Sunday, March 28, 2010

What The Republicans Should Do Now

(Editor's Note: This originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal, and was sent to me by a friend. Considering the timeliness and author, I thought our readers might find it provocative.)

By Karl Rove
Democrats are celebrating victory. The public outcry against what they've done doesn't seem to bother them. They take it as validation that they are succeeding at transforming America. 

But we've seen this movie before and it won't end happily for Democrats. Their morale rose when the stimulus passed in February 2009. The press hailed it as a popular answer to joblessness and a sluggish economy. At the time, Democrats thought it brightened their chances in the 2009 gubernatorial elections. 

But a flawed bill, bumbling implementation, and unfulfilled expectations turned the stimulus into a big drag on Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey. A CBS News/New York Times poll recently reported that only 6% of Americans believe the stimulus package created jobs.

Democratic hopes that passing health-care reform will help them politically will be unfulfilled because ObamaCare only benefits a small number of people in the short run. Until the massive subsidies to insurance companies fully ramp up in 2017, this bill will be more pain than gain for most Americans. 

For example, changes in insurance regulations in 2011 and two new mandates in 2014 that force everyone to buy insurance and require everyone to be charged a similar price regardless of age or health will cause insurance premiums to rise more than they would have otherwise. The 10 million people who have a health savings account will also be hurt starting in 2011. With each passing year after that, they will be able to put less away tax free for medical expenses. 

ObamaCare cuts $1.8 billion in support for Medicare Advantage this October, another $5.8 billion in October 2011, and an additional $9.2 billion right before the 2012 presidential election. This will increase premiums and reduce benefits for the 4.5 million people in the program.

Drug companies will start raising prices to pay billions in new taxes they will have to pay starting next year. New taxes on medical devices and insurance companies will show up in higher prices and premiums before long.

Polls may show a temporary increase in the president's popularity, but underlying public opinion about this law is not likely to change just because the president hits the trail to sell it. After all, he made 58 speeches before the measure passed, including two in prime time.

Before that string of speeches the public was in favor of the concept of health-care reform by a ratio of 2 to 1. Afterward, about 60 percent of the public was opposed to the president's plan. Those who strongly opposed outnumbered those strongly in favor by 2 to 1 or better in most polls.

Tens of millions of ordinary people watched the deliberations, studied the proposals, and made up their minds. Their concerns about spending, deficits and growing government power are not going away.

Nor is their opposition to ObamaCare. According to a new CNN poll, majorities of Americans believe that they will pay more for medical care, the federal deficit will increase, and that government will be too involved in health care under the president's plan. 

Democrats claim they've rallied their left-wing base. But that base isn't big enough to carry the fall elections, particularly after the party alienated independents and seniors. The only way Democrats win a base election this year will be if opponents of this law stay home.

To keep that from happening, Republican candidates must focus on ObamaCare's weaknesses. It will cost $2.6 trillion in its first decade of operation and is built on Madoff-style financing. For example, it double counts Social Security payroll taxes, long-term care premiums, and Medicare savings in order to make it appear more fiscally responsible. In reality, ObamaCare isn't $143 billion in the black, as Democrats have claimed, but $618 billion in the red. And giving the IRS $10 billion to hire about 16,000 agents to enforce the new taxes and fees in ObamaCare will drive small business owners crazy.

Republicans have a powerful rallying cry in "repeal, replace and reform." Few voters will want to keep onerous mandates that hit individuals and taxes that hobble economic growth. Rather than spending a trillion dollars on subsidies for insurance companies and Medicaid expansion, as ObamaCare does, Republicans should push for giving individuals the same health-insurance tax break businesses get, which would cost less. 

Republicans must also continue to press for curbing junk lawsuits, enabling people to buy insurance across state lines, increasing the amount of money they can sock away tax free for medical expenses, and permitting small businesses to pool risk.

Opponents of ObamaCare have decisively won the battle for public opinion. As voters start to feel the pain of this new program, Republicans will be in a stronger position if they stay in the fight, make a principled case, and lay out a competing vision. 

About Karl Rove:
Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.
Before becoming known as "The Architect" of President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.
Rove writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, is a Newsweek columnist and is the author of the forthcoming book "Courage and Consequence" (Threshold Editions).
Email the author at, visit him on the web at or, you can send a Tweet to @karlrove

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gregoire Livid With McKenna Over Obamacare Lawsuit

As soon as Obamacare was signed into law, Attorney General Rob Mckenna — a Republican — announced he would join in a lawsuit with several other states challenging the constitutionality of the measure. The challenge is based on the 10th Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, that says the Federal Government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to force citizens to purchase a private product i.e. health insurance. Unlike Social Security and Medicare, where the Federal Government imposes taxes for the purpose of providing a specific service, Obamacare requires private citizens to purchase health insurance or face a fine.

Governor Christine Gregoire is absolutely livid. It’s no secret she would love nothing better than to score a job in the Obama administration, and be relieved of dealing with the mess she’s created in Olympia. McKenna’s action, which amounts to nothing more than holding the Federal Government accountable for an act that is unconstitutional on its face, won’t help her further that goal. However, accountability isn’t a high priority among the ruling class.

The Democrats are seriously scared of the squeaky clean McKenna, who is so popular he tallied over 54 percent of the vote in heavily liberal King County his last election. With McKenna positioning himself for a run at the Governor’s mansion in 2012, the Democrats are using that lawsuit as an excuse to discredit him and soil his Boy Scout image in any way possible. Within hours of the announcement, we began receiving press releases from various state agencies denouncing McKenna’s decision, including one from Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler, who in my view is perhaps the most incompetent elected official in the state — except for maybe Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Look for more mud-slinging in the future. The arrogant, Democratic-controlled state legislature is working to undermine McKenna by trying to cut off his funding. Meanwhile, the party’s disinformation machine  is already running in high gear, promoting their standard class warfare strategy, plus accusing the AG of being a puppet of the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) — a group which regularly and rabidly supports conservative Republicans. Ironically, McKenna is embroiled in a major lawsuit against BIAW, which has its public relations apparatus working overtime to discredit him as well.

Mckenna is one of the good guys — a man of principled integrity. I believe voters will see through this political BS for exactly what it is, and continue to elect him — no matter what office he runs for.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wal-Mart vs. Congress

Here's some food for thought...

Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart every hour of every day. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute of every day.

Wal-Mart will sell more from Jan. 1, to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.

Wal-Mart is bigger than Costco, Target, Home Depot, Sears, K-Mart and Kroger — combined.

Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people — most of whom speak English — and is the world's largest private employer. It's also the largest company in the history of the world.

Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind it came to do this in only 15 years. During this same period, 31 supermarket chains declared bankruptcy. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store on the planet.

Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the U.S., of which more than 1,900 are Super Centers. This is 1,000 more than it had just 5 years ago.

This year, over 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at a Wal-Mart store. By comparison, the Earth's total population is approximately 6.5 billion.

90 percent of all Americans now live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.

Perhaps President Obama should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix our economy  — not the morons who don't understand how it actually works, that he has in charge of it now.

Here's something all Americans — Democrats and Republicans alike — from the President to all 535 voting members of Congress, and everyone on down should think about...

• The U.S. Post Office was established in 1775. The federal government has had 234 years to get it right, and today, it's BROKE.

• Social Security was established in 1935. The federal government has had 74 years to get it right, and today, it's BROKE.

• The War on Poverty started in 1964. The federal government has had 45 years to get it right. Over $1 trillion of our money has been confiscated and transferred to "the poor," and they still want more.

• Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. The federal government has had 44 years to get it right and today, both are BROKE.

• Fannie Mae was established in 1938. The federal government has had 71 years to get it right and today, it's BROKE.

• Freddie Mac was established in 1970. The federal government has had 39 years to get it right, and today, it's BROKE.

• The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year — and we now import more oil than ever before. The federal government has had 32 years to get this right, and of course, today it is an abysmal FAILURE.

The federal government has FAILED at every "government service" it has shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.

In 1990, the federal government seized the ubiquitous Mustang Ranch in Nevada — perhaps the most infamous brothel to ever exist — after charging the owners with tax evasion. It went broke running it. With all this in mind, our government is asking us to trust running the economy of our country, our banking system, our auto industry — and now turn over the worlds most advanced health care system — to the  same morons who couldn't make money selling whiskey in a whore house!

Like I said, maybe the president should think about putting the people who run Wal-Mart in charge of everything economic. They at least understand how to make a buck.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CNN Finally Grows a Pair

Ever since Barack Obama burst onto the presidential stage, Cable News Network (CNN) along with MSNBC, have certainly been less than objective in their coverage of him. They have acted more like his press agents than actual news media, refusing to question or criticize anything he says or does. Throughout the healthcare debate both networks have been openly supportive of his efforts — no matter what kind of Chicago-style backroom deals (read: Nebraska Purchase) Congress has made. That's why it was refreshing to see CNN finally grow a pair of cojones. Find the results here.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Atatomy of a Failed Presidency

This was forwarded by a friend. I'm not professing an opinion one way or the other, but thought it was worth sharing as it provides some food for thought — or at least for those thinking people with an open mind who aren't blindly harnessed to any specific political philosophy...

Dr. Hunt is a social and cultural anthropologist. He has had nearly 30 years experience in planning, conducting, and managing research in the field of youth studies, and drug and alcohol research. Currently Dr. Hunt is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Scientific Analysis and the Principal Investigator on three National Institutes of Health projects. He is also a writer for American Thinker.

Another Failed Presidency

An article from American Thinker
By Geoffrey P. Hunt
Barack Obama is on track to have the most spectacularly failed presidency since Woodrow Wilson. In the modern era, we've seen several failed presidencies--led by Jimmy Carter and LBJ. Failed presidents have one strong common trait — they are repudiated, in the vernacular, spat out.

Of course, LBJ wisely took the exit ramp early, avoiding a shove into oncoming traffic by his own party. Richard Nixon indeed resigned in disgrace, yet his reputation as a statesman has been partially restored by his triumphant overture to China.

But, Barack Obama is failing. Failing big. Failing fast. And failing everywhere: foreign policy, domestic initiatives, and most importantly, in forging connections with the American people. The incomparable Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal put her finger on it: He is failing because he has no understanding of the American people, and may indeed loathe them. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard says he is failing because he has lost control of his message, and is overexposed. Clarice Feldman of American Thinker produced a dispositive commentary showing that Obama is failing because fundamentally he is neither smart nor articulate; his intellectual dishonesty is conspicuous by its audacity and lack of shame. But, there is something more seriously wrong: How could a new president riding in on a wave of precedented promise and goodwill have forfeited his tenure and become a lame duck in six months? His poll ratings are in free fall. In generic balloting, the Republicans have now seized a five point advantage. 

This truly is unbelievable. What's going on?
No narrative. Obama doesn't have a narrative. No, not a narrative about himself. He has a self-narrative, much of it fabricated, cleverly disguised or written by someone else. But this self-narrative is isolated and doesn't connect with us. He doesn't have an American narrative that draws upon the rest of us. All successful presidents have a narrative about the American character that intersects with their own where they display a command of history and reveal an authenticity at the core of their personality that resonates in a positive endearing way with the majority of Americans. We admire those presidents whose narratives not only touch our own, but who seem stronger, wiser, and smarter than we are. Presidents we admire are aspirational peers, even those whose politics don't align exactly with our own: Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Harry Truman, Ike, and Reagan. 

But not this president. It's not so much that he's a phony, knows nothing about economics, and is historically illiterate and woefully small minded for the size of the task — all contributory of course. It's that he's not one of us. And whatever he is, his profile is fuzzy and devoid of content, like a cardboard cutout made from delaminated corrugated paper. Moreover, he doesn't command our respect and is unable to appeal to our own common sense. His notions of right and wrong are repugnant and how things work just don't add up. They are not existential. His descriptions of the world we live in don't make sense and don't correspond with our experience.

In the meantime, while we've been struggling to take a measurement of this man, he's dissed just about every one of us — financiers, energy producers, banks, insurance executives, police officers, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, post office workers, and anybody else who has a non-green job. Expect Obama to lament at his last press conference in 2012: "For those of you I offended, I apologize. For those of you who were not offended, you just didn't give me enough time; if only I'd had a second term, I could have offended you too."

Mercifully, the Founders at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 devised a useful remedy for such a desperate state — staggered terms for both houses of the legislature and the executive. An equally abominable Congress can get voted out next year. With a new Congress, there's always hope of legislative gridlock until we vote for president again two short years after that.

Yes, small presidents do fail, Barack Obama among them. The coyotes howl, but the wagon train keeps rolling along. 

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." — Margaret Thatcher: 
"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both." — James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

"The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." — Tacitus

"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything he doesn't own." — Unknown

Monday, March 01, 2010

Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders Announces Re-election Bid

 Sanders vows “to Protect our Individual Rights”

Justice Richard B. Sanders has announced he will seek another term on the Washington State Supreme Court. First elected in 1995, Sanders has become well-known as a defender of the protection of civil liberties and individual rights, calling them his number one priority.

“I believe in protecting our individual rights as guaranteed in the state and federal constitutions,” said Sanders in a press release. “The Court should decide cases not to arrive at a predetermined outcome, but to uphold the principles we believe in. That’s what I’ve done for 15 years even when the result is controversial, but that’s the job description.”

Sanders boasts broad support from across the political spectrum. His campaign co-chairs include former chair of the Washington State Republican Party, Dale Foreman, as well as Democrat Wes Uhlman, a former Seattle Mayor, Lenell Nussbaum, former president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Lem Howell, a former member of the Board of Governors for the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.

Former Democratic State Senator and Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge and former Republican State Senator Stephen Johnson have also endorsed Sanders.

Sanders was first elected to the court in a special election in 1995 and re-elected to full terms in 1998 and 2004. Before his term on the bench, he was a practicing trial attorney in Bellevue.

Sanders is an authority on the Washington State Constitution which contains greater protection of individual liberties than the federal constitution, and often cites Article One, Section One of the State Constitution, which states “governments … are established to protect and maintain individual rights,” saying he sees protecting those rights as paramount to his role on the Court.

“We see many cases come before the Court where the government has overstepped its bounds and usurped a person’s individual liberty, and I oppose it,” Sanders said. “I was taught that we’re a free country and I want to do everything I can to preserve that freedom for future generations.”

Sanders noted one case when the government confiscated property without giving the owner notice — they just posted it on their website. In another case, he strongly dissented from the court’s decision to deny citizens their right of referendum on the Safeco Field stadium tax.

“The people’s right of referendum must not be held hostage by the very legislature it was designed to check,” he opined.” This is not the way we want our government to behave.”

While Sanders refuses to be labeled, he has been the court’s most outspoken jurist, especially when it comes to public disclosure and open government. His views have led to decisions embraced by liberals and conservatives alike, including  ruling in favor of a medical marijuana user, and as well as decisions supporting gun rights and property rights.

“Secret government leads to tyranny and we must enforce the Public Records Act as written,” he stated.

“A Justice should not pick and choose which constitutional rights they want to uphold,” said Sanders. “All our rights are precious and were put in the Constitution for a reason. When we go to court we are all equals from the largest corporation to the most humble of our fellow citizens.”

During his term on the court, Sanders has not shied away from controversy, believing those in government are not above the law and must be held accountable — the same as any private citizen. He has authored over 566 opinions — more than any other justice on the court during his tenure — and litigated more appeals when he was in private practice than most other Justices

He wrote in a Seattle Times opinion piece, “If the rule of law means anything, it must mean at least this: Those who act or are in positions of authority in our government are subject to the same laws as everyone else. This has been the American tradition, the crown jewel of a free society, a government of laws, not of men.”

“However,” Sanders also wrote, “under the Bush administration, we learned we could no longer take the rule of law for granted.”

During Sanders’ 26 years as a lawyer in private practice, he was viewed as an expert in property issues and often successfully defended the “little guy” and the small family business. “Sometimes I may say things that are not politically correct,” said Sanders. “But telling the truth is my first responsibility and that’s my choice as a free citizen. Thomas Jefferson said, ‘The God who gave us life gave us liberty,’ and I believe that. That’s how I want to live my life and serve on the Court.”