Sunday, December 20, 2009

‘Peace-loving’ Muslims (if there are any) are irrelevant

There are two dangers facing the United States; one is a slow death and the other is faster.Under President Obama the country is losing its Constitution which is either ignored or revised by a Democrat controlled congress and the White House which should be repainted pink.

Around the world Islam is making headway and left unchecked will become the world religion (and I use the word "religion" loosely). Muslims are required by their holy book, the Koran, to eliminate everyone who doesn’t subscribe to Islam. The Islamic army comprises radical terrorists, also known as Jihadists, and those not yet terrorists. Past U.S. presidents at least recognized the threat posed by Jihadists and that they were Muslims. However President Obama, a one-time Muslim himself, apologizes for American action against Islamic terrorists and minimizes the danger of Islam.

In Obama’s speech on his Afghanistan strategy a few weeks ago he said in reference to Islamic terrorists, "As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda — a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world’s great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents."

Obama would have us believe that "a group of extremists" are the only terrorists slaughtering innocents but the truth is they are not a "small" group and they are not all members of al Qaeda. Poll after poll shows that at least 10% of Muslims favor terrorist actions; since there are 1.5 billion Muslims, there are at least about 150 million Muslims who are actual or potential murders. Yet the world takes no action to protect against the future Islamic takeover by both violence and the womb. The situation is analogous to what happened in Germany as the NAZI rose to power and implemented their horrifying goals.

It has been reported that a German (believed to be Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist) wrote the following:

"A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

Americans are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although there may be some truth in this at the moment, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics killing people across the globe in the name of Islam.

"The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers."

"The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous."

The same phenomenon where "peace-loving" people kept silent while a violent minority took over occurred in Russia, China and Japan.

In communist Russia most Russians just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. Most of China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not warmongering but Japanese murdered and systematically slaughtered 12 million Chinese killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet and still more across South East Asia.

Peace-loving Russians and Japanese were made irrelevant by their silence; and so do the Muslims.

In today’s world so-called "peace-loving Muslims" will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like the man from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them; and all of us will suffer for their silence.

Around the world peace-loving people who are in the majority must speak up against there fanatics before it’s too late to do any good. Like in Germany, they may find themselves, along with the rest of us, living under a regime like the NAZI who came to power as a minority.

The rest of us should not rely on an awakening by peace-loving Muslims to stifle the Islamic jihads threat. Unlike Obama we must identify the threat as Islam and do everything in our power to keep Muslims from over riding freedom and liberty we enjoy through our Constitution in the United States.

History lessons are often incredibly simple yet we are missing the most basic and uncomplicated of point, we cannot rely on others to protect us.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Leaving the US - why and why not?

After the Bolsheviks took over Russia, many who lived there before were able to compare life before and after the Communist take-over. It became readily apparent that they had gone from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. However subsequent generations, having nothing to compare, had no idea what life could be under some other kind of government and simply accepted the regime as a way of life. Is this what will happen in the United States?

As we experience the "perfect storm" of leftist control of the government and the country, Americans stand to see our traditional way of life deteriorating under our very nose. Those of us who experienced life under less government control of our lives are outraged and oppose the direction of the Obama government and allies in congress led by Speaker Pelosi in the House and Senator Reid in the Senate. Clearly the views and beliefs of the people who are opposed to current Executive and Congressional action are not being represented in our so-called representative republican form of government. Sadly, our representatives choose to establish their agenda and care not if the public opposes the agenda. The leftist mantra is "if not now, then when?"

If successful, and there is presently no reason to expect otherwise, the total transformation of our country with less individual rights and freedom and more government control of our lives than ever envisioned by country's founders, is a virtual certainty.

In the years following the creation of the United States citizens would not tolerate any such transformation and would object at all costs. The inclusion of the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights is no accident; it was provided as a mechanism for the public to resist a take-over of constitutionally guaranteed rights by the federal government. It is a sad commentary on the evolution of our country that this form of patriotism has been replaced largely by apathy except for remaining patriots such as comprise the Tea Party members.

The federal government now possesses enormous power. The third branch of government, the judiciary, was to function as a check on the other branches but has not; instead, it has assisted the congressional and executive branches to expand their governmental roles by usurping the authority "not granted to the [national] government and reserved to the respective states and to the people." The consequence of current federal government power is the practical inability of Americans resist transformation by means other than the ballot box and this will likely prove insufficient to undo leftists' achievements.

If you doubt a transformation of our country is underway, consider what President Obama and the Democrats have done.

Obama has amazingly managed to convince millions of Americans that "black is white, that cold is hot, that the bad economy is the fault of George W Bush, and the only things standing between America and peace on earth are those darn Republicans and greedy capitalists." (Nancy Morgan)

Thomas Sowell, one of the best writers today, has pointed in "Is Reality Optional?"
"… social history in the last 30 years has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good. And no-where is this more evident than in the 'change' Obama is foisting on the American people."

The empty rhetoric of 'social justice' and 'compassion' is convincingly and successfully being used to justify ever more ludicrous social policies, which just happen to come with a huge price tag and more government control - all outside the Constitution.

Failure of these policies has not prevented Obama and Democrats from advocating more and more of the same policies. Dr. Sowell points out, "The anointed are often wrong but never in doubt."

For another example, though 80% of Americans are happy with their health insurance, Obama has declared a health care crisis. Obama and congress have devoted most of the year to try to impose government run health care on all citizens, despite the fact that 61% of Americans oppose it.

Similarly, despite convincing evidence undermining the dire claims of global warming and the falsification of data to support the bogus claim of man-made climate change, Obama and Democrats continue to ignore relevant science and insist that a massive redistribution of our wealth is needed in order to pay an imagined 'climate debt' to third world countries. Meanwhile, record unemployment and rising fees and taxes continue to devastate businesses and families across the nation. Only federal workers, who just got a 2% pay raise, are immune to unemployment because the government does not have to make a profit to exist and in the process severely undermines the rule of law and ignores the limitations imposed by our Constitution.

Excessive spending, such as record debt of over $14 trillion and a record $12 trillion dollars budget, is the result of evading the role of government as prescribed by the Constitution.

The policies of Obama and Democrats are destroying the dollar and bankrupting America. Moody's has issued a warning that our country's triple A rating is in danger and Obama is in the process of ceding American sovereignty to world bodies like the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.

Once again, Thomas Sowell says it best: "We may be entering an era where the greatest dangers to the survival of Western civilization will come from internal social deterioration. Other great civilizations have declined and collapsed. We may be the first, however, to sink slowly into the quagmire, still beaming from ear to ear in self-congratulation at how 'innovative' we are in our social policies."

Obama is a dangerous man. He has convinced millions of Americans that they are entitled to the fruits of another's labor. "Virtually all of his policies to date have been designed to foster a dependence on government. But what the government gives, the government can take. As millions of enslaved peoples across the globe could attest - if they were allowed." (Marilyn Morgan)

The result of all this is that some people are considering leaving the United States. Ironically those who are considering such extreme actions likely comprise the strongest patriots because they are the ones who feel the most love of country but can't abide the destruction of the country they care about is being forced to take. Since remaining in the United States not only exposes them to life under the transformed government, it becomes frustrating to be unable to return to the type of government that the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, James Monroe and the others who risked life, limb and fortune to create.

So what to do - leave the United States - why not?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Obama uses tax payer money to destroy the free market

America became a great country by letting its people be all they can be without interference from government. In just less than a year all this has changed. We have seen the government dictate everything from toilets to light bulbs and take ownership interests in private enterprises in major segments of our economy. The formerly largest auto company has been taken over by the government and major banks now have the government sitting on their boards. The free market is no longer free and government expansionists are not through yet. We are looking at the one-fifth of our economy in the form our health industry becoming under the control of those running the government and under the guise of controlling alleged pollution virtually all the remaining remnants of the free market will be subject to bureaucratic regulation.

How did this happen and how does the government take over our lives? The answer is simple, with our own money – money earned under what once was a free market system and confiscated by tax laws.

Since the 1930’s under four-term President Franklin D. Roosevelt the government has spread tax money around beyond its constitutional role and infiltrated state governments and private enterprise. Under current President Barack Obama and with the aid of a virulent uncontrolled congress, government expansion has grown like an atomic mushroom cloud. By distributing tax payer money, often without being asked by recipients, the government has used this largesse as reason enough to dictate what those getting the money may or may not do.

Historically private enterprise has answered for the most part only to its owners, whether privately or publicly owned. However today we see and largely accept that if tax payer money finds its way into free enterprise in what should be a free market, the government which distributes the money can say how the business can be run, even to the point of dictating salaries and employee compensation.

There is much hysteria generated by government bureaucrats, the executive and legislative branches of government, broadcast by a sympathetic news media, who ask the question “how dare they pay executives (and others) huge salaries and bonuses when the government ‘bailed’ them out?” It seems that if money is given to a business, it has the right to become involved with how the business spends its money. There is virtually no publicly stated opposition to this idea even though the premise can be used to justify government intervention in almost all aspects of our lives – that the government has not as yet gone this far is only because those in charge have not thought of it, for now.

Let’s just see what could be done if we accept the idea that not only big business can be put under the government thumb but anything and anyone else that benefits from something the government does “for them.”

Money deposited in banks is insured by the FDIC, does this mean the government can tell the depositor how the insured money can be used?

Many students take out loans for their education. The government has recently decided that such loans must be given by the government and not privately owned banks (if there are any left). Can the government say what course of study the student borrower can have?

Home mortgages are often obtained directly or indirectly from the government or insured by government controlled agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Why can’t the government use this link to approve or disapprove a buyer’s purchase selection or what the home owner wants to do with the house?

Government money finds its way into schools by one means or another and actually has enabled the government to dictate curricula and what students may eat at the school and what food may be served in government sponsored school lunches. As a result we see all manner of propaganda imposed on school children from programs praising the president to aggrandizing homosexuality. Private home schooling is discouraged because it is free from government control.

The federal government gives money to states and can then dictate speed limits (remember the 55 mph national speed limit) and all manner of rules and regulations which absent government money would be under the control of elected state officials.

The authority of the federal government of the United States is limited by the Constitution, intentionally, to prevent the government from taking over freedom and liberty; at least that’s how it supposed to work. But as you see tax payer money can be used by the government to extend its reach well beyond what the Constitution intended.

During the ten months or so Barack Obama has been president an enormous amount of money has been distributed to what had been publicly owned companies usually operated by company officers overseen by a board of directors on behalf of the owners, i.e. shareholders. This is how free enterprise works in a free market system but under the “hope and change” promised by Obama there is no boundary for the government.

Obama declared multiple crises and used the fear generated to invigorate dormant leftists members of congress to transform America into a socialist/Marxist society which has been their goal for years. The irony is that they did this with tax payer money for as long as it lasted and then with the printing presses in the Treasury Department under orders from the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank.

With the aid, if not direction, of the Federal Reserve Bank leadership, billions and billions of dollars were given to businesses and banks under the guise of helping them out to avoid private bankruptcy and the financial disruption that would cause - even to banks who did not want government help. In return for this infusion of tax payer money, the government received ownership interests in the businesses receiving the government “bailout” money. With virtually no opposition, or much knowledge of the public, the federal government wound up with 60% ownership of General Motors; 35% of GMAC; 35% of Citigroup and 10% of Chrysler. The Obama administration used the rubric of the peoples’ money given to businesses to dictate not only how the businesses and banks are to operate, but what compensation can be made to company employees. One of Obama’s “Czars” went so far as to require compensation reductions of as much as 90%.

Let’s ask those business leaders and unemployed who supported Obama’s election – how is that hope and change working out for you?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The UN Human Rights Council's Goldstone report rewards terrorism

For eight years, while Hamas indiscriminately shelled Israeli civilians with rockets provided by Iran, the UN stood did and said nothing. Only when Israel tried to stop this, did the Human Rights Council dominated by Muslim countries act. What did they do, they condemned Israel. This so-called Human Rights council passed a resolution calling for an investigation. Last month, the results of this "investigation" of Israel’s defensive action in Gaza were presented by Justice Richard Goldstone (a Jew) to the HRC. But the report did not deal responsibly with the issues it merely was a one-sided anti-Israel diatribe, as even Goldstone acknowledged as being one-sided. Goldstone is now trying to distance himself from the results of his own handiwork.

Last Friday he discussed his disappointment with the action taken by the HRC, telling the Swiss daily Le Temp: "This draft resolution saddens me as it includes only allegations against Israel, there is not a single phrase condemning Hamas."

We must now deal with the consequences. The council's adoption of the Goldstone report constitutes nothing less than a reward for terrorism in more ways than one. First, the resolution adopted Friday ignores the reality of Hamas criminality, blaming the victim, rather than the real perpetrator of war crimes in Gaza. The HRC ignored the war crimes committed by purposely firing thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians, endangering Gaza civilians by firing from populated areas and abducting Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit.

Israel had a responsibility to protect its citizens, made every effort to avoid confrontation and did all that it could to minimize civilian casualties. The only relevant consideration for the HRC was the fact that an opportunity had presented itself to demonize Israel in the international arena.

By ignoring the atrocities by Hamas, this resolution essentially grants immunity to the terrorists and prevents a law-abiding state from defending its citizens. The Human Rights council has sanctioned new form of warfare in which terror groups launch attacks against "enemy" civilians from behind a shield of "friendly" civilians.

The Goldstone snowball is gaining momentum since the report has now been passed to the UN General Assembly in New York for further action.

By the way, President Obama has reversed the Bush administration refusal to join the farcical Human Rights Council and has joined the Muslim-dominated UN agency and its Islamic crusade against Israel and humanity."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Isn't America under Obama great?

In case you missed it, Obama has proposed a new auto insurance reform plan with a public option. There are millions without auto insurance that need to be protected and it is not fair that they are not covered. The unfortunate who do not have documentation to prove they are American citizens must be also able to share the American dream of a car in every garage or front yard. Although children of the undocumented who are born in the United States would qualify for auto insurance, they may be too young to get a driver’s license at present.

Under Obama’s plan a Federal Auto Reform Tribunal (FART) will be established that will determine federal standards for what vehicles may be covered (for example, it may be that only "green" cars can be insured), and rules for what auto insurance coverage may be available and to whom, e.g. what vehicles may be insured and what repairs may be included. FART will also determine whether private insurance policies meet federal standards; only policies that meet these standards can be sold. Though FART will only make recommendations, once approved by the Secretary of HEW the recommendations will become law.

The Obama Insurance for National Coverage (OINC) reform plan focuses on late model vehicles. Clunkers, cars that have seen better days and usually require more repair at that stage of their life, will only qualify for reduced coverage and repairs because the cost of repairing the clunkers comprises the greatest amount of repair costs.

Auto insurance will be mandatory; everyone will be required to buy insurance. It has not yet been decided whether those not owning cars will also have to pay for national auto insurance under OINC. Anyone not buying auto insurance must pay an annual fine in an amount intended to encourage purchase of insurance. (Of course, fines for families will be greater than for individuals.)

So as to not be burdensome for those with low income, those with incomes under a maximum amount (to be determined) and members of ACORN will be reimbursed by the government for the cost of insurance. High income earners (earners who don’t qualify as low income earners) will pay an extra surcharge to assure OINC is made available to all and reduce the overall cost of OINC so the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will be able to report a lower overall cost of OINC.

In order to insure fairness, and help pay for OINC, private insurers offering auto insurance with coverage which exceeds the federal standards and those buying such insurance will have to pay a tax to make up the difference.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will enforce OINC to make sure everyone pays their fair share.

OINC also includes a government, or public, option that offers auto insurance that will compete with private insurance for the purpose of offering competition to state-limited private insurance companies. The government insurance will compete against private companies that are unable to sell across state lines. Since government enterprises are not required to make a profit, it is anticipated that government auto insurance will cost less than private insurance so those seeking to reduce their auto insurance cost will likely switch their insurance to the OINC, thus assuring that in time only the government option will exist as private companies cease to sell auto insurance.

Americans have often complained that private insurance company employees are too often difficult to deal with. OINC will offer everyone an alternative by allowing people to deal with government employees (sometimes referred to as government bureaucrats). This arrangement has the added advantage of increasing employment (albeit government employment) since a very large bureaucracy will have to be created to service OINC.

Another public complaint has been that insurance companies do not cover preexisting conditions. When insurance coverage is really needed because of prior injury, insurance companies refuse to offer coverage; and this is simply unfair. Probably the greatest benefit of OINC is that it remedies this situation by requiring auto insurance to cover preexisting conditions.

Under OINC if you have a car that has been injured you will be able to get auto insurance to cover repairs of the injured vehicle. It does not matter whether or not you have had insurance at the time of the injury; you will get the needed coverage and reimbursement for repair after the injury. No longer will car owners fear that they will not be able to afford putting their vehicle in like-new condition because they are unfortunately unable to afford the cost.

Isn’t America under Obama great or what?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New federal law will make thought punishable

Passing a law that makes an act a crime does not stop such acts from occurring; it merely punishes a person who performs the act. There is nothing wrong with punishment for committing an act that society deems wrong but it should be recognized that punishment is a form of societal revenge and not a device to prevent offensive acts.

But there is a problem with what acts should be deemed punishable. Of course there will be general agreement about many acts which should be regarded as punishable acts, i.e. crimes, but there is a huge grey area where some acts may be regarded as worthy of societal retribution and others are simply an effort of behavioral modification, e.g. murder is wrong, punishment for not wearing a seat belt while driving is for behavioral modification, but society punishes both, albeit with different severity.

There are a great many arbitrary criminal laws that are in place in an ineffective way to dictate what a person should and should not do. The fact is that although some may be frightened for fear of punishment to conform to the societal dictate, not everyone will.

The theatre of the absurd is illuminated when society adds to the mix the concept of motivation to determine what is a crime or is not. Not only is it necessary to then “guess” at why a person does something but if the punishment for an act which has been previously deemed criminal is “enhanced,” then a situation is created where the untenable becomes the rule and anything becomes possible to criminalize and punish whether reasonable or not - which brings us to “hate crimes.”

What is a hate crime? The answer is whatever law makers say it is. And what do law makers say is a hate crime – whatever a sufficiently strong pressure group wants it to be. There need not be any logic to it.

Last July in another of the Democrat’s leader’s tricky moves, the senate voted to expand the 1969 federal hate crimes law to include people attacked because of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability by attaching it to a “must pass” defense appropriation bill. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid said: "This bill simply recognizes that there is a difference between assaulting someone to steal his money, or doing so because he is gay, or disabled, or Latino or Muslim."

The vote was 63-28 (nine senators did not vote). All 56 Democrats who were present and the 2 independents (Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernard Sanders of Vermont) voted "for" the legislation. The Republicans who crossed party lines to vote in favor of the amendment were Susan Collins of Maine, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Olympia Snowe of Maine, and George Voinovich of Ohio.

Recently a similar bill passed by the House, (HR 2647) - the Defense Authorization bill, also to which hate crimes legislation was attached. The hate crimes amendment is attached to a $681-billion defense allocation that now heads to the Senate. After the bill passes the Senate and the president signs it, federal prosecutors will be able to intervene in cases of violence against people because of gender, sexual orientation, "gender identity," or disability.

Homosexual advocacy groups and their Democrat allies have been trying for decades to broaden the reach of hate crimes law. "It's a very exciting day for us here in the Capitol," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, saying hate crimes legislation was on her agenda when she first entered Congress 22 years ago.

It is noteworthy that the Senate and House leadership chose not to allow a separate vote for this but attached it to a totally unrelated, but necessary, bill to authorize critical defense spending; the reason is obvious, standing alone congress was unlikely to go along with this arbitrary absurdity.

"The very idea that we would erode the freedoms for which our soldiers wear the uniform in a bill that is designed to provide resources to those soldiers who need to get the job done and come home safe is unconscionable," said Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana who is a member of the Republican leadership.

This is the first time in American history that thought alone is being criminalized. Until now the government has adhered to the admonition by Thomas Jefferson who said the reach of legislation should extend only to actions and not to opinions but now the law will punish people not just for what they did but what they were thinking when they did it.

Consider the effect this will have on the practice of religion and freedom of speech. Anyone speaking from a pulpit who preaches the biblical view of homosexuality may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Not only does the new law make thought a factor in criminality, it also extends the power of the federal government over the states. Despite many states also having enacted hate crimes legislation, it would provide federal grants to help with the prosecuting of hate crimes and funds programs to combat hate crimes.

The federal government can step in after the Justice Department certifies that a state is unwilling or unable to follow through on a purported hate crime.

It in not likely that this law will be able to be repealed in the future so it will remain the law of the land and another triumph of a special interest group, in this case the homosexual community.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The government does not create wealth; it merely redistributes tax money received

With all the government spending these days it’s easy to forget that the government does not create wealth; whatever the government gives to some it takes from others. The tax system is designed to be the vehicle for this transfer of wealth. Barack Obama said, famously, that he wants to spread the wealth but this was being done long before Obama had aspirations to become president. Once elected, Obama merely expedited the transfer of wealth and wants to bring it to new levels of “success.”

Today with as many people not paying taxes as do, it makes perfect political sense for a politician and a political party intending on remaining in power to practice what George Bernard Shaw observed: "The government who robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."

John Stossel wrote an article recently in which he cited some profound statistics. I don’t know if these statistics are correct but I trust Stossel to not put anything in writing that is incorrect.

The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center recently reported that close to half of all households will pay no income tax this year and some will pay less than zero — meaning, they'll get money from those who do pay taxes.

The Tax Policy Center also reported that in 2009 the average income-tax rate for the bottom 40 percent of earners will be negative and that their cash subsidy under the euphemistically entitled “Earned Income Tax Credit” will equal 10 percent of the total amount the income tax paid to the government under both this tax program and President Obama's "Making Work Pay" program.

The system already in place before Obama is geared to make sure the “rich pay their fair share.” The top 20 percent of earners makes about 53 percent of the income in America but pays 91 percent of the income tax. The top 1 percent pays 36 percent. The IRS says the bottom half of earners pays less than 3 percent and don’t forget this does not include the many who don’t pay any taxes but receive a “tax credit,” that is, a welfare check paid out of money the 53 percent of us pays to the government.

According to Stossel, “Frederic Bastiat, the great 19th-century French economist, defined the state as ‘that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.’” Unfortunately one political party here has elevated this concept to a point likely not envisioned by Bastiat where one half of the population lives off the other half.

The founders who created this country wrote a constitution intending to limit the power of the federal government. The primary task they expected the government to fulfill was to provide security and protect the people and to do this properly people would support the government by paying taxes (but not income taxes, that was thought up much later by the same thinking that enlarged the role of the federal government). However today we live under a system where virtually nothing is beyond the reach of the national government so more and more of the income of working Americans and businesses must be confiscated to support the expanded range of government activities. There is no limit to what the federal government can do at our expense; if there is a limit, it’s only whatever the political mind can envision. The result is, as Stossel points out, a distribution “of special privileges, taking money from some and giving it to others. America is now about evenly split between those who pay income taxes and those who consume them.”

As I said, the government does not create wealth; it merely redistributes the earnings of those who pay taxes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Legislating in secret - or - the end of the era of transparency before it began

When you don’t want people to know what you’re doing, what do you do – you don’t tell them. The robotic Obama Democrat congress is implementing the outrageous practice of shielding new legislation not only from the public but also from the legislators who vote on them. Thanks to Washington Examiner correspondent, Susan Ferrechio, we know that the Democrat leadership in congress is fighting against posting bills online - and winning.

Since President Obama took office, and even earlier during the last days of the Bush administration, laws have been passed that were deliberately made impossible for the public to read in advance and many in congress admit that they too have had no time to read and understand bills before voting – but they voted anyway – with the result that the Democrat congress succeeded in giving Obama whatever he wanted. Most often these bills had enormous price tags and the country’s debt mushroomed like an atomic cloud.

In the waning days of the Bush White House, first a "crisis" was declared in the financial industry and then a Democrat Congress passed a $700 billion financial sector rescue package on October 3, 2008. However, this 1,100 page costly bill was passed with only 29 hours prior notice to the public online before voting. Even those in the House and Senate were given only hours before the final vote.

Big numbers don’t scare Democrats but they might waken the public to what the Democrat congress under Obama is doing. So the non-stimulating 1,100 page, $790 billion Stimulus bill was passed February 14, 2009, after being available online only 13 hours before debate. Of course, there was another "crisis" that warranted immediate action, notwithstanding that almost all of this money was not to be spent for years while the economy continued to languish. Democratic leadership didn’t want the public to know where this money was going until after the law was passed; otherwise they might have learned about the "stimulation" of ACORN and like organizations with billions of dollars which is included in the law.

The Stimulus bill has been a resounding failure except to those sharing in the largesse, mostly supporters of Barack Obama’s election. Although the president promised that spending all this money would restrain unemployment to 8%, we have seen unemployment rising to nearly 10% with the true figure being closer to 17%.

The 1,168 page cap-and-tax law passed the House August 26, 2009, after being online only 15 hours before the vote. Many in congress, including the committee chair, Henry Waxman, admitted they did not know what was in the bill or had not read it before voting. Imagine, this so-called energy bill will affect the lives of all Americans in untold ways and increase costs to businesses and the public forever but the Democrat congress rushed the bill though in less time than most people could read over 1,100 pages of anything, let alone something as convoluted and far reaching as this bill.

The only good thing to come out of the Democrat spending spree is that it seems the people of America have finally been aroused to pay attention to what is happening around them. There were town hall meetings across the country this past summer that brought out formerly passive Americans who were angry about the way Congress rushed through passage of the stimulus, global warming and bank bailout bills. The stimulus bill has failed to provide help to the job market promised by Obama. Lisa Rosenberg, a lobbyist for the Sunlight Foundation that seeks to bring more transparency to government, pointed out "If someone had a chance to look at the bill, they would have found that out."

Now that health care "reform" proposals are being pushed by Obama and Democrats, voters are starting to pay attention. Polls show that large majorities are against the Democrat proposals but that hasn’t stopped the Democrat railroading. Democrat speaker Nancy Pelosi has dictated that a health care bill will be passed by the House with no input from Republicans and we can expect with little advance notice of its provisions to the public.

The Senate is expected to vote on a health bill very soon which also is written in hundreds of pages with no assurance that Senators and the public will be given the chance to read the legislation before a vote.

Democratic leadership is unwilling to cede control over when bills are brought to the floor for votes. One Democrat aide said "The leaders use it as a tool to get votes or to keep amendments off a bill."

It is obvious that the public has no faith that congress will be doing the right thing for the country. "The American people are now suspicious of not only the lawmakers, but the process they hide behind to do their work," said Michael Franc, president of government relations for the Heritage Foundation.

Heritage wants to have all bills posted online 72 hours before votes are taken but I believe even this does not provide sufficient time for analysis and publicizing the critical features of proposed laws. Furthermore, not only should there be adequate public notice and disclosure, it should be mandatory that every Senator and member of congress read or at least be intimately familiar with all provisions of bill they will vote upon before they become law.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What is a misdemeanor under the constitution and why it is important

Although I can be sympathetic to the effort to prove Barack Hussein Obama is ineligible to be president, the simple truth is nothing will come of it. The fact is while Obama is in the oval office (even only occasionally as he seems to be) the president can and (with a robotic Democrat congress), is doing great harm to the country and more destruction is on the way.

However this quixotic effort is not the only way Obama could potentially be removed from office, but (unfortunately) with the same result, i.e., nothing will come of it. Nonetheless, unlike the eligibility issue, this one is more provable.

Can we actually impeach Barack Hussein Obama? Should we impeach Barack Hussein Obama?

Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution reads: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." (Emphasis added)

The phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors," imports a concept in English Common Law that was well-known to our Founding Fathers but is greatly either misunderstood or totally ignored today. "High crimes and misdemeanors" essentially means bad behavior. has succinctly and clearly summarized the historical significance of including the term "high crimes and misdemeanors" in the Constitution:

"’High crimes and misdemeanors’ entered the text of the Constitution due to George Mason and James Madison. Mason had argued that the reasons given for impeachment - treason and bribery - were not enough. He worried that other "great and dangerous offenses" might not be covered... so Mason then proposed ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ a phrase well-known in English common law. In 18th century language, a ‘misdemeanor’ meant ‘miss-demeanor,’ or bad behavior."

In other words, "high crimes and misdemeanors" does not refer to a criminal act as many believe because our founding fathers fully intended to allow for the removal of the President for actions which were... egregious... grossly incompetence... grossly negligence... outright distasteful... or, in the case of Barack Hussein Obama, actions which clearly show "malevolence toward this country and constitution, which is unabated."

The subject of impeachment was the subject of a great deal of discussion as the Constitution was debated as it was adopted from the English concept of this idea. In England impeachment was a device to remove from office someone who abused his office or misbehaved but who was protected by the Crown. (1) It was used in the early constitution proposals and the discussions concerned such questions as what body was to try impeachments and what grounds were to be stated as warranting impeachment. (2) The attention of the founders was for the most part fixed on the President and his removal, and the results of this narrow focus are reflected in some of the things left unresolved by the language of the Constitution.

During the debate in the First Congress on the ''removal'' controversy, some contended by that impeachment was the exclusive way to remove any officer of the Government from his post, (3). Madison said impeachment was to be used to reach a bad officer sheltered by the President and to remove him ''even against the will of the President; so that the declaration in the Constitution was intended as a supplementary security for the good behavior of the public officers'' (4). However the language of Sec. 4 does not leave any doubt that any officer in the executive branch is subject to the power.

Examining records of the discussion of what should qualify as grounds for removal of the president is very interesting. At first it was determined that the Executive should be removable by impeachment and conviction ''of mal-practice or neglect of duty'' and subsequently this was changed to ''Treason, or bribery'' (5). Mason objected to this limitation, saying that the term did not encompass all the conduct which should be grounds for removal; he therefore proposed to add ''or maladministration'' following ''bribery.'' Upon Madison's objection that ''[s]o vague a term will be equivalent to tenure during pleasure of the Senate,'' Mason suggested ''other high crimes and misdemeanors,'' which was adopted without further recorded debate. The phrase in the context of impeachments has an ancient English history, first turning up in the impeachment of the Earl of Suffolk in 1388 (6).

Treason is defined in the Constitution (7); however, "high crimes and misdemeanors, which, in England had comprehended conduct not constituting indictable offenses (8), is not. In debate prior to adoption of the phrase (9) and comments thereafter in the ratifying conventions (10) were to the effect that the [president] should be removable by impeachment for commissions or omissions in office which were not criminally cognizable. And in the First Congress' ''removal'' debate, Madison maintained that the wanton removal from office of meritorious officers would be an act of maladministration which would render the President subject to impeachment.

During the effort to impeach Justice Chase, the theory of extreme latitude was expressed by Senator Giles of Virginia during his impeachment trial... ''The power of impeachment was given without limitation to the House of Representatives; and the power of trying impeachments was given equally without limitation to the Senate. . . . A trial and removal of a judge upon impeachment need not imply any criminality or corruption in him . . . [but] nothing more than a declaration of Congress to this effect: You hold dangerous opinions, and if you are suffered to carry them into effect you will work the destruction of the nation. We want your offices, for the purpose of giving them to men who will fill them better.'' Though Chase was acquitted it had more to do with more to do with the political divisions in the Senate than to the merits of the arguments, it did establish that no indictable crime was necessary to impeach for "high crimes and misdemeanors."
This interpretation was used in the president Johnson impeachment.--President Johnson was impeached by the House on the ground that he had violated the ''Tenure of Office'' Act (11) by dismissing a Cabinet chief. The theory of the proponents of impeachment was succinctly put by Representative Butler, one of the managers of the impeachment in the Senate trial.

''An impeachable high crime or misdemeanor is one in its nature or consequences subversive of some fundamental or essential principle of government or highly prejudicial to the public interest, and this may consist of a violation of the Constitution, of law, of an official oath, or of duty, by an act committed or omitted, or, without violating a positive law, by the abuse of discretionary powers from improper motives or for an improper purpose.'' (12)

In conjunction with later impeachments of federal judges, several successful impeachments in this Century support the idea that the constitutional requirement of ''good behavior'' and ''high crimes and misdemeanors'' may conjoin to allow the removal of judges who have engaged in seriously questionable conduct, although no specific criminal statute may have been violated. For example, both Judge Archibald and Judge Ritter were convicted on articles of impeachment that charged questionable conduct that did not amount to indictable offenses (13).

It’s not difficult to find high crimes and misdemeanors justifying impeachment according to the definition of the phrase as used by the founders and as described subsequently.

Here are just a handful of the high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Barack Hussein Obama, our president:

- Obama has overseen the unconstitutional effective takeover by government of banks, the largest insurance company (AIG), and General Motors (GM) and Chrysler... the bulk of the U.S. auto industry, thus depriving bondholders, shareholders, and others of their property.

- Obama has overseen the effective takeover by government of banks, the largest insurance company (AIG), and General Motors (GM) and Chrysler... the bulk of the U.S. auto industry, thus depriving bondholders, shareholders, and others of their property

- Obama has appointed countless "Czars" to oversee everything from the closing of Guantanamo to the food we eat. These Czars don't have to be. Approved by the Senate. The Czars have unprecedented power and report only to Obama. Members of both parties are disturbed by these extra-Constitutional excrescences

- Obama lied to the American people when he said we could keep our private insurance, knowing full well that his legislation would inevitably drive private insurers out of business.
- Gerald Walpin, Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service investigated Kevin Johnson, a big buddy of the president, for misuse of funds from an AmeriCorps grant. Whereupon Obama vindictively fired Walpin to cover for Johnson. A subsequent investigation vindicated Walpin’s judgment in the matter.

- Obama is actively pursuing cap-and-trade legislation. Instead of taxing the very air we breathe, it would instead, in a manner of speaking, tax the air we exhale and give the government unprecedented control over the economy and American businesses.

-Obama is running up our debt at an alarming rate. In just 9 months since Obama assumed office, our National Debt has gone up by over a trillion dollars. To put that figure in perspective, it took George W. Bush 8 years to add 4.8 trillion to the National Debt.
And these matters are only some of the misdemeanors (as defined by the Founders). Doesn’t it appear as if Obama is intentionally trying to destroy the country?

On numerous occasions in his world-wide apology tour Barack Hussein Obama said that America is not a Christian nation despite surveys that say the contrary. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, he wrote of Muslims and Arabic immigrants: "… I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." When he spoke at Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, the White House insisted that the name of Jesus, be covered. Georgetown complied. In 2006, he said; "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation." He went to Egypt and said, "You might say that America is a Muslim nation."

Why go to such lengths to deny the Judeo Christian heritage of the United States? Surely Barack Hussein Obama knows that our personal liberties flow directly from our Judeo Christian heritage... that there is no surer way to destroy our republic than to deny that heritage.

There is no doubt that America was founded on Judeo Christian heritage.

President Thomas Jefferson: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?"

President Andrew Jackson called the Bible; "the Rock upon which our republic rests."

President John Adams said; "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion."

Patrick Henry said, "It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains."

George Washington, in his Farewell Address said; "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."

Alexis de Tocqueville, in Democracy in America, wrote extensively on the relationship between the Christian religion and liberty in American: "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

It is clear to patriots that every jab at the Judeo Christian heritage of this great nation is a blow to the very foundation of our nation and strikes at our freedom and liberty. Barack Hussein Obama hasn't only denied this heritage of this nation; he has as president bad-mouthed America itself at every opportunity.

For example, Obama said, "America has been arrogant." thus giving our enemies and our allies every reason to believe that we are less resolved to defend ourselves and hence more vulnerable to attack.

Following his inauguration, Obama ordered Gitmo closed within a year without having any idea where to put the terrorists, despite the fact that it was (and is) the best possible facility for detaining terrorists.

His first presidential phone call was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Fatah Party in the Palestine territory. According to press reports he told Abbas; "This is my first phone call to a foreign leader and I'm making it only hours after I took office."

His first one–on-one TV interview was not with NBC or ABC, but with Al Arabiya, where he said:

"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."

He immediately issued an Executive Order halting military commissions which resulted in charges being dropped against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the vicious terrorist accused of planning numerous terrorist attacks against Americans, including the USS Cole bombing in which 17 U.S.
sailors died.

While treating the Queen of England with casual familiarity, he obsequiously bowed from the waist to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, leader of a Muslim nation that won’t permit Christian worship within its borders... under penalty of death.

I believe that Barack Hussein Obama is one of the most dangerous men in the world today and when it comes to his plans for transforming the United States into his idea of a socialist utopia Obama is not yet finished.

President Obama is going all the way back to Karl Marx; he believes it's his mission to promote "equality of outcome" over "equality of opportunity" even if Americans must suffer a lessening of our way of life. Barack Hussein Obama is a very dangerous man and one of the greatest threats to our personal liberty today.

To make sure Americans can do nothing to thwart his agenda, Obama appointed Attorney General, Eric Holder who despises the 2nd Amendment. If Holder had his way, he would take away our guns, leaving us defenseless not only against gangs and hoods, but also the encroaching federal government. It was the healthy and rational fear of government that led to the inclusion of the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution of the United States.

We can but unfortunately won’t do something to stop this maniacal narcissist. There’s only one answer.

Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution reads: "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Barack Hussein Obama's words and actions clearly rise well beyond the level of "bad behavior" and our Founding Fathers left us a remedy for presidents guilty of bad behavior.

"The Obama presidency is the disease; Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution, is the cure."


(1) W. Holdsworth, History of English Law (London: 7th ed. 1956), 379-385; Clarke, The Origin of Impeachment, in Oxford Essays in Medieval History, Presented to Herbert Salter (Oxford: 1934), 164.
(2) Simpson, Federal Impeachments, 64 U. Pa. L. Rev. 651, 653-667 (1916).
(3)Annals of Cong. 457, 473, 536 (1789), Id. 375, 480, 496-497, 562, Id., 372.
(4) W. Willoughby, op. cit., n.294, 1448. [This point was established by a vote of the Senate holding a plea to this effect good in the impeachment trial of Senator William Blount in 1797. 3 A. Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representatives of the United States (Washington: 1907), 2294-2318; F. Wharton, State Trials of the United States During the Administrations of Washington and Adams (Philadelphia: 1849), 200-321].
(5) M. Farrand, op. cit., n.4, 88, 90, 230, 172, 186, 499.550.
(6) T. Howell, State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors from the Earliest Period to the Present Times (London: 1809), 90, 91; A. Simpson, Treatise on Federal Impeachments (Philadelphia: 1916), 86.
(7) Article III, 3. [The use of a technical term known in the common law would require resort to the common law for its meaning, United States v. Palmer, 16 U.S. (3 Wheat.) 610, 630 (1818) (per Chief Justice Marshall); United States v. Jones, 26 Fed. CAS. 653, 655 (No. 15,494) (C.C.Pa. 1813) (per Justice Washington), leaving aside the issue of the cognoscibility of common law crimes in federal courts. See Act of April 30, 1790, Sec. 21, 1 Stat. 117.]
(8) Berger, Impeachment for ''High Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' 44 S. Calif. L. Rev. 395, 400-415 (1971).
(9) See id., 64-69, and 550-551.
(10) E.g., 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions on Adoption of the Constitution (Philadelphia: 1836), 341, 498, 500, 528 (Madison); 4 id., 276, 281 (C. C. Pinckney: Rutledge): 3 id., 516 (Corbin): 4 id., 263 (Pendleton). Cf. The Federalist, No. 65 (J. Cooke ed., 1961), 439-445 (Hamilton).
(11) Trial of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States on Impeachment (Washington: 1868), 88, 147.
(12) Id., 409.
(12) Act of March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 430.
(13) Broek, Partisan Politics and Federal Judgeship Impeachments since 1903, 23 Minn. L. Rev. 185 (1939). [Grimes, Hundred-Ton-Gun Control: Preserving Impeachment as the Exclusive Removal Mechanism for Federal Judges, 38 UCLA L. Rev. 1209, and 1229-1233 (1991).]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is the Federal Reserve Bank more powerful than the US government?

Much has been written (especially here) about the Federal Reserve Bank but nothing previously revealed about the Fed comes close to the outrageous arrogance as displayed when they thumb their nose at the government in response to a simple legitimate request for information.

The Federal Reserve Board has rejected a request by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for a public review of the central bank’s structure and governance. Let us also remember that the Fed has never been audited by the government since 1913 when this abomination was created at the urging of powerful domestic and international bankers.

The Obama administration, to the surprise of many of us, proposed on June 17 a financial- regulatory overhaul including a “comprehensive review” of the Fed’s “ability to accomplish its existing and proposed functions” and the role of its regional banks. The Fed was to lead the study and enlist the Treasury and “a wide range of external experts.”

But after agreeing to the review, the Fed leadership saw a potential threat to Fed independence after the Treasury released the proposal. The Obama plan said the Treasury would consider recommendations from the review and “propose any changes to the Fed’s governance and structure.”

“It is not obvious at all why that is a Treasury responsibility or even appropriate why the Treasury would undertake that kind of study,” said Robert Eisenbeis, chief monetary economist at Cumberland Advisors Inc. in Vineland, New Jersey, and a former Atlanta Fed research director. “The Fed was created by Congress and it is not part of the executive branch.”

Indeed, the Fed considers itself above the government! So independent it regards itself that the Fed need not respond to requests by the President of the United States – what hubris!

Not only does the Fed ignore the Executive branch but even Congress doesn’t seem to be able to direct the Fed. U.S. lawmakers have also called for a review of the Fed’s power and structure because many in congress believe Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke overstepped his authority as he bailed out various businesses such as creditors of Bear Stearns Cos. and American International Group Inc. while battling a crisis that led to $1.62 trillion in write-downs and losses at financial firms.

But nothing was done and the Fed stonewalled congress - no work has been done on the project, which was due October 1. Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams declined to comment as did Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith – and of course the incompetent news media also did not seek answers.

The country is supposed to be satisfied with the Fed conducting its own investigation. We are told that the Federal Reserve Bank is performing its own reviews of possible operational changes following the financial crisis. Fed Governor Elizabeth Duke is leading an internal study of the roles of the directors that serve on each of the boards at regional Fed banks.

Vincent Reinhart, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and the former director of Division of Monetary Affairs at the Fed Board said “The institution is trying to keep a low profile and to publish a report now invites comment on that report.” Is that supposed to be a bad thing?

By a vote of 96-2 the Senate passed a nonbinding budget amendment in April supporting “an evaluation of the appropriate number and the associated costs” of the district banks. This was sponsored by Senate Banking Committee by Connecticut Democrat Chairman Christopher Dodd and Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, the senior Republican on the panel. But if they were serious, why pass only a “nonbinding” resolution?

Even House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, called for more scrutiny of the central bank, saying he wants to probe how the 12 regional Fed presidents are appointed and their role in setting interest rates. The Fed banks are semi-private entities, each overseen by a nine-member board of directors. Barney, like Obama, says a lot of things that sound good but doesn’t actually do what he says.

Republican Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul, has been one of the few actually trying to do something about the Fed. He has introduced legislation calling for audits of the Fed and is getting increasing support in the House for this effort. There has been also legislation proposed in the senate for the same purpose as well as to look into the Fed’s monetary policies and operations. Thus far the Fed has managed to thwart any meaningful investigations into its affairs.

If it seems that Obama and Democrats are motivated by laudable purposes, do not be self deluded. The fact is that Obama and his government control advocates are preparing the Federal Reserve Bank for a larger role in tracking risks across the financial system and to make the central bank the lead regulator for the largest, most inter-connected financial institutions.

Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, an Obama appointee, is working on changes to the supervisory process that will prepare the central bank for a larger role than it already has in the nation’s financial system.

Tarullo is focusing on bank-to-bank comparisons and quantitative scenario testing of bank portfolios. Under the guise that the Fed is examining the vulnerability of banks with assets under $100 billion to falling commercial real estate values, look for the Fed to dictate to banks of all size what they may or may not do.

Unfortunately only a few in congress recognize what a threat the Fed poses and have balked at the notion of giving the Fed more power and are leaning toward vesting authority over capital, liquidity and risk-management practices of big banks in a council of regulators.

As an example of the incestuous nature of banking regulation and the calls for “reform,” a review led by Duke followed the resignation in May of Stephen Friedman as New York Fed chairman because of ties to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Friedman is a director on Goldman Sachs’s board.

Goldman Sachs became a bank holding company in September 2008, a change that would have normally barred Friedman from continuing to serve in his New York Fed post. Officials gave him a waiver so he could remain in the job.

“Allowing local bankers to play a leading role in selecting reserve bank presidents is the most worrying aspect of the current system,” Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC, recently wrote to clients.

District bank presidents are nominated by committees made up of people whose institutions the nominees may have supervised.

“The conflicts of interest inherent in the current system are glaring,” Crandall said.

We have system where a group of people not responsible to elected officials of the US government have total control of the financial system in the United States and their authority and power grow continuously. Americans sheepishly allow this to happen. Instead of the U.S. Treasury Department being in charge, a group of largely unknown people from largely unknown Fed owners make monumental decisions that are more than not likely to reflect self interest rather than the interests of the American people or the country.

One only has to consider the arrogant refusal by the Federal Reserve Bank of a request for information by the Treasury Secretary to realize this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A public service announcement about Medicare

Here’s some information senior folks may find useful, if not discouraging. Remember this is what happens to us now; if Obama gets his way we will be even worse off than under the present diminishing coverage and higher costs for less.

Higher Medicare Advantage costs.

If you're one of more than 10 million subscribers to Medicare Advantage plans, expect to pay more for coverage next year. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cut 2010 subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans by 4% to 4.5%. Big private insurers offering the plans will be figuring out how to adjust to the reductions, but you can expect to see a combination of higher rates and drug costs along with reduced coverage.

The plans were created by the Bush administration as a private-sector alternative to traditional Medicare plans. But Medicare Advantage costs the government about 14% more per person than regular Medicare and thus became a target for expense cuts that could be used to help pay for the Obama administration's health-reform plan.

What to know about Medicare -- now

Get the most out of your health coverage. Here's how to sign up, avoid penalties and pick the plan that fits you best (it might not be last year's).By Kiplinger's Personal Finance MagazineThough you may not look forward to turning 65, Uncle Sam has a nice present for you when you do: government-subsidized health insurance.But Medicare won't cover all your health care expenses, so you'll still need to make some key decisions about how to fill in the gaps. Making the right choices could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

Even if you are already eligible for Medicare, it pays to check out your choices each year during the annual open-enrollment period that runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, when you can switch plans. Several new options appear every year, and the prices and coverage can vary greatly. The plan you picked in the past may no longer be your best option.

Here's what you need to know to get the most out of your Medicare coverage:

Sign up on time

You are eligible for Medicare at 65, even if your normal retirement age for full Social Security benefits is later. The initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B, which covers doctors' visits and outpatient services, runs for seven months, starting three months before your birthday month. To make sure your Medicare enrollment runs smoothly, you should contact the Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213) three months before you turn 65.

If you miss the initial seven-month sign-up window, you'll have to wait until the next general-enrollment period, which runs from Jan. 1 to March 31 each year, for benefits beginning the following July 1.

For each year you wait beyond your initial enrollment period, you'll also incur a 10% penalty, which will be added to your monthly Part B premium (Part B premiums are deducted from your Social Security checks). You can sign up for premium-free Part A, which covers hospital services, at any time.

Special enrollment rules apply if you're eligible for Medicare and still on the job. If you have health insurance through your employer or your spouse's employer, you aren't subject to the 10% late-enrollment penalty if you sign up for Part B within eight months of losing that coverage. Similarly, if you have employer-provided prescription-drug coverage, you can avoid the late-enrollment penalty for the Medicare Part D drug plan. If you miss the initial seven-month enrollment period, you can sign up for prescription-drug coverage during the last six weeks of any year, for benefits beginning the following Jan. 1.

Review your choices

When it comes to filling the gaps in your health care coverage, you may have several choices.

Employer-provided retiree health insurance has traditionally been the best option. But don't assume that's still the case. Many employers have been cutting back on retiree coverage. Even if your employer provides retiree health insurance, you may be able to save money by switching to another plan, especially if your premiums have risen and your coverage has been scaled back over the past few years. Look at the big picture, and compare coverage for medical care and prescription drugs, as well as out-of-pocket costs and any restrictions on health care providers.

Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap policies, pay for many of the co-payments, deductibles and other expenses that Medicare doesn't cover. If you buy a policy within six months of signing up for Medicare Part B, insurers can't reject you or charge higher rates because of your health (see "The ABCs of picking a Medigap policy"). Medigap policies generally don't cover prescription-drug costs (and the old Medigap plans that do offer drug coverage are no longer a good deal). Instead, you'll need a Medicare prescription-drug plan, known as Part D.

Retirement planning for baby boomers

Here's what boomers can expect to get from pensions and Social Security, and what you can do to build your nest egg.

New pricing and options for Part D for the following year are unveiled each fall, and you have from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31 to switch policies. Premiums rose an average of 13.6% for the largest plans from 2007 to 2008 -- to $25 a month, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Beneficiaries in the most-popular plans faced the biggest monthly increases. For example, the average monthly cost of Humana's standard plan jumped nearly 69%, from $15.34 in 2007 to $25.88 in 2008. Because of major changes like these, it's a good idea to investigate your options during the open-enrollment season every year, even if you've been happy with your plan.

Premiums are only one cost to consider. You'll also need to calculate total out-of-pocket costs for the medicines you take. When you add up premiums, deductibles and co-payments, a higher-premium plan could end up costing less than a lower-premium plan that has hefty co-payments.

Continued: All-in-one plans

The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder can help you compare total costs for your medications under each plan available in your area. Click on "Find & Compare Plans" and then "Begin General Search."

Before you pick a plan, ask your doctor about substituting a generic for your brand-name medication. The plan with the best deal for brand-name drugs may not offer the best deal for the generic equivalents.All-in-one plansInstead of paying separately for Medicare Part B, a Medicare supplement policy and a Part D drug plan, you could sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, which combines all of that coverage in one policy.

Medicare Advantage plans, which are sold by private insurance companies, come in three varieties. Medicare health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, typically offer the lowest premiums but have the tightest restrictions on the doctors and hospitals you can visit. Regional preferred provider organizations, or PPOs tend to cost a bit more, but they include a network of providers that usually spans several states.

Private fee-for-service plans usually cost the most, but you can use any provider who agrees to the plan's terms (ask your doctors if they participate). In addition to prescription-drug coverage, Medicare Advantage plans often offer extra benefits, such as eye exams, hearing aids and dental benefits.

You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan when you first become eligible for Medicare or during open-enrollment season in late fall. If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or back to Medicare plus a Part D plan between Jan. 1 and March 31.To find good deals, use the Medicare comparison tool by selecting your state under "Learn More About Plans in Your Area."

Some Medicare Advantage plans have very low premiums, and some charge nothing beyond your Part B premium because of rich government subsidies to insurers. But you need to look carefully at the co-payments and limitations.If someone has a history of frequent hospitalizations, Medigap coverage may be safer than a Medicare Advantage plan that has limits on the coverage for hospitalizations. Some Medicare Advantage plans don't cover the first 20 days in a skilled-nursing facility (which traditional Medicare covers); some charge higher co-payments for important services, such as chemotherapy; and some provide limited coverage when you travel out of state.

Take a look at the annual Cost Share Report, which provides out-of-pocket cost estimates for Medicare HMOs and PPOs that include prescription-drug coverage. You can look up the best value in your area in three health categories: good, fair and poor. Even if you're in good health now, it's important to see what a plan would offer if your health deteriorates during the year.Before signing up learn about the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medigap policies.

This article was reported and written by Kimberly Lankford for Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Purported non Muslim President Obama makes high level Muslim appointment to DHS

Purported non Muslim Barack Hussein Obama made a presidential appointment of Muslim Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Arif Alikhan for a top job at the federal Department of Homeland Security. In his new job Arif Alikhan will be Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security. Alikhan has been Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles – in charge of public safety for the city.

Why Muslim Alikhan at the Department of Homeland Security you might ask? DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said Alikhan’s “broad and impressive array of experience in national security, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism will make him an asset” – yes, but on behalf of the US or Muslims? I am not sure what she is talking about and she probably doesn’t know either.

Alikhan says a big part of his job will be fostering communication between agencies. Alikhan, like Obama, also wants to help improve America’s image with Muslims around the world. He will now set policy on security at the highest levels of the federal government. But what policies has the new Assistant Secretary embraced?

During his years in Los Angeles, Alikhan was responsible for derailing the Police Department’s plan to monitor activities within the Los Angeles Muslim community, where numerous radical mosques and madrassas existed, and where some of the 9/11 hijackers had received support from local residents.

Alikhan is strongly anti-Israel; he has referred to the terrorist organization Hezbollah as a “liberation movement.” Hezbollah is on the US official terrorist list while being an affiliate of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Alikhan also opposed President George W. Bush’s prosecution of the war on Islamic terror.

In 2007 Alikhan was instrumental in removing the Muslim terror tracking plan in LA. The Muslim ‘Mapping’ Plan of the Los Angeles Police Department is now “dead on arrival” according to Chief William Bratton. “It is over and not just put on the side,” said Chief Bratton in a meeting with the Muslim leadership of Southern California at that time. The meeting was moderated by Arif Alikhan.

Chief Bratton acknowledged the hurt and offense caused to Muslims and agreed to send a letter to the Muslim community announcing the official termination of the ‘mapping’ plan.

A major reason for the termination of the ‘mapping’ plan was the Muslim community’s vociferous opposition and active civic engagement in making themselves heard beyond Los Angeles. Muslim organizations demonstrated a strong unity of purpose and message on the issue of ‘mapping’ that led to a position of strength for Muslims in the meeting. Those involved in the initial phases of this controversy were the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and the Council on American-Islamic Relations , the Muslim Public Affairs arm.

Muslim Democrats welcomed Alikhan’s appointment at a banquet/fundraiser for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California recently where the first speaker was Arif Alikhan, a devout Sunni and the son of Pakistani immigrants,,1518,505573,00 .

Other speakers included Professor Agha Saeed of the American Muslim Task Force (AMT) who spoke about “the struggle of the Muslim Community against the pervasive atmosphere of Islamophobia and hatred in the aftermath of 9/11.. It was a struggle against the tide – a very strong tide – to prevent Muslims in America from being marginalized and silenced.”

Professor Saeed issued five demands from Muslims to the Department of Justice. These demands included a cessation to the infiltration by spies of mosques and an end to the introduction of agents provocateur. In addition there was to be a cessation of attempts to undermine Muslim groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Un-indicted co-conspirator CAIR was thrilled at the appointment:

Last week, Napolitano swore in Damascus-born Kareem Shora, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)’s national executive director, to a position on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, an outside-the-department group of national security experts that advises the Secretary. Shora is the first Arab rights advocate on the panel. Shora has with ties to terror backers

One may wonder how does an obscure (but Democrat) bureaucrat and devout Muslim come to the position of Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles – in charge of public safety for the city and now becomes Assistant Secretary to DHS under purported non Muslim Democrat President Barack Hussein Obama?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obamacare H.R. 3200 – a study in obfuscation and plausible deniability

Ultra liberals in the House and Senate, who were thwarted for many years, finally achieved the perfect storm of politics with them in charge of congress and an ultra liberal president in the White House. This deadly combination managed to have the government take over the auto industry, the banking system, and now has set the stage to extend control to Wall St., energy (with “cap and trade”) and the health care industry.

The auto industry and the banking system were easy. After declaring crises early in the Obama term take over was simple; the public and congress were persuaded only government, with the aid of the Federal Reserve Bank, could “fix” things. Large businesses and banks were too large to fail so with the printing presses rolling money was created to “bail them out.” When it came time to take over health care, the public became better informed and opposition to government’s control grew.

It’s not easy to learn exactly how the government will take over health care because Obama and his henchmen (and henchwomen) in congress tried hard to obfuscate their take over plans. How else can you describe writing a 1,017 page bill full of legalese and convoluted provisions (H.R. 3200) than obfuscation? Unfortunately for them many people actually read the bill, even if congressmen didn’t, and the health care hoax, called “Obamacare,” angered the populace as its provisions became known.

Obama and other ultra liberals can’t handle opposition to Obamacare so with the aid of their controlled news media they began a propaganda campaign which would make the Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, proud. Opponents are accused of “scare tactics” to demean any discussion about what Obamacare really is and how it will destroy health care for everyone satisfied with the way they receive medical treatment now.

Many half-truths and actual lies are spewed by President Obama on a regular basis; no president has been featured on television as much as Obama has on the nation’s networks. Here are some examples.

Is health care rationing mentioned in H.R. 3200 – answer, yes and no?

The word ration is not mentioned but there is a limit on how much can be spent for health care, the effect of which is to limit, i.e. ration, health care provided.



(A) ANNUAL LIMITATION.—The cost-sharing incurred under the essential benefits package with respect to an individual (or family) for a year does not exceed the applicable level specified in subparagraph (B).

(B) APPLICABLE LEVEL.—The applicable level specified in this subparagraph for is $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family. Such levels shall be increased (rounded to the nearest $100) for each subsequent year by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (United States city average)applicable to such year.

Another issue lied about or never mentioned by Obamacare supporters and even opponents is that there will be a Federal board and Commissioner that will decide whether and what health care will be provided. H.R. 3200 is very clear about this. Therefore it is not understandable why there is no outcry against Obamacare, if nothing else for this reason.

On page 30 the bill says a government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process). Page 42: a "Health Choices Commissioner" is mentioned who will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.

Some have insisted that the Federal board only makes “recommendations” but while that is true, these recommendations once approved by the secretary become mandates on the medical practitioners and hospitals (see Section 124 below).


(1) IN GENERAL.There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.

(2) CHAIR.

The Surgeon General shall be a member and the chair of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee.



The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall recommend to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) benefit standards (as defined in paragraph (4)), and periodic updates to such standards. In developing such recommendations, the Committee shall take into account innovation in health care and consider how such standards could reduce health disparities. [The recommendations are submitted to the Secretary and once approved then become mandates to medical practioners and hospitals.]




Not later than 45 days after the date of receipt of benefit standards recommended under section 123 (including such standards as modified under paragraph (2)(B)), the Secretary shall review such standards and shall determine whether to propose adoption of such standards as a package.


If the Secretary determines—

(A) to propose adoption of benefit standards so recommended as a package, the Secretary shall, by regulation under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, propose adoption such standards; or

(B) not to propose adoption of such standards as a package, the Secretary shall notify the Health Benefits Advisory Committee in writing of such determination and the reasons for not proposing the adoption of such recommendation and provide the Committee with a further opportunity to modify its previous recommendations and submit new recommendations to the Secretary on a timely basis.

(2) DEADLINE.—The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall recommend initial benefit standards to the Secretary not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.(4)


In this subtitle, the term ‘‘benefit standards’’ means standards respecting

(A) the essential benefits package described in section 122, including categories of covered treatments, items and services within benefit classes, and cost-sharing; and

(B) the cost-sharing levels for enhanced plans and premium plans (as provided under section 203(c)) consistent with paragraph (5).


(A) ENHANCED PLAN.—The level of cost sharing for enhanced plans shall be designed so that such plans have benefits that are actuarially equivalent to approximately 85 percent of the actuarial value of the benefits provided under the reference benefits package describedin section 122(c)(3)(B).

(B) PREMIUM PLAN.—The level of cost sharing for premium plans shall be designed that such plans have benefits that are actuarially equivalent to approximately 95 percent of the actuarial value of the benefits provided under the reference benefits package described in section 122(c)(3)(B).

By the way, “actuararily equivalent” means consider the age of the health care recipient and whether it is cost effective to provide that care to such person, i.e. senior citizen.

Did you know that H.R. 3200 provides (at page 65) that taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (e.g. SEIU, UAW and ACORN)?


(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish a temporary reinsurance program (in this section referred to as the ‘‘reinsurance program’’) to provide reimbursement to assist participating employment-based plans with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and to eligible spouses, surviving spouses and dependents of such retirees.

Obama is fond of saying if you like your health insurance, you can keep it. However that’s not completely true for several reasons. First, your INSURANCE PLAN MUST COMFORM TO GOVERNMENT-SET STANDARDS OR YOU CAN’T KEEP IT, AND SECONDLY IF ANY CHANGES ARE MADE IN YOUR PLAN THEN YOU MUST ENTER THE GOVERNMENT PLAN.


In accordance with this subtitle and in coordination with appropriate Federal and State officials as provided under section 143(b), the Commissioner shall

(1) under section 204 establish standards for, accept bids from, and negotiate and enter into contracts with, QHBP offering entities for the offering of health benefits plans through the Health Insurance Exchange, with different levels of benefits required under section 203, and including with respect to oversight and enforcement...

PLAN DEFINED.—in this division, the term ‘‘Exchange participating health benefitsPlan’’ means a qualified health benefits plan that is offered through the Health Insurance Exchange.



In accordance with this section, all individuals are eligible to obtain coverage through enrollment in an Exchange-participating health benefits plan offered through the Health Insurance Exchange unless such individuals are enrolled in another qualified health benefits plan or other acceptable coverage.

There are many more excerpts from the full text of H.R. 3200 that can be cited and will be given in Parts II and III of this series.

Here are some examples of what will be reported in detail in the next two articles:

Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives. •

Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families. •

Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll •

Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll •

Page 167: Any individual who doesn’t' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income. •

Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them). •

Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records (Your health records will no longer be private.). •

Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that. •

Page 239: H.R. 3200 will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected." •

Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same •

Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc. •

Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries. •

Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs. •

Page 272: Cancer patients: will be subject to rationing! •

Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions. •

Page 298: If a Doctor treats a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, he/she will be penalized by the government. •

Page 317: Doctors are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies •

Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval. •

Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another acorn for ACORN. •

Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing. •

Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc. •

Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals. •

Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone). •

Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia? •

Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time. •

Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death. •

Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends. •

Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT. •

Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life. •

Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more gifts to ACORN; Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: •

Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage. •

Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

Instant Federal access to your bank accounts, automatic debits if needed and the ID card.

Tune in later for more on Obamacare – if the above doesn’t wake you up to this threat to your life– nothing will.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who is the president – Barack Obama or David Axelrod?

Many people believe Obama is not the architect of the new socialism driving government policy these days but there is speculation about who is behind the smooth character behind the teleprompter. I don’t know the answer but at the very least it is clear that Obama’s Senior Advisor, David Axelrod, shares mouthpiece honors.

We frequently hear Robert Gibbs in his role as Obama press agent explain to the news media what the president means during his speech marathon but comments by Axelrod actually sound like the president speaking.

For example:

“We’re entering a new season,” senior adviser David Axelrod said in a telephone interview. “It’s time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done. We’re confident that we can do that. But obviously it is a different phase. We’re going to approach it in a different way. The president is going to be very active.”

And on health care Axelrod announced in advance of the September 9th speech by Obama that Obama is (falsely) willing to forgo the public option

“We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,” an aide said. “There are lots of different ways to get there.”

“I’m not going to put a date on any of this,” Axelrod said. “But I think it’s fairly obvious that we’re not in the second inning. We’re not in the fourth inning. We’re in the eighth or ninth inning here, and so there’s not a lot of time to waste.”

Aren’t these things what one might expect the president himself to say?

Once again, sounding like Obama’s teleprompter, Axelrod said:

"His goal is to create the best possible situation for consumers, create competition and choice. We want to bring a measure of security to people who have health insurance today. We want to help those who don't have coverage today, because they can't afford it, get insurance they can afford. And we want to do it in a way that reduces the overall cost of the system as a whole."

You might recall that Obama has very recently began to advance his desire to add Wall St. to the list of businesses controlled by Obama but Axelrod actually presaged this new policy addition.

Axelrod said:

“Also this fall, Obama wants to slap new regulations on Wall Street firms.”

It was also mentioned by Axelrod in an interview that this is a goal that is now considered a higher priority than cap-and-trade energy legislation in the West Wing. White House officials think the legislation will show voters, especially wavering independents, that he is serious about making the culprits of the economic crisis pay. It also helps that it doesn't carry a big price tag, like other Obama priorities.

Nonetheless it is clear that health care remains front end center. According to Axelrod:

“I understand the governing wisdom here in town as to where this is right now. I feel good about where it is right now. I understand that there’s been a lot of controversy. I understand that there’s been a lot of politics. But the truth is we’re a lot closer to achieving something than many thought possible. People look to the president for leadership on this and other issues. He feels passionately about this, and you can look for him to provide that leadership.”

Later on, President Obama would essentially echo Axelrod’s remarks.

Even with respect to criticism of Obama for deciding to give Congress the primary role in developing the health care law (ever so slight in the news media) as Axelrod phrased it, Obama “allowed Congress to consider the whole range of ideas.”

Axelrod instead of Obama had this to say:

“History will judge whether this was right or it was wrong. We feel strongly that it was right. As a result of it, we have broad consensus on over 80 percent of this stuff, and a lot of good ideas about how to achieve the other 20. Now, people are looking to the president and the president is eager to help lead that process of harmonizing these different elements and completing this process so that we can solve what is a big problem in the lives of the American people, for our businesses and our economy.”

The August recess saw many Americans criticize Obamacare so Axelrod had to speak as president to minimize the significance.

“Part of it (Townhall outcries) is born of long experience. In Washington, every day is Election Day. I’d be lying to you if I told you I don’t look at polls -- I do. But I’ve also learned that you have to keep your eye on the horizon here and not get bogged down. I am not Pollyannaish, but I am also not given to the hysteria that's endemic to this town.”

So I ask you, who is the president; Obama, his teleprompter or David Axelrod?