Archive for June, 2009

Robin Carnahan’s taxpayer-paid self-promotion

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Today I received a letter from Robin Carnahan. It sounded like a campaign letter, but it’s production and mailing costs were paid for by her office, Missouri Secretary of State. In other words, we paid for it.

The mailer purports to warn investors about investment frauds and thefts. But it does so by adorning the “Top Investor Threats” enclosure with a full color picture of herself at the top. The letter takes pains to pat Robin on the back with a one-sided review of what she claims her office has done to protect investors, prominently on the first page. That information isn’t necessary for an investor’s protection, but it is important for Robin to make a name for herself in a positive light. And you have to wade through all of her self-promotion before you get to more important information, buried on the second page.

Robin is running for the U.S. Senate, and she is trying to promote herself whenever she can, preferably on somebody else’s dime. Since she’s running for a federal office, the law restricts from whom she (or her opponents) can raise money, and how much. For example, she can take no more than $2400 per election from anyone, and nothing whatsoever from corporations. So she’s getting around those pesky laws by sending out a campaign mailer disguised as “official business” that her office pays for. That’s you and me, and even her opponents.

This is Robin’s fifth year as Secretary of State, but somehow, she never felt it important enough to provide this information to investors until she began running for the U.S. Senate. How convenient!

Carville concedes GOP strength in 2010

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Democrat strategist James Carville, author of the new book 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation, has sent out a fund-raising e-mail warning Democrats that the GOP could rebound in 2010 and take over the Senate just as they did in 1994. In that year, just two years into the Clinton Administration, Republicans took control of both houses from the Democrats for the first time since 1952, winning 8 new seats in the Senate 54 new seats in the House.

The former Clinton political aide also focused specifically on Missouri’s open-seat senate race. He noted that history is on the side of Republicans here because “in every midterm election since the Civil War – save three – the president’s party has lost seats in Congress.”

Obama announces plans to slash Medicare

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Not that long ago, Dick Gephardt and other Democrat congressmen would send out campaign flyers, targeted and mailed solely to elderly voters, warning that Republicans would slash their Medicare benefits if elected. Republicans never did. But now, Gephardt’s fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama, is proposing to do just that.

Obama’s weekly radio address on June 13 announced a series of proposed $313 billion in cuts in Medicare (for anyone over 65) and Medicaid (for poor people of any age). When combined with other Medicare and Medicaid “revisions” Obama requested earlier this year in his fiscal 2010 budget proposal, Obama’s proposed cuts amount to $622 billion in Medicare and Medicaid revisions over 10 years. According to nonpartisan Congressional Quarterly, while both Medicare and Medicaid are targeted, most of those cuts come at the expense of Medicare (health care for seniors).

Obama specifically zeroed in on having the government pay lower prices for drugs under Medicare’s outpatient prescription drug benefit. That means either that patients will pay more or that fewer drugs will be available after they are no longer cost-effective to produce. $22 billion would be saved by cutting payments for imaging services, skilled nursing and inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals. Another set of cuts are called “productivity adjustments,” which is liberal-speak for “rationing.” Administration officials will “encourage” more “cost-effective” care by using nurse coordinators instead of  specialists, and by adopting “health information technology” that will arm the government with the information necessary to deny treatment that bureaucrats deem not cost effective.

The purpose of the cuts are to help find money to pay for Obama’s proposed universal health care. He is literally taking away from seniors so that he can give it instead to illegal aliens and people who either can’t or won’t get their own health insurance.

And Obama plans to pay for it in a way that rewards his supporters and ruthlessly punishes his opponents. He is backing off his earlier proposal to pay for the plan by limiting itemized tax deductions for the wealthiest Americans. Voters earning over $200,000 a year gave Obama a 6-point margin over McCain. But voters over 65 were the only age group to vote against Obama, so they are being punished in a potentially deadly way. Medicare cuts will kill those folks off quicker, so they can’t continue to vote against him.

Wow. Obama really plays for keeps!

Perfecting the ‘culture of corruption’

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

You can take the guy out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the guy.

President Obama’s first five months in office have produced an unprecedented amount of ethically questionable exercises of power for so short a time in power. His consistent and blatant spreading of the spoils among his friends and political benefactors and his punishment of his political enemies to make a lesson of them demonstrates that “pay to play” has been elevated to an art form by this young administration.

The most recent example (that I know of) was Obama’s firing of inspector general Gerald Walpin as punishment for Walpin’s unwelcome investigation of an Obama political crony’s apparent misappropriation of Americorps funds. Walpin’s actions resulted in repayment to the government of several hundred thousand dollars of misspent federal funds – and Walpin’s firing. In doing so. Obama violated a federal law that he himself had co-sponsored, requiring the President to provide Congress with specific reasons for any such dismissal. After first giving no reason at all, Obama then lamely recited that the inspector no longer had the president’s confidence. This scandal is particularly damning, because this involves Obama personally, not some underling.

The Americorps firing was eerily similar to an earlier Obama Administration atrocity, when its Justice Department dismissed a case that had already been won against Black Panthers charged with voter intimidation. One of the defendants was an elected member of Philadelphia’s 14th Ward Democratic Committee and was a credentialed poll watcher for Obama and the Democratic Party when the violations occurred.

Curiously (or not), the main stream media types who feigned outrage when President Bush 43 commuted the sentence of Scooter Libby (not a pardon, mind you, just a commutation) are silent about Obama’s more blatant acts. President Clinton’s politically motivated pardons at the end of his administration seem tame – even benign – compared to Obama’s in just his first five months.

The message is clear. Obama supporters who are willing to commit election fraud, steal government funds or engage in other wrongdoing can do so with the confidence that Obama’s “got their back.”

But there’s more. The president also meddled in the General Motors bankruptcy to produce a deal that, contrary to established bankruptcy law, gave priority to unsecured claims of members of a union that supported his candidacy over the heretofore superior rights of secured creditors (those who held collateral to secure their claims). The President also pushed to give politically favored Platinum Equity a plum ownership stake in bankrupt GM supplier Delphi at the expense of other debtor-in-possession financers, but that plan is now facing the unwanted scrutiny of a federal judge who apparently isn’t playing from the script.

Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats rode into power in 2006 based on a campaign claiming that Republicans had established a “culture of corruption” during their 12 years in power. Democrats have surpassed Republicans’ abuses in a much shorter time. Indeed, when it comes to “pay to play,” even former Illinois Governor Rod Blogojevich (D) was a piker compared to Obama!

The civil rights of Tiller the Killer – and his killer

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Pro-lifers like myself get no satisfaction from Sunday’s cold-blooded murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller, widely known in Kansas political circles as “Tiller the Killer.” While we are pleased that he will never kill again, we would have preferred a change of heart on his part, or his death or disability by natural causes.

Virtually all anti-abortion groups have reacted the same way, expressing sorrow for the death and condemning the vigilante act. A life is a life, whether it’s an unborn fetus or an adult provider of state-sanctioned genocide.

The sorrow expressed by Tiller’s supporters is really more worthy of surprise. After all, wouldn’t those folks appreciate the logic of Tiller’s murder merely being a 274th trimester abortion?

In this country, and in the conservative community in particular, we are a nation governed by laws, not rulers. We fully understand that “vigilante justice” is an oxymoron. We neither condone nor tolerate the arrogance of a single self-appointed person (or group) taking it upon himself to serve as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. It was wrong when jailhouse vigilantes violently ended the life of convicted serial child-killer Jeffrey Dahmer a number of years ago, and Tiller’s death is entitled to the same mourning that was accorded to Dahmer’s.

While we pro-lifers regarded Tiller’s abortions, especially his gruesome partial-birth abortions, as murder, we also recognized Tiller’s right to be held to justice by our nation’s courts under our nation’s laws. Tiller had availed himself of those rights, and had prevailed. Our only recourse was to be disappointed, even outraged, by the results, such as we were with the acquittal of O.J. Simpson. While Tiller may have escaped secular punishment, he is probably experiencing the judgment of the Lord at this very moment.

We recognize that secular punishment can only be applied to violations of secular law as it is written at the time of the act, and that an accused person can only be held to account for violating such a law by evidence legally obtained. We knowingly prefer to let guilty people go free, to avoid the risk that innocent people are wrongfully denied their freedom.

Ironically, our system accords the same rights and protections to vigilantes, the very same rights and protections that they denied to their victims. The main stream media’s rush to judgment against Scott Roeder, the alleged suspect in this case, must not be repeated in our courts. Among the facts that an abortion-friendly press is using to attribute criminal intent to this suspect is that a magazine to which he subscribed (note that he wasn’t an editor or writer, just a someone who once bought a subscription) once suggested possible legal justifications for taking out abortion providers.

Roeder’s presumption of innocence includes a thorough examination into whether he was legally accountable when he committed the crime. Many of our nation’s most heinous crimes go unpunished because the perpetrator lacked the mental capacity to understand that what he did was wrong. Let’s face it, what sane person would do such a thing?

Let cooler heads prevail. If Roeder was competent to commit the crime –  and is competent now to stand trial, let the prosecution proceed. Introduce all of the relevant evidence that was legally acquired. And if a jury is convinced of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Roeder should stand convicted. And if Kansas allows capital punishement (I don’t know whether it does or not), the jury should decide whether Roeder’s acts met the requirements for the ultimate punishment. And if the death penalty is imposed, the same souls who regulary protest the execution of other murderers should hold a timely candlelight vigil for Roeder.