Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Unbelievable: the land of the free celebrates communism

When rumors about the Empire State Building lighting up in yellow and red to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the communist takeover of mainland China came out last week, VUI dismissed it as one of those internet myths.

Unfortunately, the stories were not just internet legends. It happened. The premier symbol of New York was lit up in red and gold to celebrate the tyranny that is Communist China. While it is bad enough that seemingly every good bought in America is made in China, celebrating a regime that crushes human rights is unconscionable.

Yet it happened. As did the flying of the Communist China flag on the White House grounds to mark the anniversary.

It is troubling. Make no mistake, the communists in China are not nice, freedom loving entrepreneurs. They rule with an iron fist. Labor is often cheap, if not forced, and performed in unsafe working conditions. Religious tolerance is not practiced at all. A person can be jailed for having more than one bible in their possession. Further, monks who practice Buddhism have been tortured and killed. The free exchange of ideas does not exist in China, as the press and internet are tightly controlled. There are no true elections, and a small group of elites run the nation with the full force of a state police behind them.

That is not something to celebrate. Perhaps reality forces the United States to deal with the Chinese. Fair enough. But, celebrating their reign of oppression and cruelty goes against every value Americans on both the right and the left espouse. Shame on President Obama and shame on the people who run the Empire State Building for celebrating such a despotic regime's rise to power.

Who we are from Brian McCarty

Earl Capps over at the Blogland recently posted about blog transparency and who was financing the supposed influential voices in South Carolina political blogs. Earl raised an interesting point. It does seem that some of those screaming the loudest online are getting paid very well to do so.

Well, in light of Earl Capps’s post and the questions he posed to the South Carolina blogging community, we at VUI thought we would be clear about who we are. No one pays VUI for blogging. The one ad on the blog for a business is a favor by me to an old friend. The other ads are for charity. Further, when I refer to the staff of VUI, they do exist. There is a group of family and friends who offer post ideas and pointers along the way. Their perspectives vary. But, know, that no one pays them to offer an idea or pays for VUI to post anything.

Thus, with VUI, what you read is what you get. We do our best to call it like it is and be a voice for those who are not funded by political consultants or special interest groups. VUI does not receive any money or favors at the local, state or national level. It is understood that fact is a great source of irritation to some people. So be it.

All of us involved with VUI are humbled and grateful for the recognition this blog has received over the past couple of years. It is even more humbling when some of the bloggers who we go up against are paid to blog. We are just using what spare time we have to talk about things we think need talking about and to entertain people as well. VUI thanks all of its readers for reading and commenting, even when you disagree. I personally thank those friends and relatives who offer ideas and pointers and perspectives that keep this blog fresh in its approach. Rest assured, as long as VUI remains, it will be an honest voice, right or wrong, not bought or paid for by anyone. Some have alluded that there is a cost to be paid for such independence. So be it. For what price does a man set for his voice and his soul?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Big government and big business hand in hand

Years ago, when the likes of Barry Goldwater were railing against the creation of big government, an idea was offered that if government got big enough, it could be overtaken by big business, and that an inefficient allocation of market resources would result. In other words, big business would use big government to control the markets and bleed the people dry.

Such was scoffed at by most Republicans and Democrats alike. Well, a little over forty years later, we have big government ran by big business. Millions from insurance companies and banks alone go into the campaign coffers of Democrats and Republicans alike. Interesting enough, legislation and regulations seem to increasingly favor those insurance companies and banks as the contributions to both parties go up.

The control of big government by big business is clear in everyday American life. Suppose you have a credit card and you have used it at Macy’s over the years. Now, for whatever reason, you use it a few times at Wal-Mart. Well, the Democratic Congress has allowed banks to use that information to determine that by shopping at Wal-Mart instead of Macy’s that you might be an increased credit risk, thus the bank is allowed to raise your rate, lower your limit, and ding your credit score. Never mind that you just wanted to save some money or that you never miss a credit card payment. Banks have made sure Congress dances to their tune with campaign cash so that they can find any excuse to milk more money from their customers. As if the trillion dollars of taxpayer money over the past year was not enough.

Further, if you live in South Carolina, the Republican ran General Assembly worked with automobile insurance companies to see that your credit, that was dinged because you chose to shop at Wal-Mart, can be a factor in raising your automobile insurance rates. Again, never mind that you have a perfect driving record.

Of course, the crowning achievement of the insurance lobby will be President Obama’s health care plan, which will fine people, with the IRS behind it, for not buying health insurance from insurance companies. It is bad enough that automobile insurance carriers got a financial boondoggle years ago when most states required people purchase an automobile insurance policy to drive on the public roads. Now, if you cannot afford to buy health insurance, the big government is going to help you by fining you if you do not buy a policy from one of the private insurance companies that line campaign pockets.

True conservatism has always been about reducing government’s role and standing for true freedom. The bigger government grows, the bigger the influence of big interest groups and big business grows over the average American’s life. As that influence grows, freedom is curtailed, the markets are hampered, and the average person grows more and more frustrated with his situation. As such, the United States is headed into an especially conflicting period over the next two election cycles. On one side will be those, in both parties, who benefit from the status quo, and on the other side will be those who tap into the frustration of average Americans as more and more of their lives seems to be dictated to them. There is no way of predicting who will win. But, as government continues to grow and big business continues to use it get more money from the American people; it seems that the very ideals of freedom, individual liberty and America itself are on the line.

Video of the week: Sometimes you need to leave those old guys alone

The old store clerk takes out the would be robber. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top 9 things (not) overheard in Newberry County at the GOP debate and Democratic stump meeting

9) Dwight Drake—“Hey boy, Hey boy, I whipped your daddy at things, now I am going to whip you. You should have stayed in Camden.”

8) Gresham Barrett—“I love my wife, I love my wife, great God Almighty, I really love my wife. That should do it for me. Loving my wife, that is my policy.”

7) Nikki Haley—“But, I am prettier than Maria or Sarah. And, I am also good at math.”

6) Robert Ford—“Someone told me that there would be food and women at this event?”

5) Vincent Sheehen—“ Dad, Uncle Bob, who are these geezers I am up here with? A little help please.”

4) Andre Bauer—“I hope Mark Sanford does not resign, so I can run….Hey Nikki, are those Prada?”

3) Jim Rex—“Note to self, be sure to drink plenty of coffee to stay awake during the other guys speeches and my own.”

2) Mullins McLeod—“Hot damn, Jenny Sanford is writing a book.”

1) Henry McMaster—“I am trying to find a way to lock up all these political bloggers and throw away the key.”

Laugh people. Feel free to offer your own comments (not) overheard in the comments sections. Let’s see what sense of humor you readers have.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wellford Mayor rescinds her order

The Mayor of Wellford rescinded her order to Wellford police officers not to chase suspects. Well, that is good. But, again watch her interview with a WSPA reporter. Wow. I would hate to be a police officer in Wellford with that kind of support from the leadership.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gubernatorial debate and how the Sanfords will not be ignored

In what is likely the earliest South Carolina Gubernatorial debate ever, five candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination in 2010 met and debated in Newberry, SC. WIS-TV carried the debate on air and online.

With hardly anyone, including political junkies, paying attention to the race for Governor right now, Tuesday's debate was sort of like a NFL pre-season game. It gave the candidates a chance to work some of the kinks out before the real season started.

There were some kinks and some minor gaffes by all five candidates. None of the gaffes were campaign enders or even major issues down the road. It was a good night for Newberry, and it did show how the candidates seem to be shaping up.

As there were no stark policy disagreements among them, it seemed that the candidates wanted to shape their personalities to the public on Tuesday night.

Attorney General McMaster came across with the confidence of the front runner and wrapped himself in South Carolina and made sure there were moments he complimented those on stage with him.

Lt. Governor Bauer, appearing as eager to serve as ever, tried to portray himself as a man who would give up a full term to serve the state now. He emphasized how he had paid his own way on an economic development trip.

Congressman Gresham Barrett reprised his small town man did good routine from his Congressional races, emphasizing his personal values, his longtime marriage, his military service and his small business experience.

Rep. Nikki Haley did her best to stand on Sanford ideas, but be different than Sanford. For some reason, Haley struck VUI as a South Carolina version of Sarah Palin, going on about her children, her hard work, her family's military service, etc. It would not be shocking if Palin's PAC got involved in this race. That is just a gut feeling.

State Senator Larry Grooms came across as his own man and it was clear he is not "handled" by anyone yet. This might shock some, but if forced to pick a winner, VUI would have to go with Grooms. He answered the questions posed to him and held his own with the four better known and better handled candidates. Grooms defied the whispers around Columbia he would look over his head. He did not.

Haley and McMaster did well. The Lt. Governor did about as well as he could, given the constitutional bind he is in with Governor Sanford. Barrett is hanging his race on his values, and that is always a dangerous thing in South Carolina politics. Barrett has won four Congressional races on such, but will such play statewide?

Of course, the Sanfords could not let this day be given to their would be successors in power. On the day of the first Gubernatorial debate in the campaign to replace her husband, First Lady Jenny Sanford announced she is going to write and publish a book about the ordeal.

Of course the people around the Sanfords will contend that announcement was coincidental. That could have been believed a few months ago. But, after their public back and forth, it is clear that both the Sanfords crave the media spotlight. And, now, for the price of a book, we can have the whole story of Jenny Sanford to inspire us. My guess is it will go on sale right in the heat of next year's election.

Thus, Mrs. Sanford's book announcement reminded the five in Newberry that the Sanfords insist on being along for the ride in 2010. The Governor will not resign. The First Lady will have her story published. Debate and talk of the future, but in the end, the Sanfords will not be ignored.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twenty years ago, Hugo and Governor Campbell

Twenty years ago, South Carolina awoke to mass destruction at the hands of Hurricane Hugo. The one thing South Carolina had going for it was a giant in the Governor's chair. Here is a video about Hugo and the late Carroll Campbell.

This week's youtube video

Some guy named Joe is apparently going to show us how to use a firearm.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Insulting to call Anderson County Council leaders Republican

It is hard to be a conservative Republican in Anderson County. After years of standing up against the big liberal government ways of the previous County Council and Administrator we now have to live with the current Council spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a political witch hunt that , four months after it was promised, did not produce results.

That, folks, is typical big government. We conservatives have faced such empty promises before. Liberals tells us that they can spend our tax money better and give us justice or whatever else we desire. Yet, when it comes time to truly deliver, liberals, including the so called Republicans who run Anderson County Council, tell us just wait a bit. They tell us some other characters are to blame. They tell us to wait and see.

While we conservatives wait and see, the bills for the investigations keep adding up. The invoices are billed to the taxpayers of Anderson County. So while those so called Republican leaders in Anderson County try to grab headlines as being true conservative Republicans, the public bill of their investigation into old political foes keeps adding up. Thus, wait and see has become add it up. As such, Anderson County Council looks more like old time Southern Democrats spending taxpayer money going after old political enemies than true Republican reformers worried about reforming county government and creating jobs. (One wonders where some of the re-election contributions of the current council will come from?)

Months ago, VUI called for SLED and the SC Attorney General to look at what possible improprieties happened in Anderson County government. VUI still stands by that. Though VUI has gained both statewide and national attention of late, we cannot ignore the fact that big government poses as Republican in our backyard.

When a county such as Anderson is facing harsh economic realities and job losses, and when it faces real budget shortfalls, it is unbelievable that the so called conservatives who supposedly lead the county would spend hundreds of thousands on getting even with their past political enemies. Just when Anderson County needs a united voice to get jobs for its people, our so called conservative council takes the liberal approach and spends public money going after old political enemies. When their own deadline passes, they write more checks at our expense.

It is a stark truth that the current Anderson County Council, for whatever reason, has chosen to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money on high powered attorneys, accountants and investigators to look at their predecessors and the previous administration. To traditional conservatives, such is abhorrent. Yet, the invoices keep adding up.

Unfortunately, it appears the jobs do not meet the matching invoices. Just last week, Honea Path lost 60 high paying manufacturing jobs. Previously, Williamston lost over a 100 such jobs. Such seems not to matter. It seems we in Anderson County have replaced one group of self centered politicians with another set of the same.

Perhaps the people want the current Anderson County Council in place. That is their right. But, please, for those of us who understand the definition of conservative and Republican, please don’t give those members of County Council acting like liberal Democrats with their public spending witch hunt those titles. It is insulting.

Ending the damage of Jimmy Carter and his

There has been a disturbing movement over the past week that contends those of us who question the policies of President Obama are racist. Those forces seem all too eager to lump those of us who ask questions with the nut jobs.

So, let’s make VUI’s position clear. First, and foremost, Barack Obama is the legitimate President of the United States. The man was born in Hawaii and established himself in Illinois. President Obama has had a remarkable rise to power and prominence and as such, deserves respect. Those folks who think that President Obama is a man who somehow stole power should place their tinfoil hats on snugly. The Mother Ship is calling.

That said, the President is wrong on several important issues. The President’s health care reform seems to be a measure to merge big insurance with big government. The President’s decision to abandon the missile defense system in Eastern Europe is in an insult to long term American friends and shows a marked ignorance of the dangers of the world. Other Presidential decisions have been flawed and deserved loud and clear criticism.

Loud and clear criticism of those in power is the crux of American freedom. Dubbing people as racist, one of the most potent slurs in our society, for daring to criticize those in power is troubling. As said before, to his credit, the President does not go down that road. However far too many of the President’s supporters do embrace calling the President’s critics racist. Such alienates further those who feel alienated and helps to poison the political debate to the point where rational and civil debate to the problems that face us become more unlikely.

It is time that rational supporters of the President respectfully dismiss the remarks of the elderly former President and those who use the former President for cover to espouse their own race baiting and partisan posturing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wellford Mayor on no foot chases by police

An upstate reader sent VUI this clip from Channel 7 news in Spartanburg. Just when VUI was ready to lament on the new trials of the Mayor of Atlantic Beach, we were presented with Mayor Sallie Peake of Wellford, who wrote to her Police Chief that town officers were to no longer chase suspects on foot.

While that order was puzzling enough, the Mayor's interview with a Channel 7 reporter, was,well, interesting. Watch it and make your conclusions. Local gotta love it.

New NRCC ad

The National Republcan Congressional Committee decided to create an ad to remind us of Demcoratic civility to the people. Enjoy.

Top 9 thoughts to let you know you are getting old

9) The rumors about Governor Sanford and Rep. Rita Allison are false. But, if they weren’t I could not blame the Luv Gov. She’s sixty something and hot. A true GILF.

8)Your love rap includes the line, “Come on baby, just give the blue pill time to work.”

7)Who needs sex? I got ESPN.

6)Another term as Superintendent of Education? No thank you. I will run for Governor. I can get more sleep with that job.

5)Hillary Clinton is pretty hot in that pants suit.

4)I worked for Dick Riley. I can be Governor. Remember who I am, damn it! Don’t try to feed me; I can raise money, nurse.

3)I am gonna use every ounce of my power to go after the internets as Attorney General, this crazy thing is out to get us. Craig’s List on that dadgummed internet will take away our social security checks and give them to hookers. Don’t you get on that internet.

2)Caffeine pills and bourbon? You lie!

1)I finally got high speed internet. But, I still can’t find that nude video of Margaret Thatcher.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Enough about racism and Obama criticism

First, as a white guy, or “cracker” as reader Obama Man puts it, I do not know what it is like to Black in America. I do know how it is to be Southern, white and accused of being a racist when there is not a racist bone in my body. It is illogical and inefficient to be prejudiced in the business, political or sports world on anything but performance. It is illogical and downright stupid to be prejudiced on anything in one’s personal life other than upon who shows you respect and concern and who does not.

That is why VUI rejected racist tendencies in the GOP and took on some issues that others rather not discuss. This time, it is time for VUI to call enough on racism and President Obama.

For years now, those who argue against the idea of reverse discrimination have told us that such is impossible because someone with power, i.e, white people, cannot be a victim of racism. Carrying that line of logic to its logical outcome, there is no way the most powerful man on the planet can be a victim.

Does racism exist? Of course it does. But, the President of the United States cannot be a victim. The President and his White House staff have correctly stayed away from such. However, some of their biggest supporters, such as former President Jimmy Carter and others, have not. Why they choose to see the nation’s first African American President as the first President to be weak enough to be a victim is something for them to search their own hearts about. I respect Barack Obama too much to give him any slack over his skin color. Obama went for the big job and he got it. And, frankly, Jimmy Carter is a very old man. Old people get confused.

Of course, some politicians are not confused and are just looking for a political hit with the Wilson outburst. Take these remarks as reported by the AP from Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia:

On the Democratic side, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., accused Wilson of instigating racist sentiment against the president and sending the signal that "you don't have to bury it now. You can bring it out."
"I guess we'll probably have folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again and riding through the countryside intimidating people," Johnson, who is black, told reporters. "That's the logical conclusion if this kind of attitude is not rebuked. Congressman Wilson represents it. He's the face of it."

Johnson’s remarks are incredible. He should be rebuked by the House. But, that will not happen. Accusing a Southern Congressman who had an unfortunate outburst of being the face of the Klan is okay today. Further, such remarks actually could stoke a racial divide that does not exist. Such might be good for the Congressman’s re-election fund raising, but it is not good for the nation.

Also, what Carter and Johnson seem to be ignorant of is the natural rough and tumble of Presidential politics.

All of the President’s predecessors were white, and they faced much harsher criticism than a Congressman yelling out “you lie” or some cartoons. Abraham Lincoln was portrayed in the New York papers as a baboon. They also accused Mrs. Lincoln of being a spy for the Confederacy. (Can you imagine how it would be handled if major papers accused Mrs. Obama of spying for terrorists?)

The first President Bush was a true war hero, yet, cartoonists often showed him with a purse, emphasizing that they thought he was a wimp. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi called the second President Bush stupid. The list goes on from Washington to Obama. Jimmy Carter ought to remember being ridiculed for being attacked by a rabbit when he was fishing. The following cartoon compares George W. Bush as an ape.

When someone takes on the job of President of the United States, that person becomes the most recognized person in the United States, if not the world. As such, there are those who will hate the President because of his choice of dog. There are others who will love the President because they fantasize about sleeping with him. Just because President Obama is African American does not insulate him from the good and bad things about the office. It is an insult to the President and all he has accomplished as a person to suggest otherwise. Those supporters of the President suggesting that criticism of him is based on racism should check themselves and how they really see the President and the world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

With friends like Bob Inglis, who needs enemies?

Congressman Joe Wilson continued to catch flack over his outburst during last week’s Presidential address. In a move that makes the Democratic leadership look like thin skinned Obama sycophants to the rest of the world, the Democratic leadership in the House engineered a resolution disapproving of Congressman Wilson’s remarks last week. (For example, the British, with their famous Question Time in Parliament, are laughing at our thin skins.)

Think on it. Dare to cry out in the people’s House against our great leader, and the leadership will engineer a resolution to condemn you. Such seems Orwellian, but it is expected of Pelosi and company. What was not expected was a South Carolina Republican, Bob Inglis, voting in favor of such a resolution.

Usually, members of a state congressional delegation, especially those within the same party, are close. They work with one another and stand with one another. Inglis chose another way. Indeed, Joe Wilson had a better political friend Tuesday in Democratic District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes then he did his fellow South Carolina Republican Bob Inglis.

What is the reason for Bob Inglis’s move against Wilson? There are several possibilities. First, Bob Inglis has a Sanford like streak of going his own way, and not caring about working with others in his own party. Second, there is the fact that Wilson’s former law partner, state senator David Thomas, is running against Inglis. Could Inglis be so petty as to go after Wilson for such reasons?

Regardless the reason, Joe Wilson learned Tuesday that with friends like Bob Inglis, who needs enemies? Republicans will have to decide how to deal with Inglis at the polls next June.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another new humor item from VUI: you tube moments

In the great mix between political commentary and downright comedy, the staff at VUI decided to offer, from time to time, Youtube videos, that well, were better left undone.

This video is from a guy upset with Kanye West's dissing of Taylor Swift at the MTV Music Awards. Sure, West acted a fool, but is it enough to take your shirt off and rap about it? Probably not.

Here we go, the first of the series of Youtube videos we really never wanted to see.

A look at the Democrats: Coble gets out of way for Benjamin and Rex makes the Governor’s field crowded

The Democrats had a lot of confidence after the election of President Barack Obama last fall. Almost a year later, Obama’s approval numbers are slipping, yet South Carolina Democrats are still feeling confident about the election in 2010, mostly because of Governor Mark Sanford and the damage Sanford has done to the Republican brand. But, the wisest Democrat of all might be Columbia Mayor Bob Coble.

Coble will have served twenty years as Mayor of Columbia when his current term expires next year. His decision not to seek re-election allows him to ride off into the sunset as the toast of the town without a bruising campaign. Whether Coble won or lost against Benjamin in 2010, chances are he would have been remembered more for what was shaping up to be a bruising political battle than Coble’s years of service to Columbia. By choosing to retire, Coble will be remembered and honored. Coble also cleared the way for Steve Benjamin to become the next mayor of Columbia. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, the former Democratic nominee for Attorney General will be the next Mayor of Columbia.

However, there is no way of knowing just who will emerge from the Democratic primary for Governor of South Carolina. State Superintendant of Education Jim Rex threw his hat into the ring Monday as Mayor Coble was throwing his hat out. Rex’s entry means that the Democrats, who frankly needed a united front to stand a chance, even with Sanford, in claiming the Governor’s post have a real fight on their hands. Rex joins long time political insider and lobbyist Dwight Drake, State Senators Vincent Sheheen and Robert Ford and some attorney from Charleston. Unlike 1998, there are real divisions in the South Carolina Democratic Party and those divisions could give Republicans a break even with the Sanford mess.

From what VUI understands, most of the divisions are personal. Drake entered because some Columbia insiders do not like the Sheheen family. Rex entered because he is still upset over Inez Tennenbaum getting his spot as a delegate to last year’s Democratic National Convention. Robert Ford, well he is running because Sanford allies will bankroll him to act the fool. Attorney Nelson McLeod, well, he is running just to run.

The bottom line on Mondays’ developments is simple. In Columbia city politics, Democrats have their act together and are moving to honor the old legend and avoid the big fight so the new guy can move in without a bruising battle. On the state level, Democrats are gearing up for a good old fashioned brawl, which will result in a weakened nominee in the fall, and give Republicans back the Governor’s Mansion, no matter with the Love Guv does.

Top 9 reasons I can not report to work today

People always seem to want to lay out of work, especially on a Monday. Well, this week, VUI offers the Top 9 reasons I cannot make it to work today.

9) I did not realize bourbon was stronger than beer.

8) My head, my head, I am so wasted. Did I say that? No, I got a virus.

7) I heard some guy at the office had a cough. It could be swine flu. I better stay home and avoid it.

6) She is 22, hot and wants me to stay a little longer.

5) Why are you asking me why I can’t come in today? Do you have some racial issues?

4) My country needs me to spend the day protesting outside of Joe Wilson’s office.

3) I just cannot face any Georgia fans today.

2) I told the guys here at the jail I needed to go to work, but they won’t let me leave.

1)My lady friend in Argentina called me and said I needed to come down and cry with her.

Obama's insurance company subsidy plan

Liberals have contended for years that the poor and the otherwise uninsurable need health care coverage. For a moment, let’s accept that premise.

How does the Obama plan help that happen? Obama and the Democrats who support his plan contend that the plan will offer either a public option for health insurance coverage or a co-op plan for coverage, depending on the Democrat quoted in the press. Fair enough.

What is not often discussed is that people without coverage will be required to have it or face a federal fine enforced by the IRS. Let’s consider for a moment how it could affect the people Obama claims to help. Suppose someone makes eight dollars an hour. After taxes, that person takes home about $275 a week. That is around $1100 a month. Assuming that that person has rent at about $400 a month, automobile expenses about $200 a month, various utilities about the same amount, and groceries and other basic living expenses, and that $1100 goes away pretty quickly. Those folks, for whatever reason, simply cannot afford a health insurance policy.

The President says he will offer them an affordable policy. But most estimates have that at least $200 a month. The people the President claims to help are already choosing to buy groceries and pay the electric bill instead of buying a health insurance policy. A tax credit on the next year’s tax return will not put money in their pockets to buy a policy today. Fining them for not having a policy will only add to their hardship. Indeed, Obama’s health care plan results in a tax on people for being too poor to have insurance.

So, have no illusions, liberals, the health care reform plan offered by the President and the Democrats in Congress does not help the poor as you think it will. It hurts them, along with the middle class. What the so called reform will do is line the pockets of insurance companies, who have lobbied the Obama Administration and Congress well. Big government today is not for the average working person, it is for the lobbyist who lines up the campaign contributions.

Think on it. Who benefits the most from the Obama health care plan? The answer is the insurance companies, who have lined his and Congressional campaign pockets. The insurance companies will reap the benefits of the federal government using its power to force people to buy health insurance. The insurance companies will reap the benefits of the federal government using taxpayer money to subsidize them directly or indirectly. The Obama health care plan is big government, influenced heavily by big insurance, setting up the American people for the big rip off.

Those on the Left have made much ado about Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst of “You lie” to the President during last week’s Presidential address to Congress. Ironically, if one examines the plan and considers what it will do, it seems the biggest lie is to the so called progressives who believe that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are actually trying to help poor people get health care.

Make no mistake. The Obama plan is not government run health care. The Obama plan is lobbyist run health care, with the emphasis being on making the most money for the clients of the lobbyists. That is why big government does not work.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We will never forget September 11th, 2001

Those of who lived through the day of September 11th, 2001 will never forget that day.

We will never forget the chaos of that day.

We will never forget the brave fire fighters and police officers who rushed into harm’s way.

We will never forget the victims, who were either emergency workers or people who just went to work on a Tuesday.

We will never forget the insane hatred that inspired the attacks that falsely used God as a reason.

We will never forget those people who jumped to their deaths, desperate to get away from the flames.

We will never forget how the American people rallied around those attacked and how the best of America was exhibited in the worst of moments.

We will never forget the courage of those Americans on United Flight 93 who died making sure the terrorists did not get their way.

We will never forget how we learned that day that there was pure evil in the world, and that evil wants to kill us, not negotiate, not deal, just simply kill us.

We will never forget that day for it is why we cannot forget the men and women in the military and in law enforcement who continue to fight to keep up safe from such another attack.

We will never forget. September 11th, 2001 made clear that there is good and evil in the world. It reminded us sometimes good has to suit up and fight evil. There can never be a compromise or deal with pure evil. We learned that on September 11th, 2001. May the victims and heroes of that day be remembered with honor. May the families and survivors stay in our prayers. May this nation stay the course to fight the evil that was revealed that September morning. God bless the United States of America.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

We understand, Joe

Unless you have been under a rock this evening, you know that Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted out "you lie" to the President of the United States.

Wilson has apologized for his lack of civility. But, his frustrations are understandable. The President papered over big issues in health care and basically sung the praises of various Democratic bills in the Congress. If the President of the United States gives a partisan stump speech to Congress, he and his should not be surprised to get a partisan reaction. That, folks, is politics.

What is not understandable is how some Republicans are turning on Wilson. John McCain condemned the remarks of the man who campaigned for him, and was quickly followed by his buddy Lindsey Graham. Then, Will Folks over at the FITS News for Now blog dubbed Joe Wilson a RINO in his criticism.

Joe Wilson, Mr. Republican, a RINO? Wow. Joe Wilson, like him or not, has one of the most conservative voting records in the United States Congress. If Wilson is a Republican in Name Only, then, frankly, there are no Republicans.

Such is politics. There is nothing like kicking a man when he is down to get a little media cred for some. Well, VUI won't do that. Wilson lost his cool. That was wrong. But, he apologized.

As for those who talk about decorum, well, where were they when President Bush was booed by Democrats during one of this speeches to the Congress? If those political thin skins think Wilson was rowdy, they ought to check out the British House of Commons during Prime Minister's Question Time. (Of course, the British Parliament does sit quietly during the Queen's speech, but are we to compare our President to royalty?)

Further, Joe Wilson has served South Carolina with honor in the United States House of Representatives and has worked tirelessly to promote the Republican Party. VUI offers Congressman Wilson support and understands, that sometimes, a man can not sit and listen but to so much bull manure before he has to say something. VUI understands, Joe.

Now, for comparison is the British House of Commons during Question Time.

The GOP welcomes back the Democrats to DC

The Republican National Congressional Committee has put together an interesting ad to highlight the rough summer bteak that their Democratic colleagues had. Watch and enjoy or watch and scream at the screen.

Please share your comments on this ad.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Sanford case is about job abandonment, not planes and women

The opportunity to impeach Governor Mark Sanford might have slipped away for legislators seeking to do so. The embattled Governor clearly will not quit, and the issue of why to remove him from office has been obfuscated with airplane use questions, Ethics Commission involvement, and rumors of the sexual predilections of the Governor and his would be successor, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer.

For the people to support an impeachment, and for that impeachment to set a precedent that can be maintained without fear of weakening the office of Governor, the issue should be simple. Is it a serious act of misconduct for the Governor of South Carolina to lie even to his own chief of staff about his whereabouts and be incommunicado with the state for nearly a week? The issue is that simple. As such, it could be clearly understood.

People in the private sector know if they do not show up to work for nearly a week and do not communicate with their employers that they will be fired. In South Carolina, it is called job abandonment. You choose to not show up to work or communicate with your employer the amount of time the Governor was incommunicado, and you are assumed to have quit your job. Termination is expected and justified. It is the way the real world works.

Of course, many politicians and their consultants and aides do not understand the private sector and how the real world works. But, even they understand the role of the Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff is supposed to be the one guy the Governor can go to with his most personal of problems and expect confidence and support. The least any competent politician would do is tell his Chief of Staff how to reach him if there was a need to. By not telling even his Chief of Staff how to reach him, Sanford committed a serious dereliction of duty. Some might call that merely stupid. However, sometimes, stupidity leads to a serious act of misconduct.

Indeed, when the state of South Carolina starting making headlines on this issue and first became the butt of late night jokes, it was because our Governor was missing. It was not because of an extramarital affair or plane trips.

With the rumors about other affairs and the smearing of other politicians, added to the plane trip allegations and the soap opera like public conversation both the Governor and First Lady have had over the Governor’s affair, the crux of the issue has been lost.

If Mark Sanford is to be impeached, he should be impeached for the serious misconduct of dereliction of duty by leaving the state without telling anyone how to get in touch with him. In this age of modern communication it is inexcusable for a Governor to disappear without letting someone know how to find him or turning power over temporarily to the Lt. Governor. Cut all the sex and politics out, and it comes down to just plain old fashioned job abandonment. The average South Carolinian could never get away with such a thing. Why should Mark Sanford?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

It is time we politically sobered up

Reviewing the recent polling data from Rasmussen on their website, the unease of the American people is pretty clear. The numbers are staggering. President Obama, who once had rock star numbers, is now below 50 percent in approval ratings. Congress is below 30 percent. Indeed, 51 percent think that Congress is too liberal and 74 percent of Republican voters are not happy with Republican members of Congress. Around 57 percent of those polled wanted to replace the entire Congress with someone else. What is really striking is that 42 percent of those polled believe that picking members of Congress randomly from the phone book would produce a better Congress than the one in place.

Such numbers, while shocking in some ways, are expected in others. For nearly three years now, under three different Congresses and two Presidents, roughly two thirds of the nation believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction. The numbers also reflect the frustration showed by Americans recently at Congressional town hall style meetings, on the right and the left.

Americans have always been cynical about their politicians and lampooned them when they could. That cynicism and lampooning has proven to be historically healthy to the American democracy. However, it is turning into something stronger and more difficult to define as more and more people notice and feel a disconnection between Washington and them. There is a growing mood, among liberals, conservatives and moderates, that their voices are limited and that the folks with the money and political clout to influence politics call the shots completely.

On the left, big labor unions influence bailouts and cash for clunkers for the labor union heavy automobile industry. On the right, insurance companies lobby to make sure any sort of health care reform is profitable for them. In the center of it all is a President who promised big ideas, but not seems to leave the heavy lifting to others on major issues, and instead concentrates on things like “beer summits” and speeches to school kids.

For years now, most Americans have seen content to just work and live their lives, with the comforts of their ball games and gadgets. However, as more and more Americans find that their insurance companies fight them on every health care claim, that their kids might be encouraged to voice how they can support some politician, that their Congressman, of whatever party, has staffers who check the fundraising lists before moving to solve a problem, that their son, brother or nephew goes to fight in some nation building exercise, that their credit card raises their interest just because Congress lets them, that there local government wastes hundreds of thousands on going after one another, that their Governor flies in a state plane to make his haircut appointment, and that their President surrounds himself with people who look down on average people, and well, the discontent is unavoidable.

The United States faces a great crisis of conscious. The numbers are what they are, and they are not manufactured by either side of the political debate. As stated, there is real discontentment with both sides. Democrats are unhappy with Democrats and Republicans are unhappy with Republicans.

What will solve this crisis is not great political consulting from highly paid political insiders, but a commitment to public honor from both elected leaders and the American people. Our elected leaders must be men and women who place serving the public good above their own. They must go back to being public servants. As for the people, we have a duty to punish those who practice the soap opera that passes as politics today and judge political leaders on what they do for the public, not what they do in private or how good looking or not that they are to some of us.

Think on it, in today’s climate, some of the giants who built this country, even saved this country would not have been elected. George Washington, a quiet man with false teeth would have no chance. John Adams, short and fat with little charisma, again would have no chance. Thomas Jefferson, a brilliant man, with a weakness for his black servant, would have been hounded out of office by the blogs. A tall and ugly man from the back country of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln would not even receive the Republican nomination today. John C. Calhoun would find his birth status questioned. Teddy Roosevelt would have ran out of town by lobbyists. Franklin Roosevelt would have been tossed aside due to his wheel chair and his fondness for a woman not his wife. Dwight Eisenhower would have been removed from command over blog attacks about him and his driver, Kay Summersby. U.S. Grant, well, blogs and 24 hour cable news reports about his drinking would have surely ran him out. The list goes on.

It is humbling when one considers it. We in America are really upset about the state of our government, with real reason. However, we put that government in place with our votes. We did so by voting for reasons that would seem foreign to the people who worked to build the nation. Thus, some of that anger we feel should be rechanneled into changing how we judge political candidates and how we make decisions at the polls. We as a people must get back to selecting smart people who want to serve instead of hip people who have the looks, the money behind them and the lobbyists. Every two years, we the people vote under the influence of television, highly paid consultants, lobbyists, anything it seems but our own interests, and then we get upset at what results. It is time we politically sobered up.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Top 9 things people don't want to hear from politicians

Here is this week's Top 9. It is nine, because we at VUI ain't smart enough to come up with ten.

9)I voted for that bill before I voted against it.

8)Yes, you can throw me out of office. But, if you do some gay guy will take my place. God would not want that. He told me so on the plane from Argentina.

7)They are not tax increases. They are opportunities for you to contribute more to your government.

6) I know your daughter was the paige in question. But, hey, I was drunk, okay. Give me a break? I gotta drink to put up with people like you calling me all the time.

5)I am sorry sir, the Congressman really won't be able to help on that matter. According to our database, you contributed to his opponent two elections ago.

4) Look, kid, you emailed me those nude pictures, you got to get your parents to lay off.

3) Why should I, of all people. have to deal with car traffic, when I can fly on the state plane? Don't you know if I don't have a good haircut, it could hurt the state?

2) God is on my side. He knows all I have to do is say I am sorry.

1) Give me an hour with your children and I will help them learn how to serve and help me lead this nation.

Be Safe this Labor Day Weekend

Football, barbecue and fun, that is Labor Day Weekend in the South. Unfortunately, drunk driving deaths seem to be a part of it as well.

So, be safe. Enjoy yourselves. But, if you have too much to drink to drive, get a ride home with a friend, hire a cab, walk home, whatever you do do not put your life and the lives of others at risk.

And, if that is not enough for you, the following PSA from the state of South Carolina reminds you that the fellas with the badges will be out in force. (A side note, no one at VUI has ever heard any of the comments made by people alluded to in the ad, but of course, our staff does not hang out in beer joints around Red Bank.)

Be safe and enjoy the weekend. VUI likes a good party, but stands against DUI.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Tim Scott and moving beyond the politics of race

For years now the conventional wisdom in South Carolina Democratic and political science academic circles has been that the rise of the Republicans to power in South Carolina was based upon an undercurrent of racism. They point out Strom Thurmond’s opposition to segregation that they claim led him to become a Republican in 1964 and come up with the “Southern strategy” for Richard Nixon in 1968. They also point to the referendum on the Confederate Battle Flag in the 1994 Republican Primary as the moment Democrat Bubba voters turned Republican in South Carolina.

There is some basis for their points. However, the old arguments about the South Carolina GOP and race are changing in the form of State Representative Tim Scott. Scott became the first African American Republican elected to the General Assembly since Reconstruction in 2008, winning a Republican primary in a heavily white district. Now, Scott has his eyes on the Lt. Governor’s office, and raised $150,000 instantly, making him a leading contender for the Republican nomination. It is going to be difficult for Democrats to talk about racism in the South Carolina Republican party if voters nominate an African American for the state’s second highest office.

Indeed, it seems as if some sort of reverse racism is applied to African Americans who are conservative. Why is it expected by Democrats and pundits that an African American will vote Democrat knee jerk and tow the liberal line? Why cannot an African American be free to believe, espouse, and run on conservative ideals? Isn’t it racist to assume an African American votes and thinks Democrat because of the color of his skin?

It is VUI’s hope that the election of Barak Obama, a liberal Democrat as President, and the rise of other African Americans to Republican prominence, such as RNC Chair Richard Steele, and South Carolina’s Tim Scott moves us beyond judging a man or woman’s politics by their skin color. Hopefully, such developments will move us to be a people, of all races, with differing ideaks, who will be allowed to espouse and even run on those ideals without any retribution from the pundit class because we don’t have the right skin tone for what we believe in their eyes.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Can we talk about something else?

The blogs are afire about the sex life of Governor Mark Sanford, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer and now former South Carolina Board of Education Chairwoman Kristin Macguire. It all makes for juicy gossip on the web. Bloggers hint at Sanford’s “other women.” Others claim the Lt. Governor is gay and claim to have the goods to “out” him. Other blogs are just smitten with the idea that Macguire might have written some rather explicit erotic stories on the internet under a pen name.

Since the beginning of politics, there have been politicians who have had sex scandals. There also have been activists who like to take vague information and twist it to their point of view being validated. For whatever reason, gay activists seem to be among the strongest at taking vague information and “outing” someone. They usually try to “out” prominent politicians, such as Alexander the Great or Abraham Lincoln. The reason is simple and human. If one feels unaccepted by people, the natural reaction is to find someone who is highly regarded and say, “hey, this guy is just like me.” Others enjoy living on the edge with their personal lives and love to pounce on someone who espouses otherwise but appears to live on the same edges through the same vague information.

The problem with the above is that we really do not know the private lives of our neighbors, much less the private lives of our politicians. Further, anyone with a sense of decency respects other people’s privacy, unless their private lives cross the line into affecting their job.

In other words, if a gay Governor hires his gay lover for a job, as was the case in New Jersey, that is a problem. If a straight Governor has a high sex drive and chooses to hire hookers and open himself up to blackmail, as the former Governor of New York did, that is a problem. And, yes, if you are a Governor and go AWOL for a week over an affair, that is a problem. As such, the above Governors mentioned deserved criticism and political humor thrown at them. Their private lives conflicting with their public duties.

But, other scenarios are a bit more difficult. Suppose a state senator is gay. He keeps it to himself. It never interferes with his job and his ethics in office are true? Is outing him something good for the state? What about a state senator who provides for his wife and children, but enjoys “messing” around with women. None of them have ever worked for him. He has not missed one day of work over them or gave them public favors. Should his private life be exposed? What good would it do?

In every major aspect of professional life, there are people who are outstanding in the professional jobs, but lead colorful personal lives. There are also people who have no real personal lives of their own, and sitting around and fantasizing about other people’s personal lives and gossiping is all that they have to do.

That is why VUI will not comment about rumors about the Lt. Governor, the former School Board Chairwoman, or any other politician until proof is given their private lives conflicted with their public duties.

Some might call that hypocritical given VUI’s stance on Sanford. But, consider this, Mark Sanford chose to let his personal life cause him to go AWOL. He and his wife both chose to have their sad and silly interviews with the press. Thus, their private lives interfered with public duty, making it fair game.

Think on it. The personal lives of your neighbors around you really do not concern you unless one of them shows up at your home and starts a diatribe about their personal lives and asks you for help with something. It makes you uncomfortable, but you don’t know what to say. You just feel sad and you remember that the police spent public money going out there a few times. Further, the couple brought their troubles into your home with their diatribes. That is what the Sanfords have done to SC. Their public comments brought their troubles into SC homes. On the other hand, when the nosey neighbor comes by and starts talking about the neighbors down the street, it is much easier to just say, “I don’t give a crap about all that. Let’s talk about something else.”

Well, that is how VUI feels about fellow bloggers and others when it comes to rumors about Andre Bauer and other political figures. We don’t give a crap. Can we talk about something else?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Dwight Drakes starts more Sanford stuff

As predicted, Mark Sanford will be the big topic for the Democrats in 2010. Dwight Drake has already started with this video and a call for people to sign a petition for Sanford to resign.

It is a slick video, and the move is a a gamble that the House won't impeach Sanford.