Saturday, December 12, 2009

op ed review 12/13

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

President Obama's job approval rating has fallen to 47 percent in the latest Gallup poll, the lowest ever recorded for any president at this point in his term.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/08/obamas-percent-approval-lowest-president-point/

Perhaps the greatest measure of President Obama's declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they'd rather have his predecessor back.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1209/Bush_closes_the_gap.html

Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30417.html

The $1T spending bill that passed the House has more than 5,000 congressional earmarks.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-12-10-spending-bill-earmarks_N.htm

Here are some: puppet shows, research on the sex drive of rats, and $54 million for a California “wine train”.

http://biggovernment.com/author/porkreport/

The new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows Sarah Palin now at 46% favorable, just one point below President Obama.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/12/sarah-palin-barack-obama-poll-gap-narrows.html

The Democrats' health care legislation is now polling worse than President Bush's failed effort to reform Social Security did in 2005. (61% oppose)

http://spectator.org/blog/2009/12/10/health-care-bill-polling-worse

But the healthcare reform looks likely to clear its most formidable obstacle by Christmas. Time to call your senator.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9628e37a-e5cc-11de-b5d7-00144feab49a.html

“The Democrats' sweeping health-care plans may bankrupt the nation, but every American will be insured. Except for 24 million of 'em. No kidding: The Congressional Budget Office estimates the reforms will trim the ranks of the uninsured by only 57 percent -- leaving 24 million residents, without coverage. And for this, it will cost taxpayers $1 trillion.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/health_care_missing_millions_XCZxueHQ3Vl82veJylmeaP

The Congressional Budget Office also predicts up to 10 million people would lose employer-sponsored health care coverage under Senate Democratic health care reform plan.

http://tinyurl.com/yb49rth

Unemployment insurance taxes in Washington State will increase 54% next year. (In the People’s Republic of Washington, businesses impose “social costs” that require a “social-cost tax”…Yes, that’s what they call it.)

http://www.esd.wa.gov/newsandinformation/legresources/factsheets/unemployment-ins-taxes.pdf#zoom=100

Americans remain overwhelmingly in favor of allowing religious symbols to be displayed on public land and feel even more strongly that public schools should celebrate at least some religious holidays. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 76% of adults believe religious symbols should be allowed on public land. Just 13% disagree.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/holidays/december_2009/americans_strongly_favor_religious_displays_on_public_lands_celebrating_religious_holidays_in_schools

The unexpected victory of Republican Jimmy Higdon in the Kentucky state Senate special election -- despite a 2-to-1 Democratic registration advantage -- is another fire bell in the night that national Democrats are going to ignore.

http://townhall.com/columnists/MonaCharen/2009/12/11/democrats_whistling_past_graveyard?page=full&comments=true

Here comes the call for a planetary one-child policy.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MmQxMzdiZDkzYjdlYjJkNWFkYmI2MjhmMzM3NzMxNjc=

Online conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart announced that he is launching a new website in January designed to report its own original journalism and take on “the Democratic-media complex.” The site – to be called Big Journalism – builds on the “Big” brand Breitbart launched in September with Big Hollywood and Big Government. Both sites have made waves with stories exposing past controversial remarks by Obama.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30465.html

President Obama and the First Family are planning a “non-religious Christmas,” according to Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. Ms. Rogers reportedly told a gathering of former social secretaries that the Obamas did not intend on putting the Nativity scene on display – a longtime East Room tradition.

http://www.foxnewsradio.com/2009/12/07/obama-wanted-non-religious-christmas/

Five Americans from the Washington, D.C., suburbs developed Internet contacts with al Qaeda operatives and were preparing to go to Pakistan's lawless tribal areas to join a militant-training camp when they were arrested this week, Pakistani officials said Thursday. The men -- who are students in their 20s -- appear to have come together as members of a youth group at the Islamic Circle of North America Mosque in Alexandria, Va..

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126045800896585617.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Radio host Laura Ingraham is auctioning off the red jacket Sarah Palin wore on the cover of her memoir, "Going Rogue." Proceeds for the sale will benefit two organizations that serve American military and veterans: Wounded Warrior Project and The Fisher House.

http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/12/10/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5963663.shtml

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Copenhagen's Political Science
Sarah Palin, 12/9/09, The Washington Post

With the publication of damaging e-mails from a climate research center in Britain, the radical environmental movement appears to face a tipping point. The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue.

Climate-gate," as the e-mails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have become known, exposes a highly politicized scientific circle -- the same circle whose work underlies efforts at the Copenhagen climate change conference. The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won't change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse.

The e-mails reveal that leading climate "experts" deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to "hide the decline" in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. What's more, the documents show that there was no real consensus even within the CRU crowd. Some scientists had strong doubts about the accuracy of estimates of temperatures from centuries ago, estimates used to back claims that more recent temperatures are rising at an alarming rate.

This scandal obviously calls into question the proposals being pushed in Copenhagen. I've always believed that policy should be based on sound science, not politics. As governor of Alaska, I took a stand against politicized science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population had more than doubled. I got clobbered for my actions by radical environmentalists nationwide, but I stood by my view that adding a healthy species to the endangered list under the guise of "climate change impacts" was an abuse of the Endangered Species Act. This would have irreversibly hurt both Alaska's economy and the nation's, while also reducing opportunities for responsible development.

Our representatives in Copenhagen should remember that good environmental policymaking is about weighing real-world costs and benefits -- not pursuing a political agenda. That's not to say I deny the reality of some changes in climate -- far from it. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. I was one of the first governors to create a subcabinet to deal specifically with the issue and to recommend common-sense policies to respond to the coastal erosion, thawing permafrost and retreating sea ice that affect Alaska's communities and infrastructure.

But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes. We can say, however, that any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs. And those costs are real. Unlike the proposals China and India offered prior to Copenhagen -- which actually allow them to increase their emissions -- President Obama's proposal calls for serious cuts in our own long-term carbon emissions. Meeting such targets would require Congress to pass its cap-and-tax plans, which will result in job losses and higher energy costs (as Obama admitted during the campaign). That's not exactly what most Americans are hoping for these days. And as public opposition continues to stall Congress's cap-and-tax legislation, Environmental Protection Agency bureaucrats plan to regulate carbon emissions themselves, doing an end run around the American people.

In fact, we're not the only nation whose people are questioning climate change schemes. In the European Union, energy prices skyrocketed after it began a cap-and-tax program. Meanwhile, Australia's Parliament recently defeated a cap-and-tax bill. Surely other nations will follow suit, particularly as the climate e-mail scandal continues to unfold.

In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his intention to "restore science to its rightful place." But instead of staying home from Copenhagen and sending a message that the United States will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices, the president has upped the ante. He plans to fly in at the climax of the conference in hopes of sealing a "deal." Whatever deal he gets, it will be no deal for the American people. What Obama really hopes to bring home from Copenhagen is more pressure to pass the Democrats' cap-and-tax proposal. This is a political move. The last thing America needs is misguided legislation that will raise taxes and cost jobs -- particularly when the push for such legislation rests on agenda-driven science.

Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference. The president should boycott Copenhagen.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/08/AR2009120803402.html?nav=hcmodule

Sarah makes a surprise visit to the Tonight Show with William Shatner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zKtR2aSj-0

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"There's no difference in this global warming hoax, and the health care reform hoax. They are born of the same ideology, they're born of the same tactics, and they are born with the same objectives. Radical leftists claim that man-made global warming destroys lives. Radical leftists also claim that private sector medical care destroys lives. The president himself has indicted the medical community for this."

-Rush Limbaugh

"The EPA's finding that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant explains why the administration wasn't too concerned over possible failure at Copenhagen. This was their Plan B."

-Investor’s Business Daily

"Democrats have defined success as dragging any [health care] bill into law as quickly as possible, no matter how damaging, while leaving the mess it creates to be cleaned up in the future once the entitlement is entrenched and higher taxes are inevitable. The only way to prevent that outcome is to force them to start over."

-The Wall Street Journal

"Imagine an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where all the members showed up drunk and with extra cases of wine, beer, and booze to keep them happy. Now imagine that that same group of drunks was empowered to make trillions of dollars worth of economic decisions for everybody in the world. This absurd scenario swiftly summarizes the United Nations Climate Change Conference beginning today, and lasting through December 18, in Copenhagen."

-The Heritage Foundation's "Morning Bell"

"Congress voted Thursday to impose a 45 percent tax on all estates over $3 million. It just never ends. The only difference between death and taxes is that Congress can't think of a way to make death any worse than it already is."

-Argus Hamilton

"It's fitting that the first day of the Copenhagen climate hoax summit happens on December 7th, a day, FDR said, 'that will live in infamy.' We're being attacked again."

-Rush Limbaugh

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GLOBALONEY

The Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6736517/Copenhagen-climate-summit-1200-limos-140-private-planes-and-caviar-wedges.html

During the conference, a Stanford Professor used United Nations security officers to silence a journalist asking him “inconvenient questions” during a press briefing.

http://biggovernment.com/2009/12/11/un-security-stops-journalists-questions-about-climategate/#more-44722

Al Gore has studied the Climategate emails with his typically rigorous eye and dismissed them as mere piffle:

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/climategate_gore_falsifies_the_record

Monday’s declaration by the Environmental Protection Administration that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health is apparently a regulatory fraud.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34747

A conservative media watchdog says the mainstream media has given 15 times more coverage to the Tiger Woods scandal than that of the "ClimateGate" ordeal.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=805272

In the high desert of central Arizona, more than five thousand miles from the global-warming summit in Copenhagen, sits an aging and unfinished vision of the enviro-friendly, sustainable life that some climate change activists foresee for us all. It's called Arcosanti, created in 1970 by the Italian architect Paolo Soleri, and it is the prototype of a green community of the future. The only problem is, it doesn't work.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/A-green_-sustainable-future-that-doesn_t-work-8648843-79008007.html

High electrical bills this winter? You don't have to look far for someone to blame. The Sierra Club volunteers to take the blame with this gleeful announcement that it has killed 100 coal-fired power plants nationwide.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Risky-green-investments-could-put-Sierra-Club-in-the-red-78968787.html

For the second straight day Thursday, the temperature hit a record low in Seattle.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010478324_cold11m.html

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BOOKS

“Conservative books to help you survive the Obama era”

http://www.amazon.com/Conservative-Books-Help-Survive-Obama/lm/R2ZCIIV6AYUQ19/ref=cm_lmt_srch_f_2_rsrsrs0

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LEFTIST WATCH

Here comes another one: “Gay sex is morally good." "Committed, loving households [can have] more than one conjugal partner." "Gays win; Christians lose." These could easily be the new mottos of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if Chai Feldblum becomes the next boss of the EEOC. That string of comments is only part of Chai's shocking record on marriage.

http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/opinion-eeoc-nominee-chai-feldblum-latest-obama-liberal-extremist

The two most important questions for society, according to the Greek philosopher Plato, are these: What will we teach our children? And who will teach them? Left-wing celebrities have teamed up with one of America's most radical historians to take control of the classroom in the name of "social justice." Parents, beware: This Hollywood-backed Marxist education project may be coming to a school near you.

http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2009/12/11/hollywood_and_howard_zinns_marxist_education_project

Democrats off their meds:

Sen. Boxer compares denying women abortion coverage to denying men Viagra...

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13953999?nclick_check=1

Sen. Feinstein Says It's 'Morally Correct' to Force Taxpayers to Fund Abortion...

http://www.breitbart.tv/sen-feinstein-says-its-morally-correct-to-force-taxpayers-fund-abortion/

Sen. Reid said Republicans who opposed the democrat health care plan were displaying the same mindset as those who defended slavery.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/71207-reid-doubles-down-on-slavery-analogy

And Roseanne Barr says that Sarah Palin is “like a slave to these, you know, right-wing men. That’s like the only way a right-wing woman can make it."

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brad-wilmouth/2009/12/12/roseanne-barrpalin-slave-right-wing-men-against-all-other-women

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ARTICLES

Interesting study by Canadian researchers. “Subjects who made simulated eco-friendly purchases ended up less likely to exhibit altruism in a laboratory game and more likely to cheat and steal…..When people have the chance to demonstrate their goodness (by ‘saving the planet’) they then feel free to relax their ethical standards.”

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politics/910-is-green-card-a-passport-to-immorality

If it weren't for bad luck, Mike Huckabee would have no luck at all. Of all the deranged criminals in the country, it was Maurice Clemmons -- granted clemency by then-Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas almost a decade ago -- who recently murdered four police officers in Washington State. Seldom has an act of mercy been more publicly or horribly betrayed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/08/AR2009120803404.html

Why I commuted Maurice Clemmons's sentence, by Mike Huckabee

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/07/AR2009120702333.html

One lesson that Democrats learned from the failure of HillaryCare in 1994 is that they had to buy the silence, if not the outright support, of the business class. They've done this brilliantly by peddling the illusion that ObamaCare will "lower costs" for employers. But slowly as the legislative details become clear, it is dawning on executives of businesses large and small that reform is boiling down to a huge tax increase.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704007804574574380625962314.html

“If Republicans are 'the party of big business,' why are the Democrats raking in big bucks from industry after industry?” One of the great frustrations of the libertarian-minded right is how Republicans got stuck being "the party of big business." The quotation marks around the term are at least somewhat necessary because, in many respects, it's not true.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-goldberg8-2009dec08,0,831331.column

American heroes are arraigned for allegedly punching a terrorist in wartime. What happens to Tiger Woods isn't vital to our country's future. What happens to Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe is…..Why are the SEALs who captured a terrorist butcher on trial? All did the jobs we asked them to, bravely and well. All deserve medals, not punishment….It is the American people who are being sucker-punched in the gut.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=514947

The same-sex marriage movement appears likely to end a banner year with a string of stinging defeats that opponents say have undermined a core proposition of the movement - that the acceptance of gay marriage is, sooner or later, inevitable.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30377.html

If anyone were to doubt that there really are two Washingtons — that the Seattle metropolitan core (and its playgrounds) are another world from most rural to small-city Washington, and especially from east of the Cascade crest — a look at the vote on Referendum 71 should be persuasive.

http://crosscut.com/2009/12/11/politics-government/19432/

Important Essay: “Conservatives recognize that social order is hard to achieve and easy to destroy, that it is held in place by discipline and sacrifice, and that the indulgence of criminality and vice is not an act of kindness but an injustice for which all of us will pay……Liberals are of course very different. They see criminals as victims of social hierarchy and unequal power, people who should be cured by kindness and not threatened with punishment.”

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/12/09/totalitarian-sentimentality

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

This is bizarre:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1234430/Mystery-spiral-blue-light-display-hovers-Norway.html

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WISE WORDS

"[A] wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."

-Thomas Jefferson

"Time and money spent in helping men do more for themselves is far better than mere giving."

-Henry Ford

"All history is one long story to this effect: men have struggled for power over their fellow men in order that they might win the joys of earth at the expense of others, might shift the burdens of life from their own shoulders upon those of others."

-William Graham Sumner

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