Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending 2010

Death Panels make a comeback

Earlier this month, the FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION BANNED DOCTORS FROM PRESCRIBING AVASTIN, a potent but costly drug, to patients WITH ADVANCED-STAGE BREAST CANCER. According to the FDA, the drug doesn't offer "a sufficient benefit in slowing disease progression to outweigh the significant risk to patients." Yet in some clinical trials Avastin has halted the spread of patients' cancer for months, PROVIDING RESPITE TO WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES WRACKED BY PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN.

Ponder the FDA's justification—there wasn't "sufficient" benefit in relation to Avastin's risks. SUFFICIENT ACCORDING TO WHOM? For your wife, mother or daughter with terminal breast cancer, ...

This is just the beginning. You can’t take a system (Medicare) which has major problems and take $500 billion out of it to insure another 30 million people and even begin to say you won’t affect healthcare. It nuts to even pretend that you can.

Actually, Bush Vetoed Bill with ‘End-of-Life’ Provisions

I’m going to take the death panel end-of-life planning conundrum down one point at a time to make this very clear for Americans to understand what THE PELOSI-LED DEMOCRATS HAVE DONE TO YOUR HEALTHCARE AND THEIR ATTEMPT TO TAKE COVER UNDER A BUSH-ERA LAW–THE MEDICARE IMPROVEMENT FOR PATIENTS AND PROVIDERS ACT OF 2008.

The Hill reported that the Obama White House attempted to calm Americans’ fears of the dreaded death panels:

The Medicare policy will pay doctors for holding end-of-life-care discussions with patients, according to the Times. A similar provision was dropped from the new healthcare reform law after Republicans accused the administration of withholding care from the sick, elderly and disabled.

However, an administration spokesman said the regulation, which is less specific than the reform law’s draft language, IS ACTUALLY A CONTINUATION OF A POLICY ENACTED UNDER FORMER President George W. Bush.

However, what The Hill’s Jason Millman forgot to mention in his article was that President Bush VETOED the 2008 bill and the Democrats, along with some “good-willed” Republicans OVERRODE BUSH’S VETO forcing him to sign the legislation into law.

The Democrats are from the government, and they are here to help! If you believe this you probably won’t believe that Bush vetoed the bill.

China has seen the future, and it is coal

Cowlitz County in Washington State is across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., which promotes mass transit and urban density and is a green reproach to the rest of us. Recently, Cowlitz did something that might make Portland wonder whether shrinking its carbon footprint matters. COWLITZ APPROVED CONSTRUCTION OF A COAL EXPORT TERMINAL FROM WHICH MILLIONS OF TONS OF U.S. COAL COULD BE SHIPPED TO ASIA ANNUALLY.

Both Oregon and Washington are curtailing the coal-fired generation of electricity, but the future looks to greens as black as coal. THE FUTURE LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE PAST….

I stopped here to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the left, but the article is worth a read. It gives you a perspective and the history of coal and what it’s meant to mankind. After you read it you may want to go back to my December 29th blog entry entitled You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows and see how the new energy is doing this winter.

The year that fizzled

It was the year that the economy started to recover and then slid back into a slump — only to offer reason for renewed hope in the final weeks.

When 2010 began, hiring and consumer spending were finally picking up. But then something changed in the spring — A COMBINATION OF THE DEBT TROUBLES IN EUROPE, THE FADING OF STIMULUS SPENDING AND THE USUAL CAUTION BY BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS after a financial crisis. By the summer, the unemployment rate was rising again, and AMERICANS’ ATTITUDES ABOUT THE FUTURE WERE AGAIN SOURING….

Among the big questions for 2011 are: HOW SEVERE WILL STATE AND LOCAL BUDGET CRISES TURN OUT to be? WILL EUROPE’S DEBT TROUBLES SPREAD TO SPAIN, PORTUGAL or elsewhere? Will Congress and the White House manage to focus on the long-run causes of the deficit — or instead CUT FEDERAL SPENDING IMMEDIATELY AND JEOPARDIZE THE RECOVERY? Will consumers continue to increase their spending and give businesses the confidence to hire?

To look back at 2010 and to look ahead, we have put together a series of charts. If there is an overall message, it’s that the economy still needs a whole lot of work.

It’s actually amusing to read the NYT take on this. They see cutting government spending as “jeopardizing the recovery,” yet they were behind raising taxes on the wealthy during a recession. I guess ideology trumps consistency and common sense in the Grey Lady’s world.

Bush and Obama agree—Environmentalist dismayed

The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision TO DENY POLAR BEARS ENDANGERED SPECIES STATUS.

In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration’s decision to give the polar bear the less-protective “threatened” species designation, a move that will frustrate environmentalists who hoped for stronger protections under the Endangered Species Act.

What is threatened with the global warming hysteria is common sense.

Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts

A new year is around the corner, and some climate scientists and environmental activists say that means we're one step closer to a climate Armageddon. But are we really?

Predicting the weather -- especially a decade or more in advance -- is unbelievably challenging. What's the track record of those most worried about global warming? Decades ago, what did prominent scientists think the environment would be like in 2010? has compiled eight of the most egregiously mistaken predictions, and asked the predictors to reflect on what really happened.

1. Within a few years "CHILDREN JUST AREN'T GOING TO KNOW WHAT SNOW IS." Snowfall will be "a very rare and exciting event." Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000.

Ten years later, in December 2009, London was hit by the heaviest snowfall seen in 20 years. And just last week, a snowstorm forced Heathrow airport to shut down, stranding thousands of Christmas travelers…..

2. "[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[BY 1996] THE PLATTE RIVER OF NEBRASKA WOULD BE DRY, WHILE A CONTINENT-WIDE BLACK BLIZZARD OF PRAIRIE TOPSOIL WILL STOP TRAFFIC ON INTERSTATES, strip paint from houses and shut down computers." Michael Oppenheimer, published in "Dead Heat," St. Martin's Press, 1990…..

That may be in doubt, however. Data from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows that precipitation -- rain and snow -- has increased slightly over the century.

3. "Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and MAY PRODUCE AN ICE-FREE ARCTIC OCEAN BY THE YEAR 2000." Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 1972.
Ice coverage has fallen, though as of last month, the Arctic Ocean had 3.82 million square miles of ice cover -- an area larger than the continental United States -- according to The National Snow and Ice Data Center….

And these are the folks who are saying, “Trust me.” Unless you are Charlie Brown you won’t give Lucy another chance to pull the football away as you try to kick it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The right is right

Judicial Activism and the Left

The left long ago attempted to expunge the derided label of "liberal" in favor of "progressive" (John Kerry's unconvincing plea that "liberal" wasn't a bad word notwithstanding), and THEY ARE NOW ATTEMPTING A SIMILAR LINGUISTIC MANIPULATION. Rather than saying that they don't favor "activism," they assert that conservatives also favor the practice, and so we might as well shift the conversation elsewhere.

I assume most liberals recognize the disingenuousness of their argument. Marbury v. Madison expressed the valid definition of judicial review to which conservative scholars subscribe: should an act of Congress and the Constitution contradict, the Constitution wins - and the courts are required to enforce the law of the Constitution. Judicial activism seeks to remedy perceived social ills through the courts, in order to circumvent the unenlightened laws of a democratic majority, by EMPOWERING COURTS TO STRIKE DOWN LAWS WHICH ARE NOT IN CONFLICT WITH THE CONSTITUTION, BUT (IN THE VIEW OF THE PROPONENT) SHOULD BE.

The latter exalts THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OVER THE LEGISLATIVE as a sort of enlightened priesthood, enforcing a particular social preference on the evolution of American society - IT IS ANTI-DEMOCRATIC, PHILOSOPHICALLY INDEFENSIBLE AND CONTRARY TO AMERICA'S CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN. Exalting the constitution (as per the conservative view of judicial review) is entirely different from exalting the Supreme Court (the result of liberal judicial activism).

The author hits the nail on the head with this. Every time SCOTUS makes a ruling the left doesn’t agree with, they call it judicial activism while the right says judicial activism is finding a new right or restriction that doesn’t appear in the Constitution.

Woman banned from flying

The woman who made national headlines for her near-naked protest at the airport in Oklahoma City is back and once again banned from flying.

A YouTube video put Tammy Banovac in the national spotlight. Banovac says she went through security wearing next-to-nothing, to protest new security rules at airports nationwide.

This truly is a case of my way (the governments) or the highway (banned from flying).

Cliff Collapses, a Homeowner Begs for Help

There are traces of last week's storm all over San Diego County. On Tuesday, one Encinitas woman was still waiting for permission to begin shoring up a cliff that runs along her backyard.

Barbara Lynch must ask the Coastal Commission for permission to fix the bluff that runs along the back of her home at Grandview and Neptune Streets, which collapsed on Friday morning.

Lynch says she has been trying for a decade to get approval from the Coastal Commission to build something to better restrain the bluff from collapsing.

According to Encinitas city officials, the bluff is part of Lynch's property so she is responsible for all repairs, but she is required to get permission from the Coastal Commission before doing any work. Lynch will also have to get a permit from the city to get access to her property from the beach.

Cliff Collapses, a Homeowner Begs for Help
NBC San Diego

Don’t you just love having to ask permission to live your life?

Obama Blocks Probe of Fired IG

Violating its own guarantee of unprecedented transparency, the White House is blocking an investigation into the controversial firing of an inspector general who exposed one of President Obama’s political supporters—a California mayor—for misusing federal funds.

First Lady Michelle Obama was reportedly behind the contentious June dismissal of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin and congressional investigators want to interview the aide (Jackie Norris) who may have given the order. At the time Norris was the First Lady’s chief of staff but the White House counsel’s office has blocked investigators from interviewing her, according to a national news report.

Hmmm, BHO will not be able to stop a congressional probe of this issue. Elections do have consequences.

The Road to 60

Years ago there appeared in the "Humor in Uniform" regular section of Reader's Digest the story of a young soldier at Tank School who had three classes. The first, run by the communications office, stressed that a tank without radio contact with its officers would be incapable of finding and engaging the enemy. Second, the driving class highlighted that a tank without mobility was a stationary artillery piece good only for fixed point defense. And third, THE ORDINANCE CLASS TOLD THE SOLDIERS THAT A TANK WITHOUT A GUN WAS A RATHER LARGE, EXPENSIVE, PORTABLE RADIO.

There are THREE NECESSARY COMPONENTS OF POWER IN WASHINGTON, D.C. The majority of the House of Representatives. The presidency with its pen for signing or vetoing legislation. And third, a 60-vote majority in the upper chamber to overcome a filibuster and pass legislation through the Senate. One or two of those allow you to play defense. You need all three to go on meaningful offense……

The good news is that it is entirely possible -- indeed likely -- that Republicans can win 13 more Senate seats in the 2012 and 2014 elections.

Indeed, it is likely the Republicans could win a 60 seats in the Senate by 2014. It would require that they win 55% of the seats that will be up for grabs (they won 65% in 2010). The Democrats will be defending 65% of the seats that will be contested in these two election cycles, so their job will be much harder.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Craziness in the News

The NY Times at work

First we had this:

Did the bill pledging federal funds for the health care of 9/11 responders become law in the waning hours of the 111th Congress only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?

And DOES THAT MAKE THAT COMEDIAN, JON STEWART — despite all his protestations that what he does has nothing to do with journalism — THE MODERN-DAY EQUIVALENT OF EDWARD R. MURROW?

Come on, comparing Jon Stewart to Edward R. Murrow? Then we have this:

Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming

THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe’s busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted.

All of this cold was met with perfect comic timing by the release of a World Meteorological Organization report showing that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record.

How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is THAT THE OVERALL WARMING OF THE ATMOSPHERE IS ACTUALLY CREATING COLD-WEATHER EXTREMES. Last winter, too, was exceptionally snowy and cold across the Eastern United States and Eurasia, as were seven of the previous nine winters.

It appears the old “Grey Lady” has become the crazy old aunt in the closet. No longer printing all the news that is fit to print, they have transformed into a liberal version of Pravda mixed in with Mad Magazine.

And speaking of crazy old aunts

OUTGOING CONGRESSWOMAN CAROL SHEA-PORTER IMPLIED THE CHINESE COST HER RE-ELECTION IN NOVEMBER and secretly funneled money to help her Republican opponent Frank Guinta during a post-election interview with ABC News.

“THEY’RE IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS EVERYWHERE,” Shea-Porter said in the interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl. “[A]nd it means, for example, that you sit on a committee and you say something about concern about Chinese influence or something, you don’t even know if in the next election, somehow or another, they manage to send some money to some group that now doesn’t even have to say where they got it.”

Now this might just be sour grapes by Ms. Shea-Porter, but it sound a bit more delusional and conspiratorial than that.

Economic Optimism? Yes, I’ll Take That Bet

Five years ago, Matthew R. Simmons and I bet $5,000. It was a wager about the future of energy supplies — a Malthusian pessimist versus a Cornucopian optimist — and now the day of reckoning is nigh: Jan. 1, 2011.

titled “The Breaking Point.” It featured predictions of soaring oil prices from Mr. Simmons, who was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the head of a Houston investment bank specializing in the energy industry, and the author of “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.”

I called Mr. Simmons to discuss a bet. To his credit — and unlike some other Malthusians — he was eager to back his predictions with cash. He expected the price of oil, then about $65 a barrel, to more than triple in the next five years, even after adjusting for inflation. He offered to bet $5,000 that the average price of oil over the course of 2010 would be at least $200 a barrel in 2005 dollars.

I took him up on it, not because I knew much about Saudi oil production or the other “peak oil” arguments that global production was headed downward. I was just following a rule learned from a mentor and a friend, the economist Julian L. Simon.

As the leader of the Cornucopians, the optimists who believed there would always be abundant supplies of energy and other resources, Julian figured that betting was the best way to make his argument. Optimism, he found, didn’t make for cover stories and front-page headlines.

Once in a while, a liberal puts his money where his mouth is. It doesn’t work out well for them. This is why we don’t want to let liberals put our money where their mouths are.

GAO Sees Problems in Government’s Financial Management

The U.S. Government Accountability Office SAID IT COULD NOT RENDER AN OPINION ON THE 2010 CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.

What a surprise! The government accounting office says government accounting is bad!! You might want to reread the previous article.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

A whole lot of wind: 'They have been consuming more electricity than they generate'

This is the season for quizzes. So ¬fingers on buzzers, here’s your starter for ten. In percentage terms, HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY DO BRITAIN’S 3,150 WIND ¬TURBINES SUPPLY TO THE ¬NATIONAL GRID?

Is it: a) five per cent; b) ten per cent; or c) 20 per cent? Come on, I’m going to have to hurry you. No conferring.

Time’s up. THE CORRECT ANSWER IS: NONE OF THE ABOVE. Yesterday afternoon, the figure was just 1.6 per cent, according to the official website of the wholesale electricity market.

Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.


So for all of you greenies who want the government to require the use of wind power, solar or other renewable energy sources, remember that the science just isn’t there. Can they make a contribution? Yes. Do you want to rely on this contribution? Absolutely not.

Hot Sensations Vs. Cold Facts

The media owe us better coverage on the climate than alarmism.

As 2010 draws to a close, DO YOU REMEMBER HEARING ANY GOOD NEWS FROM THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ABOUT CLIMATE? Like maybe a headline proclaiming "RECORD LOW 2009 AND 2010 CYCLONIC ACTIVITY REPORTED: GLOBAL WARMING THEORISTS PERPLEXED"? Or "NASA STUDIES REPORT OCEANS ENTERING NEW COOLING PHASE: ALARMISTS FEAR CLIMATE SCIENCE BUDGETS IN PERIL"? Or even anything bad that isn't blamed on anthropogenic (man-made) global warming--of course other than what is attributed to George W. Bush? (Conveniently, the term "AGW" covers both.)

Remember all the media brouhaha about GLOBAL WARMING CAUSING HURRICANES that commenced following the devastating U.S. 2004 season? Opportunities to capitalize on those disasters were certainly not lost on some U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change officials. A special press conference called by IPCC spokesman Kevin Trenberth announced "Experts warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense activity."

But there was a problem. CHRISTOPHER LANDSEA, A TOP U.S. EXPERT ON THE SUBJECT, REPEATEDLY NOTIFIED THE IPCC THAT NO RESEARCH HAD BEEN CONDUCTED TO SUPPORT THAT CLAIM--not in the Atlantic basin, or in any other basin. After receiving no replies, he publicly resigned from all IPCC activities. And while the press conference received tumultuous global media coverage, Mother Nature didn't pay much attention. SUBSEQUENT HURRICANE SEASONS RETURNED TO AVERAGE PATTERNS noted historically over the past 150 years, before exhibiting recent record lows with no 2010 U.S. landfalls.

Global warming as a political issue is current on life support by its believers. It is no longer credible and the latest claim that the 2010 will be one of the three warmest years on record rather than supporting their hypothesis, simply brings it in to disrepute.

If you think it’s cold now on the East Coast, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

British meteorologist Piers Corbyn appeared on Fox and Friends to not only celebrate his accurate prediction of a bone-chillingly cold winter, but to also share HIS DISGUST WITH WHAT HE BELIEVES TO BE THE “FAILED SCIENCE” BEHIND GLOBAL WARMING. Despite it often being mentioned that the consensus in the scientific community is that global warming is undisputedly occurring, Corbyn proudly goes against the grain and advocates for his hypothesis of the coming global cooling.

PREDICTING IN NOVEMBER THAT WINTER IN EUROPE WOULD BE “EXCEPTIONALLY COLD AND SNOWY, like Hell frozen over at times,” Corbyn suggested we should sooner prepare for another Ice Age than worry about global warming……

Regardless of the politics behind the scientific debate, what everyone should be upset about is if Corbyn’s next prediction is accurate, that the “NORTHEAST AND EAST USA [WILL] SUFFER THE MOST HORRENDOUS BLIZZARDS FOR DECADES.” He even tweeted out his warning saying “you ain’t seen nothing yet” this winter.

Grab an extra sweater and watch the clip from Fox News at the link below.

It should be fun watching the alarmists try to spin this if he’s right.

End-of-Life Decisions and the Bureaucracy

When I learned today that the federal bureaucracy had promulgated a rule compensating physicians for the time they spend counseling patients on end-of-life health-care decisions, I wasn’t surprised. A SIMILAR PROVISION WAS DROPPED FROM THE OBAMACARE BILL, but anyone who understands the profoundly bureaucratic nature of contemporary government knew that that was not necessarily the end of it. THE 2,700-PAGE LAW IS DESTINED — IF IT IS NOT ROLLED WAY BACK OR REPEALED — TO GENERATE OVER 100,000 PAGES OF ENABLING REGULATIONS. In such a milieu, that which can’t be obtained legislatively can often be gotten through the bureaucratic back door. In fact, as I’ve noted elsewhere, one commission created by the law, THE MEDICARE INDEPENDENT PAYMENT ADVISORY BOARD, CAN EVEN ENACT LAWS OVER THE PRESIDENT’S VETO.

When I was in the service (Navy) I had piles of regulation books in my stateroom. They basically defined everything. The problem was there was no possible way to know what was in them. You might have a question that you would look up, but in a day you would make hundreds of decisions that you wouldn’t. What we found was that these books were not “rule books,” but “blame books.” If something went wrong they would look it up and see if you followed the regulations. This bill must be repealed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Growth and Taxes

But your honor, Santa did it first

You’d better watch out,
You’d better not cry,
You’d better not pout;
I’m telling you why.
He’s bugging your room,
He’s keeping a file
And running a tail.
Santa Claus is tapping
Your phone.

Surveills you out of doors,
And if that doesn’t get the goods,
Then he’ll use provocateurs.
So–you mustn’t assume

That you are secure.
On Christmas Eve
Santa Claus is tapping
Your phone.

Now here’s the scary part, this was supposedly written for and sung at a US Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel Christmas party DURING THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION. I guess the liberals only oppose government snooping during conservative administrations.

Looking for growth? Look to eliminate state income taxes

For those of us who are demographic buffs, Christmas came four days early when Census Bureau Director Robert Groves announced yesterday the first results of the 2010 Census and the reapportionment of House seats (and therefore electoral votes) among the states.

THE RESIDENT POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES, HE TOLD US IN A WEBCAST, WAS 308,745,538. THAT'S AN INCREASE OF 9.7 PERCENT FROM THE 281,421,906 IN THE 2000 CENSUS -- the smallest proportional increase than in any decade other than the Depression 1930s but a pretty robust increase for an advanced nation. It's hard to get a grasp on such large numbers. So let me share a few observations on what they mean.

First, the great engine of growth in America is not the Northeast Megalopolis, which was growing faster than average in the mid-20th century, or California, which grew lustily in the succeeding half-century. IT IS TEXAS.

Its population grew 21 percent in the last decade, from nearly 21 million to more than 25 million. That was more rapid growth than in any states except for four much smaller ones (Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho).

Texas' diversified economy, business-friendly regulations and low taxes have attracted not only immigrants but substantial inflow from the other 49 states. As a result, the 2010 reapportionment gives Texas four additional House seats. In contrast, California gets no new House seats, for the first time since it was admitted to the Union in 1850.

There's a similar lesson in the fact that Florida gains two seats in the reapportionment and New York loses two.

This leads to a second point, which is that growth tends to be stronger where taxes are lower. SEVEN OF THE NINE STATES THAT DO NOT LEVY AN INCOME TAX GREW FASTER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. The other two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, had the fastest growth in their regions, the Midwest and New England.

I guess it is true. Whatever you reward, you will get more of and whatever you punish you will get less of.

America’s 17 most-bankrupt cities

Have a gander at America’s 17 most-bankrupt cities, and consider the party variable: TWO REPUBLICAN MAYORS, TWO INDEPENDENTS, ONE CITY SO BANKRUPT THAT IT IS IN STATE RECEIVERSHIP — AND TWELVE DEMOCRATIC MAYORS, meaning the Democrats lead 70.5 percent of the most-bankrupt cities, by my always-suspect English-major math.

And you thought their record was bad in Congress.

And get a load of the size of these budget shortfalls: Camden, N.J., at 15 percent, Hamtramck, Mich., at 17 percent, Paterson, N.J., at 24 percent, Central Falls, R.I., at 22 percent.

What’s the obvious answer if you are a democrat? Raise taxes of course (and don’t read the previous posting).

BHO: Calm or oblivious?

In June 2009, according to the New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn, chief Obama adviser David Axelrod briefed the president on polling numbers showing the unpopularity of his health-care plans, telling him that “THESE NUMBERS ARE PRETTY DISCOURAGING—THERE’S A POLITICAL COST TO THIS.” Obama responded with a story of a cancer patient who lacked health insurance and told Axelrod, “LET’S KEEP FIGHTING.”

In August 2009, Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel suggested that they TURN AWAY FROM HEALTH CARE TO SPARE THE PARTY A POLITICAL DISASTER. Obama refused, telling some of his aides, “I feel lucky.” A month later, according to David Paul Kuhn of Real Clear Politics, Virginia Senator James Webb visited President Obama in the White House and “told him this was going to be a disaster.” As Webb described it, OBAMA SOMEWHAT BLITHELY “BELIEVED IT WAS ALL GOING TO WORK OUT.” In retrospect, the preternaturally calm-in-a-crisis Obama celebrated in best-selling books like Game Change seemed less calm than bizarrely oblivious.

Was Obama sticking to his principles or rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? From what I see, it was the latter.

Victory Lap? Not really.

The American people gave their assessment of Obama, Pelosi and Reid on Nov. 2, 2010. Every single piece of major legislation they passed was written in secret, unread by most of those voting for it and deliberately misrepresented to the American people prior to enactment.

For two years the Democrats refused to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for any American. The size of the Obama humiliation in passing the two-year extension of 2001 and 2003 was not just the tax cut for higher-income Americans. It was the whole bill. He spent two years - as did Reid and Pelosi - not extending it for anyone. And Obama swallowed cutting the death tax from 55% to 35%.

THE BIG ENCHILADA THAT OBAMA, REID AND PELOSI FOUGHT FOR, DEMANDED AND LOST WAS A $1.2 TRILLION OMNIBUS CRAMMED WITH 6,000+ CORRUPT EARMARKS. They were stopped and all the corrupt pork now sits on the side of the road rotting. We say what more Obama/Reid/Pelosi would look like...more spending, more earmarks, more corruption ..good riddance.

This above was written by Grover Norquist President of Americans for Tax Reform.

Death Panels


Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

So either Sarah Palin was right and President Obama was wrong, or Sarah Palin was telling the truth, while President Obama was not. In fact, the Democrats dropped an every five year “end of life” planning and have now put in a yearly “end of life” planning sessions they would pay doctors to do.  And what happened to the promise of an open administration? 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back from vacation

Health care rationing

In all societies without exception, supply must equal demand. This may be done by nature, as in hunter-gatherer societies, by the free market in capitalist nations, or by the government in socialist or communist countries. But someone or something must balance the two. Another word for balancing supply and demand is "rationing."

"Ration" comes from the Latin ratio (to reason or think) and can be defined as "allowing an individual a fixed amount of a commodity." If health care is a right, the "allower" or balancer of supply and demand is the government, which must and will ration health care. That is what occurs in all universal health care countries, including France, Germany, Scandinavian nations, Taiwan, and Japan. Consider Great Britain with its National Health Service (NHS).

Because Great Britain cannot afford its current level of demand for health care, the NHS is cutting services. SERVICES ALREADY DELETED OR TO BE CUT INCLUDE HEART SURGERY OVER THE AGE OF 65, KIDNEY DIALYSIS OVER 55, MUCH HOSPICE CARE, MANY CANCER TREATMENTS, AND MOST NURSING HOMES.

The NHS has a commission (department) called NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. As an aside, note that the president's choice for Director of Medicare, Dr. Don Berwick, is an admirer of the NICE and wants to import to the USA.

The responsibility of NICE is to determine which medical treatments have the best cost/benefit ratios for the nation, to approve payment for those, and to deny payment for all other treatments. Note what the italicized words mean (to them). Cost considers only the immediate outlay and does not calculate avoided costs, or productivity gains or losses. The benefit is national, based on the entire population and not the individual's best interest. If a specific patient needs something that does not work in the majority, the specific patient doesn't get it.

This is the downside to the new healthcare “reform” package. And like Sarah Palin said, NICE is becoming a “death panel” in the UK. How long will it be before we get one in the USA?

Global Warming strikes again!

A storm front dumping A 'MONSTER BLIZZARD' ON THE EAST COAST of America is causing travel chaos after Christmas.

A predicted two-day snow storm has struck the New York region and the northeast, closing roads and rail lines, GROUNDING MORE THAN 2,000 FLIGHTS, and keeping all but the most determined of shoppers from post-Christmas sales.

Up to 25 inches of snow fell in some areas, with more expected as people began journeys home after the holidays.

The U.S. National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings from Maine to New

The headline is supposed to be ironic, but AGW believers have created a theory that fits any kind of weather we have. Too hot? AGW. Too cold? AGW again. No snow? AGW. Huge blizzards? AGW.

You name it, the cause is global warming

Prognosticators who wrote the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, global warming report in 2007 predicted an inevitable, century-long rise in global temperatures of two degrees or more. Only higher temperatures were foreseen. Moderate or even lower temperatures, as we're experiencing now, WEREN'T EVEN LISTED AS A POSSIBILITY.

Since at least 1998, however, no significant warming trend has been noticeable. Unfortunately, none of the 24 models used by the IPCC views that as possible. They are at odds with reality.

Karl Popper, the late, great philosopher of science, noted that for something to be called scientific, it must be, as he put it, "falsifiable." That is, for something to be scientifically true, you must be able to test it to see if it's false. That's what scientific experimentation and observation do. THAT'S THE ESSENCE OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD.

Unfortunately, the prophets of climate doom violate this idea. No matter what happens, it always confirms their basic premise that the world is getting hotter. The weather turns cold and wet? It's global warming, they say. Weather turns hot? Global warming. No change? Global warming. More hurricanes? Global warming. No hurricanes? You guessed it.

NOTHING CAN DISPROVE THEIR THESIS.  Not even the extraordinarily frigid weather now creating havoc across most of the Northern Hemisphere. The Los Angeles Times, in a piece on the region's strangely wet and cold weather, paraphrases Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert as saying, "In general, as the globe warms, weather conditions tend to be more extreme and volatile."

Did December show that Obama can make a comeback?

Very well then, ALL OBAMA HAS TO DO IS "TRIANGULATE" -- i.e., pretend to agree with both sides -- and the great unwashed "centrist" electorate will flock back to his banner. After all, it worked for the original "Comeback Kid."

For starters, this ignores several major distinctions between Clinton and Obama. Slick Willie learned his skills growing up in the crime-syndicate town of Hot Springs, Ark. Say what you will about those old gangsters, they knew how to run an effective political operation, by turns tough and solicitous, happy to raise money for the widows and orphans their trigger men had just created.

By contrast, OBAMA IS A DISPLACED PERSON ADOPTED BY THE FAR CRUDER CHICAGO MACHINE, which turned his superficial charm and his palpable animus against the American ideal into a winning combination in the perfect storm 2008 election.

More important, it's unclear that Obama has it in him to compromise and pretend to like it. NO ONE COULD FAKE SINCERITY LIKE CLINTON, but Obama is a far different sort of political animal. His tax-deal press conference was a remarkable glimpse behind the Wizard of Oz curtain at A SCOWLING MAN WHO BELIEVES HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS ARE "HOSTAGE-TAKERS" AND ENEMIES -- not just of the people, but of him personally

I’ve heard the liberal pundits talk about how much Obama has gotten done and then talk about the future and how it will only work if a few (actually quite a few in the House) Republicans will go along with him. In fact, what we saw in December was the President actually negotiating with the Republicans while he still had big majorities in Congress. And this got actual bi-partisan results. Too bad he didn’t try this from day one.

Immigration reform

When Republican lawmakers take over the House and gain strength in the Senate after the new year, a decadelong drive to overhaul the immigration system and legalize some of the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants seems all but certain to come to a halt.

When New York Republican Peter T. King takes over the House Homeland Security Committee in January, he plans to propose legislation to reverse what he calls an "obvious lack of urgency" by the Obama administration to secure the border.

Among other initiatives, King wants to see the Homeland Security Department expand a program that enlists the help of local police departments in arresting suspected illegal immigrants.,0,1495981.story

The rush to pass the “Dream Act” to legalize new Democrat voters is now officially dead.

One more time: Mr. Rich were the 1950s horrible or wonderful? Make up your mind.

Nothing irritates New York Times columnist Frank Rich more than Republicans who -- in Rich's view -- want to turn the clock back to the 1950s. THAT LONG-AGO TIME IN AMERICA WAS NEVER THE IDYLL it is sometimes portrayed to be, Rich believes, but rather A "PHONY NIRVANA" RIFE WITH RACISM, SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA, AND ECONOMIC INJUSTICE.

So it is surprising that in A NEW COLUMN, "WHO KILLED THE DISNEYLAND DREAM?" Rich waxes nostalgic about…the 1950s. He tells the story of Robbins Barstow, a union official living in suburban Connecticut who in the 50s was an avid home-movie maker. In 1956, Barstow, his wife, and three children won a trip to Disneyland in a contest sponsored by 3M, the makers of Scotch Tape. The home movie Barstow made of the experience, "Disneyland Dream," portrays the happy family boarding an old Constellation propeller aircraft to fly to the paradise of Southern California and enjoy the wonders of Disneyland. It has become something of a classic of post-war Americana.

To Rich, THE BARSTOWS LIVED IN "AN AMERICA WHERE GREAT CORPORATIONS LIKE 3M CAN BE COUNTED UPON TO MAKE INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS, SUSTAIN AN AMERICAN WORK FORCE, AND REWARD THEIR CUSTOMERS WITH A CRACKER JACK PRIZE NOW AND THEN." Even when American optimism was shaken, as it was after the Soviets' launch of Sputnik in 1957, there was a "bedrock faith in the American way" that leaders like John F. Kennedy could call on to "reclaim America's heroic destiny."

More than anything, Rich asserts, THE AMERICA OF THE 1950S BROUGHT PROMISE, HOPE, AND OPTIMISM. "The sense that the American promise of social and economic mobility was attainable to anyone who sought it permeates 'Disneyland Dream' from start to finish," writes Rich. "Economic equality seemed within reach in 1956, at least for the vast middle class."

I remember a cartoon in which a mother was disciplining her child saying: "Don't (slap)!  Hit (slap)! Your sister (slap).  Most times the left doesn't realize how ironic their positions are.

A Potato Diet?

Mr. Voigt has posted the results of physical examinations, including bloodwork, from the beginning, middle and end of the diet. The change he experienced during that time is nothing short of remarkable. HE SHED 21 POUNDS, his fasting glucose decreased by 10 mg/dL (104 to 94 mg/dL), his serum triglycerides dropped by nearly 50%, his HDL cholesterol increased slightly, and his calculated LDL cholesterol dropped by a stunning 41% (142 to 84 mg/dL). The changes in his HDL, triglycerides and fasting glucose are consistent with improved insulin sensitivity and are not consistent with a shift of LDL particle size to the dangerous "small, dense" variety.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Obamacare and Progressivism

ObamaCare is Now on the Ropes
The decision of Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia v. Sebelius is no bird of passage that will easily be pushed aside as the case winds its way up to its inevitable disposition in the United States Supreme Court. THE UNITED STATES GAVE THE CASE ITS BEST SHOT, AND IT IS NOT LIKELY THAT IT WILL COME UP WITH A NEW SET OF ARGUMENTS THAT WILL STRENGTHEN ITS HAND IN SUBSEQUENT LITIGATION.

The key successful move for Virginia was that it found a way to sidestep the well known 1942 decision of the Supreme Court in Wickard v. Filburn, which held in effect that the power to regulate commerce among the several states extended to decisions of farmers to feed their own grain to their own cows. Wickard does not pass the laugh test if the issue is whether it bears any fidelity to the original constitutional design. It was put into place for the rather ignoble purpose of making sure that the federally sponsored cartel arrangements for agriculture could be properly administered.


It is just that line that controls this case. The opponents of the individual mandate say that they do not have to purchase insurance against their will. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAY REGULATE HOW PEOPLE PARTICIPATE IN THE MARKET, BUT IT CANNOT MAKE THEM PARTICIPATE IN THE MARKET. For if it could be done in this case it could be done in all others.

This will help you understand the decision.


The original progressivism arose in the 1880s and 1890s and flourished during the first two decades of the 20th century. It is associated with, among others, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, scholars Fredrick Jackson Turner and Charles Beard, reformer Jane Addams, theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, philosopher and educator John Dewey, and journalist and New Republic founder Herbert Croly.

AT THEIR BEST, THE ORIGINAL PROGRESSIVES RESPONDED TO DRAMATIC SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC UPHEAVALS GENERATED BY THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, opposed real Gilded Age abuses, and promoted salutary social and political reforms. THEY TOOK THE SIDE OF THE EXPLOITED, THE WEAK, AND THE WRONGED. They fought political corruption and sought to make political institutions more responsive to the will of the people. And they advanced programs and policies that, in a changing world, brought liberal democracy in America more in line with the Declaration of Independence’s and the Constitution’s original promise of freedom and equality for all.

The original progressivism arose in the 1880s and 1890s and flourished during the first two decades of the 20th century.

But progressivism went astray owing to a defect in its basic orientation. IT REJECTED THE SOUND PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT EMBODIED IN THE CONSTITUTION, BECAUSE OF A CRITICAL DIFFERENCE OF OPINION ABOUT HUMAN NATURE. Progressives believed that great improvements in the moral character of humanity and in the scientific understanding of society had rendered the Constitution’s scheme of checks and balances — or better its separation, balancing, and blending of power — unnecessary to prevent majority tyranny and the abuse of power by officeholders. Whereas the makers of the American Constitution believed that the imperfections of human nature and the tendency of people to develop competing interests and aims were permanent features of moral and political life, progressives insisted that PROGRESS ALLOWED HUMAN BEINGS, OR AT LEAST THE MOST TALENTED AND BEST EDUCATED HUMAN BEINGS, TO RISE ABOVE THESE LIMITATIONS AND CONVERGE IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT WAS TRUE AND RIGHT.

Progressivism basically ends up with a group of elitist telling themselves and others that they know better than everyone else. From Michelle Obama declaring “WE CAN’T JUST LEAVE IT UP TO THE PARENTS.” To Barack Obama saying “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, THEY CLING TO GUNS OR RELIGION OR ANTIPATHY TO PEOPLE WHO AREN’T LIKE THEM,” to Rahm Emmanuel declaring “Never let a crisis go to waste,” you have a political movement that is the antithesis of what they declare themselves to be concealing ITS DEVOTION TO TOP-DOWN GOVERNMENT IN BOTTOM-UP RHETORIC.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is the Bell tolling for Obamacare?

Individual Mandate found Unconstitutional

Richmond, Va., federal judge Henry Hudson has issued a ruling finding part of President Barack Obama’s health-care law unconstitutional

Specifically, Judge Hudson invalidated the part of the landmark healthcare law that requires individuals to buy health insurance.


The lawsuit, brought by Virginia’s attorney general, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, is the FIRST COURT RULING AGAINST THE LAW SINCE PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SIGNED IT IN MARCH. More than 20 federal lawsuits have been filed against the overhaul, and judges in two of those cases ruled in favor of the Obama administration.

While Monday’s decision creates a headache for the law’s supporters, it doesn’t mean that states or the federal government must stop implementing the law.

Judge Hudson DIDN’T GRANT THE PLAINTIFFS’ REQUEST FOR AN IMMEDIATE NATIONWIDE INJUNCTION against the entire law or against the requirement that most Americans carry insurance.

This is a major setback for those who want to force everyone in America to be insured. I believe the law will be struck down completely and leaving it to the new congress to work on real Healthcare reform.

Harry Reid: The Senate’s Dictator

We’ve all heard the complaint: REPUBLICANS ARE THE “PARTY OF NO.” But the GOP’s historic number of filibusters is THE ONLY VIABLE RESPONSE TO SEN. HARRY REID’S UNPRECEDENTEDLY AUTHORITARIAN RULE OF THE SENATE. Senator Reid has blocked the minority from amending bills more than any Senate majority leader in history — and MORE TIMES THAN THE LAST FOUR SENATE MAJORITY LEADERS COMBINED.

How does Senator Reid do this? He uses his right to be recognized first by the chair to offer just enough amendments to bills to block any further amendments. These amendments are usually meaningless, like changing a word or a date, but they effectively block the minority’s opportunity. This is A CLEAR ABUSE OF THE SPIRIT, IF NOT THE LETTER, OF THE SENATE’S RULES, and that is one reason why we have witnessed Republicans’ frequent use of the filibuster…..

But no matter. It was Reid’s way or the highway. In response, Minority Leader McConnell and his team refused to supply the few votes needed to get to 60.

The media and liberal pundits are screaming about Republican obstructionism. Yet they ignore the fact that this is the only viable response to Democrats’ autocratic and a historic governance of what was once the world’s most deliberative body.

This is definitely worth the read. Are the Republicans the party of no or is Harry Reid the most dictatorial Majority Leader in recent history?

Reality hits the Democrats

Democrats are contending with a complex set of circumstances and emotions. They are reminded daily of their severe election losses because the victims — their friends and colleagues — are still among them.

Republicans are steadily and very publicly preparing for their House ascension by making pronouncements, electing committee leaders and filling their new slots on the panels. In some cases, REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS AND TOP AIDES STOP BY TO CHECK OUT THE DEMOCRATIC OFFICES THEY WILL SOON OCCUPY. DEMOCRATS ARE VISITING THE SMALLER QUARTERS THEY WILL SOON BE WORKING IN……..

One top Democratic leader said that the party was no stranger to losing and that it had managed to cope with defeats like that of Senator John Kerry to President George W. Bush in 2004. But it was not as if they were being tossed from the White House. And THEY FELT THEN THAT THE PARTY WAS ON THE RISE.

But AT THE MOMENT, A RESURRECTION OF CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS SEEMS DISTANT, the idea of recapturing the House in two years is a long shot, and the party is bracing for serious electoral trouble in the 2012 Senate races.

And this year’s loss involves relinquishing something very big — the hard-won control of the House. Clearly, it hurts.

“We only had it for four years,” one senior Democrat lamented. “It took so long to get it back, and NOW IT IS ALL GONE.”

I think the worst part is that since the Democrats still have control of the Senate, even trying to blame the Republicans in 2012 will not be a very good strategy as the Republicans don’t control the congress. Would I rather the Republicans control the Senate? Yes. Would the Democrats? They should.

Van Hollen says Obama’s deal will pass

Appearing on Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) said that despite some indications to the contrary, HOUSE DEMOCRATS DO NOT INTEND TO OBSTRUCT THE PASSAGE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S TAX PACKAGE.

Van Hollen maintained that Democrats’ primary objection was over the estate tax, and said that while Democrats intend to “have that debate” — perhaps by holding a vote, or series of votes, on just the estate tax provision — but they would not block the deal. “We’re not going to hold this thing up at the end of the day,” he said.

That came as a surprise to Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), appearing opposite Van Hollen on the program. Ryan said Democratic rhetoric over the estate tax — including threatening to block the deal — fit well with the “hostage-taking” metaphor used against Republicans. Indeed, Van Hollen’s comments today signaled a change of tone. He had suggested last week that House Democrats were digging in for a much more aggressive fight over the deal. “We’ve got till the end of December,” he told The Huffington Post.

Do you get the idea the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing with the Democrats now?

What’s the problem with the Bush Tax Cuts? That they are the BUSH tax cuts

They still support the deficit-financed middle class tax cuts and payroll tax holiday. David Limbaugh argues that IT IS ABOUT A DESIRE TO GET AT THE RICH. I don't think that is it. A desire to see higher marginal tax rates on the rich might be a reason to oppose keeping the top marginal income tax rate at 35 percent rather than 39.9 percent but it doesn't begin to explain the current freakout. I THINK A LOT OF THIS IS ABOUT GEORGE W. BUSH. Repealing the "Bush tax cut" on the "rich" WOULD HAVE BEEN A VICTORY OVER BUSH and one more step toward obliterating his economic legacy. I wouldn't discount this kind of pettiness. I remember a debate in 2004 where Howard Dean suggested repealing all of the Bush tax cuts. The other Democrats reminded him that some of the tax cuts were actually quite popular even among Democrats. DEAN THEN SUGGESTED REPEALING ALL THE BUSH TAX CUTS AND THEN RE-PASSING SOME OF THEM. This isn't even about economics. It is about PRIDE AND VENGEANCE. Now Bush has gotten the better of them again and worst of all Obama helped Bush make fools out of liberals one more time.

This is an interesting take on the situation.

Surgeon General Jumps the Shark

Let’s all thank Surgeon General Regina Benjamin for demonstrating beyond all doubt last week that NANNYISM IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN SMOKING.

The Office of the Surgeon General just released a report claiming that A SINGLE PUFF OF A CIGARETTE OR A SINGLE INHALATION OF SECONDHAND SMOKE CAN PERMANENTLY DAMAGE ONE’S HEALTH AND PERHAPS LEAD TO DEATH. Now we know what all those blindfolded condemned men given one last puff as they stood before firing squads really died from.

While no one disputes that too much smoking is unhealthy, the new report demonizing any smoking or even incidental exposure to secondhand smoke is clearly over the top.

Certainly any exposure to tobacco smoke will have some sort of a discernible physiological effect — just like virtually every sensory experience. But Benjamin asserts that even one of those physiological events, however transient and reversible, can cause harm and possibly even lead to death. As commonsense and everyday experience informs (most of) us, this is ridiculous.

So how does Benjamin back up her assertions? Well, she really doesn’t.

I’m not sure if the left is appallingly stupid or they simply think everyone else it, but this has to rank in the STUPIDITY HALL OF FAME.

From Judy Curry’s blog

Scientists involved in the IPCC advanced their careers, obtained personal publicity, and some gained a seat at the big policy tables. This career advancement of IPCC scientists was done with the complicity of the professional societies and the institutions that fund science. EAGER FOR THE PUBLICITY, HIGH IMPACT JOURNALS SUCH AS NATURE, SCIENCE, AND PNAS FREQUENTLY PUBLISH SENSATIONAL BUT DUBIOUS PAPERS THAT SUPPORT THE CLIMATE ALARM NARRATIVE…..Further, the institutions that support science use the publicity to argue for more funding to support climate research and its impacts. And the broader scientific community inadvertently becomes complicit in all this. When the IPCC consensus is attacked by deniers and the forces of “anti-science,” scientists all join in bemoaning these dark forces fighting a war against science, and support the IPCC against its critics. THE MEDIA ALSO BOUGHT INTO THIS, BY ELIMINATING BALANCE IN FAVOR OF THE IPCC CONSENSUS.”

“Changing the funding priorities is key. We need to reduce reliance on building ever more complex climate models for being the primary source of reducing uncertainties regarding climate change.

Judy Curry is a mainstream climate scientist who sees the weakness in what is happening in the climate debate. She has become an outcast not for what she says, but for simply not toeing the company line. She wants science to get back to the business of science and to get out of the business of being a political advocate. In brief, she is the little kid asking why the King has no clothes on?

Oh how the mighty have fallen.



This is the first time Gallup asked Americans to retrospectively rate Bush’s job performance. And it was a stunning turnaround from HIS LOW POINT OF 25 PERCENT IN NOVEMBER 2008. The 47 percent number is 13 points higher than the last Gallup poll taken before Bush left office in 2009 and the highest rating for him since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

This is a far cry from the Obama who told us “We are the one we’ve been waiting for,” and people actually took him seriously.

Michelle Obama

In remarks prior to President Barack Obama signing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids legislation into law today, First Lady Michelle Obama said that meeting children’s nutritional needs is “ultimately the responsibility of parents,” adding that the law is necessary to make certain children are properly fed.

“It’s clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well,” the first lady said at the signing ceremony at the White House. “WE CAN’T JUST LEAVE IT UP TO THE PARENTS.”

Mrs. Obama seems to have a knack for saying the wrong thing or at least saying in a way that isn’t politic. She could have said, “we need to support the parents” or this legislation will make it easier for students and parents.” But like most liberals she truly feels people cannot take care of themselves and their children without the government’s help.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Massive disarray in DC

Obama’s approval rating continues to drop

The biggest reason for Obama's fall: a SHARP DROP IN APPROVAL AMONG DEMOCRATS AND LIBERALS, apparently unhappy with his moves toward the center since he led the party to landslide losses in November's midterm elections. At the same time, he's gained nothing among independents.

"HE'S HAVING THE WORST OF BOTH WORLDS RIGHT NOW," said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the national survey.

"As he moves to the center, HE'S NOT PICKING UP SUPPORT AMONG INDEPENDENTS and he's having some fall-off among his base. If his strategy is to gain independents and keep the Democrats in tow, it isn't working so far."

The poll was taken from Dec. 2 through Wednesday, as the president proposed a two-year freeze on federal civilian workers' pay and cut a deal with congressional Republicans to extend expiring tax cuts — even those for the wealthy, which he'd opposed.

Overall, just 42 PERCENT OF REGISTERED VOTERS APPROVE of how he's doing his job, while 50 percent disapprove.

Read more:

Democrats generally do better among registered voters than they do with likely voters. This is not good for Obama.

Milbank: Obama finally stands his ground

But rather than caving in to liberals' complaints and allowing Democrats on Capitol Hill to take the lead - as Obama did to his peril over the past two years - HE HAS PUSHED BACK WITH THE FULL FORCE OF HIS OFFICE. In private persuasion and in public talk, the White House has delivered to disgruntled liberals a message summed up by Vice President Biden in a private session with lawmakers on Wednesday: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.

THIS IS A HOPEFUL SIGN that Obama has learned the lessons of the health-care debate, when he acceded too easily to the wishes of Hill Democrats, allowing them to slow the legislation and engage in a protracted debate on the public option. Months of delay gave Republicans time to make their case against "socialism" and prevented action on more pressing issues, such as job creation. Democrats paid for that with 63 seats.

Things began the same way this time. The White House left matters up to congressional Democrats, who postponed a vote on taxes until after the election. BUT WHEN LAWMAKERS CONTINUED THEIR FOOT-DRAGGING, OBAMA CUT THEM OUT OF THE NEGOTIATIONS.

The rift isn't about ideology; Obama knows as well as DeFazio does that cutting the estate tax is a dumb way to stimulate the economy. IT'S ABOUT STRATEGY: The alternative to a deal, administration officials say, was to waste the next few months fighting over taxes - putting Democrats on the hook for voter anger and economic damage that would have come from an increase in rates on Jan. 1 - only to wind up with a deal that likely would be worse with Republicans controlling the House.

Inevitably, Democrats on the Hill now complain that Obama's deal is "grossly unfair." In a measure

Milbank appears to be whistling by the graveyard. The schism that has opened up on the hard left is a major blow to the Democrats. Their only real hope now is that the Republicans screw up as badly as the Democrats did the past two years.

Warning for the left: “Leave him alone!”

Since the Democratic Party's "shellacking" in last month's midterm elections, SPECULATION HAS BEEN GROWING ABOUT A POSSIBLE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CHALLENGE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA launched by his party's disgruntled left. Talk of a primary challenge has only ratcheted up following Obama's announcement of the tax deal he cut this week with congressional Republicans.

Warning: If the Democratic left does to Obama in 2012 what it did to incumbent President Carter in 1980 via Ted Kennedy's damaging Democratic presidential primary challenge - or what the Republican right did to incumbent President George H.W. Bush in 1992 with Pat Buchanan's entry into the GOP primary - THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AS A WHOLE WILL FIND ITSELF PAYING A STEEP PRICE FOR YEARS TO COME.
That's a promise, not a threat……

The author goes on to detail what will happen if Obama is challenged in the primaries and how it will hurt the Democrat Party. From what I see, although logical, it is not likely to sway those who want to challenge Obama. Logic is not their strongpoint.

If you won’t waste the money, we know others who will

This left the Obama administration with a dilemma. In the rush to put together the $814 billion stimulus package, the administration had packed it with funding for projects—like electric cars and high-speed rail—that had long been favorites of the we-know-better crowd in Washington. Voters of two Midwestern states, judging from the elections and polling on the issue, had looked at the administration’s $1.2 billion stimulus gift and said, with characteristic Midwestern politeness, “NO, THANK YOU.”

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WASN’T HAVING IT, these voters not understanding what’s good for them. So they insisted: YOU’LL TAKE THE DAMN TRAINS—OR ELSE! Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told both Kasich and Walker within days of their election that IF THEIR STATES DIDN’T WANT THE MONEY, OTHER STATES WERE EAGER TO GET THEIR HANDS ON IT. In other words, if you don’t want to waste our money, we’ll find someone who will.

Walker proposed that the money be repurposed to fund Wisconsin’s real transportation needs: improving the state’s bridges and highways. ……..

Kasich, a noted deficit hawk, PROPOSED THAT OHIO RETURN THE $400 MILLION TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BE USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR DEFICIT REDUCTION. Three Wisconsin congressmen, including Representative Paul Ryan, introduced legislation that would do the same thing with Wisconsin’s money. Together, THAT WOULD MEAN A SAVINGS OF $1.2 BILLION—not a huge amount in the context of the federal budget, but not insignificant for an administration suddenly concerned (at least rhetorically) about deficits.

But the administration, with a vice president who loves Amtrak even more than the sound of his own voice, is determined to spend the money on trains—somewhere, somehow. SO LAST WEEK, LAHOOD ANNOUNCED THAT THE STIMULUS MONEY WOULD BE GOING TO CALIFORNIA AND OTHER STATES

If you needed a reason to vote the Democrats out of office, here’s a pretty good one. They seem intent on bankrupting the country.  The "use it or lose it," philosophy seems to still be in effect in Washington. 

Democrats just don’t get it


Democrats have lashed out at Obama for "compromising " with the Republicans on a tax bill. But all in all, agreeing to an extension of current tax rates for an extension of jobless benefits seems like a pretty fair deal.

Yet the reaction has been brutal……

Yes, the anger is boiling over. But to call this display of outrage puerile is an understatement. EVERYONE BUT THE DEMOCRATS CAN SEE HOW OUT OF STEP THEY ARE WITH PUBLIC OPINION.

As long as they were in control of Congress and the White House, DEMOCRATS FELT NO NEED TO COMPROMISE. But after four years of Democratic failure, voters on Nov. 2 awarded the GOP a record 63 seats for control of the House and took away the Democrats' veto-proof majority in the Senate, where their edge will be a slim three seats.


The democrats have decided to take the path that leads to oblivion. They are acting for their most radical elements and seem to have learned nothing from last month’s election.

It appears more congressional electees will cling to their guns and religion

Now that all congressional races have been decided, here the final tallies for how the election affected Second Amendment support in Congress, according to the NRA’s top federal lobbyist Chuck Cunningham:

19 OF 25 U.S. SENATE CANDIDATES ENDORSED BY THE NRA-POLITICAL VICTORY FUND WON THEIR RACES (76%). The net gain is +7 votes (Ark., N.H., N.D., Oh., Penn., W.V., Wisc.) with no offsetting losses.

After the 2008 elections, there were 43 Senators with an A rating from NRA, 2 with a B, 9 with a C, 12 with a D, and 34 with an F. The changes in the new Senate will be +7 A, +1 C, –7 D, and –1 F……


After the 2008 elections, there were 226 Representatives with an A rating, 18 B, 14 C, 22 D-rated, 151 F, and 4 ? (had refused to answer questionaire). The new House will be +36 A, –7 B, - 1 C, –16 F, — 3 ?.

The Second Amendment appears to be secure.

The leftwing media owns up to “Deifying” BHO

Liberal columnist MIKE BARNICLE CONFESSED FRIDAY THAT THE MEDIA "DEIFIED" BARACK OBAMA DURING HIS 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. Both Barnicle and former MSNBC host Donny Deutsch, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," ADMITTED THAT OBAMA HAD NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE when he took office as president and that hurt him in his first two years in the Oval Office.

"This guy took office, he had never really run anything in his life, and IT'S VERY EASY TO BE AN IDEOLOGUE," DEUTSCH SAID OF OBAMA. "And he learned," he added. Barnicle noted that Obama "has never been executive, he's never run anything, he's never managed anything."

I remember when anyone brought up his inexperience we were told he would have good people around him. Obama in his debates with Hillary Clinton down played the management part of the presidency focusing entirely on the president’s need to inspire. Well, after two years of BHO I think we are 0-2, that is, neither good management nor inspiration.

And then WikiLeaks leaks it


Provided by WikiLeaks to the Washington Times, the material was originally discovered by a cleaning lady at CNN. Surfing on Wolf Blitzer’s computer during her 4:00 a.m. break, Emalina Ortiz inadvertently opened a window to “BO-WESERVE”–A PRIVATE FORUM FOR JOURNALISTS SUPPORTING OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN AND, LATER, HIS ADMINISTRATION’S AGENDA.

Shocked by what she read, Ortiz impulsively copied the archives to a flash drive and mailed it to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, a man she had heard BLITZER DESCRIBE IN HIS BROADCASTS AS “A HERO, SOMEONE WHO IS NOT AFRAID TO SHINE A LIGHT INTO THE SEWER TO SEE WHAT’S FLOATING AROUND DOWN THERE.”

Spokesmen from the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN blasted Assange for exposing communications that linked Obama’s rise and governance to support from and tutelage by some of the biggest names in journalism.

In a brief phone interview, Times Managing Editor Bill Keller railed: “The cheeky sumbitch actually asked me if I wanted to break the story. Said I could run it with a ‘Who watches the watchers?’ angle. What the hell’s the matter with Assange? HE KNOWS THE RULES: WE’RE LEAKED TO, NOT ON. Only the Times destroys reputations with impunity and immunity. He crossed a line coming after us.”

Here’s is news that really isn’t news except to the far left who thinks the press is too conservative.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Problems for Obama

Obama and the left

Hence, Mr. Obama sold out his allies for nothing meaningful in return - and they know it. Progressives are seething. MANY HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE IN REVOLT. The New York Times' PAUL KRUGMAN AND FRANK RICH HAVE DENOUNCED HIM. MSNBC host KEITH OLBERMANN HAS COMPARED THE PRESIDENT'S CAPITULATION TO BRITISH PRIME MINISTER NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN'S "APPEASEMENT" OF NAZI DICTATOR ADOLF HITLER. Mr. Obama is losing his left flank - the very people who propelled him to the presidency.

Liberals are finally discovering what most Americans already know: MR. OBAMA CANNOT BE TRUSTED. He is a narcissist who believes that everyone and everything - including his own country - must be subordinated to serve his needs. His messiah complex threatens to tear America apart.

For all the talk of the Republicans divisions, it appears the Democrats are in total disarray.

The Left Misses the Mark

That take was quickly reinforced on Tuesday, when Obama, almost chastising his angry left-wing base for not understanding political realities, analogized Republicans to "hostage-takers," holding Obama and America and its poor and proletariat ransom to tax cuts for the bloody rich. The president bemoaned his moral dilemma, FORCED AS HE WAS TO "NEGOTIATE" WITH REPUBLICANS, WHO KNEEL BEFORE WHAT OBAMA DESCRIBED AS "THEIR HOLY GRAIL": "TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY." It was a stunning metaphor, and rather offensive: That cup overfloweth, apparently, with the real presence of the blood of the workers, which Republicans and their loyal factory bosses and greedy landlords slurp up from the fruits of the assembly line.


What caught my attention was the left’s belief that tax cuts for the wealthy was the central economic doctrine of the Republicans. What I see is tax increases for the wealthy seems to be a central religious like belief of the left. And they don’t care if tax increases would hurt the country, they simply think it is the right thing to do.

From Audacity to Animosity

We have not in our lifetimes seen a president in this position. HE SPENT HIS FIRST YEAR LOSING THE CENTER, WHICH ELECTED HIM, AND HIS SECOND LOSING HIS BASE, which is supposed to provide his troops. There isn't much left to lose! Which may explain Tuesday's press conference.

President Obama was supposed to be announcing an important compromise, as he put it, on tax policy. Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who'll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan.

Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that HE HATES THE DEAL HE JUST AGREED TO, HATES THE PEOPLE HE MADE THE DEAL WITH, AND HATES EVEN MORE THE PEOPLE WHO'LL CRITICIZE IT. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are "hostage takers" who worship a "holy grail" of "tax cuts for the wealthy." "That seems to be their central economic doctrine."

As for the left, they ignore his accomplishments and are always looking for "weakness and compromise." THEY ARE "SANCTIMONIOUS," "PURIST," AND JUST WANT TO "FEEL GOOD ABOUT" THEMSELVES. In a difficult world, they cling to their "ideal positions" and constant charges of "betrayals."

President Obama appears unhinged. What comes next should be interesting.

F*** The President?

Jonah Goldberg from the Corner of National Review on Line wonders….

When Rep. Joe Wilson yelled “you lie!” — which he most certainly should not have done, everyone was convinced that racism was the only explanation. But WHEN A DEMOCRAT SHOUTS, ADMITTEDLY IN A DIFFERENT FORUM, F*** THE PRESIDENT, NO SUCH SPECULATION ARISES. That’s fine, I’m fairly sure that racism isn’t the culprit here. But I’m also sure that if this was a story about a Republican, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich would bang out several columns insisting that racism told the whole story and Keith Olbermann would be busting out his Field Guide to North American Klansmen. Of course, OLBIE’S NOW SO MAD AT THE PRESIDENT, HE MUST BE WONDERING IF HE’S A RACIST.

Nancy Pelosi's kabuki won't upset tax deal

On Thursday, the Democratic House caucus told the president to take a hike on his tax deal. The soon-to-be minority leader Nancy Pelosi proclaimed: "We will continue discussions with the president and our Democratic and Republican colleagues in the days ahead to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote." DON'T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT.

Republican House leaders CONSIDER THIS TO BE A SHOW FOR THE DEMOCRATIC BASE. An advisor to a Republican in leadership told me last night, "THEY WILL BRING WHATEVER GETS THROUGH THE SENATE TO THE FLOOR. THIS IS ALL KABUKI THEATER." Other Republicans on the Hill agree that the Democrats will have no choice but to bring the bill up on the House floor.

There are a lot of opinions on what is going on. But I think you can say, the left is angry, horrified, dismayed, upset, and lashing out. After the election, the left was in denial (reelecting Nancy Pelosi as their leader) and holding onto at least the rich would have to pay more taxes. This quickly moved on to anger when President Obama caved on tax increases for the wealthy. This will be followed by bargaining or at least an attempt to bargain (get a better deal), then depression and finally acceptance. I wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with one of these far left pols.

Obama speaks on the Deal to NPR


Obama also signaled that he expected some minor changes to the plan to satisfy the concerns of wavering Democrats in the House and Senate – but insisted that the broad outlines of the final bill would be what he proposed this week, with tax cuts continuing for all Americans for two years and an extension of unemployment benefits through 2011.

We live in interesting times.

Senate fails on repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell' included in defense authorization bill

The Senate on Thursday dealt a severe blow to the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law, dimming the chances for the Clinton-era ban to be scrapped this year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) failed to garner the necessary 60 votes for a procedural motion to start considering the 2011 defense authorization bill, which contains a provision to repeal the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. The final vote was 57-40.

Another Harry Reid promise bites the dust.

House passes massive spending bill

The fate of House legislation to freeze the budgets of most Cabinet departments and fund the war in Afghanistan for another year is now in the hands of the Senate, where it faces uncertain prospects.

The House passed the bill Wednesday evening by a 212-206 vote. IT WOULD CAP THE ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGETS OF FEDERAL AGENCIES AT THE $1.2 TRILLION approved for the recently finished budget year — a $46 billion cut of more than 3 percent from President Barack Obama's request.

It includes $159 billion to prosecute the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq next year and DEALS A BLOW TO OBAMA'S EFFORTS TO CLOSE THE NAVY-RUN PRISON FOR TERRORIST SUSPECTS IN GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA.

The 423-PAGE MEASURE, OPPOSED BY REPUBLICANS, CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS and some anti-war lawmakers, wraps a dozen unfinished spending bills into a single measure.

SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE WORKING ON A DIFFERENT APPROACH THAT WOULD PROVIDE SLIGHTLY MORE MONEY, provide more policy guidance, and INCLUDE THOUSANDS OF PET PROJECTS SOUGHT BY LAWMAKERS. It's unclear whether that measure can get enough support from GOP old-timers to survive a filibuster by party conservatives. THE HOUSE BILL IS FREE OF SUCH "EARMARKS."

I doubt this will pass the Senate. The Republicans will force the new Republican controlled House to deal with this as they should. And this House should go beyond a freeze to a cut in spending.

Clouds and Climate Confusion

Clouds have bedeviled scientists' efforts to figure out how much warming might result from adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Science is publishing today a new study by Texas A&M atmospheric scientist Andrew Dessler that finds that clouds contribute to future warming. As Science's press summary describes Dessler's results:

“On a global scale, clouds presently influence climate in a way that cools the planet. But, they will lose some of that cooling capacity as climate warms, according to a study that supports current ideas about how atmospheric carbon dioxide affects global temperature. CLOUDS CAN POTENTIALLY HAVE BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE FEEDBACK EFFECTS ON CLIMATE, and this is responsible for much of our uncertainty about the amount of warming that will be caused by increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. IT’S GENERALLY AGREED THAT OVERALL THIS FEEDBACK IS POSITIVE, with warming being exacerbated as clouds trap larger quantities of outgoing infrared radiation, but so far we have only a general idea of this effect. ….”

This study contradicts the findings of University of Alabama in Huntsville climate researchers Roy Spencer and William Braswell published earlier this year in the Journal of Geophysical Research. INTRIGUINGLY SPENCER AND BRASSWELL USED THE SAME DATA AS DESSLER: SPENCER STANDS BY THEIR RESULTS AND RESPONDS:

“What is the new evidence of positive cloud feedback that Dessler has published? Well, actually it isn’t new. It’s basically the same evidence we published in the Journal of Geophysical Research earlier this year,...

Yet we came to a very different conclusion, which was that the only clear evidence of feedback

we found in the data was of strongly negative cloud feedback. But how can this be? How can two climate researchers using the same dataset come to opposite conclusions?......

But what if the warming was caused by fewer clouds, rather than the fewer clouds being caused by warming? In other words, WHAT IF PREVIOUS RESEARCHERS HAVE SIMPLY MIXED UP CAUSE AND EFFECT WHEN ESTIMATING CLOUD FEEDBACKS?

A short but interesting read. Clouds are the most important aspect to the whole Global Warming debate. The statement “IT’S GENERALLY AGREED THAT OVERALL THIS FEEDBACK IS POSITIVE” is the crux of the argument. It is generally agreed to by the warmists, but not by skeptics. If clouds do not provide positive feedback, it’s completely over for the AGW hypothesis. And a lack of positive feedback would explain why through billions of years we haven’t had continuous examples runaway heating happening. The atmosphere appears to be much more stable than the AGW crowd would predict with their “science.”