Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stop telling the truth

On Capitol Hill and in the White House on Monday, Democrats were fuming over a series of announcements that started Friday from Fortune 500 firms saying their bottom lines will take huge negative hits because of changes in tax law mandated by Obamacare. That hit in turn means lower profit projections. Caterpillar estimates, for example, that Obamacare will cost it $100 million; John Deere faces expenses of $150 million; 3M, $90 million; AK Steel, $31 million; Valero, $20 million. And then there's AT&T, which is marking its balance sheet down by a whopping $1 billion. All in all, the Wall Street Journal estimated a $14 billion haircut for these corporations.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bring on the election

BestView is excited about the coming elections this Fall. When the dems decided to resort to reconciliation to pass the health care bill, it was necessary to accept the changes imposed by the House of Representatives with no changes. The problem was the rules permitted Republicans to offer amendments. Since the dems had to vote them down, they had to take some painful, public opposition to these amendments. Here are some examples of things which were opposed by some of these senators who will be running for election:

1) eliminate the excise tax on children in wheelchairs
2) outlaw government buying erectile dysfunction drugs for rapists and sex offenders
3) exempt rural critical care hospitals from funding cuts
4) exempt pacemakers from the excise tax
They also had to vote in favor of gutting medicare advantage, taxing investment income (big deal in New York where Kirsten Gillibrand is running), and Arlen Specter had to deny Pennsylvania the right to opt out of the health care mandates.
Tighten restrictions on illegal aliens getting health care? Dems are against it. Criminal penalties for failing to buy health insurance? Yes.
The campaign ads are going to be just wonderful.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Senate will defeat this

As the Senate grinds through 20 hours of debate on the health care reconciliation bill, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Tuesday night offered an amendment that would require the president, vice-president, members of Congress, political appointees and congressional staff to get their federal health benefits through the soon-to-be-created health insurance exchanges.

This group currently gets insurance through a system overseen by the Office of Management and Budget and under the health care bill signed into law today, some of the congressional staff would have to sign up for insurance through the exchanges. But some would be exempted. Politico filed a story Tuesday night pointing out that leadership and committee staff are exempt from having to use the exchanges. This has caused a bit of an uproar on Capitol Hill, with Republicans accusing top Democratic staff of writing a health care law that's not good enough for them to participate in.

"President Obama has publicly advertised that his reforms would give members of the public the same coverage available to Members of Congress," reads a GOP summary of the Grassley measure. "This amendment would ensure that he, his successors, and all his appointed political officials would also have the same coverage members of the public enrolled in the Exchange receive."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Lie?

Back in the Bush era the liberals always said "Bush Lied". Back during the campaign, President Obama said the "public will have five days to look at every bill that lands on my desk" before he signs it into law. He waited all of 36 hours to sign the health insurance boondoggle, but I am sure that is not considered a lie by all of Bush's detractors.

Worry about the crazies now?

The manner in which the liberals imposed this health care change on America has generated genuine anger and even hatred in a segment of our society which one can only hope will not express this feeling in ways which lead to violence toward our elected representatives.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reflections on ObamaCare

It is amazing to BestView that absolutely no Republican sold out and voted for the health insurance fiasco.

Can the Pope survive?

The growing scandal in the Catholic church around pedophilia in the priesthood is threatening to take down the Pope himself according to many. For example:

While a cardinal at the Vatican, Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope, wrote a 2001 letter instructing bishops worldwide to report all cases of abuse to his office and keep church investigations secret under threat of excommunication. The Vatican insists the secrecy rules serve only to protect the integrity of the church's investigations, and should not be taken to mean the church should not tell police of their members' crimes.

But victims' advocates in Ireland and the United States said the pope again failed to make it clear whether the church considers the secular law a higher priority than canon law when seeking to stop a pedophile priest.

"The letter's underlying goal seems to have been to appease the outrage while keeping the church in control of its incriminating information," said Terry McKiernan, president of a Web-based pressure group, BishopAccountability.org, that chronicles Catholic abuse scandals worldwide.

Read more here.

Budget Nonsense

Well, the so-called health care reform bill passed last night and America is on watch to reap the benefits promised. One such consequence is a promised reduction in the federal budget of $138 billion over the first 10 years. This will occur by raising taxes on such things as medical devices under a plan in which the taxes go on for 10 years while the "benefits" are only in play for 4 years. If you believe this, keep in mind this reduction in the federal budget over 10 years is smaller than the deficit the Obama administration inflicted on us last month----$220 billion. So, it will never happen and would not matter if it did.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fiscal Smoke

Under strict instructions from Democratic leaders, and over strong objections from Republicans, the CBO dutifully scored 2010 as the first year of the latest version of Obamacare. If the clock were started in 2011, the first full year that the bill could possibly be in effect, the CBO says that the bill’s ten-year costs would be $1.2 trillion.

But even that wouldn’t come close to reflecting the bill’s true costs. The CBO projects that over the next four years, less than two percent of the bill’s alleged “ten year” costs would hit: just $17 billion of the $940 billion in costs that the Democrats are claiming. In fact, the costs through President Obama’s entire presidency, should he be reelected, would be $336 billion. What would the president leave behind for his successor? According to the CBO, he would leave behind costs of $837 billion during his successor’s first term alone. If his successor were to serve a second term, he or she would inherit a cool $2.0 trillion in Obamacare costs — about six times its costs during Obama’s own tenure. This legislation is a ticking time-bomb.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why we should just say, "No".

A recent "Investor's Business Daily" article provided very interesting
statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health

Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:
U.S. 65%
England 46%
Canada 42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment
within six months:
U.S. 93%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:
U.S. 90%
England 15%
Canada 43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:
U.S. 77%
England 40%
Canada 43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:
U.S. 71
England 14
Canada 18

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in
"excellent health":
U.S. 12%
England 2%
Canada 6%

The percentage of each past president's cabinet who
had worked in the private business sector prior to their appointment
to the cabinet.

T. Roosevelt........ 38%
Taft................... 40%
Wilson ................. 52%
Coolidge.............. 48%
Hoover................. 42%
F. Roosevelt......... 50%
Truman................. 50%
Eisenhower.......... 57%
Kennedy.............. 30%
Johnson................ 47%
Nixon................... 53%
Ford..................... 42%
Carter.................. 32%
Reagan................. 56%
GH Bush.............. 51%
Clinton ................. 39%
GW Bush............ 55%

And the winner of the Chicken Dinner is..............Obama................8%!!!

Yep! That's right! Only Eight Percent! The least by far of the last 19

And these people are trying to tell our big corporations how to run
their business? They know what's best for GM...Chrysler...Wall
Street... and you and me?

How can the president of a major nation and society...the one with the
most successful economic system in world history... stand and talk
about business when he's never worked for one?. Or about jobs when he
has never really had one??!

And neither have 92% of his senior staff and closest advisers..!
They've spent most of their time in academia, government and/or
non-profit jobs....or as "community organizers"...When they should
have been in an employment line.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Why do they care?

When the Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl asked White House officials to name a foreign leader with whom Obama had forged a personal relationship, there was “a lot of hemming and hawing”, he said. To his astonishment, no one mentioned Gordon Brown. Instead the name proffered was Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president.

The British feel particularly miffed. Within days of becoming president, Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. This, followed by Obama’s odd choice of gift to Brown — a box of DVDs including Psycho and Toy Story — prompted speculation of something deeper. In his memoir, Obama writes of how his grandfather was beaten by British troops in colonial Kenya.

Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Toyota Mystery Age Related?

The Los Angeles Times recently did a story detailing all of the NHTSA reports of Toyota "sudden acceleration" fatalities, and, though the Times did not mention it, the ages of the drivers involved were striking.
In the 24 cases where driver age was reported or readily inferred, the drivers included those of the ages 60, 61, 63, 66, 68, 71, 72, 72, 77, 79, 83, 85, 89--and I'm leaving out the son whose age wasn't identified, but whose 94-year-old father died as a passenger.

This suggests that Toyota problems might be related to the fact that the U.S. government owns a competitor and the real problem might be driver error by some who are too old to drive skillfully.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Obama wants a different government

Speaking to Katie Couric on Feb. 7, Obama said:

"I would have loved nothing better than to simply come up with some very elegant, academically approved approach to health care, and didn't have any kinds of legislative fingerprints on it, and just go ahead and have that passed. But that's not how it works in our democracy. Unfortunately, what we end up having to do is to do a lot of negotiations with a lot of different people."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Obituary

Once again some guy dies of a drug overdose in Hollywood that the news media is widely reporting on and BestView never heard of the guy.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dan Rather does it again

DAN RATHER: Part of the undertow in the coming election is going to be President Obama's leadership. And the Republicans will make a case and a lot of independents will buy this argument. "Listen he just hasn't been, look at the health care bill. It was his number one priority. It took him forever to get it through and he had to compromise it to death." And a version of, "Listen he's a nice person, he's very articulate" this is what's been used against him, "but he couldn't sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic."

Monday, March 08, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Idiot of the month candidate

From the mouth of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

"Today is a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good," Reid said. "Unemployment rate around America has not changed. Prognosticators thought it would go up and it has not."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Why we need guns

News item from Chile:

These and hundreds of other survivors of Chile’s devastating earthquake have organized neighborhood watch groups, arming themselves and barricading streets to protect their damaged homes from looters. The groups have stepped in as police were overwhelmed by looting and soldiers were slow to restore order after an earthquake and tsunami.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

That was then and....

In 2004, when then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay was admonished by the Ethics Committee, then-Minority Leader Pelosi demanded his ouster from the Republican leadership. With respect to Rangel, by contrast, her reaction is more nuanced. Here is an interview this week with Elizabet Vargas of ABC:

Vargas: The Ethics Committee on Charles Rangel said that he has violated the House gift rule.
Pelosi: Uh-huh.
Vargas: How can he remain in such a powerful position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee?
Pelosi: Well, I think--
Vargas: Given the fact that there are further pending ethics investigations and this public admonishment has taken place.
Pelosi: Well, it is a public admonishment. It said he did not knowingly violate House rules. So that gives him some comfort. But the fact is that we have a--
Vargas: He should have known though, don't you think?
Pelosi: Well, I don't know. You understand that the Ethics Committee is an independent, bipartisan committee in the House. They act independent of us. And that's exactly the way it should be. I, though, when I became speaker, instituted an outside ethics panel which makes recommendations in so that we have a double way to receive information, although the ethics committee can self initiate, as well as take recommendations from the outside panel. So we're going to look forward to seeing what else they have to say about what they have before him regarding Chairman Rangel.
Vargas: If there are further admonishments, though, should he remain in this position?
Pelosi: Well, let's why don't we just give him a chance to hear what the independent, bipartisan--they work very hard to reach their conclusions and we obviously there's more to come here.
Vargas: And but you don't--you understand this is why so many Americans think Congress is corrupt. It just doesn't--it doesn't look good. It doesn't pass the smell test.
Pelosi: No, it doesn't. No, it doesn't. I served for seven years on the Ethics Committee and the last thing I would have wanted would be for the Speaker of the House to interfere in a political way in what was going on there. That just should never happen. But the fact is, is that what Mr. Rangel has been admonished for is not good. It was a violation of the rules of the House. It was not a--something that jeopardized our country in any way.

Congressional Swamp

From Boortz.

This is not breaking news: Charlie Rangel is a tax cheat. The guy in charge of writing tax laws in this country is a tax cheat. Until now, the House ethics committee didn't seem all that interested. Not an eyebrow raised in Rangel's general direction. But the House ethics committee finally "admonished" Rangel for accepting two trips to the Caribbean that were paid for by corporations. The committee's report said that Rangel "violated the House gift rule by accepting payment and reimbursement for travel to 2007 and 2008 conferences." As we know, this is just another bullet point on the list of the unethical failures of Charlie Rangel. Here is one that we recently compiled:
  • Failure to report over $1 million in outside income and $3 million in business transactions as required by the House,
  • Failure to disclose at least $650,000 in assets he had previously failed to list on his House financial disclosure forms,
  • Failure to disclose to the IRS or on his financial disclosure forms $75,000 in rental income for a beach villa in the Dominican Republic,
  • Violation of state laws by claiming three primary residences and breaking New York City regulations by maintaining four rent-controlled apartments,
  • Violation of House rules by using congressional letterhead to solicit donations for an education center bearing his name at City College of New York, and
  • Delinquency in paying his property taxes on two New Jersey parcels and failure to report the sale of a $1.3 million brownstone.

Charlie Rangel is among that elite class of Congress who believes that they are entitled to their position of power in Washington. He is part of some special class, which places him and his actions above the rule of law. Some might call that arrogance.

Charlie Rangel's biggest supporter in the House seems to be Nancy Pelosi. Princess Nancy says that it is not her place to interfere and "It was not a--something that jeopardized our country in any way." There you have it. The norm used to be that if a member ran afoul of the ethics committee you lost your committee chairmanship ... period. Now, according to Pelosi, you're ethical violation had to have been something that jeopardized our country. What is she saying? Unethical behavior on the part of one of the most powerful committee chairman in Washington doesn't, in and of itself, jeopardize our country?

What can be done? Well, today in Congress the Republicans are moving to trip Rangel of his chairmanship. The Republicans have tried this stunt before, as recently as September 2009, with no luck. Don't expect much this time. At least the Democrats refusal to punish one of their own will be displayed however.

BestView doesn't find much difference in Democrat and Republican ethics, but there seems to be a difference in tolerance. Republicans throw them out faster, but then most of their problems aren't black members.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Let the markets work

Obama went to Nevada and announced a $1.5 billion effort to prevent foreclosures in five states hard-hit by the housing bust — Nevada, Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan — by feeding money into programs that would be developed and carried out by the housing agencies in the targeted states. This feel-good gesture may be good politics, but if the U.S. is ever to see its housing market return to normal, prices need to find their own level and some folks who should not own a house should be allowed to return to renting. Unfortunately, neither Dems or Republicans have the courage to allow this.

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