Friday, October 30, 2009

Thoughts on Afghanistan...from someone who's been there

As you may or may not know, my brother is an articulate, caring, thoughtful and all-around good guy...and did I mention, you don't want to get on his bad side...particularly if you're plotting the death of Americans in Afghanistan? He's a recently retired Major in the Army Rangers, an elite corps that are among the highest trained fighting units in the world.

He is currently training our soldiers in Afghanistan to ensure the success of their mission.

And...he has some opinions...

"I know enough to know that this is a very, very complex environment over here and we are missing the boat by #1 not having a coherent, national strategy and #2 by not having a coherent, national strategy..."

He goes on to ask the million dollar question...why are we there? In light of Matthew Hoh's resignation, it's about time that someone in the Executive Branch ask this question...and decide. I know the President spoke in Jacksonville on Monday, defending his lack of attention to this matter, maintaining that it's because he's taking it seriously...


We were waging this war prior to his taking office. I'm sure he was fully briefed by the Bush Administration on the strategy at the time. If he was truly contemplating changing strategy...and took it seriously...I would think that this would be high on the priority list once he entered office. In fact, if I recall, he did start deploying troops to Afghanistan...was he doing that absent a strategy? Or was it the wrong strategy? Or did he just not spend enough time on the golf course contemplating the "solemn decision"?

We can see what it is that he takes seriously-- his domestic agenda.

That's fine, I guess, during a time of peace. But, it's unconscionable to place such a light emphasis upon the Constitutional duty to "provide for the common defence" during wartime. Upon his election, we were involved in a war in two major theaters...if it was as important to him as he claims...don't you think he would have taken the time then to deliberate and figure out the best strategy?

This dithering about on the golf course while our men our over there fighting and dying -- waiting for a strategy -- is disheartening at best.

It would be well if more people paid attention to people like Vern...people who are there, have their wits about them and can see the big picture. Read his short essay.

Monday, October 19, 2009

S. 1796

Interesting Reading the Table of Contents...
After creating a massive, mind-numbing bureaucracy, how do the dems propose to pay for it? Have a look...
Subtitle A—Revenue Offset Provisions
Sec. 6001. Excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage.
Sec. 6002. Inclusion of cost of employer-sponsored health coverage on W–2. (tax)
Sec. 6003. Distributions for medicine qualified only if for prescribed drug or insulin. (ration)
Sec. 6004. Increase in additional tax on distributions from HSAs not used for qualified medical expenses.
Sec. 6005. Limitation on health flexible spending arrangements under cafeteria plans. (ration)
Sec. 6006. Expansion of information reporting requirements.
Sec. 6007. Additional requirements for charitable hospitals.
Sec. 6008. Imposition of annual fee on branded prescription pharmaceutical manufacturers and importers.
Sec. 6009. Imposition of annual fee on medical device manufacturers and importers.
Sec. 6010. Imposition of annual fee on health insurance providers.
Sec. 6011. Study and report of effect on veterans health care. (?)
Sec. 6012. Elimination of deduction for expenses allocable to Medicare Part D subsidy. (tax)
Sec. 6013. Modification of itemized deduction for medical expenses. (tax)
Sec. 6014. Limitation on excessive remuneration paid by certain health insurance providers. (ration)

Let's see...massive tax increases, annual fees, expansion of requirements and rationing. Brilliant. See what happens when the free market fails us? Thanks, Paul.