Conservative Wanderer

“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.” — Ronald Wilson Reagan

Scozzafava Suspends Campaign

I guess McCain-style liberal Republicanism doesn’t even sell in upstate New York:

Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence parties candidate, announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign for the 23rd Congressional District and releasing all her supporters.

The state Assemblywoman has not thrown her support to either Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, or Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate.

One wonders if those that want the GOP to become just a watered-down version of the Democrats will learn the lesson.

Qualified Candidate Passed Over For Police Chief Job–Because He Is WHITE!

Such is the claim of two of the members of the board who recommended him:

City officials seeking a new police chief passed up the former director of the Florida Highway Patrol, who formerly was a top commander of the Illinois State Police, because he is white, two former members of a city board claim.

Wyatt Frazer and Della Murphy allege in a federal lawsuit that they were forced off the Police, Fire and Civil Service Board for their advocacy of a white candidate when the chief’s job was open in 2007.

[snip]

The suit, filed Oct. 1 in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, claims, “Shortly after Parks became Mayor in May 2007, Frazer became aware of Parks’ bias against hiring white persons.” It continues, “When the city was searching for a new Chief of Police, on or about August 2007, Frazer and Murphy felt that the most qualified candidate was a white male with extensive law enforcement experience and no criminal history. However, Parks told Frazer at that time that he would not recommend the Board’s candidate for the position because he was white. At Parks’ recommendation, the City then hired Michael Baxton, Sr., an African-American male, as Chief of Police, even though he was less qualified than the Board’s candidate … .”

I guess East St. Louis isn’t quite ready to follow the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

No word yet on whether President Obama will invite any of these people to the White House for a beer, either.

House ObamaCare Numbers Looking Just As Dismal As Senate Numbers

A leaked report reveals the gory details:

The House Dem leadership has conducted its preliminary whip count and has tallied up less than 200 likely Yes votes in support of a health care reform bill with a robust public option, well short of the 218 needed for passage, according to an internal whip count document I’ve obtained.

The document — compiled by the office of House leader James Clyburn — was distributed privately at a meeting between Clyburn and House progressives today where the fate of the public option was the subject of some contentious debate, with liberals demanding that House leaders push harder to win over votes.

Clyburn spokesperson Kristie Greco would only say: “We currently do not have the votes for a robust public option.”

Health care reformers are eagerly awaiting the House vote count numbers on the robust public option — which would reimburse providers at Medicare rates plus five percent — because a House bill with a strong public option would increase the of leverage House leaders in upcoming conference negotiations with Senate leaders over the final bill. The exact count has been hotly debated in political circles since last week.

The actual count?

The document shows that 47 House Dems are committed No votes, and eight are Leaning No, for a total of 55. That means of 256 House Dems, just under 200 remain, and a dozen of those are listed as undecided. The bill needs 218 votes for passage.

What this also means, ladies and gentlemen, is that your voices at town halls, tea parties, on the phones, in emails and snail mails are being heard!

However, even though we’re winning, it’s not time to let up and head back to the La-Z-Boy. We need to keep the pressure on until at least the 2010 elections when we can run enough Obamacrats (meaning those Democrats that reflexively side with Obama on everything) out of office to keep this thing in its grave.

So, I will reiterate a call I have made before… tell not only your Representative and Senators, but any that are wavering that if they vote for this, not only will you not support them (and will vote against them if you’re in their district), but that you’ll actively and financially support their opponent in the next election. Remember, always be polite when speaking to staffers, even if they’re rude to you… they are just doing their jobs, they’re getting lots of flak, and you need to be more reasonable than they are.

Along the same lines, Politico has given us a list of those Senators currently seen as wavering… use this as a starting point for your calling list.

ObamaCare At 58, Perhaps

Looks like Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) can be tentatively penciled in as a “nay” vote, at least for the public option:

U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., said Tuesday she still can’t support a government-funded insurance option, a day after legislation was unveiled that would give states the choice of whether to participate in the program.

“Creating another government-funded option is not where we’re going. We don’t need to go there,” Lincoln told members of the Arkansas Farm Bureau during a video conference. “A government-funded option is something that I think is not the way to go.”

The catch here, and the reason she has to be listed as a tentative nay, is that she didn’t specifically say she’d vote against Reid’s bill or the “opt-out” provision.

Still, this can’t be good for Reid… he comes up with this Grand Opt-Out Plan to Save ObamaCare, and now not only has he lost the single Republican Senator that voted for it in committee, he’s now managed to lose one and maybe two of the Democrats.

These things do sometimes tend to turn into “bandwagon” affairs… once you get one or two saying no, it’s easier for others to say no. I’d not be at all surprised if we see more Dems pushing back on the Reid Opt-Out Plan.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Lincoln is up for re-election in 2010, either.

Mixed Feelings About “Little Buddy”

I am of two minds about this use of technology:

The “Little Buddy Child Tracker” retails for $100 (far less than other devices that sell for $200 to $500). It combines global satellite positioning and cellular technology to signal the child’s whereabouts to a computer or smartphone.

Parents can program the device to set up specific times and locations where the child is supposed to be — in school or at home, for example — and the device sends a text message if the child leaves the site in that time.

It seems a bit Big-Brother-ish to me, but then again, with all the stories of child abductions out there, something like this might be a very good tool in keeping kids safe.

Lieberman Showing His Independent Streak

Joe seems to be showing some backbone in standing up to the Obamacrat leaders:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill.

Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats and is positioning himself as a fiscal hawk on the issue, said he opposes any health care bill that includes a government-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out of the program, as Reid’s has said the Senate bill will.

“We’re trying to do too much at once,” Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now.”

Lieberman added that he’d vote against a public option plan “even with an opt-out because it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which taxpayers will be on the line.”

His comments confirmed that Reid is short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill out of the Senate, even after Reid included the opt-out provision. Several other moderate Democrats expressed skepticism at the proposal as well, but most of the wavering Democratic senators did not go as far as Lieberman Tuesday, saying they were waiting to see the details.

That means that, assuming Olympia Snowe and the rest of the lefty Republicans in the Senate stand firm, Reid does not–I say again, DOES NOT–have the votes to overcome a filibuster. Personally, I think on this one they will… they appear to have learned the lesson that being the lone Republican voting for something like this just makes them a nice target.

The Obamacrats in the House can complain all they want, and the Daily Kossacks can whine until 2012 and beyond, but any form of single-payer healthcare certainly looks like it won’t get through the Senate, no matter what focus-grouped term you choose to use as a label.

Gingrich Misses The Mark

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich has really lost touch with his conservative principles:

Gingrich called Scozzafava a “liberal Republican” for her support of gay marriage and abortion rights. But he defended those positions as in-step with her district and her predecessor, former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), who was tapped to be President Barack Obama’s Army Secretary.

Now, follow the logic here:

  1. Scozzafava is, according to Gingrich, “in-step” with her predecessor.
  2. Said predecessor was so liberal that he was hand-picked for an administration post by a man who is arguably the most liberal President in modern history.
  3. Therefore, Scozzafava is also liberal enough to be adored by Barack.

And Gingrich wonders why conservatives not only aren’t rallying around her, but are actively lambasting him for his support of this Democrat-in-Republican-clothing?

One wonders if this isn’t primarily Newt’s ego talking, attacking rather than “lose face” by admitting he goofed when he first endorsed her. Memo to Mr. Gingrich: Admitting you’re wrong is the honorable thing to do; attacking the base isn’t gonna get you anywhere.

Health Insurers Not Really Raking In The Profits

And, believe it or not, it’s the AP that explains it:

Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo? Answer: They’re all more profitable than the health insurance industry.

In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making “immoral” and “obscene” returns while “the bodies pile up.”

Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That’s anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.

One thing to watch for is politicians and pundits talking about insurers’ profit in absolute dollars, not as a percentage of revenues. This is highly misleading, bordering on outright dishonesty, because in order to stay in business health insurers have to have extremely large cash reserves; these are required by most states, and even if not required, the money to pay for all those procedures have to come from somewhere. Since most states also have laws that require payment of medical insurance claims within a set time frame (30 days is usual), it’s not like the company can sit around and wait for next months’ premiums to roll in.

The more we learn about the Obamacrats and their push to take over the health care of all Americans, the more questionable claims and dishonest statements we find.

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