Archive for August, 2009

Obama’s Holy Rede?

Posted in Politics, Religion, Society on August 23rd, 2009

President Obama, seeing what American support there was for his health insurance “reform” plan crumbling, has decided to branch out from pure politics and utilize religion to cajole or coerce we, the People into supporting his – or is it now “His” – agenda. He has now attempted to enlist the aid of America’s clergy in spreading the “Holy Rede” of ObamaCare to the masses.

Details, such as are available, from FOXNews:

Obama spoke to about 140,000 people of faith in a conference call and webcast Wednesday evening. He and a White House official discussed the moral dimension of health care, telling the mostly Christian audience that “this debate over health care goes to the heart of who we are as a people.”

But earlier that day, Obama went much further, asking about 1,000 rabbis to preach his political agenda in their sermons on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year — one of the holiest days of the year.

The conversation was supposed to be off the record but was captured on the Twitter feeds and blogs of some rabbis who took part in the call, which was organized by the Union of Reform Judaism and included rabbis from other denominations.

“I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform,” Obama said, according to Rabbi Jack Moline of Virginia, whose Twitter feed has since been scrubbed of the information.

Obama told the rabbis that “we are God’s partners in matters of life and death” and asked them to “tell the stories of health care dilemmas to illustrate what is a stake” in their sermons, Moline wrote.

This is of course a useful and utilitarian tactic by President Obama. Rebranding ObamaCare as a “moral imperative,” placing himself on par with Divine Will, and suborning the clergy to push his agenda to their congregations makes the utmost political sense if he can pull it off. It’s a tactic that has been used successfully by many politicians over the millennia. One cannot truly fault him for trying to use it.

One has to wonder though about the great lack of uproar from the Liberals over President Obama’s attempted use of the Church to spread his political agenda. Why are we not inundated by angry rhetoric about the Separation of Church and State. The Left was certainly never shy or retiring about waxing vehement over President Bush’s mere mention of religion.

During the past election I seem to remember a large number of Liberals ranting for various churches to lose their tax-exempt status for mixing with politics and endorsing a candidate’s agenda. But I guess it’s all relative, much like what passes for the Liberals’ morality…

It seems that, as long as it’s President Obama’s Holy Rede that is being spread as the new Gospel, the Liberals find no reason to complain about any possible infringement of the Constitution, the 1st Amendment, or the Separation of Church and State – because when Obama does something, it must be right, proper, and even “holy.”

Related Reading:

Obama: An Intimate Portrait, Deluxe Limited Edition
Becoming (Spanish Edition)
The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities
HBR's 10 Must Reads on Strategy for Healthcare (featuring articles by Michael E. Porter and Thomas H. Lee, MD)
Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom)

Big Money Donors

Posted in Politics on August 21st, 2009

In what passes for common wisdom among the Left, the big money donors to politicians are those “evil” corporations that “not-so-secretly run America” and the Republican party is their well-paid tool. This is axiomatic among Liberals. It’s a mantra they chant and was one of the major planks of President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

As is not too surprising given their track record in such matters, the Liberals are either wrong or mendacious on both the source of campaign contributions and the breakdown of the recipients thereof. Thankfully for those interested in the truth, has compiled a summary of the 100 all-time top donors from 1989 – 2008 based upon the data released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on May 12, 2009. I’ve tabulated the top 25 donors below:

Organization Total Dem % Rep %
AT&T Inc $43,501,240 44% 55%
American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $40,965,173 98% 01%
National Assn of Realtors $35,179,013 48% 51%
Goldman Sachs $31,183,662 64% 35%
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $30,920,696 97% 02%
American Assn for Justice $30,734,429 90% 09%
National Education Assn $29,908,625 92% 06%
Laborers Union $28,201,600 92% 07%
Service Employees International Union $27,510,257 95% 03%
Teamsters Union $27,402,304 92% 06%
Carpenters & Joiners Union $27,368,258 89% 10%
Communications Workers of America $26,748,746 99% 00%
Citigroup Inc $26,562,905 50% 49%
American Medical Assn $26,213,449 39% 60%
American Federation of Teachers $25,996,071 98% 00%
United Auto Workers $25,767,002 98% 00%
Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union $24,793,477 98% 00%
National Auto Dealers Assn $24,048,808 31% 68%
Altria Group $23,869,891 28% 71%
United Food & Commercial Workers Union $23,742,074 98% 01%
United Parcel Service $23,649,476 36% 63%
American Bankers Assn $21,945,966 41% 58%
National Assn of Home Builders $21,401,355 35% 64%
EMILY’s List $20,984,384 99% 00%
National Beer Wholesalers Assn $20,300,845 31% 68%
Note: percentages of Dem: Rep donations total up to 99% each due to unlisted minor party and independent recipients of campaign donations

In the past 19 years the top 25 donors to political campaigns have given a total of $688,899,706 to politicians’ war chests. $497,435,208 (72.21%) was given to Democrats and $182,961,723 (26.56%) was given to Republicans. So Democrats received almost three times as much in campaign donations from the top 25 donors as the Republicans did during the same 19 years.  So much for the Liberals’ dogma that the GOP is the party who’s “bought and paid for.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Related Reading:

CrunchTime: Corporations and Other Business Entities, Fifth Edition (Emanuel CrunchTime)
This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
Lobbyists at Work
What You Should Know About Politics . . . But Don't: A Nonpartisan Guide to the Issues That Matter
The Democrats: A Critical History (Updated edition)

Obama’s Public Option

Posted in Politics on August 20th, 2009

Dr. Obama - head of USSA Medical ServicesPresident Obama’s attempts to quasi-nationalize America’s health insurance industry is based upon providing people with a “Public Option” that will directly compete with America’s current private, semi-free market health insurance providers – whether those providers are the evil insurance giants or individual Americans’ employers.

But why is this the focus of his plan?

What possible valid reason or necessity could there be for the creation of a fully government ran health insurance agency? What does Obama and his Liberals gain by pushing this Public Option? What would America gain by having it?

A Few Facts About The Public Option

  1. President Obama’s Public Offering would only be available via the Health Insurance Exchange that President Obama wants to create.
  2. President Obama’s Public Offering would have to abide by exactly the same restrictions as any private health insurance plan that was offered on the proposed Health Insurance Exchange.
  3. President Obama’s Public Offering would have three tiers of coverage:  Basic, Enhanced, and Premium; it may or may not have a fourth level of coverage designated as Premium-Plus.
  4. President Obama’s Public Offering may or may not be directly administered by the government. Provisions are in place to allow them to contract a 3rd-party administrator such as USHealth, Aetna, or WellPoint to administer all or part of the Public Offering.
  5. President Obama’s Public Offering utilizes the same “cost sharing” and federal subsidies as any private health insurance plan that was offered on the proposed Health Insurance Exchange.

The Public Option put forth by President Obama and his Liberals would be identical in every way, shape, and form except for one critical point – the Public Offering doesn’t have to generate a profit.

Indeed, much like a number of other government programs over the decades, ObamaCare’s Public Option could actually run at a net loss but hide that fact by using support from other government agencies with their own budgets. This sort of budget gimmickry is currently done by Medicare and Medicaid to disguise their true costs and insolvency. Fully 50% of the administrative overhead of Medicare and and Medicaid is provided by other state and federal agencies and therefor not reported as expenditures by Medicare or Medicaid.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall provide for the offering of an Exchange-participating health benefits plan (in this division referred to as the “public health insurance option”) that ensures choice, competition, and stability of affordable, high quality coverage throughout the United States.

I find it hard to believe that President Obama and his Liberals’ Public Health Insurance Option is meant to provide “choice” or “competition.” There not much in the way of competition when one player doesn’t have to realize any profits and can hide losses, whereas the other players cannot do so, and that will inevitably lead to a commensurate loss of choice when the other players pull out of the game.

I can understand, given the facts above, what President Obama and his Liberals gain by implementing a Public Option; they maintain the support of their Left-Wing base and they gain greater power over we, the People. Can someone tell me what Americans gain though?

Related Reading:

What You Should Know About Politics . . . But Don't: A Nonpartisan Guide to the Issues That Matter
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition
Politics from A to Z
Inside the Insurance Industry - Third Edition
Can American Capitalism Survive?: Why Greed Is Not Good, Opportunity Is Not Equal, and Fairness Won't Make Us Poor