Archive for November, 2007

Hillarycare Update: Mandates

Posted in general, healthcare, Hillary with tags , , , on November 30, 2007 by Randy Streu

Hillary Clinton has recently given a talk in which she (kinda) explained her federal mandate for health insurance.  In order to save you the pain and suffering of going through the entire blog about it on her website, I’ll highlight her reasoning (then you have only to suffer through my blog about it). 

About having a federal requirement for all US citizens to carry insurance, Clinton said, “Now all Americans will have a responsibility to get and keep health insurance. I believe when you make this the law of the land, Americans will follow it and will purchase health insurance – far more than if we don’t have that requirement.”

So — it’s a requirement so that everybody will have it.  Makes sense.  Kind of obvious, actually.  It’s okay, though… she clarifies.  Actually, she cites Senator Obama’s Health Care Task Force to clarify: “…they made it very clear if you want to cover everyone, you need to require people to get health insurance. Otherwise, you will fail to cover 60-90% of the uninsured.”

So… according to the taskforce she’s citing, most Americans who don’t already have health insurance don’t want it.  However, she’s reiterating, this is why it’s important to require it.  Otherwise, people won’t get it.

But why?  Why is it so darned important that every American — even those that don’t want it — have health insurance?  Mrs. Clinton supplies only one answer for this question as well, multiple times.  I’ll only quote her once, though:  “…if anything, Democrats should stand for universal health care. That distinguishes us from the Republicans. ” (empasis mine)

There is some very, very odd reasoning going on here.  We need to ensure that every person has health care, so we’re going to mandate it… it must be mandated so that every person will have healthcare … every person having healthcare is important because it’s what makes us Democrats.  Great.

So, once again, I’ve asked the Clinton camp, very politely, why it’s so very vital that every American — even those with no desire to have insurance — have insurance.  When somebody can come up with an answer, I’ll let you know.  I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that if there is an answer, it will sound awefully close to these:  “we must have universal healthcare so that we have universal healthcare.”  And I suspect this is because, ultimately, the Democrats in favor of these measure aren’t willing to come right out and say it:  They need everyone to get it so that everyone can pay for it.  They’re going to tax you regardless — but this way, you can’t claim you’re not getting anything for it.

UPDATE, 12-4-07:
Though there is still no answer forthcoming from the Hillary camp on the subject of mandates (or on how to pay for the darn thing), I’m noting with some pleasure that there are now more people asking these questions than just myself… many of them also on Clinton’s campaign site (linked above).  We still aren’t getting answers, but the movement, inasmuch as there is one, is growing. 

Aside from the 4-6 of us asking questions on the Clinton site, there are, of course, the requisite koolaid drinkers who fervently believe the Senator is the Second Coming of Joan of Arc or some such.    And a self-proclaimed French guy who has it in his head that his opinion on American healthcare matters.

These questions need to come to light.  And, I believe, the answers.  The questions are the beginning.  Many of those asking are liberals and nanny-staters who appear more concerned with the issue of cost than that of freedom — but they are asking.  And at some point soon, Mrs. Clinton will have to face these questions and give a clear, concise answer.  An answer, I believe, that will expose the very limit of her beliefs about the intelligence and competence of the average American.

Rush (Finally) Gets It — Many Republicans Still Don’t

Posted in Elections, Fred(!), Giuliani, politics with tags , , , , , , on November 30, 2007 by Randy Streu

Rasmussen polls taken last night (mostly before the end of the debate) have Rudy Giuliani leading the Republicans with 27% of the vote.  Though Rasmussen is far from the only polling service, and many other services show wide disparity with Rasmussen, I find this deeply troubling. 

It’s not that I don’t like Giuliani — I do.  It’s that when I pull the Republican for President lever next November, I want to be voting for a Republican.  Giuliani’s about as Republican as Joe Lieberman.  He has defense.  That’s his Republican part.  He’s pro-gay-marriage, pro-abortion, has turned NYC into a sanctuary cityendoresed Democrat Cuomo over Republican Bloomberg for governor.  And, oh, yeah… has the worst record on gun control of any of the republican candidates. 

Giuliani’s response to these criticisms?  I was mayor of New York City!  I stopped Crime!! 

I don’t honestly know why he’s going on and on about his mayoral record on crime.  This is something that, actually, confuses me greatly.  We’re not electing a DA, and we’re not electing a judge.  We’re certainly not electing a mayor.  Don’t get me wrong: it beats him running on 9/11 — again.  But still, it would be nice if the guy actually had a record that backed up his rhetoric. 

Speaking of rhetoric, though, Rush Limbaugh has finally come around somewhat on what’s really happening with our Republican pool here.  Limbaugh, always paying attention, noted that, in the debates last night most of the top-tier candidates were wishy-washy, moderate, or even liberal in their responses:  “There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson.” 

Limbaugh goes on to suggest that the “no fire in his belly” criticisms are ill-informed.  “I don’t think anybody would get into this mess running for the presidency, the media and all of these things. You can’t imagine what these people go through.  You wouldn’t want to go through it, and I can’t imagine somebody put themselves through it if they really don’t want it.”

If truly conservative voters were basing their voting decisions on substance, on true conservatism, Giuliani should be somewhere 12 points behind Ron Paul.  Sadly, it really does seem to me that Republican voters this year are going for sizzle over steak.  I truly hope this isn’t the case.

Conservatives, let’s stay conservative. Give Fred Thompson a look, check out both his stances on issues, and his record on them.  Take a look at his proposals.  Fred Thompson is the true conservative in the Republican lineup. 

(Off-the-record note:  I really hate to go off on other republican candidates, since, barring Thompson taking the primary, which I truly hope he does, I may end up having to support one of them.  But among all of them, Giuliani is simply not the Republican we need.  Not now… not ever.)

Early Thoughts on the You Tube Debate

Posted in blognews, Elections, Fred Thompson, general on November 29, 2007 by ambrose7

Well first off I’m not a huge fan of this whole You Tube format; Why, because I’m tired of this 8 man debate structure.  We no longer need 90 second sound bites; let’s see some discussion into plans and policies.  How many more times do we need to hear that Hunter built a good border fence, or that Rudy reduced crime in New York?  Also I get the fact that Paul wants to bring our troops home and Mitt no longer is Pro Choice.

Secondly this was a very liberal forum in which these men were asked to answer questions.  From an openly gay army general who had already pledged money to Hilary’s campaign to members of John Edwards’s staff.  This was You-Tube and CNN pushing the liberal agenda.

That being said I guess there were a few highlights and lowlights to this evening’s event, so let’s take a look at the evening’s winners and losers, or at least my first thoughts on how each candidate did.  I will write more on the debates after a second time of watching and taking notes.

Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo –My thoughts with these two are why they are still in this election.  I’ve watched debates, read articles, even checked out there sites, yet I still don’t think they have an original idea to stand on.  They both want to close the borders, and that’s about it.  They don’t have a chance at winning, and there not pushing the envelope, drop out already and vive the other candidates more time.

Ron Paul – Half of what this guy says is brilliant, unfortunately the other half is insane.  He has a ton of supporters but most of them are sure the government is conspiring against them and watching their every move, so they will never leave the safety of their mom’s basement to vote.  Paul didn’t add to or hurt his chances with tonight’s debate, he still can’t win.

The other 5 candidates all have at least some chance to walk away with the nomination.

Mike Huckabee – I could get behind this guy if he didn’t buy into this whole George Bush thought process of compassionate conservatives.  Also his fair tax is insane as it will shift the burden of the taxes to the poor and middle class.  I love his Christian Values; he’s just soft on everything else.  I really think he would be best of to make a deal with one of the Big three to come aboard as a Vice President if they win, and try to push the Conservative Christian vote their way.

John McCain – He may have won the debate tonight, He seemed to be given a lot of questions and he attacked wisely.  He probably can’t win an election he’s still to liberal and his actions earlier this year in trying to grant amnesty to all illegal aliens killed any chance he had.

Fred Thompson – If McCain won the debate tonight with personality, Thompson won it with the issues.  Once again Thompson seems to be the only one who consistently puts out new ideas and doesn’t seem to continually fall back on his record.  Unfortunately the media seems against him, as it seems he can get a question his way.  On top of that I think the other candidates fear him as they refuse to go after him knowing he will get a chance to respond.  Thompson is going to have to find a better way to get his message out then these sound bite debates.  Fred and maybe Mitt are the only true Regan Conservative of the bunch.  As Mitt flounders late and the truth about Huckabee somewhat liberal values comes out, I think Fred will take off.

Mitt Romney – Usually the smooth Politician seemed to flounder at times tonight.  He rarely puts out thoughts to his presidency and has been reduced to fling mud at Rudy every chance he gets.  Mitt may be a good President, but the more mud he flings the more Huckabee and Thompson rise in the polls.

Rudy Giuliani – I don’t understand how conservatives continue to support him.  He’s more liberal then McCain.  Yet he has a large conservative following.  He’s for stricter gun control, he’s pro choice, he’s against basic family values yet he continues to evade all questions that will hurt him, and the few he fields he merely double talks his way around it.  He did well in the debate, but once again, it was all about reducing crime in New York. 

It’s okay to kill them; but don’t spank your kids!

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 28, 2007 by Randy Streu

A Massachusetts nurse named Kathleen Wolfe had an overactively melodramatic response to spanking when she was a child, managed to pass her fear on to her own daughter, and now is trying to outlaw the practice throughout the state.

State Rep. Jay Kaufman, who is presenting Wolfe’s bill, says this law is not about spanking, per se, but about the line between discipline and abuse.  This guy must be a democrat.  Of course it’s about spanking.  The language of the bill calls for an end to parents “forcefully laying a hand on their child” unless there was some real danger involved for the kid.  And “forcefully” isn’t at all subjective, of course, and would never, ever be interpreted to mean mere “spanking.” 

But, in spite of idiotic assertions to the contrary, in fact, the bill would, according to Mass news sources like the one cited, ban spanking on all children under 18.  Presumably, it’s okay to swat your 19-yr-old, though. 

As much as I would sincerely like to believe that people who are against spanking their own children would be able to leave me alone regarding the decisions I make about what’s best for my own kids — the Massachusetts proposal, and the vocal (if VAST minority) support of it makes it plain that there are enough nannystaters still among us to be annoying and potentially threatening.

Though it’s fortunate for me that I do not live in Mass., I do wonder how long it’ll be before Hillary “Takes a Village” Clinton will pick up the cry (or, perhaps, whine) on a national level.

Well, to them (or you, if you happen to be one of those meddling nanny-state supporters of Wolfe-Kaufman) I say, you can have my inch-thick oak paddle with holes for better air flow when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

The Rock and Global Warming

Posted in general, Uncategorized on November 27, 2007 by ambrose7

So what does global warming have to do with rocks you may ask.  Well both are real things, but both have been exploited for the profit of others.   In the 1970’s or more specifically 1975, advertising executive Gary Dahl had a brilliant idea.  He would sell ordinary rocks as pets, he packaged them is little cardboard pet carriers complete with instructions how to teach your pet rock to sit & stay.   Because of this idea Gary Dahl made millions of dollars.   

Here we are 32 years later and a movie entitled An Inconvenient Truth has brought about the “Go Green” craze.  An Inconvenient Truth was the creation of former Vice-President Al Gore loosely based on the fact that there is some evidence that the earth is growing warmer over the past 100 years.   However there is no evidence that man is causing this warming by releasing carbon’s into the air.  Although there a lot of scientists who believe this warming is man made, there are also a lot who look at history as a whole and realize the earth’s climate has gotten both warmer and colder since its existence.    

Gore however never looked at both sides of the story and has started a craze in America the likes of we haven’t seen in years.   Because of Gore’s popularity the geniuses in Hollywood jumped aboard right away calling for us to do things like walk to work, and only using one square to toilet paper per trip.  Al Gore himself even calls for us to make changes in our home, using more solar energy and riding our bikes to work.  All the while he flies back and fourth from his mansions to his speaking engagements on his private jet, just raking in the money from his global warming farce.   How much money remains to be seen but it makes the millions made from pet rocks look like the piggy bank of a four year old.

The Pet Rock lasted just under a year.  As we approach a year and a half later the America has still not realized there being duped by Al Gore.   However around the world others are catching on.  Recently a UK judge ruled that the film had a number of “inconvenient untruths” as supporters of the movie tried to push it into the schools.  Judge Burton relied on the testimony of experts to rule there is no evidence to support that the sea levels will rise 20 feet in the “near future” and it is very unlikely the Gulf Stream that warms the Atlantic will cease to flow according to the International Panel on Climate Change.   And as far as those cute little polar bears that are drowning as they search in futile for ice flows,  only four polar bears have drowned in the past 3 years,   all 4 were caught in a storm.   

30 years ago it was popular to carry around a pet rock, now we look at the fad as a bit crazy.   Why would anyone spend 4.95 on a rock, I have a driveway full of them.  I wonder how we will view today’s culture 30 years from now.   Well if you believe Gore and the Go Green crew, we won’t be looking at today’s culture, since we’ll all have drowned or boiled because of this crazy climate.  I believe however we’ll look back and laugh at just what fools we all were at getting sucked into something as ridiculous as man made global warming.  

Toys, Lead and Economics: What Hillary Doesn’t Get

Posted in Economy, Elections, Hillary with tags , , , , , , on November 27, 2007 by Randy Streu

Surprising absolutely nobody, Hillary Clinton has come up with a bigger government solution for the import-toys-lead-poisoning “Crisis.”  According to her website, Mrs. Clinton has created herself a “Toy Safety Agenda.”  Thank God.  Maybe she can also create a government agenda to deal with the Miley Cyrus Concert Ticket Crisis.  She can call it her federal “Hannah Montana Agenda.”

Don’t get me wrong… as the father of two toddlers, I take this lead poisoning issue very seriously.  Seriously enough that, for now, I’m watching what I buy my children, and am considering a full boycott of toy products from China.  However, I do not believe more government is the solution here. 

This is a problem that the market ought to take care of — and would, if people would educate themselves about these things, and stop lazily demanding that the government do their thinking for them.  By practicing a little forethought in our purchasing decisions, we can make the difference in this, and many other, trade matters.  That’s how the free market works.  At least, that’s how the market works when the government butts out, and when consumers make intelligent decisions. 

Let’s take a look at Mrs. Clinton’s comprehensive “Toy Agenda.”  Were she president, Clinton promises she would:

“-Immediately require independent third-party testing for at-risk imported toys to ensure they are safe before they can be put on our shelves and sold.
-Dramatically increase the number of product inspectors and deploy them as part of a strategy to meet the threat posed by imported toys.
-Establish a complete ban on lead in children’s products.
-Increase and enforce both civil and criminal penalties for violators.
-Require selected companies to pay a bond pending completion of third party testing to protect consumers and taxpayers from fly-by-night foreign importers.
-Improve our system of toy recalls so that parents get swift notification and companies face swift sanctions if they don’t remove recalled products from their shelves.”

On the surface, perhaps, this doesn’t seem so bad.  Unless you happen to have an understanding of how the American federal government was intended to work.  But, sure, the idea is to keep the children safe.  Unfortunately, it does so at the expense of our free market system — not to mention the cost involved in maintaining yet another bureaucracy to oversee this process.  That’s right, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s another potential (and probable) tax increase.

I have long been a proponant of what I call intelligent consumerism.  This is the process whereby ordinary citizens make real changes in the way companies do business by basing purchasing decisions, not simply on convenience and price, but on ethical and business standards we expect in companies with which we do commerce.  When a company fails to meet that standard, the intelligent consumer walks away.  Toyota is a great example of this.  If all the people complaining about how cars are no longer built here in the US were to really take proactive measures on this, they’d all be driving Toyota.  Why?  Simply put, Toyotas are built here in the US, while much of GM labor is shipped overseas or to Mexico.  In making the decision to drive based on this, then, there would be a real potential to convince GM to bring jobs back to the US.  However, the American consumer has gotten lazy.  He wants to have his cake, and eat it.  He wants to make his decisions based on selfish reasons (like personal finances, preference or convenience), but at the same time use government to coerce “responsibility” on the part of the corporation.

Back to this whole China fiasco.  The biggest tragedy, in my mind, about Hillary’s agenda for this industry is that it misses a valuable opportunity.  Mrs. Clinton, in demanding government imposition of standards and practices, leaves the competitive advantage with China.  Sure, they have to comply, but according to government regs, so does everyone else.  China keeps its labor advantage.  On the other hand, by leaving it to the market (I note, by the way, that Mrs. Clinton let this go for a full month, with no real opportunity for the market to work this out itself, before demanding government interference), the US manufacturing market gains advantage.  Suddenly, concerned consumers are looking for toys made right here in the good ol’ U.S of A.  China, in producing shoddy work, has lost some of its competitive advantage, providing American industry a real opportunity for growth.  This could be a win for American manufacturing.  If we let intelligent people make intelligent decisions and allow the market to work itself out.

Instead, by demanding “intervention” from the federal government, China keeps its advantage, and American manufacturing misses out on an opportunity to catch up.  Now, that’s economic leadership.

“Fred Leads — Others Pander”

Posted in Elections, Fred(!), politics, taxes with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2007 by Randy Streu

If you listen to PaulBots and Fox News Quasi-pundits, Fred(!) Thompson is a lazy man.  According to them, because Thompson is not out gladhanding media representatives and reporters every waking minute, he “lacks the fire in his belly” to become president.

Of course, while his opponants are out kissing babies and running for president, Thompson, much to the chagrin of the emotionally insecure press with the constant need for coddling, has been researching and writing policy.  Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee are out campaigning — and Thompson is preparing for the office of President by putting together real and workable plans like his recent one for comprehensive tax relief.  (Who knows what Paul’s up to — probably still trying to figure out just how the hell W managed to get so many Arabs to agree to fly planes into buildings.)  And, of course, it wasn’t two weeks ago that Thompson unveiled his plan to address and repair Social Security.  I could only wish I could be this lazy.

For somebody who’s been accused of lacking specifics, Fred “no fire in the belly” Thompson seems to have more “specifics” than any other candidate running. 

Now, to me, this would seem to bear out the point that planning and action trumps empty rhetoric; that substance beats style.

Thompson is, in fact, leading the other candidates in specific plans and goals, and has been lauded by the editors of National Review Online for doing so.  I should also mention the Club for Growth nod Thompson’s getting for this plan.  Lazy, lazy, lazy.

This is Fred Thompson.  A leader where others simply line up and act as expected.  Think for yourself.  Check out his website, consider his positions, study his proposals.  This is the man to lead this country.

By the way, I “borrowed” the title from a fellow Fredhead over at fred08.  So, thanks for that.  It seemed appropriate.

American Oil

Posted in politics, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 21, 2007 by ambrose7

As I sit here typing this, my house is slightly cooler then usual.
Outside sit my S-10 and Focus, with nearly empty tanks.  All because
of a raising gas cost that will help to stifle the economy of many
states offer the next few months.  And as I sit I have to ask myself
when the United States of America turned into a country of prissy

I propose the United States tells the rest of the world they can just
sit on their oil, we will use our own.  I’m sick of pandering to left
wing nuts and power hungry world leaders as we go like a dog with his
tail between his legs asking for affordable oil prices.  Just the
other day at an OPEC convention Venezuelan leader Chavez said OPEC
nations should be willing to raise the cost of Oil to 200 dollars a
barrel if the United States were to attack Iran.  Since when do we in
America let Venezuela dictate our foreign policy?

We here in the US have rich oil reserves in Alaska, the Gulf of
Mexico, the Great Lakes, and throughout the western half  of the US.
I say we set up production in a couple of these locations, we then
tell OPEC exactly what were willing to pay.  If they don’t like it, we
Buy from friendly nations and use our own.  I also propose we lay our
claim to oil deposits in the Arctic regions as I’m sure Canada will
not fight us over it.

The oil cost in many ways is a simple look at supply and demand.  We
need oil, so these countries feel they can charge as they wish.  Once
we no longer need them.  They will need us.  The US is the first or
second largest oil using county in the world.  The OPEC nations need
to sell to us.  As soon as we don’t need to buy from them prices will
drop and fast.

Its time our leaders worry about Americans.  The go green democrats
are more worried about a tree then they are about American citizens.
Which by the way Global warming the biggest sham since pet rocks, but
I’ll write more about that in a future post.

Job Creation: How Hillary Clinton Will Use a Worthless Metric to Take Over America

Posted in Constitution, Elections, Hillary, politics with tags , , , , on November 21, 2007 by Randy Streu

Hillary Clinton has begun to outline her new economic plan.  Though she’s being praised by her corner for specifics, I haven’t found any, unfortunately, so I’ll have to work with what she’s got. 

Before I get into that, though, I’d better start by explaining what I mean in my title, when I say “worthless metric.”  During elections, Democrats especially love to throw out numbers like “jobs created” during certain terms.  They see this as an extremely important metric in determining how to rate a President’s success.  However, not only is “job creation” not in the President’s job description, it isn’t even in the federal government’s!  “Job creation” is a false metric created by people who either haven’t read the Constitution or have chosen because of political convenience to ignore it. 

Hillary Clinton is one such person.  In her new economic plan, Clinton promises to create “good jobs essential to broad-based prosperity.”  The released information doesn’t really go into her strategy for doing so, but one would assume this strategy would tie in with the rest of her “comprehensive” plan.  So, then, looking deeper into the plan, we see a bunch of stuff about HUD, and about home energy.  Not so much about how she’s going to create those jobs.

So, it appears we’re going to have to look at the policies and issues she has been a bit more vocal about.  This whole thing centers, as does most Leftist policy, on class warfare.  (Class warfare is good for liberals, because “Us vs. Them” makes much better propaganda than “You have what it takes to succeed.”)  So, knowing that, we drop over to Hill’s Issues page on “Strengthening the Middle Class.”  I’m not really sure how creating more government dependence is considered “strength” — but then, I’m not a liberal. 

So here, alongside Clinton’s promise to create “good jobs with good wages,” we see also references to her healthcare plan, ideas to protect people from having to read fine print on housing loans, throw more money at public universities, and — ah, here we are — increase the minimum wage.   

Okay, now let’s take a look at the first and last things I mentioned on this list: healthcare and wages.  Now, I’ve mentioned healthcare before here, but to quickly lay out what this means in the context of job creation:  Under Hillarycare 2.0, employers will be required to either (A) put money into healthcare for their own employees or (B) pay an extra tax that would be earmarked for Clinton’s public health insurance.  Add this cost to the increased minimum wage under another Clinton administration, and you see a net loss for American businesses. 

Now, when you look at the pattern of business, what generally happens when cost of labor goes up is that either (A) businesses outsource to a contractor or, (B) they outsource to another country.  Though the first option may create a couple jobs, neither is particularly good for American workers as a whole. 

So, the conclusion I have to come to is that either Hillary is ignorant of basic economics (which I doubt… she’s a lot of things; dumb ain’t one of them.), or she expects you are.

A Real Conservative Speaks

Posted in blognews, Constitution, Elections, Fred(!), immigration, politics, Second Amendment with tags , , , , on November 21, 2007 by independentthinking

Thompson’s on fire, blogwise today. 

Read Fred(!)’s thoughts on:
The Second Amendment
Stem Cell Research
EEOC Attacks on the Salvation Army
(Commentary on this subject can also be found here at SIT)

Check out how a true conservative would govern.  And don’t forget, Wednesday, Nov 21 —