Ruminations - 3/22/09 - Granite Grok

Ruminations – 3/22/09

I generally write long – short posts are not my forte.  Problem is, there is just SO much going on all at the same time, it has been hard to keep up.  There are times when at the end of the night, and I’ve only put up one or two posts, I look around and see that I still have a gazillion things that I’d love to have the time to mention.  Ah, even if someone paid me to do this full time, I still probably couldn’t keep up with everything at the local, state, and national levels.

So, Ruminations time again when I try to write short.  No Instapundit am I, but I’ll feel better….


Anybody else notice that while Obama keeps talking about the economy under Clinton’s tax rates (when everything was ok) and NOT about Reagan’s (where the tax cuts ignited the economy)?  Nor about JFK’s tax cuts (which ignited the economy)?  And Bush’s (which ignited the economy)?

Nope, and you want.  It isn’t about the economy; it is about control and Bigger Government


Yet another Expiration Date Promise?

One of Barack Obama’s most frequently repeated campaign promises was that his health care reforms would allow Americans to keep their current insurance coverage if they so desired…Like much of his campaign rhetoric, however, that pledge turns out to have been disingenuous. Last week, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag reiterated the administration’s commitment to budget cuts that will force 10 million seniors off their Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and back to the more expensive and less comprehensive coverage of traditional Medicare.

…The real agenda behind the demise of MA involves the desire of Obama and his congressional accomplices to undo the market-based reforms enacted by the Bush administration. If they allow free market reform to significantly slow health care inflation while actually increasing the benefits available to seniors, their primary justification for imposing socialized medicine on the country will have been proven false. This, in turn, would rob Obama & Co. of an opportunity to exponentially increase their control over our wealth and lives. And, make no mistake about it, that’s what their health care "reform" project is really about-the acquisition of more and more money and power. 

We talked about more government control over COBRA insurance yesterday on MTNP.  I had my outrage over an Obama change to healthcare, for Vets this time, here.  I was talking with Bob Mead of the POW/MIA Network yesterday – his take with respect to the Vets is that by moving the Vets cost to private insurance, it will be easier to push a uniform government plan for everyone – more of the same socialism.


I vented my spleen over the AIG nonsense here – again I reiterate – when Congress decides that it can unilaterally abrogate private contracts between two willing parties and use the tax code club in an unconstitutional way, they deserve with a 90% retroactive tax against a specified class of citizens.  I kinda expect it from Dems in general, but I am not thrilled by the Republicans who cast a vote in total disregard to the Constitution that says "NO!" to Bills of Attainder.

Here’s the list of Republican chuckleheads that lost their brains

Andrew at NRO adds:

Getting people to hand over money under the threat of legislation that will take it from retroactively is pretty damn coercive. There are third-world juntas that would think twice before doing this.


Victor Davis Hanson has 3 ideas of why Obama is acting the way he is:

  1. Clueless. Obama, the community organizer from Chicago with a mere two years plus in the Senate, is clueless. He has never run a business, never served as an executive, never done anything in matters of commerce other than speak and write and authorize spending bills as part of his government job.
  2. Not so clueless. Or Obama has a pretty certain, calculated European objective of high taxes, big-spending programs, utopian foreign policy initiatives, and a therapeutic sense of ensuring we are all going to be equal by result. In that sense, the recession was a godsend, since he has a brief window of about six months of fright and uncertainty to ram through programs that will last a lifetime whose expense will ensure a vast redistribution of income.
  3. A Mean streak. Or there is not so much chaos or European utopianism at work as a sort of primeval dislike of capitalists and those who have access to money 

Clueless means he can be taught.  Not clueless means we have to pray for stupidity somewhere down the line for help.  A Mean streak – we’re all screwed.  Meanness attracts other bullies.


Oy voy – words fail the phrase "Big Spender Obama" – AND he keeps talking about fiscal responsibility?  Chutzpah!

Deteriorating economic conditions will cause the federal deficit to soar past $1.8 trillion this year and leave the nation wallowing in a sea of red ink far deeper than the White House had previously estimated, congressional budget analysts said today….– $2.3 trillion more than the president predicted when he unveiled his spending plan just one month ago.

By the CBO’s estimate, for example, the nation’s debt would grow to 82 percent of the overall economy by 2019 under Obama’s policies, compared with a pre-recession average of 40 percent. 


what are the "sustainability" people saying now about their poster boy….well, here’s the Budget Dude:

"There are always some adjustments," Orszag said of the legislative budget process.

I bet…especially since the CBO’s estimates are TWICE what Obama and minions (Doug’s favorite new saying "and minions" are peddling…By the end of the decade, the deficit under Obama’s blueprint would go back up to $1.2 trillion. Think an average yearly deficit of $928 Billion for TEN YEARS! And the CBO is expecting MUCH worse recovery numbers than Obama is.

Think fantasy land type numbers – spin number – "how DO I get out of this" type numbers…

Somebody tell the One that this number is not "fiscal responsibility".  Which means there’s no way to fulfill the next Expiration Date Promise of halving the debt by the end of his term.  Here’s the CBO report.



John at Powerline:

It would be nice if voters paid more attention to these numbers and less to the earnings of AIG’s derivatives traders.

Indeed. But I’d be happier if it were our CongressCritters and MSM.


Gaffe – when a politician speaks the truth: So, when

Just So We Get the Full Measure of Hypocrisy

Here’s Obama after Don Imus’ unfortunate racial remark:

"He didn’t just cross the line," Obama said. "He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting."

Though every major presidential candidate has decried the racist remarks, Obama is the first one to say Imus should lose his job for them.

Imus got fired for what he said – Obama? A pass.  That’s what the Beautiful People and Elites get – a pass.  Rest of us – fired or jail or a summons from the IRS.

And I bet this felt good – and this was NO faux outrage – his words made it personal:

“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics,” Governor Palin said. “This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world.

“These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”


This was no gaffe.  Remember how the Left is always lecturing to the rest of us about tolerance.  I guess it ONLY works in one direction:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview Friday on that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a “homophobe.”
“At some point, [the Defense of Marriage Act] is going to have to go to the United States Supreme Court,” Frank said. “I wouldn’t want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court.

Per usual – don’t agree with the LGBT gang and that what you get labeled.  If you don’t have acceptance about what they want, there’s no tolerance for you! 

I’d use a word, but Barney Fwank wouldn’t like me any more either…unfortunately, the MSM didn’t use any words about Fwank either…not a one.


The DNC is not liking the fact that some Republicans are standing up to the Big Government (strings attached) being rammed down their throats:

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Thursday that she will accept just 69 percent of the estimated $930 million in federal stimulus funds that could flow to the state.

The DNC toadies, like the New York Times, are beating out the DNC talking points:

Republican governors who have been threatening to refuse federal aid rather than sensibly expand state unemployment insurance programs are putting ideology ahead of the needs of their constituents.

Included in that company are Gov. Jindal (R-LA), Gov. Perry (R-TX), and Gov. Sanford (R-SC).

"We’re obviously disappointed by the White House’s decision, because it cuts against the notion of federalism and the idea of each state having the flexibility to act in a manner that best suits its needs," Gov. Sanford said. "As a result, we will not be seeking the use of these federal funds for the way they put our state even further into an unconscionable level of debt….We simply cannot afford to base 10 percent of our state budget on money that will disappear in two years’ time."…

The overall message is "how dare you not accept the forced changes in your Sovereign State laws to accept this blackmail money."  Blackmail?  Yes – the Dems are not wasting the crisis of poor people to force the States into a higher level of serfdom to the Feds. 

Not only is the MSM involved in supporting the DNC but here is where I laughed at my worthy Liberal competitor here in NH, Dean at Blue Hampshire.

That’s ok, the Republican Govs are big boys and girls – here‘s Doug’s post on Sarah’s response.


Illegal discrimination: "…Applicants must be undocumented, Chicano/Latino, high school students entering college this fall…"

The San Mateo Community College District, on the San Francisco Peninsula, has sent a mass email announcing a scholarship for "undocumented" students of "Chicano / Latino descent" only. Here is the full text of an ungrammatical email sent yesterday, proudly announcing the boon solely for those who do not follow the immigration laws of our country. Oddly enough, they see nothing wrong with requiring their own documentation

Why only for thee and not for me?  Oh, b
ecause I’m a white, middle aged legal resident of Swedish / Irish descent…

If I offered a scholarship that discriminated on the basis of perceived race, what would the Left say about me?


Obama is making great words about tripling the amount of electricity to be generated by renewable here in the USA.  Given the extremely low amount of renewables, he "could"achieve his goals.  Problem is, he won’t – Democrat environmentalists are fighting renewables (think Cape Wind and how The Swimmer and Lurch have been fighting that!).  Now this:

Nineteen companies have submitted applications to build solar or wind facilities on a parcel of 500,000 desert acres, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Friday such development would violate the spirit of what conservationists had intended when they donated much of the land to the public.

Feinstein said Friday she intends to push legislation that would turn the land into a national monument, which would allow for existing uses to continue while preventing future development.

The Wildlands Conservancy orchestrated the government’s purchase of the land between 1999-2004. It negotiated a discount sale from the real estate arm of the former Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroad and then contributed $40 million to help pay for the purchase. David Myers, the conservancy’s executive director, said the solar projects would do great harm to the region’s desert tortoise population.

"It would destroy the entire Mojave Desert ecosystem," said David Myers, executive director of The Wildlands Conservancy.

Yeah, I subtracted hydro, as other environmentalists want those dams gone too. Thus, as Obama says one thing, his real aim is to cripple the coal, oil, and natural gas industries.  Once again, Obama the Magician says one thing here, works over there.

We’ll all be shivering next winter from a lack of energy…


Some Catholics aren’t going to like me….

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on the White House on Saturday to end immigration raids that split up families.

"I stand with other faith leaders and all of you gathered here today and with every immigrant family in this nation to call on our government to end immigration raids and the separation of families," said Cardinal Francis George at an immigrants-rights rally at a northwest Chicago church.

… George said the Catholic church does not approve of people breaking the law, but it believes that everyone deserves respect. He said stopping raids would show the administration’s sincerity to voters in the immigrant community.

"To separate families, wives from husbands, children from parents, is to diminish what God has joined," said George, who is archbishop of Chicago.

Breaking God’s law is called sin.  Romans 13:1 commands us to obey the authorities that God has put into those positions; thus, to do otherwise is sin, rights?

Switching angles:  how come I never hear the Church say anything about the responsiblity of the parents to NOT put their children in such a scenario by which their actions put their children at risk?  If parents didn’t break the law, if they led their families so as to not put them at risk, there’d be no problem, right?

Doublestandard, I’d say.


Best short lesson in economics I’ve seen in a while:

Everyday we hear political geniuses in Washington, D.C., proclaim that the government must promote sustainable resource allocation. Evidently, they fear that we are going to run out of resources like coal and oil in the future, so we must prepare now to stop this inevitable disaster….

…Economics is the study of scarce resources with alternative uses. The relative supply and demand of each of these resources determines the price. As resources become more scarce, prices increase, causing individuals to self-ration without any fiat by the government. This simple fact is misunderstood, or even outright ignored, by the elite politicians who try to scare the public.

That’s because it is not about pricing.  It is all about control and killing off the free marketplace.

No government fiat caused people to recognize that whale oil was getting more scarce, causing people to move to Kerosene, or from Kerosene to crude or from crude to gasoline. Prices did that. When one resource became more scarce, it signaled the market to correct itself in the development of newer resources that were relatively less expensive and more efficient. Imagine that.

Such a great example!  And no government bureaucrat made them do it!  That’s why the Obamanuts will fail – they fail to realize that people can act in their own self-interest and prosper.


The insanity of the government choosing "sustainable" resources is that it forces the public to utilize more costly and less efficient energy. If the government-preferred resources, like wind, solar and biofuel were cheaper and more efficient than oil, nothing could stop the public from using them. In fact, if we really were running out of oil, the price of oil would be so high that people would start to move naturally to wind and solar, or whatever new technology arrived on the scene.

This is why it is simply insanity for Obama and the enviro-wackos to push this.  All we will get is higher energy prices in the short term, less competitiveness in the global marketplace mid and longer term, and less individual freedom and libertay ALL the time.

Not such a good trade off, IMHO


Our friend Chan over at Weekend Pundit on "Do we really want Government to run Healthcare":

As one of my co-workers stated (he being of a left-of-center viewpoint), "We have to do something about this mess!" I agreed, but disagreed that we need some kind of national health insurance. I asked him, "Why would we want to replace a system that is disjointed, expensive, but that works after a fashion with something we know doesn’t work at all, will cost billions more than now, and will provide nothing more than access to a waiting list?"

He had no answer.

Neither does Congress or President Obama.

I do – there are two main healthcare controllers being talked about now that Obama is in office: Government or Employers.  The real answer is to take it away from the latter.

The even better answer is to take it away from the former, too!  Put it back into the hands of those that need it – after all, for all the time before WW II and Government put in wage and price controls, we, the people controlled our own healthcare.

We did it before, we can do it again. And the price will come down if the Gov & Emp get out of the ways.  

Actually, one thing Obama should do, and that is to give US the tax credits instead of Employers.


You know, my senator, Judd Gregg (R-NH) is sounding better and better:

“It is as if you were flying an airplane and the gas light came on and it said ‘you [have] 15 minutes of gas left’ and the pilot said ‘we’re not going to worry about that, we’re going to fly for another two hours.’ Well, the plane crashes and our country will crash and we’ll pass on to our kids a country that’s not affordable.”

 Josh at RedState continues with his analysis:

The Senator’s choice of metaphor drives home the seriousness of what the Obamunists are doing to the nation. Even worse than a train wreck, an airliner crash is likely to kill more passengers and leave more pieces that are difficult to pick up. And Obama is no Captain Sullenberger who can heroically and safely ditch the plane in the Hudson River. Rather, he is more akin to a pilot, drunk on power, who takes the airliner and all those aboard down with him in a fatal nosedive.

“Please fasten your seat belts and make sure your seat back, tray table and window shades are in the upright positions. Bend over and place your head between your legs, and kiss your wallet goodbye.”

Hot Air has more.

So does CNN:

The practical implications of this is bankruptcy for the United States,” Gregg said of the Obama’s administration’s recently released budget blueprint. “There’s no other way around it. If we maintain the proposals that are in this budget over the ten-year period that this budget covers, this country will go bankrupt. People will not buy our debt, our dollar will become devalued. It is a very severe situation.”

Not much to add when they are right….


The Evangelical Church could use some of this, too.  I include myself in this as well:

Archbishop Charles Chaput has become one of the most outspoken advocates for American Catholics in the last few years, but now he trains his rhetorical and teaching skills on the church itself and its members.  Chaput decries the state of Catholic education that has allowed people to fundamentally misunderstand their own faith, and scolds the church for allowing itself to become more concerned with membership than truth.  The consequences of the failure can be seen all around us, Chaput says:

Having been asked to examine what November 2008 and its aftermath can teach Catholics about American culture, the state of American Catholicism and the kind of Pauline discipleship necessary today, Archbishop Chaput said:

November showed us that 40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected. Or to put it more discreetly, the November elections confirmed a trend, rather than created a new moment, in American culture.” 

 As you could tell form the above micro-post and unlike the Bishop, my emphasis is on individuals doing good works; reading the entire article would tell you, the reader, that it seems that Government should be stepping in.  That said, more of us of faith need to be fighting against the human secularism that seems to be shoving those of faith aside. 


I keep saying that too many people orient on Rights and not about Responsibility.  The other word that keeps getting overused is Justice:   Talk about defining justice down

Just like we have too many laws, there are just too many forms of "justice" to keep straight…


More on AIG – is the cluelessness of our CongressCritters concerning the law (think Constitution) turning us into a Banana Republic?

Wells Fargo didn’t want any TARP money, but the government forced it to take more than $5 billion worth, so Wells Fargo employees who receive bonuses would be subject to Pelosi’s proposed tax. Say you’re a teller at a Wells Fargo branch in Minnesota and you’re married to a lawyer who makes $250,000 this year. You get a $10,000 bonus for your good work during 2008. The government steals it all (90 percent federal plus 8.5 percent state plus, unless it’s included in the 90 percent, 3 percent Medicare). That is simply insane.