Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekend Report

It's been a long two weeks.....

I picked up a bug on the flight to NYC and the St. Patrick's Day parade last week, (which was great fun) and I've been dealing with the pest since then.  My son Jim politely 'nudged' me yesterday to get writing again, but between the bug in my head and the incredible number of assaults on liberty and sanity that the Obama camp has initiated, I told him that I felt as if I was being overrun by aggressors and didn't know which one to shoot at first.

Let's see if we can get a few shots off at some of the most egregious one's.....

  • Obama signed the order allowing Federal funding of research on new lines of embryonic stem cells.  Thoughtlessly brushing aside the ethical issues of a majority of citizens that were the basis of the previous hold on creating human embryos for research as "ideology", Obama said "Now, this order is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America. But let's be clear: Promoting science isn't just about providing resources -- it's also about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about letting scientists like those who are here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient -- ".  George Bush, recognizing the serious conflicting issues, had not only crafted an excellent compromise that respected the sanctity of human life, but was the first President to allow Federal funding of embryonic stem cells.  Obama, however, didn't remove ideology from the equation, he just moved the goal posts.

    Where Bush had put the stake in the ground  against taking potential human life based on ethics and morality, Obama merely rejects human cloning, but provides no higher grounding for the basis of his position except his personal belief, which I guess is subject to change on a whim 
    "And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society."  Sure, just like the "Octo-mom" is a clear example of how government sponsored Medicaid controls prevented that assault on our sensibilities and wallet.

    Stem cell research is barreling along, funded by the National Institutes of Health, private investors, European governments and U.S. states. Federally funded embryo-destroying stem cell research would be a drop in the bucket. Why offend the religious beliefs of millions of Americans for such a small contribution?  Obama's action was purely designed to satisfy the abortion-wing of the Democrat party base.

    Further proving the needlessness of Obama's action, Researchers
    announced yesterday that they can create embryonic-like stem cells from human skin, eliminating the need to compromise on any ethical issues.

  • Obama proposed a tax increase and deduction change that will decrease charitable giving.  His basis for his position is an Orwellian "fairness"!  Obama's definition of fairness?  "When I give $100, I get the same amount of deduction as when some -- a bus driver who's making $50,000 a year or $40,000 a year gives that same hundred dollars. Right now, he gets 28 percent -- he gets to write off 28 percent, I get to write off 39 percent. I don't think that's fair."  Notice that there wasn't any comment regarding the potential impact on the charities, or their constituents, who will be negatively affected by this proposal.

    Gregory Helvering explains the "
    double whammy": "By simultaneously increasing tax rates to 39.6 percent and decreasing the tax benefits of deductions to 28 percent, the government can (a) eliminate the increased tax incentive for giving and thus protect its new revenue; and (b) at the same time, reduce the tax benefit for the giving already occurring and thus generate even more money for the government.  The government keeps its higher revenues that might be reduced by increased contributions, while the charities see existing contributions fall (since the tax cost to contributors of even the existing level of contributions increases).  There is an effective shift of money from private charity to government -- the exact opposite of what would occur if there were only a single whammy (an increase in tax rates)."

    This is one more signal that the real motivation here is "Statism"; displacing private charity with State dolled-out benefits provides increased control over the disposition of greater amounts of your money, and targeted recipient groups.

  • Think that there's going to be a major debate over "Cap-and-Trade" legislation and it's associated regressive tax implications on every item purchased by everyone in the country, regardless of income, or tax bracket?  WRONG!  Yesterday, the EPA under Obama, issued a "finding" that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that threatens human health and can thus be regulated under the 1990 Clean Air Act.  This is how Obama will "Change and Transform" America.

    This is an unprecedented assault on the citizenry of this country based on scientific fraud claiming that a basic element of our atmosphere, a byproduct of of human and animal life, and a necessary element for the majority of plant life on the on the planet, is now classified as a "pollutant".    If science were the driver of the issue, one would  have to ask why the EPA has not declared water vapor,
    dihydrogen monoxide, a more potent 'greenhouse' gas  a pollutant.

    Our industrial power and economic freedom are being taken away via bureaucratic fiat.  Our representative government has been usurped by Obama, who apparently answers to no one, but seems to lean towards a global government.

  • The EPA's action coincide's with a broader UN assault on the economic order of wealth in the Democratic West.  Fox News reports that a United Nations document on "climate change" will be distributed next week that envisions a huge reordering of the world economy involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes industrial relocations, new tariffs, subsidies, and complicated greenhouse gas cap-and-trade schemes all under the control of the UN, as a successor to the Kyoto Treaty.  The Obama administration has said it supports the treaty process if, in the words of a U.S. State Department spokesman, it can come up with an "effective framework" for dealing with global warming.  The paper makes no effort to calculate the magnitude of the costs and disruption involved, but despite the discreet presentation, makes clear that they will reverberate across the entire global economic system.

  • Obama and the Democrats have been acting like Madame Defarge, yelling "off with their heads" as they excoriate the managers of AIG and other financial entities that have received Government assistance during this crisis.  The loudest of these jackals were Obama ( who accepted over $100K from AIG);  Charlie Rangel who owes back taxes, misused subsidized NYC rental apartments, and  and tried to strong-arm AIG to fund a Center named for him at NY's City College; and last but not least, the fraud-encrusted Sen. Dodd who took the most money from AIG than anyone else in Congress (he actually just beat out Obama - but of course he had more time), and who also was surprised to find out that he was a VIP with Countrywide,  entitled to those low rates.  Oh, yes, he also finally admitted that he was the one who secured the wording in the Bill that allowed the existing contracts to be paid, that is, after he initially denied that he did.  What a crew!

  • Our star tax-evading, Treasury Secretary, after a somewhat positively received plan for addressing the difficult to value legacy assets of the banks, revealed his lack of experience, and agreed with the Chinese that the Dollar should be replaced as the "de facto" international reserve currency, immediately sinking the Dollar and the stock market.   As the Wall Street Journal points out  "The dollar's status as a reserve currency gives the U.S. enormous advantages, and it should be protected ferociously by our public officials. It means we don't have to repay our debts in foreign currency and that our borrowing costs are cheaper. To the extent that the rest of the world follows a dollar standard, it also gives us far greater global sway."   This situation also pointed out the not-so-subtle admonition that the Chinese were giving Obama regarding his budget and the inordinate deficit financing he is planning that will not only debase the Dollar but as the world's reserve currency, will dramatically affect world trade.  We can only hope that Obama and the rest of his team quickly learn the difference between campaigning and governing.  Unfortunately, its not apparent that they will.

  • The "Poster Child" for Government Health Insurance, the Massachusetts health care insurance program  initiated by Mitt Romney three years ago, is about to collapse, swallowing the state budget with it.  The program provides low- or no-cost coverage to about 165,000 residents, or three-fifths of the newly insured, and is budgeted at $880 million for 2010, a 7.3% single-year increase that is likely to be optimistic. The state's overall costs on health programs have increased by 42%  since 2006.   So.....they're now trying to figure out how to control costs, and guess how that's turning out?

    They've increased fines for those not signing up, increased taxes on smokers, raised fees, and now are  
    considering options to exclude coverage of services , limit coverage to services, or set a limitation on the total amount of money available for health care services - Rationing!  Oh, yes,  one other additional change....cutting the fees paid to providers.

    One of the main selling points of the plan was that the more people covered, the lower the costs.  But, increasing access and lowering costs are irreconcilable.  In addition, if they had said that they would have to cut fees paid to providers, they would have never gotten the support of the hospitals, doctors, and nurses that was essential to passing this legislation.

    Since the States have been touted as the testing labs for Federal programs, do you think anyone in the Obama camp is studying this? Do you think that they care?  I don't.  They want government controlled health care, and they don't care how they get it.  The financial crisis has just been Obama's first issue.  Brace yourself.  We're in for a lot more trouble.

  • Chairman Mao had his "Red Guards", and Obama has his Acorn legions.   Over the weekend, Obama supporters knocked on over a million doors, engaging citizens in "discussion" over Obama's proposed budget.  Think about the intimidation factor involved in having an 'activist' in your face about supporting Obama.  It's kind'a like a friendly Union organizer asking you to sign a card to authorize a union vote.....they know where you live, and where your kids are.  Adding insult to injury in this affront to democracy, these Acorn thugs are being funded by your tax dollars.  This needs to be stopped.

  • Obama was going to regain America's standing in the world (although we were actually doing pretty well with the countries who really count - the UK, Germany, France, and the rest of Europe and Japan).  Now that he's in office and been hitting the "Reset" button, we seem to be in trouble with all the above, and they're aghast at his relentless drive towards huge deficit budgets.  Plus North Korea won't return Hillary's phone calls and is threatening to launch a ballistic missile; Russia is threatening to militarize the Arctic; China is bumping our Navy ships; Chavez is inviting the Russians into Venezuela, and Iran is rushing towards building it's nuclear weaponry.

    Welcome to the neighborhood Barry!

Change?  You betcha!


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