, Hispanic candidate with a bright future in the Republican party.  If the Democrats can stop that future now, they can save themselves a lot of heartaches later on.  That is the reason why one Senate race in Florida is getting so much attention. 

When It Doesn’t Fit The Preconception, It Doesn’t Make The News

Yesterday I was privileged to listen to a discussion between a political candidate and a reporter regarding the financial meltdown we have all been experiencing for the past two years.  The newspaper that the reporter was associated with has endorsed the opponent of the person to whom the reporter was speaking, so I should not have been surprised either by what was said or what happened next.

The candidate was someone who had firsthand knowledge of exactly what went into the financial meltdown.  He was discussing the pressure put on banks to make loans to people who would not be able to pay them back and the chain reaction those loans caused in the financial sector (and the housing sector) of our economy.  The reporter kept on saying, “Well. what about Wall Street?”  The candidate explained that Wall Street was involved after the loans were made, but that the root of the problem had much more to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than with Wall Street.  The candidate then pointed out that he did not support the Financial Reform Bill because it did not address the problem of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Although this was an ‘on-the-record’ discussion, I felt as if I were listening to a teacher instruct a student.  The discussion was much more informative than political.

There are stories all over the internet of ACORN showing up at stockholders meetings of major banks in America and threatening them with lawsuits, boycotts, and other things if they did not make loans to people who could not pay them back.  There is also a video at YouTube entitled, “Burning Down The House” which shows the congressional testimony that blocked the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the George Bush Administration.  The fact that anyone believes that Wall Street is responsible for our economic problems and that the Financial Reform Bill will have any impact on our problems is a result of media spin.  Until we as voters and reporters learn to listen ‘past the spin’, our decisions will not be based on the facts as they are–they will be based on what the media and politicians tell us in order to advance their political agendas.

I am not surprised that the information given to the reporter was either new to him or that he had not considered it seriously before.  I am also not surprised that the reporter’s newspaper printed nothing about the meeting or the discussion between the reporter and the candidate.  I don’t know if the reporter actually learned anything or not.  I do know that if the reporter understood what was said to him and did not report it to his readers, he did a disservice to both the candidate and the voters.

Cutting Spending By Not Paying Dead People

BigGovernment.com posted an article about Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)’s report titled, “Federal Programs to Die for: American Tax Dollars Send Six Feet Under” which shows that stopping checks to the dead is a means to save one billion of your tax dollars. 

According to the article:

“Delaware Republican candidate for Senate Christine O’Donnell was stopped from citing “waste, fraud and abuse” as a means to lower the estimated $13.6 trillion national debt during a debate aired on CNN.  According to a Daily News transcript published on October 14, 2010:

“Arguably the toughest moment for O’Donnell came when she was asked to outline what programs she would cut to slash government spending and reduce the national deficit, two major themes of the Tea Party platform.  Before she responded, Blitzer told her she could not simply say cut waste, fraud and abuse because “everybody says that.””

The way Christine O’Donnell has been treated by the media is a disgrace anyway, but that is for another story. 

The article details specific instances of government waste cited by Senator Coburn:

  • The Social Security Administration sent $18 million in Stimulus funds to dead people;
  • The Department of Health and Human Services doled out checks of $3.9 million in assistance to pay heating and cooling costs out of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to dead people. See GAO Report of June 2010;
  • The Department of Agriculture cranked out checks for $1.1 billion to deceased farmers. See GAO Report of July 24, 2007;
  • The Farm Services Agency (FSA) provided 171,801 deceased farmers subsidies;
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development cut checks for $15.2 million in housing subsidies to the dead.  See HUD IG’s Report of November 10, 2009;
  • Medicaid payments of over $700,000 in prescriptions for 1,800 dead patients and prescriptions for drugs written by 1,200 deceased doctors;
  • Medicare payments of $92 million in medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for medical supplies prescribed for non-living patients; and,
  • Congress has also mismanaged the HIV/AIDs funding distribution method that slows care to those in the most need.

It’s time for a change in Washington, D. C.  We do have some good Senators–Tom Coburn is one of them–but those Senators and Representatives who are part of the problem rather than part of the solution need to be voted out of office.  If your Congressman does not support spending cuts and tax cuts, vote him out of office!

Living For Extended Periods Of Time At High Altitude Obviously Has Some Effects We Had Not Previously Considered

On Tuesday the Los Angeles Times reported that on election day Denver voters will decide whether or not to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission.

Jeff Peckman, one of the major supporters of Initiative 300, has gathered enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. 

The initiatives mission statement:

It’s a BIG universe but we need to share it with others who are not from Earth.
Our grand mission is dedicated to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of human beings in relation to interactions with extraterrestrial beings, and to creating peaceful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relationships between all beings in the universe.

The article states that the initiative would create a seven-person expert panel that would be charged with:

— Dealing with credible citizen reports of UFOs or contacts with extraterrestrial intelligent beings.

— Responsibly listening to, or documenting reports of, encounters or abductions regardless of the highly unusual and credible evidence.

— Referring such reports to private or public individuals or organizations that have dealt with such matters responsibly.

— Helping citizens that know of no place to turn for help on potentially traumatic experiences.

I have no comment.

An Amazing Video

This is a link to a video posted on YouTube.  It is a rather long video (12 minutes), but well worth watching.  It is the story of Alice Sommer, who at 106 is the oldest holocaust survivor in the world.  She was a concert pianist in Prague.  In 1942, at age 39, she was deported to a Nazi concentration camp.  Fortunately (if I can use that word in this context) she was sent to a camp that was set up for propaganda purposes by the Nazis.  She was allowed to play music and her son was allowed to live and remain with her.  It is a moving video.  Please take the time to watch it.

Indications Of A Slow Learning Curve On The Part Of Traditional Republicans

Roll Call posted an article on Tuesday that stated that Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have put together a plan to help fill top staff positions of the newly elected Republican outsiders.  It is not encouraging to me that John Boehner is leading this effort; it is encouraging to me that Eric Cantor is also leading the effort.

Many times I have heard people say, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, both political parties are actually the same.  One is not better than the other.”  I totally understand that statement, and I totally understand the basis for it.  In many cases it is more true than false.  However, the reason many of the newly elected Republican congressmen are being sent to Washington is to change the status quo.  

Most newly elected Republicans will be born out of the enthusiasm of the Tea Party.  They are not interested in becoming part of the Washington establishment.  A large majority of the American people are not interested in seeing any new members of Congress become part of the Washington establishment.  There is a need for any new congressmen to hit the ground running–there is much to be done and undone.  However, many of the people elected in this election cycle are being sent to Washington to undo what has previously been standard operating procedure–not to enshire the garbage that has gone on.

Hopefully the establishment Republicans will remember that they are there to represent the people–not to build their own legacies.

I Know This Is Legal, But Is It Appropriate, And What Does It Say About Priorities ?

ABC News has posted a story stating that the Democrat National Committee DNC) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information on potential Obama challengers in 2012. 

According to the article:

“The request for information on Gingrich stretches back to 1979, when he was a freshman member of the House. The DNC is asking for information related to Palin’s service on the Wasilla, Alaska, City Council in the early 1990s, while the Pawlenty request includes his service on the Planning Commission in Eagan, Minn., in 1988 and 1989.”

There is nothing wrong with the DNC filing this request for information.  That is not what I am complaining about.  My question is simple–shouldn’t the DNC be spending the time on coming up with ideas to solve America’s problems rather than looking for ways to tear down its opponents? 

The Unraveling Of The Democrat Party

Every now and then I come across an article on the internet that takes my breath away.  There was an article posted at Hillbuzz.com yesterday that fits that description.  It is an open letter from Kevin DuJan to Rush Limbaugh describing some of the events surrounding the Democrat’s nomination of Barack Obama as their candidate in 2008. 

Among other things, the article details some of the events the press somehow missed:

“If you have not seen it already, Rush, you need to watch Gigi Gaston’s documentary “We Will Not Be Silenced 2008″.  I’m featured in a segment on the voter fraud that was committed in the Iowa Caucus back in January of 2008.  While I was always aware Democrats use unions and other means to cheat in elections, I never knew the Democrat Party was capable of the large-scale, aggressive, unapologetic fraud it committed on Obama’s behalf all through 2008.  In Iowa, I watched Obama’s ACORN and SEIU goons push and shove old people, bully them, and intimidate them when they wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton.  I saw scores of Illinois license plates fill the parking lots outside caucus locations, with Chicagoland Obama supporters illegally entering the Caucus sites to vote for Obama and game Iowa for him.  Having planned ahead, Obama supporters actually RAN those caucus sites, and held the doors open for all these fraudulent voters to walk right in, without being asked for IDs, where they then took control of the caucuses and bullied the Iowa residents into supporting Obama — lest they be called RAAACISTS! out in the open in front of their friends and neighbors in those open-air caucuses.”

I am not sure who is at the bottom of the kind of tactics President Obama used to get elected.  I can tell you from experience that those same tactics are active during the Congressional campaigns this year.  I have seen them at work on the Democrat side.  At a parade in the Third District in Massachusetts a number of Marty Lamb supporters spotted a car with Illinois license plates taking “Marty Lamb for Congress” signs from people’s yards.  As some of us went back to our cars after the parade, the driver of that car had his trunk open, revealing a number of “Marty Lamb for Congress” signs he had collected.  What was he doing in Massachusetts in the first place? 

Obviously, Hillbuzz.org is a site put together by Hillary Clinton supporters who were unhappy with the way the Democrat primaries turned out.  I had not realized that they were still so angry.  The thing to watch here is when Hillary will make her run for the Presidency.  If President Obama’s approval ratings are below 40 percent by the end of 2011, I suspect Hillary Clinton will challenge Barack Obama for the Democrat presidential nomination again in 2012.  I also suspect that she will not be the only challenger.  Hillary and Evan Bayh would represent a challenge from the right, and people such as Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich would represent a challenge from the left.

The open letter to Rush Limbaugh is a long letter, but I strongly suggest reading it.  The anger is genuine, and it outlines the plans Hillary Clinton’s supporters have for the next two years.  This may be very interesting to watch.

More Unnecessary Red Tape In Obamacare

On October 15th, Fox News posted an article about the changes coming to Flexible Healthcare Spending Accounts (FSA) in the new healthcare reform bill.  Currently FSAs have no limit on the amount of tax-free dollars put into them and can be used for pretty much any over-the-counter drug or medical procedure.  The new rules place a limit on the pre-tax contributions to $2,500, starting Jan. 1, 2013.   That sounds like a lot, but if you have children who need braces or you are contemplating laser eye surgery, this will impact you. 

According to the Detroit News on October 18:

“…In the past, employees could use their flex accounts to pay for both prescription and non-prescription drugs and medical supplies.  Starting January 1, they can no longer use them to pay for drugs and medicines without a doctor’s prescription.

“Drugs and medicines are defined as anything you inject or apply topically to treat a specific medical condition.  They include allergy and cold medications, pain relievers, laxatives, acne treatments and many other drugs.  An exception is made for insulin and diabetes supplies, which can be reimbursed without a doctor’s prescription.

“However, after this year you will still be able to use your flex account to pay for medical devices and supplies without a prescription.  These items include bandages, reading glasses, condoms, othotics, blood pressure monitors and contact lens solutions.  (For a list, see www.wageworks.com/otcfact.)  The list of elibible items you can buy with an FSA debit card at a drugstor will shrink from about 42,000 items to about 30,000 items, Dietel (Jody Dietel, Chief Compliance Officer for WageWorks) says.”

What this means in simple terms is that if you need hayfever medicine and want your insurance to cover it, you have to schedule an appointment with your doctor to get a prescription.  This will end up increasing medical costs–not lowering them.  I really think the only reason this provision is included in the healthcare bill is that the Democrats want to eliminate any law that allows American taxpayers to keep their money.





It May Not Be Voter Fraud, But It Sure Looks Odd

In Nevada, there seems to be a new way to take all the confusion out of voting.  The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that a number of people voting in Clark County, Nevada walked into the voting machine to vote and found that Harry Reid’s name was already checked off.  I guess that takes the guess work out of voting!  Seventy-five percent of Nevada’s residents live in Clark County. 

According to the article:

“Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid’s name was already checked.

“Ferrara said she wasn’t alone in her voting experience.  She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

“”Something’s not right,” Ferrara said.  “One person that’s a fluke.  Two, that’s strange.  But several within a five minute period of time–that’s wrong.””

The article at the Washington Examiner points out that the voting machines are maintained by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  The article lists the amount of money the SEIU has donated to Democrats this election cycle.  There is no direct evidence that the SEIU had anything to do with the problem, but the situation is just not good.

Just a note about some of the Democrat tactics in this election.  Cheating is one tactic, denying the military vote by delaying absentee ballots is another, and in Massachusetts we have seen the tactic of running third party candidates to split the Republican vote.

I will end this article with my usual statement–if you want to clean up the mess that is Washington D. C., vote Republican and then hold the Republicans’ feet to the fire.  I suspect the Republicans (having learned their lessons since 1994) will be much more responsive to the public than they have been previously.

The Final Debate For The Third Congressional District Seat In Massachusetts

I just attended the final debate between the candidates for the Third Congressional District seat in Massachusetts.  The debate was hosted by the Northborough Tea Party.  The moderator for the debate was Hand Stolz, host of the radio program “Wake up, Worcester.”   As is the case with all Tea Party events, the debate began with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.  That was in contrast to the League of Women voters debate which did not even have a flag displayed.

I have never been involved in politics before, and there are a lot of things I don’t really understand.  The previous debates I have attended have had sign holders outside, but there has always been a friendly relationship between the different supporters.  This debate was a little different.  First of all, the supporters of Congressman McGovern blocked off the parking lot so that supporters of other candidates were forced to find parking across the street.  Next, during the time when people were getting seated in preparation for the debate, the McGovern sign holders took up positions outside the windows behind where the candidates were seated, creating a distraction for anyone in the audience.  They stayed there until the police asked them to leave.  I have not seen that behavior in any of the other debates I have attended, so I really have no idea what it was all about.

All three candidates took part in the debate–Pat Barron, Marty Lamb, and Jim McGovern.  The moderator managed the format and the debate very well, so each candidate was able to state clearly his positions on various issues.  The positions were those that have been mentioned in previous articles on this site (rightwinggranny.com). 

Generally speaking, Congressman McGovern stated his support for the United States continuing its role in the United Nations, Pat Barron felt that we needed to reevaluate our relationship with the United Nations and Marty Lamb felt that the United Nations was no longer the organization it was intended to be and that we should end our membership in it.  Congressman McGovern declared, “I am a liberal democrat,” and made no apologies for that.  He defended his vote on Obamacare and said that it would create jobs.  When told by candidate Lamb that the penalty on small businesses who could not afford to provide healthcare for their employees would keep small businesses from hiring, Congressman McGovern stated that he felt that those small businesses would be eligible for government subsidies.  In a nutshell, Congressman McGovern’s answer to almost every problem was more government money and more government involvement.

The choice is clear for the voters in Massachusetts Third Congressional District.  If you want continued growth of government and government spending, re-elect Jim McGovern.  If you want smaller government and fiscal responsibility, elect Marty Lamb.  If you want to re-elect Jim McGovern without voting for him, vote for Pat Barron.

Golden Oldies vs. Brass Oldies

Thomas Sowell posted an article at Townhall.com today about golden oldies and brass oldies.  I like his description of both–golden oldies are the classic songs from years past, brass oldies are political fallacies that have been around for a long time.  In the article is relates the history of one of the most common “brass oldies.”

Mr. Sowell states:

“One of these brass oldies is a phrase that has been a perennial favorite of the left, “tax cuts for the rich.” How long ago was this refuted? More than 80 years ago, the “tax cuts for the rich” argument was refuted, both in theory and in practice, by Andrew Mellon, who was Secretary of the Treasury in the 1920s.”

Mr. Sowell explains that the reason tax cuts generate revenue is that tax policy influences behavior.  He cites one example:

“…taxpayers change their behavior according to what the tax rates are. When one of the Rockefellers died, Mellon discovered that his estate included $44 million in tax-exempt bonds, compared to $7 million in Standard Oil securities, even though Standard Oil was the source of the Rockefeller fortune.”

Generally speaking, ”the rich” understand more about how money works than the rest of us (or else we would be rich, too).  They also have the cash available to move into areas that will be taxed less. 

The article further states:

“In short, huge amounts of money were not being invested in productive capacity, such as factories or power plants, but was instead being made available for local political boondoggles, because this money was put into tax-exempt state and local bonds.

“When tax rates are reduced, investors have incentives to take their money out of tax shelters and put it into the private economy, creating higher returns for themselves and more production in the economy. Andrew Mellon understood this then, even though many in politics and the media seem not to understand it now.”

The article concludes:

“The rich actually paid more total taxes, and a higher percentage of all taxes, after the Bush tax rate cuts, because their incomes were rising with the rising economy.

“Do the people who keep repeating the catch phrase, “tax cuts for the rich” not know this? Or are they depending on your not knowing it?”

Thomas Sowell contributes more to my economic education in a few paragraphs than a whole semester of economics did in school!  Thank you, sir, for your insight.

Lebanon Moves Away From The West And Toward Iran

The Debka File reported that the Saudis Monday, Oct. 25, urged Lebanon’s pro-Western Prime Minister Saad Hariri to step down without delay and make way for an administration dominated by pro-Syrian ministers and Hizballah. 

According to the article:

“King Abdullah, according to debkafile‘s Middle East and Beirut sources, sees no other way of saving Lebanon from tipping over into civil strife over Hizballah’s demand to disband the international tribunal probing the 2005 murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri.”

This resignation will lay the groundwork for charges by Hizballah that Israel was behind the murder. 

This is an example of the Lebanese desire for self-preservation.  They will allow Iran and Hizballah to essentially take over their country in exchange for avoiding a civil war.  As America begins to withdraw from the area (President Obama can’t get out fast enough!), there will be no one (other than the Lebanese) to defend their democracy.  Because Iran is rapidly acquiring nuclear capability, I am sure the Lebanese feel that this is their only safe choice.  This is unfortunate, but underscores the problem with Iran becoming a nuclear nation.  Iran is a nation led by a bully that has plans to dominate the Middle East and eventually help set up a world-wide caliphate.  We didn’t see it coming when Hitler planned to conquer the world, and we are avoiding seeing it when Iran makes the same plans.

Investors.com posted an editorial yesterday about what the documents leaked by Wikileaks showed regarding Iran’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Iran is a country that will eventually have to be dealt with.  Hopefully that will happen before Iran is a nuclear power.

What’s Next ? Bubble Gum ?

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Health Subcommittee, is calling on the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers to tell their players not to use smokeless tobacco on the field or in the dugout during the World Series.  First of all, how do we know if they are chewing tobacco or bubble gum?  Will bubble gum be the next thing to be frowned on (too much sugar?)?

I don’t smoke.  I have never smoked.  I don’t chew tobacco.  I have never done that either.  However, I am concerned about people’s personal choices being infringed upon.  If tobacco is that bad, stop subsidizing the tobacco farmers, stop taxing tobacco products, and ban the sale of tobacco.  If the government is not willing to stop the subsidies and give up the tax revenue tobacco generates, they should stop griping about its use and stop trying to make smokers huddle in doorways in 10 degree weather like some sort of social outcasts. 

I appreciate the fact that in Massachusetts I can have dinner without having to smell cigarette smoke.  I have developed an allergy to cigarette smoke in recent years, and even walking through the cloud of doorway smoke in many places is enough to set off coughing spells.  However, there are two sides to every story.  People should not be forced to huddle in doorways like abandoned animals in order to smoke.  We need to either ban tobacco or create places where smokers can smoke without discomfort or inconvenience.

A Small Step Toward Civility

Yesterday CNSNews reported that Facebook is working with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GSLEN) to prevent and remove what it considers anti-gay comments from it’s social website.  That’s a good thing.

As an old person on facebook (that’s where my children post pictures of whatever they are doing) and a former Mafia Wars addict, I applaud this move.  However, Facebook still has other groups that it needs to take a look at– “I Hate The Pope” , “I Hate People Who Hate Homosexual People“, “I Hate Conservatives“, “I Hate It When I Wake Up In The Morning and Conservatives Still Exist“,  “I Hate Democrats” and “I Hate Straight People Who Hate Gays“.

I would like to suggest that any group that starts with the words “I Hate” followed by an organization or a group of people be removed.  I am willing to see groups like “I Hate Mondays” or “I Hate Traffic Jams” remain, but I am not sure it is constructive to have groups hating any certain group of people. 

I think Facebook is a good thing, although occasionally it is a victim of TMI (too much information).  We live in a world that moves very quickly, and sometimes it is hard to stay in touch with everyone you care about.  On Facebook you can leave an occasional comment for someone just to let them know you are thinking about them.  I like that.

Why We Need To Elect People Who Will Drain The Swamp

Yesterday Rick Moran at the American Thinker reported that the feds have put off the report on the Giannoulias family’s Broadway Bank in Illinois until after the election.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is supposed to issue a report six months after they take over a bank. 

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported Saturday:

“The release of the report before the election could have been another political headache for Giannoulias in the close contest with Republican Mark Kirk. Giannoulias has been on the defensive over his role in loans Broadway Bank made to convicted felons while he was a senior loan officer, as well as other troubled lending that contributed to the bank’s collapse early this year.

“The inspector general of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. typically issues a “material loss” report, which details issues in a bank’s failure, about six months after the institution is taken over by the regulators. Broadway, which the FDIC accused of “unsafe banking practices,” was closed on April 23, at a cost to the FDIC of $394.3 million.

“When it issued an interim report in August, the inspector general’s office said the final report would be issued on or before its Nov. 14 due date. On Friday, agency lawyer John Davidovich said the report is not expected within the next two weeks.”

I wonder when the report would have been released had the bank belonged to the Mark Kirk’s family. 

A Surprising Comment From The Boston Globe

Yesterday the Boston Globe posted its Election 2010 endorsements.  It is not surprising that they recommended to voters “Despite some promising challengers for Congress, voters should stay the course.”  As someone who lives in the Third Congressional District which hasn’t gotten as much publicity as the Fourth and Tenth District (Sean Bielet running against Barney Frank and Jeff Perry running against William Keating), I was interested to read:

“The choice is entirely a positive one for voters in the Worcester area, home to the gifted and productive Representative James McGovern, a staunch liberal in a relatively moderate district. For those who don’t share McGovern’s views, Republican nominee Marty Lamb, a real estate lawyer, is a good option. Of all the citizen-politicians who emerged after the economic collapse, Lamb shows the most potential: He supports a slate of targeted tax breaks intended to help small businesses, and favors extending the Bush tax cuts for all. But he maintains that, if elected, he won’t vote in lockstep with his party’s leaders. He manages to be both a forceful critic and a voice of reason.

“Lamb smartly acknowledges that McGovern is a “good constituent-service congressman.” Indeed, McGovern’s record of service to the district is unusually noteworthy: Worcester, in particular, is finally taking steps to break out of a disastrous 1970s renewal plan, thanks partly to McGovern’s exertions. As the second-ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee to 81-year-old Louise Slaughter, McGovern, at 50, is on the verge of achieving the kind of power wielded by his mentor, Joe Moakley. Every House bill is vetted by the Rules Committee, giving its chairman enormous clout. There is no doubt that McGovern would use that power to help revitalize Central Massachusetts.

“Conservatives and others looking for a complete change can feel good about supporting Lamb, but there is no good reason to abandon McGovern now. He can and will do more for the district.

“At this moment, McGovern’s clout is less than that of Barney Frank…”

What the Globe fails to mention is that McGovern will also raise your taxes and support more power grabs by the federal government.  If you love healthcare reform, the impact it will have on senior citizens and the increases it will bring to your health insurance premiums, McGovern is your candidate.  McGovern has been in Congress since January 1997, isn’t it time for a change?

The Imperial Presidency

I am not sure whether this event will be an American “let them eat cake” moment, but this is not smart politics.  The Economic Times reported Saturday on the plans for the President and Mrs. Obama’s upcoming trip to India:

“To ensure fool-proof security, the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.
The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.””

He’s visiting the country–not taking it over.  The President and his wife will be in India for a two-day visit.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…  The Wall Street Journal reported today that the deficit panel is considering taking away many of the tax breaks average Americans enjoy–the deduction on mortgage interest, child tax credits, and the ability of employees to pay their portion of their health-insurance tab with pretax dollars.  The panel is also looking at spending cuts in defense and freezing domestic discretionary spending.

Does it strike anyone else as a little odd that as the President is complaining about the deficit and the taxpayers are threatened with significant tax increases, the taxpayers are paying for a very expensive two-day trip?  If the Bush tax cuts are not extended, everyone’s taxes will go up–extending the tax cuts does not cut anyone’s taxes–it simply allows the tax rates to stay where they are now.  It just seems to me that in a time of economic challenges for most Americans, the President is doing a lot of partying in the White House and spending lavishly on foreign travel.  Aside from the fact that the partying and travel may be having an impact on the budget (probably a small impact, but an impact), it just seems a little insensitive to be doing this as most Americans are tightening their belts and dealing with economic stress.

Andrew McCarthy On The Firing Of Juan Williams

National Review Online posted an article yesterday by Andrew McCarthy with the subtitle, “If they cannot defund NPR, you can bet they will not reverse Obamacare.”  I never thought of it that way, but he is right.  If the Republicans take the House of Representatives (according to the Constitution, all spending bills are initiated by the House, not the Senate) in November, what they do with the public funding of NPR will be their first test of whether or not they have developed a backbone.

He points out that in addition to having a serious debt problem at the current time, the country has ample sources of information of every political stripe.  There really is not a need for the government to fund NPR–let NPR compete in the marketplace like every other news source.

The firing of Juan Williams and the snarky statement afterward confirmed for many people that ‘fair and balanced’ was not a part of the NPR plan.  Even if it were, there are enough sources of news and information available so that the government does not have to support NPR.

Let’s see if the Republicans can muster to courage to defund NPR.  Then maybe they can go on to bigger and better things!

“This Is Not An Election On November 2. This Is A Restraining Order”

That’s not an original thought–I wish it were.  Those are the words of P. J. O’Rourke in the November 1st issue of the Weekly Standard.  Mr. O’Rourke has written a new book, “Don’t Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards.”

His comments about the Democrat party are very interesting (not to mention funny).  Please follow the link to the article–there is no way I can do this man justice in a summary! 

Mr. O’Rourke opens with this:

“Perhaps you’re having a tiny last minute qualm about voting Republican. Take heart. And take the House and the Senate. Yes, there are a few flakes of dander in the fair tresses of the GOP’s crowning glory–an isolated isolationist or two, a hint of gold buggery, and Christine O’Donnell announcing that she’s not a witch. (I ask you, has Hillary Clinton ever cleared this up?) Fret not over Republican peccadilloes such as the Tea Party finding the single, solitary person in Nevada who couldn’t poll ten to one against Harry Reid. Better to have a few cockeyed mutts running the dog pound than Michael Vick.”

As I have said before, I have no idea what will happen on November 2nd.  What I do know that all of us–every eligible voter of every political stripe–need to get out and vote for the candidate we support.  Hopefully, in the final days of the campaign, we as voters will be able to sort out the important things from the October surprises and elect the people who will best represent us.

Reversing A Bad Decision In Medicine

Holly Pitt Young at Townhall.com posted an article about the availability of cancer treatment drugs under the government run healthcare program in Britain. 

According to the article:

“British cancer patients are routinely denied access to critical life-extending drugs because of their costs.

“The Telegraph noted two year ago, that the British health care system’s decision to deny patients four kidney cancer drugs on the NHS was denounced by doctors as ‘poor’ and ‘unsuitable’. They said it was a “tragedy” that Britain’s leading role in cancer research was not being translated into treatment for all patients, who were often left struggling to pay for the drugs themselves. The decision has led patients to mortgage their house in order to obtain the drugs and treatment they need to survive.”

Unfortunately, the denial of drugs to cancer patients in Britain is commonplace.  That kind of medical decision made by the government is coming to America.  The Food and Drug Administration has created a new standard that would allow patients who could afford the late-stage cancer drug Avastin and other drugs like it to use these drugs, while those who cannot afford the drugs would be denied their use.

The article reports:

“They are considering “de-labeling” the drug for breast cancer patients – essentially allowing Medicare and private insurance to deny coverage of the drug under their policies.

“The FDA has moved a final decision about the fate of Avastin and breast cancer patients until after the elections. Not a great sign.”

I have no idea how to make a decision to provide or not to provide drugs to terminal cancer patients that will extend their lives.  However, doctors take an oath where they pledge to ‘do no harm’, and doctors have the knowledge to make this type of decision.  Let’s let the doctors make the decisions about what drugs to use–not the government.