Evening Update – August 13


Good afternoon to all.

Things move fast on the key issue of the day, even if Congress is not officially in session.  Maybe having Congress be forced to go back home and see/talk to their constituents is not a bad thing, eh?

First, let’s check the fact that Obama’s poll numbers continue to slide. Rasmussen, which is the only outfit that samples registered voters and pulls out only likely voters out of that, shows his approval at 47%.  It has been sinking at about 1 point every 7 days or so over the last month.  As his ratings sink further, it has several effects

  1. People begin to wonder whether he has the political capital to evangelize his programs so that Congress feels motivated to pass them
  2. Bipartisanship is easier for a president that the opposing party feels has the support of the public behind him.  So, Republicans may continue opposing him if they feel he isn’t bringing the public along.
  3. His ability to bring together the various factions of the Democratic party also begins to falter.

For point 3 above, here is an article you might find interesting on how seniors are jumping off the bandwagon in terms of support for healthcare.. If this key pillar of the Democratic coalition falls by the wayside, it is bad news for Obama.

Meantime, if you really want to see the underpinnings of the healthcare bill, here is some more material.

  • How to connect the dots on the provisions in the bill and its effects.
  • Here is a set of the amendments in the bill which no one is talking about.

Now, comes late word of a poll that shows many people expect taxes to go up. Could that be because we see the debt rising?  Latest numbers from the government show the deficit will hit $1.8 Trillion this fiscal year, which is 4 times what it was last year.

Previous readers to this space will remember I said interest rates will go up?  Well, that is also in the cards.  Long-term Treasury bills show no sign of their rates stablizing.  Each time the government auctions off the debt, it has to pay more interest to the holders of the debt.

Now, having dispensed with the news, let me turn to something else.

We’ve been told for several days now by the lemmings in the mainstream media that liberals believe that dissenters at the town hall meetings are UNAMERICAN.

Well, consult Thomas Jefferson.

I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

So, the rebellion should continue.  I don’t favor it becoming violent, but passionate? Yes.  vociferous? Yes.

I am going to write about this in more detail tomorrow.  I’ll tell you exactly why I think Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and many people on the far left are being completely disingenuous.  They want to quash any debate on the healthcare issue, but they said several years ago that it was appropriate to question the Bush administration.

Tomorrow, I will also write about why I think some liberals have lost it completely.  Meaning they no longer understand (or care to understand) what is the “organic river of feeling” that runs through most Americans for whom the words country, freedom, liberty, and self-determination actually mean something.

I leave you with the entreaty… NEVER EVER FORGET those words:  freedom, liberty, self-determination and country.  These words should evoke emotions and make you proud to be an American.  That feeling, in turn, makes you want to defend what America is so it does not become something you don’t recognize.

It is up to all of us…

The Healthcare Bill – What you need to ponder…


Well, I’m back.  Work obligations for my dad had prevented him from posting regularly… What a summer we’ve had though, eh?

Obviously the prime issue at this point in time is the healthcare “reform” bill which is winding its way through Congress.

Let me take a few minutes to give you what I think are the biggest problems with this whole thing.  I realize there are far more problems than what I’ll describe below, but in the deluge of information/misinformation, there are a few key points worth remembering.

  1. The whole central issue in healthcare reform, according to the liberals, is the fact that 45 million people are uninsured.  So, the story goes, because they’re not insured, their healthcare ends up costing the rest of us dearly.  But, if you check this article at Factcheck.org, you find that the true picture is quite different.  Putting it all together, about half the 45 million are truly the ones who don’t have access to insurance, and of this 25 million, about half of that (12 million or so) are illegal immigrants or others who probably won’t enroll in any insurance plan.  So, we’re going to tear apart the framework of health insurance for 300+ million Americans to get coverage for 12-15 million who need it, but probably won’t ever enroll, and they show up in the emergency room anyway.  Ask yourself if that makes sense or not?
  2. Obama and Congressional leaders claim that under the healthcare plans being proposed, if you like your insurance, and your doctor, you can keep them. Well, that’s a myth as you can see here. It is quite simple to understand:
    • First of all, if a public plan or govermment healthcare exchange emerges, it is funded and subsidized by your taxes and mine.  Until someone figures out a way to avoid paying income tax that doesn’t involve also spending time in a jail cell, and or being subject to hefty fines, the government is really free to confiscate as much of our income as they want.
    • The government can run deficits and print money to cover those debts.  This means that even if the plan requires more than today’s government revenue (again from us taxpayers), Treasury bills can be issued to get additional funding.
    • Of course, that only works as long as whoever is buying the Treasury bills does not demand a higher interest rate on them.  Until recently, that WAS the case.  Now, if you check here, you find that when the government issues debt, the buyers are demanding higher interest rates.  Since January, the 30 year Treasury Bill (which really helps benchmark mortgage and long-term loan rates) has gone from 2.83% to 4.31%.  This is an increase of over 150 basis points.  This trend may continue, and if it does, expect to see mortgage rates go above 7% sometime in 2010. That won’t do much for the recovery (if one materializes).  The net result of this is everytime the government issues more debt, they have to pay higher interest rates to the buyers to get their money.  That’s not a good situation, because it is equivalent to you maxing your credit cards, letting them go to higher interest rates, and then opening more credit cards to continue the spending.  Eventually the debt service payments start to spiral out of control.
    • But, let’s assume that the two bulleted conditions above hold true… The government can subsidize healthcare premiums on a public healthcare plan at levels that could never be met by a private healthcare insurer.  Since the private company can’t run debts at the size/scope that the government can, and they can’t tax someone to bring in money, the public plan for healthcare would force private insurers to go out of business.
    • When confronted about whether someone would lose their doctor or healthcare insurance plan, the President even has to admit he can’t guarantee that they’ll keep the insurance or doctor.  Here’s the story.
  3. Any government plan for healthcare would by definition ration care because the government has an interest in keeping its payments to doctors/hospitals as low as possible to prevent the taxpayers and citizens from paying exorbitantly for it.  So, deny procedures, specify how many doctors can be put in place at a given location, and also make it very difficult for people to do fee-for-service where you just pay the doctor directly.  All in the name of keeping costs down. That’s called the “greater good trap”.  Putting aside the pretzel of logic that results from saying this and continuing to run debts to finance the program… Let’s take a little peek into what rationed care looks like… Here’s an article you might find interesting
  4. The poll numbers show that a majority of Americans do not want to give up their insurance to move into a government plan and many of them have also heard about the provision that you need to meet with someone to discuss end of life issues.  I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to find the articles on that, but Pat Buchanan puts it quite nicely in this article.  If the government is paying doctors to do this kind of counseling, what would prevent the government from issuing guidelines on what that doctor should tell you??  If you really need more evidence of what could happen, check here.  I didn’t need to be reminded of the Monty Python clip in this context.  It was funny back then, but now it is chilling, and should really make you wonder how far the government will carry this.
  5. Many of you have no doubt heard about the townhall meetings and the level of debate that has occurred.  It really bewilders me how liberals (now that they are in power) are railing against the same things they did to the Bush administration in terms of debate/dissent.  However, beating people up is beyond the pale.  Over at Hot Air, there’s an article talking about how union organizers/thugs have beaten up people who show up at these townhall meetings.
    • We now also have Paul Krugman, who is the liberal’s favorite economist saying people (meaning the ordinary citizens who show up to ask questions at the town halls) are deranged. It shows you just how small the thinking is on the left side of the political spectrum.  They have been pushing the idea of healthcare reform (on their terms) for nearly a century now and the attacks against anyone who says they need more infomration or time to digest it are getting downright absurd.
    • Peggy Noonan has a good article on how desperate the Democrats are getting.  Usually, I don’t agree with her, but she’s got it right this time.
    • I would not expect at all that Obama’s message for people to “get out of the way”, is going to carry very far. I know he aimed it at the special interests that made the mess which he says he has to clean up.  However, ordinary citizens don’t usually show up in large masses to these townhall meetings unless they are outraged about something.  Here’s the perspective on that. Particularly note worthy is Roger’s assertion that there is NO moral imperative for health care for all, and the politicians are getting extremely good now at exploiting the basic American compassion for other means.
    • Finally, if you want to see exactly how both sides come out to protest for and against the healthcare plan, check this photo essay and narration out.  I found it quite telling that some of the people sent out by Organizing for America (what used to be ACORN), were day laborers who couldn’t speak English and didn’t know what their signs said.

I’ll be writing more about this subject as events unfold.  If you want me to add you to my blogroll here, send me a note at katia98dog (at) gmail (dot) com.

Katia’s afternoon update – June 18th, 2008


Greetings to all…

Wanted to bring you up to date on a few stories worth paying attention to today…

1. The New York Times issued a poll which seems to still show a gap between the President’s personal approval ratings, and how the public feels about specific policies.  People appear to like the president, but his policies aren’t receiving the same perception. The question for all of us is how much more damage can he sustain on the policy front in terms of negative perception before his own personal ratings also start to suffer.  Note: registration may be required to click on the NY Times link and get to the story.

2. I found an excellent live blog over at The Guardian in the UK that appears to be doing a pretty decent job of indicating what is going on in Iran in more or less real-time.  I offer the link here for your bookmarks.  You might have to go back to their main page here to find the same blog tomorrow, as the above URL appears to have today’s date hard-coded in it.

3. The Democrats appear to want to cut spending on the missile defense system. The link over at Pajamas Media is here.  With North Korea having missile technology and the means to produce nuclear weapons grade material, this seems like a foolhardy move because it does not take that much of a leap in rocket technology to get a missile that can reach from North Korea to Alaska or Hawaii, or even Tokyo.  According to the article, $32M has already been spent to put the interceptors in Alaska, $120M remains to be spent to finish these sites and put the technology in.  The article correctly points out that many civilian technologies come out of the military domain where a requirement is stated, technology is developed and then put into military applications, which is something many Democrats forget. Well, let us consider some ideas in that regard…

  • The Internet (apologies to Al Gore for being incorrect) was invented through work by the military.
  • The idea of routers/switches that drive all the traffic across the networks you use to view this Web page.  Also came from the military
  • GPS and most commercial navigation systems came out of the military
  • High speed jet engines also came out of the military
  • The reduction of transistors and integrated circuits into smaller and smaller spaces also came from the military.  Without that, the technology to develop the iPhone and mobile cellular phones that are so sleek and small wouldn’t have happened.

My point with the above list is it is a complete fallacy for Democrats to say that military spending provides no useful benefit.  In this case, with a confirmed madman in Pyongyang, and a government there that has both rocket technology and nuclear material, I believe it is wise to consider all defense options that we have.

4. According to The Hill.com, Senator Baucus now has the problem of having to cut $600 Billion from the healthcare bill, and Republicans, rightly so, are deriding the whole thing as a sham. The basic problem is that neither party has been able to come together with the other one to draft some principles that are bipartisan.  So, the bill that makes it to the House and Senate floor will be much more tilted towards the Democrat perspective.  What one should watch for is whether the public (government) option is created in such a way as to drive the private insurers out of business over time.  Remember that government can run losses on such a plan, as they’re doing with Medicare, and then we all lose because if there is less choice in the private marketplace, businesses will cut your current insurance and dump everyone in the government plan.  My preferences would be to

  • Figure out how to get the people who are NOT insured covered
  • Put more preventative care clinics in areas where they’re needed
  • Invest heavily in more doctors/nurses, and offer to pay or forgive some of their school loans if they serve in these clinics
  • Put together a catastrophic care bill that can be offered to EVERYONE so that people do not get wiped out by a large surgery or illness that traditional insurance won’t cover

5. Senator DeMint is going after Senator Boxer for her comments to a general who was testifying on the Hill.  Link is here at Hot Air. Apparently, the general decided to call her “ma’am” and she chided him and asked him to call her Senator.  I only include this one here because it is interesting how the Senator forgets that everyone in uniform has seen things in wartime that are unimaginable and many of them give up huge sacrifices to be in uniform for us. She should defer to the General, not the other way around.

That’s the evening roundup for today.  Come back tomorrow for notes on the interesting stories I’m following.  Have a great evening, and thank you very much for coming by.

Don’t forget you can follow the blog over on Facebook.  Look in the left side and you’ll see the Facebook widget to Networked Blogs.  Also, consider recommending the blog to Digg, Reddit, or Technorati or all three if you like it.  Here’s the URL if you want to copy/paste it into those sites.  https://katiadog.wordpress.com

Katia’s Evening Update


Touche. I suppose I expected this. The President goes after Fox News…  Here’s one link… and also a link to Hot Air’s story about this. It’s the only channel on the dial where conservative and libertarian views get a fair hearing. So, naturally, the President would feel like Fox’s sole aim is to make life difficult for him. I’ll leave it to the reader to watch Fox News sometime and make up your own mind as to whether they are balanced in their coverage or out to get the President.

However, I’d like to point out that if he really CARED about the conservative or libertarian perspective, and he wanted to be President of ALL Americans, he would be bi-partisan and come on Fox News once in a while to answer questions. The reason most conservatives and Republicans have problems with Obama is the President shows zero inkling towards wanting to meet them halfway. At some level, Mr. Obama will have to realize that bashing your opposition can and will backfire.

Americans voted for Mr. Obama because President Bush basically went silent during the last 2 years of his last term. He also did not do a good job of putting PR people in his cabinet that could carry the messages of the day from the White House. The combination of this and his unwillingness to go personally after liberals on the Iraq war cost the Republicans any chance at victory in 2008. John McCain being chosen as the nominee was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I’m not going to repeat the often spoken criticism that Obama is a socalist or a Marxist. I’ll leave that for you and history to decide. But, Obama will have to figure out how to govern from the center, or face a big correction in 2010 when the House gains a number of Republican seats and he loses several seats in the Senate.

Meantime, we all have an obligation to insist that the government as a whole stop the process of doing things that are counter-intuitive:

  1. Proposing healthcare legislation that is going to add $1 trillion to the debt, over and above what has already been allocated.  In other words, we start Fiscal Year 2010 in October with the government running a $2 trillion deficit.  Now, add $1 trillion on top of that during the next 10 years.  Sure, it is only $100 billion average a year, but even the Congressional budget office says that the proposed plan will NOT insure everyone it is supposed to.  About half the pool of uninsured people will still be left out in the cold.  Seems like an expensive $1 trillion to spend…
  2. Pushing the secured creditors to the back of the line at GM and Chrysler during the bailouts so that the government and unions could take first and second position respectively in equity.  The bond holders had contracts with GM and Chrysler which were nullified, effectively.  The Supreme Court was asked to step in and declined to.  So, firemen, teachers and other public services workers, plus ordinary Americans who had bonds invested (which are supposed to be a good hedge against risk) now are left with essentially nothing.  Someone remind me again if you choose to diversify AWAY from stocks into bonds, you usually PRESERVE your assets.  When did that little rule of economics go out the window???
  3. The government also shows little inclination to address the fact that tax rates here in the US are beginning to exceed those in Europe. Over time, this will lead to US companies setting up in Europe, or offshore.  Even if they pay taxes to re-patriate income from overseas, many companies will still come out ahead. In fact, with the spectre of inflation coming back… The dollar is going to lose purchasing power, providing an incentive for corporations to locate to other regions where the organic currency goes farther than the dollar.

So, that’s the evening update for today.  Keep an eye on these stories by coming back here.  Thanks for dropping in.

A reminder that I’ve now added a Facebook widget in the left pane if you want to become a follower of the blog over there.  You can also use Feedburner to subscribe to an RSS feed, and also get an email subscription to the site as well.

I have had nearly 1,100 hits on the site since we opened officially last Monday evening.  I thank each and every one of you for visiting.  However, I can only make this site a vehicle for positive change in the ideas marketplace if you tell your friends about it.

So, please find two friends this week who you believe are not getting all their information from alternative media and tell them about the site.

I also welcome emails with suggestions.  Send them to katia98dog (at) gmail.com

Obama throws Kennedy under bus


This article over at Hot Air tells an interesting story. Obama was all for the healthcare bill until it became clear that the costs were a political liability. At which point he can throw Teddy under the bus.

It does beg the ultimate question of who exactly is running point on the healthcare bill on the Hill these days? And more so, if there isn’t one neck to choke in terms of accountability for success/failure of this, then how are the differences between the various bills going to get ironed out? As things stand, the various committees, writing legislation for healthcare can’t seem to agree on much of anything.

ABC News to turn over programming to Obama


Everyone reading this needs to go to the abcnews website and register your complaints. This is a blatant example of a media outlet crossing the line into an area that our Founders NEVER ever wanted.  Media is supposed to be unbiased, free, and unbeholden to government for anything.  This is outrageous, and regardless of anyone’s political stripes, this should bother you immensely.  Wars were fought in this country to preserve the freedom of the press and individual rights to get information in a free fashion.  This flies in the face of that.

So, Katia’s questions to ponder

  1. Just how much “in the tank” is ABC now?  Can we ever trust anything they say again as being the truth or at least not heavily biased towards the Administration?
  2. We already know that NBC is in bed with General Electric which has a huge position in renewable energy sources.  So, NBC and MSNBC bias a lot of their coverage to favor liberal positions.  When is the last time you saw any Republican on either channel that got a fair shake?
  3. CBS News proved last year during the election campaign that they would do ANYTHING to destroy John McCain.  Katie Couric has been said to mention to people that she’s glad the conservatives have been absolutely marginalized.  And this is who is delivering the news?  Her ratings speak for themselves.

Where then does one go for news?  The declining ratings of the big 3 newscasts seem to indicate that people are abandoning them in droves for other sources.  Small surprise, right?

Drudge has the link up about this…  Watch this.  It will be interesting to see the reaction.

Katia’s News… Three Articles to Read


Top of the morning to everyone.

By now, everyone knows about the goings on in Iran.  The Iranian government is backed into the proverbial corner. In short, the protests in the streets have forced them to reckon with a population that knows the franchise was stolen from them.

I would keep an eye on The Drudge Report, Hot Air, Real Clear Politics, and your mainstream news paper of choice to stay apprised of things.  Also, plug into the #iranelection channel over on Twitter.

But, here are three links you should visit to get some perspectives on what’s going on outside of the Iran story

  1. The Congressional Budget Office released figures yesterday that show that the Kennedy bill for Obamacare would add $1 Trillion in costs over the next 10 years.  Yes, that’s TRILLION…  And, it doesn’t even insure all the people that the liberals want to cover.  Click here to read the article at Politico.
  2. Benjamin Netanyahu answered Obama’s Cairo speech with a speech of his own.  It is worth analyzing this, because in the long term, the next move in the chess game on Iran might well come from Israel.  Notable is that Netanyahu has endorsed the two state solution, but he has conditions on such a framework that might not have appeared before. Click here to read the article at Human Events.
  3. For all the talk about Hope and Change and the “middle of the road” in American politics, it appears as though polarization of the electorate is still the modus operandi.  Here’s the article over at Hot Air referencing a Gallup poll of voter preferences.

Enjoy your day here in the US, and for our readers elsewhere in the world, thanks for dropping by and I hope you had a good day or are having a good day.  Remember, you can get the backstory on important issues here.  I will always seek to find what the mainstream media isn’t telling you!