People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Medicare For All!

Hey, it's free! Right?

The Roanoke Times:
A prescription for health care reform

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff asked President Obama's longtime physician in Chicago, Dr. David Scheiner, for a little medical advice: How would he advise his former patient on health care reform? Scheiner's prescription: a public insurance option, Kristoff writes, plus he "would love to go further and see Medicare for all."

Wise man. [link]


A friend came to me recently and advised that he was filing for personal bankruptcy. He too was a wise man. As long as credit card companies were willing to pay his bills, he thought, heck, he was willing to rack them up. And he did. To the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

But the truth is, credit card companies don't pay bills. They simply hand a person like that the rope with which to hang himself.

The wise man unwisely hanged himself.

Government debt is no different. The bills racked up by government do-good programs come due. And we have to pay them.

From Yahoo News:

Washington – Social Security and Medicare are fading even faster under the weight of the recession, heading for insolvency years sooner than previously expected, the government warned Tuesday. Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, a year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner, trustees reported.

Medicare is in even worse shape. The trustees said the program for hospital expenses will pay out more in benefits than it collects this year, just as it did for the first time in 2008. The trustees project that the Medicare fund will be depleted by 2017, two years earlier than the date projected in last year’s report.

The trust funds — which exist in paper form in a filing cabinet in Parkersburg, W.Va. — are bonds that are backed by the government’s “full faith and credit” but not by any actual assets. That money has been spent over the years to fund other parts of government. To redeem the trust fund bonds, the government would have to borrow in public debt markets or raise taxes. [link] [my emphasis]

So, you wise people at the Roanoke Times, yeah, let's party. The government is paying the bill. No worries.

If only it were true.

By George, It Might Work

Kilo made reference recently to an article in the Coalfield Progress ("Supervisors hear pitch for $200M trash-to-ethanol plant") (requires paid subscription) that gave us some details about a proposed project over in his neck of the woods (Wise County). I had read the same article and was - shall we say - a bit skeptical. In an email exchange, I asked Carl if the technology behind the effort was really reliable, wanting to know if it might take more fuel to burn the trash to make the ethanol than was produced in an end-product.

Well, I was reading an interesting piece in Popular Mechanics last night entitled, "6 Bright Ideas for the Future of Energy," and came upon this:
Turn Trash Into Power

The Green Energy Machine, or GEM, is an unlikely alt-fuel hero. Yet the dumpster-size cargo container jutting from a building in Waltham, Mass., can heat and power 200,000 square feet of space on a daily diet of 3 tons of garbage. The $850,000 system, which incorporates a Rube Goldberg–like array of devices, can pay for itself in three years, according to Michael Cushman, vice president of IST Energy, which makes GEMs. It can save some 540 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and—unlike much alt-energy tech—it’s ready now. “We welcome revolutionary technology, but this is an evolutionary solution with substantial potential for high impact,” Cushman says. “We don’t need a 10-year-off solution, we need a today solution.”
So maybe it's possible.

Trash to fuel. Who'd have guessed.

Keep us informed, Carl, as this progresses. This could be big.

What Obamanomics Will Bring

To think: The Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates fought a valiant and - ultimately - victorious battle to not let the commonwealth sink into being California, New York, or New Jersey. And for good reason:
The Albany-Trenton-Sacramento Disease
Wall Street Journal editorial

President Obama has bet the economy on his program to grow the government and finance it with a more progressive tax system. It's hard to miss the irony that he's pitching this change in Washington even as the same governance model is imploding in three of the largest American states where it has been dominant for years -- California, New Jersey and New York.

A decade ago all three states were among America's most prosperous. California was the unrivaled technology center of the globe. New York was its financial capital. New Jersey is the third wealthiest state in the nation after Connecticut and Massachusetts. All three are now suffering from devastating budget deficits as the bills for years of tax-and-spend governance come due.

These states have been models of "progressive" policies that are supposed to create wealth: high tax rates on the rich, lots of government "investments," heavy unionization and a large government role in health care.

So goes the real-life experience of progressive governance, with heavy tax burdens financing huge welfare states, and state capitals dominated by public-employee unions. Formerly rich states, they are now known for job losses, booming deficits and debt, wage stagnation, out-migration and laughing-stock legislatures. At least Americans have the ability to flee these ill-governed states for places that still welcome wealth creators. The debate in Washington now is whether to spread this antigrowth model across the entire country. [link]
This could have been us.
And now, with Obama in charge, it is soon to be us.

May God have mercy.

In Truth ...

... they became less protected on inauguration day:

U.S. Troops, Civilians to Become Less Protected on July 1

Our military men and women deserve better.

But it is what you wanted it to be.

Now live with the consequences.

The Sad Truth

Rick Boucher's global warming bill may today be passed by the House of Representatives. Investor's Business Daily gives us an idea of the damage that it is soon to wreak:
Waxman-Markey: Man-Made Disaster

Not since a misguided piece of legislation imposed tariffs that turned a recession into a depression has there been a piece of legislation as bad as Waxman-Markey.

The 1,000-plus-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is being rushed to a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before anyone can seriously object to this economic suicide pact.

It is the largest tax increase in American history — a tax on all Americans — even the 95% that President Obama pledged would never see a tax increase. [link]
Here's the most visible impact that this legislation will have on our way of life (Click on the image to enlarge it):

Worse still, the job losses are not going to be distributed evenly across the country. Most heavily hit, proportionally, will be the coalfields.

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA 9), representing the Virginia counties in the fields, whose residents will be grievously harmed by the bill, supports the bill.

I hope he sleeps well at night.

Chart courtesy of The Heritage Foundation and Investor's Business Daily

Why The Democrats Are In Such A Hurry ...

... and Rick Boucher just wants it all to go away:
The Climate Change Climate Change
By Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal

Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.

If you haven't heard of this politician, it's because he's a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.

Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S. [link]
The tragic truth: The planet is not warming. And these people - cynical, sinister figures all, are starting to grasp the implications. So they're rushing to get their tax increases passed before the tide completely turns.

They will be remembered for this.

What's With These People?

Democrats work overtime to force your kids into public schools.

They then send their own kids to private institutions.

Obama wants to force us all to have nationalized health care.

But he's reserving the right to take his kids outside the system he's creating, should they be in need.

Screwballs. Dangerous, elitist, selfish screwballs.

Good For Her

Some will fault Mark Sanford's wife for expressing concern for her marriage after she caught her slimeball of a husband cheating on her, but I think this brief interview shows real class. She is most concerned about her children's welfare.

Good for her. If only the other half of the partnership had shown the same concern, instead of being led around by his sex muscle:

Just to drive the point home ...

They deserved better.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

What If The Democrats Held a Rally and ...

... nobody came.

Well, it happened. Wednesday night.

The ABC News wing of the Democratic Party held what might be termed a "Get to know the real God, and kneel in his divine presence" extravaganza and ...
ABC's White House special struggled for viewers

President Obama's town hall meeting on health care delivered a sickly rating Wednesday evening.

The one-hour ABC News special "Primetime: Questions for the President: Prescription for America" (4.7 million viewers, 1.1 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) had the fewest viewers in the 10 p.m. hour (against NBC's "The Philanthropist" debut and a repeat of "CSI: NY" on CBS). The special tied some 8 p.m. comedy repeats as the lowest-rated program on a major broadcast network. [link]
Beaten by reruns.

Does that mean that, as Ray Charles might want to know, the thrill is gone?

Or does it simply mean we the American people didn't need to see Charles Gibson with his lips firmly planted on Barack Obama's butt for sixty minutes?

In any case, Obama wants us to get involved in the health care debate. We did. We voted Wednesday night by tuning Mr. Magic (and his attendent suck-up) out. We're happy with the way things are (by and large). Don't screw with it, Barry.

And, if I may offer a suggestion: You and Mr. Gibson need to get a room.

- - -

* Here's the sweet irony: Rush Limbaugh had twice as many listeners yesterday as he eviscerated Obama's arguments held forth the night before. It don't get better than that.

A Prediction

Charles Rangel's grandchildren will be dead of old age before this Democrat-run committee produces a finding:

House Ethics Panel to Investigate Caribbean Trips

A side note: "House" and "Ethics" go together like "Bill" and "Hillary."

Democrats Play To Type

What a fun bunch they are.

How they do cut up and poke innocent fun.

What a marvelous sense of humor they all have.

A down's syndrome baby? Oh, the merriment.

Keeping it classy. As expected.

Would You Buy a Used Car From This Guy?

Actually, he's got a bridge he wants to sell you. A bridge to Ruin.

Me, The Responsible Motorist

I know better. I never text while drinking and driving.

What a Strange Afternoon

I thought I must have fallen asleep and remained in peaceful repose ... for years ... yesterday.

I got home from work and Paula said, "Did you hear that Farrah Fawcett had died?"

"Whhhaattt? I knew that she had been battling some form of cancer, but I had no idea."

A little bit later she said, "I guess you heard that Ed McMahon had died."

"Whhhaattt? What happened to him?"

Then the ultimate shocker. I sat down yesterday evening to catch up on emails and the news and read, "Michael Jackson has died."

"Whhhaattt? What is going on?"

Who's next? I'm afraid to turn to the news ...

Funny. And Yet Not.

Glenn Reynolds on yesterday's Must Watch TV:
A TV LOW POINT: Turned on the TV to see Geraldo interviewing Tommy Mottola about Michael Jackson’s death. In the background, footage of the body being delivered to the coroner’s office by helicopter. Glad to see Fox is keeping us up on what’s really important, the night before a big cap-and-trade vote in Congress, while revolution simmers in Iran, and people are trying to nationalize healthcare.

On the upside, Mark Sanford is probably pleased.
I'm reminded of the over-the-top grief fest that was held when Lucille Ball died. Days and days of endless drivel about her life, yea, her bigger-than-life.

Please. There is a word that comes to my mind on such occasions. Solemnity. Use it. Live it.