Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Thanks to the NM Independent, here is the boating accident report, when NM Governor was involved in a boating accident at Elephant Butte Reservoir
Meanwhile, more questions than answers remain regarding the accident over Labor Day weekend.
© 2009, Four Corners Media, Jasper Welch www.jasperwelch.org
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Editor’s note: At the recent Club 20 fall meetings in Grand Junction, www.club20.org the Democratic Governor (Bill Ritter) and appointed US Senator (Michael Bennet) were in attendence, along with a number of other elected and appointed officials. And many announced candidates for Governor, Congress and the US Senate were prowling the halls of the Club 20 meeting (and Friday BBQ) for support, including former Congressman Scott McInnis. www.scottmcinnisforgovernor.com Scott is facing a GOP primary with Colorado State Senator Josh Penry and newcomer Dan Maes www.danmaes.com
© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media www.jasperwelch.org
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
With the famous NM political blogs still humming along (see Joe Mohahan www.joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com and Heath Hausseamen www.nmpolitics.net ), another “on-line magazine” has been introduced by long time NM journalist Jack Swickard called 575 Magazine http://575magazine.com/ The feature opinion article that Jack and his staff rolled out over the weekend involved the “boating accident” that Governor Richardson and his senior staff were involved in at Elephant Butte reservoir, in southern New Mexico. It has all the classic elements of political intrigue and being above the law that seems to follow Governor Richardson where ever he goes.
A quote from Michael Swickard, opinion writer for 575 Magazine:
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson achieved a zero point zero rating for style points this week. A large houseboat with him, some of his staff and security detail was docking at an Elephant Butte marina September 5th when it ran expensively into some other boats and the dock which certainly is not the textbook way of docking and sure to attract attention. You might ask, “How did a simple incident get such media legs?”Any story including the governor automatically has legs and while the press knew something happened involving the governor it was several days until a press report. Several statements in the report raised media eyebrows. Richardson’s Chief of Staff was listed as the co-driver of the boat when it hit the dock along with the owner of the boat who had just grabbed the controls. The Chief of Staff was cited for the accident alone. What should the real driver have done after doing $15,000 of damage? You or me would have stood and taken the scolding.The media erupted when they learned that despite the crash Governor Richardson, members of his staff included the Chief of Staff and Richardson’s security detail were gone in seconds. The unfortunate boat owner stayed for the unpleasant conversations to follow.The authorities arrived in minutes. It was noted that there were people unavailable at the time of the investigation. Two days later, after time to “freshen up” the governor’s party contacted the authorities. Shuckins, too late for a breathalyzer test. I’m not saying there was drinking happening on the boat - just noting a convenient fact. http://575magazine.com/opinion/mswickard/mscbuttegate.html
NM Politics.net (see above) also carried the Michael Swickard post in the upper right hand column of their home page. The New Mexico Independent carried the story, along with many media outlets in New Mexico. http://newmexicoindependent.com/36063/officers-eyewitness-contradict-richardsons-statement-on-houseboat-accident Other nationally know web sites posted the Governor’s mishap (and fleeing from the scene) as well: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com (see Richardson post) and Stateline.Org, a web site focused on state by state politics & policy http://www.stateline.org/live/states/New+Mexico
With these NM Political blogs, the national blogs that cover New Mexico, plus some Google word and phrase searches (“Google” Governor Richardson boating accident) will yield plenty of traditional and on-line press reports, opinion pieces and blogging articles. Certainly, the NM Governor is getting much more press, media and web coverage that his press secretary and senior staff wanted on his “boating accident”. Don’t we live in a great country, as the world of reporting, observation, news and opinion goes online? And a simple word search can bring a focused perspective to the news, as you choose the details.
© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, www.jasperwelch.org
Friday, September 11, 2009
Early Polls on Colorado US Senate & Governor Races
Some of the best polling in the US can be found at the Rasmussen Reports web site. Here is the recent September 10th (2009) release of statewide Colorado 2010 races for US Senate (Dem appointee Bennett as incumbent http://bennet.senate.gov ) and Governor (Bill Ritter facing a strong challenge from former US Congressman Scott McInnis).
“Colorado’s appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennett finds himself in a toss-up with two potential Republican challengers, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds Bennett ahead of Buck 43% to 37%. With Frazier as the opponent, Bennet is essentially even. The numbers are 40% for Frazier and 39% for the incumbent.
Any incumbent who polls less than 50% is considered potentially vulnerable.” www.rasmussenreports.com Thurs Sept 10, 2009
Editor’s note: A number of other GOP candidates are running for US Senate, including State Senator Tom Wiens www.tomwiens2010.com In addition, former Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff has announced his challenge to US Senator Bennett. Info on Romanoff at this My Space page: www.myspace.com/romanoffforsenate
“The incumbent Democrat Governor Bill Ritter trounced his Republican opponent to win Colorado’s governorship in 2006, but now in a state that has been trending Democratic and even hosted the party’s national convention last year, the incumbent Democrat may be facing problems in his 2010 reelection bid.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Colorado finds Ritter trailing Republican challenger Scott McInnis by five points – 44% to 39% - in an early look at next year’s race for governor. Ritter’s in a virtual tie with another GOP challenger, state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry. Ritter picks up 41% of the vote to Penry’s 40%.”
www.rasmussenreports.com Thursday Sept 10, 2009
What we are seeing in Colorado is shaping up as competitive (both on the Dems and GOP sides) for the US Senate and Governor races in 2010. While Colorado has been historically a center right (or purple state), recent gains by Democrats have place Colorado in the blue state column (with Democrat majority in House, Senator and Governors’ office in Democrat hands). Now that Colorado voters have seen one party rule (from the blue state Democrat way of governing), they are having second thoughts as taxes and fees increase and the Colorado economy struggles.
© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media www.jasperwelch.org
Saturday, September 5, 2009
President Obama as a Mere Mortal
The anointed one, the savior of the left in America, the first “post modern President” who actually “gets it” (according to his supporters), is actually crashing to earth as a mere mortal. Just another human politician in America.
The articulate columnist Charles Krauthammer, well known for his direct and insightful perspective, writes in his September 4th (2009) column (see www.realclearpolitics.com )
What happened to President Obama? His wax wings having melted, he is the man who fell to earth….After a disastrous summer -- mistaking his mandate, believing his press, centralizing power, governing left, disdaining citizens for (of all things) organizing -- Obama is in trouble.
Things got worse still. With answers so slippery and implausible and, well, fishy, he began jeopardizing the most fundamental asset of any new president -- trust. You can't say that the system is totally broken and in need of radical reconstruction, but nothing will change for you; that Medicare is bankrupting the country, but $500 billion in cuts will have no effect on care; that you will expand coverage while reducing deficits -- and not inspire incredulity and mistrust. When ordinary citizens understand they are being played for fools, they bristle.
So what happened to the new President? What we are seeing is an excellent campaigner who can articulate his views in the public square, (with the full support of the Obama mesmerized media), but yet, the new President lacks the actual experience in governing and real leadership. So exactly what has Barack Obama managed or what was his executive experience prior to serving as the US President? Being a community organizer? Being a state Senator in the corrupt state of Illinois? Running an “anointed one” campaign complete with Roman like fiberglass columns in Denver? Clearly we are seeing a lack of executive experience, a lack of a moderate or balanced perspective and a lack of understanding of the American people. In addition, we are seeing an inexperienced President in an office that is beyond what he can personally handle. Simply put, Obama is in over his head. Political posturing and smooth talking will not substitute for actually leading as the President. Is it Obama’s lack of leadership and governing skills necessary to be the leader of the free world that are missing? In fact it may be worse than it appears. The President may really believe his press, his leftist worldview and his distain for the right of center American voter. And when this leads to mistrust by the American people, the President will lose his moral authority and the trust earned by action, not rhetoric. Now the only question is: Will President Obama continue his drift into ineffective leadership combined with an apparent disconnect with the American people? Or will he be able to reverse the years of influence by left wing ideology, radical friends and the adoring liberal press?
His next attempt to remake his image and follow his handlers’ teleprompter script will be before a joint session of Congress this week. However, talk is cheap when real leadership is needed. My prediction: More of the same smooth talking President Obama with the main stream media giving him the full benefit of the doubt, while the American people ask the fundamental question of their duly elected President, “Do we trust you?” And the voters answer, based on their observed behavior of the President and his Democrat allies in Congress and his administration: probably not.
© 2009, Four Corners Media, Jasper Welch www.jasperwelch.com
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare
Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit.
By JOHN MACKEY Editorial from the Wall Street Journal
"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people's money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.
While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:
• Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems. For example, Whole Foods Market pays 100% of the premiums for all our team members who work 30 hours or more per week (about 89% of all team members) for our high-deductible health-insurance plan. We also provide up to $1,800 per year in additional health-care dollars through deposits into employees' Personal Wellness Accounts to spend as they choose on their own health and wellness.
Money not spent in one year rolls over to the next and grows over time. Our team members therefore spend their own health-care dollars until the annual deductible is covered (about $2,500) and the insurance plan kicks in. This creates incentives to spend the first $2,500 more carefully. Our plan's costs are much lower than typical health insurance, while providing a very high degree of worker satisfaction.
• Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.
• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.
• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.
• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.
• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor's visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?
• Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.
• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?
Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That's because there isn't any. This "right" has never existed in America
Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.
Although Canada has a population smaller than California, 830,000 Canadians are currently waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment, according to a report last month in Investor's Business Daily. In England, the waiting list is 1.8 million.
At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly—they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an "intrinsic right to health care"? The answer is clear—no such right truly exists in either Canada or the U.K.—or in any other country.
Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.
Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.
Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.
Health-care reform is very important. Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society.
Mr. Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc.
www.wsj.com © 2009, Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company