Monday, November 30, 2009

Short Takes

7 Stories Obama Doesn't Want You to Read

Jules Crittenden live mocks Michael Moore's letter to the President. Hilarious.

Americans don't want Obamacare. Not that Democrats give a damn what those yokels think.

PBS is changing the NewsHour in order to save it. Interesting look at how PBS is adjusting to the economic hard times. Orrin Judd has said that MSM could one day consist of government-funded organizations like PBS and NPR, with bloggers and citizen journalists on the outside.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who Is Blind to Facts?

Josh Marshall unconsciously contradicts his own premise in his analysis of why people think what they think.

Do our beliefs form the basis of our partisan and ideological affiliations? Or is it vice versa?

There's been a lot of recent evidence not only that Republicans disproportionately disbelieve the evidence for man-made global warming but that their skepticism is growing. I think that trend is fairly classed under the general heading of Republican/conservative hostility to science.

This is a strange argument to make, given all the recent revelations of global warming believers' tampering with scientific evidence to achieve the results they desire. Surely, more than anything, that shows hostility to science.

Multiculturalism Killed 13 at Fort Hood

Ft. Hood Killer at Work in Annapolis

The Army’s hands-off approach toward the Muslim Hasan contrasts significantly with how Defense officials have handled those practicing mainstream religions.

Hasan was a medical professional serving in a sacred role administering to the most vulnerable; yet, he was proselytizing to his patients about Islam. In spite of this, he was twice promoted.

About the same time Hasan was preaching Islam to the wounded, complaints arose of alleged proselytizing by Evangelical Christians at the U.S. Air Force Academy. A major Pentagon task force was dispatched, investigated and found a "perception of religious bias." Nonetheless, nearly six years after complaints first arose at USAFA, Christian activity at the school is still closely scrutinized.

The military is more concerned with political correctness than preparedness.

Would Barack Obama Have Won Had He Made These 5 Promises?

Instead of the many lies and flip-flops?

Sure, since most of the electorate didn't understand anything he proposed, aside from "hope" and "change."

Wow, Even Thomas Friedman Gets It Sometimes

In his New York Times column.

Have no doubt: we punched a fist into the Arab/Muslim world after 9/11, partly to send a message of deterrence, but primarily to destroy two tyrannical regimes — the Taliban and the Baathists — and to work with Afghans and Iraqis to build a different kind of politics. In the process, we did some stupid and bad things. But for every Abu Ghraib, our soldiers and diplomats perpetrated a million acts of kindness aimed at giving Arabs and Muslims a better chance to succeed with modernity and to elect their own leaders...

“Whenever something like Fort Hood happens you say, ‘This is not Islam.’ I believe that. But you keep telling us what Islam isn’t. You need to tell us what it is and show us how its positive interpretations are being promoted in your schools and mosques. If this is not Islam, then why is it that a million Muslims will pour into the streets to protest Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, but not one will take to the streets to protest Muslim suicide bombers who blow up other Muslims, real people, created in the image of God? You need to explain that to us — and to yourselves.”

Pandagon Watch: Even When They're Wrong, It's All the Right's Fault

So, the Kentucky census worker killed by those eeeeeevilllll rightwingers has been ruled a suicide. Worse, it was a suicide designed to bilk the insurance company. But those inconvenient facts don't get in the way of a good narrative for Amanda Marcotte. No, Amanda still finds a way to blame the Right for this man's decision to off himself.

But as much as the hate-mongerers will surely conclude they get 100% off the hook for this, they do not. Sparkman concluded that this was an effective disguise for his suicide because he’d been subjected to so many concerns about his safety working the Census. How realistic those concerns are is somewhat beside the point, since terrorism is about creating the perception of danger. Loud-mouthed threats aimed at government workers, right wing gun nut paranoia about “big government”, shirts with “jokes” about shooting liberals---all these add up to an atmosphere of fear that made Sparkman believe that this murder scenario was realistic. His fraud and suicide are evidence that creating a threatening, violent atmosphere is effective, and so no, the hate-mongerers are not off the hook.

You get that? This guy commits suicide, trying to make it look like somebody murdered him and...that makes it the fault of those paranoid Deliverance types. Call it the Matthew Shepard defense.

Were this sort of argument not so pathetic, it would be funny. Hilarious, even. But the fact is, Amanda's sitting there with egg on her face, trying to find a way to blame the egg for smacking her, when there are bits of egg and shell all over her own hand. In fact, a commenter points this out in the thread, only to be accused of--what else?--being a man, as though that affects the veracity of his/her/its point.

I never tire of pointing out the outrageous demagoguery of the Left, but trying to blame a guy's suicide-for-insurance-fraud on gun owners is pretty far out there even for Pandagon. Deliciously, there are even commenters arguing that it was only right to try to screw the insurance company, since they were to blame for the guy's depression in the first place. The fact that insurance fraud comes back to bite consumers on the ass is of no consequence to these jerks, I suppose.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Trapping People in the Wrong Body

The world's most famous transsexual sportswriter has died.

Mike Penner, the veteran Los Angeles Times sportswriter who made international headlines in 2007 when he announced he was transsexual and began working under the byline "Christine Daniels," has died.

Colleagues said today that Penner was found dead at his Los Angeles home and that suicide was the suspected cause of death. He was 52...

Penner garnered much support and some criticism when he announced he was a "transsexual sportswriter."...

Penner ended up blogging about his transition and later wrote a Times sports blog. In 2008, he began using the "Mike Penner" byline again.

One has to wonder if Penner was actually just a man who needed more therapy.

Obamacare To Cost $1 Trillion $6 Trillion For 10 Years

My, my, my. The numbers for Obamacare keep getting worse. The Democrats have lied about the 10-year cost of their "reform." Now we find that the actual cost will be six times what they say it will be. How have they done it? With gimmicks.

One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019). Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”

Another gimmick pushes much of the legislation’s costs off the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance. When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax. When the government then hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending. But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates — neither as federal revenues nor federal spending. That’s a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan. And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislation’s total costs. When I correct for that gimmick, it brings total costs to roughly $2.5 trillion (i.e., $1 trillion/0.4).

It's not unintentional that Democrats have hidden the costs of their program. The costs sunk Clintoncare, and Democrats are certain that if Americans knew the costs of Obamacare, they would reject that, too. Of course, Americans are already rejecting Obamacare, but Democrats don't give a damn about what Americans want or think representative democracy is all about.

False Equivalencies, Terrorist Edition

So, an ex-doctor with a history of drug abuse admitted to making pipe bombs. And what does the moonbatosphere get out of it? Why, racism, of course.

Of course, if this had been a Muslim extremist caught with such an arsenal, we'd be getting talk-show panels on Hannity featuring Michelle Malkin ranting at length about the threat of Islamic jihad, blah blah blah. Not to mention chatty discussion on Fox and Friends and Morning Joe.

But instead, because he's just a white anti-government extremist, hey, let's just give it a big shrug.


Yeah, it's all about the racism. Nothing about, oh, say, a Muslim extremists possible connections to Al-Qaeda.
Note the apples-and-oranges comparison involved here. A Muslim extremist might be connected to al-Qaeda -- you know, 9/11, embassy bombings, "death to infidels," that kind of thing -- whereas this dopehead loser guy would be connected to . . . ?

Well, those racists on the right, of course! See, a drug abusing ex-doctor who blows up his apartment is every bit as dangerous as Muslim extremists flying airplanes into buildings or shooting fellow soldiers at a military installation. Don't you get it?

UPDATE: The Mahablog idiot is also fixated on the nationality of the dopehead with the pipebombs.
Each of those cases were taken very seriously, and the plotters pretty much were all convicted of something. But a guy with 30 pipebombs doesn’t need to be taken seriously, according to R.S. McCain. To R.S., a right-wing whackjob with thirty real pipebombs is less dangerous than jihadist whackjobs with lots of non-operational plots but no bombs.

R.S. McCain wasn't arguing that the pipebomber shouldn't be taken seriously. What he said was that the asinine argument of leftwing nutjobs--that a drug abuser who made pipebombs deserved every bit as much media attention as jihadis mowing down Americans--is stupid. But then, Mahablog has a lot of experience dispensing stupid bullshit, which explains why the point went right over her widdle head.

Maybe Mahablog needs to read Mark Steyn's column:
Major Hasan couldn’t have been more straightforward about who and what he was. An army psychiatrist, he put “SoA”—i.e., “Soldier of Allah”—on his business card. At the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, he was reprimanded for trying to persuade patients to convert to Islam and fellow pupils objected to his constant “anti-American propaganda,” but, as the Associated Press reported, “a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal written complaint.”

Emphasis mine.

I doubt seriously that the dopehead pipebomber's neighbors were concerned about reporting him to the police because of political correctness. That's kind of a big difference.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

John Bolton Was Right

I really hate when conservatives are right about these things, since it just means we're in that much greater danger of dangerous stuff...like a nuclear armed Iran.

When the Obama Administration proclaimed victory on October 1st by announcing that a break-through had been reached in Geneva and that Iran had committed to shipping 2,600 pounds of fuel to Russia, expert Iran watchers were appropriately cynical. Bolton cautioned, yet again, that the Iranians had used some of the same diplomatic nuances they had been using for years to successfully buy more time to continue enriching uranium and fake cooperation with the international community.

Usually, the Europeans were the first to take the bait but this time the Obama Administration got hooked first. Bolton, however, was the first to stand up and call the Iranian pronouncement a sham - and he did it within hours of the announcement.

But as Obama officials were rushing to pat themselves on the back and the New York Times was proclaiming atop the paper "Iran Agrees to Send Enriched Uranium to Russia," Iranian officials were telling reporters that they had not committed to anything. The Iranians called it "an agreement in principle" - code words for "we'd like to but…"

The Times' reporter in Geneva, however, was taking what the Obama officials were saying and running wildly with the incredible news. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the Times had either not checked with Iranian officials or ignored their warnings in favor of the Obama Administration's good news. Roughly a month later, the Iranian official statements confirmed the fact that the Obama Administration had been duped. The Times subsequently inched its way back to reality through multiple follow-up stories that increasingly showed skepticism in the Victory claims culminating with October 30th's headline "Tehran Rejects Nuclear Accord."

Today, while the Iranians reprocess more fuel, the Obama team continues to compromise and offer even more incentives to them. No wonder Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is waiting - the deal keeps getting sweeter. President Obama has offered the Iranians more time, more sites to place their illegal fuel, more personal correspondence with the Ayatollah, more excuses as to what happened to the original deal they announced and no Chinese and Russian arm-twisting. The Obama team also keeps claiming that if Iran ships 2600 pounds of fuel out to Russia for re-processing then Iran will be unable to pose a nuclear threat for at least a year.

It's tough to keep giving Democrats the benefit of the doubt on these issues. The evidence keeps mounting that they either (a) don't mind Iranian mullahs having nuclear weapons cuz, geez, America is the only country to ever use nukes, or (b) they are so stupid that they actually think the Iranian government won't lie about their nuclear ambitions. Either way, the threat is great.

What's Sedition?

A friend of mine is really incensed about Rush Limbaugh saying he hoped those at West Point would 'detain' President Obama.

Of course, Media Matters only gives us 28 seconds of what Limbaugh said, so we don't know what the context was of this clip.

"How is this not sedition? Fortunately for the rest of us, our brothers and sisters in the armed forces love America more than Rush," said my friend.

I tried to explain what constitutes sedition, but I doubt I convinced him. But the incident made me wonder if my friend was equally incensed when Keith Olbermann accused President Bush of engaging in terrorism. Probably not.

That free speech is a tricky thing.

In the Holiday Spirit

Strip club accepts toys in exchange for lap dances.

Thanksgiving Quotes of the Day

"The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this nation throughout its history.” - Ronald Reagan


George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.


Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Address, 1863
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Google Won't Remove Offensive Michelle Obama Pic

Liberals need to recognize that free speech includes speech they dislike, which is why Google won't remove a picture that makes Michelle Obama look like a monkey.

"It's offensive to many people, but that alone is not a reason to remove it from our search index," Google Inc. spokesman Scott Rubin said Tuesday. "We have, in general, a bias toward free speech."

You can view the image here. And here are pictures you get when you Google George W. Bush monkey. But it's ok when you constantly compare a white guy to a monkey.

Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody

I Thought It Was Only the Right Who Hated America...

Sen. Conrad Suggests That People Who Don’t Believe in Civilian Trials for Terrorists Should Leave America and ‘Go Somewhere Else

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) told CNSNews.com that civilian courts are well-suited to prosecute al Qaeda terrorists and that "if people don't believe in our system, maybe they ought to go somewhere else.”

Conrad also dismissed a question about the rights of terrorists captured on foreign battlefields and the rules of evidence in terms of a civilian court trial as not serious.

The Left used to mock the "America: Love It of Leave It" bumperstickers. Now they agree with the sentiment. Of course, they miss (or dismiss) the reasons people are concerned about trying terrorists in the U.S., which has nothing to do with hating America.

Those White Racists

Obama's Approval Slide Finds Whites Down to 39%

Matthew Yglesias thinks the answer is too many white pundits. That doesn't answer why white Democrats are the ones disapproving of Teh One.

Allahpundit digs into the numbers and notes Obama's terrible showing with independents (whom, we can assume, aren't racists, you know).

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent…
Voters not affiliated with either party continue to heavily favor Republicans, 44% to 20%.

That Obama Transparency

Thanks to Chuck Serio for this tip:
Obama’s Labor Department Ignores Freedom of Information Act

On Friday, 20 November 2009, The National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation (Foundation) decided enough was enough and filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court demanding that they compel the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to comply with the Foundation’s April 6th Freedom of information Act (FOIA) request.

Barack Obama promised during the 2008 campaign that his presidency would be a model of transparency. So far, this administration has broken virtually every promise for open government that it originally made.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ever Wonder How Two People Can Read the Same Thing and Reach Completely Different Conclusions?

That's the feeling I had after reading David Brooks's column and the Firedoglake screed linked to it at Memeorandum.

Brooks's column, titled The Values Question, goes into a philosophic tale about what American was, is, and hopes to be.

During the first many decades of this nation’s existence, the United States was a wide-open, dynamic country with a rapidly expanding economy. It was also a country that tolerated a large amount of cruelty and pain — poor people living in misery, workers suffering from exploitation.

Over the years, Americans decided they wanted a little more safety and security. This is what happens as nations grow wealthier; they use money to buy civilization.

Occasionally, our ancestors found themselves in a sweet spot. They could pass legislation that brought security but without a cost to vitality. But adults know that this situation is rare. In the real world, there’s usually a trade-off. The unregulated market wants to direct capital to the productive and the young. Welfare policies usually direct resources to the vulnerable and the elderly. Most social welfare legislation, even successful legislation, siphons money from the former to the latter.

Brooks then goes on to compare these earlier attempts at creating the welfare state with Obamacare, and discovers that when promising additional goodies (especially after you've already maxxed out the credit card), you have to figure out how to pay for them. And Democrats don't really like having to figure out how to pay for these things because it's not terribly popular with the pitchfork set. Brooks concludes that how we decide to deal with the supposed health care crisis says more about our values than anything, and he implies that we're really shitty people if we don't swallow the Democrats' solutions.

Earlofhuntingdon at FDL must've read a different column than the one I did, because the spittle-flecked post about Brooks' writing didn't really seem to address what Brooks actually said, but rather, what EH wanted him to say to fit the cruel, heartless conservative stereotype:
The "moral choice" for Bobo is clear: future business vitality trumps individual vitality and family health. He gets there by neatly synthesizing Republican talking points and by reducing to passive abstraction millions of Americans denied medical treatment by our bizarre and unsustainable health insurance system. He then reassures Republicans that they will be "responsible stewards" of tomorrow when they say no to demands for greater "comfort" today. Because we just can’t afford it.

I searched in vain for the part of Brooks' column where he said that "future business vitality trumps individual vitality and family health." Quite the contrary, really:
Reform would make us a more decent society, but also a less vibrant one. It would ease the anxiety of millions at the cost of future growth. It would heal a wound in the social fabric while piling another expensive and untouchable promise on top of the many such promises we’ve already made. America would be a less youthful, ragged and unforgiving nation, and a more middle-aged, civilized and sedate one.

Exactly what part of that statement shows that Brooks thinks "future vitality trumps individual vitality and family health"? This quote was used in the FDL piece, yet it's obvious that EH either didn't read it (entirely possible) or completely misread it (most probable). If anything, Brooks' statement seems to lean in favor of Obamacare because taking care of the poor and weak is what civilized societies do. But, I guess, if you are looking for a reason to hate conservatives--any conservatives--you really do have to misread what they say to get to the point you want.

Obama: Give me 34,000 More Troops for the "Necessary War," But Just Till I Can Blame Someone Else for Retreat


That's the impression one gets from President Obama's proposal, to be announced next week, to send 34,000 more troops to Afghanistan...but with "off ramps" to allow the POTUS to retreat but still blame someone else for his decision to bug out.

This is really quite distressing. Barack Obama and the Democrats running Congress spent the last 2 years telling us that Iraq was the "wrong war" and Afghanistan was the "necessary war," that we needed to provide more troops and give more support to our allies in Afghanistan to win the "real" war. Now, that appears to all have been a sham. Of course, the cynics among us (raises her hand) knew Democrats weren't serious about fighting any war, and that the real reason they disliked Iraq so much had nothing to do with sympathy for embattled Iraqis or concern for the budget, but rather, they hated the war in Iraq because we're winning there. We ousted a ruthless dictator, helped create democratic elections and have built and rebuilt much of the country's infrastructure.

But the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were never about winning for the Democrats. They were merely propaganda tools to bash Republicans for the tiny number of American deaths in the Middle East, multiple deployments of our troops and the inconveniences that come with such things.

From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

The increase in troops is a good decision, but the off-ramps almost completely undermine it. The point in extending our footprint is to win the trust of the local communities and prove our reliability in providing them security, which is the central thrust of McChrystal’s COIN strategy. By getting them to trust our commitment, we can get them to help fight the Taliban themselves, as we did with the Anbar Awakening in Iraq against al-Qaeda, and greatly improve the intel we get from the locals. If we send 34,000 more troops but give ourselves a six-month time frame for success or bug-out, the locals will very quickly come to the realization that allying with us will be suicide. The COIN strategy only worked in Iraq because George W. Bush was adamant that we would stay until we won.
A Commander in Chief doesn’t need “off-ramps.” Any President can call an end to a deployment based on his own judgment. Putting these conditions into the American strategy signals weakness — a desire to pull out without getting blamed for the decision. Obama wants to be off the hook for an eventual withdrawal by claiming that he’s forced to do it because of these benchmark failures. And if Obama’s that keen to retreat, he should just do it now.


Question: When will the Democrats impose the war tax, then tell us there was nothing else they could do?

The Senate Health Care Bill: 5 Paragraphs You Must Read

Here it is:

What most of us know about the Democratic bill is that it requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance. What most of us don't know is that it requires us to buy a minimum level of insurance approved by the federal government, and forces health plans and providers to share our personal health information with the federal government and other entities.

If this bill becomes law, we could each be assigned a national beneficiary ID number or card (possibly an electronic device). And our personal health information will flow electronically to the US secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) – and many others – without our consent.

Sound farfetched? Buried in the Senate bill's 2,074 pages are provisions that actually permit and foster such things. Freedom and privacy are often lost in the fine print – which is why we've been studying the Senate bill since it was released Nov. 19 to help uncover the facts.

Read the whole thing.

Why Do We Mistreat the Poles So?

Via Brothers Judd:
U.S. Honors Stalin on Hallowed Ground, Will Saddam Hussein Be Next?

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russians began taking down their statues of Josef Stalin, the mass murderer who killed millions of people. Astonishingly, in America, the National D-Day Memorial is honoring Stalin by placing his bust on a pedestal at its museum in Bedford, Virginia.

This misguided move will haunt millions of Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, Jews, etc. whose families were massacred by this Soviet tyrant. Stalin's killing machine slaughtered more people than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did.

Hitler and Stalin were allies and started World War II in 1939 by both attacking Poland at the same time. But William McIntosh, the D-Day Memorial's president says that because Stalin became a U.S. ally after Germany invaded Russia, he deserves to be acknowledged along with Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

McIntosh is wrong. Stalin only gave lip service to the allies so that they would attack Nazi Germany on the Western front. Stalin did not liberate Eastern Europe from the Nazis in 1945; he sent in Soviet troops that occupied half of Europe until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Stalin the communist barely hid his disdain for capitalist America during WWII, and once the war ended, he began the Cold War and ordered his scientists to work on missiles and nuclear weapons that could destroy the United States.

You really have to wonder about the thought process that goes into some of these decisions. We allied with Stalin because we needed to squeeze Hitler to defeat him. And then we turned to defeat the USSR. For any American museum to honor Stalin is despicable.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dean: Dems 'In Deep Trouble' On Health Care, The Only Options Are A Bad Bill Or 2010 Losses

That's from the HuffPo hand-wringing piece regarding the mess Democrats have put themselves in with Obamacare. By demanding legislation Americans don't want and can't afford, they are suddenly becoming aware of the dire consequences (for themselves) regardless of which way they go.

"I think if you passed the Senate bill tomorrow it would be OK. But then the problem is they don't have any defense for their members in 2010," Dean said, noting that the public option would not become operational until 2014. "On the other hand, if they drop the public option [to placate moderate members], I think they lose seats."

"So this is really tough. I didn't anticipate being in this position. I thought it would pass. Maybe Harry has some magic up his sleeve. But I don't see how he gets those four votes [Sens. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.)] without compromising the bill," Dean concluded.

What Dean and most liberal bloggers I've read seem to miss is that the bill they want will lose them seats anyway, since many of the Dems Dean is counting on are in Republican or Republican-leaning districts. Losing seats is OK with Nancy Pelosi, who considers the bluedogs who gave her her majority leader status to be vermin better off gone. But in the Senate, Reid can ill afford to piss off any of his coalition.

Steve Benen likens it to a hostage negotiation.
(I)magine there's a big meeting with every member of the Democratic caucus in both chambers. You stand at the front of the room and make a presentation: "If health care reform falls apart after having come this far, tens of millions of Americans will suffer; costs will continue to soar; the public will perceive Democrats as too weak and incompetent to act on their own agenda; the party will lose a lot of seats in the midterms and possible forfeit its majority; and President Obama will have suffered a devastating defeat that will severely limit his presidency going forward. No one will even try to fix the dysfunctional system again for decades, and the existing problems will only get worse."

For progressive Democrats, the response would be, "That's an unacceptable outcome, which we have to avoid."

For conservative Democrats, the response would be, "We can live with failure."

This necessarily affects negotiations. One contingent wants to avoid failure; the other contingent considers failure a satisfactory outcome. Both sides know what the other side is thinking.

The truth, of course, is something less hyperbolic. For one thing, millions of Americans will suffer if Obamacare passes, since none of the bills do anything to deal with spiralling health care costs. Nor will it give more people more choices or affordable choices where there are choices. And there's the devil in the details of both the House and Senate bills: the crushing taxes on everybody in America, from business owners to employees. And there's that pesky threat of jail time if you refuse to get insurance.

Moreover, Americans are already seeing Democrats as dysfunctional and unable to govern. It's not merely the ram-through of Obamacare, watching Pelosi and Reid bully, threaten and cajol Democrats to force them to vote for this monstrosity. It's everything the Democrats have done generally for the last 3 years, and specifically for the last year. What, exactly, have Democrats done that has improved the lives of Americans? We have double digit unemployment and an economy showing no signs of lowering that figure any time soon. We have a budget-busting stimulus package that didn't stimulate and a president too busy kowtowing to emperors and taking his wife on a taxpayer-paid date night to spend his time governing the country.

Worse still, Americans are becoming quite aware of the various accounting tricks Democrats have been and continue using to make their spending sprees look better. The stimulus plan was supposedly backloaded, so that most of the money would be spent in 2010...just before the midterm elections. And both the House and Senate health care bills don't even offer any benefits for several years, stockpiling taxpayer money to pay for it, then counting the "savings" from before benefits kick in. The lies are so blatant at this point that most people simply can't stomach it anymore.

The Left would just as soon punish bluedogs who don't sign on to their health care takeover. But the American people will punish them if they do sign on. It seems to me that Democrats have forgotten what representative democracy looks like. They think they get to ram through whatever crackpot ideas they want us to accept.

What's 2,600 Lives a Year?

That's the human cost of the EPA's push for higher car efficiency standards.

Tired of having to drive safe, affordable vehicles? Can’t make a decision at the car lot and want the government to narrow down the decisions for you? Well then you’re in luck. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a great new regulation in store for you.

The agency is intending to use the Clean Air Act to improve the fuel efficiency to 35.5 miles per gallon fleetwide by 2016 - four years ahead of schedule when President Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.


Sounds like a good deal. Most everyone wants his or her vehicle to get more miles to the gallon. It’s one of the things people first inquire about when buying a car. But there are many other reasons people choose certain vehicles: safety, reliability, horsepower, style, price, comfort, handling, and environmental impact. For instance, Americans use larger vehicles for practical reasons: to take their kids to practice, to tow their boat to the shore, or on small farms to haul equipment or produce. Of course, to meet these new standards, cars and trucks will need to be lighter, making them less safe. The National Academy of Sciences study pegs the cost of downsizing at 1,300 to 2,600 lives per year.

But we’re saving the planet, right? Touted as a measure to curb global warming, fuel efficiency standards have very little environmental impact. Newer vehicles with better efficiency standards may emit less carbon dioxide per mile, but increased fuel efficiency often leads to more driving and new cars “constitute a miniscule source of overall carbon dioxide emissions.” Our friends at the Institute for Energy Research note that “the rule will lead to global mean temperature being 16 thousandths of a degree Celsius lower (0.016°C) in 2100.”

Hard to continue making the global warming argument after the truth has been leaked out.

Worse than Murderers

It's no secret that I find the current obsession with sex offenders to be overblown and dangerous. I've documented various cases where people have been falsely branded sex offenders because of errors or hysteria. This includes going to jail for hugging a student.

Now, add a new twist: being branded a sex offender because a virus on your computer pulled up porn.

A months-long investigation by the Associated Press (AP) found cases in which innocent people have been branded as pedophiles after their co-workers or loved ones stumbled upon child porn placed on a PC through a virus.

Being branded a sex offender is worse than being a murderer these days, and there's a much higher chance of false arrest.

It's a Good Thing There Wasn't Obamacare to Tell Him He Wasn't Alive

Man trapped in 23-year 'coma' reveals horror of being unable to tell doctors he was conscious

Or, as Orrin Judd notes, it's a good thing Michael Schiavo couldn't benefit from his death.

They Don't Believe in Representative Democracy, Part 2

The strangest part of the Democrats' suicide pact to pass Obamacare is their blatant disregard for the will of their constituents. Wasn't part of civics class about how we elect representatives to go to Washington to do our bidding? Somebody needs to tell these people they work for us. Not that they care about that because, remember, they know better than you.

Apparently, Democrats are working on the RINOs from Maine to invoke cloture. This is the sort of thing that gives rightwingers fodder for their "throw out the moderates" stance. If Collins and Snowe showed any backbone, it would be encouraging, but I don't expect that.

Quote of the Day

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions"--James Madison

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just a Reminder of What Happened the Last Time We Tried a Terrorist in Our Courts...

During the trial of the blind sheik, his attorney, Lynne Stewart broke the law by providing material support to the terrorist in the form of passing notes, so to speak, from her terrorist client to other terrorists.

With the news that Democrats haven't learned a damn thing from 9/11 and want to put more terrorists on trial, it was interesting to see the following story on Law.com:

Lynne Stewart Told to Surrender; Court's Split Over Light Sentence Remains

A procedural muddle kept Lynne Stewart out of prison for another day, but even as she prepared to surrender today, the possibility remains that one or more judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may want to revisit her controversial sentence en banc.

Despite the 2nd Circuit's decision Monday directing Judge John G. Koeltl to revoke Stewart's bail and order her to "surrender forthwith" to begin serving her sentence, it was, for a moment, unclear whether Koeltl had the authority to issue that order without a mandate from the 2nd Circuit.

But Koeltl, in an order last night, said he must follow the 2nd Circuit's directive and he revoked bail for Stewart and a co-defendant, Mohamed Yousry. The judge nonetheless stayed the order until 5 p.m. today.

On Monday, a divided three-judge panel vacated the 28-month sentence Koeltl imposed on Stewart in 2006 for providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy. The panel said the sentence was too light, and it directed the judge to re-sentence the 70-year-old disbarred lawyer and make a finding on whether she committed perjury at trial.

There are many problems with trying terrorists in the U.S. as opposed to dispatching them in Guantanamo before they can come here. Traitorous defense attorneys are only one of those problems.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lindsey Graham Stumps Eric Holder

Via Newsbusters, we have Senator Lindsey Graham stumping Eric Holder about the consequences of President Obama's policies:

GRAHAM: If bin Laden were caught tomorrow, would it be the position of this administration that he would be brought to justice?

HOLDER: He would certainly be brought to justice, absolutely.

GRAHAM: Where would you try him?

HOLDER: Well, we'd go through our protocol. And we'd make the determination about where he should appropriately be tried. [...]

GRAHAM: If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?

HOLDER: Again I'm not -- that all depends. I mean, the notion that we --

GRAHAM: Well, it does not depend. If you're going to prosecute anybody in civilian court, our law is clear that the moment custodial interrogation occurs the defendant, the criminal defendant, is entitled to a lawyer and to be informed of their right to remain silent.

The big problem I have is that you're criminalizing the war, that if we caught bin Laden tomorrow, we'd have mixed theories and we couldn't turn him over -- to the CIA, the FBI or military intelligence -- for an interrogation on the battlefield, because now we're saying that he is subject to criminal court in the United States. And you're confusing the people fighting this war.

I remember hearing the Left scream and holler about how we needed to bring terrorists into federal court because it wasn't "fair" otherwise. You know, they're entitled to all the rights of U.S. citizens. Or something.

Now that the hapless Obama administration is making good on these idiotic policies, we're beginning to see where those policies lead.

You Gotta Have Your Priorities

Andrew Sullivan is a vile, disgusting excuse for a human being, largely because of his bizarre obsession with Sarah Palin and her son Trig. Now Sullivan is taking time off, one can assume, to count typos in Palin's book as "lies" and fact check whether she chopped one cord of wood a day at her grandma's house. Cuz there's nothing more important going on in the world, dontcha know.

Cassandra pulls out just a few things Sullivan could actually write about if he was actually a serious person and not simply a clown piling out of the Left's clown car:

Let me see if I have this straight:

Double digit inflation.

Recession.

A President paralyzed by indecision: Should he fully resource the war of necessity that's vital, not just to the security of the United States but to the security of the world??? Decisions, decisions.

An historic reform of our entire health care system hanging by a thread...

But fear not, gentle readers! For in the midst of all these heavy matters, we can rely upon Andrew Sullivan to deeply delve into matters of transporting significance... like the highly suspicious 5th pregnancy of a married woman who isn't holding a political office at the moment and isn't expected to run for anything anytime soon.

The Left's obsession with Palin (and the idea that she heads the GOP) would be hilarious if it weren't so deadly serious.

That Obama Diplomacy Is Working So Well

Iran’s Foreign Minister Rejects Nuclear Deal

Today Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki publicly rejected the U.N.-backed proposal to send about 70 percent of Iran’s known supplies of enriched uranium out of the country. Mottaki suggested that instead Iran would exchange its low-enriched uranium for an equivalent amount of slightly higher enriched uranium, but only on its own territory. This clearly would be unacceptable since it would put Iran closer, rather than slightly farther away from, acquiring sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon, if the uranium were to be further enriched.

And this is only the beginning!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Gonna Faint...I Agree With Media Matters on Something!

Of course, it could just be that Media Matters finally noticed the blatant sexism with which the MSM treat former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Or maybe Newsweek just went so far over the top that even Media Matters could no longer ignore it.

Like her or not, Palin is a former governor and vice presidential candidate. She deserves the same respect every single one of her male counterparts receives when they are featured on the cover of the magazine. I must have missed the cover of Vice President Joe Biden in short shorts or of Mitt Romney in a bathing suit.

I've frequently noted the sexism that was blatantly on display during the presidential campaign of '08, from the outrageous behavior towards Hillary Clinton to the nasty, hateful and sexist attacks on Sarah Palin. It's nice when Media Matters notices these things for a change. It would be nice if they did it a little more often.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank God We Don't Have This Problem in Texas

U.S. Supreme Court restores, for the third time, death sentence for California murderer

This is the third time the SCOTUS has overturned the lunatic 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hellbent on preventing the execution of monsters like Fernando Belmontes, who beat a woman 15 to 20 times with a barbell so he could steal her stereo and buy drugs and beer with the cash.

I have no patience for this bullshit. As I told my husband, "Somebody needs to go into this guy's cell and shoot the M.F. and get it overwith." Except I didn't say "M.F."

The jurors knew what this guy was about and determined that his crime deserved the death penalty. But liberal lawyers and their willing accomplices on the 9th Circuit are determined to circumvent justice.

The case illustrates the continuing dispute over the death penalty between state prosecutors and federal judges in California. The state has 685 inmates on death row, by far the most in the nation. Yet, executions are rare. Since capital punishment was restored in 1977, the state has carried out 13 executions. Many of the cases have remained tied up in federal litigation for decades.

By comparison, Texas has executed 444 monsters since the death penalty was reinstated, and 21 this year alone. We save our sympathy for the victims and their families.

If The Purpose Is to Redistribute Income...

Obamacare Puts One-Fifth of U.S. On Welfare

Medicaid is a means-tested welfare program created in 1965 to provide health care for low income families. Despite the fact that it is one of the most poorly performing of all the federal welfare programs it has become the cornerstone of how health insurance is expanded under Obamacare. The Health care “reform” bills advancing in the House and Senate would expand Medicaid by making this government-run health plan available to all adults with incomes at or below 150% of the poverty line. The change would dramatically multiply eligible recipients, with 46 states seeing increases of at least 20%, including 16 posting jumps of 50% or more. Almost 21% of the entire U.S. population would be eligible for Medicaid and seven states and the District of Columbia would have eligibility rates of at least 25%.

...then it makes sense that Democrats would use Medicaid as a way of doing it.

Union Wants to Sue Boy Scout?

For having the audacity to clean up a park.

In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.

Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city's largest municipal union.

Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council.

Balzano said Saturday he isn't targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city's decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said "there's to be no volunteers." No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.

Can't let good works get in the way of unions, you know.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Can You Spot the Kitty?

Another Duh! Moment: Obamacare Reduces Senior Care

Democrats scoffed at "death panels," but everyone knows that if the elderly can't get care, it is a death sentence.

plan to slash more than $500 billion from future Medicare spending -- one of the biggest sources of funding for President Obama's proposed overhaul of the nation's health-care system -- would sharply reduce benefits for some senior citizens and could jeopardize access to care for millions of others, according to a government evaluation released Saturday...

More generally, the report questions whether the country's network of doctors and hospitals would be able to cope with the effects of a reform package expected to add more than 30 million people to the ranks of the insured, many of them through Medicaid, the public health program for the poor.

In the face of greatly increased demand for services, providers are likely to charge higher fees or take patients with better-paying private insurance over Medicaid recipients, "exacerbating existing access problems" in that program, according to the report from Richard S. Foster of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Don't these people realize that that's the plan?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Liberals Will Think It Means Nothing...


That the POTUS shows obeisance to other countries. But the rest of us have grave concerns when he is disrespectful to our greatest friends and bows to others.

Obama's 9/10 Mentality

President Obama's decision to try the mastermind of 9/11 in civilian court would look naive if the reasons weren't so transparent, as Andrew McCarthy notes.

Today's announcement that KSM and other top al-Qaeda terrorists will be transferred to Manhattan federal court for civilian trials neatly fits this hidden agenda. Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses — intelligence sources — must expose themselves and their secrets.

Let's take stock of where we are at this point. KSM and his confederates wanted to plead guilty and have their martyrs' execution last December, when they were being handled by military commission. As I said at the time, we could and should have accommodated them. The Obama administration could still accommodate them. After all, the president has not pulled the plug on all military commissions: Holder is going to announce at least one commission trial (for Nashiri, the Cole bomber) today.

Moreover, KSM has no defense. He was under American indictment for terrorism for years before there ever was a 9/11, and he can't help himself but brag about the atrocities he and his fellow barbarians have carried out.

So: We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda's case against America. Since that will be their "defense," the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America's defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.

Indeed, the idiotic left is delighted at the idea of giving terrorists access to American courts, never thinking about what exposing our intelligence officers and mechanisms will mean for American safety (it basically makes them less effective).

The idea of giving terrorists the rights of American citizens to the American legal system is nonsense, as FDR knew. But for liberals like the Obama administration and the luny left, the idea is to try, not the terrorists, but our own intelligence agencies for being mean to the terrorists when we interrogated them. Because, you know, getting information that saves American lives and helps our country is much less important than arguing about the definition of torture.

One final point here: Allahpundit points out that there's no way Khalid Sheik Mohammed will get out of jail, regardless of the trashing his attorneys try to do to the U.S. intelligence community. How is it due process if he will not be released regardless of the trial's outcome?

Friday, November 13, 2009

So Why Are Democrats Hellbent on Pushing Through a Plan Most Americans Don't Want?

More in U.S. Say Health Coverage Is Not Government Responsibility

More Americans now say it is not the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage (50%) than say it is (47%). This is a first since Gallup began tracking this question, and a significant shift from as recently as three years ago, when two-thirds said ensuring healthcare coverage was the government's responsibility.

It's a huge shift, and the reason is simple: we can't afford this boondoggle and people are far more concerned about unemployment and the economy than they are about imposing Obamacare on the unwilling masses.

The problem is simple: Democrats want a giant plan to redistribute wealth and create a new government-dependent (read: Democrat) constituency. That's why Obama wants a smoke-and-mirrors "jobs summit after racking up a record deficit. Maybe he can switch the cards around so no one will notice the trillions his new health plan will add to the deficit.

No wonder liberals are quaking in their boots.

Pandagon Watch: Christians = Radical Muslims


One of the reasons I love reading Pandagon so much is because of the fringe positions discussed there and lapped up by the commenters. On Pandagon, if you are a conservative, a Republican of any stripe, a Christian and/or a pro-life supporter, you aren't merely misguided or stupid, you're evil. Then the writer cherrypicks some individual or tiny group to point out some supposed universal truth about conservatives, Republicans, Christians and pro-life supporters.

Take this post by--who else?--Amanda Marcotte titled, "We call them the cracker Taliban for a reason." The reason, in this case, is that one church burned a bunch of books on Halloween. The list of books included different versions of the Bible, music of all persuasions, and books by authors ranging from Billy Graham to Rick Warren to Benny Hinn to Mother Teresa.

The Amazing Grace Baptist Church of Canton, North Carolina is an "Independent Fundamental King James Version Baptist Church," meaning it believes the King James Version of the Bible to be the only true Bible and rejects all other translations and interpretations. It also holds some very strict interpretations of scripture, and only endorses certain kinds of music (no contemporary Christian music, no modern praise music). This church also condemns body piercing, cross dressing and surgery to alter one's sex. In other words, this is a very strict church with very narrow interpretations of scripture and many rules about behavior (a complete list can be found here).

And this church is also probably tiny. Pastor Marc Grizzard describes it as "small," although the total number of members is not listed. I'd put it at probably about 20. In any event, the beliefs of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church don't reflect the views of millions of Christians regarding faith or politics.

But that doesn't stop Amanda from tarring Christians with this group or comparing them to the Taliban.

Right wing Christians try to pretend there’s some kind of yawning gulf between Islam and Christianity, but this sort of thing just goes to show that no matter what the technical religion is, crazy ass fundamentalists are all the same.

Nowhere on the church's website did I find calls for squirting school girls with acid, beating men for beard length violations or the banning of kite flying or bird keeping. Moreover, to argue that because a tiny fringe group favors, say, dress codes, that that equals suicide bombers or jihadis is just batshit insane. But this is precisely the argument Amanda makes, and has made many times before.
The Cracker Taliban would happily ban art and music to prove their bona fides. The mentality that drives this sort of thing is inherently competitive and misanthropic. Misanthropic, because of the deep-seated hostility to pleasure (at least experienced by other people), and competitive, because religious nuts love to show that they’re tougher than their competitors in the art of making people’s short stays on earth as miserable as possible. No music, no entertaining reading, no diversion from sitting around hating life and wishing it could be over already. Meanwhile, the sadists get lots of pleasure out of hurting others.

Amanda doesn't bother giving any examples of how members of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church are "making people miserable" or "hurting others," but, nonetheless, she thinks it's a scary, scary place when 20 people believe in a non-government approved way.

Amusingly, Amanda finds a way to transition from "The Cracker Taliban is gonna throw acid on your wimmins" to "Not forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions is genocide!!1!" This isn't the first time that every diatribe against some tiny church leads back to "don't stop Planned Parenthood!" or some such nonsense.

Part of what makes this comparison so bizarre is that nowhere in this post or others, can Amanda find even one case of the "Cracker Taliban" mowing down a lot of innocent civilians while yelling, "God is great" or something similar. Instead, her complaint is that *one* church has a book burning, which includes a wide variety of tomes. She complains that these Christians want everyone to be miserable (there's no evidence of that), which, I guess is supposed to equate with Sharia law, in which stealing is punishable by chopping off your hand.

Of course, the comparison is meant to be offensive; Amanda is probably another of those Hasan enablers/apologists who believe the real reason Nidal Hasan gunned down a bunch of his fellow soldiers while yelling "Allahu Akbar" was because of George Bush and pro-lifers. Sure, there's no evidence connecting those groups and Hasan, but then, there's no connection between fundamentalist Christians and the Taliban, either.

Obama Administration Tries to Purge Republicans

Remember the whole Attorneygate flap? It least the U.S. attorneys were political appointments. Now, the Obama administration is trying to purge Republicans from civil service jobs.

It is a typical Washington process that many political appointees are able to take jobs within the civil service once their political appointment expires — usually at the conclusion of one administration. What often happens as well is Congressional staffers, before an election or shortly thereafter, will move over to the Executive Branch placed into the civil service, in effect, by appointment.

So, for example, when George Bush became President in 2001, a number of Clinton political appointees became civil service employees. As a result, they became subject to civil service hiring and firing rules, which meant they could no longer be replaced simply for having been a Democratic appointee.

Barack Obama is changing that. He intends to purge all Republicans from the federal bureaucracy retroactive to five years ago.

Under his new rules, made retroactive for five years, the Office of Personnel Management will examine civil service employees who got their start as political appointees in the Bush administration and terminate those employees. The order is retroactive to 2004, that moment when a number of Republican congressional staffers and others sought to embed into the second Bush administration right after the election.

Chicago style, baby.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Unintended Consequences: Same Sex Marriage Mandates Could Harm Charities

Forcing churches to accept homosexual couples and treat them like heterosexual ones could cause many churches to simply stop participating in certain services for the poor and needy.

Refusing to include robust religious liberty protections in the bill that has just been approved by a Council subcommittee, the City appears poised to impose requirements that will drastically cut social services for some of the city’s most hard-pressed residents. The impact will be severest on food pantries, health care providers, services for the homeless and adoption and foster care assistance.

The conflict focuses on the scope of the religious liberty exemption included in the bill the D.C. City Council could pass as early as December 1 to replace its traditional marriage law with a regime that allows same-sex unions. In testimony before the Council late last month, both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, which disagree fundamentally on public policy that approves same-sex marriage, testified that the original draft religious liberty exemption in the bill was far too narrow. The draft bill not only put social services to the needy at risk, but it also would have required churches that operate facilities like reception halls to make them available to same-sex couples regardless of the churches’ religious teachings and practice.
The version of the bill the Council subcommittee approved this week relented on the issue of reception halls, allowing churches to decline to make them available for same-sex marriages and other unions to which they might object. However, the bill did not exempt churches from obligations it would impose that would, for example, require the churches to provide marriage benefits to same-sex couples who work for them. As a result, and because D.C. contracts for social services will require compliance with the city’s non-discrimination laws, the longstanding agreements with service providers like the Archdiocese will end. An analogous impasse occurred in Boston in 2006, where Catholic Charities was unable to obtain a state license because of its views on traditional marriage and was forced to shutter its adoption services for hard-to-place children.

It's more important to be politically correct than to feed the poor.

No Blood for Oil! Unless You're a Democrat

The liberal advisor to Joe Biden and John Kerry stands to reap millions off the Kurds.

As Tom Maguire notes,

If this had been an advisor to Dick Cheney, libs would be leaping from tall buildings.

But we can fully expect the silent treatment from the moonbatosphere over this one. Because IOKIYAD.

Jail Time for Not Buying Insurance Isn't Just a Republican Rumor

It's true.

Pelosi: Jail time “very fair” for failing to buy your patriotic ObamaCare coverage

Democrats are fearful of having to admit that people actually choose not to get insurance, so, she thinks throwing people in jail for it is "fair."
Of course, the other option is to make people responsible for paying their own bills. Nothing requires us to pick up the tab for people in clinics or emergency rooms, especially those who can afford to pay their way. This is the point that Pelosi and her statist colleagues seem to forget. People who choose not to buy coverage even though they could afford it assume the risk of paying out of pocket — and that may be a very rational choice, as it is most unlikely that those people would use $3,000 a month in medical services, which is what their insurance would cost now.

The argument that the E.R. bills are passed on to taxpayers now is ridiculous. When you go to the E.R., the billing people will ask how you are paying for the services. People with insurance typically have the charges filled with their insurance first. If you don't have insurance, there is typically a financial department at the hospital that you can meet with to make arrangements. Or you can pay the bill when it comes to your house. In any event, it's not billed to the taxpayer.

Still, in the world of the Democrats, jailing people for choosing to assume their own risk is fair. And they wonder why we call them Stalinists.

It's Tough When You Try to Make a False Equivalency

An Immoderate Proposal

have a moral objection to paying for any kind of erectile dysfunction medicine in the new health reform bill and I think men who want to use it should just pay for it out of pocket. After all, I won't ever need such a pill. And anyway, it's no biggie. Just because most of them can get it under their insurance today doesn't mean they shouldn't have it stripped from their coverage in the future because of my moral objections. (I don't think there's even been a Supreme Court ruling making wood a constitutional right. I might be wrong about that.)

Many of the men who are prescribed this medication are on Medicare, so I think it should be stripped out of that coverage as well. And unlike the payments for abortion, which actually lower overall medical costs (pregnancy obviously costs much, much more) banning tax dollars from covering any kind of Viagra would result in a substantial savings:

One first has to ask what the moral objections to erections are and why it is in the best interest of public policy to oppose them. The moral objections to abortion are pretty clear: abortion kills babies. As a matter of public policy, it's a very bad idea to use taxpayer funding to help kill future taxpayers (and U.S. citizens), and the moral objection to killing innocents is well codified in our law. There's no similar history of objecting to erections.

Moreover, the societal cost of abortion is high; the desensitization of Americans to the taking of life is more apparent that possibly at any time in our history. We, in fact, can see human life in the womb, through ultrasound, and even the awful Roe vs. Wade argued that snuffing out human life (or potential human life) is something that should be heavily restricted. There's no similar rational objection to erectile medications.

I suppose Digby is attempting to argue that stripping funding of abortions from the Democrats' health care proposals is simply a form of sexism. The problem, of course, is that here is possibly the best example we have where men and women are not interchangeable. Men don't get pregnant and have babies or kill babies in the claim that it is "their body." Only women do that. The right (or not) to have an erection comes nowhere close to the same societal implications.

I actually have no problem with the idea of restricting taxpayer-funded health care from paying for erectile dysfunction treatments. It's not a necessary service, and only the most basic care should be covered by the taxpayers. If you want Viagra, pay for it yourself. And if you want an abortion, pay for that yourself, as well.

This is the unintended consequence of Democrats' determination to take over the health care system. An intended consequence is a permanent, economically-enslaved majority.

Fort Hood Shootings GWB's Fault

Of course!

On Tuesday, Stephanie Miller suggested it could be because "George Bush made many people around the world feel like this was a war against Islam by using words like crusade."

It sucks when they have no boogeymen to blame things on anymore.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Are We Headed for This Kind of Medicine?

Chuck has posted several links to examples of the great care one receives from socialized medicine:

Cancer survivor confronts the health secretary on 62-day wait

The current target of 62 days from urgent referral by a doctor to starting treatment has still not been met in Scotland, despite that originally being the target figure for 2005.


Girl, 3, has heart operation cancelled three times because of bed shortage
More than 57,000 surgeries were postponed for non-clinical reasons, including a lack of beds, last year – 10 per cent more than the previous year.

Latest figures show that the problem persists. At least 43,000 operations were cancelled in the first nine months of 2008-09, with nearly 1,800 patients not being treated within 28 days of their original scheduled date.


Kidney cancer patients denied life-saving drugs by NHS rationing body NICE
Thousands of kidney cancer patients are likely to lose out on life-prolonging drugs.
The NHS rationing body, NICE, has confirmed a ban on three out of four new treatments.
It has reversed its position on just one, Sutent, which will now be allowed for patients with advanced cancer.

But campaigners who fought NICE's original blanket ban said this was not enough. They said some patients with heart problems cannot tolerate Sutent.
Kate Spall, head of the Pamela Northcott Fund campaign group, said the ruling meant that fewer than half of newly diagnosed patients would be eligible for therapy.


We're told socialized medicine will give us better results. I'm sure these patients would disagree.

Happy Veterans Day!

From a grateful nation, we salute your service and sacrifice.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We All Knew This Already...

Confessions of an Obamacare Backer

Mr. Cassidy is more honest than the politicians whose dishonesty he supports. "The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment," he writes. "Let's not pretend that it isn't a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won't. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind."

Why are they doing it? Because, according to Mr. Cassidy, ObamaCare serves the twin goals of "making the United States a more equitable country" and furthering the Democrats' "political calculus." In other words, the purpose is to further redistribute income by putting health care further under government control, and in the process making the middle class more dependent on government. As the party of government, Democrats will benefit over the long run.


...but it's always nice to hear them admit it.

I Liked President Obama's Speech

Apparently, I'm not the only one.

Obama had to lead a nation's grieving; he had to try and address the thorny issues of Islam and terrorism; to be firm; to express the spirit of America, using familiar, comforting tropes in a way that didn't sound trite.

I was very impressed with the speech because President Obama didn't attempt to gloss over the impact of Hasan's radical religious views on his actions. From the speech:
It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know - no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice - in this world, and the next.

I thought the speech was powerful, well-delivered, with the right balance of sentimentality and logic, emotion and analysis. It approached the gorilla in the room (Hasan's Islamism) and didn't flinch. And unlike idiots on the left who think a lone gunman killing an abortion doctor equals a radical killing 13 of his fellow soldiers, Obama didn't apologize for calling this evil evil.

It was excellent.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Quote of the Day

"One of the few advantages to the country in having Congress overwhelmingly in the hands of one party is that the lack of need to compromise lets the leaders of that party reveal themselves for what they are — in this case, people with unbounded arrogance and utter contempt for the right of ordinary people to live thei...r lives as they see fit, much less the right to know as citizens what laws are going to be passed by their government." ~ Thomas Sowell


Thanks to Chuck.

Nobody Knows the Vice President

From Allahpundit, who notes that Joe Biden probably doesn't remember, either.

Sure, Fred Phelps Is A Democrat...

But that won't stop us from trying to tar Republicans with him!

Did Dems Ever Do This To the Bush Twins?

Well, other than the fact that Jenna and Barbara Bush were adults by the time their father was elected president, I'm sure we could find a few Code Pink people who would have loved to compare GWB to the minion of Satan.

From the comments:
In the past two decades, one party has embraced racism, religious bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, and so much more as their party identity. One has not.

While both parties may be overrun by corporate corruption, there is a distinct difference between the two when it comes to tolerance and inclusiveness.

Calling Fred Phelps a Democrat is like calling Lyndon LaRouche a Democrat. It avoids the point that the Phelpses of the world would not exist or, at least, would not actually receive press, were it not an outgrowth of what the Rethugs have preached since Nixon, i.e. divide and conquer. With the election of a black man as President, this has been taken to an unconscionable level. The Rethuglican Party has enabled the Fred Phelps (and Glenn Becks, et al) of this world, and that’s the point.

This poor guy obviously never paid attention to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (racism), Jeremiah Wright (religious bigotry), or Robert Byrd (xenophobia). His attempt to excuse that the crazies are in his parties is laughable.

What's so sad here is that El Sonambulo (well-named) can't simply denounce Fred Phelps. Instead, he tries to find some tortured way to tie him to Republicans...who weren't present and have repeatedly condemned Phelps and his church. But I guess when your party is under attack and you can't defend them, you have to make stuff up.

One More Waste of the Kelo Case

Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking

The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain.

But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes' seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London.

To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost. Five justices found this redevelopment met the constitutional hurdle of "public use."

They took her house for nothing.

Obama's Failed Stimulus in Pictures

Excellent.

Why Should We Remember the Berlin Wall?

A young friend of mine snottily told me that she didn't consider the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall to be a big deal. As she put it:

I am sure this will irk some, but I have a problem with us being so sentimental about tearing down a wall in another country when we're so gung-ho about putting up a fence at our own.

Why should we remember? Maybe this is why:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

How a Real Commander in Chief Acts

George W. Bush Visits Fort Hood, Wounded Soldiers
No photogs. Classy.

Where was Obama? Too busy shilling for Obamacare. Glad to know his priorities.

House Passes Pelosicare--For Your Own Good

Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House

Congratulations, Democrats. You passed a bill that liberals hate, feminists hate and all Republicans hate. We all know you're gonna strip out all the provisions about not using taxpayer funds to cover abortions. You want taxpayers to pay for abortions, because if the taxpayer isn't footing the bill, it's not a "choice," don't you know.

I'm curious how you're going to make going to jail for being uninsured sound like anything other than penalizing people for not having insurance. This would be a first in our country. From Just One Minute:

Those penalties won't affect the long-term unemployed, who are heavily subsidized in any case. However, someone who works from January to June and is then laid off had better arrange for insurance - over the tax year, the person will show plenty of income, even if take-home cash flow is scarce from July to December. This person's actual income in the second half of the year may be zero, but if they don't have insurance they will owe a 2.5% penalty on their earnings from January to June.

Does that sound like a tax on the middle class? Hey, it's for our own good.

Tom goes on to point out that the bill is a job killer with a link to Steven Pearlstein.
Economists agree that in the long run, however, the increased cost for employee health benefits would be passed on to the employees themselves in the form of lower wages and salaries. That's what happened economy-wide in recent decades, as average wages stagnated while the cost of health insurance skyrocketed. If the same holds true for small businesses, then requiring them to provide health insurance should result in no job loss at all.

No job loss at all! Of course, the fact that you can't get a job in this economy doesn't count. Sorta like the government accounting where giving a few people a raise counts as "jobs saved."

So, see, the middle class will still be paying for this monstrosity, be forced to buy insurance they may not want, and face jail time if they can't afford it. But remember, it's for your own good!

The Shoe on the Other Foot

Several of my left-leaning friends are having an unpleasant awakening of conscience these days, concerning their criticism and mockery of George W. Bush. The awakening comes in watching a president they like and admire, Barack Obama, be treated to the same sort of unrealistic standards that they themselves were only too happy to place on a Republican president.

The most recent incident concerns President Obama's response to Major Hasan's jihad at Fort Hood. Obama had his own"My Pet Goat" moment that earned him the derision of the right, even as the left tried valiantly to claim that it wasn't the same thing at all.

Indeed, one could argue that President Obama's nonchalance at the killing of 13 American soldiers is worse than President Bush's deer-in-the-headlights look at the moment he was told about the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. We weren't permitted to see President Obama's initial reaction to the news from Fort Hood, but we can conclude from his speech, in which it was a higher priority to praise politics than get right to a statement about Fort Hood, that he didn't consider it a high enough priority.

But I digress.

My liberal friends have been feeling decidedly uncomfortable given President Obama's behavior in the wake of these events and the way he has been criticized for it. Take this story on the fact that President Obama doesn't plan to attend celebrations in Germany commemmorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is taking aim at President Obama's decision not to travel to Germany next week to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the latest in a string of conservatives to criticize Obama's decision to skip the ceremony on November 9...

While the president had originally planned to be on hand for the event, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed earlier this week scheduling conflicts and preparation for his impending 10-day trip to Asia have instead caused Obama to stay in Washington.

I have to admit that not going to Berlin to remember the end of communism is peculiar for any sitting American president. And because of "scheduling conflicts" and the fact that he "needed to prepare" for his trip to Asia? We were promised that this oh-so-smart president could basically do everything. Call him the male version of the old Enjoli ad. It's no wonder people are starting to grumble.

It's tough when your guy is running the country, no doubt. It should make liberals pause before bashing the next Republican president. But it won't.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

CBO: Pelosi's Bill Costs $3 Trillion $2.4 Trillion Over 10 Years

Commenter Perry thinks the $1.05 trillion price tag for Obamacare is just ducky, cuz besides believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, he also thinks it will cut the deficit. I pointed out to him that the plan doesn't even have any benefits until 2013 or 2014. But the price tag of Obamacare for 10 years when there are benefits (as well as raping you in taxes) is a shocker: $3 trillion.
We can't afford this monstrosity. It would be cheaper to buy a catastrophic plan for 45 million people.

UPDATE: Via Hot Air, the CBO puts the cost at $2.4 trillion.