Vision, Mission, and Strategy


Hillbilly Politics

Economy

bush-obama-2This month and next mark the fifth anniversaries of the Housing Bust-caused financial crisis that led to TARP and other Fat Cat-bailouts and the election of the purveyor of Obamanomics.

Next month also marks the seventh anniversary of the Election of 2006 that returned Democrats to power in the House for four years and in the Senate for six years and counting that have, along with President Barack Obama, delivered to us:  Obamacare, a non-Stimulus, Dodd-Frank, and a War on Coal and other affordable energy. Continue reading

I’m referring to E.J. Dionne’s latest hit piece in which he states:

The tea party’s followers have endangered the nation’s credit rating and the GOP by pushing both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor away from their own best instincts.

Now, we all know,  at least those of us who are conservative, that E.J. Dionne is not exactly impartial in this matter. Neither is he an expert on anything he states. He’s a journalist and has always been a journalist, though I use the term loosely for what the E.J. Dionnes of this world represent in real journalism.

One of the arguments used in the last few weeks over the budget/deficit battle is the fact that Bush raised the debt ceiling 8 times during his presidency. While this is true and I won’t dispute it. But liberals are looking at the wrong numbers so,  let’s look at some numbers.

In an eight year time frame, Bush raised the debt ceiling a total of $4.915 trillion dollars. In 2 1/2 years under Obama the debt ceiling has been raised three times for a total of $3.019 trillion dollars, a mere 1 trillion less than Bush committed, in less than half the time,  not to mention that the next increase, which is inevitable no matter which plan is finally used, will add another 2.4 trillion dollars, exceeding the total increases committed under Bush for 8 years, in less than 3 years.

Some other numbers that might be of interest to those of you who actually care about this country come from the deficit. It’s not the debt ceiling that’s the problem. It’s our ability to pay for those things funded only by operating in a deficit and there’s a cut-off point whether it’s a single family or a government.

In pictures from the Heritage Foundation:

Today’s government reminds me of an old Lending Tree Commercial:

Except the government doesn’t want any help as it’s hopelessly addicted to spending, even if it means total ruin. The TEA party worked to send some fiscal hawks to Washington. For that work, they’re demonized, not only by the erstwhile journalist who prompted this post but by Washington D.C., itself.

The deficit under Bush was $450 billion, give or take a billion. The left wants to blame the ’09 deficit on Bush, too, due to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, but it’s not so, at least only so in part. There was a Democratic Congress who facilitated it, so who, ultimately, is to blame? Don’t answer that because this isn’t about blame. It really no longer matters who is to blame.

The deficit for 2010 was revised to $1.5 trillion exceeding both the estimates of the CBO and the White House in the above graph. 2011 numbers are not in yet but the deficit keeps growing. In and of itself, even that isn’t a terrible thing as long as there is ability to eventually recover.  And that is the crux of the matter. With a high deficit, unemployment languishing in the double digits for 15 straight weeks, and anemic economic growth, our ability to pay down debt is so severely curtailed there is no end in sight. We often, singly or collectively, operate under deficits for periods of time when life throws us screwballs, but  we don’t continue to spend indiscriminately while our finances go out of control. We eventually brings ourselves back to equilibrium because to do otherwise brings us to total ruin, generally speaking, that is. There are some who have to hit bottom and below before they understand that simple fact of life.

Under the plan that passed the House, H.R._2560, the debt ceiling will increase $2.4 trillion. It’s 12 short pages and an easy read so there’s no excuse for Mr. Dionne not having done so. What’s being objected to is the requirement for a balanced budget and some cuts to discretionary spending. Some people have realized we’ve reached a limit to what we can handle financially as a nation. Others are in denial and want their “fix.”

And like any other kind of addict, they resort to promises of better behavior.

“Let’s get this [deficit and debt] problem off the table … [and] with a solid fiscal situation, we will then be in a position to make the kind of investments that I think are going to be necessary to win the future,” he told reporters gathered for a White House press conference Monday morning.

When that doesn’t work, they resort to threats.

“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue. There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”

Who is  stealing from grandma?

Washington, D.C. needs an intervention. The TEA Party gave it one. It’s not the debt ceiling, in and of itself.

IT’S THE SPENDING, STUPIDS!

Oh, and a Constitutional Amendment that has to be ratified by the states. I forgot about that. It’s being ridiculed, too, but we’ll address that one another time.

Another day, another red herring… *Sigh*

Crossposted.

While tending to my husband who had shoulder surgery to reattach a muscle that he pulled loose, and took bone with it, one has had a lot of time to listen, learn, and think about so many different areas where our government has encroached as not only the highest authority but the bringer of miracles.  Our government, from the lowest government employee at the local level to the White House has done its utmost to replace God. But God showed them He is not so easy to replace.

Consider all the hoopla about climate change. How many know why the name was changed from global warming to climate change? Does it really matter since either way the United Nations has decided that it’s the entity that can fix it? Sorry to burst bubbles but the recent flooding, tornadoes, and snow in Colorado show that governments can’t really do anything. One supposes that if they were to secretly have invented a machine that can affect the climate all over the world simultaneously…

While the effects have been quite devastating to some who were caught in those areas with extreme weather, there is a bright side, too. All that flooding has carried not only water but rich bottom soil. Then there was heat to dry up all the water but leaving all that rich new soil. Harsh conditions to be sure but the aftereffects may well be worth it in the long run. The Earth will renew itself as it has for millennium.

And the government had nothing to do with it. Indeed, the government can’t even keep up as FEMA is tapped out and even going so far as to tell homeless people their homes are livable.

Because one has been spending a lot of time away from the computer, especially on weekends, one has been wondering why John Wayne movies have become popular again, even to remakes starring people like Jeff Bridges. Hubby put forth the possibility that it is because of the anniversary of Wayne’s death recently but I informed him that John Wayne weekends started at the beginning of the year.

It’s as if we’re waiting for heroes; someone, or someones, who can fix things. But we can wait forever because it’s not going to happen; at least not in the way that some might think. John Wayne, himself, wasn’t John Wayne but an amalgamation of all the roles he played in the movies.  As was Reagan, who really tried to just get out of the way of us being our own heroes.

Governments all over the world have promised to be everything to everyone… if only we give them the money to do it. Those self-same governments have failed to deliver no matter how much money they’re given but keep promising if only we give them more.

The problem is, the more we give, the less we’re able to do for ourselves what our governments are incapable of doing  even if we gave them 100% of what we have. Governments have failed to win the Wars on Poverty, Drugs, and Terrorism, all of which have been going on for decades, long before anyone coined the phrases.

Healthcare? Since passing of the bill containing a massive intrusion of government provided healthcare, healthcare costs have gone up, from doctor visits to tests to insurance fees and deductibles… AND THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE NOT PAYING THE BILLS. Instead, they pay only a percentage (the allowable maximum amount to a preferred provider)  and you’re left owing the rest.

Energy? Goes hand in hand with the War on Climate Change. The government will bankrupt us as individuals to pay for the unsustainable renewable energy that necessarily skyrockets the price of oil, electricity, and water.

There are more topics I could include to show that, unfortunately, government has reached its natural limitations. Not only has it done so but is headed down the road to ruin and, ultimately, will cause untold suffering.

We must be our own heroes again. We can’t wait for the someone elses to do for us what we should do for ourselves. If we want a government that allows us to be our own heroes, it’s up to us to put such a government in place; not the place of government to decide for itself. Or we can continue down this same road of hoping government can be everything to everyone; or hope that we’re the last to suffer. Your choice.

Elections have consequences well beyond the feel good moment of choosing the candidate you hope is going to deliver on unrealistic promises.

{{w|Jim Cooper}}, U.S. Congressman.
Image via Wikipedia

Eh, not so much. This is Cooper.

On November 7, 2009:

Nevertheless, the Nashville Democrat planned to vote in favor of the $1.1 trillion package.

“My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed,” Cooper said in a written statement issued during Saturday night’s debate. The bill passed in the House late Saturday night.

“There is little chance that (the House bill) will become law due to the long legislative process.”

His reasoning seems to be it won’t pass the Senate or a “passing of the buck.” He also stated he was voting for it “to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act.”

What if he is wrong?

What he voted for was this:

… who has not had health insurance coverage
or coverage under an employment-based health plan
for at least the 6-month period immediately preceding the date of the individual’s application for high-risk pool coverage under this section.(pg 18, HR 3962)

So, what is said in public is not backed up in the bill they support. How many people with cancer can wait 6 months for treatment? In spite of the rhetoric and sob stories, Congress isn’t going to do anymore for the people than the insurance companies will do.

His reasoning?

“Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health care system is not sustainable,” he said.

Did you know there’s a matching funds requirement?

(2) MATCHING FUND REQUIREMENT.—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph
(B), no grant may be awarded to a State unless the State demonstrates the seriousness of its effort by matching at least percent of the grant amount through non-Federal resources, which may be a combination of State, local, private dollars from insurers, providers, and other private organizations.(pg 75, HR 3962)

The federal government will raise taxes to pay for this and the states will be forced to play along. Why is it that every time the federal government decides to interfere with something, it means hardship for the respective states? How is your state placed in this economic downturn? Will you be able to afford all the new taxes?

And, yes, Cooper voted for this:

In fact, Cooper was the lone Tennessee vote.

Never mind individual circumstances that might preclude buying a $15,000 dollar policy which is the cheapest one can buy. Never mind the waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. Never mind the cuts to Medicare into which retirees and future retires have poured billions of dollars over decades. Never mind that a 5 year jail sentence is a death sentence to some. Never mind that with that death sentence it means someone will die for someone else’s sense of entitlement. Please, just never mind all the negatives. Just look over here at the cherries. Cherries come with pits and we’re expected to swallow the pits with the fruit… and like it even if it kills us.

And please ignore the majority of Americans who don’t want this plan, especially in an economic downturn. We’re simply right-wing extremists and must be ignored on your way to Shangri-La.

And the excuse, as always, is: “To move it forward.” How many times have we heard that from both sides of the aisle? Does anything get moved forward other than bigger government, more intrusion into our private lives, and more authority over our individual labors toward the American Dream?

Oh, and did I tell you he’s the lone Tennessee vote? I’m sure I must have.

I have no understanding of what it means to be a Blue Dog Democrat if Jim Cooper is supposed to be a prime example. I suppose what it used to mean is no longer what it means. Perhaps, we need a new term for them: BDINO (Blue Dog In Name Only).

Oh and speaking of Blue Dog Democrats, remember that Owens fellow in NY23 who was supposed to be more conservative than Scozzafava, whom she endorsed over a real conservative candidate? He broke four campaign promises within an hour of being sworn in.

Perhaps we should call them what they really are: Liars. There’s no such creature as a Blue Dog Democrat. They’re myths just like their campaign promises.

To say all politicians lie is to admit to apathy and helplessness. When are we going to expect more of the people we pay to represent us? We do not pay them to cater to the Nancy Pelosi’s of Congress. We do not pay them to serve their own self-interest over the interests of the people for whom they work.

Now that I’ve rambled in the NY23 territory let’s get back to Cooper. Did I tell you that Cooper was the lone vote from Tennessee? I was wrong. I suppose two out of seven isn’t bad.

It is small comfort to have only the hope that it is indeed D.O.A. in the Senate as is being claimed. Cooper’s own words imply that is the hope when he says it’s “to advance the cause of healthcare”, which is the equivalent of saying, “The dog ate my homework.”

Hope is cold comfort if you’re one of the ones who may end up sitting in a jail cell because Congress is full of cowards.

Crossposted to Sidetick and The Minority Report.

Individual freedom is being assaulted from so many different directions the sheer weight of the assaults can cause the hardiest of us to buckle. Yet, there are still some who believe the government has only our best interests at heart. I find that sentiment mind-blowing in the face of what the government is doing.

Accessing records without consent of the individual.

… This study should include incentives such as “higher rates of reimbursement or other incentives for such health care providers to use electronic health records” and “promoting low-cost electronic health record software packages that are available for use by such health care providers.”

Read it all. Apparently, our ever so magnanimous government doesn’t care about the assault on our private records or the sharing of such records across agencies as their new health care legislation will require it.

As one friend put it:

“Our best
practice dictates that if you want to keep something private, don’t
share it. If data is shared by more than one entity, none of the
parties knows who leaked it. Eventually, anything shared becomes
public knowledge. This is one more case of the unwary opening
Pandora’s box.” (Thanks, Loren.)

But that’s not possible, is it? The government is supposed to take care of us, right? Right?

Then there’s net neutrality.

Their website is full of blatant lies. They claim that Net Neutrality would not be a new regulation, when in fact the whole point of the push is to get new regulations in place backed by the so-called Internet Freedom Preservation Act currently in the House. Obama’s FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also made that much plain in a recent speech, that he wants the FCC to be an active, aggressive force on the Internet, picking winners and losers in private network policy disputes.

Again, read the whole article.

It’s okay if a Democrat does it.

Every student who brings someone to the polls to vote in the city council elections in Athens, OH gets $5.00.

Nice. But is that illegal?

Of course, it’s illegal. When did legality ever stop a liberal from doing what a liberal wants to do? They have a “cause” and this is merely the means to the end. Never mind that most of us don’t want the end they want.

How do you compete with government owned?

A new union contract would have lowered Ford’s labor costs in line with General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC. It also included a no-strike provision. Workers are barred from striking Ford’s domestic rivals for several years as a condition of their bankruptcy restructurings.

“The UAW contract is up in 2011, and I think there could be a strike,” said John Wolkonowicz, an analyst with IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass.

Isn’t that bit like union workers sabotaging a competitor because they now have a stake in the other two companies? Nah, the government owns the union workers, too, now doesn’t it?

Wouldn’t that make union bosses the overseers of the government owners’ plantations? I thought slavery was dead in this country. Apparently, the Democrats want to go back to the future.

It’s not illegal so get used to it.

A San Francisco cosmetics company has ignited an outcry among pro-lifers for including an unexpected ingredient in its anti-aging creams: skin-cell proteins from an aborted fetus. […]

In a statement released Friday, in response to a wave of condemnation from pro-life and religious blogs, Neocutis defended the use of its trademarked ingredient, Processed Skin Cell Proteins, or PSP, arguing that the fetal cell line was harvested in a responsible, ethical manner for use in treating severe dermatological injuries.

The company compared its situation to that of researchers who used fetal kidney cells to develop the polio vaccine.

It’s not as if they’re human, after all. That would be murder wouldn’t it? Murder for hire, if you want to put a fine point on it considering abortionists are paid to do the dirty work. And then they sell the bodies of the slain innocents to others for a bit more?

It’s not as if you’re not pro-choice. Oh no, we wouldn’t want to interfere with the government ruling that killing innocents is legal as long as it isn’t civilian casualties in the midst of fighting wars against terrorists who find safe havens among those civilians.

It’s for the children, after all, isn’t it? To make beauty products so others don’t have to age gracefully.

If the government can’t manage vaccinations with any level of competency, how do we expect them to manage health care? By creating more government agencies (read: bureaucracies), of course.

For a comparison to other welfare programs spending, let’s take a look shall we?

Over the next decade, welfare spending will amount to $30,000 per person per year — $120,000 for a family of 4 per year — 56% of which (or $67,200) goes to the recipients.

Moreover, these direct costs do not cover the concomitant costs for enterprises. That is, many organizations apply to whole populations, although their justification is the needs of the “poor.” For example, most people can afford education, but to guarantee it for the poor, there is public education for most, as well as subsidies. The same holds for establishing Social Security, Medicare, housing, health insurance, and industrial policy. There are then huge additional costs to the taxpayers and to the recipients of services who are not “poor.”

How much more than the 36% already being spent will these new bureaucracies cost? I wouldn’t put it past the government to flip those numbers. We can do without, of course. We might starve, freeze to death, or have a heat stroke but we’ll have health care if we do, right?

You can continue to believe in government’s goodwill if you choose. But don’t expect me to “jump off the Brooklyn Bridge” with you. If you keep trusting a government that has proven untrustworthy, this is what you get. You can make excuses all you want or say you didn’t sign onto this but if you support any part of it, you support the whole.

One person critiquing said this post seems disjointed but it’s not really. They are widely varying topics but are all these things are being perpetrated by the government simultaneously.

What the government is doing is assaulting us with a dozen skirmishes at once all taking place in the same general location but with different foci; the individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the right to make our own decisions based on our individual circumstances as to what is best for us. When we focus on one point of attack we risk losing sight of the other battles taking place around us. These battles are orchestrated to keep us off balance in the hopes that one of them will gain them an opening and their desire of government for the government in spite of the people.

Crossposted to RedState

Next Sunday is my 51st birthday. I won’t be here on that day so I’m “celebrating” a bit early. For the first time in my life I’m scared of my government. That’s a first I never wanted to experience.

In every life there is always some uncertainty and insecurities. We can get angry at some of them or we can be depressed or run a gamut of emotions over turmoil.

Jaded says that race relations have not been this bad in decades. Obama was supposed to be a post-racial president. He was also supposed to be a bi-partisan president. In fact, he promised to be a lot of post- somethings. Instead, he went in the opposite direction. Who could have seen that coming? (A lot of people who were deemed racists for saying so.)

It’s not racial tensions that have me frightened. Racial tensions ebb and tide and there’s a limit to how much rage can be spewed before it dissipates, although it could get bloody before that limit is reached. We’ve been bloody before and while worrying it does not bring me to full terror.

It’s the whole monstrosity of government.There’s a segment of the country gnashing their teeth at the Republicans, insulting them with the “Party of No” nom de plume and insulting the people who oppose this complete takeover of the country that signals the death of our Constitution.

Some want that death, yet seem to have little understanding that it is the only thing standing between the government and our civil rights. Given the numbers who want it they may well achieve their goals and that is what scares me.

The federal government is made up of three parts and it seems two of those parts are in collusion to effect that change. The “Party of No”, in times past a part of the collusion, at others standing against it, has withdrawn and shed light on what happens in the shadows. It’s not pretty and I had not realized that we were so far gone until they did step back.

The other side wants its cover back so they can continue to work in the shadows and resort to bullying to get it. We’re called hate-mongers by people who hate us and what we stand for. If we dare question their premise or their statements, we’re accused of questioning their patriotism. I used to question their patriotism but not anymore. It’s just their patriotism is for something that isn’t this country in its original inception but for their own conception of what this country should be.

No, it’s the government that has me scared. Laws are permanent things. Once enacted they’re rarely repealed. That is why there is the hot and heavy debate over the health care bill. Some of us have actually read it and know more about what is in it than the Congress that purportedly wrote it.

In just the health care bill alone there are mechanisms of control that will be permanent and subdue (if not completely kill them) our civil rights under the Constitution. And there is other legislation coming down the pike that will cement those controls in place. For anyone who has read any part of these upcoming bills, they realize that it is more about control and very little about the thing they’re promising to fix. And they’ll lie and lie and lie, ad infinitum to achieve their goal which is power and control.

To show you what I mean here’s a small list of indignities (their so-called myths):

SEC. 152. PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE.
22 (a) IN GENERAL.—Except as otherwise explicitly per
mitted by this Act and by subsequent regulations consistent with this Act, all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.

In addition, in the early pages of the bill, pg 170, HR3200, it specifies that any nonresident alien is exempt from individual taxes.

What that says to me is that illegal aliens will be provided for under the health care bill. Now, that’s to be expected considering what who wants it. The issue is: Why Do They Have to Lie About it?

The pols say abortion isn’t covered in the bill but neglect to mention that it’s in there by definition pgs. 769-770, HR3200.

The health care bill provides for government sharing of your personal data, including bank records, between departments that have absolutely nothing to do with health care, pg 735, HR3200.

I’ll stop there otherwise I’ll be here for the next week outlining that bill. However, the pols say these things aren’t in there and, yet, here they are. When that doesn’t work, they say the bill hasn’t been written, yet. So, they lie. Why do they have to lie if it’s such a good deal?

Even if you’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because you support Obama or one or another member of Congress, remember what I said: Laws are typically permanent things.

I’m not just scared of my government. I’m terrified.

Crossposted to Redstate.

Last Saturday, New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote quite an incendiary op-ed about people who oppose Barack Obama’s health care proposals and about Republicans in general. I have pasted an excerpt of the last half of his column below–oh, and I must warn you that it really blows (pun intended).

“Not only are anti-reformists showing up, they’re terrorizing legislators with their tomfoolery when they do. Blinded by fear and passion, armed with misinformation and misplaced anger, they descend on these meetings and hoot and holler in an attempt to shut down the debate rather than add to it.

I must say that this says more about them than it does about any forthcoming legislation. Belligerence is the currency of the intellectually bankrupt.

Trapped in their vacuum of ideas, too many Republicans continue to display an astounding ability to believe utter nonsense, even when faced with facts that contradict it.

A Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll released last Friday found that 28 percent of Republicans don’t believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States and another 30 percent are still “not sure.” That’s nearly 6 out of 10 Republicans refusing to accept a basic truth. Then again, this shouldn’t surprise me. According to a Gallup poll released last summer, 6 in 10 Republicans also said they thought that humans were created, in their present form, 10,000 years ago.

Let’s face it: This is no party of Einsteins. Really, it isn’t. A Pew poll last month found that only 6 percent of scientists said that they were Republicans.

Democrats should be leading this discussion. Instead, they’re losing control of it. That’s unfortunate because the debate is too important to be hijacked by hooligans.”

OK–first of all, I have absolutely no idea what the “birthers” (quoted from a Daily Kos poll no less), or people’s belief in regard to when the earth was created, has to do with the health care debate–those are total red herrings meant to change the subject or to say “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”. (Oh, and just so Mr. Blow knows, a Rasumussen poll taken in 2007 reported that 35% of Democrats–or one in three Democrats–believed that George Bush helped plan the 9/11 attacks, or were 9/11 “truthers“, but I digress). Second of all, if you notice, Mr. Blow offers absolutely no evidence or arguments in favor of Obamacare–all he does is waste bandwidth by insulting the people who are against it (which, by the way, makes me believe that he can‘t defend it). And finally, someone needs to inform Mr. Blow that name-calling, not belligerence, is “the currency of the intellectually bankrupt”. Let’s see–Mr. Blow refers people who oppose Obamacare as “hooligans”, has implied that they are terrorists with his whole “terrorizing legislators” bit, and has also implied that they are stupid with his “This is no party of Einsteins” quote (and liberals wonder why people tag them as east-coast elitists). Seriously Mr. Blow, using name-calling as a debate tactic is simply pathetic and it absolutely reeks of desperation. Dude, how old are you–eight?! Why don’t you just call these people “stupid doody-heads” and get it over with?

Now, sad to say, Charles Blow’s name-calling and insults are not the exception to how the Democrats have been attempting to sell Obamacare to the American people–they seem to be the rule. If you’re not on board with Obamacare, then Democrats will not hesitate to ridicule you and shout you down, instead of first trying, say–I don’t know– reason or logic in an attempt to persuade people to their point of view. For instance, you have Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling people “astroturfers” who attend town halls, and implying that they are Nazis by claiming that “they wear Swastikas” (the video is below). Actually, someone needs to inform Mrs. Pelosi that David Axelrod got his start in politics by astroturfing and that the Democrats are currently engaging in astroturfing, but I digress. Furthermore, Mrs. Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer both wrote a column two days ago where they claim that anyone who opposes Obamacare is “un-American“. Classy, huh?

[By the way, Jonah Goldberg recently wrote a hilarious column where he points out the ridiculousness of Nancy Pelosi’s statement by saying the following–

“Now this is a pas de trois of dishonesty, slander, and idiocy. Not only is Pelosi lying when she says protesters are bringing swastikas to these town halls, not only is she suggesting that American citizens are Nazis for having the effrontery to get in the way of Obamacare, but she’s also saying that the alleged swastikas are obvious proof that these protests are manufactured by slick P.R. gurus.

How does that work? What public-relations genius says: “Okay, we need these protests to seem like an authentic backlash of real Americans. Make sure everyone has enough Nazi paraphernalia!”]

Oh, and who could forget Barbara “Ma’am” Boxer calling protestors at the town halls “astroturfers“, because they are “too well dressed“? Our own LoriZ wrote an excellent diary detailing this (and it contains the embed of the video of Barbara Boxer), but I feel the need to paste one of the more hilarious quotes below–

“Unlike Cindy Sheehan and her Code Pink cohorts, normal citizens actually attempt to look nice when, you know, going out in public. Even worse, we Right-Wing nutty nut women gasp shave our legs .. while showering no less.. AND wear bras. Sometimes we even comb our hair and put on make-up to look purty. It’s our Stockholm Syndrome, of course. We can’t help objectifying ourselves, obviously.”

And finally, there’s that infamous video, courtesy of the DNC, calling town hall protestors “The Angry Mob” and implying that they are all radicals and “birthers” (like the one crazy woman in the video waving around a birth certificate).

Hey, where‘s the love? I thought that being a community organizer was cool. Oh, but silly me. I guess it‘s only cool to organize the community and protest if you are an ACORN member threatening banks. I guess if you are protesting against The One, you are no longer a “community organizer“–you are a “hooligan“ or a member of an “angry mob” and you must be stopped.

But hey, this pattern of name-calling seems to be what liberals perpetually resort to whenever they feel that The One is playing defense. Remember when Democrats were trying to sell the American people on that monstrosity they had the nerve to call a stimulus bill? Well, when some American’s weren’t buying it and held tea parties in protest, the MSM had the unmitigated gall to refer to them as “tea baggers” ( a disgusting oral sex reference). I have embedded below a video of MSNBC’s David Shuster going off on a disgusting rant where he refers to his fellow Americans, exercising their First Amendment rights, as “tea baggers”–then he goes off on a repulsive tirade where he makes a string of vulgar, not-so-clever oral sex references. I’m seriously surprised that Shuster didn’t get fired for this behavior (oh, who am I kidding, it‘s MSNBC–I‘m not really surprised at all), but I digress.

OK–so, now that we are on the subject of “radicals”, “hooligans” and members of an “angry mob” (“Oh my!”), why don’t we take a look at some videos of some liberals protesting or dissenting, and you can tell me who the real “hooligans” are.

Remember back during the Republican National Convention when John McCain’s acceptance speech was interrupted by a bunch of “hooligans” who were “hooting and hollering” (see embed below–H/T George Claghorn–read his excellent diary)? Do any of you remember any Republicans interrupting Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention by “hooting and hollering”? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? That’s what I thought.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of “radicals”, what about the video below of members of The New Black Panther Party engaging in clear-cut voter intimidation? By the way, Obama’s Department of Justice dropped the charges against these hooligans after the DoJ had already won. Ed Morrisey of Hot Air
has the story (even the US Commission on Civil Rights was furious).

Just a thought, but do any of you really think that Obama’s DoJ would have dropped the charges against two Bubbas in Mississippi dressed in overalls and carrying baseball bats outside of a voting precinct (instead of wearing jackboots and carrying nightsticks)? I highly doubt it (and rightfully so I might add).

Furthermore, while we’re on the subject of an “angry mob”, do any of you remember when Code Pink members, dressed up like transvestites at Mardi Gras (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you are a transvestite at Mardi Gras–there’s a time and a place for everything), interrupted General David Petraeus’ confirmation hearing by screaming like banshees? These people could definitely teach the people attending health care town halls a thing or two.

And finally, there’s this recent video of SEIU union thugs attacking an African-American conservative for exercising his freedom of speech by passing out flags that said “Don’t tread on me”. The video also shows these “hooligans” “hooting and hollering” and then slapping the woman holding the camera in the face (H/T Caleb Howe).

OK–so now, who are the “hooligans” and “radicals” (as so many Democrats like to call town hall protesters) really? Last time I checked, none of the town hall protestors were intimidating voters, interrupting national political conventions or congressional hearings, physically attacking liberal protestors, or were threatening the father of a handicapped child (H/T Erick Brockway who wrote a post about Obama supporters threatening a man whose adult child has cerebral palsy). In other words, unlike most liberal protestors, these town hall protestors aren’t engaging in disruptive behavior–they are simply engaging in democracy. Furthermore, if their congressmen are feeling “terrorized” by listening to their constituents complaints, then they should either grow a pair or find another line of work.

Now, I would like you to kindly permit me to go off on a tangent here and tell everyone reading this the story about my own healthcare crisis. To be honest with you all, I am quite loathe to discuss my illness with strangers over the internet, but I feel like doing so could possibly shed so much light on this debate, that I’m willing to bite the bullet and do it anyway–so here goes.

Around two years ago, a month into my first rotation as a medical student, I stared experiencing severe back pain. I went to an orthopedist and was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (even though my MRI only showed a minor herniation and a few bulging discs). However, over the last two years, the pain in my back began to get progressively worse and I developed a slight tremor in my hands that would come and go. Over the last six months, I started to develop frequent muscle spasms in my back and had to have multiple spinal epidurals just so that I could make it through my rotations, drag myself over the finish line and graduate (I’ve had a total of nine epidurals in the last two years). Then, this summer, I started to develop a plethora of neurological symptoms (as well as unusually severe back pain) such as and tingling in my hands, feet, and face, weakness in my arms and legs, problems with dropping things, pain in my legs and arms with activity, severe pain when flexing my neck, muscle atrophy in my hands, shortness of breath, and increased heart rate just to name a few (my hands are tingling as I type this). I thought that I either had multiple scerosis or possibly Guillain Barre’–which is an autoimmune disease where your body produces antibodies to the myelin (which helps nerve impulses travel faster) in your peripheral nerves. It can be caused by GI or respiratory infections or vaccines (and I had multiple vaccines before I started my rotations and two bad infections at the end of my rotations before graduation). Guillain Barre’ causes similar symptoms to MS and both are demyelinating diseases, except that Guillian Barre’ affects the peripheral nervous system whereas MS affects the central nervous system (which consists of the brain and spinal cord).

Anyway, I made an appointment with a neurologist that I had done a rotation with and told him that I thought that I might have developed Guillian Barre’ from the infections that I had picked up before graduation, and that my degenerative disc disease had worsened causing severe pain in my back. Well, he then told me that he thought that I had been misdiagnosed with degenerative disc disease, and that for the past two years, I had actually been suffering from a chronic form of Guillain Barre’ called chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy that had been causing my back pain and tremors–and that it probably became more acute and started causing neurological symptoms when I got those two infections at the end of my fourth year (walking pneumonia and Campylobacter food poisoning to be specific). And, in order to make sure that I was properly diagnosed, my neurologist ran a plethora of tests in order to be sure that I had Guillain Barre’, and to rule out other illness that had similar presentations. Now, don’t cry for me Argentina–I have finally been put on the right medications (medications for neuropathic pain due to damaged nerves instead of just opioids to control pain) and I am already in way less pain and have more energy than I used to. Furthermore, I am starting IV immunoglobulin therapy next week that will help to get rid of the antibodies to the myelin on my nerves, and my condition should drastically improve. I had planned to take my medical boards this summer, but I had to cancel them; however, it looks like I will now be able to take them this fall.

OK, enough of the neurology class–now back to the fun stuff.

Now, I will begin this section by explaining why I’m so apprehensive about Obamacare. Yes, John Stossel’s report about the horrors of Canadian and British healthcare, as well as Daniel Hannan’s interview on Glenn Beck’s show (H/T Steve Foley) backing up Stossel’s findings, gave me pause (see both embeds below).

Stossel‘s report, particularly, sent chills up my spine, because I didn‘t have to wait a total of six days to see my neurologist and get an MRI–much less six months, which is how long John Stossel reported the Brits have to wait to see a neurologist or get an MRI. If I had to wait six months to see a neurologist, and then six more months to get an MRI, I would have wound up severely debilitated–where as now, I will probably recover almost fully and be able to participate in the 2010 match and start my residency next year.

Furthermore, Steven Crowder’s anecdotal piece on Canadian healthcare should make anyone shudder (embed is below). It’s beyond scary that people in Canada have to first get a family doctor in order to get a simple blood test–and that you had to wait 2-3 years to get a family doctor (or pay $900). When my neurologist ordered a blood test for me (in order to rule out lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes-a common cause of peripheral neuropathy), I didn’t have to wait two days–much less two years!

[Oh, and speaking of Canadian health care, if any of you want to see Paul Krugman get pwned–then watch the video in this link from The Political Class. In the video, Krugman asks the Canadians at a conference that he’s speaking at to raise their hands if they are dissatisfied with their national health care system, and just about all of them in the room raise their hands. Hilarious!]

However, what bothers me the most about the Obama health care plan is not due to any secret messages that I have received from Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh via my toaster (because you know all conservatives receive secret messages from Beck and Limbaugh from our toasters)–it’s things that I’ve heard from Obama supporters, and from Obama himself. For instance, here is Barney Frank admitting that he wants to use the public option to eventually get a single payer system which is what they have in Canada and Great Britain. And, here is Eugene Robinson, a self-proclaimed “true believer” saying the following

“The unvarnished truth is that services are ultimately going to have to be curtailed regardless of what happens with reform. We perform more expensive tests, questionable surgeries and high-tech diagnostic scans than we can afford. We spend unsustainable amounts of money on patients during the final year of life.

Yes, it’s true that doctors order some questionable procedures defensively, to keep from getting sued. But it’s a cop-out to blame the doctors or the tort lawyers. We’re the ones who demand these tests, scans and surgeries. And why not? If a technology exist that can prolong life or improve its quality, even for a few weeks or months, why shouldn’t we want it?”

[Oh, and here is Tom Daschle, Obama’s original choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services before his tax evasion scandal came to light, also claiming that we run too many unnecessary tests.]

And then, there is Slate’s Mickey Kaus (a self-admitted supporter of Obama’s health care legislation) who in his recent column titled, “Obama as Health Care Salesman: He Sucks!”, wrote the following about Obama‘s health care presentation.–

“Later on he tells people that they are foolish to prefer brand name drugs to generic drugs, and to want multiple medical tests. “If you only need one test, why do you want five tests?” Stop clinging to your tests! You’re worse than those people in Pennsylvania.”

And finally, you have Barack Obama, himself, saying the following in a town meeting to a woman named Jane Sturm who, told Obama about her elderly mother who had surgery to put in a pace-maker in order to correct an arrythmia (H/T Ed Morrisey of Hot Air).–

“Loading up on additional tests and additional drugs isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller”. (See embed below).

OK–first of all, I feel the need to inform Mr. Obama and his supporters that the reason my disease was finally diagnosed was because of all of those pesky tests. Doctors are not gods you know and they don’t use “the force”–they rule out differential diagnoses, and center in on one diagnoses, using concrete evidence. For instance, first, my neurologist ordered an MRI of my spine to rule out any MS lesions, or a herniated disc that could be causing a pinched nerve and thus compression neuropathy. Then, he ordered a blood test to rule out any other diseases that present with symptoms similar to the ones that I was presenting with (RA, lupus, etc.). Next, he ordered an MRI of my brain to rule out MS once and for all (it is possible with MS to have brain lesions but not spinal cord lesions). And finally, my neurologist ordered an EMG nerve conduction study, which demonstrated bilateral ulnar tunnel syndrome (decreased firing of both of my ulnar nerves) , and that finding (along with the bilateral loss of my biceps reflexes on physical exam) helped him to finally center on Guillain Barre’ as my diagnoses (Guillain Barre’ usually presents with bilateral nerve demyelination and weakness, whereas MS is more sporadic). Oh, and you know what? I’m glad that my doctor ran a bunch of tests on me so that he could be 100% sure that he correctly was diagnosing me, so that I wouldn’t have to spend another two years being treated for the wrong disease–and most importantly, so that I could finally get the right treatment for the disease that I actually had instead of winding up debilitated and disabled (and maybe even dying an early death in my fifties).

Second of all, as far as “preferring brand name drugs to generic drugs” goes, most of the drugs that I take for chronic Guillain Barre’ (otherwise known as chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy) don’t come in generic form (Lyrica, Skelaxin, and Celebrex–I take this drug because NSAIDS, like ibuprophen, give me peptic ulcer disease). Should I take a less effective drug that’s not indicated as a treatment for my illness simply because it comes in generic form? Oh, and not to mention, my IV immunoglobulin treatment is going to cost a total of $30.000 over six months. If any of you think that the federal government would be willing to shell out that kind of money in order to keep me a productive member of the work force (instead of just telling me to get on disability and take a pain pill), then I have a blind bird dog and some underwater real-estate to sell you, but I digress.

And finally, I don’t want anyone who thinks that pain pills are a treatment for arrythmias, and that asthma is treated with a “breathalyzer”, anywhere near my health care (you don’t have to go to medical school to know that sounds ridiculous). Oh, and I don’t want the same people who wrote the porkulus (i.e., congress) anywhere near my health care either.

Oh, and on a side note, for the last two years I have, literally, taken pain pills every night when I got home from my rotations and I’m here to tell you that IT SUCKS!!! (Yes I’m shouting–write it down, take a picture, sue me, I don’t care.) For the last two years, I have felt like I have been going through life in a fog–and now, thanks to my neurologist running all of those bothersome, expensive tests, the fog has finally been lifted. Therefore, I feel more strongly than ever that no one should have to live their life medicated on pain pills, just to get through the day, so that the federal government can save a few bucks by not running necessary, diagnostic tests.

Now, I realize that there are millions of uninsured people out there, but as the video embedded below demonstrates, the majority of them could either qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, (both of which, according to the WSJ, will be drastically cut to help pay for Obamacare), or SCHIPS–and either choose not to apply or are unaware that it’s an option–or willfully refuse to buy insurance, because they’d rather spend their money on other things.

Raise your hands if any of you want to have your tax dollars go to pay for health insurance for the guy (in the above video) who refuses to buy any so that he can continue to spend $300.00 a month on protein bars and vitamins? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? That’s what I thought.

Now, out of the forty seven million who are uninsured, there is a small percentage of people with pre-existing conditions who are too old to get a cheap health insurance plan, can’t afford an expensive plan but aren’t poor enough for Medicaid, and are too young to qualify for Medicare–so they are left uninsured and could go bankrupt if they are in an accident or develop any sort of major illness. These people have worked hard and played by the rules, and they don’t deserve to lose everything that they have worked for their entire life because of one illness–and as conservatives, we would be wise not to ignore their plight. However, when I happened to catch Greta Van Susteren’s interview with Rush Limbaugh, Rush seemed to offer a quite logical solution to this problem (and everyone here knows that I am no ditto head). Rush stated that if congress had earmarked $29 billion dollars in the trillion dollar stimulus bill for health insurance, it would have been enough money to provide insurance to cover all of these people who honestly want to buy health insurance, but can’t afford it do to old age or a pre-existing condition and don’t qualify for any social programs (they are around 12-15 million out of the 47 million people uninsured). So I ask you–why in the world didn’t we just do that instead of earmarking the money to study the marsh mouse or pig odor? Just a thought.

So, in conclusion, after the experiences that I have had as a patient with a neurological disorder (as well as a medical student/ future doctor), Obama and his supporters are going to have to forgive me if I seem like a bitter person clinging to my tests. They make think that I’m a well-dressed, un-American, tea bagging, Nazi hooligan who is part of an angry mob–and that’s OK. But hey, at least I’m not a sucker. In other words, I’ll be dammed if I’m going to let some snake oil salesman (who can’t even sell his own plan without insulting cops and family docs) and his cronies talk me into radically changing one sixth of our economy–when even he can’t tell us what‘s in the bill at his own press conference. Furthermore, I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some government bureaucrat tell me or my doctor how many tests he or she can run, what surgeries I can have, or what drugs I can take. You see, I think that my health–nay my quality of life–is worth fighting for. I don’t just want to exist or survive–I want to suck the marrow out life and live life to the fullest. I want to soar. Therefore, you can expect to see me “hooting and hollering” at every town hall that I get the chance to attend. In fact, I say that we all take a page out of Bill Pullman’s speech in “Independence Day” (yeah, I know that it’s over the top, but hey, it rocks) –particularly the part when he says “We will be united in our common interests. We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight.” Remember, they want us to “go quietly into the night”. I say–HELL NO!! Let’s be “hooligans” and put up a good fight. Let’s not vanish without a fight. Let’s rock people–our very lives depend on it.

This diary is cross-posted on The Minority Report.

This one is a little near and dear to my heart since it directly concerns the well-being of my husband and our financial future. When the construction industry died because of bad federal policies and the financial meltdown with the banks, hubby sat up all night one night and realized that he had to change careers. Given our circumstances, there was no way we could survive a 4 year degree’s time to achieve so he went into trucking.

Truck stops reduce idling to clear the air (emphasis mine)

Nashville and three neighboring counties have too much pollution in the air, and the state hopes to make it cleaner by getting truck drivers to turn off their diesel engines.

Davidson, Wilson, Sumner and Rutherford counties have failed initial tests to meet federal standards for ozone, a pollutant created when sunlight reacts with vehicle and industrial emissions. Diesel fuel from freight trucks, especially when they are idling, is a contributor to poor air quality.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation received a $2 million grant Monday to equip six to 10 truck stops with technology that reduces diesel fuel emissions from trucks by allowing drivers to turn off their engines but stay cool during rests.

Long-haul drivers, who are required by law to rest for 10 hours after each 11-hour shift, can pay to plug their trucks into a machine that offers air conditioning, heat, electricity, cable television, phone and Internet access. […]

An initial state report released in March showed that the Middle Tennessee counties did not meet new federal air quality standards set last year to reduce health risks, including heart attacks and asthma, problems that are associated with breathing smoggy air.

The EPA will finalize the state’s air monitoring results by March 2010.

So, they won’t finalize their results for almost another year but it’s important that we proceed with the rape of the economy and the trucking industry in the meantime.  Oh, did I mention the truckdrivers will have to pay for this new service? It sounds great and all that but 3 hours worth of electricity for $10. Are truck drivers made of  gold or something? For the record, hubby is averaging around $500/week being a new driver. He’s on his truck  24/7 except for the occasional times he gets to come home for a day.  Truckers are required to take a 10 hour break, so 10 hours  divided by 3 hours times $10 dollars is roughly 33 dollars per day to park at a truck stop in Tennessee… or half hubby’s paycheck.

I can imagine the lawsuits that are going to ensue when the first death occurs from exposure from extreme heat or cold because of an inability to pay for the “hook up.”

The article goes on to talk about what a great thing this is, including one lone truck driver from San Antonio, TX as a spokesperson. This truck driver has a 10 year old truck with 100,000 miles on it.  Hubby was assigned a truck that’s 1 year old with 180,000 miles on it. Do the math.

Yes, folks, this is our tax dollars at work. My new mantra is Jim Cooper has to got to go.  I’ve threatened a gibbon from the Nashville Zoo, even running myelf if I have to although like I never thought I’d be a political activist, being a politician is laughable. I will, however, do what it takes to get a sane government in place.

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