Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’

Pelosi-to’s Way

Posted by sanityinjection on March 9, 2010

Folks, you just can’t make this stuff up. The following comes from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s own website. These are excerpts from a speech she delivered to a convention of local officials. I won’t go through all the blather (you can read the whole thing here) but I just want to focus on the part about health care reform. After reading this, tell me if you think Nancy Pelosi’s  concept of open, participatory democracy is the same as the rest of us:

“You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other….But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” (emphasis mine)

Come again? That’s right, she just said we have to wait until it’s been rammed through Congress before we are even allowed to know what is in the bill! Maybe if we’re good we’ll even get a crust of hard bread for supper too! Do you think any of the legislators voting on it will be allowed to know what’s in it?

She goes on to say:

“Health insurance reform is about jobs.  This legislation alone will create 4 million jobs, about 400,000 jobs very soon.”

So bear with me here. First we all thought health care reform was supposed to be about reducing health care costs. Then they told us no, it’s about expanding coverage to all Americans. Then they told us it was about reducing the deficit (!). Now apparently, it’s really been about jobs the whole time? (At least for the relatives and cronies of lawmakers who will get high paying jobs in the new federal agencies created to over see this monstrosity.)Do you get the feeling she just makes these numbers up as she goes along? Well you should, because 4 million jobs means one out of every 54 adult Americans will have a new job in health care reform! (If you’re an out of work bricklayer or factory worker and wonder how you’re going to get a job in health care, I can’t help you.)

I fully appreciate that in most public speeches, especially by legislators, there is a certain amount of inherent BS. But honestly, this is off the scale. What’s really upsetting is that Pelosi actually expects people to swallow this nonsense – that she can throw numbers like 4 million jobs around off the top of her head and know that nobody in the mainstream media will even challenge it.


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“I’ll stop.”

Posted by sanityinjection on October 30, 2009

In my last post about the Frankenstein House health care bill, I posed the question: Why do the Democrats in Congress think they can spend unlimited amounts of money that we don’t have with no consequences?

Peggy Noonan tries to answer that question in her latest column, which I commend to your attention. I was particularly struck by this tidbit:

I talked with an executive this week with what we still call “the insurance companies”….He talked about all the new proposed regulations on the industry. Rep. Barney Frank had just said on some cable show that the Democrats of the White House and Congress “are trying on every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area.” The executive said of Washington: “They don’t understand that people can just stop, get out. I have friends and colleagues who’ve said to me ‘I’m done.’ ” He spoke of his own increasing tax burden and said, “They don’t understand that if they start to tax me so that I’m paying 60%, 55%, I’ll stop.”

If that bears an eerie similarity to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, it should. I recall reading that work and thinking that while I agreed with the points being made, the story of America’s most productive people laying down their ploughshares and refusing to work to subsidize everyone else seemed overwrought and implausible. But isn’t that just what is being implied above?

If the slogan of 2008 was “Change We Can Believe In” and the slogan of 2009 has been “Where’s *My* Bailout”, I sincerely hope the slogan of 2010 is not, “Who is John Galt?” But the Nancy Pelosis and Barney Franks seem to be doing their best to force us down that path.

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The best argument against big government is big government.

Posted by sanityinjection on October 30, 2009

Case in point: The recently released Pelosi, er I mean House health care bill. C’mon, even those of you who passionately believe in the cause of health care reform have to be embarrassed by this? A 1,990 page health care bill? Tolstoy’s War and Peace is shorter! Price tag $1 trillion? Didn’t we just spend a trillion on the stimulus package? The total revenue collected by the US government in 2008 was only $2.5 trillion! How much money do these lunatics think we have?

Nobody is going to read this bill. And if they do, no one will understand what it does. Isn’t health care an important enough issue that if we’re going to pass sweeping reform legislation, it ought to be comprehensible to the average college graduate?

To use a crude but easily understood metaphor: If I see something that has the size, shape, and smell of a giant turd, I can safely assume it’s a giant turd without having to cut it open. The truth is that most of the verbiage isn’t there to accomplish needed reforms – it’s there to conceal all the stuff that they don’t want us to realize they put in the bill, like favors to special interests. If I were the chair of a committee that produced such an abomination, I would be ashamed. Fortunately, most Congressmen shed any lingering sense of shame before taking office.

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Stop calling me a racist

Posted by sanityinjection on September 22, 2009

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of the incessant drumbeat from Democrats and the media that all opposition to President Obama is fueled by racism?

Of course there are racists out there, and some of them do go to town halls and tea party protests. But they are not even a sizable minority. They’re the fringe, and to seize on them as representative of legitimate protesters is typical sleazy politics for the Democrats, but it’s reprehensible journalism. Believe me, I could go to any Democrat rally or health care reform rally and pick out a few left-wing nuts who would make even Nancy Pelosi cringe.

Does it make me racist that I don’t want the government forcing me to pay for everyone else’s health care, or that I don’t want to be punished for the carbon my car emits (or that I emit every time I exhale?) Am I a racist because I think Obama has blundered badly on missile defense? Or that he has wasted a trillion dollars on political giveaways and pet projects that were supposed to stimulate the economy? Does it really enhance the body politic to create an environment in which any legitimate discussion of issues must be swamped by accusations of racism?

Let me make it crystal clear for Pelosi, Maureen Dowd and their associated lapdogs: I attribute none of these failings to the fact that President Obama is black. I see no connection between the color of his skin and the quality of his leadership (or lack thereof.) As Obama said on Letterman, “I was black before the election.” In other words, the fact that Obama’s popularity has plummeted cannot be attributed to racism, and even the President gets that. Rather, it stems from serious, widespread concerns about the President’s leadership, his trustworthiness (in terms of keeping his election promises such as not raising taxes on the middle class) and the direction in which he is taking this country. Even with all of this, I do believe the President is genuinely doing what he believes to be best for our country. I just think he’s wrong – not wrong because he’s black, but wrong because his ideas about America, the Constitution, and capitalism are the same wrong ideas shared by plenty of white people who would be equally distasteful as President.

Are we done now?

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It’s Paglia time again!

Posted by sanityinjection on August 12, 2009

I’ve been refraining from posting excerpts from every new column by one of my favorites, Camille Paglia, but her August column really is a must-read. Keep in mind as you read, Paglia identifies herself as a Democrat and an Obama supporter:

“But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises — or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama’s aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.

You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you’re happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing.

I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy….

…Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn’t conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it’s the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan — it’s the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves….

…And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the “mob” — a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech.

But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.”

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N-N-N-Nancy and the jets

Posted by sanityinjection on August 10, 2009

Apparently Democratic legislators are returning home to their district to find constituents in a nasty mood. Let me be clear that I don’t approve of shouting down a speaker at an event  – even if they are trying to foist socialized medicine on us, legislators should be accorded the respect of being allowed to speak their piece. American politics should not become a contest to see who can yell the loudest or physically intimidate their opponents (and that goes for unions too.)

But if Democrats are puzzled by the level of genuine voter anger, they needn’t look much further than the recent House vote to double the number of jet aircraft purchased by the military for the express purpose of ferrying Congressmen and Senators on their overseas trips.

Before I continue, I want to point out that I am not opposed to our legislators visiting with foreign leaders. If they’re going to cast critical votes on national security and foreign relations issues, having some direct experience is helpful.  Nor am I opposed to replacing older aircraft with new ones – everything has to be replaced eventually.

No, the problem is that the Obama Administration requested $220 million to purchase four such jets – and the House decided to give them $550 million to buy eight of them. The Pentagon says it doesn’t need that many. I’m also trying to figure out why double the number of planes doesn’t cost double the money, which would be $440 million, but somehow requires an additional $110 million.

Do House Democrats think our nation is flush with spending cash or something? Have they not looked at the revenue estimates for FY10? This year’s House under Speaker Nancy Pelosi is acting like a gang of children let loose in a candy store.

As usual, there are some wiser heads in the Senate. In addition to the expected Republican opposition, one Democrat leading the charge against this spending spree is Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who also was one of the few Dems that voted against extending “Cash for Clunkers”. I applaud McCaskill for demonstrating some fiscal responsibility that seems to be increasingly rare in her party. Obviously she is not confused about the message that the angry citizens showing up at public meetings are trying ot send. To paraphrase a certain professional wrestler, it’s clear McCaskill can smell what the bedrock Missouri voter is cookin’.

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President Obama’s speech to Congress: Reactions

Posted by sanityinjection on February 25, 2009

I watched all of the President’s speech last night as well as the Republican response delivered by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Here are my thoughts:

It should surprise no one at this point that Obama knows how to give a great speech. His tone, delivery, and message were calibrated for precisely the right effect. If I were someone who didn’t follow politics, I would have found his speech inspiring and reassuring. There was something for everyone in the laundry list of initiatives Obama promised us – even the Republican members in the chamber had the chance to cheer when Obama talked about deficit reduction and support for charter schools (The best moment of the whole speech was when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a face behind the President when he mentioned charter schools, acting for all the world like a petulant 12-year-old girl. In fact, the Speaker’s whole demeanor last night was more like a giddy cheerleader than the second most powerful person in America. She made Joe Biden look dignified, and that takes some doing.) As one commentator on CNN noted, if Obama were to achieve even half of the things he promised in this speech, it would represent a stunning success.

However, I was repeatedly struck by the contrast between Obama’s words, and what is actually being done and proposed in Washington. The Associated Press has a good article fact-checking the President’s speech:

Fundamentally, I fail to understand how President Obama can say to us with a straight face that he’s committed to cutting the deficit and eliminating earmarks when a) he and his Congress have just spent $1 trillion that we don’t have, and b) Pelosi’s House leadership has just introduced a  continuing budget resolution that is loaded with earmarks and increases government spending by 8% over the previous year. This is like an alcoholic telling you he’s quitting drinking after pounding drinks all night and at the same time as he’s asking the bartender for another round! Nor am I reassured by Obama’s promises that his housing plan will only help good people and not bad people, despite no one having any idea how that could happen.

The Detroit News has a good op-ed this morning detailing the differences between the President’s stated goals and what his programs actually do:

As for Jindal’s response, everyone acknowledges that delivering the opposition response is sort of a hopeless task. Far fewer people actually watch, and those who do cannot help but notice the lack of the ceremony and gravitas that the President enjoys in speaking to Congress.

Nevertheless, I thought Jindal made some good choices. Knowing he couldn’t hope to match the President in formality, he chose an informal, even folksy approach in both his words and his demeanor – no podium separating him from his audience. He spent the first part of his speech introducing viewers seeing him for the first time to his personal background. He avoided attacking Obama directly – in fact, he praised Obama more than once, and focused his criticisms on Democrats in Congress, while acknowledging the GOP’s own failures when it was in power in Washington.

The biggest problem with Jindal’s speech was the irony of his message. Jindal argued that making government bigger and giving it more power is not the solution to our problems, and argued that Americans can and will do a better job that the government will. Unfortunately, as the commentators pointed out afterward, Jindal’s state of Louisiana has benefited from lots of federal programs and dollars in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. It’s hard to preach self-reliance when you’re in line collecting your welfare check 🙂

As one commentator pointed out on my radio this morning, Presidential speeches to Congress make for great political theater, but they are rarely remembered even a week after they are over.

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No pay raises for Congress this year

Posted by sanityinjection on February 11, 2009

Amidst all the attention on the stimulus package, Congress is quietly doing something right. Both Democrats and Republicans in the House have agreed in principle to forego their normal cost-of-living pay raise this year. The Senate is expected to follow suit.

No, these legislators haven’t suddenly developed an overwhelming sense of bipartisanship or fiscal responsibility. Rather, they don’t want to look greedy to their constituents, most of whom will not be getting raises this year either. Whatever the motivation, it’s the right call and we should praise Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner for their leadership on this issue, just as we criticize them when they mess something up.

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What is in the proposed federal stimulus bill?

Posted by sanityinjection on January 28, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has a great piece up summarizing the various pieces of the proposed stimulus bill that is currently before the House:

What is great about this article is that it explains the various pieces in simple terms and how much each will cost. Thus, readers can decide for themselves which pieces they are comfortable with.

My judgment is that more than half of the spending in this $825 billion package is either wasteful or has nothing to do with stimulating the economy. Thus I agree with House Minority Leader John Boehner’s call for House Republicans to oppose the bill in its current form. I am not suggesting that the government should do nothing, but I am suggesting that doing the wrong thing could be even worse. House leaders from both parties should work with the Administration to slim down this package until it can be supported by a bipartisan majority. That’s how the legislative process is supposed to work.

Meanwhile, Dan Gerstein has another good piece up at Forbes explaining how President Obama fits into all this. Gerstein explains that while Obama isn’t necessarily supportive of  many of the spending items in the bill, he’s not eager to pick another fight with his fellow Democrats in the House after successfully getting Speaker Pelosi to back down and remove the family planning piece. Rather, Obama will let the House Dems push through their bill on a party-line vote and concentrate on improving the bill in the Senate:

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Let the disinformation begin, Part II: Corporate taxes

Posted by sanityinjection on August 18, 2008

Last week, a number of major media outlets, including the Associated Press, filed stories with headlines like this: “Most Companies in U.S. Avoid Federal Income Taxes.” The basis for these stories was a report from the Government Accountability Office showing that, in fact, 60 to 70 percent of American companies pay no federal tax in a given year. Certain legislators, inclduing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, seized on this as an argument for increasing taxes on corporations. So what’s wrong with all this?

Proving that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, none of the news stories or left-wing legislators bothered to ask the question of *why* so many companies pay no federal taxes. The answer is very simple: The vast majority of “companies” in America are small businesses, many of which in any given year do not make any profit, and therefore do not pay any taxes. What little money they make is generally paid out to the owners as wages rather than having to be taxed as a dividend. For larger corporations, 75% do pay federal tax in a given year, and of the ones that don’t, they usually end up paying the following year.

The point is that in this case the media, and legislators like Pelosi, are either guilty of deliberately misrepresenting the facts in order to justify their goal of raising taxes, or they are badly uninformed and rushing to judgment based on insufficient information. I’m not sure which is worse.

The following article, although written by a very partisan source, explains the problem in detail. The issue is not that you can’t advocate for raising taxes, but if you’re going to do that, it shouldn’t be based on inaccurate information or deliberate falsehood:

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