More government run health care

From Bruce Kesler, formerly of the Democracy Project, who now writes on Maggie’s Farm:


No New Medicaid Patients Accepted

If Medicaid in Washington state has been reimbursing pharmacies at 86% — and now 84% — of the drugs average wholesale price, of course pharmacies are going to have to stop accepting Medicaid. Not only do the pharmacies lose money on the drug itself, but the pharmacies also lose out on the profits made from selling prescription medications, meaning that they are working for free — no salaries covered, no overhead paid — even when you exclude the loss on the drugs themselves.

ObamaCare is a great unknown: the proponents make claims concerning how well it will perform, while the opponents don’t believe that the claims are valid.

But if past performance is any indicator of future results, we can look at how government run health care has done in the past, and the results in looking at Medicare — which seriously underpays for the treatment of Medicare patients — and Medicaid are instructive.

President Obama has come up with a plan which continues to rely on the for-profit health insurance industry and the for-profit health care industry. At least, in that regard, he recognizes what has worked so well for most Americans.

But the President has also come up with proposals which would make earning a profit far more difficult for those industries, and if they can’t make a profit, they go out of business. When I look at how the existing socialized health care coverage systems of Medicare and Medicaid perform, I see more evidence of a government which may say it appreciates private enterprise, but has absolutely no notion of what it takes to keep private enterprises running.

Even In California, Incumbent Dems Are Vulnerable

Senator Barbara Boxer, a three-term California Democrat, is facing stiff competition in her re-election bid. In a state where Obama won with 61 percent of the vote, and where ObamaCare is favored more than nationally, and where Obama’s favorability numbers are greater than nationally, Boxer is in a fight for her political life.

Not only does she have three Republican hopefuls within striking range of her, with one deemed by Rasmussen in a virtual dead-heat, she also has to face the very likely possibility of a Democrat Primary challenge. Assemblyman Chuck DeVore and businesswoman Carly Fiorina both trail Boxer by 46 to 40 margins, well within striking distance, while former Congressman Tom Campbell trails Boxer by a 43 to 41 margin (a virtual dead-heat). As Rasmussen states, and logic strongly suggests, any incumbent with poll numbers below 50 percent this close to an election is vulnerable. And Boxer polls below 50 percent against all three Republican hopefuls. Remember, this is in a state that voted 61 percent for Obama, has a stronger favorability for Obama than nationwide and has a stronger favorability for ObamaCare than nationwide. And yet, Boxer is vulnerable to all three Republican challengers.

But Boxer’s problems don’t stop at the Democrat/Republican divide. She has a challenger from within her own party in Mickey Kaus. Now, my reading of the Kaus Files suggests Kaus favors ObamaCare as does Boxer, but I did find some interesting reading, which could turn a few heads. Mickey Kaus is not necessarily as pro-union as many Democrats, but rather he favors personal responsibility more than some unions.

I know this item reads like it was written in 1984 (when Gary Hart made an issue of firing incompetent teachers in his campaign against Walter Mondale). That’s because the situation in the unionized public schools has not improved markedly in 25 years. Believe me, I wish the neoliberalism of the late ’70s weren’t so relevant. … The only hope in L.A. seems to be the non-trivial inroads made by independently-run charter schools. The union is staging a candlelight vigil tomorrow [pdf file] to try to stop their progress.

Other heads could possibly turn by this Kaus quote:

“I have no special beef with the incumbent,” Kaus said in his announcement. “She is a state-of-the-art Democrat. But to be state-of-the-art “in our party is not such a good thing anymore. State of the art” means the incumbent has learned to please the party’s interest groups, often at the expense of the needs of average individuals and the party’s own ideals.”

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/2010/03/blogger-mickey.html#ixzz0iNnn71FL

Liberal Democrat Barbara Boxer has to fight off a Democrat challenger in a largely Democrat state and then face one of three Republican challengers, all of whom could defeat her. That is, if she doesn’t fall in the primary.

I think I need to buy more popcorn.
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Cross Posted on Truth Before Dishonor

Four (Un)Related Stories – Captain, Iceberg Ahead

All the full stories are at the links. But story #1 Tells us Moody’s is about to drop the AAA rating for the US and other countries. Translation – Borrowing rate rises.
Story #2 says the Social Security System is out of money. It has tons of paper saying the Treasury owes them money, but now for the Treasury to pay the IOU’s. it will borrow money. Translation – If story #1 kicks in, then that will cost even more, and SS is broke.
Story #3 is about how the Cloward-Piven effect is trying to collapse the US System. Brought about by two Progressives, Cloward and Piven it’s theory is to overload the system until it collapses under its own weight. Translation – Fundamentally Transforming the USA. Where has that been heard before?

Unmentioned is story #4, Health Care Reform which now seems to be a Right bestowed on us and will cost a Trillion Dollars or more. Oh, it’s said to be Deficit Neutral, and so is Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. But if you put all four stories together, add in Historic Spending and Deficits, what do you get???? It’s really not too hard to see big trouble ahead!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/15/AR2010031503465.html?hpid=topnews

#1
Moody’s warns nations to cut spending or risk AAA ratings

By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The United States and other top world economies need to make potentially painful government spending cuts or risk losing the high-grade credit ratings that have kept borrowing affordable, the Moody’s rating agency said Monday.

This Story
Moody’s warns nations to cut spending or risk AAA ratings
European officials hold off on bailout package for Greece
Outlining the dilemma faced by policymakers in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France, Moody’s said that debt levels in the four large credit-worthy economies had reached the point at which they are at risk of being downgraded — a step that would drive up interest rates, increase borrowing costs and mark a turn in perceptions about the world economy.

Economic recovery might ease the problem by increasing tax revenue, Moody’s reported, but “growth alone will not resolve an increasingly complicated debt equation. Preserving debt affordability at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion.”

#2
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jWbISwIapd30hnID5R3gGD7VFZ3QD9EEMU601

Social Security to start cashing Uncle Sam’s IOUs
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER (AP) – 1 day ago

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

It’s time to start cashing them in.

For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year.

Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.

Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg’s municipal offices.

Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn’t be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.

#3
THE AMERICAN THINKER
http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/clowardpiven_government.html

November 23, 2009
Cloward-Piven Government
By James Simpson

It is time to cast aside all remaining doubt. President Obama is not trying to lead America forward to recovery, prosperity and strength. Quite the opposite, in fact.

In September of last year, American Thinker published my article, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. Part of a series, it connected then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to individuals and organizations practicing a malevolent strategy for destroying our economy and our system of government. Since then, the story of that strategy has found its way across the blogosphere, onto the airwaves of radio stations across the country, the Glenn Beck television show, Bill O’Reilly, and now Mark Levin.

The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.

The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”

They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the “Motor Voter” act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.

Sometimes you just can’t make up this stuff!

Reille Hunter, the (former?) mistress of former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), finally spoke out about the affair. The lovely Miss Hunter apparently told Barbara Walters that, upon seeing the photographs of herself in the GQ article, she “cried for two hours” and called them “repulsive.”

OK, stop right there. Miss Hunter posed for the photographs taken by Mark Seliger! Miss Walters said that Miss Hunter had told her that she “trusted” the photographer to take only “classy” photographs.

Uh huh.

I’m unable to grasp how Mr Seliger could have taken pictures of Miss Hunter lounging around in a man’s dress shirt and no pants if Miss Hunter hadn’t been walking around in a man’s dress shirt and no pants. Just what kind of “classy” photographs did she think could be taken of her without pants?

You can read the interview here. I only made it through three pages of the interview when I couldn’t take any more.

Liberal Racism And Historical Revisionism

I have previously reported on liberal racism on several occasions, such as Let’s Talk About Racism, which is my personal experience facing racism, Liberals Are Racists, which is my personal experience on “Sadly, No!”, a brain-dead liberal blog which uses profanity and a lack of logic to push the left agenda, Democrat Civil Rights History, where I gave a long history of Democrats opposing the granting of civil rights to blacks. (I did not research that history. I copied it, with permission, from Black&Right.)

Remember this Democrat Party line:

Democrats are unwavering in our support of equal opportunity for all Americans. That’s why we’ve worked to pass every one of our nation’s Civil Rights laws… On every civil rights issue, Democrats have led the fight.

That is blatant revisionist history. That is a blatant lie. As the Democrat Civil Rights History article showed, Democrats have been on the front line, fighting against equal opportunity for all Americans. On the vast majority of civil rights issues, Democrats have been forefront in opposition, as history shows. Where Democrats have been in favor of civil rights for all, it has been on issues of personal choice and not issues of personal being.

And even in the realm of personal choice, Democrats are racist and exclusionary. This is very obvious. Try being a prominent black Conservative, or weaker, a prominent black Republican. According to a huge number of Democrats, especially in positions of power, those blacks are race-traitors. Hispanic Republicans and Conservatives are also race-traitors. My article showing my experience at “Sadly, No!” proved it, case closed. The person going by the moniker “Some NY Guy” very clearly said, beyond a shadow of a doubt, any non-whites who vote Republican are traitors to their race. And that is a clear example of racism and the exclusionary nature of “personal choice” that Democrats would love for you to ignore, while they claim to be the champions of the opposite.

But you needn’t go to the outrageously inflammatory and intellectually vacuous site “Sadly, No!” to see the inherent racism among Democrats and Liberals. You only need witness the left’s treatment of Clarence Thomas and Alan Keyes, both staunch Conservatives, JC Watts, a Republican I believe to be a staunch Conservative, Condoleezza Rice, a hispanic woman who I believe is a Conservative and is most definitely a Republican, and Michael Steele, a wishy-washy Republican. Steele actually had oreos thrown at him! And, of course, Thomas is castigated by members of the left for doing the unthinkable: marrying a white woman. Talk about racism.

In many cases, today’s Liberals and Democrats are no less racist than those of yesteryear. And today’s Liberals and Democrats, many of them, focus on racism when anyone attempts to counter anything the current half-white President pushes. It is a major wedge issue those on the left use, while hoping most of the population never learns the truth. And the truth is Democrats and Liberals have been wedded to racism for over 150 years.

I have shown how today’s Liberals and Democrats are very much racist, calling any non-white “race traitors” and hurling insults and objects at non-white Conservatives and Republicans. I have given a link showing the very long history of Democrats fighting against equal treatment of blacks. I have given the quote showing the very blatant Democrat revisionist lie. Today’s “affirmative action,” which had its uses back in the day (remember your history regarding Democrats and Liberals), is another example of racism. If you’re a member of the “wrong race,” you get extra points on your test scores for college placement and job placement. That means, if you’re a member of the “wrong race,” you’re too dumb and unqualified to get the job without special assistance. What could be more underhandedly racist than that?

But there are those of the left who always try to shift the goalposts. They don’t want to talk about the history they lied about. They don’t want to talk about current events they lie about. They want to bring up another subject, which they also lie about. And here’s the current revisionist Big Lie: Republicans became Democrats and Democrats became Republicans. That’s right, somewhere along the lines, everyone switched sides. And, amazingly, many people who actually hear about the history of Republicans and Democrats actually buy that lie.

I got this comment from my Democrat Civil Rights History article:

[T]hose whom you quoted as white southern democrats now affiliate themselves with the republican party. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

If you disagree there are plenty of places to start at wiki. And if you disagree with wiki, pickup a high school American History textbook. It’s all spelled out in history’s narrative.

Now the full comment was an attack-and-condescension-filled comment, as if I didn’t know anything about anything. But there was another comment I recently read on a different topic by a different commenter whose chosen moniker is unfit to be used on my site.

The real Constition, JH, not the one the Texas Textbook Taliban fantasizes about when they rewrite history.

So it’s obvious the left wants to focus on history books, but only the history books the left writes. Without revisionist history or total ignorance, the left loses. And, unfortunately, many Americans do not know their own history, nor do they care about history at all. Let’s take this idea that Republicans became Democrats and Democrats became Republicans, as that commenter on my site suggested (along with a large number of leftists). When did this happen? Before or after the Democrats fought every effort to make blacks equal to whites (where they dishonorably claim to the uninformed they fought for every effort to make blacks equal to whites)? Apparently, they choose to suggest to the moderately informed that the change occurred during the Dixiecrat days. Or they suggest the “everybody switch sides” event occurred at the famous “Democrat” civil rights victory of 1964. This is merely a furtherance of lies and revisionism.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, over which a Democrat President presided, was made possible by Republicans in spite of, rather in cooperation with, Democrats. Yes, Democrats were the major blockage. The true history shows:

June 9, 1964
Republicans condemn 14-hour filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV), who still serves in the Senate

June 10, 1964
Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticizes Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act, calls on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced and approved by a staggering majority of Republicans in the Senate. The Act was opposed by most southern Democrat senators, several of whom were proud segregationists—one of them being Al Gore Sr. Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson relied on Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader from Illinois, to get the Act passed.

Mackubin T Owens provides more insight into the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Even the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which supposedly established the Democrats’ bona fides on race, was passed in spite of the Democrats rather than because of them. Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen pushed the bill through the Senate, despite the no-votes of 21 Democrats, including Gore Sr. and Robert Byrd, who remains a powerful force in the Senate today. In contrast, only four Republicans opposed the bill, mostly like Barry Goldwater on libertarian principles, not segregationist ones.

So, obviously, the purported 1964 Democrat victory was actually a Republican victory in furtherance of black rights, despite revisionist leftists’ claims. So the sudden “let’s switch parties” game happened after 1964. After the then-102-year history of Republicans supporting equal rights for all races and both genders and Democrats fighting against civil rights for some races and females, everybody switched sides. Think about that. Is there any logic in that at all?

But leftists like to claim that southerners quit being Democrats and became Dixiecrats and then became Republicans, which made the entire change for both parties. Nevermind that the Dixiecrats were very much regionalized to the former slave states. Nevermind that the Dixiecrats reached their zenith in 1968, where they won 4 states and garnered less than 10 percent of the overall vote during the Presidential general election, where the Republican garnered nearly 56 percent of the overall vote. Forget about the fact Robert Byrd filibustered the bill for 14 hours all by himself. Forget about the fact Robert Byrd and Al Gore Sr (recognize the names?) both voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Forget about the 21 Democrat Senators voted against the bill, which would, at the very minimum, equal 10.5 states while the Dixicrats won only 4 in 1968. Ignore all those facts.

According to Democrats, when talking to people who actually know a thing or two about history, everyone switched sides between 1964 and the Reagan Revolution of 1980. The goalpost-shifting left, when talking to people who actually know history, ignore their lies about the longitudinal racist nature of the left and push lies about short-term history and push the totally unbelievable concept that everyone switched sides over a brief 16-year span. They claim a large group of Democrats became Dixiecrats and then all the Dixiecrats became Republicans, when the facts show the vast majority of Dixiecrats returned to the Democrat Party.

The left hopes you don’t know your history at all. And when the left finds out you do actually know history, they try to revise recent history in absurd ways without even so much as a mea culpa about longitudinal history. All the while, the left continues its racist agenda, overt and covert alike.
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Cross Posted on Truth Before Dishonor

If Sean Penn had his way, critics of the President would be locked up

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, that is.

Via Sister Toldjah, I found this gem. Apparently, actor Sean Penn, someone who apparently cherishes his own freedom of speech, thinks that people who refer to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a dictator should be jailed.


Sean Penn: Journalists who call Hugo Chávez a dictator should be jailed

Actor accuses US media of smearing Venezuelan president
Rory Carroll in Caracas

Sean Penn has defended Hugo Chávez as a model democrat and said those who call him a dictator should be jailed.

The Oscar-winning actor and political activist accused the US media of smearing Venezuela’s socialist president and called for journalists to be punished.

“Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it. And this is mainstream media. There should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.”

Penn, who has visited Chávez in Caracas, said Venezuela’s poor majority had willingly embraced his leftist revolution, but that this view was concealed from Americans.

“We are hypnotised by the media. Who do you know here who’s gone through 14 of the most transparent elections on the globe, and has been elected democratically, as Hugo Chávez?”

Penn, speaking on Bill Maher’s HBO chatshow, is part of a small but vocal pro-Chávez Hollywood group which includes Oliver Stone and Danny Glover.

They have remained steadfast even as Venezuela’s leader has lost fans at home and abroad. Inflation, crime and water and electricity shortages have hit his popularity and led to defections from his socialist party.

The Organisation of American States recently accused Chávez of intolerance and authoritarianism, and a Spanish judge accused Venezuela of cosseting Farc and Eta terrorists, sparking a diplomatic spat with Madrid.

Chávez thanked Penn for his support in what he said was a daily battle for public opinion.

“I was reading the declarations from our friend Sean Penn, the famous American actor,” he told a televised rally in Caracas. “Penn defended what he considers to be the truth.”

The Hollywood star was an ally in the effort to counter a campaign to “confuse” Venezuelans, said the president, who has been in power for 11 years. “From here I thank you very much.”

Other celebrity endorsements have come from the linguist and writer Noam Chomsky and model Naomi Campbell.

I’d note here that this story didn’t come from RightWingNews or The Washington Times. Rather, it came from the left-wing British publication, The Guardian.

Me, I find it interesting that Mr Penn would think that people criticizing the government ought to be subjected to criminal prosecution and imprisonment, though to be fair, Mr Penn said nothing at all about criminal prosecution; he just said to throw them in jail!

Anyway, on Thursday, 14 September 2006, Mr Penn exercised his freedom of speech by criticizing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President George Bush. On Saturday, 24 March 2007, Mr Penn ranted:

You, Misters Bush and Cheney; you, Ms. Rice, are villainously and criminally obscene people, obscene human beings, incompetent even to fulfill your own self-serving agenda, while tragically neglectful and destructive of ours and our country’s.

Mr Penn has spouted off, saying that he hopes critics of his actions “die screaming of rectal cancer,” among other charming things. If the United States had the restrictions on criticizing the President that Mr Penn thinks ought to be appropriate for criticizing Hugo Chavez, Mr Penn would have been in jail years ago.

Of course, President Chavez agrees with Mr Penn, as even the left-wing Guardian has noted: it seems that internal critics of President Chavez are finding themselves in prison.

So, what is the freely and democratically elected President of Venezuela doing?  From Pam Meister:

  • The takeover of numerous banks has caused the Venezuelan dollar to plunge in value.
  • His dream of ending presidential term limits was realized a year ago.
  • He supports the Basque terror organization ETA as well as the Colombian FARC.
  • This oil-rich nation that depends upon “green” sources for its electricity is now rationing said electricity, and Chavez is threatening to “punish” businesses that use what the government deems to be too much, further putting a strain on that nation’s economy.
  • Chavez ordered the takeover of a number of privately-owned businesses, including U.S. food giant Cargill, assets of 60 oilfield services companies, and he continues to tighten his grip on private media.
  • Schools that do not implement his socialist curriculum will be nationalized.
  • Always concerned that the Venezuelan public doesn’t get enough of him, Chavez has a Sunday television show called “Hello, President” that can go on for hours, frequently orders television and radio stations to air his speeches (threatening to close them down if they don’t comply), and now has a new radio program called “Suddenly Chavez,” where radio broadcasts can be interrupted by Dear Leader at any time, day or night, in a bid to “serve to define the lines of communication of the Bolivarian Revolution.” Oh, and just a couple of weeks ago, Chavez himself was the victim of his own bad policy when his live television broadcast was briefly cut off due to a loss of power.

Of course, the final turning of the corner will come when Mr Penn decides to tell us that critics of President Obama should be locked up as well. As far as I know, he hasn’t said that yet, but give it time, give it time.

There’s something just amazingly hypocritical about people exercising their freedom of speech to criticize a government they don’t like saying that people who criticize a government they do like should be punished for saying it. Thing is, with Sean Penn, even if he read this, he’d probably never recognize his own hypocrisy.

St Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe

OK, it rained. :( And the University of Kentucky Wildcats were playing the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the SEC Tournament Championship.  So, what was I to do?  I know: I’ll send our younger daughter and the spare daughter downtown to take the parade pictures, whilst I watch the game on my 42″ High Definition LCD television set!

Not the best picture, but one of apparently a million bagpipe bands, and the picture clarity lets you know it was raining!


What’s a parade without a beetle?


Bagpipers Continue reading ‘St Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe’ »

The Coffee Party

The Tea Party — TEA as in “taxed enough already” — is a grass-roots organization of people who were pissed off about the amount of money being spent by the federal government.  Our friends on the left immediately tried to demonize them, using the word “teabaggers,” which has an obscene connotation, and even some of the Republicans in Congress are not all that thrilled with the Tea Partiers.

Well, our friends on the left, having learned the lesson that you don’t let a good, conservative movement go unchallenged, have come up with the Coffee Party.  Via DRJ, I found Moe Lane’s article:

Five at the DC Coffee Party? How… quaint.

God save me from the forces of reaction, and their false revolutionary consciousness.

I wouldn’t even bother with this, except that I ran into Alex Pappas of the Daily Caller earlier this week and he’s a good guy. So let me just correct the folks at the DC Coffee Party on something:

One participant, a younger man who brought along a college buddy with him, said the biggest difference between the Coffee Party and the Tea Party is that they believe the federal government is not something that should necessarily be demonized.

I probably wouldn’t have bothered with anything about the so-called Coffee Party, were it not for a fawning article headlined on AOL this morning:


Liberals Hope to Stimulate Obama With Coffee Party

NEW YORK (March 13) — In coffee shops — and at least one bar — people fed up with the Tea Party movement gathered Saturday to discuss issues and launch what they call the Coffee Party.

Inspired by a late February rant on the Facebook page of Annabel Park, the Coffee Party (not limited to coffee drinkers alone) declared March 13 National Coffee Party Day, and on the group’s Web site invited individuals to organize in coffee shops across the country in hopes of eventually growing into an influential political movement.

Park — a documentarian and former Obama volunteer — said in a video on her Web site that she wants to “stop the shouting” and replace “obstructionism” with action.
PRODUCTION PLAYER!!!!

“Their name is brilliant,” said Ann Morris, “because it captures patriotism.”

Morris, a psychologist, was one of the 20 people who gathered at the Bleecker Street Bar in Manhattan Saturday.

Coffee, Morris noted, became America’s beverage of choice after the tax revolt that is now known as the Boston Tea Party.

Morris usually leaves the city every weekend for her upstate home. She chose to stay, rather than make her usual journey, because she is concerned the Tea Party movement is growing too influential. “[They] are not interested in discourse,” she said. “They think different than we do.”

I don’t expect neutrality from news articles anymore, and certainly not from AOL news; the author was practically falling all over himself in approval. We’re supposed to see how gosh-darned reasonable these people are, which we are are supposed to contrast to those knuckle-dragging Tea Partiers. But he did have one paragraph I found significant:

Lamar Bennett, a university researcher from Brooklyn, who describes himself as being from the left wing of the Democratic party, pointed out that “while everyone wants lower taxes, everyone wants services, too.” Everyone in that group nodded their heads in agreement.

Translation: everybody wants something for nothing. I’ve written about this before, noting that the good citizens of California had a rather stark choice put on the ballot before them: either approve (supposedly) temporary tax increases, to stave off a budgetary calamity, or see significant cuts in government services.

There are the results: in not even one county did the voters of the Pyrite State vote for the (supposedly) temporary tax increases. The voters rejected the tax increases by 3,152,141 to 1,668,216 (65.39% to 34.61%), in a state dominated by Democrats, a state where liberal policies dominate, and a state which, just 6½ months earlier had given 61% of its votes to Barack Obama. The very much leftist-dominated San Francisco voted against higher taxes, even though all of the state’s elites were out there, telling the voters of the draconian measures, the tremendous spending cuts, that would have to be enacted if they didn’t vote for the tax increases.

(Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar) presented a budget package that he says will go into effect if his ballot propositions fail; the budget has been described as the “doomsday budget”. This budget “…would lay off thousands of workers, cut billions from schools, strip poor children of healthcare coverage, slice money for child welfare services, swipe billions from cities and send tens of thousands of convicts to county jails or federal custody, all to fill a yawning $21.3-billion hole.”

Faced with that very direct choice, far more direct than voting for a political candidate who promises to cut taxes (or not to raise them) and spending cuts while not discussing what services would be cut, the voters of California chose, by a nearly two-to-one margin, to hold the line on taxes and cut government services.

This is the time when Republicans could really make some headway. Most political analysts believe that the Republicans will gain seats in the 2010 elections, much of the impetus coming from people, like the Tea Partiers, who believe that our taxes are too high already, who want to see (undefined) cuts in government spending, and who don’t want to see President Obama and the Democrats federalize our health care system. What is needed at this point is honest Republican candidates, one who will tell the voters that yes, we will actually cut government services, and be honest about what they want to cut.

The Republicans won big in 1994, when they made pledges to cut taxes and reduce spending. They actually did attempt to do so, initially, but soon got caught up in the Washington mentality of bringing home the bacon for their districts; actually cutting spending, save on a few minor things, didn’t happen. If the Republicans had shown some actual commitment to cutting spending, they’d still control the Congress today. Instead, they ratcheted up spending, created a huge deficit — though one which pales in comparison to what the Democrats have now brought us — and lost the support of conservative voters. If the Tea Party exists today, it’s because the Republican Party stopped supporting the things that the conservatives support.

The Democrats’ huge spending boondoggles and President Obama’s proposals to spend even more, while having government seize control of our health care system, provides an opening for Republican candidates to take the lead, to give the voters a real choice for lower taxes and lower spending. I just don’t know if the Republicans are brave enough or honest enough to actually take advantage of the opportunity.