Views on the News

June 27, 2009


Views on the News*

Eroding confidence in President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy and ability to control spending has caused his approval ratings to wilt to their lowest levels since he took office, according to a spate of recent polls, a sign of political weakness that comes just as he most needs leverage on Capitol Hill. Polls consistently find he is personally more popular than his major policies. That situation is unsustainable - something has to give. The first law of politics says the two must eventually get in sync. The trend lines among a variety of polls over the past several days are unmistakable: Independents and even some Republicans who once viewed him sympathetically are becoming skeptical, and many people of all stripes are anxious about economic and fiscal trends. Two found decline in Obama's job approval ratings down five to eight points, while the disapproval jumped by seven points in the same period. Most important, independents dropped dramatically, from nearly a two-to-one approval to closely divided. The single most important issue is the economy, with 81% of voters rating it very important, compared to 49% for health care. Most Americans (54%) view the job Obama is doing on the economy in a negative manner, and voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats, 45% to 39%, on the economy. Nearly 70% of those polled are worried about Obama’s intervention in the economy and 58% said Obama and Congress should focus more on the deficit. The Pew Research center found Obama's approval on the economy has declined from 60% in April to 52% now. A third poll found 60% of Americans believe Obama doesn't have a plan to deal with the deficit. Less than half approve of how he is dealing with health care and automakers. He says the deficit keeps him awake at night, yet he spends his daytime hours adding to it, most recently with a health bill that would cost at least $1 trillion over 10 years. More than three-quarters of voters (76%) are concerned that Obama's budget "will increase spending too much" with 49% being "very concerned.” The biggest lagging indicator is not the unemployment rate, it is consumer feeling about the economy. If this economy isn’t showing strong improvement by the second quarter of next year, that is going to be the framework for the 2010 election, and the Obama people know it.”


The founders of this nation expected the "fourth estate" to keep government honest by informing the public of the truth.  Freedom of the press was included in the Bill of Rights for a reason.  When the press becomes a creature of government, and freely declines to report fully, completely and honestly to the public then it is no longer free.  The media no longer cares about reporting the facts, and prefers to act as publicity agents instead.  An example this week is a New York Times/CBS News poll that stacked the sample demographics with Obama supporters to justify higher than normal support for government health insurance plans. Television will provide Barack Obama with free time, pre-empting prime time entertainment for what amounts to an infomercial promoting nationalized health care.  The Mainstream Media has ceded their independence and become lapdogs to the liberal administration.  


Despite signs that the recession gripping the nation's economy may be easing, the unemployment rate is projected to continue rising for another year before topping out in double digits, a prospect that threatens to slow growth, increase poverty and further complicate the Obama administration's message of optimism about the economic outlook. The likelihood of severe unemployment extending into the 2010 midterm elections and beyond poses a significant political hurdle to President Obama and congressional Democrats, who are already under fire for what critics label profligate spending. Continuing high unemployment rates would undercut the fundamental argument behind much of that spending: the promise that it will create new jobs and improve the prospects of working Americans, which Obama has called the ultimate measure of a healthy economy. With many forecasters projecting unemployment to remain above 10% next year and not return to pre-recession levels of roughly 5% for years after that, Obama is likely to be confronted with defending the effectiveness of his economic policies as the nation endures its worst employment situation in a generation. Americans are really starting to get weary of constantly hearing the Obama Administration’s chatter about what the Democrats perceive as our latest and greatest crisis. First we had a Wall Street Crisis of major financial markets, then an AIG Insurance Crisis and its multiple meltdowns in almost every aspect of our economy, followed by the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Crisis and along with it the Mortgage Crisis, that had not cooled before we had the Bank Crisis, which was also multi-urgent because it brought about a Credit Crisis, followed shortly thereafter by a Bonus Crisis to contend with and a Compensation Crisis that has too many senior executives making too much money. We can’t forget about the Chrysler Crisis and the General Motors Crisis that brought about a host of mini-crisis concerns from lost jobs to lost shareholder value to downturns in the economies of cities where dealerships were closed. Meanwhile we were told about an Energy Crisis and “need” to move to alternative energy sources, followed by a Climate Crisis with its own Carbon Footprint Crisis. The direst warning is reserved for the Healthcare Crisis, with near constant news about our teetering on the brink of collapse. While at it, let us add in the unbelievable Deficit Crisis that has already robbed our children and grandchildren of their futures. There is a question whether Obama really wants employment to improve since that would remove his “crisis” and undermine his “need for change” that he repeatedly uses to justify one big government spending program after another.


Everyone in Washington knows the record Federal deficits and debt are out of control and can't continue. President Obama knows it; the ultraliberal Democrat Congressional leadership knows it; rank and file Congressional Republicans and Democrats know it; and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been openly saying so. Obama's economic policies, adopted by the Democrat-controlled Congress, call for total Federal borrowing of $3.5 trillion this year alone! The Federal debt is projected to soar over the next 10 years to a peacetime record of 84% of GDP, and to keep on growing past the all-time record of 113% of GDP during World War II. This is the result of adding Obama's extreme, liberal left, Keynesian economic plan, with its trillion dollar stimulus package of wasteful spending that will do nothing to stimulate the economy, on top of the exploding costs of our current entitlement programs. The Congressional Democrat leadership and President Obama have a plan. First they are going to pass national health care, adding the biggest entitlement of all to the fiscal catastrophe we already have, giving new definition to the term fiscal insanity. Then, after that, they are going to come back to us and say we have no choice now but to raise your taxes, really, really, really raise your taxes, to record-shattering levels, to levels so high that it will change the fundamental nature of our economy and our nation. America will become the Welfare State, with a government so big and overwhelming that everyone will be scrambling to get their personal gravy in government handouts, rather than producing for the marketplace and consumers. Adding this new, massive, health care entitlement on top of the enormous entitlement mess we already have could not be more ridiculous and wildly irresponsible. The latest Trustees' Reports show that the current unfunded liability for Medicare alone is $89 trillion. Social Security adds another $15.1 in unfunded liabilities, for a total of $104 trillion, and that doesn't even count Medicaid. The entire American economy right now only produces about $14 trillion a year. Since World War II, going back 60 years, federal spending as a percent of GDP has been stable, hovering around 20%. The cost of the three big entitlement programs alone, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, is now projected to balloon eventually to 20.5% of GDP. Counting burgeoning interest on the national debt, on our current course federal spending will rocket towards 40% of GDP. Counting state and local spending, total government in America will consume over 50% of GDP. This doubling of federal spending as a percent of GDP implies a doubling of federal tax rates. All income tax brackets, in fact, would have to be doubled. After Obama's socialized medicine plan is passed, the hue and cry will start coming out of Washington, and will be echoed throughout the Democrat Party controlled media, that something has to be done about this fiscal catastrophe. The answer will be to appoint a new federal spending and tax reform commission, which will report back just after next year's election. Any such commission is just to provide political cover for massive, runaway tax increases. Barack Obama won the White House with a campaign pledge to cut taxes for 95% of Americans, but now this plot is under way to increase taxes on 95% of Americans, to record, bone-crunching levels.


There has been much talk recently that the US is becoming more like Europe, spending more and more on big government.  Randall Hoven has diagnosed the US as undergoing Europeanization. Newsweek published under the title “We are all socialists now" and the subtitle, "In many ways our economy already resembles a European one.  As boomers age and spending grows, we will become even more French."  Socialism is not so much a "yes or no" type question, as it is more a matter of degree.  We can put a number on it by using total government spending as a fraction of GDP as a proxy for degree of socialism.  In 2007, government spending in the US was 37.4% of GDP, or more than Australia, Ireland, Japan, Slovakia, South Korea and Switzerland.  The OECD average was 40.4% and the European average was 46.2%. In 2007, the federal government spent "only" 20% of GDP (the remaining 17.4% of GDP was spent by state and local governments).  According to the CBO, President Obama will spend 28.5% of GDP in 2009.  If states and localities have remained roughly constant, government spending is now about 46% of GDP, or almost exactly the European average in 2007. We are as much in the thick of socialism right now as, say, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands. The European average peaked in 1993 at 52.2%, but has since fallen to 46.2%. The cutting of government spending (as a fraction of GDP) has been almost rampant among OECD countries in the last two decades.  Eleven of the 28 countries cut spending by more than 10% of GDP from the peak year (typically near 1993) to 2007.  The European average cut was 6% of GDP. What was the US doing then?  Virtually no cutting of government spending.  So while Europe was cutting government spending, in many cases by dramatic fractions of GDP, the US was essentially treading water.  That was before the Bailout Fairy arrived in 2008 and President Obama and his stimuli arrived in 2009. Per the CBO, the best we will see in the next 10 years will be 22.7% of GDP (for total government spending near 40% of GDP) in 2012.  Remember these projections do not include ObamaCare, estimated at somewhere between $1 trillion and $2 trillion of government spending over the next decade. In short, on the socialism scale, we are smack in the middle of Europe right now, but we are becoming more socialist while Europe is becoming less.


Obama claims that he does not want to run companies that he has nationalized, yet his actions indicate a very hands-on, tops-down management style. You keep saying you don't want to run GM, but your administration has no trouble in taking unprecedented control in firing CEO's, limiting executive compensation and micromanaging their business. You say you want to create and save jobs, but you supported closing over two thousands Chrysler and GM dealers eliminating an estimated 187,000 dealer jobs. "Cash for Clunkers" is the latest Washington brainstorm to goose car sales while striking a fashion pose of being green. The legislation offers up to $4,500 in vouchers to purchase a new car if it gets between 2 and 10 mpg more than the old car it replaces.  Subsidizing the auto industry in the name of fuel efficiency by paying to scrap old cars is bribing people to drive lighter weight, more dangerous cars to mitigate the relative damage done to companies like Ford by resurrecting GM and Chrysler, who should not have been resurrected in the first place. This law will kill innocent Americans, do nothing about the price of gasoline, resurrect companies that deserved to die, substitute our mandarins' needs for our own, endanger our families, cost billions, add to our national debt, and further corrupt our car companies. Republican legislation is pending to require dissolving government ownership in private companies, including ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by July 2011.


Giving more power to the Federal Reserve to be the “uber-regulator” of banking and finance is a terrible idea. A great deal of the criticism comes from the administration's somewhat surprising decision to make the Federal Reserve into a kind of super-regulator, able to lion-tame the massive financial institutions that can create not just market hiccups but the ever-fearful systemic risk. Asking the cloistered central bank to resolve all the explosive questions about the over-reaching power of financial institutions is like throwing the problem into a black box and closing the lid, so people will be unable to see what happens next. Treasury insists that it's not really asking the Fed to do much more than it has always done. That may be true, but if the Fed were any good at its regulatory role, then presumably this financial crisis could and should have been avoided. The biggest criticism is that the Fed doesn't have the guts to let big institutions fail. One root cause of the financial crisis is declaring some business “too big to fail’ without explaining why they are defined as such why they should not be broken up into smaller organizations that the free market can govern! A more on-target criticism is that too much of the Fed's operation is opaque. By design, the Fed is largely independent of other branches of government. Some 230 House members have endorsed a measure to force GAO auditing of the Fed, a small but vital step toward dismantling the central bank's privileged secrecy and intimidating mystique. Most Americans (59%) think the federal bailouts for banks and other financial institutions are a bad idea. A better solution is, instead of inventing another new financial regulatory bureaucracy, expand the authority of an existing one, such as the FDIC, which already performs this type of oversight.


There is no doubt that the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and other boneheaded government policies helped to create the subprime mortgage bubble that violently burst and that continues to wreak havoc on the world's financial markets. CRA allowed activists to blackmail lenders into handing out mortgages to people with little regard for their ability to keep up payments. Yet the Obama administration is now demanding that the bank-killing CRA, which in practice has been used to emphasize a largely race-based version of financial so-called social justice at the expense of sound banking practices, be strengthened. Now Congressman Barney Frank has pushed for the same failed policies that brought us nearly all our current financial ills, pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax recently tightened standards on loans for new condominiums. Rasmussen Reports found that 74% of Americans “trust their own judgment more than that of the average member of Congress when it comes to economic issues facing the nation.” Apparently the Obama Administration continues to look backward for failed policies that they Hope can be Changed to become destructive again under new management.


Does this country really need a government controlled public option to cover the uninsured, or is the real goal for the government to take over the entire health care industry? The U.S. already has some 1,300 insurance companies. In a new Pew Research Center poll, only 41% of those surveyed believe the U.S. health-care system needs to be completely rebuilt. According to the U.S. Census Bureau we don’t have 47 million folks who are truly uninsured. When you take college kids plus those earning $75,000 or more who choose not to sign up for a health-care plan, roughly 20 million people are removed from the list of uninsured. After that you can remove the 10 million who are not U.S. citizens and the 11 million who are eligible for SCHIP and Medicaid but for some reason have not signed up for those programs. A co-op plan has been surfaced as a better alternative than a complete “public plan.” The only thing intriguing about the co-op alternative is whether it is a completely meaningless construct or simply camouflage for the “Public Plan” option. There is no evidence that they are significantly less expensive or more efficient than other insurers. It is suggested that the new federal co-ops would be nonprofits, and therefore would offer better service and lower costs. Many insurance companies, including "mutual" insurers and many "Blues," are already nonprofit companies. Senator Chuck Schumer makes it clear that the co-op's officers and directors would be appointed by the president and Congress. Schumer also insists that there be a single national co-op. If a "co-op" is run by the federal government under rules imposed by the federal government with funding provided by the federal government, it’s simply government-run health insurance by another name. Nearly half of Americans (49%) believe private insurance companies will provide better service and more choice than the government-run proposal designed to compete with them and favored by Obama. One of the troubles with extreme, reckless speed is the necessity of ignoring or having to lie about details. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has exposed the lies even more quickly than Obama has stacked up the national debt:

·    By COB estimates, the majority of the 40 million now uninsured will still be uninsured.

·    Between 16 million and 30 million people will be immediately forced to give up current coverage and move to the public (government-run) plan and will almost certainly face government interference with choices of doctors and restrictions on available care.

·    Financing probably requires the taxing of employer provided health insurance and benefits as income, a new tax on everybody, and/or creating new sales taxes levied on tobacco, alcohol, sugary foods, and who knows what else, a tax on many regardless of income.

·    The CBO has priced many of the options being floated by Congress and they all cost at least $1 Trillion and as much as $2.5 Trillion.

Obama has developed a disturbing habit of firing Inspector Generals who uncover uncomfortable behavior in federal agencies, so the question is how long before Obama fires the CBO auditors for their “disloyal” findings? Free-market Nobelist Milton Friedman stated simply and clearly that the cost problems in our system can be traced to the fact that most payments for medical care are made not by the patients who receive the care, but by third parties -- typically employers or government. Employers provide insurance to most Americans, and if the federal government offers employers a cheaper way to provide health insurance, vast numbers of those employers will dump their employees into that government system. The government won’t force the employers to switch, but employers will switch, and the president’s promise will be as bogus as a three dollar bill. Even if Americans then see through this giant bait-and-switch and blame the president, it will be too late. Once leveled the health insurance industry will be too crippled to reconstitute itself as a competitor to the government option/public plan. Millions of Americans and their premiums will have been transferred by their employers to the government rolls, including millions of Americans in the public sector whose local governments will not be able to resist the lure of the savings that comes from off-loading the teachers, cops and firefighters onto the federal plan. Friedman further remarked “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as he spends his own.”


The best way to deliver health care in this country is by requiring individuals to be personally responsible for themselves and their dependents! Every citizen can do it. Government could actually help… by getting out of the way. Richard Olivastro has outlined principles of a ‘Blueprint for Better Health Care’ that will lower costs:

·    Each individual, citizen or non-citizen, living within the United States, and its territories, is personally responsible to directly pay any health care provider for every service rendered to them or to their dependents.

·    Each receipted out of pocket expenditure is tax deductible as a credit on the federal tax return filed by a U. S. Citizen. (Non-Citizens filing U.S. tax returns would not be eligible.)

·    Employers providing benefit coverage – including insurance company published plans or cost-plus third party administered plans could deduct all health care benefit plan costs on corporate tax returns providing the employer directs all insurance carriers and administrators to reimburse all plan covered charges only to the employee, who is responsible, in turn, to pay obligations to any service provider.

·    No health care service legally provided to an American citizen by a medical professional or delivered at a medical facility could be taxed by any level of government within the United States or its territories.

·    No health care benefit payment, reimbursement, etc. or employer provided benefit plan coverage to an American Citizen can be taxed by any level of government within the United States or its territories.

·    Health care plans, insurance companies, et al will issue payment for contract covered items only to their customer or the employee covered by an employer provided plan, and that individual remains responsible for payment to the health care provider.

·    Health Care providers should provide patients with invoices detailing each service rendered in clear layman’s language; plus note the specific industry coding used heretofore to bill insurance companies.

·    No person needing emergency medical attention should ever be denied physician services or hospital-clinic emergency care.

·    Hospitals, etc. are encouraged to establish charitable foundations, or expand the mission of existing foundations, in order to accept tax deductible contributions from individual Americans and domestic corporations, to be used 100% and exclusively to defray the actual rated costs of health care services to specific indigent U.S. Citizens.

·    Any U. S. Citizen unable to pay for contract coverage, or any part of the incurred costs of health care services actually received, can assign their tax credit deduction, up to the actual amount paid on their behalf, to another U.S. Citizen who actually paid the obligation, if that person possesses a paid receipt from the service provider.

·    Care facilities, Doctors, Surgeons, et al, might also be permitted to deduct as a tax credit up to one-half of the lower published rate (their own, the state medical society, or state facility average) for each service provided pro-bono or free to a patient who is a U. S. Citizen at the time of the service was actually provided.

·    Hospitals, et al should not be permitted to ‘spread the cost’ of providing services to any one patient, or selected set of patients, by increasing rates charged to any other patients.

·    Every service provider should establish a specific ‘fee for service’ rate for each service offered in the marketplace, published online and conspicuously posted in patient waiting areas, with more detailed explanations available upon request.

This blueprint reinstates individual responsibility for themselves, their family, and other dependents. It should also stimulate the motivation of individuals to find, and retain, employment. Because this approach effectively self-funds citizens in situations without employer provided benefits, all responsible individuals - including those citizens in lower income brackets - are treated equitably. This blueprint is based on the principle that each individual citizen is solely responsible for the cost of health care for themselves and their dependents. Those individuals, without employer coverage or temporarily unemployed, should know whether their current providers will provide terms given their temporary circumstance. If their current providers do not, or will not, provide direct payment plans, the proactively responsible personal action each individual should take is to seek services from other doctors, clinics or hospitals willing to accept that individual’s ‘promise to pay’, including signing a payment agreement. The bottom line is this ‘novel’ solution will significantly lower overall health care costs. Implementing the basic operating requirements outlined here will simplify administration across the health care industry, increase efficiency, reduce bureaucracy, and reduce costs. This solution also exposes the false rubric of ‘equitable financing’, used by statist’s pushing government installed ‘universal’ health care, in order to foist central control on all Americans. After all, what can be more ‘equitable’ than each individual citizen accepting their responsibility for providing for their own, and their dependents, health care needs?


The economics of global warming policy and especially the cost of the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill are abysmal and are all cost and negligible gain. The American Clean Energy and Security Act, all 1,200-plus pages, is incredibly expensive and destructive and has little prayer of accomplishing what it sets out to accomplish but satisfies the Democrat urgent need to pay homage to their liberal ideology and secular humanist worldview. Ben Lieberman from The Heritage Foundation set out a framework with which to judge Waxman-Markey as a solution to the global warming problem; a set of questions that need to be answered before we enact any global warming measures, especially costly ones:

·    How much of a problem is man-made global warming? There's no cheap or easy way to significantly reduce those emissions any time soon. This bill is an energy tax in disguise.

·    How much of the problem will be solved by the policy under consideration?

·    Has this particular solution to global warming has been tried elsewhere, and how well it has worked?

·    Is there better ways of addressing global warming and, for that matter, better priorities to address than global warming.

These are the questions we need to have answered before we can judge whether the costs of Waxman-Markey and its cap-and-trade approach are worth it. The truth is that there is no environmental crisis, and all the hysteria is solely for the purpose of ramrodding this odious bill through Congress before the public realizes it has, once again, been duped and betrayed. President Obama actually had the right idea with no free allowances, because it means that none of these companies can be bought off in this manner. 85% of the allowances have been promised for free, but only 15% of the allowances will be auctioned, at least in the initial phase of the bill, and even those may get promised away as the bill moves forward. This is an energy tax in disguise, since energy prices go up but it's done in such a roundabout and convoluted manner that proponents hope the public doesn't recognize it as a tax, at least not until it is too late. Cumulative higher energy costs for a household of four from 2012-2035 would reach nearly $20,000. Direct energy costs are only part of the consumer impact. Nearly everything goes up, since higher energy costs raise production costs. Beyond the cost impact on individuals and households, Waxman-Markey also affects employment, and especially employment in the manufacturing sector. Job losses average 1,145,000 at any given time from 2012-2030. I should also add that these costs are not distributed evenly, since the burden of higher energy costs disproportionately hurts the poor, who spend a larger percentage of their incomes on energy. So it is not only a tax but a highly regressive one at that. The overall gross domestic product losses will average $491 billion per year from 2012-2035 and the cumulative GDP loss is $9.4 trillion by 2035. In sum, Waxman-Markey carries quite a price tag, an unprecedented one in many respects. Proponents of this cap-and-trade bill scare us with the usual gloom and doom litany: sea level rise, more storms, more disease. Globally speaking, Waxman-Markey would have a trivial impact on future concentrations of greenhouse gases. The bill only binds the U.S., and the trends in the rest of the world show clearly that emissions are rising. A paper for the Science and Public Policy Institute, calculates that Waxman-Markey would reduce the earth's future temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degree C by 2100, an amount too small to even notice. Spain, as with most of the rest of Western Europe, has higher unemployment and energy costs than America, and yet has seen its carbon dioxide emissions increasing anyway. Many nations with cap and trade have had faster rates of emissions growth than the U.S. has had without it. Cap and trade introduces a significant element of central planning and thus stifles innovation. Cap and trade adds instability, and indeed in Europe we have seen wild swings in the price of carbon allowances, and companies less interested in long-term investment and more interested in short-term gaming of the system. Almost every recession of the last 60 years has followed a sharp rise in energy prices, so why would we want lawmakers to mandate a recession?


If only President Obama were a third as tough on Iran and North Korea as he is on Republicans, he'd be making progress in containing the dire threats to our national security these rogue nations represent. Dick Morris writes that the president is letting the perception of weakness cloud his image. If foreign policy issues actually involve war and the commitment of troops, they can be politically potent. Since foreign policy is the only area in which the president can govern virtually alone, it provides a window on his personality and use of power that domestic policy cannot. As North Korea defies international sanctions and sends arms to Myanmar and Iran slaughters its citizens in the streets, President Obama looks helpless and hapless. He comes across as not having a clue how to handle the crises. The transparent appeasement of Iran's government, and its obvious lack of reciprocation, make Obama look ridiculous. Long after the mullahs have suppressed what limited democracy they once allowed, Obama's image problems will persist. He has disarmed the United States and simply elected to stop battling against terrorists, freeing them from Guantanamo as he empowers them with every manner of constitutional protection. Obama's pathetic performance vis-a-vis Iran and North Korea send a message to all of America's enemies that the President of the United States does not believe in using power; that he is a wimp and they can get away with whatever they want.


* There is so much published each week that unless you go out of your way to find it, you will miss important breaking events. I package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning for your reading pleasure and to fill in factual vacuums.


If you are sick and tired of government and politics as usual, read my web site with its individual issue analysis and recommendations sections at: http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com . Individual issue updates this week include:


Week’s Best Articles:

·         Obama’s False Financial Reform” by William Greider dated June 19, 2009 published by The Nation at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090706/greider2 .

·         Fed Up” by James Ledbetter dated June 21, 2009 published by The Big Money at http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2009/06/21/fed .

·         Obama’s slip is showing: The public likes his big plans much less than it likes him, and that can’t last” by Mike Goodwin dated June 21, 2009 published by New York Daily News at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/06/21/2009-06-21_obamas_slip_is_showing_the_public_likes_his_big_plans_much_less_than_it_likes_hi.html .

·         Pimp My Ride DC Style” by Eric Singer dated June 21, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/pimp_my_ride_dc_style.html .

·         Take a Stand for Freedom Over Government Control” by Terry Paulson dated June 22, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/TerryPaulson/2009/06/22/june_22_take_a_stand_for_freedom_over_government_control .

·         Thune’s Exit Strategy” dated June 22, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32390 .


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY