Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why is it Impossible for Democrats to Learn from History?

by j. wright 01/20/2010

If you recently recovered from a coma or haven’t been paying attention to the national political scene of late, the commonwealth of Massachusetts just held a special election to permanently fill the seat in the United States Senate left open with the recent passing of liberal Democrat Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy. Against all odds and contrary to past history, the voters in Massachusetts elected a conservative Republican to fill that seat.

This from the Globe Newspapers: “Voter anxiety and resentment, building for months in a troubled economy, exploded like a match on dry kindling in the final days of the special election for US Senate. In arguably the most liberal state in the nation, a Republican - and a conservative one at that - won and will crash the Bay State’s all-Democratic delegation with a mandate to kill the health care overhaul pending in Congress.”

Yes, it appears that the outcome of this special election has ramifications as far away as Washington, D.C. where several Democrat lawmakers who narrowly won elections in 2008 are having second thoughts about their future employment if they continue to blindly follow Obama/Reid/Pelosi off the cliff in support of this thing being hashed over behind closed doors called “health care reform.”

The president and his Democrat legislative leaders have been unsuccessful in passing an extremely unpopular deficit busting bill for the past year while the national economy has sputtered and unemployment has climbed to near record levels. Because the Democrats couldn’t agree amongst themselves they decided their cover is to blame their failures on the Republicans, who weren’t invited to participate in the first place. Even the loss of the Democrat Senatorial hopeful in Massachusetts has been blamed on past Republican policies. They can’t be serious. Question: did they learn anything from this loss?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Health Care Reform? Great for Some; Crappy for Others!

by J. Wright - 1/12/2010

Quoting a CBS News poll in part, “President Obama's approval rating on handling health care is at an all-time low Just 36 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama's handling of health care, according to the poll, conducted from Jan. 6 – 10. Fifty-four percent disapprove.”

The Wall Street Journal opined last October ” …it may well be the worst piece of post-New Deal legislation ever introduced.” Since then it has worsened. There is little voter consensus that the reforms under consideration represent the right approach. Only about one in five Americans thinks the reforms strike the right balance when it comes to expanding coverage, controlling costs and regulating insurance companies. Worse, congressional experts say 15 to 25 million Americans will still be left uninsured.

Now the Democrats and some of their special interest supporters are again bickering about a thing labeled “Cadillac Insurance” policies, or blanket coverage that is the very best an individual can possibly enjoy in today’s market. The final bill now being considered would assess a huge tax on the value of those policies. Some special interest groups, financial supporters of Democrat lawmakers, are now discovering that they were not exempted, especially many of the millions of labor union members. They are furious and are making their displeasure known at some of the “Sweetheart” favoritism deals being handed out by Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the expense of everyone else.

Curious, why should a law grant some Americans special treatment and force others to pay higher costs? Constitutional scholars in opposition cite the 14th amendment guaranteeing “equal protection under the law.” In real reform, wouldn’t all Americans at the least be provided with improved health care coverage including lowered costs? This bill is allowing “better than equal protection” for a few several special interest groups. How constitutional is that?


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Republicans May Use USSC to Stop Health Care Reform

by j. Wright - January 6, 2010

Imagine that, the Republicans using one of the liberal Democrats favorite secondary legislative bodies, the Courts, to stop health care reform in it's tracks.

In a recent blog here, I brought up the issue of “standing” as it applies to who can bring, or file a legal suit, with the United States Supreme Court. In order to bring a case before the Justices the plaintiff(s) or ones bringing suit, must have ''standing,'' because apparently the Court is not allowed to open a case on their own even if they suspect that a law, or portion of it, is unconstitutional.

By definition in part, “standing” means, ''...that in the United States, the current doctrine is that a person cannot bring a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the plaintiff is (or will imminently be) harmed by the law. Additionally, the party suing must have ‘something to lose’ in order to sue unless they have automatic standing by action of law.''

Retired Judge Andrew Napolitano on FOX TV News recently confirmed that definition. Any citizen of the United States that will be harmed by the law, in this case, forced to buy health insurance under threat of financial fine or possible imprisonment, can bring suit because they have “standing.”

Judge Napolitano went on to say that if the pending health care reform legislation that is now being negotiated behind closed doors, not on C-Span as promised by Candidate Obama several times, is passed into law, a private citizen can seek relief and have the law deemed unconstitutional. Napolitano added that such action could also open the doors to looking at various other laws whose constitutionality has been questioned.

At this moment, Senator Orin Hatch, R-Utah, is putting this issue in motion. He can’t bring the suit personally but surely he will find an American citizen willing and able to do so. Time will tell.

Hatch and other Senators are arguing that the bill’s requirement that most people buy insurance or face a penalty violates the Constitution’s ban on taking private property for public purpose without just compensation.

Also, that a provision that could treat some insurance companies in Louisianna, Nebraska and Michigan different from others is a violation of the 14th Amendment's "equal protection'' clause.

The AG from Texas just joined in claiming that Congress can't force citizens to buy anything, including health insurance, by saying it falls under the Interstate Commerce clause.

Now it's getting serious, boy and girls. The AGs are using the "law of the land," our Constitution and the protections it affords the citizenry, to take a hard look at this mess the Democrats call reform.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Standing..." You Either Have It Or You Don't

by j. Wright 1-4-2010
Every time I see the U.S. Supreme Court mentioned regarding the possible constitutionality of a new bill that Congress in its infinite wisdom has just passed into law, my head wants to explode; reason being, I don't fully understand the legality of the term ''standing.''
Its my understanding that in order to bring a case before the SC Justices the plaintiff(s) or ones bringing suit, must have ''standing,'' because apparently the Court is not allowed to simply open a case on their own because of public sentiment or pressure, or even if they might think in their own minds that a law, or portion of it, is unconstitutional.
If we examined all of the laws Congress has passed in the past decade or longer and examined them for constitutionality, I'd wager many of them wouldn't pass muster, but still they remain on the books. Why, because someone with ''standing'' didn't bother to make a federal case out of it? Or if someone did, a liberal federal judge in a lower court threw the case out before it reached the high court in Washington, D.C.

Or, trial lawyers being what they are and whom they support (Read: the liberal left in our politcal family) are not necessarily apt to take up such mundane matters as constitutionality. But I digress.

Definition of “standing” in part says, ''...that in the United States, the current doctrine is that a person cannot bring a suit challenging the constitutionality of a law unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the plaintiff is (or will imminently be) harmed by the law. Additionally, the party suing must have something to lose in order to sue unless they have automatic standing by action of law.''
If Congress passes a law next week mandating that all Americans MUST buy health insurance or be fined, and if the individual doesn't pay that fine they will be penalized a much larger amount and jailed, isn't that ''having something to lose?'' Such as one's liberty? Or is our loss of liberty just a foregone conclusion nowadays? Maybe the key word up there is ''imminently.''
Imminently we may find out.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Connect the Dots? What Dots?

by j. wright - 12/31/2009

Apparently before socialist leaning Democrat supporters begin to ravenously ''eat their own'' they must start nibbling around the edges as noted columnist Maureen Dowd did in a surprising column published recently in the NYT. For sure, Dowd injected her usual Bush Derangement Syndrome attacks, including attacks on former VP Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfield, but by no means did she show any pity for President Obama and his pitiful national security team's recent actions.

I wish she had gone farther. What are we watching today in our intelligence gathering circles? The same type of ''intelligence wall" that stifled two previous administrations with political infighting? Have we forgotten the "Jamie Gorelick Wall" that was in vogue under President Clinton barring anti-terror investigators from accessing information or communicating with other federal security agencies? The ''Wall'' that the 9/11 Commission eliminated and later set up guidelines to be implemented that would improve our future security?

It's deja vu all over again, or close to it. Instead of being able to connect the dots, the current Obama Administration security heads are seemingly unable to recognize a dot when it's handed to them, and he is too busy playing golf to bother with an immediate acknowledgement of a near miss above our own soil. Instead we got unbelievable spin (blather) from Janet Napolitano, the current Secretary of Homeland Security about how well “the system” worked. The next day she reversed her self and said she was misunderstood; taken out of context. Had those remarks been uttered by Tom Ridge or Michael Chertoff, a couple of President Bush’s security chiefs, they would surely have been verbally tarred and feathered within hours by the national media and Democrat lawmakers and asked to submit their resignations immediately.

How's that ''hope and change'' working today? Not so hot as far as our national security is concerned, but Al Queda seems to be thriving under it. Unfortunately until the 2012 elections we are stuck with this amateurish administrative Lost Gonzo posse that President Obama has trotted out to lead our country
Happy New Year readers, good riddance to 2009!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"What I Really Think of Health Care Reform"

by j. wright - 12/23/2009

My oldest daughter wrote recently asking my opinion of the proposed health care bills. The following was my answer.

IF it were real health care reform, the end result would cover people that really can't afford insurance, many will still be uninsured; overall drug and treatment costs would decrease; physicians would not have to pay exorbitant malpractice insurance premiums; people could buy their insurance coverage anywhere they wished, they can't now; they would get income tax breaks for setting up a personal medical savings accounts. It seems that none of those things will take place.

Origninally we were told that 47 million Americans were without health insurance converage. Then in a speech, President Obama lowered that number to 30 million. Now the experts are saying that after the passage of this bill, between 12 million and 25 million Americans will still NOT be insured. If that's the case, why are we bankrupting the country in the name of nationalized health care reform?

It's reform all right; it just doesn't do anything to improve on the health provider system we have now, but we will succeed in indebting you and your future grandkids' grandkids for the rest of their lives with another government entitlement program. All this is going to be done with borrowed dollars; you do know that the federal government operates on taxes and foreign loans don't you? They don't have any money of their own. It's not Obama's "stash" as some would like to believe.

Many current physicians have decided to retire early or leave the country when this is passed, and government estimates say that 30,000,000 additional people (which doesn't add up) will be added to the insurance roles. That means fewer doctors treating more people equals less than adequate medical care. Great, that’s something to look forward to.

Obama says this bill will create jobs: right, at the federal level. One report I read said that 118 new federal agencies (bureaucracies) would be needed to run this debacle. Who pays their salary? Yes, the U.S. taxpayer. Like we need a bigger, growing government.

Obama says this bill will lower the deficit. Not if you include the $240+ billion that is "off budget" in a separate bill called the "Doctor Fix." This is Medicare dollars that will be paid for services and for some reason, mostly to hoodwink the voters, is not inckuded in this health care reform bill.

Then there's this pipe dream that Congress is going to "cut" $500 billion out of Medicare funding. When pigs fly, my dear. This $500 billion is a big part of the great savings and deficit reduction expectations that Obama and the Democrat lawmakers are crowing about. No Congress in our lifetime is ever going to "cut" Medicare funding. You can take that to the bank.

Taxes will increase on about everything now to pay for this thing so you wage earners, if you are still employed, will have less money for food, clothing, mortgages, utility bills and my grandkids education. Forget anything else.

Most outrageous, the lawmakers we elected think they can force Americans to buy something, even if they don't want it. And if they don't buy it, they can be fined. And if they don't pay the fine, thay can be penalized thousands of additional dollars and jailed. Welcome to the USSA. I've read the constitution and can't seem to find where that's mentioned. There's also some mention of "equal protection under the law" in the constitution. Some states are receving preferential treatment in order to garner needed Senate votes to pass this monstrosity. Time will tell if any court in the land has the will to stand up and declare this mess illegal.

Does that answer your question, dear?

Love, Dad~

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Again, Pass Anything to Save Face

by j. wright 12/16/2009
Journalist Jennifer Rubin, in a article explains that the Democrats in the U.S. Senate are now at their wits end. Under mounting pressure they have dropped “another harebrained Harry Reid scheme.” But what’s next? The “ReidCare” public option idea has imploded along with adding more bodies to a failing Medicare including many who have reached 55 years of age. Ms. Rubin goes on, “ They need, because a few centrists insist on it, something that is semi-coherent and that actually might allow the Democrats to face the voters, who currently disfavor ObamaCare by a huge margin. What’s left after they take out the public option and the Medicare buy-in?”

A Republican leadership aide explains what’s left: “$500 billion in Medicare cuts, $400 billion in tax increases, raises premiums, raises costs, onerous regulations, individual mandates, employer mandates, and expensive subsidies.” So what’s not to like? Well, just about everything, boys and girls. And this is reform?

A Democrat leadership aide explained it another way, similar to a Willy Sutton bank robbery gone badly. They’re inside the bank surrounded outside by dozens of armed lawmen, their robbery plans went awry big time; they can leave the money and run, or shoot it out and take the money.

Apparently it has come down to this in the Senate… pass anything to save face and maybe give President Obama a boost in his plummeting job approval numbers, all at the expense of 1/6 of our faltering economy. Or maybe they can all go home and clear their heads. When they return, maybe they can come up with a few inexpensive, discrete reforms that will have bipartisan support and not destroy our present system. Maybe? When pigs fly.

Unfortunately I see the Democrats with their huge majority as more than willing to pass anything just to pass it, regardless of what the unintended consequences will be in the 2010 elections.

What we are seeing now in the Senate are a few Dems and Harry Reid behind closed doors again, not on C-Span as Obama the transparency candidate espoused, working on a 'new' bill while the rest of the Senate is wasting time debating much of the old one. Whatever passes the Senate, if it does, will then go to a Joint Conference Meeting with the Democrat Leaders of the Pelosi led House and God only knows what will come from that. All of the recent talk about dropping the public option and the Medicare buy-in may suddenly be back in play, including abortion funding, and at what financial cost? The problem is after it leaves the Joint Conference Committee, it takes only 51 votes in the Senate to pass it. Look for a few Democrat Senators, who may be in jeopardy in the upcoming 2010 elections, to seek political refuge and vote against it. Call it CYA, that's all it is.

Another problem, and a major problem at that, is that if this monstrosity is enacted it will be nearly impossible to rescind with Obama holding a veto pen, at least until the 2012 elections. If he is reelected in 2012 then we're really doomed. The America where many of us grew up will cease to exist.