Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Out of the cities only?

"A string of bombings killed at least 18 people across Iraq on Monday, shattering a relative lull in violence during the celebration last week that marked the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The blasts primarily targeted Iraqi security forces, which have been the focal point of insurgent attacks since U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq's cities at the end of June."

When did the promise to pull out of Iraq become a promise to pull out of Iraq's cities?

More Honduras

Another victory for our Honduras policy?

"The de facto government of Honduras that took power three months ago found itself increasingly isolated Monday after suspending basic civil rights and closing down television and radio stations allied with ousted President Manuel Zelaya. . . . For now, at least, the Micheletti government seems dug in. It issued a decree late Sunday that suspends civil liberties for as long as 45 days "to guarantee peace and public order in the country and because of the calls for insurrection that Mr. Zelaya has publicly made."

We just keep making things worse and worse.

The recrimination begins

"Michael Moore, in town for the premiere of his new movie, stopped by a rally at the offices of Public Citizen on Tuesday to deliver a stark warning to any congressional Democrats who would dare oppose a government-run insurance plan as part of health-care legislation. "I and a lot of other people have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election if you stand in the way of health-care legislation that the people want," the beefy filmmaker roared. "We will come to your districts, and we will work against you, first in the primary, and if we have to, in the general election. . . . You think we're going to go along with you just because you're Democrats? You should think again!"

The last time the Michael Moore / Ralph Nader / Phil Donahue / Village Voice crowd decided to challenge the Democratic establishment for insufficient radicalism was in 2000. Their third party votes defeated Al Gore (now, one of their heroes) and elected George W. Bush. How'd that work out?


First, the media ignored the fact that the dead singer / dancer invited little boys to share his bed, because his music is so good.

Next, we were told to ignore the fact that the dead senator watched a young girl drown in his car, because his Congressional record was so good.

Now, we're told to release the director who pled guilty to drugging and anally raping a 13 year old girl, because "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" were so good.

What's next?

Iran's missiles

"Iran test-fired missiles on Sunday to show it was prepared to head off any military threat, four days before the Islamic Republic is due to hold rare talks with world powers worried about its nuclear ambitions. . . . . Earlier this month, Obama dropped a Bush-era plan to deploy missiles in Poland that had been proposed as a shield amid concerns Iran was trying to develop nuclear warheads it could mount on long-range missiles."

In other words, Obama just cancelled the missile defense program that would protect us from these new Iranian missiles.

How they say "Thank you" in Havana

"In a 20-minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that despite the election of Barack Obama, not much has changed in the relationship between Cuba and the U.S. . . . While the foreign minister applauded the lifting of restrictions that limited the transfer of funds between families in the U.S. and Cuba, he insisted it was not enough. "These measures are a positive step, but they are extremely limited and insufficient,'' he said. "Nor has there been any signal indicating that the U.S. government is ready to put an end to the immoral practice, which has increased in recent days, of the misappropriation of Cuban funds that have been frozen in American banks and of other goods based on orders by venal judges who are violating their own laws. ... The essential thing is that the economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba remains intact.''

This is the thanks Obama gets for his efforts to liberalize our relations with the Castro brothers. But, you can assume Obama will keep trying to satisfy the ungrateful Cuban dictators.

No public option

"In the first significant setback for the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday soundly rejected the "public option", or government-run health insurance plan. . . . Reid Cherlin, a White House spokesman, said that while Obama believes in making a public option available to the uninsured, the president is ``open to other constructive ideas of increasing choice and competition."

"The president is open to other constructive ideas"? In other words, accept defeat and declare victory.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Obama at the IOC meeting

If, on the day unemployment was expected to hit record highs, Bush planned to be out of the country lobbying for the Olympics bid of Houston or Dallas, it would be further proof that the president was an out of touch moron. Why isn't it now?

Will young Americans get buyer's remorse?

Obama's campaign was youth driven and youth supported.

Somehow, I don't think this is what they voted for:

"The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2 percent -- a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. -- meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time."

You lie?

Lost in the post speech hubbub was the statement which preceded the "You lie!" outburst - - Obama said healthcare reform would not cover illegal immigrants.

That was then.

"Fearful that they're losing ground on immigration and health care, a group of House Democrats is pushing back and arguing that any health care bill should extend to all legal immigrants and allow illegal immigrants some access."

Hope, change and more of the same

One of my few areas of 100% agreement with candidate Obama was his early opposition to American involvement in Iraq.

But, in the words of one of Obama's biggest boosters reviewing Obama's foreign policy performance:

"In Iraq, Obama postponed any rapid withdrawal, keeping troops there as long as the Bush administration had pledged."

Thus, one of Obama's major supporters admits that the anti Iraq war candidate who ran for office promising early withdrawal is sticking to the Bush / Cheney Iraq war policy.

As of today, over 130,000 American troops, and a greater number of U.S. "contractors", i.e., mercenaries, remain in Iraq.

Obama lied, people died?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The real healthcare reform deadline

As pointed out by others, the real healthcare reform deadline is November 3, 2009, the day of the New Jersey and Virginia governorship elections.

In 1993, after Democratic candidates lost both those races, Congressional Democrats facing tough reelection battles the following year abandoned the Clinton healthcare reform plans.

This year, if no plan is passed by November 3, 2009, and if the Democrats again lose both those races, expect to see history repeat itself.

That's why the Republican opposition strategy has been delay, delay, delay, and why Obama's been in such a rush.

The "poster child about the need for healthcare reform"?

The Miami Herald found the "crisis" they were looking for:

"As the nation's leaders debate the merits of healthcare reform, what's happening in Hialeah and Weston forms a stark tale of two cities at the opposite ends of the spectrum. More than half of Hialeah adults aged 18-64 -- 53.1 percent -- lack health insurance, according to Census data released last week. That's almost three times the national average and the highest rate in South Florida. The lowest -- 13.8 percent -- is in Weston. That disparity "could certainly be a poster child about the need for reform," says Robert Berenson, a physician who is a health policy expert at the Urban Institute."

Of course, this conclusion ignores a few so-called 'inconvenient truths' - - "Ninety-six percent [of Hialeah residents] are Hispanic. Almost three-fourths were born in a foreign country (70 percent of those are Cuban), and one in four of the foreign-borns arrived in the United States since 2000. . . . The Hispanic factor is important because national Census data shows Hispanics generally are far more likely to lack health coverage . . . because Hispanics tend to be . . . recent arrivals to the United States, meaning they don't qualify for government insurance . . ."

Get that? We're told we need health insurance reform become "recent arrivals to the United States" lack health insurance. But, if you say the various Congressional health insurance reform proposals will cover "recent arrivals to the United States", whether legal or illegal, you're a liar spreading untruths and 'fishy stories'.

If the reform plans won't cover illegal immigrants, why are the healthcare needs of illegal immigrants cited as a justification for those plans?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

American-raised terrorists

"FBI are investigating whether an American Somali was involved in a suicide bombing on a peacekeeping base in Somalia that killed 21 people, a family friend said Friday. Abdirahman Warsame told The Associated Press that FBI agents in the city of Seattle took DNA samples from Mohamed Mohamud, cut off his phone lines and warned him not to speak to the media. He had been at the family's home on Thursday, two days after FBI agents visited. They told Mohamud his son Omar may have been in one of two stolen U.N. cars that Islamic insurgents detonated in an African Union peacekeeping base last Thursday. . . . in retaliation for a U.S. commando raid on Sept. 14 that killed al-Qaida operative Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in southern Somalia. . . . "Relatives in Somalia told Mohamed that his son was the bomber who detonated one of the cars. He was very disappointed that his son has died in Somalia," said Warsame. "He was in mourning." . . . If proven, the case would be the second instance of an American-Somali suicide bomber in Somalia. Shirwa Ahmed blew himself up in October 2008 in the northern breakaway republic of Somaliland as part of a series of coordinated explosions that killed 21 people."

There was a time when the children of immigrants, raised in America, became Americans, with American values. When and why did that change?

Our Afghan friends

"In Kabul, the capital, an American service member and an Afghan police officer got into an argument because the American was drinking water in front of the Afghan police, who are not eating or drinking during the day because of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, said the district chief, Abdul Baqi Zemari. The police officer shot the American and seriously wounded him, while other American troops responded and seriously wounded the police officer, Zemari said."

An American service member shot by an Afghan police officer for drinking water during the day.

What are we doing there?

5 more U.S. dead in Afghanistan

"Roadside bombs, gunbattles and a suicide strike killed five American service members and dozens of Afghan civilians, troops and police, officials said on Saturday."

And, we still don't have either a goal or a strategy.

Zelaya the nut

"The Honduran government sent forensic specialists to the Brazilian Embassy this week with a mission: investigate whether toxic gases are being piped in to sicken the former head of state holed up there, de facto president Roberto Micheletti said Friday. On Monday, deposed president Manuel "Mel" Zelaya sought refuge at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa. He is wanted in Honduras on charges of treason. He told reporters he was feeling sick because toxic gases were seeping into the room where he, his family and some supporters have gathered. He also said he was being affected by high frequency radiation and that Israeli paramilitaries planned to kill him."

Zelaya thinks he's being attacked with "toxic gases" and "high frequency radiation" by "Israeli paramilitaries" out "to kill him". He's obviously a nut. But, the U.S. wants him back in office as president. Why?

Terror again

"Federal prosecutors Thursday charged two men with separate attempted bombings at a skyscraper in Dallas and a federal courthouse in Springfield, Ill. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, using informants and undercover investigators, set up a sting operation that was unrelated to the terror case in Denver and New York involving what authorities say was an al Qaeda plot to carry out bombings. In the sting cases, the men allegedly attempted to plant inert bombs supplied by the FBI. Authorities said there was no danger to the public. Federal prosecutors in Dallas charged Husein Smadi, 19 years old, with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Mr. Smadi allegedly attempted to place what he thought was a car bomb near the 60-story Fountain Place tower in downtown Dallas, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas. Prosecutors said Mr. Smadi is Jordanian citizen living illegally in Italy, Texas. In Springfield, federal prosecutors charged Michael Finton, 29, of Decatur, Ill., with attempting to murder federal employees and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Mr. Finton, also known as Talib Islam, drove a car containing inactive explosives to a federal office and courthouse building in Springfield and attempted to detonate the fake bomb, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield."

Denver. New York. Dallas. Springfield. All within a few weeks.

I'd like to hear from those who said the threat of terrorism was exagerated.

More toothless warnings for Iran

"The announcement and confirmation Friday that Iran has built a secret underground plant to enrich uranium raises the prospects that the U.N. Security Council will propose new international sanctions in an attempt to derail Iran's nuclear ambitions. The United States and its allies Friday gave Iran two months to comply with international demands to come clean on its expanding nuclear program, or face broader sanctions, perhaps even targeting the country's gasoline imports."

"The United States and its allies Friday gave Iran two months to comply with international demands to come clean on its expanding nuclear program, or face broader sanctions"? Does anyone think a stern warning. followed by less than universally enforced sanctions, will do anything to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

Knowing what Iran was up to, Obama nonetheless wasted everyone's time last week, calling for a "nuclear free world". It's as if he'd rather get good headlines for one day than actually do his job.

Gitmo promises to be broken

"President Barack Obama may not be able to meet his stated goal of closing the much-criticized Guantanamo Bay prison by January as his administration runs into daunting legal and logistical hurdles to moving the more than 220 detainees still there. Senior administration officials acknowledged for the first time Friday that difficulties in completing the lengthy review of detainee files and resolving other thorny questions mean the president's promised January deadline may slip. Obama's aides have stepped up their work toward closure and the president remains as committed to closing the facility as he was when, as one of his first acts in office, he pledged to shut it down, said the officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in order to more freely discuss the sensitive issue."

Making promises is easy. Keeping them is hard.

Obama: Treading water

First, a televised primetime speech to a joint session of Congress. Then, appearances on all networks and a half dozen shows. Finally, seemingly too many speeches to count at various international forums.

The result? Obama's job approval rating hovering just above 50% for weeks.

He's swimming real hard but only treading water.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why did we do that?

"Hungry Hondurans scrambled through looted stores and lined up for food on Wednesday during a break in a long curfew called to halt violence that erupted with the return of the country's deposed leftist president."

I doubt if the Honduran people appreciate our encouragement of the return of the "deposed leftist". Why did we do that?


"In a strongly worded message to Congress outlining its priorities for a military spending bill, the Obama administration today said it disapproved of including money for pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard. The Guardsmen are among those assigned to protect Alaska from the Japanese during World War II. The Army decided this year to no longer count service in the Guard in calculating the military's 20-year minimum for retirement pay, although it still counts for military benefits. As a result, their pensions were decreased in January. An estimated 300 members are still living from the original 6,600-member unit formed in 1942 to protect Alaska, then a territory, from attack. The 26 men have enough other military service to reach the 20-year minimum for retirement pay but would lose it if the Territorial Guard service doesn't count."

The only spending Obama's ever wanted to cut - - "pensions for 26 elderly members of the World War II-era Alaska Territorial Guard."

This is an obvious dig at Palin, and he's jerking around 26 World War II veterans in their 70's and 80's to do it.

More ObamACORN

In case you're tempted to buy the media's "there's no real connection between Obama and ACORN" line, read this from August, 2008:

"U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat's campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports. An Obama spokesman said Federal Election Commission reports would be amended to show Citizens Services Inc. -- a subsidiary of ACORN -- worked in "get-out-the-vote" projects, instead of activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary."

In other words, Obama lied in his initial filings, mis-characterizing why he was paying ACORN, until after he was nominated.

And, "more than $800,000" to "get-out-the-vote"? That's alot of money for services rendered by a group known to "get-out-the-vote" with fraud.

Of course, the Washington Post dismisses this as "Obama's infrequent ties to the group" way back in "his days as a community organizer in Chicago" "in 1994" and "in 1992".

Our well trained Iraqi allies

"Five inmates awaiting execution and 11 others accused of belonging to Al Qaeda in Iraq escaped from a makeshift prison built near a former palace of Saddam Hussein in northern Iraq, and authorities suggested yesterday that guards there might have helped."

The "guards there might have helped"? These are the folks we've spent 8+ years of warfare and hundreds of billions of dollars "liberating", educating and training.

Some places just aren't worth the effort and expense.

A nuclear-free world?

"With President Barack Obama in the chair at an unprecedented meeting of the U.N. Security Council, major world powers on Thursday endorsed his goal of a nuclear weapons-free world and pledged to strengthen the shaky international system for preventing the spread of nuclear arms. The Security Council unanimously passed a U.S.-drafted resolution that endorses the eventual goal of "a world without nuclear weapons." . . . While it isn't clear how fast this will come about . . ."

"While it isn't clear how fast this will come about"?

Yes it is. Never. We can't un-invent nuclear weapons.

It's a waste of time to talk about and plan for a "nuclear-free world". It sounds good, but it's a waste of time.

The goal should be to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of rogue states and terrorist groups . . . which we are not doing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All people want to live in peace?

"Suspected Islamist militants blew up a girls school close to the main city in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, police said. The school was empty at the time of the blast and no one was injured. A timed explosive device is believed to have caused the explosion that badly damaged the school on the outskirts of Peshawar, police officer Hamdullah Khan said. Al-Qaida and Taliban militants hold sway across much of northwest Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan and have often targeted girls schools in both countries because they believe that women should not be educated."

But, according to our president, all people throughout the region simply want to live in peace, if only Israel would end her occupation of the West Bank.

This is insane . . .

"Caribbean leaders plan to press for changes in U.S. policy on deporting convicted criminals when they meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The region has been pushing for reform to help deportees released from U.S. prisons return home with some money to lessen the burden on their native countries."

Get that? If we deport illegal aliens back to their countries of origin after conviction of a crime, service of sentence and release from prison, they want us to send them home with "some money". That's insane.

Pay to play in healthcare reform

"In a stunning moment during the Senate Finance Committee markup Sen. Tom Carper defended a secret deal that the White House, Baucus, and PhRMA had reached. The White House has long denied the deal. Carper publicly acknowledges that part of the deal was that PhRMA would run millions of dollars worth of campaign ads in support of health care reform."

Again, the administration cut a back room deal with the pharmaceutical industry - - protection and breaks for the drug companies in any healthcare reform bill in exchange for $150+ million in campaign ads in support of the "reform" proposals and vulnerable incumbents.

Isn't that illegal?

Afghanistan excuses

Afghanistan excuses from the "progressive" blogosphere:

"To a degree the President is in a trap of his own making. Having termed the war in Afghanistan a "war of necessity," the President set in motion a course from which he cannot easily withdraw. In hindsight, it was perhaps foolish or premature to have ordered an extra 21,000 troops there within weeks of taking office before even settling on a strategy."

"It was perhaps foolish or premature"?

No, it was foolish, premature, irresponsible and with reckless disregard for the lives of our military men and women "to have ordered an extra 21,000 troops there . . . before even settling on a strategy".

If this error of judgment was by a President Bush or a President McCain, there would be marches on Washington . . . led by the progressive bloggers.

Obama's friends, the Castros

"In the early 1980s, according to newly released documents, Fidel Castro was suggesting a Soviet nuclear strike against the United States, until Moscow dissuaded him by patiently explaining how the radioactive cloud resulting from such a strike would also devastate Cuba."

I will never understand why Obama seeks better relations with people who wanted to nuke New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Healthcare reform: "Only" 900 billion dollars?

"As the Senate Finance Committee begins reworking Sen. Max Baucus' healthcare bill today, the focus will be on keeping the final price tag below $900 billion -- a target considered crucial to winning over moderate Democratic votes.",0,1852429.story

Does anyone believe that we can spend "only" 900 billion dollars on healthcare reform and still be "revenue neutral", as promised by the president?

"Frustrated and impatient"?

"President Barack Obama attempted to push fast-forward on the vexing task of Middle East peace . . . Though the presidential invite led to the first meeting — and first handshake — between Netanyahu and Abbas since they took office, Obama aides indicated that Obama is frustrated and impatient with what they described as foot-dragging by the Israelis and inflexible positions from the Palestinians."

"Frustrated" and "impatient" are not the usual attributes of a successful president.

Obama vs. Truth

"Congress' chief budget officer on Tuesday contradicted President Barack Obama's oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn't see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul. The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators that seniors in Medicare's managed care plans could see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee. The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years. Elmendorf said the changes "would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries through Medicare Advantage plans."

Remember, Obama's the man who told religious leaders not to "bear false witness" about healthcare reform.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gunmen attack illegal immigrants

"Mexican officials say gunmen have attacked a group of illegal immigrants in southern Mexico, killing one and wounding five as well as an alleged people smuggler. According to Mexico's federal preventative police, gunmen fired on a truck carrying the migrants before dawn Saturday along a highway outside the city of Comitan in Chiapas state. Federal officials say an Ecuadoran man was fatally shot and at least six others suffered wounds, including the suspected smuggler. . . . Immigrants have been increasingly attacked in Mexico by gangs trying to extort money from their families."

Of course, this story involves Mexican citizens in Mexico killing illegal immigrants in Mexico, so it's not front page news. Lou Dobbs saying things illegal immigrants in America don't like to hear? That's news.

By the way, notice how the news media operates - - an illegal immigrant is "illegal" when illegally in Mexico, but is merely an "undocumented worker" when found in the United States.

Another American friend

"The U.S. Embassy in Bolivia says it is closing some democracy-promotion programs at the request of the Bolivian government. The Embassy tells The Associated Press on Sunday that the local government asked it in August to close some programs run by the U.S. Agency for International Development. It says it is doing so. One of the programs that is closing trains local leaders. Officials of Bolivia's leftist government have suggested in the past that some money is diverted to financing the opposition. U.S. officials deny that."

We are shutting down pro-democracy programs at the request of our "friends". Why are we friends with regimes that oppose democracy?


"President Obama said in an interview aired Sunday that the community organizing group ACORN should be investigated for offering tax help to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute in widely watched videotapes. . . . ACORN -- which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- has long been a target of GOP criticism over its role in mounting voter-registration drives benefiting Obama and other Democrats. Obama's infrequent ties to the group extend to his days as a community organizer in Chicago, including representing the group as a lawyer in 1994 and helping in a local voter-registration effort in 1992."

"Infrequent ties"? When Obama was starting out in Chicago, he worked as an ACORN affiliated "community organizer", he represented ACORN as a lawyer, he worked with ACORN's voter-registration drives, and he was the beneficiary of ACORN's support in 2008. Why is the media spinning this as "infrequent"? And, when did you ever before read a news story which contained such exculpatory editorial spin?

More egotistical performers

"As a sea of revelers jammed Havana's Plaza de la Revolución, Puerto Rico's Olga Tañon opened the controversial Peace without Borders concert Sunday with a sentiment that, despite all the debate on both sides of the Florida Straits, simply could not be disputed: ``Together, we are going to make history!'' she yelled. . . . Then, at the very end of the show, a major surprise from Colombian pop star Juanes, who was criticized by a segment of the exile community for organizing the concert because they believed it would lend support to the Castro regime. Juanes, who had insisted the concert had nothing to do with politics, made it political after all, to much approval from Miami's naysayers. He moved away from the day's ambiguities and shouted a straightforward "Cuba libre! Cuba libre!" (Free Cuba!) And then he chanted, "One Cuban family! One Cuban family!"

Why do egotistical performers still believe they can change the world?

They can bring out the crowds, and rile them up, but then the crowds go home when the show's over.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Over exposure

All the Sunday morning talk shows, then Letterman, and now the cover (with an "exclusive" interview) of Men's Health.

Obviously, the Obama White House wants to turn him into a celebrity.

Don't they realize how fickle we are about celebrities?

I don't understand why they think turning him into a John Gosselin-type figure will help.

Russian for "Thank you"

"The chief of the Russian military's General Staff, visiting Cuba, says his country will help Havana modernize and train its military and that Moscow warships will visit Cuba soon, according to reports published Friday. The visit by Gen. Nikolai Y. Makarov as well as the head of Russian military intelligence and other high-ranking officers has sparked broad speculation about a possible renewal of the once extremely close relations between Moscow and Havana's armed forces."

I guess this is Russia's thank you for withdrawing our missiles from Poland and the Czech Republic.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

End the war now . . . or by 2011?

"Vice President Joe Biden pledged Thursday to follow Iraq's wishes should Baghdad decide to speed up the timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from the country. . . . The agreement currently calls for the withdrawal of American combat forces by the end of August 2010 and all U.S. troops by the end of the following year."

It's nice that Obama and Biden will follow Iraq's wishes.

But, I'd prefer they follow America's wishes (clearly expressed in 2006 and 2008).

Those were the elections in which America voted to end the war sooner rather than later.

UNESCO's new boss?

"He's an Egyptian culture minister who once threatened to burn Israeli books - and he might soon become the face of the United Nations' arm for learning and culture. . . . Farouk Hosni, a painter and Egyptian culture minister for over two decades, is considered a leading candidate, despite the concerns of activists who question whether he would deal fairly with Israel and whether a man who oversees censorship at home should be entrusted with high international office. . . . Hosni is often cited as the front-runner because he has support from the Arab League, the Organization of African Unity and the Organization of the Islamic Conference . . . In 2008, speaking before Egyptian lawmakers and trying to defend himself against charges of being soft on Israel, he vowed to burn any Israeli books in Egypt's famed Library of Alexandria. . . . for the benefit of Egyptian Islamic hard-liners, he has implemented censorship of some books and movies . . ."

As Egyptian culture minister for 20+ years, the man censors books and movies (regardless of origin) and wants to burn Israeli books.

What is our ambassador to the U.N. doing to keep him from any international cultural leadership role?

John Edwards, baby daddy

"[John] Edwards is moving toward an abrupt reversal in his public posture; associates said in interviews that he is considering declaring that he is the father of Ms. Hunter’s 19-month-old daughter, something that he once flatly asserted in a television interview was not possible. . . . Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band."

Get that? While saying "vote for me, my wife has cancer", Edwards and his baby momma were planning the wedding they'd have after his wife died.


Traveling the country in 2007 and 2008, I was struck by the deep unpopularity of and distain for Bush. Apropos of nothing, people would voluntarily trash him.

My travels took me to Indianapolis this weekend.

Indiana is a swing state that usually doesn't swing. Dependably Republican, Obama (from next door Illinois) carried Indiana for the Democrats for the first time since Lyndon Johnson in '64. Obama carried Indiana by carrying Gary, those Chicago suburbs located in Indiana, and Indianapolis.

It was deja vu this weekend in Indiana. The couple at the bar next to me in St. Elmo's steak house, the woman in front of me in the Sheraton check in line, the girl involuntarily saying "I can't stand him" when the promo for Obama-on-Letterman appeared during the Florida / Tennessee game - - all without prompting unselfconsciously voiced their distain for Obama (in the city he carried by a large enough margin to give him the state).

Obama will not carry Indiana next time.

By the way

According to all reports, the health insurance and pharmacy companies cut a deal in secret negotiations with the Obama administration, and in return committed over $150 million to help promote the Obama plan. That's what's paying for many of the "health insurance reform now" television commercials blanketing the airwaves.

Doesn't this sound illegal? like a bribe or a kickback of some kind?

The healthcare "enemy"

It appears the "enemy" in the healthcare debate is no longer the health insurers or pharmacy companies. Those groups cut a deal in secret negotiations with the Obama administration, and in return committed over $150 million to help promote the Obama plan.

The enemy is now "gold plated plans", those costing over $8,000 per year for individual coverage. "Gold plated plans" will be taxed with a 35% surcharge.

Generally, "gold plated plans" reimburse for 80% of medical expenses, at any medical provider chosen by the insured, with a small initial deductible and an annual cap on out of pocket expenses. This used to be considered the standard employee benefit health insurance plan.

I always thought the goal of healthcare reform was to get more people into "gold plated" style plans. If you listen to the supporters of healthcare reform, they all complain about big deductibles, the lack of choice and high out of pockets. They seem to all want "gold plated plans".

But, if you look at the Obama / Baucus proposals, it seems that the goal is to kill "gold plated plans" with taxation, and use the money saved to get universal HMO coverage for everyone.

Consider me opposed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Afghan election fraud

"Afghan officials issued full preliminary results Wednesday showing President Hamid Karzai got 54.6 percent of the vote in last month's election, a result that could be annulled by mounting fraud allegations. European Union election monitors say fraud is indicated in more than a quarter of the 5.6 million votes counted. The Aug. 20 vote has been so tainted by reports of ballot-box stuffing and questionable tallies that many expect the final results to vary widely from the preliminary count after fraudulent ballots are thrown out."

Our child are sacrificing their lives for this "democracy".

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why I stay a Democrat

Because of stuff like this:

"The Senate voted Wednesday to permit passengers on the Amtrak passenger railroad to transport handguns in their checked baggage. . . . "Americans should not have their Second Amendment rights restricted for any reason, particularly if they choose to travel on America's federally subsidized rail line," said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who made the proposal. Wicker's amendment would deny the railroad its $1.6 billion taxpayer subsidy unless it changes the gun policy."

Why do people need guns in their baggage on passenger trains?

No Afghan plan yet

"President Barack Obama said Wednesday there will be no quick decision on whether to send more U.S. troops into the widening war in Afghanistan, saying "my determination is to get this right."

Get that? He still doesn't have a plan for Afghanistan. He's sent U.S. military forces into battle in Afghanistan, and he still doesn't have a plan.

How do you sell nothing?

"Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus' $856 billion plan to overhaul the nation's healthcare system - - a package that lacks the public option that President Barack Obama favors - - was greeted Wednesday largely with skepticism and sometimes disdain, even among fellow Democrats. . . . Pelosi made it clear what she wants: "I believe the public option is the best way to achieve that goal.'' Others were more circumspect. At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs called the Baucus plan "an important building block,'' while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said, "Everyone should understand it's a beginning, a good beginning.''

There is still no Democratic health care reform plan, and the four top Democrats involved disagree on the details.

Racism isn't the reason the plan's not selling. The plan's not selling because there's still no plan to sell.

Then / now

Then (April, 2009):

"So let me be clear: Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies. The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven. "


"President Barack Obama has decided to scrap plans for a U.S. missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland that had deeply angered Russia, the Czech prime minister confirmed Thursday."

But, don't call him a liar. And, trust what he says.

Another campaign promise broken

"Obama administration has told Congress it supports renewing three provisions of the Patriot Act due to expire at year’s end, measures making it easier for the government to spy within the United States."

Candidate Obama and his supporters opposed provisions of the Patriot Act. But, trust him . . .

More hero worship

What passes these days for political analysis:

"Obama's deepest resource: family"

These are very cute pictures, and his little one is a very cute kid.

But, if you don't realize that photos on the White House lawn with the kids and the dog are planned and staged by the White House public relations office (and coordinated with the secret service and the photographers), you're not smart enough to be writing political analysis.

And, if you realize the photos are staged, but you play along with the game, you're just being a tool of the White House media office.

Afghanistan, again

“Winning the war in Afghanistan will probably require more U.S. troops, the nation's top military officer told a Senate panel Tuesday, raising an issue that has split Democratic and Republican lawmakers.”

Before being given “more U.S. troops” so we can “win the war in Afghanistan”, shouldn’t they tell us what they mean by “win”?

If it means “capture Osama and his leadership”, great. If it means “set up a western style democracy”, that will never happen, and it’s not worth one more American life to try.

Health care again

“A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken after the president's dramatic address to a joint session of Congress last week shows Americans almost evenly divided over passing a health care bill and inclined to think it would make some of the system's vexing problems worse, not better.”

Isn’t it wrong to do something as big as restructuring the health care system (and 16% of the economy) with barely 50% support for the plan?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Child brides in Arabia

"A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, has died during a difficult delivery in which her baby also died . . . The Daily Mail reported the labour lasted three days. Raised in an impoverished family with a father suffering from kidney failure, Fawziya was forced to drop out of school and married off at the age of 11. She fell pregnant a year later, the group said. "The lack of a statutory minimum age for marriage makes it impossible for local officials to ban child marriages, especially among girls, or to punish their parents or spouses for the disastrous consequences of such marriages. . . . Last year, a Yemeni court granted a divorce to an eight-year-old girl whose unemployed father forced her into an arranged marriage with a man 20 years her senior, saying he feared she might otherwise be kidnapped by the would-be spouse. . . . . Since she won Nojud's case, Nasser has been contacted by many girls in similar situations who were encouraged to speak out by her success in the courts. She has already helped a 10-year-old girl, Arwa, to get a divorce. She said she was working on the case of a teenager who had been married by her father at the age of two because he needed the money. The marriage contract allowed her to remain with her parents until the age of 13 when she was expected to consummate the union."

No statutory minimum age for marriage? Eight year old girls getting divorced? Two year old girls getting married?

Why do Western nations let these countries get away with this? They should get no aid. They should get no recognition. We should have no diplomatic relations with them. They should be thrown out of the United Nations.

Time to enforce our immigration laws?

“When federal agents descended on six meatpacking plants owned by Swift & Co. in December 2006, they rounded up nearly 1,300 suspected illegal immigrants that made up about 10% of the labor force at the plants. But the raids . . . did not cripple the company or the plants. In fact, they were back up and running at full staff within months by replacing those removed with a significant number of native-born Americans . . . That was the most extreme example of what has become an increasingly common result of the raids: "They were very beneficial to American workers" . . . "Whenever there's an immigration raid, you find white, black and legal immigrant labor lining up to do those jobs that Americans will supposedly not do."

As unemployment creeps up to 10%, doesn’t this mean that we should more strictly enforce our immigration laws?

Rebuilding after hurricanes

“Residents of Galveston on Sunday remembered the destruction Hurricane Ike inflicted on their Texas island city a year ago, but they also celebrated the community's efforts to rebuild, saying the storm has brought people closer together. During a sunrise memorial service to mark the storm's anniversary, clergy from the island's different faiths talked of the strides their community has made since Ike made landfall just outside Galveston in the early morning hours of Sept. 13, 2008. . . . Through the windows behind Green one could see Galveston's Seawall Boulevard, which runs along the beach and a year ago had been covered in rocks, sand, splintered wood and other debris that had been deposited there by Ike's powerful storm surge. On Sunday, cars flowed along the boulevard and people sat or walked along the beach. The hurricane damaged 75% of the city's houses . . . Galveston suffered more than $3.2 billion in damage. The city's largest employer, the University of Texas Medical Branch, temporarily shut down and had to lay off about 3,000 employees. Ike's powerful surge reached as high as 20 feet and its 110 mph winds caused more than $29 billion in damage in Texas. . . . . Galveston city leaders said 75% of businesses are now open and tourists have returned.”

What happens when the next hurricane hits?

Some places - - like cities built on sand bars in the paths of hurricanes - - are not meant for human habitation. How many times do we rebuild in hurricane and flood prone areas before we condition disaster relief on relocation?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"We'd all rather Iran did not have the bomb. But . . ."

Read this from one of the early and influential "intellectuals" supporting Obama:

Did you catch this line? "And what's so awful about a nuclear stand-off between Iran and Israel in the Middle East? . . . Of course, we'd all rather Iran did not have the bomb. But . . ."


Don't be surprised when you find out Iran obtained nuclear weapons, and Obama did nothing to stop it.

Talks with Iran?

"The US and five partner countries have accepted Iran's offer to hold talks, even though Tehran insisted it would not negotiate over its disputed nuclear program, the US state department has said."

In other words, we surrendered.

Iran gets the talks it wanted.

We get nothing in return.

And, every day, Iran gets closer to having nuclear weapons.

Gaza tunnels

"Two Palestinians . . . died early on Saturday when a tunnel running beneath the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed on them, medics said. Another two people were injured in the cave-in but were treated at the scene and released . . . Since Israel and Egypt sealed Gaza off to all but basic goods following the Islamist Hamas movement's seizure of the territory in June 2007, a vast trade involving hundreds of tunnels has developed along the border. . . . Smugglers regularly bring in thousands of tons of food, fuel, household appliances and animals to market . . ."

"Food, fuel, household appliances and animals" are not "basic goods" which "Israel and Egypt sealed off" from Gaza "following the Islamist Hamas movement's seizure of the territory". Does anyone honestly believe that Gaza's "Islamist Hamas" movement uses the tunnels to bring in "food, fuel, household appliances and animals", and not to smuggle in guns and explosives and weapons?

Afghanistan, again

"About 50 civilians, security forces and militants were killed in a wave of violence around Afghanistan, including a bomb that left 14 Afghan travelers dead in one of the country's most dangerous regions. Five American soldiers died in two attacks using roadside bombs."

Of course, our media and Congress are focused on whether yelling "you lie" to Obama at a joint session of congress is worse than booing Bush at a state of the union address. I guess it's easier to deal with nonsense.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why firefighters and not soldiers?

"Two veteran firefighters who died trying to save the lives of dozens trapped in the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history were remembered as heroes Saturday in a memorial service at a sun-dappled Dodger Stadium attended by Vice President Joe Biden and others."

It's good he honored the firefighters. But, when are Obama and Biden going to show up at a funeral for one of our war dead? We used to criticize Bush for not attending the funerals of those he sent into battle.

Medieval Cuba

When someone died, and Henry VIII wore yellow, it was interpreted as a calculated insult with foreign policy repercussions. Henry wore yellow when Catherine of Aragon died, and it started a cascade of events that eventually led to the Spanish Armada's attempted invasion of England.

But that was in medieval times. Today?

"What does it mean when Fidel Castro, known for carefully managing his image, appears in recent photos wearing not his usual track suits but shirts that one observer called "tropical business casual." Perhaps nothing, Cuba analysts say. But perhaps, they add almost in the same breath, Castro is signaling that he's done rehabilitating from his health crisis and is ready to wield more influence over Cuba affairs. Truth is, no one really knows, outside of a handful of very senior officials in Havana. But that has not stopped Cuba-watchers from speculating about Castro's possible return to a much move active and powerful role in the island's future."

Why do we want "better relations" with this sick old dictator who acts like a medieval king, signaling his political intent by the shirt he wears?

Are some abortion protester deaths noteworthy than others?

"All week "the sign guy" had stood outside the local public high school, protesting abortion. On Friday morning, James Pouillon — known in Owosso for his years of in-your-face protests against abortion — was in his usual place across the street, holding a sign that pictured a chubby-cheeked baby with the word "LIFE" on one side and an image of an aborted fetus with the word "ABORTION" on the other. This time, a truck pulled up and a man inside opened fire, killing the protester before driving to a gravel pit business and shooting and killing the owner."

I'm pro choice, but equally anti murder.

It bothers me that this would have been a bigger story if the victim was a pro abortion protester.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Obamacare and Medicaid

"As national politicians feud over "public option'' health insurance, state lawmakers are far more concerned with plans to greatly expand a different government-run healthcare program: Medicaid. A state-federal program, Medicaid insures poor children, seniors, pregnant women and disabled people -- a total of 2.7 million people in Florida. And that number could grow by 1.3 million -- at an additional annual cost of $4.3 billion to state and federal government -- if the congressional healthcare bills that call for a massive nationwide expansion of the program win approval. About one in five Floridians would then be eligible for Medicaid in a state where 20 percent of the population lacks insurance coverage."

If Obamacare expands Medicaid eligibility, to one in five Floridians at the annual cost of $4.3 billion per year (in Florida alone), Obamacare will obviously increase Medicaid costs.

Putting aside whether this is a good idea or a bad idea, it is obviously a costly idea.

Denying that fact, or calling people liars for pointing out that fact, doesn't change that fact. It just makes me wonder what else they're hiding.

Shoe throwers and hecklers

Remember the guy who threw the shoe at Bush? Follow the link below, and read the comments.

Isn't it amazing that those who applauded the shoe thrower are shocked that Obama was heckled?

The American people will get leaders who are not hypocrites when we stop acting like a bunch of hypocrites.

Whipping women who wear pants

"A Sudanese woman journalist was . . . spared a whipping for wearing trousers, but a court instead fined Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein 500 Sudanese pounds ($200). . . . Speaking as they emerged from the hearing which was barred to the press, witnesses said the court had ruled that Hussein be jailed for a month if she failed to pay the fine. Under Sudanese law, she could have been sentenced to a maximum of 40 lashes for "indecency" after being arrested with 12 other women wearing trousers in a Khartoum restaurant in July."

Our enemies, the radical fundamentalists, whip women for wearing pants.

Our friends, the moderates, fine them and throw them in jail for wearing pants.

Hopefully, we will one day have a leader who says, "To hell with all of you."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Want to spoke pot in a federal park?

Want to spoke pot in a federal park? Endorse Obama online, in print and on TV, viciously and personally attack his opponent, and do it early, and the feds won't prosecute!

"A reluctant federal judge in Massachusetts has dropped a marijuana possession charge against author and blogger Andrew Sullivan. U.S. Magistrate Robert Collins dismissed a violation notice against the British citizen on Friday after prosecutors said they wanted to keep his record clean because he has applied for an unspecified immigration status. Possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but Sullivan was found with the drug in a federal park. On Thursday, the judge said dropping the charge violates a key legal principal of treating everyone equally. He said the law required him to drop the charge but "does not require the court to believe that the end result is a just one."

"Andrew M. Sullivan, the British author, editor, and political commentator, is one of the best-known figures in the new-media elite, and his blog, The Daily Dish, is among the most popular on the Web. But a federal judge says Sullivan did not deserve preferential treatment from prosecutors who dropped a marijuana possession charge after the journalist was recently caught smoking a joint on a federally owned beach on Cape Cod. In a strongly worded memorandum issued Thursday, US Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings said the decision by Acting US Attorney Michael K. Loucks to dismiss a federal misdemeanor possession charge against Sullivan flouted a "cardinal principle of our legal system'' - that all persons stand equal before the law. Three other defendants charged with the same offense had to appear before Collings the same day as Sullivan, the judge noted. But Sullivan's case was the only one prosecutors did not pursue, out of concern that the $125 fine carried by the relatively minor offense could derail his US immigration application. "It is quite apparent that Mr. Sullivan is being treated differently from others who have been charged with the same crime in similar circumstances,'' Collings wrote in the 11-page memorandum, adding that prosecutors' rationale for the dismissal was inadequate. Collings added with obvious irritation that he had no power to order prosecutors to pursue the case, and granted their motion to dismiss it. The fact that he did, however, "does not require the Court to believe that the end result is a just one,'' he wrote."

Sullivan, a regular pro Obama pundit on Chris Matthews' show, says he smokes for "medicinal purposes". So, why was he smoking in the park? And, how can he look himself in the mirror, knowing others are being prosecuted for what his connections are letting him get away with? A man of principal would take his punishment, not pull strings. This is political corruption and cronyism, plain and simple.

By the way - - they're prosecuting 3 others, but not him, so it won't interfere with his "immigration status"? In other words, he's supposed to get kicked out of the country for what he did, so they're dropping the charges. Anyone else would be on the next plane home.

For the record, I think pot should be legal. But, until it is legal, rich influential people who are buddies with the president shouldn't get to do what poor people, non white people and nobodies go to jail for doing.

Responsibility? What a concept

"Taiwan's premier resigned Monday amid strong criticism of the government's slow response to the most devastating storm to hit the island in 50 years, and the president immediately named a senior official from the ruling party to replace him. Liu Chao-shiuan said he was leaving office because his Cabinet had completed the initial stage of rehabilitation work after Typhoon Morakot slammed into the island Aug. 8-9 and left an estimated 670 people dead. . . . Liu's move sets the stage for the entire Cabinet to resign. Liu said that would happen Thursday."

Imagine living in a country where the leaders take responsibility for their screw ups.

Legalized prostitution

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time yesterday suggested she may be backing off her support of the public option. According to CNN, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "said they would support any provision that increases competition and accessibility for health insurance - whether or not it is the public option favored by most Democrats." When "asked if inclusion of a public option was a non-negotiable demand - as her previous statements had indicated Pelosi ruled out any non-negotiable positions . . . "

Guess what happened within hours?

"This announcement came just hours before Steve Elmendorf, a registered UnitedHealth lobbyist and the head of UnitedHealth's lobbying firm Elmendorf Strategies, blasted [an] email invitation throughout Washington, D.C. . . . "You are cordially invited to a reception with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Thursday, September 24, 2009, 6:30pm ~ 8:00pm, At the home of Steve Elmendorf . . . $5,000 PAC, $2,400 Individual . . ."

You know the old saying - - we know what you are, now we're just talking price.

What's the mission in Afghanistan?

"As the Obama administration and Congress begin a heated debate about how many more American troops to send to Afghanistan, military observers, soldiers on the ground there and some top Pentagon officials are warning that dispatching even tens of thousands more soldiers and Marines might not ensure success. Some even fear that deploying more U.S. troops, especially in the wake of a U.S. airstrike last week that killed and wounded scores of Afghan civilians, would convince more Afghans that the Americans are occupiers rather than allies and relieve the pressure on the Afghan government to improve its own security forces. The heart of the problem, according to soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and some officials in Washington, is that neither Barack Obama's White House nor the Pentagon has clearly defined America's mission in Afghanistan. As a result, some soldiers in the field said, they aren't sure what their objectives are."

Remember when Democrats agreed that we're not going to get involved overseas without a clearly defined and limited mission?

What's our mission in Afghanistan? You don't know? Our leaders don't either.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Semi withdrawal in Iraq

"Iraqi and American soldiers came under fire from a house during a pre-dawn operation Wednesday in southeastern Baghdad, setting off a gunbattle that killed the two assailants, the U.S. military said. The raid took place in a predominantly Shiite district of the capital called Zafaraniyah. American forces were on hand at the request of the Iraqis as advisers, U.S. military spokesman 1st Lt. John Brimley said."

The call to "withdraw from Iraq" during the election campaign devolved into "withdraw from Iraqi cities" after the election. Now, it's not even that.

Where are all the anti war protesters? the anti war candidates? the online anti war bloggers?

Nuclear Iran

"The United States warned Wednesday that Iran is close to having the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon, and joined major European powers in urging Tehran to "turn the page" and engage in dialogue to prove its atomic program is peaceful."

Does anyone really think Iran will ever be able to "prove its atomic program is peaceful"? And, what will we do if Iran doesn't prove its peaceful intent, but instead builds some bombs?

By the way - - when will the administration learn that 1970's style sociology-speak ("turn the page" and "engage in dialogue") doesn't impress the leaders of medieval theocratic dictatorships?

South America - which side are we on?

"Voters could give Latin America, Caribbean a political makeover - - One was a member of Uruguay's Tupamaros, an icon of Latin America's armed left in the 1960s. The other is among the owners of the LAN airline, an icon of Chile's free-market successes. Both are viewed as moderates. They are two of the most important and new candidates in an unusually busy electoral season in Latin America and the Caribbean -- a dozen presidential and parliamentary elections over the next 14 months. A 12-month period in 2004-2005 saw leftists win nine of 12 elections in the region. Yet the upcoming ballots might well show that the swing to the left has lost its momentum, and that candidates on both sides of the political spectrum have learned the value of moderation, analysts say. In the region's most recent election, conservative Ricardo Martinelli won Panama's presidency in May over the candidate of the ruling left-of-center party."

Let's hope the administration makes clear which side we're on. And, let's hope its not the same side as Castro and Chavez.

Lawmaker quits over sex comments

"A Republican state lawmaker from Southern California resigned Wednesday amid growing outrage over a videotape that caught him bragging in graphic detail about having sex with a female lobbyist and another woman. Assemblyman Mike Duvall, whose votes on family-oriented legislation received high marks from conservative groups, said in a statement the furor over his comments had begun to divert attention from the work his fellow lawmakers were trying to finish during the final week of their session. Duvall is married and has two adult children."

Which is worse - - that this Republican "family values", anti gay state legislator was caught on tape bragging about his sex-ploits? or, that his "defense" is that he was just making it up to impress his buddy? Some people need to shut up and go away.

Like Mark Sanford.

"House Republicans overwhelmingly asked Gov. Mark Sanford to resign Wednesday, saying South Carolina is “mired in a distraction.” The letter, signed by 61 of 72 House Republicans, was delivered to Sanford on Wednesday. Sanford said he has no plans to resign and called the letter premature with an ongoing State Ethics Commission investigation yet to release any conclusions. into Sanford’s travels and expenses."

Does anyone remember the string of Democratic sex scandals from Mills to the Kennedys to Barney Frank to Bill Clinton, that contributed greatly to the Republican victories in 1994?

Forget about ideology or policy. The Democratic majorities in Congress are fairly secure until the Republicans can go one year without one of their hypocrites getting caught again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Down, down, down . . .

Obama's latest job approval numbers:

Approve 49.7
Disapprove 47.5

The congressman who yelled "you lie"

will not be censured.

This is evidence that Pelosi, et al. know the eventual healthcare plan will cover illegals and / or illegals will be enrolled without penalty.


By the way - - it turns out the proposed federal Obamacare looks an awful lot like Massachusetts-style Romneycare.

When you look at Iraq, Afghanistan, tax cuts in the stimulus bill, financial institution bailouts without corresponding consumer relief, and now healthcare, its hard to see what President Mitt Romney would have done differently.

One out of three

Obama's campaign healthcare promises -
1. strong public option
2. no individual mandates
3. no taxes on health care benefits

Obama's healthcare speech calls for -
1. no public option
2. individual mandates

Last night, Obama announced that he'll keep one of his healthcare promises.

One out of three.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Obama

"Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez railed against the West on Saturday, pledging to deepen their ties and stand together against the United States and world powers the two perceive as imperialistic.",2933,547060,00.html

Ahmadinejad and Chavez have something else in common - - Obama wants to "extend the hand of friendship" to each of these thugs.

Obamacare and abortion

"U.S. Roman Catholic bishops have taken a consistent line on a health care overhaul: It's vital, but they cannot support proposals that go too far in covering abortion and not far enough in protecting health workers who don't want to provide that procedure. Now, at least a half-dozen bishops have gone beyond that position, some of them using hard-hitting terms such as "socialization" and "monopolization" to launch a broader critique of big government. Their argument isn't that the federal government should necessarily stay out of health care coverage altogether, but that an oversized government health system could wield too much power over people's lives."

All they have to do to end this part of the debate is add a provision expressly stating whether abortion funding will be provided or prohibited. That would end the discussion. Why won't they? It's as if the administration enjoys the tumult.

Retirement savings, now?

"President Barack Obama on Saturday announced new policies to help Americans save more for retirement. In his regular Saturday radio address, Obama said Americans have been hit by a one-two punch of low savings for their retirements, then huge losses for those who did save, as their home values and 401 (k) holdings lost value. "This recession has not only led to the loss of jobs, but also the loss of savings," Obama said. "Over the past two years, the American people have lost about $2 trillion in retirement savings.'' Even before the stock markets crashed and home values plummeted, he said, Americans were saving too little."

If Obama wanted to help regular people get ready for retirement, he'd have bailed out small investors and mortgage debtors. Instead, his administration bailed out the investment firms and mortgage banks. Thanks for nothing.

P.S. - Unemployed people can't save for retirement.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Better relations with the Castros?

"Cuban state media have released a second recent photo showing Fidel Castro in regular civilian clothing instead of the track suits that he commonly wore after falling ill in July 2006. In the picture, the 83-year-old Castro is shaking hands with the visiting head of the Chinese parliament in the walled backyard of an undisclosed home. Castro is wearing a red, short-sleeve dress shirt as he greets National People's Congress leader Wu Bangguo. The pair are surrounded by plants and a house is in the background. Castro has rarely been shown outside since he stepped down as president in February 2008. The photo was taken Thursday by Fidel's son Alex Castro, a photographer for the Communist Youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde. It was published Friday in the newspaper and in the Communist Party daily Granma."

Cuba is a closed dictatorial society, led by a semi monarchy (Castro's brother replaces him, and his son is the official photographer), in which you tell who's in charge by the shirt they wear in public.

Again, why does Obama want better relations with the Castros?

More older Americans living in poverty

So why is anyone surprised that older Americans oppose funding health care reform with hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts in Medicare and increased Medicare co pays and deductibles? I remember when Medicare increases at less than the rate of inflation were considered cuts.

(And, what do you call a panel that takes money away from old people living in poverty? It may not be a "death panel", but it's certainly not a life extension panel.)

Funerals and photos of war dead

Remember when Bush was criticized for not attending military funerals, and for "controlling the news" by suppressing photos of war dead or fatal military action?

Today, the Obama administration is blasting the AP for releasing pictures of war dead.

And, how many military funerals has Obama attended?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Again, better relations with Iran?

"An American fugitive, accused of murdering an aide to the late Shah of Iran in the United States, was made an editor of Iran’s English-language television network in Tehran. Hassan Abdulrahman, who is wanted by the FBI for shooting dead Ali Akbar Tabatabai in Maryland, worked for Iran’s flagship broadcaster Press TV, which has bureaus across the world, including London. "

Get that? A wanted fugitive suspected of murder in the U.S. was appointed editor of the Iranian government’s English-language television network.

Again, why do we want better relations with Iran?

Correction - - why does Obama want better relations with Iran?

Afghanistan dissent growing?

"Key Senate Democrats signaled Friday that any push by President Barack Obama to send more troops to Afghanistan is likely to hit resistance in Congress, deepening a growing political divide on the war even within his own party. Speaking on a day when a U.S. jet bombed tanker trucks hijacked by the Taliban killing 70 people, including some civilians, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the U.S. must focus more on building the Afghan security forces. His cautionary stance was echoed by Sen. Jack Reed, who is also on the committee and spent two days in Afghanistan this week with Levin."

How long will Obama continue to follow a policy applauded by those who will never vote to re-elect him, and opposed by his core "anti war" base? In case you forgot, the senators mentioned were on Obama's vice presidential short list.

Remember Madoff?

"Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff tried by turns to bully and impress the federal examiners who looked into his business, but the investigators managed by themselves to botch the probes and enable Madoff's multibillion-dollar fraud to continue for nearly two decades, a new report shows. . . The 477-page document paints in excruciating detail how the SEC investigations of Madoff were bungled over 16 years — with disputes among agency inspection staffers over the findings, lack of communication among SEC offices in various cities and repeated failures to act on credible complaints from outsiders that formed a sea of red flags. . . An SEC official who later would marry Madoff's niece told investigators this year that if he had carefully reviewed a complaint about Madoff's business, he would have investigated more extensively, according to the report."

"An SEC official who later would marry Madoff's niece"? He "later would marry Madoff's niece"? It sounds like he belongs in jail with Bernie, as well as some of his bosses.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

North Korean nuclear bombs

"North Korea said Friday that it is in the final stages of enriching uranium, a process that could give the secretive nation a second way to make nuclear bombs in addition to its known plutonium-enriching program. The official Korean Central News Agency said in a report early Friday that North Korea informed the UN Security Council it is forging ahead with its nuclear programs in defiance of international calls to abandon its atomic ambitions. The dispatch said plutonium "is being weaponized" and that uranium enrichment — a program North Korea revealed in recent months — was entering the "completion phase." Experts had long suspected the existence of a hidden uranium enrichment program, which would give the regime a second source of nuclear material. The North's announcement came a day after a U.S. special envoy arrived in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials on how to get North Korea back on track with its commitments to nuclear disarmament."

Stern warnings and U.N. resolutions are having no effect. What's next?

Obama, Iran and polygamy

"A bill that would allow Iranian men to take additional wives without the consent of their first wife has angered women and the country's top justice official, who say it would undermine women's rights and could be a government attempt to more deeply enshrine its strict Islamic interpretation into law."

We'd be in a better position to oppose this action if Obama wasn't the first monogamist in this paternal line.

(The "grandmother" in Africa holding the chicken in those pictures during the primaries? That was one of his grandfather's junior wives. Obama's mother? His father already had a wife in Africa when they married. His brothers in Africa? They're all the children of his father's other wives.)

Better relations with Iran?

"Iranian lawmakers yesterday unanimously backed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choice of defence minister, Ahmad Vahidi, who faces an arrest warrant from Argentina over a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires. Dressed in military uniform, Vahidi addressed the Iranian parliament and outlined his four-year plan ahead of a vote of confidence by parliament on the 21-member cabinet line-up today. Vahidi faced no opposition in the parliament as he elaborated his plans for the ministry, which include "building innovative defence products and expansion of regional and international co-operation with an active defence diplomacy." Argentina accuses Vahidi of being involved in the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community centre that killed 85 people. In 2007, Interpol formally distributed an Argentine arrest warrant for Vahidi to its 187 member countries. Argentina has expressed outrage over Iran's nomination of Vahidi and has urged that he be arrested."

Why do we want better relations with Iran?

Honduras, again

"The Obama administration Thursday ratcheted up the pressure on Honduras' coup-installed government to step down by cutting all non-humanitarian aid to the poor Central American country. The U.S. announcement means a cut-off of some $32 million in aid planned for Honduras. It was accompanied by a decision to revoke visas for senior officials involved with the June 28 coup that hustled President Manuel Zelaya out of the country in his pajamas."

The countries strongly supporting Zelaya:
North Korea
. . . and the U.S.A.

Does this make any sense to you?

Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne

So, according to Ted Kennedy's autobiography, Chappaquiddick was a big deal. Those who dismissed the whole incident as unimportant, and would attack anyone who raised the issue, were wrong, according to Ted.

My respect for Ted Kennedy just increased, and my respect for his supporters diminished further.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Colombia vs. Venezuela

"Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stepped closer to re-election on Tuesday when a congressional committee approved a bill aimed at allowing him to run for a third term next May, but a tough vote looms in the full House. The measure, calling for a referendum to change the constitution, had been stalled for weeks in the committee but the government has launched an all-out lobbying effort. Congress already changed the constitution once to allow Uribe, a US-backed conservative, to stand for re-election in 2006."

Miami Herald, 9/3/09

So, if we like you (Colombia / Uribe), it's okay to be president for life. If we don't like you (Venezuela / Chavez), it's not. I'm glad we restored morality to our foreign policy.

A jobless recovery

The new spin is that we're in a "jobless recovery" from the recession.

That's nonsense.

For the unemployed (almost 10%, plus all those who've stopped looking), a jobless recovery is a continued recession.

And, you have to wonder why that is all they could buy with a trillion dollars per year in deficit spending.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Promises vs. Reality

Obama's three health care campaign promises:

1. no mandates;

2. a public option; and,

3. no tax on employee health insurance benefits.

My only question in advance of Tuesday's big speech: how many of these three promises will be broken?

Unemployment: Up to 9.7%

We were told the stimulus package would hold unemployment to 8% or less. Then, Biden admitted that they just made up some of their numbers. Now, we're told the stimulus "worked".

And, the same folks who designed the stimulus are designing Obamacare.

BTW: The unemployment rate for men broke 10%. Teenage unemployment broke 25%, for the first time, ever.

Pentagon to extend army tours in Afghanistan?

"The Army has ordered a headquarters unit in Afghanistan to remain up to 50 days past its yearlong tour in what officials say could be the start of longer postings in the war. Army officials on Thursday said the troops extensions will ensure continuity in Afghanistan."

Remember when the media and "progressives" opposed such actions by the Bush administration in Iraq? No? Perhaps these articles will refresh your recollection.

"The Pentagon is considering a plan to extend the tours of duty for up to 15,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq, a defense official said Monday. The idea is among options being considered in response to a request in the last couple of weeks by Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the idea has not been approved."

"About 21,000 American soldiers in Iraq who were to return this month to their home bases in Louisiana and Germany will have their tours extended at least three months to help combat the surge in anti-occupation violence, defense officials said Wednesday. The decision, which has not been announced publicly, breaks the Army's promise to soldiers and their families that assignments in Iraq would be limited to 12 months. The affected soldiers already have been in Iraq for a year. "

"With military resources running dangerously thin, the Bush administration and the Pentagon may extend the combat tours of some 15,000 troops currently in Iraq."

Or, you can google "Pentagon to extend army tours".

Of course, back then, when Bush and not Obama was president, this led to media and progressive voices being raised in opposition to such an abuse of the rights of our enlisted men and women . . .

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another "big speech"

"President Barack Obama will deliver a major prime-time health care address to Congress next week, opening an urgent autumn push to gain control of the debate that has been slipping from his grasp under withering Republican-led attacks."

You can tell when Obama messes something up - - he gives a "big speech" that blames society for what he's done wrong. But, the "big speech" only works so many times before it's seen for what it is.

The problem of the underinsured

"Cathy Kerns has multiple sclerosis. The drugs she takes are lifesaving, she says, but they cost more than $5,000 a month -- and she must make a 20 percent co-payment. Her specialized physical therapy costs $600 per half-hour -- and she pays 20 percent of that. "'If I call and plead with the insurance company that I need more therapy so I can walk, they say, `Sorry, it isn't in the policy,'" she says. "I'm paying more than $30,000 a year out of pocket. I'm running through my savings.'' Kerns, 60, who is retired and lives in Orlando, represents hidden millions in America's healthcare crisis. She has insurance -- but she is underinsured."

People need to realize that Obamacare will be a minimalist program that leaves everyone underinsured.

Federal stimulus money for sex offenders

"A slice of $7.5 million in federal stimulus money is being offered to help homeless sex offenders and predators living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway to cover rent, housing and utilities."

Federal stimulus money to house sex offenders.

This makes no sense.

No sense whatsover.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fed employees under the bus?

"President Obama urged Congress Monday to limit cost-of-living pay raises to 2% for 1.3 million federal employees in 2010, extending an income squeeze that has hit private workers and threatens Social Security recipients and even 401(k) investors."

And, they're talking about taxing their health insurance benefits.

Remind me - - why did the public employees unions back Obama?

Afghanistan: The deadliest month ends

"Two bombings in Afghanistan's most violent region killed two U.S. service members Monday, the last day of the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces. The attacks brought the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan in August to 47, the highest monthly death toll for the U.S. since the conflict began in 2001."

Aren't you glad the "anti war" candidates won the last two national elections?

Tom Ridge, wimp

"Former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, speaking for the first time about accusations made in his new book, says he did not mean to suggest that other top Bush administration officials were playing politics with the nation's security before the 2004 presidential election."

Ridge said one thing to promote his book, and then said the opposite when he had to deal with the resulting critics.

With so little strength of character, imagine how bad he was at actually fighting terrorism.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Down, down, down

"Rasmussen, whose poll measures likely voters and is an especially good indicator of public attitudes, now has Obama’s job approval dropping to 46%. Zogby, the other good poll, has him at 45%. These surveys suggest that healthcare reform and the continuing bad economy are driving Obama down at a record clip."

No more dynasties?

"Vicki Reggie Kennedy has told family friends she does not want to succeed her late husband in the Senate, but that didn't stop two of Sen. Edward Kennedy's close associates from talking up the prospect Sunday."

Where are all those in the media and politics who shouted "no more dynasties" to Bush and Hillary Clinton? Actually, none of them have said that since they tried to buy a senate seat for Caroline.

Hundreds rally in N.J. against Gadhafi visit, but . . .

"More than 200 people gathered Sunday to tell Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi he's not welcome in their suburban New Jersey community, including several who lost relatives in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine was among those at the event in Englewood, where the Libyan government has been renovating a 5-acre estate ahead of Gadhafi's first U.S. visit, scheduled for next month. Gadhafi had been expected to pitch a tent on the grounds, but his representatives said Friday that he would stay in Manhattan where he's addressing the United Nations General Assembly, after rumors of his visit to New Jersey sparked an uproar."

The only elected "leader" in the New Jersey / New York metropolitan area to attend the rally was an incumbent governor, running for reelection, who's behind in the polls. Where were all the other New York area governors and mayors and legislators?

Is college worth it?

Expect to see more stories like this:

"In a recession, is college worth it? Fear of debt changes plans . . . Darla . . acknowledges she didn't give much thought to the cost of college when she enrolled at State University of New York in Purchase. "My plans were to get out of Texas, and college became incidental" . . . Because she didn't qualify for financial aid, she took out student loans, graduating in 2005 with a double major in journalism and anthropology and more than $80,000 in debt. Her loan payments were manageable until this year, when she lost her job . . . . she's behind on her loan payments. . . . "To this day, I have yet to see the complete value of my education," Horn says."

Short answer: If you go to a mediocre college, pay private or out of state tuition rates, and take fun and easy but useless majors (anthropology?), the answer is "No".

But, if you go to a good state college, pay in state rates, and take a real major that leads to job certification, licensure or grad school? Yes.

It's like everything else. Spend your money wisely.