Search This Blog

Friday, August 28, 2009

Corruption Pass

Investigation CIA interrogators is "in." Pursuing a "Black Panther" voter intimidation case and public corruption case against a Democrat is "out."

The watery emissions of Nordic manhood

Mark Steyn asks "Do you notice anything shriveling?

...even for a demographic doom-monger such as myself, you could hardly ask for a more poignant fin de civilisation image than a stampede of broody lesbians stymied only by defective semen, like some strange dystopian collaboration between Robert Heinlein and Russ Meyer set in a world divided into muff divers and duff donors.

How's this?

If you suggest that, say, “partial-birth abortion” (which is actually partial-birth infanticide) ought to be illegal, feminists will be out in the street chanting, “Keep your laws off my body!” and “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!” But, when the government tells you you can’t sell your own bodily fluid, which is, after all, about as basic a personal property as anything, there are no outraged progressives to chant “Keep your legislation off my ejaculation!”


From Dennis Gartman:

We fear that his death will now be used by those supporting socialized medicine as a rallying point. Sen. Kennedy… who will be called ad nausea the “Lion of the Senate” again and again and again over the course of the next several days as we prepare for his funeral… wanted socialized medicine as his crowning achievement to his otherwise nonillustrious career, and now there will be sympathy votes in its favour to “honour” him.

We are left to wonder how the family of Mary Jo Koepechne will remember Sen. Kennedy, as we wonder how the faculty and administration of Harvard will remember him, for he killed her and he was expelled from there. Sen. Kennedy continually voted for each and every tax increase he could during his career, arguing that the wealthy should be willing and able to pay greater and greater sums of money to their governments, while the Kennedy family money was protected in various trusts around the country from the vagaries of taxation.

All these things being said, Sen. Kennedy’s death brings socialized medicine one step closer, for the Congress will now feel obligated to pass it in his memory. That is the harsh political reality of his death this morning. We’ve nothing more to say on this topic; we’ve said quite enough and he did quite enough.

Cash for Clunkers: The economy and the environment suffer

From Marotta:

A country can't prosper destroying perfectly good used cars.

To evaluate the long-term effects of the cash for clunkers program, consider the real-world example of Jerry and Janny. They have two children and are expecting a third. The couple owns a Ford Expedition with 144,000 miles that gets 14 miles to the gallon (mpg). They've been interested in getting a replacement and are taking advantage of the cash for clunkers program to subsidize it.

Thus the government handout is merely accelerating Jerry and Janny's plans to purchase a new car. But this small acceleration in new car spending won't last. Compare it to the energy levels of a college student who drinks caffeinated beverages all night cramming for an exam. The immediate stimulus is followed by the inevitable slump.

Neither is the cash for clunkers initiative truly green. The Ford Expedition still has value as a used vehicle. It may not be shiny new, but it could continue to serve Jerry and Janny or another family for several more years. Instead, the regulations require it to be completely stripped and destroyed within 180 days. To measure the true carbon offset from this program, you would need to compare the increased gas efficiency of a new vehicle against the energy it takes to scrap old cars and build new ones.

Jerry and Janny's car is usually full of kids. So the small hybrid vehicles that Obama touts when praising this program are too small for them. They are deciding between the GMC Acadia and the Saturn Outlook, which both average 19 mpg. They could probably help the environment more by just inflating their tires.

As a result of this misguided program, the price for used cars will increase both unnecessarily and artificially. Many cars worth less than the offered bailout will be traded in to be scrapped. Charities will receive fewer automobiles as donations. And people who are struggling financially won't be able to find a clunker that costs less than $4,500. The program seems to encourage new car ownership at the expense of the used car market. The rationale behind it is neither economically nor environmentally sound.

When considering the entire carbon footprint of this program, you will find that continuing to drive your current used car for as long as possible is one of the most green-friendly things you can do.

Cash for clunkers: expensive, stupid, wasteful and bad for the environment.

UPDATED: As boycott continues, Glenn Beck's audience swells

“Even if the powers to be right now succeed in making me poor, drum me out … I will only be stronger for it,” he said on the air Wednesday. “And I will use American ingenuity and my ingenuity to pull myself up, and I will find another way to get this message out, on a platform that will be a thousand times more powerful. Because of my faith, I know how this story ends. The truth will set you free.”

P.J. O'Rourke writing about the Washington Post, but it could as easily have been the Virginian Pilot

Ever since the threat of health care reform energized the American people to talk up, the MSM has been telling us to sit down and shut up. Of course to sit down and talk in dulcet and respectful tones means that the MSM can ignore you, but that's the idea, isn't it?

According to the graduates of Close-Cover-Before-Striking School of Journalism and Basic English, the role of the public is to vote Democrat, repeat MSM talking points and pay more taxes. When that same public dares express ideas of its own it is labeled an “unruly mob” unless it happens to be a Left Wing unruly mob in which case it morphs into a group of concerned citizens speaking truth to power.

In Still 'Crazy' -- And Proud of It, P.J. takes on not just the Washington Post but the entire lemming-like herd of "independent thinkers" who all think alike – with fierce independence - about nationalizing health care.

Us right-wing nuts sure is scary! That's the message from the Washington Post. To put this in language a conservative would understand, the fourth estate has been alarmed once again by the Burkean proclivities of our nation's citizens. The Post is in a panic about (to use its own descriptive terms) "birthers," "anti-tax tea-partiers," and "town hall hecklers."

Accompanying the Perlstein screed was a sidebar by Alec MacGillis explaining how "health care reform is not that hard to understand, and those who tell you otherwise most likely have an ulterior motive."

Health care reform is so simple it takes bills in excess of 1000 pages of legalese which its principal backers in Congress proudly tell us they have not read and can’t understand – but “trust us” it’s for the good.

All you town hall hecklers, calm down and go home. Never mind that Alec MacGillis is a rat, something that's evident by the sixth sentence of his piece: "Fixing [health care] could be very simple: a single-payer system." And never mind that his writing is more than uninformative, it is informationally subtractive. Read him and you'll know less than you know now about what the government is going to do to you and your doctor. Read him carefully and you'll know nothing.

And ideas like this never have any negative consequences like the exodus of Canadians needing health care who cross the border to get it rather than waiting months or years - or forever - for treatment.
P.J is known for his sense of humor and recounts another story of rationing and shortages:

But calm down and go home, because the Washington Post said so. This is exactly the joke that used to be told in the Soviet Union. An old guy's wife tells him to go to the butcher shop and get some meat. He goes to the butcher shop and stands in line for hours. Finally the butcher says, "We're out of meat." The old guy blows his top. He yells, "I am a worker! I am a proletarian! I am a veteran of the Great Patriotic War! I have fought for socialism all my life, and now you tell me you're out of meat! What kind of a system is this?! You are fools! You are thieves! . . . " A big man in a trench coat comes up to the old guy and says, "Comrade, Comrade, not so loud. In the old days you know what they would do if you said such things." The big man in the trench coat makes a pistol motion with his hand. He says to the old guy, "Calm down and go home." The old guy shrugs and leaves. He comes back empty-handed, and his wife says, "What's the matter, are they out of meat?" "Worse than that," says the old guy, "they're out of bullets."

What's interesting and informative is that here in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson is a God to the Left. A quote by Jefferson is supposed to end all discussion, until ...

Perlstein, for all the highness of his dudgeon, doesn't catch the nuts saying anything very nutty. The closest he gets to a lunatic quote is from a "libertarian" wearing a holstered pistol who declares that the "tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of tyrants and patriots." And those are the words of lefty icon Thomas Jefferson.

Now all of a sudden a quote by Jefferson is the mark of a deranged madman! How I wish the MSM would make up what passes for their minds.
He ends:

Why is the paper intimidated by dissent that's tame even by Adlai Stevenson standards? ... No doubt it's always alarming to the know-it-alls when ordinary people decide they'd like some say in ordinary life, when regular folk tell the know-it-alls to take their fishwrap and go blog themselves.

I'll tell you why. People who work for the paper don't do it for the money - or the job security - they do it for the power and, like the money and the job security, the power is slipping away.

Which is a nice segue into a story in the Virginian Pilot about Senator Webb. It appears that Webb’s support for the health care plans currently being rammed through congress may be waning. It could be the letters and e-mails he has been receiving. He is not willing to meet with his constituents in “town-hall” style meetings but will meet with the friendly editors at the Virginian Pilot and in closed meetings with members of the Chamber of Commerce.

But outside of a friendly audience of supportive editors and business leaders who are too polite to raise their voices, here is Jim Webb’s view of the rest of his constituents:

“ I don't need to go to a town hall meeting and have a thousand people screaming
to say that we've been able to listen to them."

Jim Webb, a man of the people …. Not! It reminds me of the threat that Obama made to bankers when he told them that he was the only thing between them and the pitchforks. He had in mind the head-breakers from the unions and ACORN. Webb and Democrats are afraid of grandmothers and grandfathers in sneakers and promotional polo shirts, and that’s what democracy’s all about.

Jim Webb picked up some medals in Viet Nam but he's afraid to meet the voters face to face.

NGC 7822 in Cepheus: The Face of God, a continuing series

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pulling the plug on grandma

Mark Steyn:

The problem with government health systems is not that they pull the plug on Grandma. It's that Grandma has a hell of a time getting plugged in in the first place. The only way to "control costs" is to restrict access to treatment, and the easiest people to deny treatment to are the oldsters. Don't worry, it's all very scientific. In Britain, they use a "Quality-Adjusted Life Year" formula to decide that you don't really need that new knee because you're gonna die in a year or two, maybe a decade-and-a-half tops. So it's in the national interest for you to go around hobbling in pain rather than divert "finite resources" away from productive members of society to a useless old geezer like you. And you'd be surprised how quickly geezerdom kicks in: A couple of years back, some Quebec facilities were attributing death from hospital-contracted infection of anyone over 55 to "old age." Well, he had a good innings. He was 57.

And then this...

America is the Afghanistan of the Western world: That's to say, it has a slightly higher infant-mortality rate than other developed nations (there are reasons for that which I'll discuss in an upcoming column). That figure depresses our overall "life expectancy at birth." But, if you can make it out of diapers, you'll live longer than you would pretty much anywhere else. By age 40, Americans' life expectancy has caught up with Britons'. By 60, it equals Germany's. At the age of 80, Americans have greater life expectancy than Swedes.

How can this be? Well, amazingly, millions of freeborn citizens exercising their own judgment as to which of the latest drugs, tests and procedures suits their own best interests has given Americans a longer, better, more fulfilling old age to the point where there are entire states designed to cater to it. (There is no Belgian or Scottish Florida.) I had an elderly British visitor this month who's had a recurring problem with her left hand. At one point it swelled up alarmingly, and so we took her to Emergency. They did a CT scan, X-rays, blood samples, the works. In two hours at a small, rural, undistinguished, no-frills hospital in northern New Hampshire, this lady got more tests than she's had in the past decade in Britain – even though she goes to see her doctor once a month. He listens sympathetically, tells her old age often involves adjusting to the loss of mobility, and then advises her to take the British version of Tylenol and rest up. Anything else would use up those valuable "resources." So, in two hours in New Hampshire, she got tested and diagnosed (with gout) and prescribed something to deal with it. It's the difference between health "care" (i.e., going to the doctor's every month to no purpose) and health treatment – and on the latter America is the best in the world.

President Barack Obama has wondered whether this is a "sustainable model." But, from your point of view, what counts is not whether the model's sustainable but whether you are. I am certainly in favor of reform. I would support a Singapore-style system of personal health accounts – and Singapore, for Mayor Bloomberg's benefit, has the third-highest life expectancy in the world. But, under any government system that interjects a bureaucracy between you and your health, the elderly and not so elderly get denied treatment. And there's nothing you can do about it because, ultimately, government health represents the nationalization of your body. You're 84, 72, 63, 58, you've had a good innings. It's easy for him to say. And even easier for his army of bureaucrats.

Joe Cocker with subtitles

Joe Cocker at Woodstock.



Ann Coulter ...

With the Democrats getting slaughtered -- or should I say, "receiving mandatory end-of-life counseling" -- in the debate over national health care, the Obama administration has decided to change the subject by indicting CIA interrogators for talking tough to three of the world's leading Muslim terrorists.

Had I been asked, I would have advised them against reinforcing the idea that Democrats are hysterical bed-wetters who can't be trusted with national defense while also reminding people of the one thing everyone still admires about President George W. Bush.

But I guess the Democrats really want to change the subject. Thus, here is Part 2 in our series of liberal lies about national health care.

(6) There will be no rationing under national health care.

Anyone who says that is a liar. And all Democrats are saying it. (Hey, look -- I have two-thirds of a syllogism!)

Apparently, promising to cut costs by having a panel of Washington bureaucrats (for short, "The Death Panel") deny medical treatment wasn't a popular idea with most Americans. So liberals started claiming that they are going to cover an additional 47 million uninsured Americans and cut costs ... without ever denying a single medical treatment!

Also on the agenda is a delicious all-you-can-eat chocolate cake that will actually help you lose weight! But first, let's go over the specs for my perpetual motion machine -- and it uses no energy, so it's totally green!

For you newcomers to planet Earth, everything that does not exist in infinite supply is rationed. In a free society, people are allowed to make their own rationing choices.

Ann Coulter is a polemicist, but she uses logic that people can understand and relate to.

And here's her analysis of the health care plan's abortion position:

There are three certainties in life: (a) death, (b) taxes, and (C) no health care bill supported by Nita Lowey and Rosa DeLauro and signed by Barack Obama could possibly fail to cover abortions.

I don't think that requires elaboration, but here it is:

Despite being a thousand pages long, the health care bills passing through Congress are strikingly nonspecific. (Also, in a thousand pages, Democrats weren't able to squeeze in one paragraph on tort reform. Perhaps they were trying to save paper.)

These are Trojan Horse bills. Of course, they don't include the words "abortion," "death panels" or "three-year waits for hip-replacement surgery."

That proves nothing -- the bills set up unaccountable, unelected federal commissions to fill in the horrible details. Notably, the Democrats rejected an amendment to the bill that would specifically deny coverage for abortions.

After the bill is passed, the Federal Health Commission will find that abortion is covered, pro-lifers will sue, and a court will say it's within the regulatory authority of the health commission to require coverage for abortions.

Then we'll watch a parade of senators and congressmen indignantly announcing, "Well, I'm pro-life, and if I had had any idea this bill would cover abortions, I never would have voted for it!"

No wonder Democrats want to remind us that they can't be trusted with foreign policy. They want us to forget that they can't be trusted with domestic policy.

I can hardly wait for the Virginian Pilot swearing on a stack of Korans that the health care plan does not include abortion.

Virginian Pilot propaganda machine for ObamaCare sputtered into high gear

The Virginian Pilot propaganda machine for ObamaCare sputtered into high gear, reminding me of one of those ObamaClunkers headed for the dealer to be replaced by a nice shiny Toyota. Under the guise of providing facts vs. fiction the half-assed editors apparently rewrote a press release from Team Obama using data gathered by WHO (The World Health Organization).

Unfortunately, the remaining employees of the much-shrunken Virginian Pilot are not very bright, they are no longer believed and their evidence is simply belied by people’s experience. In fact, the editors, in an attempt to paint the worst possible picture of US medical care do themselves and their propaganda a disservice by making it appear as if the US is a medical hell hole, to be shunned by Americans who should be getting their medical care in Poland or Greece.

Yet somehow foreigners seem to be coming from these places with their much vaunted “cheap and better” health care for doctors and hospitals in the United States. So the flurry of statistics is neither believable not convincing.

For a better explanation of where these phony numbers come from, it’s useful to get someone who knows something about how statistics are used to lie. The real problem that the Pilot editors have is that they got their education in English Lit classes and in journalism school. Put them up against a doctor who knows his statistics and they simply look like the foolish, poorly educated partisans that they are.

An article by Richard G. Fessler, MD, PhD, is instructive as he destructs the misleading statistics and makes the point that the US in NOT Poland, Greece, France or England. For all the statistics that show Americans have shorter life spans, it’s interesting to note that:

In fact, if you remove the homicide rate and accidental death rate from MVA’s from this statistic, citizens of the US have a longer life expectancy than any other country on earth.

Homicides and accidental deaths are NOT a feature of our health care system, but a feature of American life.

It’s instructive that in today’s Virginian Pilot, we read about a double homicide in Norfolk, an event that will be factored into any future reports on the life expectancy of American men. Quawasheen Stewart was 21 and Jervonte Barnes was 20. One of the Pilot’s “proofs” that American men die young thanks to our “overpriced and inadequate” health care.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Preparing the language battlefield on "Health Care"

Team Obama had it all worked out: the language to be used to convince the people of the country that the government should run health care.

Helmuth von Moltke said that "no plan survives contact with the enemy." And that has become very apparent with the Obama plan. He has been busy on defense while the forces of freedom are on the attack.

Jonathan Weisman in the Wall Street Journal:

In the rhetorical battle over health care, the forces backing President Barack Obama's overhaul have spent years polling and using focus groups to find the precise language that would win over voters -- an effort that doesn't at the moment appear to be working.

The entire article is worth reading to learn the cast of characters who formulated this plan, including tha AARP, SEIU, The American Cancer Society and Families USA (a very Liberal foundation funded in part by George Soros).

But Dr. Crittenden said no one anticipated the charges that the Obama program would include "death panels" or advocate euthanasia. Perhaps more important, said Lake Research head Celinda Lake, no one foresaw the intensity of protests at town-hall meetings.

"To the extent that we're getting our message out, it's been very influenced by Herndon work. But Dr. Crittenden said no one anticipated the charges that the Obama program would include "death panels" or advocate euthanasia. Perhaps more important, said Lake Research head Celinda Lake, no one foresaw the intensity of protests at town-hall meetings.

"To the extent that we're getting our message out, it's been very influenced by Herndon work. Our biggest problem is it's not getting out," Ms. Lake said.

Oh, I think your message is getting out Celinda. Like most Civil War generals, you expected this to be a brief series of set piece battles with Team Obama in command of the battlefield.

You expected a signing ceremony in August, before anyone knew the details of the plan. You did not keep your eye on your flanks: the Tea Parties that organized and grew well before the health care plan was written. You were flanked by the people you called "tea baggers" and your forces are retreating.

Time to find reinforcements; get help from the loony Left by attacking Bush again.

Nobody is looking to make any news

From Drudge:

*Prosecutor Named to Probe CIA Abuses...
*White House Panel Warns: Swine Flu May Kill 90,000...
*Obama to nominate Bernanke to 2nd term...
*President press event in Massachusetts Tuesday...

Cheney Statement on CIA Documents/Investigation

The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.

Via Steve Hayes @ the Daily Standard

Monday, August 24, 2009

White House hired e-mail spam firm to send e-mails supporting its health care program.

In a stunning about face, the Obama Administration admitted it hired a private communications company, GovDelivery, to send unsolicited emails from David Axelrod in support of ObamaCare. GovDelivery reportedly handles 85% of federal agencies’ emails. The Axelrod emails were apparently paid for with public funds.

Keep your government laws off my penis!

Public health officials are considering promoting routine, universal circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States...

Journalists spied, refugees died ...

It seems that the video shot by the two Al Gore sponsored journalists will lead to torture or death ...

Other refugees, denied the assistance of a network to help them escape North Korea, will now be limited to the option of dying in place. There won’t be a Bill Clinton visit for them, and I doubt Bill Richardson raised the subject while he was whoring for the cameras.

[...] I hope that Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee will use some of the media interest they’ve attracted to bring attention to the horrors they were used to help perpetrate. I suppose there is no undoing what is done, but there is atonement in what Ling and Lee could still do to save others.

They’d better start soon. A lifetime may not be enough to repay a karmic debt this ghastly. But that’s still more than can be said for the thugs who run China.

Let me get this straight...

From Maggie's Farm
Let me get this straight...

We're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, signed by a president that also hasn't read it (and who smokes) with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's nearly broke.

What possibly could go wrong?

I should feel bad about this, but given the CIA’s extensive efforts to undercut Bush, well, I hope they’re enjoying the new administration.

What goes around comes around.
Once you screw your friends, don't expect people to rush to your aide.

What if America transcended race, and Barack Obama wasn’t invited?

Jonah Goldberg asks where the racial healing that was supposed to follow an Obama victory has gone?

It was Obama’s supporters who hinted, teased, promised, and prophesied that Obama would help America “transcend race.” But now, it is they who shrink from their own promised land.

After all, it was not Obama’s detractors who immediately fell into the comfortable groove of racial grievance and familiar “narratives” when Henry Louis Gates insisted that a police instructor in racial sensitivity had to be a racist. That was Obama and his choir of heralds.

A "profanity-laced screaming match" at the White House involving CIA Director Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta is a loyal Democrat but he's also loyal to his country. So when Team Obama decides to put operatives in his agency in jail he had a fit. These are people who risked their lives to extract information from the most intransigent Jihadist to protect the American people from further attacks after 9/11. And now the second-guessers, the lawyers whose primary risk is a paper cut, will decide if they acted "appropriately."

Eric Holder is a mendacious and corrupt slime ball who aided Bill Clinton in is pardon of Marc Rich. He's now Obama's consigliore and appears to be ready to ruin good men with the courts. Because if you have to defend yourself from the federal government, you will be financially ruined, win or lose.

As Director in 2009, my primary interest-when it comes to a program that no longer exists-is to stand up for those officers who did what their country asked and who followed the legal guidance they were given. That is the President's position, too. The CIA was aggressive over the years in seeking new opinions from the Department of Justice as the legal landscape changed. The Agency sought and received multiple written assurances that its methods were lawful. The CIA has a strong record in terms of following legal guidance and informing the Department of Justice of potentially illegal conduct.

I make no judgments on the accuracy of the 2004 IG report or the various views expressed about it. Nor am I eager to enter the debate, already politicized, over the ultimate utility of the Agency's past detention and interrogation effort. But this much is clear: The CIA obtained intelligence from high-value detainees when inside information on al-Qa'ida was in short supply. Whether this was the only way to obtain that information will remain a legitimate area of dispute, with Americans holding a range of views on the methods used. The CIA requested and received legal guidance and referred allegations of abuse to the Department of Justice. President Obama has established new policies for interrogation.

The CIA must also keep its focus on the primary responsibility of protecting the country. America is a nation at war. This Agency plays a decisive role in helping the United States meet the full range of security threats and opportunities overseas. That starts with the continuing fight against al-Qa'ida and its sympathizers. There, alongside all its other contributions, the CIA is helping our government chart a new way forward on interrogation, one in keeping with the President's Executive Order of January 22nd. You, the men and women of this great institution, do the hard work and take the tough risks that intelligence and espionage demand.

Never has a peanut farmer seemed so smart by comparison.

The thrill is gone for Obama and the media.

Let's amend that: the thrill if gone for some in the media, not because they don't agree with his plans to made America a socialist country, but because he's screwing it up. They see their dreams and hopes on hold.


It's been a hilarious August, watching media supporters of President Obama's health care package puzzle over the obscure motivations of the noncompliant Americans rallying against it.

"Racial anxiety," guessed New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

"Nihilism," theorized Time's Joe Klein.

"The crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy," historian Rick Perlstein proclaimed in the Washington Post.

While the commentariat's condescension is almost comical, the whole evil-or-stupid explanation misses the elephant in Obama's room: Americans of all stripes, it turns out, aren't very keen about the government barging into their lives.

An ABC/Washington Post poll from June showed people preferred "smaller government with fewer services" over "larger government with more services" by 54% to 41%, up from 50%-45% a year earlier (independents were even more pronounced, at 61%-35%). A Rasmussen poll from April showed that 77% of Americans preferred a "free market" economy over a "government managed" economy, up seven percentage points from just last December. A July CBS poll found that 52% of Americans think that Obama is trying to do "too much."

After 11 months of federal bailouts and freakouts, Americans have become bone tired of panicky power grabs from Washington. It's the big government, stupid.

What do they think a stimulus is?

In selling its stimulus plan, a large part of the White House's strategy appeared to be marginalizing those who held dissenting views. According to one published report, the president mocked the opposition party for labeling his initiative as a "spending" bill rather than a "stimulus" bill. He quipped to a group of his supporters in Congress: What do they think a stimulus is?

Well, it could ... you know ... stimulate the economy and create more jobs.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Latest Rasmussen: Presidential Approval Index rating of -14

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -14. These figures mark the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President.

It took about 8 years and relentless attacks by the media in concert with the Democrats to drive Bush' poll numbers down. I'm surprised that Obama's are not lower. I have no doubt that the polls will continue to plummet. It's because he's a arrogant fraud surrounded by unsavory allies: a biased media that no one trusts, a Democrat congress that's out of control and doing what it has dreamed of doing, crooks as part of the cabinet and dozens of czars that resemble commissars.

This president will be lucky to serve out his term. Smart Democrats are beginning to distance themselves as a matter of self-protection. The dumb ones will not be re-elected.

Lockerbie bomber

It's time for a reality check.

In what country is it customary to release killers from prison if they have a fatal illness?

It has been quite a while – the better part of a decade - since the once-“Christian” West has been reminded that the Moslem world does not share our moral strictures. The release of the Lockerbie bomber and his hero’s reception in Tripoli for blowing a passenger plane filled with Westerners out of the sky with a bomb is a jarring reminder, to me at least, that the hate that bloodlust that was behind 9/11 is not past. And it also reminds us that it is not an evil restricted to Osama bin Laden or the Taliban.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, a Lybian intelligence agent, is the only person convicted of the bombing, in which a Pan Am jet carrying 259 passengers -- most of them American -- was blown up over Lockerbie in Scotland in December 1988, killing all those on board and 11 people on the ground.

I have no doubt that the people who are responsible for Abdel Basset al-Megrahi’s release did not expect the public adulation that he received. Now they’re in clean-up mode.

Gaddafi hugs Lockerbie bomber; Britain denies deal.

Britain dismissed suggestions of a link between the Lockerbie bomber's release and energy deals with Libya on Saturday, ...

London and Washington have condemned the 'hero's welcome' given to Abdel Basset al-Megrahi on his return to Libya after being freed from a life sentence in a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds because he is dying of cancer.

'The idea that the British government ... would sit down and somehow barter over the freedom or the life of this Libyan prisoner and make it all part of some business deal ... it's not only wrong, it's completely implausible and actually quite offensive,' said British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson.

In Washington, FBI director Robert Mueller released an angry letter he sent to Scottish minister Kenny MacAskill, who ordered the release, calling it inexplicable and detrimental to justice.

'Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world,' Mueller wrote in the letter posted on the FBI's website.

The British may have had had a hint that the release of the bomber could create a public relations nightmare because ...

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office issued a copy of a letter he wrote to Gaddafi on Aug. 20 expressly asking him to refrain from a 'high-profile' welcome for Megrahi.

That request was ignored

Gaddafi met Megrahi on Friday, embracing him and getting a kiss on the hand in return. The beaming Libyan leader expressed gratitude to Brown and Queen Elizabeth.

More than 1,000 Libyans gathered at an airport in Tripoli on Thursday to welcome Megrahi home, cheering and waving national flags, despite the fact relatives of the American victims said they had received assurances there would be no hero's welcome.

And while British officials went into full bare-faced lie mode, Gaddafi gave the more believable story for the reason behind the release.

'This step is in the interest of relations between the two countries...and of the personal friendship between me and them and will be positively reflected for sure in all areas of cooperation between the two countries,' he told Libyan TV.

His son Saif al-Islam went further, saying that whenever he had met British officials to discuss business, the issue of Megrahi's release was a condition of any deal being struck.

Mandelson said he had met Gaddafi's son twice in the past year and the issue of the Lockerbie bomber had been raised both times, but his release was not tied to business deals.

'It's not only completely wrong to make any such suggestion or insinuation, it's also quite offensive,' he told reporters.

The growing sense of unease in Downing Street intensified today after Col Gaddafi praised 'my friend' Gordon Brown and the British Government for their part in securing Megrahi's freedom.

'To my friends in Scotland, the Scottish National Party, and Scottish prime minister, and the foreign secretary, I praise their courage for having proved their independence in decision making despite the unacceptable and unreasonable measures that they faced. Nevertheless they took this courageously right and humanitarian decision,' he said.

Implicating the British royal family:

'And I say to my friend Brown, the Prime Minister of Britain, his Government, the Queen of Britain, Elizabeth, and Prince Andrew, who all contributed to encouraging the Scottish government to take this historic and courageous decision, despite the obstacles.'

Defending the release on compassionate grounds, members of the Scottish government spokesman said all the proper procedures were followed, as was Scottish law:

...a Scottish government spokesman said the decision was reached following proper procedures.

"The justice secretary reached his conclusions on the basis of Scotland's due process, clear evidence, and the recommendations from the parole board and prison governor," the spokesman said.

"Compassionate release is not part of the US justice system but it is part of Scotland's," he added.

"Mr MacAskill could not have consulted more widely -- he spoke with the US families, the US attorney general, Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton and many others.

"Mr Megrahi has been sent back to Libya to die a convicted man."

It appears that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, and a host of other US officials have some explaining to do. And perhaps we can inquire of noted Scottish Law expert Arlen Spector about compassionate release of mass murderers under Scottish law.

The Gum Nebula

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Peasants Are Revolting

Count de Monet: “It is said that the people are revolting.”
King Louis XVI: “You said it. They stink on ice.”

– “History of the World: Part I”

Out of the mouths of babes … and B-movie comedies come our words of wisdom. The people are indeed revolting. It makes sense. Americans have found their politicians revolting for decades. Now the tables are turned.

And no matter how often and loudly Donny Luzzatto tells the public to shut up and sit down, it's not going to work. The MSM will never again be the dominant voice in the public square.

The new tools enable voters of both sides to speak out and organize more easily. Whichever side is in power will discover that opposition can form even when the media ignore an issue.

The Internet revolution is inflaming political activists and politics may never recover. It’s less messy than the guillotine, but the tech rebellion is severing ties with old media just as cleanly.

buh, bye Donny. You are excess overhead.

Video: Marine goes nuclear on Democrat over ObamaCare

The Democrat in question is Brian “Brown Shirts” Baird, thus the pounding he takes here is extra gratifying.

Baird made headlines last week by comparing town hall protesters to Nazi guards.

"What we're seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics," Baird told the Columbian. "I mean that very seriously."

Czar Power

The focus on Obama’s czars has mostly been on their number. As of now, there are roughly three dozen, or thirty two, depending on your headcount.

The issue that should be highlighted is the power of these czars. The American Thinker recalls the power, in another time and place of “commissars.”

The three dozen or so people that Barack Obama has surrounded himself with to handle this problem or that issue, and yet are not confirmed by the Senate or operating an agency created by Congress, are not really his "czars." These people are, instead, his "commissars." Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany both called those vague, undefined figures appointed by the Leader to carry out his intentions "commissars" ...

Congress has the right and the duty to review, confirm, or reject the chief officer of the federal executive and legislative branches (except, of course, for the president and vice president.) And Congress has the right and the duty to remove any important federal officer who is corrupt or exceeds the powers of his office. The duty of Congress to remove corrupt principal officers of the executive and judicial branches is often simply forgotten. If the Secretary of the Treasury, for example, engages in some stinky behavior, he usually simply resigns. But whether he does -- indeed, even if he does -- the House can impeach him and the Senate can convict him.

That is a deliberate check the Founding Fathers intended to give Congress over the Executive Branch. But could the House impeach or how could the Senate convict an Obama commissar, who had never been confirmed by the Senate and who held a position not created by Congress? Cabinet secretaries and heads of agencies are accountable both to the president and to Congress. These commissars, on the other hand, could not be impeached and removed from office because they do not, formally, hold an office.

The question becomes, where do these czars – or commissars – derive their authority? The question is important because the authority some claim to possess is vast. From The Gartman Letter:

...we are growing weary of the number of “Czars” that President Obama is appointing for the US, and we are even more wary of the power that these men and women are and shall be wielding over the course of the next three years. We fear the centralization of power in Washington more than we fear almost anything these days for these “Czars” believe that they have been anointed rather than appointed, and their lust for power is really quite frightening.

We say this in light of the statement from the newly appointed “Pay Czar,” Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, who was, until recently, Sen.Ted Kennedy’s Chief of Staff. His official title is “Special Master for Compensation,” a title that only a Politburo member or a Social Democrat would find comforting. It is, however, his own comments regarding his area of overview and the power that he believes he has that cause us the greatest concern. When asked what powers he shall wield, Mr. Feinberg said

The statute provides guideposts, but the statue ultimately says I have the discretion to decide what it is that… people should make and that my determination will be final….Anything is possible under the law.

Re-read this again and consider for a moment what it means. He did indeed say that “Anything is possible” and he did indeed say previously that his “determination will be final.” If this is not central planning, we know not what is? If this is not overreach, what is? If this is not dangerous, what is? This is not the change that many of our friends on Wall Street thought they were supporting with their money, their time and their votes last November. At this pace, Atlas will not be allowed to shrug; he will be shackled instead.

We have a commissar who believes his authority extends to setting the pay of people … without limit … since he has discretion to do anything and from his determination is no appeal.

That’s an issue of pay.

Now the same government will surely be appointing a health czar, because you can be sure that if “health reform” passes, it will require a commissar whose determination is final and whose discretion is infinite.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Subtle Theological Point

Andrew Klavan

Referring to the belief that God decides during the Jewish New Year “who shall live and who shall die,” Obama told the rebs, “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.”

In response to this statement I would like to make a subtle theological point: No, we’re not. For those of you who aren’t versed in the finer points of theology, let me try to simplify that for you: No. We’re not. Or to put it even more simply: No. We. Are. Not.

...when God tells Jeremiah (1:5), “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,” or when he sarcastically asks Job (38:17), “Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” does that sound to you like a guy discussing matters with his partners? To me, God really seems to be suggesting there that we humans know sweet suffering goose-egg about the greater mysteries of life and death. Indeed, he seems to feel that the understanding of those mysteries is reserved for him alone and their disposition in his sole power. It’s possible, if properly understood, he might include even Barack Obama in his list of people whose partnership he is not soliciting in these matters.

Phil Hamilton pulls an Obama

The Virginian Pilot exposes lawmaker ODU severs ties with Del. Hamilton at teacher center
Delegate Phil Hamilton’s wife must not have wanted the job. When the Obamas needed extra income, they got Michelle a job

After Barack Obama became an Illinois state legislator, his wife moved up as well, scoring a job as 'vice president of community relations' at the University Of Chicago Hospital for a very generous salary of $121,910. When Obama became a senator in 2005, her 'salary' leapfrogged to $$316,962 for the same job...and one of Senator Obama's first acts in office was to see to it that the hospital received over a million dollars of your tax dollars as an earmark.

Well, Michelle has moved on,and guess what...that vital job of hers,worth a salary of over $300 K has been quietly eliminated.

It's the Chicago Way, cushy no-show jobs in exchange for political patronage...fist bump.

Here's the lovely lady with the "toned arms" now:

Phil Hamilton came a lot cheaper than Michelle and took the job himself. His wife must have wanted to stay at home. Oh wait, Michelle didn’t come in to work at her “no-show” job either. Hamilton needs to study up on how the big boys and girls do it.

It's good to have this sort of thing exposed. If you are a legislator who needs some extra money and can get it by steering the public's money to people who will pay, it's called by its proper name: corruption. Of course it helps if the newspapers turn a blind eye to your pay for play schemes. But for that you have to have a "D" after your name.

I wonder if Phil Hamilton came to work?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obama thinks he's God's partner.

We are God's partners in matters of life and death," - Barack Obama.

I am a Christian and a humble, sinful, follower of Christ, the Son of God.

The thought that anyone would claim the mantle of God's partnership is - in my estimation - the province of people so deluded that they should be committed to an insane asylum.

The comments to a group of Liberal rabbis were poster on twitter, and then quickly erased as they went viral on the internet. That may have had something to do with Rush Limbaugh publicizing his comments.

Via Hot Air:

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a believer be so presumptuous as to say we’re “partners” with God on the ultimate question, let alone one who’s pushing a government program that’s got people worried about “death panels,” but oh well. Water off an atheist’s back, baby. In fact, partnership’s actually a nice conceptual framework for The One’s position on abortion: God’s the junior partner and we’re the senior partners, and sometimes the senior partner has to exercise his/her veto


Gerard Vanderleun asks who the real revolutionary artist is. (Isn't is liberating to be a revolutionary?)

Alkhateeb? Alkhateeb's a punk. The real artist remains a shadow, but whoever he is I'm putting him up as the official artist of the Conservative Revolutionary Front (CRF).

The classic "Who done it?" remains. It's not the Kuchinch supporter rendering spooky mash-ups on the Internet that's the hero of this classic bit of Appropriationist art. It's the mysterious Man in the Arena with a bunch of Samizdat Smash the State posters and a pot of paste for sticking them up.

The young hippies didn't riot for their ideals, they rioted to impress their girlfriend and get laid. There is not a lot of idealism to avoiding the draft so that you won't get your ass exposed to bullets in the battlefield.

But when you get middle agers and oldsters out of their barcaloungers into the streets, you know you have an issue that's not hidden. It's right out in public, and to ridicule, denigrate or talk down to these people is a BIG mistake;

Whether you are a politician or and editor. To do so may make you feel good (and get you kudos from your amen corner)- temporarily - but it's stupid ... it's beyond stupid, its suicidal.

But they can't help it. It's in their genes. It's always worked before. But like a wise man once said, a trend continues ... until it stops. And the Left will not recognize the end of a trend until their house comes down around their ears. Some lessons are not learned, they must be experienced.

Unreal: MSNBC edits clip of man with gun at Obama rally to support racism narrative

Here's the MSNBC report - the theme is angry white racists:

Here's a picture of the guy carrying the gun

Never will you see a starker example of MSNBC getting away with the sort of deception for which Fox News would be pilloried, especially in the context of race. If you missed Monday’s post about this, go watch the footage (or look at this photo) and see if you can deduce why they wouldn’t want to show the guy with the rifle from the neck up during this particular segment. For all the well-deserved heat that MSNBC’s primetime line-up has taken for its demagoguery — Maddow has been notably egregious during the health-care blowup — this proves that they’re not above pulling this crap during their daytime “hard news” segments either.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Obama Iconography

The Obama icon will become as popular as the tetraskelion.

Lies Revealed — Greenpeace Leader Admits Arctic Ice Exaggeration

Click on the link for the rest of the story...

Obama lends money to Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

Obama, while blocking offshore drilling in US waters, has committed $2 billion to Petrobras, a company largely owned by Obama supporter George Soros who bought his stake in the second quarter (what did he know and when did he know it?) for the purpose of drilling in waters off the shore of Brazil.

On top of giving hundreds of millions in ad contracts to a company founded by David Axlerod, this administration is giving new meaning to the term "culture of corruption."

From Flopping Aces

In 2008 Michelle Malkin penned a column in which she described the payoffs in store for George Soros and friends if Obama were elected. Funny how quickly Obama has been able to keep that promise.

George Soros stands to make hundreds of millions in profit from a loan by the U.S. to Petrobas for offshore drilling. Why is no one surprised? Perhaps as a thank you gesture, George Soros has been pouring millions of dollars of his ill-gotten gains into the Obama Hell Care racket.

Troubling Symbols

Set the Way-Back machine for an earlier time, say middle Europe in 1938. There was a very advanced country, known for its technological prowess, great literature, art, advanced culture in which people addressed each other by first invoking their fidelity to the leader of this great country by hailing his name.

I will not mention its name of its leader, but the fate of this country was intimately tied up with the fate of its leader. This leader had rescued his people from a great economic catastrophe, restored his people’s crushed pride, provided an unprecedented level of government services, restored the country from pariah status to great nation status and was adored by most of his people, especially the women because while certain of his features were caricatured by his enemies he was good looking by the standard of the times. Race was one key of his success. He was spellbinding speaker and specialized in symbols and public theater. The press was firmly on his side. His leadership was predicted to determine the course of his nation and the world for the next millennium.

Unfortunately it all came to a very bad end. Which is why, while the young do not have memories of those times, the oldsters are troubled by what seems to be the repetition of a theme. Charismatic leaders are a risk. Leaders who have adherents that use symbols representing the leader instead of the nation bring back disturbing echoes of the past.

Perhaps it’s nothing … people hope. The Fuhrer principal died with the Fuhrer, nicht wahr? So when adherents of a modern charismatic leader use that leader’s personal symbol instead of national symbols we hope it means nothing, or at least not a repeat, in modern dress, of the past.

Still, we can’t help but have this slight shiver run down our spines to see the Obama Youth display the leader’s personal symbol.

Note the Obama supporter symbols at 2:40 and t-shirt at 2:57.

And see that personal symbol incorporated into national programs.

It’s troublesome to some … but only to some, which is equally troubling.

UPDATE: PJTV has a great video on Obama's symbols: The Power & Danger of Iconography

It occurred to me this morning that discussions of national issues generally involve national icography, like the flag. many celebrities on the Left - like Sean Penn - denounced it, or said, like Robert Altman "When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke." No one thought of denouncing a large "W" becaue that was not a national icon. Today we are developing a national symbol that is an icon of one man. How are we, who dissent from the policies of that man, supposed to relate to that icon?

For a laugh, view this video by Susan Sarandon ... she no longer lives in fear because Obama reigns ...

Video: Handicapped Woman Cries After Assault By Union Thugs at Town Hall

From the blogprof:

Hope and change? Ordinary Americans come to speak out, and union thugs are unleashed upon them by Obama and his minions. Just keep in mind that this is Obama's idea: White House to Democrats: 'Punch back twice as hard'.

Glenn Reynolds remarks on the lies told by the Left:

JOSH MARSHALL: “Let’s be honest with ourselves: the American right has a deep-seated problem with political violence.”

You mean like the violence against Ken Gladney? A peaceful black guy beaten by thugs who called him the N-word? Who wouldn’t have a problem with that? Oh, wait, I get it . . . .

Nat Hentoff - no right winger he - says I am finally scared of a White House administration

I was not intimidated during J. Edgar Hoover's FBI hunt for reporters like me who criticized him. I railed against the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights without blinking. But now I am finally scared of a White House administration. President Obama's desired health care reform intends that a federal board (similar to the British model) — as in the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation in a current Democratic bill — decides whether your quality of life, regardless of your political party, merits government-controlled funds to keep you alive. Watch for that life-decider in the final bill.
He calls this form of rationing — which is fundamental to Obamacare goals — "the complete lives system." You see, at 65 or older, you've had more life years than a 25-year-old. As such, the latter can be more deserving of cost-efficient health care than older folks. ...

Condemning the furor at town-hall meetings around the country as "un-American," Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are blind to truly participatory democracy — as many individual Americans believe they are fighting, quite literally, for their lives.

From more, read "Death Panels" and until then Will "community organizers" be monitoring your weight?

IC 1396 and Surrounding Starfield

Images of the face of God.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Will "community organizers" be monitoring your weight?

Thanks to Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club:

Lest you think that this is either a silly question of one of those "outragious lies" the Left is screaming about, it's possible - according to Chris Dodd - the ACORN will be checking you out and determining your ...

(i) decreases in weight;
(ii) increases in proper nutrition;
(iii) increases in physical activity;
(iv) decreases in tobacco use prevalence;

Can you say "Big Brother" is watching you? This monstrosity is brought to you by the US Senate. See the bill, pages 382 - 387.
Fernandez asks ...

What would be the point of collecting this information if it isn’t going to be used? Would the panels be interested in utilizing this data? Who are these eligible entities who will find the time to busy themselves with what you weigh, eat, do or smoke? CNS reports that they will be unspecified groups of private citizens receiving government money. Their exact composition is yet to be determined.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said that it is possible that the controversial group ACORN could qualify for the available grants. “I don’t believe so, but they could be,” Dodd told, in an earlier interview. “I just don’t want to say categorically it’s the case.”

Where are all the feminists screaming at the top of their lungs to keep our hands off their uterus? It looks like they're giving a Lewinsky to Obama. If this passes the government will have their hands on every part of your body. This is an outrage!

Death Panels

Andrew Klavan in the Wall Street Journal

It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance.
—President Barack Obama in a New York Times interview on how costly medical decisions should be made.

The people behind the long table do not know what they've become. The drug of power has been sugared over in their mouths with a flavoring of righteousness. Someone has to make these decisions, they tell their friends at dinner parties. It's all very difficult for us. But you can see it in their eyes: It isn't really difficult at all. It feels good to them to be the ones who decide.

"Well, we have your doctor's recommendation," says the chairwoman in a friendly tone. She peers over the top of her glasses as she pages through your file.

You have to clear your throat before you can answer. "He says the operation is my only chance."

"But not really very much of a chance, is it?" she says sympathetically. Over time, she's become expert at sounding sympathetic.

"Seventy percent!" you object.

"Seventy percent chance of survival for five years—five years at the outside—and even that only amounts to about 18 months in QALYs: quality-adjusted life years."

"But without this procedure, I'll be dead before Christmas."

You try to keep the anger out of your voice. The last thing you want to do is offend them. But the politicians promised you—they promised everyone—there would never be panels like this. They made fun of anyone who said there would. "What do they think we're going to do? Pull the plug on grandma?" they chuckled. The media ran news stories calling all rumors of such things "false" or "misleading." But of course by then the media had become apologists for the state rather than watchdogs for the people.

In fact, the logic of this moment was inevitable. Once government got its fingers on the health-care system, it was only a matter of time before it took it over completely. Now there's one limited pool of dollars while the costs are endless.

"You have the luxury of thinking only of yourself, but we have to think about everyone," says the professor of ethics. He's a celebrity and waxes eloquent every Tuesday and Thursday on Bill Maher Tonight. "This isn't the free market, after all. We can't just leave fairness to chance. We have to use reason. Is it better for society as a whole that we allocate limited resources for your operation when we might use the same dollars to bring many more high quality years to someone, say, younger?"

"I'm only 62."

He smiles politely.

"Look, it's not just about me," you argue desperately. "My daughter's engaged to get married next year. She'll be heartbroken if I'm not there for it."

"Maybe you should have thought of that before you put on so much weight," says the medical officer. "I mean, you people have been told time and again . . ."

But the chairwoman is uncomfortable with his censorious tone and cuts him off, saying more gently, "Perhaps your daughter could move the wedding up a little."

The member in charge of "stakeholder" exceptions shakes her head sadly as she studies your file. "If only you could have checked off one of the boxes. It would be awful if you were penalized just because of a clerical oversight."

It begins to occur to you that this is how you are going to die: by the fiat of fatuous ideologues—that is to say, by the considered judgment of a government committee. They are going to snuff you out and never lose a minute's sleep over it, because it's only fair, after all.

That logic is implacable too. Free people can treat each other justly, but they can't make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end.

You know you should keep your mouth shut. Be humble—they like that. But you speak before you can stop yourself.

"What you're doing here is evil," you cry out. "You're trying to take the place of God!"

"Sir, this is a government building!" says the chairwoman, shocked. "There's no God here."

Don't call them "Death Panels." That would be a lie, right? SOMEONE needs to see to the fair allocation of scarce health care resources. "We regret that your operation takes needed resources away from someone with a better quality of life. Thank you for being here. You are dismissed. Next case!"

BizarroBurner: Where Black is White and Racists Don't Get a Pass


The Power & Danger of Iconography: The Resistance Steals Obama's Weapons


Monday, August 17, 2009

The fundamental problem with “health care reform.”

Among all the sturm and drang regarding the bills being proposed to “reform” American health care, the over-riding problem is not in any particular detail. Of course the bills don’t refer to “death panels” and don’t demand you ask to be terminated during those end-o-life sessions with your doctor. Of course there’s no demand that the taxpayer pay for abortion … in the bill.

But ….

And here’s a big but: the bill in the House gives virtual carte blanche to government officials and administrators to do pretty much anything they want as it impacts your health. And the bill specifically exempts many administrative decisions from court review.

Read section 142 of HR3200 to see the powers of the Health Choices Administration.

So if the administrator demands that all private and public insurance plans include abortion coverage, it will be done.

If the administrator needs information from your employer it must be provided because the bill allows the administrator to determine what information is needed. That is pretty much an open ended right to pry into your private affairs.

The congress and Obama administration want to create a structure in which your individual health care decisions will be subject to the will of a government department. That is a fundamental re-ordering of the rights of a free people and a very, very dangerous act.

It is sometimes said that the “devil is in the details.” In this case, the devil is in the concept itself.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shocker! Kate Moss Looks Different Before And After Airbrushing

I don't know who the celebrities are any more; I'm of a different generation. But this side-by-side is shocking. I had no idea that make-up and airbrushing could make that much difference.

Testing Obamacare’s Meddle: To cut costs, government must meddle not just with how we live, but how we die.

Under the plan discussed at President Obama’s infomercial-esqe town halls, America would cut costs and expand coverage while avoiding rationing. Apparently, it’s paranoid to think that’s too good to be true.

But that's what you are expected to believe. If you don't you are a paranoid fool whose a racist Nazi in the pocket of Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Business (and you are to ignore the fact that they are bankrolling ObmamaCare).

"Help me Oh-be-Won Obama, you're my only hope."

Remember that scene from Star Wars where Princess Lea sends a plea to Obi-Wan Kenobe for help? That's the half-assed Virginian Pilot editorial board bleating a plea for the Mighty "Won" to come to the rescue of the beleaguered Obama health care plan.

Please take a moment to read the editorial Time for leadership on health reform.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

Done? Good, let's deconstruct.

The president's error - which has seriously damaged the cause of health care reform - came in ceding responsibility to a Congress that has proven itself consistently incapable of tackling difficult issues.

An interesting observation and one that Rush Limbaugh has been repeating daily: Obama has no health care plan. He has a campaign slogan and he’s good at attacking straw men, but the only “plans” are found in proposed legislation. The one furthest along is the House plan HR 3200 which is over 1000 pages long.

Health care reform was never going to be easy, but the White House's retreat is making it more difficult. In the absence of leadership from President Barack Obama, fear and anger - some of it real, some of it cynical and manufactured - rushed into the void.

Really? You have to give the Virginian Pilot editors credit for belaboring the obvious.

Taking over one-sixth of the nation’s economy was never going to be easy? But it had to be done within the first six months of this administration? Taking responsibility for the health care of 300 million Americans should be done in the virtual twinkling of an eye? The permanent transformation of the role of government to the people in the most intimate parts of their lives needed to be rushed so that Obama could sign a bill by the August recess?

Help me Oh-be-Won Obama, you're my only hope.

And that fear and anger; what part of it is cynical and manufactured? The part that said that if we did not pass this legislation NOW, the economy would collapse? The part that said that that doctors were amputating your feet to make $50,000?

The part that said that that your 100-year-old mother should not get a pacemaker, but instead should take a pain pill? The provision in the House bill that set up a national medical standards board that would determine what kind of treatment would be allowed?

There's no question that the violent backlash has been exacerbated by political opportunists, by anti-tax activists, by a health care industry that sees its riches threatened. Anyone who doubts the organization behind the opposition hasn't been paying attention to modern politics.

And here emerges the ever-ready boogie man of every member of the MSM, the Evil Industrialists. Drag out and pillory the straw villain du-jour: Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Coal. Hey guys, how about Big Media? You know, the guys who are destroying the planet by distributing waste paper that will choke landfills wrapped in those bad plastic bags that you love to demonize via your monopoly in one-newspaper towns? But I digress.

So when reality pokes its head in, let’s see who those EEEEVILLLL corporations are lined up with. Why none other than Oh-be-Won Obama who has them all collected in the “Death (to granny) Star.” While the foam flecked idiots on the Pilot’s editorial board were calling for help, they neglected to notice that Big Pharma, Big Medicine (AMA), Big PR Firms (Obama aide Axlerod), Big Old People (AARP), Big Business, Big Hospitals, and Big Labor were contributing about $25 million in political payoffs and protection money to Team Obama. To what end? To run a gigantic sales campaign against the average Americans who are communicating via the Internet and volunteering to show up at town hall meetings for the privilege of being smeared by the media as unruly mobs and Nazis, to being beaten to a pulp by union goons, and by the Democrats in Congress as un-American as they register their protest to this power grab by Big Government and the Left.

Even so, the organic worries have been undeniably real. Instead of acknowledging and doing their best to assuage those fears, supporters of reform have too often dismissed opponents as irrational, as unwitting tools of talk radio, the anti-government cabal and the insurance industry.

Take a bow, Virginian Pilot, you were right there smearing and vilifying with the best of them. But maybe the reaction from your customers made you realize that there is a limit to how much you can insult them.

And that contempt has helped turn what might have begun as mere apprehension into a barely controlled rage.

But the temptation to take a late hit is just too great, isn’t it? So the protestors are not upset, they’re not angry, they are barely controlling their “rage.” That’s what a villainous mob exhibits: rage. How very clever.

Some town halls have been dominated by Medicare recipients railing against government health care, by men and women using the opportunity to express disgust with every change in the past 40 years.

Maybe they have learned that – to save money – their reimbursement may be cut. And fewer doctors will be willing to take them on as patients. Maybe they have experienced the long waits, the hurried exams, the quality of care that government underpaid doctors provide. Maybe they understand that when Big Government takes over it shoulders everyone else aside.

Ridiculous rumors about what the health reform bills contain - death panels, taxpayer-funded abortion, mandated euthanasia - have spread to the point that there's no recalling them, no matter how wrong they are.

This is a wonderful illustration of exactly why the MSM and Team Obama have lost credibility: take the concern that people express, hold it up, and laugh at it. Ridicule the people for their beliefs. Don’t explain, don’t discuss, just ridicule. The reason for the ridicule is that the facts are not on their side. The House bill may not have establish groups called “death panels” (that would be politically insane) but it does have provisions for adminsitratiors and boards that determine the kind of care that can be provided. And the cost of the care does enter into the equation. So it’s inevitable that some people who are ill will be denied the treatment that they want because they are too old or too sick. And the decision will not be theirs, or their relatives or the doctor treating them or the hospital they are in … it will be the Government. Call the panels what you will, but to some it will be a “death panel” from whose decision there is no reprieve.

Abortion is discussed here.

Instigators carry loaded guns to presidential events,

“Instigators?” In New Hampshire, as in Virginia, guns can be carried without a permit if they are carried openly. Gun rights activists have made a show of exercising their rights right here in Norfolk, to the dismay of the Virginian Pilot for whom the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is one of those silly anachronisms that should be written out of the constitution by the courts. But it’s a great way of branding people who protest ever bigger and more intrusive government as nuts.

… tote veiled threats on posterboard and wonder what people are worried about.

Ah, yes, those ever-useful “veiled threats” on deadly posterboard. What would the MSM do without posterboard veiled threats, the un-sourced quote and “experts say.”

Swastikas and Nazi salutes are deployed at town halls without anyone understanding the irony or acknowledging the offense.

Let’s get this put to bed. Nancy Pelosi started this swastika smear, labelling her opponents Nazis. And the Virginian Pilot continues the smear without an ounce of remorse or self-reflection. The Nazis did have a great national health care system, didn’t you know? So who’s the Nazi?

This national conversation would never have been easy; health care is far too complex for simple solutions. Unfortunately, though, nobody tried. Certainly not Congress, and until just this week, not the president.

This is bullshit on stilts. Until the people began to protest and protest loudly, there was no “national conversation” on health care. There was just the bald assertion – by the Left and its media megaphones - that the present health care system was broken and what was needed was a government take-over. The only discussing was about the details and those discussions were held well away from the great unwashed, the people who were going to be the guinea pigs in this latest adventure of Big Government.

And Oh-be-Won Obama wanted this to be the crowning achievement of his first six months in office so he gave the marching orders to congress to create the legislation while he made speeches telling the American people that if the Government did not take over health care, and do it now, America faced a financial catastrophe. It all began to sound the same:

If we did not pass the stimulus bill NOW America faced financial catastrophe, and unemployment would exceed 8% …

If we did not take over GM and Chrysler now and turn them over to the UAW America faced financial catastrophe …

If the government did not take over AIG and run the banks America faced financial catastrophe ….

America expects its political loudmouths to avoid actual debate;

Look in the mirror, Virginian Pilot loudmouths. You were once the loudest mouths around, but the little people, the ones who paid your bills but who you looked down on, spit on editorially are now getting a little louder and you hate, hate, hate it. And as we note, you don’t debate … You avoid it by vilifying and ridiculing.

But the nation elects people to lead, to find the best solutions and to work tirelessly to implement them. Instead, on health care, President Obama essentially delegated the work to people incapable of providing the necessary leadership.

Help me Oh-be-Won Obama you’re my only hope!

Don’t you people realize that you elected a pretty boy in an empty suit? What did he run on? “Hope-N-change.” “I’m not George Bush.” He ran against a field full of straw men and you cheered him on. He was as scripted as a Hollywood movie and could not talk coherently without his TelePrompTer. When he went off script he explained to a woman that he would have denied her elderly mother a pacemaker, telling her that mom should take a pill. He never had to explain his 20 years with Jeremiah “God damn America” Wright who attributed aids to a government plot to destroy black people and spewed anti-Semitism from the pulpit.

Community organizers don’t actually do anything except organize others to do the work. So you got what you asked for, and now you’re stuck with him.

The resulting 1,000-page bill is almost a parody of congressional dysfunction, back-scratching and special-interest massaging. Although it contains none of the provisions opponents are screaming about, it remains an overly complicated legislative disaster that seems certain to make some things worse.

A lie wrapped inside an insight. But we have discussed this lie before. Let’s talk about a bigger point. This bill, which the editors at the Virginian Pilot call a complicated legislative disaster, would have been signed into law by Barack Obama to the acclaim of the media in the largest signing ceremony in recorded history… if it had passed in its present form. Is there any doubt about that? Does anyone anywhere dispute that? The Pilots’ editors were demanding a bill, any bill and telling opponents to shut up and sit down. Barack Obama wanted a bill, any bill; so that he could claim he reformed health care. The fact that the bill would have been a disaster for the American people is simply not important. The success of Oh-be-Won Obama is the issue. It’s all about HIM.

Health care reform should begin with two simple goals: Increasing access and decreasing costs. Beyond that, everything else should be subject to reconsideration. It's time to renew this debate, in maturity and in good faith.

No. First, health care reform should be about improving health care for all Americans. Second, discussions in good faith will not take place on the pages of the Virginian Pilot. That has been effectively demonstrated, so shut up and sit down (How does it feel?)

Specious arguments for and against reform must be countered, not with thuggery or contempt, but with reason and calm. Reform is too important to be abandoned because we fear change, because the mob shouts, because political opportunists lie, or because it is opposed by moneyed interests.

Need more proof of the Pilot’s ability to engage in name calling and denigration of its opponents? Dragging in the "special interests" again when the funny/sad part of this fiasco is that the special interests appear to funding the Obama campaign. If the national discussion on health care ever takes place, one place it will not appear is on the pages of the Virginian Pilot. It never ends.

Someone must lead this effort to reform the nation's health care system, as surely as leaders before convinced us of the wisdom of war, of the New Deal, of Social Security, of civil rights, of Medicare. That is why we elect a president.

“Help me Oh-be-Won Obama, you're my only hope” moan the Pilot’s editors.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yale and Islamic money ... could it be connected to the decision to delete the Mohammad cartoons?

Roger Kimball find that Yale lied about the "unanimity" of experts recommending the cartoons not be printed. As usual, it's instructive to follow the money.

Sheila Blair, professor of Islamic and Asian art at Norma Jean Calderwood University and one of the authorities consulted by Yale about publication, said she had “strongly urged” the press to publish the images. “To deny that such images were made is to distort the historical record and to bow to the biased view of some modern zealots who would deny that others at other times and places perceived and illustrated Muhammad in different ways,” she wrote in a letter to the New York Times which is yet to be published.

So what's going on?

The story in the Times implied that in its appeal to experts the University and/or the YUP was exercising normal caution. But in fact, Professor Klausen’s book had already been throughly vetted.
“I strongly suspect . . . that the threats-of-violence trope was a pretext, or at most a subsidiary concern” for Yale. What was the real reason that Yale was anxious to bowdlerize Professor Klausen’s book? Even now, I know, energetic investigative reporters are looking into Yale’s financial relationships with some of the spots where Linda Lorimer, Vice President and Secretary of the University, told Professor Klausen she has often traveled recently: Saudi Arabia, for example.

I'll add another little fact. Yale's endowment lost 25% in the second half of 2008.
The value of the University’s endowment fell an estimated 25 percent, roughly $6 billion, between the end of June and December, University President Richard Levin announced Dec. 16.

The drop prompted the Universityto delay several planned capital projects and cap faculty and staff salary growth. But the endowment’s decline, though seemingly dramatic — the fund shrank to approximately $17 billion from $22.9 billion

Would Yale like to see a few billion roll in from the oil kingdoms? Do bears shit in the woods?