"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

Sunday, July 30, 2006

House Republicans push Wage increase?

Last week the House passed HR 5970, the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act, with predominantly Republican Support. In essence, the bill creates permanent estate tax relief (set to expire in 2010) and protects other tax relief efforts that are now only temporary. Each of these are in good agreement with the Republican platform and much of the work Republicans have done since 2000. To that end, I support the bill and, had it not been for another provision, I would have lauded the passage as a success.

So, what is that provision? One that would dramatically increase the nationaly minimum wage. For me, this is a deal-breaker. I have never supported minimum wage increases-even making it in Oregon in 2002, when it came up on the ballot. The minimum wage is one of the worst things ever to happen to the poor, and increasing it only exacerbates inflation and unemployment. Furthermore, most minimum wage earners are not poor.

Yet, while most coverage of the bill's passage seem to indicate that it was pushed through by Republicans, that is not entirely true. The bill passed on Republican support, but Congressional Democrats have been pushing for the wage increase for some time, and Republicans have consistently - until now - not supported it.

Senate passage is unlikely, thankfully. However, it will be unfortunate if this small aspects blocks an otherwise strong bill. Ideally, the provision will be eliminated in the Senate, and sent back to the House for ratification.

Cross-Posted at

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Democrats Heckle Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

The Bolton Confirmation hearings have begun again. For those of you who don't recall, Bolton was granted a recess appointment by President Bush when a successful Democrat filibuster blocked his appointment last year. As could be expected, at the time of the recess appointment many on the left cried foul. Now, many months later, many democrats are singing the same tune.

At today's hearings, in a completely appropriate display of the freedom of speech, two hecklers interupted the proceedings to shout their opinions. One woman shouted "He is a disgrace to the United States (and) he is not a ligitimate representative of the United States. He is not representing our best interests."

The hecklers seem to be forgetting that this is a man who, during his short time acting as an ambassador, has already been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, his nomination was not based on his strong support to bring the Darfur genocide to the front of the table, or for promoting change within the corrupt Human Rights council. Rather, his Nobel nomination was for his work exposing the Iranian nuclear situation.

John Bolton will very likely be confirmed, and rightfully so. In his short tenure he has managed to apply meaningful pressure to a corrupt organization. I look forward to his many years to come.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

McCain is beginning to appeal to me again

The Examiner, among others, is reporting Sen. McCain's recent comments:
Why has our party, the party of small government, lately adopted the practices of our opponents who believe the bigger the government the better? I'm afraid it's because at times we value our incumbency more than our principles
There have been many successes, in my opinion, during the recent Conservative upsurge in the Congress, then Presidency. Yet, McCain's comments serve to express a growing concern among many republicans outside of congress. Spending is out of control.

A very large portion of this is defense spending, and the associated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, domestic spending has become absurd. The Republican congress sees a problem and decides to throw money at it (i.e. Katrina). Small Government works, and should be strived for.

I have serious disagreements with Sen. McCain, but I applaude these comments

Saturday, July 01, 2006

SB840: The Real Cost of "Free" Health Care

On April 2, 2006 I posted a little something about SB840, speculating that SB840 would lead to a dramatic decrease in the quality of health care, a decline in investment in Medical Technology, and a decline in the number of Doctors. Previously I had mentioned the horrible delays in receiving treatment.

This week, a report was released by The National Center for Policy Analysis regarding the ramifications of SB840, the Single-Payer-Health Care Bill. Interestingly, the NCPA and the Pacific Research Institute had the following conclusions:
According to the author John R. Graham, the 4 percent savings in current health spending that would result from a government-run health care system is a trifling sum when one considers the consequences of such a program:

* The number of physicians would drop by 23,000, from about 94,000 to 71,000.
* Californians would suffer lengthy waiting times for medical treatment -- time worth about $1 billion annually.
* About $9 billion dollars of "free" health care would be wasted by people who did not need it.
* Access to medical technology would be significantly diminished.
I'm not surprised in the least. The only thing that seems to be missing is the fact that Taxes would soar.

SB840 has noble and decent goals, but is unrealistic and dangerous; much like communism. Yet, supporters of socialized medicine seem to think that, even though it has failed elsewhere, it will work this time. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. SB840 would be disastrous for California, and I, for one, hope it does not pass the Legislature.