The Talk Of The Town

The White House War On Fox News. It’s still the talk of the town.

Maybe the other networks should focus on the stories Fox News has been reporting to draw such an attack from the White House instead of the attack itself.

Naw, they can’t do that. It would require someone to actually do some journalistic work.

The more the White House attacks, the more the other networks talk about it, the higher Fox News’ ratings shoot through the roof.

That’s it for tonight. I should be back up to full speed in the next day or so. Everyone in the house has some form of “blech”, whether it’s sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, or just resting. We’ve all got it.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Walt Disney

It’s Time To Take Off The Blinders

I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I’m relaxing and drinking lots of liquids. Yeah, you needed to know that.

Thought #1

So, you still think President Obama isn’t a hypocrite? He’s had plenty of time to prove otherwise.

Then: “Senator McCain wants to pay for his plan by taxing your health care benefits for the first time in history.”

– Barack Obama, speech in Roanoke, Virginia, October 17, 2008

Now: “This reform will charge insurance plans a fee for their most expensive policies…”

– Barack Obama, address to a joint session of Congress, September 9, 2009

Keep those blinders on man. You’d probably die from shock if you took them off now.

Thought #2

Have you given any thought into how much health care “reform” will cost you?

If your household income is $66,000 a year, slightly above the national average, Obama’s healthcare bill will require you to spend 12 percent of your income — about $8,000 a year or almost $700 a month — to buy health insurance before you get any federal subsidy.

12 percent of your income. In addition to the all the other taxes you pay. And that’s before they apply the real cost of health care. That’s just a projection.

That’s alright though, you have nothing to worry about if you keep those blinders on.

Thought #3

Once upon a time, some Democrats attacked President Bush for the shortage of flu vaccine. Funny how those same critics are silent now that there is a shortage of swine flu vaccine.

Thought #4

What would you do if you went to the hospital for treatment only to find that the “emergency plan” didn’t include you?

In recent years, officials in a host of states and localities, as well as the federal Veterans Health Administration, have been quietly addressing one of medicine’s most troubling questions: Who should get a chance to survive when the number of severely ill people far exceeds the resources needed to treat them all?

Why would officials in a host of states and localities be discussing this at all, “in recent years”? The only way resources would be lacking enough to treat all the severely ill people, is if we allow the federal government to take over health care.

Just wait. Those blinders won’t save you once the actual costs are realized and the government resorts to rationing the care delivered at your community hospital.

Harry Reid & Democrat Obstructionism

Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid shows just how whiny and hypocritical he can be. Two days ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and whined about Republican obstructionism.

He said the lack of Republican votes on the Medicare “doc fix” was another effort of the Republicans to “slow down, divert, and stop” what they (Democrats) are trying to do with health care “and basically everything else”.

He has lamented how things have changed in Washington, and he wants everyone within the sound of his voice to understand that Washington is being driven by a small number of people on the other side of the aisle that are preventing them (Democrats) from doing things that “help the American people”.

Sorry Harry. Those accusations just aren’t going to fly anymore. The Democrats hold a 58-40 majority over the Republicans in the Senate. The two Independent Senators caucus with the Democrats, which gives the Democrats a 60-40 majority.

It takes 60 votes to end debate on legislation and bring it up for a vote. That process is called cloture.

 
If the Democrats are truly doing what’s best for the American people and the “essential legislation” he keeps whining about will actually help Americans, why doesn’t his own party support it?

The truth is, Democrats don’t need Republican support on any legislation. They have the numbers. They have the votes. They can introduce, debate, and ultimately pass any bill they choose to force on the American people. The Republicans, with just 40 votes are unable to stop any of it, not by themselves anyway.

It’s time for Harry Reid to stop whining about Republican obstructionism and face the truth. The truth is, Harry Reid does not want to pass “partisan” legislation, especially where health care and anything else important to the American people are concerned, because he doesn’t want Democrats to take the sole blame for how completely ridiculous and dangerous it really is.

Numbers Don’t Lie

The same cannot be said for the White House.

The White House has made the claim that Fox News is not a real news organization, and some people in the mainstream media have jumped on that bandwagon like a swarm of locusts attacking a corn field.

No matter what you think of FOX News, the truth is, people watch the network. A lot of people watch the network. According to Nielsen Media Research, FOX News is slaying their competition. On Tuesday, October 20, more people watched FOX News from 5pm to 11pm than CNN, MSNBC, and HLN combined.

There’s a reason people are watching FOX News, and it has everything to do with the fact that they are tired of being spoon fed news and information that has a bias slant or has been sanitized and approved by the White House. This phenomenon is not limited to cable news channels either. Conservative talk radio show ratings are also much higher than any of their counterparts in the industry.

I find it interesting that the White House, with everything else going on in the world and all of the problems that we as citizens are facing, has found the time to attack FOX News. Of course it all makes sense when you realize that most of the other major media outlets are still depending on the White House for feedings and diaper changes.

It’s clear that the White House wants to control the news media and the information that is made available to you, but today, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) spoke out on the House floor about that media bias and made it clear to everyone why the White House is so upset with FOX News.

 

So to my friends in the so-called mainstream media, I say, conservative talk show hosts may not speak for everybody but they speak for more Americans than you do.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Blowouts, Bailouts, Budgets, & Bites

I had a completely different post in mind for tonight, but thanks to my DISH Network DVR crapping out on my 2 hour recording, and C-SPAN having some sort of archive issue, I am unable to put together the video clip for the post I wanted to do. Because of this techno-glitch, I will postpone that post until tomorrow night and give you some more random thoughts about some interesting topics tonight.

One quick side note before I begin though. A while back I posted about some family issues going on, and although I have no intention of discussing the heart of the issue any longer, I have to mention something I find completely ironic (and a bit hypocritical).

Ever since the “blowout” we haven’t heard a word from the family members in question. No phone calls, no email, nothing. It’s clear that we are being “put in our place” based on the complete lack of communication from those family members. To be honest, I could care less, but eventually our three kids are going to notice that these family members haven’t been in contact with them. It’s a shame really, because no matter what happened with us, they shouldn’t take it out on our kids, but anyway, I digress.

At the end of the “blowout” I was told,

I am highly educated and not as stupid as you seem to think I am. I think you are both just crazy.

Go watch your fox news and hang out with your crazy right wing conservative friends. I’m sure they will all agree with everything you say.

Yet, almost every day since the “blowout”, I’ve had one specific visitor here, on this page, from the same IP address originating from the place of employment of one of those family members. It’s funny too, because they always enter the site by performing a Google search for “101 dead armadillos”. It’s like they can’t remember the url of the site or something (yes, for those less educated than others, that was sarcasm). It’s clear that this family member is still watching my blog, still reading my words, still listening to my opinions, and well, still hanging out with their crazy right wing relative, even if they are choosing to do so from the shadows.

Anyway, I just wanted them to know I know they are here. They may think I am crazy, but I too am highly educated, I just don’t choose to call people names, insult them, stereotype them, or hide in the shadows. Lord knows I have plenty of ammunition if I wanted to start attacking them, but as an educated person, I am also capable of making the decision to remain civil.

So, with that said, let’s talk about some of the stuff that happened today…

Thought #1

It looks like all of those crazy right wing conservatives who said we wouldn’t see a dime in return for the $700 billion bailouts weren’t so crazy after all.

U.S. taxpayers are “extremely unlikely” to earn any return on the $700 billion government program to invest in banks and other companies as the financial system teetered on the edge of collapse, a quarterly audit said.

In a report to Congress, the Troubled Asset Relief Program watchdog Neil Barofsky said that recouping the billions of dollars given to insurer American International Group Inc. and automakers General Motors Co. and Chrysler LLC “is far from certain.” He also noted that $50 billion set aside for helping struggling homeowners lower their mortgage payments will yield “no direct return.”

Funny. This is something you just don’t hear about on those other cable news outlets. Too bad Fox News isn’t a “White House sanctioned news organization”, President Obama could have saved the American people $700 billion if he had just changed the channel. Maybe we could all chip in to send President Obama a new remote control or something. Naw. I am sure the White House has plenty of control, remote or not. Right?

Thought #2

The White House isn’t doing so good controlling the number of jobs created by the 2009 stimulus package. If you don’t watch Fox News you may want to brace yourself for this one.

According to the data, 49 States and the District of Columbia have lost jobs since stimulus was enacted. Only North Dakota has seen net job creation following the February 2009 stimulus. While President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million – a difference of 6.2 million jobs. To see how stimulus has failed your state, see the table below.

Barack Obama promised to create 3.5 million jobs but we’ve lost 2.7 million jobs. That seems to be a difference of 6,168,600 jobs. Wow. How do you miss the mark by that much? Is Maxwell Smart working in the Obama administration? (Sorry, that was a bit of czar-chasm) on my part).

Thought #3

Although the health legislation sponsored by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) claims to reduce the budget deficit by $81 billion over the next ten years, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has something different to say.

CBO breaks down the Baucus plan’s budgetary effects into those occurring “on budget” (where the substantive policy changes are) and those “off budget” (meaning through the Social Security program). The Baucus plan’s on-budget provisions would reduce the ten-year budget deficit by a tiny $1 billion and in 2019 would increase borrowing by $6 billion. In the real world, where entitlement costs rise faster than projected and Congress fails to implement promised cuts to Medicare spending, the Baucus plan will doubtless generate significant deficits.

Meanwhile, the Baucus plan’s fiscal skullduggery takes place off-budget. Social Security revenues would increase by $80 billion over ten years, with an $18 billon increase in 2019 alone. Around 3 million individuals would leave employer-sponsored health coverage — which is exempt from taxes — to purchase insurance through a subsidized “exchange.” Leaving employer-sponsored coverage would raise workers’ taxable wages and thereby boost Social Security revenues. Millions more would trade a portion of their insurance benefits for higher wages to avoid a new tax on high-cost policies. By skimming the new Social Security taxes, the Baucus plan appears to significantly cut the deficit when, in truth, it balances only by the skin of its teeth.

This is perhaps the clearest example of “raiding the trust fund” on record.

Oh my goodness. Does this mean that the entire Baucus plan depends on the creation of new (additional) Social Security surpluses to offset the higher spending on health care? Wow. Who, in this world of educated persons, would think that politicians in Washington, on the left side of the aisle, could do something so… so… crazy? I know, that’s just too far-fetched to be believable, isn’t it?

Thought #4

Have you ever wondered who owns our debt? Click here to see a nice graphic which represents our national debt and the percentage owned by each group. Yeah, I know I could have snatched the image so you could read it here, but I want you to get your exercise by clicking that mouse today. It’s important to keep your motor reflexes functioning in case you ever get accused of not being able to change the channel or something.

 

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.
Herb Caen

The Rebirth Of Restrospective Hypocrisy

This may be old news to some people, but I thought it would be interested to point out something I find quite striking about Nanny State Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her minions running the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here we are, more than three years after Nancy Pelosi took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and she’s accomplished nothing, unless you count the fact that she has proven to the American people that she and the people who support her are nothing more than hypocrites with no intention of doing what’s right for America.

Let’s look at a report titled, Broken Promises: The Death of Deliberative Democracy (PDF).

Despite their vows to open up the rules process and restore deliberative democracy to the House chamber … they used closed and highly restrictive rules to prevent Members from offering amendments that would have provoked real debate and forced Members to go on the record on real issues.

We’ve all seen how Speaker Pelosi runs the House. There is no room for debate, discussions are usually conducted behind closed doors, legislation is voted on before it’s even printed, and Republicans are not allowed to offer amendments.

But wait. This report wasn’t written by House Republicans. It seems that Democrats had issues with Republican House leadership back in 2006, as stated in this “Congressional Report on the Unprecedented Erosion of the Democratic Process in the 108th Congress”.

Back in 2006 the Democrats were upset because they thought Republicans were using closed and restrictive rules to prevent members from offering amendments and participating in real debate. Ironic, isn’t it? Isn’t that one of the very complaints that has been made against Nanny State Nancy since she took control in 2006?

Do you remember November 16, 2006 when then Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi said,

This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history

I guess it all depends on what your definitions of honest, open, and ethical are, huh?

In that same report, Democrats had some recommendations for Republicans.

  • Open up the process by allowing debate and votes on more serious amendments.
  • Allow more bills to be considered under open rules.
  • Spend more time on major, substantive legislation and less time on suspension bills.
  • Bring back regular order…
  • Give Members three days to read conference reports.

Wow, they wrote the report and they made the recommendations, yet they are 0 for 5 when it comes to carrying out even one of those recommendations since they’ve been in control of the House. It’s been three years, you’d think they might have implemented at least one of their own recommendations before now.

According to their own report,

The purpose of the House Rules is to balance the majority’s right to pass legislation in a timely way with the minority’s right to offer amendments and to otherwise participate in the deliberative process.

But now that they are in control, I guess those silly House Rules really don’t matter to the Democrats do they? The more you read the report, the more hypocritical the Democratic House leaders appears to be. Although I didn’t think they could appear any more hypocritical that they already were.

The most basic measure of how a majority is managing the House is the percentage of special rules it approves for an open debate and amendment process versus the number of times it considers legislation under a closed process.

That one is especially ironic since they are currently negotiating one of the largest and life-changing bills in our nation’s history, yet Republicans are being locked out of that process and many others.

On the other hand, a majority interested in jamming legislation through the process with as little deliberation as possible uses highly restrictive and closed rules to make sure that Members with “conflicting opinions” have little or no opportunity to bring those opinions to the House floor for debate and votes.

After reading through the entire 147 page report I realized something. The report was not a critical report on the leadership under Republicans. It had nothing to do with the way Republicans were treating Democrats in the House, it had nothing to do with “making things right” for anyone.

That’s not how Nanny State Nancy and her minions operate. As long as they can point out one instance where Republicans might have “done it first” (even if it’s not entirely true), they feel their actions are justified and legitimized when their own honesty and ethics are questioned.

You could say that Nancy Pelosi is the national poster child for hypocrisy, but then again, it turns out that report was nothing more than the final draft of the “Democratic Playbook” for running the U.S. House of Representatives and they were just biding their time.