All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No Global Warming: One less thing to worry about? Don't count on it

Last week, hackers broke into the computers at Britain's Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. This was important because the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change uses the CRU as their source for data.

The hackers then posted over 1,000 emails and 72 documents on the internet revealing how the CRU was suppressing data that showed there was no warming of the planet:

"Those e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims."

The British press is up in arms over this. Brits are, after all, ahead of us on the Carbon Tax parade. In the U.S., there has not been much coverage.

In fact, as far as President Obama is concerned, it seems it is global warming business as usual.

Despite this huge nail in the global warming coffin hitting the press last week Thursday, President Obama still met with Indian and Chinese leaders this week, to coax them "one step closer" to climate deal:

"US President Barack Obama said Tuesday the world has moved 'one step closer' to a 'strong operational agreement' on climate change at next month's Copenhagen summit after his talks with Indian and Chinese leaders."

And Obama is still planning on attending the beginning of that U.N. climate meeting in Copenhagen.

Why? Global Warming is big business and can be used to control people's behaviors.

"Obama has made climate change a top priority of his administration..." The President still wants Cap and Trade to pass early next year.

In light of this new information, that the planet isn't warming, one would hope the push for taxing and controlling carbon emissions would be halted.

American scientist John Christy was was criticized in the hacked emails for asking that IPCC reports include dissenting points of view. He wrote, "It's disconcerting to realize that legislative actions [Cap and Trade] this nation is preparing to take, and which will cost trillions of dollars, are based upon a view of climate that has not been completely scientifically tested."

Disconcerting indeed. If only our President would check the Drudge Report once in a while!

More Reading: Climate Emails Stoke Debate, Scientists' Leaked Correspondence Illustrates Bitter Feud Over Global Warming

Hiding evidence of global cooling, Junk science exposed among climate-change believers

Global Warming with the Lid Off, The emails that reveal an effort to hide the truth about climate science

The Day Global Warming Stood Still

How the global warming industry is based on one MASSIVE lie (The Hockey Stick exposed)

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Defeating ObamaCare isn't about inflicting punishment!

Late Saturday night, I checked Drudge to see if there was any news on the Senate healthcare procedure vote and found Historic health care bill clears Senate hurdle. The opening paragraph revealed a strong media bias. (My emphasis throughout):

"Invoking the memory of Edward M. Kennedy, Democrats united Saturday night to push historic health care legislation past a key Senate hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on President Barack Obama. There was not a vote to spare."

The article then quoted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's absurd comparison that the Republicans trying to squelch debate on his health care bill was like preventing debate on ending slavery or granting the right to vote!

"Imagine if, instead of debating whether to abolish slavery, instead of debating whether giving women and minorities the right to vote, those who disagreed had muted discussion and killed any vote," Reid said. (By the way, Republicans championed abolition.)

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up the real reason for opposing Reid's ObamaCare. McConnell "said the vote was anything but procedural -- casting it as a referendum on the bill itself, which he said would raise taxes, cut Medicare and create a 'massive and unsustainable debt.'"

The bill does create MASSIVE and UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT. That is the REAL reason for opposing ObamaCare, not to just deliver a defeat to the president! Someone has to be the grownup here and say, no. Bottom line is, we cannot afford this legislation.

By the way, Sen. Mary Landrieu corrected the perception her vote was purchased for $100 million in aid to her state; it was really $300 million! She held out for a better deal.

It is ironic that Harry Reid views his health care legislation in terms of abolishing slavery or granting rights when in reality it will*:
  • Create 3,425 new mandates for individuals and businesses
  • New mandates will be managed by 111 NEW bureaucracies
  • Creates massive and unsustainable debt
  • Fails to cover 12 million Americans
  • Costs closer to $2.3 trillion over 10 years; $6.4 trillion if impact on private sector is factored in
  • Mandates taxpayer funded abortion
Does that sound like abolishing slavery or re-instituting it?

Opposing ObamaCare isn't about inflicting a punishing defeat on the President; it's about preventing bureaucratic entanglements and an unsustainable debt-load on the American people.

Given that most Americans do not support this type of health care reform, it is becoming more and more evident that we no longer have a representative government. We do, however, have the best government pork can buy. Heaven help us.

*Statistics from Vicki McKenna's show today
More reading: The Impending Obama Borrow and Spend Disaster
Most See No Upside to Health Care Reforms
Past Post: Being "stubborn as a mule" can be a good thing

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Health Care "Let's Make a Deal:" Call Senators! They vote Saturday

Don't you love it? The rumor was, not to worry, healthcare was dead in the senate. Oh, by the way, they will begin proceedings at 10am and take a vote on a motion to proceed to debate* (cloture), at 8pm this Saturday! And the arm-twisting is in full force.

Arm twisting? Yup. Can you tell me what a $100 million dollar Medicaid subsidy for "certain states recovering from a major disaster" has to do with a health care bill?

Plenty, if you must have Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's support to make ObamaCare fly. Cloture on the motion to proceed requires 60 votes. Sen. Harry Reid needs her. From ABC News: (My emphasis)

"Here's a case study [on arm twisting]: On page 432 of the Senate bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for "certain states recovering from a major disaster.. ...that it would be states that 'during the preceding 7 fiscal years' have been declared a 'major disaster area.'

ABC News has been told the section applies to exactly one state: Louisiana, the home of moderate Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill."

Other arms are being twisted too.

Republicans threaten to filibuster. In fact, "Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has threatened to use a procedural move that would require Senators to read the entire health care bill before voting for it."

That's great! It not only will stall the progress but also make sure that the senators actually read the thing. You can too, the full bill is available here - and its word search-able.

Here are just a few items in the Reid version of ObamaCare:
  • subsidizes abortion
  • has a public option
  • removes $500 Billion from Medicare (already about $40Trillion in debt and insolvent by 2017)
  • increases Medicare payroll taxes
  • includes a 40% excise tax on plans over $8,500 single and $23,000 family/year
  • raises taxes by $276 Billion
The Senate version does not include the $210 Billion Doc Fix. (The House just approved Doc Fix which adds to the deficit.)

Don't believe for a minute that Reid's ObamaCare bill will reduce the deficit. Sen. Judd Gregg calculates it as $2.5 Trillion over 10 years**.

How can it reduce the deficit with things like this? "It would also provide subsidies to households with less than $88,000 income to buy health insurance. " Well, at least I can get some financial aid for our health insurance! But seriously, why is the government helping families with incomes so far above the national average?


Mark Levin urged his listeners Thursday night to call 4 key Senators, 3 of which were noted in the article: "Moderate Democrats who have expressed their reservations with the broad strokes, including Landrieu, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, also met with Reid. " Levin added Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana.

True, they aren't our Senators, but he made a good point akin to this: If the office aid tells you you can't lobby the senator because you are out of state, politely reply that this vote effects you. If the senator votes for it, you may support their opponent in the next election. In addition, why is it OK that Senator Reid is able to lobby them or President Obama, but you can't?

What do you have to lose by making 6 phone calls? Nothing. Plenty, if you don't do it.
Wisconsin's Senators

Senator Russ Feingold (202) 224-5323

Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653

I don't trust that Cap and Trade is dead for now either. When I called Feingold and Kohls' offices Thursday, I urged them both to vote against health care in any form and cap and trade. I also voiced my outrage over the 9/11 terrorists being tried in civil court.

Call the other 4 key Senators:

Mary Landrieu of Louisiana


Ben Nelson of Nebraska


Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas


Evan Bayh of Indiana


Look up your Senator here

*For clarification purposes, this sentence was changed a bit. The CNN link should shed some light on what to expect.

**Senator Judd Gregg: True Cost of Democrats' Health Care Bill is at least $2.5 Trillion and another $4 Trillion that would come out of the private economy over 10 years. Total? $6.4 TRILLION

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Bad News Friday or what will Obama dump on us today?

It seems every week there is some new policy change, gaffe, apology for America, or assault on liberty coming from President Obama or his administration. If you have been paying attention, you've noticed how many times the bad news is delivered on a Friday. It is very wearing.

It must be getting to other people too. On Wednesday, Nov. 18th, two related opinion pieces from Monica Crowley, A 'What now?' presidency, The endless series of unfathomable decisions and Karl Rove, The Permanent Campaign Continues, The KSM trial announcement was too important for a Friday news dump, summed up what I and other Americans are feeling. Both are worth reading in their entirety.

What is interesting to me is that they follow a similar format: They each list Obama's bad decisions in chronological order. The only real difference is that Rove supplies dates--all on Fridays.

A friend and I were just talking about this very thing: The Obama Presidency is wearing us out! Monica Crowley must have been listening in on that conversation. She wrote:

"Over the past 10 months, President Obama has subjected the country to a grueling and dizzying whirligig ride. Every day brings a new outrage, failure, resignation, scandalous revelation, incompetence, untruth, laughable spin and, most important, horrifyingly bad policy.

You cannot open a newspaper, go to a news Web site, or turn on cable news without seeing a new story that is more appalling than the last. Just when you think you've heard it all from Team Obama, the next day brings another jaw-dropper.

The man is exhausting."

As for Karl Rove's piece, today is Friday... what's the bad news for today? I don't know yet.

As for permanent campaign mode, last night, Drudge posted this revealing quote from President Obama addressing our troops in South Korea*: "You guys make a pretty good photo op." Unbelievable.

*The photo op article is about Obama's failure to make a decision on Afghanistan before Thanksgiving. I can't imagine why he is waiting. Could it be he's waiting for his health care bill to pass first so as to not alienate some Democrats?

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good Grief, President Obama, The Buck Stops With YOU

President Harry Truman often said, "The buck stops here." He even had a little plaque that sat on his desk in the Oval Office, bearing that motto. It served as a great reminder that he was ultimately responsible for what went on in his administration. Truman said, "The President—whoever he is—has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job."

Fast forward 60 years to the Obama administration. We have a president who doesn't seem to realize he is the man at the helm; he is responsible.

Today's latest Obama news from Beijing, China made me see red: Obama: Too much debt could fuel double-dip recession:

"President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession."

..."It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession," Obama said.


True, the debt is piling up. Lookie Mr. Obama! Click the link to see the Federal Budget Deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product at a glance. The graph shows this year's amount of 9.9% is over 3 times that of last year's. (That would be President Bush's deficit, a level that alarmed conservatives like me.)

But with all due respect to the office of the president, who do you think pushed/is pushing for all that deficit spending? Obama said the Stimulus was absolutely necessary to prevent unemployment from going above 9%; it is currently at 10.2%--more realistically, it's over 17%. (The Stimulus jobs haven't even been created.) Who took over GM? Who is pushing for Cap and Trade? Who is saying we must reform health care even though it carries an unsustainable price tag?

If the President is looking for someone to blame, he can just look in the mirror. The buck stops there.

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brookfield 2010 Budget: Public hearing and vote tonight, 7:45pm

The City of Brookfield is voting on the proposed 2010 budget tonight. There is a short public hearing segment on the budget at the beginning of that meeting. This is your chance to voice a concern. The Hearing/Council Meeting will begin at 7:45pm, in Common Council Chambers at Brookfield's City Hall. Agenda/Alderman Packet (Thanks Fairly Conservative)

There are certain city services most of us would agree are necessities, regardless of cost. You know, police and fire protection, keeping roads in good condition, maintaining city utilities, etc.

As for the niceties, things like bike paths, sidewalks on one or both sides of the street, boulevard plantings, faux painted retaining walls, etc., one change I would love to see is that a price tag be attached to these unnecessary expenditures. Price tag being defined as the total cost and cost per average household for initial expenditure and yearly maintenance.

It is very easy to say, yes, I like having the boulevards planted with grass, trees and flowers, or faux field stone retaining walls, or paved sidewalks/bike paths. But what are the yearly costs associated with maintaining the plantings? How about the faux painted retaining walls? How much does path snow plowing cost?

I know this is small potatoes, but as we see these types boulevard plantings becoming more commonplace, know that the cost is not just for the initial installation, but in the maintaining. Ongoing nicety maintenance payroll costs are a concern to me.

In times of plenty, maybe we can afford these niceties. But in a troubled economy, where people are unemployed or underemployed, any increase in their property tax bill is a hardship. Commercial property owners also have a tough time paying their taxes in bad times. When the mall owner has vacancies, they can become delinquent taxpayers.

Creating labor intensive niceties is creating a larger dragon as they say, and that dragon must be fed in the lean times too.

We can play all sorts of bookkeeping magic to make the 2010 budget (bottom pp4) look like it is less than last year's, but the bottom line for me is, are my property taxes going up this year as compared to last year's bill?

2010 Proposed Budget
Summary of City fund budgets
Tax Levies and Rates
General operating fund budget summary

Finance Committee Amendments

Mayor's budget calls for 2.4% rise in levy

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh My! A Lib blog thanks and apologizes to Bush and Chaney?

It is amazing to me that President Obama's approval numbers are still around 47%, when so many supporters are showing signs of voter's remorse.

Obviously, the President has lost his invincible, I'll solve it all, image, and many people are quietly changing their minds about him. But rarely do we see a turn around such as this one from a Pro-Hillary Clinton blog written by some gay guys in Chicago!*

Read this amazing post from their HillBuzz blog. Thank you former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush Here are some highlights:

"If you have been reading us for any length of time, you know that we used to make fun of 'Dubya' [Bush] nearly every day…

"Oh, how we RAILED against Bush in 2000…and how we RAILED against the surge in support Bush received post-9/11 when he went to Ground Zero and stood there with his bullhorn in the ruins on that hideous day."

"We were convinced that ANYONE who was president would have done what Bush did..."

"Well, we told you before how much the current president, Dr. Utopia [Obama], made us realize just how wrong we were about Bush. We shudder to think what Dr. Utopia would have done post-9/11. He would have not gone there with a bullhorn and struck that right tone. More likely than not, he would have been his usual fey, apologetic self and waxed professorially about how evil America is and how justified Muslims are for attacking us, with a sidebar on how good the attacks were because they would humble us. ...The world needed George W. Bush, his bullhorn, and his indomitable spirit that day…and we will forever be grateful to this man for that."

"As we will always be grateful for what George and Laura Bush did this week, with no media attention, when they very quietly went to Ft. Hood and met personally with the families of the victims of this terrorist attack."

The post brings up how the Obamas should have gone to Ft. Hood, but didn't. It took President Obama 5 days to go visit the victims, and it seems to me, that was only prompted because he was speaking at the memorial service.

"Thank goodness George W. is still on his watch, with wonderful Laura at his side."

"We are blessed as a nation to have these two out there…"

"And we are blessed to have Dick Cheney, wherever he is, keeping tabs on all that’s going on and speaking out when the current administration does anything too reckless and dangerous."

"Cheney’s someone else we villainized and maligned in the past who we were also wrong about....There has never been a Vice President more spot-on right about the dangers facing this country from Islamic terrorism."

"Thank you for your service, Mr. President. We’re sorry we didn’t appreciate you while you were in office, but we thank Heaven we’ve wised up and can see the good you are out there doing, under the radar, today."

Others are realizing You don't know what you've got 'till its gone! From the UK Telegraph, Bloodless President Barack Obama makes Americans wistful for George W Bush:

"In a sign that the Obama honeymoon truly is over, I began to hear this week the first stirrings of a wistfulness about Mr Bush. "I never thought I'd hear myself say it," one Democrat told me. 'But Obama makes you feel that at least with Bush you knew where he was on something.'"

If I have learned one thing blogging, it is that if you wait long enough, you will find common ground with those on the opposite side of the political spectrum. I just never expected I would find so much common ground on a Hillary blog. I think HillBuzz has found a new reader!

Other HillBuzz posts I found of interest: Thursday Open Thread, advocates lower taxes, smaller govt. and abolishing ACORN, among other things.
The latest ridiculous attack on Sarah Palin in Chicago: Oprah's audience complains they didn't get any free books
Why can't Jill Biden take Mrs. Utopia [Obama] shopping sometime? " of the biggest breaks Mrs. Utopia caught in 2008 is when Mr. Blackwell died. That man could have filled one of his Worst Ever lists with things the current First Lady has worn this week, alone. "
Republicans would be smart to blame Dr. Utopia on the media - and in particular, Oprah

* Thanks, Jay Weber, for bringing this to my attention

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank you, Veterans, for the final salute

Shortly before Memorial Day, my father, a WW2 Veteran, died. He was 90 years old and even though declining health had taken its toll since his stroke, he still held his Marine Corps days with high regard.

In planning his funeral, we were asked if we wanted military honors. Knowing how Dad valued his Marine Corps service, we said, yes.

At the internment, 9 senior veterans from the Badger Detachment of the Marine Corps League and 3 young Marines performed the honors.

First there was the 3-volley salute. Eight of the 9 Marine Vets raised their rifles and fired 3 rounds,* while the 3 active duty Marines stood at a distance facing the casket.

After the 8 gun salute, the 3 Marines approached and commenced with their ceremony.

The bugle player paced to the left and played Taps while the remaining 2 soldiers gave a final, white gloved salute.

The 2 remaining Marines then removed the flag from the casket and performed the flag folding ritual.

It was a solemn ceremony, and as the soldiers carefully folded the flag until only a triangle with stars** in the field of blue remained, the quiet time allowed each of us an opportunity to contemplate a life well lived.

When the young Marine came forward to present me with the flag, my eyes welled up with tears. I thought of this young man, and how my dad was once a young man just like him. They both had hopes and dreams. They both enlisted to serve, and possibly die for their country. I also thought of my neighbor, whose 2 sons had enlisted in the Marine Corps since 9/11. I felt a deep sense of gratitude for their service.

The young Marine handed me the flag with great solemnity and these traditional words: "On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's service to Country and Corps." I managed to whisper, Thank you.

Our Pastor finished the internment service with some scripture, a few words, and prayer. It wasn't a sad occasion but a celebration of a life lived well. Because of our faith, it was a celebration of the gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus.

Dad was always proud to have served as a Marine. It stayed with him until the end. They call these ceremonies, Military Honors. I can only say that it was truly an honor to witness these activities.

Thank you, Veterans, for your service to our country and for the final salute.


More information on Military Honors: Military farewells: White-gloved salutes, Taps, Flag-folding ceremonies begin healing

*The 3-volley salute "The custom originates from the European dynastic wars, where the fighting ceased for the dead and wounded to be removed, then three shots were fired into the air to signal that the battle could resume."
Afterward, one of the Veterans picked up all 21 shell casings, put them in a crimson cloth bag, and gave them to me as a keepsake.

**Taps & Flag Ceremony: (My emphasis) "A United States flag drapes the casket of deceased Servicemembers and Veterans to honor their service to America. The flag is placed so that the blue field with stars is at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased. After Taps has been played, the flag is carefully folded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape. A properly proportioned flag will fold 13 times on the triangles, representing the 13 original colonies. The folded flag is emblematic of the tri-cornered hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution. When folded, no red or white stripe is to be evident, leaving only the blue field with stars. The folded flag is then presented as a keepsake to the next of kin or an appropriate family member. Each branch of the Armed Forces uses its own wording for the presentation …"

Military Funeral Honors

Past Posts: Thank you and God bless you Veterans and enlisted troops

Happy 233th birthday Marine Corps

My Favorite Marine

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Fall of Berlin Wall's 20th Anniversary gladdens and saddens

Remember the fall of the wall in 1989? It was like a dream come true to those like me who recall it's construction and lived through the height of the Soviet Union's power.

Fast-forward 20 years and today we celebrate the anniversary of that momentous day. But when I compare the state of our country in 1989 to the U.S.A. of today, it saddens me.

Our House of Representatives just passed the most expensive and oppressive health care reform bill AGAINST the wishes of the majority of Americans.

Ordinary citizens have risen up in unprecedented numbers for Tea Party rallies, Town Hall meetings and an impromptu' House Call press conference on the stairs of the nation's Capitol, all to no avail. Turning a deaf ear, 220 Representatives ignored their constituents' wishes and voted for it.

The house bill includes what I believe are unconstitutional mandates for insurance purchase and a hefty $25,000 fine and/or up to 5 year imprisonment for noncompliance. So much for America being called the Land of the Free.

I don't know which saddens me more: the fact that our president didn't think the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall was important enough to merit his time? or that if he would have gone, any commentary from him about New Berliners being freed from oppression would ring hollow, considering his own socialist agenda.

But I do celebrate in spirit today with those gathered in Germany and recall the boldness of President Reagan's famous words: "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this wall," and the bravery of leaders like Lech Walesa for freeing Poland.

``We Poles owe him [Reagan] freedom,'' Walesa said through an interpreter. ``Freedom is just like good health - when in good health, you take it for granted, and you appreciate good health only when it's gone.''

Ironic that Obama's health care bill brings more oppression to our country than anything we've seen so far, isn't it?

Four Little Words - Reagan deliberately confronted criminal regimes with what they fear most: the publicly spoken truth about their moral weakness.
Why the Berlin Wall Fell - From Truman to Reagan, the benefits of moral clarity.

POST SCRIPT: Heritage Foundation: Reagan, Obama and the Berlin Wall: "But the leftists in America do not want us to remember Reagan’s role in history. That is why President Barack Obama (the same man who found time to jet to Copenhagen at the drop of a rumor that his presence could win the Olympics for his hometown of Chicago) could not be bothered to attend the 20th anniversary of the wall’s fall last night. Instead, President Obama taped a video message that completely failed to mention Reagan or British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher."

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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ObamaCare passed House: Some frogs must like it hot!

Sunday's news, Health Bill Passes House, sickened me, especially because the vote was so close. Although there was little hope that the Pelosi version of ObamaCare would fail, if ever there was a week that might give a House Democrat pause to rubber stamping Pelosi's ObamaCare legislation, you would think the recent turn of events would do it.

For Democrats, last week was not a good one:
We often compare the slow creep toward controversial positions to a frog being boiled in a pot of water: The water heats so slowly, the frog fails to notice he is in danger, the frog doesn't jump out to safety.

But there is nothing slow about Obama's policies. He has already spent us into unsustainable debt and taken over about 30% of the economy. Obama's desire to Cap and Trade our carbon emissions will cripple our already struggling economy. His healthcare reform, the most expensive and oppressive legislation ever, will finish the job.

Hot Spots of ObamaCare:
  • Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee published an estimate of $2.4 Trillion for ObamaCare - HR 3962. How on earth are we going to pay for that?
  • Failure to purchase ObamaCare could result in up to 5 years in prison and/or $250,000 fine: "Section 7203 - misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year." "Section 7201 - felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years." [page 3]
On the surface, the only bright spot of Pelosi's ObamaCare bill was that taxpayer funded abortion was eliminated. But this was just a Trojan Horse of a gift. It was Pelosi's way of diffusing conservative opposition and making sure her bill would make its way over to the Senate. We all know it will go back into the final bill.

Republicans have felt the heat since Obama came to office; they jumped out of the pot months ago. A few Blue-Dog Democrats jumped out on Saturday night's vote, too. As for the remaining 220* Democrats who voted for Pelosi's ObamaCare, the only conclusion is that they like it hot!

*One Republican, Rep Cao, voted for ObamaCare. The Abortion omission won him over. "Cao said he did not make any deals with President Obama in exchange for his vote." ..."The president and I, we have had a very good relationship, and I thank him and his administration for their hard work in helping me to rebuild my district after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina," Cao said Sunday. "I'm pretty sure that if I were to vote no against the bill the president would still continue to work with me to address the needs of my district."

More reading: WSJ, Betsy McCaughey: What the Pelosi Health Care Bill Really Says
Betting Against Obama Health Care Increases as Time Grows Short

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Report: Sensenbrenner's Town Hall on Pelosi healthcare

One look at the crowded parking lots affirmed my suspicions: Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner's Town Hall meeting was going to be packed!

The meeting was in Elm Grove's Village Hall courtroom.

About 175 people packed the room with about another 75 out in the hallway.

Prior to the meeting, one woman summed up the sentiment in the room when she greeted a friend in the audience, "I've never been to one of these before, but I'm so mad!"

The colossal 1,990 page bill was sitting on the judges bench. Congressman Sensenbrenner posted the bill on his website, if you need a little light reading.
State Representative Leah Vukmir was also present, but since ObamaCare (my term throughout for government health insurance reform) is a Federal issue, most of the questions were directed to Congressman Sensenbrenner.

To aid you in viewing the subject matter, the question - Q: - or concern will be stated first, the response - A: - after. Subjects are in bold.

Q: Government control: Nearly all of the attendees who spoke, were against ObamaCare in any shape or form. The first question cut to the heart of the issue, This isn't about health care, it's about controlling our lives. Judging from the reaction of the crowd, the vast majority agreed with her statement.
A: Congressman Sensenbrenner pointed out that ObamaCare doesn't train 1 more doctor, 1 more nurse or build 1 more hospital, yet it is to cover millions more Americans. [How many more? 36 million is often referenced.] When you put all these new people in the system, we are going to have delays. I hate to use the word rationing, but we are going to end up having delays and [some government board] will decide, this person's problem is worse than this person's, Sensenbrenner explained.

Q: We're broke! Question 3 was puzzling. A woman, who was quick to point out she was an independent, chided Sensenbrenner and the audience, I'm angry at all people who think the government must pay for them. We're out of money! In other words, she was yelling at us for wanting ObamaCare!
A: Sensenbrenner replied, With all due respect, we [Republicans] all voted against the stimulus, etc....then added that the President said he will not sign a bill that adds "1 cent to the deficit". [The audience laughed.] We should not be spending money on ourselves and sending the bill to our grand and great grandchildren.

Q: What can we do to stop this?
A: Sensenbrenner: Contact your Senators and remember who votes which way 1 year from now! Good advice. Calls do influence.

Q: Republicans shut out? Is it true that Republicans aren't allowed into meetings?
A: Our bill was written in Democratic Caucus. [Yes] I will give Baucus some credit, he welcomed 3 Senate Republicans in committee [Olympia Snowe was one of them] BUT since it got out of committee, Reid re-wrote the bill. Snowe doesn't support the government run [insurance option] now in the bill.

All new private insurance company policies illegal after 2013: Sensenbrenner affirmed what we have all heard, but the president, senate, and house leaders have denied: The bill does make it illegal for anyone to sell private insurance after [ObamaCare] takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013! He then gave the example of an employer who opts out of providing group insurance to their employees after the January 1st deadline. They might do this because they can choose to pay the 8% penalty instead of the average 15% of payroll costs. Opting for the penalty saves them money. Now you, the employee, have no choice but to sign onto the government run option because it is now illegal for private insurance companies to write policies.

This private insurance policy prohibition also carries over to Supplemental Medicare plans. Not to be confused with Medicare Advantage, these are the plans that seniors purchase--at a monthly premium--to pay for the remainder of health care expenses that Medicare doesn't cover. So Supplemental Medicare policies will also be outlawed under ObamaCare.

Medicare Advantage, the privately run voluntary Medicare plan, will also suffer under ObamaCare. In Sensenbrenner's district alone, about 25,000 of those enrolled now, will lose their coverage.

Q: Constitution: What provisions in the Constitution are there to order an individual to buy a product they don't want? (Applause)
A: They say the Commerce Clause, "necessary and proper" will be used. [Sensenbrenner didn't believe this was a proper application for that clause. The Constitution's Commerce Clause deals with the activity of commerce or regulating interstate or international commerce, not mandating or regulating activities.]

Q: Hardship for small business: A small business owner expressed concern that by being forced to pay an 8% penalty because he didn't provide insurance for his workers, he would either have to drop employees, vacation days, or other benefits to pay for the new 8% penalty.
A: Sensenbrenner agreed the insurance requirement/penalty would be a hardship. One half of all jobs in the country are from small businesses...raising taxes is already a job killer, in a recession it's even more... the last guy who raised taxes during a recession was Herbert Hoover!

Q: How many unelected bureaucrats will this bill require?
A: The CBO doesn't talk about how many will need to be hired, but you don't administer a new program without people to do it. One recent program was Cash for Clunkers. It ran out of money early on, auto dealers weren't paid [on time]. ...IF we couldn't deal with a $2 billion clunker program, how will we with a $900 billion one for health care? [House Republicans have found 111 New Bureaucracies in the Health Care bill.]

Q: Voter Fraud: Our president took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution. What can we do to relive this man of his office? ...Joe Wilson was right. [...crowd affirmation of President being less than truthful.] We don't have free elections anymore. How do we go about stopping voter fraud?
A: By showing a picture ID, Sensenbrenner said. [Crowd affirmation] Since this is a state issue, Rep. Leah Vukmir was able to address how Wisconsin had a chance to finally get a Voter ID referendum question on the ballot last spring, but a certain Senator voted against bringing it to the ballot. [State Senator Jim Sullivan was one of 2 who voted to defeat the measure last year, if memory serves correctly]

Q: ObamaCare and organ transplants: One woman was for ObamaCare because she was involved with [advocating] raising money for transplant patients. [I can't see the government program, which must delay and ration care to make it fiscally viable, will be handing out organ transplants.] Is there anything you see in ObamCare that is positive?
A: If they don't allow amendments, we can't make it better. If Sensenbrenner could, he would get rid of pre-exisiting conditions, allow shopping across state lines, offer group plan rates for small businesses, use vouchers for health insurance for the poor, add medical liability reform, use health savings accounts, equalize the tax treatments for employer and private purchaser plans. He then added, I don't know what will happen with organ transplants because Pelosi's bill will have government boards making this decision vs. doctors.

Q: Doctors paid only 20% of fees: A doctor from Elmbrook Hospital: The bill is said to be backed by the AMA, I haven't belonged to the AMA for years. This bill is strictly a vehicle to control the Dr./Patient relationship. It is a single payer option. I lose 80% of income under Medicare. [Who will want to invest in becoming a doctor to only be paid 20%?] It is a misnomer that doctors get reimbursed 80% under Medicare, It's NOT TRUE.

[General affirmation]

Other questions dealt with the crushing debt level, Amnesty bill, concern over the Copenhagen Treaty, ACORN funding [still unfunded until Dec. 19th], The Fairness Doctrine, and abolishing the Federal Reserve.

There is a lot of talk about abolishing the Federal Reserve, but Sensenbrenner was quick to point out that if that were the case, monetary control would revert to the Congress! The cure would be worse than the ill, he said. Sensenbrenner does favor the audit of the Federal Reserve.

One bit of excitement was a woman fainted in the back of the courtroom. Is there a doctor in the house? A nurse friend of mine, who happened to be in the audience, promptly attended to her needs. The Elm Grove police were also of service. I believe the woman was fine.

There was a little discussion of Cap and Trade, or Cap and Tax, as Sensenbrenner likes to characterize it, and our massive deficit leading to inflation, the tax increase no politician has to vote for but every politician can run against.

2 protesters: There were 2 young men there with protest signs, Health Insurance Reform Now [signs were loosely folded, not held up], in the back of the room. They left the courtroom before the meeting officially started. Another older man stated his support for ObamaCare.

The meeting ended at about 2:30pm. The remaining portion of time was devoted to specific problems with government agencies. Representative Leah Vukmir and Congressman Sensenbrenner stayed to assist their constituents.

Congressman Sensenbrenner was on the Jay Weber radio show on Monday. He mentioned many of the same points he made at Saturday's Town Hall meeting. Program highlights.

The Pelosi version of ObamaCare, as well as the Reid Senate bill, both cover taxpayer funded abortion and insurance for illegal aliens. House Republicans have proposed many health care reforms, but they do not receive media or house floor attention. House Republicans are expected to unanimously vote against The Worst Bill Ever this week.

Will the Democrat Blue Dogs join in the nay saying? Time will tell.

Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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