Saturday, October 24, 2009

op ed review 10/25

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The decline in Barack Obama's popularity since July has been the steepest of any president at the same stage of his first term for more than 50 years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6409721/Barack-Obama-sees-worst-poll-rating-drop-in-50-years.html#

27% of the nation's voters strongly approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent strongly disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -13.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

A poll shows that only 34% of Californians approve of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) job performance, down 14 points from March.

http://thehill.com//blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/63689-poll-34-of-californians-approve-of-pelosis-job-performance

It has been nearly three months since General Stanley McChrystal asked President Obama to send more troops to Afghanistan, and still the "commander in chief" has declined to make a decision.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6879511.ece

Health care legislation taking shape in the House carries a price tag of at least $1 trillion over a decade

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20091023/D9BH41EO0.html

A recent IBD/TIPP Poll showed two-thirds of physicians opposing Congress' proposed reforms, and warning of dire consequences. Now, a forum of prominent doctors has amplified those concerns.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=509698

President Obama is working systematically to marginalize the most powerful forces behind the Republican Party, setting loose top White House officials to undermine conservatives in the media, business and lobbying worlds.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28532.html

The effort is generating a backlash on Capitol Hill — and not just from Republicans.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28638.html

Your tax dollars at work: The first direct stimulus reports showed that $787 billion stimulus package has saved or created just 30,083 jobs. This comes to almost $532,000 per job “saved or created”.

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/10/16/jobs-saved-or-created-from-787-billion-porkulus-30083/

More than 80 people protested the Houston Chronicle's downtown building, asking for publicity for their conservative message as part of a widespread effort to protest news organizations. “We want the government out of our lives and we don't want to see our country become a socialist country,” said North Houston/Woodlands Tea Party organizer Suzanne Guggenheim.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6672596.html

The Justice Department has concluded that black voters need the Democratic Party.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/20/justice-dept-blocks-ncs-nonpartisan-vote/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_top_stories

"In a world exclusive, Oprah Winfrey will interview former Alaska governor Sarah Palin for an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to air Monday, Nov. 16, 2009.”

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/tv/tv-zone-1.811968/oprah-goes-rogue-invites-palin-on-show-1.1535028/7.810409?view=blogPostComments

The number of Americans who believe there is solid evidence the Earth is warming because of pollution is at its lowest point in three years, according to a survey released Thursday.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/poll-americans-belief-in-169483.html

U.S. communications regulators voted unanimously to support “internet socialism”.

http://www.reuters.com/article/regulatoryNewsConsumerGoodsAndRetail/idUSN2237873320091022

House Democrats are at an impasse over whether their remake of the nation's health care system would effectively allow federal funding of abortion. At least two dozen anti-abortion Democrats believe it would.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20091023/D9BGMCP00.html

The Obama administration’s safe schools czar, Kevin Jennings, has accused the Baptists, the Boy Scouts and sports fans of anti-gay bias, and he has advocated a special high school for gay teens as well as gay-straight alliance clubs for every high school in America. Jennings, who was a prominent homosexual activist before being named director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education, also has called for kindergarteners to be taught to respect all sexual orientations, while insisting that “ex-gay messages” and “Christian values” have no place in the nation’s public schools.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/55754

Cities are short of money, but Seattle can afford to do this?

http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=76&sid=227018

It is "extremely unlikely" that taxpayers will receive a full return on their bailout money, says a new report by the Treasury Department's independent watchdog.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/21/tarp-watchdog-says-full-repayment-unlikely/?source=newsletter_must-read-stories-today_more_news_carousel

More than $2.3 million in federal economic stimulus grants have gone to eight cosmetology and massage schools in Florida to pay tuition for the hairdressers, masseuses and nail technicians of tomorrow.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/article1044637.ece

Surprising endorsement: Seattle Times recommends Susan Hutchison for King County Executive

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2010079882_edit18exec.html

“A few weeks ago, a funny thing happened — call it a late night political paradigm shift. Conan O’Brien featured a tape of Sesame Street characters….instead of talking about food, the muppets questioned Obama’s ‘United States birth certificate’ and his ’socialist health care agenda.’ In the past, satire like this might have been automatically assumed to be an attack on the right, but the skit ended up taking some Obama fans aback. Then, Saturday Night Live rolled out a skit blatantly saying Obama had accomplished nothing, and followed it up by laughing at his Nobel Prize….”

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jmeath/2009/10/21/snl-isnt-funny-but-left-still-worry-obama-may-become-punchline/

Great moments in socialized medicine: National Health Service has spent £1.5m paying for hundreds of its staff to have private health treatment so they can leapfrog their own waiting lists. More than 3,000 staff, including doctors and nurses, have gone private at the taxpayers’ expense in the past three years because the queues at the clinics and hospitals where they work are too long.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article6879553.ece

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Editor’s note: Just to be clear: this is satire written by a conservative writer, but as he says, “It really seems like something a liberal would argue, because the central theme of all their government programs is that freedom is overrated. They just have too much sense to say that out loud….”

Brain-Dead Conservatives Obsessed with ‘Freedom’

Frank Fleming 10/16

The big problem in America today is all these people who won't let the government do everything.

Conservative arguments against President Obama are becoming increasingly silly. They oppose Obama rescuing businesses despite all the jobs on the line, they’re against government taking control of health care from soulless insurance companies, and they oppose increased taxes on energy consumption despite the sorry state of the environment. And why do they oppose these most sensible actions? Because of their irrational, brain-dead obsession with liberty.

Of course, everyone likes freedom — to a point — but there are a number of loud, stupid Americans who just take it to ridiculous extremes. They hoard their freedoms like greedy little dwarfs hoarding gold when they have little actual use for most of it. People need rules and order and guidance, but they hardly ever need liberty. Liberty doesn’t feed your family. Liberty doesn’t heal you when you’re sick. Liberty doesn’t educate your children. A strong government can do all those things, but apparently that’s against liberty. Thus these freedom-obsessed conservatives ignorantly rail against it like Bible-thumpers do against science, when they should realize it’s not their enemy; it’s their superior.

Just look at this ludicrous debate over health care reform. Of course the government should provide health care for everyone; how obvious can anything be? The government has the money and smart people working for everyone’s interests to make sure all get health care, so why would anyone be against that? Because apparently people aren’t “free” to make their health care choices for themselves. How is that freedom worth anything when people go without? Real freedom is not having to worry about health care, and that’s what you get when you have the government take it over. Yes, you’ll have little control over who gets what kind of care, but some people will just have to suffer some for the betterment of the whole. The advantage of having the government in control is that it makes sure the fewest number suffer, and those that do aren’t particularly important.

Simple logic like this, though, is like water off a duck’s back to the tea baggers. They scream about their money being taken, but what exactly were they going to spend it on? Beer hats? NASCAR tickets? Cheetos? Oh, yes, that’s freedom worth preserving. But the more money the government has, the more control it can take over businesses and, thus, the economy. Then job creation lies in the hands of government — which looks out for its citizens — instead of in the hands of uncaring corporations out to make a buck off the misery of others. But apparently many Americans like being preyed upon by heartless corporations because that’s “liberty.” Well, if that’s liberty, no wonder so many progressive-minded people don’t want to participate.

Most of the civilized world has moved beyond this uncompromising view of “freedom” — if they were ever foolish enough to adopt it in the first place. Can you think of any other country that would permit its citizens to have guns like America does? Of course not; that’s beyond moronic. People know freedom is a dangerous, scary thing, and you have to be careful how much you tolerate. People can’t be free to have items that could be used to hurt others; dangerous things like that should only be permissible for those the government considers worthy of possessing them. The U.S. still doesn’t understand this — in fact, it has in recent years allowed even more freedom to own weaponry to the point that even Democrats can’t discuss the basic, common sense measure of firearm confiscation — and that’s why it is a mockery to decent, civilized nations.

This isn’t to say freedom is a bad thing. I think we can all agree that people should have unlimited freedom to do whatever weird sex stuff they like. Also, people should have the liberty to use mind-altering drugs. We should also have freedom of speech, but that ought to be limited by common sense. College campuses are a good example: they allow all sorts of progressive-minded speech and ban what they consider to be dangerous or hateful speech. That’s a perfectly fine standard, as long as we have the right people in charge making those decisions. That’s why it’s much more important than freedom to make sure we have the right people in government.

So what would be optimal in this country if we stopped the mindless liberty worship? I suggest slavery. Yes, I know it has a long awful history, but think about it. With slavery, everyone is guaranteed a job. Slaves get food and shelter. And we can make sure all needs are met by forcing people to take the jobs they are best suited for. Slavery is true freedom, because it is freedom from want and worry. It may have been a horrible thing when racist southerners were doing it, but think of how great it could be if benevolent liberals looking out for the good of all were in charge. I would say it is, in fact, the ultimate progressive ideal.

But how are we going to sell slavery to people when they don’t even want a public option?

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/brain-dead-conservatives-obsessed-with-freedom/

This guy is good, here’s his website: http://www.imao.us/

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"The problem with Iran is its regime; its nuclear program is merely a symptom of that problem. Do you lay awake at night worrying about Britain's nuclear weapons? France's? Israel's? Of course not, because stable democracies in general, and stable democratic allies in particular, aren't a threat. If your neighbor is an upright and responsible citizen, who cares if he has a gun? If your neighbor is a complete whackjob and criminal, you sure as Shinola care if he has a gun. Armed neighbors aren't a problem, dangerous ones are. The same logic applies to nations."

-Jonah Goldberg

"Twenty years ago this fall, the Iron Curtain was coming down in Europe. Across the Warsaw Pact, the jailers of the Communist prison states lost their nerve, and the cell walls crumbled. Matt Welch, the editor of Reason magazine, wonders why the anniversary is going all but unobserved: Why aren't we making more of the biggest mass liberation in history? Well, because to celebrate it would involve recognizing it as a victory over Communism. And, after the left's long march through the institutions of the west, most are not willing to do that. There's the bad totalitarianism (Nazism) and the good totalitarianism (Communism), whose apologists and, indeed, fetishists can still be found everywhere, even unto the White House."

-Mark Steyn

"So the president's aides appear on other news channels to say that Fox, unlike those outlets, is really not a news organization but an arm of the Republican Party. One wonders how our colleagues at CNN and elsewhere like being patted on the head and given the seal of approval by the White House."

-Brit Hume

“The military should not be a test lab. Pressure is building to put female sailors on submarines, along with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people presumably. That many heterosexuals find homosexual behavior immoral and not conducive to unit cohesion is of no concern to the social wrecking crew. What gay activists apparently don't care about is the effect reshaping the military in their image would have on our ability to fight and defend the country, which, after all, is the purpose of a military. ... The gays in the military and gay marriage issues are part of a broader attempt by liberals to restructure society. Social activists despise biblical morality (which heterosexuals could use a little more of, too), traditional values that have been proven to work when tried and numerous other cultural mores. This is not an opinion. It is also not a secret."

-Cal Thomas

"It's not the color of Obama's skin that we oppose. It's the color of his policies. It's not his blackness. It's his redness."

-Rush Limbaugh

"White House communications director Anita Dunn was videotaped telling a college crowd her favorite political philosopher is Mao Tse Tung, the founder of Communist China. She said she turns to him often. She just took the lead in the White House competition to see who can make the best Republican campaign commercial for next year."

-Argus Hamilton

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GLOBALONEY

A former science adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher says the real purpose of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on Dec. 7-18 is to use global warming hype as a pretext to lay the foundation for a one-world government. "Your president will sign it. Most of the Third World countries will sign it, because they think they're going to get money out of it. Most of the left-wing regimes from the European Union will rubber stamp it. Virtually nobody won't sign it," he told the audience of some 700 attendees.

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=113219

Coming next: carbon dioxide emissions labels on food products and restaurant menus.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/world/europe/23degrees.html?_r=1

The Department of Energy has loaned $529 million dollars of your money to a Finnish company that is producing a $90,000 dollar hybrid sports car.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/16013

No matter how many times Congress debates it, and no matter how environmentalists couch it, cap-and-trade will do virtually nothing to stop global warming, and cap-and-trade, as Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) said, “is a tax, and a great big one.” These are the fundamentals in the cap-and-trade debate, and Republicans must refocus on them.

http://www.rollcall.com/features/Policy-Briefing_Energy-2009/energy_environment/39557-1.html

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LEFTIST WATCH

Emily Douglas, Web editor for The Nation magazine, said that making the “recession worse” and making goods “more expensive” is a good thing for America because it reduces consumerism and protects the environment.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/55558

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that individual health insurance mandates were ''like paying taxes.'' He added that Congress has ''broad authority'' to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it tries to promote ''the general welfare.''

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/55851

"We get the joke. We know that the free market is nonsense. We know that the whole point is to game the system, to beat the market or at least find someone who will pay you a lot of money because they're convinced that there is a free lunch. We know this is largely about power, that it's an adults-only, no-limit game. We kind of agree with Mao [Tse-tung] that political 'power comes largely from the barrel of a gun.'"

-Ron Bloom, the White House manufacturing czar

The American Society of Magazine Editors has created a special award category to honor the best Barack Obama magazine cover. (Rolling Stone wins it this year.)

http://www.magazine.org/asme/2009-best-magazine-cover-winners-finalists.aspx

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NOTICE

Veterans and active duty military eat free at Applebee’s on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. Just show proof of service.

http://www.applebees.com/vetsday/

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ARTICLES

“The most important thing you’ll read this week: are reports that the President’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel has been quietly but firmly twisting arms in the back rooms to insure the public option is included in the final bill……What exactly is so important about the public option anyway? And why do Democrats in particular seem so wedded to the idea?.....The truth is that the public plan is a carefully devised scheme, a sneaky strategy, to deceive American voters. It’s a political marketing ploy designed to move the nation to a single-payer system – like the one in Canada – over the next decade. The public option is the Trojan horse. On the outside it’s all about “choice and competition”, but once it has been dragged within the walls of American medicine its true nature will become evident. By that time, it’ll be too late. You want proof? We’ve got plenty.”

http://biggovernment.com/2009/10/21/the-public-option-deception-with-exclusive-new-audio/

“Decline Is a Choice: The New Liberalism and the End of American Ascendancy." That was the title of the devastating critique of Obama Administration foreign, defense, and domestic policies delivered by Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer at the annual Wriston Lecture at the Manhattan Institute in New York City on October 5.

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/10/21/president-obama-chooses-declin

For a feminist party, Democrats have a problem with women, or rather, with one certain type: Young and/or youngish, cute and/or stunning, with good hair, many children, and outspoken center-right views. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann (dark hair, with five children) first roused the beast, and misogynist instincts. Now there's Liz Cheney, (blond, with five children), whom they themselves have made into a star.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Why-lefties-fear-strong-women-like-Liz-Cheney-8413465.html#

Great headline: “White House Tries to Muzzle Media; Draws Back a Bloody Stump.”

http://www.redstate.com/moe_lane/2009/10/22/white-house-tries-to-muzzle-media-draws-back-a-bloody-stump/

Sarah Palin's decision to endorse the Conservative party candidate over the Republican nominee in a special House election in upstate New York is the latest example that the former Alaska governor's allegiance is to her conservative principles rather than the edicts of the party.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/morning-fix-10.html?hpid=news-col-blog

(The republican candidate “reliably voted for higher taxes, supported abortion rights, flipped back and forth about card check, and was endorsed by none other than the far-left Daily Kos blog.” But “she has… received backing from the national Republican Party and an endorsement from Newt Gingrich.”

Can President Barack Obama and Congress enact legislation that orders Americans to buy broccoli? If so, where did they get that authority? What provision in the Constitution empowers the federal government to order an individual to buy a product he does not want? It is a question about the constitutional limits on the power of the federal government. It is a question about freedom.

http://townhall.com/columnists/TerryJeffrey/2009/10/21/can_obama_and_congress_order_you_to_buy_broccoli?page=full

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

ACORN is suing conservative journalist Hannah Giles for exposing their fraud, here’s her defense fund site with a must see video of her being interviewed on FOX news.

http://www.defendhannah.org/

Good attack ad against Dow Constantine.

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

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HUMOR

“President Obama orders 40,000 more U.S. troops committed to the fight against Fox News”

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WISE WORDS

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.' The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing."

-Ronald Reagan

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