Missile Vs. Missile

Missile Vs. Missile

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The American People Will Not Be Ignored - - Can You Hear Us Now?

The American people will not be ignored. Can you hear us now?

One year after Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration, the people of Massachusetts have staged an uprising, sending a Republican to the Senate to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in a special election. In an upset of epic proportions -- turning around a 30-point, post-primary deficit -- Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) trounced his Democrat opponent, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley by five full percentage points. Brown ran a national campaign as the 41st vote in the Senate to stop the government takeover of health care. He opposed the out-of-control spending, the cap and trade national energy tax and the Democrats’ disastrous approach to terrorism. Brown turned this race into a referendum on the out of control government in Washington and won a resounding victory.

There is no spinning this one away. Democrats lost this supermajority seat in the bluest of blue states (which Obama carried by 26 points) to expressly put an end to their monopoly on power.

The worst thing Republicans could do is misread this breathtaking victory. This wound was self-inflicted by the arrogant liberal leadership in Washington from the White House to Congress. Brown won thanks to the huge number of independents that turned out for him and the reported 22% of Democrats that crossed party lines to vote for him. “Tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken,” Brown said in his victory speech, as the crowd chanted “Forty-one, forty-one,” in reference to the Obama agenda-stopping 41st vote in the Senate
and “Seat him now, seat him now,” warning national Democrats not to try to play politics with the timing on Brown’s swearing in.

“One thing is clear, voters do not want the trillion-dollar health care bill that is being forced on the American people,” Brown said. “This bill is not being debated openly and fairly. It will raise taxes, hurt Medicare, destroy jobs, and run our nation deeper into debt. It is not in the interest of our state or country -- we can do better.”
Holding up a Boston Herald newspaper with the headline, “He Did It!” Brown said, “Every day I hold this office I will give all that is in me to serve you well and make you proud. Most of all I will remember that while the honor is mine, this senate seat belongs to no one person, no one political party. As I’ve said before, and you’ve heard it today, and you’ll hear it loud and clear, this is the people’s seat.” Brown, a lieutenant colonel and 30-year member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, also spoke against giving terrorists refuge in our civilian court system. “Let me say this to the people who wish to harm us,” Brown said. “I believe, and I know all of you believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation. Let me make it very, very, very clear. They do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. The message we need to send in dealing with terrorists is our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them and not lawyers to defend them.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell immediately welcomed his caucus’ newly-elected senator with open arms. Should the tone-deaf Democrat leadership try to force nationalized health care through the House, the most likely scenario would be for the House to attempt to pass unchanged the highly-controversial bill Senate Democrats rammed through over Christmas. That would mean the Cornhusker Kickback, the Second Louisiana Purchase and the selective deals for unions backing Obama in the last election would remain in the bill unchanged.
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) released a statement after the election that left no doubt that at least some in the Senate have heard the voters and will oppose any shenanigans in pressing a quick Senate vote on any changes the House might offer to the bill.“

In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process,” Webb said. “It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.”

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) sounded the alarm before the election results were in. “There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.” Even Howard Dean, chairman emeritus of the Democratic Party was forced to admit on a cable news program, “It was a backlash against Washington.”
American people will not be ignored. Can you hear us now?

Obama Lied - The Stimulus Job Promises Died!

Accurately Counting Stimulus Jobs Proving Tough

Obama promised the $787 billion stimulus package would create or save 3.5 million jobs

As Americans become more skeptical of the administration's promise that the stimulus package will create or save 3.5 million jobs, there's an added frustration: Even if the $787 billion act is successful in creating work, Americans may never know.

That's because counting the jobs involves estimating what would have happened without legislation, a slippery task even if the economy weren't so volatile. "We will probably have a better sense two years down the road, after a number of careful studies," says Steven Davis, a University of Chicago economics professor. "But even then, there will be lots of arguments." The administration says that 150,000 jobs were created in the first hundred days after the stimulus was passed. But that figure comes from the same economic formula that predicted how many jobs the stimulus would create overall, not from reporting on the ground.
So far, two measures are being used, economic modeling and direct reporting. The first, a formula from the president's Council of Economic Advisers, relies on the well-established idea that a certain amount of spending generates a given number of jobs. It's particularly useful since it accounts for ripple effects that direct reporting doesn't, like how a construction worker buying a sandwich on the job supports the local eatery and lets it hire more people. But like many economic estimates, it's inexact.
The other yardstick is direct reporting, in which agencies tell the government how many people they hired with stimulus funds. But that can also get murky. The Office of Management and Budget recently released guidance on such an assessment to stimulus funding recipients. Experts say that although it clarified how recipients are supposed to report jobs and other data, it doesn't make an exact count likelier. "The fear was that [job reporting] would not capture the full extent of jobs created or retained," says Gary Bass, director of the watchdog group OMB Watch. "This does nothing to allay those fears."
Part of the problem is that job reporting goes down only to the first subcontractor level. If a state receives a stimulus grant and subcontracts it to a city, for example, the state counts how many people it employed to administer the funding and estimates how many the city employed. The sum of the two is reported as the number of jobs created. But if the city contracts out the program, as expected, those jobs aren't added in.
Then, experts say, there is the question of how to count "saved" jobs, especially important since the final job numbers will lump those together with "created" jobs. Some cases are clear-cut, like school districts' decisions not to pink-slip employees after stimulus funds came through. But as agencies get more information about what funding will be available and plan accordingly, defining a saved job gets trickier. "It will likely become a question of 'If you did not have this money, what budget changes would you need to have made?' " says Leslee Fritz, director of Michigan's economic recovery office.
It's not unlikely that the White House will issue more guidance on counting stimulus jobs.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Obamacare's Fundamental Flaw

The Left has always had an erratic relationship with the Constitution. Liberal judges are known for discovering constitutional rights that had eluded judges for centuries. That’s because some of those so-called rights, such as the right to privacy, have no basis in the text of the Constitution but rather somewhere in its “emanations” and “penumbras.”

But the alleged right to privacy has its limits even among liberals. The Left’s judges routinely rule that the right protects abortion on demand, but its legislators have no qualms about extinguishing the right of citizens to make other private healthcare decisions free of government coercion.

While much of the healthcare debate has focused on arguments over policy, a more fundamental debate is taking place over whether the Democrats’ healthcare overhaul is even constitutional. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the federal government to be involved in healthcare, and the loud affirmation of this fact may offer conservatives their best chance to pull the plug on Obamacare.

It would be ironic if it is in the courts, liberals’ favorite venue for forcing social change, that the rule of law were restored and the personal freedom of the American people affirmed. The power to regulate each citizen’s health care is not listed in the Constitution among the federal government’s enumerated powers, and the 10th Amendment makes clear that any powers not specifically granted to Congress are reserved to the states. But among liberals, for whom it is an article of faith that government-run healthcare is a basic human right that no person of goodwill could oppose, any arguments about its constitutionality are irrelevant. When pressed to address constitutionality, liberals often point to the commerce clause. The Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate “commerce among the several states.” But that does not mean Congress can meddle in anything that affects economic activity. The Supreme Court has rejected the notion that the commerce clause allows Congress to regulate non-economic activities just because, somewhere down the road, they may have an effect on economic activity. The most egregiously unconstitutional element of the health care legislation concerns the individual mandate, which requires each American to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty of up to $25,000 or one year in prison. The individual mandate is essential to the Left’s plan to impose government-run health care. Without it, because of the left’s insistence on barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people for pre-existing conditions, people would simply obtain insurance only when they have a need for medical care.

The individual mandate is a way to keep costs down, but there is not constitutional authorization for it. As Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has said, “…here would be the first time where our [federal] government would demand that people buy something that they may or may not want…and…that’s not constitutionally sound.”

Back in 1994, during the Democrats’ last foray into healthcare reform, the Congressional Budget Office stated that compelling individuals to buy insurance would be “an unprecedented form of federal action” because “the government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the U.S.” Liberals often liken the health insurance individual mandate to the law requiring all people who own automobiles to have auto insurance. But it’s a flawed argument. Only state governments, not the federal government, can require automobile owners to obtain auto insurance (and two states, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, don’t). Also, as legal scholars at the Heritage Foundation point out in a recent legal memorandum, “automobile insurance requirements impose a condition on the voluntary activity of driving; a health insurance mandate imposes a condition on life itself.” The Heritage memo, titled “Why the personal mandate to buy health insurance is unprecedented and unconstitutional,” also notes that states require drivers to maintain auto insurance only to cover injuries to others. “The mandate does not require drivers to insure themselves or their property against injury or damage. Thus the auto insurance requirement covers the dangers and liabilities posed by drivers to third parties only…” It would be an understatement to say that individual mandate advocates have struggled to defend its inclusion.

In a series of interviews conducted by CNSNews.com, Democrat after Democrat failed to give a coherent answer about where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance. Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka said he was “not aware” of the Constitution giving Congress the authority, while Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said he’d “have to check the specific sections,” and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) flatly admitted that he did not know. Senator Blanche Lincoln should have taken the Nelson route but instead opined, “Well, I Just think the Constitution charges Congress with the health and well-being of the people.” And Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) dismissed the question, insisting that “nobody” questioned Congress’ authority to require individual mandate. (What a jerk). Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) said Congress authorization to impose an individual mandate could be found in the part of Constitution that authorizes the federal government to “provide for the health, welfare and the defense of the country.” (How Lame). But, as CNSNews.com pointed out, “health” is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution.

Then there was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who simply responded “Are you serious? Are you serious?” By which she seemed to be saying, “Do you seriously think we progressives would allow constitutionality to get in the way of our half-century old goal of government-run health care?!”

There are other constitutional problems with Obamacare. For instance, if the public option provides for abortion, many Americans will be compelled to subsidize other people’s abortions, which would infringe upon the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom. And constitutional concerns exist over exempting some states from Obamacare’s provisions. In Harry Reid’s fire sale for votes, he essentially agreed that some states would bear the brunt of the economic burden of the health care monstrosity but not others.

Presently state legal experts are examining whether the constitution can force such a burden upon them.

Other constitutional issues are buried deep in the pages of the bill just now seeing the light of day. For example, in spite of recent Supreme Court decisions raising constitutional questions about racial set asides, Obamacare promises federal financial assistance to medical schools, but only if they have programs that serve “under-represented” groups based on race, sex, religion and sexual orientation. (OMG)

An unintended consequence of the health care debate may be that legislators on both sides of the isle are dusting off and reading their copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Conservative members of Congress should resolve in the New Year to talk more often and more loudly about the constitutional arguments against Obamacare. If it passes, conservatives should test its constitutionality in the courts. It may well be that the jobs saved or created by the Obama Administration’s health care plan go to lawyers, not doctors.

(I, for one, will pray that BO and his ILK haven't won, yet! If they do, then we are in terrible trouble! -- Lone Star Lady)