Saturday, August 8, 2009

op ed review 8/9

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Nine months after Republicans suffered their worst political defeat in decades, President Obama and the Democrats are slipping in the polls and the Republican Party is expected to make gubernatorial and congressional gains in the 2009-10 election cycle, according to pollsters and election analysts.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/04/republicans-closing-gap-in-polls/?feat=home_headlines

President Obama's support among white voters fell to below 50 per cent for the first time in his presidency following his accusation the police "acted stupidly" in arresting a black Harvard professor,

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5961624/Barack-Obamas-support-falls-among-white-voters.html

“After 6 Months, More View Obama's Presidency as a 'Failure' Than Bush's”

http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2009/08/06/after-6-months-more-view-obamas-presidency-as-a-failure-than-bushs/

President Obama’s effort to revamp the U.S. health-care system is drawing increasing disapproval from Americans. A July 27-Aug. 3 poll found that 52 percent of American voters disapprove of the way Obama is handling the health-care issue..

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aqb9sFbXBp4g

Angry protesters shouted down Democrats at public events from Texas to Pennsylvania… In Austin, Texas, Rep. Lloyd Doggett was drowned out by a group of noisy, sign-waving demonstrators who shouted, “Just say no” as he tried to talk about health care reform.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/25765.html

In response, the White House launched a coordinated effort to combat voices critical of health care reform….they are also asking citizens to snitch on their neighbors who might be spreading “disinformation.”.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/25808.html

“The socialist governments of the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy, N. Korea, Cuba, Yugoslavia, and the People's Republic of China employed the same citizen informer techniques. Now on the White House website comes an eerily similar request for citizens to inform on their neighbors.”

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

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, accused the White House of compiling an "enemies” list and expressed alarm that they could end up collecting electronic information on critics. "I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward e-mails critical of his policies to the White House," Cornyn wrote.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/state/stories/DN-cornynflag_06nat.ART.State.Edition1.4bb4d44.html

Go ahead, turn yourself in as a critic of socialized medicine: The Snitch email address is flag@whitehouse.gov

The White House effort could also be illegal. "According to 5 U.S.C. § 552a, United States agencies, including the Executive Office of the President, shall 'maintain no record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment….unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity.'"

Nancy Pelosi claimed protesters are "carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/08/05/pelosi_town_hall_protesters_are_carrying_swastikas.html

Sen. Barbara Boxer: 'Well-dressed' protesters at Town Halls are out to 'hurt our president'...”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV84OBtGpSQ

AARP organizers of a health care ‘Listening Session’ stopped listening and cancelled the event after participants refused to ‘keep their comments quiet’.

http://www.breitbart.tv/aarp-reps-cancel-listening-session-after-participants-refuse-to-keep-their-comments-quiet/

Liberal groups are sending supporters detailed instructions on strategies to counter what they call organized disruptions of congressional town halls — events that have become new front lines in the fight over President Obama's health care proposal. Conservative groups critical of the overhaul headed into the August recess with their own battle plans for the events.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/08/06/liberal-groups-launch-town-hall-counteroffensive/

The one special interest that ought to be targeted in health care reform is the only one that may get off scott-free -- trial lawyers. In fact, Democratic lawmakers are discussing a tax cut for trial lawyers. A spokesman for the trial lawyer’s association admits it will have to be concealed in other legislation. "You cannot have a stand-alone bill to help lawyers ... so we have to tuck it into something.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/06/tax-cut-for-trial-lawyers/?feat=home_top5_shared

Yet another liberal lawmaker on Capitol Hill has acknowledged that the public option healthcare proposal being promoted by President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill is a "Trojan horse" for a single-payer socialized healthcare system.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=627660

President Barack Obama's treasury secretary said Sunday he cannot rule out higher taxes. on middle-class Americans as part of a health care overhaul.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/2-Obama-officials-No-apf-2491158742.html?x=0&.v=7

Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions. Federal funds for abortions are now restricted to cases involving rape, incest or danger to the health of the mother.

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090805/twl-us-health-care-overhaul-abortion-ef375f8.html

It's official. The U.S. is no longer engaged in a "war on terrorism." No longer are we fighting "jihadists" or in a "global war."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/06/white-house-war-terrorism-over/?feat=home_headlines

With two weeks to go until votes are counted in the primary for King County Executive, it appears former TV news anchor Susan Hutchison will likely be facing off with King County Councilmember Dow Constantine, according to a new poll.

http://www.nwcn.com/statenews/washington/stories/NW_080409POB-king-county-executive-poll-TP.a9db5210.html

Nearly half of the $2.4 billion in federal grant money awarded Wednesday to stimulate the U.S. economy and boost the production of hybrid and electric vehicles went to six companies with foreign ties.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/06/stimulus-to-aid-foreign-battery-builders/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_headlines

Bill Clinton's triumphant return from North Korea with two rescued US journalists had Hollywood written all over it -- from the Burbank airport to the big-time producer who bankrolled the expedition to the celebrity public-relations firm that orchestrated the homecoming.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08062009/news/nationalnews/bills_hwood_blockbuster_183236.htm

Last year, lawmakers excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for traveling to Washington, D.C., by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies. But apparently Congress is not philosophically averse to private air travel: At the end of July, the House approved $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying Members of Congress.

http://www.rollcall.com/media/37552-1.html

Russia and Cuba have signed contracts for Russian oil company Zarubezhneft to search for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ea362a36-7ce0-11de-9f29-00144feabdc0.html

In 2013, China would likely prevail over the US and Taiwan in an air war over the Taiwan Strait, potentially clearing the way for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, finds the new RAND study.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG888/

Western intelligence officials have warned Iran is ready to build and detonate a nuclear bomb within a year.

http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Iranians-39ready-to-detonate-nuclear.5519526.jp

Sen. John McCain has announced his opposition to Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court: ''I do not believe she shares my belief of judicial restraint,'' McCain said in a floor speech.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0809/McCain_will_oppose_Sotomayor.html

______________________________________________________________________________________

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Doug Patton 8/6/09

Imagine U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley walking into a diner in his home state of Iowa during the August congressional recess. He visits with a few of his longtime constituents, then sits down in a booth and orders the special of the day, a meatloaf sandwich. When the waitress brings it to him, it looks fine at first glance, but then he starts to notice a foul odor coming from his plate. He looks around and sees others eating the same meal, and so he picks it up to take a bite. The odor grows stronger, so he pulls apart the pieces of bread, only to discover that instead of meatloaf, he has been served a sandwich filled with excrement!

Horrified, he calls the diner owner over to his booth and demands to know the meaning of this. The diner owner looks at the sandwich, shrugs, picks up a bottle of ketchup, dumps it on the contents of the sandwich and says, "Try it now."

As outrageous as this scenario sounds, it is exactly what Grassley and a few other Republican senators are accepting in the debate over "reforming" the American health care system. Democrats are serving up an excrement sandwich in the form of a massive government-controlled health care boondoggle that is as offensive to the American people as anything to come out of Washington in many a decade. It is a federal power grab on a scale none of us have seen in our lifetime. It will destroy the greatest health care system in the world, while driving up costs and rationing care.

In short, it will transform us into Canada or Great Britain, and the American people know it.

Meanwhile, Sen. Grassley — usually a reliable conservative — is pretending that he, Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe and a few other Republicans can work out some sort of "compromise" with their Democrat "colleagues." At a time when the country is rallying behind the GOP claim that this legislation is a toxic mix of unacceptable rules, regulations, mandates, rationing and limitations from a government that can't even run the post office or administer a program whereby they give away free money for buying a new automobile, why give them political cover on this? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are desperate to claim their bill has "bipartisan support." If they are so terribly proud of this monstrosity, why are they so afraid to pass it on their own? If their "reform" is so great, why not let them serve it up and live or die on its merits, if there are any?

It is a lie that people are being denied health care in America. Insurance companies, which are now being demonized by Pelosi and the Democrats, may refuse out of economic necessity to cover a certain procedure or pre-existing condition; but if lifesaving treatment is needed, it is provided by the medical establishment with no questions asked, and payment is discussed later. Even illegal aliens get the best treatment in the world. But when the medical establishment becomes the government, and vice-versa, rationing will be commonplace, and when that happens, no one will be able to get health care without the approval of a government bureaucrat. And if you think HMOs are heartless, just wait until the government tells you that you cannot have that surgery. Not, "we won't pay for it," mind you, but rather, "you can't have it!"

Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress are trying to sell excrement sandwiches out of the back end of their traveling snake oil wagon as it passes through Washington. Tell them to keep right on going. Tell them to keep their change. And while they are home for the August recess, tell Republicans like Chuck Grassley that you can't fix a crap sandwich.

http://www2.hernandotoday.com/content/2009/aug/06/dems-health-care-plan-eating-excrement-sandwich/columnists/

ANOTHER GOOD READ:

One Step Closer to Losing Your Right to Health Care

Rich Hrebic

Isn't the point of the Democrats' push to reform the health care system based on establishing health care as a right? That's what the politicians say of course. But in reality the result will be the exact opposite.

Part of the problem is that most Americans don't understand what a right is. A right is not a guarantee that the government (i.e., other people) will provide you something for free. We have the right to engage in religious expression, but that doesn't mean that the government pays for the construction of the church. We have the right to peacefully assemble, but the government doesn't promise to supply your transportation. You have the right to keep and bear arms, but don't expect the government to provide you with a free firearm and bullets. You have the right to free speech, but the government won't grant you free radio or TV air time.

What makes something a right is not whether the government can force somebody else to pay for it. What defines something as a right is whether the government can or cannot prohibit you from doing it. (President Obama notoriously called these "negative liberties".) If the government can't stop you from doing it, then it's a right. We have a right to religious expression because the government is prohibited from suppressing that expression. We have the right to assemble because the government must allow us to do so. We can speak freely because the government cannot censor us. Nor can the government take away law-abiding citizens' firearms……

Because the Democrats are promising universal health care, demand for health care will skyrocket. Because they also promise to control costs, doctors will leave the system and seek more profitable lines of work elsewhere. The result of increased demand and decreased supply means one thing: rationing.

In order to distribute scarcer and scarcer health care resources to larger numbers of patients, the government will have to determine who to treat and who to turn away. By adopting any such rationing scheme, the government is implicitly assuming the power to prohibit people from receiving health care. Some people will have to wait and suffer for months to be treated. Others, based on what the government determines according to cost and other factors such as how old you are, will be denied certain medical procedures out right. This prohibition -- whether temporary or permanent -- is a de-facto infringement on the individual right to health care…. The American health care system certainly needs to be reformed. This isn't the way to do it.

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

___________________________________________________________________________________________

FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"'Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.' We have heard that many times. What is also the price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections. If everything that is wrong with the world becomes a reason to turn more power over to some political savior, then freedom is going to erode away.... Ultimately, our choice is to give up Utopian quests or give up our freedom. This has been recognized for centuries by some, but many others have not yet faced that reality, even today. If you think government should 'do something' about anything that ticks you off, or anything you want and don't have, then you have made your choice between Utopia and freedom."

-Thomas Sowell

"The administration has fulfilled a promise to cut spending by trimming $100 million from the 2009 budget. That's right -- $100 million with an 'm,' an imponderably small slice of this year's expenditures…... In fiscal 2009, our federal government will spend nearly $4 trillion, according to the Office of Management and Budget's historical tables. The $100 million cut represents 0.0025% -- less than one one-hundredth of 1% -- of those outlays. ... Now, thanks to the administration's 'relentless' belt-tightening, the deficit will be $1.79999 trillion rather than $1.8 trillion."

-Investor's Business Daily

"How did the health-care debate decay to the point where we think it entirely natural for the central government to fix a collective figure for what 300 million freeborn citizens ought to be spending on something as basic to individual liberty as their own bodies? That's the argument that needs to be won. And, if you think I'm being frivolous in positing bureaucratic regulation of doughnuts and vacations, consider that under the all-purpose umbrellas of 'health' and 'the environment,' governments of supposedly free nations are increasingly comfortable straying into areas of diet and leisure. ... Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks -- drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Government health care would be wrong even if it 'controlled costs.' It's a liberty issue. I'd rather be free to choose, even if I make the wrong choices."

-Mark Steyn

“…After 60 years of universal health care (in the UK), free at the point of usage and funded by taxation, inequalities between the richest and poorest sections of the population have not been reduced. But Britain does have the dirtiest, most broken-down hospitals in Europe. There is no right to health care -- any more than there is a right to chicken Kiev every second Thursday of the month."

-Theodore Dalrymple

__________________________________________________________________________________________

LEFTIST WATCH

“…the Elite Left vs the Populist Left” Who said this: “And in the face of Obama’s deplorable agenda we have “progressive” organizations like MoveOn, which should be declared the Sociopathic Slime-Balls of the Century.” Rush Limbaugh? Nope. A prominent Left-wing blog, OpEdNews.com….

http://tinyurl.com/mvqq8s

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has been caught arming Colombia's FARC — again. The persistence of his acts signals a proxy war against the U.S.

http://www.ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=334190249782507

___________________________________________________________________________________________

BOOKS

“The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism”, by Robert Murphy. . In this much-needed work, Murphy takes on the most common anti-capitalist myths and exposes them for the lies that they are. In the process he shows that capitalism is not only innocent of the charges leveled against it, but it is actually one of the best things that has ever happened to man (and also to the environment).

http://www.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=35799

"No Apology: The Case for American Greatness." by Mitt Romney. Interesting title for a Republican who just may be mulling a presidential bid against a Democratic incumbent who some Republicans think is, well, apologizing for America. Published by St. Martin's, it will be out in March of 2010.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

GLOBALONEY

Want to be green? Consider keeping your "clunker."….even when new cars and appliances are more efficient than the ones they replace, the act of replacing them entails environmental costs not accounted for.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/03/AR2009080302220.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Nothing is perhaps more pathetic than the exertions of economic developers and politicians grasping at straws, particularly during hard times. Over the past decade, we have turned from one panacea to another, from the onset of the information age to the creative class to the boom in biotech, nanotech and now the "green economy." This latest economic fad is supported by an enormous industry comprising nonprofits, investment banks, venture capitalists and their cheerleaders in the media. Their song: that "green" jobs will rescue our still weak economy while saving the planet. Ironically, what they all fail to recognize is that the thing that would spur green jobs most is economic growth.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/03/green-jobs-economic-growth-opinions-columnists-joel-kotkin.html

The Science and Public Policy Institute announces the publication of Climate Money, a study revealing that the federal Government has a near-monopoly on climate science funding. “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

____________________________________________________________________________________________

ARTICLES

A poster showing President Barack Obama as Heath Ledger's "Joker" character from "The Dark Knight" is creating a stir on the streets of Los Angeles where the image began appearing over the weekend. The Obama-Joker poster shows President Obama with white face paint, dark eye shadow and smudged red lipstick and also has the word "socialism" printed in bold, dark letters under the image of his face. It's unclear who created the image and who is posting it across the city.

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-obama-posters,0,940643.story

Liberal columnist Richard Cohen sees the light: “The real purpose of hate-crime laws is to reassure politically significant groups -- blacks, Hispanics, Jews, gays, etc. -- that someone cares about them and takes their fears seriously. That's nice. It does not change the fact, though, that what's being punished is thought or speech. Johns is dead no matter what von Brunn believes. The penalty for murder is severe, so it's not as if the crime is not being punished. The added "late hit" of a hate crime is without any real consequence, except as a precedent for the punishment of belief or speech. Slippery slopes are supposedly all around us, I know, but this one is the real McCoy…. For the most part, hate-crime legislation is just a sop for politically influential interest groups -- yet another area in which liberals, traditionally sensitive to civil liberties issues, have chosen to mollify an entire population at the expense of the individual and endorse discredited reasoning about deterrence.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/03/AR2009080302222.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

A day after the White House dismissed protesters at town-hall events as the work of conservative groups promoting “manufactured anger”, the administration's political wing began mobilizing millions of its own supporters. Supporters who go to the group's Web site are asked to enter their names, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers. The coordinated effort from Washington to produce grass-roots action comes one day after the White House and Democrats in Washington denounced protesters at health care town hall forums across the country as the work of the Republican Party and its lobbyist allies. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Mr. Obama's Democratic allies were doing "what psychologists call 'projection.' " "The other team does bus people in," he said. "If they wanted to get 100 people to a rally, they have to pay them."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/06/obama-rallies-health-care-counterprotesters/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

Trustworthiness: The media savaged President George H.W. Bush for breaking his tax pledge. Will President Obama instead get a pass for breaking trust on middle-class taxes and medical care? Could Obama have been elected president without promising not to raise taxes on the middle class? Would Americans have trusted him with the highest office in the land if he had proposed replacing all private health insurance with a Euro-style, socialistic, single-payer system?

http://www.ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=334189902271204

___________________________________________________________________________________________

NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Now is your chance to grade the Obama Administration and Congress on how it's handled the second 100 days in office.

http://reportcard.cnn.com/

Good pictures, check the one for Tue, Aug 4th “One major contributor to health care costs goes unnoticed at congressional hearings”

http://terrellaftermath.com/

Here are the video clips of President Obama promising to eliminate private insurance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-bY92mcOdk

Protestors shout down Obamacare in Austin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8UjY3YDlwA

At “Meet-And-Greet”, Rep. Chris Murphy Meets Some Hostility

http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-web-murphy-tea-party0806aug06,0,1371927.story

Constituents make congressmen sweat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOLs7Cybnqw

__________________________________________________________________________________________

WISE WORDS

"[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."

-James Madison

"Our struggle for nationhood, our unrelenting fight for freedom, our very existence -- these have all rested on the assurance that you must be free to shape your life as you are best able to, that no one can stop you from reaching higher or take from you the creativity that has made America the envy of mankind."

-Ronald Reagan

"The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it."

-H. L. Mencken

____________________________________________________________________________________________

No comments:

Post a Comment