American Elephants

Is Congress Beginning to Have Some Buyer’s Remorse? by The Elephant's Child

Some members of Congress have apparently asked the Congressional Research Service — an arm of the Library of Congress that does research for members and staff — to explain how the new health-care reform law would affect their own health insurance and that of their staffs.

The CRS says, in a new report, that the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.  The report says that the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

As the New York Times says:

The confusion raises the inevitable questions:  If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans? …

And even if current members of Congress can stay in the popular program for federal employees, that option will probably not be available to newly elected lawmakers, the report says.

I have written several times that Congress went to great lengths to exclude themselves from the law, but I may have been mistaken.  They certainly didn’t do it on purpose, for their intent, as is true for most Americans, was to keep the health insurance they had and liked, and we probably won’t get to either.

I believe the word is Schadenfreude, a German word for which there is no real English equivalent.  It means taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others, which I freely admit.  I hope it’s true.  The law is a horrendous mess, and it’s past time Congress realized that as well.  Bwa ha ha ha.

With a Big Enough Budget, Everything is Possible, Or Not. by The Elephant's Child
February 4, 2010, 12:56 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Education | Tags: , , ,

Obama’s budget looks for $2 trillion more in spending and deficits than last year.  Apparently the memo about fiscal discipline went astray.  After he once again criticized President Bush for running $3.3 trillion in deficits over eight years, President Obama’s budget would run $7.6 trillion over what would be his eight years in the Oval Office. He would run up more debt over his eight years than all other presidents in American history from George Washington through George W. Bush combined.

Obama apparently believes that an economy in recession can be magically improved simply by spending lots and lots of money through something called “the multiplier effect,” which has never been known to work.

The frustrating thing is that there are studies that suggest that much of this huge budget will be wasted.  For example, there is $9.3 billion to create the federal government’s 70th preschool and child-care program.  Head Start has been studied extensively, and every study has shown that it simply does not benefit students. The latest study shows zero lasting benefits by the end of first grade.

The big increases for student aid comes in the wake of a 99 percent increase over the past decade.  College costs continue to climb at four times the rate of inflation — more than 400 percent since 1982.  Economists have argues that generous subsidies have contributed to the college cost problem.  We need strategies that can lower college costs rather than raise them.  Giving generous aid to students in the form of loans they can’t pay back makes no sense.

One of the most successful programs of all is the Opportunity Scholarship program in Washington D.C. which gives poor children vouchers to attend the school of their choice.  The teachers’ union doesn’t like vouchers, which they find threatening.  Naturally, that program is canceled in the budget; those already in the program are allowed to graduate, but there will be no more opportunity.

ClimateGate, GlacierGate, AmazonGate and all the rest of the extensive fudging of figures and exposure of the whole “global warming fraud has not penetrated to the White House.  The President is still talking about “Overwhelming Scientific Evidence” with no inkling that it’s all over— exposed.

The globe is not warming. Warming is not caused by carbon dioxide.  There is no reason to control or prevent emissions of CO2.  Oil and  natural gas are in plentiful supply.  They are not “dirty” and so-called “clean energy” such as wind (only produces energy in small amounts when the wind actually blows at the right speed) and solar (only produces energy when the sun shines) does not exist at all, without massive government subsidy. Everywhere in the world, when subsidies are removed, solar and wind energy end.

$8 billion in stimulus funds has just gone to plan and build high-speed rail projects in California and Florida, and other routine passenger-rail projects that are pretending to be high-speed rail.  The rationale seems to be that “other countries have bullet trains and we are falling behind.”  Internationally only two segments have ever broken even — Tokyo to Osaka, and Paris to Lyon.

High-Speed Rail is a romantic notion, again of getting people out of their cars — ending congestion, except that congestion occurs in urban regions, high-speed rail happens between urban areas. Then they get off on the pointless tons of CO2 reduced.  One project involves a line connecting Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Wash.  For a projected $600 million they propose to shave about 10 minutes of a three-and-a-half hour trip by raising average speeds from 49 mph to 51 mph. Impressive.

This seems to fit right in with electric cars that will go 7 miles on a charge.  The assumption is that wonderful American inventiveness will bail out goofy ideas financed by taxpayer money in the middle of a recession.  It’s not so good now, but just you wait.  Investing lots of government money will be just the ticket.

There are proven policies to help an economy out of recession.  They involve eliminating uncertainty, cutting taxes on business to encourage investment in new employees and cutting government spending.

But Utopian dreamers aren’t interested in proven policies.  Romantic dreams are more fun.  All is possible with the “investment” of big sums of government money our grandchildren’s money.

Photoshops I wish I’d done… by American Elephant

Sublime analogy.

Bet the Empire had “free” health care too! Now if I can only slip the plans into this R-2 unit…

Artist unknown

Democrats give Americans lesson in REAL Fascism by American Elephant

When oil company executives are getting the better of her in Congressional hearings on the price of gas, Democrat Maxine Waters loses it, and accidentally lays it all on the line…

Nor is this an anomaly. We’ve heard this theme before…

Despite the rantings you hear from ignorant liberals about “fascist” Republicans and Bushitlerchimpy — whatever it is they say — this is what fascism really looks like: dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition (the promised “fairness” doctrine). The very definition of fascism.

These people are not joking! They already want to nationalize health care. I have suspected for a long time, given their demagoguery of the oil companies, that this is coming if they get the chance.

They won’t do it in one bold stroke: they know the people wouldn’t accept it. But they will do it stealthfully, incrementally. One bill at a time, demonizing Republicans for not caring all the while. But they will do it.

So, strap yourselves in! If Obama or Hillary take the White House and Democrats increase their control of Congress, this country is in for a drastic lurch to the left — and drastically more expensive and less available energy.

Lord, help us!

Maryland Democrats go After Guns Through Your Kids by Emerald City Elephant

Two Maryland Democrats, Barbara Frush and Virginia Clagett, have introduced a bill in that state’s legislature to ban the government from granting hunting licenses to anyone under the age of 13.

Right now, the State of Maryland issues “junior licenses” to children under 16 who pass a firearms and hunter safety course.

“The bill is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the future of hunting,” said Rob Sexton of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, a group that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers. “If passed, this bill will have a devastating effect on recruiting young hunters and the future of wildlife conservation in Maryland.” Hunting license fees go toward conservation programs.

According to the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, research shows that people are far less likely to take up hunting after age twelve. “Parents, not the government, are far more equipped to know when their sons and daughters are ready to hunt,” said Sexton. [read more]

No need was cited for this law. No pressing issue. They just want to get rid of guns. If there is anything liberals know, its that if they can’t get what they want now, all they have to do is use the power of governement to force their values on your kids, and they will get what they want in a generation.

Look for similar bills to be coming soon to a liberal legislature near you.

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