Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good Government - It's Hard To Find


The words of Thomas Jefferson come to mind these days. He said during his first inaugural address, in 1801: "A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

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I would like to hear from any of my readers who are on Medicare, and wish to inform those of you who are not yet old enough to be forced into this scheme. After one year on Medicare, at a price of $47 per person for Part B coverage, I am now informed that that same coverage will jump to $153 per person per month. Oh, yes - whereas prior to the new contract, Medicare covered a person for emergency care anywhere in the world, it will now cover a person only in the good old USA. How's that for Hope and Change? Do we still believe our taxes will not rise, the Obamacare Plan will save us money, and that even though 500 Billion will be taken from Medicare while the new plan is to push all people 55 years old onto the government plan, there will be no rationing??!! I talked to my care provider, who told me that the directive for the rise in rates came from the federal government, not the provider. Those of us on Social Security received no increase this year, and yet government employees were just granted a 2% increase in salary.

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Pat Buchanan: Unemployment is at 10 percent, near the postwar high of 1983. Fifteen million Americans are out of work. Ten million more have given up looking or are working fewer hours than they would like.

We have been losing jobs every month for two years.

Why, then, are we still bringing immigrants into the United States at a rate of 125,000 a month to take jobs from fellow Americans and compete with our unemployed for the jobs that open up?

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ABC News reports: In a massive security breach, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) inadvertently posted online its entire airport screening procedures manual, including some of the most closely guarded secrets regarding special rules for diplomats and CIA and law enforcement officers. The most sensitive parts of the 93-page Standard Operation Procedures were apparently redacted in a way that computer savvy individuals easily overcame.

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Fox News Radio reports: President Obama and the First Family were planning a “non-religious Christmas,” according to Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. Ms. Rogers reportedly told a gathering of former social secretaries that the Obamas did not intend on putting the Nativity scene on display – a longtime East Room tradition. The account was reported in the Fashion and Style section of The New York Times. The White House confirmed to the Times that there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive – but in the end – tradition won out – and the Nativity scene is once again in its traditional East Room spot. [It has been said, but not confirmed, that the Obama's do not give Christmas gifts to their children.... If so, doesn't that make you wonder why not?]

Acorn Funding and the EPA


The American Spectator notes that "Congress -- and possibly Citigroup -- may be gearing up to start funding the organized crime syndicate ACORN again. The current federal funding ban expires Dec. 18. On Tuesday evening the House Appropriations Committee rejected on a party line vote of 9 to 5 an amendment offered by Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) that would have blocked federal funding of the radical advocacy group. The amendment was needed because the Obama administration thumbed its nose at a provision in spending legislation that banned ACORN funding until the end of next week.

In a ruling revealed late last month by the Justice Department the Obama administration invented a loophole allowing the government to continue funding the president's friends at ACORN. Through the magic of legal interpretation, the language forbidding funding the group was transformed by Acting Assistant Attorney General David J. Barron into a requirement not "to refuse payment on binding contractual obligations that predate" the original funding ban."

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According to its October 2009 quarterly finance report, the Hillary Clinton for President campaign has one outstanding debt: $995,500 owed to Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, LLC, which is run by Democratic pollster Mark Penn. According to The Hill today, the same firm received a $2.8 million stimulus subcontract "for media services and outreach to help prepare 'unready' households for the DTV transition" -- a contract that Republican Senators contend was "pure waste." This news is from the Washington Examiner.

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From Byron York come comments regarding :"The Billionaires Behind the Hate" is the title of a new report published by the Center for American Progress, which is the liberal think tank run by John Podesta, the former Clinton chief of staff who also ran the Obama transition and serves as an outside adviser to the Obama White House. The supposedly hateful billionaires in the article's title are brothers Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, one of the nation's largest conglomerates. And what do they hate? The "progressive agenda." The Kochs, according to Podesta's group, are "responsible for a vicious attack campaign aimed directly at obstructing and killing progressive reform." First, they opposed the stimulus, financing "television and radio ads deriding the recovery package as simply 'pork' spending." Imagine that! Then, through the group Americans for Prosperity, they helped organize some of the first "Tea Party" protests.

From there, it was on to stopping environmental cap-and-trade legislation, and health care reform.

[One must assume here that The Center for American Progress, George Soros and Michael Moore, among others, traffic in "love" only - not a far left, Progressive, big government control, America as she is-hating agenda.] If you are looking for a sign that the White House, having gone through Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Glenn Beck, and others, is flailing around in the search for new enemies to blame for its troubles, you can't do better than the new Center for American Progress report.
[Now that we have been introduced to a fine company, I wonder how many of us would like to boost their sales by knowing just what products they make? If you are one, you can find them at http://www.worldofkoch.com/ I plan to enrich them, myself! Just to get you started, here are some of the products: Vanity Fair, Brawney, Angel Soft, Quilted Northern, Sparkle, Dixie cups and Stainmaster carpet care. It occurs to me that most of these products are made to assist in cleaning up "messes", and we sure have one in Washington!]
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Politico reports that: In a bold but risky year-end strategy, Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections. “We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday.
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Fox News reports that a top White House economic official warned:

“If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

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The New York Times points out: Senate Democrats have provided few details about their latest health care proposal, but this much seems clear: Anyone who wants to buy the same health benefits as members of Congress, or to buy coverage through Medicare, should be prepared to fork over a large chunk of cash.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, a family of four earning $54,000 in 2016, when the health legislation is fully in effect, would be eligible for a subsidy of $10,100 to help defray the cost of insurance under the health legislation being debated by the Senate. By then, one of the most popular federal plans, a nationwide Blue Cross and Blue Shield policy, is projected to cost more than $20,000. Senate Democrats have been careful to say that their proposal is not intended to offer exactly the same benefits that members of Congress have.

Senators from rural states voiced deep reservations on Thursday about the Medicare buy-in plan, which they said would hurt hospitals, doctors and other health care providers back home.

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A New York Post Editorial points out: The Democrats' sweeping health-care plans may bankrupt the nation, but every American will be insured. Except for 24 million of 'em. No kidding: The Congressional Budget Office figures that by 2019, long after the new programs kick in, the reforms will trim the ranks of the uninsured by just 57 percent -- leaving another 43 percent, or 24 million residents, without coverage.

[Let's not forget that for the 3 or 4 years we will be waiting for this new plan to actually begin, we will all be paying premiums for it during that time, because it obviously needs a running start financially. Do you believe we can trust our government to actually put the money in a "lock box"? The Plan" has a curious starting date, chosen very well by Democrats - just prior to the next Presidential election...]

Monday, December 7, 2009

Climate Change Proposals

The Washington Post reports the the Senate Dems have sent a new health care deal to the CBO: Under the deal, the government plan preferred by liberals would be replaced with a program that would create several national insurance policies administered by private companies but negotiated by the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees health policies for federal workers. If private firms were unable to deliver acceptable national policies, a government plan would be created.

In addition, people as young as 55 would be permitted to buy into Medicare, the popular federal health program for retirees. And private insurance companies would face stringent new regulations, including a requirement that they spend at least 90 cents of every dollar they collect in premiums on medical services for their customers.
"It may be different from what was previously included in the bill," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley, "but it accomplishes the same goals as a so-called public option."
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The American Spectator: The Environmental Protection Agency announced an endangerment" finding on carbon and other greenhouse gasses, which would allow the Obama administration to impose restrictions on carbon emmissions even if "cap and trade" cannot get passed through Congress. (Snip) This is just one example of how Obama will attempt to impose through regulation whatever parts of his agenda that he cannot achieve achieve legislatively.
"Each day, throughout the executive branch, presidentially appointed bureaucrats who remain unknown to most Americans make decisions that have consequences for the entire nation. And in President Obama's case, his appointments serve as a plan B, allowing him to realize the parts of his agenda that he is unable to enact through the legislative process."
Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, made these intentions clear in her opening memo to employees in January 2009. "EPA will stand ready to help Congress craft strong, science-based climate legislation that fulfills the vision of the President," she wrote, adding, "As Congress does its work, we will move ahead to comply with the Supreme Court's decision recognizing EPA's obligation to address climate change under the Clean Air Act."
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Maybe there is hope, after all. Following is an important letter.

Dear Mr. President:

I would like to express my concern regarding reports that the Administration may believe it has the unilateral power to commit the government of the United States to certain standards that may be agreed upon at the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The phrase “politically binding” has been used.

Although details have not been made available, recent statements by Special Envoy on Climate Change Todd Stern indicate that negotiators may be intending to commit the United States to a nationwide emission reduction program. As you well know from your time in the Senate, only specific legislation agreed upon in the Congress, or a treaty ratified by the Senate, could actually create such a commitment on behalf of our country.

I would very much appreciate having this matter clarified in advance of the Copenhagen meetings.

Sincerely,

Jim Webb
United States Senator

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My question is this: Does Congress have any rights concerning overturning the EPA's coming regulations on CO2 in the USA?

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The Wall Street Journal reports: An "endangerment" finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions -- even if Congress doesn't pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital, where no binding agreement is expected.

Many business groups are opposed to EPA efforts to curb a gas as ubiquitous as carbon dioxide.

An EPA endangerment finding "could result in a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project," U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said in a statement. "The devil will be in the details, and we look forward to working with the government to ensure we don't stifle our economic recovery," he said, noting that the group supports federal legislation.
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Now, how many of us remember that in 1975 our government was scaring us about a coming Ice Age? Or how about one of the Kennedy's in 1990 saying that we had ten years until our oceans would be dead......
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Reuters reports: The Obama Administration is touting that their stimulus program has saved or created 640,329 jobs since it was enacted back in February through the end of October. This number is updated and posted on the Administration’s recovery.gov web site. That amounts to $246,436 per job based on the $157.8bn that has been awarded so far! Total compensation earned by the average payroll employee during October, on an annualized basis, was $59,867. If the government had simply used the funds awarded so far to pay for a year’s worth of labor, that would have paid for 2.6mn jobs!
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John Hawkins of Townhall.com pokes four holes in the theory of man-made global warming:

Climate change has been around as long as the earth: Graphs highlight 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, Dr. Esterbrook says, were up to "20 times greater than the warming in the past century."

The earth was cooling from roughly 1940-1976: Despite the fact that widespread industrialization was occurring during that 30 year time period. If global temperatures are tightly bound to man-made greenhouse gasses and those gasses were being rapidly introduced to the atmosphere, then the earth should have been warming, not cooling during that period.

So, if it's global warming, why isn't there any warming occurring now? . Again, if global warming has its bootlaces hitched to the amount of man-made greenhouse gasses that are being produced and those numbers are increasing, why hasn't the temperature gone up as well? There's a simple answer: Man-made greenhouse gasses are not a decisive factor in raising or lowering the temperature of the earth.

Climate models can't accurately project the weather 100 years in the future. Since the climate models can't explain the climate over the last 25 years and they can't explain the leveling off of temperature since 1998, why would anyone believe they can predict conditions in 100 years? As computer programmers say, "garbage in, garbage out."

[The scientists of global warming refuse to even answer these questions, saying only that there is a consensus of opinion on the science. And yet, here comes the EPA to regulate us concerning our use and production of that horrible greenhouse gas, CO2, which we all exhale with every breath.... Now THAT is some kind of power over us!]

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The scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters documented that ice melt on Antarctica was the lowest in 30 years during 2008-09, a fact being ignored intentionally by NASA. Unlike the U.S., China and India already have opposed foreign climate governance because it would jeopardize their national sovereignty.

In my former column titled "Obama's One-World Government," I detailed more than a dozen actual statements in the proposed summit treaty that threaten our national sovereignty, could severely cripple our already depressed economy and are so globally socialistic that they would make even a communist blush.
The U.N.'s climate chief, Yvo de Boer, reported that between $10 billion and $12 billion annually will be needed from developed countries (e.g., the U.S.) through 2012 to "kick-start" things. According to the World Bank, adapting for global warming (e.g., building larger dams and higher bridges) will cost an additional $75 billion to $100 billion a year over the next 40 years. (A business professor at the University of Cambridge says it could be as high as $300 billion.)
Page 11 of the 181-page climate summit treaty, which says it would ensure "that global crises, such as the financial crisis, should not constitute an obstacle to the provision of financial and technical assistance to developing countries in accordance with the Convention."
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Continuation

George Will: Barack Obama, understanding the histrionics required in climate change debates, promises that U.S. emissions in 2050 will be 83 percent below 2005 levels. If so, 2050 emissions will equal those in 1910, when there were 92 million Americans. But there will be 420 million in 2050, so Obama's promise means that per capita emissions then will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen. [And now we learn that instead of going to Copenhagen at the opening of the Climate Change Conference, he will now go at the end, in an effort to help pass the pact which will redistribute America's income to the detriment of our stability - all for a cause which is entirely in need of new studies to replace the fraudulent ones on which this global warming hysteria is based. Hopefully his efforts will come to the same end as that of his appearance in support of America getting the Olympics...]
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From the Washington Times comes this news: The fight over global warming science is about to cross the Atlantic with a U.S. researcher poised to sue NASA, demanding release of the same kind of climate data that has landed a leading British center in hot water over charges it skewed its data.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s.

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Now - please scroll down to get the rest of today's blog! And do make comments, to let me know your thoughts!

Secretary of State Project, De-Fund Eric Holder and Copenhagen

HO, HO, HO!! The joke is on us.......


Townhall: The cost for the proposed healthcare plan appears manageable, because the plan requires Americans to pay taxes for ten years and get coverage for only six! But using the CBO assumptions on growth of the cost of the healthcare program beyond the initial decade, the annual cost for the healthcare plan after the second decade will be more than the entire federal budget the year President Obama was elected.
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Matthew Vadum reports: History's most notorious Georgian-turned-Russian, the politically astute Joseph Stalin once remarked, "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." The lesson has not been lost on the increasingly notorious Hungarian-cum-American George Soros. A group backed by Soros is gearing up to steal the 2012 election for President Obama and congressional Democrats by installing left-wing Democrats as secretaries of state across the nation. The vehicle for this planned hijacking of democracy is a below-the-radar non-federal "527" group called the Secretary of State Project. The entity can accept unlimited financial contributions and doesn't have to disclose them publicly until well after the election.
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Ken Blackwell: Congress has the power to prevent this farce [Eric Holder’s plan to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from Guant├ínamo Bay to Manhattan for a civilian trial] from going forward. Congress must spare us this travesty. Congress must act. Phyllis Schlafly has reminded us—serious student of the Constitution that that she is—that Congress has the power to restrict the appellate jurisdiction of the federal judiciary. Very true. But Congress has a power that would provide even more immediate relief: That power is the power of the purse. De-Fund Eric Holder's Manhattan Transfer - [that's what they can do!]
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In yet another move to take more of our money, Congress is considering the taxation of all stock purchases and sales. [But I thought Obama promised that no one making less than $250,000 would see a tax increase - so they'll probable call this a donation....]
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The New York Post: President Obama's social secretary quipped that she regularly let event crashers into White House gatherings -- months before two reality-TV wannabes waltzed into last week's state dinner. Desiree Rogers claimed in an interview with the trade magazine BizBash at the Creative Coalition's annual meeting in June that she had added extra tables and benches at every event to accommodate uninvited guests. "Lots of people just come anyways," she said. "They won't take no for an answer. Finally, I just said, 'All right, come on in. It's no use kicking you out.' [Do you feel that our President is safe, and our country is being protected from a catastrophe?]
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