Monday, November 30, 2009

Romney, Obama and polygamy

"President Obama's honeymoon is over . . . Republicans are gearing up to run against him in 2012. . . . the smart money is on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney gaining his party's nomination. . . . His candidacy, however, faces a major obstacle that should concern all Americans: religious intolerance. Mitt Romney's membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the Mormon church) clearly hurt him in 2008."

Why is it socially acceptable to discuss the polygamy of Romney's Mormon ancestors (several generations removed), but not the polygamy of Obama's Muslim father and grandfather?

Breast cancer, cervical cancer, all cancer . .

First, they said we weren't saving enough lives to justify aggressive and broad based breast cancer screening.

Next, they said we weren't saving enough lives to justify an agressive regime of cervical cancer testing.

Now? All cancer.

"There's growing evidence that cancer screenings aren't always helpful — and can sometimes be harmful . . . A number of medical groups also have scaled back their cancer screening guidelines . . . two weeks ago advised most women ages 40 to 49 not to get "routine" mammograms because of concerns that the tests cause too many false alarms and even unnecessary treatment . . . revised its guidelines for cervical cancer screening. . . the task force said men over age 75 shouldn't be screened for prostate cancer, noting that men this age are more likely to die of something else before a prostate tumor could harm them."

Got that? If you're going to die anyway, you might as well die of cancer.

Personally, I'd prefer to run the risk of false alarms and temporary unnecessary anxiety. If possible, I'd prefer to avoid the pain and suffering and loss of dignity of cancer and die of something else, even if I get no more time.

Unfortunately, under the approaching regime of government mandated cost / benefit analysis, I probably won't have that option.

Honor killings

"Muslim immigrant men have been accused of six "honor killings" in the United States in the past two years, prompting concerns that the Muslim community and police need to do more to stop such crimes. "There is broad support and acceptance of this idea in Islam, and we're going to see it more and more in the United States" . . . Honor killings are generally defined as murders of women by relatives who claim the victim brought shame to the family."

Those with fundamentalist religious beliefs that can lead to "honor killing" can in the appropriate circumstances be led to domestic jihad. That's what happened in Fort Hood.

Mainstreaming illegal immigrants

"Growing ranks of U.S. citizens are heading to street corners and home improvement store parking lots to find day-labor work usually done by illegal immigrants. The trend is most pronounced in regions where hot construction markets have collapsed . . . "You had many, many unemployed construction workers who found themselves without any permanent or stable work," he says. "Some of them have gone on to seek employment by standing on street corners alongside immigrant workers."

The open borders advocates promised to mainstream illegal immigrants.

This isn't what they intended, but it is the result of their policies.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One in eight Americans and one in four children

"With food stamp use at record highs and climbing every month, a program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children. It has grown so rapidly in places so diverse that it is becoming nearly as ordinary as the groceries it buys. More than 36 million people use inconspicuous plastic cards for staples like milk, bread and cheese, swiping them at counters in blighted cities and in suburbs pocked with foreclosure signs."

For how long can one in eight Americans and one in four children receive welfare before the system collapses?


Obama, the most widely traveled first year president in U.S. history, recently returned from his Asian tour.

What's he doing now?

"Oregon State gave the first fan something to cheer about. Seth Tarver scored 18 points and the Beavers beat George Washington 64-57 on Saturday, with President Obama and his family watching from courtside in the half-full Smith Center."

Does the White House staff not remember the bad rap eventually given to Bush for excessive travel, vacations and play time?

Tiger Woods and Sarah Palin

Our news media continues to spend its time fact checking Tiger Wood's car accident . . .

and Sarah Palin's book.

When was the last time you heard of them fact checking an Obama economic proposal or spending plan?

More Honduras

"Bombs go off nearly every night in the capital here, sending a distinct warning to all who hear the loud booms: Vote at your own risk. Hondurans take to the polls Sunday to choose a president - - and to end a crisis. But as three top candidates vie to become the leader of this Central American nation of 7.3 million people, the nighttime explosions serve as a treacherous reminder that the last man who was elected president is still holed up at the Brazilian embassy demanding answers."

Amazingly, the Obama administration backs the side throwing bombs, and opposes those holding a free and fair democratic election.

The tax on 'Cadillac' health insurance plans

If you think the tax on 'Cadillac' health insurance plans in the proposed health insurance reform legislation is something only rich people have to worry about, you're wrong.

"Schoolteacher Kinzi Blair makes only $46,000 a year, but she has what many would consider a 'Cadillac' health plan, now targeted for a big tax increase by health reformers. She has $10 copays and no deductible. She gets generic prescription drugs for $10. Her plan covers mental health counseling, organ transplants, acupuncture. It covers speech therapy for preschoolers and in vitro fertilization. . . . The Senate Democrats' bill, unveiled last week, would impose a 40% tax on insurance premiums above $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family. Those thresholds represent the total paid by both employer and employee. Blair's premiums cost $11,000 so her insurance company would be taxed 40% of the premium that exceeds $8,500 — a total tax of $1,000. . . . The idea is that taxing high-cost health plans would discourage unnecessary health spending and pay for reform out of the health care system itself."

If you're lucky enough to have a job with a good health insurance plan - - a PPO with low co pays and deductibles - - you won't have that insurance after "health insurance reform" kicks in. The goal of "health insurance reform" is to take the total combined money currently spent by everyone on every health insurance plan in American and use that money to buy everyone (including the currently uninsured) a mediocre HMO.

Remember, this isn't "healthcare reform" with the goal of improving the American healthcare system. That's why there have been no hearings on the sucesses and failures of the current system, and no debate regarding improvements to the delivery system.

Rather, the Obama / Pelosi / Reid legislation is "health insurance reform", with the simple goal of getting everyone into a low end HMO, regardless of the quality of medical care provided.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Our patience is not infinite"

"In a blow to Iran, the board of the U.N. nuclear agency on Friday overwhelmingly backed a demand from the U.S., Russia, China and three other powers that Tehran immediately stop building its newly revealed nuclear facility and freeze uranium enrichment. Iranian officials shrugged off approval of the resolution by 25 members of the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. But the U.S. and its allies hinted of new U.N. sanctions if Tehran remains defiant. The West said some time remained for Tehran to come around and accept a specific offer that would delay its ability to make a nuclear weapon as well as engage in broader talks with the ultimate goal of persuading it to mothball its enrichment program. But that window of opportunity would not stay open indefinitely, officials said. "The next stage will have to be sanctions if Iran doesn't respond to what is a very clear vote from the world community," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the resolution's passage shows that "the international community still wants dialogue with Iran, but time is pressing . . . our patience is not infinite." White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs avoided mentioning sanctions - but indicated harsher measures were possible unless Iran compromised."

This is one of a series of warnings and demands that Iran has ignored over the years. There is no reason for Iran to believe "our patience is not infinite".

Iran will obtain nuclear weapons.

Gringos and yankees

"Speaking ahead of Amazon summit, Lula calls on industrialised countries to provide financial help to halt deforestation. Brazil's president said today that "gringos" should pay Amazon nations to prevent deforestation, insisting rich western countries have caused much more past environmental destruction than the loggers and farmers who cut and burn trees in the world's largest tropical rainforest."

"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez . . . one of the Palestinians' most vociferous defenders, denounced Israel as "a murderous arm of the Yankee empire" during a visit Wednesday by Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

I thought it was no longer socially acceptable for political leaders to use ethnic slurs in every day speech. I guess it depends on which ethnicities are being slurred.

Homeland security, Part II

"The director of the Secret Service took the blame Friday for security failures that allowed a publicity-hungry couple from Virginia who weren't on the guest list for President Barack Obama's first state dinner to slip through security and directly encounter the president. White House officials confirmed Friday that Tareq and Michaele Salahi met the president in the receiving line at Tuesday's state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh , but with the investigation continuing, the officials didn't offer additional details. Secret Service director Mark Sullivan said in a statement that his organization, which protects the president and processed 1.2 million entries last year alone to the White House complex, "is deeply concerned and embarrassed."

Terrorists don't need weapons of mass destruction if they can get close enought to the president to shake his hand. Maybe now Obama will start taking homeland security concerns seriously.

Hmeland security, Part I

"Thirty-three Cubans landed in the cooling canals of the Turkey Point nuclear power plant at mid-day Thursday, Florida Power & Light reported to nuclear regulators. The site is supposed to be protected by around-the-clock security, but the report indicates that at 1:28 p.m. on Thanksgiving day a member of the Cuban group called the Turkey Point control room saying they had landed in the canal area with 29 adults and four children. The control room then called plant security, "who located and assumed control over the Cuban nationals without incident." Security called Miami-Dade police for assistance. Police arrived at 2:25 p.m., which then called U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

Terrorists don't need weapons of mass destruction if they can land mechanical explosives at a nuclear power plant.

Friday, November 27, 2009

How to destroy a majority

"By 59% to 36%, more Americans believe accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in a military court, rather than in a civilian criminal court."

On how many issues - - healthcare reform, the deficit, terror trials - - can Obama oppose the will of the majority before his presidency is destroyed?

What was the rush?

"As details emerge about the healthcare reforms advancing through Congress, Robert Rabinowitz, an uninsured Miami Beach real-estate agent, is getting increasingly concerned. Both the House and Senate bills propose delaying the most important components until 2013 or 2014. "That's a crock," said Rabinowitz, 57. "Why should they make people wait so long? We need something done now."

If they're going to spend months trying to convince people of the need for the immediate passage of healthcare reform to avert an impending crisis and the implosion of the healthcare system, they shouldn't be surprised when the people they convinced are angered that reform phases in years down the road.

It's more obvious than ever that the rush to pass healthcare reform now was political (the need to pass healthcare reform while supporters control all branches of government) and had little to do with any immediate crisis, with improvement of the healthcare system, or with any economic concerns.

The new tone in Cuba

"Cuba's armed forces launched three days of intense military exercises across the island Thursday, a mobilization that state-controlled media says is designed to guard against an American invasion. Americans focused on a U.S. military assault more likely are thinking about how President Barack Obama will pursue war in Afghanistan -- not Cuba. But the siege mentality of the Cold War hasn't faded on the island, where the communist government continues to warn about imperialist aggression and the menace from the north. The exercises, which run through Saturday, are the first since President Raúl Castro took over from his brother Fidel in February 2008 -- and since relations between Havana and Washington began to thaw somewhat under Obama. The U.S. leader has loosened financial and travel restrictions on Cuba. The two countries have begun negotiations on restarting direct mail service, and there is talk of future cooperation on counter-narcotics and disaster relief, among other things. More than the specifics, officials on both sides speak of a new tone between Havana and Washington that has made further progress a possibility. But the rhetoric connected with Thursday's mobilization -- dubbed "Bastion 2009" - - displayed none of that new warmth."

Every time the Obama administration reaches out to one of these radical regimes, we end up looking like fools. It doesn't matter if America has a "new tone" if our counterparts are crazy dictators.

A new word for misrepresentation

"Requiring everyone to buy health insurance can help spread the responsibility for medical costs. With proposed subsidies to help the poor buy into it, the so-called "individual mandate" gets Democrats closer to moving millions of uninsured into coverage plans. Obama did not support an individual mandate in his campaign, but now says his thinking has evolved. "We're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you any more than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance,'' Obama said."

During his campaign, Obama brutality attacked anyone who supported individual health insurance mandates. Now, "his thinking has evolved".

Note how the news service which assigned 11 reporters to "fact check" Sarah Palin's book for "lies" now dismisses Obama's campaign misrepresentations with the gentle phrase "his thinking has evolved". I'm no Palin fan, but what ever happened to fairness?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The White House guest list

The afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, "The White House . . . releas[ed] more names of visitors who came through the gates at Pennsylvania Avenue this year. Last month the administration for the first time offered citizens a look at names - requested by watchdog groups and press - and starting at the end of this year they will release every name. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters in his morning gaggle this morning there are about 1,600 names on this list that covers requests before Sept. 15."

Of course, the White House dumped the list on one of the slowest news days of the year, when no one is paying attention. Don't expect the major news media outlets to assign as many reporters to review this list as they assigned to fact check Sarah Palin's book.

Independent political analysis

"A group of Democratic talking heads gathered at the White House March 13 for a meeting with Ellen Moran and David Axelrod. The White House visitors logs released today show Axelrod, President Obama's senior adviser, met that day for about two hours in the West Wing with 18 people. Among them were Chris Kofinis, Karen Finney, Margaret Omero, Margaret Myers, Steve McMahon, Peter Fenn, Michael Feldman, Jennifer Palmeri, Hillary Rosen, Simon Rosenberg, Brad Woodhouse (of the DNC) and Mo Elleithee. It was called a "communications message meeting" on the spreadsheet. A source who attended the meeting tells TPMDC the White House hosts weekly message calls sharing their talking points with pundits who appear on television. The meetings are sometimes hosted in person at the White House."

In other words, those pro administration talking heads on TV are simply repeating what the White House tells them to say, after they all meet to get their stories straight. There's no independent thought or political analysis involved.

Just like in a totalitarian state.

Obama vows to 'get the job done' in Afghanistan

"In a preview of his speech next week announcing his plan to send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama Tuesday vowed that he'll "finish the job" of stabilizing the country and destroying the al-Qaida terror network."

He still needs to define "the job".

Does "finish the job" mean establish a representative republic? Does "get the job done" mean kick out all the terrorists? Does "the job" involve dragging Afghanistan into the 21st century?

Until we're told what is meant by "the job", we can neither measure progress nor formulate a plan of action.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

British defense secretary blasts Obama on Afghanistan

Bob Ainsworth, the British defense secretary, blames Barack Obama for the decline in public support for the war in Afghanistan:

"Mr Ainsworth took the unprecedented step of publicly criticising the US President and his delays in sending more troops to bolster the mission against the Taliban. A "period of hiatus" in Washington - and a lack of clear direction - had made it harder for ministers to persuade the British public to go on backing the Afghan mission in the face of a rising death toll, he said. Senior British Government sources have become increasingly frustrated with Mr Obama’s "dithering" on Afghanistan, the Daily Telegraph disclosed earlier this month, with several former British defence chiefs echoing the concerns. But Mr Ainsworth is the first Government minister to express in public what amounts to personal criticism of the US president’s leadership over the conflict which has so far cost 235 British lives. Polls show most voters now want an early withdrawal, following the death of 98 British service personnel this year alone. Ministers say the mission is vital to stop international terrorists using Afghanistan as a base."

When Dick Cheney and the British socialist Labor Party both agree, you have to believe there is some validity to the criticism. Of course, the American elites will continue to dismiss all criticism of Obama as illegitimate.

The real reason for the state dinner

"As India has grown in strategic importance to the U.S., its government and the Indian-American community have also increased their political profile in Washington. And among those dining Tuesday night at President Barack Obama’s first state dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were a handful of Indian American donors to Obama’s campaign, including Singh Balvinder, who generated between $50,000 and $100,000 in donations to it. Balvinder wasn’t the only fundraiser to attend the White House gala. Hollywood titans Steven Speilberg, David Geffen, and David Katzenberg were also major Obama backers and dinner guests. But the invitation to the carpet store owner from Chicago marked another milestone in the 2-million-strong Indian American community’s effort to expand its influence in the political world. In 2008, India boosted its lobbying and public relations spending to $6.8 million, signing on to 201 advocacy contracts on issues ranging from visas, defense to obtaining a nuclear agreement with the U.S, according to Justice Department records.The lion’s share of India’s lobbying spending was with Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, a firm that intentionally positioned itself to aid the rising Asia democracy, according to research done by ProPublica and the Sunlight Foundation."

Face it. The 17.5% real unemployed, and the 30% of American families touched by unemployment, are simply not as worthy of notice as the "carpet store owner from Chicago" and assorted "Hollywood titans".

The unemployed don't donate to presidential campaigns. All they do is pay taxes to pay for thank you dinners for campaign donors.

Another promise broken

"The Obama administration has decided not to sign an international convention that bans land mines. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday that the administration recently completed a review and decided not to change the Bush-administration era policy. "We decided that our land mine policy remains in effect," he said. More than 150 countries have agreed to the Mine Ban Treaty's provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines. Besides the United States, holdouts include: China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia. Human rights groups had expressed hope that the Obama administration would sign the treaty. Stephen Goose, director of Human Rights Watch's arms division, said he was surprised by the announcement and called it disappointing. He said that his group had been pushing the administration to conduct a review of its policy, but the administration had given no indication that one was underway. "If one was already completed, it was not very extensive," he said."

It's truly amazing that from Iraq to Guantanamo and now to land mines, the operative phrase is "We decided that the Bush policy remains in effect."

If he'd told the truth about his intentions during the primaries and the election, Obama would still be a senator from Illinois.

White House entertainment

When the British royals visited Franklin Roosevelt at the White House during similarly difficult times, they famously barbequed hot dogs on the White House lawn. It was a public relations coup for both the president and the royal family. The public in both countries loved it.

Yesterday, "President Obama opened his first state dinner . . with a toast for India's prime minister in which he called the United States' relationship with India a "great and growing partnership." . . . their guests, including . . . a sprinkling of Hollywood moguls, went to dinner under a white tent . . . It was a glittery assembly . . . The first lady wore a strapless, champagne-colored gown, embellished with silver accents and with a matching shawl by Indian-American fashion designer Naeem Khan. She wore large dangling earrings and an armful of churis, traditional sparkly Indian bangle bracelets. . . . After-dinner entertainment was to include performances by the National Symphony Orchestra and Oscar winners Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) . . . Those invited included Hollywood directors . . . news anchors . . . novelists . . . and governors."

It's the difference between class and clueless.

Approval of Obama on Afghanistan dives

"Public approval of President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan has plummeted . . . amid rising pessimism about the course of the conflict. . . . 55% disapprove of the way he is handling Afghanistan and 35% approve, a reversal of his 56% approval rating four months ago."

It's difficult to rally people behind "I don't know yet" or "I'm still making up my mind".

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Obama vs. Palin

"Not that it matters politically because obviously she's a female Republican dunce and he's obviously a male Democratic genius. But Sarah Palin's poll numbers are strengthening. And President Obama's are sliding. Guess what? They're about to meet in the 40s. Depending, of course, on which recent set of numbers you peruse and how the questions are phrased, 307 days into his allotted 1,461 the 44th president's approval rating among Americans has slid to 49% or 48%, showing no popularity bounce from his many happy trips, foreign and domestic. Riding the wave of immense publicity and symbiotic media interest over her new book, "Going Rogue," and the accompanying promotional tour, Palin's favorable ratings are now at 43%, according to ABC. That's up from 40% in July. One poll even gives her a 47% favorable."

As predicted, the elite's unfair and dishonest personal attacks upon Palin are gaining Palin support among the basically fair and honest American public.

If they continue with sexist attacks which avoid the issues, and if unemployment keeps rising, they're going to elect her president.

Obama vs. Bush

Since being sworn in, Obama has invited comparison to the prior administration in justifying his decisions.

Yesterday, "President Obama rebuffed reporters' attempts to ask about Afghanistan . . . focusing instead on what he described as his administration's biggest challenge: Jobs. "I will not rest until businesses are investing again and businesses are hiring again and people have work again," Obama said after meeting with his Cabinet. Obama said the stimulus bill and other administration actions are helping the economy grow out of the recession, and prevented it from sliding "into a depression." He added: "Now, this is going to be a challenging task."

Obama whining "it's challenging" reminds me of Bush whining "it's hard."

The permanent Democratic majority

In 2002, we were told there was a permanent Republican majority.

Then, in 2008, we were told there was a permanent Democratic majority.


"Faced with a down economy, high unemployment and polarizing decisions on health care and energy . . . vulnerable Democrats in Congress are juggling votes in Washington with a campaign that's in full swing a year before the 2010 elections. The stakes are high not only for the lawmakers whose jobs are on the line, but for President Obama. At this point, non-partisan political experts . . . don't expect a repeat of the 1994 "Republican revolution," when the GOP seized control of Congress after a Democratic president failed to revamp health care. But they do project losses that could complicate Obama's agenda."

The Democratic shift from offense to defense proves that Americans are looking for competence and results, regardless of party label.

More Honduras

"While unemployment and crime are high and schools are at a standstill, Hondurans' focus when they go to the polls Sunday will be on settling a crippling political crisis that has consumed the Central American country since June. Whoever wins the presidency inherits a political mess not of his making and will be forced to cut deals and heal wounds -- or risk four years of instability and international condemnation. But even as the campaigns officially close Tuesday, critics both in Honduras and abroad are condemning the election and promising legal challenges."

If the election is free and fair, why would the U.S. object?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Remember Iraq?

"The U.S. military says an American soldier has been killed in action in Iraq. A military statement said the soldier from the Multi-National Division - South died on Sunday. No further details were immediately available. The soldier's name is being withheld until family members can be notified. The death raises to at least 4,364 the number of U.S. military personnel who have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count."

We elected a Congress in 2006 that promised to end the war.

We elected a president in 2008 who promised to end the war.

It's almost 2010. They didn't end the war.

A terrorist show trial

"The five men facing trial in the Sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, the lawyer for one of the defendants said. . . . the lawyer for accused terrorist Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali said Sunday the men would not deny their role in the 2001 attacks but 'would explain what happened and why they did it.'"

We're going to spend millions of dollars putting on an unnecessary show trial . . . and it's going to be the terrorists' show.

Unintended healthcare consequences

All the pending healthcare reform proposals require those who can afford it to buy health insurance, and give free health insurance to those who can't afford it.

It's human nature to take more of what you get for free, and use up what you've pre paid.

"If a comprehensive health reform bill passes and extends coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, many are asking if there will be enough primary-care doctors to handle the increased demand for medical services. . . . the statewide health-insurance overhaul Massachusetts began phasing in in 2006 . . . provides a test-case example. It succeeded in lowering the state's uninsured rate to 2.7 percent, by far the lowest in the nation, but also exacerbated problems in areas that already had primary-care shortages."

Anyone who thinks a combination of free and mandated health insurance coverage for all will lower costs is crazy.

They will increase demand and shortages and therefore cost.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Democrats and women's rights

It's ironic, but the first big medical reforms coming out of this Democratic administration are (1) the expansion of limits on abortion (via the Stupak amendment) and (2) the application of a cost / benefit analysis to breast and cervical cancer screening.

So far, it looks like medical savings via "cost containment" will be shouldered disproportionately by women.

Of course, under all pending healthcare reform proposals, Viagra will still be covered.

"Feminist progressives" must be feeling used.

Iran holds war games to protect nuke sites

"Iran on Thursday began large-scale air defense war games aimed at protecting the country's nuclear facilities against any possible attack, state television reported. It said the five-day drill will cover an area a third of the size of Iran and spread across the central, western and southern parts of the country. Gen. Ahmad Mighani, head of an air force unit that deals with threats to Iran's air space, said Saturday the war games would cover regions where Iran's nuclear facilities are located. The drill involves both Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, the paramilitary Basij forces affiliated with the Guard as well as army units."

As we negotiate in good faith with Iran on nuclear non proliferation, Iran stalls and drags out the talks.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons, and improves its capacity to protect its nuclear sites.

Muhammad Ali would have called the Iranian strategy "rope-a-dope".

Of course, that means the Obama administration's Iran policy makers are the dopes.

A pyrrhic victory

"Vice President Joe Biden told Iowa Democrats on Saturday that the Senate handed the president a big victory with its decision to move forward with debate on sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system."

"A Pyrrhic victory . . . is a victory with devastating cost to the victor. The phrase is named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans at Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC during the Pyrrhic War. . . . In both of Pyrrhus's victories, the Romans had more casualties than Pyrrhus did. However, the Romans had a much larger supply of men from which to draw soldiers, so their casualties did less damage to their war effort than Pyrrhus's casualties did to his. The report is often quoted as "Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone," or "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined."

After the 2010 elections, Biden and the Congressional Democrats may feel just like King Pyrrhus.

Healthcare bribes

"Two final Democratic holdouts, Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, announced they would join in clearing the way for a full debate. "It is clear to me that doing nothing is not an option," said Landrieu, who won $100 million in the legislation to help her state pay the costs of health care for the poor."

Landrieu sold her vote for $100 million.

Isn't that against the law?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Healthcare reform: citizens vs. Illegal immigrants

"Under Leader Reid’s amendment, in the year 2019 about 16 million U.S. citizens would be uninsured and be forced to pay a penalty tax of almost $800 per year. About eight million illegal aliens would be uninsured and would owe no penalty tax. Both groups would get their health care through a combination of out-of-pocket spending and use of uncompensated care in emergency rooms and free health clinics."

Illegal aliens get to participate in the "insurance exchanges", but they don't have to pay the penalty if uninsured? How is that justifiable?

P.S. - Rep. Wilson was correct. He lied.

Tamiflu-resistant swine flu hits N.C., British hospitals

"Health officials say four people in North Carolina have tested positive for a type of swine flu that's resistant to the drug Tamiflu . . . It's the first cluster of that many cases seen in the U.S. . . . Health officials said Friday the four cases were reported at Duke University Medical Center in Durham over the past six weeks. Tamiflu is one of two medicines that help against swine flu. Health officials have been closely watching for signs that the virus is mutating, making the drugs ineffective."

Get the vaccine. If the virus is mutating into a drug resistant strain, making the available medicine ineffective, get the vaccine.


We sought "common ground" with Iran on nuclear proliferation.

The response?

"Iran brushes aside U.N. nuclear-swap deal."

Why are we wasting our time dealing with a government whose leaders believe it is their religious duty to destroy us?

Renewed trouble in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is another country in which Obama has reached out to the leftist "progressives", in this case the Sandinistas. The result?

"Unlike other opposition groups, which were forced to flee every time Sandinista mobs attacked protesters on more than 30 occasions over the past year, FDN leaders said they will hold the line. "This rooster has already been in a fight," Espinoza said of the FDN. "We'll answer a rock for a rock, and we'll see which side backs down first. We are not going to run." The protest promises to be the largest opposition march of the year. After months of sometimes violent clashes between the Sandinista and its opponents, many fear tensions could erupt into political violence. In Managua, the opposition's ability to channel political discontent into civil protest will also be tested Saturday. Nicaragua's opposition is attempting to reclaim the streets and protest a series of moves they claim have pushed the country toward dictatorship, including last year's alleged fraud in the municipal elections and last month's questionable move to scrap a constitutional ban preventing Ortega from seeking reelection in 2011. "We can't allow another dictatorship to consolidate itself in Nicaragua," said march organizer Violeta Granera."

Obama should have learned by now that "anti American" movements such as the Sandistas tend to be anti democratic and led by wannabe dictators. We should oppose them, not find "common ground".

Friday, November 20, 2009

Obama v. Palin

I'm not really a fan of Sarah Palin. But, I am a fan of honesty and fairness.

Listening to the media criticism of Palin, I hear neither honesty nor fairness.

For example, much has been written about how bad a presidential nominee Palin would be in 2012. In the words of the now infamous Newsweek cover, "She's bad news for the GOP - - and for everyone else, too".

In fact, in test match ups against Obama, Huckabee gets 44%, Romney gets 43% and Palin gets . . . 43%. In other words, there is no significant difference between the performance of the three leading potential Republican presidential candidates.

But, don't expect facts to get in the way of the media criticism of Sarah Palin.

You lie?

Obama: “There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”

South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson: "You lie!"

The truth: "The health care bill passed by the House earlier this month would prevent illegal immigrants from getting subsidies to buy insurance, but they would be permitted to buy plans from the exchange with their own money."

In other words, Obama's "reform effort" would allow "illegal immigrants" "to buy plans from the exchange", i.e., "the reforms" would in fact "apply to those who are here illegally".

He lied.

Gallup: Obama job approval below 50%

Images of him bowing to an emperor and touring The Great Wall and bragging about being "Pacific", while real unemployment slowly approaches 20%, couldn't have helped.

Now, new pap test guidelines

"New guidelines for cervical cancer screening say women should delay their first Pap test until age 21, and be screened less often than recommended in the past."

As with breast examinations, we're told that more frequent testing isn't justified by the number of lives it saves.

But, you're still not allowed to call it "rationing" or "death panels".

It's just that a few more dead women are deemed to be worth the savings.

Harsh? Yes. But, that is what they're saying.

And, for some reason, they blame the people who point out the truth, not those who put a price tag on women's lives.

The public's verdict on the stimulus bill

"Given a different choice today, 51% believe canceling the rest of the stimulus money would create more jobs while 32% say spending the money would be the better approach to job creation."

They lied to the public to get the stimulus bill passed.

It's no surprise that people no longer trust or believe them.

P.S. - They promised the stimulus bill would keep unemployment under 8%. Real unemployment is now 17.5%. Thus, the public no longer trusts Obama on employment. According to Obama apologists, whose fault is that? "They're watching Fox. Facts don't matter."

Public option nonsense

"A proposed government-run health insurance program, among the most divisive issues in the health care debate, would cover less than 1.5% of the population, new estimates show. The latest version of the "public option," included in the 10-year, $848 billion health care bill headed toward an initial Senate vote Saturday, would cover up to 4 million people, according to the Congressional Budget Office report released late Wednesday night. The issue remains among those that have prevented Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from securing the 60 votes he needs to pass the bill. Paul Ginsburg, an economist with the Center for Studying Health System Change, questions the impact the public option proposals would have on families seeking health coverage. "The type of public option we're talking about today . . . is all about ideology and symbolism," he said. "It's not going to have any impact on our health system."

That last comment perfectly describes both the healthcare debate and the Obama administration: "all about ideology and symbolism".

Two more of Liberty City Seven get lighter sentences

"A day after two men described as soldiers in a terrorism plot to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices were sentenced to less than a decade behind bars -- far less than federal prosecutors sought -- two more men received similar sentences Thursday in Miami federal court. U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard, in sentencing hearings Wednesday and Thursday, said the four were followers who participated far less than ringleader Narseal Batiste in discussions about possible terrorist attacks. The conversations were recorded by the FBI using an informant posing as an al Qaeda operative. The plot never got past discussion, which led defense attorneys and terrorism experts to describe the case as overblown since the "Liberty City Seven'' were arrested in June 2006. Lenard appeared to share that sentiment, at least for the four who have been sentenced so far. "As I see this case, these young men were looking for something. I don't know, maybe it was their naiveté and youth that made them fall under the influence of a man with a need to control, and they became his followers,"' Lenard said. Prosecutors sought between 30 and 50 years in prison for each of the four men, with Batiste facing a maximum of 70 years when he is sentenced Friday. They were convicted in May in the third trial of the case following a pair of mistrials, and two of the original suspects were acquitted. Lenard sentenced Batiste's self-described "No. 1 soldier,"' Patrick Abraham, 30, to just over nine years Thursday. Stanley Phanor, 34, got eight years. On Wednesday, Lenard sentenced Burson Augustin, 24, to six years in prison and his brother Rotschild Augustine, 26, to seven years."

Plotting to work with al Qaeda to blow up the Sears Tower is described by the sentencing judge as "young men . . . looking for something", youthful "naiveté", and falling under a bad "influence"? With time off for good behavior and credit for time served, these sentences are slaps on the wrist.

Is it any wonder we're in danger from domestic terrorism?

Big campaign donors and the White House

"What does being a top Democratic donor get you in Obama's Washington? The White House fought back hard Wednesday morning against the suggestion by top Republicans that money can buy untoward access to his administration. The charge from the chairman of the GOP came after a report in the Washington Times that the Democratic National Committee rewards its top contributors with perks that include small-group briefings with senior Obama administration officials, conference calls and other exclusive access to policymakers. Two one-page fact sheets posted online Wednesday by the paper explain the benefits of membership in the DNC's National Advisory Board and its National Finance Committee. Donors who give the maximum allowed by law to the party -- $30,400 -- or who bundle $300,000 from other contributors, gain membership into the exclusive groups. "Together with the National Finance Committee, the National Advisory Board meets four times throughout the year in Washington, D.C. to discuss current issues, policies, and strategies," one of the documents says. "They have an opportunity to meet senior members of the Obama administration and senior members of Congress, and to hear from political analysts and policy experts."

Do big donors get special access to the White House? You can believe the White House press office's denials, or you can believe the promises made to the donors in writing by the fundraisers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another tax cheat appointed to federal office

"President Barack Obama's choice for a top job in the Treasury Department did not disclose all of her late tax payments until she was repeatedly prodded by Senate investigators, a congressional report issued Wednesday said. Obama's nominee for undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs, Lael Brainard, is the fifth presidential nominee to reveal tax issues during the congressional vetting process. Brainard was late in paying real estate taxes in 2005, 2006 and 2007 on property in Northern Virginia, according to the report by the Senate Finance Committee staff. The report also challenges the accuracy of a deduction Brainard claimed for running an office from her home. The challenge led Brainard to reduce the deduction on her 2008 return, though she declined to adjust returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007, telling committee staff she used a reasonable method to calculate the deductions."

Failure to pay taxes should be a disqualification from public office.

And, failure to disclose it? It should be treated as perjury.

A fair trial for 9/11 terrorists?

The Obama administration's stated goal is to demonstrate to the world that everyone gets a fair trial in America.

Yet, to justify their decision to try the 9/11 terrorists in civilian court, the administration prejudges (and pre-convicts and pre-sentences) the defendants:

"President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday defended the controversial decision to prosecute the accused Sept. 11 conspirators in a New York federal court. Obama predicted that self-professed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be convicted and executed."

Other than his hardcore, knee jerk supporters, no one will end up supporting Obama on this. Ironically, those on either side will oppose for opposite reasons.

Six year sentence for terrorism?

"Two Miami brothers cast as lesser players in a plot to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices have received relatively light prison sentences. U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard on Wednesday sentenced Burson Augustin, 24, to six years in prison, and Rotschild Augustine, 26, to seven years. Prosecutors sought maximum 30-year sentences for both men.",0,1551176.story

Only six years for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower, supporting al-Qaida and conspiring to wage war on the United States.

Less credit for "time served" and "good behavior".

Does anyone think this will dissuade anyone from terrorist activity?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama approval at 48%

"President Barack Obama's job approval rating is 48 - 42 percent, the first time he has slipped below the 50 percent threshold nationally, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today."

Four to five more years in Afghanistan?

Sen. John Kerry, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, defining "success" in Afghanistan:

"Success is to turn over to the Afghans the ability to maintain their security, to stay engaged in the region and to continue development programs. But to do it at a pace that is primarily focused on a transition so that we can draw down our forces over a period of, say, four to five years. "

Four to five more years in Afghanistan.

After already being there for eight years.

What happened to the "anti war" party of 2006 and 2008?

The Democrats won because they were "anti war".

Obama wasted time in China

"[T]he busiest day in Obama's three-day trip here, which included a meeting with Chinese President . . failed to immediately yield major breakthroughs on issues ranging from the economy to nuclear proliferation. The two leaders pledged at a news conference after their meeting to strengthen ties and preferred to emphasize common ground . . . said not a single word publicly on perhaps the biggest short-term issue facing the two countries - China's yuan currency. Obama has said the yuan is undervalued, which damages U.S. exports."

In other words, Obama accomplished nothing in China.

And, while he was there, he did nothing about our domestic and economic problems.

Another jobs bill coming

"House Democrats will try to pass a job-creation plan this year that may include money for highway construction and tax credits for small businesses to hire more workers, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday. Extending unemployment benefits and subsidies to help laid-off workers buy health insurance will likely be included, Hoyer said."

Wasn't the $800 +/- billion stimulus bill supposed to do that?

Or, was all that money wasted on corrupt schemes, kickbacks to political allies and ineffective spending?

Unemployment up, Obama down

Real unemployment - 17.5%

Obama'a approval - 50%

Of all the things he could have done in response to the bad unemployment news, going to Japan and China was guaranteed to be the least popular.

The brass cashes in

"Six months after Marine Lt. Gen. Gary McKissock retired in 2002, he did what many other ex-military leaders do: He joined the board of directors of a defense contractor, a company doing business with his former service. McKissock also had a second job. The Marines brought him back as an adviser, at double the rate of pay he made on active duty. Since 2005, the Marines have awarded McKissock contracts worth $1.2 million, in addition to his military pension of about $119,000 a year. McKissock is one of at least 158 retired admirals and generals the Pentagon has hired to offer advice under an unusual arrangement. Most of the retired officers, one to four stars in rank, have been paid hundreds of dollars an hour by the military even as they worked for companies seeking Defense Department contracts, a USA TODAY investigation found. That's in addition to pensions of $100,000 to $200,000 a year for officers with 30 or more years of service."

As usual nowadays, the big shots are cashing in, and their conflicts of interest are ignored. Meanwhile, the families of troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are forced to file for food stamps.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Figures don't lie but . . . .

Barack Obama - Disapprove - 43.2%
(with 52.2% approve),Disapprove&phone=&ivr=&internet=&mail=&smoothing=&from_date=2009-9-01&to_date=&min_pct=30&max_pct=60&grid=&points=1&lines=1&colors=Disapprove-BF0014,Approve-000000,Undecided-68228B

Sarah Palin - Not favorable - 38%
(with 23% favorable, 20% undecided, 17% haven't heard enough, and 2% refused)

You'd never guess it from the media coverage, but Obama seems to have a higher negative than Palin. Plus, Palin's not responsible for 17.5% (and rising) real unemployment.

They attack her and mock her because they fear her.

Stimulus aid grifters

"Grifters cash in on stimulus aid - Stimulus aid has sparked an economic boom for some unwanted entrepreneurs — con men. State and federal officials say they are fielding thousands of reports of scam artists, many operating from overseas, using the promise of money from the Obama administration's $787 billion economic recovery plan to entice people to hand over bank account numbers. The scams are so numerous, and the criminals hard to identify, that authorities say it's all but impossible to catch them. "People are being tricked out of their money," according to Federal Trade Commission lawyer Monica Vaca."

The real stimulus scam artists are the administration and congressional leaders who said, "Give me trillions of dollars for a stimulus plan, bank bailouts and auto industry rescues, and I guarantee unemployment will not exceed 8%."

More anti-Cuban-American media spin

"Supporters of the U.S. embargo against Cuba have contributed almost $11 million to members of Congress since 2004 in a largely successful effort to block efforts to weaken sanctions against the island, a new report shows. . . . the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee and its donors . . . . have given $10.77 million nationwide to almost 400 candidates and members of Congress . . . The top five recipients of the cash: Miami's three Cuban-American Republican members of Congress; 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain; and New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, whose parents fled Cuba before his birth."

The "big news": The top five recipients of donations from the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee includes the three Cuban-American members of Congress from Miami and the only Cuban-American member of the Senate.

If you subtract the anti-Cuban-American, pro-Castro mainstream media spin, the "news" is that Cuban-Americans made political donations to Cuban-American and pro-Cuban-American politicians to advance the aspirations, goals and values of the Cuban-American community.

Just like every other minority or ethnic group. What's wrong with that?

Breast cancer, Obamacare and cost / benefit analysis

"In a highly controversial move, an influential government-sponsored organization is recommending against routine annual mammograms for healthy women in their 40s. After reevaluating scientific research on mammography's ability to reduce deaths from breast cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says these women should consult a physician and make a decision reflecting their own preferences and values. The recommendation does not apply to women at high risk for the disease. The group had previously suggested that women ages 40 to 49 be screened for breast cancer every one or two years. "

Welcome to the new world of Obamacare, where all healthcare decisions are subject to cost / benefit analysis.

The question is no longer, "Does it saves lives?"

The question is now, "Does it save enough lives to justify the cost?"

I guess those who raised the spectre of "rationing" weren't such kooks.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stimulus dishonesty

"The Obama administration, under fire for inflating job growth from the $787 billion stimulus plan, slashed over 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on the program because the reporting outlets had submitted "unrealistic data," according to a document obtained by ABC News. "

If you can't trust the recipients of stimulus money to be honest with their job creation figures, how can you trust them to be honest with stimulus money? Imagine the graft, theft and corruption.

Guantanamo prisoners to Illinois?

"Officials from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Defense arrived Monday at the Thomson Correctional Facility, 150 miles west of Chicago, to tour the nearly empty prison that could be purchased to house more than 200 detainees from Guantanamo Bay."

I agree.

If Obama wants to shut down Guantanamo, move the prisoners to his backyard, and let his hometown deal with it.


"The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from a group of Native Americans who think the name of the NFL's Washington Redskins football team is offensive. The high court on Monday turned away an appeal from Suzan Shown Harjo. That ends the latest round in the 17-year court battle between the Redskins and a group of American Indians who want them to change their name. The plaintiffs sought to have the Redskins trademarks declared invalid."

Why do Americans think that everything needs to be resolved in a court of law?

Retail sales up?

"Sales at retailers rose more than expected in October, boosted largely by auto sales, but the previous month's figures were revised sharply downward. In a report that points to a gradual improvement in spending, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1.4% last month, largest advance since August, after dropping a revised 2.3% in September. Sales in September were previously reported as declining 1.5%. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 1.0% in October. Sales were boosted by a 7.4% jump in new vehicle and parts sales%. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, retail sale rose a smaller-than-expected 0.2% in October after increasing 0.4% in September. Auto sales had slumped 14.3% the previous month after the expiration of the government's popular "cash-for-clunkers" incentive program that had buoyed demand for motor vehicles. Previously, the government had reported auto sales falling 10.4% in September."

Auto sales are wildly gyrating due to government intervention in the marketplace through the "cash for clunkers" program (with most of the profits going overseas to foreign car makers).

This continues to distort total retail sales figures.

This is not an early sign of economic recovery, but a sign of more danger ahead.

We're going to be in real trouble when the government can't print any more money backed by loans from China to fund phony "stimulus" plans.

The next Obama town hall meeting

"Politely but firmly pressing for greater freedoms on China's own turf, President Obama spoke against censorship Monday, saying tough criticisms of political leaders should be allowed and the free flow of information on the Internet "should be encouraged." The president's message during a town hall-style meeting with university students in Shanghai, China's commercial hub, focused on one of the trickiest issues separating China's communist government and the United States — human rights."

For most people, town hall meetings are about American leaders listening to average American citizens tell them what is wrong and what they want.

For Obama, town hall meetings are forums for the American leader to lecture the pre-screened ticket holding audience in response to pre-selected questions reviewed in advance by staff.

The next Obama town hall meeting ought to be in America, with randomly selected American university students, featuring unscreened and unfiltered questions and comments from the audience, with Obama listening instead of speaking, regarding young graduates' employment prospects.

Of course, that won't happen.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It was a tough cycle for incumbents

"It was a tough cycle for incumbents".

That's the latest justification from the Obama administration for the results of this year's elections.

Of course, there was no incumbent running in Virginia, Obama and Biden both campaigned hard for the Democrat, and the Republican won in an unprecedented landslide.

Abu Ghraib prison pictures

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates has blocked the public release of any more pictures of foreign detainees abused by their U.S. captors, saying their release would endanger American soldiers. The Obama administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court late Friday saying that Gates has invoked new powers blocking the release of the photos. . . . Federal courts had rejected the government's arguments to block their release, so Congress gave Gates new powers to keep them private under a law signed by President Obama last month. . . . Obama initially indicated he would not fight the release of the photographs, but he reversed course in May. The president said he was persuaded that disclosure could further incite violence in Afghanistan and Iraq and endanger U.S. troops there."

Another promise candidate Obama made, and president Obama broke, justified with words from the mouths of Bush and McCain ("endanger U.S. troops").

You can honestly say that Obama would not have won the Democratic nomination, and would not have won the presidential election, if he had honestly stated his intent on dozens of issues, from Iraq to healthcare to civil liberties.

A town hall meeting in Shanghai

"President Obama landed this morning in Shanghai -- Sunday night, Chinese time -- and is about half-way through his diplomatic jaunt in Asia. The president's plans in Shanghai include a meeting with the mayor and a town hall with local residents. Obama arrived from Singapore, from where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, making news with the leaders of Russia and Burma. After a meeting between Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the two leaders predicated they would have a new arms reduction treaty by the end of the year. At a meeting of Association of Southeast Asia Nations, Obama told the military leader of Burma to release the imprisoned pro democracy leader Aung Suu Kyi. Obama and the Asian leaders tried to forge momentum on fighting global warming."

While the president is abroad "half-way through his diplomatic jaunt in Asia" so he can "meet with the mayor" and hold "a town hall with local residents" and take pictures with "the leaders of Russia and Burma" and make noises about "arms reduction", "democracy" and "global warming", the effective unemployment rate at home inexorably creeps towards 20%.

If he doesn't think video of a town hall meeting in China will anger and confuse the concerned and the unemployed here in America, he's clueless.

Fort Hood memorials

"Hundreds of people lining the main street of an Indiana town on Saturday fell solemnly silent as the white hearse passed. Mourners waited for hours outside a Wisconsin gymnasium to say goodbye to a soldier who once promised to take down Osama bin Laden. And in Oklahoma, a newlywed grieved for her husband of nearly three months. Several victims of the Nov. 5 shooting massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, were laid to rest Saturday across the country, after family members, friends, fellow soldiers and strangers passed their flag-draped coffins and paid their respects. In Plymouth, Ind., Sheila Ellabarger had placed two foot-high American flags in the grass where she watched the procession for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Justin DeCrow. She said her children went to school with DeCrow and his wife — his high school sweetheart — and she knew others in his family."

And, representatives of the administration? No where in sight.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Barack Obama, globe trotter

"President Barack Obama pressed on with his mission to repair America's global standing, telling Asians he was determined to engage them as equal partners in the economy, diplomacy and security. In a 40-minute speech Saturday that ranged across the multitude of issues, the president declared the United States a "nation of the Pacific. Asia and the United States are not separated by this great ocean; we are bound by it" . . . he offered few specifics on the key issues of trade . . . It was the fifth major foreign address of Obama's 10-month presidency . . ."

To date, Barack Obama broke two presidential records - - the most spending and the most foreign travel.

For some reason, his staff thinks he needs to go overseas, and mutter meaningless platitudes, during a time of grave economic uncertainty and 17.5% real unemployment.

By the way - - "Obama reached out through several personal notes that delighted his audience, including calling himself "America's first Pacific president," referring to his time in Indonesia, birth in Hawaii and travels in Asia as a boy."

As with his middle name, he can mention his foreign upbringing, but if you do, you're crazy.

The most important story of the day

Which of the following stories will be discussed on the Sunday news shows?

a - The sex tape of deposed and politically incorrect Miss U.S.A. 2009 Carrie Prejean.

b - The upcoming full frontal Playgirl photo spread of Levi Johnston, Sarah Palin's daughter's "baby daddy".

c - The investments and financial machinations of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, one of the richest members of Congress, whose family seems to have amassed extraordinary wealth (reportedly including a vineyard valued between $5 million and $25 million and $5 million in Apple stock) as the daughter and sister of mayors of Baltimore, the sister in law of a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors, and a member of Congress, all while never earning more than a civil servant's salary.

The answer is not "c".

The most open and honest administration in history

That was the promise.

Of course, that was before every one of the administration's legislative proposals was drafted behind closed doors, in secret, with input from lobbyists and pressure groups, but without much public hearing, public debate or public comment.

Why would Fort Hood be different?

"President Obama on Saturday urged Congress to hold off on any investigation of the Fort Hood rampage until federal law enforcement and military authorities have completed their probes into the shootings at the Texas Army post, which left 13 people dead."

It's as if they don't want public hearings to reveal the politically incorrect truth before they complete their fabrication of the politically correct spin.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why the Obama administration is in trouble

"Obama has spent more money on new programs in nine months than Bill Clinton did in eight years, pushing the annual deficit to $1.4 trillion."

He's run out of both any more bright ideas and any more money to pay for them.

Morale down in Afghanistan

"Morale has fallen among soldiers in Afghanistan, where troops are seeing record violence in the 8-year-old war, while those in Iraq show much improved mental health amid much lower violence, the Army said Friday."

When you send soldiers into battle without a clearly defined mission and without a clearly defined goal, morale goes down.

When you tell soldiers that the commander in chief still doesn't know what he wants you to do or why he wants you to do it, and he'll get back to you on that as soon as he figures it out, but you need to go into battle today and risk your life anyway, morale is destroyed.

Obamacare = Cuts to senior care

Remember being told that this was another lie about Obamacare?

"For Eli Bess, 85, of Sunrise, the healthcare reform debate has gotten personal. As a member of a Humana HMO, he gets a free gym membership, a benefit he says has changed his life. After some medical setbacks several years ago, "my wife brought me the first time to the gym in a wheelchair. Now I can do anything I want." At the moment, both House and Senate healthcare reform proposals are seeking to slash funds to the HMOs that have attracted . . . seniors because of rich benefit packages that can include free dental care and many other perks. . . . Nationwide, the Medicare HMOs - - known as Medicare Advantage plans - - are on average 14 percent more expensive than traditional Medicare. Both House and Senate leaders want to get those costs down to the traditional Medicare level, and perhaps less. . . . The House bill proposes cutting the HMOs down to the same level as fee-for-service plans. "

HMOs used to be considered providers of overly bureaucratic and inadequate healthcare.

Under Obamacare, they're about to be considered "Cadillac plans" for seniors that are too generous and must be cut back 14% or more.

This was pretty stupid

"A chagrined GOP Chairman Michael Steele has told Republican National Committee staff to immediately stop providing RNC employees with insurance for elective abortions - an option that Republicans strongly oppose as Democrats try to pass a health care overhaul bill. "Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Steele said in a statement late Thursday after learning of the abortion coverage from a news report. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."

Who at the "pro life", anti abortion party was stupid enough to decide to pay for abortion benefits for its staff?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Obama the globe trotter

"When President Obama takes off for his Asia trip tomorrow morning, he'll be adding to a presidential record - - most foreign countries visited by a first-year chief executive. After stops in Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea, Obama will have been in 20 countries this year, during eight separate foreign trips. The previous record holder: George H. W. Bush . . . The elder Bush went to 14 countries on seven foreign trips during his first year in office, 1989. Bush's son, George W., went to 11 countries on five trips in 2001. Bill Clinton did only three countries during two trips his first year in 1993. Obama is not done yet. He has at least one more foreign destination this year: Oslo, Norway, to pick up the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10."

Remember when the media criticized the elder Bush for traveling "too much", and focusing "too much" on foreign policy? Where's the media now?

It's no coincidence that Bill Clinton, the president who stayed home the most, and stayed most focused on domestic issues, had the best economic results and inspired the most confidence in his ability to improve the economy.

The pelican

"Much like its death-defying dives for fish, the brown pelican has resurfaced after plummeting to the brink of extinction. Interior Department officials on Wednesday announced that they were taking the bird off the endangered species list, after a nearly four-decade struggle to keep the brown pelican population afloat. The bird now prevalent across Florida, the Gulf and Pacific coasts and the Caribbean was declared an endangered species in 1970, after its population -- much like those of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon -- was decimated by the pesticide DDT. The chemical, consumed when the pelicans ate tainted fish, caused them to lay eggs with shells so thin they broke during incubation. The pelican's recovery is largely due to a 1972 ban on DDT, coupled with efforts by states and conservation groups to protect its nesting sites and monitor its population, Interior Department officials said."

I remember when pelicans were rarely seen. Fortunately, you can now see one from most docks in Florida.

This is another great victory for the conservation and environmental movements.

But, having achieved most of their initial legislative and social goals, certain environmental groups now justify their continued existence by over stating current environmental threats.

Much like civil rights leaders who refuse to acknowledge real civil rights advances, these self appointed "leaders" seem to be afraid to declare victory and get real jobs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Juvenile life sentences

The Supreme Court heard argument on the constitutionality of life sentences without the possibility of parole for minors.

"Attorneys for two Florida teenagers serving life in prison without the possibility of parole told the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that such sentences violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment and juveniles should get a chance at release."

Such "juvenile" offenses include the rape of 8-year-old girl before "burying her alive" and the rape of a 71 year old woman.

A suggestion - - offer to release these juveniles to the custody and foster care of those who object to their sentences. Let them sleep with these "kids" in the next room.

Any volunteers?

Healthcare reform still sinking

The latest poll of polls on the pending healthcare reform plan:

Oppose - 49.8%
Favor - 43.1%,Favor&phone=&ivr=&internet=&mail=&smoothing=less&from_date=&to_date=&min_pct=&max_pct=&grid=&points=1&lines=1&colors=Favor-000000,Oppose-BF0014,Undecided-A69A37,No Opinion-68228B

Healthcare reform and abortion

For the past year, opponents of Obamacare have been questioning whether it will result in less individual private choices, whether it will disturb the private insurance market, and whether it will deprive anyone of existing coverage.

The answers were no, no and no, and, according to the president, you're "bearing false witness" if you suggest otherwise.

Guess what? Pro abortion advocates just realized that the true answers were yes, yes and yes, and it was in fact the president who was "spreading fishy stories about healthcare reform".

"There's something poignant about the last-minute outrage of the pro-choice groups. The complaints they're leveling—that people had more choices in the private market, that the House bill radically upsets this market, and that it violates Obama's promise not to deprive anyone of their existing coverage—are hardly novel. Republicans have issued such warnings all year. But liberals didn't pay attention until the coverage in jeopardy was abortion. . . . let's give up the two lies we tell ourselves about such legislation. One is that it won't cost us much money. The other is that it won't cost us much choice. When you throw in your lot with other people and agree to play by the same rules, you surrender some of your freedom and risk losing some of your options. Sometimes it's coverage of an MRI or a hip replacement. Sometimes it's coverage of abortion. If that's the price of health care reform, are you willing to pay it?"

Universal government healthcare is expensive, and requires cost containment.

The cost containment will be obtained by regulations which forbid or severely limit procedures which are overly expensive, or of questionable effect, or controversial, or unpopular.

The irony is that the procedures most likely to be forbidden are for populations favored by the progressives pushing loudest for Obamacare. It's just a matter of time before cries of "death panel" start coming from the left instead of the right.

That didn't take too long

It's been almost 10 months since the Democrats were given absolute super majority control of the executive, the house of representatives and the senate.

Almost 10 months of record spending, record deficits, record weakness abroad and record social experimentation, all with less than majority public support.

The result?

"Republicans have moved ahead of Democrats by 48% to 44% among registered voters in the latest update on Gallup's generic congressional ballot for the 2010 House elections, after trailing by six points in July and two points last month."

The Clinton / Gore policies of balanced budgets, surpluses applied to paying off the national debt, peace abroad and slow but incremental social change at home were wildly popular, and would be today. Why were they rejected by Obama, Pelosi, Reid et al. in favor of radical "change"?

Obama at Fort Hood

"'No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts,' Obama said at the memorial service."

The day after the shootings by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the shooter's ex-"imam" and "spiritual adviser", a terrorist recently released from foreign prison, used his website to "praise Hasan as a hero".

We have no problem blaming domestic terrorist attacks on abortion clinics on radical fundamentalist Christian sects.

We have no problem blaming any unjustifiable abuses of Palestinians on radical fundamentalist Jewish sects.

Why are we afraid to blame certain terrorist acts on radical fundamentalist Muslims?

We can't fight an enemy until we adequately and accurately identify it.

Gov. Crist is imploding

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist embraced Obama on video (politically and physically), and now denies it.

Crist endorsed Obama's stimulus plan on video, and now denies it.

Last week, Crist denied knowing Obama was in town.

"Gov. Charlie Crist surprised many by saying he did not know President Barack Obama was in Jacksonville recently to visit with U.S. troops. But newly obtained e-mails show Crist's aides in Washington and Tallahassee were notified of the trip."

By this time next year, Crist will be a private citizen, separated from his "wife".

Who's at fault?

You may have heard about the south Florida "teens" who attacked another child by "dousing the victim with alcohol and setting him on fire".

Yesterday, "the mother of one of the teens accused of second-degree attempted murder in last month's fiery attack against a 15-year-old . . . . said . . . that her son was not the monster being portrayed in the media". She described her son as "an outgoing boy who did his chores, served as an altar boy at church and spent weekends playing basketball with his grandfather in Lauderhill". Of course, she "did not discuss her husband's . . . criminal history that includes arrests for drug possession, aggravated battery and burglary."

Punish the kids. But, we need to figure out some way to punish the parents, too. This one's still making excuses and denying the facts in front of her.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No excuse for the Fort Hood assassinations

"Nearly a year before Maj. Nidal Hasan allegedly went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, terrorism investigators conducted an "assessment" of him before deciding he did not pose a threat. . . . Hasan had communicated 10 to 20 times with Anwar al-Awlaki, an imam released from a Yemeni jail last year who has used his personal Web site to encourage Muslims across the world to kill U.S. troops in Iraq. Despite that, no formal investigation was opened into Hasan . . . the major had once been under scrutiny from a joint terrorism task force because of the series of communications going back months. Al-Awlaki is a former imam at a Falls Church, Va., mosque where Hasan and his family occasionally worshipped. In 2001, al-Awlaki, a native-born U.S. citizen, had contact with two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, and on Monday his Web site praised Hasan as a hero. . . . Officials said the content of those messages was "consistent with the subject matter of his research," part of which involved post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from U.S. combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A law enforcement official said the communications consisted primarily of Hasan posing questions to the imam as a spiritual leader or adviser, and the imam did respond to at least some of those messages."

"Officials said the content of those messages was 'consistent with the subject matter of his research'"?

Al-Awlaki "had contact with two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, and on Monday his Web site praised Hasan as a hero"?

People need to be fired from the FBI, and drummed out of the military, for letting this happen.

A mess in Honduras

"A U.S.-brokered accord that was supposed to return ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to power has collapsed. And his supporters, who have been organizing street protests against his successor, are down to their final card: calling on Hondurans to boycott upcoming elections. Carlos H. Reyes, the presidential candidate who was favored by the leftist Zelaya's hard-core supporters but had no chance to win, withdrew from the race Monday. . . . Zelaya pinned much of the blame Monday on the Obama administration. The U.S. State Department helped broker a deal that called for the Honduran Congress to vote on whether to allow Zelaya to finish his term. But once Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon made televised comments last week that seemed to remove pressure from Washington, Honduras' Congress has made no plans to vote on whether to enact the agreement."

First, we stuck our nose in other people's business. Then, we backed the wrong side. Next, we destroyed the legitimacy of the upcoming elections. Finally, we angered all sides, and have no friends left.

We helped create a mess in Honduras that it could take years to clean up.

Bloggers in Cuba

"Carefully, but with daring determination, some Cubans whose blogs once focused largely on the frustrations of daily life are moving toward sharp-edged commentaries and activities that some fear will eventually lead to a crackdown by the communist government. . . . In fact, on Friday the best known of the Cuban bloggers, Yoani Sánchez, reported that she and another blogger were detained and beaten severely by state security agents, apparently to keep them from joining a peaceful march in Havana organized by young musicians."

Why aren't "progressive" American blogs and the "progressive" American media coming to the defense of pro democracy bloggers in Cuba?

I will never understand the intellectual left's continuing infatuation with the Castros.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Worth repeating

If you're at the airport or the mall or the stadium or any public space, and you hear someone shout "Allahu Akbar", hit the deck and get behind something solid.

And the people now looking for excuses for the Fort Hood assassin? They're welcome to stand straight and tall and walk toward the shouter (shooter?) with their hand extended in friendship. I wish them luck.

The Cuba embargo

The Washington and New York elites oppose the Cuba embargo.

Fortunately, in a democracy, the elites don't get to make all the rules.

"More than 50 House Democrats sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi supporting current Cuba policy, which embargo-supporters say effectively means that a bill to open Cuba to tourists is dead. The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act would prevent President Barack Obama from regulating or prohibiting travel to or from Cuba by U.S. residents. But now 53 Democrats in the House have told Pelosi that they oppose lifting the ban, blunting the momentum that proponents of lifting the travel ban have had under a Democratic president and Democratic-led Congress."

Remember Iraq?

We're still fighting that war.

"After nearly a dozen delays and a final, rowdy session, Iraq's parliament on Sunday passed a law setting national elections for January, averting for now a political crisis that threatened to unravel the country's slow progress toward stability. Approval of the law eases a growing source of concern for the Obama administration. President Barack Obama is considering sending 34,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and successful elections here are key to a major reduction in U.S. combat forces in Iraq by next summer."

I will never understand why our troop deployment decisions are dependent upon the decisions of a foreign parliament.

Moreover, I thought we voted in 2006 and 2008 to end the war in Iraq. Why are we waiting on "a major reduction in U.S. combat forces in Iraq" until "next summer", almost four years after voters put Pelosi and Reid in charge of Congress with instructions to end the war?

Obama "nearing" decision to send more troops to Afghanistan

"President Barack Obama is nearing a decision to send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year, but he may not announce it until after he consults with key allies and completes a trip to Asia later this month, administration and military officials have told McClatchy Newspapers."

In other words, Obama is going to send more troops to Afghanistan.

But, he doesn't want to announce it until after his latest trip abroad, to avoid any less than favorable foreign media coverage.

Explain that to the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, waiting for relief and guidance in mission limbo.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More on the Fort Hood assassin

"Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the gunman who killed 13 at America's Fort Hood military base, once gave a lecture to other doctors in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats. He also told colleagues at America's top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire. The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July. Colleagues had expected a discussion on a medical issue but were instead given an extremist interpretation of the Koran, which Hasan appeared to believe."

Why are only European newspapers reporting this, while the U.S. papers are blaming "stress" and disclaiming any terrorist or fundamentalist connections?

New Hampshire season ski pass sales

Here's an unscientific measure of the state of the economy - - advance season pass sales at New Hampshire's ski and snowboard resorts.

According to Bruce McCloy, Director of Marketing and Sales at New Hampshire's Mount Sunapee Resort, "We have had our strongest season pass sales ever, both in units and revenue." Nearby Gunstock Mountain Resort's early season pass sales were "about 11 percent ahead of last year", says Bill Quigley, Gunstock's Director of Marketing and Sales. At Cranmore Mountain Resort, "Season pass sales were up about 12% over last year", states Kathy Bennett, Marketing Director at Cranmore. Lori Rowell of Pats Peak Ski Area "is happy to report that our advanced season passes are up this year over this time last year". Loon Mountain's Stacy Lopes announced that "Loon’s season pass sales are running ahead of the prior season for the second year in a row".

Other New Hampshire ski areas, further away from the Boston market, are finding "people seem to be waiting to commit until the deadline hits". One marketing director in northern New Hampshire notes that season ski pass sales are "slightly lagging the previous year’s sales, and this does concern me a bit."

There are various factors. Gunstock just "finished up on a 3.5 million dollar expansion project", and both Gunstock and Sunapee are less than 100 miles from Boston. "A trend that started last winter was that people were skiing closer to home and trading overnight stays for lift tickets by making more day trips," according to Mount Sunapee's McCloy. "Plus our ticket pricing is less that the bigger resorts."

Translation: There could be more trouble this ski season for the big destination resorts, and more focus on day trippers, as families continue to cut back.