Tag: California

What Is It About The Electoral College?

electoral college

The Electoral College has recently been the subject of heated debate. However, most of what I’ve seen and heard makes it clear not too many Americans today understand why and how the Electoral College came to be. This is not all that surprising, given the state of our public school system. The truth is that, at one time, the Electoral College was not controversial at all. This was because people understood how it worked and why it was put in place.

Today, more than a dozen states have joined in an attempt to remove or circumvent the Electoral College. This is because Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election while receiving a majority of the popular vote. However, if you examine how that popular vote broke down, Clinton received a large number of votes from densely-populated urban areas like New York and California. In fact, if you remove California, President Trump would have won the popular vote by 1.4 million votes.

This is a somewhat flawed argument. You could arbitrarily remove any state’s electoral votes and the outcome could be altered in some way. But, it still illustrates the central point. The Electoral College was instituted to ensure that a President must have broad national support to win. The president is the president of the whole nation, not just president of the most densely-populated urban areas.

Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution states:

Each state shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in Congress.

Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution insures that each state retains equal representation in presidential elections, exactly like they do in Congress. It is genius and it insures a nationwide “fair” representation in presidential elections.

The Electoral College was designed to make sure that each candidate took their message to the whole nation, and subsequently won based on national support for their policies. The Electoral College was designed precisely to prevent a situation where a state like New York or California become the defacto policy decision maker for the entire nation. Since its inception, it has worked brilliantly in doing exactly that, sometime benefiting the Democratic Party and sometimes the Republican Party.

One has to ask if those currently clamoring for ending the Electoral College would be doing so if their side had won the majority of Electoral College votes and the election.

electoral college

Perhaps the Electoral College is a victim of its own success. Throughout American history it has shaped American politics in many ways that were beneficial to this country. It only becomes an issue when one side loses a closely contested election and just cannot make themselves accept the results.

For those interested in states rights, abolishing the Electoral College would give the states less power against the federal government. The Electoral College also prevents a strong, charismatic person from using a fickle surge in popular support to consolidate more power and become a dictator.

If you truly understand the role of the Electoral College in making sure the entire nation has a voice in its presidential elections and you believe in fairness and the Rule of Law, it is hard to imagine why anyone would call for its abolition. I can only think of two reasons.

  • You do not understand what it does
  • You are making a power grab, and you can’t win national elections … therefore, you have to change the rules.

Perhaps a Little “Poetic Injustice”?

English Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

I hate to see anyone get the shaft! This is also not a fluke … this same kind of story is cropping up in the news more and more frequently.  I do think, however, this is a little “poetic injustice” and folks like these got exactly what they voted for!

San Francisco architect Lee Hammack says he and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, are “cradle Democrats.” They have donated to the liberal group Organizing for America and worked the phone banks a year ago for President Obama’s re-election.

Since 1995, Hammack and Brothers have received their health coverage from Kaiser Permanente, where Brothers worked until 2009 as a dietitian and diabetes educator. “We’ve both been in very good health all of our lives – exercise, don’t smoke, drink lightly, healthy weight, no health issues, and so on,” Hammack told me.

The couple — Lee, 60, and JoEllen, 59 — have been paying $550 a month for their health coverage — a plan that offers solid coverage, not one of the skimpy plans Obama has criticized. But recently, Kaiser informed them the plan would be canceled at the end of the year because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The couple would need to find another one. The cost would be around double what they pay now, but the benefits would be worse.

“From all of the sob stories I’ve heard and read, ours is the most extreme,” Lee told me in an email last week.

I’ve been skeptical about media stories featuring those who claimed they would be worse off because their insurance policies were being canceled on account of the ACA. In many cases, it turns out [2], the consumers could have found cheaper coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces, or their plans weren’t very good to begin with. Some didn’t know they could qualify [3] for subsidies that would lower their insurance premiums.

So I tried to find flaws in what Hammack told me. I couldn’t find any.

Hammack recalled his reaction when he and his wife received a letters from Kaiser in September informing him their coverage was being canceled. “I work downstairs and my wife had a clear look of shock on her face,” he said. “Our first reaction was clearly there’s got to be some mistake. This was before the exchanges opened up. We quickly calmed down. We were confident that this would all be straightened out. But it wasn’t.”

I asked Hammack to send me details of his current plan [4]. It carried a $4,000 deductible per person, a $40 copay for doctor visits, a $150 emergency room visit fee and 30 percent coinsurance for hospital stays after the deductible. The out-of-pocket maximum was $5,600.

This plan was ending, Kaiser’s letters told them, because it did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. “Everything is taken care of,” the letters said. “There’s nothing you need to do.”

The letters said the couple would be enrolled in new Kaiser plans that would cost nearly $1,300 a month for the two of them (more than $15,000 a year).

And for that higher amount, what would they get [7]? A higher deductible ($4,500), a higher out-of-pocket maximum ($6,350), higher hospital costs (40 percent of the cost) and possibly higher costs for doctor visits and drugs.

When they shopped around and looked for a different plan on California’s new health insurance marketplace, Covered California [8], the cheapest one was $975, with hefty deductibles and copays.

In a speech in Boston last week [9], President Obama said those receiving cancellation letters didn’t have good insurance. “There are a number of Americans — fewer than 5 percent of Americans — who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident,” he said.

“Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good.”

What is going on here? Kaiser isn’t a “bad apple” insurer and this plan wasn’t “cut rate.” It seems like this is a lose-lose for the Hammacks (and a friend featured in a report last month [10] by the public radio station KQED.)

I called Kaiser Permanente and spoke to spokesman Chris Stenrud, who used to work for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He told me that this was indeed a good plan. Patients in the plan, known as 40/4000, were remarkably healthy, had low medical costs and had not seen their premiums increase in years. “Our actuaries still aren’t entirely sure why that was,” he said.

While many other insurance companies offered skimpier benefits, Stenrud said, “our plans historically have been comprehensive.”

Kaiser has canceled about 160,000 policies in California, and about one third of people were in plans like Hammack’s, Stenrud said. About 30,000 to 35,000 were in his specific plan.

“In a few cases, we are able to find coverage for them that is less expensive, but in most cases, we’re not because, in sort of pure economic terms, they are people who benefited from the current system … Now that the market rules are changing, there will be different people who benefit and different people who don’t.”

“There’s an aspect of market disruption here that I think was not clear to people,” Stenrud acknowledged. “In many respects it has been theory rather than practice for the first three years of the law; folks are seeing the breadth of change that we’re talking about here.”

That’s little comfort to Hammack. He’s written to California’s senators and his representative, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asking for help.

“We believe that the Act is good for health care, the economy, & the future of our nation. However, ACA options for middle income individuals ages 59 & 60 are unaffordable. We’re learning that many others are similarly affected. In that spirit we ask that you fix this, for all of our sakes,” he and Brothers wrote.

Consumer advocate Anthony Wright said it’s important to remember the way the insurance market worked before the act was passed, when insurers could deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. “It’s impossible to know what the world would have looked like for these folks in the absence of the law,” said Wright, executive director of the group Health Access.

“We certainly had an individual market, especially in California which was the Wild Wild West, where there was huge price increases, cancellations, a range of other practices.

“That doesn’t mean that there were certain people who lucked out in the old system, who wound up in a group with a relatively healthy risk mix and thus lower premiums,” he added. “The question is: Is health insurance something where people get a rate based on the luck of the draw or do we have something where we have some standards where people who live in the same community, of the same age, with the same benefit package are treated equally?”

Wright said discussions should focus on how to provide consumers like Hammack with assistance if they barely miss qualifying for subsidies.

So what is Hammack going to do? If his income were to fall below four times the federal poverty level, or about $62,000 for a family of two, he would qualify for subsidies that could lower his premium cost to as low as zero. If he makes even one dollar more, he gets nothing.

That’s what he’s leaning toward — lowering his salary or shifting more money toward a retirement account and applying for a subsidy.

“We’re not changing our views because of this situation, but it hurt to hear Obama saying, just the other day, that if our plan has been dropped it’s because it wasn’t any good, and our costs would go up only slightly,” he said. “We’re gratified that the press is on the case, but frustrated that the stewards of the ACA don’t seem to have heard.”

by Charles Ornstein

It is amazing to me that, like Lemmings, they still gulp down their daily allotment of cool aid and continue to worship and follow Dear Leader!  The old saying is, “Be careful what you wish for … it might come  true!”

The Problem With Ron Paul Revisited

9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar, for whom al-A...
Image via Wikipedia

You know, I really do like a lot of what Ron Paul says when it comes to the U.S. Constitution, our government, spending,  and capitalism; but then he always has to go and blow it … with his fantasy world views on foreign policy and national defense.

I am sorry … but Anwar al-Awlaki gave up his American citizenship when he chose to become a terrorist and commit the worst kind of treason … plotting the death of thousands of American citizens.

Are we supposed to risk the lives of a dozen or so Navy SEALS to try to capture this piece of crap, just so some terrorist friendly lawyer can make a few million dollars defending him in some terrorist friendly Court … like maybe the 9th Circuit Court in California?  If an armed drone can end his threat to our nation and its citizen’s safety without needlessly risking the lives of our soldiers …  then so be it … al-Awlaki gets a “drone enema.”

Maybe if Anwar al -Awlaki was living in say Boston or San Francisco … it would be different; and we could arrest him without launching a major military offensive.  Then by all means: liberals could read him his Miranda rights, and try him.  Then then Ninth Circuit Court could make a hero out of him and slap his wrist.  But that fact is that  al-Awlaki is (or excuse me … was) in Yemen.  And … there is the real world/ fantasy difference folks!

Speaking of California, the left-wing loonies in charge of that once great state are at it again.  The state is already bankrupt and want to cut medicare payments to save money, but at the same time … they are going to pay $10,000 to each trucker in California (or who drives into California) to aid them in changing out a perfectly good diesel engine that meets federal emissions standards for a new “California-friendly” diesel engine that meets their state’s special emission standards.  One owner of a small trucking business in Minnesota had to shell out over $40,000 to change out perfectly good diesel engines in his trucks just so he could deliver loads to California.  Hmmm … $40,00 … wouldn’t that have been just about enough to put another American to work?  Sheer California madness!  We should just let that state regulate itself out of existence …

Maxine Waters: Enemy of the State!

Maxine waters
Image via Wikipedia

One wonders where these crazy, illogical, left-wing ideologues come from.  Maxine Waters, recently speaking to a group of about a thousand of her supporters stated that “The Tea Party can go straight to hell” and that she would be there to help it happen.  I keep wondering where those “tolerant” liberals have all gone to?

There is no logic to any of their hate or vitriol.  A black man spoke up and complained he was once a successful architect, with a big home,and a Porsche 911 Carrera; and now he lives out of his back pack!  He blames the Tea Party!  How is the Tea Party responsible for his misfortune? 

California is hardly a Tea Party state!  Radical liberal politicians (like Maxine Waters) have driven thinking, solid, hard-working Californians right out of the state with their crazy regulations, oppressive taxes, and “social justice” policies.   California is approaching bankruptcy and losing jobs even faster than Texas, a conservative state, is creating them.  There is simply nobody in California with the money to buy the homes or buildings that poor black architect might design!  Any Californians with money and sense are leaving in droves!  There are leaving for states like Texas … run by Tea Party-type people!   The truth is that this former black architect (if indeed that is what he really was) should look Maxine Waters dead-square in the eyes and ask her,”Why did your policies do this to me?”   Sadly, that will never happen because as I have often said, “Liberals never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”  

Politicians like Maxine Waters ignore facts, point fingers, and scream poisonous lies to anyone who will listen and is not intelligent enough to see through them.  They do this to cover for their own incompetence and to get reelected … because to their mindless loyal minions they are heroes!

Blame the Tea Party!  They scream and rant pure nonsense … and useful idiots listen.  Although progressive, left-wing liberals like to compare conservatives to Nazis, in truth, it is the vitriolic rantings of people like Maxine Waters that actually does have an eerie and uncanny resemblance to nazis propaganda.  “Blame the Tea Party” is not too far removed from “Blame die Juden!”

Tea Party members have at least offered several “plans” for fixing the economic crisis we face as a nation.  One plan was even based on recommendations by Obama‘s own experts.  What plan has Maxine Waters put forward?  None!  How does her vitriolic ranting and blame game help this country?  It doesn’t! 

But then … hey … why let the truth get in the way of a good story!

No Child Left Behind And Other Fruit Loops!

No Child Left Behind

Who leaves their kids behind?  Is it the government?  Or … is it the parent!  Have adults in this country truly become such sorry parents that they actually need the government to come in and tell them not to leave their child behind? Folks, No Child Left Behind should be a grass roots movement pushed and demanded by parents … and not the government!

It is the government’s job to support education and then get the hell out of the way. Have you ever stopped to wonder why the classic “super teacher” films of the past like To Sir With Love, The Black Board Jungle, or Lean On Me all depict troubled students with bad situations at home … and a teacher or a principle who steps in and acts as a surrogate parent and does what the parent should have been doing. These movies do not depict the government stepping in and spending billions of dollars on wasteful programs that do not work.

The biggest, most bureaucratic, most socialistic government in the world simply cannot take the place of a real parent who pushes their child to succeed, who supports their child’s educational goals, and demands a quality education for their child at the local level. A parent who meets with teachers, attends PTA meetings, votes in school board elections, demands to see homework and helps their child with that homework, and demands quality text books for their student sees that their child is not left behind.

Are there bad parents in the world … of course there are … and while it is sad, and tragic, and all that … the government can’t change that either! Be the best parent you can be … and quit asking the “village” to raise your kids!

Meanwhile, In California:

A California appeals court ruling has clamped down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials and sent shock wave across the state, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.

“California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,” Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. “Parents have a legal duty to see to their children’s schooling under the provisions of these laws.”

Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.

“A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare,” the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

Since when have California schools done any of those things?

California schools like to teach our children to be tolerant of families with two daddies or two mommies, and how to put condoms on bananas, and how evil America is and how we must tolerate our radical Muslim brothers and sisters who are trying to blow us off the face of the earth because we deserve it, and how to avoid taking personal responsibility for any of our actions, and that free-market capitalism is the devil.

They have forgotten how to teach reading, writing and arithmetic. and …. hmmmm lets see …. no more Pledge of Allegiance in school, you can draw demonic pictures, Hindu pictures, Buddhist pictures …. but no Christian pictures!

How about this story from California on Fox News:

James Corbett

A student and his family have filed a federal lawsuit demanding that a popular European history teacher at California’s Capistrano Valley High School be fired for what they say were anti-Christian remarks he made in the classroom.

Chad Farnan, a 16-year-old sophomore, says the teacher, James Corbett, told his students that “Jesus glasses” obscure the truth and suggested that Christians are more likely than other people to commit rape and murder.

Farnan recorded his teacher telling students in class: “What country has the highest murder rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rape rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rate of church attendance? The South!” Farnan said he took the tape recorder to class to supplement his class notes.

Or this one from Wisconsin:

Grade “0″ Drawing

MADISON, Wis. — A Tomah High School student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging his art teacher censored his drawing because it featured a cross and a biblical reference.

The lawsuit alleges other students were allowed to draw “demonic” images and asks a judge to declare a class policy prohibiting religion in art unconstitutional.

“We hear so much today about tolerance,” said David Cortman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal advocacy group representing the student. ”

We are always being told by liberals how we must have tolerance for Islamic beliefs, Buddhist beliefs, Wiccan beliefs, atheistic beliefs, homosexual beliefs, …. but what I want to know is …. where is the tolerance for Christian religious beliefs? Isn’t the whole purpose of art to reflect the artists personal experience. To tell some high school student that his religious beliefs can legally be censored and then to give a grade of “0” for an obviously good drawing … sends the wrong message and is, I sorry, extremely un-American!

Folks, remember this concept?  The government works for and derives its power from us … the people!  If our public schools have become nothing more than secular-progressive, left-wing liberal, NEA protected re-education camps, then parents not only have the right, but they also have the duty to remove their children from these schools and … home school them if they so choose … and then vote to fire those officials and impeach those judges that are perpetuating this nonsense.

Remember Abe Lincoln … he was home schooled! Home schooling has been around a lot longer than these fruit loop, left-wing, liberal activist judges from California like Justice Croskey!

Obama Lama Ding Dong!

Obama’s Change

I was reading an article yesterday that was adapted from a lecture given by Charles R. Kesler, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, at Hillsdale College on January 30, 2008. Charles Kesler raised some interesting points I would like to share with anyone who can think their way past gushing over Barack Obama’s rock star persona and catchy slogans!

Kesler’s discussion goes something like this:

Obama’s campaign creed is: “Yes, we can.” To which any thinking person might respond with: “can what?” Obama’s answer then, of course is: “Hope.” However again, a thinking person might respond: “Hope for what?” To which Obama would certainly answer; “For change.” In fact, Barack Obama signs all say “Change We Can Believe In,” …. in contrast, of course, to what might be termed unbelievable change?

However, what liberals seem to forget is that change is not always good. Change can certainly be for the better … but it can also be for worse! And … Liberals often tend to confuse the word change with the word improvement, or they often seem to think the two are synonymous … a flawed way of thinking that usually comes back to bite us hard in the tail end!

Liberals, because they are emotionally driven, always fail to weigh the costs and benefits of their proposed change, or to consider the unintended consequences of their changes. They never seem to consider what we just might need or want to conserve … and how we might go about doing just that, as Kesler says, “faithfully .”