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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When did being a senior citizen become an inconvenience?

If you listen to the Democrats, being old in American is now an inconvenience to the rest of us. We know the majority of Democrats are pro-choice and they don’t mind killing the unborn but now they are turning their attention to the elderly. I can’t believe that we as a society have to come to say to our senior citizens, you are now a menace to society and it’s time for you to go.

The President and Congress think we can cover up to 50 million more people and bring health care costs down. How is that going to work? Well, they will cut Medicare costs by denying medical care to the elderly. The President said in his news conference last week that the elderly will save thousands in prescription drug costs. Sure they will because the newly created “government rationing board” will deny them the drugs they need to stay alive. Remember we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights one of them being LIFE.

Medicare was established in 1965 to allow older Americans access to affordable health care. According to the Medicare Trustees report, this program will be bankrupt by 2018. If the President and liberals are really concerned about Medicare’s rising costs, then let’s address the fraud, waste and abuse that exists today. Unfortunately, they are about as interested in addressing that issue as they are in addressing the numerous bogus malpractice suits brought forth daily. America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, H.R. 3200, will cut cost to Medicare by denying care to the elderly, require them to attend “counseling sessions” every five years regarding “alternatives for end-of-life care”, and perhaps pressure them to end their lives earlier than God intended.

I'm not going to say that health care in America is cheap, it isn't but it is the best health care in the world. No one leaves this country for medical care and Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings, Queens and everyday citizens come here for treatment. Let me give you a few statistics that will make you cringe. The death rate in Canada from cancer is 16% higher than in the US and the death rate from heart disease is 6% higher. If you live in Canada, you are 42% more likely to die from colon cancer than in the U.S.

The White House wants to create a new “government body” run from the Executive Branch. Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, wants this new body to “circumvent the democratic process and avoid accountability to the public for cuts in benefits.” The President sees the best way to deal with the chronically ill and the elderly, who account for up to 80% of the total health care bill, is to have an independent group make their medical decisions.

Translated, “faceless bureaucrats” will decide your future. I can't emphasis this enough, the government will decide what treatments our parents, grandparents, and anyone else who becomes ill will receive. I'm sorry but that’s not their responsibility and I won't stand for it, will you? The government can't run the Department of Motor Vehicles, for heaven’s sake I don't want them deciding if my grandmother can have her pacemaker replaced.

The President and liberals seem to think that we spend more on health care as we get older but data shows this is not true. According to Dr. Herbert Pardes, CEO of New York Presbyterian Medical Center, a patient who dies at 67 “spends three times as much on health care at the end of life” than a patient who lives to age 90. If we are going to start deciding how much medical care we can spend on an individual, we are all in trouble. There are some individuals younger than 65 who require more medical care than someone over 65. Do we deny them treatment too because of cost?

For all its faults, Medicare has allowed people to live to a ripe old age and have the spirit to boot. If President Obama has his way, this will all be undone. In every election cycle, Democrats try to scare the elderly and convince them that the evil Republicans are going to take away their Medicare and Social Security. They say they care about “society’s most vulnerable”. I guess those days are gone. Wonder what they will say in the next election cycle? Stay tuned to find out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

ATTENTION President Obama and the Democrats, STOP LYING TO US

As Congress and the President continue to discuss healthcare on the air, it’s become obvious they haven’t read the bill recently released by the House. They keep telling the American people that “if you like your health plan, you can keep it” but that is false. On page 16 of the House bill, it states that “a new government bureaucracy will select the health plan that it considers in YOUR best interest, and you will HAVE to enroll in one of these qualified plans. If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year grace period to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time. And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in co pays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead.” You will also have to prove that you are in one of these so called plans or face fines by the IRS which could run into thousands of dollars (House bill, p 167-168). These aren’t my words, but the words of the bill. Now how does that translate into if I like my current coverage I can keep it?

The one issue they keep side stepping is cost. We know, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it will add trillions to the national debt over the next ten years but just how much will it cost YOU? The median household income in America is $46,735. There are 8 million people who make between $50,000 and $74,999 and another 8 million who make over $75,000 and for whatever reason the folks have chosen not to get health insurance. Yet the government is going to provide for these same people who can afford it (House bill, p.137). It just doesn’t make sense.

We know this bill will hurt seniors those most. The Democrats plan on getting half the trillion dollar cost paid for by tax hikes on the “rich” (anyone making more than $280,000). The remaining $500 billion will come through cuts in Medicare payments to doctors and cutting medical services to seniors enrolled in Medicare. We know there is fraud and waste in Medicare and we need to address that but cutting services to those that have worked all their life and paid into the system is just plain WRONG. This bill will also require seniors to attend a “counseling session” every five years regarding “alternatives for end-of-life care” (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions will cover “highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration." Seniors could be forced into care or alternatives they don’t want or even refused care.

According to the Lewin Group, if this bill passes anywhere from 119 to 130 Million Americans will be forced off their private insurance onto a government plan. Rasmussen Reports that cost is a big concern to Americans by a margin of 3 to 1 and 54% of Americans don’t want reform is it means losing their current coverage and only 32% say they would support reform even if it meant switching insurance. In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, 83% of Americans are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their health care and 81% are similarly satisfied with their health insurance. America has a good reason to like their current coverage. The World Health Organization ranked the United States number 1 (out of 191 countries) for “being responsive to patients’ needs, including providing timely treatment and a choice of doctors.”

Buried in this disastrous bill, is an exemption for Members of Congress. If you’re like me, you’re asking why? If this plan is good enough for us, then why isn’t it good enough for them and their families? Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) has a resolution in front of the House that requires any member who votes for this bill must sign up for a government plan. Let’s have them put their money (or in this case, their LIFE) where their mouth is. As of this writing, no democratic member has signed up. I am pleased to say that Georgia Representatives Lynn Westmoreland, Tom Price, and Phil Gingrey, have all signed onto the resolution. In the President’s famous “infomercial”, he stated he only wants the best health care for his family but doesn’t care about the rest of us. We don’t have stand for this. The government can’t run the Post Office, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid; do we really want them involved in the most personal of all issues in our life? I say NO!

The President and the Liberals in Congress know if this bill doesn’t get passed by recess, then lawmakers will find out just what their constituents think of Obamacare. Even President Obama knows his numbers are slipping and instead of putting the American people first, he is putting his socialist agenda first. Wouldn’t we rather have a bill that is right than to rush into a bill that will bankrupt America?

We have too much at stake to let President Obama and the Democrats get away with this. Literally our lives depend on it. Remember our Creator endowed us with certain alienable rights one of them being LIFE. It’s time to take a stand and block this bill from going forward. The President says that Americans will lose their health insurance if we don’t act. Well then why don’t you, Mr. President, try fixing the economy first and then Americans who are currently insured by their employer will have a greater chance of keeping their current coverage.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is Justice really blind?

"I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God." This is the oath given to a newly appointed Supreme Court Justice.

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee takes up the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for an appointment to the Supreme Court. During the campaign, then Senator Obama promised to nominate judges who showed empathy. This brings up the question “is justice really blind?” As she sits over the courthouses across our great country, Lady Justice is blindfolded and for a reason. She is to judge “without bias or favoritism of any kind.” An appointment to the Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment, no term limits, no elections.

I believe it is a threat to the Constitution of the United States when a President decides that a nominee should have “empathy" and understand "how the world works, and how ordinary people live" ruling on cases before the high court. Our new president and his nominee believe that a Supreme Court justice should bring into account their own feelings, be it political or personal. Instead of focusing on what is, the President thinks that the “critical ingredient for judges is the depth and breadth of one’s empathy” and their “broader vision of what America should be.” What happened to just interpreting the law of the land as it stands now?

Judge Sotomayor considers her ethnicity and gender as defining factors in who she is and how she reaches her decisions, a fact that pleased Obama. In a 2002 lecture, she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." A comment made not only once but on several occasions is no longer a “few words taken out of context” as Sen. Feingold (D-WI) would have you believe. Had a white male said this his nomination would have never seen the light of day. We can see here that skin color and ethnicity trump all. Yes, she is our first Latino nominee and she is a woman, but the novelty should have been worn off by now and we should look at the content of their character. I would have hoped that at this point in our nation’s history, the color of one’s skin and gender would longer be viewed as a reason to elect or nominate them. We need to be looking at what they can bring to the court in the form of impartiality. I wouldn’t want to be appointed to a position simply based on race or gender.

A recent Supreme Court decision affecting Sotomayor couldn’t have come at a worse time. In late 2003, eighteen New Haven firefighters (17 white and 1 Hispanic) were denied promotions because “examination to determine their eligibility to move up yielded no successful black candidates” so the city throw out the exam results. In essence, the city used reverse discrimination in making their decision that the appropriate racial quota was not meet. So the firefighters sued and the case went before the 2nd Court of Appeals which included Judge Sotomayor. The three judges dismissed the case along the lines of reverse discrimination. The firefighters appealed and took the case to the Supreme Court and in June, 2009, the Supreme Court reversed the decision by the 2nd Court of Appeals.

In 2005, while speaking at a Duke Law School Panel, Judge Sotomayor said “the court of appeals is where legislation is made” but then confessed that she know this is on tape and shouldn’t have said it but the cat was out of the bag. She wants to turn the Supreme Court into a legislative making body, clearly going against the role of the Supreme Court as written in the Constitution.

Judge Sotomayor stated that “impartiality may not be possible in all or even most cases," and that a judge’s personal experience affects the facts. She continued by saying that judges "must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt ... continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate." Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) poses the question “but if you or I step into a courtroom, shouldn't we be able to do so with confidence that we will get a fair day in court no matter our background, experience, or politics - and no matter the background, experience, or politics of the judge?”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I don't think we are asking too much

Okay, now I think I've heard it all. Recently the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.) had the audacity to say that if members of Congress acutally read the health care bill, it wouldn't pass.

I know that Members have lots on their plates, I used to work for one and that they have staff to read bills. However, it should be in their job description to read what it is they are voting on. The House Majority leader even laughed when asked about a pledge that would require members to read bills in their entirity before voting on them and to make them transparent (you know what the President kept pledging during the election - he would have the most transparent government in our time).

This pledge is being proposed by Let Freedom Ring, a Delaware-based conservative organization. Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, said Hoyer’s comment is evidence that lawmakers in Congress are “off-track.” “It tells the American people how off-track our legislative process has become,” Hanna said. “I think if the framers of our Constitution ever saw an entire legislative body vote on a 1,500-page bill that no one had read, they would shudder--if not go into fits of apoplexy.” Just a piece of trivia here but do you know how long the transportation and highway bill was back in the early part of th 19th century which was designed to builds roads and bridges across this great country? It was less than 60 pages. Perhaps our legislators are throwing more hot air than substance in their bills and need to cut it out. Compare that bill to the 1,550 page American Clean Energy and Ssecurity Act of 2009 and the 1, 071 page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Democrats in Congress and the president are so keen on getting as much legislation passed befofe the next election when they know they will lose their majorities that they are not representing their constituents. In fact, when the GOP tried to slow down a vote on the "cap-n-tax" energy bill, the democrats hired speed readers to get through the 1000 pages. We don't send members to DC so they can hire speed readers and vote on bills they don't undertadn. It's time to clean House (and Senate) and get new blood in to represent us.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

To many czars in the kitchen

Is it me or is the US beginning to look like Russia? Never in our nation’s history have we had this many “czars”. We’ve had them in the past starting with the Drug Czar appointed by President Reagan and our last president had 4 czars. However, with this new administration, there are now more czars than cabinet secretaries. As of June 10, 2009 there were 21 czars and 15 cabinet secretaries. You know the Romanovs ruled Russia for three centuries and they didn’t have this many czars. Let’s remember that these czars answer to no one but the president.

Here’s what we have so far: a drug czar to combat the war on illegal drugs that continue to enter our country daily through our border with Mexico; an energy and environment czar to combat so-called “global warming” (I guess the Environment Protection Agency can’t do this); a homeland security czar (wait, didn’t we just create a new department a few years ago); an Urban czar to control the dispense of stimulus money (I thought Vice President Biden was in charge of that); instead of letting our Secretary of State handle foreign affairs with Iran, we now have an Iran czar; an economic czar (and how different is this from an economic advisor?); a car czar (who doesn’t know how to run a company) in charge of the then bailed out now bankrupt auto industry; a compensation czar to rail in the compensation of those greedy you know what’s on Wall Street; a climate and energy czar to battle so-called “global warming”; an Efficiency czar to reign in spending (yeah like that's going to happen in this administration); a Great Lakes czar to watch over the Great Lakes (cause the Interior secretary can’t do that); a cyber czar (to combat cyber terrorism); a border czar (guess border patrol can’t handle it); a health insurance czar (we already have insurance commissioners for each state to oversee this industry); a regulatory czar, a technology czar, government performance czar, WMD Policy czar, and the list goes on and on. Now the administration will tell you that the idea behind the czars is to have “one person ultimately responsible for an issue and avoid problems of overlapping bureaucracies” but isn't that what we cabinet secretaries for?

It's all a power grab by this president to take control away from individuals and states and put it in the hands of the federal government. First of all, the president does not have the authority to make such appointments as this oversteps the boundaries of the United States Constitution. All these czar appointments are frowned upon by Congress particularly Senator Robert Byrd (D-VA) who wrote a letter to the president stating "the rapid and easy accumulation of power by White House staff can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances." These czars have access to billions of dollars not to mention being paid salaries by the taxpayer and increasing the size of government. Norman Ornstein, political expert at the American Enterprise Institute said "you can imagine from the perspective of the Senate that you're dealing with people who do not have confirmation to go through and so are not accountable in the same way. I think that's what rankles some people in the Senate."

To all the president's czars – may you pan out better than the last real czar of Russia, Nicholas II. They killed him.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Standing up for what's right - Governor Palin's announcement

I think a lesson can be learned from the recent announcement that Governor Sarah Palin will leave her post as governor at the end of July. By stepping down, she is telling the world that she is not going to stand for vicious personal attacks against her and her family. Whether you agree with her political views or not, this woman has been attacked more times in the past 11 months than any other politician (male or female) in recent memory. If she brings her kids out on the campaign trail, she is attacked by male commentators. She’s a Republican woman who chose to have both a career and a family, so she is attacked by female commentators. Late-night pundits attack her looks calling her “sluty” (try calling Michelle Obama or any liberal woman that and see where it gets you). During the election, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was nowhere to be found while she was viciously attacked by the mainstream media. We now know that the so-called National Organization for Women only support liberal women, conservative women are on your own.

Eight months after the election, former McCain staffers who can’t see the horrible campaign they ran as they gear up for the next election, seem to want to instead blame her for their loss. I’m appalled at the former McCain staffers who have come out since the election attacking her. You want someone to blame for McCain’s loss then look at the top of the ticket. Sen. McCain, whose family is truly dedicated to their country, was not the Conservative Republicans needed in 2008. The Governor fought back and said “it’s mean-spirited, it’s immature and it’s unprofessional.” If the McCain staffers can’t accept the fact that they lost because the top of the ticket wasn’t what we (Conservative Republicans wanted), that’s fine, but to attack a woman who was asked by the top seed to serve is going beyond petty. I would like to remind these same staffers that most people who voted Republican were voting for Governor Palin.

Since returning home, the Governor has been plagued with repeated ethics inquires causing her to run up $500,000 in legal fees. She even stated that “I cannot stand here as your governor and allow the millions of dollars and all that time to go to waste just so I can hold the title of governor.” A clear shot to those who have made a new career out of investigating her. It is clear that she loves her country and her state and will put the best interest of Alaska ahead of her own. Her enemies have and will continue to look for anything that might help prevent her from running for office in the future.

Even now, 8 months after the election, former McCain staffers are at it again. McCain “campaign enforcer” Steve Schmidt spent time with Todd Purdum of Vanity Fair discussing how ill-suited Sarah Palin was for VP. Other sources decided to remain unnamed but accused the governor of suffering “post-partum depression” and that she wouldn’t listen to her advisors. What remains to be seen is are these same staffers gearing up for a position with one of the remaining 2012 candidates such as former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA), Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN), or Gov. Haley Barbour (MS). They know Governor Palin remains extremely popular with the Conservative base and want to take her down. On a side note, all this sniping within the GOP has got to stop.

I choose to take from this announcement that she like many Republican women have had enough of the attacks on her administration, her character, her looks and her family. Will she run for higher office, I don’t know. Deciding not to run for a second term is understandable since it would leave her less than 2 years to run for president. To step down now does give her enemies more fuel for the fire. For instance, the Democratic National Committee, who said this on the day of her announcement “Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long shot national political ambitions or she simply can’t handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down. Either way - her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today.”

It is sad to see a well loved, successful politician fall to the pressure of the media who hate her so much. What mother wouldn’t be appalled at the attacks on her children? From her 18 year old daughter who had a baby out of wedlock to her 14 month old son with Down syndrome who was recently “mocked and ridiculed by some mean-spirited adults” would leave anyone with a bad taste in their mouth.

For those of us who despise our new president and what he is doing to this great country, 2012 is too far away (40 months to be exact). Only time will tell if she is stepping down to run in 2012.