Monday, August 31, 2009

Elections Have Consequences

Elections Have Consequences. I hope we have learned that lesson well both nationally and here in Washington State.

by Neil Stevens

Congress now debates giving President Barack Obama, Democrat, sweeping authority over Internet Service Providers, including the authority to nationalize whatever Internet resources he declares to be important.

S. 773, a bill by West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Democrat, has a 55-page draft bill that would create new “emergency” powers for the President, a ‘cybersecurity’ Enabling Act of sorts, that would give the President the authority broad powers over any “non-governmental” computer networks, whether public or private, that are declared by the President to be “critical.”

On its own, this power is already dangerous, and even frightening to anyone in the industry. Whether large or small, we all who operate on the Internet invest in online capital.

Large firms spend billions on the task, and now the Democrats
want to nationalize it at the drop of a hat. This is threatened theft on a scale not usually seen outside banana Republics.

These powers extend beyond declared emergencies, however. Rockefeller’s bill would immediately grant the ability of the government to control hiring and firing of jobs related to these so-called critical networks, because the President could unilaterally declare that jobs related to those networks would be required to be filled by people certified to the task by the government.

And much like with
the car dealerships, the Obama administration is fully expected to use its power to favor political allies for these jobs by granting or denying certification depending on your level of donations to Obama for America or the Democratic National Committee.

Elections have consequences, and all those people who told themselves that Democrats would leave the Internet alone now have a lesson to learn regarding letting the scorpion of big government onto their backs.

But it is not too late, and we all now can unite against the socialist threat now looming over the Internet.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hide The Children!

"Obama's Plan For America...debt, debt and more debt." [Patriot's Post] Looks like a bad hand to me

Love this quote from the WSJ on Obama Deficits:

"Obamanomics has turned into an unprecedented experiment in runaway government with no plan to pay for it, save, perhaps, for a big future toll on the middle class such as a value-added tax.

White House budget director Peter Orszag promises that next year's budget will have a "plan to put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path." Hide the children."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Truth Matters

Truth matters...and it doesn't always match up with liberal-left talking points. Case and point:

Lion of the Left

By Mark Alexander

"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. ... Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue
is the only foundation of republics." --John Adams

Have you ever attended a funeral service out of respect for a friend or colleague, and left perplexed as to whom the eulogy was referring? Just once, I would like to go to a service for some disreputable rogue and have a clergyman deliver a eulogy that was faithful to the facts rather than full of fiction. (Hopefully, that won't be my own!)

I am certainly not suggesting that we should stand in judgment of any man, for that is the exclusive domain of our Creator. However, we should never abandon our responsibility to discern right from wrong.

On that note, Edward "Teddy" Kennedy (22 February 1932 -- 25 August 2009) died this week at age 77.

Kennedy spent the last 47 of his years as a senator, having been perpetually re-elected by the people of Massachusetts. This made him the third-longest serving senator -- behind Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Strom Thurmond (R-SC) -- in that chamber's august history.

Of course, a fawning Leftmedia will inundate us with non-stop coverage of Kennedy's life, featuring interviews with his political sycophants up to, and probably well after, his interment at National Cemetery. The airways and printed pages are already sodden with accolades, mostly framing the senator's life as one of great personal tragedy but great public success.
Let's take a look at both.

Kennedy was born into great wealth, privilege and political influence, the fourth son and ninth child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. He never worked a day in a private-sector job, and like his brothers before him, he owed his political career to his father's considerable political machinations.

But, the mainstream media's reference to TK's life as one punctuated by personal tragedy is an understatement.

Before the age of 16, he had suffered through the death of his brother Joseph Kennedy Jr. (his father's heir apparent), who died when his B-24 bomber exploded over Surrey, England, during World War II, and the death of his sister Kathleen Agnes Kennedy, who died in an airplane crash in France.

In 1941 his father ordered a lobotomy for Ted's sister, Rosemary Kennedy, then age 23, because of "mood swings that the family found difficult to handle at home." The procedure failed and left Rose mentally incapacitated until her death in January 2005 at age 87.

Ted, like his brother John, developed a reputation as a serial womanizer in college. Unlike his Ivy League brothers, however, Ted was kicked out of Harvard for cheating, though allowed to return a few years later to complete his undergraduate degree.

Thanks to some election-night manipulation of returns by Old Joe, JFK was elected president in the closest race of the 20th century (49.7 percent to Richard Nixon's 49.5 percent). That paved the way for TK's victory in a 1962 U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts.

The thrill of victory was brief, however. On 22 November 1963, during a political visit to Dallas, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
In June 1964, Ted Kennedy was flying with friends on a private plane that crashed on a landing approach, killing the pilot and a Kennedy staffer. Kennedy survived but suffered severe injuries.

On 4 June 1968, Robert Kennedy, then a candidate for the Democrat Party's nomination for president, was assassinated after a Los Angeles political event. The political baton then went to Teddy, the last of the four Kennedy brothers, but his alcohol abuse and philandering would keep the presidency out of reach.

In 1969, on one of his infamous junkets to "the island" (Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquiddick), Kennedy's moral lapse would cost a young staffer her life, and would cost him any chance of becoming president.

On the night of 18 July, Kennedy left a party with an attractive young intern en route to a private secluded beach on the far side of Dike Bridge. Kennedy lost control on the single-lane bridge and his vehicle overturned in the shallow tidal water. (Note: I drove across this bridge in a large 4x4 truck a few years after this incident, and it was not difficult to keep it out of the water -- but then, I was not intoxicated.)

Kennedy freed himself from the vehicle leaving his passenger, 28-year-old
Mary Jo Kopechne to suffocate in an air pocket inside the overturned car. After resting at the water's edge, he walked back to the party house, and one of his political hacks took him back to his hotel.

Nine hours later, after sobering up and conferring with political advisors and lawyers, Kennedy called authorities to report the incident. Kopechne's body had already been discovered.

With the help of Father Joe's connections, Kennedy was charged only with leaving the scene of an accident. In his testimony, he claimed, "I almost tossed and turned... I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car." He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve two months in jail -- sentence suspended.

With Joan, his pregnant wife of 10 years, and their three children by his side, he claimed that charges of "immoral conduct and drunk driving" were false and he was promptly re-elected to his second full Senate term with a landslide 62 percent of the vote. However, his responsibility for the death of Kopechne would all but disqualify him from ever holding national office. Indeed, the moral composure of the nation differs significantly from that of his Massachusetts supporters and defenders.

Kennedy's political advocacy swung evermore to the left in the years that followed, and his personal conduct led the way.

In January 1981, Joan announced she had had enough, and they divorced.
Two Senate terms later, Kennedy was partying at the family's Palm Beach compound with his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, who was charged with the rape of Patricia Bowman during that evening. The Kennedy machine was able to undermine Bowman's charges by assassinating her character ahead of the trial.

Not surprisingly, Kennedy was an ardent backer of his friend Bill Clinton after the latter lied about sexual encounters with a subordinate White House intern in 1998.

In turn, Clinton awarded Kennedy the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which, along with the Congressional Gold Medal, is the highest civilian award in the U.S. It is designated for individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Setting aside all of his personal tragedies, what about the tributes and rave reviews of Kennedy's public life, his success as a legislator?

According to Barack Obama, "Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists, "No one has done more than Senator Kennedy to educate our children, care for our seniors and ensure equality for all Americans. Ted Kennedy's dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid adds, "Ted Kennedy's dream was the one for which the Founding Fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The Liberal Lion's mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die."

Oh, really?

Kennedy has a very long legacy of legislative accomplishments, but not one of them is expressly authorized by our Constitution, that venerable old document he has repeatedly pledged by oath "to support and defend."
Kennedy's long Senate tenure was, in fact, defined by hypocrisy.

For example, consider that this fine Catholic boy's advocacy for abortion and homosexuality was second to none.

In regard to Operation Iraqi Freedom, consider his claim during the Clinton years: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." A few years later, with his cadre of
traitorous leftists at his side, Kennedy claimed, "The Bush administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence to justify a war that America should never have fought."

Who can forget Kennedy's outrageous 2006 inquisition into the integrity of then Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito? In 1987 when Ronald Reagan nominated Alito to be a U.S. District Attorney, Kennedy's vote was among the Senate's unanimous consent. And when Sam Alito was nominated for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1990, he again received Kennedy's vote and unanimous consent from the Senate. But after impugning Alito's character in his Supreme Court hearings, Kennedy blustered, "If confirmed, Alito could very well fundamentally alter the balance of the court and push it dangerously to the right."

Of course, Kennedy was an expert at "borking" judicial nominees. Indeed, he is responsible for the coining of the term. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated an exceptional jurist, Robert Bork, to the Supreme Court. During Bork's confirmation hearings, Kennedy proclaimed, "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens." Despicable.

No agenda was more sacred to Kennedy than opposing
Constitutional Constructionists in order to convert the Judiciary into what Thomas Jefferson called the "Despotic Branch" stacked with jurists who subscribe to the notion of a so-called "Living Constitution".

But among ├╝ber-leftists like Kennedy, there is perhaps no greater hypocrisy than the fact that they are among the wealthiest of Americans but pretend to be advocates for the poor. Of course, they never give up their opulent trappings and lifestyles while pontificating what is best for the masses. (I have written on the pathology associated with this hypocrisy under the label
"Inheritance Welfare Liberalism, or "rich guilt" if you will.)

And there is a long list of Kennedy legislation that has proven disastrous.
Second only to the looming disaster of his pet nationalized health care promotion, Kennedy led the charge for the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, ending quotas based on national origin. He argued, "[O]ur cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. The ethnic mix of our country will not be upset. ...[T]he bill will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area..."

How did that one turn out?

Kennedy also had some dangerous
dalliances with the Soviets in 1983, endeavoring to undermine Ronald Reagan's hard line with the USSR. Fortunately, his efforts did not prevail.

But Kennedy did have one thing in common with his older brothers: He had powerful oratorical skills.

At the 2004 Democrat Convention to elect his lap dog, John Kerry, Kennedy, who wrote the book on political disunity, declared to delegates, "There are those who seek to divide us. ... America needs a genuine uniter -- not a divider. [Republicans] divide and try to conquer."

Fortunately, the American people weren't buying his rhetoric -- at least not until the 2008 convention, when Kennedy joined Barack Obama's "hope 'n' change" chorus: "I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America.... For me this is a season of hope -- new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few -- new hope. And this is the cause of my life -- new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American -- north, south, east, west, young, old -- will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege."
Predictably, and before the man has even been laid to rest, there is already a rallying cry from Ted Kennedy's grave: The Left and their mainstream media talkingheads are exhorting us to fulfill the late senator's misguided mission to nationalize health care. (I checked, and the Constitution doesn't authorize this either.)

As I contemplate the life of Ted Kennedy, I am left with two primary conclusions.

First, Ted Kennedy was no JFK.

In his 1961 Inaugural Address, John Kennedy said famously, "My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." Ted Kennedy inverted that phrase to read, "Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you," and in the process, turned the
once-noble Democrat Party on end.

Second, a man who can't govern his own life should never be entrusted with the government of others.

One of our most astute Founders, Noah Webster, wrote, "The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities. ... In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate -- look to his character."

In Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, the first use of "government" is defined in terms of self-government, not the body of those who govern.
Despite the Left's insistence that private virtue and morality should not be a consideration when assessing those in "public service" (unless, of course, they are Republicans), the fact is that the two are irrevocably linked.
Finally, in 1968, when Ted Kennedy delivered the eulogy for his brother, Robert, he said, "My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life..."

I would hope that whoever is slated to deliver Ted Kennedy's eulogy follows that advice because we do a disservice to him and our country to suggest Kennedy was anything more than he was.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Referendum 71 Signature Rate Still On Track To Qualify For November Ballot

Seattle PI reported this update on the numbers for Referendum 71:

Elections officials said Tuesday they've checked more than 110,000 Referendum 71 signatures. Backers of the measure want to overturn Washington's new "everything but marriage" same-sex domestic partner law.

Officials say 97,261 signatures have been accepted and 13,027 rejected. The overall error rate is 11.81 percent, up from the 11.72 percent rate reported Monday.

Sponsors need 120,677 valid Washington voter signatures for R-71 to win a place on the November ballot. Based on the number of signatures they turned in, the error rate can't go over 12.4 percent.

The secretary of state's office hopes to finish the count by the end of this month

Monday, August 24, 2009

A False Choice

by Erick Erickson

Liberals keep saying that insurance companies need competition. 3% profit margins — and yes, that is the profit margin for health insurance companies in America — are too much for the left.

Competition, we all agree, will reduce prices, improve innovation, and give people more flexibility and choices.

So what do liberals want to do to foster competition? A “public option.”

A public option would be a government run healthcare plan.

Here is what liberals willfully ignore in their sales pitch and what we must point out over and over and over — there is no competition when the government is involved. Why? Because of two reasons:

The government operates on tax dollars.

The government writes the rules.

When the government uses tax dollars to fund its competition in the marketplace it is not the same as a company raising private capital.

Government bureaucrats lack responsibility and accountability to taxpayers in a way a company does not with shareholders, debt holders, and consumers.

It is unfair competition and unfair competition is no competition at all. Because the government can fund itself by, in the final measure, simply printing more money, a private business cannot compete. The private business will go out of business leaving only the government.

In the same way, because the government will write the rules, it will write the rules in a way to benefit the government. With no real accountability for the dollars it spends, the government can write rules oblivious to costs and constraints, thereby driving up costs on private businesses, putting them out of business.

People who say the government offering a public option in healthcare is merely a way to bring competition to the marketplace either do not understand the way the marketplace works or are willfully lying.

Given that the “public option” was first proposed as a way to bring about single payer healthcare while obfuscating the language, the odds are with “willful lying.”

Put it to you this way — I’ll support a single payer healthcare system when the government ends the post office’s monopoly on first class mail. After all, it’ll promote competition.

Monday, August 17, 2009

AARP Loses 60,000 Members Over Support For Government-Run Health Care

Between July 1 and mid-August, approximately 60,000 AARP members canceled their memberships explicitly citing AARP's stance on Obama's health care reform bill.

The people speak.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Citizens Apply Pressure to the "Seat" of Legislative Arrogance - "We'll Meet With or Without You"

In her bio she describes herself as a "skilled public servant", but those who elected her would beg to differ. They had to actually corner her into being the public servant she touts - and their strategy was brilliant!

After a series of unsuccessful requests to arrange a town hall over the August recess with Democratic Congresswoman Betsy Markey (CO-4), citizens opted instead to host their own health care town hall in the congresswoman’s absence – complete with an empty chair and placard for the reticent Markey.

The Northern Colorado Townhall Committee, who say their objective is to “provide a forum” for the voters of Northern Colorado, announced today they would hold a health care town hall on August 25th, and extended an open invitation to Representative Markey.

“With the August recess nearly half way over, we can’t wait any longer,” said the group’s founder, Kelly Trosper. “When other Reps across the nation are adding extra meetings, we still don’t have a schedule from her.

This is a forum to discuss urgent topics, to include Health Care reform. We’re having to set one up ourselves, because our Rep isn’t making herself available.”

Well guess what? Following the public outcry Markey had a change of heart and her staff announced a town hall blitz of public forums on health care reform.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Property Rights Meeting Draws 450

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Over 450 people showed up at a meeting on property rights at Meridian High School Tuesday night. It was the first meeting of the newly-formed Whatcom Chapter of the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR).

Several local farmers and business owners spoke about struggles with county restrictions on their property, discussing the Critical Areas Ordinance, septic system inspection rules, and proposed zoning changes in many rural Whatcom County areas.

Krause Manufacturing in Laurel is the biggest tax contributor to the Meridian School District, said owner Darryl Krause.Proposed new zoning could force the company out of business or out of the area, he said.

“If they take all these businesses out of Laurel, what’s next? Put sign on [the] Meridian High School reader board [that] says, ‘school closed due to county government’?” asked Krause.“That’s basically what it’s going to be. I mean, it’s just plain and simple, it’s absolutely just stupid.”

Ferndale-area farmer Mark Harting spoke about restrictions resulting from the county’s Critical Areas Ordinance intended to protect the Drayton Harbor watershed. The rules make it hard for farmers in the area to stay in business, said Harting.

“It’s all been based on the assumption that we’re trying to preserve a oyster harvesting business in the county, and under the assumption that we are guilty, with no way to prove our innocence,” he said.

CAPR founder and former King County Councilmember Steve Hammond also addressed the crowd, urging people to get involved in local government.

Dillon Honcoop, KGMI News

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Citizens Revolt Against Democrat Health Care

Rep. Tom Price

The revelation last week that a majority of Americans may actually disagree with the President was something for which his team was clearly not prepared. Their attempt to marginalize citizens across the country who dared to speak out against a government-takeover of health care is shameful, arrogant, and desperately sad.

With the American people growing increasingly unhappy with the President’s health care plan, Democrats in Congress are working feverishly to cast those who are concerned as, in their words, “phony, manufactured, staged, un-American, political terrorists”.

It appears that community organizing and grassroots are terms reserved solely for liberal activism.

The fact of the matter is that the White House and Democrats in power don’t want to hear from anyone who may have a different opinion on matters.

Blue Dog Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) revealed, Democrats were told directly not to work with Republicans. The only dialogue taking place is between Democrats and, well, Democrats. That’s when they’re not bullying doctors, hospitals, or insurance groups.

The notion that health care protests are now getting in the way of a civil discussion on health care is nonsense.

The outrage is coming from a health care plan that will force millions of Americans into a government-run system.

The outrage is coming from folks who don’t want a bureaucrat between them and their doctor.

The outrage is coming from a President whose actions lead many to believe he simply is not interested in people’s real concerns.

When Americans feel like no one is listening to them, they are going to speak up. There’s nothing manufactured about that! It’s what has defined our democracy for more than two centuries.

That the White House has asked people to report casual conversations they hear about those who may be opposed to their intrusive health care plan is both astounding and frightening.

When average Americans are not allowed to express dissent without having their motives being purposefully perverted, our democracy is truly at risk.

Americans want health reform that respects them, their decision making power, and their well-being.

And they want a debate that respects the democratic principles by which so much greatness has been accomplished.

If the White House wants to achieve positive reform, they ought to start with a baseline that preserves the positive elements of the best healthcare system in the world. That’s the one we have, not the one envisioned by the House bill against which Americans are speaking out.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Americans Want to Talk

CNN Poll: Americans want to talk about Obama's Health Care Plan at town hall meetings.

While the White House blog asked readers to report on "fishy" information about Obama's plan to socialize our medical system and the mainstream media are accusing ordinary citizens (a.k.a. "angry mobs") attending Town Hall meetings of being paid lobbyists, Americans voters want to talk about the proposed changes.

The CNN poll, conducted between July 31 and August 3, shows that 71% of respondents would attend "a town hall meeting or some other public forum where voters get a chance to speak" to "tell member of Congress what think about health care." 41% say they are "very likely" to do so.

Carville's 'Secret' Poll

By Brian Faughnan

Regardless of the national mood, James Carville and Stan Greenberg seem consistently to find that things are going swimmingly for Democrats. Take a look at the headlines for their polls this year:

Don’t Believe the Hype: Support for Health Care Reform is Still Fundamentally Strong
New Survey Shows Cheney, Sotomayor Debates Threaten to Further Isolate GOP
Obama Closes the Democrats’ Historical National Security Gap
Americans See a Lot to Appreciate in Obama’s First 100 Days
As Specter Leaves the GOP, New Surveys Show Republicans in Disarray

It's rare to see a headline that doesn't radiate warm good news for Democrats, and it's rare to see one of their polls not touted across most of the liberal blogs.

For that reason, I was surprised today to notice a survey that lacked a headline, and that had not been splashed all across the Leftosphere. It was released two days ago, and it carries nothing more than the headline 'National Survey,' without a single line of narration or interpretation.

That's extremely unusual for the site - as you can see just by glancing at previous surveys.

So what's in the 'secret poll?' I bet you get it in one.

By 53%-42%, those who are likely to vote in the 2010 election say Barack Obama is 'too liberal.'

They believe by a margin of 53%-40% that he will 'raise my taxes.'

By 55%-42% they say 'he promises things that sound good' but that won't get done.

By a whopping 65%-32%, likely voters call Obama a 'big spender.'

The news for 'Democrats' more generally is no better.
On the economy, likely voters give 'the Democrats' just a 6 point edge (45%-39%) over 'the Republicans.'

Likely voters give the Republicans an 11 point edge (49%-38%) on taxes.

The Republicans have a 13 point lead (47%-34%) on government spending.

Republicans have a 5 point edge (42%-37%) on the budget deficit.

Furthermore, by a margin of 54%-34%, likely voters believe Obama is not keeping his promise to 'save or create 3 million jobs.'

And by 51%-43%, likely voters are more worried that the government will 'spend too much,' rather than 'fail to take strong action on important priorities.'

All-in-all, this is terrible news for Democrats.

Carville and Greenberg confirm that across a range of issues, support for Democrats has fallen dramatically.

This becomes clearer when you look at the findings among what Carville and Greenberg term as 'drop off' voters - those who voted in 2008, but are less likely to turn out in 2010. While likely 2010 voters give Democrats a 5 point edge on the economy, the advantage among 'drop off' voters is 25%.

Among likely voters Democrats trail by 11 on taxes; among drop off voters they lead by 20 points. The pattern holds across a range of questions. Across-the-board, those who voted in 2008 but will likely miss 2010 are far more favorable to Democrats and Obama than other voters.

The Carville-Greenberg poll - published on the site, but not publicized and not widely noticed - confirms both a significant shift toward Republicans on the issues, and a significant gap in enthusiasm between voters inclined to Obama and those inclined against.

For those used to reading the poll for good news, the 'radio silence' should be a sign of serious trouble.