About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

ObamaCare's Shoes Keep Dropping

None of us can claim to be great soothsayers just by figuring there would be more shoes to drop re the problems with ObamaCare.  Here is another batch that has developed over the past week – many of which pertain to the insurance exchanges – the electronic marketplaces that sell healthcare insurance policies to people who can't get coverage through an employer or government program.  I couldn't help but notice that none of the problems – old or new - have anything to do with the healthcare outcome of patients but rather they are concerned with pricing, payments, websites, & preserving & extending the political careers of people who could not care less about us.  In this regard BO announced on Friday that the open enrollment period for 2015 will begin on November 15 – right after the 2014 midterm elections thereby camouflaging as much as possible the insurance premium rates for 2015.
1.  Although ObamaCare itself has no requirements for doctors payments to be lowered, insurers have started to notify doctors who are considering joining or have joined the insurance exchanges that their payments will be reduced in some cases to levels below Medicare rates & even below Medicaid rates.  It turns out that the insurance plans that are listed on exchanges are really HMO-like closed networks.  Nearly all of the healthcare insurance premiums competitively priced on the exchanges were determined by each insurance company using a closed HMO-like narrow network of doctors who agreed to lower their normal fees.  My family doctor calls these doctors "nuts."
You don't have to think long & hard to see problems with this arrangement.  First, it places doctors on the exchanges in an assembly line mindset – they can't afford to spend much time with their patients meaning there will no longer be time for personal relationships with your doctor.  Second, the fee structure will ensure that the best doctors do not join the exchanges meaning that people who sign up for a healthcare insurance policy through the ObamaCare exchanges will not be getting what they thought – good healthcare @ bargain basement prices.  Third, this arrangement will lead to a two tier healthcare system in which low-income people are insured either by policies bought on the exchanges or expanded Medicaid & the higher-income people will get their healthcare through private medical practices with higher payments to doctors.  This is one of the set-ups to get to universal single payer healthcare - when the best doctors in the private practices cannot get their licenses renewed unless they join the exchanges – from there doctors retire, those remaining raise their rates so that the insurers are no longer competitive with their low-income clientele & it all unravels into single payer universal healthcare formerly known as the public option.
2.  Reacting to BO's most visible attack yet on seniors - to cut $150 billion from the Medicare Advantage program over the next ten years to help pay for ObamaCare - UnitedHealth Group announced it has cut thousands of doctors from its HMO network including more than 200 doctors @ one cancer center in Florida & 2,200 doctors statewide  in Connecticut.  Humana, Aetna, & WellPoint are evaluating similar moves.  Fewer doctors means having longer waiting times for appointments, & a combination of longer travel times to see a doctor & overall less convenience for the elderly patients in the Medicare Advantage program – some 13.1 million people many of whom are very sick in constant need of care.  Add these people to the list of those who couldn't keep their plan if they liked it.  Cutting funding & reducing the number of doctors can only result in rationing of care.
3.  BO has indicated that the next waiver that may be granted is to about 16 million union members who do not want to pay the part of ObamaCare known as the transitional reinsurance tax - an annual $63 per person (in 2014) fee charged to 190 million people covered by private healthcare insurance policies.  The reinsurance tax is a very obscure part of ObamaCare - it's a tax on healthcare insurers that goes into a fund that will pay subsidies to insurance companies if needed because the insurers underestimated the premiums charged on the exchanges.  Sounds like double talk but that is what it is.
Currently the federal government & 35 states operate so-called high risk pools that cover people who cannot get commercial healthcare insurance – a total of 300,000 people or 0.095% of the population.  In order for the ObamaCare premiums to not be too high for these high risk people a $25 billion fund capitalized by this reinsurance tax is to be established. Proceeds from the fund are intended to compensate insurance companies whose costs turn out to be higher than expected.
To summarize – 190 million taxpayers will pay into a fund designed to subsidize insurance companies who make pricing mistakes.  16 million union workers are asking for a waiver from this tax & very well may get it.
I don't remember this feature of ObamaCare being spelled out during the campaign to enact the healthcare law – do you?
Senator Marco Rubio calls this a bailout of insurance companies @ the expense of taxpayers.  Add the union-waiver insult to the injury.  Rubio plans to introduce legislation to repeal the reinsurance tax.
4.  The details of the health insurance tax (HIT), an even more obscure tax than the reinsurance tax, have started to surface.  The HIT will impose a fee on insurance companies that insure the 84% of small businesses who do not self-insure, the 17% of large companies who do not self-insure, & consumers who buy their own policies.  It is expected that the HIT costs of insurers will be passed on to these policy holders through higher premiums meaning it is predominantly a hidden tax.  The HIT is estimated to increase insurance costs in 2014 by $150 per employee & $360 per family.  Large companies that self-insure (about 83%) will escape this tax because they are not commercial insurance companies.
5.  What would one of these posts be if it did not include an update concerning the problems with the federal ObamaCare website.  Testifying before the House Energy & Commerce subcommittee Henry Chao, Deputy Chief Information Officer @ CMS, said that @ least 30% of the federal website pertaining to back office functions transferring subsidies to insurers has yet to be built meaning that there currently is no mechanism to transfer money (subsidies) from the government to the insurance companies starting in January.
6.  At another House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing it was pointed out that applicants using the insurance exchanges never see the following statement that is "under the covers" in that it is part of the source code (a collection of computer instructions specifically designed to facilitate the work of computer programmers that is understood by a computer but not necessarily by a human):  "You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."  Democrats on the committee tried to defuse this revelation by saying the health status information on the application is limited - but the broad way this statement is worded leaves no doubt that it can be used for disadvantage & evil.  The statement can serve no good purpose & if that is not true than why is it included in such a hidden way?
"You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/hidden-source-code-obamacare/#8cacMhOFSjLVUHse.99
"You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/hidden-source-code-obamacare/#8cacMhOFSjLVUHse.99
"You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/hidden-source-code-obamacare/#8cacMhOFSjLVUHse.99
7.  The political furor caused by the healthcare insurance policy cancellation letters sent to current policy holders continued to devastate the minds of politicians who had supported ObamaCare.  Even after BO back pedaled with a "fix" saying that people could keep their policies that had previously been cancelled because they did not comply with ObamaCare 39 Democrats voted with all but four Republicans for the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013 (known as the Upton bill after sponsor Fred Upton of MI) the next day.  This bill not only allows people to permanently keep any plan they had but also allows insurance companies to sell any plan to new customers – not just those people with cancelled policies.  See vote below.
The four Republicans who voted against the act were Thomas Massie (KY), Jim Bridenstine (OK), Paul Broun (GA), & Ralph Hall (TX).  These four comprise the handful of House members who still won't accept anything short of a full repeal of ObamaCare.  The split is smaller than the one that produced the harmful shutdown last month that diverted attention away from the ObamaCare problems & most likely cost Republicans the Virginia governor's race.  One side says the Upton bill does not do enough to fix the long-term problems with ObamaCare & the other says it is a good first step toward protecting people who need healthcare insurance.
Congressman Broun was the most adamant saying "I voted against the Keep Your Health Plan Act because I am serious about putting a stop to ObamaCare, & this bill does nothing to address ObamaCare in the long-term.  We need to focus on real reform that will actually lower costs and deliver quality care, not waste time with another delay or 'fix.'"
Now nothing resembling either argument will ever make it to the floor of the Senate let alone get past BO's veto pen.  With all the problems ObamaCare is having doesn't it make sense to appear helpful, like voting for the Upton bill, & then just get out of the way & let ObamaCare continue to destroy itself?

(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

      H R 3350      RECORDED VOTE      15-Nov-2013      1:34 PM
      QUESTION:  On Passage
      BILL TITLE: Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013

Ayes Noes PRES NV
Republican 222 4   4
Democratic 39 153   8
TOTALS 261 157   12
---- NOT VOTING    12 ---
Green, Gene
McCarthy (NY)
Miller, George

The thirty-nine Democrats who voted for the Upton bill – all had previously supported ObamaCare:
• Ron Barber (Ariz.)  • John Barrow (Ga.)  • Ami Bera (Calif.)  • Tim Bishop (N.Y.)  • Bruce Braley (Iowa)  • Julia Brownley (Calif.)  • Cheri Bustos (Ill.)  • Jim Costa (Calif.)  • Peter DeFazio (Ore.)  • Suzan DelBene (Wash.)  • Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)  • Bill Enyart (Ill.)   Elizabeth Esty (Conn.)  • Bill Foster (Ill.)  • Pete Gallego (Texas)  • John Garamendi (Calif.),  • Joe Garcia (Fla.)  • Ron Kind (Wis.)  • Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.)  • Dave Loebsack (Iowa)  • Dan Maffei (N.Y.)  • Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.)  • Jim Matheson (Utah)  • Mike McIntyre (N.C.) Jerry McNerney (Calif.)  • Patrick Murphy (Fla.)  • Rick Nolan (Minn.)  • Bill Owens(N.Y.)  • Gary Peters (Mich.)  • Scott Peters(Calif.)  • Collin Peterson (Minn.)  • Nick Rahall (W. VA)  • Raul Ruiz (Calif.)  • Brad Schneider (Ill.)  • Kurt Schrader (Ore.)  • Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.)   Krysten Sinema (Ariz.)  • Filemon Vela (Texas)  • Tim Walz (Minn.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

FairTax Wins Herman Cain's Pick-A-Tax Poll

Earlier today while I was talking on the telephone to Melanie, the computer analyst who conducted the subject poll, Herman Cain was announcing the results on his national radio program as follows:
FairTax – 77%, Nine-Nine-Nine – 16%, New Flat Tax – 7%.
Herman says he is going to get behind the FairTax as a national radio voice – the first the FairTax has had since Neal Boortz retired last January.  Herman also makes appearances on other shows & I look forward to having him back with the FairTax after a time out for nine-nine-nine.
Before Melanie gave me the personal scoop she said "of course the FairTax won."
Thanks to everyone who helped in August with your vote for the FairTax.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gettysburg Address & 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Provide Foreseeable Way Back For America

click on photo to enlarge
Today marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's dedication remarks @ the opening ceremony of the cemetery @ Gettysburg – a time when the United States was the only significant democracy on earth & our nation was still in the liberty to abundance stage.  More recently this "Gettysburg Address" was read on September 11, 2002 in NYC @ the WTC Ground Zero site.
It was a real wake-up call for America when Mohammed Atta flew a plane into the North WTC Tower & Marwan al-Shehhi flew a plane into the South WTC Tower.  For a short time there was unity, anger, & clarity after all of the airplane attacks on 9/11 – the two just mentioned, the crash into the Pentagon, & the first successful counter-terrorist response by citizens that ended in Shanksville, PA instead of Washington DC.
Keeping a Constitution-based federal republic is a never ending battle as Dr. Franklin warned eighty-seven years before the Gettysburg Address.
All of our Founders were libertarians – but today America is very far removed from that original love of liberty preferring instead security & government dependence while taking what liberties remain in our country for granted.
The majority of the electorate has twice elected a president, in BO, who is the biggest enemy of our liberties since King George III.  Just look @ the latest timely example – after BO promised to let people keep their healthcare insurance plans he is now saying he will let you return to the plans cancelled because his original promise was a lie.  Doesn't sound like liberty or the founding principles of constitutional checks & balances but Congress just goes along to get along – one big happy government family.
And if there ever was a bigger confiscator of our liberties than BO it is the Supreme Court.  As a boy I always felt that Alexander Hamilton made a stretch to even recognize "a supreme Court."  In Federalist No. 78 Hamilton writes "the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them" & ". . . incontestibly that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power . . ." & "Nor does this conclusion by any means suppose a superiority of the judicial to the legislative power.  It only supposes that the power of the people is superior to both."
But America has slipped to this supreme Court today being the most powerful branch of government & it is superior to the people in that nine men in black robes tell 315 million what is up – the antithesis of the Founders' intentions.  In fact today both of the other branches look to the Supreme Court for decisions re their actions – most recently Roberts & four statist justices found ObamaCare constitutional in the most twisted logic imaginable & everyone except a very few accepts it.
Of course it will not be win one lose one if the makeup of the Supreme Court changes for the worst over the next several years.  BO & his Democrat successors (& there will be Democrat successors) will sooner or later replace justices like Scalia & Kennedy with justices like Ginsburg & Kagan.   Just think how the Senate under Ringside Reid protects BO by controlling so much legislation today – the same principle of protection will apply with a statist-loaded Supreme Court that will terrorize for decades if not forever.  We are use to many Supreme Court decisions coming down to 5 to 4 (4 to 4 based on ideology with one swing vote).  Just imagine the tyranny & lost liberty that will result when every decision is 6 to 3 against liberty.
Because of America's greatness she has come under assault and is the object of envy by her enemies, both foreign and domestic, who want to change her for their own greedy collectivist and socialistic goals where there are only a handful of elites & everyone else has no, or only a very limited chance, for a creative or improvable life.   
Today, America is a society where far too many of its members want/expect handouts & do not accept much or any personal responsibility for anything.  The country is deteriorating because there are enough Americans who have a love affair with government that has killed the desire for freedom.  There are too many Americans who want someone else to take care of them - they don't want freedom, they want security.  We need to have a mindset change where people exercise individuality and self responsibility that lets a free enterprise capitalistic system thrive.
Just like the airplanes that crashed into buildings woke people up in the fall of 2001, ObamaCare may have pushed people too far & they can now see how they have been duped. 
Although 9/11 did not directly affect everyone ObamaCare will.  Grasping the unity, anger, & clarity toward ObamaCare that we had on & right after 9/11 is about the only foreseeable way "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – & that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 

Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Four score & seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – & that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Turning A Failed ObamaCare Into Universal Healthcare

So far ObamaCare has produced the opposite of its announced purpose – namely to provide a means of healthcare insurance for every citizen – & it may all be by design. 
To date we know that over 5 million people in the individual non-group market have lost their healthcare insurance confirmed by cancellation letters while 26,794 people have enrolled in (the federal government did not say paid for) a private healthcare plan through a combination of using the infamous federal website & making paper applications.  In addition, 79,391 people bought private plans on state-run exchanges & 396,261 signed up for expanded Medicaid – the free federal-state run healthcare program.
In NJ 741 people were able to enroll; 23,000 NJ residents submitted applications through November 12; & 900,000 people are eligible to use the exchanges.
BO's stated goal is to have 7.5 million uninsured Americans sign up for healthcare insurance by March 31.  Since the government has admitted it knew that millions in the individual non-group market would lose their insurance the 5 million who have already received cancellation letters are now proclaimed to be part of the 7.5 million.  At this rate people receiving cancellation letters by themselves will exceed 7.5 million uninsured people by March 31.
In any event – all of a sudden there are many seemingly reasonable plans floating around Washington designed to help the uninsured that turn insurance policies off & then on @ the drop of a hat.  Of course these plans are first & foremost not meant to help the uninsured but rather are designed to help Democrat reps who never read or understood the ObamaCare legislation & now are afraid they might not win reelection in November 2014.  All of this treats people as the pawns they really are & shows no respect @ all for the principles of the insurance business – which BO is working to destroy.
One of the new plans is BO's in which he says that insurers can now reoffer the same plans that they have been cancelling because the plans do not comply with ObamaCare.  With the snap of a finger BO does what Congress is constitutionally required to do & is elected to do – make or change laws.  This finger snap also pushes further implementation of this cruel law after the 2014 midterm elections.  What does it say if Congress accepts this?  All kinds of troubles result when contracts & laws are not followed.  It is a recipe for greater problems than we have already if the legal templates for action are abandoned just to do what seemingly common sense says @ any particular moment – i.e., we get in deeper.
What happens to someone, who had perfectly good but ObamaCare-unapproved healthcare insurance, who has a catastrophic medical bill after their policy lapses – presumably after January 1.  The fine for not being able to prove on your income tax return that you have healthcare insurance becomes insignificant in comparison.  Most will have their lives ruined by such an event.
BO's ratings are down to record lows for him but still higher than the Democrat Party & way higher than the Republican Party.  Don't ever underestimate the likeability factor & BO poured on the charm @ his press conference earlier today – faking responsibility for all the ObamaCare screw-ups but really transferring responsibility to right the wrongs of the healthcare insurance policy cancellations to the insurance companies & state insurance commissioners.  If the healthcare insurance policy matter works out @ all acceptable in 2014 the Democrats will be more formidable next November than currently thought & BO will spend much political capital (likeability) to help his congressmen & senators get reelected.  All will be forgotten.
Without looking obstructionist or non-caring Republicans would do well to let ObamaCare play out & not try to help save it or the people (many voted for BO twice) that are in the predicament they are in.  The best way for short-memory voters to not vote for Democrats in 2014 is for them to feel first hand the healthcare disruptions to their lives that Democrats are solely responsible for.  Letting congressional Democrats off the hook could produce a whiplash election result that would give BO both chambers of Congress for his last two years in office thereby resulting in a far worse danger to our Republic than the cancellation of individual policies of people who know from nothing about everything they are losing.
But BO may have another strategy entirely – he is usually working on things that Boehner & others are not even aware of.  It is hard to believe that anything could be as bad as the launch & prospects for ObamaCare.  The insurance companies are vulnerable & BO has sown the seeds for years for people to hate them so if they are forced out of business because of ObamaCare it remains to be seen how much sorrow will be expressed.  Enter single payer universal healthcare to save the day for many unthinking Americans who may be desperate to have any healthcare insurance @ all.
As a reminder of their commitment to universal healthcare please click on this portion of the BO-Hillary debate in Ohio on February 26, 2008 & particularly focus on the 3:30 mark of the debate.  Hillary explains that universal healthcare is a core Democrat Party value that the Party has stood for & tried to achieve since Harry Truman was president.   Try to keep track whether BO or Hillary says this more often – they actually argue over which one of them is more for universal healthcare.  BO has been itching to enact universal healthcare & this seemingly screwed-up launch of ObamaCare may provide his best chance to reach his real goal of universal healthcare for America.
The Tea Party is sometimes criticized for not compromising more than they do – this video is an excellent reason for them not to start now.

Monday, November 11, 2013

ObamaCare Provides Cover For BO's Real Intended Legacy

"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me." - BO talking to NBC News in an interview at the White House 10 days after NBC News' Lisa Myers reported that the administration has known since the summer of 2010 that millions of Americans would lose their healthcare insurance under ObamaCare.  

click on photo to enlarge

Please note that in the above feeble attempt @ an apology BO is only sorry that people are finding themselves in a real bind – meaning that he is in one also & that is what he is sorry about.

ObamaCare may have passed into law nine days before April Fool's Day 2010 but our finding out the details of what BO has in store for us has only recently accelerated.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has acknowledged that there currently are areas in the U.S. that face shortages of doctors, nurses, & other health & human service professionals. "More than 64 million people currently live in a primary-care health professional shortage area, and others live in smaller areas with health professional shortages" writes Sebelius. The Medicus Firm reports that a majority of doctors they surveyed are leery of the ObamaCare impact on their practices – see graph @ end of this post & look @ the bottom heavy influence.  Medicus says that HHS predicts 268,000 doctors will retire in the next ten years & only 15,000 new doctors are coming in each year.  There is no magic of compound interest here.

Healthcare economist Christopher Conover at the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University estimates that as many as 129 million Americans will have their healthcare insurance coverage affected by ObamaCare.  Conover says up to 50 million people will have their plans entirely taken away in the individual non-group market & the employer-based market & that the other 79  million will keep their plans but see the costs rise due to the essential health benefits required by ObamaCare listed as follows: 

  1. Ambulatory patient services
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospitalization
  4. Maternity and newborn care
  5. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  8. Laboratory services
  9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute has prepared an excellent interactive map where you can see ObamaCare's effects on premiums in a 49 state analysis.  As expected the highest rates are charged to healthy young males meaning most of them will not participate in such a program.  Forty-one states will experience rate hikes.  Most of the eight states that will see their rates go down had heavily-regulated individual insurance markets prior to ObamaCare, & will therefore benefit from ObamaCare's subsidies paid by taxpayers.  Also, see summary map @ the end of this post.

The above is just the latest discoveries re the implementation of ObamaCare.  In the aforementioned NBC interview BO incredibly said "I think for the most part, people know that I speak my mine & I tell folks what I think & I've been very clear about what I'm trying to do."  Once again BO takes advantage of the presidency by sounding so believable & sincere saying the opposite of what he intends to do.  BO has never spoken his mind on any consequential issue preferring to hide or lead from behind until 1) it was safe to take credit for any successful outcome or 2) he was forced to answer by denying knowing anything @ all about other matters. 

As far as what BO is "trying to do" - investigative filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch tells Megyn Kelly exactly what that is.  It is not ObamaCare that BO wants as his legacy.  BO's intended legacy is to give amnesty to 20 to 40 million people through comprehensive immigration reform.  Mr. Lynch says ObamaCare can be fixed but such an amnesty immigration reform program will change a country forever – that is a legacy.

click on images to enlarge

Thursday, November 7, 2013

An Un-American Election Result In America

click on graph to enlarge
Now there was plenty of spilt milk to cry over in Tuesday's election but there was also one bright spot & I didn't have to look farther than the last post to find it – "those Virginians who resent the government shutdown will favor Democrat Terry McAuliffe & those who are being hurt by ObamaCare will favor Republican Ken Cuccinelli."
Although Cuccinelli lost the overall election by 2.5%, exit polling indicated that 80% of the voters who opposed the ObamaCare law voted for Cuccinelli & 11% voted for McAuliffe.  It is also true that almost 90% of the voters who blamed the government shutdown on Republicans voted for McAuliffe so our original premise was correct.  Also working against Cuccinelli was the (fake) Libertarian candidate who took 6.6% of the total vote & got on the ballot in the first place thanks to a wealthy Texas Democrat. 
The immediate point is that Cuccinelli could have won this race.  Tea Partiers have to steer clear of matters like legitimate rape, God intended rape, & government shutdowns – they have hurt the movement the past 12 months & the government shutdown affecting the Virginia governor's race is just the latest example.
But the government shutdown is a short term issue of local interest in northern Virginia where 300,000 people work for the government – it will fade in importance in future elections.  ObamaCare will not fade if the problems persist.
The long term point & bright spot coming out of this election going forward is the chance that people, including supporters, will turn on BO due to the constant uncovering of the inevitable problems resulting from the deceit with which ObamaCare was enacted & is being implemented.  This could be the issue that finally sticks to BO as the 80-11 ratio indicates.  Cuccinelli came from a double digit deficit in many polls to lose by 2.5% after the main issue turned from the shutdown to the first hand problems people were having with ObamaCare – see above graph.  So hang on – it will be a rough ride but this is the first chink ever in BO's armor.
The rest of the election results are the spilt milk – or reality – that we have to face. 
The thought of two great Tea Party candidates like Steve Lonegan in NJ & Ken Cuccinelli in VA – respectively replacing the late Frank Lautenberg in the Senate & Bob McDonnell in the Virginia Governor's House – is a very compelling motivating thought.
In the case of Lonegan all we needed was Chris Christie to appoint Lonegan as interim senator to finish Lautenberg's term instead of deciding to have a special election that was run on October 16 @ a cost of $12 million.  Christie said he preferred the earlier date for the special election so that NJ would have their senator in place as quickly as possible following Lautenberg's death & that holding this special election 20 days before the general statewide election was crucial to achieving this goal.  It also kept Cory Booker off the ballot on November 5 which would have ensured a larger turnout than the actual 37% turnout thereby diminishing Christie's 22 point reelection win – a big win was Christie's real goal.
Too bad Senator-elect Booker did not feel the same urgency that Christie did in getting NJ's senator to Washington.  Booker was sworn into his senate position last Thursday only 5 days before the general election.  All of this for five days & no Senator Lonegan – a real loss for NJ & America.  Christie's obvious not-so-hidden agenda was enough of a reason for Tea Partiers in NJ to not vote for Christie who did win his big-margin reelection but had no coattails in that not one Republican replaced a Democrat in the Assembly or State Senate.
In essence Christie handed the NJ Senate seat to Booker & this is unpardonable.
The worst result in NJ was the overwhelming acceptance (61%) of State Public Question No. 2 which asked for the approval of an amendment to the NJ State Constitution to set a minimum wage & index it for inflation.  The other four states with constitutional provisions on the minimum wage & indexation are Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio.  Arizona, 
Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, & Washington have non-constitutional provisions to automatically increase the minimum wage.  Eighteen states & DC already have mandates for wages higher than the federal minimum wage – Washington state has a $15 an hour minimum "living wage".
Here are portions of a Lonegan op-ed before the election from a NJ newspaper – ". . .But it's not just younger employees who should be worried, though — it's the state's taxpayers. As a former mayor, I know that it's not just private employees who earn the minimum wage, but state and local employees as well. Not because they make minimum wage, but because many labor contracts are indexed to a minimum wage basis. One recent study estimated that New Jersey taxpayers will be on the hook for at least $22 million in additional costs each year if Proposal 2 passes, with that figure growing even higher along with the inflation rate."
So the argument that people need a hike in the minimum wage to live is really a disguise to raise union wages by a commensurate percentage.  Michael Saltsman writes that "The federal minimum wage was set in 1938 @ 25 cents an hour.  Had it tracked the cost of living since it would today be $4.07 an hour. . . & it's 44% less than the current amount of $7.25." 
Politicians are masters @ tracking the minimum wage & inflation to their advantage by providing percentage increases from one arbitrarily selected time to another – quite often picking 1968 as the starting point when the minimum wage hit its real inflation-adjusted high.  If you chose 1948 the minimum wage today on an inflation-adjusted basis would be $3.81 an hour; choose 1988 – it would be $6.50 an hour.  
So once again information regarding what our elected representatives are doing is crucial to understanding what is really going on.
Please click on Four Points Highlight The Needed Change In Mindset to see a contrast between real solutions to our economic problems that will return America to the excellence of our founding principles & the mediocrity of proposals for raising the minimum wage as an answer for anything except keeping the wrong politicians in office.
Although there is one bright spot mentioned above make no mistake that all the rest of the results from Tuesday's election are un-American – the only problem for us is that this slide toward mediocrity is happening in America.
Who in this readership believes that BO & Sebelius did not know in March 2010 that all of the current ObamaCare problems (& more to come) would occur?  Why else did they have such a staggered implementation with key provisions falling after elections – like November 2012?  Imagine if all of the current problems had surfaced in October 2012.
The way the ObamaCare law is being implemented is not the law enacted – waivers & extensions granted by BO really nullify the original law.  And Congress just goes along.  What we have is not a statute or healthcare insurance – it is something new – a new word is needed.
So will the Tea Party take the lessons learned & present candidates who will not make the types of mistakes that cost good people like Ken Cuccinelli elections?  I can think of numerous examples where our candidates came closer than expected but still lost & that will not carry the day. 
We will need a top notch candidate in 2016 because 54% of the electorate in 2012 were women.  A duplication of this statistic in 2016 will make the defeat of either of two potential Democrat candidates I can think of just about impossible.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Otherwise We're Gone

"You lie!" – the shout of SC Congressman Joe Wilson on September 9, 2009 during a joint session of Congress after BO stated that the ObamaCare legislation would not provide free healthcare insurance coverage to illegal immigrants.
click on graphs to enlarge
Congressman Wilson's shout of "you lie" was clearly ahead of its time.  And yet now that the U.S. healthcare system is falling apart @ the seams (see graph on left above) because of one lie being told by BO after another there still are some TV pundits like Bill O'Reilly, Brit Hume, & Laura Ingraham who will not use the word "lie" to describe both BO's words & actions of the last four plus years.  Lies were used to sell ObamaCare to enough of our elected reps so that it was enacted into law & to deceive enough people so that BO was reelected – BO sold ObamaCare on the basis of something that is not true.  Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, although a tough questioner @ the Sibelius hearing, also cannot bring herself to say BO lied about his healthcare plan.
It does not help when the problem is not properly stated.
All but the loyal 37% who still think ObamaCare is "a good idea" – see graph on right above – know that BO's entire time in office has been the potent aggression of the greatest lie ever orchestrated on the American people.  Click on Jon Voight's Open Letter To America for a very insightful analysis.
Sine the dreadful website launch three out of four people who have formed an opinion believe ObamaCare is "a bad idea." 
The 47% plurality who think ObamaCare is "a bad idea" would like to get rid of it or @ least delay it as long as possible.  The question has always been how to do this with BO & Ringside Reid still in office. 
The Cruz approach proved quite dangerous - predictably resulting in the government being shut down with the added insult of not only deteriorating results for the Republican Party concerning the handling of the shut down & debt ceiling matter but an increase in positive feelings toward BO & a decrease in his negatives – although these numbers have since deteriorated for BO due to ObamaCare problems.  See graph below.
Contrast the unreliable shut down approach with letting the 87 milk-toast House Republicans vote with all the Democrats to keep the government open while the 144 House Republicans & 18 Senate Republicans who voted against funding ObamaCare (really the same issue as the shutdown) spend their time & energy 1) promoting the postponement of the individual mandate, 2) endorsing Members of Congress & their staffs being put on ObamaCare, 3) insisting on income verification before subsidies are issued, & 4) trying to kill the medical device tax.  Couple this with a solid plan like The Solution To America's Healthcare Problems being put on a website that is up & running & you are no longer trying to replace something with nothing.  You would also have solid support from the general public.
Now the results of Virginia's gubernatorial race on Tuesday will give us a good idea which approach is superior – those Virginians who resent the government shutdown will favor Democrat Terry McAuliffe & those who are being hurt by ObamaCare will favor Republican Ken Cuccinelli. 
The big guns have been out in force in this race – Bill, Hillary, BO, & Biden for McAuliffe & Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ron Paul & Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin for Cuccinelli.  Please note there are no establishment Republicans on the Cuccinelli list because Ken would be the most libertarian governor in the country.  Ken joins candidates like Steve Lonegan, Anna Little, & Mike Agosta who received absolutely no help from the establishment Republican Party in their last elections – the old guard simply does not want these types of excellent people in office.
But there is a wild card in the field – Libertarian Party candidate Rob Sarvis is polling about 11% of the vote which makes Cuccinelli's chances all the more remote.  ObamaCare is so egregious that anyone affected should vote against McAuliffe but they have two choices that will dilute such a vote.
So far only people in the individual non-group healthcare insurance market have been hurt.  It remains to be seen how much seniors & those who rely on their employers' policies are hurt – but hurt we know they will be.  Here is a comment I picked up from an IBD online article – "Those that get their insurance through work don't have to wait. My premiums are going up 43% with higher copay and deductibles. The only thing being delayed for employers is the penalties they pay if they don't provide insurance. Those that do provide insurance and their employees are seeing the same premium/benefits hit as everyone else."  We'll need to follow the path this takes to see how widespread it becomes.
But go back to the start of ObamaCare in 2009 – it was supposedly enacted because 15% of the population were not covered by healthcare insurance (it is actually less than that) – meaning that 85% were satisfied with their plans.  This tells you all you need to know – ObamaCare is not about insuring 15% of the population – it is about controlling the entire citizenry through total dependence on government.
ObamaCare is the one issue that affects Americans' own pocket books – unlike the Benghazi murders, Fast & Furious, or the IRS abuses – 70% of the people do not pay enough income tax that no matter how egregious the abuse it means nothing to them personally.  But ObamaCare may be a reach too far – into every productive persons' pocket.
I'm hoping all the commotion about ObamaCare slows it down a bit to give us another chance for a Galt-like figure to come forward.  Otherwise we're gone.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Blessing To Be Born In The USA

click on graph to enlarge
The latest installments of the man on the street interviews are Watters' World in Boston the past two weeks.  Click here to see part 1 & here to see part 2.  John Stossel also recently asked "What's the Fed?" to people in NYC with similar bewildering responses – watch the first 30 seconds for a few examples.
Whether the interviewer is Jay Leno, John Stossel, or Jesse Watters these types of interviews always present some degree of humor before we realize the seriousness of the ignorance being displayed by our fellow citizens.
In this latest Watters' World edition only one third could identify Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner from their photos, only 1 in 14 recognized Ted Cruz, 2 in 14 could identify Harry Reid & when prompted with the clue "Harry" one thought they were looking @ a photo of President Truman.  One girl thought Joe Biden was the "speaker of the state." 
Funny for a minute but then oh so sad.  See above graph.
I do believe that these interviews make some of the interviewees aware that they really don't know what they should know about what is going on around them & to them – this awareness may not last long enough for them to do something about it but they know when interviewed @ least based on embarrassing body language & defensive laughter. 
When the preponderance of people wander through their life with no thought of the value of the liberty they have that lets them wander free as a bird while exhibiting birdbrain responses to elementary school civic matters it is just a matter of time before a despot takes that liberty from them – & the rest of us. 
Do these people take for granted that the whole world is like the America they live in – people free to be as ignorant as they really know they are with no consequences?  Do they ever wonder if they have contributed to our society that allows such freedoms – all they have is the blessing of being born in America?  What if they had been born in North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, China, Syria, Lebanon or Israel showered with rocket attacks?  Do they ever think of our military & what part they play in their freedom?  Do women & homosexuals ever think what it would be like to be born in Iran?  If they did they would kiss the ground within America's borders & do everything they could to support our country.
To think these people are capable of asking such questions is imagining a lot - so far they were just fortunate to be born in America & have only shown embarrassing body language.
Now I can tie a valuable lesson to these man on the street interviews with statistics Google has provided me for about a year & a half detailing the daily readership of this blog.  Other than one day about two weeks ago the USA has always had the largest readership except for a few nights several months ago when China was on top.  I notice that China's readership rises & falls in direct proportion to news stories I read about clamp downs in China.
The one day exception two weeks ago pertains to Ukraine, which is consistently in second place in readership behind the USA since the statistics became available.  Ukraine topped the readership list for one day.  As many of you know Ukraine is in the middle of a move either toward freedom joining the EU or a move back to being under the Russian thumb.
Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been a practicing economist & leader of a series of huge freedom protests & political events known as the Orange Revolution.  Tymoshenko labors for Ukraine's integration into the European Union, believes only citizens of Ukraine have the right to private ownership of land in Ukraine, strongly opposes membership of Ukraine in the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus & Kazakhstan, supports eradication of post-Soviet corrupt clans in Ukraine, fights for justice for ordinary citizens of Ukraine, & asked an American FairTax expert for a briefing on the FairTax. 
In October 2011 Tymoshenko was jailed in a politically motivated act that resembles the jailing of Russia's Mikhail Khodorkovsky – a multibillionaire & richest man in Russia when he was jailed almost nine years ago.  What does wealth mean without the rule of law?
Ukraine has a long way to go (currently considered to be in a demographic crisis with a high death rate & low birth rate magnified by health problems such as high blood pressure, overweight & obese people, too many smokers, & high incidence of HIV/AIDS) as did America in 1776.  I see Ukraine & America on opposite ends of the love of liberty poles – Ukraine is in the courage to liberty stage of forming their democracy (republic) & America is just about to leave the apathy to dependence stage descending into the final stage - dependence back into bondage
The man on the street interviews are indicative of how a society loses liberty when the people lose the bedrock foundation of civic responsibility.
Ukraine is striving for the liberty America no longer appreciates & is giving away – no, make that throwing away.