Saturday, October 31, 2009
Siena College poll here.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Recent results from Research 2000 for Kos:
Scozzafava (R) 21 (30)
Owens (D) 33 (35)
Hoffman (C) 32 (23)
I find this polling to be credible, and it confirms recent trends. As I opined earlier, this is a great opportunity to let the Republican leadership know they need to listen to the Tea Party calls for smaller government and less debt and I have donated to the Hoffman campaign. As Kos points out, if Republicans keep breaking for Hoffman, no way does Owens win this race.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So the President was annoyed that his date night with Michelle was criticized and turned political. Boo hoo. What did he expect? I'd be annoyed, too, but I'd shut up about it. Now your critics know they can get under your skin. Grow up and take it like the Commander-in-Chief, for cryin' out loud. Second, Mr. President, you deserve this kind of crap sandwich after all the uncalled for swipes at your predecessor, who has been nothing but gracious towards you. Again I say, grow up, you just look like a small man who can't handle the gravity of your office. You can stop picking on people, like white police officers and Fox News, while your at it.
As for me, I never mention this stuff in my blog until I see this kind of petty response. Of course the President should go out on a date once in a while, just let the criticism roll off your back.
Finally, why do the Obama's never seem to look happy when they aren't politicking? What do they have to look so dour about?
Monday, October 26, 2009
The Republicans have nominated Dede Scozzafava, a recipient of the Margaret Sanger award from Planned Parenthood for her work supporting abortion rights. HotAir has been all over this. Fortunately for Conservatives, New York has a strong third party movement. In this case, the Conservative Party of New York (of James Bucklry fame) is running a far superior candidate. First a little more on Scozzafava from Michelle Malkin as re-posted in Hot Air.
This is a chance for those of us in the Tea Party movement to show the Republicans not to pull this kind of crap. Scozzafava was nominated by party officials, so they can't claim any voter mandate for her.
Scozzafava is an abortion rights advocate who favors gay marriage.
It would be one thing if Scozzafava balanced that social liberalism with fiscal conservatism. But as a state assemblywoman, she voted for massive tax increases, Democratic budgets and a $180 million state bank bailout. She also supported the trillion-dollar federal stimulus package — which every House Republican voted against.
More troubling, Scozzafava in past elections has embraced the ballot line of the Working Families Party — a socialist outfit whose political DNA is intertwined with scandal-ridden ACORN. ACORN and the WFP have shared office space in New York City, Arkansas and Illinois. ACORN head Bertha Lewis, a close Scozzafava friend and political supporter, wears a second hat as vice chairman of the WFP. The WFP has been listed in ACORN documents dating back to 2000 as an “affiliate.”…
Here is a little of what Hoffman says in a NY Post Op-Ed piece:
I have visited Hoffman's web site and donated to his cause, because it's time this country had at least one party that supports the concept of limited government. I encourage you to do the same.
It’s just as bad in Washington. The Obama administration suffers from the illusion that the way you solve problems, both social and economic, is to throw money at them.In the meantime, Congress fiddles while our economy burns. They lack common sense.
They don’t seem to get it that increased spending leads to higher taxes and fuels a projected $9 trillion deficit. That earmarks and pork-barrel spending might be beneficial to their political careers, but are devastating to the taxpayers who foot the bill. They are oblivious to the fact that tort reform, cutting of waste, and the introduction of free-market solutions are the ways to lower the cost of health care. That Obama-care will only lead us down the slippery slope to socialized medicine.
1. Only 1,000 people have died to date from the H1N1 virus. According to the only information I could find, in 2004, the CDC predicted the regular old flu would kill 36,000 Americans.
2. The administration themselves did not really say this was an emergency.
Administration officials said the declaration was a pre-emptive move designed to make decisions easier when they need to be made.3. The President's children have not received the vaccine. By the way, I would not criticize the President if he and his family were near the front of the line for the vaccine. He is our elected leader and he deserves full protection, including the best medical treatment the country can provide.
4. It is the administration's proven tactic to use crises for political ends. Rahm Emmanuel has famously said that we should never let a crisis go to waste. See video link. When you think about the health care situation, there is no crisis to drive the passage of whatever bill comes out of the Senate, because most people are happy with their insurance plan. Even if there is grousing about cost, that doesn't really constitute a crisis.
5. And this:
The national emergency declaration was the second of two steps needed to give Sebelius [HHS Secretary] extraordinary powers during a crisis.
I invite comment from readers who disagree.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Japan’s experience illustrates the excruciating dilemma facing American policymakers. The White House acknowledges the deficits it projects are too high. But slashing spending or raising taxes too soon could snuff out recovery and leave America with even bigger deficits. Asked on October 15th when the administration would tackle the deficit, Tim Geithner, the treasury secretary, said: “First, growth.”And from the Journal:
The Obama administration chooses to blame outsize deficits on its predecessor. That's a mistake, because it hides a structural flaw: We no longer have any way of imposing fiscal restraint and financial prudence. Federal, state and local governments understate future spending and run budget deficits in good times and bad. Budgets do not report these future obligations.I think we are in for some pain that will only be solved through high interest rates and deficit reduction. I also don't think that will happen under a Democrat controlled government.
More pressing for my readers might be what to do about this situation. Fortunately, we have lived through this movie before. First, mortgage holders should take advantage of the current low interest rates to get into a fixed mortgage. I know this will cause most home owners to increase their monthly payments, but Mrs. Daddy and I have gone this route to reduce future uncertainty.
Second, if you have an investment portfolio, you should own precious metals (gold, silver) as part of that either outright through coins, my preference, or through mining stocks. These hedge inflation well. I don't overloading on precious metals is a good idea, we strongly believe in a balanced portfolio.
Finally, there are Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS, are Treasury bonds that provide another inflation hedge.
TIPS pay a fixed coupon plus a rate that rises with inflation and falls during deflation. The portion that adjusts for inflation gives investors protection against erosion in the purchasing power of the greenback. TIPS are indexed to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, which is released monthly and tracks prices paid by consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.Ultimately, inflation is a tax that ravages everyone, but not equally, and it is hard to avoid all of its ill effects. The last thing we can do is continue the fight against all of the ridiculous budget busters this administration has proposed, and start voting in real conservatives in 2010.
KT has an excellent comment that I liberated as an update:
I'm with you up to a point. I don't like gold or other precious metals. When you buy them, you buy rocks. Instead, I'd buy mutual funds from well-run countries, such as Australia. In fact, if you want to invest in commodities, Aussie mutual funds would be a good way to do it - the Aussie economy is, to a great extent, a commodities economy. Plus, they're the supplier of choice for China for lots of minerals. Lastly, the Australians have nothing like the kind of debt problems we have.I agree that this strategy will also hedge inflation, but I admit I still like owning a small amount of actual metal. Finally, I am partial to Aussies, as Mrs. Daddy's mum hails from down under.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
WHITE HOUSE MASTER TO SLASH EXEC PAY
For the second time this week, I find myself agreeing with the Obama administration, but I will impugn their motives anyway. First, why do I agree? This headline reminds me of what the very prescient George Will said in an April 2008 commentary about what was going on at the Fed, which was bailing out Bear Sterns at the time:
Congress could pass a law saying: No company benefiting from a substantial federal subvention (which would now include Morgan) may pay any executive more than the highest pay of a federal civil servant ($124,010). That would dampen Wall Street's enthusiasm for measures that socialize losses while keeping profits private.Amen, brother. (Small error, the top pay is more like $196,700 but that's still chump change to these bankers.) These guys loaded up on risk like there was no tomorrow and expected the Fed and the Congress to bail them out, which institutions promptly obliged. Where are the consequences that will change future behavior? Further, I hope this accelerates the pay back of the TARP/porkulus money, and stops further bleeding from the Treasury on this front. This is predatory government, when big special interests capture the government institutions that supposedly regulate them. This is the kind of thing that animates the left, and you can understand why. (I am thinking about a post to help you lib/cons understand the left.)
On to impugning motives. The administration's action comes not out of any sense of preventing future calamity, but out of the leftist emotion of rage at those making more money than themselves. It's all just populism to compete with Glenn Beck, who has been kicking their tails of late. Fortunately, for the American tax paying public, Team Barry has not thought this through and will probably be outraged when these firms find ways to return the filthy lucre that got their execs pay cut in the first place.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Jake Tapper of ABC sees the big flick and called out all around buffoon and Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs on the issue.
It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –Gibbs weak reply is that it's their opinion. What? Give me a break and think about the high office you represent and act like it. In the comments at Tapper's blog, the usual morons snipe about the unfairness and stupidity, etc. of Fox. I commented as follows:
The folks criticizing Fox News are missing Tapper's point. In a democracy governed by a Bill of Rights, how is it appropriate for the Executive Branch to brand an organization as illegitimate and to organize ostracism? What if the next Republican Administration takes similar action against MSNBC, which appears equally partisan? For most of the history of this Republic, news organizations have been political, that doesn't make them less legitimate or less worthy of the protections of the Constitution. The White House should respect the spirit of the First Amendment, not just the letter of the law.
But the hypocrisy of the move astounds me. First, Obama recently signed into law a ban on flavored cigarettes. The FDA now has regulatory powers over tobacco but no marijuana? How does this make sense in a rational world. Of course, the more amazing hypocrisy is the how this squares with the whole federal take over of all health care. The federal government is poised to take regulate every health decision that are now the purview of doctors, patients and insurance companies, but medical marijuana has been set free.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
... You must be dining with cannibals. The Wall Street Journal has a great editorial on how all the groups that were cooperating with the Democrats are coming to realize they will be totally screwed by the Baucus bill, and that is even before Harry Reid casts his magic incantation over the whole witches' brew. Why do people think selling out one's principles will ever buy anything worthwhile? There is something for everyone:
In a deal cut earlier this year, the insurance industry acquiesced to rules requiring them to take all comers, regardless of health status or history, and also charge them more or less the same premiums. In return, Congress would subsidize individuals to buy their products and provide new customers by requiring everyone to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty...Doctors:
...But without this brute tax force, healthier people will opt out of expensive insurance pools and only buy coverage when they need it. It doesn't take a consulting firm to prove that this is an adverse-selection disaster waiting to happen.
The doctors lobby had endorsed the House health bill because it eliminated the "sustainable growth rate," or SGR, a formula that automatically reduces Medicare payments to doctors when costs run too high....Hospitals.
...Yet eliminating the SGR will cost some $245 billion, and Mr. Baucus wanted to preserve the fiction that his new entitlement will reduce the deficit. So to game the 10-year budget math, he patches the problem only for a single year.
Speaking of providers, the hospitals agreed to $155 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cutbacks, on the theory that they, like the insurers, would also make the revenue up on volume. But since the coverage mandate has become swiss cheese, both the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association are also growing more combative behind the scenes.Of course you, as taxpayer and patient, were always on the menu, that goes without saying because you don't have big bucks to lobby the administration.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Even the Washington Post is admitting that no one knows what a final bill will look like and that IT WILL BE COOKED UP IN SECRET:
Some of the headlines in recent days are not worthy of belief. No, I'm not referring to the headlines that Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, however odd that many seem to many (including, it seems, Obama himself). I'm referring to the headlines earlier in the week to the effect that the health care bill sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus will cut the federal deficit by $81 billion over the next ten years.
Yes, that is what the Congressional Budget Office estimated. But, as the CBO noted, there's no actual Baucus bill, just some "conceptual language." Actual language, the CBO noted, might result in "significant changes" in its estimates. No wonder Democratic congressional leaders killed requirements that the actual language be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before Congress votes.
In the Senate, negotiations are shifting from the public forum of the Finance Committee to a more cloistered setting: the seating area in front of the marble fireplace in the office of Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). After Tuesday's vote, Baucus will retreat to Reid's office, along with Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and a handful of top White House officials, to meld the finance panel's package with an alternative bill that Dodd shepherded through the Senate health committee in July.
I have read other reports that Dingy Harry himself will reconcile all bills and so we don't really know what will emerge. Rumors swirl. Those of us in the Tea Party movement must recognize this is crunch time. All the work over the summer will go to waste if we don't force the Congress to realize that we are watching their shenanigans and won't put up with a bill that contains any of these deal killers:
1. New taxes on the middle class, including taxes on existing health care plans.
2. Fines for individuals to coerce purchasing insurance.
3. Coverage of illegal immigrants.
4. Coverage of abortion.
5. Public option, even by stealth through the states.
Time to write your Congressman or Senator, something handwritten is best. Comment on news articles, write letters to the editor. Keep the blog posts coming.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
It gave us a chance to meet like minded folks and an excuse to buy some new chocolate. Prior to going in to Whole Foods, we had a chance to engage with Margie (sp?) who was demonstrating for single payer health care at the corner of Nobel and the entrance to the shopping center. I asked Margie about her positions. Her most compelling argument has to do with those who can not obtain reasonably priced health insurance. Even if we discount illegal aliens and those who choose to go without coverage, we still have about a hard core of 10-15 million in this category. In a street corner discussion, it is hard to craft an easy answer to dealing with that issue. My response was to say that I wondered why we had to change everyone else's plans for the sake of those who don't have insurance; surely it would be better to just provide them a subsidy to buy insurance. A more nuanced answer that I did not make is that the current system is driven by so much government mandate that it is not affordable.
I want to add that Margie was a delight to talk to, she is the lady with curly gray hair in the linked photo. She made her points respectfully and listened respectfully and I feel as though I understand where she is coming from. A long-haired, bearded fellow protester was not so pleasant. He challenged my most banal assertion, that the bill of rights regulates government not private parties and because he was such a buttinsky, I left to go inside and do some shopping.
The point I made that seemed to resonate with Margie is as follows. I started talking about how in Roe vs Wade, the Supreme Court had found a right of privacy between the doctor and woman seeking an abortion. The court said that the government has no business interfering with that private discussion. So I ask, under single payer, the government, if I got prostate cancer, there are numerous treatment options, correct? But the President has said that he wants to limit treatment options to save money. So now, the government is interfering in that private health discussion between me and my doctor. Margie seemed to agree that even under single payer, the government shouldn't dictate treatment.
I recommend this line of argument when dealing with the left on this issue, because it puts their cherished principles embodied in Roe v Wade on the line against government control of health care decisions.
Anyway, the shopping was great. Wayne like his meal of seafood salad, sushi and banana nectar.
It was good to meet Sarah Bond and all the other bloggers and Tea Party supporters. I hope we do something like that again.
The chocolate? Chocolats Valrhona large milk chocolate bar.
Here is a snippet of video of the protesters as we drove in. Mr. Buttinsky is not pictured, in case you were wondering. Video courtesy of Wayne, official TLT videographer and artiste.
Friday, October 9, 2009
That the Nobel committee felt the need to be Obama's chief booster actually makes him look weak, because everyone they too were voting for hope not substance. This will have unintended consequences for both the President and the Committee.
Coming on the heals of this SNL skit, it is either sad or hilarious, take your pick.
H/T to Dean who alerted me to further shilling and gyrating by celebrities for Obama. Fortunately we already have an anti-celebrity ad about health care to serve as counterpoint. I think you will enjoy this.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
So says the Drudge headline. However, only about one-fourth of the money from this year's $787-billion stimulus package has been spent and that was the second stimulus package. Remember Bush passed one too. (Yet another way in which Obama has imitated Bush, certainly an indictment of both.) See the LA Times article for more discussion. And yet unemployment remains stubbornly high, so certainly the third time is the charm, n'est-ce pas?
It is claimed that Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So how does the stimulus differ? If this proposal doesn't scare America, what will?
Meanwhile, our super secret Liberator camera crew captures Nancy Pelosi's reaction after her aids tell her that fellow Democrats are hankering for another porkulus package.
Now that's insane.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Over at American Thinker, Publius Varius, writes about the Tea Party movement and its relationship to the Republican party thus:
It cannot be comforting for Republicans to look out at 100,000 plus people on the Washington mall, who should all be part of their natural constituency, booing any mention of their last presidential candidate and cheering speeches that proclaim their movement is not "Republican". This begs the question: "Why isn't it?
Because the Republicans under Bush became the party of big government and the Tea Partyers know one big thing, Big Government is the cause, not the cure, for our ills. When Republicans get that being the party of less government will allow them to build a winning coalition, then they will start winning.
Yet one not-so-minor legal problem is that the Clean Air Act's statutory language states unequivocally that the EPA must regulate any "major source" that emits more than 250 tons of a pollutant annually, not 25,000. The EPA's Ms. Jackson made up the higher number out of whole cloth because the lower legal threshold—which was intended to cover traditional pollutants, not ubiquitous carbon—would sweep up farms, restaurants, hospitals, schools, churches and other businesses. Sources that would be required to install pricey "best available control technology" would increase to 41,000 per year, up from 300 today, while those subject to the EPA's construction permitting would jump to 6.1 million from 14,000.
Usually it takes an act of Congress to change an act of Congress, but Team Obama isn't about to let democratic—or even Democratic—consent interfere with its carbon extortion racket. To avoid the political firestorm of regulating the neighborhood coffee shop, the EPA is justifying its invented rule on the basis of what it calls the "absurd results" doctrine. That's not a bad moniker for this whole exercise.
Monday, October 5, 2009
OK class, repeat after me, what is the free market antidote to evil businesses doing harm to consumers? Competition, competition, competition! Our latest exhibit is "net neutrality" regulations coming out of the FCC. For some reason this issue really lights up the Daily Kooks. A quick primer, net neutrality says that your internet provider has to treat all traffic equally. Sounds great right? What about SPAM vs web browsing? What if some new application like Skype is hogging all the bandwidth and other users suffer? Under net neutrality, tough beans. It's sort of like socialism for the private sector, (answering previous question.) (Also the Kooks always think they know best what shape the economy should take.)
Google wants net neutrality because they can deliver all sorts of new services and don't risk building out any infrastructure. (As an IT professional, I know the big expenses come with putting boots on the ground, which your cable company or DSL provider must do.) Interestingly, though Google Voice doesn't obey the rules they want the carriers to live by. Google Voice allows you to have all of your phones ring simultaneously. EXCEPT... if your phone is in a rural area or it is a conference line or if they just charge Google too darn much for the service.
So what if evil carrier Time-Warner let's you watch Warner Bros movies but blocks offerings from Universal, what's a poor consumer to do? If you were paying attention you know that Captain Competition is on the way to save you. Go with AT&T U-verse or DSL or satellite or ... you get the picture.
I wonder if any of this logic applies to health insurance.
Friday, October 2, 2009
And for all that political risk? Booted in the very first round. Ouch. (Word around the campfire is that the IOC, an adjunct arm of the Star Wars cantina scene, felt they were being upstaged by the Obamas).I was also looking forward to increased media scrutiny of the Windy City which might shed some light on Obama's unsavory associations. No such luck now.
Too pay a little tribute and also put up some music that Memom would actually like, here is Frankie, singing about the Windy City.
I know that video isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I'm staying with the Chicago theme this weekend. I really enjoyed the next band in my youth and thought they gave their namesake city a good name, so here is Chicago with 25 or 6 to 4. (I still don't know what they meant, and no longer care.)
Sen. Thomas Carper (D.-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told CNSNews.com that he does not “expect” to read the actual legislative language of the committee’s health care bill because it is “confusing” and that anyone who claims they are going to read it and understand it is fooling people.