Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Supreme Court to Hear Argument Against Funeral Protesters

UPDATE: Good news. Fox News talk host Bill O'Reilly has stepped in and said he will pay the entire $16,510 in court costs awarded to Phelps. Of course Snyder has his own legal expenses. Although lawyers are working the case pro bono, he still foots the bill for expenses and estimates he's sunk some $60K into this. The link to the box in the left is to Snyder's web page which tells how to help (monetarily and otherwise). Snyder has said that anything raised beyond covering court costs will go to benefit war veterans in the form of a scholarship.

I just about blew a gasket tonight when I read this story. I wish I could tell you how I really feel about this group. Unfortunately, what I would say might be construed illegal. See, this is all about free speech. But even free speech has its limits--you can't yell, "Fire" in a crowded theater, for example.

You also can't post on-line threats. The 2nd District court of appeals recently ruled a case could go forward where a 15-year-old student is accuse of posting that he would, "rip out your **** heart and feed it to you" and "pound your head in with an ice pick" on another student's web site.

So why is vile excuse for a human, Fred Phelps, and his band of idiots from the Kansas' Westboro Baptist Church allowed to disrupt families during a time of unbelievable grief of losing a soldier son or daughter? With the blasphemous garbage they spew, I'm somewhat surprised the Almighty hasn't hit the smite button or that a brigade of fellow Marines haven't gotten some street justice.

Albert Snyder, who had to endure one of Phelps "protests" during his funeral for his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder in 2006, took the legal path. He sued and he won.

Then a federal appeals court threw out the $5 million award against the protesters on first amendment grounds. But that wasn't the worst part. The same court then ordered Snyder to pay Fred Phelps $16,510 in court costs.

WTF? How can this be? This wasn't some frivolous case. Worse yet, now Phelps can go back to the first court and try to get THOSE court costs assessed against Snyder! Snyder, a man of modest means has a pro-bono lawyer, but his own costs have gone over $60K.

Snyder has said he is not paying the court-ordered fees. Not yet anyway--the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. He spoke to Fox News about the case.

The suit was originally filed to, "...bring to an end to the reign of terror and abuse that they inflict." This is why I don't understand why the appeals court threw out the case on the first amendment. The first amendment does not give you the ability to HARASS people. The courts have certainly stood firm on that.

If this isn't harassment...I don't know what is. If you see Phelps, I'd stay clear in case of a thunderbolt...I have faith God's going to hit that smite button yet.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Obama's New 'VAT-trick'

Charles Krauthammer had an op-ed in last weekend's Washington Post that predicted a national sales tax, known as a VAT (Value Added Tax) will be recommended to pay for the trillions in debt racked up by this administration. Obama passed the buck to a newly anointed commission to solve his fiscal problems. It's report is due in December, long after November elections.

Popular in Europe, the VAT is a hidden tax, rolled into the price of goods or service. Make no mistake--this sales tax will not replace the income tax(es), but be added to the income tax. (Plus any state/county/city sales taxes!)
Said Krauthammer, "That's where the value-added tax comes in. For the politician, it has the virtue of expediency: People are used to sales taxes, and this one produces a river of revenue. Every 1 percent of VAT would yield up to $1 trillion a decade (depending on what you exclude -- if you exempt food, for example, the yield would be more like $900 billion).

It's the ultimate cash cow. Obama will need it. By introducing universal health care, he has pulled off the largest expansion of the welfare state in four decades. And the most expensive. Which is why all of the European Union has the VAT. Huge VATs. Germany: 19 percent. France and Italy: 20 percent. Most of Scandinavia: 25 percent."
Obama said of the panel, "everything is on the table." Some see this as a signal Obama is willing to abandon yet another promise of no taxation of families making over 250K. A VAT tax would hit middle and lower classes like a sledgehammer. And considering that 70% of the GDP is consumer spending, such a tax will drive down spending and open a HUGE black market and off-the-books barter system.

So far, this country has survived for over 230 years through wars and hard times. But will it survive the next 3 years of this administration?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

'Searchlight' Shines on Tea Party, Bloggers; Breitbart Ups Ante

Those wild guys at The Other McCain had the enviable task of covering the Tea Party Express stop in (appropriately named) Searchlight, Nevada.

I'm glad to see that they are also posting good shots of the crowds as, once again, the MSM is downplaying the crowd size.

According to Gateway Pundit, CNN reported estimates of Saturday's crowd were "hundreds, at least dozens" at the Saturday rally. Either CNN reporters slept through estimation in math class or they were covering the wrong movement.

American Border Patrol (not affiliated with US Border Control) took overhead crowd photos. Estimates are that 8,000-10,000 made up the crowd, with hundreds more waiting on the roadway, trying to get in even after the rally started.

Meanwhile, the libs are STILL lying about last Sunday's unsubstantiated claims that democrat congressmen were spit on or called racial names before the healthcare vote. And while Frank Rich of the New York Times is branding Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner for using the word "Armageddon" to describe the healthcare bill, he turns around and compares bricks thrown though democratic party offices with Kristallnacht. Way to ratchet down the hate speech, Rich. And, in fact, no one knows that this wasn't some uber-liberals who are pissed democrats didn't give them the public option.

Rich also doesn't bother to mention the shot fired into Republican Representative Eric Cantor's office last week. Cantor, who decided to speak out publicly on the matter, said, "I've received threats since I assumed elected office, not only because of my position but also because I'm Jewish." Cantor has received threats via email, but declined to discuss their contents so as not to encourage further hostility.

No one in the media, except Andrew Breitbart and some in the blogosphere like Soldier for Liberty, are covering Breitbart's own encounter with the left. After being deliberately misled down a wrong road in Searchlight, he and his party were menaced by Harry Reid supporters who also threw eggs at the Tea Party Express bus as it passed. Then police were called and claims were made that that Breitbart and his party had thrown the eggs, even though the camera crew with Breitbart caught it on tape. A blog at SFGate has a video interview with Breitbart shortly after the incident (see video below). More to follow later at Breitbart's Big Government site.

Breitbart previously announced a $20,000 reward (including 10K for the United Negro College Fund) for anyone who can provide video proof that racist slurs where hurled at Rep. John Lewis or other Congressional Black Caucus members the day of the protests on Washington. Update: It's confirmed that yesterday, Breitbart has upped the donation to the UNCF to 100K if Rep. Lewis can show evidence the N-word was yelled at CBC at last week's healthcare vote protest.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stumped About Stupak

Healthcare Groucho
Say the magic word and the
Heathcare Doc drops down!
I'm stumped about Stupak...but not for the reason most are, apparently. What puzzles me is why so many thought Rep. Bart Stupak was, if not conservative, then at least someone with some semblance of principles or morals. Many republicans thought he was going to stand up against his party.

Come on folks! He's a democrat politician and his mouth is moving...ergo, he's lying.

Never mind the phony baloney executive order which does nothing. Stupak previously said he'd vote for the healthcare bill with abortion left intact.

As would have all the OTHER democrat representatives that voted no. They were allowed to vote no by the democrat congressional machine, most likely because they are in vulnerable districts. It's a game of Mother (Pelosi) May I. All those in more conservative leaning districts, especially those coming up for re-election, ask for a pass so they can claim to their constituents that they're really so-called blue-dog (conservative) democrats. Personally, I think they're all yellow. Maybe they should just be called the yellow-chicken democrats. They're only trying to pretend they don't march in lock step with their party. But they know full well if they really stood up to Pelosi, they'd be cut off at the knees (or other body part) and stripped from any plum committees they chaired.

Not that republicans don't play their share of games. Senator Jim Bunning, who's retiring this year decided to make his stand against the increase of unemployment benefits public. While it's laudable to actually expect Congress to show how they're going to pay for the bills they pass (i.e., PAYGO), why make your stand on the backs of the unemployed? You sure didn't show such determination when it came to voting for the GOP Medicare prescription benefit. And even fellow republicans were asking Bunning why the hell did he pick this for his battle. Of course, it's easy to find your 'huevos' when you don't have to worry about running for reelection in the fall.

Americans are tired of games and the runaround. There's going to be a political bloodbath for the democrats, come November. But republicans shouldn't be surprised if they also lose a few of their own party's seats to more conservative candidates in their own party.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Smitty, This One's For You!

The new Thelma and Louise drive our economy over the cliff
In DC's Thelma & Louise, this duo
drives our Constitution over the cliff!
This one is for Smitty at The Other McCain. He thought my last blog on the healthcare bill takeover was missing something as I didn't add the referenced video clip of the final scene from Thelma & Louise. At that time, I had hoped the car would stop just in time before heading over the cliff, with our economy and the Constitution in the back seat!

Now that we see who was behind the wheel, we know why. But he did have a question, "Which is Nancy, and which the nancy?"

Smitty, I hope this clears things up! ;-)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Will Congress and the Health Care Bill Turn into Thelma and Louise?

Thema and Louise
Thelma and Louise want to know if
you'd like to ride with them!
We're standing on the edge of a precipice in this country. The ques- tion is: Are we going to jump and hope some net is going to catch us or do we stop, go back and design a bridge?

This week we've been bombarded with cancer victims, children and every sort of attempt to make anyone who opposes this legislation look like a complete Scrooge. Even with the polls showing the majority are against this bill, I'm amazed at how many still believe this bill is a great idea. I suspect that many of them think it wont affect them because they have insurance or medicare and that won't change. If that's you, keep reading.

We will be forced to buy, not just insurance, but government approved insurance. If you don't buy insurance there will be some 16,000 NEW IRS agents hired with full powers to enforce the law. Not buying insurance will mean fines, and possible jail time enforced by an agency who has powers to garnish wages, take your tax refund and come after your property.

Are you under some delusion that you're going to get free insurance? Or that you'll just "get to keep" your insurance. That's not how this works....

First of all this bill give over 400+ Billion to the "evil" insurance companies the democrats are so fond or railing against. You will be required to buy only that insurance that is government approved. Your employer will have to buy insurance that is government approved. Insurance will not be able to turn down anyone due to a pre-existing condition. What they don't tell you is how much this required insurance is going to cost!

Remember how the government "helped" consumers by changing laws on credit cards? How much did your interest rate go up, even with good credit? Did the credit card cancel your account or reduce your limit? God help us all when the government tries to "help" consumers.

Massachusetts has a similar plan to the current bill that can now boast the highest healthcare premiums in the US. And they continue to rise The Boston Globe reported last September:
"The state’s major health insurers plan to raise premiums by about 10 percent next year, prompting many employers to reduce benefits and shift additional costs to workers.

Increases will range from 7 to 12 percent, capping a decade of consecutive double-digit premium increases, according to a Globe survey of the state’s top health insurers. Actual rates for 2010 will depend on the size of the employer and the type of coverage, with small businesses and individuals expected to be hit hardest. Overall, premiums are more than twice as high as they were 10 years ago."
Massachusetts State Treasurer Timothy Cahill said in a recent press conference, "If President Obama and the Democrats repeat the mistake of the health insurance reform here in Massachusetts on a national level, they will threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years."

Democrats claim those here illegally will not be covered; however they are planning an amnesty bill so they WILL be covered. In any case they won't be subject to legal actions or fines. And they'll still be able clog up emergency rooms and cost taxpayer dollars for their "free" care.

So those of you who think you're going to be able to keep your current healthcare: How long do you think a) you'll be able to afford that insurance or b) that the company you work for will continue to supply the insurance or c) that companies will want to hire under these conditions? According to reports, companies with 50+ employees who don't provide coverage will pay fines of $2,000 per year, per full time worker.

The fine is much less than the cost of insurance. Average cost of insurance [pdf] runs around $3,800 (single) $9,646 (family) per year1 How many employers will decide to dump insurance and just pay the fine? How many will start favoring part-time or contract workers who have to buy their own insurance at increasing rates?

Law of unintended consequences? No...that is the plan.

Whatever the start is, the goal is government single payer, socialized medicine, public option--by any name given, it doesn't smell sweet. As more and more people complain about rising insurance costs, Washington plans the final solution: Get rid of insurance for most of the public. Institute the public option that will eventually become the public non-optional (except for those in Congress).

Obama, Pelosi and other progressives have been dying to force the American public into a socialized healthcare system for years. In addition to getting even more tax revenues, they can now start to institute controls over every aspect of a citizen's life.

In the same speech where Pelosi said that lawmakers, "...have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," she also said this:
"You've heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting."
What she's very excited about is not keeping people's about control. She and others can't wait to control what food you can buy, remove the salt shakers from restaurants, institute a soda tax, etc. There are so many things they can declare affect health costs and, with the government involved, plan to control every aspect they can.

For one, there's the specter of gun control. The National Institute for Health has quietly started to fund research into health consequences of gun ownership. A decade prior, the CDC was forbidden by Congress to study this, but here we are again. Why is such a study done, by such an agency, except that they plan to tie gun ownership into healthcare.

While the media made fun of Sarah Palin for "death panels" she was, in fact, right. Critics have characterized this as some literal Hitler panel choosing who lives and who goes to the gas chamber. Clearly what was said, however, is simply a description of panels that will decide what degree of care you get. If you're young and generally healthy, that's not a problem. But if you're old or infirm and considered a drain on the system rather than an asset, then inevitably it comes down to the state deciding if it's worth it to continue your life and how much money they should spend preserving it.

Remember the town hall meeting where Jane Strum told about her 100 year-old mother (now 105) was able to convince a doctor to give her a pacemaker because of her zest for life. When asked if she would get the same care under his heath plan. Obama said that, "...costs a lot and maybe we will have to say, just take a pill." In other words, you're mother's just going to be given pain management and allowed to die. If that's not a death panel, I don't know what is!

Also it's funny how, in 2009, reports started coming out changing the recommendations on about how often pap smears should be done or at what age mammograms should be done and how often. The report came out almost within days of each other. Think this was just a coincidence?

And we haven't even touched on doctors who plan to retire if this passes and drug stores that are already refusing new Medicaid patients. Or the rob Peter to pay Paul move of over 500 billion being taken from Medicare and put into this bill. All that while trying to claim they've got 500 billion dollars in savings in Medicare when they're in fact spending it elsewhere.

We'll know in a few hours if Congress has the courage to step back and build a better bridge to the future or drive us off the edge like Thelma and Louise, which will result in their going down as well, come November and in 2012.

"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

1High Deductible Health Plans with Health Savings Account that have deductibles of $1,000 or more (single) or $2,000 or more (family), 2006 numbers.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Massa, Lohen and Rather: The 'Moonbats' are Out!

Is there a full moon? The moonbats took flight recently.

Tickle Me Moonbat

Stimulus Package?
King of the moonbats was undoubtedly former representative Eric Massa. Massa appeared on the Glenn Beck TV show ostensibly to dish dirt on being forced out (his claim) from office because he wouldn't vote for the health care bill. Which on the face of it didn't make sense--Massa was in the Congress, not the more narrowly divided Senate. In fact, his leaving would mean Pelosi has a better chance of passing a health care bill if they went for the 51% reconciliation.

tickleme elmo
Massa changed stories faster than Rahm Emanuel can wrap a fish. Suddenly it was HIS idea to leave--he wasn't forced out. But despite the house probe (no pun intended), he said he didn't do anything illegal; it was all harmless fun. His idea of lighthearted fun--getting into tickle fights with young, male staffers on his fiftieth birthday. Obviously Massa has his own ideas about what constitutes a stimulus package: He also lived with several young, male staffers until he was advised this wasn't a good idea. One thing is pretty certain, Massa has been living in a pretty small closet for some time....

Luna Lindsey

Lindsey Lohen gets the moonbat nod for taking on the eTrade baby. The lawsuit involves a Super Bowl commercial where the eTrade baby is video conferencing with his girlfriend over his trading conquests. The girlfriend asks, "That milkaholic Lindsey, wasn't there, was she?" Baby Lindsey's head pops into the frame and says, "Milka-what?"

Lohen claims the video is based on her because she is known as "Lindsey" just like Prince or Madonna are known on a single name basis. eTrade denies the claim. It could be speculated that "Lindsey" is just is trying something outrageous to jump start her dying career. Or that she's actually got such a big ego that now everything must be about her! In fact, a search of IMDB database, for "Lindsey," Lohen doesn't appear at all, but a girl named Lindsey who was in a TV documentary called "Rehab." Now there's an idea, Ms. Lohen.
Mean girls
Lohen once said, "It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs." Does she now plan to track down this anonymous participant in the documentary and demand that she stop using her name?

Sheer Politics thinks that picking on a baby just makes Lohen a Mean Girl.


Dan Rather (with BFF)
Dan Rather is always good for a moonbat report. It's no wonder most fellow liberals have stopped having him on TV. This time, even Chris Mathews couldn't talk over Dan fast enough to cover up Rather's latest foot-in-mouth. Dan Rather stated that Obama was so ineffective as a president he, "...couldn’t sell watermelons if you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic."

 Rather wrote an apology (of sorts) in the Huffington Post:
"It's an expression that stretches to my boyhood roots in Southeast Texas, when country highways were lined with stands manned by sellers of all races. Now of course watermelons have become a stereotype for African Americans and so my analogy entered a charged environment. I'm sorry people took offense."
Frankly, we're tired of his explanations that every gaffe he utters is some expression from his boyhood in Texas. Somehow, no one else has heard these "folksy" expressions before and Texans certainly are not living in the same time period that Rather apparently is.

Notice that he never really apologies: He says he's sorry, "people took offense" not that he said something offensive. That's a cop-out, non-apology.

Monday, March 1, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics: The Missing Awards

2010 Olympic Cauldron - VOA - Kane Farabaugh
VOA - Kane Farabaugh

There's always a few awards you wish could be given out. Here's mine:

Biggest Nail Biter:
Canada vs. US Hockey - Sudden death overtime, what more could you want?

Biggest Non-sport:
Curling - I don't care how far the game goes back. If your grandparents can do it, it's not a sport.

Most Tearful:
Joannie Rochette, who won the bronze in figure skating after losing her mother days before from a heart attack.

Most Forgettable:
Lindsey Jacobellis - American snowboarder

Worst Sportsmanship:
Evgeni Plushenko - Russian figure skater

Most Tragic:
Nodar Kumaritashvili - Georgian luger who died before games got started. Remember him?

My Brother's Keeper Award:
Alexandre Bilodeau, Canadian gold medal winner in moguls who's older brother, Frederic, suffers from cerebral palsy, is his brother's biggest fan. Alexandre gave up hockey and started skiing because Frederic couldn't participate in hockey. Alexandre calls Frederic "my inspiration."

"Longest Time Coming" Win:
United States 4-man bobsled team who won the first US medal in bobsledding since 1948. Also, another US team broke an 86-year drought by winning the first medals ever in the Nordic Combined Team event.

Donald Trump's "You're FIRED!" Award:
Sven Kramer's coach for causing him to be disqualified for an illegal lane change after winning a gold medal and setting a Olympic record. Who was HE putting money on?

Biggest Omission:
Women's Ski Jumping - Geez, women are in every other Olympic sport. Why is the ski jump a shut out? On top of, there was the IOC's lame excuse that, "Women's ski jumping does not reach the necessary technical criteria and as such does not yet warrant a place alongside other Olympic events." Which is a bunch of crap and they know it.

Most Interesting Athlete:
Forget the youngsters. Mexico's skier Hubertus Von Hohenlohe, 51, a titled German prince, born in Mexico City was definitely the most interesting athlete and charming to boot. He told a Universal Sports reporter how his grandfather lost their lands after WWII to the Russians and they immigrated to Spain. Von Hohenlohe's grandmother was of Spanish and Mexican descent.

His father later immigrated to Mexico to run a Volkswagen plant. Von Hohenlohe designs his own ski outfits as he thought the others were "boring." One outfit was reminiscent of a 'bandito' costume with painted on chaps, bandelaros and a "sombrero" on the back.

This is likely Von Hohenlohe last Olympics, although he joked that, "Curling looks very good." He finished in 46th place, almost 30 seconds behind the winner.

It only seemed like there were three sponsors for the Olympics. So we got to see the same commercials over and over. Unfortunately many were uninspired with a couple of exceptions.

Best Commercial: - tie
P & G's Mom series and the Coke snowball fight were alternately inspiring and fun.

Dumbest Commercial:
Volkswagen "punch-dub" car commercial gets a gold medal for stupidity in advertising.