A Trend To Reduce Voter Fraud

As we gear up for the 2012 election (yes, I know it is waaay too early), many states are looking at ways to cut back on the amount of voter fraud.  Many states saw fraudulent voter registration in the last election.  There have been many stories across the internet about the investigations of these problems.  Houston Votes was an organization that registered 25,000 new voters for the 2008 election.  A later investigation by an organization called True The Vote found that only 1,793 of those were actually legally registered voters.  (RightWingGranny.com).

On Sunday the San Francisco Chronicle posted an article stating:

“Less than 18 months before the next presidential election, Republican-controlled statehouses around the country are rewriting voting laws to require photo identification at the polls, reduce the number of days of early voting or tighten registration rules.”

Why is it that only Republican-controlled statehouses are trying to prevent voter fraud?  Where are the Democrats? 

Democrats complain that the requirement for voter ID blocks young voters, elderly voters and minority voters from being able to vote.  I am not an expert on this, but how do the people in that group buy cigarettes, alcohol, or cough medicine?  I really think that if you have to show identification to purchase these things, it is not unreasonable to have to show some form of identification to vote.

Again, it is the interesting that the Democrats don’t seem to support measures to prevent voter fraud.

Congress Is Back To Work–The House Will Begin Work On The Debt Ceiling

The Hill reported today that this will be the week for Congress to begin work on the debt ceiling.  The first vote, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, will be on a bill to raise the debt ceiling with no spending cuts or reforms.  Representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, sponsored the bill.  Representative Camp says that he does not plan to vote for the bill and expects the bill to be voted down.  The purpose of the bill is to send a clear message to the President that the House is serious about spending cuts and debt reduction. 

The article at The Hill lists the schedule for Washington this week.  Some of the events scheduled fof the coming week:

The House Appropriations Committee takes up the spending bill for the Food and Drug Administration.

 The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing on “Cybersecurity: Assessing the Nation’s Ability to Address the Growing Cyber Threat.”

A House Appropriations subcommittee will hold a hearing on the 2012 budget for the U.S. Capitol Police.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on “Making the Gulf Coast Whole Again: Assessing the Recovery Efforts of BP and the Obama Administration After the Oil Spill.”

The House (Select) Intelligence Committee will have a closed hearing on “Israel/Palestinian Authority Update.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on “The American Energy Initiative: H.R.909, A Roadmap for America’s Energy Future.”

A House Homeland Security subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Denying Safe Havens: Homeland Security’s Efforts to Counter Threats from Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.”

This is definitely a week to pay attention.

This May Or May Not Be True, But It’s A Great Story

This story comes from the Democratic Underground.  It can be found at different places on the internet.  Supposedly it comes from a police log in Sarasota, Florida.  I have no idea whether or not it is true–I just think it is a great story.  Unfortunately, as a senior citizen, I can relate.

This is directly from the website listed above:

An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her lungs, “I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!”

The four men didn’t wait for a second threat. They got out and ran like mad. The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags ino the back of her car and got into the driver’s seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then she realised why. It was the same reason she had wondered why there was a Frisbee and two 12 packs of beer on the front seat.

A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake. The sergeant to whom she told th story couldn’t stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car-jacking by a mad elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed.

There is nothing I can add to this!



Please take the time today to remember those who have given their lives so that we may be free.


Happy Memorial Day


Educating The Next Generation

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  It is the day we honor all those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and for the cause of freedom around the world.  It might be good to remember that there were people who did not want us to get involved in World War II, but when we got involved after Pearl Harbor, the country united behind our military.  It might also be good to remember that after Japan attacked us, we attacked Germany.  Sometimes war is not a logical thing.

Yesterday the Weekly Standard posted an article about a recent study conducted by Stanford education professor William Damon, in which students were asked what American citizenship means to them.  The responses were not encouraging.

The article listed some of the responses:

“We just had that the other day in history. I forget what it was.”

“I mean, being American is not really special…. I don’t find being an American citizen very important.”

“I don’t know, I figure it really shouldn’t mean anything.”

“I don’t want to belong to any country. It just feels like you are obligated to this country. I don’t like the whole thing of citizen…. I don’t like that whole thing. It’s like, citizen, no citizen; it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like to be a good citizen…. I don’t know, I don’t want to be a citizen … it’s stupid to me.”

Wow.  Professor Damon points out in the article:

“”Sure it’s important to say we’re part of the world community,” said Damon. “But in literal fact, students are not learning to become citizens of the world.” They become American citizens. Or at least we hope–the idea of assimilation, a melting pot, is also becoming a notion of the past. As for teachers who talk about the American Dream being dead, Damon says that is the worst thing they can say–“they are killing these children’s hopes and aspirations, detaching them from country.” He also pointed out that in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, King says his dream “is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.””

America is not, nor will it ever be, perfect.  However, we are free.  Women drive; they participate in government.  Our income is determined by the things we do–not by the government.  We live where we want to live and travel where we want to travel.  We are free to worship the god of our choice at the place of our choice.  There are a lot of countries in the world that do not fit that description.  We need to teach our children to be grateful for their freedom and for the opportunities that they have.  Many men and women paid a high price for those freedoms.

When Do The Rockets Stop ?

As President Obama plays footsie with the Palestinians at the expense of Israel, Hamas is launching rockets into the western Negev. 

The article at Arutz Sheva reports that:

“After the strike by the laser-guided missile made in Russia and smuggled from Iran, IDF ground units targeted 11 terrorist cells in northern and southern Gaza, and the Air Force strafed 15 terrorist sites, including terror infrastructure sites, Hamas outposts, smuggling tunnels and weapons manufacturing and storage facilities.”  

Let’s look at this a minute.  This was a laser-guided Russian missile smuggled in from Iran.  The article points out that last month Hamas signed a Unity Agreement with the Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.  Abbas is publicly committed to ending all violence and incitement against Israel.  I think what we have here is a failure to communicate.

I don’t think there should be a Palestinian state until the attacks on Israel stop.  I also think that any government that includes Hamas should be considered a terrorist government and should be driven out of power.

Why Is Economic Bad News In The Obama Administration Always Unexpected ?

Yesterday Michael Barone posted an article at the Washington Examiner about the use of the word ‘unexpected’ in the economic reports issued during the Obama administration.  The article gives five examples of bad economic news coupled with the word ‘unexpectedly’ just during the past two weeks.

The article asks:

“Which raises some questions.  As Instapundit reader Gordon Stewart, quoted by Reynolds on May 17, put it, “How many times in a row can something happen unexpectedly before the experts start to, you know, expect it? At some point, shouldn’t they be required to state the foundation for their expectations?””

Good point.  All this unexpectedness (I think I made that word up, but I’ll bet you know what it means!) could be the result of the expectation that the increased government spending policies of this President and the previous Congress would end the recession quickly.  Obviously, that has not been the case.  If you look at the political demographics of the mainstream media, you will see that generallly they want President Obama re-elected.  Unless we see the unemployment number decrease and the economic growth increase, that will be an uphill climb.  Therefore, if the media wants a second term for President Obama, it is to their advantage to convince us that negative economic news is unexpected and that we will see positive economic news in the very near future.

Meanwhile, I am hoping for an unexpected victory for the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.



Please Don’t Pass Laws If You Have No Way (Or Plan) To Enforce Them

Today’s New York Daily News has a story about some of its staff who are smokers trying to get a ticket under the new New York City law that bans smoking in certain outdoor spaces.  The article is hilarious in terms of what these people had to do to get a ticket and should be read in its entirety.  However, I will attempt to summarize.

The article reports:

“The Daily News landed the city’s first smoking ban ticket Friday – and it took all day to do it.

“The News sent one staffer to the beach at Coney Island and another to the High Line, spending a total of six hours doing everything they could to get a ticket. They got a first-hand look at the lax enforcement.

“Photographer Pearl Gabel, after flagrantly puffing in the presence of a Parks Department officer for a couple hours, finally scored about 6 p.m.”

Maybe I just don’t live in the real world, but somehow I think their are much more awful things people could be doing in a park than smoking. 

As I have stated before, I am a nonsmoker and cigarette smoke bothers me, but if I am in an open space and someone is smoking, I have the option of walking over to another part of that open space to get away from the smoke.  Wasting Park Police time on a smoking ban just seems totally ridiculous to me.  Next we will have the Park Police looking for people who are eating donuts–that can’t be healthy and contributes to obesity, therefore it must be stopped.

This is another example of people having their freedom taken away piece by piece.

The First World Summit of African Descendants

The United Nations is sponsoring the First World Summit of African Descendants to be held in August at La Ceiba, Honduras.  Yesterday, CNS News posted an article about this coming summit.

The summit seeks ‘social justice’ for African Descendants.  That’s newspeak for ‘we want money from people who are successful to be given to people who are not successful.’ 

The article reports:

“The event is part of the United Nations-declared International Year of African Descendants.

“”This International Year of African Descendants provides an opportunity to right historical wrongs: in health, education, poverty, land rights, jobs, and financial credit for economic and social progress,” said Pan American Health Organization Director Mirta Roses in a news release. “This celebration is important for recognizing the strength and resilience of Afro-descendant communities throughout the Americas, who have thrived despite historical discrimination and repression.”

“The U.N. says an estimated 150 million African descendants live in Mexico and Central and South America.”

There are some serious problems with this entire concept.  I totally agree with the idea that African slaves were brought to America against their will and often were treated badly.  I also agree that many of their descendants were treated badly and denied some of the basic necessities of life.  I have a friend in her late 60’s who is black who has major health problems because of the medical care that was not available to her in her younger years in rural Georgia.  I understand.  However, now she has access to some of the best medical care in the world due to government programs that provide for her and protect her from discrimination.  No one can undo the injustice done in the past, but her present medical care does reflect ‘social justice.’ 

The article reports:

“As CNSNews.com previously reported, the Durban conference was marked by strong disagreements over issues, including attempts to equate Zionism with apartheid and calls for the U.S. and other Western nations to pay reparations for slavery. The conference and a parallel NGO gathering eventually degenerated into what critics described as an anti-Israel “hate-fest,” and the Bush administration withdrew its already-downgraded delegation in protest. The Israeli representatives also walked out.”

As far as reparations for slavery goes, please see previous articles on this blog about the Pigford Settlement.  The American taxpayer is already paying reparations for slavery under the Obama administration, just under a different name.

Admittedly, the slaves were brought here against their will from Africa.  That was horribly wrong.  The Irish came here voluntarily because the British were trying to starve them off of their land.  I am sure they would have stayed in Ireland if they could have.  Both nationalities (and many others who came to America) were treated badly when they arrived.  The Irish had the fortune of being able to blend into society more quickly because they looked more like the British who had essentially settled America.  Blending in was more difficult for slaves even after they were free because of their skin color.  However, many descendants of slaves have done well in America.  The black American family was a strong unit until welfare programs destroyed it. 

The answer to ‘social justice’ for descendants of slaves is not to give them a bunch of other peoples’ money–the answer is to give them the tools to make their own money.  Somehow I doubt the United Nations conference will point this out.

The Arab Spring Could Lead To A Very Hot Arab Summer

Yahoo News posted an Associated Press article today about the opening of the border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.  The Egyptians had closed the border four years ago. 

Israelis fear that this border will now be used to bring weapons and military equipment into Gaza to be used against Israel.  Up until now those materials were smuggled in illegally, but the fact that they had to be smuggled in made it more difficult to get them to Gaza and limited the amount of weapons and other materials that got through. 

The article at Yahoo.com focuses on the problems the closing of the border created for the people living in the area.  I have no doubt there were many people inconvenienced by the closed border, but I also have no doubt that the closed border is one of many reasons why the State of Israel still exists.  I do not think opening this border will lead to peace in the area, in fact I believe it is a prelude to another war on Israel by its neighbors.

The article points out:

“Israeli and American officials have expressed concerns that Hamas will exploit the opening to bring weapons and fighters into Gaza. In January 2008, masked militants blew open the Rafah border wall, allowing thousands of people to pour in and out of Egypt.

“Egyptian officials say they have security measures in place to keep weapons from crossing through Rafah.

“Hamas has long used tunnels to get arms into Gaza. Gaza militants now have military-grade rockets that have hit cities in southern Israel.

“Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official, told Channel 2 TV Friday that Israel’s primary concern is that military training personnel could cross to instruct Hamas fighters.”

As the Muslim Brotherhood strengthens its hold on Egypt, the previously peaceful relationship between Egypt and Israel will change.  I believe that at some point in the next six months, Israel can expect to be attacked by all of its Arab neighbors.  The first move in the game plan will be to go to the United Nations to see if a Palestinian State can be unilaterally declared.  If that does not work, an invasion will follow.  The Arab spring will be exposed as what it truly is–a plan to set up a Middle East caliphate run by the Muslim Brotherhood and to drive Israel into the sea.

Is Ethanol A Political Issue Or An Answer To America’s Energy Problems ?

I can’t believe that we have already entered the presidential primary season, but we have.  The fact that the first primary in Iowa makes the issue of government subsidies to ethanol a more important issue than it might otherwise be.

Yesterday The Weekly Standard posted an artice on ethanol and the comments of some politicians either supporting government subsidies for it or supporting the end of government subsidies.  The article opens with an Al Gore statement that his support for ethanol was related to his having the support of the farmers in Iowa when he was planning his presidential run.  Newt Gingrich claims that he supports ethanol because it will help America become energy independent. 

The article reports:

“Gingrich declared his commitment to make America energy self sufficient, in part through ethanol. The applause line/press lead of his speech: “if my choice is Iran, or Iowa, I prefer the money in Iowa. If my choice is Saudi Arabia, or South Dakota, I prefer the money in South Dakota.”” 

This is a nice soundbite, but is somewhat truth-challenged.  The article points out that in 2010 and in 2011 our biggest oil suppliers were Canada and Mexico–both NAFTA partners.  Our oil money is generally not going to Arab countries. 

The article further points out that one of the major reasons for the high cost of gasoline is the devaluation of the American dollar.  It has depreciated against both the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso. 

Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, also running in the Iowa primary, has come out in support of a gradual end to federal ethanol subsidies.

It will be interesting to see how the voters in Iowa react to the positions of both of these candidates.  

Should Voters Have To Show Identification ?

The question of voter ID is coming up in a number of states right now.  Earlier this week, I ran an article at rightwinggranny.com about the number of states passing or considering voter ID laws.  John Hinderaker at Power Line reported today that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a voter ID bill yesterday that would have required voters to show identification when they voted. The law included a provision that provided for issuance of free voter IDs to any legitimate voters who, for whatever reason, have no driver’s license or other form of identification.

The article at Power Line reports:

“Minnesotans, aware that voter fraud has likely played a key role in recent elections, overwhelmingly support the law: the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll, which routinely tilts left, found 80 percent support.”

In spite of public support for a voter ID requirement, the governor vetoed the bill. 

John HInderaker points out:

“Until now, Minnesota has had lax laws that facilitate voter fraud. Not only does the state have same-day registration, there is also an absurd system whereby a resident of a precinct can “vouch” for as many as 15 people who are not registered in the precinct and have no identification that would otherwise allow them to register. This means that the Democrats can station an operative at a polling place, bus in students from Wisconsin, illegal immigrants, etc., and allow them to vote illegally by having their operative vouch for the whole busload.”

This is not a good situation, and unfortunately, the governor’s veto will allow voter fraud to continue.

Some Numbers Behind The Unemployment Numbers

I am a numbers person, but when newscasters start telling me how many jobs were created and how many jobs were lost every month, my eyes glaze over.  Just give me the unemployment number, and I am happy.  Unfortunately, the number I want is not the number that tells the whole story.

On May 16th, the Wall Street Journal posted an article by Edward P. Lazear, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-2009, a professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a Hoover Institution fellow.  In the article, Professor Lazear explains why the job market seems so dismal despite reports that hundreds of jobs are being created every month. 

The Professor points out:

“First, the increase in job growth that occurred over the past two years results from a decline in the number of layoffs, not from increased hiring. In February 2009, a month during which the labor market lost more than 700,000 jobs, employers hired four million workers. In March 2011, employers hired four million workers. The number of hires is the same today as it was when we were shedding jobs at record rates.”

What he is saying here is that the number of people being hired is not increasing, it is remaining the same.  When I read this, I thought it was good news that there are fewer layoffs now than in February 2009, when we were in the heart of the recession.  However, the article points out that generally speaking layoffs occur early in a recession and are not necessarily an indication of anything.  The article further points out that at any point of the business cycle, even during a recession, workers are constantly being hired to replace workers who have left jobs or retired.  This does not represent an expansion or contraction of the workforce–it is simply a replacement of current workers.  I would like to add to that concept the idea that the baby boomers began turning 65 this year, and many of them have retired and will be retiring in the near future.

The article also points out that in a healthy American economy, American firms hire about 5.5 million workers per month.  We have not seen that number since early 2007.  The author states that one of the indicators of a healthy economy is a high levels of hiring, and high levels of separations. 

The article further states:

“No one would suggest that layoffs are good for workers, but what is good is a fluid labor market, where workers and firms constantly seek to produce better products and to find more efficient ways to produce them. High labor market churn is a characteristic of a strong economy. It generally means that workers are moving to better jobs in growing sectors that pay higher wages and away from declining sectors that pay lower wages.”

The article concludes with a prescription for a robust American labor market: “low taxes on capital investment, avoidance of excessively burdensome regulation, and open markets here and abroad.”  America is at a crossroads–we can stay on the road we are on and accept 9 percent unemployment as normal or we can follow the suggestions of Professor Lazear and go back to the 6 percent unemployment numbers we enjoyed during the George W. Bush administration.  All of this will be decided in the next electoin.

On A Personal Note

I have just returned home from Blogworld & New Media Expo 2011 in New York City.  At some time in what I hope will be the very near future, the impact of that visit will be obvious on this website.

While in New York City, my husband and I stayed at the Metro Apartments, 440 West 41st Street, New York, NY.  This was not the Ritz, but it was clean, the owners were remodeling the building to improve it, and the staff was very nice and very helpful.  The location was also great–it was right on the edge of the theatre district.  The hotel is located in the area of the city known as Hell’s Kitchen.  It was also close to the bus station, which was fantastic because we took the bus from Rhode Island and only had to walk across the street.  The room had a lot of street noise, but I think that is fairly common in New York City.  One of the desk clerks explained to us the Hell’s Kitchen used to be a less than wonderful neighborhood, but had changed dramatically in recent years because of “the mouse.”  He was referring to the impact that opening the Disney Store and the Disney Theatre has had on Times Square.  Mickey Mouse has had a very positive impact on Times Square and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Because I was curious, I checked out the age demographics of bloggers.  According to Social Media Today, as of June 7, 2010, 20.2 percent of bloggers are less than 20 years old; 53.3 percent of bloggers are 21 through 35 years old; 19.4 percent are 36 through 50 years old; and 7.1 percent of bloggers are age 51 or older.  The people at Blogworld generally reflected those numbers.  As an older blogger who is technically challenged (to say the least), I appreciated the patience and willingness of the people at the various exhibits to take the time to explain things to me.  The people running the exhibits at the show were very helpful and very informative.  Due to scheduling conflicts and cost restraints, I didn’t get to hear any of the speakers this year.  I hope to be back next year for exhibits and speakers.

Stay tuned for changes coming to this site!


Why I Am Having Trouble with Scott Brown’s Vote on Paul Ryan’s Budget Proposal

The topic of discussion after the election in New York’s 26th District has been whether or not the Republicans running for office should support Paul Ryan’s budget proposal regarding Medicare.  One long-time Republican campaign veteran in Massachusetts told me that there was no point in Scott Brown voting for the Ryan Budget–if Harry Reid thought it would pass, he would never bring it up for a vote.  I really hate that kind of thinking.  Either reforming Medicare is the right thing to do or it isn’t.  If it is the right thing to do, but Paul Ryan’s plan is not the right way, where is the alternative?  One thing that needs to made perfectly clear to every American voter–Medicare cannot continue to exist in its present form–it is going bankrupt.

The government’s actuary board issued a summary report (Summary Report on Social Security and Medicare) which stated:

“Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided.”

According to Forbes Magazine, under Obama’s heath care reform:

“…The 2010 Financial Statement of the United States Government, published by the Treasury Department last December, discloses repeatedly in several tables of data that the total of future cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals under Medicare as provided in current law due to Obamacare and President Obama’s Medicare reimbursement policies is $15 trillion!”

Another way that President Obama’s health care plan intends to cut the cost of Medicare is through the use of the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB.  This would be an independent Board set up to determine if a particular treatment for a patient is cost effective.  It sounds like a good idea, but people are not ‘cost effective’–people are individuals. 

Americans have had access to some of the best health care in the world up to this point.  We need to protect that health care–not allow it to go bankrupt or ration it.  We need political leaders who will tell us the truth–that Medicare cannot continue to exist in its present form–and then begin to discuss ways that it might be changed.  The current political gamesmanship is getting us nowhere.

The House Of Representatives Fights For Boeing

Yesterday’s Washington Times reported that Representative Tim Scott, who represents the First District of South Carolina, has introduced legislation to protect Boeing from the attacks of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is attempting to prevent Boeing from opening an assembly plant in South Carolina.  Because this plant would be opened in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, rather than Washington, where other Boeing assembly plants are located, the NLRB has accused Boeing of unfair labor practices.  It should be noted that the assembly plant to be opened in South Carolina creates new jobs–it does not move any jobs from Washington to South Carolina.  In essence the NLRB is preventing jobs from being created because those jobs are in a right-to-work state. 

The Job Protection Act would clarify that federal law does not give the NLRB the right to determine where a U. S. Company should do business. 

The article quotes Representative Scott as saying, “For the NLRB to punish a company for locating in a right-to-work state is an abuse of federal executive power.  This administration has clearly overstepped its bounds through the inappropriate actions of an unelected regulatory board.”” 

The article reports:

“House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, Minnesota Republican, has been trying to secure documents from the NLRB related to the Boeing case. So far he has received a short reply and no documents from the agency. “The NLRB is not immune from congressional oversight or public scrutiny,” Mr. Kline said in a statement. The committee is requesting information on the Boeing case because “there are legitimate questions over public statements made by NLRB officials and the timing of its complaint.” The NLRB needs to come clean on how and why it has taken action against Boeing.”

The Obama administration’s treatment of Boeing is an example of the federal government interfering with a company that would create jobs.  Government interference is one of the main reasons American unemployment rates remain high.  If we can shrink government and stop them from interfering in business, we will see the unemployment rate go down.

Chicago Politics Comes To Washington

President Obama gained his political experience in Chicago–a town known for hardball politics (and a powerful political machine).  He learned his lessons well.

Michael Barone posted an article at the Washington Examiner on Tuesday about the rule of law and the Obama administration.  The two don’t seem to be very well acquainted.

Mr. Barone begins by citing the waivers from Obamacare.  Thus far there have been 1,372 waivers given to businesses, local governments, unions and insurers, covering 3,095,593 individuals or families.  Of those 3,095,593 people impacted by those waivers, more than half are in plans run by labor unions.  Union members make up only 12 percent of the populations, yet they have received more than 50.3 percent of the waivers on Obamacare.  I thought the unions were strong supporters of Obamacare.  Have they changed their minds?  If they have changed their minds, will they help the rest of us overturn it?  Can the rest of us get waivers?  You get the point.

The Health of Human Services website says that the waiver process will be transparent, but it does not list the people who requested waivers that were turned down.  Hmmm.

Mr. Barone points out in his article that one of the basic principles of a democracy is the rule of law–which includes the principle that everyone is equal under the law.  That principle has been violated with Obamacare waivers–some of us are more equal than others.

The second principle of the rule of law is that you can’t make up the rules as you go along.  This principle is currently being violated by the Obama Administration in two areas–the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) attack on Boeing aircraft and the move by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to levy a gift tax on certain 501(c)(4) organizations that have spent money to elect Republicans.

The NLRB has decided that Boeing does not have the right to assembly its 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina instead of Washington because South Carolina is a right-to-work state.  Regardless of how that case is eventually settled in court, the expenses Boeing will incur in defending its right to do business wherever it chooses will have a chilling effect on businesses in America.  As a result of this dust-up, we can expect more companies to look into moving their operations overseas–adding to America’s unemployment problems.

The looming gift tax is a new idea–previously gift taxes have only been levied on money parents give to heirs or other family members in order to avoid estate taxes.  This change in the application of gift taxes may have a chilling effect of political donations to Republicans.

It is a shame that America has come to this.  However, the solution is relatively simple.  If you don’t like what you see politicians in Washington doing, vote them out.  The American people have to take some responsibility for what is currently going on.  If we don’t like it, we need to change it.  If gangster government and crony capitalism are ok with you, just keep voting for the people you have been voting for.  It’s up to you to share what you know and vote according to what you think is good for the country.


Funding Tax Delinquents With Taxpayer Money

Michelle Malkin posted an article at Townhall.com about the fact that nearly 4,000 stimulus recipients received $24 billion in Recovery Act funds — while owing more than $750 million in unpaid corporate, payroll and other taxes. 

When confronted with this information, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board pointed out that federal law does not prevent tax delinquents from receiving government contracts or grants. 

The article further reports:

“Even if such a prohibition existed, you can’t count on the IRS to perform due diligence on behalf of the American taxpayer, either. Last week, the Treasury Department inspector general found that the tax police have failed to prevent fraud in the stimulus law’s energy tax credit program. Some $6 billion in stimulus energy credits for homeowners have been claimed — but the inspector general’s audit found that 30 percent of credit-claimers had no record of homeownership. “I am troubled by the IRS’s continued failure to develop appropriate verification methods for distributing Recovery Act credits,” the Treasury Inspector watchdog said.”

The article also points out that the stimulus program actually cost jobs in some cases–many private sector jobs were crowded out by public jobs and programs.  Generally speaking, when the government gets bigger, the private sector gets smaller.  The stimulus program was further proof of that.  There is no way we can ever recover the money spent on the stimulus, but let’s be a little more careful about throwing money around in the future.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks To Congress

Yesterday Yahoo.com posted a Christian Science Monitor article about the reception that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received from the United States Congress yesterday.  The article credits at least some of the warm reception the Prime Minister received on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, long one of the most effective on Capitol Hill.  I am willing to acknowledge that the pro-Israel lobby is effective, but I think the reception given to Prime Minister Netanyahu also has to do with Americans’ sense of fair play.  I just don’t think a lot of Americans like the idea of an American President telling another country what its borders should be.

Today’s UK Telegraph had an interesting perspective on the speech:

“Right from the get go, with his “you got bin Laden” line, Netanyahu offered red meat to Congress as well as making enough noises about wanting to achieve peace and being ready to make “painful compromises” to persuade most Americans that he is not the roadblock in the Middle East.

“Of course, the speech won’t be seen that way in Britain. One of the most striking differences between the UK and the US is in how Israel and the Palestinians are viewed. I dare say that if Netanyahu had told the House of Commons that Hamas was the “Palestinian al-Qaeda” there would have been a fair few boos.”

It is interesting to me that the writer of the UK Telegraph piece does not believe that the British see Hamas as a terrorist organization. 

To me, the most important thing that the Prime Minister said was reported in the article at Yahoo.com:

“He called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to tear up his pact with Hamas, stand before his people, and say, “I will accept a Jewish state.”

“”Those six words will change history,” Netanyahu said. “They’ll make it clear to the Palestinians that this conflict must come to an end – that they’re not building a Palestinian state to continue the conflict with Israel but to end it.””

I truly do not understand how Israel can make peace with any nation or group of people who want to destroy it.  I think that is the reason Congress supported what the Prime Minister said–even Congress has a sense of fair play.

Another State Unwilling To Wait For Washington To Do Something

Yesterday, the Charleston Post and Courier reported that the South Carolina House of Representatives voted to approve a bill that would require state and local law enforcement to check a person’s immigration status during arrests and routine traffic stops if an officer suspects that person is in the country illegally.  It is expected that Gov. Nikki Haley will sign the bill.

South Carolina joins about thirty states that are considering comprehensive illegal immigration reform bills, many of which give law enforcement the right to check the status of people that they come in contact with in arrests and traffic stops. 

The article lists some of the major provisions of the bill:

–Determining what documents will be acceptable to prove immigration status or citizenship.

–Allowing the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to issue new fines between $15,000 and $50,000 to businesses that repeatedly break the 2008 law.

–Whether to add a $5 fee on international wire transfers of up to $500 and a 1 percent fee on transfers of more than $500.

 The article reports:

“An often cited 2010 study by the Federation of American Immigration Reform estimates that illegal immigrants cost the state $391 million annually, primarily in social services.”

We need controlled legal immigration (and more of it).  One of the reasons for the amount of illegal immigration that we have is that the government has so entangled the legal immigration process in red tape that it is nearly impossible (and expensive and time-consuming) to get through it.  What we need is a sensible and easy to understand immigration process and an end to illegal immigration.


Why Washington Doesn’t Fix Things

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner posted an editorial about the circular firing squad the Republicans have formed around Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.  The problem with reforming Medicare is not going to be the Democrats–it is going to be wobbly Republicans.  Newt Gingrich began the exodus; Scott Brown has followed him, forgetting who elected him.  The Scott Brown supporters in Massachusetts are reminding Massachusetts Republicans that Scott Brown is in Massachusetts and that he won’t be reelected if he supports the Ryan plan.  And that sort of thinking is the reason that America will continue in financial decline.  Massachusetts was the beginning of the American Revolution.  The patriots in Massachusetts had the courage to stand up for what was right.  I am truly sorry Scott Brown has chosen to speak out against Paul Ryan’s proposal.  He could have at least kept quiet.

Meanwhile, the Republicans lost the special election in New York State.  The pundits are saying that the Ryan plan was the reason for the loss.  Let’s look at the initial results of the New York special election. 

Late last night, the Daily Caller reported:

“With 89 percent of precincts reporting, Hochel (D) led Corwin (R) by 48-to-42 percent, the AP reports.”

There are a few things that need to be noted here.  There was a third-party candidate in this race with a questionable relationship with the Tea Party (he had run as a Democrat in previous campaigns) who took votes away from the Republican candidate.  The Democrat candidate did not get the majority of the votes; she just got enough to win.  During the 2010 Congressional election, one of the tactics the Democrats used in Massachusetts was to run third-party candidates to dilute the Republican vote.  I suspect that was done in this election.

The Democrats needed to win in New York.  The poured money into the state and ran misleading ads against the Paul Ryan plan.  I don’t know if the “pushing granny over the cliff in her wheelchair” ad ran there, but it wouldn’t surprise me.  The Republican candidate was not conversant enough with the details of the Ryan plan to successfully communicate what it was.  That is something that needs to be corrected.  All Republicans need a crash course in what Paul Ryan’s budget is and what it isn’t.  Were it not for the likes of Newt Gingrich and Scott Brown, there would be a chance of getting the Ryan budget passed.  Now I suspect we will see more wobbly Republicans and no improvement of the country’s spending problem.

This Might Be A Reason Why Peace In The Middle East Is So Elusive

Today Haaretz.com reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Arab countries against U. S. plots to sow division in the area in order to save Israel. 

The article reports:

“”Their scheme is to save the Zionist regime, global arrogance and U.S. interests… the main enemies of nations are the U.S., its allies and the Zionist regime,” Ahmadinejad was quoted by Press TV as saying about the U.S.”

Is their any doubt about the intentions of the Arab nations toward Israel? 

Ahmadinejad further stated:

“Criticizing the U.S. government, he asked, “What is the difference between a country ruled by one or two [dictators] for thirty to forty years and a country dominated by two parties for many years?””

As Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated today (according to Power Line) in speaking about democracy:

“What will change all this (current conditions in Arab countries)? One word.

“Democracy. Real, genuine, democracy.

“Democracy, I don’t just mean elections.

“I mean Freedom of Speech. Freedom of the Press. Freedom of Assembly.

“The Rule of Law. Rights for women, for gays, for minorities, for everyone.

“What the people of the Middle East need is what you have in America, and what we have in Israel.


“It’s time to recognize this basic truth:

“Israel is not what’s wrong about the Middle East.

“Israel is what’s right about the Middle East.”

The contrast is obvious.  Democracies support freedom.  Tyrants support other tyrants.

This Will Make Any Peace Between Israel And A Palestinian State Impossible

Yesterday CNS News posted an article stating:

“”The U.S. administration will fail, just as all others have in the past, in forcing Hamas to recognize [Israel],” a Hamas spokesman declared Sunday after President Obama once again pressed the terrorist group to relinquish violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

Why in the world would anyone be stupid enough to attempt to make peace with someone who has sworn to wipe them off the planet?  Anyway, the article continues:

“Hamas’ refusal to repudiate violence and recognize Israel underscores should make any P.A. government that includes Hamas ineligible for U.S. support and funding, according to congressional critics. So far the adminstration has adopted a “wait and see approach.”

“A Hamas leader said Sunday the reconciliation deal with Fatah strengthens the Hamas’ approach to the conflict – the approach of armed “resistance.”

“Khalil Al-Hayya said the agreement had “boosted the resistance” and urged Fatah to “stand united behind the program of resistance since it is the only one capable of ending the occupation.””

“”The “occupation,” in Hamas’ view, is the entire state of Israel, as established in 1948 – not merely the territories captured from Jordanian and Egyptian control in 1967. The Hamas covenant dates its struggle against the “Zionist invaders” to the late 1930s.

“Further underlining Israel’s concerns about Hamas’ ideology and agenda, Hamas lawmaker and Islamic cleric Yunis al-Astal in a recent interview predicted a “great massacre” in years to come.”

If Hamas believes that the Palestinians are entitled to all the land Israel now occupies, agreeing on borders might be a problem.  Stay tuned.

Protecting Criminals From Uncomfortable Lliving Conditions At The Expense Of The General Population

Yesterday Breitbart.com reported that the Supreme Court of the United States has ordered the State of California to release 33,000 prisoners. 

An article posted at Hot Air reports:

“The Supreme Court on Monday endorsed a court order requiring California to cut its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates to improve health care for those who remain behind bars.

“The court said in a 5-4 decision that the reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct longstanding violations of inmates’ rights. The order mandates a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, still far above the system’s designed capacity.

“There are more than 142,000 inmates in the state’s 33 adult prisons, meaning roughly 32,000 inmates will need to be transferred to other jurisdictions or released.”

The artaicle at Breitbart.com reports:

“Gov. Jerry Brown sought and signed a bill this year that would reduce the prison population by about 40,000 inmates by transferring jurisdiction for many low-level offenders to counties. The law is stalled until the lawmakers or voters authorize money to pay for the transfer. Much of the money is intended to help counties handle the responsibility of housing convicts.

“”As we work to carry out the Court’s ruling, I will take all steps necessary to protect public safety,” he said in a prepared statement.

“Several organizations, from the state prison guards union to the California State Association of Counties, backed Brown’s realignment plan–and the elusive funding–as the most practical way to comply with the court’s mandate.

“”If we don’t do it smart, we could have all those people come back for additional crimes,” said Chuck Alexander, executive vice president of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.”

This is not a good situation.  I am sorry that the prisons in California are overcrowded, but releasing criminals into the general population does not seem to be the correct answer to the problem.