Kratovil to appear in Berlin

October 31, 2009 · Posted in All politics is local, Campaign 2010, Delmarva items, Kratovil Watch, Maryland Politics, National politics, Politics · Comments Off on Kratovil to appear in Berlin 

This just in from Americans for Prosperity…

Congressman Frank Kratovil will be at a Berlin Health Care Townhall sponsored by the NAACP on Monday, November 2 at 4 PM.  If you’d like further info, or to make arrangements to attend with other public option opponents, contact Dennis Evans by clicking on the link.  Although we are not going as an AFP group, members will attend as individuals and concerned citizens.

Short, sweet, and to the point. I like that, so perhaps I may attend if my schedule allows. I’ll also be interested to see who else attends this townhall meeting.

Totally unrelated, but over the weekend I’m working on a piece for Red County‘s national page and keeping up with the breaking developments in the NY-23 race. That and look for another of my recent op-eds tomorrow. That is all.

Friday night videos episode 12

October 30, 2009 · Posted in Campaign 2010, Delmarva items, Inside the Beltway, Local Music, National politics, Politics · Comments Off on Friday night videos episode 12 

Here we are again. Think I’ll be talking about health care this time? You betcha!

But I wanted to start with a dedication to my friends over at Progressive Delmarva who like to put this facetious argument about my belief in limited government. This guy helps to put the lefties in their place. Again, my blogging friend Bob McCarty covers the story.

 

Okay, okay. Now we’ll get to health care. Remember President Obama’s campaign vow for “transparency”? The makers of this video did – so why the closed doors now?

And here’s some more “transparency”. Can’t the public bask in the glow of the introduction of the new, improved House Obamacare bill?

Uuuuuhhhh….guess not. And if we do get Obamacare, will this be the standard of care?

This is part of a series of 8 (so far) videos that can be found here. Just think, a friendly operator will assist you. Yeah right.

Now for somebody who knows what he’s talking about.

We hate to say “I told you so” but we did.

And now for something completely different. The rapper Ludacris was asked about the best part of being a celebrity, and I guess his answer puts him on the pro-Obamacare side.

Finally, these guys aren’t rappers. But last weekend I happened to be in the tiny Eastern Shore town of Trappe and also happened to have my camera to take this video. It’s not quite local music, but Denton is close enough: meet Perfecting Kate.

So for FNV episode 12, that’s a wrap. And I didn’t even resort to the trick (or treat) of a Halloween theme – hurray me!

Not hearing the other side

October 29, 2009 · Posted in Business and industry, Inside the Beltway, National politics, Politics, Radical Green · Comments Off on Not hearing the other side 

An organized campaign to stop Waxman-Markey? Say it isn’t so!

Well, in order to stop what they termed “Fraudulent Letters Opposing Clean Energy Legislation” the Congressional Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing this morning, It was to investigate what they considered fraudulent letters sent by a group representing the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

Naturally, my first question would be: who selected these guys anyway? It’s a 15-member committee (9 Democrats and 6 Republicans) chaired by Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts. (Yes, he’s the Markey in Waxman-Markey so it’s pretty obvious where he stands.)

One person who was supposed to testify but dropped at the last moment was Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose testimony was supposed to highlight the “Astroturfing” on the pro-warming side. But the Democrats on the committee had no interest in hearing about that and, according to Horner, Republicans meekly conceded. As Chris put it, “in Washington, times such as these are called ‘weekdays.'”

Apparently the global warming alarmists have taken a page from the pro-Obamacare folk by labeling opponents “Astroturf.” (Pity, I preferred the epithet “skeptic” for the heretics who do not believe mankind can warm the planet better than the sun can.)

More distressing is the fact that those who wish to air the dirty laundry of a particular interest group expressing their opposition to climate change legislation that’s going to hurt their bottom line doesn’t want to hear about the same practices achieved by their side. It’s something on the order of holding their fingers in their collective ears and yelling, “lalalalalalala I don’t hear you!”

Perhaps they aren’t listening to the millions of Americans who are sitting at home during a chilly fall wondering just when global warming is going to kick in and save them money on the natural gas, electricity, or heating oil required to heat their homes this winter. Some of them went to the TEA Party right at their doorstep and most of them called out in one voice: say NO to cap-and-tax!

How about this solution to curtail global warming: quit holding meaningless hearings about a problem which doesn’t exist and an answer that will do nothing about the phantom problem but send us all to the poorhouse? China and India are thumbing their nose at the Copenhagen conference, so if they don’t want to play ball we shouldn’t either.

House health care bill is out…

October 29, 2009 · Posted in Kratovil Watch, National politics, Politics · Comments Off on House health care bill is out… 

…and man is it a behemoth. Weighing in at 1,990 pages, I’m beginning to wonder if they edited it slightly to keep it from tipping the scales at 2,000-plus. They even blew by my guess on a Facebook site of 1,813 pages.

In case you’re wondering, a quick search of the document reveals the word “shall” comes up 3,424 times while the word “tort” comes up just twice, in reference to a previous Federal act. The word “tax” comes up 97 times and “fee” comes up 59 times but the phrase “fee for service” is absent.

I’m kind of curious, though. If a bill to affect 1/6 of our economy comes in at just under 2,000 pages, why is the tax code so much more than 12,000 pages? I know, it’s an aside because I suppose in theory if you take every law passed by any one recent Congress you’d run into multiple thousands of pages as well. That seems way too complex for a government which was supposed to be limited according to the intent of those who created it. No wonder Congressmen supposedly have to have such large staffs.

Better start reading this bill, Frank!

Decrying “crony capitalism”

Usually I don’t pay a lot of attention to those who teach the “dismal science”, but this morning’s testimony provided by Russell Roberts, a Professor of Economics at George Mason University, at a House hearing on executive compensation makes for interesting reading.

For example, check this passage out:

The executives at General Motors and Chrysler don’t deserve to make a lot of money. They made bad products that people didn’t want to buy.

The executives on Wall Street don’t deserve to make a lot of money. They were reckless with other people’s money. They made bad bets that didn’t pay off. And they wasted trillions of dollars of precious capital, funneling it into housing instead of health innovation or high mileage cars or a thousand investments more valuable than bigger houses.

Everyday folks who are out of work through no fault of their own want to know why people who made bad decisions not only have a job but a big salary to go with it.

But before you think he’s busting out the populism, Roberts moves the blame to where I think it belongs too:

(W)hat we do here in Washington is rescue big companies and rich people from the consequences of their mistakes. When mistakes don’t cost you anything, you do more of them.

When your teenager drives drunk and wrecks the car, and you keep giving him a do-over— repairing the car and handing him back the keys—he’s going to keep driving drunk. Washington keeps giving the bad banks and Wall Street firms a do-over. Here are the keys. Keep driving. The story always ends with a crash.

Capitalism is a profit and loss system. The profits encourage risk-taking. The losses encourage prudence. Is it a surprise that when the government takes the losses, instead of the investors, that investing gets less prudent? If you always bail out lenders, is it surprising that firms can borrow enormous amounts of money living on the edge of insolvency?

Right on the money, my friend. I don’t know economics like a doctoral candidate in the field, but common sense tells me too that privatizing profit and subsiding loss is going to lead to a lot of bad decisions in the marketplace. The government operates many of its enterprises at a loss, sometimes taking over for private enterprise in the process.

In the health care debate, common sense tells us that placing the government in competition with private enterprise (as in the “public option” – or, as Nancy Pelosi is trying to bill it, the “consumer option”) will eventually drive out the private side. Any entity who is free to operate at a loss in perpetuity can outlast someone who’s acting responsibly to shareholders who expect some sort of return on investment.

All this insight from me, a guy who majored in environmental design. If that argument makes sense to me, why doesn’t it make sense to those people Roberts testfied to – people who are supposed to be the smartest people in the room?

Makes you wonder if they’re working for the people or just out for themselves.

Breaking: Cavey drops out of MDGOP Chair race

This evening Maryland First Vice-Chair Chris Cavey announced he was dropping out of the race to succeed Dr. Jim Pelura as state party chairman:

Over the past month I have traveled across Maryland speaking to Central Committees and Republican activists about the potential our party has in 2010.  Most folks agree we have an opportunity to make gains electing Republicans and would be negligent to miss our chance by not being unified as a Party.

Last evening I listened as a group of Committee members worked through the trials and tribulations of a new voting method to be considered for the upcoming convention.  It was a wonderful example of what party members should be doing, problem solving, and that made me think about the Chairman’s race.

Roughly fifty-three weeks from today is the 2010 General Election, we need to be unified, in full blown campaign mode and not bickering about the past.   The current race for Chairman is very close and I fear the effects of a close race will only further serve to divide us as a party.

Effective today I am withdrawing from the MDGOP Chairman’s race.  Party unity and winning elections in 2010 is important.  I will pledge to each of you to dedicate my time and effort by helping the next MDGOP Chair re-build and re-unify our party for 2010 wins. 

Thanks to each of you who have worked for my campaign and had faith in my leadership abilities.  Please realize that this was not an easy decision for me to make.  Long-term, however, we will be ahead of the game for our party’s future and we will create more victories by working together… starting from today. (Emphasis in original).

This also dovetails well with a release I received from another contender, Daniel Vovak. He’s crying foul about the chairman of the nominating committee, Montgomery County GOP head Mark Uncapher:

Following the resignation of embattled Chairman James Pelura, Daniel “The Whig Man” Vovak has called for the resignation of the chairman of the Republican Nominating Committee, following a lapse in Mark Uncapher’s ethics.
 
Uncapher holds two chairmanships within the Maryland Republican Party. Foremost, he is the chairman of the nominating committee for the next chairman. Secondly, he is the chairman of the Montgomery County Central Committee. Uncapher’s primary job is to facilitate the process for about 270 central committeemen to elect the next chairman, who will be: Daniel Vovak, Chris Cavey, or Audrey Scott. However, Vovak has alleged that Uncapher is acting unethically by writing a letter of support for Audrey Scott, in spite of being the person who should be neutral in the process. Regardless, he believes Uncapher should continue as Montgomery County Chairman.
 
“Mark Uncapher’s job is to find nominees, not to hand-pick them,” says Vovak, a movie producer and ghostwriter in Bethesda. “Since Uncapher is in charge of the nominating committee I asked him today to write a letter of nomination for me and he said he will only support Audrey Scott. My position is that Uncapher should support all candidates who want to be chairman or he should support no one. It is absolutely unethical for the chairman of the nominating committee to single out a specific candidate while pretending to be neutral with the others. If Uncapher feels so strongly about Audrey Scott then he needs to resign because he is definitely not a neutral arbitrator.”
 
The rules of the Party require a chairman-nominee to provide three nomination letters from committeemen in three different counties to be submitted to the nominating committee for vote by the whole committee. On Tuesday, Vovak asked Uncapher for his nomination letter and was flatly denied it. Uncapher’s bias extends to the website for the Montgomery County Republicans, which lists only Audrey Scott as a candidate for chairman, but not Chris Cavey or himself. 
 
“It’s issues like this that frustrate me as a Republican,” says Vovak. “The next chairman needs to raise funds and stop airing our dirty laundry.”

I think Vovak has a legitimate point, but Uncapher can salvage his credibility by bending over backwards to assure anyone nominated with the correct process gets a fair shake.

To refute one point made by Vovak, I also looked at the Montgomery County website and noticed it had omissions for both Larry Hogan and Mike Pappas in the Governor’s race (along with missing Cavey in the Chairman race), so Vovak isn’t the only one who should be miffed with the process. Then again, we who look for links are only human and I’m sure I haven’t found every candidate running locally either.

Returning to Cavey, though, the item I found second most interesting in his release was that he “listened as a group of Committee members worked through the trials and tribulations of a new voting method to be considered for the upcoming convention.” Personally, I see no trials or tribulations with scrapping the LCD system previously used and going to a simple “one man, one vote” system. I suppose the participants from counties who were given outsized importance with the LCD voting method may find change objectionable, but I don’t!

(In an aside, it so happens that I played secretary at last night’s WCRC meeting because our normal secretary was a participant in the call; hopefully he’ll have good news for me next time we meet.)

So Cavey is out. Barring a nomination from the floor, it’s likely Ehrlich administration official Audrey Scott will serve as the lightning rod for scrutiny and criticism over the next year as an interim party Chair. So the convention may have gotten a lot more dull, but we’ll see.

DeMint makes his case

He’s not a Senator from Maryland (sucks to be us), but Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) came back on my radar screen last week when he promised to introduce a Constitutional amendment to establish Congressional term limits. Here, from his Senate website blog, he further explains his reasoning.

The people of South Carolina have given me the privilege of representing them in Congress for more than 10 years now, and over that period I’ve learned a great deal about how things work in Washington. One of the more unfortunate things I’ve come to realize is that Congress has the power to corrupt even those with the most honorable intentions. Too often, I‘ve seen good, honest citizen legislators come to Washington only to realize that in Congress, you either conform to the system or find yourself on the outside looking in. As a result, the American people are left with more “career politicians” who go along to get along in Congress, and end up beholden to special interests, lobbyists, and big government policies.

Though there is no simple solution to this trend, there is a clear place to start: term limits. With term limits, we can put an end to the “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach to legislating, and begin enacting responsible legislation that is in the best interest of our nation. As a result, I will soon be introducing a constitutional amendment limiting current and future members of Congress to serving three terms (six years) in the House and two terms (12 years) in the Senate.

Let’s face it, Washington has become far more powerful than any one person or party. If we want to change the policies, we must first change the process. By imposing term limits, we can ensure frequent turnover which allows for new ideas and fresh perspectives in Congress. Additionally, term limits will keep politicians in-tune with their constituents and less focused on pleasing those who promise to help get them re-elected.

While term limits are certainly a step in the right direction, they are not enough. I sincerely hope my amendment will be ratified, and then be followed by other structural reforms that make our public institutions more transparent and accountable. The American people deserve congressmen who fight to give them a voice rather than fight for their personal power and success. If the people want new policies and real reform, it’s not enough to change the congressmen — we must change Congress itself.

It’s a start. But over the decades, part of the reason Congress shifted from a short-term proposition to become lifetime employment was the increasing role Fedzilla played in our lives. Our Revolution-era forefathers could have scarcely imagined a government budget in the trillions or a bureaucracy in charge of education, agriculture, labor, or health and human services. Returning to a government which functions in a Constitutional manner would likely remove the incentive for politicians to increase their hot air quotient.

Many don’t recall this, but back in 1994 several Republicans who signed the Contract With America also pledged not to serve more than a few terms in office. While some backtracked on their pledge and others were removed in subsequent votes, those who promised to leave and did are worthy of emulation. But you’ll notice that Democrats rarely (if ever) make a similar pledge. Why is that?

There is a nobility and a sacrifice in public service, but most who engage in that craft do so far from the public eye (or at least far from the unblinking media spotlight) and don’t mind at all – just ask your neighbor who’s a volunteer fireman or who served in the military. You may not even be aware they so serve.

Obviously those who choose politics have to engage the public a little more frequently because they seek election every few years. Yet those who deign to create our laws have also created myriad opportunities to enrich themselves at the public trough, and much of the impetus behind TEA Parties and term limits comes from seeing your Congressman finagling the system to give himself a raise without voting for it, or seeing him reward friends or colleagues from the public till. It’s not something which is limited to a single party or group, but the solution lies partly in limiting their time in office and partly by eliminating incentive to stick grubby fingers in the pie by decreasing its size.

To me, cutting the size of government deserves not just lip service but action. One step in the right direction would be to enact term limits, but the other, more important step is to promote accountability in government. It’s there that, try as he might to fight it, DeMint’s colleagues fall well short of the mark.

Update on the drilling biz

October 27, 2009 · Posted in Business and industry, National politics, Politics, Radical Green · Comments Off on Update on the drilling biz 

You may recall about a month ago I covered a drive to solicit comments on America’s oil drilling policy and allowing exploration in more offshore areas. Well, it seems the public comments didn’t go the Obama administration’s way so they’re less than forthcoming with the results. This from American Solutions:

Over one month ago we submitted your comments in favor of drilling offshore to the Interior Department. In fact, we submitted 90,358 of them. Remember why?

It was because Secretary Salazar said he wanted feedback from the public about offshore drilling before he made any decisions. He pledged that these decisions would not be made “behind closed doors.”

Well sources have now told us that of the 530,000 comments submitted overall, those in support of drilling won out by more than a 2-1 margin. Yet, as of this writing, there has not been a public announcement of the final results.

After all the talk about transparency, this just begs the question: why are they hiding the final results?

Today, we decided to get to the bottom of this.

So this morning, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking Secretary Salazar’s department to hand over any internal documents related to the public comment period, and the final results. They’re required by law to respond to within 20 business days.

Please take a moment to read exactly what we requested by going here.

It’s not acceptable for the Obama Administration to sit on news about the number of Americans who support offshore drilling.

It’s time to get moving on a real American energy policy. And it’s also time to hold the Obama Administration accountable for its pledge of transparency and open government.

Thanks for all you do, and we’ll be sure to let you know what happens next.

It seems to me that this will be yet another case of Fedzilla ignoring the public and doing whatever they damn well please to favor some special interest, in this case the environmentalist wackos who favor spending billions of pie-in-the-sky “alternative” energy schemes.

What is really hurt by allowing energy companies more free rein to explore both on- and offshore? Onshore exploration can create jobs in areas blessed with the abundant natural resources of natural gas, oil, and oil shale – some of which have been hit hard by the Great Recession – and benefit local landowners who receive royalty and rent payments. Offshore drilling benefits the federal government through direct payments which can reach into the billions of dollars while creating jobs in shoreline areas.

I’m not too pleased with Newt’s endorsement for the NY-23 race, but in this case his group is on the right side of the issue. Because of new technology, the known supply of oil and natural gas continues to increase while the costs of exploration (save the price of complying with onerous regulations) decline. Someday alternative energy will have its place, and maybe the next would-be Thomas Edison or Henry Ford is about to come up with a revolutionary method of harnessing renewable energy (preferably without government subsidy). But in the short- to midterm we need to get the oil and natural gas required to grow our economy.

Let’s get to work and open up more areas to explore.

WCRC meeting – October 2009

We didn’t have our anticipated speaker, who had to bail out at the last minute due to unforseen circumstances, but two fill-in speakers backed up with a fill-in secretary (me) made this month’s WCRC meeting work nonetheless.

As usual we had the Lord’s Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and various reports. Club president Marc Kilmer announced two upcoming events: the November WCRC meeting will be held on the 23rd of November with the speaker being District 37 Senator Rich Colburn and the club’s Christmas party upcoming on December 13th. He also thanked those who particpated with the Autumn Wine Fest.

Sean Fahey, administrator for the Lower Shore Young Republicans, gave their report. Next spring will be a repeat of their successful canned food drive inaugurated earlier this year, and they were negotiating to host next summer’s state Young Republican convention here in Salisbury and trying to draw a “name” speaker for the event.

Along the same vein, Salisbury University College Republican president Matt Taffeau introduced himself to the club for the first time in a formal setting; however, they had been present at previous events such as the WCRC Crab Feast and fundraiser for District 38B Delegate candidate Mike McDermott. Growing their membership to over two dozen since the start of the school year, they’ve managed to attract speakers like the aforementioned McDermott, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, and state party chair Dr. Jim Pelura. They were also in the early stages of trying to get national party head Michael Steele to come to SU and were “looking forward” to helping out on Campaign 2010.

One of our two pinch-hitting speakers for the evening was County Councilwoman Gail Bartkovich, who cobbled together some news and notes about the budgetary woes facing Wicomico County.

Part 1 of the cuts had already been approved by the County Council when the furlough plan requested by Council and put together by County Executive Rick Pollitt was approved. Part 2 would be the harder part, cutting many of the departments by 15% along with other manuevers to cut about $1.2 million from the budget.

It’s worthy to note, Gail reminded us, that the actual deficit was much higher – on the order of $4 million. But taking money from reserve funds and increasing a number of fees helped to at least create an action plan before the public had its say in an upcoming meeting November 10th.

Some of the cuts could be painful, though – everything from $611,000 to the county’s funding share for Wor-Wic Community College to eliminating 13 paid crossing guards out of the Sheriff’s Department budget. Only the Board of Education and volunteer fire departments were unaffected.

But Gail also pointed out that many of the “cuts” were simply shifting salaries around to departments with enterprise funding, particularly solid waste. A question was asked whether these positions would be eventually restored to their original departments (particularly the roads department, which was hard hit by state funding cuts) or if the relatively lucrative solid waste department would continue to carry these positions having little to do with that area. Councilwoman Bartkovich decried the lack of a “long term game plan” to deal with the county’s finances.

Then we turned to the state level as District 38A Delegate Page Elmore was kind enough to lend his expertise. As we all know, the state of Maryland has the second-worst tax burden in the country behind only California and continually has needed to maintain its balanced budget with mid-fiscal year cuts totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

While the tax and spending increases passed at the 2007 Special Session take a share of the blame, Elmore pointed to two other factors hurting the state – the court order dictating education spending be held at increasing levels (which led to the Thornton Commission and its budgetary impact) and a 10% income tax cut enacted as an election year measure by former governor Parris Glendening in 1998.

But Page revealed that the Spending Affordability Committee estimated next year’s structural deficit will range between $2.5 and $3 billion. Democrats on a committee to reform business taxes in Maryland (which would be all but him) and their allies believe the best solution would be to change to a system of combined reporting for corporate entities, a move business interests despise because of the increased accounting burden. Elmore predicted that Democrats “probably won’t pass” combined reporting in 2010, but they may try to.

Two questions drew interesting responses from Elmore. One asked about the chances of saving construction money for new schools by repealing the “prevailing wage” and dropping expensive “green” building requirements. With just 37 votes in the House, Republicans couldn’t do much. (Personally, I think it’s a great place to start if we have to build all these schools rather than the comparatively puny savings Governor O’Malley thinks standardizing plans would create.)

The other questioner brought up the environmentally-induced moratorium on building new chicken houses in Maryland. One thing I didn’t know is that while Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia labor under restrictions on runoff, these restrictions don’t exist in nearby states like North and South Carolina. Delaware has been proactive in allowing chicken houses to be built as restrictions are still pending but Maryland has dragged its feet. Those upcoming restrictions expected in 2010 are expected to dramatically reduce the allowable discharge from chicken houses to perhaps unrealistic levels. That’s okay, the Eastern Shore doesn’t need industry anyway.

Closing out the speaking trioka, Dr. John Bartkovich gave a fairly upbeat Central Committee report. Asking why the GOP was successful in 1980 and 1994 and why it failed in 2008, essentially he opined the important factor was a good message in bad economic times. These principles could win again in 2010 and 2012. We just needed a message of hope and change along with a plan to bring them about through fiscal conservatism and Republican principles.

What we thought would be a fairly short meeting turned out to be a long one, but it was informative. As I stated above, State Senator Richard Colburn will speak at our November meeting on Monday, November 23rd.

Medicaid vs. education

October 25, 2009 · Posted in Liberty Features Syndicate · 3 Comments 

A little-noticed aspect of Washington’s health care reform is the impact it will have on state spending. In this era where states find themselves behind the budgetary 8-ball because revenues constantly fall short of expectations, governors worry that assuming their share of the cost for an expanded Medicaid program could force them to make unpopular cuts elsewhere or send their treasuries spiraling toward bankruptcy.

So far, states have weathered these hard times in no small part due to the generosity of Uncle Sam, with a large portion of stimulus funding spent thus far devoted to firming up states financially. But the red ink will remain as long as the economy shows a lack of growth and revenue streams once thought reliable – such as “sin” taxes on tobacco and alcohol, increased opportunities for state-sponsored gambling, or additional levies on the wealthiest taxpayers – fail to bear monetary fruit. Much as governors hate to make hard decisions, eventually there will be a day of reckoning in the area where states spend the largest amount of money – education.

According to figures from the National Association of State Budget Officers, in 2007 the percentage of state spending on Medicaid and K-12 education was exactly the same: 21.2% of their total expenditures went to each of these two components, totaling about $3 for every $7 states spent overall. However, if you only count state general fund expenditures, the K-12 education share leaps to 34.5% while Medicaid drops off to 16.9 percent. Add in higher education and according to the NASBO figures nearly half of state general fund dollars go toward education. Thus one would expect at least some necessary cuts to come out of that large proportion of state spending, especially when states – unlike the federal government – have to balance their budgets.

Yet on the state level education seems to be a “third rail” issue: touch it and you’ll be politically dead. In certain states the amount of education funding has been mandated by court order, but all states have a politically powerful lobby best known as the teachers union and those who face election rarely dare to do battle with them.

It’s for this reason state governors worry about the upcoming budget strain that expanding Medicaid on a federal level may provide and why they look to Uncle Sam to pull them out of the fire. This dependence comes with big risk, though, because no one can truly gage the impact “free” health care will have on the bottom line. However, governors are quite aware of the political cost of making cuts to education.

There’s a solution few in Washington dare to talk about, though. While there are those in Congress who pay lip service to decreasing the size and scope of federal government, no one is forcefully advocating an obvious solution: allow the states to tailor their own programs and slowly back the federal government out of both the health care and education realms.

In a world where the status quo doesn’t seem to work anymore, states which simply pass their overspending on to the federal coffers and expect continual bailouts fall short of the expectations of their taxpayers who are screaming, “Enough!” The people have seen the result of increased federal involvement in state affairs over the years, so governors who put off the hard choices they have to make by going to the federal trough and seem unwilling to make cuts won’t get a lot of sympathy.

Governors should instead be pushing for the chance to govern for themselves, not be slaves to a Washington master.

Michael Swartz is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

The twelfth in my series for LFS, this cleared back on October 15th.

Food for thought…

October 24, 2009 · Posted in All politics is local, Delmarva items, Maryland Politics, National politics, Personal stuff, Politics, State of Conservatism · Comments Off on Food for thought… 

Just got home late this Saturday evening and was catching up with my pile of e-mail from today.

I have a lot of stuff about the NY-23 race, where the Republicans picked Dede Scozzafava (a liberal who would be the dictionary definition of Republican In Name Only), but a number of conservative groups have placed their support behind the upstart Conservative Party’s Doug Hoffman.

The item I’m pondering is this: many is the time where I’ve stayed loyal to the GOP despite their nominating a “moderate” – John McCain and Wayne Gilchrest come to mind, cases where I’ve had to hold my nose and vote for someone to my left. Why is it that the GOP brass always expect me to come to the left and rarely (if ever) support a candidate to their right?

In most cases one could argue I’m more at home in the Libertarian Party but I’d rather work from within this one. And I believe I have a lot of allies who are among those newly baptized politically over the last eight months (Julie, the Right Coast Girl, comes to mind.)

To succeed in this quest, the political landscape needs to have what is now considered the middle shifted back to its proper place leftward. Right-of-center is truly the center (yes Chuck, I’m making that argument) and we who participate in the debate need to stop accepting most of the premises that liberals put up, such as the one that there’s a government solution to our health care problem – the government need not become more involved because the problem, by and large, doesn’t really exist for most.

I was at a friend’s house today and noticed a quote from Martin O’Malley saying something to the effect that those of us who favor limited government are seeing what the result would be in Maryland because he’s had to make all sorts of cuts. After I laughed out loud, it occurred to me that he’s making the cuts in areas where it hurts the most without truly making the effort to figure out just where government needs to get out of people’s lives. My first suggestion is for the state to stop spending millions to buy previously private land and take it off the tax rolls; in fact, the state could probably make millions back by selling back some of these properties. Who knows, someone might actually develop it and increase the property value, which will (gasp!) put more money in the local and state coffers.

So let’s see what people have to say about this. I think I stepped on enough toes for this to solicit good comments.

Friday night videos episode 11

Yep, it’s back. And this time it goes to eleven.

I’m going to start with one of my favorite Congressmen, Mike Pence of Indiana. Here in a “one minute speech” he points out the folly of ignoring conservative commentary:

For all of the liberals attempting to demean “Faux News” they sure seem to be kicking the other cable networks’ collective behinds. Must be some good reason.

But those liberals don’t want to listen anyway. Check out how Washington really works when liberals are in charge.

I know, the video is completely biased because it comes from Republicans. But ask this Democrat about the public option.

“Not politically feasible.” But when has that stopped liberals? Our illustrious HHS head thinks we should have a single-payer system – it will just take time.

Is that really a popular stance, though? My blogger friend Bob McCarty found out that at least some on the pro-health care side are motivated by a much baser cause – a paycheck. Yep, that’s Astroturf.

I tell you, those Highway K and N Patriots are a resilient bunch. But I wonder when those on the other side of the highway will start recognizing Bob and stop talking to him. The same goes for intrepid filmmaker James O’Keefe and partner Hannah Giles. From the Washington News-Observer, this is part of a press conference by O’Keefe where he gives the Philadelphia story.

One of those who have pretty much ignored the ACORN story is also smugly disrespecting the TEA Party movement. Meet the reason I don’t watch Sunday Night Football.

Those people who do attend the stops at TEA Party Express 2.0 might also be interested in this film which just came out. Al Gore, call your office.

Think this will get an Oscar? Yeah, right. All it needs to do, though, is stop the manmade climate change insanity gripping the seats of government. This viral video shows one who agrees and suggests to sign the Copenhagen climate change treaty would be at our peril.

As one person in the ‘Not Evil, Just Wrong’ clip noted, a little global warming wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But signing the Copenhagen treaty would be.

I know we could have used global warming last weekend. This is the latest addition to the monoblogue YouTube channel, recorded at the Autumn Wine Festival.

With that, I’ll call FNV 11 a wrap. See you next week.

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