Friday, February 27, 2009

UPDATE: Atlanta Tea Party

In spite of the weather today, I was able to make it to the Atlanta Tea Party. It looks like there were a number of these events from across the nation. People are mad at President Obama and Congress for the spending of the last thirty days.

The event here in Atlanta was met with a, "...monsoon style downpour...". Despite that, I would guess there were around 200 people there. Here are links to the AJC and to 11 Alive news. Both of these articles are pretty accurate based on what I saw. Here are a few pictures I snapped before the great downpour:

This was my favorite sign. If you look close at the umbrella's, you start to get a feel for the rain. I shot this from my chest hiding under my own umbrella:

Freedom Works seems to be doing a lot of work on these protests. If you are interested in the assorted tea parties, or want more information, check out their website.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Atlanta Tea Party!!

For my readers in the Atlanta, Georgia, there will be a Tea Party tomorrow to protest our Government's massive spending! The event is tomorrow, February 27, 2009 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. The organizers are asking people to bring tea and tea leaves to the capitol in Atlanta. For complete details, see the Peach Pundit here.

This idea originated from Rick Santelli's attack on the wasteful spending on air. If you haven't seen it, go watch it here.

People are getting fed up with the government's spending. Go to the tea party tomorrow if you are in Atlanta. If you aren't, look around, a number of these are popping up around the nation.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wall Street Judges Obama

"The biggest thing I see here is incredible pessimism...the government is doing a lousy job of alleviating fears." --- Keith Springer, President, Capital Financial Advisory Services.

"There's nowhere to hide anymore." --- Jim Herrick, director of equity trading at Baird & Co.

The day President Obama was sworn into office, the Dow opened at almost 8,300 points. This afternoon, it closed at 7,114.78. This is the worst level since 1997. President Obama is trying to rescue the economy, and investors aren't buying. Democrat's and the media may think President Obama is the savior of our economy. Wall Street is worried he may have no idea what he is doing.

Fred Barnes wrote on Friday that the three biggest day's of Obama's presidency were the worst losses of his presidency. The stock market measures investors confidence in the future. Right now, investors have no confidence.

It is time for President Obama to act on his campaign promise. He promised a new era of bipartisanship. He tried doing things the way Pelosi and Reid wanted. Instead of advising Republicans to ignore Rush Limbaugh, it might be time for President Obama to tune into Rush. If he doesn't, we may long for the good old days of a 7,000 plus market.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Does Money Really Grow on Trees?

Our government has reached a point it may never be able to return from.

A few weeks ago I quoted an article from CNN Money. According to CNN, in 2008 our government allocated $7.2 Trillion in rescue funds for the failing economy. On Tuesday, President Obama signed the largest economic stimulus package in our nation's history. It carried with it a price tag of around $800 Billion. No one is sure just how much this bill will cost us over the next four or five years. President Obama signed this bill after demanding that congress act quickly. He said our economy is in a crisis and time can't be wasted. Congress violated the very bill it wrote, and passed the bill before any member of Congress or the Senate could read the bill. I want my readers to think about that for one minute. Congress voted on the largest stimulus bill in the history of our nation without actually reading the bill. President Obama then showed us how quickly it had to be passed by waiting four days to sign it. Congress could have waited the 48 hours the bill required before a vote and still had it to President Obama on Tuesday.

As the ink is drying on this terrible bill, President Obama is putting a new spending bill before the American public. Now he wants to take $75 Billion of tax payer money to prevent home foreclosures. The President says the housing crisis is unlike any we have ever known. While our economy is in bad shape, I'm still not sure this is the worst housing crisis in our history. If this money is so important, why didn't the President ask Congress to include this money in the economic stimulus plan? Maybe President Obama thinks there are money trees in the halls of congress that can just magically give him $75 Billion whenever he needs it. He spent less than one term there as a Senator, and part of the time he was there he was campaigning for President so he may not be that familiar with the Capitol building.

$7.2 Trillion in 2008. $800 Billion on Monday. Today another $75 Billon. GM and Chrysler need Billions more each to stay afloat.

Where does our government get this money? They get it from taxes. The government forces working Americans to give it money so that it can then waste it however it sees fit. These bills are all going to come due one day, and the American taxpayer is going to have to pay for it. President Obama now asks working people who may have a savings, and may have managed their money for a rainy day to pay for others who gambled that home prices would never go down. President Obama says this $75 Billion won't go to people who knew they couldn't afford the home they were buying. He says it won't go to lenders who tried to profit off of others. How can he prevent that? There is no way to qualify that in a federal bailout.

President Obama has done alot in 30 days. It will take years to fix the damage he and his Democratic Congress has done. If he doesn't stop his runaway spending, our country may never be able to undo this.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Transparency in Government?

Didn't President Obama campaign on a new era of transparency in Government? It seems like that era has already come and gone. The more the American people hear about the economic stimulus plan and it's comprimise, the more they don't like it.

You may argue that this isn't President Obama preventing the American public from reading the bill. It is at his urging that the Democrats are trying to push this through so quickly. I am convinced the Democrats konw the public doesn't like this bill. They are trying to pass it inspite of the fact that we don't like it!
Sit back and think about this for a minute. From the time the compromise bill was made avalialbe to the public (late last night) to when the House and the Senate will vote on it will be less than 24 hours. Already Congress has violated this bill. What makes you think they won't violate the rest of it? And if none of our representatives (Republican or Democrat) have time to read the bill they are going to vote on, how can they not violate it?

Monday, February 09, 2009

More Surprises from the "Stimulus" Package

If you are supporting the Democratic Spending Bill before the House and Senate, perhaps this paragraph from Bloomberg (authors Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry) will make you think twice:

The stimulus package the U.S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis to $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.

I hope you read that very carefully. The money involved would pay off more than 90 percent of all home mortgages, not just troubled ones. I have written a number of times regarding the insane cost of these plans. However, another Bloomberg author has found another reason to oppose these plans. Betsy McCaughey explains that the stimulus package, as currently debated, will usher in a new world for you and your health care.

In her article, Mrs McCaughey references the exact page number each of these provisions are contained in. For brevity, I have not reproduced the page number. To start with, the stimulus package with digitize your medical records. This sounds innocent enough and is even billed as a way to save your life if you are traveling and need medical attention. The doctor will have access to your medical records via a federal website. Assuming you are confident these records are secure, and there can't be any breach at the federal level, we will continue on. If this worries you, don't read any more because the rest of this will terrify you.

Now that your medical records belong to the federal government, a new entity called "The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology" will begin reviewing your files and the treatment your doctor provides to ensure that your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate. If your doctor isn't, and is trying to treat your specific circumstance, or is trying some sort of experimental treatment on you (even with your consent) then your doctor can face very serious repercussions. The exact language of the bill is vague on this, and will create a separate federal group to decide what that penalty is. According to Mrs. McCaughey, most of these recommendations are out of recent Health and Human Services nominee, and non-tax paying Democrat, Tom Daschle's book. In his book, Daschle says our health care should be more like Europeans. We should slow down the development of new drugs and experimental treatments because they simply cost to much. We should also be willing to accept "hopeless diagnosis". In laymen terms this means if it costs to much to keep you alive, the doctor shouldn't be doing it. To quote the article:

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

If the stimulus package is signed into law, then a person and council named by the Democrats will decide what treatments you should or shouldn't receive, will be able to penalize your doctor or hospital for not following those treatments, and will decide how much it should cost to keep you or a loved one alive. If it costs too much you shouldn't get the treatment.

Consider this fact from Mrs. McCaughey: the bill provides more funding for these provisions than for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marince Corp combined.

You may believe this new Health Care system should be implemented. I think it will be a dark day in our country if it ever happens. I also believe our country could be permanently damaged by this. However, either way, it should outrage all Americans that the Democrats and President Obama are trying to sneak this in. This shows that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama know the American people will not support it. The Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. If they really thought Americans wanted this, they would create a separate bill and pass it. The Republicans would be powerless to stop it.

I encourage you to contact your Senator and tell them to vote against this. Ask them to defend these Health Care provisions to you and explain why they support them. If you don't know their contact info, look it up here. Don't let them sneak in legislation that could affect how, and how long, you and your loved ones live.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Book Review: American Sphinx

Over the last few months I have become more and more interested in the "Revolutionary Generation". I blame David McCullough's 1776 and John Adams, along with the HBO adaptation for this. But another author, Joseph J. Ellis, also deserves some of the blame. I read Founding Brothers a few months back and really enjoyed his section on John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. I thought I would try another one of his books to attempt to get a better understanding of the writer of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States.

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson is a very unique biography. It is not written in a linear since. Dr. Ellis examines five key moments in Jefferson's life, and discusses them. For example, the first chapter starts with Jefferson arriving in Philadelphia in June of 1775 as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He briefly mentions some of the events leading up to that, but there is no discussion of his birth or any hardships he endured growing up. I haven't seen this type of biography before, and really enjoyed it. Instead of being weighed down with a general biographical sketch, Dr. Ellis was free to talk about the key moments in depth. In addition, the version I bought is the "Vintage" edition, which has been updated since the 1996 edition. Why is this important? Many of the DNA evidence surrounding Sally Heming's decedents came out after Ellis wrote his first version. For the "Vintage" edition, he updated portions of his book, and includes an appendix with his thoughts on the probable sexual relationship between Jefferson and the slave Sally Hemings.

One other difference was that American Sphinx is not an apologist book. It is also not a book written by a professor trying to make a name by trashing a popular historical figure. Until the last chapter, which has a "conclusions" feel to it, it is hard to pin down Ellis' position on Jefferson. Ellis is critical of parts of Jefferson's life we should be critical of, and celebrates many things about Jefferson worth celebrating.

Finally, American Sphinx made me re-examine how I view what our founding fathers would have thought on issues of the day. Dr. Ellis points out that trying to apply Adam's, Jefferson's, or Washington's views to today's issues are dangerous because the world is a different place. American Sphinx is a good book about a god like figure in American Politics. It is worth the read, and might make you reexamine your own views on some of today's issues.