As Democrats scramble to pass a health care “reform” bill before Christmas, Harry Reid’s 2,000+ page bill is undergoing changes on a daily basis. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe. We don’t really know what changes are being made because a handful of Democrat Senators are meeting behind closed doors to wheel and deal to make something, anything, happen that will get a bill passed before they adjourn.
What’s the rush? Is the country so desperate for reform that a few weeks are too long to wait? Does the bill so drastically change the system that lives will be saved before the ink from the President’s pen dries once the bill is signed into law? Why is it imperative to pass the bill before the Congressional recess?
What’s the rush?
When the Senate leadership released their 2010 legislative calendar, it was clear they expected the health care bill to be passed before the upcoming recess. To make that happen, rumor has it that Reid is threatening to call the Senate into work during Christmas week if it’s not passed. But according to a US News & World Report article, a leadership aide was quoted saying the threat rings hollow. But included in his answer was a more honest reason for the need to hurry and pass something. “…if we get it done, and I think we’ll have to because we need to give Obama that victory, then this should hold, and next year, at least in terms of time in session, will be lighter, especially as we draw closer to the election,” the aide stated.
Not we need to get it done for the American people. Not because it’s the right thing to do. Not because it will never be passed if we don’t finish by Christmas. None of these. But because “we need to give Obama that victory.”
Getting it right be damned. Let’s make sure we prop up our faltering, Socialist President! To stroke Barack Hussein Obama’s ego is why it must be now!
Is the country so desperate for reform that a few weeks are too long to wait?
A November 29 Gallup poll reports a majority of Americans are satisfied with what they pay for health insurance. These results fly in the face of Democrats like California Rep. Mike Thompson who’s “heard from countless folks in my district who can’t afford health care, or are struggling to come up with the money to pay their rising premiums.”
Countless? Maybe Rep. Thompson ran out of fingers and toes, but I’d bet most of us who are products of the American public school system could manage to count them. Or perhaps ACORN did his counting for him. I’m sure they could open a linen closet and find an infinite number of left-wing, Socialist Obama supporters hiding inside.
But the reality is that mainstream America isn’t nearly so desperate for health care reform as are the power hungry President and his political party. In another Gallup poll released last week, Americans said the economy and the Iraq war are more of a concern than health care reform. But over and over again, Obama has made health care his top priority by setting unworkable deadlines that Congress failed to meet in August and November. He’s given speech after speech in an exasperating effort to win public support, but to no avail.
In the latest Rasmussen poll, 56% of likely voters oppose Obama’s plan for the nation’s health care system and his approval ratings continue to plummet. Yesterday, his overall approval rating fell to its lowest recorded level in his presidency.
All of this demonstrates Obama has declared a crisis where none exists in the minds of the American electorate. So no, the country isn’t desperate for reform.
Does the bill so drastically change the system that lives will be saved before the ink from the President’s pen dries once the bill is signed into law?
Not really. According to the White House’s own blog, “ The House bill implements the exchanges in 2013, while the Senate implements the exchanges in 2014.” But the exchanges are an integral part of Obama’s plan to make health care affordable to all. This means Americans won’t benefit from this legislation for at least 4 more years, but taxes to pay for the President’s government-run health care system will kick in long before that.
Since major subsidies and “consumer benefits” don’t kick in for years, it’s hard to convince anyone this bill will become an instant life-saver. What’s obvious is the need Democrats feel to pass a massive tax hike for which the American taxpayer won’t realize any return for years to come. It’s like a “layaway plan” for health care according to Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). Pay now, get your coverage later.
So it isn’t even that this bill will instantly save the lives of the thousands (millions?) who are dying daily at the front doors of hospitals who won’t treat them because they have no insurance. Wait just a sec. Hospitals are treating those without coverage!
There’s really no emergency at all. Except the one President Obama hopes to convince you of. It’s an exercise in fear tactics extraordinaire from the Obama administration.
Plain and simple, without a doubt, the only reason for the mad rush to pass their so-called “reform” is because they know a majority of the American people don’t want it.
With the New Year the 2010 election campaigns will begin to pick up steam. More Americans will begin paying more attention to what’s going on and bending the ear of their elected representatives. So-called “conservative Democrats” will feel more pressure from their constituents and will grow less inclined to support a President whose poll numbers continue to drop like a duck that had a heart attack in midair.
If that happens, this President’s vision of “Hope & Change”won’t materialize. His “Hope” to “Change” the system and seize more government control over citizens’ lives will be shattered. His image tarnished. His ego bruised.
Why the rush?
Because more Americans are awakening every day and realizing Barack Obama’s “Change” isn’t what they hoped for last year.
Hope and Change.
That’s what President Obama promised on the campaign trail last year and voters lapped it up. Our President, who had less executive experience than most hot dog vendors at the time of his election, has pressed hard to fulfill the second half of his slogan but obviously missed the mark on the first part. Since January, he’s fed American citizens a steady diet of radical Change that’s left them feeling more Despair than Hope.
Maybe that’s why his poll numbers are consistently bottoming out. Gallup, Rasmussen, and Zogby are all showing the President’s approval ratings at or near their low points for his presidency–below 50%. But Obama refuses to believe his policies are to blame, and even continues to push his Democratic allies in Congress toward political suicide by twisting their arms to coerce them to support his Socialist agenda.
Most Americans have figured out that Obamanomics isn’t working, but the President believes he’s persuasive enough that he can feed them s**t and make them believe it’s chocolate. Though not one element of his radical Change can be viewed as successful, he continues to press forward with the most radical element of his planned Change–a government takeover of the US health care system–and tries to convince us we’ll be better off with bureaucrats deciding what doctors we can see, what treatments we receive, and what medicines we’re prescribed.
His record thus far demonstrates why a majority of Americans think there’s a better way than Obama’s way.
His stimulus was supposed to keep unemployment from reaching 9% (what the administration predicted it would reach without his stimulus package). We were told his trillion dollar stimulus package would create economic growth that would cause the unemployment rate to peak at 8% this past summer and spur job growth that would have already begun offering Hope to those looking for work.
But his stimulus package didn’t turn the tide, didn’t stimulate the economy, and didn’t create jobs. The President’s stimulus actually stimulated the unemployment rate, which spiked to 10.2% last month–13% higher than he predicted it would have reached without the stimulus, and 27% higher than we were promised it would reach if we allowed him to squander another trillion of our hard earned dollars.
He promised time and again throughout the campaign he’d never raise taxes on middle class families, but he’s supported the Cap & Trade bill in the house that promises to raise the average American family’s utility bill by $1700 per year through increased taxes that will certainly be passed on to consumers. Even his number one priority–creating a government run health care system–promises tons of new taxes that middle class families will be saddled with.
Obama thought he’d finally found a feather for his cap when he blew $3 billion on the Cash-4-Clunkers program this summer. Though the administration touted it as a success, others recognized that whatever benefit the program provided the economy was temporary at best and short-changing future auto sales at worst. Later we learned each vehicle sold through the program cost the American taxpayer $24,000. Unsustainable and too costly, this program can also be chalked up as one of the President’s failures.
His foreign policy failures are as glaring as his domestic failures. Campaigning on a promise to sit down with America’s enemies, he sold citizens on the idea that our differences were of our own making and the hearts of our enemies would soften, tyrants would become amiable, and the lamb would lie down with the lion in all corners of the globe.
But our enemies didn’t lie down, they didn’t become amiable, and Obama’s naivete only served to harden their hearts and strengthen their resolve to challenge us all the more. Iran’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, North Korea’s barrage of missiles, and the failure to act in the face of a rapidly growing Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan have proven the President completely incompetent in matters of foreign affairs.
And now, in a resounding slap to the face of all survivors of the victims on 9/11, against the will of a majority of Americans, the administration has announced the Guantanamo Bay terrorists will be tried in civilian courts in New York City! Including admitted 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
Naivete that can only be present in one who has never worn the uniform, who has never served in the combat arms, who has never put his life on the line for his country is the only thing that can explain this insane decision.
Along with trial in our civilian courts come all the accompanying protections of our bill of rights. Miranda, rules of evidence, and every other technicality used to protect criminals from punishment for their crimes will now be at the disposal of lawyers for terrorists captured on a foreign battlefield by the US military.
Every pencil pushing bureaucrat who argued in favor of this insanity should be issued boots and a rifle and dropped into a hot LZ along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border tomorrow! Then let’s see how many of them favor assigning our constitutional protections to the bloodthirsty lunatics they’ll meet there.
But Americans are rapidly regaining consciousness and recognizing their error in voting for this naive and inexperienced President. While Obama’s approval numbers have often remained under 50% in Rasmussen’s poll of likely voters, today marks the first day a majority disapprove in the Gallup poll of all American adults.
Maybe a few Democrats will begin to wake up and realize our only Hope is to stop the Change!
Contact your Senators tomorrow and tell them to vote no on Cloture for Reid’s health care bill!
by Ann Coulter at Townhall.com
MSNBC, Aug. 31, 2009, Keith Olbermann on Robert F. McDonnell, Republican candidate for governor of Virginia:
“In (McDonnell’s master’s thesis), he described women having jobs as detrimental to the family, called legalized use of contraception illogical, pushed to make divorce more difficult, and insisted government should favor married couples over, quote, ‘cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.’ Wow. When did he write this? 1875? No, 1989. Wow, 1989.
“Goodbye, Mr. McDonnell.”
MSNBC, Sept. 22, 2009, Rachel Maddow also on McDonnell:
“And here’s where the conservative movement and the Republican establishment smash into each other like bumper cars without bumpers. Here’s where Republican electoral chances stop being separate from the wild-eyed excesses of the conservative movement.
“Part of watching Republicans try to return to power is watching … the conservative movement eat the Republican Party, eat their electoral chances over and over and over again.”
On election night, conservatives-eating-Republicans resulted in an 18-point landslide for McDonnell, who beat his Democratic opponent 59 percent to 41 percent — winning two-thirds of all independent voters and ending the Democrats’ eight-year reign in the Virginia governor’s office.
Republicans swept all statewide offices for the first time in 12 years, winning the races for lieutenant governor and attorney general, as well as assembly seats, garbage inspector, dog catcher and anything else Virginians could vote for.
To paraphrase a pompous blowhard: Goodbye, Mr. Democrat.
Received via email from my friend Kim Maginn:
*I just found an earlier version of this post on Pride of America dated 2/20/09.
# 11. Titanic – $150 Million
The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world. But it barely makes our list of top 10 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today ‘ s dollars).
# 10. Tanker Truck vs Bridge – $358 Million
On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany. The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million.
# 9. MetroLink Crash – $500 Million
On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles . It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging.. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.
# 8. B-2 Bomber Crash – $1.4 Billion
Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we ‘ re only #7 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.
# 7. – $2.5 Billion
The was not a large one in relation to the world ‘ s biggest , but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship ‘ s master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a Reef.
# 6. Piper Alpha Oil Rig – $3.4 Billion
The world ‘ s worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world ‘ s single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world ‘ s most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion. Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.
# 5. Challenger Explosion – $5.5 Billion
The was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today ‘ s dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today ‘ s dollars).
# 4. Prestige Oil Spill – $12 Billion
On November 13, 2002, the Prestige was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia , Spain . Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea. According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.
# 3. – $13 Billion
The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA ‘ s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 Billion in today ‘ s dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million. In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics..
# 2. Chernobyl – $200 Billion
On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl , including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.
# 1. 2008 Presidential Election – Clearly the WORST DISASTER in the history of the United States! $800 Billion in the first two months………..
And the cost continues to grow!
by John Kline at Townhall.com
There they go again. Democrats have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress for less than six months, yet already their tax-and-spend ways are hurting America’s economy – and taking away jobs.
Their first act of business was to pass a so-called “stimulus” package they promised would save or create 3.5 million jobs and keep the national unemployment rate below eight percent.
Instead, last week the rate jumped to 9.5 percent, its highest level in more than 25 years.
Rather than reversing course, however, Democrat leaders continued down this perilous path by forcing through the House a climate change bill that would be properly described as a “cap-and-tax” scheme. Experts say its carbon-trading rules will kill millions of jobs in an economy that desperately needs them.
Of course, this wasn’t enough to convince Democrats of the error of their ways.
Next up is health care, which is in dire need of attention. But – perhaps unsurprisingly – the projected effects of Democratic proposals on business and jobs are dismal.
In his first Independence Day message to his supporters, the President demonstrated his fundamental misunderstanding of what is probably the most well known sentence of the Declaration of Independence. That’s giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, because the alternative is he’s intentionally misinterpreting the intent of the founders to manipulate the people and consolidate power.
From the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
President Obama’s interpretation seems to ignore that little word wedged between ‘the’ and ‘of’–pursuit.
Now, it’s important to remember this document wasn’t put together in a day. It wasn’t something Jefferson put together in one sitting on a cafe napkin. Jefferson and the other founding fathers carefully chose their words to ensure their message to the King and the world was communicated effectively. The phrase “pursuit of happiness,” survived the editing process and became permanently etched in the final document that initiated the formation of what would become the greatest nation on Earth.
From the President’s 4th of July message:
Our country began as a unique experiment in liberty — a bold, evolving quest to achieve a more perfect union. And in every generation, another courageous group of patriots has taken us one step closer to fully realizing the dream our founders enshrined on that great day.
Read that paragraph carefully.
The first sentence references the lead phrase in the US Constitution. Our founding fathers sought to form a more perfect union, but the current President seems to interpret this as the dream of the perfect union. Our wise founders, by inserting that little adverb “more” into this sentence, recognized that perfection is unachievable. Some may have believed such an achievement is unattainable due to the fallibility of man, others may have based their belief on the understanding that each man has a different definition of the “perfect” state. But one thing is clear–the editors of Jefferson’s draft would have struck the word ‘more‘ if they wished to communicate that they sought the perfect union.
Our founding fathers made clear their belief that the guarantee of personal freedom was the most important role of government. These great patriots recognized that the freedom to excel must be complemented by the freedom to fail. Their acknowledgment that man has an inalienable right to pursue happiness rather than attain happiness seems incomprehensible to our current President. The President and his Democratic lackeys in Congress believe the founders had it all wrong. In their minds, your personal freedom creates inequities in society that can only be corrected by regulation and legislation.
Where the founders believed in an individual’s right to the fruits of his labors, Obama and his ilk would have you believe the role of government is to equalize the distribution of those fruits among the populace. In their world, the man who works overtime or even two jobs to afford a larger house, a newer car, better health insurance, or even to treat his family to a vacation once in a while should be brought down to the same economic status as the man who chooses to work part-time, or not at all, so that he can sit on the sofa and watch Oprah or Dr. Phil. Rather than allow each individual to strive for his definition of economic success, Obama and his Socialist pals want to define success and, through regulation and legislation, force all Americans to fit that mold.
Another paragraph from the President’s message:
As free people, we must each take the challenges and opportunities that face this nation as our own. As long as some Americans still must struggle, none of us can be fully content. And as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founders dreamed, that triumph — that pride — belongs to all of us.
There it is again–the perfect union. This is repetitive I know, but it seems our President can’t grasp such a simple concept so I’ll go on.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not acquainted with anyone who hasn’t struggled at some point in their lives. I’m sure they exist, but they’re few and far between. Again, the founders’ understanding that no such “perfect union” could exist is evidenced in the Constitution by the little adverb “more.” They didn’t dream of a perfect union in the Utopian sense, they dreamed of a “more perfect union“–meaning better than the one that existed at the time. To create a perfect union would require the existence of a perfect human being(s) and I believe the Bible when it says there is no such thing.
The President has described the Constitution as a document of “negative liberties” and he’s right, if you believe the Constitution was written to guarantee rights to our federal government. However, the fact is the Constitution wasn’t written to secure the rights of government, but the rights of the governed. It follows then, what the President views as “negative liberties” granted the federal government become simply “liberties” enjoyed by citizens.
Those liberties, especially the right to be as successful as one chooses, are precisely what allowed the United States to become the greatest nation–the most charitable, the most innovative, the most powerful–on Earth in less than 200 years. Remove those liberties, through taxation, legislation, or regulation, and we may well achieve economic equality for all. But at what price?
The cost of such equalization will be borne by all Americans. Innovation will evaporate. When the prospect of reaping the financial rewards for building a better mousetrap is stripped from our society, we’ll be stuck with the mousetraps of today. Our health care system may be expensive, but we’re paying for the innovation that continually increases the lifespan of our citizens. The President and his cronies are currently hyping a government system that will eliminate the financial rewards for such innovation and result in the stagnation of medical discoveries, thereby stifling advances that would continue to increase longevity in the future.
Obama’s 4th of July message implies that his reforms will move us closer to a “perfect” union, one in which all our countrymen are guaranteed an equal share of the nation’s economic pie. The end result of such ideology will be a reduction in the size of that pie so that all Americans will have a smaller portion, but they’ll all be equal. This was not the founders’ intent.
The system envisioned in 1776 rewarded hard work and personal responsibility. The President and Democrats in Congress seek to reward the opposite by punishing those traits so valued by our founding fathers.
It seems the founders, or at least Benjamin Franklin, knew this day would come.
“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”–Benjamin Franklin
John Allison III
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“Bearing witness” isn’t enough.
by William Kristol on The Weekly Standard
On June 20, after a week of post-Iranian-election presidential mealy-mouthing, and a day after both houses of Congress had passed resolutions condemning the behavior of the Iranian regime, the White House put out a statement from President Obama. It began:
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.
Martin Luther King once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian people’s belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.
Leave aside the questionable notion that the “international community” believes the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. Focus on what is truly startling: The president of the United States apparently believes the government of Iran needed to hear from him that “the world is watching.” Why did he suppose the regime was busy shutting down websites and expelling foreign journalists or restricting them to their hotels in Tehran? What the Iranian regime cared about–what the Iranian regime was worried about–was what, if anything, the world would do.
The answer, the American president told them, was that the world would do nothing.
Almost a half-century before, a young Democratic president had said this:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay anyprice, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.