“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Obamacare: Academia Incompetence vs. Tangible Reality

Karl Rove lays out what is coming in Obamacare, initiated by an academic who never had to exist in the real world:

"...This [reality of people being able to lose their health care] was brought home to me when I asked the CEO of a major restaurant chain about health reform's effect on his company, which now spends $25 million a year on employee health insurance. That will jump to at least $90 million a year once the new law is phased in. It will be cheaper, he told me, for the company to dump its coverage and pay a fine—$2,000 for each full-time worker—and make sure that no part-time employee accidentally worked 31 hours and thereby incurred the fine.

This reality is settling in at businesses across America. A Midwestern contractor told me he pays $588,000 for health insurance for 70 employees, contributing up to $8,400 a year for a family's coverage. If he stops providing health insurance, he'll pay $2,000 per employee in fines, and the first 40 employees are exempt from fines altogether." [Blogger note: 70 employees, the first 40 are exempt from any fine, so he will pay $2k on 30 employees totaling $60,000, as opposed to the $588K he is paying now. This owner could pocket $500K in savings and can throw 70 people on the public health care system. Maybe that's what Obama wants.]

So basically, Obama's legislation was set up so it is more efficient for private sector companies to pay the fines and drop health care for its employees, than provide health care for its employees. Driving quicker towards having everyone on national health care.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dick Morris: The President is No Executive

Dick Morris wrote two columns that I combined that really touches the essence of President Obama's limitations is this recent crisis:

"Contrary to what the Constitution says, the president does not run the executive branch of the federal government. It runs itself. Following Newton’s Laws of Motion, it is “a body in motion that tends to remain in motion in the same direction and at the same speed unless acted upon by an outside force.” The bureaucracy keeps doing what it is programmed to do unless someone intervenes.

And that intervention is the proper job of the president. He has to step in, ask the right questions, get inside and outside advice, and decide how to intervene to move the bureaucracy one way or the other. President Clinton had an excellent sense of how to do this and when to get involved. President Obama does not.

…Because [Obama] has no administrative experience. I often saw Bill Clinton, as governor and as president, call in experts and ask the tough questions when he faced a new disaster. In Arkansas, it was tornadoes or floods or fires. In Washington, it was Oklahoma City. But, each time, he thoroughly familiarized himself with all the technical issues. He took a bath in the science and substance of the hazard and became as knowledgeable as those who had spent a lifetime studying it. So he knew what questions to ask.

Any CEO or COO or manager has similar experience. But a community organizer, law professor, state senator, US Senator, and president doesn’t have the requisite experience. He doesn’t know not to trust his own bureaucracy. He hasn’t been burned enough to realize that he needs to intervene to waive restrictions, set aside regulations, and open up the process to new solutions.

Why did he not waive the Jones Act (he still hasn’t) to allow foreign vessels to ply our waters to clean up the spill? Not because he was against it. He couldn’t have been against so obvious a course as waiving it. It was likely because nobody told him about it and he never knew to ask

…When the spill started, he and his campaign staff – now transplanted to the White House – reacted the way a Senator or a candidate would, blaming British Petroleum, framing an issue against the oil company, and holding it accountable. But what he needed to do was to review the plans for coping with the disaster and intervene to move the bureaucracy in untraditional but more appropriate directions. Instead, he let business as usual and inertia move the process.

…But this president is no executive. He is a legislator – he is now pushing new environmental legislation. He is a lawyer – his Attorney General is investigating criminal charges against BP. He is a populist – he is quick to blame BP. He is a big spender – he wants a fund to pay the spill’s victims. He is all of these things. But he is no chief executive and that, unfortunately, is the job he was elected to do."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oil Spill and Obama's Inaction

Yep, Mr. President... It's oil...

Below is a portion of the Oil Polution Act from 1990, that clearly outlines the Barack Obama can quickly and legally take complete control of the clean up of this spill through Federal agencies and does not need to wait for BP to get their act together:

Section 4201(a) of the Oil Pollution Act, which is codified at Title 33 of the United States Code, Section 1321(c), reads in part:
(c) Federal removal authority.

(1) General removal requirement.

(A) The President shall, in accordance with the National Contingency Plan and any appropriate Area Contingency Plan, ensure effective and immediate removal of a discharge, and mitigation or prevention of a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance–
(i) into or on the navigable waters;
(ii) on the adjoining shorelines to the navigable waters;
(iii) into or on the waters of the exclusive economic zone; or
(iv) that may affect natural resources belonging to, appertaining to, or under the exclusive management authority of the United States.

(B) In carrying out this paragraph, the President may–
(i) remove or arrange for the removal of a discharge, and mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of a discharge, at any time;
(ii) direct or monitor all Federal, State, and private actions to remove a discharge; and
(iii) remove and, if necessary, destroy a vessel discharging, or threatening to discharge, by whatever means are available.

(2) Discharge posing substantial threat to public health or welfare.
(A) If a discharge, or a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility is of such a size or character as to be a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States (including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, other natural resources, and the public and private beaches and shorelines of the United States), the President shall direct all Federal, State, and private actions to remove the discharge or to mitigate or prevent the threat of the discharge.
(B) In carrying out this paragraph, the President may, without regard to any other provision of law governing contracting procedures or employment of personnel by the Federal Government–
(i) remove or arrange for the removal of the discharge, or mitigate or prevent the substantial threat of the discharge; and
(ii) remove and, if necessary, destroy a vessel discharging, or threatening to discharge, by whatever means are available.

We got what we knew we were electing. Someone with no executive experience; and someone who's leadership style is framed around blaming someone else.

What Obama has to be careful of is that he is at the top of the list for BP's political donations, and he should be concern with the appearance of inpropriety. Erica Lovley reports at Politico:

"During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two Political Predictions this Weekend

1) Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Nomination for President in 2012, not Barack Obama.
My Reasoning:
A) By all reports, there is an incredible amount of animosity between the Clintons and the Obamas. When considering Hillary for Vice-President, Michelle Obama told the future President: "Do you really want Bill and Hillary just down the hall from you in the White House?"
There is no loyalty here, everything will be fair game. She will challenge him if necessary.
B) After enlisting Bill Clinton's help to offer Joe Sestak a cushy job in lieu of running for Senator against Arlen Specter, the Obama White House threw Bubba Bill under the bus as soon as this shady deal was exposed. This has entangled the former President in a scandal and even possibly a crime. The Clintons must be enraged, after what they saw as providing support for Obama and doing him a favor. Again, no loyalty owed so she will challenge.
C) Obama has lost the support and burned his bridges with the ACLU, pro-Israel supporters, environmentalists, some unions, some gays, etc... He will be a man without a country come 2012, and people will be screaming for Hillary.
D) Obama's popularity is plummeting and will continue. The insiders in the Democratic Party will come to realize he can not win. He might not even run.

2) If John Kasich wins the Governorship on Ohio this year, he will eventually become the President of the United States:

My Reasoning:
1) Kasich will be an incredibly popular Governor. He chaired the House Budget Committee in D.C. and will cut state government waste with a chainsaw. He will eventually give Ohioans relief by lowering taxes, creating jobs and turning Ohio's economy around. He will have a fiscal record that will appeal to Americans as our financial situation grows dimmer with a $13 trillion debt.
2) He is a polished and professional communicator and incredibly likable. He has that Abraham Lincoln lankiness, and Opie face, that portrays honesty, and is the son of a mailman. He has wide American appeal. Americans over the next few years will move away from the perfectly-gelled hair, teeth-whitening, $1,000 suits politicians.
3) If the GOP can lock up Ohio, most Presidential elections are over. Kasich on the ticket will ensure this.
...but he has to win the Gubernatorial Election this year.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Society's Misplaced Values

Over the past few months, I find myself landing on some of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's writings from different sources.

This is a great piece on the hostility that large families face. I have recently experience some of this telling acquaintences that we are expecting our fourth. They never realize their reactions to this news tells me more about them then they could ever realize in just a few seconds. Here is Rabbi Boteach's piece:

"...I don't mind that the world doesn't really love babies, just that it pretends to. It's time we got honest about our priorities. Most people get a new car every two or three years, but one or two babies through the life of their marriage is plenty. You can get drunk on an airplane, laugh hysterically with your mates, and still not really anger people. But if you dare bring a crying baby on board you will be given malicious looks as if the little thing is a package that ticks. If you walk your dog along the street, people will stop you to tell you how cute he is. If you walk down the street with a baby, you might find a woman or two who coos, but for the most part, you'll be utterly ignored

...Why are people impressed that Jay Leno owns 20 motorcycles, but disgusted that some religious families choose to have 10 children?

Let's not finesse the response. [Blogger Note: He comes the Rabbi with the MACK truck of truth through the donut shop!] We all know why. A world that has lost its innocence has trouble appreciating beings who are innocent. A world that has become selfish has soured to the idea of leading a life of selflessness. A world that has become grossly materialistic is turned off to the idea of more dependents who consume resources. And a world that mistakenly believes that freedom means a lack of responsibility is opposed to the idea of needy creatures who "tie you down."

They can go fly a kite. [Blogger Note: This Irish-Catholic would phrase this much differently; the Rabbi is very kind and a better man than I.]

By just looking at my children, I become more innocent. By loving them, I become more noble. By spending my money on them rather than myself, I find transcendence. And by being a father and liberating all of the love in my heart, my spirit soars free. I work hard to support a large family and I give up no pleasures in doing so because my children are my foremost pleasure."

I can see why John Paul the Great called the Jewish people our older brothers, very wise.

Htip Creative Minority