Friday, November 27, 2009

op ed review 11/29


President Obama has shattered the budget record for first-year presidents -- spending nearly double what his predecessor did when he came into office and far exceeding the first-year tabs for any other U.S. president in history.

The Rasmussen daily Presidential Tracking Poll now shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -15. This is the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for President Obama.

Newly released visitor logs show that more than two dozen of President Obama's top-tier campaign fundraisers visited the White House during his first nine months in office, providing more evidence of the administration's quiet effort to reward donors with VIP access including private briefings with presidential advisers. The records show that a Florida trial lawyer, a Hollywood music executive, and a Maryland health care executive scored meetings with the president.

The New York Times scales new heights of sycophancy in its report of the White House state dinner last night, which by their account was the most charming, imaginative, glittering – yet tasteful! – social event since Jackie Kennedy was Queen of Camelot.

Not that it matters politically because obviously she's a female Republican dunce and he's a male Democrat genius. But Sarah Palin's poll numbers are strengthening. And President Obama's are sliding. Guess what? They're about to meet in the 40s.

Unbelievable: Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four American security guards in Fallujah in 2004. The bodies of the security guards were burnt, hacked, hung for display on a bridge over the Euphrates river. But the SEALs are now facing criminal charges, for punching him in the face. “The military is sensitive to charges of detainee abuse highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.”,2933,576646,00.html

An SEIU union leader in Pennsylvania has resigned after he threatened legal action over an aspiring Eagle Scout's volunteer project. The resignations came one day after reported that Balzano had said that the SEIU might file a grievance against the city of Allentown for allowing 17-year-old Kevin Anderson to voluntarily clear a walking trail in a local park, instead of paying union members to do the work.,2933,576438,00.html

The SEIU members who beat up an African-American tea party protestor in St. Louis have been arrested.

Replacement of the Seattle 520 bridge: “officials could build 30 of the existing structures for the same amount they want to spend on its replacement…..but….it will not increase general-purpose lane capacity.”

Here comes another tax: A House bill still being drafted aims to raise $150 billion each year on the sale and purchase of stocks, options, derivatives and futures.

Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris says that under-30 voters, once the most enthusiastic supporters of President Barack Obama’s far-reaching health care reform, are now its strongest opponents. National polling following a TV and Internet ad campaign in Arkansas, North Dakota and Maine found that 65 percent of the youngest voters are opposed to Obama’s healthcare initiative, compared to 55 percent opposition among senior citizens.

This won’t help Obamacare: “Howard Dean Admits Health Care Bill Costs Trillions, Delivers Little”

You liked “Cash for Clunkers”? You’ll love “Cash for Appliances”. “California, which will receive $35 million, preliminarily estimated that it will create 350 jobs. This was based on the assumption that for every $92,000 expended, one job would be created.” ( Editor’s note: When’s the “Cash for Computers” program coming?)

What conservatives are increasingly calling the “showcase Senate primary” of 2010 has already taken some early and very positive turns for their candidate. The latest Qunnipiac University poll among Florida Republicans showed Marco Rubio, former speaker of the state House and the conservative hopeful in the GOP Senate primary next year, gaining dramatically on the long-presumed front-runner, incumbent governor Charlie Crist.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy says Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has barred him from receiving communion because of his support of abortion rights.

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?

Sen. Inhofe Says He Will Call for Investigation on "Climategate"

But Obama administration climate czar Carol Browner on Wednesday rejected the email evidence and says she still considers the science settled.

Obama Science Czar John Holdren is directly involved in the unfolding scandal.



A wealth of good columns this week:

Mark Alexander 11/25

You know the story of our First Thanksgiving, the three-day Pilgrim feast of 1621, after nearly half their company had died during the preceding winter. What you may not know, however, is that, in an effort to improve production at Plymouth Plantation, a collectivist policy was implemented in 1622 which almost destroyed the remainder of the settlement.

Plymouth Colony's governor, William Bradford, recorded in his history of the Colony that, to forestall another failed crop season, he would allot each family a plot of land, and mandate that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" must be forfeited to a common storehouse in order that "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." In theory, Bradford believed that this would be good for the Colony since each family would receive equal share of produce without regard to their contribution.

Unfortunately, then as now, collectivism works only in theory.

Bradford wrote that his plan failed because it undermined the incentive to produce, noting that it "was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort."

After the abysmal results in 1622, Bradford wrote that the Colony leaders contemplated "how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They then decided to trade their collectivist plan for a free market approach, and in 1623, Bradford wrote, "This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any other means the Governor or any other could use. ... Instead of famine now God gave them plenty and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many. ... Any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." As a direct consequence, the Colony celebrated a much greater Day of Thanksgiving in 1623.

The conclusion was obvious. Given liberty and incentive to be industrious, their Colony thrived. Indeed, by 1624, production was so abundant that the Colony exported corn back to England. And for generations since, to the extent that men have been set at perfect liberty to establish free markets, to produce goods and services without having profits seized for redistribution, our nation has thrived.

Charles Krauthammer 11/26/09

The United States has the best health care in the world but, because of its inefficiencies, also the most expensive. The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions.

Worse, they're packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes — such as the 118 new boards, commissions and programs — is political expediency.

Each must be able to garner just enough votes to pass. There isn't even a pretense of a unifying vision or conceptual harmony. The result is an overregulated, overbureaucratized system of surpassing arbitrariness and inefficiency. Throw a dart at the Senate tome:

You'll find mandates with financial penalties — the amounts picked out of a hat.

You'll find insurance companies (who live and die by their actuarial skills) told exactly what weight to give risk factors, such as age. Currently insurance premiums for 20-somethings are about one-sixth the premiums for 60-somethings. The House bill dictates that the young shall now pay at minimum one-half; the Senate bill, one-third — numbers picked out of a hat.

You'll find sliding scales for health-insurance subsidies — randomly picked — that will radically raise marginal income-tax rates for middle-class recipients, among other crazy unintended consequences.

The bill is irredeemable. It should not only be defeated. It should be immolated, its ashes scattered over the Senate swimming pool. Then do health care the right way — one reform at a time, each simple and simplifying, aimed at reducing complexity, arbitrariness and inefficiency.

First, tort reform. This is money — the low-end estimate is about half a trillion per decade — wasted in two ways. Part is simply hemorrhaged into the legal system to benefit a few jackpot lawsuit winners and an army of extravagantly rich malpractice lawyers such as John Edwards.

The rest is wasted within the medical system in the millions of unnecessary tests, procedures and referrals undertaken solely to fend off lawsuits — resources wasted on patients who don't need them and which could be redirected to the uninsured who really do. In the 4,000-plus pages of the two bills, there is no tort reform.

Indeed, the House bill actually penalizes states that dare "limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages." Why? Because, as Howard Dean has openly admitted, Democrats don't want "to take on the trial lawyers."

Another must read: David Horowitz: The Art of Political War for Tea Parties. A movement without an effective strategy for defeating its opponents cannot succeed. Therefore it is important to reacquaint ourselves with the art of political war. While Democrats are morally bankrupt and clueless about policy – about what makes things work — they still win elections because they understand a simple fact: American politics is driven by the romance of the underdog, the story of the little guy who goes up against the system and triumphs in the end. It is a story about opportunity and fairness. To win the hearts and minds of the American voter, you have to tap the emotions the romance of the underdog evokes. Whoever does so has a winning edge… election time, it’s the political left and the Democratic Party who know how to wield it as a political weapon, and Republicans and conservatives generally who don’t. Of course the Tea Parties have changed all that. And that is another sign that we are in an extraordinary political moment. The Tea Parties draw on the heritage of America’s own revolution as an underdog nation and are the voice of the people, oppressed now by their own government which is out of control and determined to crush them.



"By the time Obama came to office, KSM was ready to go before a military commission, plead guilty and be executed. It's Obama who blocked a process that would have yielded the swiftest and most certain justice. Indeed, the perfect justice. Whenever a jihadist volunteers for martyrdom, we should grant his wish. Instead, this one, the most murderous and unrepentant of all, gets to dance and declaim at the scene of his crime. [Attorney General Eric] Holder himself told The Washington Post that the coming New York trial will be 'the trial of the century.' The last such was the trial of O.J. Simpson."

-Charles Krauthammer

"Nidal Malik Hasan, was unimpressed by our diversity. In fact, it may have been diversity that set him off. Hasan and other Muslim extremists don't practice diversity. They mostly practice Sharia law, which backlashes against anyone who won't submit to their fundamentalist view of the world. ... Why do so many American leaders seem ashamed and apologetic about America? Holding to the view that America is unexceptional and that no idea, policy, belief, or practice is to be preferred over any other is not diversity. Rather, it is thin gruel; unappealing and unappetizing, and it robs us of our strength. Did diversity build and sustain America through world wars and economic challenges? No, it was a firm set of principles held by patriots of many races who were willing to pay the price in money and blood. These days, we seem to be increasingly confronted with people who are the political equivalent of shoplifters: they want the benefits without paying the price. ... I grow weary of having to tolerate everything when none of those making such demands seem willing to tolerate much of what I believe. Shouldn't diversity be a two-way street instead of a roadblock?"

-Cal Thomas

"The American people are hearing a call to arms -- not literal arms, for our system can self correct. But we have to out-organize and out-pressure the Left. They have called us 'the enemy' ever since Alinsky's little book radicalized the revolutionaries of the Boomer Left after the violent revolutionary groups were readily suppressed. When somebody really considers you their enemy you have no choice. Either you return the compliment, or you get overwhelmed by the new Chicago Mob in D.C. The Left has shown how to fight from a position of the minority and win. American conservatives by a recent poll have a two-to-one majority. They are constantly undermined by the political Left: Ridiculed in the media, demeaned in the schools and universities, out-maneuvered in politics at the state and national level by Leftists who are far nastier and far more ruthless than ordinary, decent Americans. This is a struggle for the country. We need to toughen up."

-James Lewis



“The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is The Obsession With 'Climate Change' Turning Out To Be The Most Costly Scientific Blunder In History?” by Christopher Booker Just imagine if we learned we were about to be landed with the biggest bill in the history of the world - simply on the say-so of a group of scientists. Would we not want to be absolutely sure that those scientists were 100 per cent dependable in what they were saying? Should we not then be extremely worried - and even very angry - if it emerged that those scientists had been conspiring among themselves to fiddle the evidence for what they were telling us? This is the extraordinary position in which we find ourselves thanks to news reported in Saturday's Daily Mail which has raised huge question marks over the reliability of the science behind the theory of global warming..”

The impression left by (the emails) is that the climate-tracking game has been rigged from the start.

The New York Times is forced to concede that "the (email) documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists." But apparently the paper's environmental blog, Dot Earth, is taking a pass on publishing any of the documents and emails that are now circulating. Andrew Revkin, the author of that blog, writes, The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here. Of course, when the choice is between publishing classified information that might endanger the lives of U.S. troops in the field or intelligence programs vital to national security, that information is published without hesitation by the nation's paper of record. But in this case -- the documents were "never intended for the public eye," so the New York Times will take a pass.

Judge for yourself: Here’s a summary of the emails:

Aren’t Nobel Prize winners supposed to be smart? Al Gore, on the Tonight Show told viewers, "….the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees…" Actually the temperature at the earth's core is about 5,000 degrees Celsius....If the temperature anywhere inside the earth was 'several million degrees,' we'd be a star.



“Why Obama’s Government Takeover of Health Care Will Be a Disaster,” by David Grazer. If Barack Obama has his way, the American health care system is headed for a train wreck. In this vital expose, Dr. David Gratzer reveals how a government takeover by Washington will put a massive new bureaucracy between doctors and patients, create rationing, and kill the spirit of innovation that has made American high tech medicine a world leader in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Dr. Gratzer, a first-hand witness of the failures of Canada’s healthcare system, shows why socialized medicine will make America sick.

Syndicated conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg, who authored the No. 1 best-seller Liberal Fascism, has made the leap into the big leagues of right-wing punditry. His second book, tentatively titled The Tyranny of Clichés, has just been sold for $1 million, according to publishing sources.

Sarah Palin appears well on her way to becoming a million-selling author. "Going Rogue" sold 700,000 copies — a number that includes pre-orders — in its first week of release, according to a publishing official close to the former Alaska governor.

The news media's mad dash to highlight the inflammatory passages of Sarah Palin's new book largely misses the point. Many Americans see her as a vehicle for their anger and disgust at Washington, and the Palin phenomenon is part of a larger trend of turning against the Establishment across the board. There are many signs of voter resentment. And the result could be a tide of hostility that will turn Washington on its head in next year's midterm elections and maybe in 2012. "The American people have gone shopping, and they have purchased all the ingredients necessary for a political upheaval," says pollster Frank Luntz, author of What Americans Really Want . . . Really. "The question is: Are they going to cook the stew?"



"Climate change" and "health care" are different ends of the same stick: They're both all-purpose pretexts for regulating every aspect of your life. Don't take my word for it - listen to the (new EU President) “2009 is also the first year of global governance….” Did you get that memo? And, if you disagree, who do you call? Who do you vote out of office if you want a change in "global governance"? Previewing Copenhagen, global warm-monger Tim Flannery is entirely upfront about the end-game: “We think of them as being concerned with some sort of environmental treaty. That is far from the case... They deal with every aspect of our life and they will influence every aspect of our life, our economy, our society…”

President Hugo Chávez is heaping praise on Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the Venezuelan better known as Carlos the Jackal and implicated in hijackings and terror attacks across Europe in the 1970s and ’80s, describing him in a speech here Friday night as a “revolutionary fighter.”

Chavez has also praised former dictator Idi Amin. Chavez on Friday called the East African dictator a nationalist and a patriot.

"We even have blacks voting against the health care bill. You can't vote against health care and call yourself a black man." -Jesse Jackson



Four Tactical Steps That Will Defeat Obamacare

You might have missed it, but the Islamic Apology Police were on the case of the Republican governor-elect of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell this week. It seems that following the jihadist attack on Fort Hood, the Rev. Pat Robertson, a longtime ally of McDonnell's, criticized Islam on his television show. And no one in these not-just-politically-but-also-Islamically-correct times is permitted to do that -- not even, as we have learned to our horror, senior Army personnel when presented with incontrovertible evidence that a jihadist is in their ranks. Here's what we know: Islamic law (Shariah) punishes "leaving Islam" with death. Islam has a bloody history of expansionism. Almost exactly two-thirds of Muslims in four countries polled in a 2007 survey favored both Shariah and the caliphate. And the Muslim Brotherhood's manifesto for "a grand Jihad" in America calls for "destroying the Western civilization from within" so that Islam is "victorious over all other religions."

“Major Hasan was the first mass murderer in U.S. history to give a PowerPoint presentation outlining the rationale for the crime he was about to commit. And he gave the presentation to a roomful of fellow army psychiatrists and doctors. Some of whom glanced queasily at their colleagues, but none of whom actually spoke up. And, when the question of whether then-Captain Hasan was, in fact, “psychotic,” the policy committee at Walter Reed Army Medical Center worried “how would it look if we kicked out one of the few Muslim residents.”

How do you spell hypocrisy? Try N-e-w-Y-o-r-k-T-i-m-e-s. Yep, the paper that triumphantly published everything from The Pentagon Papers to all types of highly classified documents on eavesdropping and wire tapping, compromising the safety and security of all Americans, especially those in the military and spies, while piously basking in the glory from the hate America first crowd for doing so, has suddenly become circumspect.

Sarah Palin could expect a lot of support in Iowa’s Republican caucuses if she launched a campaign for the 2012 presidential nomination, according to The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll. “More than two-thirds of Republicans like what they see, making her a credible candidate for the 2012 caucuses should she decide to run for president, strategists say.”

Interesting take on the history of American politics: “Philosophically speaking, there are two Americas, each with a founding father…”

The flap over breast cancer screening has provided a fascinating insight into the political future of ObamaCare. Specifically, the political left supports such medical rationing even as it disavows that any such thing is happening.

A chart showing the true 10-year cost of the health care bill currently before the Senate. As the chart makes clear, the costs of this legislation do not kick in in any significant way until 2014, and so the real 10-year cost is $1.8 trillion for the 10-year period for 2014 to 2023. Let me spell that out: $1,800,000,000,000.

Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to try five 9/11 plotters by a civilian court in New York rather than a military tribunal at Gitmo is already paying dividends — for the terrorists. The five terror suspects want to use their "not guilty" pleas as a chance to voice their hate-filled beliefs and grievances against the West. In short, we're giving them a prime-time soapbox in the most important city on Earth from which to spout their hate and recruit new adherents to their murderous cause.

“A SAD END: Illegal Alien Scandal Hammers Final Nail In talk radio KVI's Coffin”



The Gatlin Bros on Fox & Friends

Saturday Night Live skit: China wants its money back.” (Offensive material warning!!!)

What this means: “If Obama's Lost Saturday Night Live, He's Lost...”



"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."

-Thomas Jefferson

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