Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So Much for Not Raising Taxes on Anyone Making Under $250,000

We'll need to raise taxes soon

We all know the recent and bitter history of tax struggles in Washington, let alone Mr. Obama's pledge to exempt those earning less than $250,000 from higher income taxes. This suggests that, possibly next year, Congress will seriously consider a value-added tax (VAT). A bipartisan deficit reduction commission, structured like the one on Social Security headed by Alan Greenspan in 1982, may be necessary to create sufficient support for a VAT or other new taxes.

This challenge may be the toughest one Mr. Obama faces in his first term. Fortunately, the new president is enormously gifted. That's important, because it is no longer a matter of whether tax revenues must increase, but how.

Emphasis mine.

Democrats scoffed at the notion that President Obama would raise taxes on all Americans, not just "the rich." But many conservatives tried to explain to the perennially retarded that you can't increase the deficit by a trillion for "stimulus," and expect not to raise taxes. And when you want to add a public health care plan, add crushing environmental regulations and take over American business, you're going to have to figure out how to pay for it.

Over the last eight years, we heard about the "Bush deficits," but those were mainly expenditures related to conducting two wars. Those expenses come to an end. President Obama and the Democrats are talking about creating new entitlements with spiralling costs. There is no end to those.

Now, Democrats are considering a new tax that will affect every American. So much for the "only the rich will pay" rhetoric.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Begging Kitten

I stole that from Gordo at Appletree.

The Good Ol' Days: Walkmans and MP3 Players

A man gives his tech savvy son a Walkman for a week and the kid writes a column about it. Predictably, it is filled with "How did anyone ever tolerate this?!" kinds of lines.

Once you are of a certain age, you get lots of these sorts of comments, but it never ceases to amaze me the degree of superiority that can be expressed in so few words.

My disclaimer: I have an iPod shuffle, but I've never even listened to it. In a fit of timeliness (say, two years late), I asked for it for Christmas a couple of years ago. The thing sat in its case for about 18 months before my husband dusted it off and gave it to my son to use. I suppose I wanted the thing in theory more than practicality.

I still use a CD player in my car and swap out the CDs. That is, I do this when I listen to music at all. Mostly, I listen to talk radio over various stripes. This causes great consternation from the Hannah Montana set in the backseat, who constantly request that I put on Radio Disney or something of that sort. Usually, I comply, since I can see while dissecting the debt they will inherit from this abominable administration can be tiresome even to middle aged ears.

I also remember having a Walkman back in the 1980s, but, just as today, I couldn't understand the people who wanted to spend their lives with things stuck on (or in) their ears, listening to music as opposed to paying attention to what was going on around them. To me, real life--the life going on as you walk down the street, through the mall, in the library, at work--is interesting enough that I don't need my own soundtrack.

Nowadays, my husband has an iPhone and he constantly fiddles with it, finding new apps, cursing new apps, searching for old apps he can't find anymore, downloading Podcasts that he won't get around to listening to for another three months. Once again, I've thought about getting one. Downloading programs I'm interested in might be fun. But I'm still wondering if it wouldn't just end up like the DVR, filled with unwatched television shows that get deleted by newer unwatched programming. Maybe I'm just not young enough to want to escape that much.

The Supreme Court Recgonizes Discrimination Happens...

to white people, too.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities...

"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Using her typical lack of logic and, dare I say, compassion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her dissent,
the white firefighters "understandably attract this court's sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them."

No vested right in a promotion? Unlike, I suppose, the black and Hispanic firefighters who didn't pass the test? The idea that one is denied a promotion for which one is qualified simply because enough jelly beans of the right color didn't pass should shock the conscience of the court. It certainly goes against the rules of fair play that we are told we're supposed to follow.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has analysis here.

Don Surber says it bluntly: Sotomayor was wrong.

People for the American Way complains that Sotomayor had no choice but to make a lousy ruling. Tell that to Justice Ginsburg.

Liberal pouting here, and here. Liberal excuse making for Sotomayor here

Glad to See Obama's On Top of...

the really important elections.

It took President Obama two weeks to tepidly condemn the maiming, killing and oppressing of Iranian dissidents after their questionable election. Hand-wringers from the Left declared Obama's actions "measured" and "welcome" after eight years of "cowboy diplomacy." But it didn't take Obama the blink of an eye to go after some truly dangerous thugs...in Honduras.

I Don't Want to Hear About Rush Limbaugh Joking about Chelsea Clinton Ever Again

Not after the nastiness the Left has shown towards Sarah Palin's son Trig.

As Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion notes, if Palin showing her baby on stage makes him "a prop" and fair game, then Sasha and Malia are, as well. Well, except that we know about the howls we'd hear if someone Photoshopped Stalin, an alien or even a halo over the faces of those children.

I've never quite understood the antipathy leftwingers have for kids of Republican politicians. It's already apparent that they don't want children of their own (you can read most any liberal blog and hear feminists, in particular, bitching about the nasty breeders), but why attack others who have them? I'm all for that freedom to choose. If you don't want 'em, don't have 'em--and I'm not talking about aborting 'em.

But Trig Palin seems to bring out the sort of visceral dislike in liberals that we usually see the usual suspects ascribe to Republicans regarding welfare queens. The only difference, of course, being that welfare queens have some control over their state, whereas children are just, well, children.

And in Trig's case, he's a Downs Syndrome child, which seems to drive those moonbats even crazier than normal. It truly is the only explanation for their constant outrage at his existence. Why bother showing a picture from a year ago? Democrats won the election, but they are still seething about a one year old boy who had the audacity to live, rather than die for the cause of a woman's right to choose, I guess. These tasteless acts are every bit as bad as any Obama Buckwheat comparisons, so be sure to note it the next time Amanda Marcotte or whoever writes a "The GOP is despicable because the racists have Obama Waffles for sale" screed.

Obama and Indefinite Detention

President Obama is considering issuing an executive order for the indefinite detention of some Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Governing is far more difficult than campaigning, as Obama is finding out. It's much easier to blast policies of one's predecessor than to figure out how to deal with the problems such policies were designed to handle. Despite what many liberals choose to believe, we have some truly bad people locked up at Gitmo, just the sort of guys that fly airplanes into buildings, bomb train stations and shopping malls and shoot up elementary schools. Acting as though rehabilitation is desirable or even possible for such thugs is the height of naivete. And while an "indefinite detention" will certainly anger the far Left, I truly don't see what else the POTUS can do. Obama is a politician first and foremost, and he recognizes the possibility of a very short tenure should another 9/11 happen on his watch.

Celebrity Deaths

It's been a weird week with so many celebrities from my childhood and youth dying. First Ed McMahon, then Farah Fawcett, then Michael Jackson. But, oddly enough, it was yesterday's announcement of Billy Mays' death that bothers me most.

My family never watched the Tonight Show much, so, although I knew who McMahon was, I'd never spent much time watching his show. And Charlie's Angels came on while I was at church (and never really appealed to me as a kid, anyway), so I didn't watch Farah in action, either. Well, except that every girl in school wanted that Farah Fawcett hairstyle. As for Michael Jackson, I liked his music and grew up with him, but self-mutilation and pedophilia overshadowed any musical talent that man had.

Billy Mays, on the other hand, had none of the problems of the other three. He wasn't a guy I spent enormous thought power on for years. I had seen his ubiquitous commercials over the years, but didn't even know who he was until I started watching Pitchmen earlier this year.

The show was fascinating to me because I, like a lot of people, I suppose, had often wondered how some of those weird products ended up on television. Pitchmen followed Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs, trying to find the next great "As Seen on TV" product. From cupholder GPS units to cracked heel healers to mop shoes, Pitchmen watched the pros determine which products to promote and guide to television success. I was often surprised at the care and attention the TV guys showed for ordinary people, even if the product invented was a stinker.

But the most poignant--if that's the right word--episode was one recently aired where Mays brought his son, his (new) wife and his (very young) daughter to the set to film a commercial for insurance. There, Mays discussed his regrets that he hadn't been home more and that he was trying to do better this time around. As much heat as Mays took for being loud and obnoxious, it was a very human side to see. Most of us, particularly if we're on second (or more!) marriages, have regrets and doubts about the life we've led, wishing we'd done things differently or could have avoided costly mistakes. To see a guy that usually doesn't seem to look backward reflecting, sometimes ruefully, on his life, was a touching moment.

And I suppose that's why the death of OxyClean's spokesman bothers me a bit more than other celebrity deaths. We'd finally gotten to see the human side of that loud guy off the TV.

UPDATE: Via Jules Crittenden, here's the video of Billy Mays selling Obama's stimulus plan.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Cap and Trade Hoax

While everybody's been slobbering over the Mark Sanford affair and wringing their hands over Obamacare (myself included), Democrats have been busy using this cover to bring cap and trade, the uber tax for carbon emissions that will jack up the price of everything, up for a vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is talking about a vote on Friday.

There are lots of deceptions about what cap and trade is and who is affected, but it's safe to say that basically everyone will be affected and you will be crushed if you live in most of the country. (see chart)

From the Wall Street Journal:

The hit to GDP is the real threat in this bill. The whole point of cap and trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas so that Americans will use less. These higher prices will show up not just in electricity bills or at the gas station but in every manufactured good, from food to cars. Consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in fewer jobs created or higher unemployment. Some companies will instead move their operations overseas, with the same result.

The whole purpose of cap and trade is to force Americans to use less energy. I'll admit that some squeeze will cause some efficiency, but when you need the A/C in July or the heater in January, you will be willing to suffer only so much.

Glenn Beck said on his program this morning that the House will likely pass this monster and the Senate will sit on it until gas prices spike. At that point, the Senate will race to pass this bill to "get" those "greed corporations." Unfortunately for us, the only people who will be "got" are consumers who actually pay for everything.

Just a Question...

Why on earth is Memeorandum still touting the idiotic Mark Sanford/mistress in Argentina tripe at the top of the page, above Obama's infomercial (complete with his unwillingness to subject his own family to it) and the Supreme Court child strip search decision? Hasn't the disgusting behavior of the South Carolina governor been discussed enough? Or is this yet another example of sex trumping everything else? Surely, child strip searches should count, in that case!

No Brainer

Supreme Court rules strip search of teen unconstitutional.

It's sad that these things have to be spelled out by the Court, but making a 13-year-old strip to her underwear and shake out her bra and panties to prove she isn't carrying Tylenol is excessive. What is wrong with these people?

From the Volokh Conspiracy:

The combination of drug hysteria and the tyrrany of petty government officials is rarely a pretty sight. Unfortunately, the Court also held that no monetary damages could be awarded against Wilson and other school officials.

(FWIW, I'm not a Fourth Amendment expert, but as a matter of policy I would never let school officials strip search a child. If the incident is serious enough to merit police attention, say because school officials think the student is distributing heroin, call the police (who, among other things, have some training in probable cause and restrictions on searching without a warrant) and let them handle it. If the incident involves, say, possession of ibuprofen, which is neither illegal nor dangerous but only against school policy, handle it some other way.)

I wish the girl's parents could sue the pants (pun intended) off the school district. We have enough stupidity in the schools without this stuff.

Obamacare: Fine for Thee but not for Me

President Obama's infomercial brought up few surprises last night, but Teh One struggled to explain whi it's ok that he'll always get better health care than you.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it's not provided by insurance.

Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn't seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he's proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.

The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if "it's my family member, if it's my wife, if it's my children, if it's my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care..."

Another neurologist, Dr. John Corboy of the University of Colorado Health Science Center, asked the president, "What can you do to convince the American public that there actually are limits to what we can pay for with our American health care system and if there are going to be limits, who's going to design the system and who's going to enforce the rules for a system like that?"

Obama, however, didn't directly answer the question.

Well, we all want the "very best care" for our loved ones, but we accept the health care that we ourselves manage to cobble together for them. Some argue that the "public option" doesn't mean you can't have private insurance (which is true in the abstract, but not the reality). Karl at Patterico's Pontifications does an excellent job noting the dangers the "public option" poses.
Pres. Obama has now publicly admitted that “there is a legitimate concern if the public plan was eating off the taxpayer trough, it would be hard for private insurers to compete.” The public will quickly come to realize that unfair competition is the entire point of a public plan.

All anyone need do to demonstrate the point is to ask what would happen if the public plan ran into financial trouble. Does anyone seriously think that after bailing out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and GM (soon to be owned by the very UAW whose legacy healthcare costs made GM’s business unprofitable), the feds would fail to shovel money into a public plan far beyond the $10 billion in seed money Sen Chuck Schumer is already trying to lift from the taxpayers’ wallets?

Moreover, Independents and Republicans can be moved by arguing that if the federal government requires all employers to provide health insurance for their employees or pay to support a public plan, employers will likely drop their coverage and shift their employees into a public plan. The Lewin Group has estimated that about 119 million people would shift from their current coverage to the public plan, which is a two-thirds reduction in the number of people with private coverage.

The argument that government involvement will equal competition is a sham. There's competition now with private health care, in that you can shop around for different plans. Moreover, most states have some sort of high risk health insurance pool for those considered uninsurable by private insurers. As I pointed out here, the actual number of people who can't get health insurance (as opposed to those who choose not to) is relatively tiny. On top of this, there's catastrophic health insurance for those who only want it to pay for emergencies (and, really, this is what we should all be using as opposed to going to the doctor for every cough and sniffle).

My guess is that those who don't get insurance through their employer (a) don't want to shell out the money and (b) don't know about the public options already in place. The government could be helpful if they did a better job of informing the public about the high risk pools, and also with a certain amount of regulation of the insurance industry. Is there any reason you can get inexpensive and mandatory car insurance but health insurance companies can deny you any insurance whatsoever? I'd like to see regulation that forced insurance companies to offer a cafeteria of coverage ranging from emergency care to "everything" coverage. And companies would have to cover pre-existing conditions, albeit with a premium for those considered "at risk." Sure, the cost might cause some people to opt out of that coverage, but there's at least a choice then. When even Pho admits the public option is lousy, then you know it's not something Americans want. Well, unless you want more of this.
President Obama suggested at a town hall event Wednesday night that one way to shave medical costs is to stop expensive and ultimately futile procedures performed on people who are about to die and don't stand to gain from the extra care.

In a nationally televised event at the White House, Obama said families need better information so they don't unthinkingly approve "additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care."

He added: "Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller."

How much you wanna bet that if it's Michelle faced with surgery or the pain killer that Barack will opt for the surgery? It's only the rest of us that are costing too much for health care. That's a nice thing to think about as the Baby Boomers get to retirement age.

And then there's the fact that most people are happy with their insurance coverage. Unless you use a poll stacked with Obama supporters.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wow, Couldn't See This One Coming

That South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford disappeared for five days and no one--not his wife, his staff, his security detail--knew where he was because he was having an affair.

I read about this story a couple of days ago, and knew immediately that the guy was either having an affair or visiting his love child. There was lots of speculation on talk radio, but no one--no one--would mention the possibility of an affair. I know a lot of conservatives were sizing Sanford up as a potential 2012 presidential candidate, but that shouldn't make anyone blind to what was obvious. Or maybe I'm just a woman.

Quote of the Day

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet' and `Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."

--John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Americans, Taxes and Health Care

Americans say "no" to new health care taxes.

Americans are not keen on paying any new tax to fund healthcare reform and instead want Congress to cut programs to pay for the changes.

People always want something for nothing.

Lies about Health Care: There are 40-50 Million Uninsured Americans

I've discussed this lie before, but it seems to be back in circulation again. Here is a fact sheet on the number of uninsured Americans.

First, about 10 million of those counted as uninsured are illegal aliens. They are not eligible for health insurance benefits, which is why they don't have them.

Second, a large part of the remaining uninsured are people making over $50,000 per year who choose not to get health insurance. These aren't poor people; they are people willing to gamble that they won't get sick. How do I know? I've been among those people.

As many readers of this blog know, my husband had thyroid cancer, which made him ineligible to receive health insurance from most insurers. This isn't that the insurance was too expensive; this is there was no insurance available. I could get insurance for myself and my children, but chose not to do so because the monthly premiums, while not outrageous, were more than I wanted to pay.

That's crazy!!! You might be saying. But people make choices all the time that you might think are crazy. And it isn't like health care was not available. We still went for regular office visits and emergency care when needed, but we paid for it ourselves.

My problem with health insurance is that once you've got a pre-existing condition, it can be difficult or impossible to get any kind of health insurance. As my husband said, "Why can't I get accident insurance? How does having thyroid cancer affect a broken leg?" The truth is, a lot of people might only want accident insurance or catastrophic insurance but can't get it. If the government wants to find a way to regulate that, I'm all for it.

But the argument that "40 million Americans are uninsured" simply isn't true. Most of those who have no insurance choose not to get it. Only a tiny fraction of that 40 to 50 million figure are actually people who make less than $50,000 per year and do not qualify for a government program.

Liberal non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation put the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 8.2 million and 13.9 million. (The 8.2 million figure includes only those uninsured for two years or more.)

8.2 million. That's a lot fewer people than 50 million, or even 40 million. Which is why socialized medicine peddlers don't use it.

And the kicker is, according to the Congressional Budget Office,
36 million people would remain uninsured even if the Senate’s $1.6 trillion health care plan is passed.

Why? Because people make lots of decisions about health care that have nothing to do with costs. Spending money we don't have on "health care" that people won't have is wasteful and wrong.

Iran and the British Plot

It's good to find that there's somebody more evil than America in the Islamic world, and it's our closest ally, the British. This emnity dates back a couple of hundred years to British imperialism and still rages to this day.

Hitchens article is fascinating for what it says about Iranian culture (who knew they have a book mocking their own paranoia?) and the Iranians' response to their own government. But Hitchens also argues why Obama's "finesse" isn't really finessing; it's because Obama doesn't understand Iranian culture and events anymore than his predecessors.

Want to take a noninterventionist position? All right, then, take a noninterventionist position. This would mean not referring to Khamenei in fawning tones as the supreme leader and not calling Iran itself by the tyrannical title of "the Islamic republic." But be aware that nothing will stop the theocrats from slandering you for interfering anyway. Also try to bear in mind that one day you will have to face the young Iranian democrats who risked their all in the battle and explain to them just what you were doing when they were being beaten and gassed. (Hint: Don't make your sole reference to Iranian dictatorship an allusion to a British-organized coup in 1953; the mullahs think that it proves their main point, and this generation has more immediate enemies to confront.)

Dana has argued that President Obama is using the appropriate response to the unrest in Iran, but I disagree. As Sean Hannity noted on his program, this is not how Ronald Reagan confronted tyranny.
Someone has said that when anyone is denied freedom, then freedom for everyone is threatened. The struggle in the world today for the hearts and minds of mankind is based on one simple question: Is man born to be free, or slave? In country after country, people have long known the answer to that question. We are free by divine right. We are the masters of our fate, and we create governments for our convenience. Those who would have it otherwise commit a crime and a sin against God and man.

There is no good reason for President Obama to pay obeisance to the Iranian mullahs by giving them honor and respect. That group of thugs will never respect America, no matter what we do. Instead, we should be demanding that the people be allowed free, fair and open elections, with results they believe in. This is not necessarily siding with anyone, but acknowledging what Americans have always knows: we have a God-given right to freedom and individual choice. Why should we demand less for others because they aren't American?

About That New Health Plan

We keep hearing that Americans want a single payer system. But how do they explain this?

According to a recent ABC News/USA Today/Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 89 percent of Americans are satisfied with their health care. That could mean up to 250 million people are happy.

Americans are open-minded, which is why they will entertain changes to the health care system. Add to that the problems every person has faced at one time or another with getting their insurance to cover a procedure, and you can understand the cognitive dissonance going on.

Sticking it to "the rich" insurance companies sounds attractive. Until, of course, we're all stuck with government-run health care. Then the insurance companies don't look so bad.

H/T: Instapundit.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Obama "Wilting," But Will It Affect the 2010 Elections?

Short answer: maybe.

President Obama's poll numbers are sinking almost as fast as the Texas Rangers' pennant hopes. The Politico is blaming the drop on Americans' waning enthusiasm for Porkapalooza. That's certainly the case, with unemployment nearing double digits and no hope of recovery any time soon.

Ed Morrissey thinks unemployment and a sluggish economy will be the main issues in the 2010 elections. I think that's about right, but if Americans become more concerned about Obama's handling of foreign affairs, that won't help. So far, President Obama seems timid and confused in his approach to foreign policy, which really highlights his inexperience.

With Obama's numbers tanking, cap and trade and health care reform seem much less likely to happen. Events in Iran and events at home are not going to help Obama in the midterms. There's no good news on the horizon for the Democrats, which is good news for the GOP.

Obama Lies about Health Care, But We're Not Supposed to Notice

From Newsbusters, we have President Obama's words to the American Medical Association:

So let me begin by saying this: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage – they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away.

But, well, the President didn't mean it.
White House officials suggest the president's rhetoric shouldn't be taken literally: What Obama really means is that government isn't about to barge in and force people to change insurance.


Make no mistake: when the government starts "controlling costs," it's going to have to start controlling the options you have. You'll either be unable to get private insurance (as Canada tried to do), or you'll pay far more to keep it, or it will become so inconvenient that you will drop it.

But, seriously, folks. If Barack Obama makes statements that are false, shouldn't the press warn the American people about it? Or is it acceptable to bury the revelation about the lie while you offer in-kind contributions to pass the lie along?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happiness Is a Moral Obligaton

Darleen Click has this Dennis Prager video discussing our moral obligation to be happy.

I'll use her pullout quotes:

1:30 “We are morally obligated to at least act as happy as possible. Even if you don’t feel it. You cannot be guided by feelings. How we act affects others.”

2:21 “No matter how unhappy you may feel or say you may feel at any given moment, it is a decision you make on how to act.”

2:50 “You share with your friend or your spouse, you share as much as possible about your life, you should share how you feel, but you don’t inflict a bad mood onto anybody.”

4:09 “We think that our actions should represent our feelings or be determined by our feelings, but the fact is that we can make our feelings respond to our behavior. How we act influences our feelings more than our feelings should be allowed to influence our behavior.”

4:37 “When you think of people who have done great harm in this world — historically, Nazis, Communists, terrorists — they are not from the happiest group of humans.”

Darleen takes a political tack on Prager's comments, but I think there's a deeper and wider application. In essence, happiness isn't an emotion; it's a behavior. This is not to say that your mood may not affect your behavior, but letting your mood run you is what children do, and we spend 18 (or more) years trying to train them out of that.

If you look at happiness as a moral obligation, it makes it easier to behave better even when we don't feel like it. It also makes us more pleasant people to be around.

Happy Father's Day!

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.
- Charles Wadsworth

More Openness and Transparency?

Obviously, those words were just campaign promises Teh One doesn't feel like honoring.

As a senator, Barack Obama denounced the Bush administration for holding "secret energy meetings" with oil executives at the White House. But last week public-interest groups were dismayed when his own administration rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama's "clean coal" policies. One reason: the disclosure of such records might impinge on privileged "presidential communications." The refusal, approved by White House counsel Greg Craig's office, is the latest in a series of cases in which Obama officials have opted against public disclosure. Since Obama pledged on his first day in office to usher in a "new era" of openness, "nothing has changed," says David -Sobel, a lawyer who litigates FOIA cases. "For a president who said he was going to bring unprecedented transparency to government, you would certainly expect more than the recycling of old Bush secrecy policies."

Just words, just speeches...

The Iranian Violence

I haven't written anything about the rioting and violence in Iran, partly out of fascination and horror (it's a horrific thing to watch), partly because I wanted to get more information so I wouldn't just be reacting emotionally, and partly because I wanted to see what President Obama would do.

I'm disappointed and a little afraid because Obama's nothing-doing shows a spinelessness even I didn't think he was capable of. I'm not saying we should bomb Iran, send armies there, or anything like that. But George W. Bush would have, at the very least, made a statement in support of democratic elections and government tolerance for peaceful dissent. It's not like that should be too hard to give, should it?

We knew Ahmedinajad would accuse the U.S. of "meddling," regardless of what we did or didn't do, so that really shouldn't have been a consideration. But what we're getting from Teh One is worse, IMO, than Jimmy Carter. I say this not in the political sense, but in a more realistic one. Why is our president so spineless? It's embarrassing.

UPDATE: Interesting developments, including the fact that Obama has finally spoken. Gee, that didn't take too long...

Here is the President's statement.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Patient Dumping and Obamacare

Michelle Malkin has a column up about patient dumping and Obamacare, including the story of Dontae Adams, who sought emergency treatment after a pitbull nearly tore off his lip. The University of Chicago Medical Center--the same place Michelle Obama worked--gave him the slam, bam, thank you ma'am treatment (Tylenol, tetanus shot, antibiotics) and told him to get lost.

I hear frequently that a government healthcare option would create "competition" and lower costs, but when a non-profit hospital like UCMC treats the indigent (which they are required to do, btw) like yesterday's garbage, you have to wonder how seriously to take those arguments.

We've all heard similar horror stories; community hospitals, which are required to do a certain amount of charity work, cherry-picking the cases to treat. So, a millionaire gets his double bypass for free while 100 indigents in the E.R. get shuffled out the back door, left to find a CareNow or something to treat their raging infections, broken bones and emergency surgeries.

Michelle Obama thought patient dumping was acceptable at UCMC. Why should the rest of the country be treated any differently?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Titles Matter

Sometimes, you come across a story that seems silly on its face, but actually represents a bigger or more serious situation. Take the case of Barbara Boxer dressing down an Army General for calling her "ma'am" and not "Senator."

California Senator Barbara Boxer is a Senator. And if you don’t acknowledge it, she’ll demand you acknowledge it. Even if you’re a General in the United States Army.

My response is, why should a general, who obviously worked very hard to earn his title, not offer the same level of respect to a senator, who also worked hard for her title?

We could get into a heated discussion about who works hardest or what have you, but the point is, Boxer wasn't merely being bitchy when she asks to be addressed by the title she earned. She might just be more sensitive to the issue.

Echidne of the Snakes makes the point that probably escapes the notice of men, who think this is just much ado about nothing.
A woman of Boxer's age has had plenty of experiences of sitting in a room with other dignitaries, hearing how they are called by their last names while she's called Barbara. I'm absolutely certain of this. She has probably also had experiences where it seems that people are trying very hard not to use her proper title while using the proper titles of others in the room. Which reminds me to check what General Walsh called other Senators in the room. If he called them 'Sir' then 'Ma'am' is perhaps justified on the basis of military use. If he called them 'Senator' then not.

This is less of an issue for younger women (I'd say under 40), who have grown up being perceived as equals with men in every venture of life. After all, more women than men are entering law school, more women than men are entering medical school, and women are making greater strides in all areas of employment.

But as Echidne notes, if you're of a certain age, you've spent more than a little time proving you're as good as the men in a job. So, when you earned a title, you want the respect that goes with it.

Now, it's possible that the good General wasn't aware of Boxer's sensitivity to the subject. Or it could be that he didn't want to address her as "Senator." Or it could be that she was having a bad day and was cranky. But it doesn't make Boxer a bitch because she asked for the respect she's earned (whether you like the voters' decision or not).

This is the sort of tempest in a teapot that makes me wonder if minorities have the same reaction to, say, a racist joke. Experience does alter one's perspective.

Pandagon Watch: The Synopsis

Some days, Pandagon provides few examples of the nuttiness they are famous for. And then there are days like today when that site is so chockful of stupid and hypocrisy that I could spend all day dissecting it. But I won't. I have more important things to do. Like taking the kids to the waterpark.

When I first discovered Pandagon, it seemed like a normal moonbat site: lots of George Bush bashing, lots of "Republicans are teh hypocrites!" columns, lots of completely ridiculous and unworkable far left arguments regarding government, international affairs, family, work, and feminism. It wasn't alone in this regard; there are other sites that do much the same thing. But Pandagon is one of the most popular that had a regular stable of commenters. And even though most comments can be summed up as "You suck," they still provided enough gasps and chuckles to be worth blogging about and commenting on.

That was before the election of 2008. These days, Pandagon is locked up tighter than Fort Knox. You have to register to comment (so much for the liberal argument that regulating comment is undemocratic). I got banned (not merely unable to comment; I can't even pull up Pandagon on my home computer, an extremist solution I've never seen on any site) ostensibly for "thread jacking," which means I said something the Pandagonistas (a) hated and (b) couldn't refute effectively. Amanda Marcotte's not terribly tolerant of being bested in an argument, and if you do manage to do it, you're likely to be called all sorts of things, including a "woman hater," an odd term for me, being a woman and all.

But the real kicker these days is the inability of the Pandagon bloggers to criticize their god, Barack Obama. Even when he's saying and doing things that piss them off, even when he's clearly flip-flopped on an issue, even when he blatantly breaks one campaign promise after another, they cannot bring themselves to use any rhetoric stronger than, "I don't like that." In other words, like many, if not most liberal websites, Pandagon is in full hibernation mode now, unwilling to face the reality that the high standards of behavior they required of Republicans isn't being adhered to by their beloved Democrats, either.

That's why you get posts like the post on David Letterman's apology to Sarah Palin (sorry, link isn't working, but you know where to look), where Amanda says bashing young women as slutty is perfectly ok...if she's a Republican. More specifically, if she has a child out of wedlock, then tells everyone that it wasn't a good idea. Because, you know, learning from your mistakes and trying to prevent others from making those same stupid mistakes is hypocritical.

The joke, as crude as it was, was obviously about poking at the gap between the goody two shoes “no sex for us!” image that conservative politicians cultivate and the reality.

But Bristol Palin isn't a politician. She's a young (very young) woman who obviously listened to idiots like Amanda who typically argue that 12-year-olds should be able to have abortions without parental notice but not tattoos. That's why this whole "but she's a slut" defense is so strange. Pandagon also sports this post, bashing crisis pregnancy centers for using images of women looking worried or upset that they're pregnant. If you just read that article, you would assume that being pregnant out of wedlock was a wonderful thing and then Bristol Palin would be a saint (not quite a god like B.O., but nearly as good).

If you view these two stories together--Bristol Palin is a slut that deserves mocking on national TV for having a baby out of wedlock then telling others that's a bad choice, coupled with the having babies out of wedlock is just another lifestyle choice--you can see how schizophrenic Pandagon thinking really is. Amanda tries to say that deriding Bristol Palin is permissible because her mother is a politician. But these are the same sorts of people screaming that we shouldn't make jokes about Amy Carter or Chelsea Clinton. Making nasty jokes about the Bush twins was ok; laughing at Chelsea Clinton was not.

The truth is that either family members who are not politicians themselves (Hillary Clinton during Hillarycare, for example) should be off limits, or making jokes about Michelle Obama's Anchor Arms and Sasha's buck teeth are fair game. You can't argue that having illegitimate children is ok but Republican women who have illegitimate children are sluts. And no amount of "it's not the child, it's the anti-endorsement of illegitimacy that's the problem" will cover that sort of hypocrisy.

Understandably, this is the only way the Pandagonistas can justify continually deriding and mocking Republicans who aren't making any government policy these days, as opposed to deriding and mocking their own party which is pretty much making a hash of everything.

The same breathless hypocrisy is on display in this post, where Amanda argues that not speechifying the events in Iran is the right response for President Obama because it's not our problem. Seriously. That's the argument. I suspect if I were to look up Amanda's opinions on, say, Rwanda, Bosnia, East Timor or the Palestinians, I'd find that she was quite vocal that the U.S. government must do something in those places. Of course, that would have been only when Republicans ran the government.

Thanks to Chuck Serio for sending me one of the Pandagon stories.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Assassination Advocacy Is Not Conservative

Crooks and Liars has the story on the offensive gear being sold at Cafe Press, which includes T-shirts lauding abortion doctor killer Scott Roeder as "an American Hero" and "Impeach Barack Obama" with a rifle.

I'm sure there are dozens of offensive stuff being sold on Cafe Press just like these. This is a pattern of behavior that's only going to escalate unfortunately for America and more violence is sure to follow.

I'm sure John Amato was equally concerned about leftwing violence against President George W. Bush, but I'm having a hard time finding the story on Crooks and Liars. There's this story, without commentary, on the arrest and release of anti-Bush protesters who wore T-shirts with "no Bush" (circle with slash through it around picture of George Bush), although the commenters mocked the idea that the shirts displayed any potential violence against the president.

There is this story on anti-Bush gear at Cafe Press, but Amato doesn't seem too concerned that "this pattern of behavior" is "only going to escalate" and "more violence is sure to follow." Indeed, Amato seems to think such expressions are no big deal (amusingly, one of the commentators harrumphs that threatening the president "is a federal crime." Where was his outrage when "Kill Bush" gear was available?). He also repeated the "violence only comes from the right" meme, which seems to work for them when they are allowed to classify every act of violence as rightwing.

I find both T-shirts to be reprehensible, and I have to wonder about people who would buy such things. But I'd be a little more sympathetic were the John Amatos of this world weren't so selective in their outrage. We have a word for that: Democrisy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why We Say They're the Liberal Media

CBS News republishes this vile New Republic article which calls Ahmadinejad "Iran's George Bush."

The comparison is shallow and designed for outrage (which it's getting plenty of), and provides yet another example of why we can no longer take the MSM seriously when it comes to actual news. As Gateway Pundit points out,

Of course, CBS forgot the part about Bush liberating over 50,000,000 Muslims from two of the most violent regimes in history and bringing democracy to the Middle East.

For some reason, that did not make it in their story.

The story makes superficial comparisons between a ruthless, autocratic regime which supresses basic freedoms with the most free nation on earth. To wit:
-- The economy in Iran is poor.

--Rural voters tend to support Ahmadinejad.

-- ???

That's it. The article tries to imply that George W. Bush "clamped down on political dissent and social freedoms, militarized the state, and earned the enmity of much of the world" as Ahmadinejad has, but there's no evidence to support this hyperbole. There was no squashing of political dissent during the Bush administration; indeed, liberal sites such as Daily KOS and Media Matters flourished during the eight years of "Bush tyranny."

Similarly, there was no "militarization" of the state, certainly not in the sense Iran has done. America has fought two wars with a minimum of casualties. It uses a volunteer army. The U.S. has not threatened its neighbors or called for the annihilation of any country on earth, which is a far cry from Iran.

As for earning the "emnity of the world," this rhetoric does not hold water, either. Being disdained by Hugo Chavez isn't an insult, after all. And George Bush certainly succeeded in making Europe, for example, a much more conservative place than Democrats would like to admit (as recent elections have shown).

I expect the New Republic to be hysterical; it's their style. But CBS News is supposed to be a serious news organization. Running nonsense like this makes them look worse than biased. They look pathetic.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Broadening the Base

Interesting article on the Republican demographic problem.

In the last election, there were more than 2 million additional African American voters, about 2 million more Hispanic voters and about a million more Asian American voters. All are groups in which Obama increased the Democratic share of the vote over 2004. Frey estimated that minority voters in nine states made the difference in Obama's victory margin.

I think most articles like this overestimate the endurance of minority voters in the election cycle, as well as the swing of white voters to the Democrats. 2008 was most likely an anomaly; many people were tired of George W. Bush and have spent two election cycles punishing all Republicans for him. Couple that with a successful black candidate and you have the numbers that have everybody talking.

95% of black voters voted for Barack Obama. That is a stunningly high percentage. Then there is the fact that black voting participation rose from 11.1% in 2004 to 13% in 2008, and you can understand what happened. The question is whether these voters continue to turn out for Democrats when a black person is not running for president.

Then there's the disaffected GOPers who also voted for Barack Obama. Many voted for the Democrats because of perceived "broken promises" by the GOP. Many of those people called radio talk shows to argue that the Republicans needed to be "taught a lesson" by becoming the minority party.

I don't really take these articles predicting the demise of the GOP too seriously, since these same publications made the same predictions about the Democrats in 2004. There's no question that the GOP must become more attractive to minorities in order to win elections, but perhaps enough Americans will feel the pain of their recent vote to change their minds anyway.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Trillion Here and a Trillion There and Pretty Soon, You're Talking about Real Money

Lone Star Times has a nice post on the Congressional Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing with the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve. Texpat notes that Democrat Alan Grayson illuminates just how clueless the government is as to where the money is going and who is spending it. This truly should be of concern to every American.

Hope. Change. Die.

I stole that line from Don Surber, to whom I link at the bottom of this post, but it should become our description for Obamacare.

There's no such thing as a free lunch and the Democrats are feeling that pain as they try to kill the American medical system by nationalizing health care. It's important for Democrats to do this, since it would create another whole class of potential Democrat voters (witness the fealty many elderly have given Dems because of Social Security and Medicare). But the proposals don't come without cost to every American taxpayer:

Democrats in the House and Senate are crafting legislation that would require all Americans to have health insurance, prohibit insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions and place other restrictions on the industry.

The legislation would establish online exchanges for individuals to purchase insurance and would require employers to provide health benefits to workers or pay a penalty. Some Democrats also are backing creation of a government-run program to expand coverage to the uninsured...

Rangel said Democrats are still considering options for tax increases that might be in the bill, including a possible end to the income tax exclusion for employer-paid health benefits...

Obama has pledged that health-care changes won’t add to the deficit. To accomplish that, he’s proposed getting about $600 billion by reducing tax deductions available to the wealthy, and by trimming Medicare payments to insurance companies.

Emphasis mine.

All the boldfaced words mean higher taxes and fewer choices for American consumers. There's no statement about how big a company must be to provide insurance, but if a store employing three people has to include health care in the costs, it might not stay in business. That's because most small businesses are run on a shoe string. Perhaps Democrats don't think one should be able to own one's own business unless one is a millionaire.

Don Surber says we should switch the word "education" for "health care" to understand just how bizarre Obama's prescription is.
Not once did he (Obama) mention improving the quality of health care. He is simply promising to reduce spending on health care — which he knows cannot be done by government except through rationing.

Hope. Change. Die.

William Jacobson notes Obama's flip-flops on health care. Remember when taxing employer benefits was just plain wrong? That is sooooo 2008.

The "Obama Inherited This Mess" Myth

Robert McCain takes Andrew "Fake Conservative" Sullivan to task for his shameless defense of all things Obama.

Moreover, is there any criticism of Obama that Sullivan considers legitimate?

I'd say the answer is "no." Sullivan lost all credibility after flip-flopping on his support of George W. Bush. Sullivan went from a Bush cheerleader to a whinging, feckless, pathetic whiner in less than two years. The only person flip-flopping faster than Sullivan is his hero, Barack Obama.

This particular defense centers on exactly what Barack Obama inherited from George W. Bush. For months, Obama has been hammering away at the idea that he inherited a "fiscal disaster," even though he helped shape the deficits he complains about. Sullivan has the audacity to call the Bush administration "the most fiscally reckless administration in recent history," which is a coffee spewer if ever there was one, given Congressional Budget Office figures which show Obama's deficits far higher than anything George Bush ever dreamt of.

It's one thing to have foolishly praised Obama during the presidential campaign. It's another to flaunt one's blindness and stupidity once the consequences of Obama's policies become apparent.

Friday, June 12, 2009

This Pisses Me Off

This here.

It’s just weight. Just 40 pounds of fat now gone from my body, but wow, it’s pretty much all I get asked about. In the last year, I got to star in a movie, wrote and directed my next one, and adopted a three year old from American Foster Care. But guess what I’m asked...how did I lose the weight?

I am embarrassed to be in the position of answering questions about my body again. On the publicity tour of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ I was asked over and over again, if, as the writer, I felt it was a fair depiction of real life to have someone of my er, below average looks, hook up with hottie John Corbett.

I'm going to sound like your average feminist when I rail about the misogyny of our culture, how women--even talented, well-educated women--are judged first by their looks and only afterwards by their abilities. I've known smart women with Ivy League educations who were concerned they wouldn't get a job because they were overweight. I've seen women cut their beautiful hair so they will look "serious" to employers. And I've heard mothers lie about having husbands and children so that employers would not penalize them for having other obligations in life.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying men don't face some of these same problems. Men cut their hair, shave their beards and cover their tattoos when they apply for "real" jobs. But are male writers told to change their leads because "men don't go to movies"?
A studio executive recently asked me to change a male lead in a script to female because “women don’t go to movies.” He went on to explain some studios were no longer making female-lead movies because women don’t go to them.

I guess my friends and I--we meet up every month for a girls' night out just to see a movie--don't count in the world of that studio executive.

When women allow others to define them--through constraints on weight, age, education, even entertainment--they reinforce the negative stereotypes our daughters will have to fight, too.

Why Have Liberals Suddenly Discovered Hate Speech?

I'm trying to figure out why liberals never noticed hate speech over the last nine years when it was directed at conservatives. I mean, we've had movies and books fantasizing about the assassination of President George W. Bush, we've had protests, fake lynchings, interviews with leftwing lunatics and more, but nary a peep against those events.

Now we have Paul Krugman alternately wringing his hands and salivating at the prospect of violence against President Barack Obama. I say "salivating," because his hyperbolic rhetoric practically demands it.

Now, for the most part, the likes of Fox News and the R.N.C. haven’t directly incited violence, despite Bill O’Reilly’s declarations that “some” called Dr. Tiller “Tiller the Baby Killer,” that he had “blood on his hands,” and that he was a “guy operating a death mill.” But they have gone out of their way to provide a platform for conspiracy theories and apocalyptic rhetoric, just as they did the last time a Democrat held the White House.

William Jacobson notes that Krugman tries to blame the shooting of a Holocaust Museum guard on conservatives, even though the killer's hatred of conservatives and Fox News has been documented.
While Krugman places the blame on conservatives for the museum [and Tiller] shooter[s], Krugman fails to consider the implications of his own logic. Since Krugman has been one of the harshest critics of the Bush policies (as continued by the Obama administration), then using his own logic Krugman himself is "winding up" the next Islamist terrorist attack. Or maybe Krugman wound up the last Islamist attack, just days before the museum shooting, when a convert to Islam upset over U.S. policies in Iraq and Afghanistan killed an Army recruiter.

Will Krugman accept the responsibility he seeks to impose on others? Don't count on it. The best thing about playing the "hate card" is that consistency is not required.

Many on the left have conveniently forgotten their own overheated rhetoric against the Bush administration. But if you are going to argue that every nut that kills somebody is Bill O'Reilly's responsibility, why not blame the guard's attack on Keith Olbermann or Amanda Marcotte?

This Is What a Threat Looks Like

Blogger Surrenders on Lawmaker-Threat Charge

A New Jersey blogger who urged readers to "take up arms" against Connecticut lawmakers and who suggested government officials should "obey the Constitution or die" surrendered Thursday on a charge of inciting violence.

Harold "Hal" Turner, a former radio talk show host from North Bergen who broadcasts commentary on his Web site, was angry over legislation that would have given lay members of Roman Catholic churches in Connecticut more control over their parish's finances. The bill, brought by state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor, was withdrawn in March.

Turner was charged by Capitol Police in Connecticut with inciting injury to persons or property, and released after posting bond. He is due in court June 22.

On June 2, Turner wrote on his blog, turnerradionetwork.blogspot.com, that Catholics should "take up arms and put down this tyranny by force," and promised to post the lawmakers' home addresses.

"It is our intent to forment direct action against these individuals personally," Turner wrote. "These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die."

This is considerably different from, say, the arguments against Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, neither of whom endorsed killing people. Sadly, I can't say the same for liberal bloggers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Liberal misogyny is OK in America,"

So says Don Surber in an excellent post listing the variety of misogynist attacks against conservative women that have been ignored by liberals.

It's no secret that attacking conservative women is permissible in much of the liberal blogosphere. Sites like Pandagon and others either ignore such blatantly sexist behavior or use the tried-and-true explanation: they had it coming.

Surber notes, as I have, that you can get away with the most egregious sexist barbs so long as you support abortion till birth (or after, if you're Barack Obama). You can sexually harass employees, make disparaging remarks about women and call them every nasty name in the book. Because modern feminism is more concerned with keeping abortion available for 12-year-olds than how women in general are treated.

It was nice to find this Feministe article condemning the notorious Playboy HateF*ck article, but that sort of thing tends to be the exception to the rule. My hope is that pointing out the hypocrisy of screaming over blonde jokes but ignoring liberal misogyny will shame feminists into taking a stand on this behavior.

AMA Opposes Socialized Medicine

It's welcome news to hear that the American Medical Association has come out in opposition to Obamacare. Until now, the silence from doctors (well, except when you go for a checkup) has been deafening. But I guess the way Democrats have been trying to fast track the deal finally got someone's attention.

(I)n comments submitted to the Senate Finance Committee, the American Medical Association said: “The A.M.A. does not believe that creating a public health insurance option for non-disabled individuals under age 65 is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs. The introduction of a new public plan threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers, which currently provide coverage for nearly 70 percent of Americans.”

If private insurers are pushed out of the market, the group said, “the corresponding surge in public plan participation would likely lead to an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers.”

What an explosion of costs will lead to is rationing of health care. That may sound ok to a 20-year-old, but if you are 50 and starting to need certain medications, or a 75-year-old needing bypass surgery, rationing doesn't sound so good.

Karl at Patterico's Pontifications points out that doctors have far more credibility than politicians when it comes to health care. So, losing the support of the A.M.A. is a good sign for those of us who oppose socialized medicine.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dirty Words in the Workplace

Interesting case before the 11th Circuit, determining "dirty words" uttered in the workplace can constitute hostile environment sexual harassment.

At issue in the case at the 11th Circuit are allegations of not only sexual jokes that Timmons said courts shouldn't assume are harmful to women, but also gender-based slurs that Timmons said should provide the basis for a discrimination claim.

Plaintiff Ingrid Reeves contends that she was subjected to words such as "bitch" and "whore" on a daily basis in her job as a transportation sales representative. As recounted in the 11th Circuit panel decision, there's no evidence that Reeves' co-workers called her names like that. Rather, Reeves complains about the use of such language more generally in conversation with her, such as when she was asked to "talk to that stupid bitch on line four."

Most of the language at issue was used in conversation she heard between co-workers or on the sometimes sexually charged local morning radio program favored by some of Reeves' colleagues. The program occasionally included discussions of subjects like women's breast sizes and pornography. Reeves also complained that others regaled their co-workers with sexual jokes, talk of masturbation and their own sexual tales.

All but one of Reeves' co-workers were men, and the only other woman worked in a different area of the office.

What the Hell Is Wrong with the Left?

I've been busy today, so I just started sifting through some of my usual information sources and, apparently today was Batshit Crazy Day for the Left. Some short takes:

-- Late-term abortionist Carhart compares murdered late-term abortion doctor Tiller to Martin Luther King and pro-lifers to the KKK.

-- David Letterman says Sarah Palin has a "slutty flight attendant look" and also jokes about underage rape.

-- Chris Matthews compared Dick Cheney to Freddy Krueger.

-- A comedian on the Today Show says Sarah Palin is "very much like herpes."

--D.L.Hughley on Bill Maher's show says Reagan was the Moses of "greedy white men."

Do they not know that they're running everything and they can't blame Republicans anymore? Or are they so stuck on stupid that they think their audiences buy this manure?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Only Took Five Months

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on economic issues.

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on six out of 10 key issues, including the top issue of the economy.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% now trust the GOP more to handle economic issues, while 39% trust Democrats more.

Americans are an impatient lot. Don't they realize God needs time for miracles?

Another poll says Obama has highest personal rating but lowest rating on the deficit and spending. But we like him. That's what's important.

Our Obsession With Race Continues

Walter Backstrom seems a little surprised that we are still obsessed with race.

I was talking to a kindergarten teacher recently. She showed me a book that they use. In that book, they talk about slavery. I’m not kidding.

When I saw the passage related to race, my blood pressure spiked, and I decided to throw away my double-short latte. That is all we need: A book that makes white people feel guilty and black people feel like victims — in kindergarten.

I was under the impression that they were supposed to learn their ABCs and colors. Clearly, I was wrong.

This is what happens when the politically correct crowd, white guilt and black victimhood meet. I must tell you, this is nothing but foolishness run amok. We continue to be obsessed with race.

I would go one step beyond Backstrom's point. I think we are more obsessed with race now, at a time when all minorities have more chances than ever, than we have been in a generation.

I was a child of the 1970s. I was among the students to attend desegregated schools in Fort Worth, and I was in the first class of white students bused to a black school. What I remember about the experience was that we had never seen--up close--people who looked like them, nor they like us. It didn't make good film for TV to have a bunch of seven-year-olds feeling each other's hair, poking each other's arms and staring at each other's faces, asking inelegant questions like why one girl wears three ponytails and another has only two. The adults were horrified, but the kids were just being kids.

Unfortunately, political correctness has seeped into the minds of elementary school students, even down to the kindergarten level. I know this because I've heard them talk.

My children had some friends (a brother and sister) over for a sleepover. The children started discussing ways they were all similar and ways they were different.

"Another way we're the same is we're all white," said one girl.

"That's racist," said my son.

I was very surprised at his statement. "Why do you think saying you're all white is racist?" I asked.

"Because," he answered. "Talking about your color is racist."

"A statement of fact, like that all of you are white, isn't racist," I responded. "It would be racist if you'd said that you were all great because you're white, or that you're better than someone else because you're white. Simply stating that you're white is just a fact."

I could tell he didn't believe me, and that's how I knew the racism police had done their work. My son is ashamed of his race, which is no better than a black child or Asian kid or Hispanic person being ashamed of his or her race. I agree with Backstrom:
I get tired of dealing with the race issue. I am keenly aware that racism still exists — with its ugly actors and actions. However, the hope that I have for future generations is that they won’t be burdened with color as we are. I see so many biracial kids and children from other countries that the issue of slavery and race won’t be below their surface as they grow up.

I want my children to grow up in a world where they don't feel victimized or guilty about past racism, for they didn't cause it and aren't responsible for it. I want them to grow up understanding that their worth isn't, nor should it be, tied to the color of their skin.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

How Is Spying for Three Decades Still Bush's Fault?

The story about the State Department employee turned traitor is fascinating for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the guy did it for three decades. According to this story, the traitor hated his country so much that he decided to give secrets to Fidel Castro...and it's George W. Bush's fault.

He was a courtly State Department intelligence analyst from a prominent family who loved to sail and peruse the London Review of Books. Occasionally, he would voice frustration with U.S. policies, but to his liberal neighbors in Northwest D.C. it was nothing out of the ordinary. "We were all appalled by the Bush years," one said.

Yes, because, you see, living under the boot of communism is really a lot better than owning a yacht and pulling in a six-figure salary for the State Department.
In November 2006, Kendall Myers's frustration with U.S. policy boiled over. In what he apparently thought was an off-the-record gathering at Johns Hopkins, he assailed the Bush administration's treatment of one of its closest allies, Britain.

"We typically ignore them and take no notice. . . . It's a sad business," Myers told the audience. The British press reported it.

I'm still trying to figure out how George W. Bush's presidency in 2001 made Myers betray his country in 1978. I guess there's some time travel involved, perhaps?

Sounds like only the latest case of BDS to me.

H/T: Brothers Judd.

The Dangers of Pseudonymous Blogging

You piss somebody off, they'll out you.

As I told Ed (to no avail), I have blogged under a pseudonym largely for private and professional reasons. Professionally, I’ve heard that pre-tenure blogging (particularly on politics) can cause problems. And before that, I was a lawyer with real clients. I also believe that the classroom should be as nonpolitical as possible – and I don’t want conservative students to feel uncomfortable before they take a single class based on my posts. So I don’t tell them about this blog. Also, I write and research on telecom policy – and I consider blogging and academic research separate endeavors. This, frankly, is a hobby.

Privately, I don’t write under my own name for family reasons. I’m from a conservative Southern family – and there are certain family members who I’d prefer not to know about this blog (thanks Ed). Also, I have family members who are well known in my home state who have had political jobs with Republicans, and I don’t want my posts to jeopardize anything for them (thanks again).

I think the truth is that John used a pseudonym for his blogging so that anything he wrote, however intemperate, wouldn't come back to bite him on the ass. That's usually why people do it. And, yes, John, conservative students are going to take one look at your blog posts and alter their answers to fit your world view. Because law school exams are totally subjective. I once gave a pro-choice supportive answer to a law school exam question because the teacher was pro-choice. She said she was "disappointed," but only a fool would stick her head in that lion's mouth.

As for the friends and family stuff, it's understandable that he wants to hide his hobby. I don't discuss my blogging with people I know in real life (although my husband has "outed" me accidentally), largely because many of my friends are liberal and I don't feel like either arguing with them or defending my political views at a barbecue or school play. Remember: you don't discuss politics or religion in polite company.

There are plenty of reasons people use pseudonyms for posting and commenting on the internet, but John Blevins doesn't have the primary one I do: as a woman, you face special threats and danger when your name is released. Both Amanda Marcotte and Michelle Malkin have experienced and written about it. His personal or professional embarrassment pales by comparison.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey chimes in with a few choice responses to the crisis du jour.

I guess my post left a lot to be desired opinion-wise. I disagree with outting people. Period. If a person wants his information known, he'll do so. And sometimes, the information comes out innocently (like my husband proudly telling friends about my blog). But unless the person is committing a crime of some sort, I just can't see the justification.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Obamacare: Goodbye Fourth Amendment

Hot Air has the post with this important section:

It’s worth noting that HIPAA ensures patient privacy, which should be a really big deal if we’re letting the government run everything. Without knowing how or whether this works with HIPAA, how can Congress even consider this bill?

Because the people arguing about universal healthcare aren't as worried about your privacy rights as they were about terrorists' phone calls.

Grossest Product Ever

Potty Patch.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Unemployment Hits 9.4%

Highest rate in more than 25 years.

Over all, the economy has now shed six million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, and some economists expect an additional two million job losses. Even after the economy resumes growth, perhaps later this year, businesses are likely to be conservative in their expansion, credit will probably remain tighter than in years past, and consumers will be more inclined to save.

But Porkapalooza was going to save jobs. And Obama promised to create (or save!) 150,000 jobs, remember? But even the stimulus supporters were wrong about the dire consequences of not passing Porkapalooza.
Not only has unemployment not followed the predicted dark blue line after passing the Obama/Pelosi Porkulus package, we have actually exceeded the boogeyman light blue line for unemployment. We are heading towards double-digit unemployment and doing that while we incur the massive debt of the unstimulating stimulus package. We could just as easily have kept the money and ridden out the unemployment, much as we’re forced to do now, only being a lot poorer while doing it.

Funny, those conservatives kept saying that it won't work have been derided as mouth-breathing troglodytes. The brilliant people thought we could throw your (and your grandchildren's) tax money at the problem and that would solve it. But now, we face rising unemployment and the threat of rising interest rates because of the debt.
It demonstrates that the President and his economic advisers have gotten pretty much everything about this economic collapse wrong. Instead of contracting government spending and shoring up the credibility of the currency, they’re setting records in dissipating it instead. Instead of focusing on fixing the problem that government explicitly created — mortgage-backed securities — they’ve literally left that for last while they waste money chasing every Democratic constituency but ignoring the actual cancer in the financial system.

Democrats are hoping that the tide will turn just in time for the mid-term elections, but virtually every economist is predicting very slow employment gains even if the economy does turn around soon. Democrats embraced the stimulus bill and now I hope they get smothered by the results of it.

Medical Bills Cause Most Bankruptcies?

Well, not quite.

Elizabeth Warren has another study out showing that medical expenses contribute to more than half of all bankruptcies--indeed, this time, it's 70%, up from the 50% she found in 2001...

What Warren et. al. neglect to mention is that bankruptcies fell between 2001 and 2007. In fact, they were cut in half. Going by the numbers Warren et. al. provide, medical bankruptcies actually fell by almost 220,000 between 2001 and 2007, a fact that they not only fail to mention, but deliberately obscure.

There's no doubt that medical bills contribute substantially to the debt consumers acquire, but credit card bills and other forms of debt are bigger factors these days. The fact is that Warren and her co-authors have a vested interest in pushing the "medical bills cause most bankruptcies" argument. They want a single payer health care system.

Amanda Marcotte: Lonely, Ugly Girl

Now that George W. Bush is unavailable for liberals' daily two minutes of hate, they are scanning the horizon for a new target. There are perennial favorites such as Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich, and Lord knows we see rants against those guys on a daily basis.

But ranking up there with these guys is Fox News, the lone cable channel with anything approaching a conservative slant (and I say "approaching" because they still manage to have plenty of liberal and centrist news readers and such on the air). Only Rush Limbaugh can send liberals' blood pressures skyrocketing like Fox News can, and I've always found it more than a little amusing. Here we are, in 2009, when virtually every news outlet seems to have some fawning coverage of Teh One, but apparently the success of Fox News is still more than they can handle.

Which is why this stupidity from Amanda Marcotte is so delicious. Amanda is the poster child of lonely, ugly girls everywhere who complain because guys don't ask them to the high school dance. See, it's not that they are ugly, mean-spirited and childish. That's not why the guys are avoiding them like the plague. It's because they "have a life," which, evidently, includes considering playing video games and watching mindless TV to be a sign of intellectual superiority. What, not watching the news on a daily basis or checking out your competition for stories? Why, that's what the smart liberal blogger does.

My favorite part of Amanda's pathetic attempt at humor (which is what she would say if one were to point out how truly sad this post makes her look), is this section:

Fox News isn’t really a news station, and it’s unfair to compare it to the others. This is painful to say, because it’s not like CNN and MSNBC are reading Edward R. Murrow levels any time soon (except perhaps Rachel Maddow). But they are still news stations. You watch them, and there will be some news, some analysis, and not too many bikinis. But Fox News isn’t about the news. The news is featured, often in weird and badly spun ways, but the point of Fox News is not the news. It’s a propaganda station that also tries to entertain you with a whole lot of cheesecake...

Granted, the toxic mix of a loud sound effects, constant screen movement, T&A, alarmist bullshit about nothing, and bigotry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, entertainment-wise. But it’s enough for a lot of people. But it isn’t news, and comparing its ratings to news is unfair. Its ratings should be compared to those of reality dating shows, which trade in the same T&A, race-baiting and scare-mongering, but just more honestly.

Obviously, Amanda must never watch MSNBC or else she wouldn't be able to claim only Fox News shows an inordinate amount of interest in bikinis and breast implants. This isn't even going into the whole teabagging incident, but, I'm sure Amanda, who only reads "serious" books during non-election years, didn't even know about that, since liberals don't watch news programs. No, Keith Olbermann's rants must just slip under the radar.