Thursday, December 30, 2010

Glorious Socialist Medicine: Penis Amputated Following Misdiagnosis and Delay

Uninsured Americans get better care than this:
A Swedish man was forced to have his penis amputated after waiting more than a year to learn he had cancer.

When he returned in March 2010 complaining of foreskin irritation, the doctor on duty at the time diagnosed the problem as a simple case of inflammation.

After three weeks passed without the prescribed treatment alleviating the man’s condition, he was instructed to seek further treatment at Blekinge Hospital.

But it took five months before he was able to schedule an appointment at the hospital.

When he finally met with doctors at the hospital, the man was informed he had cancer and his penis would have to be removed.
In the United States, a penniless homeless man could have presented to the Emergency Department to be seen by a urologist the same day.

Take home lesson: Socialism leads to shortages. In health care, shortages manifest as long wait times. Long wait times result in morbidity and mortality.

But at least socialism is fair, just and equitable!

Think this won't happen in the U.S.? Look what ObamaCare RomneyCare hath wrought:

Discussion: Memeorandum

Dan Mitchell: Government-Run Healthcare Can Be Emasculating…Literally

FYI: Sweden's Single-Payer Health System Provides a Warning to Other Nations...
For much of the last fifty years Sweden has had a heavily socialized health care system. Almost all of the funding comes from government revenue, and most aspects of the health care system, such as hospitals, primary care centers and prescription drugs, are controlled by the government. Doctors could still have a private practice, although by the 1960s about 80 percent of doctors worked in government-run hospitals...
Read the rest.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From Limbaugh's Lips To America's Ears: Americans Say Obama Will Fail

Rush Limbaugh's hopes have become America's expectations:
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama enters the new year with a growing number of Americans pessimistic about his policies and a growing number rooting for him to fail, according to a new national poll...

"Twelve months ago a majority of the public said that they thought Obama's policies would succeed; now that number has dropped to 44 percent, with a plurality predicting that his policies will likely fail."
Americans are also glad that the Dems' monopoly on power has been busted, but their expectations for the GOP's performance is low:
...while a majority of the public says Republican control of the House of Representatives is good for the country, only one in four say the GOP will do a better job running things than the Democrats did when they controlled the chamber.
Good. Keep the expectations low and the leashes short.

Discussion: Memeorandum


Raw numbers on the failure question:

In general, do you think it is more likely that Obama's policies will succeed or more likely that his policies will fail?

Succeed 44%
Fail 47%

In general, do you hope that Barack Obama's policies will succeed or do you hope that his policies will fail?

Succeed 61%
Fail 27%

More bad news for progs: Americans have more confidence in Republicans in Congress than in Obama or the Democrats. In fact, Republicans crush the Democrats...
Thinking about the major issues facing the country today, who do you have the most confidence in -- Barack Obama, or the Republicans in Congress, or the Democrats in Congress?

Obama 35%
Republicans in Congress 40%
Democrats in Congress 15%

Some "glass half empty" analysis from an astute commenter at Gateway Pundit:
So… 35% of the people are mentally ill? That’s really sad.

Add the 35% to the 15% who think the Pelosi/Reid Congress is just ducky, and this country is in serious trouble.


1. CNN reports that a growing number of Americans are "rooting" for Obama to fail, but in their poll they ask respondents whether they hope Obama's policies fail, not whether Mr. Obama fails:
In general, do you hope that Barack Obama's policies will succeed or do you hope that his policies will fail?

2. This poll does not reflect the views of the voters:
Interviews with 1,008 adult Americans conducted by telephone by Opinion Research Corporation on December 17-19, 2010. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Remember... polls of the general adult population generally give results that are more sympathetic to Democrats (in contrast to polls that only include Americans who vote).

3. Demographic data on the poll sample are conspicuously absent.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare in 16 Words

Donald M. Berwick

ObamaCare won't save the economy, it won't make health care more affordable and it won't cause us to live longer, healthier lives.

The "primary function" of Obamacare is to take your power to make your own health care decisions and to give that power to the ruling class. Don't take my word for it:
President Obama's Medicare chief, Dr. Donald Berwick, explains, "Traditional medical ethics, based on the doctor-patient dyad must be reformulated...The primary function of regulation in health care, especially as it affects the quality of medical care, is to constrain decentralized individualized decision making.
Translation: "You're not in charge of your health care. Your doctor is not in charge. We are."

Go read this excellent article for more.

Update: Do you know who has all the right ideas about real health care reform? Read this great piece by Robert Stacy McCain.

Update II: Nothing to see here, move along.

Discussion: Memeorandum

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Obama's End-of-Life Agenda

Let them eat painkillers!

Do you know your DNR status? You should. So why are Obama & Co. sneaking around behind your back get your doctor to bring it up?


To reduce the controversy surrounding the Democrats' health care legislation, section 1233 was removed. Section 1233 would have provided for financial compensation for end-of-life counseling. According to the New York Times, Section 1233 is making a comeback via Obama's bureaucratic machine:
Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.
The full text of Section 1233 is here.

By default, you get a "full code" if you haven't specified otherwise. That means that in an emergency, anything that can be done will be done. All aggressive, invasive and heroic options are on the table.

At the other end of the spectrum, a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order means that a patent does not want aggressive forms of life-saving intervention such as CPR, mechanical ventilation (life support) or defibrillation/cardioversion.

If you are of advanced age, or if you are in very poor health, you might prefer a DNR order ― and that's where end-of-life counseling is appropriate. You can talk with your physician (or under Obama's plan, a nurse or a physician's assistant) and sort the issues out in advance.

The complexities of a real-world medical emergency can render end-of-life plans or "advance care planning" perfectly useless, but a discussion with your physician on these issues can be very productive.

So why won't the Obama administration address this issue openly? Why hide behind a thousand layers of bureaucratic opacity? Perhaps it is because the implementation of Obama's end-of-life agenda raises some difficult questions:
  • Is compensation specifically for end-of-life counseling necessary? If so, why? Physicians can bill for general counseling already... Why is there a fierce urgency to single out this issue?
  • Will patients and their families be adequately educated on the reversibility of DNR orders?
  • Does the government have a conflict of interest in this matter? (Saving money with more DNR orders).

Where are the potential conflicts of interest?

It also appears to make this a voluntary conversation (at least for now), one the patient can decline without any repercussions.

There is, however, something at least vaguely disturbing about a government incentivizing doctors to [provide end-of-life counseling] as part of an expansive regulatory program that has, as one of its primary goals, cost reduction.
I would point out that the language of 1233 appears to be written to begin the process of making end-of-life counseling mandatory for physicians:
Physician's Quality Reporting Initiative...

...the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted... Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment.
What is the Physician's Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI)? Big brother explains:
The 2006 Tax Relief and Health Care Act required the establishment of a physician quality reporting system, including an incentive payment for eligible professionals who satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered professional services...
For many physicians, because of the way these funds are filtered through hospitals, these "incentives" take on all the characteristics of a mandate. The coercive quality of this initiative is expected to increase over time.

Obama's end-of-life agenda turned out to be too controversial to implement under the glaring light of the legislative process, so it's being sneaked in through the murky channels of unchecked bureaucratic power. As usual, William Jacobson gets to the heart of the matter:
Procedurally, we all should care. This is a textbook example of what I have been warning. Obamacare simply is the infrastructure. The details and the demons will be worked out in regulations.

The fact that such a controversial change was kept quiet for so long, and that the Obama administration took steps to keep it quiet, is most troublesome of all.

Defunding is the only option at this point, because the regulators cannot be trusted.
Nibbling away at the edges of ObamaCare will never suffice. Repeal it!

Discussion: Memeorandum


Nick Rowe asks some important questions:
As conservatives and libertarians, most of us want Medicare and Medicaid eliminated or, at least, curtailed. So why are we attacking Obama and the Demon Rats on the very rationing of health care that we ourselves would impose? Just because it is politically convenient at the moment?

As conservatives and libertarians we don't approve of central planning or bureaucratic restrictions on the consumption of goods and services. That's one of the many problems with so-called "death" panels, arbitrary quality of life scores, and other artificial rationing mechanisms.

Medicare resources should be allocated carefully. But as a proponent of free-market mechanisms, I would prefer to see those decisions made by individual health care consumers, rather than by politicians and bureaucrats. A Medicare voucher program could play a role in that.

Problems created by market distortions aren't solved by more market distortions. Providing government-financed incentives for physicians to prompt their patients to choose minimal end-of-life health care is just another market distortion that has the potential to create all kinds of moral hazards.

Physicians should receive compensation for any service that is valued by their patients, including counseling on any health care question. But is counseling on end-of-life care somehow more valuable to patients than counseling on any other issue?

Should patients and physicians be left alone to decide how their scarce time together will be spent, or do bureaucrats need to use carrots and sticks to get us moving in the right direction?

Should we blanket the population with end-of-life counseling, or should the advice and education be targeted? Should end-of-life counseling crowd out counseling on diet, exercise, tobacco cessation and proper use of medications... or should counseling on all these topics receive equal compensation?

How will these decisions be made?

If we ration time in the doctor's office based on incentives created by the Department of Health and Human services, will time be spent in the best interests of patients or in the best interests of Uncle Sam?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Global Warming, A White Christmas & Extreme Taxes

(Click to enlarge)

We don't get a lot of snow where I live, but today we're getting blanketed. The last time we had a white Christmas (with any accumulation) was in 1969. That was several years before I was born.

So naturally, that got me thinking about the looming global warming crisis.

William Jacobson has a good question: "At what point in time should global warming have stopped?" So far, no brave global climate warrior has managed to come up with an answer.

Along the same lines, a Swedish free-market economist muses:
So what is there to say that the pre-industrial era climate is really the optimal climate? That the benefits of a possible warmer climates wouldn't outweigh the disadvantages? I have asked that many times to Al Gore supporters and either gotten no answer at all, or some list of alleged (and exaggerated) disadvantages that completely overlooked the benefits.
Perhaps it's some kind of semi-automated Freudian slip, but it looks like Memeorandum has come up with the most believable global warming prediction I've ever seen:

“Expect more extreme taxes thanks to global warming, say scientists”

Maybe this will become the cardinal 21st century corollary to Ben Franklin's famous aphorism:

"In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes."

Whatever happens to the global climate, extreme taxes will almost inevitably follow!

Friday, December 24, 2010

On Christmas

Image: Simon Howden

Nickie Goomba:
Yes, I believe God has a sense of humor and surprise ... and irony ... and plot ... and real purpose. You know, I even think He makes appearances at shopping malls. I mean, if He can land in a manger, all things are possible.

Conservative Scalawag:
Watched this last night, as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Wishing all my readers a safe and holy Christmas Eve...

'Tis the season for music... O Holy Night

just a conservative girl:
Merry Christmas from Down Under

No Sheeples Here:
Merry Christmas. God Bless Us, Every One!

Mind Numbed Robot
Let Them Eat Christmas

Proof Postitive:

Sipsey Street:
Three Christmas Carols -- One from Ireland, two others courtesy of the TSA.

Common Cents:
What's So Great about Christianity

Old Line Elephant:
This time every year, we gather around the metal pole and celebrate Festivus.

The Other McCain:
Merry Christmas’ From Herman Cain

Nice Deb:
Christmas eve eve is over, but it's not too late for a A Very Perry Christmas video.

The Lonely Conservative:
I can’t listen to this song without my eyes welling up with tears or a lump forming in my throat.

Left Coast Rebel

Merry Christmas from Miss Adeline and her mom and dad!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dems' New Rallying Cry: "Power FROM The People!"

I think there's no hyperbole in saying that we're headed toward an unmitigated disaster of the banana republic variety.

Now the Dems and their statist allies are talking about filibuster "reform." But it's not reform. Reform would be good thing. The Dems' scheme is more of the same old business as usual ― but on steroids. Neo-neocon sums up the issue as poignantly as anyone:
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection says not to worry. But I’m hardly as sanguine as he on the possibilities for control of both houses in 2012, or what Republicans would do if they had it.

As I wrote before, there’s always the House.

Any circumventing of the filibuster this way is short-sighted. What one party can do to become the overbearing majority, another can do just as well. But I think the philosophy is to grab as much power as you can while you can, because the other party will do the same when it can.
So the Democrats and Republicans would take turns seizing as much power as possible. Where would that power come from? The only place it can come from: YOU.

So much for minority rights.


Doug Ross provides excellent analysis of Ezra Klein's mindless cheerleading for the Dems' radical filibuster machinations:
Say, Ezra, when every week seemed to herald the introduction of a 2,000-page bill that no one read, did you ever stop to consider that blocking this dreck might be a good thing?

Or, given the magnitude of the uprising by the American people in November against the Democrats' unrelenting Statist agenda, that it might be precisely what the citizenry demands?

Oh, and schmuck: perhaps you could also chart the number of pages of bills (and attendant regulations) passed by each session of the Senate. Consider the hundreds of thousands of pages of "transformational" legislation that not one person bothered to read. That, in the case of health care "reform", is being actively fought as unconstitutional by half the state Attorneys General in the country.
Statists are never satiated.

Discussion: Memeorandum

End of an Error

Rape of Liberty [Darleen Click]

For two years, Democrats have had their way with America. The living nightmare is over now:
The House on Wednesday evening passed a motion to adjourn the 111th Congress “Sine Die”, bringing to a close Democrats four-year reign in the lower chamber. . .

Democrats touted the busy lame duck as a fitting end to what they are touting as one of the most productive Congresses in recent history.
Productive? Is their product like the product of a rape-related pregnancy?

Let's give it up for adoption.

Try to forget about the Democrats' abuse for a while... go download some free Christmas music.

Discussion: Memeorandum

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

By Lilac Sunday

It is not a Holiday Tree. It is a Christmas Tree.

As a Member of the Tribe, I appreciate that you try to spare my feelings of those of my fellow unbelievers during this very festive time. It is gracious of you to try to make us feel included in the festivities by papering over language that might otherwise appear to exclude us.

Now cut it out. The celebration of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ is nearly upon you, be joyful!

I am not offended by the fact that you are celebrating a holiday and I am not. I'm probably still recovering from Eight Crazy Nights anyway, so please pass the eggnog.

But most importantly, and what makes me smile at every Christmas Tree I pass, is this:
A Christmas Tree on government property is the most powerful symbol of freedom the world has ever known.
A Christmas Tree symbolizes the deeply-held beliefs and traditions of the overwhelming majority of the American people. These beliefs exist independent of government influence, are not enforced by any law enforcement agency, and are wholly optional.

I could walk down the street with an electric Menorah on my head without jeopardizing my ability to work, vote, or own property. Someone might hand me a pamphlet, but no one is going to kick down my door.

In a government of, by, and for the People, I can reject the People's God and suffer absolutely no adverse consequences.

This is tremendous.

This is freedom.

This is America.

Merry Christmas.

86 Billion Reasons to Ratify START

Now that Senate Republicans are caving in for Obama's dangerous START treaty, the issue has finally begin grabbing the attention it deserves. Like many other conservatives, Nice Deb is incensed and perplexed by recent developments:
...for some inexplicable reason, [Republicans] are allowing the Obama administration to rush them into a yes vote on something that should take weeks to debate...

The 11 Republicans who voted for cloture:

Sens. Dick Lugar (Ind.), Bob Bennett (Utah), Scott Brown (Mass.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), and George Voinovich (Ohio).
[emphasis added]

It came as no big surprise that Republicans from liberal states came out to support START ― but what about the Republicans from conservative states? Like Nice Deb, I couldn't explain that. I'm from Tennessee, a conservative state, and BOTH of my Republican senators support START!

I did a little research and found that Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have at least 86 billion reasons to support START:
There are seven facilities in the country, including Y-12 in Oak Ridge [Tennessee], that deal with the nuclear arsenal and needed to be upgraded, Corker said, adding, "There is no question in my mind, if it weren't for the discussion of this treaty, we would not have the commitments that we have today on modernization."

The Obama administration's updated nuclear defense plan calls for investing $86 billion at these facilities over the next decade, and UPF is a key part of the spending plan...

The Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 would be used for processing weapons-grade uranium that's taken out of old weapons, as well as refurbishing nuclear warhead parts for weapons that remain in the active arsenal...
[emphasis added]

As we rush to dismantle our nuclear weapons, Corker will reap the political benefits in Tennessee:
Not only will Y-12 be called upon to eventually dismantle components from the many nuclear warheads to be eliminated by New START, but the plant's modernization program -- including the proposed multibillion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility -- is expected to gain strong momentum from commitments made by President Barack Obama's administration during the drawn-out debate over the treaty with Russia.

Senate Republicans pushed for more support for modernization of the nuclear weapons complex and improved maintenance of the U.S. nuclear arsenal during the New START proceedings, and U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee were among the Republicans who announced Tuesday that they would vote for ratification.

Both of the Tennessee senators played important roles, with Corker on the front-lines of the debate as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Alexander exerting influence as the No. 3 Republican in the Senate. Both said modernization of U.S. nuclear capabilities was instrumental in their support.
[emphasis added]

In his speech on the Senate floor on Monday, Corker made the connection between the money and his vote very explicit:
One of the things that has concerned people on both sides of the aisle has been this whole issue of modernization...

There are seven facilities that we have in this country that deal with our nuclear arsenal, and many of those are becoming obsolete and need to have needed investment...

...[we have worked] to make sure that the proper modernization of our nuclear arsenal takes place, and there is no question in my mind, if it weren’t for the discussion of this treaty, we would not have the commitments that we have today on modernization...

....what this calls for is $86 billion worth of investment throughout the seven facilities throughout our country on nuclear armaments, and over $100 billion on the delivery mechanisms to ensure that these warheads are deliverable.
Corker assures us he has a rock solid deal with Barack Obama to get the money he wants:
Will the president actually in his budget ask Congress to ask for that money? I’d like to ask unanimous consent to have a letter from the president of the United States on December 20 to the appropriators saying that he, in fact, would ask for those funds in the budget that he puts forth in the next few months...

I would say that we have sought and received commitments that otherwise we would not have received if it weren’t for discussion of this treaty, and the two are very related...

[P]eople might say well, but there is no commitment... I have reasonable assurance that by the time this debate ends, that we will codify this commitment as part of the resolution of ratification.
Corker fails to explain how this deal will make America safer, why modernization should be held hostage to the START treaty, or why a lame duck Senate needs to make this decision.

I think it's reasonable to suspect that the other conservative-state Republicans might have similar reason$ similar to Corker's for supporting START. Thad Cochran and Johnny Isakson, I'm looking at you.

Discussion: Memeorandum


Why did we have elections last month? How can any Republican have looked at the results and thought “We need to help President Obama ram through his agenda before we get some more power?” It’s insanity.
It's the Republicans' last chance to make sweet deals with the devil!
The Senate GOP is decidedly mushy on many fronts and unwilling for really tough fights except in odd circumstances. The Senate GOP understands that Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Marco Rubio are headed to the Senate as reinforcements for Jim DeMint. They are deeply worried because of it.

Why worry? Because the Senate GOP wants to cut deals with the Senate Democrats and they know that just Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Jim DeMint will be able to force deals much more conservative than the Senate GOP is.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Confirmed By Science: Christmas is Evil

**UPDATE (12.24.2011): Atheist Pat Condell skewers Michael Schmitt's "cultural masochism."

Looks like the feds were right: Your Christmas decorations are tearing apart our diverse society. Don't take my word for it; a leftist professor from Simon Fraser University has scientific evidence to prove that Christmas is evil:
Christmas displays can undermine the psychological well-being of people who do not celebrate the holiday...

“This research demonstrates that the pervasive presence of Christmas displays in December makes people who do not celebrate Christmas feel like they don’t belong, and it harms their emotional well-being,” said SFU associate psychology professor Michael Schmitt.
Who is this Michael Schmitt?

Dr. Michael T. Schmitt runs the the "Self in Social Context Lab" at Simon Fraser University. Schmitt describes his mischief:
The main focus of our research is intergroup relations, collective identity, responses to social inequality, and coping with discrimination... In addition, we work very closely with the Intergroup Relations and Social Justice Lab...
I'm quite impressed by the number of ways in which this effete jackwagon managed to hint, "I'm probably a Marxist who despises traditional Western culture" in one short paragraph.

Dr. Michael T. Schmitt,, 778-782-4342

If there's any room for doubt about Schmitt's sentiments, here's a little sample of his work:
  • "The effects of Christmas displays on mood, self-esteem, and inclusion." (Christmas is evil!)
To be fair, Michael Schmitt is no "Mr. Grinch." He doesn't want to take away Christmas, he just wants you to hide your tree in a dark closet so that Buddhists, Sikhs and members of other religious groups can feel safe again:
These displays can make people of some cultures feel less included. This is especially important in social spaces where we value inclusion and respect for cultural and religious diversity, such as schools and workplaces. In such contexts, the safest course of action in terms of respecting diversity is to avoid putting up Christmas displays altogether.
"Get thee behind me, Santa! You do not have in mind the things of science and multiculturalism, but the things of oppression and alienation."

Here's an interesting comment from Sikh Philosophy Network:
Quite frankly I think this is absurd. I do not know of any Sikh or Buddhist families that have ever taken offence to other festivals. Most Sikhs I know (ourselves included) have a tree in the house and give out Christmas cards as we believe in sharing and inclusivity in good things. We don't believe in the religious significance but in the wider message of good will and sharing. The government here often makes silly rules for the sake of "not offending" but actually that causes resentment towards Asians so studies like this actually cause divides.
I wonder if Schmitt's Christmas tree was decorated with depictions of white Christians murdering brown Bhuddists and swarthy Sikhs ... just askin'!

Actually, Schmitt's study was a relatively small project in which some Simon Fraser University students were exposed to a 12'' Christmas tree and were asked to document their mood.

I think this study deserves an alternate headline:

"A Few College Students Who Have Been Immersed In An Anti-Western Educational Milieu Have Some Vaguely Conflicted Feelings About Traditional Western Holidays."

In all seriousness, I do believe in demonstrating a reasonable amount of sensitivity with respect to the diverse needs of individuals in our multicultural, omni-gendered society.

To preserve the emotional well-being of those who are not of African descent, we should probably reconsider Black History month. Surely all those TV specials in February make Asians feel less sure about themselves.

While we're at it, we probably need to take Thor's days off the calendar. For those of us who aren't comfortable with the old Norse religion, weekly reminders of the intimidating god of thunder can be very disquieting. If we'd simply call Thursday "fifth day," Quakers would be especially appreciative.

I'd also propose that we should tone down the ubiquitous presence of women's health symbology. Think for a moment about the self-esteem of the victims of prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. What are their symbols of love and support?

Update I: A commenter says that the SFU study should be taken with a grain of salt...

Pay no attention to anything from Simon Frasier. Its a hellhole amongst leftist hellholes... has been for decades.

Update II:

"And that's why yellow Christmas makes me sad, I think."

Update III:

Christmas Trees Not So Harmless...
We’ve always had a Christmas Tree in our department common room and we have thought of it as harmless. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider.

Exit thought: I wonder what Dr. Schmitt thinks about the feelings of emotional well-being that will inevitably be generated by the Ground Zero Mosque.

Update IV:

The intolerance of diversity...

Discussion at Memeorandum

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last-minute gift idea

By Lilac Sunday

Need a last-minute gift idea for a responsible homeowner?

Give them a lovely card inscribed with the following sentiment:
Out of respect and admiration for your tireless dedication to paying your mortgage, I called my Senator and urged him to vote against Joseph A. Smith, Obama's pick to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
As described previously, here and here, the Obama Administration is pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce the principal on mortgages taken out by borrowers who are underwater but who can nevertheless afford their mortgage payments. The FHFA regulates Fannie and Freddie, and Joseph A. Smith seems inclined to require Fannie and Freddie to participate in Obama's jingle mail bailout. As such, he must not be allowed anywhere near FHFA.

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) recently said that allowing Fannie and Freddie to write down principal balances would amount to "redistribution from taxpayers in general to certain classes of homeowners."

Certain classes of homeowners who can still afford to make their mortgage payments.

Congressional Republicans have already caught a whiff of this nominee, but additional support always helps. A phone call or an email might help squelch Obama's latest effort to "spread the wealth," and I can't think of a nicer Christmas present.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Herman Cain: Obama's Nightmare!

There's been a lot of Herman Cain buzz in the conservative mediasphere lately. Without further ado, here are the highlights:

[Cain] is known among conservative circles because of his role in helping fight Clinton’s version of nationalized healthcare in 1994 ― that’s when he became a conservative legend. As the President of Godfathers Pizza at the time, he challenged Bill Clinton personally to a town hall style debate/meeting and [Clinton] accepted. The result? Cain pointed out the flaws in the plan when he bold face asked Clinton what he should say to workers he could no longer afford to keep on staff due to the increased health care costs from the “employer mandate.” Clinton said that there would be a number of subsidies for small businessmen to which Cain replied, “Quite honestly, your calculation is inaccurate…In the competitive marketplace it simply doesn’t work that way.” This helped reshape the debate...
The Clintons would later blame "Harry and Louise," the fictional couple in the ads aired by the insurance industry, for undermining health reform. But the real saboteurs are named Herman and John.
OBAMA'S WORST NIGHTMARE IS.... Our friend Herman Cain!
Herman Cain is everything that Barack Obama is not ― a seasoned man of faith... an experienced business executive, a natural communicator...
Although Herman Cain is not a household name, he is one of the most electric and inspiring conservatives whose name is being floated around for 2012. Among those of us who live and breathe politics, we all know too well that Cain can engage an audience and give a speech like no one else. A professional businessman and conservative talk radio host, Cain is slowly gaining traction as a person to take seriously as a candidate for president.
Cain is conservative through and through, and he really knows how to work a crowd. Stacy McCain noticed that even Allahpundit is considering climbing aboard Herman Cain 2012 bandwagon. He can count me in, too. Not only is Cain a true conservative with a gift for public speaking, he also has an impressive resume.
Cain, who on Friday is scheduled to appear on Greta Van Susteren’s show on Fox News, has been traveling to early caucus and primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire to reach out to grassroots movement and potential donors.

If Cain decides to run, he’ll certainly face high hurdles in getting attention in a race that could include Republican stars like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

But his visits to early primary states appear to be paying off....
Sayeth Tim Albrecht "a Terry Branstad aide who knows his way around the politics of the first caucus..."
Prediction: Herman Cain is going to have some serious legs when he begins visiting Iowa.
News from New Hampshire:
Veteran GOP operative and former congressional staffer David Tille has become active on behalf of conservative author and potential presidential hopeful Herman Cain. Tille drove Cain during Cain’s visit to the Manchester GOP Christmas Party last Friday and plans follow-up meetings with Cain’s camp.

I like Cain a lot, and he is one of those possible candidates that I would love to be able to choose from. We have several very exciting candidates and I hope the Republican leadership will stay the Hell out-of-the-way and let Republican voters decide who OUR choice is! Herman Cain 2012? Bring that on!
It pleases me that Herman Cain seems to be leaning closer to running for president. Even if he doesn’t win the nomination his presence will push the debate in the direction it needs to go.
People who meet Herman Cain become Cain boosters.
I haven't met Herman Cain yet, but I first blogged about Cain in July of 2009 after hearing him speak at an Atlanta-area tea party that I attended. He broadcast his radio show live from the tea party and his presentation was phenomenal. On my long drive after the tea party, I listened to a repeat broadcast of the show and I coordinated my stops with the commercial breaks so I hear it all again without missing a minute. Cain's message was that good!

If there's any room for doubt about what this blogger thinks about Herman Cain, let me be clear: Herman Cain 2012!

Citizens4Cain Facebook page
Citizens4Cain on Twitter

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Busted: Your Christmas Decorations are a Violation of Federal Regs…

h/t: Salvatore Vuono

Christmas decorations and Bible verses are a flagrant violation of the "discouragement clause" of Regulation B. Thank [goodness] for the federal government rescuing small town Oklahomans from the oppressive tyranny of Christian capitalists:
Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Perkins last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us." were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site also had to be taken down...

Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, "...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."
There was a time when I hoped that conservatives could enjoy the luxury of focusing exclusively on fiscal matters … but if conservatives and libertarians don't show up for the culture wars, the statist culture warriors will show up for us.

Discussion: Memeorandum

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dems Got Run Over by The Omnibus

The Dems' $1.1 trillion omnibus pork bill is dead...

This from Jim DeMint:
Harry Reid finally admitted he didn't have the votes to pass the pork-filled omnibus. Too embarrassed to read their own bill, Democrats agreed to a short-term [continuing resolution], funding government at current levels without earmarks.
Uberconservative Jim DeMint deserves a lot of credit for this.

Stay tuned for updates....

Updated per LCR, Fox News reports:

A visibly frustrated and angry Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, lashed out, saying that he had nine GOP senators supporting the measure, but that suddenly the support evaporated.

"This action taken by my friends on other side of aisle going to cause people to lose their job," Reid predicted.

"There's only one reason why cloture is not being filed...He doesn't have the votes.," McConnell chided, as he referred to the term for the process to shut down a filibuster. "And the reason he doesn't have the votes is because members on this side of the aisle increasingly felt concerned about the way we do business."

A McConnell aide said the leader "worked the phones" for days, pressing his members to quash the bill which contains $8 billion in earmarks (1% of the overall bill), several that belonged to the leader, himself, before he agreed to a pork moratorium.

Elections have consequences. Also, we won.

Updated again per LCR: Video of the fate of the Omnibus (I couldn't find a bus crash scene that didn't involve people dying so a video game had to do):

Update III: Unfortunately, this is entirely believable:
Reid says nine Republican senators approached him today to tell him that while they would like to see the bill passed, they could not vote for it. He did not reveal the names of the nine. A top Senate source tells National Review Online that “it looks like Harry Reid buckled under the threat of Republicans reading [the bill] aloud.”
[emphasis added]

There's still a bunch of GOP porcophiles in the Senate. Via Cubachi, here's a list of some Republicans who wanted to use Omnibus earmarks to buy votes with your tax dollars (along with the number of earmarks that they each placed in this spending bill):

Cochran (R-MS) 230
Wicker (R-MS) 199
Grassley (R-IA) 86
Bond (R-MO) 78
Bennett (R-UT) 76 (Defeated by Tea Party in 2010)
Voinovich (R-OH) 68 (Retiring)
Hutchison (R-TX) 63
Collins (R-ME) 57
Murkowski (R-AK) 55 (Queen of the RINO Turncoats)
Vitter (R-LA) 48
Cornyn (R-TX) 45 (RINO lover)
Chambliss (R-GA) 42
Crapo (R-ID) 41
Risch (R-ID) 41
Brownback (R-KS) 39
Burr (R-NC) 38
McConnell (R-KY) 35 (On very thin ice. Be careful, buddy.)
Roberts (R-KS) 35
Shelby (R-AL) 32
Inhofe (R-OK) 32
Alexander (R-TN) 30 (Watch out for the Tea Party, dude.)
Lugar (R-IN) 29
Graham (R-SC) 27
Thune (R-SD) 26
Isakson (R-GA) 24
Sessions (R-AL) 21
Bunning (R-KY) 21
Ensign (R-NV) 20
Gregg (R-NH) 13 (retiring)

Any guess as to which Republicans were among Dingy Harry's nefarious nine? Hold all of these porkers' feet to the fire and get ready for the 2012 primaries!

And lets give credit where credit is due: These are the earmark-free Republicans.

Johanns (R-NE) 0
LeMieux (R-FL) 0
Hatch (R-UT) 0 (Frightened by Tea Party)
McCain (R-AZ) 0
Kyl (R-AZ) 0
DeMint (R-SC) 0
Kirk (R-IL) 0 (He's on a short leash)
Coburn (R-OK) 0

Update IV: Nice Deb cautions against excessive jubilation over the death of OmniPork...
I hope some deal wasn’t struck with Republicans. I’m sorry I have a suspicious mind, but I do…

Update V: Tea Party power!
Republicans - caught with their hands in the cookie jar — deserted the measure in an effort to square themselves with tea party activists and conservatives in the party.

Discussion: Memeorandum