No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for October, 2009

October 31, 2009

A Victory for Conservatives

WWNY-TV is reporting that Dede Scozzafava is about to announce that she will release her supporters to Doug Hoffman. 

The anticipated announcement is apparently as a result of this poll just released by Siena University.  The latest poll shows Hoffman and Owens in a statistical tie and shows Scozzafava supported by just 20%, a drop of 1/3 in just a couple of weeks.

The Party people in DC and at state level Republican politics, have been telling themselves that the teapartiers, and those who sympathize with them, are all emotion and no substance.  They tell each other that they don’t have to pay attention to the teapartiers, that they will fall back into the cattle line if ignored long enough. 

The Party people in DC and at the state level had better be paying attention.  Even if Hoffman loses, it’s clear that the folks sympathetic to the teaparty perspective can muster political muscle.  If Hoffman wins, it will reinforce the teaparty movement and bring people who have been so far, watching from the outside, into the movement. 

If Steele, Newt, Graham and others continue to have their heads in the sand, it will be a long year for them; Halloween 2009 will be just the beginning of a very scary year.  If they recognize the value, principle and passion of the teaparty folks it will be the Democrats who will fear 2010!

Update 12:10 PM - She’s out!  Interesting that she didn’t endorse Hoffman.  You’d think that if she really was all that the NRCC said she was, she’d heartily endorse the only remaining candidate that wants to shrink government and lower taxes.

It will be interesting to watch the spin of the RNC, NRCC and other national Republican leadership as they now attempt to hop on the Hoffman bandwagon.  I’m sure they’ll all try to hang their hat on some variation of “supporting the endorsement.”  From their standpoint, I’m not sure if it matters whether Hoffman wins or loses.  If he wins, the Teaparty movement gets a big feather to stick in their cap.  If he loses, all the fingers will point to the national leadership for having screwed this race up.

October 30, 2009

Paul Ryan drops off a copy of H.R. 3962 at the Franklin Public Library

by @ 14:33. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

I attended Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI, and my Congressman) townhall meeting at the Franklin Public Library, where he dropped off a copy of the 1,990-page present House version of PlaceboCare. If you have the 36 minutes to watch the entire townhall, the 4-part video is below (and yes, it is recommended). If you don’t read the Cliff’s Notes version while you watch the short version from Ryan’s office:

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  • Ryan would have brought more copies, but with the bill being over a foot tall, he couldn’t carry more than one on the plane. Fortunately, he did put it up on his House website.
  • H.R. 3962 would represent the largest tax increase in the history of the country, with a surtax of 5.4% on those making over $500,000 per year ($1,000,000 for couples) hitting most small businesses as well, a 2.5% medical device tax, a new payroll tax and the removal of the tax-exempt status of Health Savings Accounts.
  • Abortions would be paid for under the public option, and the bill would also establish an accounting gimmick to justify subsidizing private plans that cover abortion.
  • In order to make it appear to be deficit-“neutral”, it removed a $245 billion provision that would reverse a planned reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates, with plans to pass that as a stand-alone bill (or more-likely, attached to something else).
  • The $170 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts will, according to Medicare’s actuaries, cause 64% of those on Medicare Advantage off that program and raise the rates paid by those remaining in it.
  • Speaking of rate increases, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Milwaukee estimates that the bill will increase the insurance rates of those in their twenties by 199% (that’s essentially tripling it), those in their 40s by 122%, and those in their 50s by double-digits.
  • Instead of attempting to fix the joint state-federal Medicaid, which is currently bankrupting a lot of states, it increases its size by 50%.
  • The malpractice tort “reform” will be limited to states that do not cap damages, thus making it anything but reform (Ryan called it a “fig leaf”).
  • While the House Republicans will be offering a “consolidated” substitute amendment next week, it is unknown whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as part of hers, President Barack Obama’s and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to use one-party rule to ram this through, will even allow it to see the floor.
  • On the House side, the current plan is to get this to the floor on Thursday, with a vote on Saturday. On the Senate side, a cloture vote is expected sometime in the third week of November, but ultimately it won’t be necessary as the groundwork has been laid to pass this through “reconciliation”, which requires a simple majority instead of 60 votes to invoke cloture.
  • Even though the current tally of the correspondence at the Ryan office is 9-1 against, he urged people to once again call Senators Kohl and Feingold to keep the pressure up, especially because it is not inevitable.
  • He explained why this was his first opportunity to come back to the district after the August recess – Pelosi is trying to keep everybody in Washington so they don’t hear from their constituents.
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Revisions/extensions (5:02 pm 10/30/2009) - Just received word that the new bill has a new bill number. It is now H.R. 3962.

R&E part 2 (5:28 pm 10/30/2009) - The preliminary CBO first-decade scoring is in. Between the “meeting” with Obama resulting in some “technical” changes, the removal of planned fixes to the reduction in Medicare reimbursements (removing $245 billion in costs), a further reduction in those reimbursement rates (which, along wth other cuts in Medicare amount to $426 billion), and taxes/fees/penalties equalling $739 billion, they were able to squeeze out a debt “reduction” of $104 billion out of a bill spending $1,055 billion (that would be $1.055 trillion for those who missed the comma) in new outlays.

Two More Czars

President Obama has acquired two more Czars.  Here’s a clip from their first meeting:

These are Czars I could accept!

H/T Big G

Oh, This Will Help!

Queen Nancy unveiled her new version of Placebocare today.  Amongst the more than 1900 pages is a nice little gem:

Under Pelosi’s bill, anyone earning up to 150 percent of the poverty line will be eligible for Medicaid. This is an increase on previous iterations?and the Senate bill?which only covered people up to 133 percent of the poverty line.

I can’t tell you for sure, how many additional people this is going to put into the Medicaid ranks.  I have read various reports suggesting that the total numbers will increase 20% to 30%.

Medicaid?  We’re relying on an expansion of Medicaid to get more people health care?  I seem to remember that there were concerns about Medicaid….what were they?  Oh yeah, I remember!

According to Medicalnewstoday.com, in 1996-1997, 29% of solo practitioners did not accept Medicaid.  In 2004-2005, that number had increased to 35%.  The same analysis showed that group practitioners rejected Medicaid at the rate of 16% and 24% in the respective years.  The total number of practitioners who rejected Medicaid was less than 13% in the first period and 14.5% in the second.

Healthcarefinancenews.com reports that in a recent survey, 35% of all medical offices now refuse medicaid while only 17% refuse Medicare.

Why is it that more physicians are refusing Medicaid?  There’s a simple answer:

84% of physicians who did not accept new Medicaid patients in 2004-2005 said reimbursements were a factor; 70% of physicians said billing requirements and paperwork were a factor; and two-thirds said delayed payments were a factor (HSC release, 8/17).

Let’s see if I have this right.  Nancy’s plan significantly increases the number of people on a program that has fewer care providers each year.  For the rest of us, her plan lowers the reimbursements, increases the requirements and paperwork and will further delay or deny reimbursement payments.

If the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome, then Nancy Pelosi and anyone who supports her version of Placebocare certainly fit the definition of insane!

October 29, 2009

Open Thread Thursday – Extra blues edition

by @ 7:39. Filed under Open Thread Thursday.

This thread is open…

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Have at it.

White House v. AP on Porkulus

by @ 7:35. Filed under Politics - National, Press.

(H/T – JammieWearingFool)

Let’s walk through the timeline of the latest war on the media by the Obama White House, this time involving the Associated Press (that’s right, the AP):

  • At 12:02 am Eastern, the AP issued an “Impact” story stating that the White House overstated the effect of Porkulus by at least 16%, as in a partial review of 9,000 federal contracts they found that at least 5,000 of the 30,000 jobs “saved or created” were neither “saved” nor “created”. In some instances, they found that the same “saved or created” job was counted at least ten times; in others, there was no job at all.
  • At 12:15 am Eastern (via Fox News), the White House hit back saying that the AP cherry-picked the data, and that the larger set of data (100,000 contracts provided by state governments and various non-profits) to be released Friday will be correct.
  • The AP is not backing down, as they included the following in a 6:35 am Eastern story – “The reporting problem could be magnified Friday when a much larger round of reports is expected to show hundreds of thousands of jobs repairing public housing, building schools, repaving highways and keeping teachers on local payrolls.”

That, folks, is the reason why ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN stood up for Fox when the Obama administration tried to freeze it out of the pool. They know that they could be next.

The Coming Debate

In May of 2009, President Barack Obama presented a commencement speech at Notre Dame. The belief that he is the most pro abortion President ever, caused a significant controversy both over his appearance at this Catholic University and even more so over the honorary degree he received that day.

Amongst some booing, catcalls and derogatory shouts, President Obama presented the graduates with a his view of how polarizing issues should be addressed in the United States. Here is a clip of President Obama as he applies his view to perhaps the single most polarizing issue in America, abortion:

In case you missed it, here is what President Obama said in this clip:

Now, understand — understand, Class of 2009, I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. Because no matter how much we may want to fudge it — indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory — the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

Did you get that?  According to President Obama, even when debating what is arguably the most polarizing issue in America, he believes the cases can be made with “passion and conviction” and without “caricatures!”

Surely if abortion, an issue where people are polarized on the very point of whether to do it at all, can be discussed in the fashion that President Obama outlines, the discussion on an issue like health care reform should look akin to a love in from the 1970s!  After all, hardly anyone disagrees that something should be done with health care, the discussion is entirely over what specifically to do to improve health care and it’s costs.

It’s being reportedthat Nancy Pelosi will unveil her new and improved health care bill to the House on Thursday. Harry Reid is scrambling to find a way to 60 votes in the Senate so that he can bring his bill to the Senate floor.

Amazingly, well not really, while Pelosi and Reid are ready to debate their bills, not a single Republican has seen either bill.  In fact, what we know about either bill is that we really don’t know what is in either bill other than what Reid or Pelosi have told us.  It’s likely that neither bill will come close to satisfying President Obama’s pledge to not spend more than $900 billion and make it deficit neutral but we don’t know.

What we do know is that passage in either chamber is not even close to assured.  Pelosi has 52 “Blue Dog” Democrats.  Many of these Democrats come from districts that were previously Republican holdings.  With elections for each House member coming less than a year after a final vote, many of these folks are going to be torn between the promises of Nancy Pelosi and the expectations of the constituents.

In the Senate, it’s hard to see a clear path to 60.  With a public option in, it appears even the RINOs will hold with Republicans.  Add to them Lieberman, Bayh, Lincoln, Nelson and it looks like you’ve got a number of ways to hold 40 votes even if Reid suddenly drops the public option.  That said, I would never suggest Reid can’t get his 60.  Who knows what promises have been made that could put the Democrats back in lock step and get Snowe to come along.

I suspect the debate in both Houses will be filled with “passion and conviction.”  However, the “caricature” threshold was long ago bypassed.

The outcome of the debates and subsequent votes have the potential to dramatically change the United States as we know it.  While I’m hopeful that the bills as they are rumored, won’t pass both chambers it’s clear that President Obama has invested a significant portion of his political capital in the effort.  These bills aren’t going away in any natural fashion.

Stay vigilant, stay focused or the next caricature we’ll be talking about will be that of people who knew what it was like to live without an all controlling government.

Remember:  Stay on target, stay on target!

October 28, 2009

Distortion – Noun Meaning “You Don’t Agree With Me”

by @ 15:58. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Must-see PJTV – Trifecta takes on PlaceboCare

by @ 12:35. Filed under Health Care Reform.

The only bad thing about PJTV is they don’t allow people to embed videos. Do not, however, let that discourage you from viewing today’s Trifecta with Bill Whittle, Stephen Green and Scott Ott skewering PlaceboCare. They take on the Soviet-style lines for a government-issued flu shot, government workers handling needles, probes and speculums, HarryCare (or is it hari-kiri?), chain-gang health care, and the rebranding of the public consumer competitive America is AWESOME!!!1!1!!eleventy!!1! Government Takeover “option”.

They’re Doing What?

With all the challenges our country faces, one would think that Congress might want to focus its attention on any of a number of issues….Placebocare, cap and trade, energy policy, Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Iran, Russia, Social Security, the economy, the deficit, the budget etc. etc. etc.  These are all topics worthy of focused time by Congress.  Rather than dealing with issues that might impact the country, Congress has meetings scheduled for this:

Congress has scheduled a hearing next week to scrutinize a controversial Minnesota law allowing Kevin and Pat Williams to fight their suspensions in Hennepin County and thwart the NFL’s authority to discipline the Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl tackles.

The hearings stem from a situation where the Williams boys tested positive for an NFL banned substance.  The players say the banned substance was in an off-the-shelf supplement they took that did not have the substance listed as an ingredient.  The NFL said “too bad.  Ignorance is no excuse!” 

The NFL tried to get the players suspended last season but in an interesting legal maneuver, the players turned the tables and got accused the NFL of violating Minnesota’s drug testing laws.  The NFL is now running to Congress in an attempt to get them to back the NFL, under the guise of “we’re just doing what you told us to with steroids!” and getting a law that gets around Minnesota’s testing laws.

It seems completely preposterous that Congress should spend even a minute on this topic, they’ve got some serious issues to deal with!

Last week the Obama administration told the Justice department not to enforce any of the controlled substance laws if a State had laws allowing medical marijuana.  While I don’t believe in using illegal drugs under any circumstances, I do believe in State’s rights and thus support the administration’s position. 

In the same fashion as the administration’s position on marijauna, I believe Congress should keep their noses out of the fight between the Williams’ and the NFL.  The NFL has some really difficult and arcane rules in their zero tolerance drug policies.  In the case of the Williams’, it’s hard to rationally argue that anyone should be accountable for every ingredient in each and every item they consume if there is no information about the product that should cause them concern.

It’s time for Congress to get their act together.  Our country is in trouble and we have no leadership that seems to have any notion how to correct the problems.  If this is really what they think rises to the level of requiring Congressional intervention it’s time to change out the entire lot!

October 27, 2009

New NRE poll – What is the proper response to Favre’s purple return to Lambeau?

by @ 18:39. Filed under NRE Polls, Sports.

Wendy has the perfect set-up to get me away from politics for a while, though it may not be exactly safe with the readership on the far side of the Mississippi/St. Croix…

What is the proper way to greet Favre in his return to Lambeau?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Lusty booing. (30%, 13 Vote(s))
  • Silence. (20%, 9 Vote(s))
  • Wild cheering. (20%, 9 Vote(s))
  • Polite applause. (18%, 8 Vote(s))
  • What is this "football" you're talking about? (7%, 3 Vote(s))
  • Mild booing. (5%, 2 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 44

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Apology to the Lawton family and note to my readers

by @ 12:27. Filed under Presstitute Follies, The Blog.

Last night, I linked to an audio report from WTAQ-AM’s Jerry Bader which offered a guess on what caused Barbara Lawton to abandon her gubernatorial run that ultimately turned out to be wrong. I apologize to Lawton and her family for running with that, as I believed that Bader had run down a sufficient number of sources.

I forgot one of the cardinal rules of journalism; if your mother tells you the sun is shining at noon, go outside to check. I do have to thank WIBA-AM for doing what I should have at least attempted to do, and ask whether there was any “there” there.

When I discovered that WTAQ initially pulled the story earlier this morning, before either the retraction from Bader or the WIBA/Lawton interview had come out, I attempted to find out why the story had been pulled, and when I did not get a response, I decided to delink to the audio and note that it had been pulled. I further attempted to find out and notify those who got the story from me to let them know that the story had been pulled.

Further down the Babs rabbit hole

by @ 11:13. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The pieces behind Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton’s decision to suddenly pull out of the Democratic governor’s race continue to shift around:

Revisions/extensions (11:50 am 10/27/2009) - In an interview with WIBA-AM, Barbara Lawton flatly denied any extramarital affair. I apologize to the Lawton family.

Different Movie, Same Ending

Sometimes it’s tough for Mrs. Shoe to watch movies or especially, TV shows with me.  You see, I’m very much a believer in the formulaic approach to watching media.  In my world, 95% of most TV and movies follow the same, generally predictable plot lines.  In my world, all of the “whodunits” boil down to; someone dies, the investigator has some “ah ha” moment which results in someone being caught for the murder. 

One big advantage to watching media believing they are formulaic is that it allows me to “experience” an hour of television while only actually watching 5 or 6 minutes of the show.  In my world, I can’t always tell you who the killer will be but I can tell you that the show will end with a killer being caught.

The reason I tell you about my media watching experience is that it is much like my experience with government; government is very formulaic.  First, government tells us that a program is good for us in some way.  Then, government tells us that the program will cost only a minimal amount.  The ending of every government program results in the program not accomplishing it’s goals and costing multiple times its anticipated costs along the way.

A new study is out on Amtrak.  The study says that Amtrak’s required subsidy was $32 per passenger.  While that doesn’t sound bad on the surface, Amtrak’s analyzed study was 4 timeswhat the pseudo government agency said that its subsidies were.

If you think that the discrepancy may be just two groups of bureaucrats fighting over arcane kinds of analysis, nope:

Subsidyscope says its review counted certain capital expenses that Amtrak doesn’t consider when calculating the financial performance of its routes, namely wear and tear on equipment, or depreciation.

Wow, what a concept!  Taking depreciation into account with a capital intensive business like railroads!  Not including depreciation in the costs of a railroad would be like looking at your household budget needs without considering what it costs you to live in your house! 

The apologists for Amtrak were quick to justify Amtrak in light of the new study:

“Let’s not hold rail up and say it needs to make money when highways don’t make money, transit doesn’t make money and a lot of small airports don’t make money and they all get subsidies,” Van Beek said.

This is the same canard brought to you by folks who are into light rail and other forms of transit funding and it’s wrong.  None of these areas need to “make money.”  It’s usually coupled with “but my pet program doesn’t lose as much money as this other government program so my pet program deserves funding.”  This is the same mentality that has bureaucrats screaming that their budgets are “being cut” when in fact, the “cut” is cutting back from an automatic increase in their budget, an increase that is rarely justified.

Admittedly, in the scheme of things, Amtrak’s annual subsidy of $2.6 billion is small.  My point is that even with this relatively small subsidy the government can’t really figure out what the true costs are.  This, with a service that has a long history to analyze and draw conclusions from.

Placebo care continues to wind through Congress.  No one knows what it will eventually become but we all know it will be some freakish parody of what Nancy Pelosi claims it is.  In fact, I think the new name for Placebo care should become Frankenstein care.  Back to topic…Depending upon who’s telling you, Frankenstein Care will cost anywhere from $900 billion to $1.5 billion but remember our experience with Amtrak and the formulaic approach to government.  The chances of Frankenstein Care’s actual cost coming in under $1.5 billion are equal to those of President Obama supporting a right to life amendment in the Constitution; neither will happen!

Tuesday Hot Read – Robert Stacy McCain’s “STOP BUMMING ME OUT, MAN!”

by @ 0:47. Filed under Politics - National.

I think it’s safe to say that Robert Stacy McCain, who has gone up to New York’s 23rd Congressional District to do some on-site reporting, is tired of the nay-sayers:

If Hoffman can pull off a miracle upset victory in NY23, it would be a shot across the bow of Obama, Pelosi and Reid that they won’t be able to ignore.

The Blue Dogs will freak out, and the RINOs will start wondering about the possibility of a Tea Party/Club for Growth/Sarah Palin convergence in their GOP primaries. They’ll find an excuse to pull the plug on ObamaCare and start looking for opportunities to denounce deficit spending. Heck, you might even see some of them work up the gumption to suggest a vote to extend the Bush tax cuts.

All of this is possible, if Hoffman wins. But a Hoffman win isn’t a random hypothetical we can postulate and discuss like we were in some damned poli-sci grad-school seminar. The battle for NY23 is the kind of desperate tooth-and-nail fight that doesn’t lend itself to dispassionate theoretical discourse.

There is a reason why it’s a desperate tooth-and-nail fight, with both halves of the bipartisan Party-In-Government targeting Doug Hoffman – he is a personification of the Tea Party movement. Since Stacy already took a look at what happens if Hoffman wins, and since I’ve done all I monetarily can to help Hoffman win, allow me to take a look at what happens if he doesn’t.

There are actually four scenarios, only two of which are likely – the RepublicRAT Dede Scozzafava wins with Hoffman coming in second, Scozzafava wins with the Democrat Bill Owens coming in second, Owens wins with Hoffman coming in second, and Owens wins with Scozzafava coming in second. Given the most-recent set of polls, I highly doubt that Scozzafava wins the race.

First up, and in my humble opinion the most-likely of the four, a Owens/Hoffman/Scozzafava finish. That would give at worst a flashing yellow light in the middle of the night at an empty intersection to the Blue Dogs to go along with the worst of the Leftist agenda. It would, however, leave the larger battle for the Republican Party’s soul wide open as both sides will claim that, if the other half hadn’t abandoned it, it could have held onto the seat.

The other three, all of which I believe both halves of the PIG would be entirely happy with, would mean an end to the Tea Party movement as a national movement, and the full liberalization of the GOP north of the Mason-Dixon Line. It would give the green light to not just the Blue Dogs, but the liberal Republicans to jump all over the worst of the Leftist agenda.

October 26, 2009

Project Valour-IT – 2009 edition

by @ 23:04. Tags:
Filed under Miscellaneous.

If it’s the last week of October, it is time once again for Soldiers’ Angels to run the annual Project Valour-IT fundraiser to raise money for technology that reconnects wounded warriors and supports their recovery. This year, they’re running it until November 11, Veterans Day.

As I have in years past, while I will not be joining a single team, I will be donating to all of them, as well as featuring the 4-way competition between the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines at the top of the blog (unless you’re viewing this on the mobile version). That means the Day by Day cartoon is moved to the right sidebar for the duration of the fundraiser.

Just because I can’t join a team, that doesn’t mean you can’t:

Now, go and donate in the name of one team or all. After all, all the money, no matter in which team’s name you donate, goes to the same worthy cause. They take all major credit cards, PayPal, electronic check, and even checks sent via the United States Postal Service.

Team Walker to have a money bomb on 11/2/2009

by @ 21:12. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The Scott Walker campaign announced today that they are going to mark the 1-year-to-go mark next Monday with a day-long money push:

Wauwatosa – The campaign of Scott Walker, Republican candidate for governor and Milwaukee County executive, today announced the launch of the 11.02.09 Rally to Victory Effort – a day-long fundraising drive. The effort will be held on November 2, 2009, exactly one year from Election Day, and will be led by a statewide, grassroots fundraising push to engage supporters across Wisconsin. The 11.02.09 Rally to Victory Effort will use the internet and numerous social media outlets to gather pledges to donate on 11.02.09 as a show of grassroots strength, organization, and momentum.

“The people of our state are ready to take back our government and ready to believe in Wisconsin again,” said campaign manager Keith Gilkes. “Our 11.02.09 Rally to Victory fundraising effort will show the support for Scott Walker’s commonsense message of limited government, personal freedom, and economic growth.”

Since Scott Walker’s announcement of candidacy in April, the campaign has garnered tremendous grassroots support. Walker has the endorsement of over 75 percent of elected Republicans in the State Legislature and received over 93% of the straw poll vote at the 2009 Republican Party of Wisconsin State Convention. Ten recent training sessions across the state saw over 800 attendees.

In the last fundraising period Scott Walker raised an impressive $1.1 million. Of that number, $236,000 came from online contributions. 75% of Scott Walker’s $1.1 million in contribution were for $50 or less, and half of all contributions came from new donors

The curious case of the whacking of Babs Lawton

by @ 19:11. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Revisions/extensions (11:11 am 10/27/2009) - WTAQ-AM has pulled all references to the report from Jerry Bader on a possible extramarital affair by Barbara Lawton from its website. Accordingly, I have removed the direct link to that audio from this post.

R&E part 2 (11:46 am 10/27/2009) – WIBA-AM asked Barbara Lawton about that rumor, and Lawton called it an “outrageous lie”.

And yes, it is curious that the only announced Democratic candidate for governor, Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, suddenly dropped out of the race today for “very personal reasons”.

Initial speculation centered on a Dan Bice column that ran in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying that the Obama administration much prefered Milwaukee mayor and former Democratic Congressman Tom Barrett be the nominee. Bice pointed out that while Barrett was an early and fervent supporter of Obama in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary season, Lawton was a fervent supporter of Hillary Clinton (left unmentioned was the fact that she was co-chair of both Clinton’s Wisconsin and Midwest efforts). Patrick McIlheran notes that would simply be the latest in the series of Chicago Way moves from the ObamiNation.

Bice also pointed out that none of the Barrett backers were willing to be named as the source of this whacking. If Barrett truly has the ObamiNation Stamp of Approval, wouldn’t that trump the 8-year war the Madison Dems have successfully waged against their Milwaukee counterparts?

Don’t assume that the whacking of Babs simply clears the way for Barrett. Kyle Maichle tossed another name in the ring from left field – Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel. Other than a late-but-successful effort to get Mercury Marine to consolidate in Wisconsin (with attendant tax hikes), what exactly has Leinenkugel done as Commerce Secretary, other than not be from Milwaukee? Admittedly, that has counted for everything in the DPW the last 8 years, but simply being from anywhere but Milwaukee is not going to be enough in this election cycle, especially when one is so easily tied to the failed economic policies of Governor Jim Doyle.

Meanwhile, this afternoon, WTAQ’s Jerry Bader unleashed a bombshell of what those “very personal reasons” could be (H/T – Kevin Binversie). Bill Clinton notwithstanding, getting caught playing outside the sandbox is definitely frowned upon by the voters. Note; see the revision/extension above, as the link to WTAQ’s audio has been removed, and Lawton has flatly denied this.

Finally, I know I saw this a couple weeks ago, but I can’t quite remember where. Doyle seems to be having second thoughts about not running. I note that he has not filed a notice of non-candidacy yet.

Club for Growth says Hoffman leads in NY-23, NRCC hardest hit

by @ 15:56. Filed under Politics - National.

(H/T – Ed Morrissey)

The Club for Growth released a new 300-person poll conducted by Basswood Research that gives Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman a 4.3-percentage-point lead over Democrat Bill Owens and a 11.6-point lead over RepubicRAT Dede Scozzafava in the special election to be held next Tuesday to fill the House seat vacated by long-serving Republican John McHugh, recently confirmed as the Secretary of the Army. Before I continue, I do have to note a couple of things:

  • New York politics is a unique animal; while the successful candidates (almost) always come from either the Republicans or the Democrats, their success depends on getting on the ballot lines of “minor” parties such as the Conservative Party and the ACORN-affiliated Working Families Party (which Scozzafava has used in the past).
  • Despite both Scozzafava’s voting record of being to the left of the majority of Democrats in the New York Assembly and her repeated electoral ties to ACORN, the county “Republican” party chiefs made her the “Republican” nominee behind closed doors.
  • As Ace points out, a 300-person sample isn’t exactly reliable. Worse, a cursory search of late-season Basswood Research polling data seems to indicate they consistently overstate the conservative candidate’s support by 4-5 percentage points.

With that stated, this has become a battle for the soul of the NotDemocrats. On one side, you have the the other half of the bipartisan Party-In-Government, represented by the RNC, the NRCC, and Newt Gingrich, endorsing the RepubicRAT for the sake of keeping the P-I-G intact. In fact, after spending over $500,000 for what is clearly going to be a third-place result, the NRCC will be reinforcing failure to the tune of $300,000 in the last 9 days of the election cycle.

On the other side, you have pretty much every right-of-center pundit, including former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, former Alaska governor/Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and now Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty endorsing Hoffman.

I guess the GOP has chosen to become the 21-Century Whig Party. All I can say is, “Help them get there by giving to Doug Hoffman.

Next Up On the “Rights” Hit Parade…

Individual “Rights” come in two forms.  There are the rights that are spelled out in the Constitution.  A right to bear arms, a right to a fair trial and a right to free speech are just a few of the examples of these rights.  These rights, while guaranteed by the Constitution, are time and again “rights” that we have to fight to retain.  It seems hardly a month goes by where one or more of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights are assaulted in small and large ways by Congress, the Judiciary, any of a number of interest groups are not comfortable in a free society, or even, the President.

Along with the rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution, there are a whole separate set of “rights” that have been established, not by the Constitution, but by the government.  This set of “rights” are no where to be found in the Constitution.  This set of “rights” are not even “rights”, at least not if you believe a “right” that you have doesn’t require anyone else to give up something they have.  Included in this set of “rights” are; the “right” to an abortion, a “Right” to government provided financial support and a “right” to an equal educational opportunity for every child.

It’s ironic that we have to fight to get the set of rights provided by the Constitution remembered and yet any number of people and groups are happy to increase the number of the unmerited “rights”.

Right now, Congress is debating the addition of another unmerited “right”.  While there are numerous rationals for the desire to implement health care reform, the core essence of the Left’s argument is that health care is in fact a right.  Can you find it in the Constitution?  No.  However, the Left is undaunted in this argument and believes “it’s the right thing to do.”

If you think health care as a right is offensive, get ready for the next “right” that is now germinating within the thinking of the Left; a right to housing!

In this video, Raquel Rolnik, a UN “special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing” (think “Special Investigator”), is coming the the US to make a determination about New York and six other cities, affordable housing.

If you have any questions about my concerns regarding housing becoming a  focus of “rights”, let’s look at Ms. Rolnik’s own words:

“I am representing the right of adequate housing as a human right.”

In past times a US President would have taken insult in a UN inspector nosing around the US when the UN’s record is one of support for Socialists and Marxists.  This time, Rolnik is likely to receive the Medal of Honor from President Obama.

Following her town hall in New Orleans, Ms. Rolnik made the following comments:

“Well, the feeling is that we definitely need to have a discussion, open discussion and re-appraisal of housing policies. I think a lot has been done in this country. This country has a history of intervening in housing sector, of building public housing, or intervening in the homelessness sector on innovating programs like rent subsidizing and other schemes. But in a way I think that was stuck in some point now. And I think the way forward need to be discussed.”

Just what Obama needs, support from the UN to completely take over yet one more industry!

 

 

October 24, 2009

US News earns its ObamiNation Approved badge (warning, strong language)

by @ 15:00. Filed under Presstitute Follies.

(H/T – Dan Collins)

Dan already walked up one side of this tripe passing as a “news” story from US News and World Report, but he didn’t put enough 4-letter words in. I guess it’s up to this Ace of Spades HQ-certified Moron to drop a few bombs on the other side of it (besides, I haven’t really let loose with the language lately, and it shows).

The White House’s feud with Fox News has caused an irresistible buzz in Washington, but many are wondering precisely what prompted President Obama and his advisers to go ballistic against the network.

Since I filed this under “Presstitute Follies” and gave US “News” its ObamiNation Approved badge, you can bet your sweet ass that what they claim it is isn’t that the thin-skinned narcissists (blatantly stolen from Dan), starting but not nearly ending with Obama, are strict adherents to the 110% Fealty Doctrine practiced equally by Leftists, despots, and Islamokazis, even though that’s precisely what it is.

Here’s the answer: Team Obama was pushed over the brink by a growing list of what it considered outrageous anti-Obama conduct by Fox that showed no sign of stopping. Obama’s advisers say that they seethed while Fox commentators used their shows to encourage protests against Obama’s healthcare proposals last summer. Team Obama fumed as Fox personalities tried to pressure some controversial Obama advisers to resign. White House officials say that Fox has continued to stir the pot against Obama in a regular pattern—raising a criticism, having Republican congressional leaders comment on it, and then using those comments to keep the criticism alive.

I’m going to have to let the Emergency Blogging System break in at this point.

This is the Emergency Blogging System. This is not a drill; drills go Black-and-Decker-Black-and-Decker-Black-and-Decker. Steveegg at No Runny Eggs has issued a Crying Bullshit River Flood Warning for the White House, to be in effect until Obama departs. You are strongly urged to don hip waders, turn on the pumps, fling the bullshit right back at them, and use every last opportunity to deny them even more control, especially any national-level elections that may be in your area. This concludes this transmission from the Emergency Blogging System.

Don’t you dare fucking question Teh Won, otherwise his prissy little feelings will be hurt (oops, too late).

A break point came when Fox tried to create the impression that angry anti-Obama protesters at congressional town hall meetings last summer signaled that Obama’s healthcare proposals were dying, a story line that other news organization picked up. White House officials say this was untrue, that those proposals were not dying at all.

Want to bet that support for PlaceboCare isn’t dead amongst the populace? Shoebox and I (but mostly Shoebox) have noted that in poll after poll, support for PlaceboCare has reached Code Blue. I believe the Bones McCoy character in “Star Trek” said it best regarding public support – “It’s dead, Jim.”

Another break point came when Fox commentator Chris Wallace called White House officials “crybabies.” A senior Obama adviser tells U.S. News that White House staffers developed “a growing realization” that the president would never get a fair shake from Fox.

Somebody get Obama and his fellow crybabies a fucking Waaaaaaaahmulance! Paging Col. Jessup. Paging Col. Nathan R. Jessup. Please pick up the gold phone.

Conservatives realize that they never get a fair shake from the likes of PMSDNC, CNN, CBS, most of ABC, the New York Times, the Washington Post,…(need I go on?). Do you see national conservatives boycotting the Left-Stream Media en masse?

White House insiders say that, at some point, White House officials will appear again on Fox, but they will do so expecting an antagonistic atmosphere, as if they were appearing on conservative talk radio.

STOP THE TAPE! Since when is the job of a proper press to swallow whole and then simply regurgitate? Oh wait a minute; we’re talking about presstitutes. ROLL TAPE!

…Asked what White House insiders hope to accomplish with the feud, the adviser says, “We are not spending much time here at the White House thinking about Fox” but are focusing instead on the president’s agenda, including healthcare legislation, the economy, regulatory reform, Afghanistan, and Iran. “Fox is using this to promote themselves,” the adviser says. “Our hope is simply that responsible journalists will not go chasing after Fox stories” as if these stories were legitimate….

That’s why they’ve spent all week trying to get the rest of the press corps to join in their little quest for Moby Dick’s hide. Slight problem; “responsible journalists” don’t like to be told what to cover and not to cover because having the government deeming what stories are “legitimate” tends to raise the hair on their necks (presstitutes, on the other hand, tend to have gone Brazilian).

And the Fox experience has toughened the White House’s attitude about taking on other critics, such as the health insurance industry. “We are not going to allow people to misrepresent the president or his program,” a White House spokesman warns. “We won’t allow people to attack the president and his programs without making sure the president’s voice is heard in the process.”

Translation: “You know that clause in the First Amendment about the right to redress grievances? We’ll make it so fucking painful that nobody will dare speak up against us.”

For their part, Republicans say they are delighted that the White House is focusing on Fox, because it distracts the Obama team from more substantive issues and makes it look nasty. The GOP officials see a pattern. “Any time anyone on Capitol Hill or in a news organization challenges the administration, they go to their standard playbook response—to demonize them,” says a top Republican strategist.

I like the “for their part” horseshit disclaimer. After dedicating six paragraphs to sucking up to Teh Won, they didn’t even have the balls to get somebody from Fox News to retort. They had to reinforce the ObamiNation FOX = GOP meme instead, and then promptly blow the smear attempt because Fox News isn’t saying that the war is distracting the White House from its attempt to resurrect the Soviet Empire on this side of the Atlantic. Rather, the war is to distract the sheeple from that attempt.

October 23, 2009

No Free Lunch

by @ 11:18. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

The folks pushing Placebocare are wanting us to believe that other than the $800 Billion or higher increase in the deficit, Placebocare won’t cost anyone another penny to provide all of its wonders.  On it’s face, this doesn’t pass the smell test.  How do you add tens of millions of additional users to a system without increasing costs?  How to you accept all health conditions without increasing costs?  How do you dramatically reduce the ability to rate differently for different health situations without increasing costs…at least on someone?  How, how, how?

The Politico is reporting that another set of Placebocare studies have been done by WellPoint.  While not received directly from WellPoint, Ben Smith has the studies posted on his blog.  Want to see the potential impact of Placebocare on your health insurance premiums?  From the studies posted on Smith’s site:

HEalth costs

Note that these are projections of the increase in health insurance premiums. While they do assume that new taxes on things like hearing aids etc. are passed on via increased health care premiums, it does not include increases in your taxes that will be required to offset the significant increase in the deficit Placebocare will cause.

So, what do we see here?  Well, we see some very basic economic principles being reflected. 

In regular insurance analysis, the amount of risk assumed directly impacts the fees charged to assume that risk.  This principle is why in today’s health insurance, we see young, healthy people being charged significantly less for insurance than older, less healthy people.  Placebocare, like so many other government programs, does not treat people as groups of similarly situated individuals but rather, attempts to treat everyone the same.  The result is clear in the information provided from these studies.

Looking at the result of the studies we see several things.  First, the people or groups who are closest to the blended average of all have the least increase in their insurance costs.  Second, those who typically pay the least amount for their insurance will see dramatic increases in their rates so as to bring them closer to the “norm”.  Finally, we see that those who today, pay the higher premiums, will actually see some reduction in premiums.  Of course in this last case, the reduction in premiums will also come with a reduction in the overall services they receive as this will be the group that feels the required effects of reducing the provision of health care in an attempt to keep Placebocare from completely bankrupting the nation.

Folks, none of this is suprising.  There has never been a government run social program that hasn’t cost dramatically more than budgeted and resulted in increased deficits or costs over time.  Does anyone really think Obama and his acolytes have found a way to break this trend?  If they have, why don’t they focus that pixie dust on Social Security which is the number one problem for long term budget deficits.  Better yet, why don’t they fix Medicare and Medicaid, places where they already have near complete control on benefits and reimbursements?

Through Divine insight or shear luck, the Founding Fathers did not allow for the government to be involved in social programs.  If through insight, perhaps we can learn as every time the government wades into the social economic programs, they become a bigger mess than had it been left alone.  When government gets involved with social economic programs it does not create a “Free Lunch” but it sure as heck will create less liberty and an increase in taxes!

Does A Party Toady Dither In The Media?

That should be answer that replaces “does a bear shit in the woods” as the response to all obvious answers.

In case you haven’t been watching, there is an interesting race shaping up in NY-23.  Dede Scozzafava is the Republican backed candidate, Bill Owens is backed by the Democrats.  Doug Hoffman is running under the banner of the Conservative Party.

While the Republicans have backed, and are providing significant financial support for Scozzafava, there is significant concern not just whether Scozzafava is a conservative but, as the The Jawa Report lays out, wether she shouldn’t actually be running as a Democrat.  On the other hand, there is no doubt about Hoffman’s conservative credentials. 

In a move I’m afraid we will see even more in 2010, the Republican establishment chose to support Scozzafava, the person they believe is “more electable,” than the person, Hoffman, who clearly supports Republican principles.  Who the party is supporting has become so contorted that you have

Fred Thompson, Club for Growth and Bill Kristol on one side, Newt Gingrich, Daily Kos and Michael Steele on another side, and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama on yet another side

One of the things that has been interesting in watching the race is that as it bits conservatives against “the establishment,” non of the purported Presidential hopefuls had taken a position or supported a candidate in this race.  That is they didn’t until yesterday.

Yesterday, Sarah Palin came out in support of Hoffman.  Her reasoning was clear and sound:

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”

Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

Palin goes on to point out the problems with the establishment within the Republican party:

Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of “blurring the lines” between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party’s ticket.

Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual.

Another Presidential hopeful was asked yesterday, what his position on NY-23 was.  While he does have positions on the VA and NJ Gubernatorial races, Tim Pawlenty claimed to be unaware of a race that has become an icon for the future of the Republican party:

“You know I haven’t been following that, I haven’t studied the race at all,” he said. “It’s not that I would or wouldn’t, I just don’t know anything about it. I haven’t taken the time to study their positions, their records, so I haven’t taken a position on it.”

Yeah, right, Tim. 

Mark Tim’s response in your note book for the 2012 Presidential campaign.  For all the talk about a Pawlenty Presidential run, it really should be that, just talk.  Pawlenty has been successful in his vow to keep taxes down.  However, on the social side, think George Bush’s passionate conservatism. 

It should be clear to all Republican politicians that the political landscape has shifted.  Running a party under the header of “we’re not the other guys,” is a strategy that will not work in 2012.  A significant portion of what has traditionally been the Republican base are asking for representation that is specifically and concretely committed to the principles of smaller government.  We (I’m one of them) believe that much of the problem with the last few election cycles is that allowing the “electability” factor to outweigh the “principle” factor has brought us a party that is rapidly and consistently brought us to our current state of “Democrat Lite.”

For Pawlenty to miss this opportunity to firmly endorse the candidate who clearly represents the “government = bad” part of the Republican platform, should show to all that he is too beholden to the “status quo” of the Republican machine to be considered a serious candidate for 2012.  

I don’t hold out much hope for a 2012 Presidential run by Pawlenty.  While he’s my Governor and I appreciate his ability to out fox the Democrats and keep a lid on taxes, there are too many times where he has shown that he is just another “Compassionate Conservative.”  If Pawlenty wants to change this image he will need to find sound, principled reasons to vocally buck “the machine.”  If he doesn’t, he’ll end up behind Huckabee and Romney in the “next in line” and behind Palin or someone else as the “True Conservative” on the ballot

The Kenseths come to Oak Creek

by @ 7:23. Filed under Sports.

Author’s note; this is adapted from my two-part report over on the Matt Kenseth Fan Club boards, done at the “request” of the board’s Crew Chief Rae.

Since I am a Matt Kenseth fan, and Matt, his father Roy and his son Ross decided to come down to Oak Creek to help celebrate the re-opening of the Oak Creek Farm and Fleet store (helped by the fact F&F is Ross’ main sponsor), I decided to brave the rain and the traffic to meet them and get an autograph and a few pictures. The pics from the “good” camera are up on my Flickr account, while the early ones from the “smart”phone went up on Twitpic.

Even though I live a few minutes from the Farm and Fleet, I got there late thanks to the same traffic that held up the Kenseths. The parking lot was completely full, and I ended up parking on a side street a few-minute walk in the rain from the store. That rain also limited the outdoor display to the hauler and the DeWalt show car.

Because I was late, I didn’t get a ticket, at least initially. However, I got extremely lucky when somebody who somehow had an extra ticket had his cell phone die on him, and he asked me to message him a pic. Because it is easier for me to send it via e-mail, I did that instead (and it also allowed me to let him know about the full set).

Since that extra ticket was in the last few of the 400 to get tickets, I decided to grab a couple of crowd-related shots. The shot of the night was a young fan up on the table between Matt and Ross. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY with a camera was taking pictures of that.

Matt and Ross with a young fan
Do click on the pic for the standard Flickr sizing options, including the gonzo-sized one

One of the hardest shots to get was Ross’ trophy collection. The line to get autographs went right past it. Something I did leave out of the MKFC report was the spotty cell coverage; the indoor coverage from AT&T ranged from the Edge network to no data coverage at all, which isn’t good when trying to upload 600K-sized pics.

Eventually, my number group got called, so I got into line. I ran into somebody who drove in from Iowa and also got in a bit too late to get a ticket. He heard from one of the Farm and Fleet employees that even though Matt and Ross were a bit late in getting in, they would try to stay a bit later after all 400 ticket-holders were taken care of to sign some more autographs.

I got all the way in and handed my hat, which I picked up at the Miller Lite Nationals this year to ward off the rain, to Roy. He found the one part that isn’t black and signed it. He then passed it to Ross, who found a silver Sharpie and put his signature on it. Meanwhile, I handed my 2007 Carhartt race-won diecast to Matt to sign. Ross, forgetting that there was a one-item-per-driver limit, handed my hat to Matt, and he also signed that.

I briefly talked to Matt about what might have been had he had more cars like the Charlotte one a couple months earlier, and he’s looking forward to getting a win or two out of the rest of the season. I had to head to a meeting to which I was already rather late, so I don’t know whether the gentleman from Iowa who got in a bit late was able to get something signed. Before I left, however, I decided to give DeWalt one last plug with the signed souvenirs since Farm and Fleet was so kind to have a DeWalt display.

The night's booty
Again, click on the pic for the standard Flickr range of sizes.

October 22, 2009

Fight for Anita

by @ 13:35. Filed under Politics - National.

I’m just a bit late to this since I’ve been out of it all week, but in case you missed the addition to that sidebar to your left, Anita MonCrief, who has been blowing the whistle on ACORN’s attempts to corrupt the electoral process needs your help. She has become a target of a lawsuit brought by her former employers at Project Vote, an affiliate of ACORN. She is not taking that attempt at intimidation lying down, as she and her lawyers has filed a counterclaim, as well as a motion to dismiss the original lawsuit.

I cannot tell the story better than either Anita or Michelle Malkin can, so if you have any doubts on whether Anita is a person worthy of support, go read, and then head back to donate to her defense fund.

Needless to say, legal representation is not cheap. It also is necessary, because Anita, and James O’Keefe/Hannah Giles/Andrew Breitbart are just their first targets. If ACORN is successful here, they will continue to use the courts to try to silence every other critic.

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