The Myth of the Uninsured American

July 31st, 2008 Conservative Cutie

When we hear the line “47 million Americans go without health insurance” the image that immediately comes to mind for most people is either a sick child or a working-class family caught in the trap of making too much money for Medicare but not enough to pay for insurance premiums.  This is an inaccurate picture.  To be sure, healthcare coverage is an important issues and needs to be addressed by the next president, but often info about the problem is spun in a misleading way.

According to the 2006 Census report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage, by far the largest population group to go without health insurance is young adults ages 18-34, making up about 2/5 of all those uninsured.  This group tends to be in good health, and generally does not stay uninsured for more than a couple of years at most.  This is most likely due to factors like since this group tends to be healthy they don’t feel they need to spend the money on insurance, or that they’re making the transition from high school and college into the work force, have not gotten a job with health care yet, and will not go uninsured for long.

Children living in poverty were the most likely group of children to be uninsured, which I find interesting since Medicare exists so that those living in poverty will not go without healthcare.  If you live below what is considered the “poverty line” and are a citizen of the US you should be eligible for Medicare, so perhaps their parents have not obtained coverage for them.  Since the State Children Health Insurance Program ( SCHIP) was made into law states are working on developing plans that cover every uninsured child in their state regardless of income (some states, like New York, even cover illegal immigrants under these plans).  The problem of uninsured children is being taken care of and soon there will be no more children that go without healthcare, even if the new president did absolutely nothing.  Neither candidate can really claim that they will save the uninsured child.  The only problem that will remain is making sure parents sign their children up for these programs.

Considering that 1/7th of the federal budget is spent on health care, health care is, indeed, expensive.  Most full time jobs (and even many part time jobs) offer employees some kind of access to healthcare.  It isn’t free, and it’s up to the employees to decide to opt-into these plans.  If the employee decides that healthcare is not a priority to them and they do not want to spend the money necessary to gain access to their employer’s plan it’s their personal decision and I’m not sure the government has any responsibility to convince them their health is worth spending money on to insure.  There’s nothing we can do to force people to have health insurance, short of making it illegal to go without, which neither candidate is suggesting.

“If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law. No one will be turned away because of a preexisting condition or illness.”

The biggest fallacy of the Obama healthcare plan is that it would cover every America.  It wouldn’t.  It would provide the option of health care, but it would still cost money and I suspect that lots of those uninsured adults between 18-34 would still rather spend the money on something else.  It wouldn’t do any more to insure children than is already being done independently of his plan. 

At the end of the day it would be the individual’s choice to obtain coverage for themselves, and short of becoming a true socialist nation there is nothing America can do to make sure that happens.

Tags: healthcare, obama healthcare, uninsured americans, socialism, socialist nation, healthcare insurance programs, medicare, healthcare plan

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The Perception of Conservatives and Republicans: Grumpy Old White Men

July 23rd, 2008 Urban Conservative

The following image consists of influential conservative politicians, pundits, talk and radio show hosts (Newt Gingrich, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill O’Reilly, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mitt Romney, Michael Savage and Lars Larson.)  They are influential. They have a significant following.  And they are all conservative (some more conservative than the others, obviously).  But the other commonality of these folks is pretty simple.  They are all white males (grumpy old men); and we see/listen/read about them every day on the news, in newspapers, blogs, etc. 

I see this as a big problem and I even wrote about it a few years ago after I had a conversation with a co-worker.  In a nutshell, he made this comment after I told him I was a conservative, and I quote, “I thought all conservatives were white!�? The problem here revolves around perception. And I would argue that many Americans who vote but are not necessarily “political�? have this same perception and it’s hurting conservatives.

Now, it’s been reported that McCain is zeroing in on selecting a candidate. Some say it’s Romney. Others suggest it might be Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. And others are speculating that it might be Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; even though just today he said he is not being considered. If it were up to me, I’d choose Jindal.

But this is an issue that I believe will have an impact far beyond the 2008 Presidential Election.  Take a look at what Obama and the democrats have done with their party in the last few months. They have energized their base and the result is this “love affair�? with the media; they’re selling more T-shirts, badges, baseball caps and other campaign merchandise. Their people are passionate, spreading the word (viral marketing), and participating. Will this win the election? I don’t know but it sure does look that way.

It’s not only because Obama is black, a great communicator, handsome and energetic. It’s because he is different from what we are used to seeing.  Despite his liberal policies and voting record, he is EXACTLY what we need to represent conservatism. People like Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly and our elected officials only cater to a certain group of people; and I would argue that most non-white conservatives just can’t relate to their commentary, policies and personalities.  Republicans and conservatives alike need to start thinking long term about the future of America; especially if they want to court minority voters in each of the minority groups. 

The reality is that there are a lot of Black, Asian and Hispanic conservatives today but no one ever talks about them; they are rarely interviewed or featured on the news.  It’s about marketing, positioning and changing the perceptions of Americans that all conservatives and Republicans we see in the media are not grumpy old white men. Here are a few that I think are worth mentioning.

  • Michael S. Steele is the chairman of GOPAC and a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland.
  • Alan Lee Keyes is a political activist, author and former diplomat. He ran for President in 1996, 2000, and 2008, and was a Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1988, 1992, and 2004; and was appointed Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations under Ronald Reagan.
  • Condoleezza Rice is the current  Secretary of State, and the second in the administration of President George W. Bush to hold the office. She is the first black woman, second African American (after Colin Powell) and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright) to serve as Secretary of State. She was also President Bush’s National Security Advisor during his first term. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University.
  • J. C. Watts, Jr. is a conservative Republican politician, CNN political contributor, former Representative from Oklahoma in the U.S. Congress, and former professional Canadian football player and much celebrated quarterback for the University of Oklahoma.
  • Jesse Lee Peterson is president and founder of The Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny (BOND), an American group dedicated to promoting responsible fatherhood amongst African Americans. He is also a member of Choose Black America, an organization of African Americans who oppose illegal immigration.
  • Michelle Malkin is a conservative columnist, blogger, author, and political commentator. She has made frequent guest appearances on national syndicated radio programs and on television networks such as MSNBC, Fox News Channel, and C-SPAN.
  • Michelle Eunjoo Park Steel is a Republican member of the California Board of Equalization and is currently the highest ranking Korean American officeholder in the U.S.
  • John Kenneth Blackwell is the former secretary of state of the U.S. state of Ohio who made an unsuccessful bid as the Republican nominee for Governor of Ohio in the 2006 election.
    Piyush “Bobby” Jindal is the current Republican governor Louisiana. Before his election as governor, he was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana’s 1st congressional district, to which he was elected in 2004.
  • Linda Chavez is a prominent Hispanic-American conservative author, commentator, and radio talk show host. She is also a Fox News analyst, Chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity.  She was once the highest-ranking woman in President Ronald Reagan’s White House.

My question is … where are these people? Why are they not letting thier voices get heard. Why aren’t they speaking out, sharing their opinions, talking to people.  With the exception of Michelle Makin (and yes, I love this woman), everyone of these people are totally off the radar; and that’s a problem.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mitt Romney, Michael Savage, Lars Larson, Michael S. Steele, Alan Lee Keyes, Condoleezza Rice, J. C. Watts, Jr., Jesse Lee Peterson, Michelle Malkin, Michelle Eunjoo Park Steel, John Kenneth Blackwell, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, Linda Chavez, conservative politicians, conservative pundits, talk show hostradio show host


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I only sleep with Democrats: a short film about a promiscuous democrat

July 18th, 2008 Urban Conservative

I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time; I have just now been able to spare a few minutes to speak my mind about these silly democrats; not all democrats – just the ultra liberal ones.

So the video is about some dorky white boy who meets a really hot chick in a night club and brings her home for some fun.  Before they get a chance to bump uglies, she finds an autographed picture of John McCain that says “Thanks for your support�?. She goes ballistic and says “Just like the last one” and hysterically leaves his apartment. Then she bumps into a well dressed, sophisticated metro sexual cat in the street and he hands her a pin that says “I only sleep with democrats�?.  You can only assume that he brings her home and beats it up. 

The video is actually really funny and well made but totally inaccurate. The girl in the video is quite the hottie. The problem is that most liberals I know resemble the likes of Cindy Sheehan and Rosie O’Donnell. Truthful, no! Action, well of course if that’s the way democrats act after a few drinks.

Does the democrat party really want to associate themselves with bar-hopping-alcohol-drinking-promiscuous-one-night-stand-prostitutes?  I mean, I really don’t see a problem with that lifestyle at all and it reminds me of my college days when I was quite the play boy; but I am a grown man now with responsibilities, a family and two beautiful daughters.

Here’s their mission statement: brings independent filmmakers together to create edgy online film and video content to support the Democratic Party, its issues and candidates. By developing, funding, producing and distributing these high-quality projects, we’re working to ensure they win large, viral Internet audiences. Contribute today to help us produce more films.

Big ups to Jed Swartz who wrote about this over a month ago and said, “Somebody should tell these guys there’s been a group of folks making ‘film and video content to support the Democratic Party’ for years. They’re called Hollywood.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Tags: I only sleep with democrats, pins,

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The Politics of Flip Flopping; Republicans and Democrats are both guilty

July 8th, 2008 Urban Conservative

As much as I like McCain, his Military record of service and his dedication to this country; he is still a flip flopper.  Obama … well, as much as I admire his charisma and charm; he is also a flip flopper. 

Let’s face it. All politicians are flip floppers – moderates, republicans, democrats, liberals, and conservatives. It’s a fact and it’s normal. In time, we all grow, change our minds, and alter our perspectives on certain issues depending on our every day experiences. But the question we need to ask ourselves is “how often are they flip flopping?�? and “what are we willing to accept as a normal change in one’s mind?�?

The reality is that a flip flop can either be a “valid change�? in a politicians mind or just a political maneuver to “tell the people what they want to hear in order to get elected.�?
In this years, 2008 Presidential Election, both McCain and Obama are guilty. Let’s examine and they you can make your own assumptions as to their true motives.

John McCain

We all know that McCain has always been on the moderate side of the political spectrum, but since his unofficial Republican nomination, he as adopted more of a conservative slant on immigration, interrogation, Guantanamo, Oil drilling to name a few. 

In regards to immigration, McCain was one of the key supporters of President Bush’s plan of a “comprehensive immigration reform”, which would have created “paths to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, while investing more money in border security.

The plan was not so popular with conservative Republicans, and the Senate succeeded in blocking the plan. And just recently and throughout the primaries, McCain announced that his immigration focus would be on securing America’s borders, rather than on giving illegal immigrants the chance to become US citizens.

“I understand why you would call it a, quote, shift,” McCain told reporters in November 2007, “I say it is a lesson learned about what the American people’s priorities are. And their priority is to secure the borders.” Verdict: He changed his mind.

Since securing the Republican nomination, McCain - one of only a few prominent Republicans to accept the argument that humans are causing global warming - has dropped his previous objection to lifting the ban on oil exploration off the coast of the United States. Verdict: Not too sure about this one.

McCain was one of the most vocal Republican voices opposed to the Bush administration’s detention policy in Guantanamo Bay. As a previous POW (Prisoner of War) in Vietnam, I can understand and appreciate his position.  But when the Supreme Court recently ruled that Guantanamo detainees have the right to challenge their detention in US civilian courts, McCain described it as “one of the worst decisions in the history of the country“. Verdict: He really flip flopped on this one.

More recently, McCain changed his position by supporting a bill exempting the CIA from following the same rules on interrogation as the US Army. I am glad he flip flopped on this one because I agree with it; but he still flip flopped. Verdict: Totally Flip flopped.

During his 2000 bid for the Republican nomination, relations between McCain and Christian Coalition founder Jerry Falwell were notoriously damaged. McCain described Falwell and fellow members of the Christian right as “agents of intolerance“.

But in 2006, McCain delivered the commencement address at Falwell’s Liberty University, after which he attended a small private party hosted by his former political adversary. Verdict: Not really a flip flop. It was an estranged relationship and they reconciled.  And, it was 6 years later.

Barack Obama

Since ousting Hillary for the Democratic nomination, Obama is also guilty of flip flopping among many many other things. : )

Obama has found more change he can believe in — as in changing his position on a fundamental issue: campaign finance.  Just last month, he announced that he won’t be participating in public funding of the general election — the first candidate of either party to take that step since federal financing was inaugurated after the 1970s Watergate scandal.

A few weeks ago, he announced that he would be rejecting public financing for his campaign, and would instead rely on private donations.

Obama was asked in a presidential campaign questionnaire in November: “If you are nominated for president in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?”

“Yes,” Obama responded in writing. “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”  McCain accused Obama of “going back on his word”, although Obama insisted that he had never made a promise to stay in the public finance system. Obama’s words above sound about as close to a promise as you can make without actually using the word promise. Verdict: Flat out flip flopper.

Obama also raised liberal eyebrows when he announced that he would not be opposing a bill going through Congress giving immunity to telephone companies involved in the Bush’s wiretap program. His decision angered many of his left wing ( type folks) supporters, who accused him of going back on his 2007 pledge “to support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies”. Verdict: Flat out flip flopper and I think agrees with me on this one.

When the Supreme Court decided to overturn Washington DC’s handgun ban, Obama declared that the ruling “provided much needed guidance”, despite having previously argued (in a written answer that he says was drafted by an aide and which he had not approved) that the ban was constitutional. Verdict: Flip flop, plain and simple.

“Bring the troops home�? from an unjust war that “I never supported from the beginning�? has been the song and dance from the Obama campaign; and was an issue that set him apart from other Democratic candidates running for the party’s presidential nomination. Since his campaign began, however, conditions in Iraq have dramatically changed - violence has reduced and there is more stability in the region. 

Obama himself has announced that he plans to visit Iraq, where he will make “a thorough assessment” which could lead him to “refine” his policy. Some critics have seized on this as an indication that Obama is laying the groundwork for a change in position. Verdict: He could actually be changing his mind about the situations in Iraq

Obama recently hinted to Fortune magazine that his strong anti-free trade rhetoric during the primaries may not have reflected his actual trade policy should he become the President.  His remarks reflect the pressures and temptations that lead politicians to shift their positions during the process of running for office. “Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,” he said, “Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don’t exempt myself.” At least he can admit it and I give him kudos for that. Verdict: Flip flop, clearly.

Tags: Campaign finance, free trade, Iraq, gun control, interrogation techniques, Guantanamo, surveillance program, off shore drilling, flip flopping, flip floppers, McCain, Obama, free trade

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Sen. John Kerry: Still Irrelevant, Out of Touch, Off-base and Fringe

July 7th, 2008 Billy Hallowell

Does anyone else find it painfully ironic that John Kerry — a man who the American people found, via the electoral system, unfit to lead — is engaging in pointless commentary, while waging baseless claims against Sen. John McCain?

Over the weekend, Kerry called McCain “unfit to lead.” Am I incorrect in my assertion that it was Kerry who approached McCain in 2004, asking him to join in the formation of a bi-partisan ticket? Here we are four years later and John “The Flapjack” Kerry is at it again, flipping and flopping faster than a speeding light (whatever that means). On CBS’ Face The Nation, Kerry said:

“John McCain has changed in profound and fundamental ways that I find personally really surprising, and frankly upsetting.”

Ironically, I am not surprised to find Kerry acting as childish and irreverent as ever. Kerry and Obama are totally fringe, but for some reason the Democrats continue to nominate their kind. They were and are two of the most liberal senators, as they stand firmly grounded on the left wing of the American political spectrum. Bipartisanship? Not from these guys. And during a time when we need nothing short of extreme collaboration and inter-party cohesiveness, the fact that the Democrats continue to nominate wing-nuts is extremely disconcerting.

In the interview, Kerry went on to bash McCain, citing the familiar “Bush’s third term” diatribe. I’m not sure if the Democrats realize this yet, but that statement is tired at best. Everyone knows that there are profound differences between McCain and Bush, so continuing to drive home an invalid point is useless. Kerry then proceeds to state the following:

“If you like what has happened to oil prices, John McCain is going to continue that policy. If you like what you see about health care, John McCain has no health care plan.”

Aside from the fact that McCain has an energy plan that greatly differs from George W. Bush’s (which is common knowledge), one wonders if Kerry has even glanced at Obama’s energy plan. Allow me to pull out a snippet for him:

“Obama will invest federal resources, including tax incentives, cash prizes and government contracts into developing the most promising technologies with the goal of getting the first two billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol into the system by 2013.”

Now, let’s explore ethanol in brief:

“… producing ethanol requires huge amounts of energy — most of which comes from coal. Second, the production process creates a number of hazardous byproducts, and some production facilities are reportedly dumping these in local water sources. Third, food-to-fuel mandates are helping drive up the price of agricultural staples, leading to significant changes in land use with major environmental harm.”

And I’m not even going to touch healthcare. McCain does have a plan, but Kerry’s probably too bitter over his 2004 loss to take the time and read it. And then there’s Iraq. Kerry has plenty to say about McCain’s judgment on the war:

“Kerry criticized McCain’s continued support of the occupation, given the effect of a continuing presence of U.S. troops on the situation in Iraq and the region at large. He pointed to remarks by leaders in the Middle East who told him during a recent visit, “You, America, have served up to Iran Iraq on a platter.”

And this is where Kerry loses me. The surge has worked and that’s something that Obama is going to have to contend with come November. Continuing to lament the war, while demanding that the troops come home immediately is nonsensical. When success is so close, why would we exit the region? Doing so would mean a total disservice to the Iraqi people. Leaving Iraq would surely “serve up to Iran Iraq on a platter.” Is this not common sense?

I suppose that writing this piece has given Kerry credence he simply doesn’t deserve. In the end, he’s proven himself painfully irrelevant. Not much has changed since 2004.

Tags: Sen. John Kerry, Senator, Iraq, CBS, Face the Nation, healthcare, John McCain, unfit to lead

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Obama wins a very favorable Hollywood celebrity endorsement: Barbara Streisand

July 2nd, 2008 Urban Conservative

The celebrity endorsements are flooding in for Obama.  First there was P Diddy and his public endorsement at the 2008 BET Awards show. 

If we all register and vote, we will have the first black president in the history of America,” Sean ”Diddy” Combs told the crowd before chanting ”Obama or Die” — a remix of his politically neutral ”Vote or Die” motto from the 2004 presidential election, when he attempted to boost the youth vote.

Of course, John McCain failed to merit any type of “shoutout�? by any of the BET speaker or celebrities. But I guess that’s expected since he is white.

Then came the much needed Barbara Streisand endorsement just yesterday.  Here are a few short statements she wrote on her personal blog:

Barack has awakened in many of us the notion that we can again be hopeful, enabling us to believe that we are capable of lifting our brothers and sisters out of poverty, of providing quality education for all our children, of ending this unjust war in Iraq and bringing our troops home safely.

Well, me might as well pack our bags and head for Canada. Someone please tell the McCain camp that the election is over. It looks like Obama is going to win by a landslide with this Streisand endorsement.  It almost beats an endorsement from Cindy Sheehan or Rosie O’Donnell

Last week, Obama held a fundraiser in Los Angeles that raised somewhere between $4 million to $5 million, and several Hollywood celebrity types such like Dennis Quaid and Samuel L. Jackson were there. Other celebrity endorsements include Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, the lovely Jessica Alba, John Leguizamo, George Lopez and the list goes on. And, we can also assume that the likes of Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and that crowd will also endorse Obama. 

It’s really kind of sad because I do listen to Diddy’s music; and I am a big fan of many of the actors listed above.  Hollywood is so out of touch with America when it comes to things that really matter in life. But I guess that comes with money and fame; and I am glad that Americans don’t use the latest gossip on Entertainment Tonight or Extra when making thier voting decisions. 

John McCain also has a few celebrity endorsements himself including actors Sylvester Stallone and Robert Duvall. Sly is really all he needs at this point since he can kick all the other celebrities’ asses on and off camera. Now, all we need is Chuck Norris to man up.

Oh, and here is a cool resource that looks at the history of celebrity endorsements and how they affect elections.

Tags: obama celebrity endoresements, celebrities endorsing barrack obama, which celebrities are voting for Obama, Sean ”Diddy” Combs, BET Awards, Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, John Leguizamo, George Lopez, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Hollywood endorsements, Hollywood idiots, Barbara Streisand

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