Friday, December 18, 2009

op ed review 12/20

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

In a stunning reversal of fortune for President Barack Obama, top Democrats are attacking the health-reform plan moving through the Senate as “hollow,” “unsupportable” and a sellout to corporate interests. Republicans, after plotting for months to sink the signature legislation of Obama’s first year, suddenly think that Democrats might wind up doing it for them.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30737.html

Clad in red and armed with Grinch dolls, grim reaper scarecrows, posters and their loud voices, several thousand tea party protesters rallied near the Capitol Tuesday to send a single message: "Kill the Bill." The crowd's message and energy was only intensified by the encouragement of some of the nation’s best known conservatives, including Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30641.html

“Welcome to Obamaville” Sign Marks Colorado Homeless Tent City

http://www.breitbart.tv/welcome-to-obamaville-sign-marks-co-homeless-tent-city/

Four in 10 Americans now say that they place little or no trust in what scientists have to say about the environment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/18/AR2009121800002.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll reported that more than half of Americans, 55%, think America is on the wrong track, with only 33% saying it is going in the right direction. A stunning 66% say they're not confident that their children's lives will be better than their own.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704238104574602470345172100.html

Democrats' problems seem in part linked to their ambitious health-care plan, billed as the signature achievement of Mr. Obama's first year. Now, for the first time, more people said they would prefer Congress did nothing on health care than who wanted to see the overhaul enacted.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126100346902694549.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

The loosely organized group made of up mostly conservative activists and independent voters that’s come to be known as the Tea Party movement currently boasts higher favorability ratings than either the Democratic or Republican Parties, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll coming out later today. More than four in 10, 41%, of respondents said they had a very or somewhat favorable view of the Tea Party

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/12/16/wsjnbc-news-poll-tea-party-tops-democrats-and-republicans/

Conservative leaders are eager to turn Tea Party anger into election-year cash – and to do that, they’re launching a flurry of new political action committees aimed at collecting small-dollar donations from newly engaged anti-tax, anti-spending activists. The common goal of the groups is to transform the Tea Party movement into something of a conservative answer to MoveOn.org, a mechanism for bringing in huge numbers of small checks.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30595.html

Did a White House official threaten Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., that if he doesn't support Democratic health care reform legislation, Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base will end up on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list?

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/12/white-house-sen-nelson-dispute-rumor-in-conservative-media-about-air-force-base-closure-threat.html

There are more than 10,000 Federal bureaucrats earning more than $150,000 annually, and the average federal salary is $71,206, not including generous government benefits, while the average private sector salary is $40,331.

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20091211/1afedpay11_st.art.htm?loc=interstitialskip

2,000 line up at Elmendorf AFB for Palin's Alaska book signing

http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/1054312.html

The Obama administration’s plan to move terrorist detainees from the security of Guantanamo Bay to a little-used state prison in Illinois is being hailed by supportive Democrats as a boon for local economic development. Even if the development were truly a boon — and it’s more a boondoggle — that would not come close to justifying it. National security is not a shovel-ready jobs program. It is the first duty of government…

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjhlYjVhZjBjOTU5NTMzN2ZlZTc2ZTMxOGQyYzRmNmE=

A local group promoting the Tea Party movement said Monday that San Antonio will host a national symposium featuring Gov. Rick Perry, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, television host Sean Hannity and other conservative speakers. Tea Party Support announced that the event, billed as the National Conservative Symposium, will be held Jan. 22-24.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/79241112.html

China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's biggest market for automobiles, the first time any other country has bought more vehicles than the nation that produced Henry Ford, the Cadillac and the minivan.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20091212/BIZ/912130304/1055/NEWS/Chinese+car+market+overtakes+US

A conservative businessman is comfortably ahead in the polls as Chile prepares for a presidential election Sunday that could end 20 years of rule by the center-left coalition that brought democracy and prosperity to this country of 17 million people. Sebastián Piñera, 60, a billionaire who owns a stake in Lan Airlines and other enterprises, has pledged to fight crime and manage government funds better.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/12/AR2009121202701.html

The estimated time when whites will no longer make up the majority of Americans has been pushed back eight years - to 2050 - because the recession and stricter immigration policies have slowed the flow of foreigners into the U.S.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/dec/16/white-americans-majority-to-end-by-mid-century/

Rush Limbaugh is getting married:

http://gawker.com/5415624/rush-sets-wedding-date

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

National Review editors, 12/16

Sen. Harry Reid has been a kind of reverse Houdini with a talent for getting into traps. To appease Democratic moderates, he proposed to drop the public option, which made liberals furious. To get back in their good graces, he suggested expanding Medicare by letting people as young as 55 participate in it — but that led Sen. Joe Lieberman to threaten to join Republicans in a filibuster. If Reid manages to cobble together a deal that gets 60 votes, he may find that it cannot win majority approval in the House. The Senate and House do not, for example, see eye to eye on abortion funding. And if Reid and Nancy Pelosi somehow squeak something through Congress, they may walk into the biggest trap of all. They will have pushed through a major, unpopular piece of legislation on a party-line vote.

Democrats seem to be reconciling themselves to losing seats in order to achieve their health-care ambitions. A few ended political careers will be the price of progress. This attitude would be admirable were it not delusional. This legislation will not reduce health-care costs; the Obama administration’s own actuaries have just reported that it will increase them. It is unlikely to make Americans healthier: The evidence tying extensions of insurance to improved health outcomes is surprisingly weak. Insurance will reduce the financial anxiety of some people; but others will find theirs increased. Some will still lack insurance, but now have to pay a fine for the privilege. Some will be paying higher premiums and taxes.

The Medicare buy-in that Reid proposed is the perfect distillation of the Democratic approach. It would expand a program that is already facing insolvency. Similarly, the bill attempts to achieve cost control by empowering the Medicare and Medicaid bureaucracy to drive hard bargains — a policy that has been tried, and has failed, for decades.

Ramming through complex, far-reaching, and unpopular legislation on a party-line vote would be unprecedented, and if it happens it should call forth an equally unprecedented response. Federal programs tend to last regardless of their results. This time, Republicans should commit themselves not to let that happen. If anything resembling the current health-care legislation passes, Republicans should spend the next two election campaigns vowing to repeal it. We should both deny liberals their cause and give them their martyrdom.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OGMwMDk4YmIzZjYyOTMwNDRlMTA5YWE4NDEyZWVjZDM=

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"The Library of Congress once asked readers which books made the biggest difference in their lives. 'Atlas Shrugged ' came in second, after the Bible. ... The embrace of freer markets has lifted more people out of the misery of poverty than any other system -- ever. The World Bank says that in just the last 30 years, half a billion people who once lived on less than $1.25 a day have moved out of poverty. But now, Wesley Mouch -- I mean, Congress and the bureaucrats -- tell us they are going to 'fix' capitalism….Who are they kidding? Rand had it right. She learned it the hard way in Soviet Russia. What makes a country work is leaving people free -- free to take risks, to invent things -- and to keep the rewards of their work. Critics say Ayn Rand promotes selfishness. I call it 'enlightened self interest.' When free people act in their own self-interest, society prospers."

-John Stossel

"On the day Copenhagen opened, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claimed jurisdiction over the regulation of carbon emissions by declaring them an 'endangerment' to human health. Since we operate an overwhelmingly carbon-based economy, the EPA will be regulating practically everything. No institution that emits more than 250 tons of CO2 a year will fall outside EPA control. This means over a million building complexes, hospitals, plants, schools, businesses and similar enterprises. ... Not since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service has a federal agency been given more intrusive power over every aspect of economic life”

-Charles Krauthammer

"[I]t just so happens that with the exception of nuclear power -- which most greens still won't support -- global warming fuels nearly every progressive ambition. Wealth transfers from rich to poor nations: Check. The rise of 'global governance' and the decline of American sovereignty: Check. A secular fatwa not only to erode capitalism but to intrude on every aspect of our lives (Greenpeace offers a guide to carbon-neutral sex): Check. Weaning us off of oil: Check. The checks go on for as far as the eye can see, and we will be writing them for years to come."

-Jonah Goldberg

"Right now, if you don't like the local grade school, you move to the next town. If you're sick of Massachusetts taxes, you move to New Hampshire. Where do you move to if you don't like 'global governance'? What polling station do you go to to vote it out?"

-Mark Steyn

“The economic laws described by Mises that brought down Communism apply equally to the American brand of soft socialism. Market forces will soon lay waste to American central planning just as surely as they did to the Soviet version two decades ago. The crises in housing, health care, and banking, the inevitable results of government intervention, are but harbingers of greater instability in our way of life. If Republicans wish to stay relevant, they must return to their conservative roots.”

-Dan Oliver Jr

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GLOBALONEY

Speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, Al Gore said there is a 75 per cent chance of the entire polar ice cap melting during the summertime by 2014. However, he faced embarrassment after the climatologist whose work the prediction was based on, refuted his claims.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6815470/Copenhagen-climate-summit-Al-Gore-condemned-over-Arctic-ice-melting-prediction.html

Global warmists are selling iceboxes to Eskimos. Really!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/13/2770156.htm

The UK Meteorological Office is facing accusations it cherry-picked climate change figures in a bid to increase evidence of global warming. UK climatologists “probably tampered with Russian-climate data” to produce a report submitted to world leaders at this week’s Copenhagen summit, it is claimed.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/146517/Climate-change-lies-by-Britain

When your attempt at recreating the Congress of Vienna with a third-rate cast of extras turns into a shambles, when the data with which you have tried to terrify the world is daily exposed as ever more phony, when the blatant greed and self-interest of the participants has become obvious to all beholders, when those pesky polar bears just keep increasing and multiplying – what do you do?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geraldwarner/100020279/copenhagen-climate-summit-most-important-paper-in-the-world-is-a-glorified-un-press-release/

Record low temperatures in Washington State last week are resulting in something of a record in insurance claims.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/79574762.html

Radical environmentalists are forging a new socialist post-democracy that is slowly undermining representative government. The myth of global warming along with the Environmental Protection Agency have become the hammer and sickle of eco-Marxism - the new green-red alliance that seeks to destroy capitalism and the sovereign nation-state. The United Nations climate-change summit in Copenhagen represents a major victory for international socialism. It also marks the triumph of ideological fanaticism over reality.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/13/a-convenient-lie/

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BOOKS

“The 5 Big Lies About American Business: Combating Smears Against the Free-Market Economy” by Michael Medved. “Every American benefits every day from the phenomenal productivity of the free market, so why do so many people feel guilty or skeptical about our business system? In this passionately argued, eye-opening book, talk-radio star and bestselling author Michael Medved provides detailed and devastating rebuttals to the most widely circulated smears against capitalism.”

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Lies-About-American-Business/dp/0307464946/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261165329&sr=8-1

“United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror” .by Jamie Glazov. “….analyzes the Left's contemporary romance with militant Islam as a continuation of the Left's love affair with communist totalitarianism in the twentieth century. Just as the Left was drawn to the communist killing machines of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Castro, so too it is now attracted to radical Islam.”

http://www.amazon.com/United-Hate-Romance-Tyranny-Terror/dp/1935071602/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261165431&sr=1-1

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LEFTIST WATCH

Hugo Chavez told a cheering crowd at Copenhagen this week: "Capitalism is the road to hell.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/dictators_toxic_spew_at_summit_CCR2uP4lqjiDLl0Vjd1joJ

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ARTICLES

In “sharing my do's and don'ts” as a journalist, Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten found good fodder in the presumption journalists are out to help liberals and Democrats while hurting conservatives and Republicans. “When deliberately slanting stories in support of liberal causes, always cover your tracks by quoting the other side,” he advised. “Example: 'President Obama wants universal health care, whereas Rush Limbaugh, the big fat drug addict, contends it is a bad idea.'” Remember always that your word is your bond. “Off the record” means off the record, unless it's something you can use to embarrass a Republican….Never, ever write directly about the mandatory class you took in journalism school in how to give aid and comfort to America's enemies at home and abroad, or the seminar in how to disrespect the memories of our fallen heroes. These classes are a fraternal secret, like Skull and Bones…..”

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2009/12/14/humorist-presumes-liberal-bias-unveiling-secrets-journalists-never-told

Mark Steyn: “The Emperor’s New Carbon Credits” “For a small country, Denmark sure attracts a lot of attention. A Chicago Muslim, David Headley, was recently arrested at O’Hare International Airport en route to Copenhagen to kill the commissioning editor and artists of the Danish Muhammad cartoons. Alas, a far bigger group flying in to Copenhagen for a massive suicide bombing were permitted to board their flights: these were the jet-setting bigwigs of the climate-change circuit en route to Denmark to blow up the global economy and individual liberty in order to get back to paradise and enjoy their reward of 72 virgin-growth forests.”

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/17/the-emperor%E2%80%99s-new-carbon-credits/

Researchers have found that liberals and Democrats are far more likely to believe in ghosts, psychic powers and astrology than their conservative/Republican counterparts. About 50 percent more Democrats than Republicans say they have spoken to the dead. Or as it’s known at Democratic Party headquarters, “voter outreach.”

http://bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view/20091215yes_there_is_santa_hes_no_liberal_myth/srvc=news&position=also

“My name is Bill Bruhmuller. I am a US Navy retired Master Chief Petty Officer having served twenty five years in the Navy's Underwater Demolition and SEAL Teams. I am not accustomed to speaking outside our Navy community. But I feel I must to register my complaint against the injustice being perpetrated against those three SEAL enlisted men being court martialed for doing their job. Court martial three SEALs for punching a terrorist in the stomach? Are you kidding me?

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34844

Sign the petition against this stupidity (53,000 so far).

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34775

“…the end of liberalism may be within sight. We base this suggestion not on a hunch or on wishful thinking, but on mathematics…… within the lifetimes of the vast majority of living Americans, government as we have known it since the New Deal will become paralyzed, unable to deliver even basic services, let alone the myriad of entitlements that politicians had promised would last forever. Liberalism will owe its undoing to its blind faith that government could forever be the inexhaustible provider of ever more spending, more benefits and more prosperity, with nary a day of reckoning. This report does not come from some gold bug or fevered disciple of trickle-down economics. On the contrary, it is the product of a bipartisan commission led by three former congressmen, two Democrats and one Republican.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Debt-crisis-portends-liberalism_s-end-8660155-79353372.html

Victor Davis Hansen: The Palin Wonder

http://frontpagemag.com/2009/12/18/the-palin-wonder-by-jamie-glazov/

Are Democrats exiting the sinking ship? Part 4

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Exiting-the-sinking-ship-IV-79138192.html

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

The 22nd Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

http://mrc.org/notablequotables/bestof/2009/publicballot/results.aspx?page=1

100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made:

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/146138

Through a steady stream of national polls and focus groups, Resurgent Republic helps policy makers, think tanks, interest groups and others advocate for policies that are consistent with conservative principles, and to oppose policies that stifle job creation, weaken national security and undermine values that have made America a great country.

http://www.resurgentrepublic.com/pages/about

Renew Liberty is a Citizen's Group established to stem the flow of Government Spending, Expansion and Consumption.

http://renewliberty.com/

Individual rights and promoting limited government aren’t just buzzwords. Those are the constitutional obligations of our elected officials. With 100 Ideas for 100 Days, the Goldwater Institute provides elected officials at all levels of government a stable of ideas that will help them in that purpose.

http://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/file/4186/download/4188

Relaxing

http://fauxfire.com/

Latest Round-Up of Obama Poll Numbers by State

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/12/13/l/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link6|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2009%2F12%2F13%2Fl%2F

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WISE WORDS

"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

-James Madison

"The [U.S.] Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals ... it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government ... it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government."

-Ayn Rand

"I guess we all have our own favorite Christmas memories, for this is the time of year when most of us try to be better than our everyday selves. For the past few years in this great house, I've thought of our first real Christmas as a nation. It was the dark and freezing Christmas of 1776, when General Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware. They and Providence gave our nation its first Christmas gift -- a victory that brought us closer to liberty, the condition in which God meant man to flourish. It always seems to me that Christmas is a time of magic. Each December we celebrate a Prince, the Prince of Peace, born in utter poverty. And the fact of his birth makes hearts turn warmest at the coldest time of the year."

--Ronald Reagan

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