Monday, December 21, 2009

Pimps and 'Ho's: Not ACORN, Not Tiger... the Senate


First, go read Michelle Malkin's post here.

Next, ask yourself (and leave a comment about) what your Senators scored for you.

It's clear that the grand Pimp Daddy Reid was willing to pay for votes. Be they Republican or Democrat, Senators now know how business is done in Washington. In my opinion, every Senator who failed to leverage this blatantly broadcast information missed a huge opportunity to grab perks for their states.

The socialists Obamacare advocates made it clear some time ago that they would push the legislation through, no matter what it took. With such a foregone conclusion, why didn't EVERY Senator offer up their sacrificial vote for some senatorial swag?

Perhaps, like me, your Senator got you zilch for Christmas, besides the promise that your federal tax dollars will pay off other states.

Way to go Senate! The first Obama administration "transparency" standard has been revealed: If you're gonna be a whore for your party or your state, get it in writing, and go big!



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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alleged Cop Killer Maurice Clemmons: "I'll Kill All You Bitches"

Maurice Clemmons, the only suspect in the Lakewood, Washington coffee shop killing of four police officers, has been shot and killed by a member of the Seattle Police Department. The final incident took place at around 2:40 this morning, when a SPD officer made a routine check on a stolen car. As he sat in his patrol car doing paperwork, Clemmons approached the vehicle. The officer got out of his vehicle, ordered Clemmons to stop and show his hands, and, when Clemmons refused to comply, fired shots. Clemmons was pronounced dead at the scene.

The News Tribune has a detailed story on alleged cop killer Maurice Clemmons here. Another insightful article by the Seattle Times appears here. Chronicled are explanations of his offenses and sentences, as well as a timeline describing how and why Clemmons was not in jail at the time of the massacre Sunday morning that left four Lakewood officers dead.

Highlights:
  • 1989 - Clemmons, age 16, convicted of eight felonies in Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and burglary. Total sentence: 108 years, to be served consecutively, not concurrently.
  • 1999 - Clemmons, then 27, applied for clemency, essentially stating that his crimes were a result of foolish youth, asking for mercy.
  • 2000 - Then-governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, commuted Clemmons's sentence, reducing it to 47 years and making him eligible for parole, which was granted, over objections from Pulaski County, Arkansas prosecutor, Larry Jegley.
  • 2001 - Clemmons was arrested on a parole violation, stemming from a robbery, but not charged. He wasn't served with charges until 2004, and they were dismissed amid arguments that prosecutors had waited too long to file their case.
  • 2003 - Clemmons applied again for parole, and Jegley's office objected again. The objections were overruled, and parole was granted.
  • 2004 - Clemmons arrived in Washington after being granted an out-of-state transfer.
  • May 9, 2009 - Clemmons was arrested for assaulting a sheriff's deputy, charged with multiple counts of third-degree assault, malicious mischief, and, later, second-degree rape of a child. Prior to assaulting the deputy, Clemmons was hurling rocks and bricks through the windows of neighbors' homes and passing cars. When officers responded, two of Clemmons's cousins were outside his home, and tried to prevent officers from entering the home to look for Clemmons. During the altercation, Clemmons emerged, punched a deputy in the face, and assaulted another deputy who arrived to help. All three men were taken into custody.
  • May 10, 2009 - Clemmons is released on a $40,000 booking bail through Aladdin Bail Bonds, which means he bailed out without seeing a judge for an arraignment first.
  • May 11, 2009, about 1:00 AM- Clemmons appeared in his living room and told two young relatives - girls, ages 11 and 12 - to fondle him. The two girls complied, because they were scared. The 11-year-old fled soon after, and wasn't seen for days. Clemmons continued assaulting the 12-year-old until she cried herself to sleep. Shortly after, still naked, he woke her up, demanded she accompany him into the bedroom he shared with his wife. He said he was Jesus, and that his wife was "Eve." Clemmons's wife begged him to let the girl go, and he did, but not for long.
  • May 11, 2009, about 4:00 AM - Clemmons woke members of his family and gathered them, demanding that they all remove their clothing. He said it was "beautiful that they were sharing the moment."
  • May 11, 2009, about 5:30 AM - Pierce County sheriff's deputies arrived after a 911 call from a family member. They took statements from the family about Clemmons's crazy behavior. Sighting Clemmons at another house, deputies tried to capture him, but he eludedthem.
  • May 12, 2009 - Clemmons was due in court for his arraignment on the May 9 charges, but didn't show up. A bench warrant was issued.
  • July 1, 2009 - Clemmons showed up in court, perhaps with the intent to try to get the bench warrant thrown out. He was arrested.
  • July 2, 2009 - Clemmons was charged with second-degree rape of a child for the incident involving the 12-year-old relative in May. He was also charged with being a fugitive from Arkansas, with the recent incidents intending to serve as evidence of parole violations.
  • July 22, 2009 - Arkansas notified Pierce County that they had no interest in extraditing Clemmons, thereby making him eligible for bail. Had Arkansas not released him, he would have been held without bail on the alleged parole violation.
  • A mental health evaluation of Clemmons was ordered and completed five weeks before Sunday's shootings. The evaluation included reports that Clemmons made the statement, "I'll kill all you bitches" to law enforcement personnel who took him into custody in May, as well as Clemmons's claims that he suffered hallucinations - "people drinking blood and people eating babies..." Psychologists found Clemmons competent to stand trial.
  • November 23, 2009 - Clemmons bailed out of jail when Jail Sucks, a bail bond company in Chehalis, Washington, posted his $190,000 bail.


All of this took place before he entered a Lakewood coffee shop on Sunday morning and killed four Lakewood Police Department officers. The officers' patrol cars were parked outside the shop, the were all in uniform, and they all wore bulletproof vests as they worked on reports on their laptops, preparing to start their shift.

Acquaintances have reported that, the night before the ambush, Clemmons told them to "watch the news" because he was going to kill some cops. The individuals did not report the threats until after the tragedy.

A lot of people have asked how Clemmons was out on bail in the first place. As the linked articles provide, Pierce County judges would have held Clemmons without bail, had Arkansas not released him to Washington.

One of the most disturbing things I read (outside, of course, the obvious tragedy that's occurred) was a quote from deputy prosecutor Grant Blinn:
“A typical child rape-2 defendant is summonsed into court, not even arrested,” Blinn said Monday. “A lot of them are released on their personal recognizance.”

RCW 9A.44.076 defines second-degree rape of a child as thus:


(1) A person is guilty of rape of a child in the second degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim.

(2) Rape of a child in the second degree is a class A felony.

Really? They usually don't arrest criminals on suspicion of class A felonies? When a twelve-year-old girl is raped? Personal recognizance? REALLY?

This Tacoma sex crimes lawyer (his URL is somewhat amusing: http://www.goodpeople-baddays.com) advises that a conviction of second-degree rape of a child carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years.

Let me get this straight - if a person is suspected of a crime egregious and dangerous enough to warrant, if convicted, a mandatory 25-year sentence, they are simply summoned to court? Not arrested?

Does anyone else see something wrong here?





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Monday, November 30, 2009

Washington Cop Killer Suspect was Released from Jail a Week Ago


The suspect in yesterday morning's cop killing spree, Maurice Clemmons, has a long and scary criminal history, including five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony convictions in Washington.

Much noise has been made about Clemmons receiving clemency from then-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee commuted Clemmons's near-100 year sentence in 2000 for aggravated robbery and theft, citing the perp's young age at the time of the crime. Clemmons was 17 years old when he committed the crime. Clemmons's criminal behavior in Arkansas was well-documented.

Recently, here in Washington, Clemmons was jailed in Pierce County jail for several months, pending a charge of second-degree child rape. Although seven additional felony charges were coming down the pike for Clemmons, and although his mental state was questionable at best (he'd been accused of gathering his wife and young family members and telling them all to undress, told people that the world was ending and he was Jesus - you know, the usual...) he was allowed to post bond and be released about a week ago.

It's of note that the judge in Pierce County went against a prior judge's order of "NO BAIL" for Clemmons.

Individuals who assisted Maurice Clemmons after the massacre are now in police custody, and have reported that Clemmons was shot in the torso as he fled. Authorities say the wound may be fatal if he does not receive medical attention.

Before the shooting, Clemmons is reported to have told acquaintances to "watch the news," because he was going to kill some cops.



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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Four Police Officers Killed in Coffee Shop Ambush Near Tacoma (UPDATE)

Just weeks after Christopher J. Monfort set fire to Seattle Police Department patrol cars, killed a Seattle officer and wounded another sitting in their patrol car, and attempted to kill detectives who confronted him days after the shooting, four more officers were killed this morning in a coffee shop in a Tacoma suburb.
Judging by evidence being collected in the Monfort case, it appears the man declared war on law enforcement officials, and he's perhaps not the only one.

This morning, one or two gunmen (I've seen reports of one, possibly two) entered a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington, killed four police officers, and fled. No money was taken from the shop, and none of the employees or civilian patrons of the shop were targeted. Clearly, the gunmen had intent to enter, shoot the cops, and get out.

The officers were working on their laptops and having coffee. A police spokesman calls is it a "flat out ambush.

KING5 has released this suspect description on their Twitter feed:

Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call the tip line at 253-591-5959 or 866-977-2362.


UPDATE: Sources are now reporting the four officers have now been identified as Lakewood PD officers; 3 males, one female. All were in uniform and wearing bulletproof vests.


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday: Gifts for the Conservatives in Your Life

They say the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, which, as far as I'm concerned, is reason enough to stay away from the malls and shop online.

Want to please the conservatives in your life AND keep your money in the local economy? Why not order a fabulous book through a local, independent bookstore? After all, Amazon and Barnes & Noble can hold their own, but what about your local indie store?

Purchase these titles through IndieBound.org, and they'll connect you to a local, independent bookstore near you, which means your Christmas dollars will stay local. As an added bonus, by using my affiliate link, you'll prevent me from putting a PayPal donation button in the sidebar to stare at you every time you visit.



Let's not forget the kiddies!


If you have another favorite title, you can search and be connected to a local independent bookstore here:

Shop Indie Bookstores



Thank you for supporting independent bookstores and your local economy!

Books not the thing for your conservative loved ones? Maybe a movie is just the thing. Why not share the not-so-Gore-y "Not Evil Just Wrong" documentary? (See sidebar.) Order it here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Eat a ton of turkey (or, in my case, Tofurkey) and remember to bless someone less fortunate. Be thankful for our families, for our patriots, and our freedoms.



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Party Crashers: Tareq and Michaele Salahi Crash White House Dinner

I must say, I'm a little bit in awe.

Mr. Gonzo and I have "crashed" plenty of events where we weren't exactly invited or had entry credentials in hand. Corporate parties (we lost our invitations):



The VIP section or onstage at concerts (me onstage at a Lionel Richie concert, against my will - I swear, I was pushed up there):



(Sorry about the blurriness - I was a little stunned to find myself onstage.)


Numerous parties taking place near events we're actually supposed to be at:

[photos not available - too scandalous]

Tareq and Michaele Salahi, however, take the cake (so to speak) when it comes to party crashing. The couple - uninvited and not on the guest list - managed to get themselves into a White House state dinner on Tuesday night.

Maybe things have changed since I was at the White House (have they EVER!) in 2007



but I had to do everything but sign away my first-born child to get inside, and even then, I was very aware of the snipers on the rooftop and the Secret Service agents around every corner.

I'm certain an investigation is underway to determine how, exactly, Tareq and Michaele Salahi crashed the White House event, but DAMN if it isn't lucky that all they wanted to do was get their photos taken with Joe Biden, Katie Couric, Rahm Emmanuel, the D.C. Mayor and some other notables.

Can you imagine how frightening it would have been if they had been dangerous people, with malicious intentions against our president and country?

You know - Tea Partiers.





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Monday, November 23, 2009

My Letter to Senators Cantwell and Murray (and 13 more!) on Health Care Reform

I sent the message below to Washington's U.S. Senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

Dear Senators Cantwell and Murray:

I am certain you have many emails and phone calls to respond to, so I will keep this short.

I wanted to call to your attention a recent poll on healthcare reform. Rasmussen Reports today states that support for health care reform has fallen to a new low - just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. In fact, the poll shows that 56% of voters now oppose the plan, with 43% "strongly" opposing.

60% of polled voters believe the plan will increase health care costs, not lower them.

In spite of the clear opposition to the plan by voters, 50% still feel it will pass. To me, that's a sad statement of the lack of faith we, as voters, have in our elected representatives' willingness to listen to our voices - the very voices you are supposed to be representing.

What will your position be? Will you represent your constituents, who largely oppose the bill? Or will you, like so many others, bow to pressure from your party and force this dog of a health care bill upon us?

Thank you for your time,
Christina-Marie "Citizen Gonzo" Wright


Send an email to Senator Murray here and to Senator Cantwell here.

UPDATE: I've sent the same message to Sens. Joe Lieberman (Ind, CT), Blanche Lincoln (D, AR), Mark Pryor (D, AR), Mary Landrieu (D, LA), Jim Webb (D, VA), Mark Warner (D, VA), Jon Tester (D, MT), Ben Nelson (D, NE), Evan Bayh (D, IN), Kent Conrad (D, ND), Byron Dorgan (D, ND), Tom Carper (D, DE), and Olympia Snowe (R, ME).



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Sunday, November 22, 2009

SEIU Gives ACORN Competition for Most Corrupt Organization

There are allegations of outright voter fraud against SEIU. The people in the video below claim that SEIU heavies pressured them to vote a certain way on their ballots, showed up at their homes to harass them, opened their mail and filled out their ballots, or threatened their jobs or benefits. Unbelievable.

Does anyone think that the current administration will actually investigate this? How blatant does corruption have to be? If these allegations are true, will SEIU be brought to justice as the electioneering cesspool of thuggery it is? Or allowed to continue with "business as usual?"

I'm not holding my breath. If you can't see the embedded video, view it here on YouTube.



H/T Opus #6



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Friday, November 20, 2009

Again, ACORN Offers Help Trafficking Foreign Child Sex Workers

Andrew Breitbart and BigGovernment.com aired yet another video of an ACORN worker offering to help undercover journalists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, posing as a pimp with plans to run for Congress and a prostitute seeking to open a child sex trade business.

This one was filmed in Los Angeles.





O'Keefe, Giles and Breitbart appeared on Hannity to discuss the latest tape:



If you can't see the embedded video, you can go directly to it here.

Unbelievable. Breitbart says there are more tapes, and it's not just ACORN. I wonder who else they caught behaving badly. One thing is for sure: corruption appears all too common with ACORN and its more than one hundred affiliated organizations.

Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that the leader of our nation served as legal counsel for this corrupt organization in lawsuits? Or that Mr. Obama helped to train "future leaders" identified by ACORN? Make no mistake - the roots of ACORN run deep, and they go straight to the current administration.


Obamas ACORN Tree -



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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Best Thing About Being a Blogger is...

... the amazing people I get to meet.

When I found myself planning to be in San Diego, California for the National Association of REALTORS conference I sent a tweet to Opus_6, an amazingly strong conservative blogger (who does her thing here), telling her that I was going to be hosting an 80s party for the REALTORS and all but begging her to attend.

San Diego was a couple of hours away, she said, and she'd be there, with her kids tagging along. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. After all, Citizen Gonzo was launched following a discussion with Opus. Her endorsement of my launch helped me to see over 300 hits within 36 hours of Citizen Gonzo going live. So, you see, she's more than a fellow blogger. She's a mentor.

When she arrived, I was still lacing up my boots and applying bright green eyeliner (remember I said it was an 80s party?). It was a bit before the party started, and I was grateful that we had a few quiet moments before the rush of REALTORS appeared.

Opus is the real deal. She's passionate about following and posting issues that are important to the welfare of our country. She's blindingly beautiful but completely down to earth and the epitome of a "real" mom. She can carry on a conversation while chasing a four year-old down the hallway. She makes professional contacts with a two year-old on her hip. She has reasonable but firm limits for her children. In all, she's amazing, and I'm so glad I had the chance to meet her.

Once the party attendees started arriving, things got noisy (some had been to earlier parties and had a head start on the drinking) and crowded. Opus gave some advice to a few REALTORS on using Twitter to boost their business, collected a few business cards, and announced it was time for her and the boys to leave. It was getting late, and they still had a two-hour drive home to their beds. I walked her to the elevator, gave her and the boys hugs, and started back to the suite before I realized we didn't have a picture. What was I thinking?!

I chased them down to the lobby, where a random guy with a Harry Potter scarf took this photo for us:



(Note the side ponytail, off-the-shoulder sweater dress and spangled tights. I was born in 1975. Most of my 80s fashion is just a guess.)

I headed back up to the party, poured myself a drink, and played hostess for a while before Joe Spake - REALTOR, blogger and Twitter enthusiast - arrived. I first met Joe in person at a Tweetup in Washington, D.C. last May, where I developed an instant crush on his mini business cards and an appreciation for his warm, open personality and sense of humor. Since then, I've enjoyed reading his blog on real estate and the Memphis area, and I was super-excited to see him walk through the door of my suite.

Joe had a bit of heartbreak at the conference when he lost his prized camera. Unfortunately, no one turned it in. Fortunately, however, he was able to get a new one, which he used to snap this photo of yours truly and my one true love:



Do I have any photos of Joe (or anyone else, for that matter)? No, because I never seem to remember to take any.

The day after the party, I got a Facebook message AND a Twitter direct message (so I KNEW it was urgent) from Joe, telling me that Derek Overbey of Roost.com wanted to interview me. I was nursing a hangover and touring Petco Field, but promised I would hook up with Derek for the interview as soon as I got back.

"As your PR guy, I command you to get that interview," Joe had tweeted. Alright, I was going to do it, even though I had no idea what the interview was about. I was not even going to be deterred by the fact that wine was served with lunch at the ball park. If anything, that fact may have strengthened my resolve to do the mystery interview. Did I mention I met Heath Bell, of the San Diego Padres? He's not, as far as I know, a blogger, but a nice guy nonetheless.



I connected with Derek after the tour, informed him that, after four straight days of partying, he'd be getting my sexy Kathleen Turner voice, and agreed to answer whatever he asked. "Work on overcoming your shyness," Joe had advised me. I think he was kidding. I tend to be highly animated, talk with my hands a lot, and jump from one thing to the next with very little - if any - warning. I'm fairly certain video is not the best medium for me.

Anyway, Derek is part of a really cool project called 100 Interviews. If I understand correctly, it all started at SXSW, where Derek and his posse interviewed 100 people in 4 days. Now, they interview people wherever they might find them. Derek found me. Lucky guy.

Derek, himself, is high-energy and professional. It was a pleasure to meet him. Check back with 100 Interviews - I'm sure I'll be up there soon. You simply must promise not to laugh or count how many times I say, "you know" or "ummmmm."

It's times like these that I realize I lead a very, very charmed life. I'm a very lucky girl!

X-posted at TheGonzoMama.com


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Monday, November 16, 2009

I Take it All Back... ACORN is the Pinnacle of Integrity.

Via BigGovernment.com:

Rouge journalists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles - miracle of miracles - finally found an ACORN employee that drew the line at child prostitution:





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Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood Tragedy Brings Memories of Dean Melberg and Fairchild AFB: I Was There

On June 20, 1994, 20-year-old Dean A. Melberg walked into the Fairchild Air Force Base hospital complex and opened fire with a MAK-90. He killed four people - including an eight-year-old girl - and wounded twenty-three others before he, himself was killed.

My first husband was an LE (law enforcement) airman stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, near Spokane, Washington. Because the LEs and SPs (security police) worked so closely together, we knew Andrew P. Brown, the airman and security police officer that eventually fired the shot that stopped Melberg's killing spree. I thank God that the final shot, from a remarkable distance, fired straight and true, preventing the senseless loss of even more lives.

I was almost six months pregnant with our son at the time, and had really meant to get around to seeing one of the OB docs at Fairchild, but it was only a three-hour drive back to my hometown, and I loved my doctor there. Since it was my first pregnancy, I didn't feel comfortable with seeing a potentially different doctor at every appointment at what we jokingly called "Fairchild Medical Hobby Shop." Some of the other wives on the base were pregnant, and their stories of never knowing who they were going to be attended to when they went in for appointments grossed me out. I didn't want just any doctor inspecting my hoo-hoo. I wanted MY doctor.

Still, military insurance is a great thing, and I knew I had to conform eventually. "Tomorrow," I said, "I'll go in to the base hospital." I was due for a prenatal check-up. It was June 19th, 1994.

When I woke up that morning, I chickened out. Instead, I called my hometown doctor and asked if he could fit me in sometime that day. He couldn't, but he could get me in the day after. Since my then-husband had the day off, he agreed to drive me back to our hometown, figuring we could spend the night with family, go to an early appointment and get back to the base in time for him to work his late shift.

Relieved that I wasn't going to be seen at the Hobby Shop, I didn't give it another thought until two hours later, when we stopped along the way at my sister-in-law's house. She had the television on, the sound muted. She wasn't paying much attention to the news program that was showing, but as soon as we walked in, my husband said, "That's the base. What's going on? Turn on the sound."

It was then that we learned of the tragedy that took place at our base. In fact, we had been driving past the narrow road that led to the hospital at precisely the moment Dean Melberg was killing Captain Alan London and Major Thomas Brigham, the chief of psychological services and a psychiatrist, respectively, who had recommended Melberg's discharge from the Air Force.

This was 1994. We didn't carry cell phones back then. We used my sister-in-law's phone to call as many people as we could in two minutes: our friends, who were supposed to take their young son in to be seen for a bad cold (they didn't go because the boy was having a tantrum), the ranking LE officer ("You'd better get back here as soon as you can," he instructed my husband), an LE contact ("He started in the psychiatrists' office, went through the OB-GYN section, killed a lady in the parking lot... Brown took him out... It's bad. It's real bad.")...

We hustled back to the car (okay, I waddled) and headed back. We alternated between intense silence and a volley of questions neither of us could answer: How could this happen? Why did he do it? Are our friends all okay?

What if I hadn't changed my appointment?


Airman Brown was on bicycle patrol that day (I'm warning you: Don't ever laugh at a bicycle cop again. I know I don't.) when he saw Melberg - who had already shot his way through the hospital annex and the main hospital and exited to the parking lot, where he shot a woman five times as she tried to flee - shooting at people, who were running in panic. He dropped his bicycle and shouted at Melberg to drop the weapon. Melberg turned and fired at him.

Brown dropped to the ground and fired four rounds from his 9mm Beretta. Two shots missed. One hit Melberg in the shoulder. One hit him directly between the eyes and killed him.

Brown was 70 yards away from Melberg.

Nineteen rounds remained in Melberg's MAK-90.

The following day, a twenty-five year old pregnant shooting victim lost her five-month fetus due to the trauma of her injuries. The death of the unborn child brought the death toll to six.

The tragedies at Fort Hood and Fairchild are events that don't make sense. They are devastating and monstrous; they affect more lives than we can imagine. Regardless of the circumstances that prompted the gunmen in these attacks to snap, let's make an effort to focus on the families affected by these tragedies, and to say a prayer for each and every one of them.



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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

9:08 PM UPDATE on R-71

The numbers have stopped for the night. Here they are:

51.13% to APPROVE
48.87% to REJECT






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8:24 PM UPDATE on R-71

As of 8:24PM:

52.12% to APPROVE
47.88% to REJECT



I'll update as I can.


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Are YOU the Mob?

This post from Dana Loesch never gets old...

What is this scary "mob" that the left keeps talking about? Would you know it if you saw it?

I'll bet you would - it's pretty darned scary!

Head on over here (if you're not chicken!) to see rare photos!


H/T Citizen Tweet



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Al Gore's Investment Biz Stands to Make Hundreds of Millions Through Energy Department Grants

I have a friend, a man that I care very much for, who always engages me in a spirited debate any time I mention that some scientists dispute the "consensus" on man-made global warming. Or "climate change." Or whatever we are calling it now, since there hasn't been any significant warming in a decade and "a natural swing in climate to the cool side has been holding greenhouse warming back," according to certain NASA climate experts.

Anyway, this great friend and I went to high school together in the 1990s and, as a general rule, disagree on nearly every political issue. Gosh, but I adore him, anyway. My friend, let's call him - oh, I don't know - "EatTheWeak."

One thing that EatTheWeak has said to me several times is that "it brings the environmental movement ZERO PLEASURE to have to bear such grim news." Essentially, that the anthropogenic global warming movement's mouthpieces, like Al Gore, have nothing to gain by inciting worldwide panic with their doomsday predictions and dire warnings.

We can cross Al Gore off the list of those not having anything to gain. According to the New York Times, the Energy Department has awarded smart grid grants totaling over $560 million to utilities that have contracts with Silver Spring, a company that Al Gore has financially backed. Silver Spring "produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient."

According to the NYT article, "few have put as much money behind their advocacy as Mr. Gore and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes."

Personally, I think "consensus" is a strong word - especially when there are many vocal opponents to the science, whose credentials are equal to or, in many cases, superior to those at the lectern (can anyone provide Al Gore's science CV, please?).

I'm not ready to commit to the consensus theory just yet. Still, I do things that are good for the planet, in the event that the size of my carbon footprint actually matters. I take public transit. I shop locally and buy local produce when I can. My appliances are all high-efficiency and low-water. My house is green-built. I'm a vegan, for Pete's sake!

Recently, I watched Not Evil, Just Wrong (yup, that's an affiliate link - you can help me feed my kids local organic produce, grown with community compost materials in low-irrigation containers through the winter by buying the DV). The movie spent as much time focusing on the human consequences as it did on offering opposing scientific data that debunk many of Gore's claims, like "Mann's hockey stick" was debunked.

One of the featured interviewees in the film, Patrick Moore (one of the founding members of Greenpeace), said of environmental zealots, "They care more about fish eggs than humans, and there’s something immoral about that," in regard to the misanthropic views of many.

For some, like the lower middle-class families that work in coal-based communities, or for the families of hundreds of Ugandan children dying each day from malaria after the banning of DDT... for those, certainly, there is no joy in the news the environmental movement brings.

What if, like Al they stood to gain hundreds of millions of dollars as a return on their investment in "green" businesses? Surely, there'd be a bit of joy to be found SOMEWHERE in those hundreds of millions of dollars... I mean, surely, just a teensy bit of joy?




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State Leaders Support REJECT R-71 Effort

I pulled the following from the website for Protect Marriage Washington, one of the groups leading the charge to reject Referendum 71 in Washington State. You can find the original source, plus more statements, here.

Citizen Gonzo will not be taking a position on R-71, but encourages respectful and constructive discussion on the issue.


"At the founding of our country we made the conscious decision to promote marriage between one man and one woman above all other legal unions because of its inherent value to children and society. Signing R-71 will help us preserve that decision for another generation."
-State Representative Matt Shea


"Those who think they can sit this battle out because they believe their values and their children will be safe in a private school or homeschool, need to think again. If the homosexual extremists are allowed to continue down this path, under expanded civil rights and hate crime laws, it will soon be illegal to speak out against homosexual marriage or the dangerous homosexual lifestyle. Please protect the time-honored tradition of ancient and modern society - one man, one woman in marriage. Protect the rights of children to have a mother and a father. Please do not hesitate to sign the R-71 petition."
-Pastor Ken Hutcherson, Antioch Bible Church


"Please Defend Marriage By Signing This Petition. SB 5688 was presented as a bill about benefits, yet a day after it was passed, those who sponsored the bill told the Seattle press that it was really part of a long term strategy to re-define marriage and legalize same-sex 'marriage'. The Seattle Times editorial board agreed and said homosexuals should also be given the name 'marriage' as a result of the passage of SB 5688. SB 5688 is the final step. If this bill is allowed to become law, partnerships will be elevated to the level of marriage with no legal difference. The Washington State Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will be declared irrelevant and same-sex 'marriage' will be imposed on Washington State through the courts."

"SB 5688 is an attempt to deconstruct marriage as it has existed throughout all human history. This unique and exceptional relationship that connects a man and a woman to a child, genetically, is the cornerstone of every successful society in human history and is the master plan of the Creator. There is no other relationship that meets this criteria for marriage. Only natural marriage provides generational sustainability. Please defend marriage by signing the R-71 petition."
-Gary Randall, Faith and Freedom Network and Foundation


"One of our greatest founders, George Washington, said it well when he noted, "We can never expect safety for our nation and disregard the eternal rules of order." When our country was born over 230 years ago, our Founders made a point of acknowledging His laws in the Declaration of Independence. They understood that God was not only the giver of life, but also of order and standards of behavior, including standards regarding marriage. From the beginning, the Founders understood the importance of traditional marriage-that it is one man and one woman for life- and the dangers of trying to make changes to that standard, like the changes that the law we seek to overturn by this referendum has done.

How we respond to this latest attack on marriage will be a defining moment for Christians and those who believe in traditional values here in Washington State. We cannot afford to let this simply slide by. Future generations will be affected tomorrow by how we act today. Please sign R-71!"
-State Representative Jim McCune


"Please sign R-71 right away. SB 5688 is bad legislation for marriage, children, the public schools and the economy. It's a back-door way of legislating homosexuality marriage without the name--which will be next. That step would legitimize immoral behavior-- forcing many families and their children to leave the public schools, and costing the state millions of dollars on a crazy social experiment. People are free to live with anybody they want--but they don't have the right to change the bedrock of society--marriage--between a man and woman, producing, protecting, and nurturing children. We need to honor and strengthen marriage--not re-define it."
-Ron Boehme, US Renewal


"I heartily endorse the work of Protect Marriage Washington and the R-71 campaign. If homosexual 'marriage' becomes legal in Washington, every public school will be forced to teach that homosexual relationships and marriage are perfectly normal. This will greatly harm our schools and drive an irreconcilable wedge between the public school curriculum and the values and moral code of hundreds of thousands of parents. Those parents with deeply held convictions on this matter will have no choice but to remove their children. It is time for all of us to stand up for marriage in Washington State."
-Dr. Bruce Craswell


"A domestic partnership diverts rights and resources from a family to an unrelated adult. These include benefits for dependent children, end of life decisions by older children for elderly parents, and inheritance rights of all surviving family members, just to name a few. The homosexual community emphasizes the fact that they have biological children, yet no child is ever produced by a same sex relationship. There is always an opposite sex partner involved and they can lose their rights as well. Please support genuine marriage and sign R-71!"
- Senator Dan Swecker


"In 2006 the Washington State Supreme Court upheld the legislature's right to ban same sex marriages. The passage of Senate Bill 5688 this year makes same-sex Domestic Partnerships equal to genuine marriage in every practical way. It's passage has essentially overturned our Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and thus diminishes the value of traditional marriage between one man and one women. I urge you to sign R-71 and help us roll back this effort to undermine marriage in Washington State!"
-Senator Val Stevens


"Marriage has been defined historically, culturally and morally as the union of one man and one woman. It is an undeniable truth that families led by both a father and mother provide the best structure and support for children and communities. The recent hostile acts of redefining marriage by state legislators and Governor Gregoire have set the stage for Referendum 71. Their assault on marriage in Washington State must not go unanswered. Marriage is ground that cannot be surrendered and we urge every citizen to rise up and defend marriage by signing Referendum 71."
-Cindy Honcoop, Washington Eagle Forum


"SB 5688 was packaged and presented to the legislature as a Domestic Partnerships expansion of benefits. In truth, it will demolish the state's historical understanding and definition of marriage as Washington will immediately become subject to litigation by same-sex partners demanding the courts overturn our state's Defense of Marriage Act and impose "same-sex marriage" (as happened recently in California prior to Proposition 8). By signing Referendum 71, we will bring this society changing measure before the people of Washington State and let them make this monumental decision in November."-
-Larry Stickney, Washington Values Alliance


"HB 5688, together with other domestic partnership laws in Washington, represent the most radical rewriting of the statutory scheme in this state since the Code of Washington was first revised. R71 is your opportunity to reject the legislature's attempt to overthrow traditional marriage in Washington."
-Stephen Pidgeon, Legal Counsel, Protect Marriage Washington


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Referendum 71 Has Flaws: Guest Post by Trestin Meacham

Reader and fellow blogger Trestin Meacham offers a viewpoint in opposition to guest blogger Dennis Brown on Washington State Referendum 71.

Trestin is an active and noted conservative blogger (check him out
here), and a frequent commenter on many blogs I follow, which is why I am pleased to include his post, and hope you'll read it with interest and respect.


Referendum 71 Has a Major Flaw

While I may disagree with the stance taken by Mr. Brown; I am glad to see him involved, and making his voice heard. A republic can only work if the people remain informed and involved.

I am what Mr. Brown might think of as an ultra conservative. I grew up in a small farming town where traditional values were lived. I am also a person of faith and spent two years of my life as a full time missionary. I DO think that homosexual behavior is wrong, and can be harmful to society. That being said, I have no malice in my heart toward homosexuals. I would never treat a homosexual as anything less than an equal. In my eyes we are all children of God, and each of us have flaws.

I think what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom is neither mine nor the government's business. We live in a free society that allows individuals to live as they please. I, however, do not think that I should be forced to embrace behavior I find to be wrong. What happened to the days of homosexuals just wanting to be left alone?

Mr. Brown states that homosexuality has always existed, and he is right about that. Societies that have in the past openly embraced homosexuality, tend to be in the process of decline. You can find this in Egypt, Greece, and many other great powers of the past. We are now seeing our own nation declining. If or when we recover from this decline remains to be seen.

Putting aside all views of morality, this Referendum 71 has another major flaw.

I do not like the idea of the government dictating what the private sector can and can not do. We already have too much government in our lives. If an employer does not want to grant equal benefits to unmarried or same sex couples, they have that right. If you do not like it you should strike or boycott the company. The Constitution states clearly that all men are created equal.

What did the founders mean by equal? We are promised equal rights, not equal results.

The constitution grants same sex couples the right to speak out on this issue. It gives them the right to strike, leave, or boycott a company that they feel is mistreating them. It also grants an employer freedom in the way he runs his company.

While I may disagree with Mr. Brown on this issue, I thank him for speaking out. I wish more people would get involved in civic affairs.

Very Respectfully,
Trestin Meacham



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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Approve Washington Referendum 71: Guest Post by Dennis Brown

Greetings, Citizen Gonzo readers!

Today, I have a guest post from a Washington State resident who supports the effort to approve R-71. He's a dear friend of mine and Mr. Gonzo's, and he has worked hard on spreading the word to approve this referendum. I hope you'll give him your eyes, ears and respect as he writes about his stance on this issue.

I'm also looking for a blogger or concerned citizen to write in opposition of the referendum, so we can have "point and counterpoint" discussion. Contact me if you are interested by leaving a comment on this post.



Referendum Measure 71 – Save The Domestic Partnership Law

In 2009, after years of debate and careful consideration of all of the facts, the Domestic Partnership Law was overwhelmingly passed by both houses of the Washington State Legislature. This law finally gave basic rights to gay, lesbian, and non-married elderly couples who are in committed relationships, allowing them some, but not all, of the basic legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual married couples in our state.

There are many different kinds of Families today, and the truth is there always have been. Gay and lesbian families are not some modern invention. World history tells us that these families have been documented for many hundreds of years. They have been undeniably persecuted and victimized by those who would seek to deny them basic civil rights. Let’s not forget that there were pink triangles in Hitler’s death camps and gays and lesbians were some of the favorite targets to be singled out for gruesome deaths. If you don’t think gay and lesbian men and women experience discrimination and prejudice in jobs and housing to this day, you are simply out of touch with reality. I have personally experienced this discrimination first hand. It is real. This Referendum is just one more example of one group of people attempting to take away the rights of another group that they don’t “approve of”. That is essentially the definition of prejudice and bigotry.

I am appalled that large numbers of Russian Immigrants have marched in support of this referendum in our state. I guess they would like to see our country be more like the oppressive country they recently fought so hard to leave. Why did they come here in the first place? Wasn’t it because of our laws that allow equal rights for all citizens? Wasn’t it because of freedom? Not freedom and equality for some, but for all? Have they forgotten so soon? I don’t think they thought about it very well before they started marching. This is Not a country that is proud of discrimination. Bigotry, Prejudice, and Hatred are not “Family Values” in America. Maybe they are in Russia. How very, very sad.

Opponents to this law would have you believe that their rigid definition of Family is the only one that should be recognized. They have their legal rights and protections and no one else deserves them. They believe that it is somehow justifiable to deny these basic protections to all families. They must have a very different vision of what America is supposed to be than I do. How has it become “right” that one group can take away rights from another group of citizens because they don’t “approve” of their lifestyle? Is that what we want America to become? Who is next in this “authorized discrimination”? Do we want to allow religious zealots from another state to spread their message of hatred and bigotry here? When will they come for you? Will the Russians be marching because they don’t like something about you and those like you? It’s absolutely scary. If you’re not bothered by these activities, you should be. If you believe in the basic tenants of our Constitution, “That All Men Are Created Equal, Endowed With Inalienable Rights”, you should be angry. I suppose you have the right to pass moral judgment in your home, or if your church promotes judging others, then in your church. But be very clear: This election has nothing to do with your approval or disapproval of a lifestyle. This is a vote about Equal Rights for all citizens in our state.

These rights in question include: the right to take unpaid leave to care for a critically ill loved one without being fired, to be able to cover a partner under family health insurance, to make sure hard-earned pension benefits and death benefits protect children when a parent dies.

Don’t be fooled. An ugly thing is happening here. A small ultra conservative group, funded and encouraged by an extreme, anti-gay religious organization from outside of Washington State, is working to take basic rights away from a small minority of citizens. These are not some “special” rights, as these hate groups have called them, they are basic civil rights. Shouldn’t everyone have the right to visit their loved one in the hospital as they are dying? Shouldn’t you have the right to take unpaid leave to care for a loved one who is critically ill? Is it a special right to be able to stay in a home you have shared with a partner for 30 years?

We cannot allow this sort of bigotry to happen in Washington. We can’t afford to take a giant step backward into the dark ages. The argument that retaining these rights for families protected under the law will somehow weaken or take anything away from heterosexual marriage is absolutely ludicrous. Is heterosexual marriage such a tenuous and fragile thing that it will fall apart so easily? If we believe in long-term committed relationships as being the foundation upon which our Nation is built, how can we say “yes, but only certain committed relationships that we “approve” of. How arrogant and elitist can we get! Don’t be swayed by scare tactics and lies. This is an Equal Rights issue, not an opportunity to pass moral judgment on others. Vote with your heart and with your mind. Remember what it means to all of us to be an American, with Liberty and Justice for ALL.

Approving Ref. 71 ensures that important legal protections are not taken away from committed couples, so that they are able to take care of each other, especially in times of crisis. Keep the domestic partnership law - Vote APPROVE on Ref. 71 by Nov 3.

Washington Citizen
Concerned ForThe Rights Of All Families

Dennis Brown


Dennis Brown is a Seattle Realtor, a member of the Equal Opportunity/Cultural Diversity National Committee of the National Association of Realtors, a Founding Member of the GLTB Cultural Center in Seattle, a Member of the Washington Realtor Diversity Committee, a Founding Member of the SKCR Diversity Committee, 2010 President of the Seattle/King County Realtors, a Certified Instructor for The Washington Housing Finance Committee, a Member of the FPC Committees for Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and Jim McDermott. He is a proud Gay Parent of two amazing children, ages 10 and 16. He believes that he and his Family deserve each and every right provided in the US Constitution and the Laws of Washington State. He believes that there is something very wrong with "Liberty And Justice For Some" and that Institutionlized Discrimination is something we must all fight to stop.





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Friday, October 23, 2009

President's Pet Networks Stand Up for Fox News

Color me relieved. The White House's "pet networks" stood up for Fox News! Surely, they must be wondering, "If the White House can turn on Fox, are we next?"



The Obama administration has no business telling Americans that Fox is "not a news network."

Barring Fox from the media pool was a shocking and shameful call on the White House's part.

People, I ask, "IS THIS YOUR AMERICA?" Do you want the White House telling you where you can and can't get your news? Do you want your presidental administration directing other networks to "isolate" and freeze out a network because they won't cater to the administration's "controlled" media image?



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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So Much for Democracy... DOJ Overrules the Will of the People in Kinston, N.C.

The Washington Times ran a story today that got me all fired up:

Justice concludes black voters need Democratic Party: U.S. blocks N.C. city's nonpartisan vote

I'm pretty much of the opinion that cities, counties and states should be able to self-govern by the vote of their residents and the leadership of their elected officials without too much interference from federal bureaucracy. Therefore, when a city votes nearly 2 to 1 to do away with partisan elections for its city council and mayoral races, I'm inclined to support that outcome. After all, who better to know what will serve voters than the voters themselves?

Apparently, the Department of Justice claims to know better what will serve (black) voters in Kinston, North Carolina.

The Department overruled the city's overwhelming majority vote to adopt nonpartisan elections for city races, stating that "(r)emoving the partisan cue in municipal elections will, in all likelihood, eliminate the single factor that allows black candidates to be elected to office."

What is the "partisan cue?" It's the "D" next to a black candidate's name that prompts white Democrats to vote for that black candidate. Although blacks make up almost two-thirds of the voters in Kinston, the Department of Justice seems to think that they do not have the ability to elect black candidates without white "D" votes.

Does the Department of Justice believe that voters in Kinston are not sophisticated enough to know or learn what a candidate stands for without a party designation?

The Department's ruling goes on to state, "It is the partisan makeup of the general electorate that results in enough white cross-over to allow the black community to elect a candidate of choice."

What is a "candidate of choice" for black voters in Kinston? It's a black candidate, according to the Department.

And why, with black voters comprising nearly two-thirds of the voting rolls, would they have trouble electing a black "candidate of choice?" Maybe they don't show up at the polls. According to the ruling, "black voters have had limited success in electing candidates of choice during recent municipal elections," due to low turnout.

Therefore, the overruling of the city's vote to eliminate partisan elections is a formula: compensate for low minority voter turnout so that minority candidates still get elected.

Is it just me, or does this ruling seem incredibly racist?

To suggest that black voters need an advantage in getting "their" candidates elected when they hold nearly two-thirds of the votes is an insult to those voters. Rather than enabling minority voter apathy, bureaucrats - if they must interfere - should be pushing minorities to show up at the polls, to harness their large numbers, and CREATE the victory.

If you find yourself wondering at this point (as I did) why the Department of Justice has any say over Kinston, North Carolina's voting procedures, look to the Voting Rights Act of 1964, which was enacted to ensure that racism and discrimination did not prohibit blacks from voting. Several areas of the United States were proven to have used screening methods (such as literacy tests) to disqualify otherwise qualified individuals from voter registration, in an effort to prevent blacks from casting a vote. The Voting Rights Act mandated that certain areas, shown to have demonstrated such discrimination, would not be able to change their election or voting procedures without the consent of the Department of Justice. Certain counties in North Carolina fall under the mandate of the Voting Rights Act, and Kinston happens to be in such a county.

Here's where things get fun: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights isn't exactly cheerleading the Department of Justice's decision. The Commission's Abigail Thernstrom points out, " "The Voting Rights Act is supposed to protect against situations when black voters are locked out because of racism... There is no entitlement to elect a candidate they prefer on the assumption that all black voters prefer Democratic candidates."

What about the Department of Justice's assertion that low minority voter turnout must be compensated by a "partisan cue" for white voters to cast votes for the blacks' "candidate of choice?"

"The Voting Rights Act is not supposed to be compensating for failure of voters to show up on Election Day," says Thernstrom. "The Voting Rights Act doesn't guarantee an opportunity to elect a 'candidate of choice.'"

Well said. Why not give black voters the privilege - and the responsibility - of generating their own victories?




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Friday, October 16, 2009

Congressman Dave Reichert Takes AARP to Task on HR 3200, Medigap


I stopped declaring my love for Congressman Reichert when he had some sort of out-of-body experience or demonic possession during a Cap and Trade vote.

I know he's in a swing district, and I was biting my nails all through the wait for the ballot totals during his last race. Still, the Cap and Tax vote came out of left field for many of his supporters. Whether poorly informed on the issue or under pressure from libs in his district, his vote was not in the best interest of Washington State, home to the Columbia River and its many dams, which produce 100% renewable hydro-electric power.

Anyway, it appears the tenacity and brass bullocks he's known for are once again functional as he takes on AARP, and calls for them to explain their support of HR 3200.

In a letter dated September 21, 2009, Reichert states, "...I believe it does a disservice to the millions of seniors you represent to support massive cuts to their Medicare Advantage health plans without disclosing the potential monetary benefit to AARP of seniors' lost coverage resulting in the purchase of AARP-sponsored Medigap plans."

AARP's response, dated October 1st, does little to clarify its position, and fails to answer the Congressman's concerns that AARP may be throwing its members to the wolves while lining their own pockets. It does state that AARP, in reality, has no idea how many of its members may be under Medicare Advantage plans and that "AARP is not an insurance company."

Not content to be double-talked away, Reichert fired off another screed to AARP on October 15th in which he chastises, "(i)t concerns me that you are strongly advocating for cuts to a program when you have no idea the extent to which these cuts will harm your membership."

As for AARP's claim that they are "not an insurance company," Reichert begs to differ, and points out some figures that AARP Chief Operating Officer Thomas C. Nelson is either unaware of or prefers to ignore:

"... 38 percent of your annual total operating revenue came from United HealthCare. Comparatively, only 23 percent of your total operating revenue came from membership dues. AARP makes nearly twice as much from insurance premiums as it does from membership dues. All told, royalties represent 60 percent of AARP's operating revenue... If you are not an insurance company, as you claim, why are you collecting and holding premiums?" (Emphasis added.)

That's a very good question, Congressman.

Photo credit:




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Morning Bell: Obamacare Puts You on Welfare » The Foundry (Part 5 of 5)

Here's the final installment on health care reform. I personally found the entire series to be well-thought and informative. I hope you'll express to The Heritage Foundation how much your appreciate their work!

Morning Bell: Obamacare Puts You on Welfare » The Foundry



This Morning Bell is the final installment of a five-part week-long series on how Obamacare will affect you.

Lost in all of last weeks headlines on how the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) finally delivered a health care product that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was willing to say would reduce the deficit, was how exactly they achieved it. At a price tag of $829 billion, the SFC ’framework’ will reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 29 million, moving the overall percentage of nonelderly Americans with health insurance from 83% in 2010 to 94% in 2019. But of those 29 million with new insurance coverage, almost half (14 million), will get their coverage through the welfare programs Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). That is equivalent to adding every resident of Ohio and Nevada to the welfare rolls.

In other words, for half of those Americans who are being promised health reform, they are going to be stunned to find themselves in a welfare office applying for Medicaid. Under the current baselines for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), there will be 76 million individuals served by these programs for at least some part of the year in 2019. If the SFC proposal becomes law, the number on Medicaid/SCHIP will top 90 million. So why do Obamacare supporters want to put 90 million Americans on the welfare rolls? It is cheaper than providing them with real quality health care.

Medicaid was originally created to provide access to health care for families on welfare. Medicaid pays providers 20-25 percent less than does the private sector, forcing doctors and hospitals to subsidize Medicaid through lower rates. This deters doctors and hospitals from participating in the program, creating a lack of access that itself is a form of rationing. As Time magazine reported this July: “But there are real questions as to whether the program could handle the strain of that many new clients. Already, it is difficult in some areas to find health-care providers who are willing to accept Medicaid patients.”

Even those who are not pushed into welfare will feel the strain on the health care system. The majority of individuals moved into Medicaid will be young and healthy. Keeping them on welfare rolls will shift even more costs to individuals and families buying private health insurance, as doctors and hospitals recoup their losses from Medicare/SCHIP by charging more to the privately insured. In effect, the congressional policy seems to be to expand dependency by discriminating against individuals based on their income.

And then there is the effect on states. The CBO estimates that the Finance Committee plan will cost states $33 billion over 10 years. But even that may be a low estimate. Governor Phil Bredesen (D-TN) has warned that the costs for his state alone could be as high as $3 billion. Thanks to strings attached to Obama’s failed stimulus, states already are facing an erosion of their authority to manage their Medicaid programs. The true cost to taxpayers in the states will only become apparent as spending for education, child welfare, public health, and investment in transportation systems and infrastructure are crowded out over time.

As Heritage Senior Fellow Dennis Smith reminds us:

"In June, President Obama told Senate Democrats, 'As we move forward on health care reform, it is not sufficient for us simply to add more people to Medicare or Medicaid.' Unfortunately, that is precisely what Congress is going to do with the Baucus proposal."




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Morning Bell: Obamacare Forces You to Fund Abortions » The Foundry (Part 4 of 5)

Here's the fourth installment of the five-part series on health reform. I find the statistics on current support for legalized abortion especially interesting:

Morning Bell: Obamacare Forces You to Fund Abortions » The Foundry

This Morning Bell is the fourth in a five-part week-long series on how Obamacare will affect you.

“Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions,” Or so President Barack Obama promised to the American people in his health care address before a Joint Session of Congress on September 9th. But then why did the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops send a letter to Congress on October 8th writing: “No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. … No current bill meets this test”?

Who is telling the truth? The President or the Bishops? Last Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked this question during his daily press briefing and answered: “Well, I don’t want to get me in trouble at church, but I would mention there’s a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion that isn’t going to be changed in these health care bills.” Unsatisfied, the CNS News’ Fred Lucas again pressed on Friday:


"The Catholic bishops have repeatedly said that the Hyde amendment would not apply to the health care bill and yesterday in the letter that they sent to Congress they said that if language expressly prohibiting abortion funding is not added to the health care bill, they will vigorously — 'vigorously oppose' — that’s a quote — the bill. My question on that, does the President support the bishops on this?"


Gibbs replied:

"My answer isn’t different than it was on Wednesday. There may be a legal interpretation that has been lost here, but there’s a fairly clear federal law prohibiting the federal use of money for abortion. I think it is — again, it’s exceedingly clear in the law."


How to put this politely … it is safe to say that Gibbs’ above statement is less than true. The next time anyone tries to convince you otherwise, that the White House is telling the truth ask them where exactly in the Federal Code it says this. The truth is… it doesn’t.

But what about the Hyde amendment mentioned by the White House reporter? Is the Hyde amendment not the law of the land? No, it is not even a statute. First passed in 1976 by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) as a rider to the Health and Human Services appropriations bill, the Hyde amendment must be passed again every year as part of the HHS appropriations bill and even then it only applies to current HHS programs. The Hyde amendment would do nothing to stop Obamacare from funding abortions and all the versions of Obamacare passed by Congressional committees so far do exactly that.

Conservatives introduced amendments in all five committee markups (three in the House and two in the Senate) that would have specifically prohibited federal funds from being used to cover abortion. None of them passed. Worse, the “compromise” the White House has adopted is an amendment sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) who has a 100% pro-abortion voting record according to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). Not only does the Capps amendment allow for federal money to subsidize abortions in private plans and mandate federal funding for abortions in the public option (this according to FactCheck.org), it also requires that at least one insurance plan cover abortion in every geographical region in the country.

In 2007, then candidate Barack Obama promised Planned Parenthood: “We’re gonna set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services including reproductive services. … We will also subsidize those who choose to stay in the private insurance market, except, the insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care including reproductive care.” A Rasmussen poll released last month showed that only 13% of Americans want the health-care reform bill to use tax dollars to fund abortions, clearly demonstrating that even most pro-choice believers do not favor taxpayer funded abortions. A Pew Research Center poll two weeks ago showed that support for legalized abortion has dropped to its lowest level in years to 47%, down from 54% last year. Obama can either please NARAL and Planned Parenthood or he can honor the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of Americans. He can’t do both.




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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Morning Bell: It’s All Downhill From Here » The Foundry (Part 3 of 5)

This piece from The Foundry is third in a series of five on proposed health care reform:

Morning Bell: It’s All Downhill From Here » The Foundry

This Morning Bell is the third in a five-part week-long series on how Obamacare will affect you.

The scariest part about yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee vote passing its version of Obamacare, is not what is in their bill (to the extent that it even exists), but that the Finance Committee bill promises to be the high water mark for “bipartisanship” in health care reform.

Now all of the other bills will be merged together behind the closed doors. All the bills are fundamentally flawed and will only get worse as the leaders in the House and Senate have to commit to actual details.

COST — All the proposals carry a hefty price tag. The Finance bill estimates start at $829 billion. Preliminary estimates of the House Tri-Committee bill put the price tag over $1 Trillion and adding another $245 billion to the deficit. Preliminary estimates of the HELP Committee bill would add $598 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. And the outlook for the following ten years looks far far worse.

EMPLOYER MANDATE - More spending means more taxes. All the proposals include new taxes on employers. Taxes on employers will ultimately result in lower wages, fewer jobs, and slower economic growth. According to The Heritage Foundation, the mandates, like those in the House bill, could cost businesses up to $49 billion a year, 10.2 million workers will be at risk of slower wage growth and cuts in other benefits, and as many as 9 million low-wage and part-time workers will lose their employer-based health insurance.

PUBLIC PLAN - All the proposals include the creation of a new government health plan. The Finance proposal calls it a co-op while the House Tri-Committee bill and the Senate HELP Committee all call it a new public plan. Despite what activists on the left claim, a government run health insurance “option” will not be on a level playing field with other private options. The playing field will be skewed to push millions out of Americans out of their current private health insurance and into the government run plan.

INDIVIDUAL MANDATE - All the proposals force every Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, some even threatening jail time if they do not comply. Such a mandate is a massive tax increase on individuals and families whose health insurance does not meet the new federally determined standards. This means that Congress will, for the first time in U.S. history, force Americans to buy federally designed packages of health benefits, even if they do not want or need those benefits.

MEDICAID EXPANSION - Hidden in all the proposals is a massive expansion of the Medicaid program. The result is millions more Americans would be dependent on this growing entitlement program. This means more costs to taxpayers, less flexibility for the states, and worsening markets for the privately insured.

MEDICARE CUTS - All the proposals depend heavily on billions in Medicare cuts to pay for their versions of Obamacare. Traditionally, such cuts rarely come to fruition. Special interests lobby to stop any real cuts from occurring after the bill is passed. And some so-called fraud, waste and abuse cuts, like those to the Medicare Advantage, will put millions of seniors’ benefits at risk.

Do high costs, government expansion, huge tax increases, major unfunded expansions in Medicaid and major cuts to Medicare sound like a recipe for success? It’s all downhill from here.



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