Monday, March 22, 2010

Political Digest March 22, 2010

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.

Sorry for no post yesterday. I’m ever more time-starved—just like everyone else!

As I write this, it looks like they have the votes to, as Mark Steyn says, fundamentally change America into a nation of government dependents, demanding ever more from the dwindling supply of wealth producers in the private sector. We are about 20 years behind Greece, but closing, so even that canary in the mine may be too late to warn us. With this passed, no political group will have the will or courage to go back, so we will go forward to the eventual fiscal collapse and chaos. Given my age and health, I’ll miss most of it. Teach your kids to shoot. That’s a skill they will need in the coming dark ages. This bill is, of course, only the first step to complete government control.

Have to credit the stress Democrats were under. Let’s see, if I hold out I might sell my vote for more, but if they get to 216, I’ll get nothing…. Oh, the challenge.

Reid promises to add public option to health care ‘in the coming months’
Excerpt: It’s a comfort to know that the principle-less suckers in the House willing to make a phony deal with this guy aren’t all part of the Stupak bloc. In a letter to two of his more progressive colleagues in the Senate — Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — the Nevada Democrat implicitly apologized for his inability to get a government-run insurance plan into the final piece of health care legislation and promised to keep working to get the policy into law… “Nevertheless, like you, I remain committed to pursuing the public option. While I believe that the legislation we are considering does much to provide affordable coverage to millions of Americans and curb insurance company abuses, I also believe that the public option would provide additional competition to make insurance even more affordable. As we have discussed, I will work to ensure that we are able to vote on the public option in the coming months.” That was all that Bernie Sanders needed to hear — or rather, all the thin political cover that Bernie Sanders needed — to drop his bid to add a public option to the reconciliation bill. But here’s a fun footnote from HuffPo: “The search now is for a vehicle outside health care reform to get a public plan into law. The same institutional hurdles that killed the provision in the previous go-rounds — mainly that there aren’t 60 supportive senators to break a filibuster — remain. But aides on the Hill are already looking to future reconciliation vehicles to which they can attach the public plan, which would, in turn, allow for it to pass via an up-or-down vote.”

216 in reach: House Dems have the votes to pass healthcare reform bill
Excerpt: House Democratic leaders have the votes to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.There are 35 Democrats who are planning to vote no and two undecided Democrats -- Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.) and Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) -- according to The Hill's whip list. If every member votes, Democrats can have 37 defections and still clear the bill. The abortion deal struck by the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) put Democrats over the top. That compromise moved a handful of Democrats from the "no" column into the "yes" category.

The Take: Historic win or not, Democrats could pay a price
Excerpt: The lengthy and rancorous debate has inflicted considerable damage on the president and his party. It helped spark the grass-roots "tea party" movement and generated angry town hall meetings last summer that led to some opponents painting Obama as a socialist and a communist for advocating a greater government role in the health-care industry. The issue now is whether final passage of the legislation -- Senate leaders say they will take up the reconciliation bill this week -- will cause more harm or begin a turnaround in the Democrats' fortunes heading toward the November midterm elections. This is not how the struggle over health care was supposed to unfold. When the president decided last year to push for comprehensive reform, there appeared to be the best opportunity in a generation to ensure that nearly all Americans have access to health insurance. There also seemed to be a consensus among business, labor and health-industry groups that government help was needed to rein in the escalating costs of health care.

So, what’s in the bill?

There will be blood!!
This is a black writer I don’t know, but will try to follow. Excerpt: I’m not crazy about congressional Democrats right now. As I write this, Congressional Democrats are engaged in a furious partisan battle to pass their idea of healthcare reform. Alas it is an idea the majority of Americans do not share. It is in fact an idea that the majority of congressmen do not share, which is why President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are twisting arms, bribing, cajoling and threatening all manner of mischief in order to eek out a majority vote – or non vote -- on a bill the people have made clear they do not want. They may succeed. I am not all that enamored of Congressional Republicans either. It is painful indeed to listen to the feigned outrage of so many Republicans who spent years in office redefining the meaning of concepts like “limited Government,” and “fiscal conservative”. Surely they must realize that their inept stewardship over so many years not only opened the door for the leftist now in power, but also rolled out the red carpet for them….If there is to be a second revolution then let it begin here and now! Let the political bloodbath begin in November followed closely by more bloodletting in 2012. No one will be safe. Neither a “D” nor an “R” following a name will be sufficient protection from the people’s blade! There is no time like now to begin the winnowing process; and there is no better reason than to dismantle a government that can’t be trusted to keep its part of the bargain.

Democrats Have Painted Themselves into a Corner
Excerpt: Democrats have painted themselves into an ugly corner with their Health Care Reform Bill (HCR). The Obama administration has managed to take what has been a standard Democratic vote-getting ploy -- promise government largesse to core constituencies and let the rest of the country pay for it -- and screw it up so badly that regardless of whether HCR passes or fails, Democrats will suffer heavy losses in the midterm election. Problem is, it's not just Democrats in the corner; they've got the whole country held hostage with them.

Now for the Slaughter
Excerpt: Excuse me, but it is embarrassing — really, embarrassing to our country — that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he's having trouble passing a piece of domestic legislation he's been promising for a year will be passed next week. What an air of chaos this signals to the world. And to do this to Australia of all countries, a nation that has always had America's back and been America's friend. How bush league, how undisciplined, how kid's stuff.

The Real Score Starts To Emerge
But too late to save the country. Excerpt: The Democrats are exultant over the preliminary CBO score (preliminary because even the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t had time to examine whether it jives with the previous Senate bill) issued this morning. The score (costing) is on the Democrats’ reconciliation adjustments to the Senate ObamaCare bill that it remains under $1-trillion in spending and that together with added revenues will further reduce the deficit. There’s increasing amazement at this bald-faced assertion. The real score will be seen this weekend in the Democrats' trickery vote and the consequences they face next November. The Republican leadership is still trying to decipher the fine print, but are quickly getting to the bottom line. Senator McConnell issued a press release saying: “They get there with even higher taxes and deeper Medicare cuts than the first Senate bill.

More cuts loom as state faces $295m in red ink
MassHealth, other services blamed for drain on coffers
Meanwhile, how’s government healthcare working out in Massachusetts? Excerpt: Massachusetts is potentially facing a new budget gap of up to $295 million this year, a grim forecast that state officials said could spell yet another round of painful cuts before the fiscal year ends in June. Patrick administration officials blamed the gap on rising demand for the joint state and federal health care program for low-income residents known as MassHealth, increasing demand for homeless shelters, and on below-projected revenue from state fees and federal aid.

CBO to Ryan on real costs of healthcare bill

ACORN reportedly on verge of bankruptcy
Rough justice. Excerpt: The liberal political organizing group ACORN is on the verge of bankruptcy following a string of disclosures about mismanagement that caused funding to dry up, according to a source familiar with the organization. Leaders of the embattled grass-roots
group and their advisers have been discussing options for weeks as donors, including foundations and government entities, have cut back on funding, according to another source, who took part in talks about ACORN's future. Pablo Eisenberg, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Public and Policy Institute, said ACORN leaders have told him of plans to file for bankruptcy and form a new entity to serve as a public policy link to local and state chapters "without the name of ACORN."

How going green may make you mean
Not surprised. Al Gore is up $100M on his scam since leaving public office. Excerpt: Ethical consumers less likely to be kind and more likely to steal, study finds.

’science’s dirtiest secret: The “scientific method” of testing hypotheses by statistical analysis stands on a flimsy foundation.’
Excerpt: For better or for worse, science has long been married to mathematics. Generally it has been for the better. Especially since the days of Galileo and Newton, math has nurtured science. Rigorous mathematical methods have secured science’s fidelity to fact and conferred a timeless reliability to its findings. During the past century, though, a mutant form of math has deflected science’s heart from the modes of calculation that had long served so faithfully. Science was seduced by statistics, the math rooted in the same principles that guarantee profits for Las Vegas casinos. Supposedly, the proper use of statistics makes relying on scientific results a safe bet. But in practice, widespread misuse of statistical methods makes science more like a crapshoot.

Is the EPA poised to destroy Earth's habitats?
Excerpt: The Environmental Protection Agency is on a course that will damage the environment, not protect it. Just observe EPA’s willingness to do so while spouting false statements to make its case on regulating greenhouse gases. EPA’s Secretary Lisa Jackson says that if the House and Senate will not pass a cap-and-trade bill, then the agency will move forward to enact ways to reduce greenhouse gases, including CO2. Unfortunately, she is still clinging to the “science is settled” statement that is now widely known to be false. There are tens of thousands of scientists who have signed a petition belittling the catastrophic global warming forecasts. Even Phil Jones, former Director of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University which has been the gold standard of global temperatures, has now publically admitted that the science is not settled. What does Secretary Jackson know that Phil Jones, a 34-year veteran of climate research, does not know? What about EPA climate scientist Alan Carlin who notified the agency he could not find the science to back up the EPA’s claims on man-made global warming? Secretary Jackson’s pronouncements are not factual, but are purely political and will give the current administration a hefty stream of tax dollars. Those dollars will come out of your pocket if you use electricity, transportation or food.

Study: Dresden Bombing Deaths Exaggerated
In my view, the bastards who start such wars are responsible for the casualties. Excerpt: On Feb. 13-15, 1945, British and U.S. bombers pounded the eastern German city of Dresden with 3,900 tons of high explosives and incendiaries. How many people lost their lives in the devastating firestorms that followed has long been a subject of contention -- the Nazis claimed the dead numbered close to 500,000; modern historians have estimated up to 40,000. Now a five-year study by a panel of German historians has concluded that about 25,000 people died in the attack, far fewer than most experts thought. Researchers pored over records from the city's archives, cemeteries, official registries and courts. They discovered that the death toll among refugees from the Eastern Front was lower than previously reported. They also dismissed the idea that hundreds of thousands of bodies could have lain undiscovered in the smoldering ruins. How many people died during the bombing of Dresden in early 1945? One new study puts the number at about 25,000. This photo was taken right after the Allied attack. The study by the Dresden Historian's Commission was launched in 2004 with the aim of ending a bitter debate that has divided Germany for decades. Far-right groups have long cited the 500,000 figure. They called for the attack to be labeled a war crime as it deliberately targeted civilians and was strategically unnecessary, as Germany was just three months away from surrender.

Operation Blue Gum for Barack Obama visit gets the chainsaw
Never heard the term myself. Excerpt: THE codename chosen for a secret policing operation to protect US President Barack Obama during his visit to Australia sounds innocuous enough. But calling it Operation Blue Gum, after Australia's iconic native trees, almost caused an international embarrassment. US consular officials were aghast when briefed by their counterparts in the NSW Police Force about the title, Blue Gum. In America, a "bluegum" is offensive slang for a lazy African-American who refuses to work. And those in the small circle of officials who became aware of the operation's name were determined to abandon it, as quietly as possible, before Mr Obama heard about it. Before the visit was called off, all references to Blue Gum were deleted and replaced. The new name is classified but sources told The Weekend Australian that it had been checked and re-checked for any cultural sensitivities. Australian officials have been at pains to stress that most NSW Police Force operation names are generated by a computer.

Will Congress Lose Afghanistan Like It Lost Vietnam?
Excerpt: As you prepare for your imminent deployment to Afghanistan, I guess it’s inevitable that I’m thinking of that time forty five years ago that I prepared for my deployment to Vietnam as a young lieutenant of Marines. We’ve talked about the similarities in our respective wars, but there’s a lot more I could say. The concurrent publication of my Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War has sharpened our discussions and my ability to comment on your questions. First, it is critically important for Americans to understand the true history of our involvement. Most important is the fact that the U.S. military fought brilliantly and defeated the Communist aggressors in Vietnam. Yes, that’s right. We won the war. And then we saw the Congress of the United States throw away that victory by abrogating our obligations to continue support of the South Vietnamese. Why is that so important? Simply because that fact illuminates the only way we can similarly lose in Afghanistan. You will not be defeated on the battlefield. Of that, there is no question. But, as in Vietnam, the administration has all but eliminated the phrase “win the war” from its rhetoric about the conflict. As the administrations prior to President Nixon did in the Vietnam War, the Obama administration will continue to confuse and dissemble, not trusting the American people’s wisdom, will and judgment.

Evolved Taliban Walk In The Sunlight
Excerpt: March 20, 2010: Despite evolving quite a lot since late 2001, the Taliban have only made themselves more unpopular in Afghanistan. Despite that, they have become more powerful. They have done this by providing security for drug gangs, and promising the drug lords that, once the Taliban control the country again, heroin and opium production would enjoy the same privileges that existed when the Taliban last ran the nation in the late 1990s (pay a tax and restrict distribution within the country). The drug gangs provided cash, which enabled the Taliban to offer higher pay to gunmen, than the army and police, plus more looting and other traditional warrior opportunities. The evolved Taliban are also trying to control the more fanatical factions that oppose secular education in general, particularly for girls. These fanatics also oppose vaccinations and health clinics. The evolved leadership backs health care, especially if foreigners are paying for it. The fanatics still have their way when it comes to opposing movies, music and videos. Keeping women covered up and out of the workplace is still a hot topic within the Taliban. It's these divisions that make the government optimistic about convincing more pro-Taliban tribal leaders to side with the government. While the government is corrupt, so are a growing number of Taliban leaders. All that drug money has a corrosive effect on even the most pious Taliban.

Pakistan: Mob of "pro-Taliban radicals" beats student to death for playing music
Guess they didn’t get the “Islamn is a Religion of Peace” memo. Think we should send BO to reason with them. Excerpt: Emulating Muhammad's profound hostility toward music. "Student beaten to death for playing music," from Big News Network, March 20: A student has died after being beaten to death by pro-Taliban radicals at a Pakistani university. The beating, which occurred earlier in the week, culminated in the death of Anan Khan, who attended the University of Engineering & Technology in Peshawar. He was severely beaten with several other students at the university by members of a student wing of the hard-line Jamiat-e Islami party. Witnesses have said the IJT attacked Adnan for playing music.

Rise in marriages between cousins ‘is putting children’s health at risk’
But it wouldn’t be PC to say Anything. Excerpt: The dangers of marriage between first cousins are to be highlighted by a leading professor, with a warning that their children are at risk of genetic defects. Baroness Deech, a family law professor and crossbencher, will call next week for a “vigorous” public campaign to deter the practice, which is prevalent in Muslim and immigrant communities and on the rise. She will reignite a debate started five years ago when Ann Cryer, MP for Keighley, drew attention to the number of disabled babies being born in the town and called for cousin marriage to be stopped. Fifty-five per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and in Bradford the figure is 75 per cent. British Pakistanis represent 3 per cent of all births in Britain but one third of children with recessive disorders.

1 comment:

  1. twisting arms, bribing, cajoling & threatening all manner of mischief in order to eek out a majority vote – or non vote -- on a bill the people have made clear they do not want. That says it all! Thanks for your service to our Country.