Saturday, March 6, 2010

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

“Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?”

http://weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-now-selling-appeals-court-judgeships-health-care-votes

Republicans come in all stripes. But Gov. Rick Perry's victory in Tuesday's Texas primary showed the power of Reaganite conservatism. Perry, won decisively against challengers Kay Bailey Hutchison and Debra Medina in a hard-fought primary race…..”Perry's victory shows that voters want conservatives — real ones, non-compromisers — and leaders with track records. That's who's winning elections now….”

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=522842

A North Carolina representative has introduced legislation to replace the face of Ulysses S. Grant with Ronald Reagan's image on the $50 bill. "Every generation needs its own heroes," Mr. McHenry said. "One decade into the 21st century, it's time to honor the last great president of the 20th and give President Reagan a place beside Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/04/north-carolina-lawmaker-put-reagan-on-50-bill/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

Even Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, widely viewed just six weeks ago as a shoo-in for re-election to a fourth term, now faces the toughest race in her 28 years representing California in Congress.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jvCit_QTKsfuBfce1vgkY3-LFYDAD9E586JO0

A California (naturally)-based insurer offers what it calls the first nationally available insurance coverage for the medical marijuana industry.

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/02/2574961/rancho-cordova-based-insurer-launches.html

This would be bad: John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, is seriously considering stepping down from the nation’s highest court for personal reasons. Roberts, known for his conservative judicial philosophy, has served on the Supreme Court since 2005.

http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/03/exclusive-us-supreme-court-chief-justice-john-roberts-considering-step-down#comments

Another rumor: The National Enquirer claims a Federal grand jury is about to indict John Edwards. Edwards' estranged wife Elizabeth could help send the former presidential candidate to jail.

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/grand_jury_indictment_john_edwards_hunter_coverup/celebrity/68250

Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan will take over as acting chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told rank-and-file Democrats at a closed-door meeting Thursday that Levin would replace New York Rep. Charles B. Rangel. Rangel relinquished his chairmanship Wednesday in the wake of ethic inquiries.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/6896831.html

NASA chief Charles Bolden has asked senior managers to draw up an alternate plan for the space agency after members of Congress indicated they wanted to reject a White House proposal to hire private companies to ferry U.S. astronauts into orbit and beyond.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704541304575100000820591666.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

Believe it or not, the government is about to regulate the shape of hot dogs. Bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are studying how to change the shape of hot dogs to prevent youngsters from choking. As a result, recent headlines have warned about ''killer hot dogs'' and ''Doctors urging for a safer, choke-free hot dog.''

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/01/hot-dog-hysteria/

More than half of voters in four other major European states back a push by France’s Nicolas Sarkozy to ban women from wearing the burka, according to an opinion poll for the Financial Times.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e0c0e732-254d-11df-9cdb-00144feab49a.html

This will make you feel secure: President Obama admitted, in an interview, that he “frankly does not have a clue” regarding the psychology of the Middle East and that “a three year old child with some experience in nursery-school power politics could probably understand the Middle East better than [he does].” "I really am a space cadet when it comes to Middle East," he said.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/136235

Last week, the House of Representatives, in a largely party-line vote, passed the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act. Popularly known as "the Akaka bill," this piece of legislation might turn out to be this Congress's single most calamitous decision. The bill creates a complex federal framework under which most of the nation's approximately 400,000 ethnic Hawaiians can organize themselves into one vast Indian tribe. It endows the tribe with the "inherent powers and privileges of self-government," including the

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703411304575093180795586118.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

Most preposterous story of the week: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has much in common with the Tea Party”

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/02/28/headline-pelosi-and-tea-party-share-views

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Charles Krauthammer 3/5

So the yearlong production, set to close after Massachusetts's devastatingly negative Jan. 19 review, saw the curtain raised one last time. Obamacare lives.

After 34 speeches, three sharp electoral rebukes (Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts) and a seven-hour seminar, the president announced Wednesday his determination to make one last push to pass his health-care reform. The final act was carefully choreographed. The rollout began a week earlier with a couple of shows of bipartisanship: a Feb. 25 Blair House "summit" with Republicans, followed five days later with a few concessions tossed the Republicans' way.

Show is the operative noun. Among the few Republican suggestions President Obama pretended to incorporate was tort reform. What did he suggest to address the plague of defensive medicine that a Massachusetts Medical Society study showed leads to about 25 percent of doctor referrals, tests and procedures being done for no medical reason? A few ridiculously insignificant demonstration projects amounting to one-half of one-hundredth of 1 percent of the cost of his health-care bill.

As for the Blair House seminar, its theatrical quality was obvious even before it began. The Democrats had already decided to go for a purely partisan bill. Obama signaled precisely that intent at the end of the summit show -- then dramatically spelled it out just six days later in his 35th health-care speech: He is going for the party-line vote.

Unfortunately for Democrats, that seven-hour televised exercise had the unintended consequence of showing the Republicans to be not only highly informed on the subject, but also, as even Obama was forced to admit, possessed of principled objections -- contradicting the ubiquitous Democratic/media meme that Republican opposition was nothing but nihilistic partisanship. Republicans did so well, in fact, that in his summation, Obama was reduced to suggesting that his health-care reform was indeed popular because when you ask people about individual items (for example, eliminating exclusions for preexisting conditions or capping individual out-of-pocket payments), they are in favor.

Yet mystifyingly they oppose the whole package. How can that be?

Allow me to demystify. Imagine a bill granting every American a free federally delivered ice cream every Sunday morning. Provision 2: steak on Monday, also home delivered. Provision 3: a dozen red roses every Tuesday. You get the idea. Would each individual provision be popular in the polls? Of course.

However (life is a vale of howevers) suppose these provisions were bundled into a bill that also spelled out how the goodies are to be paid for and managed -- say, half a trillion dollars in new taxes, half a trillion in Medicare cuts (cuts not to keep Medicare solvent but to pay for the ice cream, steak and flowers), 118 new boards and commissions to administer the bounty-giving, and government regulation dictating, for example, how your steak is to be cooked. How do you think this would poll?

Perhaps something like 3 to 1 against, which is what the latest CNN poll shows is the citizenry's feeling about the current Democratic health-care bills.

Late last year, Democrats were marveling at how close they were to historic health-care reform, noting how much agreement had been achieved among so many factions. The only remaining detail was how to pay for it.

Well, yes. That has generally been the problem with democratic governance: cost. The disagreeable absence of a free lunch.

Which is what drove even strong Obama supporter Warren Buffett to go public with his judgment that the current Senate bill, while better than nothing, is a failure because the country desperately needs to bend the cost curve down, and the bill doesn't do it. Buffett's advice would be to start over and get it right with a bill that says "we're just going to focus on costs and we're not going to dream up 2,000 pages of other things."

Obama has chosen differently, however. The time for debate is over, declared the nation's seminar leader in chief. The man who vowed to undo Washington's devious and wicked ways has directed the Congress to ram Obamacare through, by one vote if necessary, under the parliamentary device of "budget reconciliation." The man who ran as a post-partisan is determined to remake a sixth of the U.S. economy despite the absence of support from a single Republican in either house, the first time anything of this size and scope has been enacted by pure party-line vote.

Surprised? You can only be disillusioned if you were once illusioned.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/04/AR2010030404040.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"Americans cherish their independence. One interesting aspect of the spontaneous tea party movement is the constant invocation of the Founders and the prominence of the 'Don't Tread on Me' flag. ... Americans tend to see themselves as independent doers, not dependent victims. They don't like to be told, especially by those with fancy academic pedigrees, that they are helpless and in need of government aid……Barack Obama, who has chosen to live his adult life in university precincts, sees Americans generally as victims who need his help, people who would be better off dependent on government than on their own. Most American voters don't want to see themselves that way and resent this condescension."

-Michael Barone

"When Republicans regain a majority in the House and Senate -- either this fall, as seems increasingly likely, or in the election following -- they must learn from their previous mistakes when they last held power. In addition to focusing on overturning whatever health insurance 'reform' proposal this Congress eventually passes, a Republican congressional majority must help large numbers of the public unlearn the factual errors they have been taught to accept. From 'climate change,' to the notion that government is a guarantor through 'entitlement' programs of a minimal outcome in life, to the forgotten idea given to us by the Founders that Liberty is the most precious gift there is, the country needs a history lesson based on truth, experience and provable facts. ... A Republican majority should turn the nation's attention away from Washington. A Republican majority must teach us again that 'you can do it,' like so many of our fathers did when the training wheels came off and we learned we could fly down the sidewalk without assistance. America doesn't need restructuring. It needs revival; revival of the principles that made us strong and great; revival of the moral foundation that proved to be our real strength and allowed us to conquer our demons and become independent, not dependent on government. This is the message most Americans want to hear and need to hear. Will the Republicans deliver it?"

-Cal Thomas

“But the Democrats think it's a good strategy to call the Republicans 'The Party of No.' When it comes to Obamacare, Americans don't want a party of 'No,' they want a party of 'Hell, No!' or, as Rahm Emanuel might say, '*&^%$#@ No!' ... Complaining that Republicans are 'obstructionists' is not a damaging charge when most Americans are dying to obstruct the Democrats with a 2-by-4. While you're at it, Democrats, why not call the GOP the 'Party of Brave Patriots'?"

-Ann Coulter

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GLOBALONEY

What’s a few mistakes in the data, we’re still warming says Al Gore.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/opinion/28gore.html

“The New York Times continues its painful-to-watch demise with this published hissy-fit from the ultra-feminine side of the prophet of the-sky-is-really-falling gloom, Al Gore. Have your hankies at the ready, ladies. Get your Pepto Bismol off the shelf, guys. This piece of pure, dribbling, drooling emoting is going to either make you collapse in a torrent of tears or retch into the nearest barf bag. The only human beings on the planet to whom this editorial would appeal are a bunch of 13-year-old girls without a single clue between them.”

http://bigjournalism.com/kashiver/2010/02/28/former-veep-goes-girly-man-has-hissy-fit-in-pages-of-new-york-times/

World to end, FoxNews to blame. ”For those who have neither the time nor the Red Bull required to wade through Al Gore's windy "We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change" in the New York Times, permit me to summarize: Record winter storms and revelations of warmist fraud notwithstanding, we "face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it." Though Gore stops short of naming television names, you don't have to read too hard between the lines to see that he's pointing the finger at Fox News in general and Glenn Beck in particular.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mark-finkelstein/2010/02/27/gore-world-end-fox-news-blame#ixzz0gszHznpJ

After two studies refuted President Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/breaking-anti-lobbyist-obama-administration-recruited-left-wing-lobbyists-to-sell-bogus-green-jobs/

For all the smears of big money funding the "deniers", the numbers reveal that the sceptics are actually the true grassroots campaigners, while Greenpeace defends Wall St. How times have changed. Sceptics are fighting a billion dollar industry aligned with a trillion dollar trading scheme. Big Oil's supposed evil influence has been vastly outdone by Big Government, and even those taxpayer billions are trumped by Big-Banking.

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2835581.htm

The true believers fight back: Undaunted by a rash of scandals, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be "an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach" to destroy the credibility of skeptics.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/05/scientists-plot-to-hit-back-at-critics/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

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BOOKS

The title of Mitt Romney's new book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," is a not-so-subtle jab at the visits President Obama made overseas when he first took office, derided by the right as the "American Apology Tour." Romney's book as a whole, however, may best be remembered not for the contrasts it offers with the incumbent president but for the contrasts it presents with "Going Rogue," the best-selling memoir of Sarah Palin, a potential Romney rival for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Where Palin's book is a mix of score settling and juicy anecdotes, Romney's book consists of a 64-point plan for strengthening the United States and countless references to what he has been reading. Palin's book titillated audiences with her take on her husband without his shirt on ("Dang, I thought. Divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd?").

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/mitt-romneys-book-sets-stage-2012-white-house/story?id=9983323

But Sarah is ready for the next chapter of her publishing career. The former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate is working on a "celebration of American virtues and strengths."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jlxDCO3o2Lipkwnit2WjvF0TCa5gD9E7KE080

Time magazine called "The Hurt Locker" "a near-perfect war film," but Ryan Gallucci, an Iraq war veteran, had to turn the movie off three times, he says, "or else I would have thrown my remote through the television." Critics adore the film and it has been nominated for nine Oscars -- a feat matched only by "Avatar," the top-grossing movie of all time -- but Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, says that's "nine more Oscar nominations than it deserves. I don't know why critics love this silly, inaccurate film so much," he wrote on his Facebook page.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/25/AR2010022506161_pf.html

On the other hand, "Hurt Locker" triumphs with an emotional truth about the character of war and the men who reluctantly go there to win it.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/05/a-movie-to-make-us-proud/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

Memo to that Massachusetts school where children in physical education classes jump rope without using ropes: Get some ropes. And you -- you are about 85 percent of all parents -- who are constantly telling your children how intelligent they are: Do your children a favor and pipe down. These are nuggets from "NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. It is another book to torment modern parents who are determined to bring to bear on their offspring the accumulated science of child-rearing…

http://townhall.com/columnists/GeorgeWill/2010/03/04/self-esteem,_self-destruction?page=full

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LEFTIST WATCH

What product works best for hiding artificial roots? Printer’s ink, of course! For more information, check recent copies of The Washington Post and The New York Times, both of which portrayed 41-year-old Annabel Park as a concerned citizen from Virginia who became the accidental founder of a new grass-roots liberal political group, Coffee Party USA.

http://bigjournalism.com/fross/2010/03/03/ny-times-washington-post-hide-phony-coffee-party-astroturf-roots-at-the-ny-times/

Nancy Pelosi says “A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes.” Huh??

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/84089-pelosi-gop-has-had-its-day-217-healthcare-votes-in-sight

'Hey, passing health- care reform may cost us the House or even the Senate this fall — but we'll get control back eventually, and the Republicans will never be able to repeal it." That's what some Democrats are telling each other to justify the final push for ObamaCare. It might even be true — but it might also sentence the party to minority status for decades. Here's why….

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/dems_at_risk_of_decades_in_desert_kuNDwlqBybh68Rtv8RW5gI

The Religious and Evangelical Left, plus the Islamic Society of North America and a few others, are making a final Custer-like stand on behalf of much cherished Obamacare. In an ad featured in The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper aimed at congressional staffers, a religious coalition called “Faithful Reform in Health Care” demanded that Congress “complete the task at hand on behalf of the millions who are left out and left behind in our current health care system.”

http://frontpagemag.com/2010/03/05/religious-left-rallies-for-obamacare%E2%80%99s-final-stand/

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ARTICLES

“Why I Took a Stand” by Sen. Jim Bunning

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2010/03/column-why-i-took-a-stand-.html

Except in wartime, there has never been another government program that produced as much technological innovation as the U.S. space program, and there likely never will be. No other program has so successfully infused the economy, rallied the nation, inspired youngsters toward academic achievement or established the U.S. as the world leader in technology. In spite of this, on Feb. 1, President Barack Obama announced the cancellation of the Constellation program of exploration, leaving NASA, for the first time, without a specific mission.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/6889640.html

Want to know which states are in the worst financial condition? One telling indicator that might not immediately come to mind is whether most of its citizens identify themselves as Democrats. The five states in the worst financial condition--Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey--are all among the bluest of blue states.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/25/democratic-states-bad-financial-shape-personal-finance-blue.html

Much of the first 14 months of the Obama administration has been a public "love story" between the White House and the Labor Unions. It seems as if President Obama has been basing many of his decisions on how they help the Union Bosses as opposed to how they help the entire country:

http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-coming-union-pension-plan-collapse.html

You got to wonder, what is it with this relative congressional backbencher that drives lefties so crazy? Throughout Rep. Michele Bachmann's, R-Minn., two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, she has been target of liberal scorn - from the great mind of MSNBC's Ed Schultz to the bomb-throwing commentator parading as a pseudo-investigative journalist known as Matt Taibbi. But this latest round of Michele Bachmann derangement syndrome actually required time and effort - a comic book dedicated to denigrating the representative from Minnesota's 6th Congressional district.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2010/03/01/bizarre-bachmann-obsession-strikes-again-lefty-group-introduces-derogator

Say it ain’t so! “Grover Norquist’s ties to Islamic supremacists and jihadists have been known for years. He and his Palestinian wife, Samah Alrayyes -- who was director of communications for his Islamic Free Market Institute until they married in 2005 -- are very active in "Muslim outreach." ???

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/03/grover_norquists_jihad.html

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WISE WORDS

"Perhaps you and I have lived with this miracle too long to be properly appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again. Knowing this, it is hard to explain those who even today would question the people's capacity for self-rule. Will they answer this: if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?"

-Ronald Reagan

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