Thursday, July 23, 2009

Running for Cover. And Not Finding Any.

As predicted, Congressman McMahon has taken refuge in a tough guy approach to the radical health care proposal being bullied through Congress. It is to be expected, since he doesn't want to be seen as a cheerleader for what will prove to be an extraordinarily painful and destructive initiative.

It won't work, though. Not as long as we vow to stay informed and engaged.

This from the Staten Island Advance (SILive) today:
Said McMahon: "... I am concerned that the proposed health care bill will be paid for at the expense of our small business owners ... essentially penalizing (them)." [snip]

But Staten Island Rep. Michael McMahon predicted there will be a new way of providing health care in this country, and paying for it, by year's end, if not by Congress' August recess..."
Sound familiar? It should. Last week we wrote:
Do not be surprised if you see the Congressman expressing "deep concerns" about the health care bill, insinuating that he may not vote for it until he knows how it will be paid for. Ultimately, though, after some minor tweaks and fixes, he will toe the Obama/Pelosi line.
Now under normal circumstances this tactic would work quite well; it makes it seem as if he is putting the well-being and interests of his constituency before party loyalty - but that's all smoke and mirrors. The truth is that we are fools if we let him shape the message this way.

The underlying theme here is that despite the "tweaks and fixes," our Congressman is in favor of socialized medicine. McMahon - along with all the other politicians who will vote for this bill but are not personally bound by it - is ultimately going to vote to dump the greatest health care system in the history of the world.

Detractors (and there are many) will say that I'm being picky, that even when the Congressman does work for the benefit of his constituents I am looking for and finding fault. This is not true. The reality is that no matter what portions of socialized medicine McMahon objects to, he will still, in the end, support socialized medicine.

As I have said before, will say here, and will say again on August 2nd in Conference House Park: "Time and time again our Congressman votes us into the twilight world of soft tyranny..."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Think Nobody's Listening?

If any of your friends, neighbors or relatives roll their eyes when you tell them you're involved in the Tea Party movement, mention this piece from today's Wall Street Journal:
...on Friday a busload of freshmen Democrats went to the White House to plead their case against sharp tax increases with the president and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The organizer was Rep. Gerald Connolly, the president of the freshman class whose Northern Virginia district is the richest in the U.S. as measured by median household income.

"There could come a time," said Rep. Michael McMahon, a freshman Democrat from New York City's borough of Staten Island, when Democrats are in open rebellion. "We will certainly see in the next few weeks where we are going." [snip]

For now, most freshmen aren't saying how they will vote on the House health-care bill. Mr. McMahon, whose New York district also includes parts of Brooklyn, said there is no open revolt, but there have been two meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and there was the White House meeting Friday with Messrs. Obama and Emanuel. Taxes dominated what Mr. Connolly described as a cordial but inconclusive discussion.

"I spend all my time here making the case that the profile of the rich doesn't stand in my district," Mr. McMahon said. "People feel that they're getting hit from all sides."
Skeptics will say that you and I had nothing to do with it. Don't buy it. This was predicted in an email you received a few days ago if you are on the Tea Party mailing list:
This is Congressman McMahon's worst nightmare - an informed electorate who cares and is energized.

Do not be surprised if you see the Congressman expressing "deep concerns" about the health care bill, insinuating that he may not vote for it until he knows how it will be paid for. Ultimately, though, after some minor tweaks and fixes, he will toe the Obama/Pelosi line.
Think nobody's listening?

Monday, July 13, 2009

On the Death of a Hero.

Never having experienced the hell that is war, it exists only in my mind; I often wonder if I am capable of conjuring, in my imagination, the real sights, smells and sounds of it, the true depths of the fear and horror that must accompany battle. I think that I cannot, and that only makes those who have been in harm's way all the more worthy of my gratitude and honor. I'm sure many, many of you share my feelings.

Recently, we lost a man that is a true America hero, and he is worthy of our recognition. That his story would be taken to his grave untold and uncelebrated, ignored by a culture that worships an entertainment-industry freak but gives nary a passing thought to a true American, is a sad but not shocking commentary on our priorities, which puts a premium on pop-stardom, but publicly cares nary a whit for true courage.

At least that's true of some of us. Not all. I believe it's not true of you and I know it's not true of me.

Ed Freeman was a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam, second-in-command of Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On November 14th, 1965, he was supporting Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, where elements of the 5th and 7th Cavalry of the U.S. Army engaged elements of the regular army of North Viet Nam in one of the first major battles of the war, an apocalyptic event that would last 4 days, and be memorialized in the book and movie "We Were Soldiers." [The photo above was taken in the morning at LZ X-Ray, before the battle started, as Alpha Company was being helicoptered into the zone. Little did they know of the hell they would endure before the sun set that day.]

Within hours of being helicoptered in, the landing zone became so "hot," under withering enemy fire, that Medivac flights were called off. Wounded American soldiers lay where they were shot, their life forces ebbing unchecked, and the living were quickly running out of ammunition and supplies. Into this inferno of chaos and death flew a single, unarmed HUEY - piloted by Ed Freeman. Freeman brought in water and ammunition, and brought out wounded American boys.

Not once. Not twice. Fourteen separate times, Major Freeman set down his chopper in that deadly cauldron, and fourteen times he flew out. The men he rescued numbered about 30; the men whose lives he saved by re-supplying them, probably in the hundreds.

These are the words of President George W. Bush as he awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to Major Freeman:
In a moment, we will hear the full citation in all its heroic detail. General Eisenhower once observed that when you hear a Medal of Honor citation, you practically assume that the man in question didn't make it out alive. In fact, about 1 in 6 never did, and the other five, men just like you all here, probably didn't expect to.

Citations are also written in the most simple of language, needing no embellishment or techniques of rhetoric. They record places and names and events that describe themselves. The medal itself bears only one word and needs only one, valor.

As a boy of 13, Ed Freeman saw thousands of men on maneuvers pass by his home in Mississippi. He decided then and there that he would be a soldier. A lifetime later the Congress has now decided that he's even more than a soldier because he did more than his duty. He served his country and his comrades to the fullest, rising above and beyond anything the Army or the nation could have ever asked.

It's been some years now since he left the service and was last saluted.

But from this day forward, wherever he goes, by military tradition, Ed Freeman will merit a salute from any enlisted personnel or officer of rank. Commander Seevers, I'll now ask you to read this citation of the newest member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and it will be my honor to give him his first salute.

An email has been circulating recently which incorrectly dates Major Ed Freeman's death to coincide with the probable drug overdose of a major entertainment figure - I assume to make a valid point about the priorities of the mainstream media and their pop culture minions. But such fudging of the truth is not necessary.

At the time this hero actually did pass on, in August of 2008, there was little or no public mention or notice, and though in the grand scheme of things not many people read this blog, it was important to me that now you know his story.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ANOTHER Question for Congressman Mike.

Sorry to bother you Congressman, I know you're busy, but I have to ask: Do you think we're stupid, asleep, or both?

In your one-size-fits-all, canned response defending your vote on Cap and Trade, you said:
This bill uses the same, market-based, American solution which was successfully put in place to fight Acid Rain in 1990 for carbon emissions. As a result of the Acid rain program, electricity rates fell 10 percent and 16 million new jobs were added to the American economy.
Well, sir, that seemed like quite an achievement, so I took it upon myself to do a little research. I found a decidedly left-wing website called the Center for Progressive Reform and came up with this:
This reality is demonstrated by looking at U.S. economic performance in recent years. From 1990 to 2000...the U.S. economy added a whopping 16 million new jobs.
Umm, Congressman? We have a disconnect.

You claimed that the Acid Rain program added all those jobs, but the CPR (correctly) attributes that job growth to the entire U.S. economy. Was every job created in the United States during that period the result of the Acid Rain program? No, sir, that would be a ...mischaracterization.

Oh, those inconvenient truths. Real "butt-biters" sometimes, aren't they?

I'm telling you, Congressman, if you can't be straight with your constituents they have a right not only to be angry, but to flat-out kick you out of office. You're already too comfortable by miles in Washington.

Don't get used to it - it may be a short stay.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Question for Congressman Mike.

Umm, Congressman, according to Section 431 of the ACES Act, “The Secretary (of Health and Human Services) shall formulate and administer the program provided for in this section, which shall be known as the ‘Energy Refund Program’, and under which eligible low-income households are provided cash payments to reimburse the households for the estimated loss in their purchasing power resulting from the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.”

How is it then that, in your canned response to those who took you to task on your vote, you can say, "New York households will save on average $5.58 per month in electricity costs and $8.00 a month in fuel costs within the next 10 years under the Energy Bill."

Oh, my.

Congressman, your canard was directly contradicted by the language of the bill. If you don't believe in private enterprise and the free-market system, why don't you just say so? If you believe that the ideal way to run the United States economy is through a central planning commission populated by a collection of inept federal bureaucrats, why don't you just say so?

Don't you know that it insults us when, and I hate to be crude, you pee on our legs and tell us it's raining?

You're not being straight with us, Congressman, and the word is getting out. These votes are defining you, and WILL NOT be forgotten, even when you occasionally vote against your leadership as a sop to your center-right constituents.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Today's a good day to put Washington, D.C. out of our minds, and think a bit about Washington - the original.

And John Adams, and Tom Jefferson, and Ben Franklin, and James Madison, and all the great men who pledged their lives and fortunes to create the single most unique and productive society in the history of history.

So many generations removed from the planting of the seed of independence, we who were born post-WWII grew up taking our rights for granted, didn't we? We believed freedom and individual liberty were the rule, not the exception. Until now.

Now we have to channel the passionate beliefs and determination of our founders in order to save the republic once again. If we lose it - or allow it to be taken from us - we cheapen the memory of hundreds of thousands of men and women who paid for our freedom with their lives.

And will it have been taken from us by a nefarious foe who defeats us through strength, determination and force of arms? No. In that there would be a certain honor.

Rather, we will have lost it to a gang of slugs and thugs, without a shot being fired.

Today would be a good day to think about the sacrifices made by those originals; that unique collection of men who were not asked to spend a few hours at a rally in the summer sun in a beautifully manicured park, but were asked to put their very lives on the line in the cause of freedom. When Ben Franklin said "We must all hang together, or we most assuredly will all hang separately," he wasn't just quipping - he was dead serious. For those men, failure meant certain death.

They put their lives on the line for themselves and their posterity - and we are their posterity. We speak of our fathers and grandfathers as the Greatest Generation. If we allow it all to slip away - what will they label this generation?