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Sep
06

Rep. Ellison Admits What The President Refuses To

and that is that the public option IS the first step toward single payer....  Ed Morrissey has the video that must be seen to be believed.....

I can't put it much better than Ed did....

WURZER: Politics is the art of compromise.

REP. ELLISON: It is.

WURZER: So how are you all gonna compromise?

REP. ELLISON: Most of us are co-authors of HR676, which is a single-payer bill so we feel like we’ve already compromised. I think that the reality is the public option has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as saving $150 billion, so this actually helps deal with the fiscal responsibility issues…It offers choice, which is a good thing…

ESKOLA: Isn’t the public option really just a step towards the single payer that you want so much?

REP. ELLISON: Yes but the reality is that for many people that’s not what it is.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky has said the same thing on multiple occasions, so this is not exactly a smoking gun, or at least not the first. Better, though, are some of the other hilarious assertions Ellison makes in this clip. For instance:

  • Ellison’s idea of “diversity” is having a teleconference comprising people who all believe the same thing.
  • The progressive caucus “feels like we compromised” because they had to drop an explicitly single-payer bill for one Ellison admits is a Trojan horse for the same thing.
  • Ellison lauds the same CBO scoring that shows that HR3200 will cost a fortune and drive up the deficit in both the near- and long-term.

    Thank you for your honesty Rep. Ellison.  I am glad to see that there are some honest Democrats out there.

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    05

    A FOreshadowing of Things To Come

    My friend Holly over at Holly On The Hill has a post up today that is a must read for my friends back in Minnesota as it is a foreshadowing of things to come.

    Governor Mitch Daniels from Indiana has a piece in the Wall Street Journal today about the coming reality check for states. “The drop in tax receipts is the worst in a half century. Fewer than 10 states ended the last fiscal year with significant reserves, and three-fourths have deficits exceeding 10% of their budgets. Only an emergency infusion of printed federal funny money is keeping most state boats afloat right now.”  (Thankfully, Utah is not among those states in the red – we balance our budget and planned for the future with a rainy-day fund. Imagine – a government that doesn’t spend every penny it gets and then some.)

    He talks about the reality of having to dismantle state programs built up over the last few years. It was an interesting phenomenon to watch state agencies assure the state legislature that their BRAND NEW programs were absolutely critical and could NOT be trimmed, in whole or in part. Funded during boom times, but can’t be touched during bust times? Interesting.

    Emphasis in the original.  It is not going to be easy - the nature of bureaucracies is to protect itself in times of budget shortfalls....

    He says:

    Sadly, the political impulse to protect government largesse leads many states to aggravate their dilemma. Already more than half have raised taxes, often on businesses, serving only to chase them and their tax payments away and into the open arms of states like Indiana. Our traffic flow of interested investors is as heavy as it was in 2007. Since January we have welcomed the consolidation of more than 30 firms that closed up shop elsewhere and chose us as the low-cost, enterprise-friendly environment among their current locations.

    The problem is that it is going to take a long time for economy to recover to the point we were at 3 years ago.

    Governor Daniels suggests that revenues will take a long time to catch back up to their previous trend lines—if they ever do. In fact, it would take a GDP of twice the historical average to bring state revenues back to the long-term trend line of 2012, but that is not likely to happen. Tax revenues are down. People are spending less and saving more. Credit is still hard to get, both because of government regulation and a return to sensible business practices. People are upside down in their home mortgages – no home equity available, even if the banks were willing to give loans against it.

    Holly then goes on to talk about the states that are doing the one thing that the Minnesota Legislature has refused to even THINK ABOUT in the last two legislative sessions...cutting spending - and the consequences of not considering it.

    Indiana has cut their per capita spending 1.4% each of the last five years. Utah cut 9% from their annual budget last year, with at least another 7% to be cut this year. Sadly, most states have not yet been making those kinds of hard decisions, but are deficit spending to beat the band. Governor Daniels knows they will be faced with those decisions though, because “state governments will soon have to choose between a major downsizing or consigning themselves to permanent decline. Wishing for an improbably huge boom while chasing your own tail through self-destructive taxes won’t prove much of a strategy.”

    There is an old saying that fits this situation - the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result! The Minnesota Legislature can not continue to continue down this road of spending money that they don't have all the while taxing their businesses out of state.  The bill will eventually come due and if there is no one left in the state who is NOT on the state payroll there will be no one left to pay the bill.  Governor Daniels has the sobering, cold kiss of reality for Minnesotans....

    “The time to plan and debate is now. This is a test of our adulthood as a democracy”, he concludes. “Washington, as long as our Chinese lenders enable it, can practice denial for a while longer. But for states the real world is about to arrive.”

    Minnesota can no longer be "happy to pay for a better" anything.  The money is simply not there for the state to meet their constitutionally mandated obligations, much less all of the extras that the state has been funding over the years.  We are at the point where the state is already cutting things human services.  If the Legislature can not learn to set priorities soon, heaven only knows what will be next.

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    05

    How Bad Is It?

    Another indication as to how much trouble the Obama Administration is in came from a not so unexpected source on Thursday.  Rassmussen Reports has the story.

    Leading liberals are already thinking the unthinkable: Challenging President Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2012.

    According to a report on the left-leaning Huffington Post website, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and Eugene Robinson, an African-American national columnist for The Washington Post, discussed just such a possibility Thursday night. Robinson said Obama needs to be careful how he handles the health care reform issue and the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Olbermann said the president has “compromised on everything so far and as self-defeating as it may be, the progressive caucus and progressives would abandon him if necessary, if this was to be the policy of this administration into 2012. If it’s necessary to find somebody to run against him, I think they’d do it, no matter how destructive that may seem.”

    But the question is, who would the challenger be?  Senator Clinton?  Senator Kerry?  Senator Franken?????  Or would the challenger come out of the Governor's ranks?

    No matter where it comes from, the fact that Democrats are talking about a possible challenge show just how bad things have gotten for President Obama.

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    03

    Inside The Numbers

    I have, to this point, shied away from writing (at length) about the President's plummeting numbers, in large part because watching poll numbers on a short term basis is along the lines of watching the stock market short term.  It's good to get your blood pumping, but after a while, it is just mind numbing.  However, there are some very interesting numbers behind the numbers that really need to be looked at in depth.

    First the over view - President Obama's approval rating is at an all new low - 47% according to Rasmussen, 42% according to Zogby.  Congress is not faring any better with a 27% approval rating. 51% of Americans think that Congress is "too liberal" and only 34% of Americans think that the country is headed in the right direction and for the first time in a long time, the Republicans are beating the Democrats in the "generic Congressional Ballot" and they are pulling even in the party identification category.

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    03

    From The "What If President Bush Had Done This" Department

    Now before I get started let me just say that I honestly think that, given the topic and that it stays apolitical, the President of the US speaking to US schoolchildren is not a bad thing.  As I said yesterday, I will not be participating in the movement to keep my child out of school on Sept 8 as I think it is a good thing for him to hear what the President has to say.

    With that said, I could not help but laugh when I read this Newsbusters story today.

    As Barack Obama prepares a nationwide broadcast to America's students next Tuesday, it has been revealed that Democrats complained in 1991 when then President George H. W. Bush broadcast a speech from a Northwest Washington junior high school.

    In fact, the House Majority leader at the time, Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), said "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students."

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    03

    Heroic Kids

    The Junior Logician sent me this story last night.

    Tuesday morning began just like any other morning for football star Kaleb Eulls.

    Eulls and his three younger sisters were among 22 passengers on a school bus bound for Yazoo County High School in western Mississippi until a 14-year old female student boarded the bus armed with a .380 semi-automatic handgun threatening to shoot and ordering the bus driver to pull over.

    Eulls had fallen asleep at the back of the bus listening to his mp3 player and did not realize what was happening until one of his sisters woke him up.

    "My sister that was in front of me woke up and told me that the girl had a gun," Eulls said. "She was pointing it back and forth at other people and the little kids that were sitting at the back. I just thought real quick and tried to grab her attention before she pointed the gun at anybody else. I wanted her to point it at me so she wouldn't point it at anybody else."

    Eulls then opened up the emergency door located in the back and began evacuating as many students as he could from the rear of the bus while trying to reason with the armed female.

    "I just tried to talk to her and calm her down," said the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Eulls. "She was just getting louder and louder. I guess for a quick second she looked out the window and when she did that I just sprung at her. I just knocked her down and got the gun away from her. When I got the gun I ran out the back door and disarmed it."

    In a day and age where all we hear about all of the bad things that teen-agers (especially those who play sports) do it is nice to see the heroic actions that this boy showed get highlighted.

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    03

    Founders Morning Quote

    "It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives." --John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756

    Note that Adams does not say that it is GOVERNMENT'S job to do this.....

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    02

    Hostile Climates

    I am starting to understand why so many on the left are concerned about President Obama's welfare.  After all when you have movies like this out there.....

    Oh wait - that's talking about President Bush that way.  Well never mind then......

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    01

    I Pledge

    KUTV is reporting about a brouhaha in Davis County.  Apparently the students of a Farmington (UT) elementary school were shown a video (during a school assembly) that some parents did not appreciate.  The video "I Pledge" was put together by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and featured many of their Hollywood friends pledging to "serve President Obama".  Now I watched the video in question and found it to be mostly harmless - with peole talking about service to the community - a very laudable goal, but there is a political angle to the video that is indeed inappropriate for children of that age.  It's full of pledges to be nicer to people, to "smile more" and to help more in their communty.   I found to be just a little creepy though when one pledgee pledged to "serve President" (as he kisses his right tattooed bicep) "Obama" (as he kisses his left bicep).  It just was sick and wrong in so many ways.....

    The KUTV reporter (the report is not yet on line as I type this UPDATE KUTV posted the story overnight) spoke to an official of the school district who said that the principal of the school is accepting full blame for this video - saying she had not viewed the video prior to it airing at the school assembly.  Apparently a volunteer had brought the video to the principal and recommended it for the assembly.  That I find to be more inexcusable than the actual showing of the video.  It just does not seem right that a school administrator would allow a video to be shown to their students that he or she had not previewed first!  Doing otherwise is leaving the school district up for major legal issues!

    Now many conservatives are talking about keeping their students home from school on the 8th.  Not mine....mine will be in school.  Venomous Kate of Electric Venom explains why (HT Ed Morrissey)...

    I don’t have a problem with a U.S. President telling my kid to study hard in school. Do I trust him, as SusanHW asked me on Twitter today when I’d said I didn’t care about the speech? Oh hell to the no.

    But, see, I already know how little children work: they’ve been indoctrinated for years to idolize the office of the President and until they’re well into their teens it’s difficult for many to separate the office from the man. I also know that kids — and this time I include teens — are insanely curious about anything that Mommy or Daddy is against. Keep a kid home so they don’t listen to Obama then send him to school the next day when all of his little friends are hero-worshiping the guy, and what do you get? A future Democrat.

     

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    01

    The Blame Game

    Time for another edition of "The Blame Game".  Today's contestants are Governor Gary Herbert (on my right) and the US Forest Service (on my left).

    New Harmony was a forest fire waiting to happen.

    The state knew that in 2008 when a fire assessment of 600 Utah communities rated the Washington County town's risk at 11 on a scale of one to 12.

    And the U.S. Forest Service, which manages the 50,000-acre Pine Valley Wilderness Area above the town and some of the surrounding property, worried for years about the kind of fire that destroyed three homes in the growing community over the weekend. That's why the agency built firebreaks in 2002 and again last year, removing trees and other flammable material in wide swaths near New Harmony to prevent fire from burning homes, according to Bevan Killpack , the ranger for the Forest Service district that includes Pine Valley. And it's why the Forest Service let a fire started by lightning on July 25 burn in the wilderness area, hoping to reduce the amount of available fuel.

    But as the fire grew from two acres to 100 and then 1,000, and moved closer to town last week, federal firefighters were mobilizing when unexpectedly high winds hit southwestern Utah on Saturday around 2 p.m. The wind sent firefighters scurrying to protect homes, increased the size of the fire to 10,000 acres, forced an evacuation of parts of the town, and brought criticism from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

    "It appears the Forest Service started the fire," Herbert said Sunday. "They should take responsibility."

    Um wrong Governor - nature started this fire AND caused it to spread.  A lightning strike started the fire which spread thanks to the wind and was fueled by a natural die off of vegetation.  It's kinda like blaming President Bush (a mere mortal) for the catastrophic flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  Yeah all levels of government could have responded better, but when you build a major metropolitan area under sea level,  well you just have to expect this kind of flooding once in a century or so...but I digress...

    The governor also blamed designated wilderness in the Pine Valley Mountains -- Utah's second largest wilderness area after the High Uintas -- for the build up of flammable material and for difficulty fighting the fire. He suggested allowing sheep to graze in wilderness areas as a way to prevent forest fires.

    Written by LL.

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    Sep
    01

    Founders Morning Quote

    "[O]f those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1

    Written by LL.

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    Aug
    31

    Government Knows Best?

    It is amazing to me that a country that is so afraid of offending someone that they can not even say "_____ is our common language" would do something like this.....

    When Cirila Baltazar Cruz gave birth to a baby girl in a hospital in Pascagoula, Miss., she didn’t realize her inability to speak English would get her baby taken away from her.

    Time magazine reports that Baltazar Cruz, an Oaxacan Indian, speaks only Chatino, an obscure language, barely any Spanish and no English. Apparently that makes her an unfit mother.

    (T)he hospital called the state Department of Human Services (DHS), which ruled that Baltazar Cruz was an unfit mother in part because her lack of English "placed her unborn child in danger and will place the baby in danger in the future"...

    (A) Jackson County judge gave the infant to a couple…

    One of DHS's apparent fears is that an infant isn't safe in a home where the mother can articulate a 911 call solely in a language spoken only by some 50,000 Oaxacan Indians.

    Yeah because heavens knows we never had a situation where immigrants came into this country and didn't know how to communicate with the government here.  I'm sure the mom doesn't know anyone who speaks English or Spanish.....

    The again, even English speaking parents are at risk of losing their kids.

    A Christian homeschool girl in New Hampshire has been ordered into government-run public school for having "sincerely held" religious beliefs -- and the Alliance Defense Fund is troubled by the ruling.

    Never mind that the girl attends public school for art, Spanish and PE classes, that is simply not enough.  Then again, in this case maybe the sticking point is not the homeschooling as much as it is the mother's faith.

    Furthermore, Amanda attended her local public school to take art, Spanish, and P.E. classes. Her public school instructors also commented on the fact that Amanda was well-rounded in her social skills. But a sticking point arose concerning Voydatch's Christian faith.

    The court order stated: "According to the guardian ad litem's further report and testimony, the counselor found Amanda to lack some youthful characteristics. She appeard to reflect her mother's rigidity on questions of faith." The guardian noted that during a counseling session, Amanda tried to witness to the counselor and appeared "visibly upset" when the counselor purposefully did not pay attention.

    Before all of my liberal friends out there start spouting "best interests of the child" I have one question.  Suppose the parent in either one of the above situations was a homosexual and these judges had been appointed by an evangelical Christian.  Would the objections about "the best interests of the child" be as blithly forthcoming?

    This is why the Parental Rights Amendment is necessary - now more than ever.

    Written by LL.

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    Aug
    30

    Heating Up The Global Warming Debate

    Govern Herbert (boy even after only 1 year here that seems weird) is catching heat for some remarks made earlier this week on global "warming".

    Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says he will host the first "legitimate" debate about whether humans contribute to global warming later this year, highlighting skepticism on the topic that is quickly coming to define his new administration.

    As much as the media and the global warming hysterics would like to believe otherwise, the science is hardly settled.

    Subtle connections between the 11-year solar cycle, the stratosphere, and the tropical Pacific Ocean work in sync to generate periodic weather patterns that affect much of the globe, according to research appearing this week in the journal Science. The study can help scientists get an edge on eventually predicting the intensity of certain climate phenomena, such as the Indian monsoon and tropical Pacific rainfall, years in advance.

    Weather Channel founder and meterologist John Coleman, long an out spoken critic of global warming "science", mentions in an August 25 blog posting that as of August 23 we reached 44 days without a single sun spot - one of the longest stretches in this solar minimum. The reason why this information is important is that it has long been an accepted scientific fact that sun spots have a major impact on our planet.

    IF Al Gore has the truth on his side, he should be able to stand in an open forum and defend his facts from all comers and yet he has chosen not to do so.  Personally I would like to see both sides sit down and put all of their facts on the table once and for all.

     

    Written by LL.

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    Aug
    30

    Daily Quote

    As you may have noticed, I love words and there are some people who are fantastically gifted at putting words together.  I am taking a break from the Founders Morning Quote to bring you a few not so old quotes.

    Today's quote is in honor of the political family that has shaped my lifetime and my country.

    The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady.  It sounds like a saddle horse.

    From my fellow equestrian - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

    Written by LL.

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    Aug
    29

    Morning Coffee

    I got another missive from my friend Warren this morning.  Now Warren's missives are many times a little too esoteric for me, but today's message was just too good not to share.

    The underlying assumption by both major political parties is that government at every level has the right to be involved in the private lives of American citizens. The behaviors we've seen exhibited by both political parties at these town hall events is their propensity for ordering their fellow citizens around as if we were chattel. They've been treating American citizens as if we were slaves, or serfs and peasants, at best. You cannot honestly expect Americas of any ideology or demographic to sit still for such abuse, can you? If you do expect perfect submission to political authority in America, you prove that you know nothing of the Spirit that is America, nor do you possess any knowledge of its history.

    What you and your colleagues around the nation have overlooked is that the push-back you're getting on the issue is, at heart, about getting government out of the private lives of American citizens.
    Personally, I think the political class in America has over-reached and has grossly under-estimated the American people. There are certain principles of freedom which are virtually a part of our DNA. In America, whatever the political party or ideology, there are certain lines in the sand that Shall. Not. Be. Crossed. Health Care Reform in America is not the issue or the bottom line. It is merely the final straw. Americans are simply not going to take it any more.

    The American people are speaking to you. Are you listening?

    Written by LL.

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    Aug
    28

    All The Fits That Is News To Print

    This story, from today's Salt Lake Tribune, is a grand and glaring example of why (as commenter rmwarnick pointed out the yesterday) newspapers are losing out to blogs and other alternative media. Rather than commit the time to reporting on two different town hall meetings (Rep. Chaffetz on Wednesday and Rep. Bishop on Thursday), they combine both of the meetings into one half hearted report and based on the reporting it appears that the reporters only reported on other media representations of the meetings.  Case in point -

    The meetings, just two among several the Republican representatives have held in the state during Congress' recess, didn't feature the kind of over-the-top rage that other members have encountered in their districts. Animosity in these gatherings mainly flared at the minority of attendees who dared speak in favor of President Barack Obama's health reform plan.


    Emphasis mine.  Now I can not speak for what happened in Representative Bishop's town hall as I was not there, but I can speak about what happened Wednesday at Rep. Chaffetz's town hall since I was indeed there.  Those attendees who "dared speak in favor" of the President's bill did not garner the crowds ire because they supported the bill, it was because that the vast majority of those daring to speak, were interrupting others (most especially Representative Chaffetz), trying to shout them down and when that didn't work, resorting to profanity.

    When I reported on the events of the night in my first post, I kept my "editorial" comments to a minimum and when I did resort to an aside, I marked it as such.  Not so the SLTrib who seems to think that editorializing in the news pages will sell more papers.  Just ask the Minneapolis Star Tribune how well that worked for them.  The more that the STrib editorialized in their news reporting, the more advertisers and readers flocked to their competition (the St. Paul Pioneer Press who never filed for bankruptcy) and the more readers and advertisers fled, the more the STrib started parroting the DFL's (Democrat Farmer Labor for my Utah friends) talking points, completing the circle until they got to the point that they had to SLASH staff in all areas including reporting!

    Here's another grand and glaring example of editorializing the news....

    Many in the audience tried to shout down Chuck McDowell, a Democrat from Riverton, when he took Chaffetz to task for his handling of the discredited claim that the president's health care bill creates "death panels" for seniors with medical issues.

    "Republicans are using it as a scare tactic -- it's all hate and fear," McDowell said in a later interview. "Instead of throwing water on it, Chaffetz stoked the fire."

    Just what did Rep. Chaffetz say to "stoke the fire"....he read from the bill!!!!! Not that you would know that from reading the SLTrib's version of events.

    While a variety of opinion is needed in every area of political debate ONE PLACE that should be completely devoid of editorializing and that is in the news pages. The SLTrib had best learn that fast before they suffer the same fate as that other Tribune...the one in Minneapolis.

    Written by LL.

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