Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Political Digest November 10, 2009

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

November 10th is the 234th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Happy Birthday, Marines! (See birthday post below.)

The most important number in politics today
Excerpt: 40. That's the percentage of the Virginia electorate that identified themselves as conservatives, the highest number among that ideological group in the Commonwealth since 1994. And, not only did conservatives comprise an extremely large segment of the Virginia electorate, they also cast their ballots for Republicans at a historically high rate; 91 percent of self-identifying conservatives voted GOP while just nine percent cast their vote for Democrats. (Compare that to 2008 when conservatives were one in every three voters and roughly one if five -- 18 percent -- voted Democrat and you see the considerable change in that segment of the electorate in just one year's time.

The most important number in politics today (Different day!)
Excerpt: 50 That's the percentage of adults who believe former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is qualified to be president as opposed to 36 percent who believe he is not in a new national poll from Gallup. Huckabee's numbers on the "qualified" question were matched only by fellow former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) with 49 percent qualified/39 percent not qualified rating. Other potential 2012 candidates like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (44/46) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (31/62) fared worse on the question.

The most important number in politics this weekend
Excerpt: 8. That's the number of House Democrats voting against tonight's health care bill who represent districts carried by President Barack Obama during the 2008 election. Of the eight, Obama's highest percentage came in Rep. Artur Davis' 7th district where he won 74 percent of the vote. Davis' vote is rightly understood through a political lens as, despite the overwhelming support for Obama in his district, he is running for governor of a conservative-leaning state next November and wants to safeguard against attacks from Republicans. Six of the remaining seven members -- Reps. John Adler (N.J.), Brian Baird (Wash.), John Barrow (Ga.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Scott Murphy (N.Y.) and Glenn Nye (Va.) -- represent districts where the President took 55 percent or less in 2008, making their decision to vote "no" strategically defensible

The myth of '08, demolished
Excerpt: Sure, Election Day 2009 will scare moderate Democrats and make passage of Obamacare more difficult. Sure, it makes it easier for resurgent Republicans to raise money and recruit candidates for 2010. But the most important effect of Tuesday's elections is historical. It demolishes the great realignment myth of 2008. In the aftermath of last year's Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics -- most prominently, rising minorities and the young -- would bury the GOP far into the future. One book proclaimed "The Death of Conservatism," while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.

Republicans seek a path to revival
Excerpt: One year after hitting bottom in the aftermath of President Obama's election, Republicans have taken their first concrete steps toward recovery. But they remain an embattled and divided force, facing an electorate still skeptical about their capacity to govern and embroiled in a struggle between party regulars and populist conservative forces over how to return to power.

Cancer Screening And Age In The United States And Europe
We have the best health care system in the world. If you take out homicide and car wrecks—about which these bills do nothing—we live longer than any other country. And we are going to destroy that system. Excerpt: We compare cancer screening rates between the United States and Europe. Many European countries have organized screening programs, whereas the U.S. approach is relatively decentralized. Many European countries, unlike the United States, also impose upper age limits on screening. Overall, European screening rates were 22–88 percent of the corresponding U.S. rates. U.S. residents are more likely to be screened at younger ages, when the expected benefit from early detection is the greatest, but also at older ages, when the expected benefit is declining.

Health care dispute: Costs of defensive medicine http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ggCAmxnD3dec4mVfXd7BfcCEYF9AD9BOSCCG1
Don’t expect this reform, which would lower costs, with the League of Leftwing Lawyers in charge of the White House and Congress. Excerpt: Doctors say the hidden costs of the tests along with malpractice insurance and lawsuit awards are major drivers behind the soaring cost of care. Trial attorneys say bad medicine, not lawsuits, is to blame. The debate has split along party lines, with Democrats typically siding with lawyers groups and Republicans agreeing with doctors.

The Health Care Disaster in Canada
Excerpt: After more than a decade of public health care with mandatory coverage, so many Canadian doctors have left the practice and so many young people have entered other fields that Canada ranks 26th of 28 developed nations in its ratio of physicians to population. Once, Canada ranked among the leaders in the number of physicians — but that was before government health care drove doctors out of the practice in droves. The fundamental fact is that we cannot cover 36 million new patients without more doctors and nurses, much less with the declining census of medical professionals the Canadian experience points to. A recent survey of doctors by the Pew Institute found that 45 percent of all practicing doctors would consider retiring or closing their practices if the Barack Obama health care bill passes. This scarcity of medical personnel heightens the likelihood of draconian rationing, lengthy waiting lists and lower quality medical care for all of us, particularly for the elderly.

The Coming Shortage of Doctors http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703574604574499423536935290.html
Excerpt: If the doctor shortage is not addressed and health-care reform is signed into law, millions of Americans will likely find themselves able to obtain insurance for the first time—but may be unable to find a doctor without a long delay. Why? Because expanding the number of insured patients but not the number of doctors will only increase the demand for services that already must meet the demands of an aging population. We must make sure there are enough health professionals to meet those new demands. Even in the absence of health-care reform, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the U.S. will face a shortage of at least 125,000 physicians by 2025. We have about 700,000 active physicians today. One factor driving this shortage is that the baby-boomer generation is getting older and will require more care. (At a national conference this past weekend, of a medical specialty whose patients tend to be seniors, 11% said they would retire if health care reform passes in any of the present forms. 22% said they already limit Medicare patients and 7% that they don't take Medicare patients. This is a specialty where there is already a growing shortage of doctors, and where you live in great pain if you can’t get one.)

Expanding Medicaid Means Reducing Education
Excerpt: By expanding Medicaid in the health care bill, Congress will set off political tornadoes across the country that will leave governors and state legislators to clean up afterward. The math is simple. State revenues are still in a slump and will continue for a least a few more years. The two largest state and local expenditures are education and Medicaid. If you have to balance a budget, which nearly every state does, and you cannot touch the entitlement to Medicaid, where will you turn to fill the budget gap? There will be little choice than to go after education.

A vote to make or break a career
Lone House Republican backed health bill after abortion was limited http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/08/AR2009110815740.html?wpisrc=newsletter
Probably his only chance to survive in that district.

Cash hoard reflects fears of Obama plans http://apps.detnews.com/apps/blogs/nolanfinleyblog/index.php?blogid=1319
When you punish the people who create jobs, you get fewer jobs. Duh, as my granddaughter Britnye would say. Excerpt: One of the reasons job creation is lagging despite signs of an economic recovery is that the nation's big businesses are hoarding their cash rather than investing it to expand. The Wall Street Journal reports that the nation's largest companies are sitting on nearly $1 trillion in cash, or roughly 10 percent of their assets, the largest stash of idle money in 40 years. This is a symptom of the uncertain tax and regulatory environment created by the Obama administration and a Congress that is increasingly hostile to business. Companies aren't going to invest money in job-creating ventures until they can gauge the impact of policies ranging from health care reform to climate change.

Tuesday’s results on top and down ballot: The closer you look, the worse it was for Democrats http://www.redstate.com/brad_smith/2009/11/07/tuesdays-results-on-top-and-down-ballot-the-closer-you-look-the-worse-it-was-for-democrats/
Excerpt: Down ballot, in races for lower offices, including state legislatures and mayors, it gets worse. Republicans rolled to easy double digit victories in the Virginia Attorney General and Lt. Governor races. In the Lt. Governor’s race, Bill Bolling, who won by just 1 percent in 2005, won by 12 points. Republicans gained 6 seats (pending one recount) in the State Assembly, giving them a 61-37-2 majority. Republicans gained a seat in the New Jersey House. Republicans took control of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and won six of seven statewide races in the Keystone State. Republicans gained in the heavily populated New York City suburbs , taking control of both Westchester County and Nassau County for the first time in a decade. They even gained a couple seats on the New York City Council (in addition to the re-election of their sort-of Republican Mayor Bloomberg). In Michigan, in a special election for a state senate seat that had gone Democratic by 61-39 when it was last up in 2006, the Republican flipped the landslide around and won 61-36. Republicans also flipped a New Hampshire state house seat in a special election.

Grim proving ground for Obama's housing policy http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/
CHICAGO - The squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can't afford to live anywhere else. But it's not safe to live here. About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition. Grove Parc has become a symbol for some in Chicago of the broader failures of giving public subsidies to private companies to build and manage affordable housing - an approach strongly backed by Obama as the best replacement for public housing.

Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Pfizer-abandons-site-of-infamous-Kelo-eminent-domain-taking-69580497.html
And liberals wonder why people fear and hate big government. Excerpt: The private homes that New London, Conn., took away from Suzette Kelo and her neighbors have been torn down. Their former site is a wasteland of fields of weeds, a monument to the power of eminent domain. But now Pfizer, the drug company whose neighboring research facility had been the original cause of the homes' seizure, has just announced that it is closing up shop in New London. To lure those jobs to New London a decade ago, the local government promised to demolish the older residential neighborhood adjacent to the land Pfizer was buying for next-to-nothing. Suzette Kelo fought the taking to the Supreme Court, and lost. Five justices found this redevelopment met the constitutional hurdle of "public use.”

HOW TO AVOID POVERTY AND ENTER THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=18651&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD
Excerpt: If you want to avoid poverty and join the middle class in the United States, you need to do three things: Complete high school (at a minimum), work full time and marry before you have children. If you do all three, your chances of being poor fall from 12 percent to 2 percent, and your chances of joining the middle class or above rise from 56 to 74 percent. Brookings defines middle class as having an income of at least $50,000 a year for a family of three.

New Business, Not Small Business, Is What Creates Jobs http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704013004574517303668357682.html
Excerpt: Unfortunately, in troubled economic times the language of recovery is too often tilted toward large, established companies or to "small businesses," a broad term that traditionally applies to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The conventional wisdom is that such businesses account for half of the labor force and are therefore the engine of future job creation. That's not quite the case. The more precise factor is not the size of businesses, but rather their age. According to the Census Bureau, nearly all net job creation in the U.S. since 1980 occurred in firms less than five years old. A Kauffman Foundation report released yesterday shows that as recently as 2007, two-thirds of the jobs created were in such firms. Put more starkly, without new businesses, job creation in the American economy would have been negative for many years.

The Crude Truth About Oil Reserves http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204574470700973579402.html
Excerpt: It offends conventional wisdom. It will also seem nasty to the doom-sayers, who for decades have predicted an oil scarcity that never came. But the 21st century is very likely to overflow with oil. There are at least three main reasons for this.

'I could hear the bullets going past me'
She deserves a gong and an apology from the “Women shouldn’t be in combat” folks. I’d take her next to me over 90% of the liberal weenies in our colleges today. Excerpt: The first frantic 911 calls had come just four minutes earlier. Kimberly Munley, a civilian police officer for the Army, rounded the corner of a squat, one-story building at 1:27 p.m. Thursday and came face to face with Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, had already killed or wounded dozens of soldiers, having fired more than 100 rounds, according to Army officials. He was still shooting at unarmed troops who were dragging away their bleeding colleagues when he locked his eyes on Munley, raised his pistols, and charged her. The petite officer dropped to the ground for protection and fired back. Bullets struck Munley, 35, in both thighs and one wrist. At least one of Munley's rounds hit Hasan in the chest, knocking him to the ground, witnesses said, although the details of what happened are still unclear. "She moved to the threat and eliminated it," said Chuck Medley, director of emergency services at Fort Hood, Tex. As she fired off her rounds, a few other officers also closed in on Hasan, who lay bloody and unconscious. The police officer's heroics ended a horrific rampage for Fort Hood soldiers.

How To Help Fort Hood Victims, Families http://cbs11tv.com/wireapnewstx/Fort.Hood.lists.2.1298071.html
Donation addresses. Maybe send some of the foreign aid we send to Muslim countries to the Ft. Hood families?

Authorities scrutinize links between Fort Hood suspect, imam said to back al-Qaeda http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/08/AR2009110818405.html?wpisrc=newsletter
Excerpt: Federal investigators are examining possible links between Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal M. Hasan and an American-born imam who U.S. authorities say has become a supporter and leading promoter of al-Qaeda since leaving a Northern Virginia mosque, officials said. (Better stop. Might find a link to Islam.)

Restraint urged in Fort Hood speculation http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/11/08/restraint_urged_in_fort_hood_s.html?wprss=44
We have to stop these wild, unfounded rumors that a Muslim screaming “Allah Akbar” and murdering Americans might have had anything to do with his being a Muslim. Presbyterians probably do this all the time.

Iran accuses 3 detained Americans of espionage
Bargaining chips to trade to Obama.

Muslims in 21st Century America: Violent Clashing Cultures http://www.newswithviews.com/Wooldridge/frosty516.htm
Excerpt: “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” said radio talk show host Peter Boyles last week on www.khow.com in Denver, Colorado. Boyles’ remarks followed a horrific mass killing by Muslim U.S. Army Major Nadal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan blasted away at 42 military personnel and civilians as they stood defenseless in line awaiting deployment processing for the Middle East. He screamed, “Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar!” while unloading his firearms into the bodies of U.S. troops. A female off-duty police officer waded into the chaos with her gun blazing until she brought him down with four shots. He lays in a Fort Hood hospital bed in critical condition.

Obama on Ft. Hood -- Not Even 'Shocked'
Why should he be shocked? I was angry, but not shocked. We have learned to expect daily outrages from Muslims around the world. I wasn’t shocked at the honor killing in Arizona, or the stoning in Somalia, or….Yes, I know there are millions of moderate Muslims who want peace, just as millions of moderate Germans did in 1939, and were irrelevant. And I know Muslims have served honorably in our military. But there is no way to discern which moderate Muslim is the next Maj. Hasan, or the next father who will kill his daughter for Allah. Or behead a school principal.

Islamic rebels behead Philippine teacher http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i_6vW7HkjRJKHBaMo6acruwIOeTg
Nothing to do with Islam, I’m sure. Probably a student who got a bad grade. Excerpt: ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — The severed head of a school principal who was abducted by Islamic militants in the troubled southern Philippines was dumped in a petrol station on Monday, authorities said. The head of Gabriel Canizares was found inside a bag at a petrol station on Jolo island at dawn, 22 days after the 36-year-old man was kidnapped, local police chief inspector Usman Pingay said. His body remains missing, police said.

Alleged Fort Hood Gunman a Hero, Says Islamic Cleric With Suspected 9/11 Links http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/56844
Excerpt: The Muslim U.S. Army major accused of shooting dead 13 people at Fort Hood last Thursday was a “hero” who faced a choice of betraying his nation or betraying Islam, according to a radical U.S.-born cleric whose possible links with Maj. Nidal Hasan are now under investigation. The cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, led a Northern Virginia mosque in 2001 which Hasan attended – along with three of the 9/11 hijackers.

 'Hardcore' Islamist gets top anti-terror post at Home Office
Good luck with this one. Excerpt: A “hardcore” Islamist has been given a key Home Office job to tackle terrorism and divert fellow Muslims from the path of violence. The appointment of Asim Hafeez as head of intervention at the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism has caused serious concern among more moderate Muslim advisers across Whitehall. It is seen as a sign of a shift in the government’s policy on radical Islam away from engagement with more moderate groups.

Report: Hezbollah rearming for imminent conflict with Israel http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1126645.html
Excerpt: Militant group Hezbollah is rapidly rearming and reinforcing positions in southern Lebanon in preparation for a new conflict with Israel, British newspaper the Observer reported on Sunday. "Sure, we are rearming, we have even said that we have far more rockets and missiles than we did in 2006," a Hezbollah commander told the Observer speaking on condition of anonymity. The 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel began after Hezbollah militants launched a cross-border attack and kidnapped two Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Fort Hood jihadist's coworkers saw warning signs, but said nothing for fear of seeming bigoted http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/11/fort-hood-jihadists-coworkers-saw-warning-signs-but-said-nothing-for-fear-of-seeming-bigoted.html
Soldiers die so the army can be PC.

China Executes 9 Uighurs Over Ethnic Riots
Give them Maj. Hasan. Excerpt: The worst ethnic unrest in decades began July 5 when minority Uighurs attacked Han, who make up China's dominant ethnicity, only to face retaliatory attacks two days later. Many Uighurs, who are a Turkic Muslim ethnic group linguistically and culturally distinct from the Han, resent Beijing's heavy-handed rule in Xinjiang, their traditional homeland. Four months later, Xinjiang remains smothered in heavy security, with Internet access cut and international direct dialing calls blocked. The official China News Service reported that the nine were executed after a final review of the verdicts by the Supreme People's Court as required by law, but gave no specific date or other details. Earlier reports had identified those condemned as eight Uighurs and one Han.

Fighting in Afghanistan

New take on the “Hitler” Video
Always new funny versions.

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