Friday, July 24, 2009

op ed review 7/26

On vacation next week, no OER.

-Editor

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

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,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/19/AR2009071902176.html

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.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25189.html

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.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/24/senate-denies-obama-health-plan-by-august/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_photo_feature

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.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/07/20/governors_balk_over_what_healthcare_bill_will_cost_states/

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

http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1504240.html

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.

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/55_12/news/37125-1.html?type=printer_friendly

Here’s the chart:

http://www.rollcall.com/pdfs/healthchart072309.pdf

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.

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view.bg?articleid=1186070

“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.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/usda-760000-lbs.-of-ham-for-1.2m-2009-07-20.html

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.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D99I9EAO1&show_article=1

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.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/21/mayo-clinic-calls-house-plan-bad-medicine/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_photo_feature

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.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D99I9O3O0&show_article=1

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

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090720/D99I4A0G0.html

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

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE56J2FV20090720

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.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/408220_taxes17.html?source=rss

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.

http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=76&sid=189954

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.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/22/gop-congressional-report-accuses-acorn-political-corruption-widespread-fraud/

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

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:

http://townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2009/07/21/americans_are_beginning_to_understand_the_left

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"[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

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READ THE HEALTHCARE BILL

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

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2009/07/whats-in-healthacre-bill.html

(hat tip: John Vasco)

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LEFTIST WATCH

Find out what the left is doing in your area:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/search_simple?source=topnav

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NEWS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD

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…”

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0709/emerson072109.php3

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GLOBALONEY

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:

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/climate_money.pdf

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ARTICLES

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..”

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YWRhMmZmMjkwNjJmNzg3OTg1OTA5YjFkZTk0ZjU1ZGE=

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?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?&entry_id=43948

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.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/07/21/Gun-rights-amendment-divides-Dems/UPI-73471248175625/

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 Factcheck.org.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/23/sale-of-health-care-plan-doesnt-always-meet-the-fa/?feat=home_headlines

“Walter Cronkite Has Blood on His Hands”

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/07/walter_cronkite_has_blood_on_h.html

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ACTIVISM

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”

http://teapartypatriots.org/TPPNWCHKLST.pdf

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Here’s where some of your recovery money went:

http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/contracts-recipient-summary&id=12-AG3J14120297210&mode=details&primeid=4

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

http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/contracts-recipient-summary&id=36-VA243RA0565&primeid=545

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.

http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org/

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

http://aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

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

http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-blog/ron-paul-love/

A different take on the Apollo landing:

http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=227101&format=html

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

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1201090/Everest-revealed-British-balloonists-breathtaking-panoramic-shot-worlds-highest-peaks.html

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WISE WORDS

"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

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