ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, September 28, 2007

Buying Her Way into the White House?

Is she simply trying to buy her way into the White House?

Clinton: $5,000 for Every U.S. Baby
Sep 28 01:16 PM US/Eastern
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.

Clinton said such an account program would help Americans get back to the tradition of savings that she remembers as a child, and has become harder to accomplish in the face of rising college and housing costs.

She argued that wealthy people "get to have all kinds of tax incentives to save, but most people can't afford to do that."

The proposal was met with enthusiastic applause at an event aimed to encourage young people to excel and engage in politics.

"I think it's a wonderful idea," said Rep. Stephanie Stubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who attended the event and has already endorsed Clinton. "Every child born in the United States today owes $27,000 on the national debt, why not let them come get $5,000 to grow until their 18?"

Britain launched a similar program in January 2005, handing out vouchers worth hundreds of dollars each to parents with children born after Sept. 1, 2002.

Earlier this month, Time magazine proposed a $5,000 baby bond program.

Of course, I'm sure there will be plenty of strings attached. For example, I doubt that Clinton would allow that $5k to be spent oh..... let's see... on school choice for parents.

Would she allow the money to be invested, so it could grow into a significantly larger amount? She says that she wants to encourage savings, but I doubt she's thinking of allowing people to "gamble" their money in the stock market. How about putting that money into a Healthcare Savings Account for every child?

And, of course, you can tell by the way that these questions are asked that the $5k won't be free - because we'll have to make sure that Hillary!TM approves of whatever we do with the money.

And, also notably absent from Hillary's response was the potential costs of such a program. There 3.89 million births each year, meaning that such a program would "only" cost $19.5 billion per year, and that doesn't account for the likely increase in births due to the $5k handout.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Free Speech? Just What Does that Mean?

Is it a denial of the right of free speech to say to ____ (fill in the blank with the name of your favorite wingnut), "I think you are full of crap and I don't want to hear any more what you have to say."

There are those on The Left (The Church of Perpetual Victimhood) who would have you believe that was the case. When those with opposing views express that opposition, the speaker claims his rights are being abridged. The evil goons on The Right are trying to stifle his or her simple protest.

Memo to Wingnut: the opposition has a right to express their contrary views every bit as much as you do to express yours. If you insist on expressing your views, bizarre though they may be, you should not be surprised when others express theirs. How hard is that to understand?

Then there was the circus at Columbia University.

The Left, who have ironically made common cause with fascist fundametalist Muslim extremists (I think we have seen that before, but that's another story), insisted that allowing the Iranian leader to speak there was some sort of blow for free speech.

Free speech would be demonstrated by allowing the Iranian petty dictator to speak on on a street corner, or if he was so inclinced, to publish a newspaper, or political tracts or to start a TV network etc. It is not necessary that others provide him with a forum or medium. There is NO RIGHT TO BE HEARD. There is only a right to speak.

Our friends in the MSM, I believe, are well aware of this or should be. Yet when wingnuts assert their right of free speech is being abridged when it is not, the MSM uncritically (cynically?) report those assertions as though they were fact. Folks who live by the First Amendment should be a little more careful. When circumstances change, they may well come to rue the day they started playing this game.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dems Offer a Bit of Reality

along with some spinning, non-specific answers, and zero attacks.

First, the reality - the leading Dems couldn't commit to pulling troops out of Iraq until perhaps 2013, causing much gnashing of teeth by the Duers, Kossacks, and other moonbat Lefties centrist Americans. Here's the story from the UK's Guardian:

Dems Can't Make Guarantee on Iraq Troops
Thursday September 27, 2007 6:01 AM
By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) - The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term in 2013.

``I think it's hard to project four years from now,'' said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation's first primary state.

``It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting,'' added Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

``I cannot make that commitment,'' said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
I'm going to have to keep these quotes in my back pocket, for the next time that these idiots make some remark about pulling our troops out immediately. Because these "leaders" in the Democratic Party don't even have the courage of their own convictions.

Of course, they rightly recognize that success in Iraq is important. But they also recognize the politics of failure, which may be why they're trying to obtain withdrawal prior to January 20th, 2009. They don't care about the strategic (global or regional) or even military implications of a withdrawal from Iraq - they merely want to withdrawal in order to cause political damage on Chimpy W. McBushitler and the neocon conspiracy. I say this because no-one who clamors for withdrawal from Iraq can point to how this would be a positive development for our global struggle against Islamic fascism.

Profiles in courage, I tell you!

Second, check out this exchange between Biden & Hillary!TM on healthcare reform (also from the same Guardian story):
Health care, and the drive for universal coverage, also figured in the debate.

``I intend to be the health care president,'' said Clinton, adding she can now succeed at an undertaking that defeated her in 1993 when she was first lady.

But Biden said that unnamed special interests were no more willing to work with Clinton now than they were more than a decade ago.

``I'm not suggesting it's Hillary's fault...It's reality,'' he said, carefully avoiding a personal attack on the Democrat who leads in the polls.
Of course, by "unnamed special interests" I'm sure Biden was referring to the American people - who convinced even Democratic Reps & Senators that HillaryCare Release 1.0 was our doom and subsequently swept the GOP into majority status in both chambers for the first time in 40 years.

And, of course it was Hillary's fault back in 1993. Who in the hell else was leading the secretive task force? If Biden wants to have any chance, he'll have to stop playing footsie with his opponents.

Just saying...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Illegal Immigration - Are Rove & Bush Correct?

Larry Kudlow has this post on the GOP's position on enforcement-only for illegal immigration and the political impact it could have on the 2008 election. It would seem that Bush & Rove's understanding of the politics of immigration may be more accurate than many on the Right would like to admit:

A GOP Recipe for Electoral Disaster

In an exhaustively researched survey of 145 precincts and 175,000 votes, Richard Nadler of America’s Majority Foundation concludes that when Republicans talk about enforcement-only, deportation, and criminalization of illegal immigrants they get slammed politically.

According to Mr. Nadler, “Policies that induce mass fear in illegal aliens induce mass anger in legal aliens because of ties of family culture and a shared media communication.”

Because of the predominant Republican Party attitude of enforcement-only, the study indicates that Democrats will capture New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Iowa in the upcoming presidential contest.

Mr. Nadler goes on to say that Republicans who support comprehensive immigration reform run almost even with Democrats.

Any discussion of mass deportation or criminalization is a disaster.

This is tough stuff. GOP: Be warned.

Regular readers of this blog will recognize that I am a fan of the guest worker program, given a variety of assumptions are proven accurate (such as the ability of a government bureaucracy to process & track who's applying to be a guest worker and where they are within the country).

I sympathize with those that don't want to reward those who entered illegally with some sort of legal status. But, as some blogger put it, "they're here, they framed your house... get over it."

I'm not a nativist... although I do believe in establishing English as the official language, primarily to insure that the economy continues to hum along with its existing English framework. I do believe that illegals caught committing a crime should be deported. I don't believe in sanctuary zones.

But, I do believe in a guest worker program as long as it is enforced through a no-access border and a identification system which cannot be forged. Whatever it takes.

I think that I'm probably not with the majority of the GOP on this issue - but I assume that many of my assumptions and caveats would find some sympathy with those who are enforcement-only types. I support legal immigration; I just think we should have more of it and think that a guest worker program (properly implemented) is a necessary solution.

2008 could be a very difficult year for the GOP if we do not begin to provide pragmatic solutions for the pressing problems of the 21st century.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

RatherGate - Some People Can't Handle the Truth

Media Matter's Eric Boehlert makes this ridiculous assertion in an article about Dan Rather's $70 million lawsuit against CBS:

After all, for lots of Bush bloggers, two absolute truths that must never be questioned in public are that the CBS memos were proven forgeries (they weren't), and that the whole Bush-skipped-out-on-his-National-Guard-duty story was bogus (it wasn't).

Eric's link in the above quoted text takes you to another false Media Matters story, which boldly asserts that the CBS post mortem report on RatherGate did not find that the Killian documents were forgeries:
Power Line's Johnson falsely claimed CBS panel found Bush Air National Guard documents were forged

On the November 13 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, Scott Johnson, a fellow at the conservative Claremont Institute and a contributor to the right-wing weblog Power Line, falsely claimed that the independent panel hired by CBS to investigate the reporting of a September 8, 2004, 60 Minutes Wednesday segment questioning President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service found that documents cited in the 60 Minutes Wednesday story were forgeries.

Actually, Appendix 4 of the Thornburgh-Boccardi report contains forensic analysis of the Killian documents which reach the conclusion that they were created on a personal computer (note to Media Matters - PCs and Microsoft Word did not exist in 1973).

Let me quote from page 7, Section V. of Appendix 4:
V. Tytell's Conclusion

In summary, Tytell concluded that the Killian documents were generated on a computer. He does not believe that any manual or electric typewriter of the early 1970s could have produced the typeface used in the Killian documents. He believes the IBM Selectric Composer "Press Roman" typestyle is very close to the typestyle used in the Killian documents but has noticeable differences. In addition, he told the Panel that the IBM Selectric Composer did not have the ability to produce the superscript "th" and the "#" symbol as a standard feature, and he believes it would have been unlikely for a TexANG office to have had those features customized on the machine. Therefore, he doubts the authenticity of the Killian documents because in his opinion they could only have been produced on a computer in Times New Roman typestyle that would not have been available in the early 1970s.
Read the entire appendix if you're some wingnut who thinks Dan was wronged...

Note to Media Matters - the truth and facts matter.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, September 24, 2007

Academic Freedom at Columbia University

Ah, academic freedom at Columbia University.

Ain’t it great?

Thanks to my brother Mike and Neal Boortz for this!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Steyn on Hillary!Care Release 2.0

Mark Steyn weighs in on Hillary!Care (Release 2.0) and Leftist health care in general. His analysis of the "uninsured" is spot on - as I've pointed out previously, the "45 million uninsured" are not exactly people that need to be subsidized by my taxes.

And, the current economic forces at play in the health care industry could not be categorized as being typical of a free market - as I pointed out in this post from 2005. Add to this the fact that most spending in the health care industry is government directed and the problems in today's health care could more accurately be attributed to the involvement of government, than to the free market.

Woops... on to Mr. Steyn!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bend over for Nurse Hillary
Syndicated columnist

Our theme for today comes from George W Bush: “Freedom is the desire of every human heart.”

When the president uses the phrase, he’s invariably applying it to various benighted parts of the Muslim world. There would seem to be quite a bit of evidence to suggest that freedom is not the principal desire of every human heart in, say, Gaza or Waziristan. But why start there? If you look in, say, Brussels or London or New Orleans, do you come away with the overwhelming impression that “freedom is the desire of every human heart”? A year ago, I wrote that “the story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government ‘security,’ large numbers of people vote to dump freedom – the freedom to make your own decisions about health care, education, property rights, seat belts and a ton of other stuff.”

Last week freedom took another hit. Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled her new health care plan. Unlike her old health care plan, which took longer to read than most cancers take to kill you, this one’s instant and painless – just a spoonful of government sugar to help the medicine go down. From now on, everyone in America will have to have health insurance.


And, if you don’t, it will be illegal for you to hold a job.

Er, hang on, where’s that in the Constitution? It’s perfectly fine to employ legions of the undocumented from Mexico, but if you employ a fit 26-year-old American with no health insurance either you or he or both of you will be breaking the law?
That’s a major surrender of freedom from the citizen to the state. “So what?” says the caring crowd. “We’ve got to do something about those 40 million uninsured! Whoops, I mean 45 million uninsured. Maybe 50 by now.” This figure is always spoken of as if it’s a club you can join but never leave: The very first Uninsured-American was ol’ Bud who came back from the Spanish-American War and found he was uninsured and so was first on the list, and then Mabel put her back out doing the Black Bottom at a tea dance in 1926 and she became the second, and so on and so forth, until things really began to snowball under the Bush junta. And, by the time you read this, the number of uninsured may be up to 75 million.

Nobody really knows how many “uninsured” there are: Two different Census Bureau surveys conducted in the same year identify the number of uninsured as A) 45 million or B) 19 million. The first figure is the one you hear about, the second figure apparently entered the Witness Protection Program. Of those 45 million “uninsured Americans,” the Census Bureau itself says over 9 million aren’t Americans at all, but foreign nationals. They have various health care back-ups: If you’re an uninsured Canadian in Detroit, and you get an expensive chronic disease, you can go over the border to Windsor, Ontario, and re-embrace the delights of socialized health care; if you’re an uninsured Uzbek, it might be more complicated. Of the remaining 36 million, a 2005 Actuarial Research analysis for the Department of Health and Human Services says that another 9 million did, in fact, have health coverage through Medicare.
Where are we now? 27 million? So who are they? Bud and Mabel and a vast mountain of emaciated husks of twisted limbs and shriveled skin covered in boils and pustules? No, it’s a rotating population: People who had health insurance but changed jobs, people who are between jobs, young guys who feel they’re fit and healthy and at this stage of their lives would rather put a monthly health-insurance tab towards buying a home or starting a business or blowing it on booze ’n’ chicks.

That last category is the one to watch: Americans 18-34 account for 18 million of the army of the “uninsured.” Look, there’s a 22-year-old, and he doesn’t have health insurance! Oh, the horror and the shame! What an indictment of America!
Well, he doesn’t have life insurance, either, or homeowner’s insurance. He lives a life blessedly free of the tedious bet-hedging paperwork of middle age. He’s 22, and he thinks he’s immortal – and any day now Hillary will propose garnishing his wages for her new affordable mandatory life-insurance plan.

So, out of 45 million uninsured Americans, 9 million aren’t American, 9 million are insured, 18 million are young and healthy. And the rest of these poor helpless waifs trapped in Uninsured Hell waiting for Hillary to rescue them are, in fact, wealthier than the general population. According to the Census Bureau’s August 2006 report on “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage,” 37 percent of those without health insurance – that’s 17 million people – come from households earning more than $50,000. Nineteen percent – 8.7 million people – of those downtrodden paupers crushed by the brutal inequities of capitalism come from households earning more than $75,000.

In other words, if they fall off the roof, they can write a check. Indeed, the so-called “explosion” of the uninsured has been driven entirely by wealthy households opting out of health insurance. In the decade after 1995 – i.e., since the last round of coercive health reform – the proportion of the uninsured earning less than $25,000 has fallen by 20 percent, and the proportion earning more than 75 grand has increased by 155 percent. The story of the past decade is that the poor are getting sucked into the maw of “coverage,” and the rich are fleeing it. And, given that the cost of health “insurance” bears increasingly little relationship to either the cost of treatment or the actuarial reality of you ever getting any particular illness, it’s entirely rational to say: “You know what? I’ll worry about that when it happens. In the meantime, I want to start a business and send my kid to school.” Freedom is the desire of my human heart even if my arteries get all clogged and hardened.
I was glad, at the end of Hillary Health Week, to see that my radio pal Laura Ingraham’s excellent new book, “Power To The People,” has shot into the New York Times bestseller list at No. 1. It takes a fraudulent leftist catchphrase (the only thing you can guarantee about a “people’s republic” is that the people are the least of it) and returns it to those who mean it – to those who believe in a nation of free citizens exercising individual liberty to make responsible choices.

Do you remember the so-called “government surplus” of a few years ago? Bill Clinton gave a speech in which he said, yes, sure, he could return the money to taxpayers but that we “might not spend it the right way.” The American political class has decided that they know better than you the “right way” to make health care decisions. Oh, don’t worry, you’re still fully competent to make decisions on what car you drive and what movie you want to rent at Blockbuster.

For the moment.

But when it comes to the grownup stuff, best to leave that to Nurse Hillary

Unfortunately, I fear that the completely biased media coverage (except for the 1 hour by Stossel) will assist Hillary and any Leftist solution get through. This BusinessWeek article certainly was typically biased against free market solutions.

A safety net is one thing... Intended to temporarily protect us from crashing to the ground after falling from the trapeze bar, it's a nice thing to have until we climb back on the ladder. Make the net too comfy, though - and millions will never try the ladder again.

But when the safety net turns becomes all encompassing, it's been transformed into a fishing net - and we're the fish.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler