Wednesday, March 31, 2010

About That Stimulus Package...

How Is the Stimulus Money Allocated?

Controlling for the percentage of the district employed in the construction industry, a proxy for the vulnerability to recession of a district, I find no statistical correlation for all relevant unemployment indicators and the allocation of funds. This suggests that unemployment is not the factor leading the awards. Also, I found no correlation between other economic indicators, such as income, and stimulus funding.

Second: On average, Democratic districts received one-and-a-half times as many awards as Republican ones. Democratic districts also received two-and-a-half times more stimulus dollars than Republican districts ($122,127,186,509 vs. $46,139,592,268). Republican districts also received smaller awards on average. (The average dollars awarded per Republican district is $260,675,663, while the average dollars awarded per Democratic district is $471,533,539.)

Of course, there are more Democratic districts than Republican districts in the Congress. So I checked for the correlation between political indicators and stimulus funding. I found that with the exception of the district’s party affiliation (whether the district’s representation was Republican or Democratic), political variables had no effect on stimulus funds allocation.

The only thing it was designed to stimulate was Democrats.

When Is Political Involvement Hate Speech?

Why, when you oppose Democrats, of course.

When the healthcare reform bill passed the U.S. House last week by a vote of 220 to 211, it wasn’t hard to find things in it to oppose. This indeed is not a miracle cure. It won’t stop insurance companies from jacking up rates, for instance, but maybe folks like my 85-year-old mother will at least get a break on the cost of her prescription drugs.
But the most heinous thing that happened that day had nothing to do with the legislation itself. It was the vile display of bigotry by protesters at the foot of the Capitol steps. Someone, hiding in the crowd on that Saturday, spat on U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. Several somebodies shouted the n-word, including to Rep. John Lewis, who was severely beaten during a 1965 civil rights march. And among the signs protesters held was one that said, referring to a senator and to a brand of gun, “If Brown can’t stop it, Browning can.”

No one could positively identify the culprits. The rest of the Tea Party revelers heard no evil, saw no evil, and spoke no evil. But they were doing evil.

Opposition to any piece of legislation is fine. But the brazen display of hateful name-calling and spitting on legislators that has occurred in connection with the bill has no place in our democratic process.

Apologists are quick to disavow these hate-mongers and marginalize them as fringe members of the Tea Party movement, which professes to have legitimate grievances against the federal government. But the heart and soul of the movement is rooted in hate for President Barack Obama — and not because he is a Democrat.

If you read the rest of that piece, you will discover that the only reason anyone opposed Obamacare was because Barack Obama is a half-black man and we're all a bunch of racists. This is nonsense, of course, as is the notion that the Tea Party movement is the new KKK. Plenty of people are unhappy with the direction that Obama and the Democrats are taking us (after all, 46% of Americans didn't vote for Teh One), including a percentage of people who did vote for BO. To call everyone who opposes huge deficits and government control of 1/6 of the economy racists is not just offensive, it's stupid.

Mark Davis notes that the "Tea Partiers are racists" meme is widespread and pervasive, but also illogical:
Their argument is: (A) This movement is filled with vocal people displeased with the way things are going; (B) I can find examples in history of people whose vocal displeasure was fueled by racism. Hence, (C) these people must be fueled by racism.

OK, boys, let's see how you like it: (A) You are fans of ObamaCare; (B) Castro is a fan of ObamaCare, so, (C) you are communists.

And while there may be more than a few communists among Obamacare supporters, it's unlikely that the vast majority of liberals think communism is anything but a discredited evil (well, unless you are Thomas Friedman).

Yet somewhere, sometime, it became unpatriotic to protest or say nasty things about the POTUS? When was that? Evan Coyne Maloney puts the date at January 20, 2009:

Will dissent become patriotic again once a Republican is president?

UPDATE: Victor Davis Hansen has more examples of "patriotic" dissent.

Is The U.S. a Low Tax Country?

Leftwingers argue consistently that Americans don't pay very much in taxes by comparison with other countries. This argument has never held water, since it's irrelevant what other countries pay compared to us. My mother never bought the "everybody's doing it" argument and neither do I.

But apparently, some people think it's a real winner. Greg Mankiw has examined the data and come to different conclusions. He compares taxes as a percentage of a person's income (not GDP) and comes to some different results:

The United States is indeed a low-tax country as judged by taxes as a percentage of GDP, but as judged by taxes per person, the United States is in the middle of the pack.

In an Attempt to Tack to the Right, Obama Opens Some Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling

President Obama did something I agree with today.

Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time

The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

From Jules Crittenden:
They told me if I voted for John McCain the rape of the environment and kowtowing to oil interests would go on, and they were right!...

You know, if he’d just ditch the socialism, fiscal irresponsibility, America-bashing, ally-bashing/abandonment and half-to-3/4 measures vs. terrorism,* I could actually start to like this guy. The weird part is how the candidate who was all about being better liked has made it his business to try to piss off as many people as possible.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Rich Won't Pay for Obamacare

President Obama and Democrats planned to pay for Obamacare with a series of accounting tricks and new taxes on the rich. The problem, as Alan Reynolds points out, is that this trick won't work.

n short, the evidence is clear that when marginal tax rates go up, the amount of reported incomes goes down. Economists call that "the elasticity of taxable income" (ETI), and measure it by examining income tax returns before and after marginal tax rates claimed a bigger slice of income reported to the IRS.

It's amazing how self-interest works. Basically, everybody (or most people) is willing to pay some taxes. But there's a threshhold over which no one willingly pays their taxes. Finding that sweet spot, where tax revenues are their highest, is every politician's greatest problem.

Of course, liberals don't bother looking for the sweet spot where they'll actually get the most tax revenue. For them, redistribution demands the highest tax rates and harshest penalties for "the rich" imaginable. That such tactics often have the opposite effect on revenues seems to escape them. We've been through this before, but apparently, Democrats are slow learners.

Peeling Off the Moderate Mask

When talking to their own, leftwingers are more honest than when they speak to the country as a whole (or to conservatives, specifically). That's why this post is interesting in what it says and what it admits.

First, the author admits Barack Obama is a liberal (he calls it "progressive," but we know that's just window dressing to avoid being called a liberal).

Yet, there is nothing in Obama's personal history nor in his voting record to suggest that he is anything but a committed pragmatic progressive.
Of course, this is not the description of Obama we get from the MSM, who constantly call our abortion-loving, tax-and-spending, freedom-squashing, ally-snubbing, citizen-ignoring, hell-bent-on-passing-what-he-wants POTUS "centrist." There's nothing centrist about Obama or his approach to governing. And regardless of what the author and his sycophants commenters think, there was no outreach to Republicans, unless you call "I won" outreach.

But more importantly, the author discusses Organizing for America, aka Obama for America, the outfit Barack Obama used during the campaign to disseminate his ideas on the internet. The author notes that the big push for Obamacare that came from progressives was run by OFA (contrast that to the grassroots efforts of the 57% of Americans who opposed Obamacare).
In just the final ten days of the legislative fight, OFA aides said they drove over 500,000 calls to Congress. The group also executed over 1,200 events during that period, about 100 per day, and mobilized a novel program for over 120,000 supporters to call other Obama fans in key districts to fan local enthusiasm for the bill -- a first for either national party.

I'm sure those Congressmen didn't sic the police on these guys when they tried to contact their reps.

The key to take out of that is that Obama's minions and liberals in general have a distinct advantage when it comes to organizing and communication, particularly over the internet. Remember, this is the organization which gins up liberal callers to conservative radio shows, giving them talking points and even a handy-dandy form to fill out detailing the results of the call.

In his book Obama Zombies, Jason Mattera discusses how effectively Barack Obama used New Media in energizing young adults and encouraging them to support him--even if they had no idea what policies he supported. Obama used blogs, video games, YouTube and Facebook to effectively indoctrinate the young and herd them to the polls in November 2008. The results were that while John McCain either led or was close in every other age category, Obama got three to four times as many 18- to 29-year-olds, and that made the difference in the election.

Republicans can look forward to doing quite well in the mid-terms, and that may be part of the reason Dems are scrambling to pass more poisonous legislation (like cap and trade). Obama's recess appointments give us a look at what the President of All of Us expects to do once he doesn't have a lapdog Congress anymore. Yet it is increasingly clear that Republicans must discover new and better ways to harness New Media and attrack younger voters if we want BO to be a one-term president.

A Tale of Two Protests

Pajamas Media has the tale of two protests held just 250 miles and one week apart. The one in Los Angeles was left-leaning and the one in Searchlight, Nevada was right-leaning. But that's about where the similarities end.

We've been told by the MSM how racist, homophobic and violent the Tea Party movement is, yet I can guarantee you that it is leftwing nutjobs who have set off more bombs and tried harder to overthrown the government.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Where Diversity Leads

Students want ‘Our Lord' phrase off diplomas

A group of students at Trinity University is lobbying trustees to drop a reference to “Our Lord” on their diplomas, arguing it does not respect the diversity of religions on campus.

“A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes,” said Sidra Qureshi, president of Trinity Diversity Connection. “By having the phrase ‘In the Year of Our Lord,' it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.”

Qureshi, who is Muslim, has led the charge to tweak the wording, winning support from student government and a campus commencement committee. Trustees are expected to consider the students' request at a May board meeting.

Trinity University was founded by the Presbyterians in 1869. Maybe "Our Lord" can come off the diplomas when the Saudis accept plurality.

The Only Thing With a Shorter Expiration Date Than Milk...

Is an Obama campaign promise.

Even in Skewed Polls...

Obamacare isn't getting any more popular. As
Ed Morrissey notes, the sample skews 10 points to the Dems, which is far heavier than the number of D's that even voted for Obama in 2008. The country has moved to the right since then, so the number of R's and I's should be considerably higher than this poll shows.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Projection Infinity

If you want to know the bizarre world liberals inhabit, look no farther than this KOS post claiming that Republicans are the eeeevil ones inciting violence yet claiming victimization. This, of course, is a nefarious plot to make Democrats look bad while Republicans spit on people, hang nooses, call people niggers, and generally threaten those peaceful goverment officials.

The article itself is pretty amazing, if only for the twisted logic at work: Democrats and their willing accomplices in the MSM sneer at Tea Partiers ("teabaggers"), calling them angry, bigoted, ignorant and white-hooded racists. They find a few offenders among thousands of participants, repeat the stories over and over and BOOM! The Tea Party Movement is discredited because everyone in it is a racist, bigoted, ignorant KKKer. But Democrat groups mess with children and it receives barely a whisper of coverage.

Of course, Billmon would argue that when liberals use these tactics on conservatives, it's because they're true (and conservatives deserve them), not that they are sneaky or vile. But there are many examples of liberals using these same tactics. For example, when Democrats filibustered Republican legislation and decried the use of reconciliation, that was ok. But now, filibusters are bad and reconciliation is good. Remember macaca? It ended George Allen's political career. But when Democrats use racial slurs, who's to notice?

There's a word for this sort of projection. We call it democrisy.

UPDATE: I'm sure the left is very concerned about these death threats.

Obamacare: The Consequences

AT&T to Book $1 Billion Cost on Health-Care Reform

AT&T Inc. will book $1 billion in first-quarter costs related to the health-care law signed this week by President Barack Obama, the most of any U.S. company so far.

A change in the tax treatment of Medicare subsidies triggered the non-cash expense, and the company will consider changes to the benefits it offers current and retired workers, Dallas-based AT&T said today in a regulatory filing.

AT&T, the biggest U.S. phone company, joins Caterpillar Inc., AK Steel Holding Corp. and 3M Co. in recording non-cash expenses against earnings as a result of the law. Health-care costs may shave as much as $14 billion from U.S. corporate profits, according to an estimate by benefits consulting firm Towers Watson. AT&T employed about 281,000 people as of the end of January.

“Companies like AT&T, that have large employee bases, are going to have higher health-care costs and, therefore, lower earnings unless they can negotiate something or offer less to their employees,” said Chris Larsen, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in New York, who rates AT&T shares “overweight” and doesn’t own any himself.

Is there incentive for companies to drop their insurance plans? Hell, yeah.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Loving Our Enemies and Hating Our Friends

That's President Obama's approach to Israel, possibly the best friend the U.S. has (with the exception of Great Britain).

So, to get a photo op with the POTUS, you have to not vote with the U.S.? That makes sense in a moonbat, Democrat kinda way.

Teaching Tolerance: We Hate Protests Unless They Are Ours

You'd never know that liberal protesters are often disrespectful and rude judging from most of the coverage they receive. Even the 1960's protests have been sanitized and turned into something revered, which is entirely different from the dirty, hateful hippies that were actually in attendance.

Now, liberals have got the vapors about incivility...because of alleged uses of the word "nigger" and "fag" (there's no video or audio to back up the claim). It's so peculiar to me that the same people who love the Vagina Monologues as free expression and elevated protesting to an art form need smelling salts because of what they hope happened.

I don't think they were tied in knots when union thugs ransacked a Bush/Cheney campaign headquarters in 2004. Or when GOP campaign headquarters were shot at more than once (not to mention vandalized).

I sure hope the Democrats' newfound concern for civility extends to Republicans, even though it's probably pretty hard to blame Tea Partiers for those.

More at Skeptical Observor.

It's Tough to be Right

Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year

We were called fearmongers for saying this day was coming and soon. Now, it will get swept away in all the "fiscal responsibility" of the Obama administration.

From Hot Air:

Some people predicted this day would arrive at about this time; those were the people Democrats accused of attempting to frighten seniors out of their benefits. Some predicted that this day wouldn’t come for almost a decade longer than it did and argued that reform wasn’t necessary in 2005, when it may have helped extend SSA’s life. Those are the people making the economic decisions in the White House now.

The country’s in the best of hands.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More LOLs in Obamacare Coverage

Politifact usually does a pretty good job of cutting through the political bullshit, but nestled in some rather dry (and perhaps debateable) statements about Obamacare was this nugget:

The vast majority of people will not see significant declines in premiums. When President Obama talks about premiums going down, he usually means they won't go up as much as they would otherwise.

Emphasis mine.

Erm, is this more political doublespeak? When does "premiums going down" mean "not going up as much as they would otherwise"?

Quote of the Day

Obama's health care plan is written by a committee whose Chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress which hasn't read it, signed by a President who smokes, funded by a Treasury Chief who did not pay his taxes, overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that is nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?

Monday, March 22, 2010

But Otherwise, You're Gonna Love It!

20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms
Why do I have to pay for maternity and infant care?

If You Thought the MSM Was in the Tank for Obama Before...

Can the G.O.P. Succeed by Running Against Health Care?

The President, however, may be indifferent to the acrid fussing of his Republican foes. He will be able to bask once again in the glow of positive press coverage (accented by a momentous signing ceremony), which will focus on four areas helpful to the Democrats' prospects in November: the masterful display of White House patience and competence that got the job done; the elements of the legislation that are in fact consistently popular with large numbers of Americans, such as its insurance-company crackdowns; the return of the meme that Republicans are the party of No; and the accompanying rising poll numbers for the Administration and the new law...

Democrats will be joined in the fray by much of the press. For Republicans, this will seem like familiar ground, since generations of conservatives have complained that the so-called mainstream media have been biased against them. Well, get ready, Republicans, for déjà vu all over again. The coverage through November likely will highlight the most extreme attacks on the President and his law and spotlight stories of real Americans whose lives have been improved by access to health care (pushed, no doubt, by Democrats from every competitive congressional district and state). The louder Republicans yell, the more they will be characterized and caricatured as sore losers infuriated by the first major delivery of candidate Obama's promise of "change." The focus on the weekend's alleged racial and gay-bashing verbal attacks by opponents of the Democrats' plan should be a caution to Republican strategists trying to figure out how to manage the media this year.

...just watch them now. Story after story about cherubic kiddies whose shining faces were scrubbed clean because of Obamacare will be SOP. It will be difficult to find stories about the mounting debt and higher taxes we will all face.

Finally, here's Reverend Wright saying Americans voted for socialism, so why be surprised?

Excellent stuff from Megan McArdle.

Good News on a Bad Day


But like a vampire, is it gone for good?

What Mattered in Yesterday's Vote Most...

Was if Obama helped the Democrat and if s/he supported socialized medicine.

Obamacare: Reducing America's Military Ability

In this post at National Review Online, Mark Steyn makes a point that could almost get lost in concerns over the monstrous infringement on personal liberties in Obamacare:

(I)t's also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the U.S. is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.

Bill Clinton was at least honest when he admitted he loathed the military, but that sentiment can be attached to virtually every liberal. Barack Obama made no bones about his desire to scale back American hegemony around the world, and burdening successive generations with this debt may be his best way to do it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

David Frum: Obamacare is Your Fault!

David Frum is already rewriting the history of the last 1 1/2 years to be the fault of conservatives who didn't want to give cover to the leftwing of the Democratic party.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

Frum then goes on to admit that there is no way of knowing whether Republican input would have changed the monstrosity set to change the lives of every man, woman and child in America. And, honestly, that's a stupid point.

The facts are, this administration hasn't wanted to work with Republicans except when it thought doing so would advance some point or other of the moonbat agenda. Obama met with Republicans in April of last year and then didn't talk to them for months. This from the President of All of Us--Mr. "I Won."

If you think the bill would have been more to Republicans' liking if House and Senate leadership had brought the K-Y and bent over for Teh One, you are delusional. Like William Jacobson, I know that the abomination known as Obamacare wouldn't have been better with Republican cooperation, largely because Democrats think they know more than you do.

There are issues I agree with Frum on, when he argues that Republicans need new ideas and approaches to issues and need to show flexibility for those with whom they disagree. But to loftily argue that Obamacare is the fault of Republicans is nonsense.

Is It Constitutional?

Interesting arguments about the legal challenges Obamacare will face.

Not That Democrats Care About the Costs...

But the bill will add $562 billion to the deficit.

Produce the Evidence

Liberals are claiming Tea Party Protests: 'Ni**er,' 'Fa**ot' Shouted At Members Of Congress. But apparently, they can't produce the video showing this. We do have video that doesn't show what they claim:

If they were shouting the N-word all over the place, there should be plenty of video to back up the claim that the Tea Party protesters are a bunch of racists. But there isn't.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Democrats Under Seige: Now, It's Harassment to Contact Your Representatives

Because they don't care what you think:

Yesterday, I decided to call Rep. John Garamendi’s (CA-10) office in Washington, D.C. He’s my representative and I wanted to voice my opposition to the Senate Health Care Bill. I spoke with a female staffer and politely told her that, while I support health care reform, I oppose the Senate Bill because it wasn’t true “reform.” She said the Congressman thinks it’s a good bill and that he campaigned on health care reform. I told her I knew that. I also mentioned that I voted for him. When I tried to give her specific reasons why the Senate Bill would harm our system rather than reform it, she refused to listen. She said she was very busy and hung up on me. Being the persistent person that I am, I kept calling back. Each time I tried to finish my point, she hung up.

I called one more time. This time she said, “If you call one more time, we will notify Capital Police.” I asked why my conduct warranted involving federal law enforcement agents. She said I was “harassing” her. I tried to explain that trying to convince a representative to change his or her vote didn’t constitute “harassment.” Before I could fully explain, she hung up again.

I called back. This time, I asked to speak to her supervisor in order to report her repeated hanging up as well as the threat she made. I was placed on hold. Thinking I was holding for her supervisor, I was shocked when a Federal Agent with the Capital Police picked-up the telephone.

At first, the Agent was curt with me. He claimed I was harassing Mr. Garamendi’s staff by continually calling after being told to stop calling. I asked him when it became a federal crime to lobby a congressman. He said that it wasn’t but it was a crime to “harass” congressional members and staff pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 223. I told him I was an attorney (which I am) and that I would research the statute he had cited.

After researching 47 U.S.C. 223, I called Mr. Garamendi’s office again and asked to be transferred back to the Capital Police Agent. The Agent picked up the phone and I explained to him that the statute he cited was not controlling since it only prohibits people from calling with the specific intent to harass. I further explained that I was simply trying to voice my concerns with the intent of getting Mr. Garamendi to change his mind, not to harass his staff. The Agent eventually agreed with my position and said he would call Mr. Garamendi’s office and instruct his staff that I was within my rights to call my congressman and voice my concerns.

Corrupt regimes always end up trying to use the police to silence the peons.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Humor of the Day

Only, it isn't really funny...

Scoring--Or Misscoring--the Health Care Bill

Six Ways the Senate Health Care Bill Raises Health Care Costs, Kills Jobs, and Weakens the Economy

1. The President claims the health care proposals would reduce health care spending. The reality is health care spending would increase. According to the latest Congressional Budget Office report of the Senate bill, health care spending under the Senate bill would increase by $210 billion over the next 10 years...

2. The President claims the health care proposals would reduce premiums. The reality is premiums will go up for many under the Senate bill. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have estimated premiums in the non-group market would be 10 to 13 percent higher in 2016 than they would be with no bill and cost would likely fall higher on young and healthy families...

3. The President claims the health care proposals would cost under a trillion. But, that figure excludes major health care provisions – like filling the Medicare “donut hole”, fixing Medicare reimbursement to physicians, and creating a new long-term entitlement program – pushing the price tag to over $2 trillion...

4. The President claims the health care proposals would reduce the deficit. Unlike CBO’s restricted scope of analysis, the independent analysis by the Lewin Group estimates that when taken in its entirety, which means accounting for the expected $200 billion plus boost in Medicare reimbursement for physicians, the proposal would actually add to the deficit, not reduce it.

5. The President claims he is committed to improving jobs and the economy. Based on his own policies, the opposite is true. The Senate bill would result in 620,000 fewer job opportunities and would increase the national debt by $755 billion through its lethal combination of mandates, taxes, and government spending...

6. The President claims he will “fix” the bill. Although he promised to ensure no federal funding would be used for abortions and eliminate the repugnant special deals, House passage of the Senate bill would lock these into place, and they could only be undone through a highly uncertain reconciliation process to “fix” the bill in the Senate. Not only is taxpayer funding of abortion not fixed, it is expanded under the Senate bill. Moreover, the ugly special state deals at the expense of the taxpayers still remain.

CBO Score Hides the Big Picture

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unintentional Humor in the Texas Textbook Debate

Liberals are appoplectic that the Texas Board of Education has made changes to the textbooks the state will purchase. But it would probably help if their organizations hired a few copy editors.

The unintended humor came in a couple of posts on the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance site (see here and here):

Democratic board member Mary Helen Berlanga made the common sense observation that these men died at the Alamo just the same (sic) Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, yet they are almost completely ignored in Texas classrooms.

Then there was this:
The Texas State Board of Education has made nationwide headlines in recent weeks by rewriting the curriculum standards for its k-12 textbooks. Texas is the 500-pound guerilla (sic) in textbook publishing.

Maybe if the Southern Poverty Law Center was as concerned with teaching students spelling and grammar as they are about including Cesar Chavez in history books, their ideas might be met with less ridicule.

And You Thought Wait Times Were Long Now

Survey Reveals Potential Impact of Health Reform on Physician Supply

In a physician survey conducted December 2009 by The Medicus Firm, a national physician search firm, 24.7% of physicians stated that they would "retire early" if a public option is implemented, and an additional 21.0% of respondents stated that they would quit practicing medicine, even though they are nowhere near retirement. This brings the amount of physicians who would leave medicine to a total of 45.7%...

"Many physicians feel that they cannot continue to practice if patient loads increase while pay decreases. The overwhelming prediction from physicians is that health reform, if implemented inappropriately, could create a detrimental combination of circumstances, and result in an environment in which it is not possible for most physicians to continue practicing medicine," states Kevin Perpetua, Managing Partner for The Medicus Firm's Atlanta division. "With an average debt of $140,000, and many graduates approaching a quarter of a million dollars in school loans, being a doctor is becoming less and less feasible. Health reform, and increasing government control of medicine may be the final straw that causes the physician workforce to break down."

Democrats and liberals (not always the same group) are banking on the idea that doctors won't drop out of the system, and that plenty of people will still want to be doctors after Obamacare passes. That's not what doctors are saying, and certainly hasn't been the trend for several years (more people are going to law school than med school, for example). Why would a person go into extreme debt only to have the government dictate how much s/he could make and how many patients one was forced to see? Countries with socialized medicine deal with this crisis by importing doctors from countries like India and Pakistan. If you want a doctor you can't understand and who doesn't understand you, then Obamacare seems to be the way to go.

Most Transparent President. Ever

PROMISES, PROMISES: Records not so open with Obama

President Obama's administration has rejected nearly twice as many Freedom of Information requests in the first year than President Bush did in 2008. This comes, of course, after Obama campaigned on having the most open, most transparent presidency ever.

UPDATE: House Dems are celebrating Transparency Week by avoiding taking an up-or-down vote on Obamacare. Gotta love it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Democrats Were Against the Slaughter Rule...Before They Were For It

Gotta love this:

Dial the date selector back to 2005 when the Republican majority in Congress approved a national debt limit increase using a self-executing rule similar to the Slaughter Solution.

Guess who went to federal court to challenge the constitutionality of the move? The Ralph Nader-backed Public Citizen legal activists...

It's important to be clear that the issue before the court was whether a minor text correction was sufficient to satisfy the constitutional requirement that both chambers of Congress must pass the exact same bill. In this 2005 case, the court ruled the minor correction was acceptable.

The deeming of an entire bill to have been passed without a prior recorded vote goes far beyond a minor text correction, so the constitutional principle clearly would be violated by the Slaughter Solution.

And now for the kicker, guess who joined Public Citizen in that suit with amicus briefs:

Nancy Pelosi

Henry Waxman

Louise Slaughter

Deficit increases are different from taking over 1/6 of the economy.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Taking Over the Health Care System Is Only the Beginning

From Allahpundit:

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Their candor about O-Care being a starting, not an ending, point for “fixing” American health care is simply astounding. Given public angst about the on cost and effect on quality of care and conservative objections to the bill as an irreversible, transformational lurch towards statism, you would think Obama and Pelosi would be scrupulous about selling the bill — even privately within the caucus lest their comments leak out — as something self-contained and modest in scope. Instead we’ve seen The One winking at House progressives about a public option down the line and now Madam Speaker hinting at god knows what to come. If you want to reach for that brass ring of single-payer eventually, you have to start the socialist carousel turning.

I'm not sure how anyone could be shocked that the whole idea is to lead to a single payer plan or, as Matthew Yglesias has put it, creation of the American welfare state. Democrats have been fairly honest for a generation that they want as many people dependent on the government as possible and screw that whole independence and liberty crap. Allahpundit ponders if the centrist Democrats should see this willingness to sell them down the river as incentive to vote against this monstrosity, but you do have to wonder if they're smart enough to see that.

Pelosi and Reid remind me a bit of those who know they're going to lose the war, so they just start burning everything in sight, hoping to make changes to their insanity too costly. I don't want Obamacare to pass, but it seems to me like the funniest thing would be for Dems to pass this horror, Obama to sign it, then the new Republican Congress to override his veto and repeal the whole damn thing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Howell Raines: Wah, Wah, Wah, Fox News Is Mean

With Democrats set to ram through health care legislation that Americans don't want, Howell Raines asks the important question: why does Fox News get to keep telling the truth?

Through clever use of the Fox News Channel and its cadre of raucous commentators, Ailes has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II. Yet, many members of my profession seem to stand by in silence as Ailes tears up the rulebook that served this country well as we covered the major stories of the past three generations, from the civil rights revolution to Watergate to the Wall Street scandals. This is not a liberal-versus-conservative issue. It is a matter of Fox turning reality on its head with, among other tactics, its endless repetition of its uber-lie: "The American people do not want health-care reform."

Translation: Wah, wah, wah! How dare somebody not tell the same lies, fibs and provarications that the rest of us have for 50 years!

Yeah, that supposed system of objectivity worked really well when we had journalists reporting objectively on American victories in war. Oh, and let's not forget the objectivity shown by news outlets over, say Abu Ghraib, where we had the New York Times running endless page 1 stories designed to gin up opposition to the war in Iraq. This isn't even talking about the liars associated with these objective news outlets where fake but accurate is good enough to go to press.

Let's be blunt here: as someone who worked in the news business for years, I saw firsthand what goes into "objective" journalism. Some journalists do try very hard to give just the facts of a story. But don't think for a moment that reporters and editors check their biases at the door and don't ever allow their own opinions to slip into their writing. Just ask the restaurant owner who happened to piss off a reviewer somehow. Or the politician who doesn't lean left.

And Howell Raines, the former editor of the New York Times, knows about the power of the press. Journalists crowed about "bringing down" the presidency of Richard Nixon. They constantly sneered and slimed Ronald Reagan and showed nothing but contempt for any Republican president who actually tried to abide by the Constitution, as opposed to expanding the liberal welfare state as Democrats have done for nearly a century. Raines' bitter tears about the popularity and power of Fox News would be touching if it weren't so self-serving. If Raines' brand of journalism were winning their war, there would be little whinging about how one cable news outlet runs circles around every establishment journalistic network.

Raines complains that Fox cherry-picks its polls, yet does exactly the same thing. In choosing this Gallup poll over my previously linked Rasmussen poll, Raines is engaging in exactly the bad behavior he accuses Fox News of doing. The laughable part of Raines' complaint is that he is only unhappy because a different brand, a different look at news is using the same techniques he and his cohorts have used for half a century...and beating him at it.

There's never been anything objective in "objective" news, and every Journalism 101 student knows it. They recognize that the choice of words, pictures, headlines and placement all affect readership and the opinions that readers form about a subject. This is why the New York Times ran stories on Abu Ghraib on page 1 34 out of 37 days. It wasn't simply to inform viewers; it was to shape what they thought about that prison and also about our conduct of the war in Iraq. When journalists talk about comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, they're not talking about merely covering events. They're talking about shaping policy.

Fox News understands this and so does Howell Raines and the grousers he represents. Americans also understand that journalists have biases, and they don't really mind. What they mind is when journalists like Raines lie about it.

UPDATE: More at Newsbusters.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No Hypocrisy Here: Patrick Kennedy Really Hates Bad Press Aimed at Democrat Misbehavior

But he wasn't crying when the press went after Mark Foley in 2006 rather than focusing on Iraq. That was sooo four years ago. From Hot Air:

Go figure that a scion of Camelot, who’s lived up to the family legacy in so many ways, would look dimly upon press coverage of politicians’ misbehavior. Funny, but I don’t remember many Democratic complaints about the sustained media swarm over Mark Foley in fall 2006 while Iraq was falling apart. I’m sure there’s an explanation for the difference somewhere.

Hey, when Dems get into tickle fights with staffers, that's no news. When Republicans send questionable texts to underage staffers, that's big news.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Things You Can't Say on WGN

Funny list that could have been compiled by any copy editor or micromanaging jerk. Is "killing spree" really the worst thing a news caster can say on WGN? He didn't even include my personal pet peeve: using "entitled" for "titled," as in "The book is entitled Making Money."

You Can Only Fool Some of the People Some of the Time or All of the People Some of the Time

Why Obama Can't Move the Health-Care Numbers

One reason may be that he keeps talking about details of the proposal while voters are looking at the issue in a broader context. Polling conducted earlier this week shows that 57% of voters believe that passage of the legislation would hurt the economy, while only 25% believe it would help...

When the president responds that the plan is deficit neutral, he runs into a pair of basic problems. The first is that voters think reducing spending is more important than reducing the deficit. So a plan that is deficit neutral with a big spending hike is not going to be well received.

But the bigger problem is that people simply don't trust the official projections. People in Washington may live and die by the pronouncements of the Congressional Budget Office, but 81% of voters say it's likely the plan will end up costing more than projected. Only 10% say the official numbers are likely to be on target.

As a result, 66% of voters believe passage of the president's plan will lead to higher deficits and 78% say it's at least somewhat likely to mean higher middle-class taxes. Even within the president's own political party there are concerns on these fronts.

Americans already watch commercials that tell the people they can eat all the ice cream they want without gaining any weight. Why should politicians think the People are stupid enough to believe you can have everything for nothing? It works in election years but not the rest of the time.

How News Is Made

Breaking News: Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere

Don't Talk to Me About the Crusades

Nigerian Muslims Hack 500 Christian Villagers to Death With Machetes – Babies Scalped
When you want to claim that all religions are the same, try to find an example of Christian atrocity more recent than 1200.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I Know Where They Went

Asia 'missing' 96 million women: UN

Asia is "missing" about 96 million women -- the vast majority in China and India -- who died from discriminatory health care and neglect or who were never born at all, the UN estimated on Monday.

Female infanticide and sex-selective abortion have caused a severe gender imbalance in Asia, and the problem is worsening despite rapid economic growth in the region, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report said.

"The old mindset with its preference for male children has now combined with modern medical technology" that makes it easier to predict and abort unborn girls, said Anuradha Rajivan, the report's lead author.

"It is not just female infanticide but sex-selective abortion of unborn girls that cause so-called 'missing' females," she said, contrasting the issue with recent improvements in female life expectancy and education.

Pro-choicers can't even bring themselves to decry sex-selective abortion. After all, that's a "choice," too.

Falling Further Behind

Poll shows Obama, Dems losing ground

A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago and think President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security, a new poll finds.

The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin -- 51 percent to 41 percent -- Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama's presidency.

Remember when Barack Obama was going to make America more--not less--respected? World opinion isn't worth chasing.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pot-Smoking, 9/11 Truth Lovin' Registered Democrat Pentagon Shooter...Must've Been a "Rightwing Extremist"

If there was ever any doubt about the current meme regarding violence, the story of John Patrick Bedell should lay them to rest.

John Patrick Bedell: Did right-wing extremism lead to shooting? screams the Christian Science Monitor. Pentagon Shooter Was Right-Wing, Anti-Government Terrorist soberly reports Think Progress. And both links talk about Bedell as an anti-government guy who was a 9/11 Truther.

Of course, as Newsbusters notes, 9/11 Truthers are leftwingers, not rightwingers. And given that Bedell was a registered Democrat, the liberal bullshit about rightwing extremism looks even more self-serving.

But that doesn't stop nuts like Jesse Taylor from blaming Tea Partiers and trying to equate Debra Medina with John Patrick Bedell. Taylor must be a yoga master to twist around to draw that comparison.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Bunning Was Right

And Republicans should be ashamed they didn't support him. Andy McCarthy has a wonderful column chockful of unpleasant truths about Republicans, Democrats, PAYGO and Obamacare, such as this on what Bunning was protesting:

The stimulus — which is a redistribution of wealth from the private to the public sector, and from people who work to people who don’t — extended unemployment benefits for 53 weeks. Another extension in November added 20 more weeks. Cato’s Alan Reynolds reports that this brings the total to 99 weeks of benefits in high-unemployment states. The measure on which Bunning has relented adds another month. And having browbeaten him into withdrawing his objection, Democrats will now seek an extension through the end of this year, i.e., another 36 weeks or so.

None of this is paid for. Instead, the government borrows ever more money, incurring ever more debt and ever more interest on that debt. The price tag on the relatively modest, stopgap measure Bunning was blocking is put at $10 billion, but that does not count the interest that will be paid on the money borrowed to fund the bill. To count the interest would be to highlight the fact that we are filching the money from our children and their children rather than paying for spending today by cutting something else. Bunning wasn’t even against spending the money; he just wanted the something else identified and cut.

Then there's this on PAYGO and Obamacare:
Here’s the sad truth: For all the shining they did at last week’s White House “summit” on health care, when it gets down to actually putting the brakes on the Big Gummint Express, most of today’s Republicans are AWOL. They’re great at the debate society. But making the fight on something concrete, really saying no when it means grinding redistribution to a halt, means taking the slings and arrows. No thanks, they say, let’s just make the whole thing go away on a voice vote, the sooner the better.

Finally, there's this, the saddest truth of all, about why Democrats are willing to lose it all to pass Obamacare.
Democrats know the electoral setbacks will only be temporary. They are banking on the assurance that Republicans merely want to win elections and have no intention of rolling back Obamacare, much less of dismantling Leviathan...

Even if the GOP gets a majority for a couple of cycles, even if President Obama is defeated in his 2012 reelection bid, Obamacare will be forever. And once the public sees that the GOP won’t try to dismantle Obamacare, it will lose any enthusiasm for Republicans. Democrats will eventually return to power, and it will be power over a much bigger, much more intrusive government.

It's sadly true that Republicans are only thinking about the next election cycle, which promises to be good for them. But Democrats are thinking long-term: they know that repealing Obamacare will be nearly impossible and, just as the lobster doesn't mind the boiling water if the heat's been turned up slowly, voters will accept all the restrictions and rationing of Obamacare once it's in place. This is why all the mandates of Obamacare don't kick in until after Barack Obama's re-election. Disgusting.

Howard Dean Speaks The Truth

Hard to believe that Howard Dean tells the truth about what will happen to Democrats if Obamacare passes:

Passing the healthcare proposals before Congress will "hang out to dry" every Democratic incumbent running for reelection this fall, Howard Dean said Thursday.

Dean, a physician by training who's a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), said that Democrats in Congress -- and President Barack Obama -- would do themselves more harm than good by passing the current healthcare bill.

"The plan, as it comes from the Senate, hangs out every Democrat who's running for office to dry -- including the president, in 2012, because it makes him defend a plan that isn't in effect essentially yet," Dean said during an appearance on the liberal Bill Press Radio Show.

Apparently, the Democratic leadership doesn't care if they lose every seat in the House and Senate as long as they saddle the American people with this albatross.

Who Are the Tea Partiers?

Contrary to liberal popular opinion, Tea Partiers aren't extremists wanting to blow up the government, which, sadly, we can't say about much of the Left.

The information we now are getting on the Tea Partiers is reassuring, at least to me. It comes from Eric O'Keefe, the head of a Chicago-based organization devoted to free markets and limited government, the Sam Adams Alliance. O'Keefe has surveyed 49 Tea Party leaders in 38 states and found that what angers these Tea Partiers' harbor is mostly benign. "They want to make a difference," as good-government types are wont to say. Seventy percent of them told O'Keefe they hope to "have a positive impact on the country." According to O'Keefe, they are neither "political junkies nor crusty right-wing extremists." Nearly half never have been involved in politics before. What angers them is the reckless federal spending of the Democrats in 2009.

Don't tell the leftwing media, the moonbatosphere or any of the liberals you know. To them, Tea Party goers are racist, violent crackpots who want to assassinate President Obama and overthrow the peaceful government. Or something.

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, letter to Edmund Pendleton, 1792

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The irony of using a deficit reduction tool to cram through a highly controversial bill, that spends $1 trillion+ and adds to our federal debt, is pretty thick. Previously, the President himself even said it would be wrong to pass health care using a 50-plus-1 reconciliation strategy. Every member of the House and Senate who votes for this ... See Morehealth care mess is going to be held accountable by their constituents – it is truly a sad day for democracy when the President of the United States blatantly ignores the will of the people.”
Congressman John Sullivan (R) Oklahoma

President Obama: To Hell With Democracy

That's the conclusion one can draw from today's endorsement of reconciliation as the way to create legislation that Americans don't want (i.e., Obamacare). If ever there was a time to consider endless foot-dragging, it's now.

But it's still the abortion, stupid, and let's hope pro-life Democrats (such an oxymoron!) will vote no on this monstrosity. Voting them out in November isn't good enough; once it's passed, it will be nearly impossible to repeal, which is precisely why Nancy Pelosi doesn't give a shit if Democrats lose in November. Because it's for your own good. It's what we would want if we knew what was good for us.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

And Here I Thought the Second Amendment Was A National Right

Justices signal they're ready to make gun ownership a national right

Wanted: New Pandagon Watcher

Friend Chuck Serio has suffered the Gold-Plated Witch on Wheels' fate and been banned from Pandagon for being "boring as f*ck" (i.e., intelligent). I'm now looking for a new watcher. If interested, send me an e-mail. Thanks!

A Ratings Booster

Pole dancers seek Olympic recognition

Health Care Shocker!

Individual Mandate in President’s Health Care Plan Apparently Violates Obama’s Tax Pledge

We knew it was just a matter of time before this promise expired as all the rest.

Debunking Liberal Lies Myths About ACORN


As Patterico notes, most are promulgated by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters. Just another reason to deride anyone who uses MM as a source of information.