Obama’s Healthcare Plan and Socialized Medicine

August 30, 2008

“It’s also time we had a President who stopped talking about the outrage of 47 million uninsured Americans and started doing something about it… And when I’m President, we’ll finally pass a universal health care plan that will make sure every single American can get the same kind of health care that members of Congress get for themselves… And we won’t pass it twenty years from now, not ten years from now – we’ll pass health care by the end of my first term in office. ” Barack Obama

There are not 47 million truly uninsured Americans (15-20% of the population). The actual number is more like 4-5 %  of Americans(ABC 20/20) or less than 15 million people . However, here’s a localized example of why the numbers differ. In Colorado, Gov. Bill Ritter put in place Comission 208, which was designed to find out how many Coloradans were actually uninsured. Overall, it was found that 17% of Coloradans were uninsured. Of those, 6% were eligible for government aid, but simply hadn’t applied. An additional 5% were the “invincible young” (aged 20-40) who could afford insurance but didn’t want to “waste” their money.  Of the remaing 6%, up to 2% were simply uninsured for a month, between jobs. Say you leave your job in August, and your employer covers you through the end of August. Your new employer won’t cover you until October. To fill this gap, there is a program called COBRA which lets you pay your own premium for the missing month. Some people choose to go uninsured for the gap month, and are counted as uninsured for the whole year when numbers are collected. That leaves about 4% of the people truly uninsured. The numbers can be extrapolated for the entire US (since the numbers agree with those by ABC, anyway).

Scary. Scary scary scary. Obama’s health care plan is a universal health care plan, and as you might have guessed, I’m opposed to those in general.

The Idiocy of Socialized Medicine (in general, quick facts)

  1. It would lower the lifespan of the average American. (ABC 20/20)
  2. It places undue financial strain on our already strained budget.
  3. It would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by forcing the rich to pay for the medicine of the poor, essentially giving the poor a right the rich don’t have, that of free medication.
  4. It would force extreme care rationing, waiting lists for urgent care, and probably a near cut off of all medication after the age of 60.
  5. It would have a positive affect on a much smaller portion of the population than the current system does.
  6. Taking the money out of an industry, in the case the medical industry, also takes away the best minds (brain drain).
  7. Socialized medicine has been shown to be defective in every country that has implemented it.
  8. It incurs long waits.
  9. Brain and Spine Clinic in Buffalo serves about 10 border-crossing Canadians a week.

  10. The number of Canadians on waiting lists for referrals to specialists or for medical services — 875,000.

  11. Average wait from time of referral to treatment by a specialist in Canada — 17.8 weeks

  12. Longest average  waiting times in Canada — orthopedic surgery, 40.3 weeks

  13. Average wait to get an MRI — 10.3 weeks nationally in Canada but 28 weeks in Newfoundland.

  14. The average US citizen, one you subtract murder rates and car crashes, lives longer than the average Canadian. (Abc 20/20, crash rates from 04/05 DSA annual road death percentages, FARS, CIA World Fact Book and murder rates come from correctional service of Canada, CIA World Fact Book)

  15. The average cancer survival rate is HIGHEST IN THE US. (http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20080716/cancer-survival-rates-vary-by-country)

To be objective, this is a non-party summary of the Obama plan. Notice the bold print and stars.

• Cuts reimbursement for Medicare Advantage health plans.

• Allows the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to negotiate drug prices, instead of health plans doing so.

• Creates new options for the uninsured under a voluntary purchasing pool. Choices would include a national plan, similar to the one available to federal employees, as well as portable private plans that would accept anyone, at the same rate, regardless of their health.

• Provides refundable health insurance tax credit to small employers* for up to 50% of their premium contribution towards a “quality health plan”.

• Seeks to cover all children by creating an individual coverage requirement for them.

• Requires employers to “pay or play” – meaning businesses must contribute to employee health coverage or pay a percentage of payroll to the national plan.

• Protects employers from catastrophic claims by paying a portion of those costs through a reinsurance program if the savings are passed on to their employees.

• Provides premium assistance to low-income individuals.

• Extends coverage to dependent adult children through age 25.

Prohibits use of pre-existing conditions restrictions**.

• Requires insurers to spend a certain percentage of premiums on medical care (i.e. requires minimum medical loss ratios).

• Imposes premium rate renewal restrictions.

• Gives states flexibility to experiment with additional reforms if national plan standards are met.

• Creates provider pay-for-performance incentives based only on quality standards.

Expands programs, however includes no details***.

• Invests $10B annually for the next five years for broad adoption of electronic medical records and information systems.

Requires disclosure of:

• Provider price, performance data and medical errors;

• Provider and health plan performance data on disparities for minorities; and

• Health plan medical loss ratios.

• Requires preventive care under federal programs.

• Establishes community-based prevention programs.

• Rewards employers for worksite health promotion programs.

• Promotes chronic care management programs and “medical Home”-type models.

Projected annual cost: $56-71 billion

Funding sources:

Discontinues tax cuts for incomes over $250,000.

• Savings from increased generic drug use under federal programs****

• Savings from reduction in disproportionate share hospital payments

• Allows the import of prescription drugs from developed countries (i.e. “re-importation”).

• Increases the use of generic drugs under federal programs.

Creates an independent institute to research treatment effectiveness.

• Requires plans to cover mental health care at the same level as other services.

• Reforms medical malpractice to address medical errors.

• Strengthens anti-trust laws.

• Expands autism research.

This summary is based on a Humana analysis of Presidential candidates’ healthcare proposals.

*Large employers, who will have to insure more people and therefore pay the most, get no tax credit.

**This a fatal flaw. This means that a person who has cancer and didn’t get and pay premiums to make sure that they would have coverage for their cancer, can apply and be accepted. This would mean that people can wait until something actually goes wrong to get insurance, bankrupting the industry.

***As no details are included on the expanded programs, they have not been factored into the cost. The cost per year could even double, when these non specified programs are added.

****This part is key. The system tries to save money by using generic brands, but where do generic brands come from? Well, most of them come from the US. The reason that countries using Universal health care aren’t even more broke than they are, is that the US subsidizes them. For example, say a company needs to charge 10 dollars per pill to break even and sell 100 pills. However, only some of those pills can be sold in the US, and Germany refuses to buy any pills unless they are only 5 dollars each. The company therefore sells the pills for 15 dollars each in the US, and 5 dollars each in Germany. The company manages to break even, but US citizens pick up the development cost. And what is that development cost? According to the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development, as of 2003, the average cost of developing a new prescription drug is 897M-1B dollars. Beyond that, only 21.5 per cent of drugs that starts the first three stages of human trials receive FDA approval. This means that every time a company sets out to develop a drug, they risk losing a billion dollars. As 4 out of 5 times that a company pays for all of the development it won’t get an approved drug to sell, these deficits from failed drugs are also added to the consumer’s cost of buying a drug. If the US tries to switch exclusively to generic brands, there will not be any more drug development, as there will be no more money int it. This is demonstrated by England, who develops hardly anything and is about 5 years behind the US in what its consumers can buy.

The Obama care plan is nearly as bad as the average care plan in Europe. The four flaws that I have highlighted ruin the entire system. The cost mentioned is high by itself, but likely to be even higher due to the other unamed progam expansions. The plan completey wipes out motivations for developing new drugs.

If  Obama were to propose a bill that would kill you, you’d probablyreject it. If Obama were to propose a bill that would force you all to pay for my shiny new Porsche, you’d probably reject it. Socialized Medicine is a combination of both of those principles, and Obama  wants to make it a law. This has to be stopped now. Socialized Medicine would shorten our lives, force us to pay for the wants of others,  make life saving clinics illegal, and turn our system into the kind that has failed in Europe. Please, please, tell me the point of changing a system that 87% of the people are happy with and that gets 96% of the people the treatment they need, in favor of one that would harm us all.

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Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech, full text and analysis

August 29, 2008

Obama starts off his speech by talking about his parents. He says they,”weren’t complainers…had to work hard,” yet Obama’s policies make the government do much more of the work.

He says that his values include,” Hard work [and] self reliance” yet he wants people to rely on the government for their healthcare.

He says that he is his brother’s keeper.

He complained, repeatedly of the, “failed policies of George W,” even though for most of his term Bush kept the unemployment levels down.

He tells stories about poor workers, about a man in Indiana who had to ship his machines to China.

He says that McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time (making him an awful candidate).

He makes fun of McCain for saying that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” and that we are suffering a”‘ mental recession…[we’ve become] a nation of whiners.'” He says this minutes after commending his family for not complaining, and for suffering through hard times. My mother suffered through hard times: she’s an immigrant, who REFUSED to accept social wealthfare of any kind. She made it. Obama tries to make it seem like some people just can’t.

Obama says that McCain just doesn’t understand the middle class, as he gives hundreds of billions in tax breaks for the poor, and none to the middle class (who barely pay taxes).

Obama then completely contradicts his self reliance value by saying that McCain’s policy is to tell you that you’re “on your own” when anything happens.

Obama says that we should measure wealth “not by the number of billionaires but by the guy who takes a chance on an idea” and starts a business. This, while Obama plans to add taxes to businesses, who were all just guys with ideas at some point. He says that we should, “honor the dignity of work,” while he proposes corrupting the meaning of the dollar buy giving them away.

He says that “the government should help us, not hurt us,” but I guess the rich don’t count as ‘us’, in Obamaland.

He explains the his parents got him through college with the help of student loans, and seems to imply that this means we need more of him, though prexisting loans got him through.

Obama then enumerates his specific changes:

1. a tax code to help the small guy (but squash him if he’s talented enough to become a big guy)

2. an end to tax breaks for outsourcing jobs (and a beginning of more expensive products)

3. eliminating long term capital gains tax (yay)

4. Setting a “clear goal” to end our oil dependency in 10 years. (and if we fail that clear goal?)

5. tapping natural gas and clean coal resources (How are those more long term than oil?)

(I realize that I missed a few in there: even with Obama’s plentiful ums and pauses I couldn’t get it all down)

He says he will invest million in new energy, as Romney and McCain said before him.

He says he will create “five million new jobs that can’t be outsourced.” (How?)

He says he will create an “army of new teachers” with higher salaries (even though raising salaries for teachers is a state law)

He says he will ensure that those enlisting will be able to afford college (that’s what the GI Forum bill your grandfather used does, not to mention the fact that army benefits keep going up as the army becomes desperate for new recruits)

Then, and this was where he made a brilliant move, he admitted that all these plans would cost money, and that he knows where he’s going to get that money. It’s from eliminating tax loopholes (not nearly enough) and cutting back programs (not remotely possible, due to lobbying, see my previous articles).

He says that “Programs can’t replace parents” which is another, sound, Republican ideal that has been preached for years, and that blacks have hated.

He goes on to say that he will gladly debate McCain (finally) and that he was opposed to going into Iraq from the get go.

He says that McCain won’t follow Osama to the gates of Hell, as he hasn’t even followed him to the cave where he’s living. (Greats Scots! Obama knows where Osama is!! Why won’t he tell us??)

He says he won’t allow Iran to get nukes. (Is he going to…invade Iran to stop this?)

He follows McCain’s lead in complimenting his opponent, finish with “Patriotism has no party.” (That, my little socialist, was a brilliant line.)

He says that we need to restore a sense of common purpose, that while we may disagree on abortion, we can all agree that we want less unwanted pregnancies. That we can uphold the second amendment while preventing robbers from obtaining Ak 47’s. That we might not agree on gay marriage, but we can agree that gays should be treated equally. (He never mentions his own stances on any of these issues. He never mentions how we can stop robbers from getting AK 47’s when we can’t stop Pakistan from going nuclear, or stop murderers from murdering and drug addicts from getting drugs.)

He mentions that he “gets” why people don’t want to vote for him, mentioning “pedigree” and not having spent his entire career in Washington. (Notably, he doesn’t mentions socialism)

He says the election, has never been about him, but about “you.” (Beats me why he started the speech with the bio movie)

He says that we can’t expect “the same old politics and the same old players to get different results” while he proposes to mimic a health-care system that failed all over Europe and in Canada and ‘hope’ for different results.

He ends his speech with a biblical quote and a “God bless the United States.” An odd thing to do, considering how many times he has expressed his uncertainty in faith.

Well, good luck Obama. Good luck convincing people that you can find the billions you need in tax loop holes, and that welfare checks result from hard work. Good luck convincing people that McCain doesn’t understand the middle class, just because he doesn’t want to give them handouts. Good luck explaining why gas prices keep rising, even as you add taxes to the oil industries. Good luck convincing people that a “common purpose” will save a falling economy. Good luck explaining to the rich why they aren’t part of your “us”. Oh, wait…you don’t have to explain anything to them: you’re a populist with the masses on your side.

I guess I should say instead: Good luck, America. I hope you have a great time when you elect a socialist. I really do.

You can read the full text of the speech here: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/text-barack-obamas-acceptance-speech/story.aspx?guid={523A921D-6E5F-4103-BA81-23A1ACE29EBE}

Full Text–

By MarketWatch
Last update: 11:09 p.m. EDT Aug. 28, 2008
DENVER (MarketWatch) – Following is prepared text of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech.
To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;
With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest – a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours — Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.
To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia – I love you so much, and I’m so proud of all of you.
Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story – of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren’t well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.
It is that promise that has always set this country apart – that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.
That’s why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women – students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors — found the courage to keep it alive.
We meet at one of those defining moments – a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond your reach.
These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he’s worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land – enough! This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: “Eight is enough.”
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives – on health care and education and the economy – Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made “great progress” under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors – the man who wrote his economic plan – was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a “mental recession,” and that we’ve become, and I quote, “a nation of whiners.”
A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.
Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people’s benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?
It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.
For over two decades, he’s subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy – give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is – you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.
Well it’s time for them to own their failure. It’s time for us to change America.
You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President – when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job – an economy that honors the dignity of work.
The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great – a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.
Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton’s Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.
When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.
And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She’s the one who taught me about hard work. She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.
I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.
What is that promise?
It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It’s a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves – protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.
That’s the promise of America – the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.
That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.
Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.
And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Washington’s been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he’s said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.
Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I’ll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.
America, now is not the time for small plans.
Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance. I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American – if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.
Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.
Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.
And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day’s work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.
Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime – by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less – because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.
And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America’s promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our “intellectual and moral strength.” Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can’t replace parents; that government can’t turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.
Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility – that’s the essence of America’s promise.
And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America’s promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have.
For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just “muddle through” in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
That’s not the judgment we need. That won’t keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice – but it is not the change we need.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans — Democrats and Republicans – have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.
As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.
These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.
But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism.
The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America.
So I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.
America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can’t just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose – our sense of higher purpose. And that’s what we have to restore.
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America’s promise – the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that’s to be expected. Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
And you know what – it’s worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it’s best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don’t fit the typical pedigree, and I haven’t spent my career in the halls of Washington.
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me. It’s been about you.
For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us – that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it – because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
America, this is one of those moments.
I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I’ve seen it. Because I’ve lived it. I’ve seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I’ve seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.
And I’ve seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they’d pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I’ve seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.
This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
Instead, it is that American spirit – that American promise – that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
That promise is our greatest inheritance. It’s a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours – a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln’s Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
The men and women who gathered there could’ve heard many things. They could’ve heard words of anger and discord. They could’ve been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.
But what the people heard instead – people of every creed and color, from every walk of life – is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
“We cannot walk alone,” the preacher cried. “And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise – that American promise – and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America. End of Story)

Killing your innocent unborn baby

August 28, 2008

Life is a rare and precious thing. If you’re reading this, you’re lucky: you were born. If we want equality in life, everyone should get a chance to be born. I mean come on, the only people arguing for abortion are people that have been born themselves. If you really want life to be fair, you’ve got to outlaw abortion, and stop killing all those innocent, adorable unborn babies. They don’t even get a choice in the matter! What if they wanted to be born???!!?

And speaking of babies who wanted to be born…what about all those that never even got the chance to be aborted? Those whose lives were cut short by contraceptives and birth control? What about them?? And what about those who never even made it that far, whose only chances for life vanished in some thirteen year-old’s menstrual cycle? What of them??

Just as every person has a right to life, every person has a right to be conceived. Every time that you don’t have sex, you’re murdering an innocent. That innocent could have been me.  All of the eggs and all of the sperm must  be collected and put in a giant bank, controlled by someone who has respect for life.

Opposed to that? Well, then we’ll just have to make a law requiring people to have sex as much as possible, so we never risk losing a baby that had even the slimmest chance of ever coming into existence. Then life will be fair.

Those that are pro-life argue that personhood begins at conception. That is completely unrealistic. The earliest recorded brain waves, despite the many pro-life myths to the contrary, have not been recorded until 12 weeks after conception (http://eileen.250x.com/Main/Einstein/Brain_Waves.htm). What makes humans different from animals is our capacity to think. It is not our cells, and that is why it is not illegal to itch yourself, for fear of killing skin cells. The idea of “killing” a collection of cells is plain ridiculous. We kill viruses, bacteria, ants: these are all collections of cells. No one is “Pro-Virus.” I’ve been told that the difference is that given the proper conditions, the fetus will grow into a human. This is true. It is also true that any cell (through cloning or meiosis and reproduction), given the right conditions, will become a human. I’ve also heard it argued that the fetus is closer to becoming human than the average cell. Again, true, but why should something being closer to being human give it more right to be human?

So, when does life start? At 12 weeks, when there is some evidence that brain waves can exist. (There is literally no realistic evidence before then, and even the 12 weeks number is probably earlier than necessary.) That gives the average aborter three months to figure out if she wants to keep that baby. If you can’t decide, by three months into your pregnancy if you want the baby, then trust me: YOU DON’T WANT THE BABY.

Other Pro-life persons argue that there is a family out there, waiting to adopt your baby. If your baby is male, white, and less than 6 months old then there probably is. The shortage of white male babies up for adoption is causing more and more white couples to adopt blacks and Asians. (According to Dorothy E. Roberts, in her book Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare) However, of the approximately 1.2 million abortions (http://www.nrlc.org/ABORTION/facts/abortionstats.html) performed in the US each year, not all of them were white male babies, and the demand isn’t nearly  high enough to cover 1.2 million children, even if they were all white males. When adoptions peaked in 1970, there were 175,000 of them.  In 1970, the population was about 200 million (http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/files/table-2.pdf). If the same percentage of people were still willing to adopt babies, then there would be about 270,000 of them, if the babies were available. That still leaves extras. Also, in 1970, out of country adoptions weren’t commonly practiced, whereas now there are about 20,000 per year (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=5f6596981298d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=063807b03d92b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD). While some of these could be attributed to the lack of white babies, it is doubtful that they would stop entirely if white babies were to start falling from the sky.

So is adoption the answer? No. Even if collections of cells had more rights than the next microorganism, all of the extra babies would be added as burdens of the state, which the state really can’t afford right now, anyway.

And what is the answer, then? What should you do if you want an abortion?

You should get an abortion.


US Foreign Aid

August 28, 2008

            The United States government describes its goal in providing foreign aid as wanting to, “[further] America’s foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world.”[1] Of course, as with most things in life, it isn’t quite that simple. In order to determine if foreign aid is practical, it is necessary to analyze the factors that allow and inspire foreign aid, of which the first and most obvious is whether the US is fiscally capable of providing aid, and the second, co dependent upon the first: whether the money committed will beget measurable gains for the US. A second factor is time. If the US were to wait five years, would the money become more lucrative? (That is to say, would a dollar go further five years from now.) Would five years add enough money to US coffers to make a given type of foreign aid more feasible? Lastly, it is necessary to consider the entire concept of foreign aid, and whether the concept itself is practical.   

            To begin with the first factor, consider the money that the US has available. According to President Bush’s budget for FY 2008 (October 07-September 08) expected outlays are currently 2.7 trillion dollars, while current receipts are only 2.6 trillion dollars[2]. This leaves a 244 billion dollar gap between what the government expects to receive and what the government plans to spend. Keep in mind, this is a 244 billion dollar deficit built in to the budget, and does not include any extra expenditures which were not planned at the time of the budget. In short, the United States budget allows for more spending than intake.  This has been the case since 2002, and before that from 1970-1997[3]. So far, the now multi-trillion dollar debt has been ignored by those appropriating money, other than sporadic attempts to balance the budget. Balancing the budget does not refer to eliminating the accumulated debt, but to changing the yearly deficits into surpluses (which would, eventually, eliminate the debt). President Bush’s current budget-balancing plan relies heavily on program cut backs that, due to excessive lobbying, are very unlikely to get through congress. So, unless either taxes are hiked to an extreme degree (which would cause other economic problems and eventually lower the tax money that the government is receiving), or government spending is given a hefty restructure (unlikely, for aforementioned reasons), the budget is not going to be balanced any time soon, much less the national debts repaid. All I have to say on that note is that countries aren’t going to wait to be repaid forever; at some point (even if it’s centuries away) the US is either going to have to curtail its spending, or risk getting cut off by lenders.

            However, throughout the duration of these debt incurring years, the US has always given away between 3% and .5% of the GDP, the peak being in the 40’s, and the trough being the more current years, starting from about 1995[4]. As of 2005, that meant that every one of the 220 million US adults between the ages of 18 and 65[5] were giving 20 cents per day[6] to foreign countries.  This seems fairly affordable, but when combined with other taxes, the numbers add up. Both 2008 presidential candidates promise to maintain or lower taxes on most of the people, which means that finding much more money through taxes is not going to happen. Furthermore, the money currently being spent of foreign aid could be put towards balancing the budget, if it is not achieving its goals of helping average citizens and democratizing other countries.  

            To delve into the mysteries of how our aid money is being spent, let’s first turn to Egypt. The poor citizens in Egypt hate the United States. Why? Because the US gives their repressive government money, which they see as support. President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt receives about 2 billion in USAID dollars each year[7]. His country is most definitely not a democracy, and there isn’t a strong movement on his part for a democracy either. In fact, when a democratic movement gets too powerful, its leaders are jailed, as in the case of Saad Eddin Ibrahim[8]. When the rare protest forms, it is also squashed, and brutally[9].  As for improving the lives of its citizens? According the United Nations Development Program, Egypt has an HDI rating of .708, which is very poor, even putting Egypt in the bottom 35% of countries. While the average GDP is over 4,000 dollars per person, this has more to do with oil, and less to do with people being free. Egypt, in spite of its foreign aid, is obviously ignoring pleas to grant its citizens rights and democracy. If the leaders of Egypt find it too hard to stop murdering their citizens when they try to democratize, or to leave the press be alone, they could at least vote with the US in UN discussions. Yet, Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time[10]. Egypt is literally unwilling to lift a hand to do anything to deserve the foreign aid they receive; its President has not even tried to comply with US wishes. As the US is giving Egypt 2 billion dollars per year for absolutely nothing, the money would be better spent on the debt.

            The United States also gives money to many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, totaling nearly 6 billion dollars[11], with results that are much the same. The problem with saving Africa, something that many countries agree needs to be done, is that simply sending money doesn’t help, and sending military aid just engenders hard feelings amongst African leaders, as they don’t want military assistance from countries outside the African Union[12]. To be fair, setting up a democracy in Africa was always a long shot. Money sent to African countries was first and foremost supposed to provide the citizens themselves with food, medicine, and the means to support themselves[13]. However, “if the West were to cancel [the aid], normal Africans wouldn’t even notice,” because, “huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), [and] corruption and complacency are promoted.”[14] The starving citizens themselves never see so much as a penny. In fact, in the case of Africa, the money does more harm than good, as the local “authorities” use the money to buy more arms to harm their people. As aid to Africa is obviously having a minimal effect, and at that a negative one, the US should, as an African economist put it, “please just stop… for God’s sake.”14

            As I don’t have time to separately analyze each of the 150 countries that receive varying degrees of US foreign aid, let’s look at the general situation. Countries receiving US foreign aid vote against the US 74% of the time10. For almost every country, there is no upward trend in the freedoms of their people[15].   None of the countries receiving US foreign aid are full democracies, and none of them have taken steps to improve that standing[16]. In the United States today, foreign aid consists of throwing money into a black hole without anything to show for it. Unless the US demands results, the entire of system of foreign aid might as well be abandoned. Any country will take free money, and the US doesn’t do anything to communicate that the money the given is not free.

            Returning to the original factors that make up foreign aid: capability, gain, time, and usefulness, it should be noted that the US foreign aid system, as it stands today, is worthless. While the country is currently capable of providing aid, that may not last, and as the US has gained nothing from any of the countries that it sponsors, there is no reason to stretch our thin budget thinner to continue the program. The future isn’t predicting vast amounts of money looking for a purpose, and even if a golden egg did appear, throwing it towards a failing country isn’t going to solve anything. This is evidenced by the fact that no matter how much money a given country is currently receiving, its unsuccessful results remain the same. Putting that entirely aside, foreign aid is useful, but not in the way it is currently being utilized. 

            Fixing foreign aid would be difficult. Countries have gotten used to their handouts, and asking to see results in exchange for US money might be seen as an attempt to manipulate other countries. Yet in spite of the controversy it might cause, there needs to be an exchange. The specific exchange doesn’t matter; the US could ask countries receiving aid to vote with them, buy US defense products, or grant their citizens basic freedoms, but without reciprocity the system is doing absolutely nothing (other than draining US pockets and lining those of foreign dictators). The alternative to fixing the foreign aid system is giving it up entirely, and while this might be great for balancing the budget, the US does need allies, on occasion. In short, the system can’t be abandoned, but it also needs to endure serious reconstruction to earn its continuance.

 

 

 

Marina H Lee

 

 

 

 

Sources

 


 

[1] http://www.usaid.gov/faqs.html#q7

[2] http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2008/summarytables.html

[3] http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy06/pdf/hist.pdf pg.26

[4] http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/31987.pdf pg. 14

[5] http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/001703.html

[6] http://articles.latimes.com/2005/aug/31/world/fg-aid31

[7] http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/31987.pdf pg. 12

[8] http://www.america.gov/st/democracy-english/2008/August/20080805164900esnamfuak7.732791e-02.html

[9] http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1193622,00.html

[10] http://www.heritage.org/Research/InternationalOrganizations/bg2171.cfm

[11] http://www.royalafricansociety.org/index.php?id=414&option=com_content&task=view

[12] http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6138

[13] http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/

[14] http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,363663,00.html

[15] http://www.undp.org/

[16] http://www.economist.com/media/pdf/DEMOCRACY_INDEX_2007_v3.pdf


I want to keep my gun.

August 20, 2008

…Actually, I don’t have a gun. I’m not old enough to qualify. So, I think I have the virtue of being more or less objective in this matter. If guns are banned, I’m not going to lose anything. (Other than my life…okay, so maybe I’ve made up my mind already.)

Since guns are currently legal, it’s important to consider why it would be necessary to ban guns. If there isn’t a reason logical reason reason (as reason implies logic, logical reason is redundant) to ban them, then we’ll keep them. (If anyone can think of another potential reason, gimme a comment)

Potential reasons why people would want to ban guns:

1) It would lower the crime rate.

2) It would lower the suicide rate.

3) There is no reason to have a gun, as you can’t kill a burglar etc etc with it.

4) All guns do is kill.

Alright. “Reason” number 1. Let us first consider the matter theoretically. It is illegal to murder. That doesn’t stop murderers. It’s also illegal to have cocaine in the country, and that definitely doesn’t stop drug dealers.  From this, we can surmise that if guns were to be illegal, murderers would still be able to find guns, just as druggies find cocaine. They would also have nothing against breaking the law to find said guns, as they’re going to break the law to murder. Statistics do more than support the idea that banning guns doesn’t deter murders, they say that banning guns actually increases murder rates.

When the UK banned handguns, gun crimes did more than stay the same. They went up. “A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.” BBC, July 2001.

Conclusion: Reason 1 is not a reason, as crimes rates are more likely to go up than down after a handgun ban.

Reason 2

Pretend, for a moment, that you’re going to commit suicide (I say pretend because I assume that my caliber of readers are above suicide).  Suicide does not mean shoot yourself. If you can’t shoot yourself, maybe you’ll jump out of a building, or chug some sleeping pills. So banning guns may lower gun related suicides, but increase hanging or drowning suicides . Either way, it’s doubtful that suicides will actually go down. Again, I turn to the statistics to prove the theory. In Japan, a very small percentage of the populous owns guns, but suicide there is higher than in the US, where many more people own guns. This indicates that owning a gun doesn’t make you more or less likely to commit suicide. Also, as Dr. Gary Kleck explains in his book Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, from 1972 to 1995 guns ownership rose exponentially, and suicides remained constant.

Due to this, Reason 2 is also not a reason as guns are just one of the many ways to kill yourself, but are not necessary in order to do so.

As for shooting burglars, I’m sure you remember the 911 call recording where the man who called explained that his neighbors were getting robbed, and then shot the two men responsible, in spite of what the 911 dispatcher had told him to do. If a Pasadina man who doesn’t realize that it’s am not, not ain’t, can figure out how to shoot a burglar, I’m sure there’s at least someone else who can. That one instance pretty much discounts reason 3.

And finally, guns are useful for more than killing. If you could convince a thief that you’d be willing to shoot him, maybe you wouldn’t have to. This website has multiple statistics as to how guns are used to save lives; check it out! Time magazine, in their anti gun article, also gives the following example of how guns can save lives. “‘After cabdriver Iran Bolton picked up an early morning fare at a Phoenix Ariz., night spot, the customer held a broken bottle to her throat and forced her to pull into a deserted area. Robbing her of $70, the thug pushed the woman out of her cab and threw her to the ground. When her assailant ordered her to crawl in the dirt, Bolton responded by emptying her pocket semi-auto into him. He died later in a hospital.'”

Each month American Rifleman, the journal of the National Rifle Association, features about a dozen such accounts of armed citizens defending themselves against criminals. Based on newspaper clippings submitted by N.R.A. members, the stories dramatically show how a gun can sometimes prevent a crime and perhaps even save a victim’s life.”

All in all, pretty much everyone admits that guns do have other uses, and while they probably don’t save more lives than they end, banning them can’t change that ratio.

Don’t you take my gun away!!!


Why to vote for McCain

August 17, 2008

You should vote for McCain because I don’t know how you would live with yourself if you voted for Obama. If you vote for anyone but the two of them, you’re throwing away your vote. Whatever may be wrong with McCain, it’s worse with Obama.

All the same, I’ll put in a good word for McCain…

He’s got a strong plan on immigration. He believes that the number one step is to secure the borders. And unlike Obama’s plan to do this, which amounts to throwing money at the border, he has a good idea of how to actually secure the border. He’s also going to “implement a secure, accurate, and reliable electronic employment verification system to ensure that individuals are screened for work eligibility in a real-time fashion” (taken from his campaign website). When illegals can no longer get jobs, they’ll stop coming.

As for the war in Iraq (I know, I said it, almighty campaign Gods strike me down) there’s actually nothing wrong with deciding that we’re not going to leave until we win. We should not have left Korea nor Vietnam, because those wars simply served to worsen our global reputation, and to encourage terrorists. Americans do no want to become the people that never finish anything. Obama’s time table leaves no room for extraordinary circumstances. If it becomes clear that in one more day we’ll win, Obama will still pull us out.

McCain also believes in small government, while Obama believes in big government. that’s the defining difference between the two candidates. Obama wants more taxes to fund more big government programs, and McCain would rather cut back.

One final issue is the second amendment. Whether or not you believe in the “right to bear arms” you can appreciate that Obama keeps changing his mind on this one as to not stub toes, and McCain would rather do what he thinks is right than win an election. McCain is not promising to do any old thing to gain popularity, and Obama, with all his ear mark spending, obviously is.


Wealth Discrimination

August 16, 2008

It’s one thing to secretly hate a group of people. It’s another to declare your discriminatory views out in the open…to the applause of others. And it’s even worse to proudly display your discriminatory views to increase your popularity. So, who’s been throwing about their racist agendas? Is it the KKK? The Neo-Nazi coalition? The Nation of Islam? Why no, it’s none other than Barack Obama, the Champion of  Civil Rights.

At the end of his political advertisements, Obama declares,”The middle class first.”

If Obama had singled out any other group and declared them to be “first” on his agenda, what would happen? Imagine “Blacks first” or “Catholics first” or even “The rich first.” Obama would be branded as a racist for saying any of those things…yet he says “the middle class first” and no one complains. Not even a little. In fact, numerous websites PRAISE the new ad! Since when was it OK to praise discrimination in America?

So…The middle class is first. What about the poor? Where are they on the agenda? Third? 406th? And the rich? Where are they? Last?

Think about it.