Saturday, October 24, 2009

Obama Nominee: Marriage Is Not a Good Thing

Chai Feldblum, Obama's nominee for the EEOC, aims to fundamentally change America's definition of marriage.

"My own view, reflected in my writing over the past decade, is that government often appropriately legislates on a shared social vision of morality and that changing the public's moral assessment of same-sex sexual activity is thus key to achieving true equality for LGBT people. For some time, I have articulated this view as a requirement that the public must come to view homosexuality and heterosexuality as morally equivalent - that is, the public must believe that both straight sex and gay sex encompass equivalent moral ‘goods'...that there is nothing inherently immoral or wrong with two people of the same gender engaging in sexual conduct. That belief of moral neutrality must then be coupled with an affirmation that government has an obligation to advance what I term ‘statements of moral understanding'. Four of those statements are the following: it is good for human beings in society to feel safe, to feel happy, to experience and give care, and to live a life of authenticity. These four statements of moral understanding, coupled with a belief in the moral neutrality of homosexual conduct, should then result in a society in which gay people are protected from discrimination in employment, provided access to civil marriage, permitted to adopt children, etc."

So here we go, another Obama appointment that is at moral odds with the rest of the country. Another radical appointed by a president that's supposed to be in charge of our nation. What fuck-ups put him there?

You can see the original article here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Score One for Free Press

The White House's bid to have Fox News excluded from an interview given to the press pool has failed.

The Treasury Department on Thursday tried to make "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg available for interviews to every member of the network pool except Fox News. The pool is the five-network rotation that for decades has shared the costs and duties of daily coverage of the presidency and other Washington institutions.

But the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks consulted and decided that none of their reporters would interview Feinberg unless Fox News was included. The pool informed Treasury that Fox News, as a member of the network pool, could not be excluded from such interviews under the rules of the pool.

The White House finally gave up and agreed.

What do you know, the media finally did something right.

You can find the original article here.

Open Post 10/23/09

It's Friday and that means it's another open post. Leave a comment about anything you want to talk about and feel free to leave a comment about someone else's post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finally, a Credit Card That's Being Honest

How would you like a credit card that charges 80% interest? It's real, and it can be yours. Gordon Hageman got an offer in the mail.

But there's nothing in the letter that tells you the interest rate. For that, you have to read the fine print.

"My first thought was it was a mistake so I called the 800 number on the back of the offer and gave them the offer code and verified my information and sure enough they verified it at 79.9 percent," says Hageman.

You can find the original article here.

An Arm of the Republican Party?

Anita Dunn says Fox News is an arm of the Republican party. Everyone's entitled to an opinion, even if it's flat out wrong.

A new survey conducted for the League of American Voters by the Global Marketing Research Center shows this:

• Among Democrats, 17 percent watched it several times each week or more

• Among Independents, 46 percent watched the station several times each week or more

• And among Republicans, 55 percent watched it several times each week or more

The survey indicated that 11 percent of all American voters watched CNN “just about every day” and 20 percent watched several times each week or more.

Combined, 31 percent watched CNN several times each week or more.

For MSNBC, the totals were 10 percent watched just about every day and 8 percent watched several times each week. Combined, 18 percent watched MSNBC several times each week or more.

You can find the original article here.

Controlling the Media

The Obama campaign's press strategy leading up to his election last November focused on "making" the media cover what the campaign wanted and on exercising absolute "control" over coverage, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told an overseas crowd early this year.

"Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control," Dunn said, admitting that the strategy "did not always make us popular in the press."

I don't give them that much credit. I don't think they controlled the media as much as the media controlled itself. We all know they are worthless partisan hacks and they actively campaigned for Obama. To this day, they continue to give him a pass instead of doing their jobs.

You can see her video here.

You can see the original article here.

Congress' Imaginary Savings

Peter Suderman at Reason Online has a good article about the myth that the Democrats' proposals are "deficit neutral." Right now they're pushing a "fix" for Medicare -- $240 billion! -- and since it isn't part of the health care proposal, they can keep their claim.

Something is rotten in Denmark.

Suderman says, "As legislative scams go, it's pretty obvious — pass a bill on the promise of future savings, then 'fix' those savings later when they prove unpopular."

In the end, it comes down to the fact that government cannot spend wisely. And when it needs more money, Congress votes for more money. No efficiencies ever arise, no savings ever appear.

You can find the original article here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gag Order Against Humana Is Lifted

I wrote earlier about Humana's attempt to write a letter critical of the health care reform and the Obama administration's subsequent gag order.

U.S. health officials announced Friday that private insurers can send seniors information on health-related issues as long as they allow their members to opt out of receiving the communications, apparently ending its probe of Humana.

"While we feel it is important to protect Medicare beneficiaries from potentially unwelcome marketing and other communications, we also recognize plans' interest in contacting their enrollees on issues unrelated to the specific plan benefit that they contract with CMS to provide to those enrollees," Teresea DeCaro, acting director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicare Drug and Health Plan Contract Administration Group, wrote in a memo.

The mailer prompted a complaint from Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which passed its health care bill this week and would cut Medicare and Medicaid spending by about $500 billion over 10 years. The Montana Democrat says that would lead to greater efficiency, not reduced benefits.

I ask you people, where in the history of this country has the government been able to slash budgets and increase efficiency at the same time? Or hell, just increase efficiency?

You can find the original article here.

Spending More

Democrats are having a heyday with all the tax and spend crap going on. Even though the economy is starting to recover (with less than a quarter of the 'stimulus' being spent, by the way), the Democrats are looking to spend EVEN MORE.

Democrats are considering extending unemployment and health benefits, as well as extending and perhaps expanding a popular tax credit for first-time home buyers and creating a new credit for companies that add jobs.

Extending unemployment benefits through 2010 would cost about $100 billion, according to the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

It's unknown exactly how much it would cost to extend subsidies for laid-off workers to help them keep the health insurance their former employers provided, known as COBRA. That's because congressional leaders haven't settled on the length of an extension, or how to pay for it. But the current program, which covers workers laid off through the end of the year, costs nearly $25 billion.

Extending the homebuyer tax credit to next summer would cost about $16.7 billion, economists say. It's not clear how much the employer tax credit would cost. But a similar proposal that was dropped from the first stimulus package had a cost of $19.5 billion.

President Obama also wants Congress to approve $250 payments to more than 50 million seniors to make up for no cost-of-living increase in Social Security next year. The total cost: $14 billion.

Taken together, the proposals could add up to nearly $200 billion, looking a lot like another economic stimulus package.

Just don't call it a stimulus. They hate that.

You can find the original article here.

Let's Go To War -- Against Fox News

So says the White House, and they say it because Fox News bothers to fact check statements they make.

White House communications director Anita Dunn branded Fox "opinion journalism masquerading as news."

On Sunday, Fox's Chris Wallace retorted: "We wanted to ask Dunn about her criticism, but, as they've done every week since August, the White House refused to make any administration officials available to 'FOX News Sunday' to talk about this or anything else."

The White House stopped providing guests to 'Fox News Sunday' after Wallace fact-checked controversial assertions made by Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in August. Dunn said fact-checking an administration official was "something I've never seen a Sunday show do."

"She criticized 'FOX News Sunday' last week for fact-checking -- fact-checking -- an administration official," Wallace said Sunday. "They didn't say that our fact-checking was wrong. They just said that we had dared to fact-check."

"Let's fact-check Anita Dunn, because last Sunday she said that Fox ignores Republican scandals, and she specifically mentioned the scandal involving Nevada senator John Ensign," Wallace added. "A number of Fox News shows have run stories about Senator Ensign. Anita Dunn's facts were just plain wrong."

And let's not forget, Dunn was the one who said Mao Tse-Tung was one of her heroes when speaking to high school students.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that President Obama does not want "the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox."

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod went further by calling on media outlets to join the administration in declaring that Fox is "not a news organization."

"Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way," Axelrod counseled ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "We're not going to treat them that way."

Not that you have to worry, White House folks. There's no doubt in anyone's mind whose corner ABC and CNN are in.

I have to pose this one question: why is it that Obama goes around the world to apologize for America and bows to kiss the ass of people like Hugo Chavez, and then decides to take on a news organization in the U.S. that checks his facts?

Does this seem backwards to anyone else out there?

You can find the original article here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Open Post 10/16/09

It's Friday so that means another open post. Sound off on anything you want and feel free to comment on another post.

Let's get a conversation started!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

CBO: Cap and Trade Will Negatively Impact Jobs

Obama and the Democrats tell us that passing even more government regulation aimed at the environment will help revive the economy.

Oops, somebody forgot to tell the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). They say there will be a net loss of jobs.

"The shifts will be significant," the CBO director said. "We want to leave no misunderstanding that aggregate performance -- the fact that jobs turn up somewhere else for some people -- does not mean that there are not substantial costs borne by people, communities, firms in affected industries and affected areas. You saw that in manufacturing, and we would see that in response to changes that this legislation would produce."

I have written before about the estimated cost of this cap and trade nonsense. Don't drink the Kool-Aid when Congress tells you it's only a little bit per day.

You can find the original article here.

Letter to a Cub Scout

You may remember poor Zachary Christie, who was suspended from school for bringing his combination knife/fork/spoon from Cub Scouts to school. He was later given a reprieve from the school board, which lessened his suspension but didn't end it entirely.

From the article:

Dear Zachary Christie,

Well you sure have had an exciting time recently. You joined the Cub Scouts. Good for you. I see that you are in the first grade so you must be either a Bobcat or Tiger. Before you know it you will be a Webelo and be on your way to becoming a Boy Scout.

I know you will follow the Cub Scout Promise, The Law of the Pack, and the Cub Scout motto. They will be the foundation upon which you will build your life as you grow from a boy into a man. I know that might sound like a long way off right now but it will come sooner than you think.

I also heard that you received a real neat camping tool that has a bottle opener, knife, a spoon and a fork. It will come in handy when you go on cookouts and camping trips with your Cub Scout Pack. Your Mom says that you like to eat with it at home. She sounds like a real good Mom. (When you get older ask her for a Swiss Army knife. It has a screwdriver, scissors and all kinds of other neat blades and tools!)

Then someone told me that you took your camping tool to school because you wanted to eat your lunch with it. And then you were called to the Principal’s office and suspended. I was very sorry to hear that since you did not do anything wrong.

I am also sorry that you had to learn that just like kids grownups do dumb things sometimes.

They make rules thinking they are protecting you from bad things happening to you but I think that they have forgotten what it is like to be a 6-year-old first grader.

You should be very proud of yourself that you stood up and defended yourself before the school board. Standing up for yourself when you know you are right is a lesson that you have learned at a very early age. It is a lesson that many adults often forget.

You are developing your character right now and I bet you don’t even know it. Character is one of those big words that adults use but I doubt many of them understand the meaning. I will make it simple for you. Character is how you act when no one is looking. That means if you do something wrong just because no one saw you do it, it is still wrong. And while you might think you got away with something there are two people who will always know what you did—you and God.

You have already showed that you understand that key element of becoming a good citizen and a good man. Never forget it as everything else you do in life is based on that simple principle.
Don’t let all this attention bother you. You know how grownups make a big fuss over things sometimes and then it all goes away. You just get back to being a good student, a good Cub Scout and a good son to your parents.

Someday Zachary you and your friends and other kids in other countries that you don’t even know will be running the world.

As a grownup, I hope I am around to see your generation take charge. Because after reading about you and recently having met some other kids who are like you, I know America will be in good hands.

Now go out and have fun being a 6-year old Cub Scout. Keep us all informed about how you are doing. And I hope someday you earn Eagle Scout rank. Somehow I think you will.

Your friend,

The Cowboy Libertarian

P.S. To all the grownups out there here is what Zachary is learning as a Cub Scout. 6 years old and he is learning a code of conduct that will stand him in good stead all his life. Atta boy Zachary!

Cub Scout Promise
I, (say your name), promise
To do my DUTY to GOD
And my Country
To HELP other people, and
To OBEY the LAW of the Pack

Law of the Pack
The Cub Scout follows Akela.
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

Cub Scout Motto

Republicans Are Demanding Jennings Be Fired

Kevin Jennings, the so-called "safe schools czar" who focuses on furthering the homosexual agenda, is under fire from 53 Republicans. They say he does not have the qualifications or ethical standards required for his position and he narrowly focuses on the gay agenda. They have sent a letter to Obama:

Dear Mr. President,

We respectfully request that you remove Kevin Jennings, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, from your Administration. It is clear that Mr. Jennings lacks the appropriate qualifications and ethical standards to serve in this capacity.

As the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Mr. Jennings has played an integral role in promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America’s schools—an agenda that runs counter to the values that many parents desire to instill in their children. As evidence of this, Mr. Jennings wrote the foreword for a book titled Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue About Sexualities and Schooling. Throughout his career, Mr. Jennings has made it his mission to establish special protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students to the exclusion of all other students. The totality of Mr. Jennings’ career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality. There is more to safe and drug free schools than can be accomplished from the narrow view of Mr. Jennings who has, for more than 20 years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda.

Equally troubling is Mr. Jennings’ self-described history of ignoring the sexual abuse of a child. In his book, One Teacher in Ten, Mr. Jennings recounts a 15-year old student confiding in him that he had a sexual relationship with a much older man. Mr. Jennings’ only response was to ask if the underage boy used a condom. As a mandatory reporter, Mr. Jennings was required by law to report child abuse, including sex crimes. Mr. Jennings cannot serve as the “safe schools” czar when his record demonstrates a willingness to overlook the sexual abuse of a child.

As the “safe schools” czar, Mr. Jennings is also charged with ensuring our schools and students are drug free. It is clear that Mr. Jennings is unfit to serve in this capacity, as well. His own history of unrepentant drug and alcohol abuse indicates that he is of the opinion that getting drunk and high as a young person is acceptable. In his memoir, Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son, Mr. Jennings describes his use of illegal drugs, without expressing regret or acknowledging the devastating effects illegal drug use can have on a person’s life.

Everyone that deals with the education of the most vulnerable must be a positive role model. Our children are not blessed with the wisdom to discern and reject. Children presume the adults who educate them are approved by the larger society and their parents. Kevin Jennings cannot gain the approval of parents who want their children safe and their schools drug free. You should replace him with someone who has a record of educating children in a safe and moral environment.

Given these very serious issues with Mr. Jennings’ record, we urge you to remove him immediately.

The signers of the letter are: King; Alexander; Aderholt; Akin; Austria; Bachmann; Bachus; Bartlett; Barton; Boozman; Broun; Brown, H.; Carter; Chaffetz; Coffman; Cole; Conaway; Davis, Geoff; Fallin; Fleming; Foxx; Franks; Garret; Gingrey; Gohmert; Hunter; Issa; Jordan; Lamborn; Latta; Luetkemeyer; Marchant; McClintock; McHenry; McKeon; McMorris; Mica; Miller, J.; Myrick; Neugebauer; Olson, P.; Pence; Pitts; Posey; Rogers; Rooney; Ryan, Paul; Shuster; Smith, C.; Smith, L.; Wamp; Westmoreland; and Jones, Walter.

You can find the original article here.

Muslims Infiltrating Congress

Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, Trent Franks of Arizona, Paul Broun of Georgia and John Shadegg of Arizona, all Republican members of an anti-terrorist caucus, are calling out the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for trying to infiltrate Congress.

The internal memo stated that CAIR would "focus on influencing congressmen responsible for policy that directly impacts the American Muslim community." The memo cited three House committees -- Homeland Security, Intelligence and the Judiciary -- as panels on which lawmakers preside over policy affecting American Muslims.

"We will develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices," the memo read.

Earlier this year the FBI severed its once-close ties with CAIR as evidence mounted of the group's links to a support network for Hamas, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization.

"It's frightening to think that an organization with clear-cut ties to terrorism could have a hand in influencing policy -- especially national security policy -- within our government," Myrick said. "The investigations that we're asking for are simple, and I'm hopeful that they will bring to light any and all information regarding the goals of CAIR."

You can read the memo here (PDF).

You can read the original article here.

FDR's Second Bill of Rights

The more I find out about FDR, the happier I am to see he didn't see his agenda pushed through. From his January 1944 speech to Congress comes ideas like these:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

The Declaration of Independence guarantees us opportunity, not outcome. I have to disagree with many of these "rights". The government needs to give us a level playing field but doesn't owe us anything. It is up to us to make our way, and prosper or fail according to our deeds.

Here is a link to the Second Bill of Rights from FDR.

Michael Moore, Blowhard

John Stossel has a great article about Michael Moore's new movie and starts with a single observation: "Michael Moore is confused."

Some problems that Stossel points out are:

  • Moore says our problems began with Reagan but by the end of the movie he is saying it's because FDR didn't get to pass his Second Bill of Rights, which promised everything to everyone.

  • He lavishes praise on Barack Obama and his "spread the wealth around" rhetoric. But Moore also demonizes as symbols of capitalism Clinton Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin (formerly of Goldman Sachs) and Lawrence Summers, and former New York Fed President Timothy Geithner without mentioning that Rubin has been Obama's adviser and that Summers and Geithner are, respectively, his chief economic guru and treasury secretary.

  • He fails to acknowledge that Obama continued the bailout policies of George W. Bush.

  • Moore declares capitalism evil, but he's never clear about what "capitalism" means.

  • He uses the term "free market" as a synonym for what he doesn't like.

He also fails to define capitalism or socialism and asks Bernie Sanders, the only admitted communist in Congress, who gives a shifty answer about a government that represents the middle class.

Another excellent read from John Stossel.

You can find Stossel's article here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Nominations for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

In honor of the ridiculous comments from the committee on the Nobel Peace Prize, I would like to offer some of my recommendations for next year:

If we want to nominate those people that have created "less tension" in the world, I nominate:

1. Trojan condoms
2. K-Y jellies

And no one has made them get used more than:

3. Jack Daniels
4. Jim Beam

If we want to nominate those that have created cheer by throwing parties, I nominate:

5. The entire cast of Animal House
6. Any and all college sororities and fraternities

How about we look at those people that have stopped others from fighting? I nominate:

7. Josef Stalin. Remember the fighting the Baltic States were doing before he crushed them?
8. Saddam Hussein. He did for the factions of Islam what Stalin did for the Baltic States.

Got any nominations yourself? Sound off in the comments.

Why Movie Sales Are Plummeting

Hollywood and the retailers often complain about how DVD sales are falling. They blame piracy, Netflix, RedBox, you name it.

I know from my experience, I use Netflix and the public library to watch a movie before deciding if I want to buy it.

I am sure many people are in a holding pattern now because of Blu-Ray (if you ask me, though, HD-DVD should have won that fight.) When prices come down on Blu-Ray players and movies, people might be more motivated to buy again.

But could it be that Hollywood has a hard time making a movie that's worth paying for? Now, I love me some movies. But it's so hard to find movies that are worth watching any more because of gratuitous sex, homosexuality, crude humor, Christian bashing, anti-capitalistic messages, and so forth. You know what I'm talking about.

I use the daylights out of Netflix. Thank God I'm not paying much per movie. Most of them aren't worth watching a second time. If it is, I buy it. I bought The Dark Knight because it was a good movie. I bought Transformers and Iron Man, too. I'm not going to bother buying Transformers 2 because the movie sucked. Star Trek was good but as someone who grew up on the old series, I didn't see it worth paying for.

Are you buying as many movies or going to see them in the theater? What do you think of the stuff coming out of Hollywood these days?

We Want You To Die -- Really

Alan Grayson likes to say it's the Republicans who want seniors to do so we can save money on health care. A statement about wanting people to die has been made, but it wasn't from a conservative. Consider Robert Reich's words:

"I'll actually give you a speech made up entirely, almost on the spur of the moment, of what a candidate for president would say if that candidate did not care about becoming president. In other words, this is what the truth is and a candidate will never say, but what a candidate should say if we were in the kind of democracy where citizens were honored in terms of their practice of citizenship and they were educated in terms of what the issues were and they could separate myth from reality in terms of what candidates would tell them:

'Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I'm so glad to see you and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. And that's true and what I'm going to do is that I am going try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people but that means you, particularly you young people, particularly you young healthy're going to have to pay more.

'Thank you. And by the way, we're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too we're going to let you die.

'Also I'm going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid---we already have a lot of bargaining leverage---to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. What that means, less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents. Thank you.'"

You can find the article here.

Comparing Rush Limbaugh To a Plantation Owner

In other words, as usual, the liberals devolve to name calling when they don't like someone. It's really irritating and wearing thin.

In this case it's a Pulizer Prize-winning author named Karen Hunter. She has such American classics as Pimpology: The 48 Laws of the Game, Don't Blame It on Rio: The Real Deal Behind Why Men Go to Brazil for Sex and On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of "Straight" Black Men Who Sleep With Men. Somehow, MSNBC thinks this qualifies her to talk about a conservative talk show host who wants to buy a minority stake in a football team.

"I can just see the visions of plantation grandeur dancing in his head as we speak," Hunter said. "Yeah, it doesn't make you a racist to want to own a team. But, it does kind of with all his history question his power position over these players who make millions of dollars and his ability to be able to move them around, deny them contracts and do whatever he wants willy-nilly. It's the ultimate power position to be an owner of an NFL team."

Never mind that he is going to be a MINORITY owner. As in, not the only one. As in, not owning enough to make his opinion count.

You can find the original article here.

Pro-Obamacare Republicans Are Lobbyists

If you're wondering why prominent Republicans like Bob Dole and Tommy Thompson are coming out in favor of Obamacare, you're not alone.

Former Republican Health and Human Services Secretaries Louis Sullivan and Tommy Thompson, along with former Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist (a doctor) and Bob Dole, received plaudits in the president's weekly radio address for exhibiting "the spirit of national purpose" and for understanding "that health insurance reform isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but an American issue that demands a solution."

Thompson is a health care consultant at the lobbying firm Akin Gump, whose clients include insurer Aetna, many drug makers, device makers and hospitals. You can find his page here.

In 2008, Sullivan made $220,000 as a director for four health care companies, including the biotech firm Biosante Pharmaceuticals, where he was chairman of the board, according to Forbes. His total 2008 compensation from these companies (with options and other non-cash compensation) was more than $1 million. He has recently served as a director at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Cigna. I can't find a page for him at Briston-Myers Squibb or at Cigna.

Frist is a partner in a private investment firm that bets on health care companies -- and on regulation. The firm's Web site reads: "With deep expertise in the healthcare reimbursement and regulatory environments, the Cressey & Company team has invested in almost every for-profit niche of healthcare." You can see the page where he is listed here.

And Dole is a health care lobbyist for the downtown firm Alston & Bird, which represents drug makers and insurers. You can see his page here.

This explains these four Republicans but no one can explain Olympia Snowe. Who knows what the hell she is thinking.

You can find the original article here.

The Ant and the Grasshopper -- Updated

The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Acorn stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' Rev. Jeremiah Wright then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful neighborhood.

The entire Nation collapses bringing down the rest of the free world with it.

Bonus Time for Illegal Beliefs

Jacob Sullum at Reason Online writes about how the new hate crimes legislation, tacked onto a defense spending bill by Democrats, punishes people for their beliefs and chills free speech.

He begins by talking about the two people for whom the legislation is named and talks about what they have in common. Including that their killers were arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison or death, all without the benefit of hate crime laws, state or federal (emphasis mine).

He considers a hypothetical crime against himself:

"If someone hits me in California with a baseball bat made in Kentucky, that is not a federal crime. But if he does exactly the same thing while calling me a “dirty kike,” it is. No doubt the prosecutor also would deem it relevant that my attacker owned a dog-eared copy of Mein Kampf and belonged to a neo-Nazi group.

"Consider the impact of federalizing this crime. In California the maximum sentence for assault with a deadly weapon is four years. The state’s hate crime statute could extend that sentence by up to three years, for a total of seven. By contrast, the maximum sentence under the new federal law is 10 years. Hence my assailant could serve more time for his anti-Semitism than he does for his violence."

Not to mention that if the assailant is found not guilty in state courts, he can be tried again in federal court under this legislation. It's not considered double jeopardy; it's called dual sovereignty.

You can find the legislation here.

Cub Scout Gets to Stay in School

In an update to a story I wrote about earlier, the scourge of Delaware who was kicked out for bringing a Cub Scout knife/fork/spoon combo to lunch is getting to stay in school after all.

Zachary Christie, 6, had faced 45 days in an alternative school for troublemakers after he took the utensil — a combination folding knife, fork and spoon — to school to eat lunch last month. Now, he could return Wednesday.

The seven-member Christina School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to reduce the punishment for kindergartners and first-graders who take weapons to school or commit violent offenses to a suspension ranging from three to five days.

The problem remains that he gets suspended AT ALL. This is a kid, for crying out loud.

You can find the original article here. There is some more background information in it.

A World With Less Tension?

Thorbjorn Jagland cites "Obama's efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe" and concludes:

"All these things have contributed to — I wouldn't say a safer world — but a world with less tension."

Trojan rubbers should have gotten a peace prize long before Obama. Now there's a release of tension everyone can identify with.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daniel Goldstein Speaks Out About Eminent Domain Abuse

Daniel Goldstein, the lead plaintiff in a case against the city of New York and the developer Bruce Ratner, has a letter in Reason Online detailing why this case of eminent domain is flawed.

You can read the letter here.

How to Save $4,000 a Year

Interested? John Lott tells us how it can be done in his editorial yesterday about the Baucus health care bill.

Here's how it goes:

  1. Drop your insurance and immediately save money from not paying the premium.

  2. Pay the fine as required in the new legislation. This is all of $0 right now and will reach $750 by the year 2013.

  3. If you get sick with something big like cancer, buy insurance. The insurance company can't turn you down under this legislation.

And remember, this is annual savings, not over several years.

The legislation and the CBO's estimates assume everyone will buy insurance. But there is no incentive to buy it if you're healthy. It's cheaper to pay the fine and buy insurance when you need it.

You can find the editorial here.

Nobel Panel Says Obama Earned the Peace Prize

Really? Come on, people.

Asked to comment on the uproar following Friday's announcement, four members of the five-seat panel told The Associated Press that they had expected the decision to generate both surprise and criticism. "We simply disagree that he has done nothing," committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told the AP on Tuesday. "He got the prize for what he has done."

Jagland singled out Obama's efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

"All these things have contributed to -- I wouldn't say a safer world -- but a world with less tension," Jagland said by phone from Strasbourg, where he was attending meetings in his other role as secretary-general of the Council of Europe.

I disagree that the world is safer when we reduce our weapons and posture.

I think we have learned from the past with the Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Iran that if you back off and show weakness, the bad guys get encouraged. The world gets more dangerous, not safer.

The original article is here.

America Is Nothing Special

Neal Gabler has a whacky post today at The Boston Globe. He starts off saying, "THE HOARIEST and most oft-repeated cliche in American politics may be that America is the greatest country in the world."

He says government is better than the American people. Quote: "The fact of the matter is that whenever anything really significant has been accomplished by our government, it is precisely because it was better than the American people." (emphasis his)

Want more? Here: "In the end, government has inspired Americans far more than Americans have inspired their government. They are too busy boasting."

And liberals complain that conservatives hate America? The hating is done by the liberals, who hate the people and love the government. Hmmm, who else had that kind of idea? Stalin comes to mind.

You can read much more at the article here.

A New American Flag

Noel Sheppard questions if the media will help sell this flag since they have been so overtly cashing in on Obamamania.

* The CBS "Early Show" promoted Obama dolls in April
* NBC Universal's online store offers at least 29 Obama-related items for sale
* The CBS "Early Show" addressed how Obama merchandise was tough to keep on the shelves when the first family vacationed on Martha's Vineyard over the summer.

You can find the original article here, complete with links.

Conseratives Hate America

So says Eugene Robinson at Real Clear Politics.

He has some heartburn because conservatives question why Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize. Geez, could it be because he hasn't DONE ANYTHING? Here is what he did in the 12 days before being nominated.

He continues with, "Some of Obama's most strident critics, however, just can't give it a rest. They use words like 'farce' and 'travesty,' as if there were always universal agreement on the worthiness of the Nobel peace laureate. Does anyone remember the controversy over Henry Kissinger or Yasser Arafat or F.W. de Klerk?"

Don't forget Jimmy Carter, the absolute worst president we have ever had in recent U.S. history.

Here is the original article.

Safe Schools Czar: Killing Someone Is Okay

Kevin Jennings, the fag-in-charge in the Obama administration, says it's not aberrant behavior to kill someone who calls you a name.

"We need to own up to the fact that our culture teaches boys that being “a man” is the most important thing in life, even if you have to kill someone to prove it. Killing someone who calls you a faggot is not aberrant behavior but merely the most extreme expression of a belief that is beaten (sometimes literally) into boys at an early age in this country: Be a man – don’t be a faggot.

"As Suzanne Pharr so eloquently explained in her landmark work Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism, antigay bigotry is inextricably intertwined with the maintenance of “proper” gender roles by which little girls are supposed to be “sugar and spice and everything nice” and boys are supposed to be, well, quite the opposite. When boys take up guns to kill those who torment them with words like “faggot,” we shouldn’t be surprised. They’re just doing what we have taught them to do."

I don't know about you, but when people taught me to be a man, killing someone wasn't part of the deal. Violence was a last resort and not condoned for someone who called you a name. But only in the twisted logic of homosexuals, I guess, is it right to kill someone who disagrees with you.

Here's the original article.

Graham Endorses Cap and Trade

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined with Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chamber's leading Democratic advocate of climate legislation, to promote a bipartisan plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The bill does little for nuclear power beyond new training programs and is silent about offshore drilling.

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Here is a link to the original article from The Washington Post.

God Will Destroy Us If We Don't Follow Obama

So says Russell Simmons in an interview at The Huffington Post. From an article by John Nolte at the site Big Government. He says all of the quotes by Russell Simmons are crazy and posts ten quotes, nine of which are from Simmons. Can you guess which one wasn't his?

1. The president’s honest attempt to promote world peace through the same methods taught by Jesus Christ are met with contempt by a country whose collective consciousness is extraordinarily fearful and at times, sacrilegious.

2. Remember, they killed Mahatma Gandhi. They killed John F. Kennedy. They killed Martin Luther King. They killed Malcolm X. They killed Robert F. Kennedy. They killed Yitzhak Rabin. They killed many of the great dreamers. With all of the fearful men running our media, we no longer have to kill the dreamer, it is possible just to kill the dream.

3. Sometimes I’m amazed that we are still breathing. With horrible abuses of animals, the planet and human kind, it’s amazing that we are still here.

4. Our lack of compassion and love could actually consume us. However, we are still being given signs from the universe, glimpses of hope and opportunities to rise up and live up to our promise.

5. Hey, man, you don’t talk to Colonel. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”… I mean I’m no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…

6. America, our country is under indictment. And we will be found guilty if we don’t act. If we allow these nasty, malicious people, who harbor so much hate with views that separate us from the rest of world, to continue to tell us how to think, we will be found guilty of charge one.

7. If we allow leaders of a political party that only know one word, and that is “no,” to work against the best interests of our country, we will not only be found guilty of charge four, we will be sentenced by God to self-destruction.

8. And we have allowed hurtful, spiteful and small-minded people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to scare the love out of us.

9. In one of the most telling moments of the past nine months, the skepticism that the President was met with after his compassionate speech in Cairo was shocking. He conceded nothing in that speech but love. This is the route that is prescribed to us by all of the great prophets in the Bible, Qur’an and the Torah.

10. Before the president even had time to wish his dog a happy birthday and kiss his daughters on the cheek as they left for school, the vicious, hate-filled and at times, racist, attacks began.

I couldn't tell. This guy is a whack job. By the way, here's a link to the answer.

Here's a link to Nolte's original article.

Those Evil Cheerios Are a Problem No More

Nick Gillespie writes today about how General Mills has been reigned in over their claim in Cheerios ads that it helps lower cholesterol.

"FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg and deputy Joshua M. Sharfstein -- both with backgrounds running public health agencies -- notified General Mills that it was violating the law with its two-year-old marketing campaign that said Cheerios can lower cholesterol by 4 percent. The FDA said the company was essentially making a drug claim, which would require clinical studies and agency approval before a product is put on the market. The food giant has removed that claim from its Web site and a spokeswoman said it is in discussions with the FDA."

You can read the original article here, which also touches on Cass Sunstein, the regulatory czar under Obama.

ACORN's Louisiana Director Is Fired

Did you feel the bump of the bus when it went over something? It was just Beth Butler, director of ACORN for the state of Louisiana. She was fired by Bertha Lewis, ACORN's CEO.

"I took over as ACORN's CEO last summer, and I vowed accountability at every level of the organization," Lewis said in her statement. "The work of ACORN members everywhere -- especially in Louisiana where the members have fought heroically to bring the city back post-Katrina -- is too important to not have full accountability."

Butler said she was fired because she refused to fire members of a land trust board whom national ACORN leaders wanted ousted. She said ACORN national is "going out of business" and wanted the board gone to seize control of its funds and assets. She called the ordeal "all completely inappropriate and unethical."

I wonder if this could have anything to do with Louisiana's investigation into ACORN. ACORN says only $1 million was embezzled by Dale Rathke (brother of Butler's boyfriend) but the state's attorney general says it was closer to $5 million.

You can find the original article here.

Some Questions on Health Care

From Angry White Dude come ten unanswered questions:

10. Do you intend to honor your promise and hold a serious line by line review of proposed health care legislation with members of Congress or was your July 29 promise to do so merely an insincere political gesture?

9. Why should the American people trust the Administration’s numbers rather than the final estimates of the C.B.O. on the cost of your health care proposals?

8. Why should seniors trust the Administration more than the nonpartisan C.B.O. that your health care proposals will reduce health care benefits to seniors?

7. How can you accuse critics of creating lies about your health care proposals when on several occasions, including your incorrect reference to the circumstances of an Illinois man in your September 9 speech to Congress, your own words have been found to be misleading?

6. If competition can be expected to reduce costs and increase coverage, why is interstate competition not a key part of your health care proposals?

5. How do you expect Americans to believe you have a grasp and knowledge of the healthcare proposals when you appear to be unaware that the language of the Baucus proposal specifically includes the word “tax”?

4. Is the Congressional Research Service in error when it states that HR 3200 contains no restrictions on illegals receiving health care benefits?

3. Why aren’t you currently acting to stop the waste and fraud you claim to have identified that currently exists in the health care system?

2. Why won’t government employees and elected officials be covered under a nationwide health care plan?

1. Is there a good reason or explanation you can give the American people why your plans don’t include a single word that addresses this terrible problem of lawsuit abuse?

Like Angry White Dude, I encourage you to contact your elected representatives and tell them how you feel about health care reform.

The original post is here.

Get Your Own Nobel Prize

From my friend at No Surrender, here's an interesting site:

You can find the original post here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Obama Praise Video

Charisse Carney-Nunes, author of I Am Barack Obama and maker of the “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm” Obama praise video, decried the violent and uncivil tone in politics today after receiving an email from Michelle Malkin:

"Ms. Carney-Nunes,

"I understand that you uploaded the video of schoolchildren reciting a Barack Obama song/rap at Bernice Young elementary school in June. I have a few quick questions.

"Did you help write the song/rap and teach it to the children? Are you an educator/guest lecturer at the school? Did you teach about your book, “I am Barack Obama” at the school? Your bio says you are a schoolmate of Obama. How well-acquainted are you with the president?

"Thanks for your time.

Instead of responding to the email, she ran to Ann Gerhart at The Washington Post.

Carney-Nunes says, "How can I talk to those people? These are people who persist in believing that Barack Obama is a Muslim, that he isn't a citizen of this country. You tell me: Where is the beginning of that conversation?"

Malkin says in her post, "It’s a telling sign of the Post’s ideological agenda and its insufficient tuned-in-ness (to borrow the NYTimes’ phrase) that the paper doesn’t think parental concerns about left-wing radicalism in the schools are Page A1-newsworthy — but that the complaints of a social justice proselytizer are."

You can find the Washington Post article here.

You can find the original article here.

Ownership Decided Based on Ideology?

Rush Limbaugh wants to buy into the group that owns the St. Louis Rams (that's a football team, for those of you in Rio Linda).

Al Sharpton and DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director, have sent letters to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to complain. Smith is going even further by asking NFL players to speak out. Sharpton said Limbaugh has been divisive and "anti-NFL" in some of his comments.

As someone who has listened to Limbaugh in the past, I can tell you he is not anti-NFL. He loves football. However, in 2003, Limbaugh worked briefly on ESPN’s NFL pregame show. He resigned after saying Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.

I don't see that being a racist statement. He was talking about the media, not about McNabb. It might have been racist if he had said McNabb was a good quarterback for a black man.

Limbaugh would be a limited partner — not the controlling partner or lead investor — in an ownership group that includes St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts.

You can find the original articles here and here.

An Inspiring Story From Education

Despite all the doom and gloom the media usually puts out, some schools do well.

George Bickert, who as a first-year principal had to get a special waiver to take the job at Tohatchi Elementary School, has turned around test scores there. Tohatchi boosted its math scores from 15 percent of the students being proficient in 2006 to nearly 78 percent this year. Reading scores rose from nearly 28 percent of the students being proficient to almost 71 percent this year, according to state data.

He did it by giving the students smiles, hugs and high fives. He led early morning basketball games and turned academics into challenges. The eye-drooping "curriculum based measures" — weekly tests to measure students' progress — became "Math Monsters" and "Cougar Readers."

Classroom scores were posted. Students who got perfect scores on the weekly 10-question tests heard their names read during Monday morning announcements and classes that scored 100 percent got pizza parties.

And notice that funding was not increased to do it. All it took was an involved principal, staff and parents. Quite a different conclusion that is coming out of most politicians and the National Education Association union.

You can find the original story here.

The White House Takes On Fox News

Obama, unhappy that Fox doesn't regurgitate its propaganda, has declared war on Fox News, calling it a wing of the Republican party.

"What I think is fair to say about Fox -- and certainly it's the way we view it -- is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. "They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."

Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente, who likens the channel to a newspaper with separate sections on straight news and commentary, suggested White House officials were intentionally conflating opinion show hosts like Glenn Beck with news reporters like Major Garrett.

"It's astounding the White House cannot distinguish between news and opinion programming," Clemente said. "It seems self-serving on their part."

Dunn used an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" over the weekend to complain about Fox News' coverage of the Obama presidential campaign a year ago.

"It was a time this country was in two wars," she recalled. "We'd had a financial collapse probably more significant than any financial collapse since the Great Depression. If you were a Fox News viewer in the fall election, what you would have seen would have been that the biggest stories and biggest threats facing America were a guy named Bill Ayers and something called ACORN."

And the ACORN story has exploded, hasn't it? This certainly wasn't due to the coverage CNN gave it. And only lately have we found out that Obama was tied more closely to Bill Ayers than he admitted -- no thanks to CNN or the other media outlets.

As for Dunn's complaint about Fox News' coverage of the Obama campaign, a study by the Pew Research Center showed that 40 percent of Fox News stories on Obama in the last six weeks of the campaign were negative. Similarly, 40 percent of Fox News' stories on Obama's Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, were negative.

On CNN, by contrast, there was a 22-point disparity in the percentage of negative stories on Obama (39 percent) and McCain (61 percent). The disparity was even greater at MSNBC, according to Pew, where just 14 percent of Obama stories were negative, compared to a whopping 73 percent of McCain stories -- a spread of 59 points.

Let the Obama administration waste its time trying to fight a media outlet. As David Gergen said, "The press always has the last barrel of ink."

You can find the original article here.

Another Menace To School Safety Is Out

This kid brought a knife to school. And the ever-vigilant administrators kicked him out for school safety.

Problem is, the kid is six years old and he brought a new Cub Scout fork/spoon/knife combo to use at lunch. Yeah, that's it, save is from the violent first graders. The perp has been suspended for 45 days.

The school board is defending its decision. "There is no parent who wants to get a phone call where they hear that their child no longer has two good seeing eyes because there was a scuffle and someone pulled out a knife," said George Evans, the president of the Christina district’s school board.

"Zachary wears a suit and tie some days to school by his own choice because he takes school so seriously," said Debbie Christie, Zachary’s mother.

These "zero tolerance" rules are a farce. They're in place from lawmakers that have no sense, to save school boards from thinking critically. It's obvious this kid is no threat. The school board, however...

You can find the original article here.

Pay Now, Play Later -- Maybe

All of these grand schemes from the politicians are going to cost us money in the form of taxes and other expenses. The taxes start now but we won't see any tax relief that is proposed for several more years.

Under the Democratic bills, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won't start flowing until 2013 -- after the next presidential election. But Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the overhaul kick in immediately.

Obama administration officials and Democratic lawmakers say the reason for the three-year wait is the time it's going to take to set up insurance marketplaces, write consumer protection rules and reconfigure the bureaucracy to carry out the legislation. It took President George W. Bush's administration two years to phase in the Medicare prescription benefit, a more modest undertaking.

The $900 billion that this is supposed to cost is just an accounting trick. Lawmakers use a 10-year accounting window to assess new programs. Starting the Medicare cuts and some of the taxes in the early years -- and pushing the bulk of new spending into the latter years -- helps keep the cost of the health care overhaul within Obama's $900 billion limit. Bush used the same kind of maneuver to push the Medicare benefit through Congress.

You can find the original article here.

Global Warming or Cooling

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air tells us about an article from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which asks what happened to global warming?

Do you believe the hysteria that the world is getting warmer each year? Would you believe the highest recorded temperature wasn't even in this century? It was in 1998.

We are currently in a period of cooling. These periods last up to 40 years. What happens then? Who knows?

The Hot Air article can be found here.

The BBC article can be found here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Democrats: Republicans Are No Better Than Terrorists

There's no doubt that awarding the Nobel peace prize has inflamed passions all over the world. I covered it here today.

The terrorists said Obama hasn't worked for peace. “We believe he has been rewarded or judged based on good intentions toward peace but not on his achievement,” said Ahmed Yousef, deputy foreign defense minister of Hamas. Damn, I agree with those murderers on something.

Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, issued his own statement. “The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights,” Steele said in his initial comments.

Even some Democrats questioned why Obama got the award. But that hasn't stopped the partisan leaders from attacking Republicans. The Democratic National Committee says the RNC sounds just like the Taliban and Hamas, sworn enemies of the United States.

You can read more here.

CBO: Tort Reform Will Lower the Federal Deficit

Many doctors pay $100,000 to $250,000 a year in malpractice insurance even if they've never had a judgment against them. Neurology leads the list of high-cost malpractice insurance. Obstetrics isn't far behind.

Medical malpractice reform would reduce the annual federal deficit, saving the government $54 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

It's the Republicans that are pushing for tort reform. The Democrats, however, have been ignoring those calls. Not surprisingly, they are bankrolled heavily by trial lawyers.

You can find the original article here.

Bias from Time Magazine? You betcha

Time magazine has an article detailing how the White House is fighting back against stories it doesn't like in the media. While the article lists a single instance each from The Washington Post and The New York Times, it concentrates heavily against Fox News.

In addition, it states several slightly off things:

  • It casts the furor about Obama's speech to schoolkids being about the "benign contents of the speech" and not the fact that he would address them directly.

  • The coverage of town hall meetings this summer, where people were truly upset about health care reform and out-of-control government spending, was "often covered as a 'controversy.' Yes, it was always a controversy.

  • It laments that The Washington Post didn't question Republican charges that Obama has 32 czars. The controversy over the czars has been more about their left-leaning ideas and the fact that at least one of them was an admitted Communist.

So the White House has decided to take things into its own hands and not rely on the media, which has to this point been so pro-Obama. Obama himself said he wants to "call 'em out."

You can find the article here.

House Committee Continues to Investigate Rangel

Charlie Rangel (D-NY) isn't off the hook yet. Even though the Democrats stopped cold a motion to get him kicked off the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Ethics Committee is looking into more offenses. The committee dropped a bombshell – it has so far issued 150 subpoenas, interviewed 34 witnesses, and analyzed 12,000 pages of documents relating to Rangel's affairs.

That's a lot of crap to look through.

You can find the original article, along with the statement from the House Ethics Committee, here.

How To Get Nominated for the Peace Prize

Obama had only been in office 12 days when he was nominated for the peace prize. Here is what he did in those 12 days to work for peace:

January 20: Sworn in as president. Went to a parade. Partied.

January 21: Asked bureaucrats to re-write guidelines for information requests. Held an “open house” party at the White House.

January 22: Signed Executive Orders: Executive Branch workers to take ethics pledge; re-affirmed Army Field Manual techniques for interrogations; expressed desire to close Gitmo (how’s that working out?)

January 23: Ordered the release of federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries. Lunch with Joe Biden; met with Tim Geithner.

January 24: Budget meeting with economic team.

January 25: Skipped church.

January 26: Gave speech about jobs and energy. Met with Hillary Clinton. Attended Geithner's swearing in ceremony.

January 27: Met with Republicans. Spoke at a clock tower in Ohio.

January 28: Economic meetings in the morning, met with Defense secretary in the afternoon.

January 29: Signed Ledbetter Bill overturning Supreme Court decision on lawsuits over wages. Party in the State Room. Met with Biden.

January 30: Met economic advisers. Gave speech on Middle Class Working Families Task Force. Met with senior enlisted military officials.

January 31: Took the day off.

February 1
: Skipped church. Threw a Super Bowl party.

You can find the original article here.

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize -- WTF?

I usually ignore articles about Nobel prizes. They usually seem to be given to people that haven't really earned it. It seems the nomination process is based on something other than achievement, like when Gore won it for his work on "global warming."

And here comes a huge story to prove my point: Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

He has done nothing for peace. He is the one who called Afghanistan a must-win war. Yet, he gets a peace prize. Why?

The Nobel committee said its decision was motivated by Obama's initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.


You can read the article here.

Obama Wants a Strategy in Afghanistan When He Already Has One?

Charles Krauthammer writes today about how Obama and the Democrats are hemming and hawing on Afghanistan, even after declaring they had a strategy to win.

You will remember how the Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the Iraq War after 9/11. Remember how every member of Congress stood on the steps for that awesome photo-op? But when the going got tough there, they switched sides and declared it a bad thing and beat George Bush over the head with it.

But Afghanistan, they said, was a different story. It was a must-win war. And then they got elected. Oops. Now what do we do?

Krauthammer says, "So what does their commander in chief do now with the war he once declared had to be won but had been almost criminally under-resourced by Bush? Perhaps provide the resources to win it? You would think so. And that's exactly what Obama's handpicked commander requested on Aug. 30 -- a surge of 30,000 to 40,000 troops to stabilize a downward spiral and save Afghanistan the way a similar surge saved Iraq."

Even though McChrystal gave his recommendation in late August, he still hasn't gotten anything. Obama is huddled with his advisors. National Security Adviser James Jones says they need a strategy.


"No strategy? On March 27, flanked by his secretaries of defense and state, the president said this: 'Today I'm announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.' He then outlined a civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"And to emphasize his seriousness, the president made clear that he had not arrived casually at this decision. The new strategy, he declared, 'marks the conclusion of a careful policy review.'"

Who should be the one making the strategy? Obama and his advisors -- none of whom have served in the military, much less have combat experience -- or General McChrystal, who "was in charge of exactly this kind of 'counterterrorism' in Iraq for nearly five years, killing thousands of bad guys in hugely successful under-the-radar operations"?

You can find the original article here.

Open Comments 10/9/09

It's Friday! Time for another open comments post.

Post a rant, a rave, question, whatever. It can be anything. Just make it a comment to this post. Feel free to respond to someone else's post.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

ACORN Vote Fraud Case

The activist group, which has long worked with criminals as it preys on the weak and the troubled, is on the verge of yet another public relations catastrophe.

That’s because a cross-dressing Ohio male escort whom ACORN registered multiple times to vote was convicted of full-fledged vote fraud in addition to the lesser crime of voter registration fraud. A spokesman for Cleveland prosecutor Bill Mason (an elected Democrat) confirmed yesterday that a local investigation of ACORN remains wide open.

The conviction of Darnell Nash, apparently known by several aliases including Serina “Sexy Slay” Gibbs, is hugely significant for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that ACORN has long maintained that vote fraud, as opposed to the lesser crime of voter registration fraud, essentially never happens.

It appears to be another historic first for ACORN.

ACORN’s Ohio chapter had a run-in with another alleged prostitute last fall.

A woman named Shari Bell who was allegedly a crack cocaine user, prostitute, and ACORN worker, was arrested on drug and prostitution charges in October. Bell was arrested by Cincinnati police after she allegedly offered an undercover cop sex for money. Police found a crack pipe in the pocket of her coat.

You can find the article from Big Government here.

You can find the original article from the American Spectator here.

Want to Make Money? Uncle Sam Wants to Give You $500 For Each Kid

If you're short on cash, just have more kids. So goes the thinking the government has.

To be fair, the government isn't offering the money to people to have kids. It wants to spur savings so it's willing to give $500 of taxpayer money to each newborn. The money will be put into savings accounts. It's called the America Saving for Personal Investment, Retirement, and Education (ASPIRE) Act.

And yes, that would include children of illegal aliens. It's for EVERY kid born in the U.S.

It has been pushed since 2004 but has yet to become law. Here is an article about why that is.

You can find the text of HR 3583 here.

You can find the original article here.

Republican Celebrities

CBS has compiled a list of celebrities -- actors, singers, sports figures, models, etc., -- that are registered Republicans or lean right.

Some of these aren't surprising, like Drew Carey, Chuck Norris, Charlton Heston, Arnie, Jon Voight and more. But several more are.

I will leave it to you to go through the list and see who is there. You may be surprised.

You can find it here.

Sharpton: Hating ACORN Is the Same as Hating Blacks

From Al Sharpton's article today, he recites instances in the past where blacks were kept from voting. And he says that because ACORN works on registering primarily minority voters, the campaign against them is just another way to keep blacks from voting.


So, if this organization is corrupt, we should let it stay that way so that it can register blacks to vote? As if those same blacks couldn't go down to the county offices and do it themselves? Or get another community group to do it?

Sharpton says, "But perhaps most impressive under ACORN’s extensive accolades has been its ability to register some 1.3 million to vote - and hence help give a voice to those who have been silenced for much too long." People without voices include Mickey Mouse in Orlando and football players in Vegas who are really from Texas.

He also says, "Let’s not forget that FOX News, upset over its dwindling viewership and simultaneous dwindling advertising dollars, has made it a point to attack anything that may have helped the first Black President win office."

Fox News' viewership is way up since Obama took office, not going down. When he talks about losing advertisers, he's probably talking about Glenn Beck's show. However, those advertisers switched their ads to other shows on Fox News.

You can read this piece of twisted logic here.

Hollywood 13-Year-Olds Aren't Really 13 -- Huh?

Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales has come up with a creative new defense of Roman Polanski: Hollywood thirteen-year-olds aren't really thirteen.

Tom Shales: Hello, Dunn Loring, I didn't want to sign off without trying to answer your question. I didn't realize I had written a column defending Roman Polanski and minimized his crime - are you sure it was me? I mean, I? There is, apparently, more to this crime than it would seem, and it may sound like a hollow defense, but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old.

You can find the discussion where this comment came from here.

You can find the original article here.

OMB Tells Executive Branch to Back Away from ACORN

While Congress wrestles with various ways to strip ACORN of any remaining federal funding, the White House has somewhat quietly begun to disconnect itself from the community-organizing group.

Keep your eyes peeled, folks. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) tells local station KTLK that the cut-off only runs through October, and that ACORN funding could be restored when Congress actually passes the FY2010 budget.

You can find the memo here in PDF.

You can find the original article here.

Regulatory Czar Says Americans Are Too Racist To Implement Socialism

These whacky czars just get better and better. It's like a friggin' Saturday Night Live skit, live and in person.

WorldNet Daily has an article about Cass Sunstein's view that Americans wouldn't implement socialism because it would benefit minorities. From his book The Second Bill of Rights:

"The absence of a European-style social welfare state is certainly connected with the widespread perception among the white majority that the relevant programs would disproportionately benefit African Americans (and more recently Hispanics)," wrote Sunstein.

"During the Cold War, the debate about [social welfare] guarantees took the form of pervasive disagreement between the United States and its communist adversaries. Americans emphasized the importance of civil and political liberties, above all free speech and freedom of religion, while communist nations stressed the right to a job, health care, and a social minimum."

And we all know how well that turned out for the Soviet Union, right? We can see how well it's working in Venezuela, France and China, too.

Sunstein penned a 2007 University of Chicago Law School paper in which he debated whether America should pay "justice" to the world by entering into a compensation agreement that would be a net financial loss for the U.S. He argues it is "desirable" to redistribute America's wealth to poorer nations.

And how would that happen, that we would give away more than we earn? Cap and trade:

"It is even possible that desirable redistribution is more likely to occur through climate change policy than otherwise, or to be accomplished more effectively through climate policy than through direct foreign aid," wrote Sunstein.

You can find the article here.

Transferring Wealth

The Tax Policy Center adds that this year the average income-tax rate for the bottom 40 percent of earners will be negative (i.e., they make money from handouts) and that their cash subsidy will equal 10 percent of the total amount the income tax brings in, thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit and President Obama's "Making Work Pay" program.

The view from the top also shows the lopsidedness of the tax system. The top 20 percent of earners makes about 53 percent of the income in America but pays 91 percent of the income tax. The top 1 percent pays 36 percent. The IRS says the bottom half of earners pays less than 3 percent.

So now these people that pay low taxes/no taxes will be voting for the politicians that promise them even more. The problem with this scenario is that as the handouts get greater, more people will stop working to suck off the government teat.

Stossel argues that while we need tax reform, one thing that is more urgent is spending reform. We need to stop spending the friggin' money, people.

This is another excellent article by Stossel and I encourage you to read it.

You can find Stossel's article here.

Stimulus Spending Worsens Unemployment

Give us money, and we’ll give you jobs. That was the promise President Barack Obama made when he asked Congress for a $789 billion stimulus bill back in January. The cash, the administration said, would create millions of jobs over the next two years.

Since April 2009, the administration spent roughly $90 billion, or 18 percent of the total stimulus spending, on top of $62 billion in tax relief. During that time, the unemployment rate grew from 8.9 percent to 9.8 percent. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job losses accelerated in September. As we see here, the current unemployment rate is already far above the 8.8 percent the administration said the rate would top out at next year without a stimulus.

Some economists, including Paul Krugman, have argued that the problem with President Obama’s plan is that it doesn't spend enough. Hence, they think that a second stimulus is needed. Yet it is hard to argue that we already need another stimulus when less than a quarter of the money has been spent.

Other economists are arguing that the money is not being spent fast enough. Indeed, at this rate, the economy is likely to have recovered before most of the stimulus money has been spent.

Um, question: If a recovering economy will bring back the jobs, why increase our national debt? Just asking.

From the article is the conclusion:

Putting aside the question of whether the stimulus is too small or being spent too slowly, what too many stimulus advocates overlook is that to spend money, the government needs to either borrow, tax, or print it (or combine these). Money taxed or borrowed from the private sector is money that firms cannot spend on goods or employees. The government’s slice of the pie gets bigger by making the rest of the pie smaller. This may explain in part why the stimulus has not translated into declining unemployment.

You can find the original article here, complete with chart.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Giving Rangel a Pass -- In the Name of Health Care?

House Republicans read a laundry list of Charlie Rangel's misdeeds and the Democrats said, "so what?" A vote was done twice, each time defeated by Democrats.

"Let's look at this resolution for what it really is -- a highly partisan effort designed to undermine the important work in Congress on health care reform," the representative, who declined to be named, told FOX News.

So holding Congressmen accountable for breaking the law is undermining health care reform? WHAT?

"Instead of holding Chairman Rangel accountable for his actions, House Democrats are once again circling the wagons and demonstrating their loyalty to a leader who faces serious questions about his official conduct," Boehner said in a statement.


I covered the charges against Rangel here.

You can find the original article here.

Democrat Has Questions About the Czars

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) said Congress needs to know whether some of the czars make policy but have no obligation to submit to congressional questioning.

While the Obama administration is hardly the first to name high-level advisers to handle issues like health care and climate change, Feingold said, "It's not good enough to simply say, 'Well, George Bush did it too.'"

In fact, it was a Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, that started the whole czar mess. You can find the Wikipedia entry here.

Feingold also was critical of the administration for declining to send a witness to a hearing about the czars. "The White House decided not to accept my invitation ... to explain its position on the constitutional issues we will address today," Feingold said, referring to the Senate's role in confirming top officials.

"That's unfortunate. It's also a bit ironic since one of the concerns that has been raised about these officials is that they will thwart congressional oversight of the executive branch."

Eight czars are in federal agencies whose employees testify regularly before Congress. This group includes Richard Holbrooke, the Afghanistan czar and Ron Bloom, the car czar.

Four more are in the National Security Council, individuals who have no independent authority and whose sole function is to advise the president.

Another four are in the president's and vice president's offices and function as senior White House advisers on health, energy and environment, urban affairs and domestic violence. They are Lynn Rosenthal, domestic violence; Carol Browner, energy and environment; Adolfo Carrion Jr., urban affairs and Nancy-Ann DeParle, health.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said the administration has created doubt about its promise of transparency. However, neither Coburn nor Feingold would criticize any specific official.
I have covered some of these crazies extensively before -- Carol Browner, Cass Sunstein, Kevin Jennings, Dr. David Michaels (though technically not a czar), Mark Lloyd and Van Jones before he was forced to resign.

You can find the original article here.

ACORN Gets Federal Money Despite Congress

Even though Congress voted to deny funding to ACORN, they're getting money from the Department of Homeland Security -- for firefighting, of all things.

It amounted to $1 million, almost 80% of the money to be given to the state of Louisiana. ACORN wins, firefighters lose. And this isn't the first time. In the 2007 fiscal year, ACORN received $450,484 out of Louisiana's $859,596 share.

But they haven't gotten the money yet. It was frozen following questions into the five hidden-camera videos released last month, a Department of Homeland Security official told FOX News.

When asked how the money would be spent, ACORN spokesman Brian Kettenring issued this statement:

"Senator Vitter knows a lot more about prostitution rings than anyone here does, so we'll defer to him on any matters pertaining to the videos attacking ACORN," the statement read. It did not explain how the group plans to spend the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.


You can find the Washington Times article here.
You can find the Fox News article here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Democrats Don't Want to Read the Bills Before Voting

And they don't want us to read the bills, either. Both parties have been guilty of this in the past. The Republican majority rushed through the controversial Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as well as a massive Medicare prescription drug bill in 2003 that added hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit.

But we the public are getting suspicious of Congress and their insistence on secrecy. We vote them to power to pass the laws that affect us and yet they don't want to let us have a peek until it's too late.

Representative Brian Baird (D-WA) said it. "Democrats know politically it's difficult to defend not doing this," he said. "The public gets this. They say we entrust you with the profound responsibility of making decisions that affect our lives, and we expect you to exercise due diligence in carrying out that responsibility."

Baird and Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) are pushing a petition in the House to require that legislation be put online at least 72 hours before debate begins but Democrats are resisting.

Consider these facts:

» House energy and global warming bill, passed June 26, 2009. 1,200 pages. Available online 15 hours before vote.

» $789 billion stimulus bill, passed Feb. 14, 2009. 1,100 pages. Available online 13 hours before debate.

» $700 billion financial sector rescue package, passed Oct. 3, 2008. 169 pages. Available online 29 hours before vote.

» USA Patriot domestic surveillance bill, passed Oct. 23, 2001. Unavailable to the public before debate.

The original article is here.

Medicare Waste -- Our Government at Work

If you ever thought we could pay for the health care schemes by cutting out waste from Medicare/Medicaid, you might be onto something.

According to their own auditors, Medicare knowingly overpays for almost everything it buys. Examples include:

-- $7,215 to rent an oxygen concentrator, when the purchase price is $600.

-- $4,018 for a standard wheelchair, while the private sector pays $1,048.

-- $1,825 for a hospital bed, compared to an Internet price of $1,071.

-- $3,335 for a respiratory pump, versus an advertised price of $1,987.

-- $82 for a diabetic supply kit, instead of a $47 price on the Web.

Last year, the Health and Human Services Department tried to replace its archaic fixed-price fee schedule for 10 commonly purchased products with a competitive bidding program in 10 cities. The department said the program could save Medicare $125 million in a single year, or $1 billion if adopted nationwide. But Congress stepped in to stop it.

"There were products that we had as much as 75 percent savings. The average was 29 percent," said Mike Leavitt, the former HHS secretary who oversaw the program.

"It would have saved billions if we could've actually implemented it, but Congress deferred it. In Washington speak, that means we put it off forever," he said.

Leavitt blames Congressmen Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich.) for introducing legislation that terminated the contracts and postponed the program for 18 months. Leavitt says the congressional intervention helps explain why many are suspicious of claims that Washington can cut enough waste to actually pay for health care reform, as President Obama told a joint session of Congress last month.

Although this proves there is a vast amount of waste in the Medicare program, the meddling by Congress to keep the waste in place shows that politicians and the government are not good stewards of our money. It also proves that the government is not the place to look for responsible management or even our trust.

The original article can be found here.

ACORN Embezzlement Higher Than Previously Thought

An investigation by Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell shows that the embezzlement by ACORN's founder, Wade Rathke, is at $5 million, not the $1 million initially claimed. It is unclear if the money was taken from state, federal or private funds, according to the subpoena.

Caldwell issued subpoenas in August seeking documents related to ACORN International then-President Wade Rathke and his brother, Dale Rathke, who kept the group's books. Those subpoenas targeted possible violations of state employee tax law, obstruction of justice and violations of the Employee Retirement Security Act.

The subpoena issued Monday puts a new emphasis on the embezzlement issue. It appears to be in reaction to documents gathered from ACORN's board as a result of the subpoenas issued in August.

"Current high ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on Oct. 17, 2008, by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5 million," the new subpoena says.

ACORN Chief Executive Officer Bertha Lewis said the new embezzlement allegation is "completely false." She said she would comment further after she and ACORN attorneys have a chance to review the subpoena.

The original article can be found here.