Saturday, July 18, 2009

op ed review 7/19


House Democratic leaders offered a $1.5 trillion plan that would make health care a European style entitlement for all.

“If you think government is too big and too costly, wait until Obamacare kicks in..You don’t need an accounting degree or clairvoyant powers. The administrative costs and spillover spending effects will be astronomical.”

A study found that the 5.4% surtax on top wage-earners proposed by House Democrats to help fund health care would push top tax rates over 50% in 39 states.

9 reasons Pelosi's health care surtax is disastrous

A leader of fiscally conservative House Democrats said the plan to overhaul the U.S. health-care system is losing support and will be stuck in committee without changes. "Last time I checked, it takes seven Democrats to stop a bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee…We had seven against it last Friday; we have 10 today."

A Connecticut firefighter who lost an appeals court ruling by Sonia Sotomayor told a Senate panel that in his line of work, advancement has to be determined by skill and qualifications.

Three “centrist” Republicans announced they'd support Sotomayor even as the Senate's minority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said he'd vote no.

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre says Sotomayor does not deserve to be on the high court because she does not support Americans’ right to self-defense.

An unnoticed report from the American Petroleum Institute that oil and natural gas drilling activities in the U.S. fell nearly 46 percent in the second quarter from a year ago. Drilling now stands at its lowest level since 2003. Energy companies know that cap-and-trade legislation is aimed directly at them and are reducing drilling operations accordingly. Watch for higher prices.

In their zeal to protect their members from politically hazardous votes on issues such as gay marriage and gun control, Democrats running the House of Representatives are taking extraordinary steps to muzzle Republicans in this summer's debates on spending bills. On Thursday, for example, Republicans had hoped to force debates on abortion, school vouchers and medical marijuana, as well as gay marriage and gun control. No way, Democrats said.

President Obama has proposed a tax on charity.

The National Education Association has thrown its full support behind homosexual "marriage." When a representative of the Conservative Caucus spoke against the resolution and mentioned the words "marriage should be between a man and a woman," the speaker was booed. Also up for a vote was a resolution for the NEA to take a "no position" stance on the issue of abortion. That proposal was voted down 61 percent to 39 percent. During the meeting, the organization's retiring general counsel, Bob Chanin, complained that "conservative and right-wing bastards" are after the NEA and its state affiliates.

Union “card-check” organizing is dead, for now.

If Palin Derangement Syndrome-afflicted media members thought the Alaska Governor's surprising pre-Fourth of July announcement meant she was getting out of politics, her op-ed in Tuesday's Washington Post should change their minds. In a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration, Sarah Palin took off the gloves to attack the recently House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, disaffectionately known as cap-and-tax.

The United States may have narrowly missed a repeat of the 9/11 attacks in June and, apparently, even the FBI doesn’t realize it.

Great moments in socialized medicine: In the UK, thousands of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers face a lifetime of agony because they are not being treated quickly enough, according to a new report.

Medical research insiders know that embryonic-stem-cell technology is proving a dead end -- Dr. Bernadine Healy, a former director of the National Institutes of Health and once an ES-cell-research enthusiast, calls it "obsolete." But the Obama administration has opened wide the federal funding floodgates -- the triumph of a big special-interest PR and lobbying campaign. In fact, the research will line the pockets of a relatively few individuals…

Obama's chief science advisor wrote a 1977 book that recommended compulsory sterilization and even abortion in some cases, as part of a government population control regime.

The unborn have memories, according to medical researchers who used sound and vibration stimulation, combined with sonography, to reveal that the human fetus displays short-term memory from at least 30 weeks gestation - or about two months before they are born.

The woman at the center of Roe v. Wade was arrested at the confirmation hearing for Sotomayor. Norma McCorvey, 61, of Texas, better known as "Jane Roe", was arrested during the opening statement of Sen. Al Franken. McCorvey eventually become a notable opponent of the procedure.

Vice President Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that the federal government needs to spend more money in order to avoid bankruptcy.



A Reckless Congress

Wall Street Journal 7/17

Say this about the 1,018-page health-care bill that House Democrats unveiled this week and that President Obama heartily endorsed: It finally reveals at least some of the price of the reckless ambitions of our current government. With huge majorities and a President in a rush to outrun the declining popularity of his agenda, Democrats are bidding to impose an unrepealable European-style welfare state in a matter of weeks.

Mr. Obama's February budget provided the outline, but the House bill now fills in the details. To wit, tax increases that would take U.S. rates higher even than most of Europe. Yet even those increases aren't nearly enough to finance the $1 trillion in new spending, which itself is surely a low-ball estimate. Meanwhile, the bill would create a new government health entitlement that will kill private insurance and lead to a government-run system.

Hyperbole? That's what people said when we warned about this last fall in "A Liberal Supermajority," but even we underestimated the ideological willfulness of today's national Democrats. Consider only a few of the details:

A huge new income surtax. The bill's main financing comes from another tax increase on top of the increase already scheduled for 2011 under Mr. Obama's budget. The surtax starts at one percentage point for adjusted gross income above $350,000 in 2011, rising to two points in 2013; a 1.5 point surtax at incomes above $500,000, rising to three in 2013; and a whopping 5.4 percentage points in 2011 and beyond on incomes above $1 million. This would raise the top marginal federal tax rate back to roughly 47% or 48%, if you include the Medicare tax and the phase-out of certain deductions and exemptions. With the current top rate at 35%, this would be the largest rate increase outside the Great Depression or world wars.

The average U.S. top combined state-federal marginal tax rate would hit about 52%. This would be higher than in all but three (Denmark, Sweden, Belgium) of the 30 countries measured by the OECD. According to the nearby table compiled by the Heritage Foundation, taxpayers in at least five U.S. states would pay higher marginal rates even than Sweden. South Korea, which Democrats worry is stealing American jobs, would be able to grab even more as its highest rate is a far more competitive 38.5%.......America's millionaires aren't that stupid; far fewer of them will pay these rates for very long, if at all. They will find ways to shelter income, either by investing differently or simply working less. Small businesses that pay at the individual rate will shift to pay the 35% corporate rate. When the revenue doesn't materialize, Democrats will move to soak the middle class with a European-style value-added tax.

Phony numbers: Democrats will have to come up with something, because even the surtax puts their bill at least $300 billion short of honest financing. The public insurance "option" doesn't even begin until 2013 and the costs are heavily weighted toward the later years, but the tax hikes start in 2011. So under Congress's 10-year budget window, the House bill is able to pay for seven years of spending with nine years of taxes. Andy Laperriere of the ISI Group estimates the bill would add $95 billion to the deficit in 2019 alone. Says the Congressional Budget Office Director: "It raises the amount of activity that is growing at this unsustainable rate." No matter, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is whisking the bill through House committees even before CBO has had a chance to score it in detail. As Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan put it to us, "We will not have read it, and we will not have a score of it, but we will have passed it out of committee."

A new payroll tax. Unemployment is at 9.5% and rising, but Democrats will nonetheless impose a new eight percentage point payroll tax on employers who don't provide health insurance for employees. This is on top of the current 15% payroll tax, and in addition to a new 2.5-percentage point tax on individuals who don't buy health insurance. This means that any employer with more than $400,000 in payroll would have to pay at least 25% above the salary to hire someone. Result: Many fewer new jobs, with a higher structural jobless rate, much as Europe has experienced as its welfare states have expanded.

Other new taxes, including an as yet undetermined levy on private health plans. This tax, which Democrats say could raise $100 billion or so, would make it even harder for private plans to compete with the government plan, which would already benefit from government subsidies and lower capital costs…

We could go on, and we will in coming days. But the most remarkable quality of this health-care exercise is its reckless disregard for economic and fiscal reality. With the economy still far from a healthy recovery, and the federal government already nearly $2 trillion in deficit, Democrats want to ram through one of the greatest raids on private income and business in American history. The world is looking on, agog, and wondering why the United States seems intent on jumping off this cliff.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:



"Capitalism and consumerism have brought the world to the brink of economic and environmental collapse, the Prince of Wales has warned. And in a searing indictment on capitalist society, Charles said we can no longer afford consumerism and that the 'age of convenience' was over.' He then got in his limo and was driven to his other palace…..."

-Mark Steyn

"What the country needs now is a new bureaucracy to manage the growing appetite for apologies, amends and remedies for various other slights. The apology could be the lasting legacy of Barack Obama. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of oppressed people are no doubt eager to line up for their apology, waiting to be rewarded for slights real and imaginary, ranging from inability to find a parking space to ancient indignities suffered by long-forgotten ancestors."

-Wesley Pruden

"When the mainstream media is preoccupied with [Michael Jackson], it's probably doing, on margin, less damage than when it's dealing with public policy."

-George Will

"House Chairman Charlie Rangel is proposing a tax hike on upper incomes to fund universal health care. Upper-income Americans already work four months a year for the government. Government employees don't work four months a year for the government."

-Argus Hamilton



A California court has ruled in favor of a student who was insulted for defending traditional marriage and has ordered the college to strike from its website a sexual harassment policy that censors speech deemed "offensive" to homosexual people. Jonathan Lopez, a student at Los Angeles City College, was delivering a speech on his Christian faith in speech class when professor John Matteson interrupted him, called him a "fascist b----rd" for mentioning a moral conviction against homosexual marriage and later told him to "ask God what your grade is."



A group committed to establishing an international Islamic empire and reportedly linked to Al Qaeda is stepping up its Western recruitment efforts by holding its first official conference in Chicago.. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global Sunni network with reported ties to confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Al Qaeda in Iraq's onetime leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. HuT feigns opposition to violence but nevertheless wants the imposition of Islamic law - shariah - by any means necessary.,2933,533525,00.html



Bjorn Lomberg: “Discussions about global warming are marked by an increasing desire to stamp out "impure" thinking, to the point of questioning the value of democratic debate. But shutting down discussion simply means the disappearance of reason from public policy. In March, Al Gore's science adviser and prominent climate researcher Jim Hansen proclaimed that when it comes to dealing with global warming, the "democratic process isn't working".

Just how bad is cap-and-trade for America? If it becomes law, it will provide every American with a new interior decorator - Al Gore. Bet you didn't know that was included in the deal, did you? It will force all of us to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade our homes with new energy efficient windows, doors and even appliances before we sell or borrow against equity.

“ temperatures have dropped by 0.74° F since the 2006 release of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." How ... inconvenient.”



President Obama is “pulling a page from the community organizing playbook and he’s overwhelming the system….It’s a calculated tactic, straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and it seems to be working.” Alinsky was a Chicago Marxist who laid out a strategic blueprint by which radical “community organizers” could incrementally transform America into a socialist state.

“Obama Finally Finds Something We Can’t Afford: Military Superiority” Imagine a fighter jet that would give the United States complete air superiority in any conflict. An aircraft that’s faster, has longer range, An aircraft so advanced that the armed forces of every country on earth are scared to death of it and know that they would be defenseless against it for years to come. We have that plane. It’s called the F-22 Raptor, and our President and Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama, hates it.

“On the 6th of November last, I made a wager with some of my associates in London and Zurich that within a year they would be pining for the return of George W. Bush and his ''cowboy presidency" As of today, my friends have collectively conceded and are forwarding payment…… the reality of the world without the United States being the economic and military super power thus potentially ushering in the demise of Western Civilization”

This week's dust-up over a mere $700,000 federal employees "group-hug" at the ritzy Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix made me chuckle. Ah, the memories that story brought back from my twenty-five years as an authentic, although sometimes reluctant, government junketeer. I estimate the cumulative costs to the.. taxpayer for my gov junkets over twenty-five years of civil service employment at a minimum of $35,000 -- and for that investment, whether I was in D.C., Denver, Anchorage, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Reno, I learned how to stretch my arms behind my back (a motivational training exercise), why America is an evil place because of the income gap (motivational banquet keynote speaker at Ft. Collins, Colorado), and how to play a game with five other people called: Stranded on a Desert Island (a motivational team building exercise)…If you think AIG spent a lot of money on entertaining its executives in style, they were pikers compared to Uncle Sam.

The Treasury Department, Bureau of Public Debt advertised Friday for a contractor to put on “Humor in the Workplace” training for Treasury executives. When several conservatives on Capitol Hill complained about the waste of money, the ad disappeared.

“During my long and now doomed love affair with newspapers, I have become a connoisseur of evergreen headlines billboarding stories so predictable and so repeatable that the reader is immediately overcome by deja vu. The ultimate example: JERSEY OFFICIAL INDICTED; MOB TIES ALLEGED. Back in the summer of 1999, the New York Times came close to matching this gold standard with a headline so earnest and so futile that it easily could have been published in 1959: PEDIATRICIANS URGE LIMITING TV WATCHING. But never underestimate journalism's capacity for progress in creating new evergreen themes. The lead story in the print edition of Sunday's Times is ballyhooed: CHENEY IS LINKED TO CONCEALMENT OF C.I.A. PROJECT…….The new administration, of course, is fast on its way toward creating its own collection of timeless headlines. Beyond the obvious (BIDEN CLARIFIES REMARKS) and the cliched (OBAMA OFFERS MESSAGE OF "HOPE"), there always is the current White House talking point (PRESIDENT URGES 'PATIENCE" ON ECONOMY). And we are only six months into the Age of Obama -- which promises to produce enough evergreens to reforest newspaper journalism.”

Jonah Goldberg: “Please don’t look at the socialized medicine in the corner; we’re hunting Cheneys.”

Michelle Malkin: “Inside the Monstrous Obamacare Bureaucracy”

The theft of Norman Coleman's Senate seat was remarkably brazen for the way it was done in broad daylight….One member of the Minnesota canvassing board, a state Supreme Court justice, conceded that some ballots were probably counted twice, but he said there was not much anybody could do about it. In more than 25 precincts, officials counted more ballots than actual voters; this was put down to well-meant enthusiasm. If everyone has a duty to vote, who could scold a voter for going above and beyond the call of duty?....the way (Al Frnaken) got to Washington, and the easy acceptance of fraud, will be remembered as typical of the times, an era when avarice reigned, and the clever swindle was a joke to be played by a clown.

The children of Republican politicians are now a target-rich environment for Democrats and media demagogues. It makes you wonder how many good people otherwise willing to serve, perhaps even better than those serving us now, are deciding to stay away from politics because of ruthlessness from Democrats and the media.

George Will: “How does the Obama administration love organized labor? Let us count the ways it uses power to repay unions for helping to put it in power. It has given the United Auto Workers majority ownership of Chrysler. It has sent $135 billion of supposed stimulus money to state governments to protect unionized public-sector employees from layoffs and other sacrifices that private-sector workers are making….”



Must see, July 20, 1969.

Another must see: to date no one in America has better defined Palin Derangement Syndrome than comedian Jackie Mason”

Yet another must see: The Sam Adams Alliance has released a satirical YouTube video called “Health Rations and You!” that should be viewed by every American during the health care debate.

Russian politicians refuse to shake Obama’s hand?

Organizing tea party patriots:

We have aggregated over 75,000 blogs from across the country and have broken them down by state and issue. We hope that you will find NetRight Nation as a resource for your center-right blogging needs.

Team Sarah is a diverse coalition of Americans dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process.



"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. ... We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end."

-George Orwell

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."

-Thomas Jefferson

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."

-Thomas Jefferson

"I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson No. 1 about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do."

-Ronald Reagan


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