Archive for September, 2009

Just because the Senate Finance Committee defeated two amendments that would’ve created a public option doesn’t mean that the public option is dead…yet. We’ve passed the first test but there’s many hurdles left to go before we kill the bad reform legislation that the Democrats are proposing. One thing we should be highlighting is the fact that Canada is seeking a private option:

When the pain in Christina Woodkey’s legs became so severe that she could no longer hike or cross-country ski, she went to her local health clinic. The Calgary, Canada, resident was told she’d need to see a hip specialist. Because the problem was not life-threatening, however, she’d have to wait about a year.

So wait she did.

In January, the hip doctor told her that a narrowing of the spine was compressing her nerves and causing the pain. She needed a back specialist. The appointment was set for Sept. 30. ‘When I was given that date, I asked when could I expect to have surgery,’ said Woodkey, 72. ‘They said it would be a year and a half after I had seen this doctor.’

So this month, she drove across the border into Montana and got the $50,000 surgery done in two days. ‘I don’t have insurance. We’re not allowed to have private health insurance in Canada,’ Woodkey said. ‘It’s not going to be easy to come up with the money. But I’m happy to say the pain is almost all gone.’

Whereas U.S. healthcare is predominantly a private system paid for by private insurers, things in Canada tend toward the other end of the spectrum: A universal, government-funded health system is only beginning to flirt with private-sector medicine.

Hoping to capitalize on patients who might otherwise go to the U.S. for speedier care, a network of technically illegal private clinics and surgical centers has sprung up in British Columbia, echoing a trend in Quebec. In October, the courts will be asked to decide whether the budding system should be sanctioned. More than 70 private health providers in British Columbia now schedule simple surgeries and tests such as MRIs with waits as short as a week or two, compared with the months it takes for a public surgical suite to become available for nonessential operations.

Let’s be honest about this fight: because we have don’t have the numbers, Republicans don’t have the numbers to affect positive change. We also don’t have the bully pulpit. What we’ve got, though, is appealing ideas that are based off of verifiable information. The more people read stories like this, the better our options look.

One argument that we must start making is that insurance for all is worthless if we don’t have enough medical professionals to treat people. I wrote here about the IBD poll of 433 doctors. Here’s a refresher of that post:

The great concern is that, with increased mandates, lower pay and less freedom to practice, doctors could abandon medicine in droves, as the IBD/TIPP Poll suggests. Under the proposed medical overhaul, an additional 47 million people would have to be cared for, an 18% increase in patient loads, without an equivalent increase in doctors. The actual effect could be somewhat less because a significant share of the uninsured already get care.

Even so, the government vows to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from health care spending to pay for reform, which would encourage a flight from the profession.

What’s more is that there are amendments pending that would tie private insurance payments to the Medicare payments. That would have catastrophic results. Doctors, hospitals and clinics couldn’t stay in business. They’d need bailouts to keep operating. Where’s the savings then?

Another thing we should be highlighting is the fact that we’ll need massive new tax increases to pay for reform. At minimum, that’s a volatile subject right now. Why would we want to pay higher taxes for an inferior product, especially when we don’t have the money?

Another thing to highlight is the possibility (likelihood?) that lower reimbursements would lead to layoffs of medical personnel. If doctors, hospitals and clinics don’t have the money to pay all of their expenses, isn’t it likely that they’ll cut costs?

Shouldn’t Americans start asking why Canada, which has experience with the system Sens. Schumer and Rockefeller proposed, is opting to move away from their system? Why are Canadians illegally building private clinics? I’ll keep my eye on this because I’m betting that the private clinics will become wildly popular with the Canadian people. I’ll bet that these clinics will prosper because they won’t have to wait in line like they’re currently doing.

Another difference between private clinics and hospitals vs. government-run facilities is that private facilities will be more responsive to their patients, which will lead more people picking private facilities over government-run facilities.

Finally, let’s challenge the Democrats to keep ‘public option plans’ afloat without without tax increases, price controls and mandates. The simple fact is their system would quickly collapse. We know that because Medicare is collapsing right now.

Let’s learn from Canada’s and Great Britain’s mistakes. Yes, I know Sen. Schumer will tell us that his system wouldn’t be anything like Canada’s and Great Britain’s systems but that’s pure spin. Schumer’s plan will result in price controls and rationing just like Canada’s and Great Britain’s systems.

Only then will we be able to change directions and implement positive reforms.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I pretty much know everyone’s name in congress but I didn’t recognize Alan Grayson’s name until recently. Now it’s time America got to know this jerk better. I say jerk because that’s what he was in this hateful diatribe:

The disgusting nature of Grayson’s speech speaks for itself. It’s obvious that Rep. Grayson is a hatemonger and a backbench bombthrower. After this, it’s also possible that he’ll be a one-term wonder.

This speech would’ve fit right in with Howard Dean’s speech where he said that “We’re in a fight between good and evil and we’re the good.” Democrats like Dean and Grayson aren’t good. Hate-filled people aren’t good.

Republicans who heard of the diatribe are demanding that Rep. Grayson apologize:

Veteran Tennessee Republican Jimmy Duncan abandoned customary reticence to chastise Grayson. “That is about the most mean-spirited partisan statement that I’ve ever heard made on this floor, and I, for one, don’t appreciate it,” Duncan said. “It’s fully appropriate that the gentleman return to the floor and apologize,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, another Tennessee Republican.

Thus far, an apology hasn’t been offered. After this blows up in the media, I suspect Speaker Pelosi will ask Rep. Grayson to fall on his sword. The last thing Democrats need is a hotheaded backbencher shooting his mouth off when they’re attempting to cast Republicans as an angry mob.

Besides, it’s going to be difficult for Speaker Pelosi this week after the Senate Finance Committee defeated Jay Rockefeller’s amendment to include a public option in his bill:

The 15-to-8 vote could forecast the fate of the public option in the Senate as a whole. The outcome was expected but still a defeat for liberals who view government-sponsored insurance for the middle class as a key component of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Five committee Democrats, including Chairman Max Baucus, joined with all 10 committee Republicans to defeat the measure by Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia.

The public option is just one of the hurdles standing in the way of the Democrats’ health care legislation. Another obstacle that will be difficult to overcome is how to pay for it. The biggest obstacle facing Democrats, though, appears to be Sen. Baucus’s attempt to hide the legislation’s costs by shoving millions more Medicaid patients onto the states’ dime:

Democrats want to use Medicaid to cover everyone up to at least 133% of the federal poverty level, or about $30,000 for a family of four. Starting in 2014, Mr. Baucus plans to spend $287 billion through 2019, or about one-third of ObamaCare’s total spending, to add some 11 million new people to the Medicaid rolls.

About 59 million people are on Medicaid today, which means that a decade from now about a quarter of the total population would be on a program originally sold as help for low-income women, children and the disabled. State budgets would explode, by $37 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, because they would no longer be allowed to set eligibility in line with their own decisions about taxes and spending.

That provision is sparking a states’ rights fight:

In more than a dozen statehouses across the country, a small but growing group of lawmakers is pressing for state constitutional amendments that would outlaw a crucial element of the health care plans under discussion in Washington: the requirement that everyone buy insurance or pay a penalty.

Approval of the measures, supporters suggest, would open a legal battle over states’ rights versus federal power, an issue that is, for some, central to the current health care debate, but also one that affects a broad range of other matters, including education and drug policy.

In the public’s mind, it’s almost irrelevant whether that provision is constitutional or not. The mandates are another reminder of the Democrats’ overreach. It’s a symbol of them saying that they’ll dictate what policy will be, that We The People won’t be having input into what policies will be enacted.

Rep. Grayson’s behavior is reprehensible but no more so than Democrats ignoring the will of the people in cramming this reprehensible legislation down our throats. At minimum, Rep. Grayson owes Republicans an apology. At worst, he needs a new occupation.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Yesterday, I wrote that Sen. Baucus’s health care legislation hides the real costs by dumping the underfunded mandate in states’ laps. While writing the post, I wondered what Minnesota legislators thought of having that expense dumped in their laps. Based on this article, it’s apparent that it doesn’t bother Speaker Kelliher at all:

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the Democratic speaker of the House, said she doubted the proposal stood much of a chance. “Most legislators are interested in improving the health of Minnesotans, and how to do more health care reform,” she said. “No one thinks the answer is a states’ rights movement.”

If, God forbid, Speaker Kelliher became Gov. Kelliher and if, God forbid again, Sen. Baucus’s legislation dumped billions of underfunded Medicaid mandates on Minnesota, I’ll bet that Kelliher wouldn’t take a passive approach to the financial mess dumped in her lap. In fact, I’d bet that she’d be mightily upset.

The thing that I haven’t heard Democrats say in this health care fight is whether the Democrats’ legislation will put too many burdens on their children. Did they bother thinking that the additional tax burden, coupled with the staggering debt service and the inflation this spending causes, will make it difficult or impossible for their children to succeed.

Think of the crushing debt load being dumped on kids in junior high and high school. Then remember that Larry Summers, President Obama’s economic advisor, predicted that there would be zero net job growth for the next 5 years.

Why hasn’t Speaker Kelliher thought about those considerations instead of thinking about reading from the same intellectually bankrupt ideological playbook as President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Baucus are reading from. It’s one thing to be a team player. It’s another thing to follow blindly without paying attention to what’s heading in your direction.

Minnesota’s next governor must provide thoughtful leadership. We can’t afford to elect someone who will blindly follow President Obama.

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We all knew that Iran’s mullahs wanted a President Obama more than they wanted a President McCain. Thanks to President Obama’s recent chairing of the U.N. Security Council meeting, we now know why. Jack Kelly reports that French President Sarkozy is fuming that President Obama didn’t jump the Iranians during the meeting on nuclear nonproliferation:

What infuriated President Sarkozy was that at the time Mr. Obama said those words, Mr. Obama knew the mullahs in Iran had a secret nuclear weapons development site, and he didn’t call them on it.

‘President Obama dreams of a world without weapons…but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “Iran since 2005 has flouted five Security Council resolutions,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “North Korea has been defying Council resolutions since 1993.”

“What good has proposals for dialogue brought the international community?” he asked rhetorically. “More uranium enrichment and declarations by the leaders of Iran to wipe out a UN member state off the map.”

It’s embarrassing that the French are right in calling the U.S. weak against the terrorists. President Obama has been a mountain of jello since becoming Commander-In-Chief. He’s waffling on what to do in Afghanistan. He’s been irresponsible with Iran, especially now that we know that he knew about the second reactor.

Instead of using a stick, preferably one with a hard metal alloy in it, President Obama wants to talk with them. It’s obvious that President Obama didn’t learn the Reagan Doctrine, which is to win fights by intimidating our enemies into major concessions. Enemies won’t cave unless they know that they can’t win. Right now, Iran knows that they can’t lose because of President Obama’s Alice in Wonderland foreign policies.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting why President Obama didn’t ambush the Iranians at the nonproliferation meeting:

President Sarkozy in particular pushed hard. He had been “frustrated” for months about Mr. Obama’s reluctance to confront Iran, a senior French government official told us, and saw an opportunity to change momentum. But the Administration told the French that it didn’t want to “spoil the image of success” for Mr. Obama’s debut at the U.N. and his homily calling for a world without nuclear weapons, according to the Paris daily Le Monde. So the Iran bombshell was pushed back a day to Pittsburgh, where the G-20 were meeting to discuss economic policy.

It’s sickening to hear that President Obama put a higher priority on image than on being tough. Confronting Iran at the U.N. would’ve gotten the world’s attention. Not confronting them will be taken as a sign of weakness by Iran’s mullahs. They now know that they can do whatever they want whenever they want.

Then again, we shouldn’t expect more from President Obama. After all, that’s what obedient little lapdogs do.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

After reading this post about another union backing Tarryl Clark, I’m left wondering why the media didn’t dig into who she really was representing.

On the AFL-CIO’s website, they posted this about health care reform:

What Works: Medicare, Children’s Health
What Doesn’t Work: HSAs, Medicare Prescription Drugs

I know that Tarryl supports single-payer health care, which is what Medicare is. I know this because I attended a health care forum in January, 2008 that Tarryl held at Whitney Senior Center. Spoeaker after speaker talked about the virtues of single-payer health systems. One woman representing the Central Minnesota Health Care Coalition stood up and said this:

“We don’t need health insurance. We need health care.”

Another woman, Loretta Linus, said this:

“The doctors are wonderful. You get good care. And it just makes me mad when they talk about how they have to come over here to get good care & that’s not true.”

“Now they say that Canadians have to come over here for good treatment. Well don’t you believe it. Don’t you believe it one bit. That government is so good to all its people. I don’t care if you’re rich or poor. They take care of you. And so many of the people come & they talk crap about how awful their system is. Well, don’t you believe it. Single payer is wonderful if it’s run right.”

Tarryl sat there, soaking this all in with a smile on her face. She obviously didn’t find anything objectionable to what was said. The other hint that Tarryl is a single-payer advocate was her inviting State Sen. John Marty to be the special guest for the forum. John Marty’s been advocating for a single-payer health care system since before I paid attention to the state legislature.

Another thing that the unions support is higher taxes, especially on “the rich.” It isn’t a coincidence that Tarryl has supported every major tax increase that the legislature has voted on the last 3 years.

The DFL has kept up a persistent whining seemingly forever that Tim Pawlenty’s actions were dictated by his ambition for higher office. Why shouldn’t we ask if Tarryl’s actions were the result of her ambition for higher office? It’s certainly as plausible as saying that Gov. Pawlenty’s actions were dictated by his ambitions.

The real test, though, isn’t whether you represent various special interest groups interests. It’s whether your votes were in the best interests of the constituents that elected you. After going door-knocking with Steve Gottwalt last summer and fall, I’ll guarantee that raising taxes wasn’t a majority sentiment.

Based on how little support single-payer health care legislation has right now, I’m confident that central Minnesota voters don’t support that, either.

At the day’s end, I’m still wondering whether Tarryl cared more about gaining the union’s support for when she ran for higher office or if she cared more about her constituents in SD-15. Something tells me that it isn’t the latter.

I tried finding out where Tarryl stands on EFCA from her campaign website. Unfortunately, Tarryl’s website doesn’t have an issues page. That’s pretty shoddy considering the fact that Tarryl announced her candidacy in late July.

Is Tarryl attempting to hide her position on EFCA because it’s a controversial issue? Perhaps, though I suspect that all this union support means that she’d support Card Check legislation if she was elected.

Finally, according to the SEIU’s report card, Tarryl voted with the SEIU 100 percent of the time, giving her an A+ rating.

One of the things that the SEIU opposed was David Hann’s amendment that would have prohibited school employee salary increases. I guess Larry Pogemiller’s talk about the need for shared sacrifice didn’t extend to school employees. Of course, Tarryl enthusiastically opposed this belt-tightening measure.

A cynical man might say that the unions got exactly who they paid for.

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Thanks to the Wall Street Journal’s article, we now know how Sen. Baucus’s legislation hides the total cost of the legislation:

One reason it allegedly “pays for itself” over 10 years is because it would break all 50 state budgets by permanently expanding Medicaid, the joint state-federal program for the poor.

Democrats want to use Medicaid to cover everyone up to at least 133% of the federal poverty level, or about $30,000 for a family of four. Starting in 2014, Mr. Baucus plans to spend $287 billion through 2019—or about one-third of ObamaCare’s total spending—to add some 11 million new people to the Medicaid rolls.

About 59 million people are on Medicaid today, which means that a decade from now about a quarter of the total population would be on a program originally sold as help for low-income women, children and the disabled. State budgets would explode, by $37 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, because they would no longer be allowed to set eligibility in line with their own decisions about taxes and spending. This is the mother, and father and crazy uncle—of unfunded mandates.

Five years of subsidizing the states’ cost of health care isn’t much incentive for ruining future budgets. When legislatures figure out that their hands are getting tied and that they’ll be getting the blame when they have to raise taxes or cut programs to pay for Sen. Baucus’s bill, they won’t be keen on the idea:

In some states it is far higher, 39% in Ohio, 27% in Massachusetts, 25% in Michigan, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. Forcing states to spend more will crowd out other priorities or result in a wave of tax increases, or both, even as Congress also makes major tax hikes inevitable at the national level.

The National Governors Association is furious about Mr. Baucus’s Medicaid expansion, and rightly so, given that governors and their legislatures will get stuck with the bill while losing the leeway to manage or reform their budget-busters. NGA President Jim Douglas of Vermont recently said at the National Press Club that the Baucus plan poses a “tremendous financial liability” and doesn’t “respect that no one size fits all at the state level.” He added: “Unlike the federal government, states can’t print money.”

I’d call Sen. Baucus’s bill insanity but I don’t want to insult insane people. This is horrible policymaking. Frankly, Big Sky voters should fire him the next time he’s up for re-election.

This clears something up, though. This obviously is why his committee voted against letting people read through this bill. Democrats voting against transparency must’ve thought it better to keep the public in the dark. They clearly didn’t want people finding out the poison pill tucked into their legislation. Unfortunately for them, their attempt failed.

What’s more is that Republicans are highlighting the Democrats’ bills’ biggest shortcomings:

“Health care reform that wreaks fiscal havoc on states and piles debt on our children and grandchildren is not reform at all,” Boehner said. “President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid need to scrap this costly government takeover of health care and start over on a responsible health care reform plan our nation can afford.”

“State budgets around the country are feeling the squeeze of tough economic times. Unfortunately, after passing a $1,700 per family national energy tax, Democratic leaders in Washington are now trying to ram through a $1 trillion massive federal expansion into health care that will create yet another unfunded mandate on states by permanently expanding Medicaid,” said Rogers. “This is yet another example of how out of touch Washington has become and why Congress needs to start over on common-sense, affordable, free market health care solutions.”

The Baucus bill imposes a nasty underfunded mandate on states, as do the other Democrats’ health care legislation. Sen. Baucus quickly highlighted the fact that his bill wouldn’t add a penny to the deficit. Now we know what type of gimmicks he used to accomplish that. It’s sad that he didn’t accomplish this without burdening the states with massive amounts of unfunded liabilities.
Either way, taxes will be raised as a result of the liabilities imposed on government as a result of the Democrats’ legislation. I don’t think that people will differentiate between federal tax increases to pay for increased Medicaid spending and state tax increases to pay for increased Medicaid spending. Either way, it’s alot of money they’ll have to pay for a financially wobbly program.

At the end of the day, I think it’s likely that Baucus has added a new group of enemies to his plan, namely state legislators who’ll have to deal with the mess he created. If you couple that with middle class people who’ll be forced to buy insurance, you’ve got a massive motivated group of opponents.

It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

An LTE in this morning’s St. Cloud Times is ripping Gov. Tim Pawlenty for being an absentee governor. Shocking, I know. In his LTE, Mike Weber whines about Gov. Pawlenty creating a PAC. Here’s Mr. Weber’s whining on the subject:

“Freedom First”, what a clever name for his fundraising committee. It should bring in big money from the Tea Party, NRA and Rush Limbaugh fans. Too bad the money raised won’t be used to relieve some of Minnesota’s deficit.

It’s bad enough that Mr. Weber thinks that TEA Partygoers are all ‘hardline conservatives’. That’s been proven false numerous times. Independents and some liberal supporters of President Obama are attending TEA parties because they’re upset with President Obama’s radical agenda thus far.

I’m perfectly happy, though, to let liberals think that the TEA parties are all about hardline conservatism. They’ll find out that it’s really a protest against (a) elitist politicians ignoring the will of the people, (b) out-of-control spending, (c) massive bailouts and the government takeover of health care. Democrtas will find out next November that these issues cut across partisan lines.
It’s also getting tiring to read the daily anti-Pawlenty diatribes because they’re so mindless. The line about using the money for Minnesota’s deficit is utterly mindless. It has nothing to do with reality. It’s just another liberal wasting space to whine about Gov. Pawlenty.

Here’s Mr. Weber’s final exhortation:

For the sake of the Republican Party’s future, it’s time for the Silent Republican Majority to rein in their fringe members who still feel that political oneupsmanship is what politics is all about rather than doing anything meaningful to help this country.

Actually, the TEA party movement that Mr. Weber spoke so derisively about despises “political oneupsmanship”. TEA Party activists believe in ‘cards-on-the-table’ politics. We’ve had it with political gamesmanship. We’ve had it with politicians that think we can’t read bills, as though that takes a special skill only found in the corridors of power in Washington, DC. Following these principles will eliminate the political gamesmanship while demanding accountability from our elected officials.

It’s sad that people like Mr. Weber will play their whining liberal games without giving thought to what they’re saying. This thing has roboletter written all over it.

It doesn’t miss a single liberal whining point. (I refuse to call them talking points because they’re nothing but whining.) A smart high schooler could write something more on point without the whining.

It’s totally incoherent. Instead of picking a subject and using facts to bolster an argument, Mr. Weber chose to express his laundry list of anti-Republican whining points. There’s no focus, no attempt to persuade.

These types of roboletters might better be described as mindless activism, which has alot in common with an old ESPN favorite punch line that says “Much sound and fury, signifying nothing.” That’s all this is.

A diatribe is a terrible thing to waste.

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After reading this article, it’s difficult for me to tell whether Al Franken is just an ideologue or if he’s really that stupid. Here’s what he said that makes me think he’s that stupid:

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., called the House bill a “blueprint for a stronger economy.” “The legislation the House passed includes a renewable-energy standard similar to what Minnesota passed two years ago, incentives for more energy efficient products…and tax breaks for clean energy production,” Franken said in a statement. “This energy plan will lower your power bill, create jobs and whole new industries, and actually solve the problem.”

Sen. Franken is talking about the national energy tax bill that the House passed. Then-Sen. Obama said that, under his plan, “electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket.” Rep. John Dingell said that the House legislation was “a tax and a great big one.”

Here’s my question for Sen. Franken: When was the last time that someone passed a “great big” tax that “would necessarily cause electricity prices to skyrocket” during a deep, long-lasting recession that strengthened an economy? Can Sen. Franken cite a single instance of this happening? Or is he simply reading from Harry Reid’s talking points? HINT TO SEN. FRANKEN: There’s a reason why Reid is trailing miserably in his re-election attempt.

At our 9/12 TEA Party, the central theme to Mike Beard’s speech was that great economies aren’t built by conserving. They’re built when energy is abundant and cheap. When I told King that, he quickly agreed with me. The two are inextricably linked. You can’t build a great economy with expensive energy prices.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said there are several proposals in the Senate that will merge into one for a floor debate. For her, she said, the focus has to be on energy independence. “We need to get control over our energy in America,” she said. But in doing so, she added, lawmakers have to ensure that middle-class Americans “don’t get socked with higher rates.”

Ensuring that “middle-class Americans ‘don’t get socked with higher rates'” eliminates cap and trade from consideration as part of our energy policy going forward. It simply doesn’t fit. If the Democrats water the bill down, then there isn’t enough incentive for companies to change their ways. If they don’t water down the legislation, then consumers get hit with high prices. It’s a ‘pick your poison’ moment.

The reality is that the best way to improve the environment is to lift the moratorium on nuclear energy. The best way to produce the cheap energy we need for a thriving economy is by opening up more of the OCS.

The reason that isn’t being done is because the Democrats, Sens. Franken and Klobuchar amongst them, don’t have the fortitude it takes to tell the environmental extremists to take a hike. Until Democrats do that, they’ll be beholden to these extremists.

That isn’t something we can afford.

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The game is on the line, 12 ticks of the clock are left. Brett Favre has been hit repeatedly. You’re at the 32 yard line of the rejuvenated 49ers team. What’s left in Favre’s massive bag of tricks? Just this:

Folks, THAT’S WHY you forget about the football punditry and go get Brett Favre. More than a couple people criticized Brad Childress for going back on his statement that Favre was no longer an option after Favre announced that he was staying retired. Whatever.

Mind you, I’m still not impressed with Childress as an offensive guru. A team with Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Brett Favre should be averaging 35 ppg. They shouldn’t have to pull out a win with 2 seconds left against an improving 49ers team.

Speaking of AP, the AP’s Dave Campbell wrote that Mike Singletary’s 49ers held Adrian to 85 yards on 19 carries. I don’t disagree that they put together a pretty good effort against AP. Still, I couldn’t quit thinking that there are some pretty elite runners that would consider an 85 yard day a pretty good day against this 49ers defense. In 3 games, AP has 357 yards rushing, a 119 ypg average.

Percy Harvin is quickly becoming a special talent. He returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown, then added 3 catches that produced first downs. It’s clear that Favre really likes having ‘the Harvin option’. As for who’s faster between Harvin and Adrian, I’ll bet the proverbial ranch on young Mr. Harvin. And it ain’t that difficult of a decision.

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the intense fight the 49ers put up. That defense is quickly heading to elite status. That said, it’s pretty obvious that the 49ers offense needs some upgrading this offseason. Frank Gore is a legitimate threat running the ball but it’s pretty thin after that.

The Vikings defense deserves some kudos, too. It isn’t every day that a defense prevents a team from converting a single third-down play into a first down but that’s exactly what the Vikings did today. San Fransisco went 0-for-11 on third down. You won’t win alot of games doing that.

Finally, the day belongs to Brett Favre. He got hit too often. His receivers dropped too many passes. After all that, all he did was pull off another late game miracle. Not bad for someone that aged.

UPDATE: Here’s the video of Percy Harvin’s kickoff return for touchdown:

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John Kasich has long been known for his putting together 5 straight balanced budgets and pushing a pro-growth agenda. Now that he’s running to defeat Ted Strickland as Ohio’s governor, he’s introducing common sense plans that career politicians think of as radical:

Instead, he said, government should be run like a business, with evaluation programs to determine whether programs are needed, how they can be improved and whether they produce results. “That’s a radical idea in government,” he said sarcastically.

Unfortunately, he’s right in saying that politicians won’t think of eliminating programs that aren’t improving people’s lives. Government programs have the nasty habit of living long beyond their usefulness.

The good news is that Gov. Kasich would apply the same principles to Ohio’s problems as he brought to solving Washington’s problems. I can’t stress enough the importance of electing John Kasich to solving the nation’s economic troubles. If he’s elected, he’ll implement policies that actually will jumpstart America’s economy. He won’t only talk about stimulating the economy. He’ll actually deliver on growing Ohio’s economy.

Unlike the Vacillator-In-Chief, John Kasich won’t waver. He’ll actually keep his promises. Unlike the Vacillator-In-Chief, John Kasich doesn’t put a time limit on his promises. Unlike the Vacillator-In-Chief, John Kasich knows how to keep spending under control and create jobs.

On education, he argued that dollars should follow the student. He supports educational vouchers and charter schools as a way to put pressure on public schools so they’ll make necessary changes. “It isn’t money, it’s results, and we need to drive them,” he said. “We need more choice. We need innovation.”

The Democrats are arguing that there’s a need for a public option to give private insurance ‘competition’. While they’re making that argument, Democrats are vehemently opposed to giving vouchers to parents and children to provide competition to the government-run school monopoly. It’s something that fits into the Democrats’ do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do habits. Competition is great, Democrats say, except when their special interest allies have to compete for business.

The bottom line is that John Kasich is a true leader with a track record filled with remarkable accomplishments that created 20,000,000 jobs and brought prosperity to milions of people. John Kasich made an impact; Ted Strickland was a backbencher follower.

Things haven’t changed.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative