Guided by Stillwater

Raise awareness. Call to action.

Unlimited Assistance, Unlimited Hypocrisy

With the holidays now behind us, I am looking forward to getting back in the daily news grind.

This morning, the first story I heard left me fuming: “U.S. promised unlimited financial assistance to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac“- WAPO

“The Christmas Eve announcement by the Treasury Department means that it can continue to run the companies, which were seized last year, as arms of the government for the rest of President Obama’s current term. But even as the administration was making this open-ended financial commitment, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disclosed that they had received approval from their federal regulator to pay $42 million in Wall Street-style compensation packages to 12 top executives for 2009. The compensation packages, including up to $6 million each to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s chief executives, come amid an ongoing public debate about lavish payments to executives at banks and other financial firms that have received taxpayer aid. But while many firms on Wall Street have repaid the assistance, there is no prospect that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will do so.”

Are you starting to see a pattern yet? Prior to Christmas Eve, President Obama has already spent more in his first year than any other president in our nation’s history.

Let’s just recall what Obama said (transcript) just two weeks before this unlimited bailout:

“But even as we dig our way out of this deep hole, it’s important that we address the irresponsibility and recklessness that got us into this mess in the first place. Some of it was the result of an era of easy credit, when millions of Americans borrowed beyond their means, bought homes they couldn’t afford, and assumed that housing prices would always rise and the day of reckoning would never come. But much of it was due to the irresponsibility of large financial institutions on Wall Street that gambled on risky loans and complex financial products, seeking short-term profits and big bonuses with little regard for long-term consequences. It was, as some have put it, risk management without the management. And their actions, in the absence of strong oversight, intensified the cycle of bubble-and-bust and led to a financial crisis that threatened to bring down the entire economy…”

Notice how he blames you. It’s not Fannie and Freddie’s fault. It’s your fault the housing market tanked because you bought a home you couldn’t afford. When my wife and I purchased our first home, the sales lady gave us every line in the book to hook us. And not only that, but they gave us a brand-new home with just stated income and a credit score. It was probably the same for you.

“It was a disaster that could have been avoided if we’d had clearer rules of the road for Wall Street and actually enforced them.”

How about clearer rules for the federal government? How about Obama takes his hands off the cookie jar? Our government is bankrupt yet they give a blank check to these companies which in turn will give its execs $6 million in bonuses. If you don’t care, you should. The money is coming from your account.

Lastly- my liberal friends love to echo Obama’s blame game of “I inherited this economy”. They bash Bush for the bank bailout. They forget, however, or maybe just don’t know that Obama himself voted for it. Hello? Bueller? Anyone? The man loves spending your money in the name of “recovery”. This is why he voted for it,”This is what we need to do right now, to prevent the possibility of a crisis turning into a catastrophe.”- Obama

(You should revisit my earlier post- The Time is Later)

UPDATE: I just wanted to post this again. I think it’s relevant.

Advertisements

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

Obama in 2009

NY Post’s, Matt Welch, has a very emotional article out yesterday. I say emotional for two reasons: one- if you supported Obama through the election, shed tears of joy at the inauguration, and defended every action (or inaction for that matter) for his first year, I believe those people are now shedding tears of absolute disappointment and dismay as the Obama bubble has finally burst. Two- if you have, all along, disdained our so-called leader, you are ecstatic that the masses are finally waking from their Hopenchange stupor.

Undead ’60s warhorse Tom Hayden got the ball rolling in early December with his dramatic announcement in The Nation that, with the president’s decision to increase troop levels, “It’s time to strip the Obama sticker off my car.”

Time to strip that sticker indeed and replace it with this one…you know act like you were the voice of reason all along.

And what about health care?
Less hysterical but no less disappointed was former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, who wrote in the Washington Post Thursday that “Any measure that expands private insurers’ monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform.”
Robert Samuelson said, “Barack Obama’s quest for historic health care legislation has turned into a parody of leadership. We usually associate presidential leadership with the pursuit of goals that, though initially unpopular, serve America’s long-term interests. Obama has reversed this.”

Good thing we elected a man who was going to change business as usual. Michelle Malkin has been kind enough to offer the Demcare Bribe List: Part 1 and Part 2

It’s one thing if a Fox News poll has Obama’s approval under 50%. It’s another when EVERY SINGLE POLL IN THIS COUNTRY has Obama under 50%. If for no other reason, isn’t it enough that Obama has spent more money in his first year than ANY PRESIDENT IN OUR ENTIRE HISTORY!? And today he has the audacity to offer the $127 billion in cut in the deficit in the first TEN years of this health care “reform” as a good thing! That’s barely a speck of what he spent on the $787 billion Stimulus this year!
Anyway, I’m ecstatic. The Obama bubble has burst. Merry Christmas to me.
Update:
The NY Times on Sunday said, “Nasty charges of bribery. Senators cut off midspeech. Accusations of politics put over patriotism. Talk of double-crosses. A nonagenarian forced to the floor after midnight for multiple procedural votes. In the heart of the holiday season, Senate Republicans and Democrats are at one another’s throats as the health care overhaul reaches its climactic votes. A year that began with hopes of new post-partisanship has indeed produced change: Things have gotten worse.”

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Current Events, Politics | , , | Leave a comment

Rock for South Sudan

In November 2007, I was able to go to southern Sudan. A local pastor, Charles, painted a very vivid picture of what it was like during the civil war prior to the 2005 peace treaty. Looking out at the field before us, he replayed just one instance of troops invading the village- lines of soldiers, shoulder to shoulder, coming in on each side. The people are defenseless in this village. Their tukuls provide little protection. While exploring one afternoon, I discovered some sort of explosive roped off in the grass that failed to explode. The people would cover their roofs with brush and branches to conceal them from the planes.

Charles

tukul

In March 2008, John Mark McMillan, Aaron Strumpel, and Travis Aicklen set out to make a difference in southern Sudan. They rocked for water. Scheduling eight shows in California, these bands used their giftings and musical abilities to promote a need, or better yet, a response. Every night, Travis would talk about what he experienced in southern Sudan (we went together). He would tell the crowd, “You spend your money on worthless things. People who were going to die are going to live because you gave.” And they did. They gave generously. Two weeks and eight shows later, $26,000 was raised. Since that time, one well has been dug with two more on the way (last I heard).

Rock for Water Crew

our well

Travis and I in Sudan

The NY Times just published this story: Violence Grips South Sudan as Vote Nears (PLEASE READ)

In the past, these rivalries occasionally became violent, with maybe a few warriors killed on each side. But the recent attacks seem more like infantry maneuvers. In one massacre this March, 17 villages were besieged and more than 700 people killed, according to United Nations officials….Diing Akol Diing, a county commissioner near Duk Padiet, keeps pictures of victims on his computer: Children with bullet holes in their chest. Old women curled up in pools of blood. Emaciated militia fighters in smart new camouflage.

“This is madness,” he says.

He clicks on a photograph of a dozen people wrapped in blankets, buried in a ditch.

“Mass graves?” he says. “We’ve never had mass graves.”

******

There is just a year until the peace treaty expires. It sounds like the north is preparing. It sounds like the south is scared, hoping to hold out, hoping for independence. It sounds like we need to rock again- not for water, but for the people- for their hopes, for their freedom…for their very lives. The world learned of Darfur too late. Let’s not let this happen with the south. Let’s not wait until another 2 million men, women, and children are dead. Let us help to give them voice. Let us proclaim their story. Let’s Rock for South Sudan.

I’m not sure what to do. I just want to help and I want you to help, too. Are you in?

If so, watch this video from Journeyman Pictures. If not, watch this video from Journeyman Pictures. (August 2006)

This video is from June 1993 and will give you some context.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Current Events, Health Care, Politics, Religion | Leave a comment

Bow Wow Wow Yippie Yo Yippie Yay

Classic, classic, classic…

“Obama’s handshake/forward lurch was so jarring and inappropriate it recalls Bush’s back-rub of Merkel…”The bow as he performed did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms….The last thing the Japanese want or need is a weak looking American president.”

Sweet video of other world leaders knowing enough to SHAKE HANDS!

 

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , | Leave a comment

The Ups and Downs (but in reverse)

MEDICAL COSTS UP….JOB CREATION DOWN

In case you’re confused, medical costs are suppose to decrease under the proposed legislation and job creation is supposed to increase.

“The nation’s medical costs will keep spiraling upward even faster than they are now under Democratic legislation pending in the House, a report from government economic experts concluded Wednesday.”

Does the White House have a reason for this? Of course they do, “The Obama administration immediately challenged the analysis, saying it is out of date because the House bill is being rewritten to bring costs under tighter control and will be merged eventually with other House legislation and a Senate bill.”

You be the judge. However, estimated costs of government programs are ALWAYS lower than they turn out to be. “Washington has just run a $1.4 trillion budget deficit for fiscal 2009, even as we are told a new health-care entitlement will reduce red ink by $81 billion over 10 years. To believe that fantastic claim, you have to ignore everything we know about Washington and the history of government health-care programs.”

Secondly…

“While President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million – a difference of 6.2 million jobs.  To see how stimulus has failed your state, see the table…”

Lastly, here’s a great (short) video on our increasing deficit (under Obama, not Bush).

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Health Care, Politics | , | Leave a comment

This is What We Get

First, the world learns that our President has only talked with General McChrystal ONCE in seventy days:

“”I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once on a VTC ,” Gen. Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.

“You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?” Mr. Martin followed up.

“That is correct,” the general replied.”

Some say this is due to the chain of command. Fine. But let’s keep that same principle in place when the President HIMSELF wants to fly halfway around the world to bid for the Olympics to be in his hometown. It’s not like he would do it for say…Los Angeles or Dallas. It was political. How grand to end his presidency (IF he is reelected) with the Olympics in his backyard?(That’s a big IF by the way). If there is a chain of command in these military contexts, there should be another underling (not the President) to make the bid. He obviously has bigger fish to fry. So what if the leaders from the other countries making bids went? We’re supposed to be the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. That doesn’t mean we act like elitists, but it does mean we remain aware that the world looks to us, relies on us. We set the stage. This…of course, seems to be fading.

And now, Obama is apparently furious that McChrystal has his own opinion based on EXPERIENCE!

In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda.

He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to “Chaos-istan”.

When asked whether he would support it, he said: “The short answer is: No.””

What was he supposed to say? Nothing? No comment?

———–

This is what we get for electing a man with no experience in such matters, trusting him as our Commander in Chief. He follows procedure with a war but yet takes the time to personally bid for the Olympics? Priorities would be nice. Especially when it cost over $1,000,000 to make the bid.

———–

SIDE NOTE: This isn’t all that funny, but it’s nice to see him taking some shots for once.

SNL

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Current Events, Politics | | Leave a comment

NEA I say more?

If the NEA wants to go into policy activism, then it should become a private foundation with private funding, and Congress should cut it loose.” (Hot Air)

Did the White House initiate the conference call-cum-political pep rally? Or did the NEA, an independent agency, spontaneously politicize itself?” Chicago-Tribune

I think this is just the beginning of an emerging trend in the Obama Administration. ACORN a non-profit, “non-partisan” organization is on the ropes. Today, it seems another organization receiving federal (tax payer) funds has been exposed of advocating for Obama and his agenda. As said Ed Morrissey from HotAir, if you want to support and advocate for a particular party or politician, do it on your own dime!

Spread the word. Don’t let this come to fruition: “You’re going to see a lot more of us in the next four and hopefully eight years.” -Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement

I’m curious to know if things like this (federally-funded, non-partisan organizations pulling weight) transpired under George W. If it did, it’s still shameful. If not, that really says something about the way Obama does business. (Just like he ran his ’95 Senate campaign in which he was able to kick everyone else off the ballot). Let me know.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Current Events, Politics | Leave a comment

Can Obama even do what he’s doing?

Carson Holloway tackles the question beyond the policy questions of Obama’s health care reform plan in his article, Constitutional Questions About Health Care Reform. Here are some highlights:

– “Debates over health care reform have focused almost exclusively on policy. Few have considered whether Congress even has the constitutional authority to enact its proposed reforms.”

– “One might ask them: if the government cannot compel you to accept health care, how can it compel you to carry health insurance?…For if government cannot compel you to accept even medical care that will certainly prevent your death, why should it be permitted to compel you to purchase health insurance to provide for all manner of uncertain and lesser evils?”

– “It is one thing to accept a limitation on individual liberties when it arises from the exercise of the indisputable reserved right of state governments to regulate individual behavior with a view to the public health, but quite another when they emanate from a very extensive, and therefore very questionable, stretching of a federal power over interstate commerce.”

– “…it is difficult to see how universal health insurance is a reasonably implied responsibility under any of the limited objects with which the federal government has been entrusted.”

——————-

The majority of this article hinges upon the fact that health insurance WILL BE MANDATORY. How will they enact this? By taxing every single person that does not have insurance.” -FactCheck.org

Claim: Page 167: Any individual who doesn’t have acceptable health care (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income

True. This is the mechanism in the bill to enforce the individual mandate requiring everyone to have insurance. A person who doesn’t have insurance that meets minimum benefit standards (or other acceptable coverage, such as a plan that was grandfathered in) would pay a penalty of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income for the year. The total penalty can’t exceed a national average premium for individual coverage, or family coverage if applicable.”

(This is a complete campaign flip-flop. – PolitiFact)

So, can the federal government force this upon the American people? Does Washington still represent us? This guy certainly does not… “I don’t care what my constituents think.”

UPDATE

How do you enforce a health insurance mandate?

“The IRS will become the authority on “acceptable” insurance policies, which goes far beyond the agency’s expertise and mandate.  What makes a tax-collection agency an expert on health insurance?”

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Health Care, Politics | Leave a comment

Unseparate When Convenient

While UHCAN Ohio is attempting to join forces with the Church in promoting ObamaCare, you can be sure they won’t bring up this tidbit:

“Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.” – FactCheck.org

Liberals hate when the Church crosses State lines…until it proves convenient to meet their ends.

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Health Care, Politics | , , | Leave a comment

Debunking the Lies about the “Lies”

MoveOn.org just published the “Top 5 Healthcare Reform Lies”.  (It’s a sad day when fact checking happens by turning to the WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE!) I thought it best to expose the lies about their “lies” here.

Lie #1: Reform legislation includes a provision, supported by the AARP, to offer senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with information on preparing a living will and other issues facing older Americans.

Obama ought to read section 1233 of HR3200

“The biggest question mark comes from who wrote Section 1233 of the House health care overhaul bill. The original language was written by assisted suicide supporter Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) alongside a group that once was called the Hemlock Society – the nation’s biggest advocates of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Hemlock Society helped draft Oregon’s assisted suicide law – legislation that has led some afflicted people in Oregon getting letters “consulting” them that, while the state run plan would not pay for their cancer treatments, the state would be happy to pay for assisted suicide if they choose that option.”

Undue Influence by Charles Lance (WAPO)

“Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite “purely voluntary,” as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, “purely voluntary” means “not unless the patient requests one.” Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist….Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it.”

Side note: AARP may support Obamacare, but 60,000 members have left AARP as of July 1st.

Lie #2: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. If you’re happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them.

It’s Not an Option (Investor’s Business Daily)

“The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:

“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.”

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.”

RX for Disaster- 83 million stand to lose their coverage – NY Post

“Its perverse incentives, plus the onerous regulations Congress plans to impose on employer-provided insurance, would cause more than half of those with employer-provided insurance to lose it — 83.4 million Americans, according to The Lewin Group, a prominent, politically neutral health-care analysis firm.”

ObamaCare: Kiss Your Access Goodbye (#5)

“The answer is an effect known as “crowd-out.” Recent experience shows that public insurance expansions mainly crowd out private insurance coverage, rather than provide coverage to those otherwise uninsured.”

How Health Care “Reforms” WIll Mess With Your Coverage (NY DAILY)

“But if you file a tax return and fail to attach proof of your qualifying health plan, theIRS, in coordination with the expanded federal office on electronic medical records and a new state bureaucracy called a Gateway, will find you, notify you of your default and fine you (sec. 59).”

Lie #3: Health care reform will expand access to high-quality health insurance, and give individuals, families, and businesses more choices for coverage.

ObamaCare: Kiss Your Access Goodbye (#1…through 6)

“Independent, peer-reviewed studies document that patients seeking care from physicians with specialty training-cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, and neurologists-must wait far longer for those services under government-run health systems.”

“The documented superiority of the U.S. health care system for cancer outcomes is most dramatic when comparing U.S. sur¬vival rates to the most centralized systems, like the government-run universal National Health System of Britain or Canada’s wholly government-controlled universal health system.”

“In stark contrast to the United States, countries with government-controlled systems show severe deficiencies in medical technologies, both in their availability and in what is a truly scandalous usage of antiquated versions often operating at substandard levels of function.”

“. . . when government dictates prices on services, those services become unavailable. And because of inappropriate government dictates on medical care coverage, it is the patient who suffers most. Directly or indirectly, choice becomes limited, and health care becomes rationed.”

Lie #4: Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits.

ObamaCare Does Cur Your Medicare Benefits

“Over one in five Medicare patients are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plans that President Obama wants to completely cut. The benefits that over 10.5 million seniors would probably lose as a result of President Obama’s $200 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts include:

– prescription drug coverage

– preventive-care services

– coor dinated care for chronic conditions

– routine physical examinations

– additional hospitalization

– skilled nursing facility stays

– routine eye and hearing examinations

– glasses and hearing aids

Congress has been down this road before. After con gressional cuts in Medicare Plus Choice in 1997, millions of seniors lost access to private health coverage.”

Lie #5: We need health care reform now in order to prevent bankruptcy

AP: Analysis: Some health care numbers don’t tally

“Obama claims his health effort will not dig the nation deeper into debt and over time will help reduce deficits. He has vowed to not sign any health bill that raises deficits. But even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that none of the health plans pending on Capitol Hill would control long-term spending, and that ones with the elements Obama wants would add around $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.”

Facts vs. Obama (Factcheck.org)

– Obama promised once again that a health care overhaul “will be paid for.” But congressional budget experts say the bills they’ve seen so far would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade.

– Obama claimed his budget “reduced federal spending over the next 10 years by $2.2 trillion” compared with where it was headed before. Not true. Even figures from his own budget experts don’t support that. The Congressional Budget Office projects a $2.7 trillion increase, not a $2.2 trillion cut.”

August 19, 2009 Posted by | Health Care, Politics | Leave a comment