Saturday, July 19, 2008

As Obama Begins “Word Tour”, Reality Hits Home

CNN and the BBC are reporting that presidential hopeful, Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan this morning. Obama is traveling with substantial security due to fears that the Taliban might take a shot at him. Matt Drudge has entitled this jaunt the “Obama Tour”, with the three major news networks toddling along. Are the networks showing bias? A few, very few, journalist are asking if the media is a tad biased when it comes to Barack Obama. Thomas Roeser, of the Chicago Observer, notes that no other unelected official in U.S. history has received more favorable coverage than Barack – you think?

Meanwhile, back up in the northeast, the high cost of gasoline is adversely affecting the tourist industry. On a stop at an Old Orchard Beach, Maine, beach shop, the owners noted that this year was the “worst year in 28 years of business". It is mid-July and the traffic is smooth, the streets are not teaming with people, it is not a ghost town, by any means, but unusually quiet. In talking with business owners, the blame is being placed on – Congress. Shockingly enough, this beach town, within easy distance from Boston, is talking politics and policies. George Bush, of all people, is being praised for lifting the ban on drilling, while the Congress is being blamed for stalling, specifically the Democrats in charge. The locals also commented on the presidential candidates – McCain, although not a great choice for Mainers (see primary results), is seen as less of a threat than Obama. When asked why – the answer is his stance on oil drilling, followed by the constant media attention. Granted this is not a scientific poll, however – this may be one of the reasons that Obama is in a “statistical dead heat” in recent polls. Newsweek asked the question: “is the glow fading”? The answer might be, the more the spotlight is on Sen. Obama, the more the “folks in the street” get to know him. The constant media attention has given people the opportunity to watch his position on virtually every issue “evolve” (otherwise known as a politically opportunistic flip-flop) over the last 8 months, and that has made a difference.

While the Northeast prepares itself for a challenging summer and a more challenging winter (home heating concerns), the suspicion is rising as to the real reason the Democrats (and some Republicans) in Congress are refusing to move to lift the ban on drilling. People aren’t buying the “it will take 7 years for this to make a difference” angle - they understand speculators (as the media has described, at length, how speculators affect the price of oil)- and the fact that oil prices dropped after Bush lifted the Executive ban has them convinced this is a politically motivated stall on the part of Congress. After all, Democrats do well in a bad economy – don’t they?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Feeding the Beast – Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act image

Communities across Massachusetts are expressing disappointment with budget cuts made by Governor Deval Patrick this past week. Give the Deval his due, the budget must make room for the States mandated health care plan, a program that is already running 200 plus million over budget with no end in sight – and a legislature fully prepared to include more state mandates that will insure the trend continues. The FY2009 budget is not yet set in stone, as the legislature still may override the governors veto on certain programs.

Those eligible to receive Commonwealth Care include families of 4 earning less than $63,612 annually (or poverty level in Massachusetts). Those not fortunate enough to qualify under the state program are paying family premiums upward to $1,200 per month (insurance premiums have risen to compensate for those numerous federal and state mandated health benefits). Woe to those that fall through the cracks (unable to qualify for Commonwealth Care and unable to afford private insurance) - they are assessed a fee, this fee is then charged to ones Massachusetts Income Tax. Mandated insurance can be added to reasons why the state is losing population.

The Governor has had to make tough decisions regarding this budget, and although one may disagree with types of programs left untouched. (The program to eliminate Racial Imbalance – METCO – FYI 09 Budget, granted $21,615,313 – may be viewed as critical by some in State Government but one must ask, in this Democrat run state, how racially imbalanced can Massachusetts possibly be? The governor did make cuts to programs that in today’s economy appear essential ($545,195 requested for the “Open Pantry” a Springfield MA community outreach program that feeds those who cannot afford to feed themselves (rising fuel and food costs) has been cut from the budget) outlining just how difficult the role of governing with a house, senate and executive branch of like political ideology may be, especially when the House Speaker rules with an iron fist and individual in the executive branch lacks – experience. (There will be no hope for a stable economy should the Massachusetts political model be exported nationwide.)

The Massachusetts Model of Health care, bearing no resemblance to the program that Hillary Clinton envisions (one which, when viewed objectively, is sound), should be a warning bell to those states who are considering implementing a similar plan. Suggestion, compare the current runaway Mass Health Care Reform Act to the proposals made by Sen. Hillary Clinton (National Health Care Reform) prior to making a commitment. (Sen. Clinton’s views on National Health Insurance can be found in the archives of this blog – interview with Bill O’Reilly)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Massachusetts Senate Votes by Voice – Out-of-State Gay Marriage Law

The Massachusetts Senate voted by "voice" to repeal a 1913 law banning marriages that would not be recognized in other states – allowing gay couples from around the country (or the world) to marry in Massachusetts. Those in support of the repeal suggest that the state will benefit from an increase in tourism, while those who opposed the legislation cite the imposition of Massachusetts societal rules on other states. Governor Duvall Patrick supports the bill.

The legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts produced several negatives. The Catholic Church was no longer able to offer adoptions in the state, as the law requires that all adoption providers include gay couples. The church had sought an exemption from the law, but was forced to halt adoptions in order to “exercise religious freedom in Massachusetts”.(Boston Globe) Economically, the legislation placed a burden on companies doing business in Massachusetts, a state that relies on tourism, tech and service industry.
Additionally, gay couples attempting to obtain a divorce out-of-state found it difficult. A Rhode Island Gay couple, married in Massachusetts, were denied a divorce ABA Law Journal, in Rhode Island as that state does not recognize Gay Marriage. Those party to a gay marriage seeking divorce and living out of state, must return to Massachusetts and complete a years residency prior to obtaining a divorce. The ACLU is putting pressure on Rhode Island – and is lobbying hard for those gay couples involved in divorce and custody battle around the nation.

In Massachusetts, residents questioned the need for a Senate "voice" vote over a traditional and transparent roll-call. Fear might be a motivating factor. The Massachusetts Legislature, under the direction of Governor Duvall Patrick, struck down a petition to place a marriage question on the ballot last year despite overwhelming support for the ballot question by residents (World Net Daily A Western Massachusetts representative, Angelo Puppolo, who first supported a vote by the people and later changed his mind was assailed by a highly visible billboard comparing Puppolo to Judas.

Those state legislators, who were under pressure from constituents regarding this issue, as well as pressure from special interest groups and the Governor, needed protection from similar Billboard attacks. Is it any wonder that the vote taken yesterday was by “voice”? (No record available as to how a particular Senator voted).

Massachusetts residents have only one recourse, those in opposition to the question, should send a clear message with their vote this November and the subsequent Novembers until there has been a complete replacement of those elected officials too spineless to face the wrath of a billboard. Resident in other states, where this ruling will eventually have an effect (if only to cost taxpayers money vis a vis court cases), should pay careful attention.

On the question of Marriage: The term marriage is a religious, not civil term. The Massachusetts judiciary in concert with the legislature and the Governor has trampled on the Constitution of the United States (those who take separation of church and state literally) by attaching a civil meaning to a religious term. This produced uproar by the 80% of this nations religious (approximate percentage) (See the 2004 presidential election: states with Marriage Questions on the ballot overwhelming voted Republican and for Traditional Marriage.) However, calling for a civil union is not enough for these interest groups, as it does not carry a religious overtone, by using the term “Marriage”,
Churches may be forced to marry Gay couples or face loosing their tax free status – in neighboring states. Is it really a civil rights issue designed to give gay couples rights, or is it a Progressive Issue designed to denigrate religion to a practice of no import? Civil Unions allow the same rights under the law as Marriage – support of Civil Unions - not “Gay Marriage” would leave religion out of the civic arena and give full and equal protection to those same couples under the law. Further gay couples may receive the support of those who now stand in opposition on religious grounds.

Additional References

Theological Education Institute, East Hartford, CT

California, Same Sex Marriages Will Affect Other States (USA Today)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Michelle Obama and Marie Antoinette - Cake and $600 Earrngs

There are few, if any, articles in the media about a remark Michelle Obama, wife of Barack Obama, presidential candidate (D)made in Pontiac Michigan last Wednesday. Ms. Obama, in an address covered by the Oakland Press, noted that a $600 stimulus check was not enough to buy a pair of earrings. (Paraphrasing) Her comment serves to highlight the differences between the “haves” and have-nots” in this country and the total disconnect that is apparent between the elites and the rest of us. It is also worth noting that a candidate must have a tremendous financial advantage to succeed in an election leaving the ‘common man” out of the political arena. Therefore, in an absurd world it makes sense that a woman who has a significant private income thinks little of spending her cash on earrings – marking the remark - trivial. On the other hand, the lack of coverage on this particular utterance, in an age where every word spoken by a candidate and his or her “surrogates” is analyzed ad nausea, is certainly of concern. The simple fact is: Michelle Obama, is not just a “surrogate”. Should Obama be elected, Michelle will be a First Lady - affecting policy and representing the nation. One is reminded of an historical quote made by Marie Antoinette, the pampered Austrian Princess who lost her head in the French Revolution. The poor girl merely said, “Let them eat cake!” - This in reference to starving French masses, resulting in quite uproar. The princess, not unlike Michelle Obama, had a lack of understanding when it came to the “commoners”.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Denouncing Political Cartoons – Ideological Suppression Leads to Fascism.

The uproar over the political cartoon on the cover of the New Yorker, depicting Michelle and Barack Obama, is simply ridiculous. After all, this is just a cartoon. The immediate denouncement of the editorial cartoon by both political camps and the media serves as a warning bell to those career lampoonists who may be tempted to express themselves in the future. Further it serves to suppress freedom of speech (The Fist Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America) as it specifically applies to one political party. The intent of the satirical New Yorker cover is to emphasis the manner in which the Obamas may be wrongly characterized by those of opposing political ideology and the cover is in concert with two articles within the same publications that praise or defend Obama. Some pundits went so far as to suggest that this cartoon would be perceived as factual by the “average man” in the street. This is absurd and elitist – highlighting the manner in which those who feel they may be of superior intellect perceive the “masses”.

A perusal of the editorial cartoons at, highlights the disparity of the outcry in relationship to what may or may not be viewed as politically correct. A cartoon by Nate Beeler of the Washington Examiner (Best College Cartoonist of the Year) implying that the Pope approves of pedophilia, raised no eyebrows. There was no outcry, denouncement or endless analysis of this piece, or many others published en masse, worldwide, daily.

One is immediately reminded of the fallout over a cartoon published in the Danish Press. (Brussels Journal) in October of 2005. The cartoons lampooned the prophet Mohammed, resulting in death threats against the cartoonist. The world press, including some in the United States, found those cartoons “offensive” and “racist”. Obviously there is a difference between denouncing a cartoon and a Jihad – that said, when was the last time a political cartoon lampooning Islam was published? The message is clear – be careful what you write, be careful not to offend – dependent upon the target. – Fascism.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bush Signs Executive Order - Note To Congress - Lift Ban on Offshore Drilling -

The Associated Press is reporting that President Bush will lift the executive ban on offshore drilling in a move to pressure Congress to do the same. The executive order has been in place since 1990, signed by George H. Bush. Recinding the executive ban will be one step in the right direction. However, Democrats and some Republicans must act to lift the second congressional ban.

President Bush will officially lift the ban today.

Lifting the ban on offshore drilling (a ban which is not imposed on Cuba and China, two nations which are drilling 60 miles off the coast of Florida) will halt the speculators and further send a message to oil producing nations that the US will not be held hostage. The end result would be a significant drop in oil prices.

This is a political issue for both parties. The high fuel costs and worsening economy are exactly what the Democrats belive they need in order to take the White House. With the war in Iraq no longer a daily focus there are few issues left (Abortion). Recent polls showing the Democrat controlled Congress with single digit approval ratings suggests that it may be time to put the American people before the party.

The Massachusetts Exodus - Is Income Tax Repeal the Answer?

Massachusetts residents will have an opportunity to vote to repeal the 5.3% State Income Tax this November. Secretary of State, Galvin, has placed the Tax Question in the first place on the ballot Boston Globe The Globe indicates that should this ballot initiative pass, it might end up costing the state approximately $12 Billion annually. Can Massachusetts afford to repeal the income tax?

The obvious problem with repealing a state income tax, or any of the taxes currently imposed on the people and businesses left in the State of Massachusetts would be the funding of state programs. The Massachusetts mandated health care plan is currently in debt, and those within the state who are unable to afford the coverage are assessed a $219 “fee” by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue NY Times

Additionally, there are 26 state mandated benefits under the Mandatory Mass. Health Care Act. It is projected that these mandates are costing employees and employers $1300 per year for a family plan.
Boston Globe Meanwhile, the legislature is currently considering new mandates to add to the plan, which will place an even larger burden on Massachusetts working families.

With the state’s population in decline (a growth estimate released by the US Census Bureau indicates a projected growth of 1.3 percent, compared to the national average of 7.2. Springfield, MA Republican

The States model insurance program cannot be entirely to blame for the continued exodus of Massachusetts residents, but is does play a roll. With rising fuel costs, (State Tax Added), and the subsequent rise in costs of essentials (Food and utilities) as a result, burdening the Tax Payers with any additional state programs may be why the ballot question is making special interest groups nervous and Baystate voters anxious to get to the polls in November.

Should the ballot initiative pass, will the State Income Tax be repealed? That is highly unlikely. The State legislature has a long history of placing a political party’s objective above the will of the people. A proposed ballot initiative on Gay Marriage was put to rest by the Mass Legislature this past year.
(The Ledger) The people wanted to vote - the Legislature felt it was not politically expedient to place a Marriage Question on the ballot. This is a Commonwealth, after all, where the will of the people matters little; which may go further to explain the Exodus. A note or two: Communism imploded due to heavy mandates and low to no business growth. Although one cannot see breadlines in the foreseeable future, one can absolutely see a change in the states population increasing objection and rejection of core principals that the legislature holds to be absolute. The Baystate is also affectionately referred to as “The People’s Republic of Massachusetts”. Should Massachusetts policy and political think be of national interest. Absolutely. A US House, US Senate and White house of like mind would be a disaster for the Republic.

To Learn More about the Initiative visit: Smaller Government Act

Amazon Picks

Massachusetts Conservative Feminist - Degrees of Moderation and Sanity Headline Animator

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map

Contact Me:

Your Name
Your Email Address