Saturday, August 29, 2009

op ed review 8/30

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The Obama administration has appointed a federal prosecutor to look into CIA abuse allegations after a report revealed agency interrogators used “aggressive methods” on terrorist suspects right after 9/11.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/08/26/cia-probe-reignites-partisan-battle-spy-agencys-activities/

Among the unconscionable abuses: blowing second hand cigar smoke in their faces.

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/article/53088

“The global war on terror takes a back seat to terrorizing some of America's most selfless warriors.”

http://www.ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=336005488181276

Pat Buchanan: "Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell's truth comes to mind as one reads that Eric Holder has named a special prosecutor to go after the "rough men" who, to keep us sleeping peacefully at night, went too far in frightening Khalid Sheik Muhammad, the engineer of the September massacres.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/28/the_rough_men_at_the_cia.html

"Endangering America on behalf of international human rights is the ultimate form of leftist dissent."

http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2009/08/26/aclu_spying_for_americas_enemies?page=full

Shouting, shoving and talking. That was the scene as people gathered in Lakewood Tuesday night for a health care town hall hosted by Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash.

http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW_082509WAB-smith-health-town-hall-TP.118496fbc.html

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has launched an urgent effort to raise $100,000 by Monday to help combat what she calls GOP "smears" about health care reform. Pelosi and Democrats are clearly worried that they've lost momentum on health care reform this month, and many in her caucus have been crushed by opposition at town hall events.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26512.html

“Faced with a souring public mood on health care reform, Democrats and their supporters are launching a national grassroots push to show lawmakers that the majority of Americans still support overhauling the system. Reform supporters are planning to hold more than 500 events between Wednesday and when lawmakers return to Washington Sept. 8, ranging from neighborhood organized phone banks to professionally staffed rallies with hundreds of people.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26409.html

“In the rhetorical battle over health care, the forces backing President Barack Obama’s overhaul have spent years polling and using focus groups to find the precise language that would win over voters — an effort that doesn’t at the moment appear to be working.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/08/25/rhetoric-fails-to-sway-voters-on-health/

The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry…..The plan is to turn a "day of fear" that helps Republicans into a day of activism called the National Day of Service that helps the left.

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/08/24/obamas-plan-to-desecrate-911

President Obama's nominee for the Labor Department's top law enforcement job created a first-of-its-kind program in New York that deputized unions and advocacy groups to visit private businesses and report wage violations to the government. The state labor agency in New York actually referred to the union and group participants as "enforcers,"

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/28/wage-initiative-stymies-labor-nominee/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

When normal people happen to "find" their own money, it might mean a twenty left in a winter coat, or discovering change beneath the sofa cushions. But if you're Charlie Rangel, it means doubling your net worth. Earlier this month the Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee "amended" his 2007 financial disclosure form—to the tune of more than a half-million dollars in previously unreported assets and income.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203706604574376720192072820.html

On Friday, the Tea Party Express set off on a bus tour starting in Sacramento, California, and winding down in Washington on September 12. At that point, the group notes, a three-day march on the nation's Capitol will take place to protest health care reform and what they see as big government.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/28/tea.party.express/index.html

Here’s the website for the 9.12.09 March on Washington.

http://912dc.org/

The Obama administration on Tuesday acknowledged that Obamanomics, the dismal science of spending other people's money as fast as possible, honed with ward bosses and union kingpins on Chicago's South Side, has failed. They did so, not in so many words and probably without knowing it, officially announcing that the federal budget deficit next year will be nearly 20% more than in their first forecast made just last May.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/its_official_obamanomics_has_f.html

FactCheck.org says the National Right to Life Committee is correct concerning abortion provisions in ObamaCare.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=657860

A Christian homeschool girl in New Hampshire has been ordered into government-run public school for having "sincerely held" religious beliefs. The court acknowledged that the girl in question is doing well socially and academically, but determined that the girl's Christian faith was a "bit too sincerely held and must be sifted, tested by, and mixed among other worldviews."

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=659638

Conservative members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are considering options after the denomination decided on Friday to allow non-celibate homosexuals and lesbians to be pastors.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=656178

Labor officials and Democratic members of the US Senate have given up on “card check”, but are rumored to be working on “card-check-lite”

http://tiny.cc/kNu9x

Glenn Beck goes over 3 million viewers, beats O’Reilly.

http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/08/27/big-beck-goes-over-3-million-viewers-beats-oreilly-in-demo-cable-news-ratings-for-wednesday-august-26-2009/25541

The owner of a store in Michigan is being sued by a man who was shot while robbing the store at knifepoint. The robber’s attorney said his client suffered “mental anguish, anxiety and emotional distress and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.”

http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/08/28/news/cops_and_courts/doc4a97a70622185219277908.txt

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Victor Davis Hanson 8/27

Obama and ‘Redistributive Change’

The first seven months of the Obama administration seemingly make no sense. Why squander public approval by running up astronomical deficits in a time of pre-existing staggering national debt? Why polarize opponents after promising bipartisan transcendence? Why create vast new programs when the efficacy of big government is already seen as dubious? But that is exactly the wrong way to look at these first seven months of Obamist policy-making…..….the key was not so much the spending excess or new entitlements. The point instead was the consequence of the resulting deficits, which will require radically new taxation for generations. If on April 15 the federal and state governments, local entities, the Social Security system, and the new health-care programs can claim 70 percent of the income of the top 5 percent of taxpayers, then that is considered a public good — every bit as valuable as funding new programs, and one worth risking insolvency.

Individual compensation is now seen as arbitrary and, by extension, inherently unfair. A high income is now rationalized as having less to do with market-driven needs, acquired skills, a higher level of education, innate intelligence, inheritance, hard work, or accepting risk. Rather income is seen more as luck-driven, cruelly capricious, unfair — even immoral, in that some are rewarded arbitrarily on the basis of race, class, and gender advantages, others for their overweening greed and ambition, and still more for their quasi-criminality. “Patriotic” federal healers must then step in to “spread the wealth.” Through redistributive tax rates, they can “treat” the illness that the private sector has caused. After all, there is no intrinsic reason why an auto fabricator makes $60 in hourly wages and benefits, while a young investment banker finagles $500.

……in the president’s own language, the government must equalize the circumstances of the “waitress” with those of the “lucky.” It is thus a fitting and proper role of the new federal government to rectify imbalances of compensation — at least for those outside the anointed Guardian class. In a 2001 interview Obama in fact outlined the desirable political circumstances that would lead government to enforce equality of results when he elaborated on what he called an “actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.”…….We can discern this same mandated egalitarianism beneath many of the administration’s recent policy initiatives….. The president believes that a select group of affluent, highly educated technocrats — cosmopolitan, noble-minded, and properly progressive — supported by a phalanx of whiz-kids fresh out of blue-chip universities with little or no experience in the marketplace, can direct our lives far better than we can ourselves….We may “make” different amounts of money, but we will end up with more or less similar net incomes. We may know friendly doctors, be aware of the latest procedures, and have the capital to buy blue-chip health insurance, but no matter. Now we will all alike queue up with our government-issued insurance cards to wait our turn at the ubiquitous corner clinic.

None of this equality-of-results thinking is new. When radical leaders over the last 2,500 years have sought to enforce equality of results, their prescriptions were usually predictable: redistribution of property; cancellation of debts; incentives to bring out the vote and increase political participation among the poor; stigmatizing of the wealthy,…use of the court system to even the playing field by targeting the more prominent citizens; radical growth in government and government employment; the use of state employees as defenders of the egalitarian faith; bread-and-circus entitlements; inflation of the currency and greater national debt to lessen the power of accumulated capital; and radical sloganeering about reactionary enemies of the new state.

The modern versions of much of the above already seem to be guiding the Obama administration — evident each time we hear of another proposal to make it easier to renounce personal debt; federal action to curtail property or water rights; efforts to make voter registration and vote casting easier; radically higher taxes on the top 5 percent; takeover of private business; expansion of the federal government and an increase in government employees; or massive inflationary borrowing. The current class-warfare “them/us” rhetoric was predictable.

Usually such ideologies do not take hold in America, given its tradition of liberty, frontier self-reliance, and emphasis on personal freedom rather than mandated fraternity and egalitarianism. At times, however, the stars line up, when a national catastrophe, like war or depression, coincides with the appearance of an unusually gifted, highly polished, and eloquent populist. But the anointed one must be savvy enough to run first as a centrist in order later to govern as a statist.

Given the September 2008 financial meltdown, the unhappiness over the war, the ongoing recession, and Barack Obama’s postracial claims and singular hope-and-change rhetoric, we found ourselves in just such a situation. For one of the rare times in American history, statism could take hold, and the country could be pushed far to the left.

That goal is the touchstone that explains the seemingly inexplicable — and explains also why, when Obama is losing independents, conservative Democrats, and moderate Republicans, his anxious base nevertheless keeps pushing him to become even more partisan, more left-wing, angrier, and more in a hurry to rush things through. They understand the unpopularity of the agenda and the brief shelf life of the president’s charm. One term may be enough to establish lasting institutional change…..

So we move at breakneck speed in order not to miss this rare opportunity when the radical leadership of the Congress and the White House for a brief moment clinch the reins of power. By the time a shell-shocked public wakes up and realizes that the prescribed chemotherapy is far worse than the existing illness, it should be too late to revive the old-style American patient.

http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=ZWQ2NWJkN2M3ZmJjYWQwMDZlMWQyM2FjNWI4ZWJkNGI=

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"There is a lot one could say of Senator Kennedy -- positive from supporters, negative from critics. They say one should not speak ill of the dead. True. But I am of the view that one should not lie about the dead either."

-Bill Bennett

“As Teddy's biographer Adam Clymer wrote, Edward Kennedy's "achievements as a senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne." You can't make an omelet without breaking chicks, right? I don't know how many lives the senator changed – he certainly changed Mary Jo's – but you're struck less by the precise arithmetic than by the basic equation: How many changed lives justify leaving a human being struggling for breath for up to five hours pressed up against the window in a small, shrinking air pocket in Teddy's Oldsmobile? If the senator had managed to change the lives of even more Americans, would it have been OK to leave a couple more broads down there? Hey, why not? At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo "would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history … Who knows – maybe she'd feel it was worth it." What true-believing liberal lass wouldn't be honored to be dispatched by that death panel?”

-Mark Steyn

"[Ted] Kennedy left the scene of a fatal accident for which he was at least partly responsible. Then he used his extraordinary power to get off, spending the rest of his career in pseudo-remorse, playing the most liberal of Senators. It was always an act to me, even when I agreed with him politically. This was not a life well lived."

-Roger L. Simon

"The American people must regain the ability to distinguish between wants and needs and must shed the ridiculous notion that government exists to provide either. Our Constitution -- drafted by men well acquainted with the abusive capacities of a centralized government -- limited the roles and responsibilities of the federal government in order to allow the principle of self-government to flourish in the new nation. Government exists to preserve and protect the sphere of civil freedom within which we can work to meet our needs and our wants. Government does not exist to provide them."

-Ken Connor

"Barack Obama's escapes from his own past words, deeds and associations have been escapes worthy of Houdini. Like other magicians, Obama has chosen his distractions well. The insurance industry is currently his favorite distraction as scapegoats, after he has tried to demonize doctors without much success. ... Obama even gets away with saying things like having a system to 'keep insurance companies honest' -- and many people may not see the painful irony in politicians trying to keep other people honest."

-Thomas Sowell

"Eight years ago next month, Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists in two fuel-laden jetliners crashed into and collapsed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City….Nearly 3,000 men, women and children died. Many were incinerated and vaporized in the infernos. And the United States Department of Justice now is actively considering prosecuting CIA employees.. -- for scaring terrorist suspects… Attorney General Eric Holder, who would rather prosecute those defending America than, say, New Black Panther Party members intimidating voters with clubs in Philadelphia, vows that no information will be made public that would compromise the work of the CIA. There, don't you feel better? Never mind the chilling effect of prosecuting those who did the job they were charged to do….God help these fools. God help the U.S.A."

-Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"I know that everybody likes to poke fun at California -- but I can tell you right now that despite all of its problems, California remains one of the best places in the world to build a successful small business. All you have to do is start with a successful large business."

-Rep. Tom McClintock

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BOOKS

“Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies” by Michelle Malkin. “Never has an administration taken office with more inflated expectations of turning Washington around. Never have a media-anointed American Idol and his entourage fallen so fast and hard. In her latest investigative tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Malkin delivers a powerful, damning, and comprehensive indictment of the culture of corruption that surrounds Team Obama's brazen tax evaders, Wall Street cronies, petty crooks, slum lords, and business-as-usual influence peddlers.”

http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Corruption-Cheats-Crooks-Cronies/dp/1596981091/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251559948&sr=8-1

“The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Sixties” by Jonathan Leaf. The author debunks much of the conventional wisdom regarding the decade, from the culture at play to the Vietnam War. What the Radical Left Doesn't Want You to Know About the 60's

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=33254

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ARTICLES

Herb Meyer: “…the President has thrown his power and support behind those far-left ideologues -- in Congress and elsewhere -- who believe that the CIA is a bigger threat to our country than al Qaeda…..By launching this latest attack on the CIA, the President has done more than merely throw a bone to his base. He has removed all remaining doubt about how the US now plans to confront the global threat of radical Islam. Simply put, we have reached one of those hinges of history whose swings alter the course of world events….if President Bush and those of us who supported him are right -- that we are in the midst of a global war on whose outcome rests the survival of Western civilization….the forces of radical Islam will surge, our "allies" will cave in to pressure and cut deals with our mortal enemies, and at some point down the road -- seven years from now, three years from now, or perhaps next Tuesday -- something ghastly will happen.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/what_the_presidents_attack_on.html

The defining moment in last year's presidential election was the battle over Sarah Palin. The minute Barack Obama won his party's nomination and delivered his victory speech, John McCain unveiled his surprise running mate... During the first news cycle, Palin won rave reviews — a true populist from humble origins who battled the oil interests and drove crooked politicians (including fellow Republicans) from office, she seemed straight out of Central Casting — a telegenic mom married to a rugged athlete with cute kids including a Down syndrome baby she refused to abort. The American public, like Alaska's voters, loved her story. A Palin boom quickly snuffed out Obama's post-nomination bump and, for the first time, McCain sailed ahead of Obama in the polls. Then the national media swung into action. If Palin was McCain's magic carpet to the White House, then Palin must be destroyed. What followed was one of the most tawdry and shameful episodes in American journalism….Now history is repeating itself. The defining moment of the Obama administration appears to be the health care debate. Instead of railroading its program through Congress, the White House is facing a popular uprising led by angry town hall protesters. And, again, Obama is sinking in the polls. But, instead of listening to the protesters, Obama's team (the Democratic Party and its communications arm, the media) are Palinizing them.

http://www.gazette.net/stories/08282009/polilee163518_32528.shtml

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has Lou Gehrig’s disease. In the 1960’s he had some severe health problems and required 24 hr nursing care. The British National Health Service refused to provide more than 7 hours of nursing per week. "Help arrived from an American foundation aware of Hawking's work and international reputation, which agreed to pay £50,000 a year toward the costs of nursing.”

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=336265511242167

Want a preview of ObamaCare in action? Sneak a look at what has happened in Maine “….. yet another expensive, failed experiment in government-run health care, alongside similar fiascoes in Massachusetts and Tennessee.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204619004574322401816501182.html

Why Obamacare Is Failing by Michael Gerson “A party-line, Democratic transformation of American health care in this environment -- in the midst of decisively losing a public argument -- would smack of power-hungry radicalism, more the liberalism of Robespierre than Jefferson.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/25/AR2009082502545.html

Conservative actor Jon Voight asks: “Is Obama creating a civil war in America?”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/21/inside-the-beltway-68484451/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_top_stories

Steve Forbes: The Obama Administration has successfully killed the fabulous F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft. What a blunder….. Administration officials and others take our superiority in the air for granted and thereby conclude we don't need to make big investments on future weapons systems to maintain that superiority. This is a classic mistake. There's a reason that U.S. ground forces haven't suffered a battlefield casualty from hostile aircraft since 1952, during the Korean War.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0907/opinions-steve-forbes-resurrect-the-raptor.html

Remember when the deficit was so bad that Democrats said we (or more accurately the Republicans) were placing a terrible burden on our grandchildren? That was several trillion dollars ago. Democrats now appear perfectly fine with extending the growing deficit and national debt to their great-grandchildren. Perhaps politicians think they will never be held accountable three generations from now because they won't be around to explain to those

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_13195788

It is now clearer than ever that plaintiffs' lawyers collectively are the political powerhouse running the health care show. A constituent…asked Mr. Moran the following question: "There is $200 billion of savings over 10 years if you have [lawsuit] reform, and nobody loses but the lawyers. Why isn't [lawsuit] reform in the bill?" On this question..Mr. Moran deferred to his guest, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, to provide a response. Mr. Dean's answer was candid: "The reason that tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everybody else they were taking on, and that is the plain and simple truth.... This bill has enough enemies. The more groups you take on, the more enemies you make."……To be blunt, this mollycoddling of lawyers is legislative malpractice.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/27/health-care-run-by-trial-lawyers/

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Victor Davis Hanson’s website:

http://www.victorhanson.com/

Best science visualization videos of 2009

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/visualizations/

The extreme pogo stick championships? “…jumpers clear heights of 8 feet, perform high-flying flips, and execute mind-blowing stunts.”

http://www.pogopalooza6.xpogo.com/

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WISE WORDS

"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. ... Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics."

-John Adams

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Friday, August 21, 2009

op ed review 8/23

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The wheels are coming off the Obamacare bus. The White House’s signal that it’s willing to back off support for a public health insurance option has sent congressional liberals into full revolt, bluntly warning the administration that no legislation will pass without a government-run plan.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26203.html

The angry Americans expressing themselves at lawmaker town halls around the country are heading to Washington. A planned September 12 taxpayer march on Washington, initially focused on taxes and corporate bailouts, is gaining momentum from the recent town halls.

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/washington-whispers/2009/08/17/town-hall-anger-headed-to-washington.html

Rep. Barney Frank’s town hall meeting turned into a shouting match.

http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/politics/local_politics/Rrep_franks_health_care_town_hall_heats_up_081809

Up to 60,000 people have cancelled their AARP memberships since July 1, angered over the group's position on health care. Some are switching to the American Seniors Association, a group that calls itself the conservative alternative.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/17/eveningnews/main5247916.shtml

Great moments in socialized medicine: The Vancouver Health Authority is considering chopping more than 6,000 surgeries in an effort to make up for a dramatic budgetary shortfall that could reach $200 million. Patients will have to go to the US, or wait.

http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=1878506&sponsor

The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association, said her country’s health care system is “sick” and “imploding.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,539943,00.html

And a family in the UK was told by the National Health Service that Alzheimer's is not a 'health condition' and doesn’t qualify for funding.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6049942/Family-told-by-NHS-Alzheimers-is-not-a-health-condition.html

The percentage of Americans who hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since President Barack Obama took office.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26262.html

Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll. At the same time, more Americans nationwide are saying this year that they are conservative than have made that claim in any of the last four years.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/52602

About 7,000 people crowded into Falls River Square Wednesday night for the first Akron Tea Party. Many in the crowd wore patriotic hats and shirts, waved American and ''Don't Tread On Me'' flags and carried homemade signs protesting policies in Washington, D.C., and the direction the country is headed in general. ''I was not born in a socialist country, and I will not die in a socialist country,'' Republican state Sen. Tim Grendell of Geauga County said. ''And neither will my children.'' The crowd roared its approval.

http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/53771747.html

Delegates of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Minneapolis, approved a "social statement on human sexuality" that acknowledges differing views on homosexuality. Shortly before the vote, strong winds damaged the steeple of a Lutheran church next door, prompting a speaker at the convention to quip, "We trust that the weather is not a commentary on our work."

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=651474

Later in the week, the church body approved (by one vote) a new social statement that gives validity to same-sex relationships.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/21/lutheran-conservatives-reeling-over-defeat/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty said a rejection of the Democratic health care plan could usher in a Republican resurgence. “It appears that President Obama is making great progress on climate change, he is changing the political climate in the country back to Republican.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26138.html

A majority of the public supported the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program in February. Now, the majority see no good coming from the spending. Just 38% of 1,010 respondents in a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll believe the $787 billion will "make the economy better" in the long term.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2009/08/a-majority-of-the-public-supported-the-obama-administrations-economic-stimulus-program-in-february--now-the-majority-s.html

He was an opinionated op-ed man, a combative conservative on television, but through it all, Robert Novak prided himself on being a shoe-leather reporter. Novak died this week at 78.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/18/AR2009081803520_pf.html

The Obama Justice Department filed court papers claiming the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against homosexuals.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=646972

???? %*!#! Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the false “death panel” rumor about President Obama’s ...... health care plan is a “grassroots” notion that he does not know if he believes.

http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0809/steele_on_death_panels_0741edae-4612-4022-942a-00dcaeae100f.html

A recent poll of New Hampshire voters shows former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with a large lead over other potential 2012 Republican presidential primary contenders.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=642522

An energy analyst says he cannot understand why the Obama administration is borrowing money to lend money to Brazil so it can conduct oil drilling off its eastern coast, yet will not support oil drilling in American waters. This is probably just coincidence but George Soros, a major contributor to the Democratic Party, is also a major investor in the Brazilian oil company.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=653156

Cap-and-trade legislation to limit U.S. carbon dioxide emissions has “gotten out of control” and needs to be scaled back in Congress, said former Democratic Senator Timothy Wirth. “The Republicans are right -- it’s a cap-and-tax bill.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20090818/pl_bloomberg/aiykeirllrau

The House-passed climate change bill, if enacted, would expand the federal government so much that it would take billions of dollars and thousands of new employees to implement. Now-obscure federal agencies such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would have to become mini-behemoths in order to handle their expanded responsibilities.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/17/climate-bill-would-bloat-federal-agencies/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_headlines

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Wes Pruden, 8/18 Washington Times

Master politician that he is, Barack Obama is a lousy calculator. He spectacularly misjudged the American public's appetite for a government nanny. Or maybe he miscalculated the power of his slippery tongue to sell government snake oil.

His apparent willingness to abandon the attempt - for now - to nationalize the health-care industry appears to defer the Democratic first step in remaking the home of the brave and the land of the free into Little America, cutting it down to a size incapable of intimidating the likes of Switzerland or Swaziland.

But only if the opposition keeps up unremitting pressure. The president signals a change in tactics, not objectives. His concession that the so-called "government option" is temporarily dead does not mean the dream of "postalizing" health care, of making it as responsive as the Post Office, is dead. It's merely that the tenderizing pain in certain Democratic keesters is so acute that somebody had to find a way to get a little relief. Running up a fake white flag might do it; when the opposition puts down its guns the postalizers will fire at will.

The president never actually said he would defer to public sentiment. The special gift of snake-oil salesmen is their ability to say one thing and make audiences hear something else. "All I'm saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don't have it, is not the entirety of health care reform," he told an audience on Sunday in Colorado. "This is just one sliver of it."

The leftmost fringe of his party is having none of this apparent concession to reasonableness and moderation. House Democrats recall their ecstasy of waking up on the morning after the 2008 elections, imagining that with their 78-seat margin it's now or never, and they can't wait to get started on the plastic surgery to alter the face of America the Beautiful. They've been sharpening scalpels and carving knives since.

This puts the House leaders, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her liege man, Steny Hoyer, in a particular bind. They owe their 78-seat margin to men and women moderate enough to win in conservative districts; many of these freshmen know they will never be sophomores if they vote for a health care plan that dooms the private insurance coverage that works well enough for the middle class…..

The early Democratic strategy of trying to shout down the opposition, painting critics as Nazis waving swastikas (Nancy Pelosi), as "evil-mongers" (Senate Leader Harry Reid), as "un-American" (Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas), as over-dressed snobs and bounders (Sen. Barbara Boxer of California), clearly failed.

So has the attempt to portray critics as ignorant yahoos too thick to understand how well government health schemes have worked in places like Canada and Great Britain. The more we learn about the Canadian and British schemes the less they look like models for anyone.

The new president of the Canadian Medical Association says Canadian doctors must recognize how sick the Canadian system is and figure out how to fix it. "We all agree that the system is imploding," says Dr. Anne Doig, "and we all agree that things are more precarious than Canadians perhaps realize."

Stephen Glover, a columnist for the London Daily Mail, defends Britain's National Health Service but concedes that Americans wouldn't like it.

"Consult any American who has encountered the National Health Service," he writes. "Often [visiting Americans] cannot believe ... the squalor, the looming threat, the long waiting lists and especially the target that patients in 'accident and emergency' should be expected to wait for no more than four - four! - hours, the sense exuded by some medical staff that they are doing you a favor by taking down your personal details. Most Americans, let's face it, are used to much higher standards of health care than we enjoy."

Americans aren't as dumb as the politicians often think they are, and nothing educates politicians like a well-aimed two-by-four square across the noggin. That's the hard lesson of the summer of '09.

Edited from a longer article, read it here:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/18/finding-no-buyers-for-the-snake-oil/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

ANOTHER GOOD OP-ED:

Sixteen thousand idiots on aisle seven. That's the number of people in a growing Facebook group calling for a boycott of Whole Foods because of an alleged misdeed by CEO John Mackey.

Did Mackey swindle his shareholders? Sell rotten free-range beef? No, he had the brains to offer employees an innovative health plan and the temerity to write about it on the Op-Ed page of The Wall Street Journal.

Whole Foods pays 100% of employees' premiums, but no deductibles, for everyone who clocks in 30 hours or more per week. Then it gives these workers $1,800 a year in "health care dollars" to use for health and wellness expenses.

Building on this model, which is bringing costs down while improving care, Mackey called for making health care costs more transparent, letting insurance companies compete across state lines, expanding health savings accounts and enacting tort reform. Just the kinds of action America needs.

But not what President Obama proposes. Ergo, irrational fury. Ergo, boycott.

So, there is a way to separate granola-munching folks from their beloved Whole Foods. It's simple. Challenge their political dogma with facts.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/08/20/2009-08-20_whole_fools_wrongheaded_boycott_of_upscale_market_over_ceos_health_care_push.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"When it comes to civil liberties, liberals are often distrustful of government power. But, for reasons that baffle me, they are quite comfortable with Uncle Sam getting into the business of deciding, or providing 'guidance' on, which lives are more valuable than others. A government charged with extending life expectancy must meddle not just with our health care, but with what we eat, how we drive, how we live. A government determined to cut costs must meddle not just with how we live, but how we die. That sounds scary and un-American to me."

-Jonah Goldberg

“I went to Senator Ben Cardin's town hall meeting.. and came across a woman who had worked as a nurse in Britain's public health system. She provided a personal anecdote that is little peek into what is to come should we adopt the Democrats' plan. Catherine Midkiff, RN RSN, has been a nurse since 1979 and lived in the UK in 1991 and 1992. She earned $10 per hour there, compared to the $22 per hour then being earned by nurses in the US. As an agency night-shift nurse she earned more than staff nurses. Those women had to live in a dormitory on site as their pay would not afford them private residences. She said at St. George's Hospital she worked on a seniors ward where 23 elderly men and women shared the same room……For non-seniors, most British hospitals put six people in a room. Wait lists are extremely long. An elderly British citizen she knew came to the US to get heart surgery after waiting a full year in the UK system. Others weren't so lucky. She said for many years, British hospitals had no trauma centers and thousands died as a result. For his part, Cardin simply perpetuated the smear against Obamacare protesters, claiming they were Republican stooges spreading disinformation. However, there were over 2,000 of us and only a handful of ACORN, union and party thugs. That we are no longer being fooled is becoming more and more apparent. The Dems control both houses of Congress so this remains an uphill battle, but if enough get the message that their careers are on the line, these utterly self-serving pols may actually come around to our point of view, simply for sheer survival purposes. We cannot let up. Not for a minute."

-James Simpson, American Thinker

“After my weekend column recounted the experience of a recent British visitor of mine, I received an e-mail from a gentleman in Glasgow who cannot get an x-ray for his back — because he has no sovereignty over his back. His back is merely part of the overall mass of Scottish backs, to which a government budget has been allocated, but alas one which does not run to x-rays.

-Mark Steyn

"One irony of Robert Novak's long and admirable career as a journalist is that he wasn't a curmudgeon, though he played one on TV. In person, he was warm, loyal to friends and especially generous to young writers, even if he was fearless and unsparing toward the public officials he devoted his life to covering -- or, to put it more accurately, uncovering. Novak, who died yesterday at age 78, was among America's greatest political reporters."

-The Wall Street Journal

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LEFTIST WATCH

Everybody loves justice so abortion rights organizations have coined the term “reproductive justice”.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/01/reproductive-justice

Over the past decade, Latin America has been the land of larger-than-life left-wing nationalists, most notably Venezuela’s Hugo Ch├ívez. Yet the region now looks on the brink of a rightward shift.

http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/wealthofnations/archive/2009/08/21/latin-american-politics-grows-more-conservative.aspx

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ARTICLES

The death panels are real in Oregon.

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2009/08/21/the-death-panels-are-real-we-have-the-video/?preview=true

Since we are again being forced to remember Woodstock, let's at least remember it for what it was – an embarrassment to most young adults in 1969. Television networks and newspapers glamorize Woodstock with innocuous phrases like “Woodstock embodies a generation's spirit” and “echoes of a defining vibe,” but I remember that opinions were different in the summer of 1969 when I was almost 19.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/viewpoint/story/899652.html

Even liberals are starting to get it. I was not intimidated during J. Edgar Hoover's FBI hunt for reporters like me who criticized him. I railed against the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights without blinking. But now I am finally scared of a White House administration. President Obama's desired health care reform intends that a federal board (similar to the British model) — as in the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation in a current Democratic bill — decides whether your quality of life, regardless of your political party, merits government-controlled funds to keep you alive. Watch for that life-decider in the final bill. It's already in the stimulus bill signed into law.”

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/hentoff081909.php3

Breitbart: “George W. Bush-by-proxy syndrome” There is an extensive body of writing from both sides of the political aisle that has analyzed the extraordinary depths of hatred leveled at former President George W. Bush. Now that Mr. Bush is quietly going about his retirement, this strain of rage - the GWB43 virus - has spread like wildfire, finding unsuspecting targets, each granting us greater perspective into what not long ago seemed like a mysterious phenomenon isolated only on our 43rd president. When put on the media stage, these individuals and groups have been isolated for destruction for standing in the way of a resurgent modern progressive movement and for challenging its charismatic once-in-a-lifetime standard-bearer, Barack Obama. This is their time, we've been told. And no one is going to stand in the way.

http://washtimes.com/news/2009/aug/17/george-w-bush-by-proxy-syndrome/?feat=home_headlines&page=3

Send this link to Bush hating liberals: Bush Quietly Saved a Million African Lives”

http://townhall.com/columnists/DrPaulKengor/2009/08/19/bush_quietly_saved_a_million_african_lives

The Air Force airborne laser program successfully completes a simulated kill from a plane able to find, track and destroy a live ballistic missile. We can shoot down enemy missiles. Instead, we're shooting down the laser program….the issue isn't whether we can afford to build and deploy the ABL, but whether we can afford not to. If we can afford Cash for Clunkers, we can afford the airborne laser.

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=335571837254734

“Forget chocolate and flowers, women want guns!”

http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local/story/Forget-chocolate-and-flowers-women-want-guns/VHUS94_Gb06srgfG8gDLRw.cspx

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Obama joker gear is here!!

http://www.cafepress.com/57thstate/6850503

Most media outlets have speculated the artist of this poster is likely white, conservative, and racist. WRONG! The up-until-now anonymous creator of the poster sweeping the nation is a 20-year-old college student of Palestinian descent with largely liberal political leanings

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/08/18/obama-joker-poster-artist-exposed-liberal-leaning-palestinian

Great artwork:

http://terrellaftermath.com/

Sarah Palin is posting at Facebook: “YOUR TAX DOLLARS HARD AT WORK: FIRST CARS, NOW FOREIGN OIL.”

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=119471438434&ref=nf

Historic bridge database.

http://bridgehunter.com/

Remarkable RC SR-71 JET

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDbQ5xvsrIU

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WISE WORDS

"Measures which serve to abridge ... free competition ... have a tendency to occasion an enhancement of prices."

-Alexander Hamilton

"How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system."

-Barry Goldwater

"One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. . . . Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it."

-Ronald Reagan

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

op ed review 8/15

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters nationwide favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone, 57% are opposed. Fifty-two percent (52%) believe such a system would lead to a lower quality of care while 13% believe care would improve.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/august_2009/32_favor_single_payer_health_care_57_oppose

A national telephone survey from Aug. 9-10 found public support for a health care overhaul falling to a new low of 42 percent. That is 5 percent lower than two weeks ago and 8 points down from six weeks ago. Most of the stiffest resistance comes from individuals over age 65. 62 percent of self-described unaffiliated voters now oppose the plan, signaling further erosion among political independents.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20090812/pl_cq_politics/politics3190495

The White House's claim that large and boisterous protests against health care reform have been scripted performances, underwritten by industry lobbyists and the Republican Party, continues to run into a stubborn reality check: public polling on the matter.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/10/drooping-polls-undercut-claims-of-scripted-protest/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_headlines

There were no buses, no swastikas, not a piece of Astroturf in sight. But there was name-calling, jeering, red faces and finger-pointing as Michigan residents shot back with fury at a congressional town-hall meeting geared to explaining President Obama's health care plan. Rep. John D. Dingell, a Democrat and a lead author of health care legislation in the House, did his best to remain composed, even as many constituents and other residents argued that the plan is socialized medicine and rained down fury against a smaller group of supporters for the plan.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/10/fury-on-health-care-in-michigan/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_photo_feature

At Rep. Russ Carnahan's, D-Mo., town hall meeting on Aug. 6, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) thugs, clad in purple shirts, punched in the face, brutally beat and kicked in the head when he was down an African American named Kenneth Gladney, while hurling a torrent of racial slurs. The SEIU goons were following White House advice: "Don't do a lot of talking," and if they encounter resistance, "punch back twice as hard." The Purple Shirt Brigade picked on Gladney because he was passing out historical American flags with the inscription "Don't Tread on Me," and the Left won't tolerate African-Americans as conservatives.

http://townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2009/08/11/obama_brings_chicago-style_intimidation?page=full

House Democratic leaders have set up a healthcare “war room”.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/house-dems-set-up-healthcare-war-room-2009-08-10.html

President Obama’s supporters have received an email urging them to show up at town halls and congressional offices as a counter to the protestors against the president's health care reform push.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/painting-protestors-as-partisan-mobs-with-lies-about-health-reform-democrats-rally-their-own-town-hall-activists.html

In fact, one of the Obamacare websites announces: "Work to Pass Obama's Healthcare Plan and Get Paid to Do it! $10-15 hr!" (Probably using stimulus funds)

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/obama-healthcare-reform.html

A democrat congressman who opposes showing photo id to vote, now requires photo id to attend his town hall meetings.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/rep.-green-to-require-photo-id-at-town-halls-2009-08-12.html

Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, is on the Obama team as a special adviser on health policy. In an article last year he wrote "Savings will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously 'as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others.'" And this from an essay co-authored by Emanuel on the "just allocation of health care resources": "(S)ervices provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/s_637295.html

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called President Barack Obama's health plan "downright evil", saying in a Facebook posting that he would create a "death panel" that would deny care to those who are not “participating citizens.”

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090808/D99UJ4B00.html

Perhaps former Governor Palin was referring to the tragic predicament of Barbara Wagner of Oregon. Ms. Wagner received a letter from the Oregon Health Plan in response to a $4000 a month drug her doctor prescribed after her lung cancer, long in remission, returned. The insurance company refused to pay. What the Oregon Health Plan did agree to cover, however, were drugs for a physician-assisted death. Those drugs would cost about $50.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/death_panels_in_oregon.html

In what can fairly be described as an admission that former Alaska Gov. Palin knew what she was talking about, the Senate Finance Committee Thursday dropped language from its healthcare reform package that Palin had suggested would eventually lead to mandated end-of-life counseling sessions for seniors.

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/peter-roff/2009/08/13/score-one-for-sarah-palin-on-the-healthcare-reform-death-panels.html

A leading British health expert has warned that patients are missing out on specialist treatment because doctors in the UK are overstretched. Prof Sikora also claimed that NHS queues for scans and other tests ''can emulate Heathrow on a bank holiday weekend''.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6017690/Barack-Obama-healthcare-NHS-patients-missing-out-British-expert-warns.html

The Cafepress.com store, a cultural barometer of sorts for political and social expression, offers about 3 million Obama products, she said, but now is up to about 1 million that are "anti-Obama-oriented," reflecting a "significant shift in the last couple of months than what was the trend a year ago." " Whereas we had the campaign of Obama centered around hope, and it was a very optimistic message, now they're asking: 'How's that hopey-changey thing going?' "

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/11/cashing-in-on-no-he-cant/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_headlines

What kind of stimulus is this? Brazil is about to get $10 billion from U.S. taxpayers to develop its offshore oil reserves.

http://www.ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=334968315717535

The American Psychological Association said last week that it is ethical and can even be beneficial for counselors to help clients overcome homosexual impulses. The news is a shift from recent years, in which so-called "gay affirming" therapy has been the only accepted form.

http://www.worldmag.com/webextra/15788

Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and nine other members of Congress went on a trip to the South Pole, diving and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, rode a cable car through the Australian rain forest and visited a penguin breeding ground during the 11-day trip. The group also stopped in Hawaii on the way home. Baird called international travel important for a member of Congress and said it would be a "tragedy" if such trips had to be curtailed because of bad publicity.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009634635_apwacongressionaltripbaird.html?syndication=rss

The first U.S. industry to face a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions is not, as might be expected, the coal-burning power utilities. It's not the oil refineries. It's not the automakers. It's the airline industry. Sometime this month, the European Union will release a list of airlines it will regulate under its existing cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide.

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/08/12/12greenwire-airlines-will-be-first-us-industry-to-confront-77552.html

The Senate Ethics Committee -- surprise! -- cleared two Democrats of using their positions to obtain special sweetheart deals and preferential treatment in refinancing their homes through the lender Countrywide. While the complaints were dismissed, the pair were chastised and told that they should have "exercised more vigilance in [their] dealings with Countrywide." Democrats, of course, are never guilty; sometimes they're just "careless" about the appearance of impropriety.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080703620.html

Meanwhile, a Florida school principal and an athletic director are facing criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer of a mealtime prayer.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/14/criminal-prayer-case-stirs-protests/?feat=home_headlines

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Mark Steyn

What’s the end-game here? I suppose it’s conceivable that there are a few remaining suckers out there who still believe Barack Obama is the great post-partisan, fiscally responsible, pragmatic centrist he played so beguilingly just a year ago. The New York Times’ David Brooks stuck it out longer than most….But now he says we’re in “the early stages of the liberal suicide march”. For a famously moderate moderate, Mr Brooks seems to have gone from irrational optimism over the Democrats’ victory to irrational optimism over the Democrats’ impending downfall without the intervening stage of rational pessimism.

The end-game is very obvious. If you expand the bureaucratic class and you expand the dependent class, you can put together a permanent electoral majority. By “dependent”, I don’t mean merely welfare, although that’s a good illustration of the general principle. In political terms, a welfare check is a twofer: you’re assuring the votes both of the welfare recipient and of the vast bureaucracy required to process his welfare. But extend that principle further, to the point where government intrudes into everything: a vast population is receiving more from government (in the form of health care or education subventions) than it thinks it contributes, while another vast population is managing the ever expanding regulatory regime (a federal energy-efficiency code, a government health bureaucracy) and another vast population remains, nominally, in the private sector but, de facto, dependent on government patronage of one form or another – say, the privately owned franchisee of a government automobile company, or the designated “community assistance” organization for helping poor families understand what programs they’re eligible for. Either way, what you get from government – whether in the form of a government paycheck, a government benefit or a government contract – is a central fact of your life.

A lot of the developed world has already gone quite a long way down this road. If you want to know what Obama’s pledge to “save or create” four million jobs would look like if the stimulus weren’t a total bust, consider what “good news” means in an Obama-sized state: A couple of years back, I happened to catch an intriguing headline up north. “The Canadian economy is picking up steam,” reported the CBC. Statistics Canada had just announced that “the economy added 56,100 new jobs, two-thirds of them full time.” That’s great news, isn’t it? Why, the old economy’s going gangbusters, stand well back.

But I was interested to know just what sectors these jobs had been created in. And, upon investigation, it emerged that, of those 56,100 new jobs, 4,200 were self-employed, 8,900 were in private businesses, and the remaining 43,000 were on the public payroll. “The economy” hadn’t added those jobs; the government had: that's why they call it “creating” jobs. Seventy-seven per cent of the new jobs were government jobs, or “jobs”, paid for by the poor schlubs working away in the remaining 23 per cent. So the “good news” was just more bad news, just a further transfer from the vital dynamic sector to the state.

In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, government spending accounts for between 72 and 78 per cent of the economy, and, as I wrote here earlier this year, that’s “about the best a ‘free’ society can hope to attain this side of complete Sovietization.” But, if you’re not on welfare, working in the welfare office or working for a “green solutions” company that’s landed the government contract for printing the recycled envelopes in which the welfare checks are mailed out, it’s not an attractive society to be in. It’s not a place to run a small business – a feed store or a plumbing company or anything innovative, all of which will be taxed and regulated into supporting that seventysomething per cent. After all, what does it matter if your business goes under? Either you’ll join the government workforce, or you’ll go on the dole. So you too will become part of the dependent class, or the class that’s dependent upon the dependent class. Either way, Big Government wins (as we already see in California).

In the normal course of events, the process takes a while. But Obama believes in “the fierce urgency of now”, and fierce it is. That’s where all the poor befuddled sober centrists who can’t understand why the Democrats keep passing incoherent 1,200-page bills every week are missing the point. If “health care” were about health care, the devil would be in the details. But it’s not about health or costs or coverage; it’s about getting over the river and burning the bridge. It doesn’t matter what form of governmentalized health care gets passed as long as it passes. Once it’s in place, it will be “reformed”, endlessly, but it will never be undone. Same with a lot of the other stuff: Keep throwing the spaghetti at the wall. The Republicans may pick off the odd strand but, if you keep it coming fast enough, by the end of Obama’s first year the wall will be a great writhing mass of pasta entwined like copulating anacondas in some jungle simulacrum of Hef’s grotto. And that’s a good image of how government will slither into every corner of your life: You can try and pull one of those spaghetti strings out but it’ll be all tied up with a hundred others and you’ll never untangle them.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/2341/26/

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"The health debate, which now has moved beyond the Beltway and into raucous town halls across the land, is so intense in part because it's not really about health care at all. On a deeper level, it's about the role of government in America's economy. And that is a raw and unresolved topic, only made more so by months of exceptional government intervention amid a deep recession."

-Gerald Seib

"Today's ruling Democrats propose to fix our extremely high quality (but inefficient and therefore expensive) health care system with 1,000 pages of additional curlicued complexity -- employer mandates, individual mandates, insurance company mandates, allocation formulas, political payoffs and myriad other conjured regulations and interventions -- with the promise that this massive concoction will lower costs. This is all quite mad. It creates a Rube Goldberg system that simply multiplies the current inefficiencies and arbitrariness, thus producing staggering deficits with less choice and lower-quality care. That's why the administration can't sell Obamacare."

-Charles Krauthammer

"President Obama is attempting to transmogrify America's entire medical system. It is literally a matter of life and death. If Obama and his supporters find mirth in the thought of 'pulling the plug on grandma,' do you trust them anywhere near your health care?"

-James Taranto

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LEFTIST WATCH

CNN aired a piece of Communist Party propaganda about how Cuba could serve as 'a model for health care reform in the United States' " The CNN report included clips from Michael Moore's Sicko as CNN's Morgan Neill, on location in a Potemkin Havana hospital, gushed about Cuban healthcare's "impressive statistics." "Cuba's infant mortality rates" he reported, "are the lowest in the hemisphere, in line with those of Canada!" And indeed, according to UN figures, Cuba's current infant mortality rate places her 44th from the top in worldwide ranking, right next to Canada. (the lower the rate the higher the ranking) What CNN left out is that according to those same UN figures, in 1958 (the year prior to the glorious revolution), Cuba ranked 13th from the top, worldwide.. And even plummeting from 13th (Capitalist) to 44th (Communist), Cuba's "impressive" infant mortality rate is kept artificially low by Communist chicanery with statistics and by a truly appalling abortion rate of 0.71 abortions per live birth. This is the hemisphere's highest, by far. Any Cuban pregnancy that even hints at trouble gets "terminated."

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/cubas_healthcare_a_model_for_t.html

"I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program."

-President Obama in 2003

"I have not said that I was a 'single-payer' supporter."

-President Obama, at a town hall meeting this week

A new liberal coalition is launching $12 million in television ads to support President Barack Obama’s health-reform plan, in the opening wave of a planned tens of millions of dollars this fall.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090813/pl_politico/26076

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NEWS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Somali Islamist group al Shabaab is forcibly removing gold and silver teeth from residents in southern Somalia because it says they contravene strict religious law. Residents in Marka say al Shabaab has been rounding up anyone seen with a silver or gold tooth and taking them to a masked man who then rips them out using basic tools.

http://www.news24.com/Content/Africa/News/965/f443eaff1a8f4932901ff567497b0f82/10-08-2009%2006-08/Gold,_silver_fillings_a_sin

A Muslim Ohio girl ran away to Orlando because she said her family threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity.

http://www.wftv.com/news/20349388/detail.html

“My week wearing a burka: Just a few yards of black fabric, but it felt like a prison…..Moved by the plight of Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese woman who faces 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public, I decided to spend a week enveloped in what she should have been wearing.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1205208/LIZ-JONES-My-week-wearing-burkaJust-yards-black-fabric-felt-like-prison.html

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BOOKS

Three of the top four books on the New York Times nonfiction hardcover bestseller list are by conservatives -- and none have been reviewed by the Times.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/NYT-Book-Review-snubs-conservative-authors-Sun-rises-in-east-52886612.html

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GLOBALONEY

A new study found under a high-cost scenario the House global warming bill could reduce economic growth by 2.4 percent and cost 2 million jobs by 2030.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/climate-bill-could-cost-2-million-jobs-2009-08-12.html

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ACTIVISM

A petition opposing President Barack Obama’s plan for a government-led overhaul of the nation’s health care system has garnered over 1 million signatures since it launched May 25, something its sponsors say is proof that public opposition to Obama’s plan is very real. The petition, available online at www.freeourhealthcarenow.com, was created by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=52245

Here’s the petition:

http://www.freeourhealthcarenow.com/

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ARTICLES

And the words he used very well may go down in history, defining precisely why Democrats fail to get their big-government-style health-care reform done during this quickly closing window. "I mean, if you think about it . . .", Obama said, halting warily as if he realized he was about to make a terrible mistake. "If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right?" he said, half-joking yet completely serious. "It's the Post Office that's always having problems." Exactly. Obama promised a new health-care program every bit as inept as the Postal Service. America's medical future will be long lines, lost mail and surly federal employees. In this unscripted instant, Obama laid out precisely why -- outside the high-school gym -- there were hundreds of seething protesters, barred from expressing their vitriolic opposition to the directly to the president. They held aloft signs with quotes from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison about the dangers of a government too large to be accountable to the people any longer. Said one sign held by a young mother: "Keep your change and I'll keep my freedom."

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08122009/news/columnists/big_warning_from_big_bad_governments_ove_184122.htm

Town hall meetings: “They’ve awakened a sleeping giant” State College, Pa. - Nancy Snyder says she kept quiet when abortion was legalized and prayer in schools was eliminated. Not this time. “They did it for prayer, they did it for abortion, and they're not going to do it for our health care,” the 70-year-old nurse from Philipsburg, Pa., said Wednesday as she and her husband Robert, 74, a retired coal miner, waited in a long, snaking line for Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter's town hall meeting.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/health/6570918.html

Whole Foods Market Inc.'s CEO John Mackey has published an op-ed critical of Obamacare in the Wall Street Journal: "The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare.” The op-ed piece that begins with a Margaret Thatcher quote, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money," has left liberal Whole Foods loyalists enraged.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=8322658&page=1

John Stossel’s take: “Mackey is making a good-faith effort to offer his views on health care reform. Because they don’t conform to liberals’ fantasies for some iteration of a government-dominated plan, they want him to shut up? They seem to think they own the man’s opinions.”

http://blogs.abcnews.com/johnstossel/2009/08/liberal-customers-to-whole-foods-ceo-shut-up.html

5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform”: If you read the fine print in the Congressional plans, you'll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/24/news/economy/health_care_reform_obama.fortune/

Does someone have answers to these questions?

http://www.post-trib.com/news/opinion/1706053,col-henrichs-08xx.article

BenStein: “By a total coincidence, I was tossed overboard (by the New York Times) immediately after my column attacking Obama. (You can attack Obama from the left at the Times but not from the right.)”

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/08/10/expelled-from-the-new-york-tim/1

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Ronald Reagan speaks about socialized medicine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs

That was then, this is now. Here’s video of Nancy Pelosi telling anti war protestors “I am a fan of disruptors!”

http://www.breitbart.tv/06-flashback-pelosi-tells-anti-war-protesters-im-a-fan-of-disruptors/

One of Rush’s best parody songs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFquafUtYeM

JetBlue is offering an all-you-can-fly pass, good for one month, for $599.

http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/08/14/2009-08-14_plane_crazy_for_new_allyoucanfly_pass.html

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WISE WORDS

"The history of the race, and each individual's experience, are thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal."

-Mark Twain

"The intellectual establishment [is] so busy demanding more power for government, more bureaucracy, regulation, spending and -- oh, yes -- more and more taxes, they forgot all about the secret of America's success -- opportunity for people, for all the people. ... Will we heed the pessimists' agenda of higher taxes, more bureaucracy, and a bigger welfare state leading us right back to runaway inflation and economic decay, or will we [take the] road toward a true opportunity society of economic growth, more jobs, lower tax rates, and rising take-home pay?"

-Ronald Reagan

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