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Author Archives: Suzanne

On The Road Again

One of the things that Washington, DC is known for, other than corruption in government and a spectacularly high crime rate [1], is how difficult it is to drive there. It is congested [2], the layout is baffling, and its famous DuPont Circle is a notorious example of an intersection to be avoided at all costs.

Understandably, it’s a very common occurrence for people to become disoriented while driving in DC. This is exactly what happened to a hapless IRS employee who, a few days ago, made the worst left-hand turn of his life. It happened to put him right behind a motorcade carrying the Obama girls, and when he wasn’t stopped at a security checkpoint, he unknowingly followed it all the way into The White House perimeter before being pulled over.

After being arrested and investigated, it was determined that it was an accidental wrong turn and that he wasn’t a threat. However, he is still being charged with misdemeanor unlawful entry, which can carry a sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine [3]. You heard correctly; this poor guy is facing half a year in jail for accidentally getting too close to the royal heirs.

I realize that there is a need for strong security for The First Family; however, the situation with this confused IRS agent seems too similar to the treatment that a lowly commoner would get for getting too close to royalty in centuries past.  The guy didn’t do or intend any harm and the real fault lies with whoever let him in in the first place.

With the extravagant vacations, huge staff, designer clothing, and constant association with celebrities that the Obamas indulge in, it feels like this is just one more facet of their royalty complex. Imagine what would have happened to the poor guy if he laid eyes on the precious princesses.

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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

That Doesn’t Cover It

Have you gone online and enrolled for your Cover Oregon health plan yet? You know, the plan with the catchy commercials that cost $10 million [1]? You know, the plan with the website that we spent $160 million to develop[1]?  What’s that you say? No? You haven’t gone online to enroll? Oh well, don’t be too discouraged, because nobody else has either.

The fact of the matter is that even though Oregon received a $48 million “early innovator grant” for showing the country how to be a model Obamacare participant, our fine state has completely failed to deliver on its promise that we’d all be healthy, insured, and singing folk songs together by today. And this is in spite of receiving $305 million dollars in federal grants to get it done. Governor Kitzhaber must have misspoke when he assured us that we were “in really good shape” and that we’d “come through this very well,” even after consultants warned him ahead of time that the system was doomed [2].

This embarrassing failure, which has been described as “massive” [1] and “spectacular” [2], did not prevent the good folks at Cover Oregon from enrolling 4,000 illegal immigrants with full coverage after hiring several hundred people to process paper applications [1]. This could be due to the fact that the Cover Oregon employees were told to push through enrollments even if they lacked a social security number [1]. But even with all the illegal immigrants and shady practices to help, they’ve only enrolled about 64,000 people in health plans. Considering how much they’ve spent, that’s a cost of over $4,700 per person just to enroll them.

So what’s next for the state of health care in the State of Oregon? It looks like we’re going to return to the loving fold of the federal insurance marketplace. Won’t that be nice?

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Corruption, Government

 

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The Papal Presidential Predicament

Our President is in the midst of a week-long European tour to try to drum up support for sanctions against Russia to dissuade them from their invasion the Crimean Peninsula. Although he is pretty busy, the Prez was still able to take some time from his Putin wrist-slapping schedule to go and have a chat with the Pope. In case you’re wondering, he didn’t go for spiritual advice.

If you listen to Obama’s comments about the meeting, he went to visit the pope to discuss his new talking point, income inequality. Pope Francis has been outspoken when it comes to poverty issues, and Obama, seeing what he thought was a surefire endorsement of his political agenda, went to get a moral stamp of approval. Obama stated that he was moved by the Pope “not simply thinking in terms of our own narrow self-interests,” and that “social schisms” were “not a topic of conversation. [1]

But according to the Vatican’s statement about the meeting, the two leaders talked about issues of concern for the Church in the US, namely “rights to religious freedom, life, and conscientious objection [2],” which is basically what you’d think the Pope would want to bring up with our pro-abortion, pro-birth control mandate, anti-conscientious objection President. According to the Vatican, they also discussed immigration reform and the need to eradicate human trafficking.

You might be asking yourself, why is there such a discrepancy in the description of the focus of the meeting? Why would one side say that they talked about moral issues, and the other side say that it never came up? Could it be that President Obama, who has caused a fair amount of discord between himself and Catholic leaders in the US, wants to distance himself from any moral disagreements so he can point to a papal endorsement of his wealth redistribution plans?

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Politicking

 

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Check Your Privilege

Whenever I hear the term “white privilege,” I can feel my blood pressure rising. White privilege is the idea that every white person has an easier life than anyone of any other race just because they’re white. And when whites point out that they have never received any special privileges because of their race, proponents of the white privilege idea conveniently assert that whites are all so privileged that they can’t even see how privileged they really are.

Anyone looking at this concept objectively can see that there is no way this can be universally true. Not every white person is affluent, well-educated, or receives enough inherited wealth to set them up for a care-free existence. Nor is every minority poor, uneducated, or discriminated against on a daily basis. It is simply ridiculous to believe this is the case and yet, there are people who actually think this is true.

I realize that our nation is not perfect, and that there is a legitimate history of official racial discrimination. I also realize that situations may be harder for minorities in different places around the country than they are here in Oregon. However, public policies of racial discrimination are a thing of the past, and the remaining prejudices of a minority of whites are no excuse to demonize the entire Caucasian race as the hereditary oppressors of the world.

The concept of white privilege, by its very prejudicial nature, cannot do anything to soothe the remaining racial tensions in our country. It is not a concept of reconciliation. It is a concept of assigning guilt to all whites for every injustice of the past. It is a concept of telling minorities that they simply can’t succeed and that it’s the fault of the white majority.  Quite simply, a philosophy whose only focus is telling people how much they are held down can never succeed in raising them up.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Equality

 

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Doctor Doctor, Give Me the News

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The Affordable Health Care Act does not make health care more affordable. You can’t ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care by simply mandating that people buy insurance.

One reason why mandated insurance isn’t the answer is that there is more demand for medical care than there are doctors to supply it. Insurance won’t help you if you can’t get in to see a doctor, either because the wait time is just too long or because doctors won’t take your sub-standard insurance [1]. This already is the case with Medicare. The compensation simply isn’t worth it to many doctors, and Obamacare is going to be in the same category [1]. This will put millions more people into the already overloaded system of doctors that accept the government’s cut rate plans, which means less access to care for patients.

There’s a reason we don’t have a surplus of doctors. It takes from 11 to 14 years of education and training to become a doctor and comes with an average debt of over $166,000 [2]. Residents work enough hours for two full time jobs for years with poor compensation. People who are willing to go through this kind of ordeal are not common, and they will be even less common if they can’t expect to be compensated for their initial investment of time and money.

We should be finding ways of increasing the supply of care, like encouraging more direct primary care and nurse practitioners, instead of focusing on running the insurance industry into the ground.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Economics

 

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Dear Mr. President

During the State of the Union address, President Obama stated, “Americans understand that some people will earn more than others, and we don’t resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success” [1]. Now, while I don’t expect the President of the United States to respond to a mere plebian like me, I still have some questions about what he meant by this statement.

Mr. President, you state that Americans understand that some people will earn more than others. I assume that means that you also think Americans have at least a rudimentary understanding of skilled labor versus unskilled labor and the value of experience. Why, then, Mr. President, do you advocate for paying unskilled laborers in minimum wage positions the same wage as someone that has a job that requires a college degree? In your opinion, why should an unskilled 16-year old starting at McDonalds earn as much as a lab technician or Head Start teacher with a bachelor’s degree? How is it equitable to have someone invest in an education just to earn what a completely unskilled laborer can earn?

Mr. President, I’m also confused by your assertion that you don’t resent those who achieve incredible success. This seems to be quite at odds with some of the things you and your campaign said about your opponent, Mitt Romney, in the last election. If you don’t resent people for working hard and being successful, why would you try to bully them into releasing their tax information to the public to make them look bad? At the time, Mr. President, it sure seemed like resentment of Romney’s wealth and success played a big part in your strategy to win a second term. How do your friends in the Occupy Wall street movement feel about your newfound acceptance of people who are incredibly successful?

Maybe, Mr. President, if you get a minute, you could give us some clarification.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Economics

 

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Patience Smatience

If you’re a busy President whose nominees keep getting blocked by the Senate, what are you to do? I mean, your staffers did a lot of hard work coming up with that list of names and those jerks over in Congress keep shooting them down. You can’t be making a new list every time the legislators think your nominees are unsuitable because that starts to seriously eat into your golfing schedule, so in the interest of saving time, you just skip the step of finding candidates that are acceptable to all parties and just appoint who you want. Sounds, reasonable, right?

Well, that’s just what our dear leader did. The Senate wouldn’t allow votes on his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, so he used the constitutional power of making recess appointments to fill the vacancies. The only problem with that is that the Senate wasn’t in recess when he did it. Recess appointments are a means to temporarily fill a position when the Senate is in recess, not to side step the system of checks and balances that allows the legislative branch some control over the executive branch’s nominees.

But our current chief executive doesn’t really think that that dusty old constitution applies to him. If Congress doesn’t like his nominees, he’ll just put them in himself. If Congress won’t play ball, then by golly, he’s got his pen ready to sign all the executive orders he could possibly need to push his agenda through, or as he puts it, “move the ball forward” [1]. There will be no “waiting for legislation” [1] for this president.

But this time, it looks like even his loyal supporters in the Supreme Court can’t justify his abuse of power in making recess appointments when there is no recess. When Justice Kagan won’t back him up, that’s when you know that he’s really crossed the line. All I can say it that it’s about time.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Corruption, Government

 

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