Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
That's a rhetorical question because of course he won't. But wouldn't it be great if he did? We already know that Obama had intelligence suggesting such an attack was possible. We know that the CIA knew about this guy because the bomber's father actually went to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria to warn them. And we have the president going snokeling instead of dealing with the failed attack. It seems like a lot of material for Moore.
If Obama were a Republican.
Instead, we'll be treated to more excuses, more whining and more attempts to blame GWB for Barack Obama's ineptitude. When will these clowns realize that a year into their administration, it's not George Bush's fault Obama's inexperience leaves him ill prepared to deal with the crises America faces?
A bill passed by the Baltimore City Council in November and signed into law on Dec. 4 will require pregnancy resource centers operating within the city to post signs stating what services the facilities do not offer. Signs -- to be posted outside the centers -- must state that they do not provide or give referrals for abortion or contraceptives.
Pro-life activists say this is the first time in the United States that a nonprofit service provider has been required to post such signage. They believe the law is intended to undermine their efforts to help women make an informed decision about an unplanned pregnancy. The signs will turn more women to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, they say.
Abortion supporters hate crisis pregnancy centers for "tricking" women into actually knowing enough about their babies not to kill them. "Tricking," of course, includes informed consent, sonograms and information about adoption.
Bud Kennedy of my hometown Fort Worth Star-Telegram is really concerned about the Tea Party movement (see here for his latest column). Apparently, it's a scandal that many Tea Party activists/supporters/organizers also are Republicans.
When you sign up for e-mail from the supposedly nonpartisan Common Sense Texans network of Tea Party members, you’re giving your address to a Dallas Republican lawyer and social-networking-campaign expert who has been an activist for private-school vouchers...
For example, the Web site commonsensetexans.net, a sign-up and information site for 34 Tea Party and 912 Project groups in Texas, is registered to Dallas lawyer and Tea Party coordinator Ken Emanuelson, a Fred Thompson campaigner and veteran Republican organizer.
Wow! How bizarre that an umbrella website for Tea Party groups in Texas would be run by someone both interested in conservative politics and has experience organizing political groups? Must be a conspiracy!
Apparently, Kennedy, along with many on the left, is most concerned that Tea Partiers aren't all rubes with pitchforks and without political savvy. The idea that Republicans might also agree with many of the 9 principles and 12 values of the 912 project is too difficult to accept as anything other than a hoax for some people.
Kennedy's column also leaves some big unanswered questions. If one of the four Tea Party groups serving the Grapevine-Keller-Southlake area (a cluster of posh suburbs in Tarrant County) is run by a "veteran Republican organizer," who runs the other groups? Is there a reason being a Republican precludes one from also supporting the Tea Parties? And if 1/3 of Tea Partiers "claim libertarian views," what does that say about the other 2/3?
It's obvious that the Tea Party movement, with its call for less government spending and more limited government, chafes against those who support Democrats and their principles of off-the-charts spending and government encroachment on private citizens. It would make more sense for those Democrat supporters to spend their time arguing why spending trillions of dollars we don't have for programs we don't want is a good thing, rather than attacking their opponents as illegitimate.
No presidential statement or White House press briefing was held on it. In fact, all that can be found about it on the official White House Web site is the Dec. 17 announcement and one-paragraph text of President Obama's Executive Order 12425, with this innocuous headline: "Amending Executive Order 12425 Designating Interpol as a public international organization entitled to enjoy certain privileges, exemptions, and immunities."In fact, this new directive from Obama may be the most destructive blow ever struck against American constitutional civil liberties. No wonder the White House said as little as possible about it.
There are multiple reasons why this Obama decision is so deeply disturbing. First, the Obama order reverses a 1983 Reagan administration decision in order to grant Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, two key privileges. First, Obama has granted Interpol the ability to operate within the territorial limits of the United States without being subject to the same constitutional restraints that apply to all domestic law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. Second, Obama has exempted Interpol's domestic facilities -- including its office within the U.S. Department of Justice -- from search and seizure by U.S. authorities and from disclosure of archived documents in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by U.S. citizens. Think very carefully about what you just read: Obama has given an international law enforcement organization that is accountable to no other national authority the ability to operate as it pleases within our own borders, and he has freed it from the most basic measure of official transparency and accountability, the FOIA.
...believes in international organizations more than the U.S. Constitution?
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Last week's AP-Gfk poll showed that 78 percent of Americans, when asked to "think about how things are going in your life in general," said they are very happy or somewhat happy.
Gallup: 78 Percent of Americans Identify as Christians
Thanks to Brothers Judd.
On December 25, 2009, a Nigerian student attempted to ignite a mixture of powder and liquid on a Northwest Airlines flight landing in Detroit, Michigan. Passengers helped to stop the suspect from carrying out his mission after the device failed to fully detonate, marking the 28th foiled terror plot against the United States since 9/11.
This attempted plot is an example of how terrorists continue in their attempts to harm Americans. But it also illustrates the need to work with international partners on countering terrorism, while defending the intelligence and law enforcement tools that work inside the U.S. to disrupt plots, as well as the importance of going after overseas terrorist sanctuaries to stop terrorists from using these locations as a staging ground for operations.
The individual involved in the plot, believed by media accounts to be Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was a 23 year old engineering student living in London. He had boarded a plane from Nigeria to Amsterdam, and was flying from Amsterdam to the United States when he attempted to detonate a device as the plane began to land. The device failed to detonate, and passengers move quickly to stop the passenger from trying again, leading to his arrest by U.S. authorities.
I've often said that passengers will never again go peacefully to their doom after 4 Muslim extremists flew jets into the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. This passenger's behavior when, yet again, faced with a Muslim extremist, proves my point.
How many of the 28 plots were hatched by Muslim extremists and/or Al Qaeda associates? And how many were hatched by Christian extremists, the ones liberals are always telling us are as dangerous and deadly to Americans as the Muslim variety?
Apparently, liberals think terrorist attempts to kill Americans isn't so scary anymore. I guess they've just been too safe under GWB to realize these guys mean business.
This does give support to the nutters out there (like me) who think closing Gitmo is a bad idea. Anyone have info on what the Pandagonistas are saying?
Another question, is this President Obama's worse than My Pet Goat moment and will the Left savage him for it? The worst that could be said about GWB was that he continued reading a children's book for a nine minutes while he tried to figure out what 9/11 meant. Obama played golf and had a grand time for the entire day at Christmas.
Friday, December 25, 2009
"In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." --Luke 2:1-7
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul on Party-Line Vote
It stinks. It's terrible for Americans and they don't want it. But that hasn't stopped Democrats from cramming it through. Read more Democrat crowing here.
It's no wonder Obama couldn't make it to church for Christmas Eve. He's got other priorities than the King of Kings.
I've been busy the last few days. My cousin's daughter is spending Christmas with us and between her and the other kids, the computers have been monopolized. Then I started a new job and have been training every day this week. Oh, and did I mention I have a cold? So, when I haven't been working or entertaining, I'm lying comotose from Nyquil.
I haven't been paying much attention to the news, once Democrat Senator Ben Nelson found his price on Obamacare, to be honest. Since the kids had taken over the computer and I felt terrible, I didn't really want to pay attention to anything unnecessary. Work has CNN on in the breakroom, which is disappointing (the security guard confided in me that they were working on putting Fox News on in there; they've already got it on in the security office). It really just confirmed what we knew all along: Democrats are nothing but a bunch of whores haggling over price and any talk about convictions or morals or, hell, even democracy, is just so much bullshit. Democrats don't care about democracy at this point; they don't want to do what 2/3 of the American people want them to do anyway. They are fully aware that voters have short minds and are hopeful that Americans will forget their treachery before next November. And even if they get voted out, so what? Dem Sens stuck in language that would make portions of Obamacare irrevocable, not that that's constitutional or anything. But why would Democrats worry about the Constitution, anyway?
We now have Dems haggling over whoring price in the House, pretending they give a shit about taxpayer funding of abortion and whatnot, but, in the end, they'll vote for this monstrosity and give their constituents the finger. Stupidly, some voters will still vote for them, but those are the ones who deserve to no to the next knee replacement or chemotherapy anyway. It's the rest of us that suffer because of the morons from last November (as my cousin's daughter, who is 18, noted, "18-year-olds don't make the best informed decisions anyway, so expecting them to vote based on something beside emotion is pretty damn stupid." "That's how we got Barack Obama," I responded).
Sunday, December 20, 2009
"They believe that would-be parents should have the "choice" to kill their babies, but not the choice of where to send their children to school."
And other idiotic things liberals believe.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Someone should have told the Iraqis.
Those who claim that the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to get control of the country's giant oil reserves will be left scratching their heads by the results of last weekend's auction of Iraqi oil contracts: Not a single U.S. company secured a deal in the auction of contracts that will shape the Iraqi oil industry for the next couple of decades. Two of the most lucrative of the multi-billion-dollar oil contracts went to two countries which bitterly opposed the U.S. invasion — Russia and China — while even Total Oil of France, which led the charge to deny international approval for the war at the U.N. Security Council in 2003, won a bigger stake than the Americans in the most recent auction. "[The distribution of oil contracts] certainly answers the theory that the war was for the benefit of big U.S. oil interests," says Alex Munton, Middle East oil analyst for the energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, whose clients include major U.S. companies. "That has not been demonstrated by what has happened this week."
Friday, December 18, 2009
My husband and I have decided to pay off all our debts ASAP and "live like no one else so we can live like no one else," as Dave Ramsey likes to say.
We are fairly fortunate. Other than my enormous student loan and our mortgage, we are in decent shape debt-wise: 3 credit cards (fairly low amounts), some medical bills and a car payment. We are planning to have all of it paid off by June, at which point we will start hitting the student loan hard.
This article gives me yet another reason to want to get out of debt and stay there.
This credit card's interest rate is 79.9 percent.
The bloated APR is how First Premier Bank, a subprime credit card issuer, is skirting new regulations intended to curb abusive practices in the industry. It's a strategy other subprime card issuers could start adopting to get around the new rules.
Typically, the First Premier card comes with a minimum of $256 in fees in the first year for a credit line of $250. Starting in February, however, a new law will cap such fees at 25 percent of a card's credit line.
In a recent mailing for a preapproved card, First Premier lowers fees to just that limit -- $75 in the first year for a credit line of $300. But the new law doesn't set a cap on interest rates. Hence the 79.9 APR, up from the previous 9.9 percent.
This article brought several points to mind.
First and foremost, it's simply idiotic to use credit cards. Save the money and buy the thing with cash. When you buy the thing, it will be yours. You won't have to worry about missing a payment, falling behind in payments, or screwing up the payment. Moreover, when you use cash to buy things, you tend to be a little more prudent. So, the 200 bucks you might be willing to spend on clothes with your credit card starts to seem foolhardy when it's your hard-earned money going for it.
Secondly, notice the law of unintended consequences at work here. New federal regulations requiring that credit card fees total no more than 25% of the card's credit line comes back to bite consumers in a different place. The credit card company still intends to make its money. It just has to do it with an outrageous interest rate rather than with fees.
This is just one example of what happens when government decides to intervene in the marketplace. Companies and individuals want to make money, and they really don't like when the government tries to interfere with that. So, any time the government slaps a regulation (or tax) on businesses, they just find ways around the regulations. And pass the price on to consumers.
I'm not advocating companies fleecing customers. But as the article states, this bank services customers with terrible credit and hence high risk. The bank knows that there's a good chance that many customers will default, so they figure that cost into the cost of doing business. In this case, the cost is either $256 in yearly fees or 79.9 APR.
Liberals hate these kinds of businesses that serve the poor and uncredit worthy. So, they like to create lots of regulations for these companies: limitations on fees, or disclosure statements, curbs on advertising or other practices. But the poor and uncredit worthy need lenders, too. The difference is that if someone is a poor credit risk, companies that want to stay in business have to figure in the risks of loaning to these people (and the risk is very high that the company won't get paid). So, as the regulations affect one way to stick it to customers, companies just find different ways.
This is why I don't want to use credit anymore. It is, after all, a choice we all get to make.
UPDATE: Maybe Barack Obama needs to cut up his credit cards and follow Dave Ramsey's approach.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
We know that Democrats believe in paying back their constituents, but this is ridiculous.
A new analysis of the $157 billion distributed by the American Reinvestment and Recovery act, popularly known as the stimulus bill, shows that the funds were distributed without regard for what states were most in need of jobs.
It's just proof that Porkapalooza was about bringing home the bacon rather than helping the economy.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
According to a Senate aide, the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list if Nelson doesn't fall into line.
Offutt Air Force Base employs some 10,000 military and federal employees in Southeastern Nebraska. As our source put it, this is a "naked effort by Rahm Emanuel and the White House to extort Nelson's vote." They are "threatening to close a base vital to national security for what?" asked the Senate staffer.
In the day and age of the internet, it's hard to see how the Obama administration thinks threatening the livelihood of Nebraskans is a good idea. If it were Texas, we'd be waving our middle finger at 'em.
Howard Dean: Kill the Senate Bill
Bipartisanship reigns! I don't agree with his argument for reconciliation, but killing this monstrosity would be most beneficial for Americans, not that Democrats care about those people.
But socialized medicine was the point, after all, and not putting us on the road to it makes the whole effort a waste of time, doesn't it?
"I don't see what we've accomplished," (California Rep. Lynn) Woolsey said. "If we were going to have insurance reform, we could have done that very simply. If we don't have a public option and at the very least we don't have a Medicare buy in then we aren't offering any competition to the insurance industry."
There were those of us telling them all along that Americans wanted insurance reform, not government health care. But did those silly Democrats listen? Hellz, no! Because it was never about doing what the American people wanted.
Even if there's a strategic rationale for doing it, why are Democrats dead-set on hurting themselves?
"Because they think they know what's best for the public," the strategist said. "They think the facts are being distorted and the public's being told a story that is not entirely true, and that they are in Congress to be leaders. And they are going to make the decision because Goddammit, it's good for the public."
This is the difference between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives think you have a right to make your own choices and suffer (or rejoice in) the consequences of them. Liberals think they know better than you do and it doesn't matter what you want. You're stupid.
Now, liberals are left wondering why Republicans governed more effectively with fewer votes. This author gets it partly right:
What the GOP lacked in numbers, they made up for in backbone, cunning and leadership. Say what you will about George Bush, he wasn't afraid of a fight. If anything, the Bush administration, and the Republicans in Congress, seemed to relish taking on Democrats, and seeing just how far they could get Democratic members of Congress to cave on their promises and their principles. Hell, even Senator Barack Obama, who once famously promised to lead a filibuster against the FISA domestic eavesdropping bill, suddenly changed his mind and actually voted for the legislation. Such is the power of a president and a congressional leadership with balls and smarts
This is only partly right. Republicans have had plenty of practice being called selfish, racist, Nazis and so on, so GOPers have learned to ignore much of that stupidity. Instead, they focus on what's important: keeping the country safe, helping people keep more of their own money, growing our economy, spreading democracy and its benefits around the world.
Furthermore, George W. Bush's accomplishments spread beyond the legislation John Aravosis lists. Bush also reached out to Democrats and signed some of their pet legislation into law, such as No Child Left Behind and the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill. He offered these olive branches to try to persuade more Democrats to support his ideas (not that it helped much). What olive branches has President Obama offered Republicans?
Aravosis argues that President Bush used the bully pulpit to put pressure on his opposition, appealing to the American people and rallying his own party. But Barack Obama was supposed to be the great communicator and he has made numerous speeches supporting his ideas and initiatives. IOW, talk (or lack thereof) isn't the problem.
President is supposed to rally the country, effectively putting pressure on opposition members of Congress to sit down and shut up.
President Bush never tried to silence his critics. They were quite vociferous over the eight years of GWB's presidency. The key difference is that Bush administration officials and Republicans in Congress offered good rebuttals to Democrat talking points. There was no need to bully or silence the minority; logic overruled them.
But now we have huge Democrat majorities in Congress led by radicals complaining that they can't get moderates to sign on to their leftwing programs (not that we're seeing any stories about the "civil war" for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party, mind you), and rather than scaling back their plans and accepting what civility and bipartisanship really mean, they want to whine, complain, and scrap everything because it's not enough.
I'm happy to watch the Democrats eating their own, but it seems to me this is the very essence of a civil war. The Dems ended up here because they misread the 2008 elections (see Aravosis' temper tantrum at the end) and are still insisting on cramming through a lot of batshit crazy stuff at a time that Americans don't have the stomach for it. It's not that you shouldn't let a crisis go to waste; it's that this is not the 1930s and Americans aren't buying the Dems' solutions to our economic woes. Happily, the mid-term elections may right all this.
Monday, December 14, 2009
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States." --Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Liberals call it a historic win for constitutional rights.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon granted a preliminary injunction against the United States for unconstitutionally withholding funds from ACORN. In its decision, the court found that there is a likelihood the plaintiffs will be able to show that Congress’ targeted defunding of ACORN violates the Constitution’s prohibition against Bills of Attainder, legislative acts which single out a specific person or group for punishment.
If defunding a program is "punishment," can Lockheed-Martin sue and force the U.S. government to continue funding the F-22?
Wah! Those mean old Republicans aren't helping Democrats pass their agenda!
We’re suffering from an incoherent institutional set-up in the senate. You can have a system in which a defeated minority still gets a share of governing authority and participates constructively in the victorious majority’s governing agenda, shaping policy around the margins in ways more to their liking. Or you can have a system in which a defeated minority rejects the majority’s governing agenda out of hand, seeks opening for attack, and hopes that failure on the part of the majority will bring them to power. But right now we have both simultaneously. It’s a system in which the minority benefits if the government fails, and the minority has the power to ensure failure. It’s insane, and it needs to be changed.
No, the system doesn't need to be changed. The system is working fine, preventing Democrats from passing terrible legislation. Was MY so upset when Democrats were blocking Republican Social Security reforms? I doubt it. MY has been on a tear about how we need to get rid of the filibuster, primarily because it gives the minority party power to shape or kill legislation. What he neglects to complain about is the fact that Democrats don't want Republican input. They want Republicans to support their tax increases and budget-busting ideas. They think bipartisanship is getting Olympia Snowe to vote with them. MY should spend some of his ire complaining about Democrats' arrogance and intransigence.
From National Review Online:
A Senate minority leader with only forty votes to work with, confronted with a bill that most of his caucus (not to mention a growing portion of the electorate) finds profoundly misguided and beyond repair, should do all he can to prevent its passage. Republicans on the Hill have offered alternatives and made arguments for a number of different paths to health-care reform, but the Democrats have large majorities in both houses of Congress and have ignored them. The notion that a different Republican leader would have gotten massive concessions and a completely different (and quite conservative) approach to health care out of Reid, Pelosi, and Obama just bears no relation to reality, and the idea that we are where we are in the health-care debate because Republicans have been intransigent is utterly detached from the events of the past few months.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The report said measures in the bill to restrain Medicare costs and trim generous insurance plans "would have a significant downward impact on future health care cost growth rates," but said those gains would be outweighed in the initial years as newly insured people sought to get more health care.
"This report is yet another clear indicator that we have to act, and act now," said Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), the chairman of the Finance Committee.
The report said 33 million more U.S. citizens and legal residents would be insured under the bill, resulting in 93% of Americans with health-insurance coverage. But it said the new demand for health care caused by the bill could prove "difficult to meet initially" because doctors and hospitals would charge higher fees in response to the new demand. The report also said the bill's proposed cuts in Medicare spending "may be unrealistic."
In addition to expanding coverage, the Senate bill creates a long-term-care insurance program that would provide a daily subsidy for those with disabilities and illnesses who require home-based care. The report cited a risk of "adverse selection," saying people who were more likely to require care would be more likely to use the new insurance. That could cause insurance payouts to exceed premium revenue.
From The New Republic, we discover that the problems aren't design flaws but features.
Dramatically expanding and strengthening health insurance leads to higher overall health spending, primarily because people who have good health insurance tend to use more health care than people who don't. And--please, please remember--mostly this is a good thing. The primary reason uninsured and under-insured people get less health care is that they can't afford it.
In other words, we want these people getting more health care, at least relative to what they are getting now. And, as a society, we should expect to expend more resources on them, relative to what we expend now.
The key question, going forward, is whether we can somehow offset this increase--ideally, in a way that reduces medical spending across the board and that doesn't lead to inferior medical care.
The way they will reduce medical costs is by either restricting access for everyone or cutting payments to health care providers, who will then restrict access for everyone (by either not taking more patients, not buying into the system, or retiring). We already have more people going to law school than med school. New doctors are going to discover their earning potential to be far less than previous generations and, given their student loan obligations, they will be even less likely to choose internal medicine or something like that as a specialty. Translation: fewer primary care physicians to take care of more people.
The truth is, bringing down the cost of medicine is going to require people going to the doctor less, not more, and the best way to do that is for people to bear the costs for normal medical care (i.e., doctor's office visits, immuizations, etc.). Your car insurance doesn't pay for you to get an oil change. Why should your health insurance pay for your doctor's visit?
Democrats like to wave around terms like "Cadillac health plans" and "taxing wealthier constituents" without bothering to tell the average person what those terms mean for them. Of course, they don't want to bother letting you know that your employer-provided insurance will most likely fall under a "Cadillac plan" and face higher taxation or, if you are a professional (like a nurse or computer programmer) you qualify as one of the "wealthier constituents" they want to tax. Fortunately, it is the Republicans' job to let you know about these things.
That's China's recommendation: if you want to help the environment, institute a "one child" policy like China has, complete with forced abortions.
“The [Chinese] policy on family planning proves to be a great success,” Zhao was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying in Copenhagen, where she is one of Beijing’s delegates at the U.N. climate conference.
“It not only contributes to reduction of global emission, but also provides experiences for other countries – developing countries in particular – in their pursuit for a coordinated and sustainable development.”...
A report on Zhao’s comments in the state-run China Daily said she acknowledged that the one-child policy was not without “consequences” – but the only ones she mentioned were the skewed gender balance and a rapidly ageing society.
“I’m not saying that what we have done is 100 percent right, but I’m sure we are going in the right direction and now 1.3 billion people have benefited,” she said.
I'm sure many on the left would agree with this, given their rabid anti-child philosophies.
Friday, December 11, 2009
And that is to piss off liberals. I'm not making this stuff up; she actually said that that is the reason so many people either don't believe in global warming or are skeptical about it and question the science. It can't possibly be that every couple of years scientists change their mind about something and announce that they now believe the exact opposite (example: remember when eggs were the worst food on the planet and nobody was supposed to eat them? Then, scientists changed their minds and decided eggs were great! Now, they're somewhere in between).
No, conservatives aren't just rational people with memories longer than Amanda's convenient memory about politics and logic. They clearly aren't skeptical about drastic changes in the way we are supposed to live, including getting rid of cars, crippling American industries and generally taxing the hell out of everyone and dictating how they will live their lives. No, according to Amanda, there are really just two reasons why conservatives don't believe the climate screamers:
1) They’re in deep denial.
2) They know that global warming is real, but they don’t care.
It's no wonder Pandagon has to screen every person who comments on their blog. They have to make sure only the idiotic and insane get on to say, "Wow! What great insight! I knew conservatives were eeeevillll but I didn't know their soul motivation was to piss off liberals!" Amanda couldn't handle someone explaining to her that no, there's not a scientific consensus on global warming and that many well-respected scientists think we need more evidence to make such a declaration (and to determine that (a) human beings are the cause and (b) anything we do will change it anyway). Nor could she handle anyone noting that the cult of global warming isn't merely about getting federal money, but about power and controlling what people can and can't do, which is a key element of liberalism (you don't know what's best for you; only Democrat-controlled organizations/governments know what's best and should have the power to force you to do what they want). Liberals think forcing you to keep your thermostat at 68 in the winter and 80 in the summer is a good thing and letting you decide what temp you want your house at (and pay the bills for) is a bad thing. Or driving a big SUV (and paying the gasoline for it) is a bad thing and forcing everyone who drives to drive a pregnant rollerskate is a good thing.
In other words, what pisses off liberals, and therefore, is the conservative goal, is the idea of individuals living their lives with little government interference, and actually remembering when scientists were afraid of global cooling. Perhaps pissing off liberals this way is a great goal to have.
The Obama Administration’s Pedophilia Supporting Czar Goes Further Down the Rabbit Hole. Or Something Like That.
Van Jones was undone because he was a 9/11 Truther. We can't get rid of this threat to our children?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Editor & Publisher to cease publication after 125 years.
...why would we need a publication for them?
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
More than 2/3 of abortion clinics have closed since 1991.
Is that Amanda Marcotte I hear screaming?
I wonder if Barack Obama could be a one-term president because both the right and the left have had enough of him?
Jane Hamsher is particularly peeved that the Senate health care plan has no public option. She doesn't buy that increasing eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid will perform the same function.
There's stuff in Hamsher's petition we can both agree on...but for different reasons.
When Barack Obama announced his health care plan in 2007, he said insurance premiums for a family of 4 would be cut by $2500. This plan will see premiums increase $1000 each year.
Obama said “coverage without cost containment will only shift our burdens, not relieve them.” This plan does nothing to meaningfully contain spiraling health care costs.
Obama said “it’s time to let the drug and insurance industries know that while they’ll get a seat at the table, they don’t get to buy every chair.” This plan includes a deal between the White House and PhRMA that guarantees there will be no negotiation for Medicare prescription drug prices.
Obama said he’d go after the drug companies who “sell the same exact drugs here in America for double the price of what they charge in Europe and Canada.” But the White House deal not only doesn’t do that, it bans the reimportation of cheaper drugs from Canada.
What does this deal do? It forces Americans to buy the products of large corporations, then the IRS penalizes them if they refuse.
The Senate’s triggered public option is a failure of Barack Obama. Let him know. Click here to sign our petition:
http://action.firedoglake.com/obamafail Obama is the only one who can save the public option and make these statements more than mere campaign promises. The fight isn’t over, and we need to let Obama know that a failed public option will be his fault. Thanks for all you do.Best,
I don't want additional people poured into Medicare and Medicaid because those programs are already underfunded and overtaxed as it is. And with Democrats promising to cut $550 billion from Medicare, it's hard to see how they can cut funding, increase participation and still provide quality care without that dreaded word rationing.
I agree with Hamsher that Democrats have lied all along the way about what Obamacare was going to contain. They promised increased coverage, lower costs and better care, but none of their bills provide any of those things. On top of that, these bills will create worse problems by disincentivizing doctors from taking Medicare patients (thus creating longer wait times for treatment) and pharmaceuticals from creating new treatments. Those who think pharmaceutical and drug manufacturers are going to invent treatments without a profit motive do not understand human nature at all.
Worst of all are the various nefarious worms buried in every bill: taxpayer funding for abortion, taxes on medical devices, jail terms for those who won't buy insurance, forced insurance enrollment, payment cuts for doctors and so on.
It seems to me that when the rabid left turns on Obamacare, it's finished. But I'm not sure the Democrats are smart enough to wash their hands of this mess.
Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama's declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they'd rather have his predecessor.
By 2012, every politician will be claiming to have agreed with GWB.
Some stories leave you scratching your head. Take the case of the Maine reporter fired for sending a private e-mail opposing gay marriage to the Human Rights Commission.
Larry Grard fired off an angry e-mail to the Human Rights Commission after the HRC sent a press release claiming that Maine's gay marriage proposition died because of "hatred of gays."
Grard, who said he’d gotten no sleep the night before, used his own e-mail to send a response. “They said the Yes-on-1 people were haters. I’m a Christian. I take offense at that,” he said. “I e-mailed them back and said basically, ‘We’re not the ones doing the hating. You’re the ones doing the hating.’
“I sent the same message in his face he sent in mine.”
Grard thought his e-mail was anonymous, but the HRC Googled his name and discovered he was a reporter at the Waterville Morning Sentinel. The tolerance policde then demanded that Grard be fired and the weak-kneed sissies at the Morning Sentinel obliged.
According to Grard and his union, the Portland Newspaper Guild, he has never before had any disciplinary issues. Guild president Tom Bell said in an e-mail that a grievance has been filed on Grard’s behalf, and the Guild is awaiting a date for an arbitration hearing, which will probably take place in three or four months. “The Guild is defending the contract,” Bell said, “which requires that there be progressive discipline in situations like this.”
Grard said he wouldn’t be complaining if he’d been subjected to a lesser penalty, such as a reprimand or a suspension without pay, for his first offence. He said reporters frequently send personal e-mails from their own accounts during working hours without incurring management’s wrath.
Grard said he thinks his religious beliefs were a factor in his firing, calling it “anti-Christian bias.” “A lawyer said to me, ‘What if you’d agreed with [the Human Rights Campaign]? Would the company fire you for that? Of course they wouldn’t have,’” he said.
The Sentinel and the other MaineToday papers editorialized in favor of same-sex marriage.
Rarely do I support unions, but the PNG is doing the right thing by supporting Grard in a clearly arbitrary firing case. Grard should sue for wrongful termination, if it's possible.
Worse yet, the newspaper apparently is punishing Grard's wife Lisa for the incident.
The week after Grard was fired, he said, his wife, Lisa, who wrote a biweekly food column for the Sentinel as a freelancer, received an e-mail informing her that her work would no longer be needed.
Could it be that Lisa Grard was canned because the paper "didn't need" her work anymore? Possibly, but the circumstances are mighty fishy.
Geez, can't these guys just quit lying? Reid doesn't have a bill and he doesn't have 60 votes. What he does have is extended bureaucracies, higher taxes, bigger deficits and more trouble for Americans.
There's no reason to push a bad bill through now, except for political posturing. Democrats know their Waterloo is coming, so they are willing to stick us with this rotten mess regardless.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a website called Teaching Tolerance which is anything but. Specifically, the site is designed to give educators propaganda to promote a variety of ideas, including homosexuality, "diversity," unionization and other politically correct ideas.
Don't get me wrong; teaching children to be kind to those not in "their" groups is great. Jesus told us to be kind to each other. But do publicized pep rallies do as much good as simply teaching children to be nice to each other every day? I expect teachers to emphasize this concept daily, not needing banners to encourage kindness or showing astonishment that young children can and will play with others easily with a little encouragement. It's really not bizarre for elementary school children, for example, to easily adapt to playing with different children.
Unfortunately, Teaching Tolerance is more interested in pushing PC ideas than actually helping children learn and graduate. Take this article on single sex education.
The trend toward single-sex classes began in 2006 as part of the No Child Left Behind reforms. The Department of Education issued new rules making it easier for school districts to create them. Seven years ago, only 11 public schools offered single-sex classes. Now, the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education reports that at least 445 classrooms nationwide are segregated by gender.
Why the rush to segregate? Some educators see it as an answer to the “boy crisis.” They believe that boys struggle in school more than girls and point to lower test scores and higher dropout rates as proof. Critics of this viewpoint say the “crisis” tends to rest with boys at inner city and rural schools – areas where public schools are weak in general.
Beyond this debate, many educators simply feel that single-sex education is best for some – though not all – students. They believe parents should have the choice of putting their children in all-boy or all-girl classes.
The author goes on to declare that only "anecdotal evidence" exists in support of single sex education. But several studies give single sex education positive scores. And women's colleges have been touted for their academic excellence and opportunities for decades.
But the article links to no evidence supporting either single sex education or co-ed education. In fact, all we're left with is this:
Count me as one of the skeptics about single-sex education. I have a hunch that in ten years this we’ll look back on this as one of those “What were we thinking?” moments in school reform. But I’m willing to see where this experiment is going. And for the sake of the kids involved, I sure hope I’m wrong.
As a conservative, I champion a variety of educational approaches, knowing that children learn different ways. If one person's child excels in a co-ed environment, then, by all means, support that. But if another person's child does poorly in that environment, why should he/she be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness? Unlike the author, I think in 10 years, there will still be many supporters of single sex education because it works very well for some people. Women's colleges serve a purpose for women. Why should any child be treated differently because he/she is in elementary school?
Saturday, December 05, 2009
That's Gail Collins complaining that Republicans trying to kill Obamacare are just playing politics.
On Thursday, Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat who’s up for election next year, introduced an amendment specifically promising that Medicare recipients would not lose any of their current guaranteed benefits. It passed 100 to 0. Meanwhile, Colorado voters were getting robocalls from John McCain warning that the health care bill was going to cut their “vital Medicare coverage.”
I guess Collins buys the load o' crap from Democrats that Obamacare is about cutting costs, increasing coverage and creating better medical care. Things that Obamacare doesn't do by anyone's estimates.
I'm delighted that Republicans have discovered how to procedurally muck up the works for Democrats trying to push through the budget-busting Obamacare that Americans don't want. It is with incredible gaul that Democrats are hellbent on passing legislation they were not, in fact, elected to pass, all because they want to redistribute income and figure the best way to do it is to create a bunch of programs and tax the hell out of everyone to get it. Anyone who thinks their access to health care and the quality thereof is going to be better once Democrats get through with their "fixes" is an utter fool or won't be relying on it.
A quick side note: does anyone know how the taxes in the various bills will affect temp workers? According to the Labor Department last month, temp workers were among the only job areas that grew. This tells me that many companies are going to use temps before considering hiring full-time employees, since they don't have to pay benefits for temps. But, I assume, under Obamacare, someone will have to pay the penalties for those workers. Any ideas?
Friday, December 04, 2009
Pretty disgusting. Not because of the homosexuality but because of the sexuality. Not sure this is appropriate for 16-year-olds to read, let alone 12-year-olds.
Like so many things with Obamacare, that claim is bunk.
The question was not as simple as the press release made it sound: "60 percent of Americans believe a public option should be included in final healthcare legislation." Here is the question:For this next section, please rate the statements using a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 means "Strongly Disagree" and 5 means "Strongly Agree". The higher the number, the more you agree with the statement. You can use any number in between. (READ AND ROTATE)
6a. The quality of healthcare delivered in our country will be better 12 months from now.
6b. It will be easier for people to receive care they need 12 months from now.
6c. The value of care delivered will be better 12 months from now.
6d. The total amount of money your family spends on healthcare will decrease 12 months from now.
7a. Do you believe a "Public Option" (like Medicare for everyone) should be included as part of the final legislation that Congress passes into law?
A few points. In the question, the "public option" was described as "like Medicare for everyone." Needless to say, none of the public options that are or have been under discussion fit that description.
Second, whereas the other question allowed people to rank the strength of their feelings on a scale of 1-5, the public option question did not provide for any level of nuance. You're either for it or against it or not sure.
Third, in the results according to Thomson Reuters, 59.9% answered "Yes" and 40.1% answered "No." Does that mean that no one (or at least fewer than one-tenth of one percent of people) didn't know or were not sure? That strikes me as very strange.
As always, the important part of any poll is the way the questions are phrased. If you want an abortion-supporting poll, you describe everything in terms of "choice." If you want a life-supporting poll, you describe everything in terms of the baby. The debate in health care seems to be much the same way. Calling Obamacare "Medicare for everyone" is deceptive. As William Jacobson notes, none of the proposals equate to "Medicare for everyone." Then Jacobson gives some more representative questions that won't be asked:
Do you believe a "Public Option" (like Medicare for everyone) should be included as part of the final legislation that Congress passes into law if it meant you had to wait for medical procedures?
Do you believe a "Public Option" (like Medicare for everyone) should be included as part of the final legislation that Congress passes into law if it meant you had to give up your private insurance?
Do you believe a "Public Option" (like Medicare for everyone) should be included as part of the final legislation that Congress passes into law if it meant that government ran the entire health care system?
We won't see questions like these, of course, since they don't portray Obamacare as free candy for everyone.
but their own words seem to justify calling them mouth-breathers.
Reacting to new unemployment data, Rep. John Boehner blamed the crisis on health care reform, clean energy legislation, and the Employee Free Choice Act. However, blaming an ongoing crisis on potential future legislation is akin to saying, "I have heartburn because I'm considering eating tacos tonight."
Is Chris Harris really such a moron that he doesn't think this legislation affects the future hiring practices of businesses? Or does he honestly think that businesses don't figure in the costs of federal regulation and tax policy into hiring decisions? The idea that businesses aren't concerned about the potential growth of the nanny state under Democrats is laughable. Or comes from a man who never ran a business.
This is gonna drive the moonbats nuts, providing them new and additional information proving Sarah Palin is crazy and all Republicans are in the toilet with her. On a radio interview yesterday, Palin said Barack Obama's birth certificate is a "fair question."
Palin suggested that the questions were fair play because of "the weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about that Trig isn't my real son -- 'You need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he's your kid,' which we have done."
Personally, I think it's just a cute dig at the batshit craziness of Andrew Sullivan, but that's not how the moonbatosphere is gonna play this.
I've said before that I don't doubt Obama was born where he says he was, but you do have to wonder what else is on the long form that he doesn't want to have to deal with. Otherwise, it would have made sense to just release the thing and get it over with.
The KOS kids salivate at a Palin presidential run. Here is a site almost as crazy as Andrew Sullivan.
More sanity here.
I guess we're supposed to be happy about this.
The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 10 percent in November as employers cut the smallest number of jobs since the recession began. The better-than-expected job figures are a rare note of encouraging news for the labor market.
Hooray! Sure, we're still losing quarts of blood, but we're just losing them slower. Isn't that good news?
From the Heritage Foundation:
n January 2008, the United States economy employed 138.1 million people and the unemployment rate stood at 4.9%. But the powers in Washington thought deficit spending could boost a slowing economy, so Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) passed and President George Bush signed a $168 billion economic stimulus bill made up of temporary tax cuts and increased mortgage grantees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. By January 2009 that economic stimulus worked so well that the U.S. economy had lost 3.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate stood at 7.6%. Again the powers in Washington thought deficit spending was the answer, so Speaker Nancy Pelosi and newly minted President Barack Obama dialed up $787 billion in temporary tax cuts and permanent spending increases. Ten months later, the U.S. economy has now shed another 3.59 million jobs and the unemployment rate stand at 10%.
At this rate, the Democrats really will spend us into a Great Depression. But at least they're doing something, right?
Thursday, December 03, 2009
The inky wretch part of my soul just curled up with a huge pain in the gut after reading this:
As of yesterday, some section editors at all of the company's papers, including The News, will now report directly to Carr's team of sales managers, now referred to as general managers. In short, those who sell ads for A.H. Belo's products will now dictate content within A.H. Belo's products, which is a radical departure from the way newspapers have been run since, oh, forever.
Those sections mentioned in the memo include sports, entertainment, real estate, automotive and travel, among others.The memo doesn't mention Business or Metro by name, but there are references to "health/education" and "retail/finance"; these are not defined in the missive. Says the memo, Carr's sales force will "be working closely with news leadership in product and content development." Executive sports editor Bob Yates and Lifestyles deputy managing editor Lisa Kresl are quoted in the memo enthusiastically signing off on the unconventional marriage; says Kresl, "I'm excited about the idea of working with a business partner on an arts and entertainment segment."
The wall of separation between the business side and the editorial side of newspapers is an institution that prevented business considerations from influencing editorial decisions. This was important for the pursuit of news; sales reps dislike when you do investigative reports on advertisers. I can't imagine how this is going to improve news.
Gregg, the ranking member of the Budget Committee, and thus the guardian of the budget process, is perfectly willing to bend the rules to suit his ends, and then bend them the other way when his ends change. Men are not angels. You cannot ask them to deny their self-interest for long. This is why we have rules, and why our rules should be built to prevent people from pulling this kind of crap.
But even Ezra Klein admits that Democrats would do the same in the same position:
They aren't obstructing the legislation so much as the legislative process. If the situation was reversed, it's very likely that Democrats would do the same.
Firedoglake thinks this could be damaging to Republicans. But that would require a majority of Americans to want Obamacare. Which they do not. If anything, it seems to me that this could be a great Republican ad:
Senator X stopped the Democrat juggernaut known as Obamacare, saving the health care you like and allowing you to keep your doctor and benefits! All without new taxes!
I understand the frustration Democrats are feeling right now, knowing that the Senate isn't a pushover like the House is. But there will come a time soon when they will want to obstruct a Republican president again, and then the moonbats will be writing about how prescient the Founding Fathers were to allow these procedural rules.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
And, even in the health care debate, the under-30 voters are learning that they are targeted -- just like the elderly -- for special punishment in Obama's health care bill. When they realize that they must spend $15,000 on average per family for health insurance or face a fine of 2.5 percent of their income or go to prison, the bill loses its appeal. And, when they find out how shallow the subsidies are (only after they spend 8 percent of their paychecks if their household income is $45,000 a year and 12 percent if it is $65,000), they begin to turn off both the bill and the president for whom they were once so enthusiastic...
On Capitol Hill, the Democrats seem to have almost abandoned the message war on health care. They are hunkering down and focused on keeping their troops in line. The appeals to party discipline are so strong that one senses that they are prepared to march, in lockstep, over the cliff together.
Democrats are determined to give Americans what they don't want, even if they are booted from office (which they will be, regardless) for it.
I've heard some carping about President Obama's speech last night and his decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, with a proposed drawn down of our troops beginning in 2011.
First of all, I am happy President Obama has decided to send 30,000 more troops. General McChrystal requested 40,000, true, but the POTUS' decision to send slightly less doesn't make it nothing, which is a charge I've heard on the radio and read on the internet. It's still a significant number, and shows the president has some commitment to the war.
I am troubled at the timetable for withdrawal Obama set, but he has to give some bone to the liberals in his party, given that they are batshit crazy that he hasn't beaten a hasty retreat already.
I guess what I'm saying is that this proposal is better than I expected from a liberal Democrat president. If there's only half the amount of milk in the glass, I'm looking at it as half full.
Victor Davis Hanson sums it up nicely.
UPDATE: Or Even better:
Last night, President Obama delivered an historic speech to the nation and to the world on his plans for Afghanistan. Here, in sum, is what the president said:
I really don't want to be commander-in-chief, but I'll do it if I have to -- at least for a little while, and then we'll see. Just so long as it doesn't cost too much, or take too long, or interfere with my plans to nationalize healthcare and fundamentally change America.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
“A woman who had everything lost her life to have a slightly firmer behind,” said fashion designer and close friend, Roberto Piazza, in whose runway shows Ms Magnano frequently appeared.
Ms Magnano, who was Miss Argentina in 1994, had gone with a friend to a clinic run by Monica Portnoy, which, according to reports in the Argentinian press, performs an average of 15 such procedures daily. But after complications developed during the operation, which involves injections of the substance Polimetilmetacrilate, she was rushed to hospital with acute respiratory deficiency.
Only to show what a nut he is.
His list includes broadbrush smears at virtually every possible conservative person, group, or political philosophy and jumbles any criticism of President Obama with witch doctor pictures. I'm not kidding. Just ask him.
Of course, he'd be pissed if you pointed out the same behaviors for eight years by the guys he's identifying with now. But that was then, I suppose.
Jules Crittenden explains why Johnson went batshit crazy.
William Jacobson puts it in a nutshell:
Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs says he's parting ways with the right because people who disagree with him are fascist, racist, homophobic, white supremacists.
That about covers it.
Tom Maguire notes that Johnson used to be an Islamophobic hate site according to his new friends. But that was sooo 2004.
Robert Stacy McCain revels in being castigated by name, then explains the madness of King Charles.
Much more at Memeorandum.
President Obama's speech on Afghanistan to pre-empt A Charlie Brown Christmas.
What is up with this guy? Has he no shame???
I am, of course, only half joking here. Certainly, the president's speech is important, but the timing couldn't be worse.