Give the People What they Want III: The Big Government Happy Meal

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Mark Steyn: Nailed it!

Previously on The Perils of Pauline:

Last year, our plucky heroine, the wholesome apple-cheeked American republic, was trapped in an express elevator hurtling out of control toward the debt ceiling. Would she crash into it? Or would she make some miraculous escape?

Yes! At the very last minute of her white-knuckle thrill ride to her rendezvous with destiny, she was rescued by Congress’s decision to set up . . . a Super Committee! Those who can, do. Those who can’t, form a committee. Those who really can’t, form a Super Committee — and then put John Kerry on it for good measure. The bipartisan Super Committee of Super Friends was supposed to find $1.2 trillion dollars of deficit reduction by last Thanksgiving, or plucky little America would wind up trussed like a turkey and carved up by “automatic sequestration.”

Sequestration sounds like castration, only more so: It would chop off everything in sight. It would be so savage in its dismemberment of poor helpless America that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the course of a decade the sequestration cuts would reduce the federal debt by $153 billion. Sorry, I meant to put on my Dr. Evil voice for that: ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THREE BILLION DOLLARS!!! Which is about what the United States government currently borrows every month. No sane person could willingly countenance brutally saving a month’s worth of debt over the course of a decade.

So now we have the latest cliffhanger: the Fiscal Cliff, below which lies a bottomless abyss of sequestration, tax-cut-extension expiries, Alternative Minimum Tax adjustments, new Obamacare taxes, the expiry of the deferment of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate, as well as the expiry of the deferment of the implementation of the adjustment of the correction of the extension of the reduction to the proposed increase of the Alternative Minimum Growth Sustainability Reduction Rate. They don’t call it a yawning chasm for nothing.

As America hangs by its fingernails wiggling its toesies over the vertiginous plummet to oblivion, what can save her now? An Even More Super Committee? A bipartisan agreement in which Republicans agree to cave and Democrats agree not to laugh at them too much? 🙂 (ROTFL!) That could be just the kind of farsighted reach-across-the-aisle compromise that rescues the nation until next week’s thrill-packed episode when America’s strapped into the driver’s seat of a runaway Chevy Volt careering round the hairpin bends on full charge, or trapped in an abandoned subdivision overrun by foreclosure zombies.

I suppose it’s possible to take this recurring melodrama seriously, but there’s no reason to. The problem facing the United States government is that it spends over a trillion dollars a year that it doesn’t have. If you want to make that number go away, you need either to reduce spending or to increase revenue. With the best will in the world, you can’t interpret the election result as a spectacular victory for less spending. Indeed, if nothing else, the unfortunate events of November 6 should have performed the useful task of disabusing us poor conservatives that America is any kind of “center-right nation.” A few months ago, I dined with a (pardon my English) French intellectual who, apropos Mitt Romney’s stump-speech warnings that we were on a one-way ticket to Continental-sized dependency, chortled to me, “Americans love Big Government as much as Europeans. The only difference is that Americans refuse to admit it.”

My Gallic charmer is on to something. According to the most recent (2009) OECD statistics: government expenditures per person in France, $18,866.00; in the United States, $19,266.00. That’s adjusted for purchasing-power parity, and yes, no comparison is perfect, but did you ever think the difference between America and the cheese-eating surrender monkeys would come down to quibbling over the fine print? In that sense, the federal debt might be better understood as an American Self-Delusion Index, measuring the ever widening gap between the national mythology (a republic of limited government and self-reliant citizens) and the reality (a 21st-century cradle-to-grave nanny state in which, as the Democrats’ convention boasted, “government is the only thing we do together”).

Generally speaking, functioning societies make good-faith efforts to raise what they spend, subject to fluctuations in economic fortune: Government spending in Australia is 33.1 percent of GDP, and tax revenues are 27.1 percent. Likewise, government spending in Norway is 46.4 percent and revenues are 41 percent — a shortfall but in the ballpark. Government spending in the United States is 42.2 percent, but revenues are 24 percent — the widest spending/taxing gulf in any major economy.

So all the agonizing over our annual trillion-plus deficits overlooks the obvious solution: Given that we’re spending like Norwegians, why don’t we just pay Norwegian tax rates?

No danger of that. If (in Milton Himmelfarb’s famous formulation) Jews earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans, Americans are taxed like Puerto Ricans but vote like Scandinavians. We already have a more severely redistributive taxation system than Europe in which the wealthiest 20 percent of Americans pay 70 percent of income tax while the poorest 20 percent shoulder just three-fifths of one percent. By comparison, the Norwegian tax burden is relatively equitably distributed. Yet Obama now wishes “the rich” to pay their “fair share” — presumably 80 or 90 percent. After all, as Warren Buffett pointed out in the New York Times this week, the Forbes 400 richest Americans have a combined wealth of $1.7 trillion. That sounds a lot, and once upon a time it was. But today, if you confiscated every penny the Forbes 400 have, it would be enough to cover just over one year’s federal deficit. And after that you’re back to square one. It’s not that “the rich” aren’t paying their “fair share,” it’s that America isn’t. A majority of the electorate has voted itself a size of government it’s not willing to pay for.

A couple of years back, Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute calculated that, if Washington were to increase every single tax by 30 percent, it would be enough to balance the books — in 25 years. If you were to raise taxes by 50 percent, it would be enough to fund our entitlement liabilities — just our current ones, not our future liabilities, which would require further increases. This is the scale of course correction needed.

If you don’t want that, you need to cut spending — like Harry Reid’s been doing. “Now remember, we’ve already done more than a billion dollars’ worth of cuts,” he bragged the other day. “So we need to get some credit for that.”

Wow! A billion dollars’ worth of cuts! Washington borrows $188 million every hour. So, if Reid took over five hours to negotiate those “cuts,” it was a complete waste of time. So are most of the “plans.” Any “debt-reduction plan” that doesn’t address at least $1.3 trillion a year is, in fact, a debt-increase plan.

So given that the ruling party will not permit spending cuts, what should Republicans do? If I were John Boehner, I’d say: “Clearly there’s no mandate for small government in the election results. So, if you milquetoast pantywaist sad-sack excuses for the sorriest bunch of so-called Americans who ever lived want to vote for Swede-sized statism, it’s time to pony up.”

Okay, he might want to focus-group it first. But that fundamental dishonesty is the heart of the crisis. You cannot simultaneously enjoy American-sized taxes and European-sized government. One or the other has to go.

Bravo!

So you want everything and you want some else to pay for it because you want what you want when you want it because you deserve it?

Time for Mom and Dad to step up and say, so how are you going to pay for it dear?

I’ll take Mr. Smither’s money, he’s rich, he can afford it.

That’s nice dear, then what it’s not sustainable? And what about Mr. Jones wanting to take your money now because YOU have it?

And how does that solve the problem? You can’t have money for nothing?

Uhhh…. 🙂

beach balls

 

The Liberal Bubble

“The world’s largest emerging economies are no longer in a position to carry the global economy through tough times, as they did during the ‘recovery’ years of 2009-2011,” said China expert Andy Xie. (UK Telegraph)

They don’t want the pain, but if they are going to have it, everyone is going to have it!

Sounds a bit like the Democrats. Give us everything we want or the economy gets it!

The European Union is “like a bubble” – not a financial bubble but a political bubble — that could pop as a result of the euro -zone crisis, Soros said.

“In the boom phase, the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a ‘fantastic object’ – unreal but immensely attractive,” he said. (NBC)

And this man is an avowed Socialist and a big financial backer of Obama and The Democrats.

The “fantastic object”– “Hope and Change” anyone? 🙂

On Friday, an ugly job market report led to the stock market’s worst day of the year. As the recovery flat-lined, the president conceded to a crowd at a Honeywell factory in Golden Valley, Minn., that “our economy is still facing some serious headwinds” and getting sucked further into Europe’s sinkhole. In depressing imagery for the start of the summer campaign, cable channels carried the red Dow arrow pointing down while Obama spoke; the Dow wiped out all of its 2012 gains.

The president who started off with such dazzle now seems incapable of stimulating either the economy or the voters. His campaign is offering Obama 2012 car magnets for a donation of $10; cat collars reading “I Meow for Michelle” for $12; an Obama grill spatula for $40, and discounted hoodies and T-shirts. How the mighty have fallen.

Once glowing, his press is now burning. “To a very real degree, 2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear,” John Heilemann wrote in New York magazine, noting that because Obama feels he can’t run on his record, his campaign will resort to nuking Romney. 

Gee, I wonder who said “Vote for Me! the other guys an asshole!” 🙂 (Hint: me!)

Or that Obama’s only tactic was to try an turn the Republican into a nuclear waste pile because that’s his only option.

And it’s still 5 months to the election.

Democrat Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania, wonders how “the best communicator in campaign history” lost his touch. 

Notice he said campaign, not leader. Was great at campaigning, still is, but leadership and vision and all of that other stuff….Nope. So it’s time to nuke you until you glow but make you feel good about how good a campaigner and “nice” guy he is.

The president had lofty dreams of playing the great convener and conciliator. But at a fund-raiser in Minneapolis, he admitted he’s just another combatant in a capital full of Hatfields and McCoys. No compromises, just nihilism.

If he wins the election, “the fever may break,” he said. “My hope, my expectation, is that after the election, now that it turns out that the goal of beating Obama doesn’t make much sense because I’m not running again, that we can start getting some cooperation again.”

In his new biography, “Barack Obama: The Story,” David Maraniss writes that a roommate of the young Obama compared him to Walker Percy’s protagonist in “The Moviegoer”: an observer of his life, one step removed.

 On CNBC on Friday, Romney complained that Obama has “been more focused on his perspective of his historic legislative achievements than he has been focused on getting people back to work.”

A president focused on historic achievements? Imagine that. But in his lame way, Romney got at Obama’s problem: The Moviegoer prefers to float above, at a reserve, in grandiose mists.

As Maraniss recounts, Obama said he liked reading Hemingway because of Papa’s “integrity of grasping for those times, those visions, that are ones of true magnificence and profundity.”

Cook told Maraniss that she thought Obama’s desire to “play out a superhero life” was “a very strong archetype in his personality.”

But superheroes and mythic figures must boldly lead. Obama’s caution — ingrained from a life of being deserted by his father and sometimes his mother, and of being, as he wrote to another girlfriend, “caught without a class, a structure, or tradition to support me” — has restrained him at times.

In some ways, he’s still finding himself, too absorbed to see what’s not working. But the White House is a very hard place to go on a vision quest, especially with a storm brewing. (Liberal Maureen Dowd)

The storm is Europe. Terrorism.Drug Cartels. Iran.

But don’t worry, Vote for Me! Romney is a white, rich,capitalist elitist misogynist pig and I’m not! 🙂

EDUCATION

Financially struggling schools nationwide are increasing the volume of advertising that children see in the halls, at football games and even on their report cards.

School administrators say that with a public unwilling to adequately fund K-12 education, they’re obligated to find new ways to keep teachers in classrooms.

Examples:

•The college-savings program CollegeInvest signed a three-year deal to advertise on report cards sent home to students in the 85,000-student

Jefferson County Public School District, southwest of Denver.

•Drugstore chain CVS promoted its flu shot campaign in Virginia and Florida schools with signs at football games, posters at school entrances and in district e-newsletters.

•Office supply store Staples this fall will sponsor school supply lists in several California and Texas school districts and provide a coupon for parents, all printed on Staples-branded paper.

Consumer advocates say marketers want to get in front of kids to build customers for life. Kids are especially vulnerable to persuasive advertising while they are still learning how to think critically. (KFYI)

Liberals teach people to think critically, since when?

So coming soon your CVS Pharmacy Central High School!! 🙂

Or The Staples High School Band complete with uniforms to match!

Yeah, things like cutting the waste and over-spending in Administration is not on the table. Nor are the extravagant Teachers Union packages (just look at Wisconsin to see how concerned the Unions are).
Their fat is not on the table, just yours.
Unable to raise enough taxes to fund their extravagance they now want to use Commercial advertising at a time when the Food Police are going insane about Vending Machines (advertising) Soda, Salt, and Fat!!
FAST & FURIOUS

The revelation that Mexico was kept in the dark as the Obama administration pumped thousands of weapons into the hands of criminals in its country – criminals who then used the weapons to kill people – comes after news broke that President Barack Obama thinks it’s part of his job as president to kill people, as detailed in a soon-to-be-released book by Newsweek investigative reporter Daniel Klaidman.

According to excerpts from Klaidman’s book, “Kill or Capture,” former President George W. Bush’s counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke told Obama early in his presidency that the job required he get his hands dirty.

“As president, you kill people,” Clarke told Obama, according to the book.

Klaidman writes that Obama was unshaken by that remark.

“An inscrutable Obama looked back at Clarke, not betraying any emotion. ‘I know that,’ Obama told Clarke in an even tone,” the book excerpt reads. “‘He didn’t flinch,’ Clarke later said of the meeting.” (DC)

The liberal world is becoming so unhinged. And we are all going to suffer for it.
But don’t worry, it’s not their fault! Just ask them… 🙂
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

A Little Perspective

He laughs cynically… 🙂

Two of the central promises of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicare’s independent economic expert told Congress on Wednesday.

The landmark legislation probably won’t hold costs down, and it won’t let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. His office is responsible for independent long-range cost estimates.

Foster was asked by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., for a simple true or false response on two of the main assertions made by supporters of the law: that it will bring down unsustainable medical costs and will let people keep their current health insurance if they like it.

On the costs issue, “I would say false, more so than true,” Foster responded.

As for people getting to keep their coverage, “not true in all cases.”

So is it “uncivil” of me to cackle cynically and say “I told you so!” 🙂

Foster says analysis by his office shows that the health care law will raise the nation’s health care tab modestly because newly insured people will be getting medical services they would have otherwise gone without.

Costs could also increase if Medicare cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies turn out to be politically unsustainable over the years. The actuary’s office has projected those cuts would eventually force about 15 percent of providers into the red. The health care law funnels savings from the Medicare cuts to provide coverage to uninsured workers and their families.

As for people getting to keep their health insurance plan, Foster’s office is projecting that more than 7 million Medicare recipients in private Medicare Advantage plans will eventually have to find other coverage, cutting enrollment in the plans by about half.

The health care law gradually cuts generous government payments to the plans, so insurers are expected to raise premiums or even drop out. And the main reason seniors have flocked to the private plans is that they offer lower out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare recipients who lose private coverage would still be guaranteed coverage in the traditional program, but they would likely have to take out a supplementary insurance plan for gaps in their coverage. (Fox and AP)

If you dig you can find it on ABC News and they post this also (they are too busy talking about Snow to put it in the headlines):

The White House responded to Foster’s testimony in a blog post by Stephanie Cutter, a top aide helping to guide the political strategy on health care. “Once again, we disagree,” Cutter wrote. “History shows that it is possible to implement measures that will save money for Medicare and the federal government.”

And what are those measures, pre tell??

Then the trash talk starts.

Obama White House officials predict that Foster will be proven wrong about the health care law. Republicans hang on his every word.

NBC and CBS all lead with the Snow and make finding this story very hard (smelling a pattern here…:) )

Damn That Global WARMING! 🙂

The Leftists at the Huffington Post banner headline was bashing Republicans (as always) but if you search you can find the story. While the headline suggests what the other did the text doesn’t. It starts with  story about how the Obama vision is correct and here are the “experts” who say the Actuary is full of crap first then they get “civil”.

It’s a dispute about numbers and how they’re bandied about by powerful people in Washington.

But you don’t need an economics degree to follow this one. All you have to do is remember your fractions.

But then there’s : The health care law expands coverage, reducing the number of uninsured by more than 32 million, although about 24 million will remain without coverage.

Gee, I thought this was supposed to cover EVERYONE. After all EVERYONE is required BY LAW to have insurance or else the jackboots at the IRS will come a kick in your door and FINE you!

Curiouser and Curiouser!

If you divide total national health care spending by a bigger number of insured people, you get a smaller per-person result.

“It’s not that it’s false, it’s just that it will be a little misleading,” John Allen Paulos, a mathematics professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, said of the White House number, calling it an “apples-to-oranges miscomparison.”

Talk about schizophrenic. The Huffington Post is trying to convince itself WHILE it’s writing the article!

And should we mention just how simplistic this line of reasoning actually is and how this so simplistic as to be silly?

Probably Not. They’ll just hate me anyways.

In 2019, when the overhaul is fully phased in, the tab will be $4.6 trillion. (Huffington Post)

Gee, that’s not much. 🙂

Then there’s this one:

The White House has renominated Donald M. Berwick to be Medicare chief six months after bypassing the Senate and installing him in the job in a recess appointment.

Obama initially nominated Berwick last April. After the recess appointment in July, Berwick could serve through this year without Senate confirmation. (CBS)

So they have avoided having him go through a Senate Confirmation TWICE now.

So what are they hiding. 🙂

Could it be “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

or

“Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault. In economic terms it is a waste.”

Nothing to worry about. Nothing to see here.

Ignore the 800 lb gorilla about pound you into ground.

Don’t worry about the inconsistencies and the bold faced lies.

Be “civil” and just ignore all the “investments”.

Political Cartoon

ANN COULTER

I missed the middle section of Obama’s State of the Union address when I took a break to read “War and Peace,” but I gather he never got around to what I was hoping he’d say, which is: “What was I thinking?”

The national debt is $14 trillion, the Democrats won’t stop spending, and President Nero gave us a long gaseous speech about his Stradivarius.

I feel so Southern whenever I watch a Democrat give a State of the Union address — and not just because it makes me want to secede. Consternating the rest of the family, my Kentucky mother always talked back to the TV. I do it only when a Democrat is giving a speech.

And if liberals didn’t like Samuel Alito mouthing the words “not true,” they should be really happy I wasn’t in the House chamber Tuesday night.

All I kept hearing was, “Ann pays more.” That’s all I ever I hear when Democrats start in with all that “investing.”

Apparently the government will be “investing” in education, “investing” in technology, “investing” in roads and “investing” in lots and lots of government workers. Ann pays more, Ann pays more, Ann pays more.

Obama compared “investing” in education to our sending a man to the moon after the Russians launched Sputnik. Say, who was the president who recently gutted spending on NASA? Oh yes, that was Obama.

So he reminded us of the glory days of the space program, but now he’s taking that money and funneling it to public school teachers. As the Democrats say: “If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we hire another 10,000 public school teachers?”

Also, solar panels. Obama said the government was already “investing” in solar panels! That’s a total relief. This must be how the president who brought us “Recovery Summer” is going to dig us out of the second Great Depression.

But I do wonder why no private lender considered solar panels a wise investment, forcing solar panel manufacturers to turn to the government for loans, followed by endless tax credits just to break even.

I guess people who work for the government are just smarter. We’re so lucky to have them “investing” our money for us! Boy, egg must be on Warren Buffett’s face!

Remember how massive government “investments” gave rise to the telephone, the light bulb, the automobile, the airplane, the personal computer … OK, none of those.

But massive government expenditures did give us Amtrak and the TSA!

The only thing Obama vowed to cut were “earmarks.” Yippee!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid though is Mad at Obama For it!

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has a message for the president when it comes to his call for earmark elimination: “Back off.”

“It’s an effort by the White House to get more power. They’ve got enough power as it is.”

You just can’t write this kind of comedy. Imagine, The Senate Majority leader who was the instrument that crammed ObamaCare down your throat through unconstitutional and immoral tricks of procedure is complaining about government power reaching into his drug of choice!! Imagine that!! 🙂

Hilarious.

The guy with the ears is against earmarks. Yes, the same president who quadrupled our deficit by giving money away to his UAW pals, Wall Street cronies and government workers is now lecturing us about earmarks. This is a bit like being scolded by Charlie Sheen for ordering a second wine cooler (and the hooker).

You knew it was bad when John McCain leapt up and enthusiastically applauded. The last time I saw McCain applaud Obama like that was when he debated him. 🙂

Obama said, “We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook.”

And then the government outlawed Edison’s great invention, made the Wright brothers’ air travel insufferable, filed anti-trust charges against Microsoft and made cars too expensive to drive by prohibiting oil exploration, and right now — at this very minute — is desperately trying to regulate the Internet.

On the bright side, President Al Gore would have actually outlawed the cars in those driveways.

I especially enjoyed his pitch for high-speed trains where you “don’t have to receive pat-downs.” At least until one of those Muslims who is “part of our American family” blows one up — at which point they’ll be staffed with armies of genital-fondling, unionized TSA agents on the public dime.

Still, I can’t wait for Obama’s America. An America where I can use lightning-fast, high-speed Internet to file electronically for my unemployment benefits. Or better yet, I can ditch my old “oil-powered” car and take a “sunlight and water”-powered high-speed train to the unemployment office for a change.

And I hear CalTech is working on biofuels to power “Recovery Summer 2011.”

The big laugh line was when Nero said mockingly, “I heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about the health care law.” That’s called “60 percent of the American public.” It’s not a joke, and it’s not funny.

Here’s one: Hey, Obama! Guy walks into a bar in the Gaza Strip. The bartender says, “What’ll you have?” But the guy is killed instantly when an Iranian-made CT-28 missile strikes the bar, also killing a woman and small child next door. Get it, Obama? HA HA!

Synthesizing Karl Marx and Ronald Reagan, Obama said the government will soon be taking over every aspect of our lives, and Republicans can’t stop him — but gosh, isn’t America a great country! Teachers are great, we need to innovate, children are our future, we need paved roads, kids should do their homework, Labrador puppies are cute, I like apple pie, I (heart) Justin Bieber, and how about them Yankees! Now, here’s your 2011 tax bill — how would you like to pay for that?

Actually, I was glad to hear him say that “there isn’t a person here” — which presumably included Democrats — who would live anyplace else.

Then why are they always trying to turn us into Western Europe?

We see the problems in Greece, The Uk, Ireland and Portugal.

We see the train coming. But instead of getting out of the way of the train, the Democrats just want to “invest” in more tracks!!

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

A Dead Plan Walking

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Remember the “Debt Commission” that early on was rumored to be just an excuse for the VAT tax to be proposed? And still might…

Then November 2, 2010 rolled around and the Democrats were handed their heads on a platter.

So now the Debt Commission is proposing a whole bunch of ACTUAL Cuts.

Which means it’s a dead plan walking.

I will admit to having no faith in Washington elites. They can talk a good game, but in the end they will vote to save their own ass before the country, the future, or your kids.

[Deficit]
But many of these, like the Social Security is in 2050. THAT’S 40 years from now. The first people effected by it would 25 now.
If you can’t plan for 4 extra years 40 years out, you must be a Liberal!
Speaking of the Left:

“The chairmen of the Deficit Commission just told working Americans to ‘Drop Dead,’” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, referring to proposed changes in how Social Security is administered. “Some people are saying this is plan is just a ‘starting point.’ Let me be clear, it is not.”

Mind you, Mr Trumpka heads a union were many, many of his members can retire in their 50s with outrageously extravagant pensions that are bankrupting states all over the nation. But don’t mention that to him, you’ll just make him mad. 🙂

House Speaker (soon-to-be Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, called the proposal “simply unacceptable.”

Self-Admitted Socialist  Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blasted, “It is reprehensible to ask working people, including many who do physically-demanding labor, to work until they are 69 years of age. It also is totally impractical. As they compete for jobs with 25-year-olds, many older workers will go unemployed and have virtually no income. Frankly, there will not be too much demand within the construction industry for 69-year-old bricklayers.”

A non-starter. A gift to the rich.

The giant flushing sound you heard Wednesday on Capitol Hill was the reaction of Congressional Democrats to the initial recommendations of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission.

And so the Left is going to fight any spending cuts, and any repeals of their Utopian vision of a European America.

They will be the “obstructionists” that they have railed agasinst for the last number of years. And proudly so.

Isn’t politics grand. 🙂

Which is why it will never happen.

It has to happen.

But it won’t.

The Political elite don’t have the guts.

I’m hoping I’m wrong about the Republicans.

But the American people are the co-dependent drug addicts in this equation.

Because, who is more like to vote, the 25 year old who will actually be hit by the plan or the over 50 person who’s going to get it very soon or already addicted to it?

Forgetaboutit.

Sure they turned out to toss the Democrats (at least most of them, Jerry Brown and Harry Reid aside) on their asses. But when it’s their ass on the line and their ox is being goured, forgetaboutit.

The new NIBY principle. From Not in My Backyard to Not in my Backpocket.

It will be cut “Them” not “Me”. With the Democrats getting holier-than-thou about “the poor” and “the rich” even more so than the last few years. And all for political calculations.

The evil republicans who want to cut off grandma and force her eat dog food, etc.

Just for political advantage. Nothing else.

I hope I’m wrong. But I’m a cynic, after all.

Meanwhile…

The number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more a year has soared tenfold in the past five years and doubled since President Obama took office, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

The fast-growing pay of federal employees has captured the attention of fiscally conservative Republicans who won control of the U.S. House of Representatives in last week’s elections. Already, some lawmakers are planning to use the lame-duck session that starts Monday to challenge the president’s plan to give a 1.4% across-the-board pay raise to 2.1 million federal workers.

Government-wide raises. Top-paid staff have increased in every department and agency. The Defense Department had nine civilians earning $170,000 or more in 2005, 214 when Obama took office and 994 in June.

•Long-time workers thrive. The biggest pay hikes have gone to employees who have been with the government for 15 to 24 years. Since 2005, average salaries for this group climbed 25% compared with a 9% inflation rate.

•Physicians rewarded. Medical doctors at veterans hospitals, prisons and elsewhere earn an average of $179,500, up from $111,000 in 2005.

Federal workers earning $150,000 or more make up 3.9% of the workforce, up from 0.4% in 2005.

Since 2000, federal pay and benefits have increased 3% annually above inflation compared with 0.8% for private workers, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Members of Congress earn $174,000, up from $141,300 in 2000, an increase below the rate of inflation.

That’s insulting to ordinary Americans, who are struggling mightily every week to pay the mortgage and health care and college costs, only to see their increasingly scarce tax dollars go straight into the pockets of public workers. That shouldn’t be happening in hard times – not whether those public sector employees work on health care, education, agriculture, homeland security or defense. Shared sacrifice must be more than an empty slogan. (The  Very Liberal NY Daily News)
I learned a hard lesson earlier in this decade: The Truth is truth and you don’t have to like it. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter if  you like it, it’s still the truth.
And the truth is that the way thinks have been done for the last several generations is now unsustainable.Period.
Deal with it.
The truth doesn’t care if you like it or not.
The often-comedic co-chairman Alan Simpson sheepishly exited the meeting, telling reporters, “We’re entering the witness protection program,” referring to his fellow co-chairman and proposal author Erskine Bowles.
But some members cautioned against snap judgments. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a member of the panel, said, “The greatest national security threat facing America today is our national debt and a Congress that has avoided tough choices for decades. The discussion draft describes some of the tough choices facing Congress and the nation,” and warned, “I would encourage taxpayers to view with great suspicion the beltway, interest group culture that often prefers demagoguery over honest debate. In the real world, no family facing tough economic times has the luxury of treating portions of their budget as sacrosanct. Neither should Congress.”(FOX)
But Washington D.C. is not in touch with reality. And the American people want to stop the spending, just not their spending.
Sigh…
Political Cartoon by Chip Bok
Political Cartoon by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoon by Robert Ariail

Comedy & Tragedy

At a fundraising dinner after the rally in Minneapolis, Obama was frank with the 100 attendees who paid between $2,500 and $50,000 to attend. (But they aren’t “rich”…)
“I’ve got to admit, Mr. President, sometimes over the last couple of years, with all the negative ads and all the money that’s been pouring in, all the filibustering and obstruction in Congress, sometimes I just start losing altitude, start losing hope,” Obama said. “It just seems like change is so hard to bring about.” (Daily Caller)
What were they serving, Talking Points?  Because this guy swallowed them whole and is now regurgitating them.
And he paid big bucks for the “privilege” of being in the Almighty’s presence and vomiting up Talking Points.
Yikes!!
Speaking of Talking Points:

“Everything was going great and all of a sudden secret money from God knows where – because they won’t disclose it – is pouring in,” Pelosi said.

Obama, who has attacked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads in the past week or two, did not mention any organizations by name on Saturday but called them “phony front groups.”

“They are pouring millions of dollars through a network of phony front groups, flooding the airwaves with misleading attack ads,” Obama said, reprising his charge that the money from unkown donors is “a threat to our democracy.”

Two Words for you, Mr President: GEORGE SOROS!  🙂

Did you know he gave NPR 1.8 million dollars? Or that the main push to fire Juan Williams was CAIR (The Council on American Islamic Relations) a “civil rights advocacy” group just like the NAACP thinks they are, but for terrorists instead.

No, you probably don’t care.  You’re too busy campaigning for yourself. And your Ministry of Truth Media doesn’t care either.

So how is business going to feel about you after you continue to trash them now, AFTER the election?? Hmmm…

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Funny: http://dailycaller.com/2010/10/24/airplane-director-cuts-ad-poking-fun-at-boxer-for-maam-exchange-with-general/

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FUTURE OBAMACARE UPDATE

The numbers are as startling as tragic. According to the Daily Mail, “Up to 20,000 people have died needlessly early after being denied cancer drugs on the NHS, it was revealed yesterday. The rationing body NICE has failed to keep a promise to make more life-extending drugs available.”

British cancer patients are routinely denied access to critical life-extending drugs because of their costs.

The Telegraph noted two year ago, that the British health care system’s decision to deny patients four kidney cancer drugs on the NHS was denounced by doctors as ‘poor’ and ‘unsuitable’. They said it was a “tragedy” that Britain’s leading role in cancer research was not being translated into treatment for all patients, who were often left struggling to pay for the drugs themselves. The decision has led patients to mortgage their house in order to obtain the drugs and treatment they need to survive.

The occurrences on the other side of the pond are notable not because they are rare, but because they are commonplace. There are no howls of protests from patients who are powerless and are forced to live under the dictates of bureaucrats who make life and death decisions based upon budget constraints and not what’s best for the patients. This is the fundamental basis of government-run health care.

And Americans are perhaps 60 days away from our cancer patients suffering a similar fate.

That’s because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has apparently opened the door to using cost as part of their evaluation process for drugs. The late-stage cancer drug Avastin has been proven effective in extending the life of cancer patients. Rather than testing the safety and efficacy of the drug, the FDA created a new standard that would allow patients who could afford the drug to use it, while those who cannot would be denied their use.

They are considering “de-labeling” the drug for breast cancer patients – essentially allowing Medicare and private insurance to deny coverage of the drug under their policies.

The FDA has moved a final decision about the fate of Avastin and breast cancer patients until after the elections. Not a great sign.

Will the American people accept the bureaucratic dictates that will deny them to a valuable treatment option or will they stand up and say rationing is not the American way? (Townhall)

Ah, the wonders to be had by ObamaCare. But don’t worry, according to the Democrats it’s just “misunderstood” and a “lack of communication”.

In their view, you’re too dumb to understand the wonderment of ObamaCare as demonstrated by it’s Cousin, The NHS.

So re-elect Democrats so they can bring on the Public Option and take complete and total absolute control of who lives and who dies, how and when. At their beck-and-call.

And it will bring down the deficit to boot!!  (yes, they are still touting that Fairy Tale- PA Governor Ed Rendell was touting it mightily on FOX the other night).

Doesn’t that sound like Utopia to you! 😦

A survey by the National Business Group on Health that found that roughly 63% of businesses plan to make their workers pay a higher portion of their health care insurance costs next year.

One might reasonably ask why an entrepreneur would start a new business knowing that once she navigates the usual business risks, negotiates the regulation-burdened, lending-leery Main Street banks, now reluctant to finance a new venture or expansion, and she climbs the trough of the J-curve into profitability, the tax man is hovering to further dampen the business’ prospects.

So you have ObamaCare, Cap-n-Trade, The EPA, a racially-blind Justice dept, and the Democrats wish for the Public Option.

No reason to fear.

The only scenario that can save their businesses is to drop their insurance, pay the penalty and dump their employees onto the government-mandated exchange. Even paying the penalty may push low-profit-margin rural small businesses into the red, forcing them to downsize their work force.

Perhaps the most pernicious of the administration’s tax policy concoctions is the 2011 reinstatement of the death tax. Aged ranchers and farmers contemplate dying this year rather than next, when the tax goes from the current zero rate to a maximum of 55%.

As a result, some intend to discontinue dialysis or other life-extending treatments this fall, going to their graves with the knowledge that they could not cheat death but that they could keep the family ranch in the family.

In agriculture circles, Dec. 31, 2010, is being referred to as “Kevorkian Day” — I kid you not. The president and his departing team of advisers are apparently oblivious to such concerns, advocating for such class-based tax increases in 2011. (REP. CYNTHIA LUMMIS R-WY)

Vote Democrat! Utopia Awaits! 🙂

Political Cartoon by Eric Allie

Paging Dr. Obama…Dr Reid…Dr. Obama…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “But For Me, We’d Be In A World-Wide Depression”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took full credit for preventing a world wide depression yesterday.  That is correct, a politician who is the higest ranking member of the United States Senate is taking credit for saving the world economy.  We can now change the term “God Complex” and add a new term into the lexicon of America — “Harry Reid Complex.” (Red State)

Isn’t it nice to know that our leaders are not self-absorbed, self-obsessed Narcissists!! 🙂

Political Cartoon by Chuck Asay

In an increasingly desperate attempt to develop a narrative for the coming Democratic collapse, the Democrats have indulged themselves in what for half a century they’ve habitually attributed to the American right: the paranoid style in U.S. politics.

The talk is of dark conspiracies — secret money, foreign influence, big corporations, with Karl Rove and, yes, Ed Gillespie lurking ominously behind the scenes. The only thing missing is the Halliburton-Cheney angle.

But after trotting out some of these with a noticeable lack of success, President Obama has come up with something new, something less common, something more befitting his stature and intellect. He’s now offering a scientific, indeed neurological, explanation for his current political troubles.

The electorate apparently is deranged by its anxieties and fears to the point where it can’t think straight. Part of the reason “facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time,” he explained to a Massachusetts audience, “is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country is scared.”

Opening a whole new branch of cognitive science — liberal psychology — Obama has discovered a new principle: The fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican.

But of course. Here Obama has spent two years bestowing upon the peasantry the “New Foundation” of a more regulated, socially engineered and therefore more humane society, and they repay him with recalcitrance and outright opposition. Here he gave them ObamaCare, the stimulus, financial regulation and a shot at cap-and-trade — and the electorate remains not just unmoved but ungrateful.

Faced with this truly puzzling conundrum, Dr. Obama diagnoses a heretofore undiscovered psychological derangement: anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome, wherein an entire population is so addled by its economic anxieties as to be neurologically incapable of appreciating the “facts and science” undergirding ObamaCare and other blessings their president has bestowed upon them from on high.

I have a better explanation. Better because it adheres to the ultimate scientific principle, Occam’s Razor, by which the preferred explanation for any phenomenon is the one with the most economy and simplicity. And there is nothing simpler than the Gallup findings on the ideological inclinations of the American people:

Conservative: 42%. Moderate: 35%. Liberal: 20%. No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country — a country that is 80% non-liberal — you get a massive backlash.

Moreover, apart from ideology is empirical reality. Even as we speak, the social democratic model Obama is openly and boldly trying to move America toward is unraveling in Europe.

It’s not just the real prospect of financial collapse in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, with even the relatively more stable major countries in severe distress. It is the visible moral collapse of a system that, after two generations of increasing cradle-to-grave infantilization, turns millions of citizens into the streets of France in furious and often violent protest over what? Over raising the retirement age from 60 to 62!

Having seen this display of what can only be called decadence, Obama’s perfectly wired electorate says no, not us, not here. The peasants have seen the future — Greece and France — and concluded it doesn’t work. Hence their opposition to Obama’s transformational New Foundation agenda.

Their logic is impeccable: Only the most blinkered intellectual could be attempting to introduce social democracy to America precisely at a time when the world’s foremost exemplar of that model — Europe — is in chaotic meltdown.

And it isn’t as if this political message is new. It had already been sent in the last year with clarion clarity in the elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts where independents — the swing voters without ideological attachment one way or the other — split 2-to-1, 2-to-1 and 3-to-1, respectively, against the Democrats.

The story of the last two years is as simple as it is dramatic. It is the epic story of an administration with a highly ideological agenda encountering a rising resistance from the American people over the major question in dispute: the size and reach and power of government and, even more fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract.

An adjudication of the question will be rendered on Nov. 2. For the day, the American peasantry will be presiding. (Charles Krauthammer)

Before he became a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, Krauthammer was a chief resident in psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

So maybe we need Charles in Charge and not Dirty Harry. 🙂

 

Behind the Times

The Obama administration, headed up by a liberal dogma that has been trying to create it’s socialist utopia since Woodrow Wilson is not going to give up it’s sole dream of controlling everyone and everything ‘for their own good’ and “fairness”.

But it is curious that the Europeans who already went down this road in large part are starting to go back in our former direction.

It’s kind of like driving towards a massive accident and seeing people coming back from it bloodied and hurt, but you decide it can’t happen to me so you keep going anyhow.

That’s National Health Care now nearly 5 months after it was crammed down the throats of the American public in the single most partisan vote in memory.

Damn The Torpedoes! Full Steam ahead!

LONDON — Perhaps the only consistent thing about Britain’s socialized health care system is that it is in a perpetual state of flux, its structure constantly changing as governments search for the elusive formula that will deliver the best care for the cheapest price while costs and demand escalate.

Even as the new coalition government said it would make enormous cuts in the public sector, it initially promised to leave health care alone. But in one of its most surprising moves so far, it has done the opposite, proposing what would be the most radical reorganization of the National Health Service, as the system is called, since its inception in 1948.

Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.

The plan would also shrink the bureaucratic apparatus, in keeping with the government’s goal to effect $30 billion in “efficiency savings” in the health budget by 2014 and to reduce administrative costs by 45 percent. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost because layers of bureaucracy would be abolished. (London Times)

So like the G20 Summit where “austerity” was the watchword by the Europeans and Obama stood there stamping his foot demanding people spend even more.

Not only are the Democrats and their dream out of date they are out of step even with the people they still want to dance with.

They wanted to be them.

Now it’s too late.

But that won’t stop them, of course.

Zealots who have been waiting 80 years+ for this will not be so easily deterred.

But the effects of this are beginning.

MANDEVILLE, La.—Mark Baumann, a 44-year-old uninsured diabetic, sees in the Obama administration’s health-care law a future with stable coverage to pay for his insulin shots and blood tests.

That’s likely to come indirectly at the expense of his mother’s generous health-care plan.

Humana Inc., Mary Baumann’s insurer, intends to pare her “Medicare Advantage” plan to make up for the smaller government payments it will soon receive as a result of the new law, leaving her with higher costs or fewer services. On the table are beefed-up co-payments and premiums, as well as the loss of perks such as her free membership at a health club.

Most Americans know the overhaul is designed to cover the uninsured, a decades-long goal of Democrats. But it also represents a change in how the government spreads its social safety net underneath Americans. Already, it’s creating tensions that are a harbinger of debates to come.

Since the creation of Social Security and Medicare, younger workers have funded programs for the elderly. It’s a compact in which workers paid for retirees with the understanding that they’d be looked after by the generation behind them.

The health overhaul diverges by tapping a program for the elderly to help provide insurance to 32 million Americans of younger generations. Nearly half the funding for the law is supposed to come from paying lower fees to hospitals, insurers and other health-care providers that participate in Medicare, the federal insurance program for Americans age 65 and older, as well as younger disabled people.

The 44 million Americans on Medicare won’t see changes to their guaranteed benefits under the law. But of those, 11.3 million on Medicare Advantage plans, a public-private hybrid of the type used by Ms. Baumann, who is 79, are likely to begin seeing extra benefits go away as soon as next year. Medicare Advantage cuts are slated to pay for 15% of the health-care law’s tab.

The trims mark the leading edge of a spending shift that could broaden as lawmakers grapple with a deficit expected to hit $1.47 trillion this year. Left unchanged, Medicare and Social Security will consume half of all federal spending by 2035, up from about one third today, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

And remember, by recess appointment an NHS-loving administrator is the head of Medicare.

And if, as predicted by many, including me, that private health insurance is driven completely to extinction then you’ll have health cost also in that GDP soup and with already half the people in this country not paying any taxes it does very bleak.

But at least it’s “fair”. 🙂

And, of course, the solution that will be published after the election by Obama’s “deficit commission” is a forgone conclusion, The VAT TAX and other taxes.

Then came Financial “reform” where one of the biggest cause of the problem, just like in Health Care (Trial Lawyers anyone?), were ignored because of partisan politics — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And then with the massive tax increases, even on the poor, slated for Jan 1,2011 you have the perfect storm.

But the Democrats will not change course. You know that. I know now that. They know that.

Damn the Torpedoes! Full Steam ahead!

They don’t care how many European train wrecks occur.

It’s their time and they will do it anyhow!

For “fairness” and “equality” and “social justice”! 🙂

Meanwhile, the rationing the Democrats say will not happen here are happening in their beloved NHS, acocrding to the  liberal Sun Telegraph newspaper:

Some of the most common operations — including hip replacements and cataract surgery — will be rationed as part of attempts to save billions of pounds, despite government promises that front-line services would be protected.

Patients’ groups have described the measures as “astonishingly brutal”.

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered widespread cuts planned across the NHS, many of which have already been agreed by senior health service officials. They include:

* Restrictions on some of the most basic and common operations, including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and orthodontic procedures.

* Plans to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds from budgets for the terminally ill, with dying cancer patients to be told to manage their own symptoms if their condition worsens at evenings or weekends.

* The closure of nursing homes for the elderly.

* A reduction in acute hospital beds, including those for the mentally ill, with targets to discourage GPs from sending patients to hospitals and reduce the number of people using accident and emergency departments.

* Tighter rationing of NHS funding for IVF treatment, and for surgery for obesity.

* Thousands of job losses at NHS hospitals, including 500 staff to go at a trust where cancer patients recently suffered delays in diagnosis and treatment because of staff shortages.

* Cost-cutting programmes in paediatric and maternity services, care of the elderly and services that provide respite breaks to long-term carers.

And now back to US…

We badly need to, over time and very gradually, reallocate resources from the elderly to younger families and their children,” said Isabel Sawhill, senior fellow at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution.

“I’m sure that some of those additional benefits have been nice,” Nancy-Ann DeParle, who runs the White House’s Office of Health Reform, says of Medicare Advantage plans. “But I think what we have to look at here is what’s fair and what’s important for the strength of the Medicare program long term.”

Sun Telegraph: The Government has promised to protect the overall budget of the NHS, which will continue to receive above-inflation increases, but said the service must make “efficiency savings” of up to £20 billion by 2014, which would be diverted back to the front line.

Brother from another socialist mother? 🙂

Dr Peter Carter, the head of the Royal College of Nursing, said he was “incredibly worried” about the disclosures.

Dr Carter said: “Andrew Lansley keeps saying that the Government will protect the front line from cuts – but the reality appears to be quite the opposite. We are seeing trusts making job cuts even when they have already admitted to being short staffed.

Trust boards are the ones who make the health care calls now.

Much like the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology  that was in the Stimulus Bill.

And we won’t even go over the Food Police again this time.

Sun Telegraph: On Thursday, the board of Sutton and Merton primary care trust (PCT) in London agreed more than £50 million of savings in two years. The plan included more than £400,000 to be saved by “reducing length of stay” in hospital for the terminally ill.

As well as sending more patients home to die, the paper said the savings would be made by admitting fewer terminally ill cancer patients to hospital because they were struggling to cope with symptoms such as pain. Instead, more patients would be given advice on “self management” of their condition.

Bill Gillespie, the trust’s chief executive, said patients would stay at home, or be discharged from hospital only if that was their choice, and would be given support in their homes.

The president told the {New York Times in 2008}magazine that the chronically ill and elderly represent 80 percent of American healthcare costs, and said, “(T)here is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place.”

“And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance,” he added.

That “independent group” turns out to be the government, now run by him. Funny how that worked out. 🙂

But the president questioned whether his now-deceased grandmother should have received her hip replacement while suffering a terminal illness.

Recounting the dilemma, Obama said, “(T)he question was, does she get hip replacement surgery even though she was fragile enough that they weren’t sure how long she would last (or) whether she could get through the surgery.”

“I think families all across America are going through decisions like that all the time,” Obama said.

This was not the first time the president had used his grandmother to illustrate his point on health care. In an April 2008 interview with The New York Times Magazine, Obama suggested much of the cost of health care in America comes from the elderly and those with chronic illness.

“That’s where you get into some very difficult moral issues,” Obama said – specifically considering whether “in the aggregate, society making those decisions to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill is a sustainable model, is a very difficult question.”

This was BEFORE he became president mind you. But the Journo-List inspired Media was not going to let you dwell on it.

2009 Newsweek article on the “The Five biggest Lies in the Health Care Debate”:

What we can say is that there is de facto rationing under the current system, by both Medicare and private insurance. No plan covers everything, but coverage decisions “are now made in opaque ways by insurance companies,” says Dr. Donald Berwick of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Donald Berwick? Where have I heard that name recently.

Oh yeah, he’s the guy who was appointed by Obama as Head of Medicare and Medicaid without Senate approval by a recess appointment and he’s an admitted lover of the NHS.

Gee, that couldn’t be a coincidence now could it? 🙂

The {Health Care} law will spend $938 billion over a decade, mostly to expand coverage to lower-income Americans. To finance that, there will be $455 billion coming from cuts in government payments to health-care providers that serve patients on Medicare and two other federal programs. The hardest hit—to the tune of $136 billion—will be private insurance companies that run Medicare Advantage plans.

The payment cuts to Medicare Advantage begin in 2012.

“With the president being younger, my biggest concern is that we don’t mean anything,” said Sandy Reed, a 61-year-old who has a Medicare Advantage plan because she qualifies as disabled. “We’re disposable.”

‘Death Panels’ indeed…

And it has come out on the Daily Caller in their further investigation of the Journo-List scandal that the Mainstream media were in full bore mode of destruction when Gov. Palin was announced as McCain’s running mate.

All that savagery was plotted out.

So what you do when your opponent speaks the truth to power, destroy her.

So that’s why the ‘death panels’ comment was so widely and uniformly from left mocked, dismissed and discredited.

To this very day she is the most hated woman in America by the Left.

Most of the rest will be funded by new levies, including taxes on health-care companies, a higher Medicare payroll tax for wealthy Americans and a tax on high-value insurance plans. Critics of the law say its total cost is likely higher than advertised.

But it’s not like the Democrats actually care.

Their one and only shot at injecting their socialist cancer, that they’ve been waiting since their grandparents time in many cases, is all that matters.

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

But at least it’s “fair”. 🙂