The Wall Street Journal featured an interview with former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey this weekend that is must reading for politicians in both parties, but the bigger warning of the interview is reserved for our friends on the left side of the political aisle.
As a senator, Mr. Kerrey was famous for his willingness to be frank. He's maintained his candor. Unlike many other university presidents, he hasn't hesitated to weigh in on contentious public debates.
Five days before Barack Obama was elected president, for example, Mr. Kerrey, a Clinton-turned-Obama supporter, warned of the following in the Daily News: "By my lights the primary threat to the success of a President Obama will come from some Democrats who, emboldened by the size of their congressional majority, may try to kill trade agreements, raise taxes in ways that will destroy jobs, repeal the Patriot Act and spend and regulate to high heaven." Has this come true, I ask? "Well, we'll find out in November 2010," he quips.
He points to Bill Clinton's first term as an example of liberal overreach on the part of a Democratic president. "Democrats found out in November 1994 that it's not what the country wanted," he says. "The warning signs were there, the warning signs were delivered to the White House. The Deficit Reduction Act of 1993 was loaded up with taxes -- the largest tax increase in the history of the country. I voted for it and survived it. But the majority of the House and the majority of the Senate didn't. The House and Senate both switched over [to the GOP] and Bill Clinton famously went to Texas not long after and said he didn't want to raise taxes and he was against it, but he went along with it."
As much as former Senator Kerrey thinks that public attitudes have changed since 1994, the polling data seems to belie that belief. President Obama's "passion index" has been in negative numbers for the entire month of July (in the wake of cap and trade passing and the health care bill debate heating up) and support for his showcase legislation (health care reform) has fallen off dramatically as the details of the bill come out and as people see how far short of the promises the stimulus bill has fallen. For the first time in his political career, President Obama has a "track record" and what the voters are seeing does not match up with the rhetoric.
Can buyers remorse be setting in?
The US Farm Bureau spoke out, on Friday, against the Cap and Trade bill that recently passed out of the US House of Representatives.
The cap-and-trade bill before the U.S. Senate will put an even greater burden on the backs of farmers who already are strapped with staggering debts, Utah agricultural leaders said on Friday...The U.S. agricultural industry will fare even worse under the Waxman-Markey bill that would establish a cap-and-trade plan for greenhouse gases to address climate change, farm leaders say.
Out of work human beings or wild mustangs? Well according to the Democrats in the Legislature, the mustangs are more important.....
July 16, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow, House Democrats plan to hold a vote on the “Restore Our American Mustangs Act” (H.R.1018), which would create a new $700 million welfare program for wild horses. This floor action comes at a time when unemployment has soared to 9.5 percent, a 26-year high, and the federal deficit has grown to a historic $1 trillion.
“There are serious issues facing our country right now and it’s absurd that Democrat leaders believe that spending $700 million to pamper wild horses is the best use of our time and Americans’ tax dollars,” said Ranking Member Hastings. “Instead of restoring American mustangs, let’s restore American jobs and put the horsepower back into our economy.”
Now as a horse crazed teen-ager I had dreamed of owning a wild mustang. I must have read Marguerite Henry's "Misty of Chincoteague" and "Mustang, Wild Spirit of The West" and "Brighty Of Grand Canyon" a dozen and a half times EACH. On a side note, for a few years I lived in the same town and rode the same trails that Mrs. Henry and her horses (including Misty) rode...but I digress...
The House GOP has put together a brutal ad that shows President Obama talking about what the Stimulus Bill was going to do when he was selling it to Congress and the people and now that it has not done what he told us it would do (HT Holly On The Hill)
The President (and his acolytes) have made this kind of ad too easy to produce. He needs to regain control of his policies and his message before it is too late (if it is not too late already). Otherwise he will hand the reins of Congress back to the GOP in 2010.
Peter Singer is a professor of bio-ethics at Princeton University, a prolific author and regular contributor to the NYTimes. His latest contribution came in Wednesday's NYTimes Magazine and is titled "Why We Must Ration Health Care" (ht to Jazz Shaw who mentioned this on our BTR Show yesterday).
You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?
If you can afford it, you probably would pay that much, or more, to live longer, even if your quality of life wasn’t going to be good. But suppose it’s not you with the cancer but a stranger covered by your health-insurance fund. If the insurer provides this man — and everyone else like him — with Sutent, your premiums will increase. Do you still think the drug is a good value? Suppose the treatment cost a million dollars. Would it be worth it then? Ten million? Is there any limit to how much you would want your insurer to pay for a drug that adds six months to someone’s life? If there is any point at which you say, “No, an extra six months isn’t worth that much,” then you think that health care should be rationed.
Ted Van Dyk, author and former adviser to Minnesota's own Hubert Horatio Humphry, has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today in which he advises the President Obama to find the "reset" button on his Presidency.
As we approach the August congressional recess, it's clear that our economic distress is deeper than we thought, and thus your health-care and energy initiatives are in danger of stalling out. You could use a reset button for domestic policy.
Let's take it from the top.
Your presidential campaign was superb. You restored hope to millions -- including me -- who had been demoralized by the political polarization that characterized the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. You talked about reaching across party and ideological lines to get the public's business done. Your biography was appealing, and for those of us who entered politics motivated by the civil-rights struggle, your candidacy represented an important culmination.
You displayed an intellect and sense of cool that made us think you would weigh decisions carefully and view advisers' proposals with skepticism.
Except (as anyone who had actually studied his voting history in the US and Illinois Senates will tell you ) what he did on the campaign trail last year was a lie! In all of his votes in both the Illinois and US Senates he never ONCE reached across the aisle to work with members of the Republican Party.
The NY Times ran an editorial this morning that (shockingly) supported the House Health Care "Reform" bill.
Without driving up the deficit you say.....kinda like the Stimulus bill?????
A couple of weeks back, my friend Gary Gross put up a post on a conversation that he and King Banaian (from SCSU Scholars) had with Dave Borgert - the director of Government Relations at CentraCare Health System in St. Cloud MN. The topic of their discussion was Medicare, in large part due to public option defenders insistance that "Medicare does it better" becuse of their "low" administrative costs. The two key point of Gary's column were...
1. When Medicare decides how much they’re paying for a procedure, it doesn’t have anything to do with whether that payment covers the cost of that procedure. The principle of supply and demand doesn’t play a significant role in determining payments. Medicare totals up how many angioplasties were done, how many MRIs were done, etc. Then they look at how much money Congress appropriated for Medicare. Once the Medicare budget is set, then a cost per procedure is established.
2. The ‘Medicare is more efficient than private insurance’ meme is a myth. Dave said that the way that Medicare can say that only 2% of the Medicare budget is spent on administrative costs is because billing is the only thing that’s counted as an administrative costs. Things like processing referrals, doublechecking what was done, whether it’s dispensing medication or IVs or whatever, are counted as patient care.
Well it has been a year in the planning and a week in the implimentation, but I'd like to officially welcome you all to the newly designed Ladies Logic. A round of well deserved thanks needs to go out to Derek Brigham of DBrigham Graphic Designs (Chief from Freedom Dogs) and Brian Mason (Dr. Jones of Freedom Dogs) for their assistance in making this happen. To say I could not have pulled this off without them is an understatement
If you ever find yourself in need of a website redesign do yourself a favor and contact Derek and Brian. They ARE the best!
As I hinted at the other day there are some pretty big changes coming to Ladies Logic. The first one (that I will let you in on anyway) is the implementation of a new comment system. I am moving the comments away from the Blogger platform and over to the JS-Kits platform. Yes it will mean yet another log-on, but then again if you have a Haloscan account you will need to change it anyway since JS-Kit just bought Haloscan and is in the process of migrating all of those accounts over TO the new platform.
So for those of you engaged in the conversation in the comments to the "Cheaper Than What Exactly" post, it is possible that those comments will no longer be seen on this site. The archives (however) will still be on the old Blogger format and will still be available there.
Stop by later this evening - big changes are coming!
Curious that I find this story today of all days.....
For the past decade, Austin's ambition to become the world's clean-energy capital has been best exemplified by one effort: GreenChoice, a program that sells electricity generated entirely from renewable sources such as wind.
Now the nationally renowned program is struggling to find buyers — the latest allotment is 99 percent unsold after seven months on the market — and Austin Energy is looking for ways to bring down the rising costs...Austin Energy officials say that times have changed and that the nation's most successful (by volume of sales) green-energy program, which offers the renewable energy only to those who select it, might no longer be the best way to carry out the city's goals. It now costs almost three times more than the standard electricity rate.
Hmmm and yet I was just told today that wind and solar were the "cheapest"....what is causing these increases? In part the cost of building the wind farms....
There are some big changes coming to Ladies Logic in coming days. Not too many hints but the scenery is going to be much better.
Last week my friend Ed Morrissey asked why the Honduran government did not simply arrest Manuel Zelaya instead of deposing him and kicking him out of the country (thereby leading to the impression that this was a doup de tat). In today's Opinion Journal, Mary Anastasia O'Grady attempts (and I think succeeds) to answer that burning question.
If there is anything debatable about the crisis it is the question of whether the government can defend the expulsion of the president. In fact it had good reasons for that move and they are worth Mrs. Clinton's attention if she is interested in defending democracy.
Besides eagerly trampling the constitution, Mr. Zelaya had demonstrated that he was ready to employ the violent tactics of chavismo to hang onto power. The decision to pack him off immediately was taken in the interest of protecting both constitutional order and human life.
Two incidents earlier this year make the case. The first occurred in January when the country was preparing to name a new 15-seat Supreme Court, as it does every seven years. An independent board made up of members of civil society had nominated 45 candidates. From that list, Congress was to choose the new judges.
One of the major problems that I have with the gay rights movement is their insistence that the rest of the world show "tolerance" for their beliefs and yet they (the gay rights movement) shows a complete and total disregard for tolerating anyone else’s beliefs. Today’s case in point comes from an altercation that a gay couple had with LDS security while the gay couple was ON LDS PROPERTY!
Wearing bright red lipstick, Isabelle Warnas smiled and planted a big kiss on her husband's cheek, something she said she has done often under the spires of the LDS Church's Salt Lake Temple.
"Nobody has said a thing to us," the 50-year-old Salt Lake City resident said.
This time, though, they had an audience of more than a hundred. They were gathered for a "kiss-in" staged Sunday morning near Main Street Plaza to show support for a gay couple, Derek Jones, 25, and Matthew Aune, 28, who say they were detained by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints security guards after one man had kissed the other on the cheek Thursday. They had argued with the guards and were later cited for trespassing.
One other thing that I saw yesterday while perusing the Sunday chat fests (besides the ongoing obsession with Sarah Palin) was the democrats talking point mantra that the Republicans are "just saying no" to President Obama. Besides being just a tiny bit disingenuous (remember the Democrats said "NO" to President Bush plenty of times - especially on judicial nominees) it is also horribly untrue. I have mentioned before some of the solutions that are coming out of the House GOP caucus in the past, and there is a new one that came out yesterday that needs to be highlighted. This time it is from my dear friend and former representative John Kline (MN2).
For those of us in Washington concerned about job creation, the first Friday of each month has always been a notable occasion. That’s when the U.S. Department of Labor issues its monthly employment report detailing how many jobs were gained or lost in the previous month, along with the current unemployment rate. When I first came to Congress, these reports generally brought good news. In fact, from 2003 through the end of 2007, we saw a record 52 consecutive months of job growth. Unfortunately, that all changed in early 2008, when we saw the first job losses in more than four years. Since that time, the U.S. economy has steadily shed more jobs as the recession has deepened. Just last week, we learned that an additional 467,000 jobs were lost in June of this year, and the unemployment rate has reached 9.5 percent, its highest level in more than a quarter-century.
From the moment we saw those first 17,000 jobs lost in January of 2008, it was clear to me that we needed to embrace pro-growth policies. Now, about a year and a half later, more than 6.5 million jobs have been lost and evidence is mounting that the tax-and-spend policies advanced by congressional Democrats are not only failing to stem the tide of unemployment, they are actually making our economic problems far worse.
The Democrats love to yammer about the "failed policies of the past" but remember, they controlled Congress for the last two years of the Bush Administration and policies that they enacted (and to be fair President Bush signed) in 2006 lead to those early job losses in 2008 so when they talk about "failed policies" we need to remember THEIR culpability in the failed policy generation.
I serve as the Senior Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee. It’s ground zero for legislation that impacts American workers and employers, and under the control of Democrats, I believe it has failed to project jobs and promote economic growth. From legislation that will increase litigation in the workplace to the notoriously anti-worker card check scheme, Democrats in Washington have put special interests ahead of the people’s interests. Add to that a failed “stimulus” that cost close to $1 trillion yet still hasn’t produced the jobs it promised; a national energy tax in the form of cap-and-trade; and the impending government takeover of our health care system, and a future of permanent economic stagnation seems almost inevitable.
OK you say - where are these solutions you talk about? Here they are....
The State of Wisconsin is known as "Americas Dairyland" - their license plates say so. Well the good folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) want to change that...
June 29, 2009
The Honorable Jim Doyle
Governor of Wisconsin
Dear Governor Doyle:
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our thousands of members and supporters across Wisconsin, I am writing to ask you to endorse an alternative to the ubiquitous "America's Dairyland" license plate out of respect for the many Wisconsinites who do not wish to support animal abuse on factory farms. Instead of the "America's Dairyland" slogan with the quaint barn in the background, we'd like to see a new license plate that reads, "Wisconsin: America's Cow Hell" and has a more realistic image, perhaps depicting sick cows in a cramped, filthy factory-farm shed...
The letter goes on (and on and on). You have to give Ingrid Newkirk credit here for having huevos. Either that or a seriously warped sense of humor. Either way....
Seriously - does Ingrid really think that she stands a snowball's chance of getting this done?
This is why PeTA, as an animal rights or welfare organization, is worthless. They have (to use a TV term) jumped the shark. They long ago quit being about taking care of animals which is why they are irrelevant. Which in turn leads them to pull stunts like this that are designed to do one thing only - get attention.
Great work Ingrid.