Friday, July 24, 2009

op ed review 7/26

On vacation next week, no OER.



Heading into a critical period in the debate over health-care reform, public approval of President Obama's stewardship on the issue has dropped below the 50 percent threshold for the first time, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Obama's approval ratings on other front-burner issues, such as the economy and the federal budget deficit, have also slipped over the summer,

Trust in President Obama and his Democratic allies to identify the right solutions to problems facing the country has dropped off significantly since March, according to a new Public Strategies Inc./POLITICO poll.

Senate Democrats defied President Obama on Thursday by scuttling plans to vote on health care reform by August, abandoning the president's timeline amid trouble coming to consensus with the White House on how to pay for it.

The nation’s governors, Democrats as well as Republicans, voiced deep concern about the shape of the healthcare bill emerging from Congress, fearing that the federal government is about to hand them expensive new Medicaid obligations without providing the money to pay for them.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be "disastrous" for Texas

Democrats are preventing Republican House Members from sending their constituents a mailing that is critical of the health care reform plan, blocking the mailing by alleging that it is inaccurate….the image reveals a complicated menagerie of government offices and programs that Republicans say will be created if the leading Democratic health care plan becomes law.

Here’s the chart:

A little early for this, but Rasmussen has Mitt Romney in a dead heat with President Obama in the first major poll that asked voters who they would support in the 2012 presidential election.

“The White House was wrong when they said there was no pork in the stimulus”” says a House Republican spokeswoman. There’s actually a line item of $1.2M for 760,000 pounds of ham.

The chairman of the Republican Party called President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul health care "socialism," accusing the president of conducting a risky experiment that will hurt the economy and force millions to drop their current coverage.

A world-renowned clinic that President Obama held up as an example of good medicine said that the American people would be "losers" under the House's health care proposal.

The Food and Drug Administration—which has struggled to fulfill its mission of regulating food, drugs and other consumer goods that make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. economy—does not have the expertise to forecast its own budget needs, according to congressional investigators.

The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared North Korea’s behavior to that of unruly children.

King County Executive Kurt Triplett says that unless voters approve a $50 million sales tax increase he proposed, there will be closure of all 39 parks in the county.

King County is facing a $50-million deficit. But don't worry...the county still has money for free palm/tarot readers at the libraries.

A new report from Republicans on a House oversight committee accuses ACORN of fraudulent activities and widespread corruption and calls for a criminal investigation into the advocacy group.



Americans Are Beginning to Understand the Left

Dennis Prager 7/21

There is only one good thing about the Obama administration's attempts to nationalize most health care and to begin to control Americans' energy consumption through cap-and-trade: clarity about the left. These attempts are enabling more and more Americans to understand the thinking and therefore the danger of the left.

The left has its first president -- with the possible exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- and for the first time controls the Democratic Party and both houses of Congress. In the name of compassion for the sick and the poor and in the name of preventing worldwide environmental catastrophe, it is attempting to remake America.

In so doing some principals of the left are becoming clearer to more Americans:

Principal One: The left, as distinct from traditional liberals, is not, and has never been, interested in creating wealth. The left is no more interested in creating wealth than Christians are in creating Muslims or Muslims in creating Christians. The left is interested in redistributing wealth, not creating it. The left spends the wealth that private enterprise and entrepreneurial risk-taking individuals create.

The left does not perceive that poverty is the human norm and therefore asks, "Why is there poverty?" instead of asking the economic question that matters: Why is there wealth? And the obvious result of the left's disinterest in why wealth is created is that the left does not know how to create it.

Principal Two: The reason the left asks why there is poverty instead of why there is wealth is that the left's preoccupying ideal is equality -- not economic growth. And those who are preoccupied with equality are more troubled by wealth than by poverty. Ask almost anyone on the left -- not a liberal, but a leftist like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi -- which society they consider more desirable, a society in which all its members were equally lower middle class or one in which some were poor, most were middle class, and some were rich (i.e., America today). And whatever they say, in their hearts, the further left they are the more they would prefer the egalitarian society.

Principal Three: The left everywhere seeks to make as big and powerful a state as possible. It does so because only the state can redistribute society's wealth. And because only a strong and powerful state can impose values on society. The idea of small government, the American ideal since its inception, is the antithesis of the left's ideal.

The cap-and-trade bill's control of American energy and the "ObamaCare" takeover of American health care will mean an unprecedented expansion of the state. Added to increased taxes and the individual becomes less and less significant as the state looms ever larger. Americans will be left to decide little more than what they do with vacation time -- just as Western Europeans do. Other questions are largely left to the state.

Principal Four: The left imposes its values on others whenever possible and to the extent possible. That is why virtually every totalitarian regime in the 20th century was left-wing. Inherent to all left-wing thought is a totalitarian temptation. People on the left know that not only are their values morally superior to conservative values, but that they themselves are morally superior to conservatives. Thus, for example, the former head of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, could say in all seriousness, “In contradistinction to the Republicans, we don't think children ought to go to bed hungry at night.”

Therefore, the morally superior have the right, indeed the duty, to impose their values on the rest of us: what light bulbs we use, what cars we drive, what we may ask a prospective employee, how we may discipline our children, and, of course, how much of our earnings we may keep.

It is dishonest to argue that the right wants to impose its values to anywhere near the extent the left does. This can be demonstrated to a fifth-grader: Who wants more power -- those who want to govern a big state or those who want to govern a small state?

The president of the United States and the much of the Democratic Party embody these left-wing principals. Right now, America's only hope of staying American rather than becoming European lies in making these principals as clear as possible to as many Americans as possible. The left is so giddy with power right now, we actually have a chance.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:



"[S]ome members of Congress ... intend, as the New York Times puts it, 'to reinvent the nation's health care system.' Let that sink in. A handful of people who probably never even ran a small business actually think they can reinvent the health care system."

-John Stossel

"Because 32 'czars' isn't enough, the Democratic plan would add another overlord to the Obama administration. The new 'Health Choices Commissioner' would helm the new 'Health Choices Administration' (section 141 of the bill) -- separate from the already existing Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly the Health Care Financing Administration), the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service.”

-Michelle Malkin

“(President Obama) really is remaking America — he's just making it a whole lot crappier — kind of a hybrid between France and Venezuela,"

-Glenn Beck.

"Today, we're spending like we're Paris Hilton, regulating like we're Ralph Nader, nationalizing like we're Hugo Chavez, printing money like we're the Weimar Republic and taxing like we're, well, the Democratic Congress."

-former Georgia Democrat Sen. Zell Miller

"[Joe] Biden reminds me of what Churchill once said about our Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles: He is a bull who carries his own china shop with him."

-Ken Blackwell

"Hillary Clinton flew to India and Thailand and Indonesia Saturday. It's labeled a state visit but it's more like a scavenger hunt. She's quietly offering a $25 million reward for a certified copy of the president's birth certificate."

-Argus Hamilton



It pays to take a look at what is actually in the healthcare bill:

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits u get

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose UR HC Benefits 4 you. U have no choice!

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill - HC will be provided 2 ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58HC Bill - Govt will have real-time access 2 individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access 2 ur banks accounts 4 elect. funds transfer

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program 4 orders 4 end of life. The Govt has a say in how ur life ends

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An "adv. care planning consult" will b used frequently as patients health deteriorates

PG 429 Lines 10-12 "adv. care consultation" may incl an ORDER 4 end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill - Doctors, doesn’t matter what specialty u have, you'll all be paid the same

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment u will have at end of life

(hat tip: John Vasco)



Find out what the left is doing in your area:



Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the international movement to re-establish an international Islamic state, or Caliphate, kicked off a new campaign to win American recruits in Chicago. Nearly 300 people packed the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel for its Khalifah Conference on "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam" to listen to HT ideologues blame capitalism for World War I and World War II…”



The Science and Public Policy Institute announces the publication of Climate Money, a study by Joanne Nova revealing that the federal Government has a near-monopoly on climate science funding. This distorts the science towards self-serving alarmism. Key findings: The US Government has spent more than $79 billion of taxpayers’ money since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, propaganda campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks. Most of this spending was unnecessary…..Meanwhile, in a distracting sideshow, Exxon-Mobil Corp is repeatedly attacked for paying just $23 million to skeptics—less than a thousandth of what the US government spends on alarmists, and less than one five-thousandth of the value of carbon trading in 2008 alone. The large expenditure designed to prove the non-existent connection between carbon and climate has created a powerful alliance of self-serving vested interests. By pouring so much money into pushing a single, scientifically-baseless agenda, the Government has created not an unbiased investigation but a self-fulfilling prophecy….

Says Nova, “For the first time, the numbers from government documents have been compiled in one place. It’s time to start talking of “Monopolistic Science”. It’s time to expose the lie that those who claim “to save the planet” are the underdogs. And it’s time to get serious about auditing science, especially when it comes to pronouncements that are used to justify giant government programs and massive movements of money.” “Joanne Nova, who wrote our study, speaks for thousands of scientists in questioning whether a clique of taxpayer-funded climate modelers are getting the data right, or just getting the “right” data. Are politicians paying out billions of our dollars for evidence-driven policy-making, or policy-driven evidence-making? The truth is more crucial than ever, because American lives, property and constitutional liberties are at risk.

This is the study:



Lively writing: Once His Serene Highness, the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago, and Czar of all the Fussers, gets his camel’s nose under your hospital gown, then nothing you ever do in your life will go unregulated..”

One of the best kept secrets in California in recent weeks has been why Gov. Sarah Palin's upcoming and much-heralded Reagan Library speech -- her political debut after leaving public office -- will be.closed to the media?

A measure that would let gun owners carry weapons across state lines could threaten the filibuster-proof edge Democrats have in the U.S. Senate, observers note. The Republican-backed language, introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., would override stricter laws of many jurisdictions, giving preference to states with looser standards Thune offered the amendment Monday to the defense authorization bill.

Even as President Obama delivered a prime-time sales pitch for his embattled health care reform plan Wednesday, basic facts about coverage, cost and who foots the bills remain in dispute and many of the president's favorite talking points are challenged not only by Republicans but also by independent fact-checkers. For example, Mr. Obama promises that people who are happy with their current health insurance can keep it. That's a claim contradicted by

“Walter Cronkite Has Blood on His Hands”



The left is organizing neighborhood walks to support health care socialism. Here’s how you can fight them:

“Tea Party Patriots Health Care Freedom: Neighborhood Walk Checklists”



Here’s where some of your recovery money went:

How about $351,000 for replacement of a dumb waiter:

A nonprofit institute of research and education dedicated to sound public policy based on sound science. . Only through science and factual information can legislators develop beneficial policies without unintended consequences that might threaten the life, liberty, and prosperity of the citizenry.

Must see: “Who would have thought we'd find value from something posted on the ACLU site?”

Ron Paul fans have started a dating service to find libertarian love in an Obama world.

A different take on the Apollo landing:

This is believed to be the highest panoramic picture ever taken by hand from a balloon: Mt. Everest from 36,000 ft.



"The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it."

-Adam Smith

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."

-Thomas Jefferson


Saturday, July 18, 2009

op ed review 7/19


House Democratic leaders offered a $1.5 trillion plan that would make health care a European style entitlement for all.

“If you think government is too big and too costly, wait until Obamacare kicks in..You don’t need an accounting degree or clairvoyant powers. The administrative costs and spillover spending effects will be astronomical.”

A study found that the 5.4% surtax on top wage-earners proposed by House Democrats to help fund health care would push top tax rates over 50% in 39 states.

9 reasons Pelosi's health care surtax is disastrous

A leader of fiscally conservative House Democrats said the plan to overhaul the U.S. health-care system is losing support and will be stuck in committee without changes. "Last time I checked, it takes seven Democrats to stop a bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee…We had seven against it last Friday; we have 10 today."

A Connecticut firefighter who lost an appeals court ruling by Sonia Sotomayor told a Senate panel that in his line of work, advancement has to be determined by skill and qualifications.

Three “centrist” Republicans announced they'd support Sotomayor even as the Senate's minority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said he'd vote no.

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre says Sotomayor does not deserve to be on the high court because she does not support Americans’ right to self-defense.

An unnoticed report from the American Petroleum Institute that oil and natural gas drilling activities in the U.S. fell nearly 46 percent in the second quarter from a year ago. Drilling now stands at its lowest level since 2003. Energy companies know that cap-and-trade legislation is aimed directly at them and are reducing drilling operations accordingly. Watch for higher prices.

In their zeal to protect their members from politically hazardous votes on issues such as gay marriage and gun control, Democrats running the House of Representatives are taking extraordinary steps to muzzle Republicans in this summer's debates on spending bills. On Thursday, for example, Republicans had hoped to force debates on abortion, school vouchers and medical marijuana, as well as gay marriage and gun control. No way, Democrats said.

President Obama has proposed a tax on charity.

The National Education Association has thrown its full support behind homosexual "marriage." When a representative of the Conservative Caucus spoke against the resolution and mentioned the words "marriage should be between a man and a woman," the speaker was booed. Also up for a vote was a resolution for the NEA to take a "no position" stance on the issue of abortion. That proposal was voted down 61 percent to 39 percent. During the meeting, the organization's retiring general counsel, Bob Chanin, complained that "conservative and right-wing bastards" are after the NEA and its state affiliates.

Union “card-check” organizing is dead, for now.

If Palin Derangement Syndrome-afflicted media members thought the Alaska Governor's surprising pre-Fourth of July announcement meant she was getting out of politics, her op-ed in Tuesday's Washington Post should change their minds. In a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration, Sarah Palin took off the gloves to attack the recently House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, disaffectionately known as cap-and-tax.

The United States may have narrowly missed a repeat of the 9/11 attacks in June and, apparently, even the FBI doesn’t realize it.

Great moments in socialized medicine: In the UK, thousands of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers face a lifetime of agony because they are not being treated quickly enough, according to a new report.

Medical research insiders know that embryonic-stem-cell technology is proving a dead end -- Dr. Bernadine Healy, a former director of the National Institutes of Health and once an ES-cell-research enthusiast, calls it "obsolete." But the Obama administration has opened wide the federal funding floodgates -- the triumph of a big special-interest PR and lobbying campaign. In fact, the research will line the pockets of a relatively few individuals…

Obama's chief science advisor wrote a 1977 book that recommended compulsory sterilization and even abortion in some cases, as part of a government population control regime.

The unborn have memories, according to medical researchers who used sound and vibration stimulation, combined with sonography, to reveal that the human fetus displays short-term memory from at least 30 weeks gestation - or about two months before they are born.

The woman at the center of Roe v. Wade was arrested at the confirmation hearing for Sotomayor. Norma McCorvey, 61, of Texas, better known as "Jane Roe", was arrested during the opening statement of Sen. Al Franken. McCorvey eventually become a notable opponent of the procedure.

Vice President Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that the federal government needs to spend more money in order to avoid bankruptcy.



A Reckless Congress

Wall Street Journal 7/17

Say this about the 1,018-page health-care bill that House Democrats unveiled this week and that President Obama heartily endorsed: It finally reveals at least some of the price of the reckless ambitions of our current government. With huge majorities and a President in a rush to outrun the declining popularity of his agenda, Democrats are bidding to impose an unrepealable European-style welfare state in a matter of weeks.

Mr. Obama's February budget provided the outline, but the House bill now fills in the details. To wit, tax increases that would take U.S. rates higher even than most of Europe. Yet even those increases aren't nearly enough to finance the $1 trillion in new spending, which itself is surely a low-ball estimate. Meanwhile, the bill would create a new government health entitlement that will kill private insurance and lead to a government-run system.

Hyperbole? That's what people said when we warned about this last fall in "A Liberal Supermajority," but even we underestimated the ideological willfulness of today's national Democrats. Consider only a few of the details:

A huge new income surtax. The bill's main financing comes from another tax increase on top of the increase already scheduled for 2011 under Mr. Obama's budget. The surtax starts at one percentage point for adjusted gross income above $350,000 in 2011, rising to two points in 2013; a 1.5 point surtax at incomes above $500,000, rising to three in 2013; and a whopping 5.4 percentage points in 2011 and beyond on incomes above $1 million. This would raise the top marginal federal tax rate back to roughly 47% or 48%, if you include the Medicare tax and the phase-out of certain deductions and exemptions. With the current top rate at 35%, this would be the largest rate increase outside the Great Depression or world wars.

The average U.S. top combined state-federal marginal tax rate would hit about 52%. This would be higher than in all but three (Denmark, Sweden, Belgium) of the 30 countries measured by the OECD. According to the nearby table compiled by the Heritage Foundation, taxpayers in at least five U.S. states would pay higher marginal rates even than Sweden. South Korea, which Democrats worry is stealing American jobs, would be able to grab even more as its highest rate is a far more competitive 38.5%.......America's millionaires aren't that stupid; far fewer of them will pay these rates for very long, if at all. They will find ways to shelter income, either by investing differently or simply working less. Small businesses that pay at the individual rate will shift to pay the 35% corporate rate. When the revenue doesn't materialize, Democrats will move to soak the middle class with a European-style value-added tax.

Phony numbers: Democrats will have to come up with something, because even the surtax puts their bill at least $300 billion short of honest financing. The public insurance "option" doesn't even begin until 2013 and the costs are heavily weighted toward the later years, but the tax hikes start in 2011. So under Congress's 10-year budget window, the House bill is able to pay for seven years of spending with nine years of taxes. Andy Laperriere of the ISI Group estimates the bill would add $95 billion to the deficit in 2019 alone. Says the Congressional Budget Office Director: "It raises the amount of activity that is growing at this unsustainable rate." No matter, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is whisking the bill through House committees even before CBO has had a chance to score it in detail. As Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan put it to us, "We will not have read it, and we will not have a score of it, but we will have passed it out of committee."

A new payroll tax. Unemployment is at 9.5% and rising, but Democrats will nonetheless impose a new eight percentage point payroll tax on employers who don't provide health insurance for employees. This is on top of the current 15% payroll tax, and in addition to a new 2.5-percentage point tax on individuals who don't buy health insurance. This means that any employer with more than $400,000 in payroll would have to pay at least 25% above the salary to hire someone. Result: Many fewer new jobs, with a higher structural jobless rate, much as Europe has experienced as its welfare states have expanded.

Other new taxes, including an as yet undetermined levy on private health plans. This tax, which Democrats say could raise $100 billion or so, would make it even harder for private plans to compete with the government plan, which would already benefit from government subsidies and lower capital costs…

We could go on, and we will in coming days. But the most remarkable quality of this health-care exercise is its reckless disregard for economic and fiscal reality. With the economy still far from a healthy recovery, and the federal government already nearly $2 trillion in deficit, Democrats want to ram through one of the greatest raids on private income and business in American history. The world is looking on, agog, and wondering why the United States seems intent on jumping off this cliff.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:



"Capitalism and consumerism have brought the world to the brink of economic and environmental collapse, the Prince of Wales has warned. And in a searing indictment on capitalist society, Charles said we can no longer afford consumerism and that the 'age of convenience' was over.' He then got in his limo and was driven to his other palace…..."

-Mark Steyn

"What the country needs now is a new bureaucracy to manage the growing appetite for apologies, amends and remedies for various other slights. The apology could be the lasting legacy of Barack Obama. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of oppressed people are no doubt eager to line up for their apology, waiting to be rewarded for slights real and imaginary, ranging from inability to find a parking space to ancient indignities suffered by long-forgotten ancestors."

-Wesley Pruden

"When the mainstream media is preoccupied with [Michael Jackson], it's probably doing, on margin, less damage than when it's dealing with public policy."

-George Will

"House Chairman Charlie Rangel is proposing a tax hike on upper incomes to fund universal health care. Upper-income Americans already work four months a year for the government. Government employees don't work four months a year for the government."

-Argus Hamilton



A California court has ruled in favor of a student who was insulted for defending traditional marriage and has ordered the college to strike from its website a sexual harassment policy that censors speech deemed "offensive" to homosexual people. Jonathan Lopez, a student at Los Angeles City College, was delivering a speech on his Christian faith in speech class when professor John Matteson interrupted him, called him a "fascist b----rd" for mentioning a moral conviction against homosexual marriage and later told him to "ask God what your grade is."



A group committed to establishing an international Islamic empire and reportedly linked to Al Qaeda is stepping up its Western recruitment efforts by holding its first official conference in Chicago.. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global Sunni network with reported ties to confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Al Qaeda in Iraq's onetime leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. HuT feigns opposition to violence but nevertheless wants the imposition of Islamic law - shariah - by any means necessary.,2933,533525,00.html



Bjorn Lomberg: “Discussions about global warming are marked by an increasing desire to stamp out "impure" thinking, to the point of questioning the value of democratic debate. But shutting down discussion simply means the disappearance of reason from public policy. In March, Al Gore's science adviser and prominent climate researcher Jim Hansen proclaimed that when it comes to dealing with global warming, the "democratic process isn't working".

Just how bad is cap-and-trade for America? If it becomes law, it will provide every American with a new interior decorator - Al Gore. Bet you didn't know that was included in the deal, did you? It will force all of us to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade our homes with new energy efficient windows, doors and even appliances before we sell or borrow against equity.

“ temperatures have dropped by 0.74° F since the 2006 release of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." How ... inconvenient.”



President Obama is “pulling a page from the community organizing playbook and he’s overwhelming the system….It’s a calculated tactic, straight out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and it seems to be working.” Alinsky was a Chicago Marxist who laid out a strategic blueprint by which radical “community organizers” could incrementally transform America into a socialist state.

“Obama Finally Finds Something We Can’t Afford: Military Superiority” Imagine a fighter jet that would give the United States complete air superiority in any conflict. An aircraft that’s faster, has longer range, An aircraft so advanced that the armed forces of every country on earth are scared to death of it and know that they would be defenseless against it for years to come. We have that plane. It’s called the F-22 Raptor, and our President and Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama, hates it.

“On the 6th of November last, I made a wager with some of my associates in London and Zurich that within a year they would be pining for the return of George W. Bush and his ''cowboy presidency" As of today, my friends have collectively conceded and are forwarding payment…… the reality of the world without the United States being the economic and military super power thus potentially ushering in the demise of Western Civilization”

This week's dust-up over a mere $700,000 federal employees "group-hug" at the ritzy Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix made me chuckle. Ah, the memories that story brought back from my twenty-five years as an authentic, although sometimes reluctant, government junketeer. I estimate the cumulative costs to the.. taxpayer for my gov junkets over twenty-five years of civil service employment at a minimum of $35,000 -- and for that investment, whether I was in D.C., Denver, Anchorage, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Reno, I learned how to stretch my arms behind my back (a motivational training exercise), why America is an evil place because of the income gap (motivational banquet keynote speaker at Ft. Collins, Colorado), and how to play a game with five other people called: Stranded on a Desert Island (a motivational team building exercise)…If you think AIG spent a lot of money on entertaining its executives in style, they were pikers compared to Uncle Sam.

The Treasury Department, Bureau of Public Debt advertised Friday for a contractor to put on “Humor in the Workplace” training for Treasury executives. When several conservatives on Capitol Hill complained about the waste of money, the ad disappeared.

“During my long and now doomed love affair with newspapers, I have become a connoisseur of evergreen headlines billboarding stories so predictable and so repeatable that the reader is immediately overcome by deja vu. The ultimate example: JERSEY OFFICIAL INDICTED; MOB TIES ALLEGED. Back in the summer of 1999, the New York Times came close to matching this gold standard with a headline so earnest and so futile that it easily could have been published in 1959: PEDIATRICIANS URGE LIMITING TV WATCHING. But never underestimate journalism's capacity for progress in creating new evergreen themes. The lead story in the print edition of Sunday's Times is ballyhooed: CHENEY IS LINKED TO CONCEALMENT OF C.I.A. PROJECT…….The new administration, of course, is fast on its way toward creating its own collection of timeless headlines. Beyond the obvious (BIDEN CLARIFIES REMARKS) and the cliched (OBAMA OFFERS MESSAGE OF "HOPE"), there always is the current White House talking point (PRESIDENT URGES 'PATIENCE" ON ECONOMY). And we are only six months into the Age of Obama -- which promises to produce enough evergreens to reforest newspaper journalism.”

Jonah Goldberg: “Please don’t look at the socialized medicine in the corner; we’re hunting Cheneys.”

Michelle Malkin: “Inside the Monstrous Obamacare Bureaucracy”

The theft of Norman Coleman's Senate seat was remarkably brazen for the way it was done in broad daylight….One member of the Minnesota canvassing board, a state Supreme Court justice, conceded that some ballots were probably counted twice, but he said there was not much anybody could do about it. In more than 25 precincts, officials counted more ballots than actual voters; this was put down to well-meant enthusiasm. If everyone has a duty to vote, who could scold a voter for going above and beyond the call of duty?....the way (Al Frnaken) got to Washington, and the easy acceptance of fraud, will be remembered as typical of the times, an era when avarice reigned, and the clever swindle was a joke to be played by a clown.

The children of Republican politicians are now a target-rich environment for Democrats and media demagogues. It makes you wonder how many good people otherwise willing to serve, perhaps even better than those serving us now, are deciding to stay away from politics because of ruthlessness from Democrats and the media.

George Will: “How does the Obama administration love organized labor? Let us count the ways it uses power to repay unions for helping to put it in power. It has given the United Auto Workers majority ownership of Chrysler. It has sent $135 billion of supposed stimulus money to state governments to protect unionized public-sector employees from layoffs and other sacrifices that private-sector workers are making….”



Must see, July 20, 1969.

Another must see: to date no one in America has better defined Palin Derangement Syndrome than comedian Jackie Mason”

Yet another must see: The Sam Adams Alliance has released a satirical YouTube video called “Health Rations and You!” that should be viewed by every American during the health care debate.

Russian politicians refuse to shake Obama’s hand?

Organizing tea party patriots:

We have aggregated over 75,000 blogs from across the country and have broken them down by state and issue. We hope that you will find NetRight Nation as a resource for your center-right blogging needs.

Team Sarah is a diverse coalition of Americans dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process.



"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. ... We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end."

-George Orwell

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."

-Thomas Jefferson

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."

-Thomas Jefferson

"I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson No. 1 about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do."

-Ronald Reagan


Saturday, July 11, 2009

op ed review 7/12


Despite the results of the 2008 presidential election, Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative rather than more liberal, 39% to 18%.....more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left.

The United States was founded on the idea that "history has a right side and a wrong side," Arizona Sen. John McCain said in the weekly Republican address broadcast on the Fourth of July. "We share a kinship of ideals with every man and woman on earth who struggles for their God-given rights. The world must never doubt where we stand in the liberation struggles of our time…" he said.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced Friday that she is quitting her job at the end of the month, unleashing a torrent of speculation about her plans and the political wisdom of the decision.,0,6497616.story?track=rss

Gov. Palin's abrupt announcement caused plenty of GOP operatives to wonder aloud whether she will be dismissed as a quitter if she makes a bid for the presidency in 2012. But the road to the White House runs through Iowa and New Hampshire, and grassroots activists in both kickoff states generally give Palin's decision more-positive reviews.

Gov. Palin criticized both President Obama and the Republican Party in her first interview since announcing she was stepping down. Standing astride a fishing boat she would later climb aboard to haul in fishing nets and salmon, Palin expressed bitterness at bloggers who peppered her with ethics accusations, whom she said brought government in Alaska to a grinding halt.

Rich Lowry: Her decision wasn't particularly public-spirited, but neither was it crazy. She's seen her opportunities, and she's going to take them. Now she can travel the country headlining Republican events and campaigning for candidates, unencumbered by other professional responsibilities. Wherever she goes, she'll draw crowds and attention. If she can command $60,000 per paid speech, as an aide speculates, she'll match her annual gubernatorial salary after a mere two gigs. That's welcome income for a woman who isn't rich and has five children and one grandkid.

Rarely does the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights vote unanimously on anything. What unified the commission was outrage at the Justice Department for letting the Black Panthers off the hook. One veteran of the civil rights movement called the defendants' actions "the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have encountered in my life in political campaigns in many states, even going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960s."

Michele Obama has twenty two attendants to cater to her every whim and to satisfy her every request in the midst of the Great Recession. Just think: Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her own personal secretary. Here’s the list and salary for each.

President Obama hosted a reception at the White House celebrating LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride month. “Black Christians should take note and learn a few things about our black President…It tells us something that Mr. Obama had no time to host an event for the National Day of Prayer.”

“Welfare checks to increase for the first time in 19 years.”

Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year's presidential election.

Now he tells us. Colin Powell says the president's ambitious blitz of costly initiatives may be enlarging the size of government and the federal debt too much.

Congress returns for its midsummer session Monday with a Senate supermajority not super enough for President Barack Obama's top priorities to pass without Republican support. The seating of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken will give Democrats the filibuster-proof 60-40 majority in the Senate, but only on paper. Absences by two ailing senators mean the party can count only 58 votes.

“In violation of Article 1, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, President Barack Obama has assumed complete control of the 2010 Census. This Article, which concerns the legislative rather than executive branch of government, stipulates that the “enumeration” be conducted by a commerce official under the supervision of the Senate and the House of Representations.”

Washington state officials are ready to verify signatures for the only initiative that might appear on this fall's ballot. Initiative 1033 would cap the amount of money flowing into state, county and city general funds. Yearly increases would be tied to inflation plus population growth.

The UK sets up the green police.

The Healthy Americans Private Insurance plan, which incidentally goes by the acronym ''HAPI,'' is the new plan the federal government has devised to force us to pay more in taxes and take a handout whether we want it or not. The bill is S.391 and is currently making rounds in the Senate.



Thomas Sowell 7/7

A Tangled Web

While the recent Supreme Court decision in the New Haven firefighters' case will be welcome news to those who don't think that a gross injustice is O.K. when those on the receiving end are white, the reasoning behind the 5 to 4 decision is a painful reminder that the law is still tangled in a web of assumptions, evasions and contradictions when it comes to racial issues.

Nor have these problems been clarified with the passage of time. On the contrary, the growing complexity and murkiness of civil rights law over the years recalls the painful saying: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

The original Civil Rights Act of 1964 was very straightforward in forbidding discrimination. But, even before that Act was passed, there were already people demanding more than equality of treatment. Some wanted equality of end results, some wanted restitution for past wrongs, and some just wanted as much as they could get.

Opponents of the Civil Rights Act said that it would lead to racial quotas and reverse discrimination. Advocates of the Act not only denied this, they wrote the language of the law in a way designed to explicitly prevent such things. But judges, over the years, have "interpreted" the Civil Rights Act to mean what its opponents said it would mean, rather than what its advocates put into the plain language of the legislation.

A key notion that has created unending mischief, from its introduction by the Supreme Court in 1971 to the current firefighters' case, is that of "disparate impact." Any employment requirement that one racial or ethnic group meets far more often than another is said to have a "disparate impact" and is considered to be evidence of racial discrimination. In other words, if group X doesn't pass a test nearly as often as group Y, then there is something wrong with the test, according to this reasoning or lack of reasoning. This implicitly assumes that there cannot be any great difference between the two groups in the skills, talents or efforts required.

That notion is the grand dogma of our time-- an idea for which no evidence is asked or given, and an idea that no amount of contradictory evidence can change in the minds of the true believers, or in the rhetoric of ideologues and opportunists.

Trying to reconcile that dogma with the principle of equal treatment for all has led courts into feats of higher metaphysics that the Medieval Scholastics could be proud of. The dogma survives because it is politically useful, not because it has met any test of facts. Innumerable facts against it can be found around the world and down through history.

All sorts of groups in all sorts of countries have been demonstrably better than other groups at particular things, whether economic, intellectual, political or military. This fact is so blatant that only people with great cleverness can manage to deny the obvious. That cleverness is what creates the tangled web of confusion that has plagued civil right cases for decades.

Does anybody seriously doubt that blacks usually play basketball better than whites? Does anybody seriously doubt that the leading cameras and lenses in world have long been produced by Germans and Japanese? Or that Jews have been over-represented among the top performers in various intellectual fields?

Many groups whose performances have greatly outstripped the performances of others in a particular field have often been in no position to discriminate, even when the disparities have been far greater than those between blacks and whites in the United States. In a number of countries, powerless minorities have so outperformed the dominant majority that group preferences and quotas have been instituted to favor the majority group that has otherwise been unable to compete. This has happened in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Fiji, among other places. Before World War II, quotas to benefit the majority were common in a number of European universities, where Jewish students outperformed others.

It is not stupidity, but ideology and politics, which allow the "disparate impact" dogma to create a tangled web of deception in even the highest levels of our legal system. The recent Supreme Court's decision in the New Haven firefighters' case was a rare example of sanity prevailing, even if only by a vote of 5 to 4.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:



“Whoever said you never want to see sausage made or laws passed did a grave injustice to sausage-makers, who are surely engaged in a much more wholesome enterprise."

-Paul Greenberg

"It is one thing for a president to be liked, but in a dangerous world with dictators who have, or wish to acquire, nuclear weapons and by these and other means destroy the United States, it is better that an American president be feared."

-Cal Thomas

“Internal democratic change in Iran is the only peaceful solution to stopping an Iranian bomb, three decades of Iranian-sponsored terrorism and a Middle East arms race. When thousands risked their lives for a better Iran, a better Middle East and a better world, we, the land of the free, simply were not with them."

-Victor Davis Hanson



Now leftie actor Alec Baldwin is eyeing a post-acting career in Congress.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, whose bilious hatred of conservatives and Republicans oozes from every proverbial pore of his spirit, had some interesting things to say yesterday about these objects of his daily derision. Specifically, he cited conservatives’ “pervasive immorality and holier-than-thou hypocrisy” as the wellspring of “the reeking pile of manure that is the right wing media and right wing commentary.” And, for good measure, Olbermann characterized conservative columnist Ann Coulter as “putrid” and “evil.”

Liberal groups are quietly targeting the Connecticut firefighter who's at the center of supreme Court nominee Sotomayor's most controversial ruling. "To go after so sympathetic a plaintiff as Frank Ricci . . . is a new low in the politics of personal destruction," says a spokesman from CATO. “Once we were borked. Now we are about to be sotomized,” says one wag.

This member of the Kennedy clan says Barack Obama represents American Catholics better than the Pope does.

Corporate and political officials who defy workplace and community organizers risk being made objects of scorn by bright red-clad protestors in public and private, courtesy of an activist union and its close allies in the nation’s most controversial liberal non-profit advocacy group. It’s officially called the “Muscle for Money” program within the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where it was started,

In an era when the most vehement proponents of big government happen to be the most politically active billionaires, it is not surprising that the Democracy Alliance, a collaborative of liberal donors led by George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, has set out on an offensive to pile funds into the liberal machine. The tactics of Soros, his constituent investors and foundations are revealed easily



Al Gore compared the battle against climate change with the struggle against the Nazis.

Gore also declared this week that the Congressional climate bill is good because it will help bring about “global governance.”

NASA's James Hansen became an instant folk hero among global warmists and "journalists" and a poster child for government censorship after he claimed the Bush administration had suppressed and rewritten his research on "climate change." It is unlikely the Environmental Protection Agency's Alan Carlin and John Davidson will be so deified for suffering the same treatment at the hands of their bosses and President Obama.

New York City has its coolest June since 1958.

Officials in Washington and elsewhere may start telling you how you can wash your car:



Must read: “Sarah Palin: The Best is Yet to Come” by JR Dunn

Palin’s plan and why it will work”

“President Barack Obama's Orwellian rhetoric has become absolutely pathological. And it's become so blatant that you can almost guarantee that the truth is the exact opposite of what he says”

For those wondering when the American people are going to start holding President Obama accountable for the weak economy, the answer could be: very soon…..Obama's favorability rating has dropped to 49 percent in what is considered one of the most reliable political bellwether states in the nation. More telling, voters there now disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy by a 48 percent to 46 percent margin.

The Tea Party movement is becoming a national phenomenon. They started locally, in a few cities in a few states, just this year. But the idea is spreading as fast as the internet can take it. On April 15, tax day, there were 750 across the country. For July 4, there were 1,505. Now, a Sept. 12 taxpayer march on Washington is being planned. The number of local organizers running Tea Party groups has swelled to well over 2,000 throughout the 50 states.

How’s’ that stimulus working for you?......billions of dollars further in debt (trillions?) and the economy is still stagnant.



The Traveling Viet Nam Memorial Wall will be on display @ Memorial Park in Bellingham, WA from 09 July thru 12 July 2009. This will be the only time this year that 'The Wall' will be in the State of Washington. Memorial Park is located @ 2800 James Street (behind Sunnyland Grade School) in Bellingham. The opening ceremonies will be @ 6 pm on Friday July 9th and the closing will be @ 4 pm on Sunday July 12th. "The Wall" will be available to the public 24 hours on Thursday thru Saturday and till 4 pm on Sunday. Points of contact are: Shelley Prentice @ 360-647-8268 Paul Wentland @ 360-935-4190



Could you pass the citizenship test?

Must see:

Protests in Iran are starting again: here are some photos:



"Posterity -- you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

-John Quincy Adams

"Ludwig Von Mises, that great economist, once noted: 'People must fight for something they want to achieve, not simply reject an evil.' Well, the conservative movement remains in the ascendancy because we have a bold, forward-looking agenda. No longer can it be said that conservatives are just anti-Communist. We are, and proudly so, but we are also the keepers of the flame of liberty. And as such, we believe that America should be a source of support, both moral and material, for all those on God's Earth who struggle for freedom. Our cause is their cause, whether it be in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, or Angola. When I came back from Iceland I said -- and I meant it -- American foreign policy is not simply focused on the prevention of war but the expansion of freedom. Modern conservatism is an active, not a reactive philosophy. It's not just in opposition to those vices that debase character and community, but affirms values that are at the heart of civilization."

-Ronald Reagan