Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Final Five; March 22, 2012

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
March 22, 2012

Due to a hectic schedule today, tonight's Final Five will contain one story per topic. I will return to the usual format for tomorrow's edition.

Tonight's Crazy Story:
101-year-old Woman Sets World Paragliding Record
Mary Hardison of Ogden, Utah, will enter the record books as the "Oldest Female to Paraglide Tandem".

Topic One: The Walker Recall
Walker maintains optimism: "Despite the oncoming onslaught, Walker maintains his sunny disposition. He continues to take to the airwaves in defense of his platform, though he avoids all shows other than Morning Joe on MSNBC, “the network of my recall election,” he jokes.

He grounds his optimism in the belief that he’s doing the right thing. “I honestly believe that when we prevail, we’ll send a powerful message not only to our state house in Madison, we’ll send it to every state house in America,” Walker says. “We’ll send a message everywhere that if you do the right thing, if you stand up and take on the tough challenges, not only will you prevail, but there will be good fellow citizens there willing to stand with you.”

Once asked by a friend whether he wondered if he shouldn’t have so gone so far with his budget reforms, Walker replied, “If I hadn’t gone so far, I wouldn’t have fixed it. I’ve never been afraid to lose.” And given how important the example Wisconsin sets will be, he insists, “We can’t fail."

There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"According to a new book, President Obama blames Fox News for his political problems and losing voters. How could Fox News lose voters? If you're watching Fox News, you're probably not voting for him in the first place."
-Jay Leno

Topic Two: ObamaCare Turns Two
The quiet birthday of ObamaCare: "When health-care reform was passed, we were promised that it would do three things: 1) provide health-insurance coverage for all Americans; 2) reduce insurance costs for individuals, businesses, and government; and 3) increase the quality of health care and the value received for each dollar of health-care spending. At the same time, the president and the law’s supporters in Congress promised that the legislation would not increase the federal-budget deficit or unduly burden the economy. And it would do all these things while letting those of us who were happy with our current health insurance keep it unchanged. Two years in, we can see that none of these things is true.

For example, we now know that, contrary to claims made when the bill passed, the law will not come close to achieving universal coverage. In fact, as time goes by, it looks as if the bill will cover fewer and fewer people than advertised. According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office released last week, Obamacare will leave 27 million Americans uninsured by 2022. This represents an increase of 2–4 million uninsured over previous reports. Moreover, it should be noted that, of the 23 million Americans who will gain coverage under Obamacare, 17 million will not be covered by real insurance, but will simply be dumped into the Medicaid system, with all its problems of access and quality. Thus, only about 20 million Americans will receive actual insurance coverage under Obamacare. That’s certainly an improvement over the status quo, but it’s also a far cry from universal coverage — and not much bang for the buck, given Obamacare’s ever-rising cost.

At the same time, the legislation is a major failure when it comes to controlling costs. While we were once told that health-care reform would “bend the cost curve down,” we now know that Obamacare will actually increase U.S. health-care spending. This should come as no surprise: If you are going to provide more benefits to more people, it is going to cost you more money. The law contained few efforts to actually contain health-care costs, and the CBO now reports that many of the programs it did contain, such as disease management and care coordination, will not actually reduce costs. As the CBO noted, “in nearly every program involving disease management and care coordination, spending was either unchanged or increased relative to the spending that would have occurred in the absence of the program, when the fees paid to the participating organization were considered."

Debt Watch:
(As of Wednesday, March 21, 2012 )

Change: -$8,955,281,951
Your share as a citizen: $49,847.55
Share per household: $136,335.56
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,947,551,515,285

Topic Three: The Economy
The economy is (or should be) the primary issue: ""It's the economy, stupid" is the infamous mantra conceived by political consultant James Carville that underscored the main issue driving the 1992 presidential race. A few months later, Bill Clinton replaced George H.W. Bush (41) as president, and it was the focus on the economy that got him there.

It was shocking this week to hear Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, one of the Republican presidential candidates say, "The issue in this race is not the economy."

This statement by Santorum is not in tune with likely voters. While it is not the only issue, Rasmussen Reports noted earlier this month that it is the number one issue for likely voters by twenty percent. Likely voters listed the economy as very important (82 percent). The other items listed as very important that topped 50 percent of the likely voters were: health care (62 percent), government ethics and corruption (61 percent), taxes (60 percent), energy policy (54 percent), education (54 percent), and social security (53 percent), based on two national surveys of likely voters from February 22 -- 23 and February 26 -- 27, 2012, margin of sampling error plus-or-minus 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Possibly the Santorum team has been lulled by President Obama's administration into believing that everything is OK on the economic front. Just this month, the administration touted an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent and the addition of 227 thousand non-farm jobs. The simple truth is that there is a lower percentage of people participating in the labor force than there was a year ago. If the labor force participation rate had remained constant, then the unemployment rate would have been 8.7 percent in February, with 13.6 million people out of work."

Tweet of the Day:
@DrewMTips: Today in ObamaWorld: He's taking credit for a pipeline he had nothing to do with & claiming he had nothing to do w/a loan his admin approved

Topic Four: The Ryan Budget and The Election
Is the Ryan Budget setting the stage for the general election: "The Republican presidential candidates seem more amenable. Their fiscal and budget proposals have been somewhat sketchy, and their numbers may not add up. But they are also talking about Medicare reforms and changes in the tax code that would broaden the base and cut rates.

Mitt Romney in particular seems to be deferring to Ryan. He has modified his 59-point economic program with pledges to seek tax and entitlement reform. Ryan was scheduled to meet with him yesterday after his AEI speech.

Romney would be wise to listen. Ryan knows far more about the budget than any of the presidential candidates. He combines deep policy knowledge with sure political instincts -- a combination rare in politicians, especially Republicans."

Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth — and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."
-Patrick Henry

Topic Five: Energy
Obama's faith-based energy policy: "A president, so Obama claims, has little control over gas prices. New domestic supplies of oil would not come on the market for years. Americans consume a quarter of the world's oil supplies while possessing only 2 percent of global reserves. In a global oil market, additional American drilling would not make that much of a price difference. All of these claims are either flat wrong or misleading."

"Presidents can affect gas prices, at least in the long term, by exercising budgetary discipline resulting in a currency that buys more oil per dollar, by approving or rejecting federal oil leases, and by adding or curbing regulations that affect oil exploration and development. In all of these cases, Obama has supported policies that contribute to higher gas prices."

Tomorrow in History
March 23, 1933 - The German Reichstag passes the Enabling Act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening

"One State Under God" license plates on sale in Texas

"Hope" didn't work out so well in Egypt, either

Minnesota man jailed for not finishing siding on his home

Wasserman Schultz denies saying what she said on national TV

Stony Brook University eliminating most religious holidays

Supreme Court restricts EPA rights

What a surprise! Fluke wants to run for office

Obama says Chinese solar subsidies are bad?

Ron Paul equates the Secret Service to welfare

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