The Shipping and Handling Is Where They Get You

Crossposted at Conservative Badlands

“That thing looks great – I could really use one of those.”

“But wait, there’s more!”

“They’ll send me two for the price of one. Now I know what to give my brother-in-law for Christmas. Sweet!”

Have you ever wondered why so many As-Seen-On-TV products aren’t available in stores? It’s because so many of these gadgets do not stand up to closer inspection – the lack of quality would be immediately apparent if you were able to test the product in person. Have you ever noticed that the shipping and handling may approach the cost of the product – especially when they’re sending you something “free, just pay the additional shipping and handling”?

And so it is with the Obama infomercial. He did his best to convince us that we can’t live without what he’s selling. It all sounds great on TV. Better healthcare. More jobs, growth, prosperity, unity. And the enthusiasm of his studio audience made the pitch sound almost believable. But his proposals are not economically sound, and the added costs – the shipping and handling, so to speak – make an Obama Presidency far more costly than we bargained for.

For example, if you buy now, businesses will get a tax credit for creating jobs. Keeping jobs in America is a noble goal, of course. But you’ll be paying higher freight on those new employees, that will far exceed any tax credit you receive.

The higher minimum wage Obama is selling will have an inflationary impact on all wages.

The Union Free Coercion Act will mean you can’t easily fire those new higher priced employees if they don’t work out, not after your employees have been harrassed into unionizing.

You’ll have higher benefit costs, as your choices for health insurance will be limited to expensive, gold-plated plans. You won’t be permitted to provide an economical plan that covers only serious conditions. Instead you will be required to provide insurance that covers everything from flu shots to birth control to marriage counseling.

But aren’t comprehensive insurance plans – covering everything from major medical to maternity to mental health to preventive care – a good idea? Maybe, but it should be your choice.

You won’t be able to buy a cheaper plan that covers only catastropic issues, while you pay your own preventive and routine care out of pocket, even if it works out better for your budget.

If you don’t have a pre-existing condition, you won’t be able to buy a cheaper plan doesn’t them, or one that has a reasonable waiting period.

If you are a man, you won’t be able to buy a plan that doesn’t cover maternity care.

And as a special deal for the youth of today, the required uniformity of coverage means they get to subsidize the elderly and infirm. If that sounds like social security to you, you’re right!

Obama’s healthcare eliminates our options, and as an added bonus, he tramples states’ rights to determine how they will administer their own programs.

Act now, and the government will be rolling in cash after ending the Iraq War. Once in office though, I suspect (hope…pray…) the Generals will beat some sense into Obama, preventing a precipitous withdrawal. If not, we’ll be shipping more soldiers home in boxes than if we stayed in to win the war, and handling vastly more instability in the region.

Bipartisanship? Obama points with pride to how he “reached across the aisle” on the issue of preventing terrorists from getting their hands on nuclear weapons. Let’s ask our studio audience … “If you think terrorists should have access to nukes – raise your hand. Anyone? No? Wait, you there in the back with the pipe bomb…” When has Obama joined with Republicans on any issue that was distinctly conservative?

Unity? It’ll only cost you a little free speech. With the UnFairness Doctrine, he can shut down those nasty, partisan hacks on right-wing talk radio. We can have unity – in the media. But if Obama thinks he can shut down dissent, he’s fortunately mistaken. It may come as a surprise to him, but there are millions of informed Americans with conservative principles who don’t need Rush or Hannity to tell them what they should think and where to focus their outrage. Honestly, sometimes I find talk radio boring because they’re telling me what I already know. But that doesn’t mean the power of the Federal government should be used to censor them. I would gladly contribute to an UnFairness Doctrine Legal Defense fund, and I think others would do the same. There will be no unity. There are too many of us who know socialism is wrong for America.

Obama promises to review Federal spending line-by-line and cut programs that aren’t working. Ignore the earmarks behind the curtain. Buy now, and we’ll throw in more touchy-feely, purple pen educational programs.

Worse yet, there is no money back guarantee with the Obama infomercial. A government program is as close to eternal life as anything on earth, to paraphrase Reagan. Give Obama just two years with a liberal Congress, and he will wreak havoc on the economy that either cannot be undone, or will not be. Who in Congress would have the courage to roll back the minimum raise? Who in Congress would risk a career taking away health care benefits? And so on. Once it’s in, it’s in.

You are on the phone. You just got the total for your order, and it looks like it’s not the bargain that was advertised. It’s time to put your credit card back in your wallet and hang up, and sigh in relief that you weren’t suckered into the scam.

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Oh, Puke!

Random thoughts about “The Infomercial”.

His first testimonial is the woman complaining about how costs are going up and up…. A basic understanding of economics tells us that Obama’s policies are inflationary. He won’t do her any good.

Take a risk and start a business – a society that honors work? Hah!

Notice he’s redefining “rich” to $200,000 from $250,000.

He gives with one hand and takes away with the other. He speaks of a tax break for businesses creating jobs. Am I the only one who wonders if it will outweigh the increased costs his policies will place on business – further increasing minimum wage? More unionization? Insurance mandates? Higher taxes in general? Why do I doubt his tax break will come close to the burdens he’ll place on small business?

Will it outweigh union demands?

Loans to small business? What the?!?!?! That’s what banks are for.

What commitment does this country have to its people beyond opportunity and freedom – we are promised the right to pursue happiness, not that we’ll get it? We have a commitment to ensure equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.

You should not be able to find a job that pays a living wage unless you have the skills worthy of a living wage. And who is he to define living wage anyway? The vast differential in cost of living across the country argues against any federally mandated “living wage”.

“What we need are big solutions.” Big spending is certainly what he has in mind.

I’m really sorry about the old folks who refinanced their house to pay for insurance, but did they not think about planning for insurance before deciding to retire? What were they thinking?

He’s going to help the auto industry produce more fuel-efficient vehicles? What the hell does he know about designing cars?

Call on every American to conserve energy… Here come the thermostat police.

His “line by line” promise to cut the budget does not reassure me, not with the millions in earmarks he’s put in for during his short tenure as Senator.

He knows damn well that we can’t pull out of Iraq precipitously – don’t pretend we’re going to realize saving from Iraq right away.

You don’t care about big companies, oil, insurance, etc – they can take care of themselves. Indeed. They’ll leave. They’ll fold, and they’ll leave government to pick up the tab.

He was shaped by his father’s absence – look at whom he sought out as mentors and father figures. Yikes!

Now is not the time for small plans – doesn’t that scare anyone?

Community service…. Radicalizing our youth with the likes of United Allies what you have in mind?

Hospitals are already putting records in electronic format, improving processes and paperwork, etc. – They’ll get there without Obama sticking his nose in.

The lower insurance cost estimate was pulled out of his …

You’ll keep own doctors and insurance until they fold up.

No one without preexisting conditions will be able to pay less for a policy that doesn’t cover what they don’t need.

I am my brother’s keeper, sure. I’ll handle it. The Feds can butt out.

Talk to your black separatist education program-promoting buddy of yours about how “united” we should be as a country.

He reached across the aisle to keep loose nukes out of the hands of terrorists – gee, that’s pretty controversial. Way to buck your party, Senator

Manufacturing was destroyed in part by the unions who own Obama.

Why do I think of the banana boat song whenever Obama says “Taliban”? Something about the way he pronounces it.

He will not bring bipartisanship – any decent conservative will fight him tooth and nail, I guarantee it.

He is not telling us what you think and where you stand – he will not fess up to your communist and radical relationships and attitudes

Reward work, create jobs, create prosperity, provide healthcare benefits, invest in renewable energy – by voting for McCain.

I want to puke every time he talks about unity. I will fight against socialism, and I hope others join me.

Orwell Would Be Proud

Posted at Conservative Badlands 10/28/08

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. – George Orwell

It takes more than a little doublethink to wrap the mind around Obama and his ideas.

First, there is Hope. The centerpiece of the Obama campaign. Yet, what do his policies tell his public? The American Dream is dead, if it ever was real. Even before I knew that the title “The Audacity of Hope” was inspired by a Jeremiah Wright sermon, I found it troubling in and of itself.

Hope is not “audacious”. Hope is a natural by-product of a free society. If you believe in America, you cannot help but hope, for you see the endless opportunity we all have in this country. Obama himself has achieved much for such a humble beginning, yet he is not a leader that holds himself out as an example of what anyone can accomplish. Instead, he has devoted his life to grievance-mongering, to convincing everyone they are a victim, that the system is rigged, that success is not for everyone. Obama peddles defeatism, so that the people look only to the government for rescue, not to their own talents. It’s Mourning In America, folks.

Consider the purely doublethinkingly named “Fairness” Doctrine. The liberal bias in most media is more than obvious – it is scandalous. But somehow, it is fair to selectively choose the medium on which you wish to force “equal time”, and not coincidentally, it is the only medium dominated by conservative thought.

I guess “fairness” to the left means never being asked a question you don’t think like.

And the the Employee “Free Choice” Act. Employees are now “free” to be coerced into “choosing” unionization. Obama claims he’s not beholden to any special interests, but the unions own him.

Privacy and free choice apparently only apply to 14 year olds getting abortions without telling their parents. But I digress.

Minimum wage. Obama wants to increase the government mandated minimum wage beyond what is already in the works. But no amount of government interference in the market will ever raise the true minimum wage, because the real minimum wage is zero. No job, zero wages. Blindly increasing the government mandated minimum wage will only result in more people earning nothing. Which bring to mind another quote from Orwell – “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”

Obama is either economically illiterate, or he is willing to throw the poorest of the poor, the least skilled and employable, under the bus in the name of fairness. Or, are his promises just a means of securing power? Hmmmm?

”They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”– George Orwell.

I Want To Hear From Conservatives Who Support Obama – Talk To Me!

I’m just a regular American citizen, admittedly on the conservative side, and this headlong rush to elect Obama is mystifying to me.

It’s not that I don’t grasp liberalism – I may not agree, but I “get” it. It’s the conservatives supporting Obama that have me flummoxed. I sincerely invite you to tell me why.

I think the discussion is important, and on my part, I promise to be civil about it. That doesn’t mean I won’t tell you why I think he’s wrong for the country, but I’m not inviting you here to flog you mercilessly. I want to hear your reasons.

I want to know why you don’t think his associations and alliances matter. I want to know why his record on abortion doesn’t bother you. I want to know how, if you are a fiscal conservative, you’re voting for a candidate who plans massive increases in entitlements and has had no problem getting pork and earmarks for his state.

I want to know what eclipses the legitimate concerns most conservatives have about him. I don’t see it. I’m not a pundit, I’m not an expert on politics – I just don’t understand, and it frustrates me.

If you’re liberal, I get why he sounds so good to you. It’s not that you’re not welcome here, but I really want to hear from people who supposedly share my principles.

Anyone? Please comment.

I Was Getting Around to My Fantasy Football Lineups When…

How Do You Spell Political Correctness? NFL.

League says no to Haslett’s win-based contract

By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer 1 hour, 59 minutes ago

ST. LOUIS (AP)—The NFL denied the St. Louis Rams’ attempt to rework a contract with coach Jim Haslett that would ensure him a job beyond this season if he won six games because of a requirement that minority candidates be interviewed for head coaching vacancies.

Just tell me what the league thinks they’re accomplishing here? The Lions went through the same BS a few years back when everyone knew Mariucci would be the hire.

As I recall, it was difficult to get minority coaches to even interview for that job because they knew it was a charade. Or maybe it was difficult to get anyone to interview because it was the Lions… but I digress.

Pretty soon the team that plays in DC will be the Washington R-words.

Simple Advice This Election

Here’s a startlingly anomalous political blog post. I won’t mention a candidate’s name even once.

Times are tough all around. We’re watching unemployment grow while our 401(k)’s shrink. We’ve got a temporary respite from insanely high gas prices, but can’t trust they won’t shoot up again. Most of us aren’t economists or financiers, so we don’t know which way to turn with what little investments we have left. We’re angry about the bailout. We feel betrayed by our government.

Red state, blue state, Democrat, Republican, right, left. Doesn’t matter. Set aside the labels for a few minutes. We need to think about what is best for our country.

Do you have a job? Is there someone higher up in the company – preferably the owner, if it’s a small business – that you trust? Someone who won’t pull any punches or sugarcoat issues? If so, count your blessings, and if you haven’t voted yet, ask for a couple of minutes for a private conversation.

Don’t ask how they’re voting. Don’t mention the election.

Tell them you’re concerned about this economy. Ask them where they see the company in a year or two. You may be reassured that your job is safe. If so, does that mean others aren’t? Ask. If things don’t look good down the road, ask why not.

You trust this person. If they bring up this election, listen.

Imagine millions of other Americans asking the same question of their bosses, and getting the same answer. What does that mean for your family, your community – even the whole country?

Then imagine millions of Americans not asking . . .

If you think everyone should be having this conversation, encourage your friends and family to get the same scoop where they work. We all want what’s best for this country. We all want informed and thoughtful voters, don’t we?

Lawyers are taught to never ask a question unless you already know the answer. I’m not a lawyer, and I didn’t even stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I think I know how a lot of those conversations will go – if they happen.

As promised, I didn’t mention any candidate by name.

Taking "Community Organizing" to the National Level

When Obama takes the stage for his victory speech, will he thank Saul “The Red” Alinsky? Probably not, but he should.

For the unfamiliar, Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” is the bible of community organizing. Alinsky’s ultimate goal was the overthrow of the capitalist system – to take power from the “Haves” and give it to the “Have-Nots”. Obama has learned the principles, taught them to others, and he and the left have successfully taken Alinsky’s tactics to the national level.

Look at America today. The subprime and foreclosure crisis. Wildly fluctuating oil prices. The meltdown on Wall Street. All gasoline to long smoldering embers. People with grievances against the system have increased exponentially due to the economic crises we’re facing. And with the anger is a loss of confidence in the American economy and its institutions – not just the people running things, but the entire system. And according to Alinsky, a country is “ripe for revolution” when “the masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values. They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating, and hopeless They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do.”

Whether by chance or design, circumstances converged to create chaos, just when there happens to be a candidate poised to exploit it. Obama has been given the perfect opportunity to complete a stealth socialist revolution, and he and the Democrats are capitalizing on it.

Consider a few examples of the tactics described in “Rules for Radicals”, and their real life application – by no means an all-inclusive list.

“The threat is usually greater than the thing itself.” When listening to Obama speak, it’d be a good drinking game to have a shot whenever Obama references the Great Depression. On second thought – forget I said that. I’d hate to be responsible for a slew of alcohol related deaths. Reagan was “Morning in America” – Obama is “Mourning in America”.

“Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” Consider what ACORN is doing with the thousands of fraudulent voter registrations in multiple states. The rule is they must turn in every voter registration, even if potentially fraudulent. They’re just following the rules, and in the process, creating chaos in the election system.

“If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.” Right now, voter registration fraud is a negative. But these irregularities are likely to result in increased vigilance by election personnel. This scrutiny will ultimately be characterized as voter suppression, lawsuits will be filed, and ACORN will have its martyrs.

“Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” Obama parades masses of supporters whenever possible, from renting a stadium for his convention speech, gathering 100,000 in St. Louis, or now planning a victory party a million strong in Chicago. What else is this but a display of his power, an essential element to creating fear in his opponents? What if against all odds, it doesn’t turn out to be a victory party – what will those million people do then?

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”. George Bush, anyone? If there is any clearer example of this tactic, I don’t know what it is. The left has maintained a steady drumbeat of accusations against George Bush, but let’s get real. In my estimation, Bush is a decent man – not much of a limited government conservative, by any means – but one who wanted to do right by his country. Our soldiers are not dying in Iraq on the whim of a madman bent on world domination. We didn’t go into Iraq for oil. Bush didn’t lie – he based his decision on faulty intelligence, shared by many other world leaders. 9/11 was not an inside job. The present economic crisis has its roots in events prior to the Bush administration. (Ask a liberal sometime exactly what Bush is supposed to have deregulated that made this crisis inevitable – but don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.) I may disagree with him on policy, but I don’t think he’s the personification of evil incarnate. But Bush is the target, no question. An easy target – having commenced with an unpopular war and bungled its execution – and he has been effectively “frozen”. Hence, the never-ending efforts to tie McCain to Bush. There hasn’t been a comparable effort to tie McCain to anyone else. Obama has a panoply of questionable alliances, but the power of attacks is diffused by the numbers. Tying Obama to a Congress even more unpopular than Bush, is again less effective, as the target is an institution – and of course, one with which McCain has a longer tenure.

This isn’t to say there haven’t been elements of Alinsky’s tactics used by the Republicans, but in no way as effectively as Obama and his camp. Rove’s got nothing on Obama. Barack’s a pro and he’s been at it for a long time.

Will understanding how Obama won (assuming he does) give us the key to find a way to take our country back? I don’t have an answer for that, but I hope I’ve provided some food for thought.

(And if McCain ekes out an unlikely win, I’ll take my crow with Chardonnay, please.)

Who matters, who doesn’t?

Just one citizen’s take on Obama’s alleged alliances and associations, and whether they’re important or not.

Franklin Raines

A Washington Post article quoted Raines saying he was receiving calls from the Obama campaign. Once it became a campaign issue, Obama denied it. In this case, I can easily see Raines as just a disgraced former executive exaggerating his influence, puffing up his importance. I suspect calls were made. His immediate predecessor at Scammie Mae, Jim Johnson, was associated with Obama’s campaign. Johnson could have deferred to the more recent experience of Raines and suggested the call (or calls). Ultimately though, based on the flimsy evidence, McCain played overplayed his hand on this issue.

Bill Ayers

Should we care about a washed up old terrorist? Yes.

With Ayers history and radical views, it was at best poor judgment and/or ignorance on Obama’s part to let Ayers have any part in his state senate campaign. At worst, Ayers was promoting Obama’s campaign because he recognized a kindred spirit. While we can’t judge candidates entirely by the people who merely endorse them, it is fair to judge candidates by the people they seek out for support.

Plus there were some very questionable “reforms” promoted and funded by the Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Foundation. The educational press and the campaign dismiss them as perfectly mainstream. But have we not seen, time and time again, educational doctrine that conflicts with our values?

ACORN

Make up your mind, Senator Obama.

On one page of your own website, it says “I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.”

Elsewhere on the site:
Fact: Barack was never an ACORN community organizer.
Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.
Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.

ACORN “smack dab in the middle of it but “not part of”. Obama aligns himself with ACORN and their goals on one page of his own website. On another, he throws them under the bus. Does this remind anyone of ….

Reverend Wright

Crop Circles. Missing socks in the dryer. Area 51. Those multiplying wire hangers in my closet. McCain’s dismissal of Wright as an issue in this campaign. All mysteries we may never be able to explain.

Since McCain won’t do it, allow me.

Twenty years.
Twenty years.
Twenty years.

Reverend Wright paints America as an ugly, racist, evil society, bent on oppressing minorities at every turn. He has made vile and fantastically paranoid accusations against our government. For twenty years, Obama sat in the pews. Damn right I care that Obama soaked in Wright’s hatred and divisiveness on a regular basis for twenty years.

I simply cannot fathom how the despicable rhetoric spewed by Wright is compatible with being a spiritual mentor and advisor to a future President of the United States. But Obama left Wright’s church, you say? No amount of eloquence summoned up by Obama now erases twenty years of absorbing the hate and bile.

Did I mention Obama and Wright go back twenty years?

Others?

I don’t know enough yet about some of the other names tossed around. I’m working on learning what I can. But for those who don’t have the time, I strongly suggest at least keeping up on the Investor’s Business Daily editorials. I opened my blog asking everyone to read these and pass it on, and I think it bears repeating. We really need to think about what we’re getting into with Obama. I happen to be an unabashed free-market loving fiscal conservative, but even if you are not – maybe you just always vote for the Democrat – think long and hard before pulling the lever next to the D this year. Please.

Besides – trust me on this – with McCain, you’re pretty close to getting a Democrat anyhow. He wasn’t my choice in the caucus this year. Not my second choice… Not even my third. I liked him better than Huckabee though. McCain has driven us conservatives up a wall for the last few years – Try him, you’ll probably like him.