Will Someone Turn Off the Broken Record?

I know that I haven’t posted for a while.  Besides life and work going on at the usual frantic pace, there really isn’t much new to post about.  Sure, there are developments on the current stories and topics, but essentially there really isn’t much new under the sun.  The following, however, did catch my attention during the ad hoc sabbatical:

The investigation into the Russian hacking/interfering of the US elections is turning out to be a three ring circus with the WAH! Party* playing the part of the clowns.  While there has been a revelation that Russia did attempt to access voter records, it was unsuccessful.  While the WAH! Party* and their sycophants in the Media point to this as being “evidence” that there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump Campaign, no hard evidence has been presented to show that this is the case.

But the question begs to be asked – If there was collusion, why would the Russians throw their resources behind the Republicans and not the WAH! Party*?  Other than the generic “business dealings” explanation, nothing else sticks.  Indeed, if there were charges of collusion, it should be against the WAH! Party*, and here’s a couple of reasons why:

  • During the 2012 campaign, then President Obummer was caught on an open microphone talking to the Russian President and stated ““This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility.”  This was in reference to the US-led missile defense of Europe through NATO.  Almost sounds like the President was willing to throw our allies under the bus in favor of the Russian Bear…
  • It is well known that while Felonia von Pantsuit was the the Secretary of State, she negotiated a contract with Russia for access to uranium mines and material located in the US, possibly in return for “contributions” to her personal slush-fund known as the Clinton Foundation.  Sounds very favorable to the Russians and potentially damaging to the WAH! Party* candidate (subject to blackmail or at least conflict of interest charges).

Currently, there is a witch-hunt going on that will supposedly “find” evidence of collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russians.  Personally, I believe that the WAH! Party* made this up to explain why their candidate lost to a non-political candidate.

Last, considering that then President Obummer sent US taxpayer dollars to influence Israel’s election is absolutely hypocritical.

Moving on…

The disaster known as ObamaCare is failing in more states as insurance companies pull out of more exchanges, leaving some people without insurance options.  Obamacare was designed to fail, and the WAH! Party* was playing the long game, fully expecting the voters to continue electing their candidates in order to pass single-payer government funded health insurance legislation to “save” the people.  This POS legislation needs to be repealed, not replaced, by the Republicans.

Next…

Terrorist attacks continue in Europe with the incompetent Progressive politicians stating that terrorism is now a way of life, and wants the population at large to be disarmed so that the government can protect them better with unarmed police.  Doesn’t work in France or England as the terrorists still find a way to find arms, make bombs, and run over people with vehicles in a largely gun-free zone/country.

Twits….

Another anniversary of D-Day has passed.  A lot has changed from the character of the young men who rushed into danger and death.  Now the young people rush from bad words, hate speech, and hurtful ideas to safe zones with puppies and play dough because they need protection from all things that create micro-aggressions in some of the most expensive colleges that are educating tomorrow’s leaders.

Pathetic and sad, and doesn’t bode well for the future of the country…

Climate Warming/Cooling/Change is being revealed as being more scam than science.  If it was really true, then the computer models would all agree without having to fudge or cherry-pick the data, and would also explain why the Earth has warmed and cooled in the past without man’s interference.  All one has to do is follow the money between the proponents of Climate Warming/Cooling/Change and the politicians & scientists that derive power & funding to know that their isn’t a bit of reality to any of it.  I applaud President Trump calling out these hypocrites, withdrawing from the non-binding Paris Accord that penalizes the US & almost no one else, and allowing the eco-wienies to collectively throw hissy-fits.

Yes, I will admit to a bit of schadenfreude watching them…

While there is more that can be commented on, this is what is at the top of my list at the moment.  Until next time.


* The WAH! Party stands for Whiners And Hypocrites, of which the Democratic Party has become.

What’s Next?

This past week, the Republicans found that talk was cheap compared to the actions that they needed to take to repeal and replace the monstrosity known as ObamaCare.  The solution that they came up with fell far short of what was expected of them.

One would think that it would be easy to simply repeal the existing law and set everything back to the way it was before the Democrats inflicted this POS legislation upon the American people.  But it’s not that easy.

The problem is that ObamaCare has become an entitlement that some people depend upon at the expense of hurting far more people.  The result is a program that is failing (it was designed to, by the way) – insurance companies fleeing the exchanges with those that remain charging higher and higher premiums with deductibles that people ultimately cannot afford.

The bad news is that the Republican’s replacement to ObamaCare failed to get the necessary votes in the House to pass the Bill to the Senate where, in my opinion, it would have been shot down in flames with all its flaws exposed.  The worse news is that ObamaCare is still law, and it is going downhill fast.

Ramirez_OCare_Blimp

The bigger question is who’s going to be hurt most by this failure.  I will guarantee that it won’t be the insurance companies or the politicians – the insurance companies have been playing both sides where they would come out winners (remember the section in ObamaCare that guarantees for the Government to cover any losses by the insurance companies?), and the politicians have their own health plan (they quietly repealed the section of the ObamaCare law that mandated that they would be on the same plan as the rest of us).  So once again, the American taxpayer will bear the costs of this insanity.

I found a commentator by the name of Dan Carlin who takes a neutral political view of the situations in the world.  His take on health care finances, the healthcare industry, and the politics behind it are eye-opening and interesting.  While I do not agree with everything he says, he does make a compelling case for an alternative healthcare system in his latest audio “Common Sense 314 – Unhealthy Numbers.”  His show notes point to a resource that has graphs that show that our healthcare system is sick, and probably headed for financial collapse.  For example:

Squires OECD Exhibit 01

To sum up the audio and the show notes, Americans spend the highest amount for healthcare insurance and health care, but receive lower benefits from that health care.  Where does that help anyone in the long term?

Regardless, the passage of ObamaCare was to force the health care insurance industry into a single payer system – the government – with the health insurers as their surrogates.  The end result is that the American taxpayer would pay not only for the program in taxes, but fees to the insurance companies in amounts greater than if the politicians had stayed out of it.

The solution, in my opinion, is to 1) repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) in it’s entirety, 2) provide a financial safety net for those who have paid voluntarily into an optional program that would not be used for any other purpose except health care (something that Social Security was originally set up to be), 3) enact laws that will allow insurance companies to compete across state lines with the usual protections against price fixing/gouging and monopolies, 4) establish tax-free health savings accounts similar to Roth IRAs, and 5) remove any governmental management of health care from the private sector (we all can see how well government management works in the healthcare industry with the Veteran’s Administration).

I’m sure there are other ideas on this subject, but I already know that the politicians are ill equipped to handle any financial decisions.  Otherwise, how in the Hell could our country be trillions of dollars in debt, and needing loans from other countries to keep afloat?

Driving Off The Cliff

Do the Republicans have a fricking political death wish?

This past week, the Republicans have put forth their initial proposed replacement (not repeal) of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) titled the American Health Care Act, or AHCA.  The critics have called the AHCA a number of names including ObamaCare Lite and ObamaCare 2.0.  Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) stated:

“It’s a stinking pile of garbage. …It’s not a Republican, conservative bill. …One thing that I’ve maintained is that this bill was written with the help of the insurance companies, just like Obamacare. That’s why it looks so similar.“

From the articles that I’ve read so far, the AHCA is a tweak to the existing law, keeping the popular parts, dumping the unpopular parts (mostly), but keeping the government firmly in charge.  And by the way, it appears that you would be required to buy insurance by law.  Fix it

A far cry from the “repeal and replace” campaign promises of the Republican Party.  One begins to wonder why, and that brings back something that I wrote over a decade ago:

In case any of you didn’t know, a typical politician’s primary job is not to serve the people who elected him. His primary job is to get himself (or herself) elected or re-elected. Second is to reward all those contributors that gave $$ to help him get elected. Third is to get as many perks & benefits as he can while he is in office. Last on the list is the common person like you & I.

And here we go again – that vicious circle where We The People vote professional politicians into office based on their promises only to get screwed again.  To continue with the same post:

What happens is that anything that the politician has promised, said they would do, or otherwise look into during the campaign is promptly forgotten, and we, as the stupid idiots that we are, forget right along with them. That is, until the next time re-election comes up… Then it’s the “other party’s” fault for putting up roadblocks, vetoes, filibusters, yadda, yadda, yadda as to why they couldn’t fulfill their promises.

Does this dance routine sound familiar?  But the voters have woken up, and if the Republicans continue the politics as usual routine, they could find themselves in the same condition as the Democratic Party, and We The People might just find ourselves with a vengeful Democratic Congress back in power.

Here’s the problem – government entitlements like ObamaCare are rarely (never) repealed in their entirety.  There are certain groups that depend on the entitlements, and they are usually 1) very vocal about their support, 2) the Media makes it their “human interest story” about the government abusing their power (!) by taking away their civil rights (!!) to such a program, and 3) the Media putting the politicians trying to curb the entitlement through the 9th circle of Hell for even thinking to reduce government entitlements.

I’ve read somewhere that politicians, as a whole, are some of the most risk adverse people on the planet.  And it’s true – they will go to almost any length to avoid controversy that they cannot control or benefit from.  This is exactly what is happening here.  They want to keep the entitlements for the minority while trying to appease the majority with legal smoke and mirrors – a difficult balancing act that isn’t going to go too far with an awake electorate.

Arthur Schaper at Townhall.com has an interesting take on what should be done:

…repeal the whole damn Obamacare monstrosity, and let the free market make us healthy…

Don’t just repeal Obamacare, but repeal all the stupid rules pushed by government and corporate interests to enrich themselves while impoverishing everyone else. And about more policy-oriented discussions …

Let’s repeal the nasty notion that health care is a “right” which the government must provide. It’s not working in Canada, the United Kingdom, or Sweden. Bernie Sanders is a spoiled regressive from Vermont. He should try getting health care in Canada, where he can pull a number of hope that he wins a locale’s once-a-month lottery to see a family doctor. The animals get better care than human beings.

Don’t just repeal the Obamacare monster. Remove all the decades-old layers of government regulation. During World War II, FDR imposed age controls, so employers offered health insurance to compete for jobs. Now Americans expect third parties (including the government) to bear the burden)

Arbitrary caps on medical students, guild-system quotas on medical professionals, and arbitrary licensure laws are not helping. The government that wants to keep us healthy is making us sicker.

When Medicare arrived, more people ended up spending other people’s money for less healthcare.

Get rid of it.

The tort-lawyer lobby is kicking taxpayers’ butts. Time to discourage punitive damage awards? Restore the Common Law provisions which forced lawsuit losers to pay back the winning party’s attorney’s fees?

Sounds like a winner to me.  Hope the Republicans are listening…

A Response to Facebook Question

A longtime friend saw the following graphic on my personal Facebook page a couple of days ago –

People vs Govt

– and asked me the following question:

“Not meaning to pick a fight — I promise to listen and not to rebut — but what areas of government don’t work for you, at any level, federal, state or local? Thanks in advance.”

Here’s how I responded:

“Hey R. – Sorry for taking so long to respond to your question.  You asked a serious question, and I wanted to take the time to answer seriously instead of a flip, half-assed answer.

“The biggest negative impact that government has had on my family and I is in the healthcare regulations brought on by the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka ObamaCare.

“Every year, I get a physical.  Being the same age that I am, you understand that monitoring the state of our health is extremely important.  But every year, it costs me more out of pocket to get that physical.  While the physical itself is covered 100%, the lab work that go along with that physical are only partially covered.  But it wasn’t always that way.

“Like you, I get my healthcare subsidized by my company, and every year we go through the sign-up process.  Each year, we are presented with different plans to choose from.  And each year, the number of plans are reduced, the deductibles rise, and coverage is often (for lack of a better word) tweaked from last year.  And each year, the HR Benefits person states that these changes are in response to the regulations of ObamaCare, and these changes are to bring our coverage into compliance.

“Before ObamaCare, my physicals including labs were covered 100%.  My deductible was minimal for the coverage selected.  The fees for routine doctor visits (for colds, aches, immunizations, etc.) were also minimal.  Now, doctors visit fees are twice what I used to pay, and the labs are several hundred dollars (more if I need to wear a heart monitor to check a condition that I have).

“But that’s just me.  Since my wife had cataract surgery, any eye examination is now a medical exam, which was not the case before.  And those visits are barely discounted through the insurance, leaving a huge fee that gets applied to a large deductible.  And that stings – a lot.

“But I’m not the only person affected by this.  I know for a fact that a person that I used to work with has had her family’s health care premiums triple in the past 7 years.

“My savings per year is not the $2,500 that was promised, but quite the opposite.  I’m paying more that I ever have for routine health care.

“When the government passes a law that it is not Constitutionally allowed to, which was against public opinion (remember the multiple townhalls that were held and the attendee’s told the Congresscritters “NO!”?), passing the law without a full-reading of the text, and fails on each and every promise that was given to gain public support, then yes, there is a problem with the government going against the wishes and best interests of the citizens of this country.

“Just remember – Every law or regulation that is passed must be funded by the taxpayer in one way or another.  Also, to rely on the government for anything long-term is stupidity at best and insanity at worst.  ObamaCare hasn’t lasted 7 years and it’s failing, and it was touted to be a long-term cost-saving solution to the supposed health crisis.

“Sorry for the long-winded answer, but I hope this answers your question.”

With the ObamaCare fiasco hitting before the election, and the FBI reopening the email investigation, I hope that the voters wake up and see that a career political operative like the Hildebeast is not the right person to right the ship, but a political outsider.

We’ll see…

Are You Being Served? *

The main topic of 2014 is going to be ObamaCare – what’s it going to do to the American People in terms of cost, employment, and the effect upon the economy.  We’ve seen the effects of a bungled website and broken promises upon the people who had individual healthcare insurance plans.  With 2014, it will be the people who have insurance through their employers.  And that, my friends, will be a bigger disaster than what we have seen so far.

The Liberal / Progressives have all reassured us that all the problems with the website will be fixed soon (even though deadline after deadline has come & gone without resolution of said problems), and that everyone will be OK.  However, the website is only the beginning of the problems – the rules and regulations of the of the poorly written Affordable Healthcare Act (i.e. ACA or ObamaCare) as implemented by the Dept. of Human and Health Services (HHS)are not only voluminous but onerous (and that is being generous).

While I do admit to having a bit of Schadenfreude watching the Liberal / Progressive masterpiece self-destruct, I have to temper that with the 5-6 million people who have lost their insurance and cannot get it back either through the Exchanges or through their insurance companies.  Even if the few do get coverage, the numerous reports of increased premiums, larger deductibles, and unwanted services covered in the policies are legion, far outweighing the “success stories” put out by the lame-stream media.

And this year, the next folks in the ACA barrel will be people like me – those people who get their insurance through their work.  I’ve already had my monthly premiums raised slightly to cover what Human Resources calls “to comply with the Affordable Healthcare Act,” and that is before the so-called “Employer Mandate” kicks in later this year.  And folks, if you have been paying attention, the Liberal / Progressives want to delay the implementation of this mandate until after the 2014 Election.  I wonder why…not!

Our Congresscritters do not represent us, The People, for whom they were elected.  If they did, they would not have passed this legislation over multiple objections at multiple townhalls held throughout the country prior to passing this legislation.  Indeed, this POS legislation was passed without one Republican vote in the House or Senate.  So as far as I’m concerned, the Liberal / Progressive Democrats own this legislation, and must be held accountable for all of the legislation’s effects upon the American public.

While writing the above, I recalled some discussions and other posts of why our elected Representatives do not represent the people that elect them.  Part of the reason is a lack of individual accountability of the Representative to the population in their respective districts.

From Walter Williams in 2008:

The Federalist Papers, written by James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton, is the document most frequently referred to when trying to get a feel for the original intent of the framers of the Constitution. One such intention is found in Federalist 56 where Madison says, “…it seems to give the fullest assurance, that a representative for every thirty thousand inhabitants will render the (House of Representatives) both a safe and competent guardian of the interests which will be confided to it.”

Excellent research, found at http://www.thirty-thousand.org/index.htm, shows that in 1804 each representative represented about 40,000 people. Today, each representative represents close to 700,000. If we lived up to the vision of our founders, given today’s population, we would have about 7,500 congressmen in the House of Representatives.

James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, argued that the smaller the House of Representatives relative to the nation’s population, the greater is the risk of unethical collusion. He said, “Numerous bodies … are less subject to venality and corruption. ” In a word, he saw competition in the political arena as the best means for protecting our liberties.

Another problem of a small number of congressmen, with large districts, has to do with representing their constituents. How in the world is one congressman to represent the diverse interests and values of 700,000 people? The practical answer is they don’t and attempt to be all things to all people. Thus, a congressman who takes a principled stand against the federal government exceeding its constitutional authority — whether it be government involvement in education, business welfare and bailouts and $2 trillion dollars worth of other handouts — is not likely to win office.

The Constitution states in Article I Section 2 that

“The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative…”

Please note that Congress passed legislation in 1910 limiting the House to 435 members, but it is not a Constitutional Amendment!

From Margo Anderson:

The framers of the Constitution expected the House to grow with the population. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, in Federalist no. 58, noted that the purpose of the census was to “readjust, from time to time, the apportionment of representatives to the number of inhabitants . . . [and] to augment the number of representatives . . . under the sole limitation that the whole number shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand inhabitants . . . “

Let’s stop and think for a little bit.  While I’m certainly not comfortable with 7,000+ more politicians running around nor with one Representative for 700,000 people, there is a certain appeal to having the politicians being more accountable to their constituents.  Each politician would need to be more in tune to his voter base, and would theoretically be less influenced by special interest groups.

Opponents to this would include increased expenses for the politicians, no room in the Capitol for the increase in representatives, and an inefficiency in passing laws in their arguments against this line of thought.  Let’s address each of these:

Our representatives were not paid when this country was first founded.  Representing the People was considered to be a public service to the country, an honor, and was considered by many to be a duty.  (I personally would like to see the career politicians get a life outside of politics instead of dipping into the public trough for their livelihood.)  But that isn’t practical, so there should be a pay scale set up for the politicians based on the average income of the citizens of the United States.  If the People do better as a whole, then so will the Representatives.  If not, then they get to share the pain of their decisions as well as the rest of the People.

No room in the Capitol shouldn’t be a problem.  With technology being what it is, virtual meetings can be set up at almost any time at any location.  Voting on legislation can be set up in much the same way (as long as the same systems as Healthcare.gov are not used).  This way, the Representatives can stay home in their district to understand what the real issues of their constituents are concerned with instead of being insulated in the Washington DC Beltway.

Our Founders did not set up a system of government to be efficient.  No, it was deliberately set up to be inefficient and accountable to the People it represented.  I understand that as of January 1, 2014, over 40,000 laws went into effect nationwide.  Taxes, restrictions, grants, and other laws were created by our Local, State, and Federal Representatives over this past year.  This disturbs me on several levels, and can be summed up with the following statement:

Every law or regulation that is passed must be funded by the taxpayer in one way or another, and will most likely take away either a freedom of choice or infringe upon a right. – Tom Roland

There is no way that anyone, no matter how steeped in the law, can know every single law and regulation.  And I know that there are laws that are contradictory and useless, but they remain on the books.  But I digress only slightly.

The Representatives that we have now are woefully ignorant (or deliberately ignoring) the Constitution that they all took an oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”.  As such, they should, as a requirement, to read and reread the Constitution and the Amendments to understand their limitations as well as their authority and responsibility to the People of the United States.  As an added requirement, they should also be required to read the Federalist Papers, which would put them into the mindset of the Framers as to why the Constitution was written the way it was, and to fully understand the role of the Federal Government.  Walter Williams wrote in his January 1, 2014 Townhall.com column:

… Just as in a marriage where vows are broken, our rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them. These constitutional violations have increased independent of whether there’s been a Democrat-controlled Washington or a Republican-controlled Washington.

There is no evidence that Americans who are responsible for and support constitutional abrogation have any intention of mending their ways. You say, “Williams, what do you mean by constitutional abrogation?” Let’s look at the magnitude of the violations.

Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution lists the activities for which Congress is authorized to tax and spend. Nowhere on that list is there authority for Congress to tax and spend for: Medicare, Social Security, public education, farm subsidies, bank and business bailouts, food stamps and thousands of other activities that account for roughly two-thirds of the federal budget. Neither is there authority for congressional mandates to citizens about what type of health insurance they must purchase, how states and people may use their land, the speed at which they can drive, whether a library has wheelchair ramps, and the gallons of water used per toilet flush. The list of congressional violations of both the letter and spirit of the Constitution is virtually without end. Our derelict Supreme Court has given Congress sanction to do just about anything for which they can muster a majority vote.

James Madison, the acknowledged father of the Constitution, explained in Federalist Paper No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.” Our founder’s constitutional vision of limited federal government has been consigned to the dustbin of history.

And now, dear friends, we have come full circle to the start of this post.  The Representatives that we elected to govern us are not following the Constitution and are not representing the People that elected them.  This is why we have such legislation as the ACA / Obamacare.  But then again…

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

We The People are not being served, but we are on the darker side of “To Serve Man.” ** This is what happens when We The People make poor, uninformed choices when electing our Representatives to government. 

I can only hope that the People see what has been happening and make better choices in elections from 2014 onward.


* – “Are You Being Served” was a British sitcom that followed the misadventures of the staff of the fictional “Grace Brothers Department Store” that parodied the British class system.  I hope you get the irony here…

** – “To Serve Man” was a Twilight Zone episode based on a short story by Damon Knight.  Read the synopsis at Wikipedia to understand which definition of the word “serve” is being used above.