The outcome is certain
It seems touch-and-go. The White House, using a predictable basketball analogy, calls it a "jump ball." One day I hear Pelosi has the votes, the next day I hear she doesn't. Grass roots liberty organizations encourage us to call, write, fax or visit our congressional representative yet again to register once more our unalterable opposition.
Been, there, done that. They know. A Colorado grassroots organizer said
I was in Jared Polis [D-CO2]office yesterday and a few months ago took a group of Doctors , Nurses, Engineers, CEO and other professional and met with him. He has made it clear that he is voting for this health care bill and he also was pushing getting the Government Option back into the bill. I have had people sign letters and have delivered them to him, it still does not matter. Jared Polis will vote for this bill no matter what we do.
In reviewing this last week's polls, Rasmussen wrote:
Are national Democrats on a kamikaze mission to pass their health care reform plan and destroy themselves at the polls in November? That’s what it seems like...
So what will happen if Pelosi convinces them to pass the bill and the president and the senate do the "reconciliation" process? Will Americans rise up in revolt? Will they storm the barricades, fire-bomb congressional offices, march into the legislatures and literally throw the bums out? That would send a message that would stop the madness, wouldn't it? Wasn't King George burned in effigy more than once and the tea dumped into Boston Harbor? Does not the Declaration of Independence read: read more »
What a difference a year makes
February 27th marked the one-year anniversary of the Tea Party movement. A lot has happened in the past year. Thousands of protests against the stimulus spending and then against an attempted health care takeover. In the fall, victories in two gubernatorial elections and last month Republican Scott Brown was elected to the senate from Massachusetts. Who would have thought that the political landscape could change so much in one year? The American people are up to the challenge of taking back our country. The movement the media is calling the Tea Party movement is broader than that: it includes the Glenn Beck-inspired 9-12 organization, libertarians, conservatives and others without specific affiliations who are simply fed up with a government out of control and moving in the wrong direction. I call it the Liberty Movement. As we head into spring there is every sign that this year will be even more exciting than the last one. Consider a few recent events: * A national tea party convention in Nashville * Over 10,000 people attending CPAC * PJTV launched a Tea Party channel * Hot Tea Radio launched * The Constitutionalist Today launched, a grass-roots conservative newspaper * Daniel Hannan is organizing a British Tea Party! Furthermore, recent polls say: * Rasmussen poll 2/27 gives Obama a -21% approval margin with 43% strongly disapproving * only 21% of the people say this government has the consent of the governed (Rasmussen 2/18) * the same polls says 75% are angry at the policies of the federal government * only 29% say the U.S. is heading in the right direction - the same as the week of January 26, 2009 * CNN found that 56% of the American people feel that the federal government the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans! This last poll apparently came as a surprise to CNN. The people at CNN are apparently not a part of the 49% of Americans who watch Fox News as compared to all the other news channels combined. The revolution has begun.
Throwing the people a bone
Obama's attempt this week to recast himself as some kind of budget-cutter is laughable if it weren't so cynical and calculated to fool people who are not paying attention. I could try to analyze it, but Cato has done it well already. Although I recommend reading the whole article in full, here's a good bit:
it’s only down in the fifth paragraph where the [New York] Times notes that “The estimated $250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3 percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is expected to accumulate over that time.”
The way this stuff is reported is downright criminal. Author Jason Kuznicki points out:
Spending increases that were planned all along aren’t considered increases at all and do not make the news. Unplanned increases, those over and above the planned ones, are reported as though only the unplanned parts were increases. Large spending increases get extra praise for boldness. Reductions in the rate of spending growth are called “spending cuts.” Real though tiny cuts are described as draconian measures.
The left fears free speech
Last week the Supreme Court decided, in "Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission" that corporations have a right to support or oppose candidates for public office. The left is howling. Adam McKay writes in the HuffPo:
the recent Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. FEC is so assaultive and destructive towards our country and the welfare of our democracy...
Editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post echo the idea that evil corporations will now have tremendous power over politicians. They are taking their cue from the president himself, who said the ruling “opens the floodgates” for unlimited special interest money to flow “into our democracy.” Teh White House and Congress are both busy with plans to limit the effects of the ruling.
"Our" democracy indeed. The case was not about big business but rather a small non-profit, Citizens United, which was airing ads promoting its video critical of Hilary Clinton. It puts corporations on a level playing field with unions--a fact that no doubt fuels the left's outrage--and with citizens themselves. It also takes the state of play back to the early 20th century when, ironically, corporations sought protection against politicians dunning them for campaign contributions. With the Chicago Mafia in the White House, they may well be wary of the decision. read more »
This year presents and uncommon opportunity to bring change to the senate.
This week's election of Scott Brown to the US Senate from Massachusetts puts the spotlight on senate races generally. One-third of senators are elected in each two-year election and serve for six years. That's 33 1/3 per election--and this is the year when that 34th senator is up for election.
Furthermore, in ordinary times incumbency is a strong advantage that almost guarantees reelection. So only where a senator is not seeking reelection is there a "competitive" seat. Two liberal Democrats (Dorgan, Dodd) have already announced retirement plans. Two others have been appointed rather than elected (Bennett, Burris) and only Bennett has announced that he intends to run. One more (Spector) was elected as a Republican and changed parties. (I wonder if he's regretting his decision right about now.)
The potential for change we can really believe in is great.
Larry Sabato predicts that if the election were held today, the Democrats would retain only 52 seats. He suggests that the political environment might be better for the Democrats in the fall if the economy improves. I don't see the Democrats making any changes in their direction that might make that happen. The more likely scenario is worse both for the economy and for them. read more »
Senators are clueless
CNS News, an online news source, has been asking Democrat senators whether they think the healthcare bill is constitutional. Their latest "target" is Sen McCaskill of Missouri. When asked, she stated:
Well the -- we have all kinds of places where the government has gotten involved with health care and mandating insurance. In most states, the government mandates the buying of car insurance, and I can assure everyone that if anything in this bill is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court will weigh in.
You gotta love the way these Democrats memorize their playbook. I've heard the "car insurance: argument several times before--including, tellingly, an OFA email. Trouble is, it doesn't track. The government doesn't
- mandate buying car insurance: only if you own a car and drive it
- tell you what kind of insurance to buy: only sets minimums
- doesn't sell car insurance: the "public option"
- doesn't tax you if your policy sets limits too high
But it does fine you or throw you in jail if you do drive and don't have insurance. Maybe that's what she meant. Those nice, caring Democrats telling you that you wouldn't have to buy health insurance if only you weren't breathing.
CNS News has been asking this question of quite a few senators, all just as clueless. The other "authority" given is the "welfare clause." To quote from the Constitution: read more »
Tea Partiers are American Patriots
There's a bit of a flurry of interest in the Tea Party movement since the Wall St Journal released a poll yesterday saying that the movement is viewed more positively than either the Democrat or Republican parties. 41% of respondents have a positive view while only 24% have a negative one. What does it mean? For one thing, the leftist journalists who have sought to marginalize the movement are out of touch with reality. OK, we already knew that.
Is the Tea party movement on its way to becoming a third party? A majority party, even?
I think not. I wrote a month ago about the "Tea Party" registered in Florida. Although I consider it a bit tacky to quote one's self, here's what I said then:
...The strength of the Tea Party movement is in holding all parties accountable, especially for fiscal responsibility. We should seek out, encourage, support and endorse candidates who hold our values regardless of party.
In short, the Tea Party movement should not become a formal political party. Ned Ryun of American Majority seems to agree with me:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5uc1vPknow&hl=en_US&fs=1&] read more »
More government means less liberty
I had a meeting recently with a government official about a project I was set to work on. He opened the meeting with "What makes you an expert?" I was to prove to him, right then and there, why I was qualified to do this project because, he said, he was paying my salary. As the discussion progressed, it became obvious that he had very little knowledge of my area of expertise--yet there he sat in judgment.
This little episode explains a lot about why Ronald Reagan said government is not the answer--government is the problem. If Congress passes its health care take-over bill, this little scene will be replayed all over America countless times.
The first problem is that this man had absolutely no experience outside of government. He really couldn't comprehend the value of the efficiencies I would bring to his organization from private enterprise and the free market. Cabinet appointees in the Obama administration have a shockingly low amount of experience outside of government:
Yet by virtue of his government position this man felt he had the ability and the right to judge whether I am an expert in my field or not. My field has certified me as an expert, but that wasn't good enough for him. Imagine now that bureaucrat judging whether you need a certain medical procedure or not. Doesn't matter whether your doctor--an acknowledged expert in his or her field--has said you need it. It's the government's opinion that matters. read more »
Read this book and understand the American ideal
I just finished reading Sarah Palin's autobiography. The whole book--not just Chapter 1 as Deborah J. Saunders, who wrote a dismissive review on Townhall last week, obviously did. Not just the juicy campaign parts that the media immediately pounced on. As Sarah herself might say, the whole kit and caboodle.
I'll give you my appraisal up front: it's a great book. I'd read her biography by Kaylene Johnson last year so I already had a good idea of who the real Sarah Palin is. Palin's book is about 400 pages and the first half mirrored in greater depth the events of Sarah's life before she burst on the national stage in August 2008.
The second half deals with the vice presidential campaign, the events up to her resignation from the governorship and the writing of the book itself. The campaign parts are fascinating to someone who's never been on the inside of a political campaign but who did watch the events of 2008 unfold. It is very honest, complimentary to many and not so much to others. She doesn't give herself a pass either. It's been written that she plays the victim. I didn't read it that way at all.
I can't help but contrast this biography with those of Barack Obama. She didn't have a ghost-writer and she sticks to the facts. That's a big difference between the conservative mindset with an emphasis on facts and rationality and the liberal one with an emphasis on feelings and where the truth is relative.
I would also say that this is an important book. Read it and reflect on it. If, when you finish reading this book, you still don't understand or agree with Sarah Palin, then you don't really understand or agree with the ideal of America. She's as American as apple pie: a strong faith and a belief in fiscal responsibility, limited government, and the unlimited potential of the American people.
Harnessing the power of grassroots activism
In response to the formation of a Tea Party Party in Florida, I wrote last week that I didn't think it was a good idea for the Tea Party movement to become a political party.
The strength of the Tea Party movement is in holding all parties accountable, especially for fiscal responsibility. We should seek out, encourage, support and endorse candidates who hold our values regardless of party.
I think it's time to begin building a strategy for what the Tea Parties can and should do to bring this nation back to a path of fiscal responsibility and limited, constitutional government. Here's a list of activities for a start:
- Activist recruitment/training
- Education on issues
- Promoting Tea Party values
- Voter registration
- Communication with parties & candidates
- Promoting specific candidates
The first three are already being done throughout the country. There are something over 800 local Tea Party organizations. That is an unprecedented rise in grass-roots activism. We've organized rallies, marches and demonstrations. We've flooded our elected representatives with email, faxes and phone calls. We've caused many of them to cancel town hall meetings and turn off their answering machines--not a good thing to be sure, but a predictable response from those who weren't in office to represent us in the first place. read more »