Obama complained about "inheriting"
a trillion dollar deficit. Think back to September 2008. The
Democrat controlled Congress authored the $700 billion dollar
Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Senators McCain, Reid, Obama
and Speaker Pelosi held a meeting with President Bush where Reid and
Pelosi credit then-presidential candidate Barack Obama for
single-handedly convincing President Bush to sign the bill. Doesn't
this make Obama responsible for at least 70% of that Trillion Dollar
deficit that he complains about "inheriting"?
It's time we give Obama and the Democrats credit for what they did build – the economic mess that they so eagerly wish to blame on President Bush.
So quickly their friends in the media forget. Democrats took over the country's fiscal policy when they took control of both Houses in January of 2007. Speaker Pelosi controlled the House, Majority Reid controlled the Senate, and then-Senator Obama dutifully endorsed Democrat bills that abruptly halted President Bush's fiscal policy.
The "Bush Tax Cuts" and an energy policy centered on drilling for oil in our own backyard were cornerstones of the Bush fiscal policy.
While Democrats insisted that the tax cuts were "only for the rich who didn't want them", in truth, they were across the board and significantly reduced or eliminated the tax burden for millions who were on the lower end of income earners. Democrats finally admitted so when they authored bills to extend these cuts before they expired.
They had to. There was another election looming.
But, these cuts were also for those who owned or invested in businesses big and small. With these cuts and the expectation of their permanency, business owners were willing to expand, to open new stores, hire new employees, and give raises to current employees.
All this came to a screeching halt when Democrats took over in 2007 promising higher taxes for everyone rich enough to earn a profit. Businesses across the country were forced to tighten their belts and put a halt to plans to expand and hire.
The other half of the fiscal policy was to keep energy costs low by using our own abundant supply of natural resources. As long as President Bush and the Republican House was willing to drill, speculators expected more supply in our future. This kept the cost of crude down.
Then came Pelosi/Reid and and the hope for using our own oil ended. Consequently, with the artificially restrained supply, the costs of crude skyrocketed.
Lest we not forget:
Republican Congress 2006 – The Final Year of the Bush Fiscal Policy
The price of gas was $1.86
Unemployment was 4.4%
National deficit was shrinking to $248 billion
Democratic Congress 2008 – After only One Year of Democrats in charge
The price of gas hovered near $4.00
Unemployment grew to 6.1%
National deficit $407 billion and growing
Obama 2012 – After less than one term in office
The price of gas hovered near $4.00
Unemployment at 8.3% (unofficial numbers between 15-20%)
National deficit $1,300 billion and growing (excluding the rising estimates for Obamacare)
In September of 2008, the deficit soared another $700 billion when President Bush signed TARP. But, TARP was written by a Democrat Congress with full support of then-Senator Obama. I think Bushed messed up with signing this bill, but it is an outright lie to for Obama to claim he inherited its consequences – or those of the 2007 Democrat Congress. Obama was part of that Congress. Obama's Democrat Party wrote those bills. Obama voted for them.
You cannot inherit that which you helped create. Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress did build this mess – and they deserve full credit for it.
Media Wrong, 2012 Minnesota Caucus Participation Exceedingly High
The media narrative on the 2012 Minnesota Republican Caucus turnout has it all wrong. I know, no surprise.
The "big story" is that turnout this year was 25% less than 2008. This must represent a depressed interest among Republicans in Minnesota. Even worse, those who did show up were the most "extreme" activists within the party.
These reports conveniently ignore the unique circumstances that surrounded the 2008 caucus.
Throughout 2007 and leading into 2008, there was a heated contest between McCain and Romney for the Republicans and between Hillary and Obama for the Democrats. The media was in full swing behind Obama to "make history" without regard for qualifications. With no incumbent and the sitting VP not seeking the office, the Presidency was up for grabs. Republicans were desperate to keep it and Democrats were desperate to take it. Not only was the nomination for each party up for grabs, so was the Presidency itself. This played a big role in heightening interest in the caucuses.
But, the biggest factor in 2008 was the fact that the Minnesota Caucus was moved up from March to February to become part of Super Tuesday. For the first time, Minnesota was on the national stage and caucus attendees were able to make their voice heard BEFORE the nomination was decided. There was a lot of hype surrounding Minnesota's new role as part of Super Tuesday.
In contrast, there were only three states holding primaries or caucuses this past Tuesday.
In 2008, my caucus had over 800 participants. This year we had about 500. But, most years, including 2000 and 2004, we were getting 200-250. Take away the anomaly of 2008's Super Duper Tuesday, and its clear that grass roots interest at the Republican caucuses in Minnesota is exceedingly high this year.
Senator Barb Goodwin - Mindless Mockery of Marriage
Senator Barb Goodwin is an embarrassment to the people of District 50, and I'm not talking about her Edith Bunker-like persona or her bargain rack at Savers wardrobe.
Any doubts that Senator Goodwin is a FOXTROT-ing idiot can be put to rest after her recent on-the-job performance documented on video below. Watch and laugh, and maybe cry. You may want to have an air-sickness bag handy before starting the video. Yes, this moron is our duly elected senator. Elections have consequences!
It's always been obvious that this woman isn't too bright, but this performance goes beyond innocent stupidity. Her mean-spirited and mocking contempt for traditional marriage and her constituents who support it is obvious, not to mention offensive.
District 50 needs and deserves better than this. Thankfully she only won a two-year term last election so District 50 voters will have the opportunity next year to correct the terrible error they made in electing this mindless DFL hack.
After my long absence from posting on this blog and with the multitude of issues ripe for discourse, I'm a little surprised that it is the "birther debate" that motivated me to get back in the game. Over the past few days, I have grown increasingly frustrated with otherwise intelligent conservative talkers like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and KTLK's Bob Davis. They don't get it. They seem so eager to drop this hot potato that they fail to demonstrate an intelligent understanding of the issue. But, it has occurred to me that their efforts to quickly dismiss the "birthers" only fuels the debate and fans the flames.
Specifically, talkers on right do their listeners a disservice when they fail to treat so-called "birther" concerns with a sincere interest in shining the light of truth upon them. Such quick dismissal only frustrates many who think the Constitution matters. President Obama's eligibility issue will not go away until it gets a serious hearing.
Yesterday, President Obama shocked the world by releasing a copy of his "long form" birth certificate, proving that the Anointed One was, indeed, born. (Allow me this one brief diversion to levity.)
Clearly, Obama proved that it was within his means to release the long form certificate. Like many Presidential candidates before him, he could have released this copy during the campaign. So why now? Why spend millions in attorney fees to keep this document secret, only to release it now as he launches his bid for re-election. Could it be that internal polling demonstrated a shift in public opinion and Obama's strategy to keep this issue alive was beginning to backfire?
The "birther" issue is ripe with nuances that expose the disconnect between Obama's rhetoric and his actions. He campaigned on transparency while keeping his birth certificate and school admission records secret. As president, he has been equally "transparent" when he rushed to pass and sign thousands of pages of legislation before Congressional members, let alone the public, had any chance to read them.
Obama also campaigned on the commitment to transcend politics. Yet, his handling of the birth certificate – fueling the "birther" debate when polls benefited him and releasing the certificate when polls turned – appears motivated solely by politics.
So does the release of the long form birth certificate end the "birther problem"? Not quite. The Constitutional question of eligibility is just beginning. Article II, Section I states very simply:
No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
I find it troubling that so many conservative talkers have little understanding of this requirement and little interest in seeing it enforced. If we are not willing to demand that the simplest element of the Constitution be upheld, how can argue for adherence to more complex elements?
While "birthers" were first raising the question Obama's of eligibility during the 2008 campaign, the U.S. Senate was quietly addressing Senator McCain's eligibility. Because he was born in Panama, the Senate found it necessary to address his natural born citizenship status and did so in a non-binding resolution co-sponsored by then-Senator Barack Obama:
Note that the U.S. Senate, including Obama himself, recognized that the term "natural born citizen" holds a special meaning and that Senator McCain's status as a natural born citizen is predicated by fact the he was born to American citizens -- note the plurality of "citizens."
Also note the absence of a similar Senate resolution resolving Senator Obama to be a "natural born citizen".I find it telling that a Democrat controlled Senate sought to affirm McCain's eligibility on the basis of his parent's citizenship (both parents), but failed to do so for Obama. They publicly recognized the special meaning behind "natural born citizen" and that it isn't enough to simply be born on U.S. soil. In doing so, they exposed the problem within Obama's eligibility. His father was not a U.S. citizen and could not bestow "natural born" status to Obama's citizenship.
Article II, Section I offers the only Constitutional reference to "natural born citizen". Not even the 14th Amendment, which seeks to clarify citizenship, offers any further clarification of the "natural born" status. Since it fails to clarify it, the 14th Amendment serves to affirm the Framer's definition of "natural born citizen" as one who was born to parents who both are U.S. citizens and neither of whom are subjects of a foreign country.
Herein lies the crux of Obama's eligibility problem. The Framers were concerned about "foreigners" with allegiance, shared or otherwise, to a foreign country becoming the President of the United States. They clearly crafted the eligibility clause to ensure that there be no question to a President's loyalty by way of his citizenship.
So why are so-called "birthers" passionate about this issue? First, the Constitution matters even if it inconveniences political objectives. Second, because the questions surrounding Obama's potential dual-citizenship status and loyalties are fueled by his own actions.
Obama's formative years were spent in Kenyan schools as, arguably, a subject of the British Crown. As President, he has bowed down to Muslim dictators while shunning leaders of Allied democratic nations. One could further argue that Obama's governance is less influenced by our Founding Fathers and more influenced by foreign socialist influences. (Granted, one could argue the same for most modern Democrat politicians.)
So, where do we go from here? What is the remedy for Obama's eligibility problem?
It is unrealistic to expect the courts to strip Obama of his Presidency or Congress to impeach and convict him. Further, doing so will not undo the damage already done through signed legislation. Remember, Obama did not act alone. Senator Reid, Representative Pelosi, and their loyal congressional minions were active participants in crafting the damaging legislation. I don't see how legislative action by then-representatives of the people would be reversed by the courts or by handing the reigns of the presidency to Joe Biden. It will be far more effective and lasting to win the hearts and minds of the electorate on the benefits of conservative principles than to seek a "technical foul" on past legislation.
Still, the eligibility issue won't go away anytime soon. While Republican candidates focus on advocating conservative ideas, conservative talkers could dismiss the eligibility issue by addressing it. I'm frankly embarrassed that so few talkers understand the difference between "citizen" and "natural born citizen", or the Framer's intent for making the distinction.
I'll concede that many "birthers" held a variety of theories based on the location of Obama's birth. When someone spends millions to hide a birth certificate, it is only natural to speculate on reasons why. I suspect that fostering this speculation was one of Obama's motives behind the secrecy. The longer he kept the document secret, the wilder the speculations became.
But, there are "birthers" with legitimate concerns about adherence to the eligibility clause of the Constitution. They want to be heard. Their issue is valid -- does the Constitution matter? You cannot move on to the next topic by citing the location of Obama's birth on his birth certificate as the end of the "birther movement".
The best way for conservative talkers to advance the discourse to "more pressing" issues is to honestly explore the meaning behind "natural born citizen" and how the citizenship of Obama's father adversely affects Obama's eligibility to hold the Office of the Presidency. Recognize it. Expose it. Then you can let it be. The voters will seek their own remedy in 2012.
I’ve recently come across a collection of Ayn Rand newsletters from the 1970s. I was instantly shocked at how relevant she was to today. Almost as if she was anticipating the nonsense of today’s politicians. Today’s federal government is printing money to pay for debts that keep growing. And adding more debt to cover interest on the debt. Inflation has hit again and looms larger in the future. Here’s what she wrote in the Ayn Rand Letter of July 15, 1974: Let us suppose you have $1,000 in a savings account. If the current rate of inflation is 10%, you lose $100 a year – the government is robbing you of that amount, as surely as if it took the bills out of your pocket. Are you permitted to write that loss off on your tax return? No – the government is pretending that the loss did not occur. But the bank pays you, say, 5% interest, i.e., $50 a year – does this make up for half your loss? No – because the government regards bank interest as “unearned income,” and taxes you on it (the amount of the tax depends on your income bracket). Are there any public voices – in this age of “social conscience” – protesting against so vicious an injustice? No. Do not ask therefore for whom the bell of inflation is tolling; it tolls for you. Inflation is a symptom of the terminal stage of that social disease which is a mixed economy. A mixed economy (as I have said many, many times) is an invalid, unstable, unworkable system which leads to one of two endings; either a return to freedom or a collapse into dictatorship. In the face of an approaching disaster, what is the attitude of most of our public leaders? Politics as usual, evasion as usual, moral cowardice as usual. I could not have said it better about today’s politicians. Thank you Ayn Rand!
Let's not get burned by our apathy as we have in the past. The Republicans have excellent candidates across the ticket and the other side has some of the worst in a long time, so there's no excuse not to be motivated. It's time to go on offense!
Get out and support the entire Republican ticket from Emmer for Governor and the other Constitutional candidates on down to our fine local house and senate candidates (go Tim, Russ, and Gina!).
Teresa Collette is a fine candidate for CD4 representative (really, haven't we been embarrassed by sending a dullard like Betty McCollum to Washington long enough?).
We need to make a stand for limited Constitutional government as well as good judgment in our elected officials.
Also, pay attention to the Ramsey County Charter Amendments. Both would make it easier for the public to repeal a bad vote by the commissioners. Please vote YES and YES! The wording of the questions is horribly confusing, so please share this info with other residents. You can view a sample ballot with the questions at http://bit.ly/bnzoJG
With all of the attention being paid to state and federal elections sometime local elections can slip under the RADAR. This is unfortunate as local government is the closest level of government to the voters and can have a significant influence on our day-to-day lives. It is often the most responsive as the people can directly provide input as well as feedback to elected officials as they are doing the business of the people.
Residents of North Oaks are fortunate to have the opportunity to elect Angie Schottmueller to the City Council this Tuesday. Angie will bring steadfast Conservative believes as well as the knowledge of how government operates and how it should operate relative to the vision of our nation's founders to city government.
Angie also brings a unique combination of business and marketing skills to the table as well as the technical expertise and political skills to apply them. She is the first candidate I've run across to propose applying cutting edge private sector business techniques to city government, and is probably the most qualified person I can think of to successfully make it happen
Cities are in competition to attract businesses and development. Success in this arena is built on the combination of sound policy as well as effective marketing of what the city has to offer private sector investors and developers in addition to being to work with other units of government. I've seen Angie in action in both political and business contexts and am very impressed with her professionalism, intelligence, business acumen, political instincts, and people skills and believe she will make a great addition to the North Oaks City Council.
Time Out for an Inspirational Message from the Gipper
The times, names, and particulars have changed, but this speech by Ronald Reagan is timeless in its message. I thought it would be a good reminder of the critical job we have to do as voters this coming Tuesday.
The fiscal impacts of a stabilizing, aging population can be softened. Workers must become either more productive or more abundant.
First off, what would Knuth know about productivity? She has never worked, never put anything valuable into the stream of commerce. The statement sets the table for her reasoning that only massive immigration can solve government’s fiscal problems:
The only way to increase the number of work-aged people in the short term is immigration.
The problem she is addressing is the many promises government made to an aging baby-boom generation -- such as Social Security -- and now maybe cannot keep due to political mismanagement. She recommends doing what Europe has been doing the last 30 years -- trying to use immigrants to somehow pay for the promises made to the native population.
How has that worked out for Europe? If you overlook the riots, turmoil, debt, balkanization, and terrorism, well I guess it has worked out pretty well. But the situation recently prompted German leader Angela Merkel to say that multi-culturalism in her country has failed completely. Yet multi-culturalism is exactly what Knuth wants. She says:
While changes in public finance resulting from stable population may be difficult, cultural changes could be fun.
Fun? Fun for Knuth maybe. Then Knuth goes off into another utopian vision:
Societies may also choose to abandon GDP as the sole measure of economic success, instead focusing on measures of public or environmental health, education, equity, or happiness.
In other words, she is giving up on the idea of real prosperity because she knows that government cannot provide it. Instead, go to a different measure so that the glaring “F” for economic failure is not so evident.
Folks, I could say more about Knuth’s article and her head-in-the-clouds thinking. But time is short. I say let her continue her life in academia, but stay away from legislation.
On November 2, vote down-to-earth common sense. Vote Russ Bertsch!
Gina Bauman earns NRA Endorsement for District 50 Senate
Congratulations to Gina Bauman, the GOP endorsed candidate for District 50 Senate, for earning the prestigious NRA endorsement with a rating of "AQ" by the organization (click the State Senate tab after clicking the link). This is the highest rating for a candidate who has not yet held office in which significant firearms legislation had been voted on.
In contrast, Gina's main opponent, Barb Goodwin, checks in with an abysmal rating of "F", which is well-deserved based on her history of anti-gun and anti-hunting votes in the legislature (one really has to work to earn an "F" rating from the NRA).
Hunters take note: For all of the bad economic and social legislation the outgoing incumbent, Senator Satveer Chaudhary, was responsible for the one area in which he did do a good job was that of looking out for the interests of hunters and sportsmen. Your interests will continue to be supported if you elect Gina Bauman. As an NRA member and former employee of Federal Cartridge, Gina appreciates and strongly supports the values and interests of the hunting community.
Goodwin would be an unmitigated disaster against the interests of all gun owners. Not only would she fail to stand up for the interests of us in the gun owning community, but would actively work against our best interests. Goodwin opposed conceal carry reform as a state representative, has voted with the "metrocrats" for virtually all anti-gun legislation in her tenure in the Minnesota House, and is supported by anti-hunting animal "rights" groups. She is also wrong on just about every other issue of interest to Conservatives.
There's more to that interview Barb Goodwin, DFL candidate for State Senate District 50, gave to Atheists for Human Rights (see my previous post). Goodwin went on to criticize Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life because they "took a neutral stand" on a bill to restrict prenatal care to illegal aliens. For this, she accused MCCL of practicing "situational ethics" by not supporting this "life saving bill".
Let's be fair. The bill in question was an effort to prevent citizens from a foreign country from illegally sneaking across the border to receive non-emergency medical care paid for by Minnesota taxpayers. This was an illegal immigration bill that had nothing to do with promoting or restricting abortion – which is the concern of MCCL. It is beyond MCCL's mission to address such legislation. Goodwin again resorts to pretzelian logic bending to find a reason to accuse MCCL of hypocrisy on its pro-life position. But then, bent logic is the only kind of logic that Democrats understand.
I would have actually more respect for them [MCCL], in the twenty years that I've been around the legislative process, cause I worked at the House for several years and I've been in office for six, I never once, once, not once seen them come to the legislature and support child care, support anti-abuse, [support] domestic abuse issues, support education, support health care for children, not one time in twenty years it's all about abortion and I would have respect for them if I could see some consistency in their thought.
Let's get this straight. An organization whose mission is to protect the life of babies in the womb from the consequences of death by birth-control is not worthy of Goodwin's respect because they never once, once, not once lobbied for domestic abuse issues? Bent logic indeed.
Maybe if MCCL lobbied for more government funding of Ethanol "to save the planet and unborn corn", Goodwin might re-consider her respect issues.
[Please see Mr. Dilettante's complete analysis of the Goodwin interview – Part One and Part Two.]
After first endorsing incumbent Satveer Chaudhary for re-election to the Minnesota Senate, the DFL had a change heart. It appears that Chaudhary's ethical lapses became too embarrassing. The Senate District 50 Democrats rescinded their endorsement in favor of former State Representative Barb Goodwin.
But, did the DFL replace one embarrassment for another?
In her last year as state representative, Goodwin was interviewed by Marie Castle, Communications Director for Atheists for Human Rights. This is a group that exists "because so many violations of human rights have their source in religious authoritarianism".
Goodwin was interviewed to discuss "anti-human health care". Castle frames the discussion by suggesting that Republican health care legislation is an effort to force anti-human religious views upon the population. Goodwin appears to echo the sentiment with the obligatory those darn right-wing extremists exclamations.
Throughout this interview, the facts are flawed and the logic is bent in pretzelian fashion. Goodwin describes one such "anti-human" bill:
"We heard a bill in the health care committee, which I'm on, that would require that a person get feeding tubes and hydration, whether or not they wanted it, if they didn't have it specifically written in a health care directive that they didn't want it."
Goodwin opposes the bill because it would require the use of feeding tubes and hydration "whether or not the patient wants it". No. Wait. Did she then say that the bill would not require force feeding of patients who have a health care directive? So does Goodwin oppose "keep the patient alive" as a default plan of action for doctors?
Castle continues the interview with the claim that comatose patients feel no pain through dehydration and that feeding tubes cause pain and suffering. Goodwin elaborates with a personal story:
"I've been through this with several members of my family, and most recently, and still with a brother in-law, who is still in the hospital. Five months he's been in hospital now. And, he went to the hospital in critical condition ... a few days later, stopped breathing. My sister, his wife, was there to make health care decisions for him. But, they would not allow her to make health care decisions for him. He wasn't, in the beginning, in a place where he could make them for himself. So they did inject a feeding tube and they did, of course, give him hydration. He continued to lose weight."
Apparently, he had no written health care directive and doctors did what they could to save his life. The story continued:
"...When you give or force feed a body that's shutting down, that can be extremely painful. And, not only can it be painful, but for him, it created a case where he had diarrhea day and night for days and days. He lost weight, more and more weight, and he was way underweight when he went into the hospital. So in his case, it was technological torture to continue feeding him. He had several times, during that time, when his body tried to give out and he got pneumonia 3 or 4 times. That sometimes can be a blessing because its a quieter way of the body dying. but it was always aggressively treated. He is doing some better at this point..."
Goodwin doesn't explain the underlying cause of the brother in-law's illness. She describes a difficult battle for life, yet acknowledges that the effort improved his condition. There's more (emphasis added):
"...but the thing is is that he's only 50 years old, he was a professional architect, he's never going to be able to work again, his organs are still a mess... if he does survive this, he's going to live in a nursery home the rest of his life. That is not what he would have wanted. That is not what he wants even now. But, that's the kind of decisions that the Republican Right is trying to force on individuals."
Those darn Right Wing Extremists! How dare they force doctors to preserve life – especially when family members have decided that the life of a loved one isn't worth saving.
This issue hits home for me. Several years ago, a best friend of mine was stricken with Leukemia. There was a point where he was comatose and on life support for seven weeks. Doctors did all they could, but saw no signs of hope. They concluded that he would never breath on his own and said it was time to consider pulling the plug.
Because his young son's birthday was on the coming weekend, his wife wanted to postpone the decision until the following week. She didn't want the son to forever link his birthday to when dad died.
The following week he proved doctors wrong. He started breathing on his own and he was home a few weeks later. He lived in remission for two years before a relapse took him quickly. But, those two years were extremely valuable to him, to his family, and to his friends.
We don't know what ever happened to Barb Goodwin's brother in-law. It seems clear that he didn't have a Living Will that would have defined how far doctors should go to keep him alive. Yet, his family was willing to make those decisions for him. We are to believe that he would not want to "live in a nursery home the rest of his life" -- and that living in a nursery home was inevitable.
But, doctors can be wrong. So can family members. So can politicians.
During this interview, Barb Goodwin endorsed flexibility in health care legislation that gives family members wide latitude in life or death decisions over loved ones. With the passage of Obamacare, legislators and bureaucrats now have rationing authority based on the cost of care versus the perceived value of the patient's recovery.
Do we really want Barb Goodwin on Obamacare's extended legislative death panel with the power to regulate health care rationing based on her perceived value of life?