Saturday, June 11, 2011

op ed review 6/12

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for. The $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations amounts to $534,000 per household. That's more than five times what Americans have borrowed for everything else — mortgages, car loans and other debt.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-06-06-us-owes-62-trillion-in-debt_n.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Once provisions of Obamacare start to kick in during 2014, at least three of every 10 employers will probably stop offering health coverage, a survey released Monday shows.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/firms-halting-coverage-as-reform-starts-survey-2011-06-06

A new study shows many Americans will have to keep on working well into their 70s and 80s to afford retirement, according to the study, titled “The Impact of Deferring Retirement Age on Retirement Income Adequacy.”

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/many-of-us-wont-be-able-to-retire-until-our-80s-2011-06-09

Obama Proclaims June 'Gender Confusion' Month AKA: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2011/06/09/obama-proclaims-june-gender-confusion-month/

“Old Navy selling 'gay' shirts - donates profits to activists”

http://afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147507169

Britain’s Boy Scout organization has embraced homosexuality. “…the Scouts are looking to welcome more gay recruits and leaders..”

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland/Scouts-get-prepared-for-more.6779839.jp?articlepage=1

The public opinion boost President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of how he is handling the nation’s economy and the deficit has reached new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-loses-bin-laden-bounce-romney-on-the-move-among-gop-contenders/2011/06/06/AGT5wiKH_print.html

The Washington Post fact checker: “President Obama’s phony accounting on the auto industry bailout” What we found is one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/president-obamas-phony-accounting-on-the-auto-industry-bailout/2011/06/06/AG3nefKH_blog.html

The New York Times is now an opposition research arm of the Democratic Party. “Help Us Investigate the Sarah Palin E-Mail Records. On Friday, the State of Alaska will release more than 24,000 of Sarah Palin’s e-mails covering much of her tenure as governor of Alaska. Times reporters will be in Juneau, the state capital, to begin the process of reviewing the e-mails…..We’re asking readers to help us identify interesting and newsworthy e-mails, people and events that we may want to highlight.”

http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/09/nyt-wapo-give-up-even-pretending-to-be-news-organizations/

Rep. Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY) has become the face of the Democratic Party. The unfortunately named congressman has admitted sending sexual messages, as well as a lewd photo of his crotch, to numerous women - six so far and counting. Moreover, a picture of his naked genitals is circulating on the Internet. Mr. Weiner, however, refuses to resign. At a news conference Monday, he admitted to exercising bad judgment and apologized repeatedly to his wife, Huma Abedin, who is pregnant.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/9/weiner-nation/

A few days later, “Anthony Weiner admits contact with girl, 17”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56740.html

It took the contact with the 17 year old girl to get Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the DNC chair to finally turn on him.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56758.html

“Even Bill Clinton is appalled.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/clintons_rip_huma_hubby_BRbnEzzIB7q4qDNwerGSUN?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=

Perhaps Rep Weiner was thinking of himself in 2007 when he said: "Sadly, the Internet is the predator's venue of choice today. We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children."

A federal grand jury indicted two-time democratic presidential candidate John Edwards over $925,000 spent to keep his mistress and their baby in hiding during the peak of his 2008 campaign for the White House.

http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2011/06/john_edwards_indicted_over_925000_spent_on_mistress_baby_in_presidential_campaign.html

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 19 last month was more than 24 percent. Compare that to May of 2000, when the rate was less than 13 percent.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/04/eveningnews/main20069017.shtml

About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months - a higher percentage than during the Great Depression.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/05/eveningnews/main20069136.shtml#ixzz1OVPx4oV9

Herman Cain is the preference of more Georgia Republican voters than any other GOP presidential candidate, according to a statewide poll.

http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2011-06-04/story/cain-wins-georgia-gop-poll

Howard Dean, former DNC Chair, warns democrats that Sarah Palin could defeat President Obama in 2012. Dean says his fellow Democrats should beware of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that Obama would crush Palin in a general-election contest next year.

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/164765-howard-dean-warns-palin-could-beat-obama-in-2012

“A legion of 1,600 newly-recruited Democratic campaign volunteers are fanning out across 40 states today to begin laying the groundwork for the reelection of President Barack Obama…”

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-dnc-mobilize-2012-campaign-volunteer-army/story?id=13768547

Portugal throws out the Socialists

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13658998

Mitt Romney has broken with his party's conservative ranks to declare global warming a real threat to the planet that merits some sort of action to curb heat-trapping emissions.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56580.html

In the past two years, two public safety stories have dominated global news headlines - an explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a nuclear power plant meltdown in Japan. Yet in the recent German organic-food-disease outbreak, nearly twice as many people already have died as in the two other industrial accidents.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/8/dead-bodies-demand-organic-food-moratorium/?page=all#pagebreak

Great moments in socialized medicine: “Nurses casually stepped over a patient as he lay dying on a hospital floor. Peter Thompson, 41, was left in a corridor for ten hours before someone noticed he had passed away.

In a final act of indignity, hospital auxiliaries pulled his lifeless body across the floor in a manner his family described as like ‘dragging a dead animal’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2000824/NHS-indignity-Peter-Thompsons-body-ignored-hours-corridor-Edale-House-unit.html#ixzz1OmtjqagQ

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Thomas Sowell 5/10

One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words. One of those words that many people seldom look behind is "education." But education can cover anything from courses on nuclear physics to courses on baton twirling.

Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of American education, whether in the schools or in the colleges and universities, is closer to the baton twirling end of the spectrum than toward the nuclear physics end. Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school.

We don't have a backlog of serious students trying to take serious courses. If you look at the fields in which American students specialize in colleges and universities, those fields are heavily weighted toward the soft end of the spectrum. When it comes to postgraduate study in tough fields like math and science, you often find foreign students at American universities receiving more of such degrees than do Americans.

A recent headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education said: "Master's in English: Will Mow Lawns." It featured a man with that degree who has gone into the landscaping business because there is no great demand for people with Master's degrees in English.

Too many of the people coming out of even our most prestigious academic institutions graduate with neither the skills to be economically productive nor the intellectual development to make them discerning citizens and voters. Students can graduate from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, without ever learning anything about science, mathematics, economics or anything else that would make them either a productive contributor to the economy or an informed voter who can see through political rhetoric.

On the contrary, people with such "education" are often more susceptible to demagoguery than the population at large. Nor is this a situation peculiar to America....Many Third World countries have turned out so many people with diplomas, but without meaningful skills, that "the educated unemployed" became a cliche among people who study such countries. This has not only become a personal problem for those individuals who have been educated, or half-educated, without acquiring any ability to fulfill their rising expectations, it has become a major economic and political problem for these countries.

Such people have proven to be ideal targets for demagogues promoting polarization and strife. We in the United States are still in the early stages of that process. But you need only visit campuses where whole departments feature soft courses preaching a sense of victimhood and resentment, and see the consequences in racial and ethnic polarization on campus.

There are too many other soft courses that allow students to spend years in college without becoming educated in any real sense. We don't need more government "investment" to produce more of such "education." Lofty words like "investment" should not blind us to the ugly reality of political porkbarrel spending.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2011/05/10/the_education_mantra/page/full/

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"The president and his supporters call for tax increases as a means to cover the deficit, but higher tax revenues cannot eliminate the deficit. Controlling for inflation, federal tax revenue today is 23 times greater than it was in 1960, but congressional spending is 42 times greater. During the last half-century, except for five years, the nation has faced a federal budget deficit. It's just simple math. If tax revenues soar, but congressional spending soars more, budget deficits cannot be avoided. People ask what can be done to save our nation from decline. To ask that represents a misunderstanding of history and possibly a bit of arrogance. After all, how different are Americans from the Romans, Spaniards, French and the English? These were once mighty nations standing at the top of civilization. At the height of these nation's prosperity, no one would have predicted that they'd become third-rate nations, especially England. ... One chief causal factor for the decline of these former great nations is what has been described as 'bread and circuses,' where government spends money for the shallow and immediate wants of the population, and civic virtue all but disappears. For the past half-century, our nation has been doing precisely what brought down other great nations. We might have now reached the point of no return. If so, do we deserve it?"

-Walter E. Williams

"Take the 'tea parties,' which have been accused of racism by the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, mainstream media outlets and entertainer-activists such as Janeane Garofalo, who proclaimed they are 'about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.' So, after nearly two years of 'experts' telling us that the typical tea party member is two holes in a white sheet shy of being a Klansman, guess who is arguably the most popular tea party candidate for president? Herman Cain, a black businessman.

-Jonah Goldberg

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BOOKS, FILM

New York Times bestselling author and conservative political commentator Ann Coulter's new book, "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America", tackles politics once again, this time taking on the liberal left and what she describes as their "mob behavior." In "Demonic," Coulter traces the words and movements of groups from the Ku Klux Klan and the SDS to anti-war protesters and Democrats today to argue her point that liberals have "consistently used mob tactics to implement their idea of the 'general will.'"

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Politics/ann-coulter-conservative-commentator-takes-liberal-mob-read/story?id=13773013&singlePage=true

“The Undefeated,” the flattering new documentary about Sarah Palin, has inked a distribution deal with North America’s second-largest movie theater chain for a July 15 release. AMC Theatres will show “The Undefeated” in markets including Dallas, Denver, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Atlanta, Orange County…..the filmmakers also plan to take “The Undefeated” to the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina for one-night premieres.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56686.html

For years the French glossed over their part in the Holocaust. Now a hit film is forcing them to face their guilt.

http://www.thejc.com/arts/film/50047/the-day-france-betrayed-its-jews

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ISLAM

New Al Qaeda Video: “American Muslims Should Buy Guns, Start Shooting People”

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-video-buy-automatic-weapons-start-shooting/story?id=13704264

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and his pious forbears have now completed dismantling Turkey's secular experiment, and achieved the full-throated re-Islamization of Turkish society….

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/06/mosques_as_barracks_in_america_1.html

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GLOBALONEY

Your Google searches are now killing the planet. “Depending on how long you took and what sites you visited, your search caused the emission of one to 10 grams of carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.”

http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Could+killing+planet+search+time/4891461/story.html#ixzz1OPYvK5sM

Snow on the summit of Mauna Kea? it’s not exactly a rare sight during a Hawaiian winter. But how about in June?......It was hailing in Waimea….

http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2011/06/06/video-summer-snow-in-hawaii-high-on-mauna-kea/

Two new EPA pollution regulations will slam the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and electric rates will skyrocket 11 percent to over 23 percent, according to a new study based on government data. Overall, the rules could cost the coal-fired power plant industry $180 billion, warns a trade group.

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/06/08/coal-regs-would-kill-jobs-boost-energy-bills

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ARTICLES

A lot of people wonder why I like Sarah Palin so much. No, she isn’t polished. No, she isn’t sophisticated. In fact, she can best be summed up with an anagram of her last name: Palin is Plain. Plain-spoken. Plain dealing. Plain and simple. Does that mean she is not smart? Hardly. Does it mean she is not competent? Hardly. Does it mean she is dangerous? Only if you think complicated lies are better for the country than the plain truth. Because what Palin and a lot of other conservative women bring to the table is a passion for honesty, simplicity and righteousness…..

http://dailyinterlake.com/opinion/columns/frank/article_a3bfba84-8ef6-11e0-9571-001cc4c002e0.html

Bernie Goldberg: “There’s one thing die-hard liberal Democrats and hard-core conservative Republicans have in common: They both want Sarah Palin to run for president. That’s where the similarities end. The hard-right wants her to run because they think she’s brilliant – a word they use a lot – and would make a great president. Liberals want her to run because they think she’d get clobbered by President Obama. It doesn’t happen often, but here’s a case where the libs are right and the right is wrong.”

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/06/10/sarah-palin-can-do-many-things-to-help-republicans-running-for-president-isnt/

The saddest thing about the whole sordid, societally humiliating Weiner affair, is that it highlights once again the morally-schizoid nature of the modern liberal woman.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/06/morally-schizoid_liberal_women_and_their_weiner_husbands.html

They don’t like identity politics and aren’t crazy about the word “feminist.” But a lot of conservative women here can’t help but rejoice that they may have a couple of tough-talking, tea-drinking mothers to choose from in the Republican primary.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/conservative-women-enthusiastic-about-bachmann-palin/2011/06/02/AGWcfjJH_story.html

America clocked up a record last week. The latest drop in house prices meant that the cost of real estate has fallen by 33% since the peak – even bigger than the 31% slide seen when John Steinbeck was writing The Grapes of Wrath.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jun/06/us-economy-decline-recovery-challenges

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman and South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is now the basis of a recycled joke. American Crossroads released an attack video on Wasserman Schultz, ripping off the Saturday Night Live "Debbie Downer" theme song.

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2011/06/debbie_wasserman_schultz_debbie_downer_video.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zaYb389Y7OQ#at=17

“…we have now been able to obtain the full official list of 2011 Bilderberg attendees.”

http://www.infowars.com/bilderberg-2011-full-official-attendee-list/

This lowland gorilla shares a moment of quiet reflection with a tiny mallard duckling, who seems fairly nonplussed about being in the presence of one of nature's most powerful beasts. The heart-warming image is among Nature's Best Photography Magazine's wildlife photograph winners for 2010.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001152/Wildlife-photography-award-winners-Gorilla-makes-friends-duckling.html

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LATE NITE

Leno: Congressman Weiner has admitted that he did carry on explicit online relationships with six different women. Well, he thought they were women. Turns out three were woman, one was a guy pretending to be a woman, and the other two were congressmen…….President Obama's top economic adviser, a man named Austan Goolsbee, is stepping down: He will be replaced by something a little more effective, the magic 8-ball. ……..President Obama said today he's not concerned about a double dip recession. He's more concerned the recovery we're in is not creating enough jobs. In fact, do you know what you call a recovery that isn't creating enough jobs? A recession……..The beautiful star of the TV show “Mad Men,” January Jones, is pregnant but she will not reveal who the father is. To which John Edwards said, "Why can't I meet women like this?”

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WISE WORDS

"Marriage is ... in its origin a contract of natural law... It is the parent, and not the child of society; the source of civility and a sort of seminary of the republic."

-Justice Joseph Story

"With an emphasis on enterprise, investment, and work, on jobs and opportunity, we turned around economic decline and national malaise and set in motion one of the longest periods of peacetime economic growth and job creation in postwar history. The pundits ... told us that we couldn't expect to get anything accomplished, even before we got to Washington. Now, they're trying to bring the curtain down before the show is over. ... The notion that government controls, central planning, and bureaucracy can provide cost-free prosperity has now come and gone the way of the hula-hoop, the Nehru jackets, and the all-asparagus diet. Throughout the world the failure of socialism is evident."

-Ronald Reagan

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