Friday, March 12, 2010

op ed review 3/14

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The Obama administration is quietly exploring strategies that would require mandatory investment of your 401(k)s and IRA’s in U.S. Treasury bonds.

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=127284

The Obama administration will accept no more public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters. “….unless anglers speak up and convince their Congressional representatives to stop this bureaucratic freight train, it appears that the task force will issue a final report for "marine spatial planning" by late March, with President Barack Obama then issuing an Executive Order to implement its recommendations — whatever they may be.”

http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/saltwater/news/story?id=4975762

A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago and think President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security, a new poll finds

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/08/poll-obama-dems-losing-ground/

48% of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated, up from 41% in 2009 and 31% in 1997, when Gallup first asked the question.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/126560/Americans-Global-Warming-Concerns-Continue-Drop.aspx

Supporters like to portray President Obama and his agenda as centrist. But those actually in the political center beg to differ. In fact, 66% of independents say their ideology is to the right of Obama, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll. Just 14% say they’re more liberal.

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politics/1494-66-of-independents-say-obama-is-to-their-left

In another worrisome sign for Democrats, a greater number of young Republicans are prepared to go to the polls in the 2010 election, according to a new survey. The enthusiasm of young Democratic voters is waning, according to the poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/85667-young-gopers-prepared-to-rock-the-vote

“The current Democratic strategy on health care is to force the House of Representatives to pass the Senate bill as it is, with no changes. The President's goal is for the House to pass the bill before he leaves on an international trip on March 18. In other words, time is short and the pressure is on. Time is of the essence, and your representative's vote will be historic, whether for good or for ill. He (or she) must hear from you immediately, as members of the House are getting enormous pressure from the White House to capitulate on this horrendous bill.”

http://www.capwiz.com/afanet/issues/alert/?alertid=14778946

Or they may try this scheme: “Would House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House Democratic leaders try to cram the Senate version of Obamacare through the House without actually having a recorded vote on the bill? Not only is the answer yes, they would, they have figured out a way to do it, according to National Journal's Congress Daily:”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/House-Democrats-looking-at-Slaughter-Solution-to-pass-Obamacare-without-a-vote-on-Senate-bill-87267402.html

The Obama administration promised increased transparency in government but has rolled back rules proposed by the Bush administration that expanded the financial disclosure statements required of labor unions and their leaders.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/11/bushs-union-transparency-rules-retracted-under-oba/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

Seven Muslims were arrested in the Irish Republic over an alleged plot to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog, police said. Al Qaida put a 100,000-dollar bounty on the head of cartoonist Lars Vilks after a newspaper published his cartoon. The four men and three women were detained after an investigation involving European security agencies and the United States' CIA and FBI.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/7406023/Seven-Muslims-arrested-over-plot-to-kill-Swedish-cartoonist.html

One of them was a blonde haired, blue eyed Pennsylvania woman who called herself JihadJane. Federal prosecutors accused Colleen R. LaRose, an American from the suburbs of Philadelphia, of linking up through the Internet with militants overseas and plotting to carry out a murder.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/us/10pennsylvania.html

LaRose, the woman who is accused of volunteering for a terrorist plot in Europe, appeared to live a double life.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-jihad-jane11-2010mar11,0,3972459.story

The Hill's campaign blog, says that former King County Executive candidate Susan Hutchison is "emerging as a chief alternative" to run against Senator Patty Murray, should former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi decide not to.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/03/seattle_blogs_susan_hutchison.php

http://www.getliberty.org/files/NomineeAlert%20-%20Mari%20Del%20Carmen%20Aponte%20-%20Ambassador%20to%20El%20Salvador%2003_05_10.pdf

Dan Rather had this to say about the President: "Listen he's a nice person, he's very articulate…..but he couldn't sell watermelons if you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic." While Rather may not have been being intentionally racist one has to wonder what the reaction would be if a conservative had used similar language.
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/geoffrey-dickens/2010/03/08/dan-rather-articulate-obama-couldnt-even-sell-watermelons#ixzz0hhkFVjHA

Great moments in socialized medicine: A UK man of 22 died in agony of dehydration after three days in a leading teaching hospital. Kane Gorny was so desperate for a drink that he rang police to beg for their help. They arrived on the ward only to be told by doctors that everything was under control. The next day his mother found him delirious and he died within hours. She said ‘lazy’ nurses had failed to give him vital drugs which controlled fluid levels in his body.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1255858/Neglected-lazy-nurses-Kane-Gorny-22-dying-thirst-rang-police-beg-water.html#ixzz0hbJaZyOE

“Mr. Goetschel is the only official animal lawyer in Switzerland, but that may be about to change. On Sunday, the Swiss will vote on a referendum that would compel all of Switzerland's cantons to hire animal lawyers. If Sunday's referendum passes, animals will have the right to be represented by lawyers in court. If they cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed at government expense.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703915204575103520836794314.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Walter Williams 3/8

Most politicians, and probably most Americans, see health care as a right. Thus, whether a person has the means to pay for medical services or not, he is nonetheless entitled to them. Let's ask ourselves a few questions about this vision.

Say a person, let's call him Harry, suffers from diabetes and he has no means to pay a laboratory for blood work, a doctor for treatment and a pharmacy for medication. Does Harry have a right to XYZ lab's and Dr. Jones' services and a prescription from a pharmacist? And, if those services are not provided without charge, should Harry be able to call for criminal sanctions against those persons for violating his rights to health care?

You say, "Williams, that would come very close to slavery if one person had the right to force someone to serve him without pay." You're right.

Suppose instead of Harry being able to force a lab, doctor and pharmacy to provide services without pay, Congress uses its taxing power to take a couple of hundred dollars out of the paycheck of some American to give to Harry so that he could pay the lab, doctor and pharmacist. Would there be any difference in principle, namely forcibly using one person to serve the purposes of another?

There would be one important strategic difference, that of concealment. Most Americans, I would hope, would be offended by the notion of directly and visibly forcing one person to serve the purposes of another. Congress' use of the tax system to invisibly accomplish the same end is more palatable to the average American.

True rights, such as those in our Constitution, or those considered to be natural or human rights, exist simultaneously among people. That means exercise of a right by one person does not diminish those held by another. In other words, my rights to speech or travel impose no obligations on another except those of noninterference.

If we apply ideas behind rights to health care to my rights to speech or travel, my free speech rights would require government-imposed obligations on others to provide me with an auditorium, television studio or radio station. My right to travel freely would require government-imposed obligations on others to provide me with airfare and hotel accommodations.

For Congress to guarantee a right to health care, or any other good or service, whether a person can afford it or not, it must diminish someone else's rights, namely their rights to their earnings. The reason is that Congress has no resources of its very own.

Moreover, there is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy giving them those resources. The fact that government has no resources of its very own forces one to recognize that in order for government to give one American citizen a dollar, it must first, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American.

If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did earn.

To argue that people have a right that imposes obligations on another is an absurd concept. A better term for newfangled rights to health care, decent housing and food is wishes. If we called them wishes, I would be in agreement with most other Americans for I, too, wish that everyone had adequate health care, decent housing and nutritious meals.

However, if we called them human wishes, instead of human rights, there would be confusion and cognitive dissonance. The average American would cringe at the thought of government punishing one person because he refused to be pressed into making someone else's wish come true.

None of my argument is to argue against charity. Reaching into one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pockets to do so is despicable and deserves condemnation.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=525716

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"The more we come to rely on government, the fewer freedoms we will enjoy. Government will start dictating what we can own, eat and drive, how much of our money they will let us keep, how we run our businesses, how many -- if any -- guns we can own, and what we may and may not say. Oh, wait! They are already doing that. To preserve freedom we must fight for it."

-Cal Thomas

"With their backs to the wall, Democratic leaders are preparing a complicated plan to pass their national health care bill. Standing in the way are Democrats who oppose the bill, whether on principle or out of fear that voting for a wildly unpopular measure will spell defeat for them in November. If you think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is going to let them off easy, allowing them to kill the party's top policy priority in more than a generation -- well, that's not gonna happen. Democrats who are considering voting against the bill are about to experience arm-twisting, threats, and pressure like they've never experienced."

-Byron York

"In my entire career, I have never been as confounded as I am over President Obama and the Democratic leadership's obsession with a piece of legislation that not one major national poll has shown to be popular. ... So I have to ask, why are the president and the leaders of Congress willing to see their entire party and a multitude of other policy proposals go down in flames over something that the public can't stand? ... Folks, this is nothing more than a power grab. It's an effort to take one of the most essential elements of every person's life -- their health -- and put it under the control of government."

-Matt Towery

"President Obama met with ten House Democrats opposed to the health care bill. He did all he could to get their votes. He promised to campaign for them in their districts and when that didn't work, he threatened to campaign for them in their districts.”

-Argus Hamilton

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GLOBALONEY

The possibility of suspending California's Global Warming Solutions Act, a law unlikely to change temperatures but certain to wreak economic havoc, appears to have increased dramatically. Two large Texas-based refineries have pledged as much as $2 million to pay for signature-gathering to place an initiative on the November ballot that would suspend the global warming law if passed by voters.

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/warming-238165-global-climate.html

THE CASE for global-warming alarmism is melting faster than those mythical disappearing Himalayan glaciers, but Al Gore isn’t backing down.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/03/03/gore_still_hot_on_his_doomsday_rhetoric/

Barcelona hit with heaviest snowfall in 25 years

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/7401422/Barcelona-hit-with-heaviest-snowfall-in-25-years.html

Blizzards have hit the French Mediterranean coast amid warnings of up to 20 inches of snow in Northern Spain on Tuesday.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8557570.stm?ls

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BOOKS

“Karl "The Architect" Rove came by the NR offices this afternoon to talk about his new book Courage and Consequence. The conversation spanned from Social Security reform and Medicare Part D to Iraq and the Surge — all topics on which Mr. Rove's nimble command of even the finest-grained political and policy details helped frame in light of current political battles.”

http://www.amazon.com/Courage-Consequence-Life-Conservative-Fight/dp/1439191050/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268445442&sr=8-1

Mitt Romney's new book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," will debut on top of the New York Times bestseller list due out March 21, a source tells me.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0310/Romney_tops_bestseller_list.html?showall

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LEFTIST WATCH

Newsmax first reported that Organizing for America, the community organizing outfit under the auspices of the Democratic National Committee, has launched a plan to inundate talk radio shows with callers. The action will occur when a particular radio show is discussing ObamaCare. This is an extension of OFA’s and Health Care for America Now’s campaign to flood last summer’s town hall meetings with union members and left-wing activists supporting Obama’s government takeover of health care.

http://biggovernment.com/kolson/2010/03/11/heads-up-talk-radio-the-presidents-foot-soldiers-have-your-number/#more-87386

It’s understandable that student newspapers at public universities are left-leaning. The advisors of the papers are usually left-leaning and they often have a left-leaning administration leaning on them. So their coverage of issues like abortion and homosexuality is often skewed. But private religious universities once provided a safe haven for those who wished to express views not approved by the immoral minority. It’s tough to comprehend the extent to which they have fallen prey to political correctness in recent years.

http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeAdams/2010/03/08/the_university_of_notre_shame

If Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn had his way, any journalist who called Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a dictator would quickly find himself behind bars.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/03/08/sean-penn-wants-reporters-jailed-calling-chavez-dictator/

After all of Hollywood's Iraq movies have flopped (even the Oscar-garlanded "The Hurt Locker" earned only $15 million at the box office), one studio thinks it has the following secret to success: The previous films didn't insult the United States enough. "Green Zone," opening Friday, is a $100 million slime job that conjures up a fantastically distorted leftist version of the war and wraps it around a frantic but preposterous action picture.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/new_damon_flick_slanders_america_FGv1evpniBqZyEfmFpP4yO

"[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

-House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), explaining why the little people don’t need to follow this

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ARTICLES

Is President Obama losing his base? Liberal and progressive organizations that helped propel him to the White House are turning on him now, little more than a year after he took office. Their collective discontent, on issues from health care to nuclear energy to the handling of terrorism suspects, could mean bad news for Democrats during this fall's congressional elections.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-03-10-liberals_N.htm

Millions of Americans have been forced to rely on unemployment payments for extended periods as the nation struggles through its longest period of high joblessness in a generation, and critics are taking aim, saying that the Depression-era program created as a temporary bridge for laid-off workers is turning into an expensive entitlement. About 11.4 million out-of-work people now collect unemployment compensation, at a cost of $10 billion a month. Half of them have been receiving payments for more than six months, the usual insurance limit. But under multiple extensions enacted by the federal government in response to the downturn, workers can collect the payments for as long as 99 weeks in states with the highest unemployment rates -- the longest period since the program's inception. Complaints that extending unemployment payments discourages job-seeking have begun to bubble into the political debate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/08/AR2010030804927_pf.html

Get ready to pay a lot more than $3 a gallon to fill up your car during peak driving periods this spring and summer. More pain at the pump is the inevitable result of the Obama administration's carrot-and-stick approach to dealing with America's energy woes

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/09/obama-to-inflict-pain-at-the-pump/

A woman with a petition went among the crowds attending a state fair, asking people to sign her petition demanding the banning of dihydroxymonoxide. She said it was in our lakes and streams, and now it was in our sweat and urine and tears. She collected hundreds of signatures to ban dihydroxymonoxide — a fancy chemical name for water. A couple of comedians were behind this ploy. But there is nothing funny about its implications. It is one of the grim and dangerous signs of our times.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Thomas-Sowell-Artificial-stupidity-87080647.html

Given that there is now almost no leftwing furor over Guantanamo—reminding us that the problem was probably never the detention center per se, but rather the liberal narrative of George Bush as outlaw—there seems to have been an administration decision made not to worry much about reneging on the pledge to have closed it by January 2010. One mystery remains, however—the apparent silence among Guantanamo's critics in the so-called world community. Here at home we finally learned that the Bush as Constitution-shredder

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OTM3NGVkY2VlNGIxMmU4YmI3MjJkMTFlNDNmYjQ5NGI=

5 Ways Liberals Misjudge the American People

http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnHawkins/2010/03/09/5_ways_liberals_misjudge_the_american_people

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Talking babies reject Obamacare:

http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicanStudyComm#p/search/0/6c6wLToQUN8

Memory lane: Don Rickles roasts Ronald Reagan on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/03/ronald-reagan-dom-rickles.html

America Rising

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=662R2awSwPQ

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WISE WORDS

"On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."

-Thomas Jefferson

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