Thursday, April 29, 2010
[Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah] described the effort as part of a plan to give the island's progressive activists "legitimacy" to push forward with and build momentum toward a statehood plan. He said it's something most Puerto Ricans don't even want, but suggested it was part of an effort to bring more Democrats into Congress.This bill, H.R. 2499, represents an unwarranted intrusion by Congress into that which is the business of the Puerto Rican people and ought to be voted down. But, given the political makeup of the 111th Congress, this is not likely. So, where does that leave the GOP? Where to from here?
"That's what some of us who understand this bill are so just frightened about," Chaffetz told radio and Fox News host Glenn Beck. "The majority of people in Puerto Rico don't even necessarily want this."
I think it is time for the GOP to stop being
frightenedand to start doing a better job of educating the voters—including Puerto Rican voters if they elect statehood—about the great fraud Progressives in both parties have perpetrated on the Nation. There are plenty of examples to choose from such as Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid that were structured to buy votes at the expense of sustainability. Or, how the Progressives have tossed the Constitution aside and expanded the ambit of the Federal government, trespassing in areas belonging to the States or to the People. Or, how the Congress aided the expansion of the administrative state by ceding their lawmaking powers to agencies such as the EPA.
The list could go on and on. The key is to shine a bright light on progressivism and Progressives in government rather than vaguely indicting
Democrats and their big-spending ways;a saw that has become trite from over-use. The message must be about the failure of the programs instituted by the Progressives. It must be about how the Progressives are leading the Nation down a road to fiscal and economic disaster. And, it must include honest discussion of alternatives, avoiding demagoguery, that show how the Nation will get back onto a sustainable path. In a nutshell, the vision of the Founders and the concept of Constitutional government needs to be re-sold.
So, it is time to openly confront the Progressives and their demagoguery. The Tea Party movement is already into the task. Will our elected representatives actively engage? I don't know; it will take political courage to do so. We the People could help by lending encouragement.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
President Felipe Calderon on Monday slammed the law as "racial discrimination" and said his government would "use all means at its disposal" to defend its nationals.
(In my best Cheech Marin accent) Hey, Mr. President Calderón, instead of threatening the U.S., why don't you apply your energies to improving conditions in your own country for the farmers and workers? [Oiga, señor Presidente Calderón, en lugar de amenazar a los EE.UU., ¿por qué no aplicar sus energías a mejorar las condiciones en su país para los agricultores y los trabajadores?]
OMB director, Peter Orszag, gave a talk at the Economic Club on April 8th of this year during which the subject of Medicare cost containment came up. The following is a rather lengthy extract of Orszag's comments:
DR. ORSZAG: Furthermore, healthcare is a dynamic market. It’s always going to evolve. In that setting, the only sensible approach in my mind is an evolutionary one where you try lots of things, throw lots of thing up against the wall and have a mechanism in place to move to scale immediately on the most promising ideas, and that’s exactly what the legislation does, both through the innovation center that’s created and importantly through — I think folks have not really focused on the Medicare Commission, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, that’s created. This institution could prove to be far more important to the future of our fiscal health than, for example, the Congressional Budget Office. It has an enormous amount of potential power. How that potential is realized is going to have a very significant influence on our future fiscal trajectory.
DR. ORSZAG: Well, let me just first pause and point out that’s exactly what we just created for Medicare. So this Independent Payment Advisory Board has the power and the responsibility to put forward proposals to hit a pretty aggressive set of targets over the long term. And furthermore, the proposals take effect automatically, unless Congress not only specifically votes them down but the President signs that bill. So the default is now switched in a very important way on the biggest driver over long-term cost, which is the Medicare program.
MR. RUBENSTEIN: Was that explained to Members of Congress very carefully?
DR. ORSZAG: Yes, it was and that’s why this was something that was very difficult to actually — this is why I think it was under-appreciated, that this is a very substantial change. Again, a lot will depend on whether it realizes its potential, and how the culture develops, but it has statutory power to put forward proposals to reduce healthcare cost growth overtime and improve quality, and those proposals take effect automatically if Congress ignores them, or if Congress votes them down and the President vetoes that bill. So in other words, inertia now plays to the side of this independent board.
To summarize, the Obamacare bill set up an independent board to develop cost control measures using an
evolutionary heuristic of some sort. And, these measures will take effect by default unless Congress enacts legislation to nullify the measure and that legislation is signed into law. So, Congress—as they are wont to do—will not be able to go to sleep but will have to maintain vigilant watch over the Board.
But, the whole issue may become moot. As already mentioned, there are many reasons to be against Obamacare; the chief reason being it's an unconstitutional overreach on the part of Congress in enacting the legislation in the first place.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
As aggravating as this suit may be because of all the forces in this Nation (e.g., ACLU, Freedom from Religion, et al) that are trying to undercut the moral tenor of this Nation, there may be a legitimate Constitutional question in this case.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation bring their suits based on
the constitutional principle of separation between church and state.Unfortunately for them, there is no such principle.
The catch phrase, separation of church and state originally was expressed by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. The phrase does not appear in the Constitution.
If that is true, what is the Constitutional question?
The root question may go back to the origins of the National Day of Prayer. This day, honorable in itself, was created as a joint resolution of Congress in 1952. And therein lies the question: Does the joint resolution of Congress contravene the first amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…
Or, to restate the question, does a Congressional resolution amount to lawmaking? I believe this question, given it's first amendment implications, will go all the way to the Supreme Court.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Lost in the rhetoric was that taxes have gone down under Obama. Congress has cut individuals' federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion, leaving Americans with a lighter load despite nearly $29 billion in increases by states. Obama plans to increase taxes on the wealthy to help pay for his health care overhaul and other programs.The point the MSM doesn't
getis it's not about taxes per se. It's about the Federal fiscal policy; a policy that promises to bankrupt the nation. Lower taxes in the face of increased government spending is scarcely a comforting thought. But, unlike the tea partiers, the MSM appears to be too dense to
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Update: The story is now validated. There is a liberal group that is attempting to discredit the Tea Party movement by infiltrating events and acting up. An image of their Web page appears above. Here's the story:
ALBANY, N.Y. — Opponents of the fiscally conservative tea party movement say they plan to infiltrate and dismantle the political group by trying to make its members appear to be racist, homophobic and moronic.Jason Levin, creator of http://www.crashtheteaparty.org, said Monday the group has 65 leaders in major cities across the country who are trying to recruit members to infiltrate tea party events for April 15 — tax filing day, when tea party groups across the country are planning to gather and protest high taxes.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Repeal! That was the immediate popular reaction to the passage of Obama's health care bill. The majority of voters, stunned by the passage of this monument to the Progressives' trampling of the Constitution and revulsed by the Democrat's callous disregard for the will of the People, reacted and are expected to vote Republicans into Congress in the 2010 elections.
But, as passion cools, an appreciation for the political realities will set in: Despite expected gains by the GOP in the Fall elections, there is likely to not be a veto-proof margin for repeal in Congress. Nor will the likelihood of partial rollback of the most egregious elements of the bill exist as long as Obama is president. But, that does not mean a GOP majority will be helpless.
Obama's health care bill, in true Wilsonian-Progressive fashion, requires a significant expansion of the Executive branch with the creation of new agencies and commissions, and the expansion of existing ones—notably, the IRS. All of this requires increased budget requests to Congress. And, therein lies Obama's vulnerability: Congress' power of the purse. A GOP majority can explicitly refuse to provide the funding.
Now, presidents have been known to move existing funds around to accomplish an objective. So, Congress will have to be on their toes as they draft the appropriations bills. And, We the People will have to be watchdogs on Obama's actions.
Friday, April 02, 2010
Che Guevara is the murderous thug associated with Fidel Castro and involved in fomenting violence in Cuba and South America in the 50's and 60's.