Friday, October 8, 2010

Political Digest for October 8, 2010

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

With Working Links: Major New Poll By The Hill/ANGA
A survey of 12 battleground House districts represented by freshman Democrats finds that Republicans are winning in 11. Only one Democrat makes it to dead even. The poll is the first in a groundbreaking four-week series by The Hill, sponsored by the American Natural Gas Alliance and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland. Read the poll results:
POLL: GOP leads widely, Dems in danger but race for House tight
POLL: Opinions of Obama will be on voters minds when they decide on Nov. 2
POLL: Independents prefer divided government and are leaning Republican
POLL: Dislike of healthcare law crosses party lines, 1 in 4 Dems want repeal
District by district — 12 freshman Democrats in danger

When liberal values collide
Good read. ~Bob. Excerpt: Confession time: I was once a liberal. The reason I no longer call my self a liberal is, that frankly, when I examine liberal values one at a time, I cannot avoid observing that each passionately held liberal value ultimately crashes head on into another, no less important, liberal value. Actually, if we want to parse the definition, I suppose I still am liberal. That is, I am liberal in the historic sense of the word and in its generic usage: one who marches to the beat of a different drum, one who does not always follow the pack, one who challenges a conventional wisdom most people accept without analysis simply because it comes from respected institutions (academia, the media etc). Unfortunately, the definition has changed. Today, the term liberal is used to describe the status quo, the politically correct, and other “virtues” offered up as sacred; ideologies taken for granted and portrayed as the only clear, sensible positions. Such people stifle debate and resort to name-calling when they are challenged. Today the word “liberal” no longer means liberal. Truth be told, today’s liberals should call themselves conservatives inasmuch as they cling to popular ideas, even if these ideas are only a few decades old. In any event, whatever we should call ourselves, I will no more call my viewpoints liberal than Nancy Pelosi would ever describe herself as a conservative. And so, taking the current definition (flawed as it may be), I present my own unique understanding of current liberal thought. In a tongue and cheek fashion, I am writing a kind of “Liberal Manifesto” in the first person. Of course, even if the style is satirical, I am very serious. No, I doubt that you will ever hear liberals describe themselves in exactly this fashion, but the ideas I present here are an honest result of connecting all the subtle contradictions of liberal thought into their incoherent whole. Naturally there are exceptions and variations from individual to individual. I am critiquing the generalized thought. But exceptions to the rule ought not make us ignore the rule. Otherwise, the big elephant in the room is never confronted (and I apologize to my liberal friends for using a Republican mascot just now to make a point). THE LIBERAL MANIFESTO: 1) We believe that notions of good and evil are outdated and should never be used unless we are talking about George Bush, other Republicans, or Right Wing, Born Again Christians who are clearly responsible historically for most of the evils of the world. 2) We are strong advocates of choice, unless people want to choose their own schools, radio shows, cars, cigars, unhealthy food, health care providers, amount of energy to use in the home, salaries to pay employees, location for religious assembly, location for religious symbols, and the amount of money to leave their children in a will as opposed to giving half to the government. We do continue to celebrate “a woman’s right to choose an abortion” but we also like the laws in China that limit how many children one can birth because too many people in the world contribute to Global Warming, so the one remaining choice is only a temporary one.

NRA backs Democrats in key races, frustrating GOP
And those Democrats will vote to keep Reid and Pelosi in charge, thus putting anti-gun liberals in charge of the committees. Duh. ~Bob. Excerpt: The National Rifle Association has endorsed incumbent Democrats in several crucial congressional races this year, frustrating Republicans who believe the group is hurting its cause - and the party's chances in November.

Obama Tax Hikes: What's Their Excuse?
Great video. According to this website, the tax increase will cost Illinois about 35,000 jobs over the next two years:

Four Weeks - Remember November
Republican Governor’s association ad.

Dan Benishek Television Ad: The Washington Crowd

2 little words started race for mayor: forensic audit,0,1596915.column
The Chicago cesspool from which Obama arose, sans stain or odor. ~Bob. Excerpt: He did it by uttering two little words, and they echoed ominously through Chicago's political sub-basements. Just days after the two little words were said, Mayor Richard Daley announced he wouldn't seek re-election. Remember those two little words? "You mean, 'forensic audit'?" said Ald. Scott Waguespack, 32nd. "Those two little words?" Precisely. Forensic audit. Waguespack had been talking about running for mayor of Chicago then. He was about the only elected official brave enough to talk publicly about the city's terrible finances, the only one with the guts to say Daley's mismanagement and profligate spending were the cause of it all. Waguespack's idea of a forensic audit — getting former IRS investigators to open City Hall's books and comb through 20 years of spending and deals — was what you might call a catalyst.

Prospective Employment Effects of California Proposition 23
Excerpt: If approved by the California electorate this November, Proposition 23 will suspend the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) until the California unemployment rate declines to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. AB 32 directed the California Air Resources Board to begin developing discrete early actions to reduce greenhouse gases while also preparing a scoping plan to identify how best to reach the 2020 emissions limit of 427 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases. Given the increasingly controversial nature of the scientific and economic analyses underlying policy proposals ostensibly directed at the purportedly adverse effects of greenhouse gas emissions, and given the economic and employment conditions now characterizing the state, the employment effects of AB 32 have become an important political and policy concern, says Benjamin Zycher, a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

California’s AB23 – a litmus test for climate law
Excerpt: If the supporters of Proposition 23 prevail in the Nov. 2 election, California’s landmark global warming law would be suspended indefinitely. But the out-of-state oil companies funding the initiative appear to have their sights set higher. Success in halting California’s climate-change law by showing the public doesn’t support it would give momentum to the opponents of similar legislation that has stalled in Congress. The ballot initiative also has the power to reverse one of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature environmental accomplishments. In 2006, he signed the Global Warming Solutions Act, a Democratic bill that requires reduction of greenhouse gas emissions statewide to 1990 levels over the next decade. The law, AB32, is a cornerstone of the environmental legacy the Republican governor is trying to leave and is scheduled to take effect in 2012. The California agency overseeing air regulations has already started working on the rules to implement it. Although the original story was at the Washington Post (link within the article) I linked through Watts Up With That to include their comments and links to summaries of the arguments for and against the proposition. Also, notice the way the supporters are described by WaPo's writers in the second sentence--no slanting the news here, move along, you. Apparently, no one does anything simply because it's a good idea, there has to be a nefarious--though unspecified--motive. Ron P. not quite. According to the media, leftists always do things for altruistic reasons—Al Gore’s $100m Global Warming windfall was a lucky byproduct—while conservatives always have a nefarious motive. ~Bob.)

Crass Market: How ObamaCare’s exchanges undermine quality health care
Excerpt: When Barack Obama pitched his health care overhaul last year, he declared, “My guiding principle is…that consumers do better when there is choice and competition.” But judging by the legislation he signed into law, his idea of a competitive marketplace is one that’s run by the government. ObamaCare calls for each and every state to set up a “health exchange,” a highly regulated, government-run marketplace where individuals can shop for health insurance, by 2014. Each state is required to either show progress on building an exchange by 2013 or make way for the federal government to build and manage one directly. These exchanges are the chief method by which the federal government will exert control over the insurance marketplace. Despite being operated at the state level (provided they choose to set up the exchange), state governments won’t entirely be in charge. The Department of Health and Human Services will have the authority to determine minimum health insurance requirements for most medical services and providers as well as cost-sharing details for plans offered through the exchanges. By the end of the decade, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million individuals will be served by these exchanges. In theory, they will expose health insurance customers to greater competition while protecting them through regulation. Insurers participating in the exchanges, for example, will face strict limits on how they can price their premiums according to individual risk factors. In practice, they will likely prove difficult to design and implement, and may ultimately undermine the country’s quality of care. No matter what, there is little doubt that the exchanges will fundamentally alter the health insurance landscape across the states. Already, some state insurance regulators—including the head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ exchange task force—are openly advocating banning insurance companies from selling individual policies outside the exchanges, leaving the state-run exchanges as the sole market for individual health insurance. Others simply propose applying exchange regulations to all health insurers, even if they operate outside the exchanges. The effect of both policies would be the same: to get rid of individual insurance sales outside the purview of the exchanges and their rules. States tasked with building the exchanges can expect the process to be tricky at best. Because the exchanges will be the vehicle through which individuals receive ObamaCare’s new health insurance subsidies, they will be expected to quickly and accurately determine an individual’s eligibility. That will require the exchanges to rapidly verify such variables as family size, location, smoking status, and income. Income verification will be the biggest challenge of all, as eligibility is based on family income—a major problem for dual income homes. Will states ask employed women to provide their husband’s tax returns? What if she’s separated but not divorced? (One of the three great lies: I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. ~Bob.)

Why It’s Safer to Drill in the Backyard
Excerpt: As we look back at the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it is time to ask why we are drilling in such risky places when there is oil available elsewhere. The answer lies in the mantra NIMBY—“not in my backyard.” BP was drilling for oil in five thousand feet of water in the Mississippi Trench, more than forty miles off the Louisiana coast. The site was leased in March 2008 from the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service. The area is one of an increasingly limited number of places available for oil and gas development in the United States. Because most private lands have been explored, public lands offer the most potential for oil and gas development. However, the NIMBY principle has significantly restricted development on those lands. According to 2008 Energy Department figures, nearly 80 percent of potentially oil-rich offshore lands are off limits to oil and gas development, as are 60 percent of onshore lands. In my backyard, Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester have introduced a bill aimed at halting oil and gas exploration in the Flathead River drainage area near Glacier National Park. They have already pressured Chevron and ConocoPhillips to relinquish their exploration leases on the land, placing 75 percent of the leases off limits to development. And, of course, there is the perennially contentious issue of drilling in ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The government estimates that the area could produce 750,000 barrels of oil a day. (We will eventually drill in ANWR, once the leftist’s policies have caused so much economic pain that they lose power. ~Bob.)

POLL: Tea Party fires up the Democrats more than it influences Republicans
Excerpt: The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll of 12 crucially competitive districts found a 45-34 favorable-unfavorable rating for the conservative grassroots movement. But 55 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans say Tea Party support for a candidate will not make any difference. Democrats break 66-15 against the Tea Party, and half say Tea Party support makes them less likely to vote for a candidate. So a Tea Party endorsement would motivate Dems to vote against a candidate slightly more than it prompts Republicans or independents to vote for one. And only 19 percent of independents said a Tea Party affiliation made them more likely to vote for a candidate.

In midterm elections, Washington lobbying becomes a line of attack for both parties
Excerpt: From California to Indiana to Florida, candidates are seizing on ties between their opponents and the lobbying profession as an alleged sign of loyalty to special interests. Campaign contributions from K Street lobbyists have also flared as an issue in many campaigns, including the widely watched contest between tea party favorite Sharron Angle (R) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). Although the lobbying industry has never been beloved by the public, its image has declined dramatically over the past decade even as its influence continued to expand. The Jack Abramoff scandal was arguably a turning point, sending politicians to jail and saddling the industry with the stench of criminality.

Ad of the day: Rand Paul introduces Obama impersonator
Excerpt: Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul (R) has a new ad out with a voice-over artist delivering a spot-on impersonation of President Obama. The ad was posted on YouTube Tuesday, and attempts to tie Paul's challenger, Democrat Jack Conway, to Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "Jack Conway has given me his stamp of approval," says the impersonator (who has been called Fauxbama), "Conway supported me for president, helped bankroll my campaign and even fought to pass my health care plan." The ad concludes with a photo of Conway being tossed between a photo of the actual Obama and Pelosi.

Three Senate seats move in Republicans' direction
A trio of Senate seats in West Virginia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin have all moved in Republicans' favor in recent weeks and we are adjusting our rankings to reflect that reality. Stay tuned for a handful of ratings changes in governors races later this afternoon. And, in the meantime, make sure to peruse our 2010 campaign map -- the best map out there to give you what you need in advance of the midterm election. Here's a look at our latest Senate moves:

Fiscal hawks see a chance for GOP on appropriations panel
Excerpt: Fiscal conservatives see the glut of openings for Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee as a rare chance to reshape the panel and reduce spending. At least five and as many as nine Republican seats on the 30-member spending panel will be open next year after the retirements of five GOP appropriators and likely gains for the party in the November midterms. A host of Republican candidates running for the Senate identify with the Tea Party movement, which wants to take a knife to the federal budget. They include Republicans Mike Lee in Utah, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska and Rand Paul in Kentucky, who are all either ahead or in neck-and-neck races in their states. Republican Senate candidates Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Carly Fiorina in California both have said they want assignments on the spending panel, not to steer money back home, as appropriators have traditionally done, but to cut pork from the inside. The momentum against spending has emboldened Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to say he’ll force his conference to vote on adopting a one-year ban on earmarks, the spending provisions that fund pet projects back home.

Big Senate gains in 2010 could put Cornyn in the 2012 White House mix
Excerpt: Expectations that Republicans will make big gains in the Senate this cycle have sparked presidential buzz for GOP campaign chief John Cornyn. Republican insiders who are dissatisfied with the current crop of likely White House hopefuls have floated Sen. Cornyn’s (R-Texas) name as a promising challenger. Former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), a one-time chairman of the Republican National Committee, touted Cornyn for president Wednesday morning. He made his remarks during a panel discussion at the Willard Hotel sponsored by DLA Piper, a law and lobbying firm. “Cornyn has been NRSC chairman and has done a very effective job with it,” Martinez said in a telephone interview later in the day. “He’s raised a lot of money and made contacts throughout the country. “Even if we don’t win the majority, he’s going to be riding a nice crest of success,” Martinez added. “Coming from a large state like Texas immediately puts you in a different category.”

John Bolton 2012?
Excerpt: “Who was our last moustached president?” I ask John Bolton as we chat in his American Enterprise Institute office in downtown Washington, DC. “Taft,” he responds without hesitation, “And the last candidate was [Thomas] Dewey—not a comparison I’m excited about.” With a twinkle in his eye, he deadpans, “I think the American people would say it’s a complete non-issue.” The former US Ambassador to the United Nations may be willing to joke about his trademark facial hair, but as the 2012 election cycle looms, he sounds like a man who is seriously evaluating his own presidential aspirations. Up to this point, Bolton has merely piqued the chattering class’ interest by refusing to foreclose the possibility of a presidential bid in a recent Daily Caller profile piece, and again during a Fox Business Network interview. Citing his chief priority of ensuring Republican gains in the 2010 midterm election, Bolton still won’t say if he’s planning to toss his hat into the ring, but now at least allows that he is “thinking about it very seriously”—a fairly significant rhetorical step toward to taking the plunge. It isn’t a new consideration either, he says. “I’ve been thinking about this really since it became clear early in the Obama administration that [the president’s] national security policy would be as bad as we feared it would be.”

Despite rising doubts at home, troops in one corner of Afghanistan see signs of progress
Excerpt: One recent night, a buried bomb sliced through a hulking military vehicle near here, killing two U.S. soldiers. Last month, the Taliban murdered an Afghan man, stuffed his nose with cash, placed a Koran in his hands and hung his body from a tree. Almost every day, insurgents fire on American troops stationed in this rural village. Even so, their company commander, Capt. Mikel Resnick, says: "We're winning the war up here." As a major new offensive gets underway here in the Arghandab River valley and elsewhere in Kandahar province, criticism is rising in Washington about the coherence of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. President Obama is said to be troubled by mounting casualties, many in this southern Taliban stronghold. Skeptics in Congress and the White House are demanding more data on the progress of the war. But the Delta Company soldiers in this one corner of one district have a different view. They arrived two months ago in what was clearly Taliban land. Today it is contested land. To them, violence is a sign of progress: Now the Taliban has someone to fight.

Tierney tax flap ‘shakes up’ race
Another critter in Pelosi’s un-drained swamp. ~Bob. Excerpt: The state Republican Party and its 6th Congressional District dark horse candidate Bill Hudak are challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John F. Tierney to tell all he knew about his wife’s admitted involvement with an illegal multimillion-dollar gambling operation allegedly run by her brothers. “Voters are going to have a hard time believing his wife was managing $7 million, and he never noticed or asked any questions,” GOP chairwoman Jennifer Nassour said in an e-mail statement. Tierney, 59, of Salem, yesterday refused to field questions outside U.S. District Court in Boston after his wife of 13 years, custom jewelry designer Patrice Tierney, also 59, pleaded guilty to helping her brother Robert Eremian conceal his $7 million ownership stake in a Caribbean phone and online betting service by falsifying his federal tax returns for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. (Tierney gets his own October Surprise from the prosecutor. I’ve actually met Bill Hudak, but gave him little chance. Hard to say how much impact this will have on the race, but I’m guessing not much. It's tough to overcome the city machine in the city. Ron P.)

Veteran’s campaign hits bump with plea
Excerpt: When you are running for reelection, having your wife plead guilty to abetting tax evasion is not the kind of news you want a month before voters go to the polls. But that is where US Representative John F. Tierney, Democrat of Salem, now finds himself as he campaigns for an eighth term against a controversial but energetic Republican opponent, Bill Hudak. Even as state Republicans tried to capitalize on Tierney’s troubles yesterday, many voters in the Sixth Congressional District seemed to be reserving judgment about their man in Washington and whether the guilty plea yesterday by his wife, Patrice, would resonate politically. Some voters displayed sympathy for Tierney, while others were highly critical. Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty in US District Court in Boston to managing a bank account that her brother allegedly used to deposit more than $7 million in illegal gambling profits. She will be sentenced in January. John Tierney said that both he and his wife had been betrayed by his wife’s brother and that he had been unaware of the particulars of the account.

Commission Report Slams Government's Oil Spill Response
Excerpt: A presidential commission's reports on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill criticize the Obama administration for "underestimating" the amount of crude flowing into the Gulf, which in turn "undermined public confidence in the federal government's response." The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, formed just weeks after the April oil rig explosion, released a series of four papers Monday, each deeply critical of the federal government's handling of the disaster. "By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem," read one report. (...) The report also faults the White House for claiming that a large percentage of the oil had been cleaned up or dissolved. In early August, Carol Browner, the administration's coordinator for energy and climate change, said "more than three-quarters of the oil is gone. The vast majority of the oil is gone." The commission concluded that the data showed that up to half of the leaked oil could still be suspended in the water or buried on the ocean floor. (Things are getting bad when even the President's own commission finds problems with the ineptness of their handling of the "largest environmental crisis of our time." Ron P. Folks down that way think Bush handled Hurricane Katrina better. ~Bob.)

Green Supremacists
Excerpt: There’s a new kind of supremacist on the scene: green supremacists. They haven’t blown up any children–not in real life. But they’ve been thinking about it. A British outfit called the 10:10 Campaign hired Richard Curtis, a writer and producer of cinematic comedies, to produce a four-minute video promoting its effort to encourage people to cut “carbon emissions.” The result, titled “No Pressure,” struck James Delingpole, a global-warming skeptic who writes for London’s Daily Telegraph, as “deliciously, unspeakably, magnificently bleeding awful.” He’s being too kind. You’ve likely seen the video, thanks to the amount of traffic my post on the topic received (thank you again to the folks at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze and other sites for linking to it), but if not click here for the full visual horror, and some of the earlier ads leading up to it.

First Guantánamo civilian trial in disarray as judge blocks key witness
Excerpt: The trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani has been postponed because the name of the key witness, Hussein Abebe, emerged during Ghailani’s interrogation in a secret CIA prison, where his lawyers say he was tortured. They had argued that any statements he made under duress were inadmissible. Abebe is alleged to have sold explosives to Ghailani, who is charged with plotting the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, which killed 224 people. The decision by Lewis Kaplan, a US District Judge, to bar his evidence, is a severe setback to Barack Obama’s pledge to try suspected terrorists in criminal trials rather than military hearings. It could permanently restrict the type of evidence that government prosecutors can use in carrying out the plan, which was already the subject of fierce political disagreement. Last week a prosecutor said that without Abebe’s testimony, “the government has no way of putting such evidence in front of the jury at all” in Ghailani’s case. Mr Obama’s administration also wanted to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, in a federal court. (Goodness gracious me, oh my. Who could possibly have foreseen this development? Only anyone who recognizes an act of war. It is ludicrous to attempt to try enemy combatants in a civilian court system aimed at the control of petty thieves and medical malpractice lawsuits. Just one more reminder of the big brains leading the Department of Justice and their understanding of the real world. In a way, we should be glad this happened now, rather than two years from now, overturning a conviction and freeing the poor victim of CIA persecution. I predict they still won't go back to military tribunals; the administration won't want to admit the mistake. Ron P)

The Two Vietnam Wars
Excerpt: On Friday of last week, much of the establishment media reminded us of the awful 35th anniversary of the so-called "End of the Vietnam War" -- on April 30, 1975. This is only partly true, and now we need to know what the late commentator Paul Harvey would correctly call "the rest of the story." On Friday and throughout the weekend, familiar pictures were shown of American helicopters lifting people off the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon as the South Vietnamese government was collapsing to the invading Communists from the North -- and this was dutifully labeled again as the "first war ever lost by America." Since this snapshot of so-called "history" is highly misleading, it becomes vital that the entire story of Vietnam and its Cold War aftermath be clearly understood -- so that today's partisan politicians, media commentators and far-Left "Progressives" cannot scam the American public with a variety of false "lessons" of that long-ago conflict and its far-reaching consequences. Unfortunately, we live in an age when far too little attention is paid to history -- real history. What actually happened back then is often rewritten to satisfy political or ideological appetites of "Scamalot" revisionists -- who may be journalists, or academics, or deceitful governments, or religious zealots, or even occupants of high political office. Evidence of this deceit can be found in America's failure three months ago to memorialize the actual late-January 1973 end of the Vietnam War -- or, more correctly, the end of "Vietnam One," in which American armed forces fought. That was the twelve-year war which was fought largely by U.S. combat forces and which officially ended with the Paris Peace Accords of January 27, 1973. But sadly, back in January, we saw not a single historically correct commentary about the end of "Vietnam One" in any major U.S. newspaper. Nor was there any detailed mention by any TV network "talking head" of the historical truth of a badly defeated North Vietnam's exodus from the South. That was the imperfect but largely victorious and now-forgotten end of Vietnam One. Remembered and loudly acclaimed, instead, is the infamous anniversary date more than two years later of the tragic end of "Vietnam Two" – which (a) began in January 1975, (b) involved no U.S. combat forces at all, and (c) came to a tragic end on April 30, 1975. (Of course, the tragedy is that all the work like this never gets the publicity and accolades it deserves. It is true, the Big Lie, screamed, shouted, broadcast, and printed in formal texts and schoolbooks again and again and again..... becomes the "true" story that is harder to chip away at than a block of black granite the size of Texas. --Del)

McDonald's, 29 other firms get health care coverage waivers
Excerpt: Nearly a million workers won't get a consumer protection in the U.S. health reform law meant to cap insurance costs because the government exempted their employers. Thirty companies and organizations, including McDonald's (MCD) and Jack in the Box (JACK), won't be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low-cost health plans, which are often used to cover part-time or low-wage employees. The Department of Health and Human Services, which provided a list of exemptions, said it granted waivers in late September so workers with such plans wouldn't lose coverage from employers who might choose instead to drop health insurance altogether. Without waivers, companies would have had to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013 and unlimited in 2014.

The employer rush to NY's exits
Excerpt: Like a leaky faucet, New York state was drip-drip- dripping businesses and jobs to other states for all but one of the 15 years leading up to the official end of the last economic expansion in 2007. In any one of those years, the loss might have looked like a drop in the bucket. But over time, the drops add up to a large and worrisome wave -- a wave whose full dimensions are only now becoming visible, thanks to a new database developed for the Manhattan Institute's Empire Center. New York-based firms picked up and moved at least 407,558 jobs to other states from 1993 to 2007, we found. Meanwhile, firms moving into New York from other states brought just 259,090 jobs with them. Measured as a percentage of total jobs at the start of the period, New York's net out-migration of 148,508 jobs was the biggest loss of any state. The industry sectors with the most net migration losses were management and public relations, down almost 10,000 jobs, and securities brokers and dealers, down more than 9,000. (Notice how jobs flee Democrat-run states like California, NJ & Illinois? Must be a coincidence. ~Bob.)

Democrats and 'Poisoned' Politics
Excerpt: In March 2004, when Barack Obama was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Illinois Democratic primary, he excoriated President George W. Bush for creating a "jobless recovery." The month he said that, 334,000 new jobs were created—none of them temporary Census ones—and unemployment was 5.8%. That was then. Now the unemployment rate is 9.6%, and tomorrow's jobs report is unlikely to be much better. Many other Democrats piled on Mr. Bush at the time. "Mr. President, where are the jobs?" Rep. Nancy Pelosi asked on CNN in October 2003. "The American people will not settle for—nor should the Republicans celebrate—a jobless recovery." That month saw 203,000 new jobs and 6% unemployment. Her party would kill for such a rate today. Instead, they will be killed at the polls. This election's top issue is the economy, and the Democrats are being held accountable for its poor performance. After all, the party controls the White House and Congress and passed all the spending and stimulus measures it could dream up. Last month, the Pew poll found that Americans thought Republicans would be better at improving "the job situation" than the Democrats by a 40% to 35% margin—a 16-point shift since 2006. Historically, Republicans have done well in congressional races when the GOP has closed to within five points on the economy and jobs. Republicans were also more trusted to "reduce [the] budget deficit" than the Democrats, by 44% to 29%. How did the Democrats get here? By passing bad legislation. How bad? Not a single vulnerable House Democrat is featuring the stimulus bill in campaign ads—except for those Democrats who opposed it. Nor do any extol cap and trade in television spots. Only one targeted Democratic Senator (Wisconsin's Russ Feingold) and three Democratic Congressmen (North Dakota's Earl Pomeroy, Nevada's Dina Titus and New York's Steve Israel) feature ObamaCare in their advertising. But they talk only about the best poll-tested elements, such as no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. Despite the encouragement of some ivory-tower liberal commentators, these politicians understand the toxicity of the bill's totality and its price tag.

Contrast in crowd populations
Here's a PJTV Video about the recent "One America" rally (read that as the "we'll show Glenn Beck" rally). I love it, because it is exactly the same contrast as I have personally seen in the past, for instance four years ago when the big antiwar protest was held that was supposed to start at the Viet Nam Memorial, and a giant crowd of vets and others showed up to counter protest. That group was all volunteers, paying every dime of their own way, no big and well funded organizations behind them, while the antiwar group was just like the one shown in this video. Made up of a wide assortment of radicals, wackos, professional activists, and naive idealists, with lots of funding for buses, signs, and an incredible professional sound system. What we call the Left is a broad collection of smaller groups with agendas that vary in many ways but are all similar in holding our nation in varying levels of disdain, contempt, and even hatred. All held together through a small and often behind the scene set of professional radicals who get really big checks from people like Soros and organizations like SEIU. While the great bulk of Conservative groups are not remotely professional, have no big money behind them, and have in common a love of this nation and its founding principles, and a strong belief in the validity and application of our Constitution. Yet somehow that contrast doesn't seem to show up very clearly when the MSM covers the demonstrations..... on the Left they find the 10% of the somewhat reasonable signs to show, on the Right they work hard to find the 1% of the signs that are in any way radical. Yet still it seems Middle America is no longer swallowing the whole hook, line, and sinker, so indeed, we have Hope for Change in November. --Del

250 Union Workers Storm City Hall
The face of things to come, as we become Greece. ~Bob. Excerpt: “We want a fair contract!” city workers called up to Mayor John DeStefano’s window. The mayor’s reply: Maintaining workers’ current benefits will “bankrupt taxpayers.” That argument became public Tuesday, as at least 250 union workers stormed City Hall for a face-to-face confrontation with the mayor. The workers marched to the Green from the High School in the Community, shouted chants outside DeStefano’s window, then met him for a chaotic conversation from the banister overlooking the main staircase from the first to second floors of City Hall. At issue is the city’s quest for cutbacks in health and pension benefits in new labor contracts. Declaring that a “ruthless” City Hall has a awakened a “sleeping giant,” union leaders decried what they called bad faith in negotiations and vowed not to force working families to give back in tough times. The mayor said the city can no longer afford to offer some benefits far superior to those in the private sector, at least not without raising taxes.

Dearborn schools pay to settle lawsuit by coach
The face of things to come, as the Islamic-supremacy movement grows stronger in the US. ~Bob. Excerpt: A wrestling coach who claimed he lost his job at a suburban Detroit high school because of his Christian faith has settled the lawsuit for $24,500. Gerald Marszalek, who is 65, also received $500 from Dearborn Public Schools in exchange for waiving any claim of age discrimination. Marszalek was a coach at Fordson High School, where Muslim students are a majority. He said his troubles with the school's Muslim principal, Imad Fadlallah, began in 2005 when a volunteer assistant, the Rev. Trey Hancock, introduced some wrestlers to Christianity during a camp away from school. Marszalek's contract wasn't renewed in 2008 after 35 years. Fadlallah recently retired as Fordson principal. In August, two award-winning teachers filed a lawsuit accusing him of harassment because they're not Muslim.

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide: 'The U.S. Is Now Experiencing the Beginning of Its End'; Improvement and Change in the Muslim World 'Can Only Be Attained Through Jihad and Sacrifice'
Excerpt: In one of his recent weekly sermons, titled "How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny [against the Muslims]," Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Badi' accused the Arab and Muslim regimes of employing tyranny against their peoples, of avoiding confrontation with the Muslims' real enemies - the Zionist entity and the U.S. - and of disregarding Allah's commandment to wage jihad against the infidels. [...] Following are excerpts from Badi's sermon, which was posted on the Muslim Brotherhood's official website:[2] The Muslim and Arab Regimes "Are Disregarding Allah's Commandment to Wage Jihad" "According to the Islamic shari'a that Allah [has bequeathed] to mankind, the status of the Muslims, compared to that of the infidel nations that arrogantly [disdain] his shari'a, is measured in a kind of scale, in which, when one side is in a state of superiority, the other is in a state of inferiority... They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life."

Briton killed in Pakistan linked to failed NY bomber
Got the memo too late. ~bob. Excerpt: A British man killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan had ties with the would-be Times Square bomber, a Pakistani intelligence official said on Wednesday. The official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters the Briton, Abdul Jabbar, had also been in the process of setting up a branch for the Taliban in Britain.

Michigan State University's School of Journalism publishes manual for journalists to help them whitewash Islamic jihad
Excerpt: Pamela Geller has noted the same tendency to whitewash the way in which Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism on the part of the Society of Professional Journalists, here. The problem with these guidelines are many. One main problem with them is that while they urge journalists not to use "jihad" in connection with Islamic jihad terrorism, what if the jihad terrorists themselves do so? As we have seen here at Jihad Watch many times, it is common practice for journalists to report on Islamic jihad activity without ever mentioning Islam, jihad, Muslims, etc. They are responsible for the public's abysmal state of ignorance regarding the nature and magnitude of jihad activity.

Iraq Veterans for Congress

Loretta Sanchez Compared Border Fence To Berlin Wall
Check out this video from a supporter of Assemblyman Van Tran, who is running to unseat Rep. Loretta Sanchez:
Excerpt: Yes, you heard that right, Rep. Loretta Sanchez compared a fence along our southern border to the murderous Berlin Wall in communist East Germany. This should really help Sanchez among all those Vietnamese voters CD47 who fled Communism in their native land. In the video, Sanchez is speaking to a Hispanic group in August 2008, her voice rising to a crescendo as she boasts of her "unwritten power" as chairwoman of the Border, Maritime and Counterterrorism Committee "to stop a fence that looks just like the fence put up in Germany..." Not only is that an intellectually stupid thing to say, it is morally blind. Whether Sanchez is specifically comparing a border fence to the infamous Berlin Wall or the longer security fence that ran along the West/East German border, she ignores the crucial moral difference between them: the East German fence was built to keep its citizens in -- the prevent them from escaping Communism and reaching a free life in the West. Our border fence is designed to prevent foreigners from illegally entering the country.

Working-Class Whites Shun Democrats, Poll Shows
Excerpt: Desperate for jobs and cool toward President Barack Obama, working-class whites are flocking to Republicans, turning a group long wary of Democrats into an even bigger impediment to the party's drive to keep control of Congress. An Associated Press-GfK poll shows whites without four-year college degrees preferring GOP candidates by twice the margin of the last two elections, when Democrats made significant gains in the House and Senate. The poll, conducted last month, found this group favoring GOP hopefuls 58 percent to 36 percent -- a whopping 22 percentage-point gap. In 2008, when Obama won the presidency, they favored GOP congressional candidates by 11 percentage points, according to exit polls of voters. When Democrats won the House and Senate in 2006, the Republican edge was 9 percentage points. Compared with better-educated whites, working-class whites tend to be older and more conservative -- groups that traditionally lean Republican and are uneasy with the young president's activist governing. Their wariness is reinforced by a prolonged economic funk that has disproportionately hurt the working class and shown scant signs of improvement under Obama and Congress' majority Democrats.

German Muslims must obey law, not sharia – Merkel
Excerpt: Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday Muslims must obey the constitution and not sharia law if they want to live in Germany, which is debating the integration of its 4 million-strong Muslim population. In the furore following a German central banker's blunt comments about Muslims failing to integrate, moderate leaders including President Christian Wulff have urged Germans to accept that "Islam also belongs in Germany." The debate comes against a backdrop of U.S. and British concerns over the threat of terrorist attacks by militant Islamists living in Germany, with Berlin toning down such fears.

Obamacare firesale: Three Catholic hospitals for sale in Pennsylvania
Excerpt: It looks like it’s not just insurers that suddenly want to get out of the health care business. Three Catholic hospitals in Pennsylvania are now on the market, and the hospital management is telling the local media that Obamacare is a major reason why the facilities are being unloaded: Mercy Hospital in Scranton is up for sale. Those who run the place and all other Mercy facilities in our area said Wednesday they are already in talks with organizations interested in buying. Mercy Health Partners hopes to have a buyer by the end of the year. Officials said there are numerous reasons for the sale. One big one is the heath care reform bill signed into law this year. The potential sale includes Mercy Hospital in Scranton, Mercy Tyler Hospital in Tunkhannock and Mercy Special Care Hospital in Nanticoke….. “Health care reform is absolutely playing a role. Was it the precipitating factor in this decision? No, but was it a factor in our planning over the next five years? Absolutely,” Cook added. This is likely to be a big story locally, and the hospitals fall in the districts of Rep. Chris Carney, D-Pa., and Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa. In the latest polls, Carney has a very narrow three point lead over his Republican challenger and Kanjorski, 13-term incumbent, is down 11 points against his Republican challenger.

U.S. rethinks intelligence sharing after leaks anger Obama
Excerpt: President Obama is angry over recent public disclosures of classified information in Washington, and the intelligence community is re-evaluating the post-Sept. 11 push for greater intelligence-sharing, Director of National IntelligenceJames Clapper said Wednesday. "We are working on information-sharing initiatives across the board," Mr. Clapper said in a speech. "But the classic dilemma of need to share versus need to know is still with us. And I would observe that the Wikileaks episode represents what I would consider a big yellow flag. I think it is going to have a very chilling effect on the need to share." The remarks at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington came in sharp contrast to his predecessors who called for increased information among the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. Indeed, the need for greater interagency intelligence-sharing was a key feature of not only the Sept. 11 commission's final report, but later reviews of U.S. government lapses in attacks like the Fort Hood massacre and the near bombing of a Northwest Airlines jet on Dec. 25. Wikileaks, a website that gathers and releases internal documents, made public in July thousands of U.S. military field reports from Afghanistan that included sensitive information, such as the identities of Afghan nationals who spied for the United States. The disclosures prompted the Taliban militia to announce a campaign to find and kill so-called collaborators. (Still another liberal idea about how to prosecute a war bites the dust. Unfortunately, this will simply lock us into the old position of not sharing intel between agencies. The correct solution would be to bring charges of sedition against all leakers, and shoot a few, especially if they are in the Administration, Congresscritters or staff. This would upset the press (no more leaks), and might require a few special elections to replace the lost traitors but would solve the problem very quickly. Wartime rules MUST apply during wartime. To reach the 2nd and 3rd pages of the story, click "story continues" at the bottom of each page. --Ron P. Gee, Ron, sounds like you don’t think reasoning with Nazis, Communists or Jihadists works? ~Bob.)

Woman takes crowbar to Stanford professor's controversial art exhibit
Excerpt: A woman using a crowbar entered a Colorado art museum Wednesday and destroyed a controversial exhibit by a Stanford University art professor that some say shows Jesus Christ engaged in a sex act. The exhibit -- called "The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals" by Stanford's Enrique Chagoya -- has been the subject of a week's worth of protests by those who claim it is blasphemy. The suspect was identified by police as 56-year-old Kathleen Folden of Kalispell, Mont. She is currently in custody on a charge of criminal mischief. (If you will recall there was an outcry and threats made by Muslims for depicting their 'prophet' in a cartoon. The press stopped! Now we have a TAXPAYER FUNDED college showing artwork of Jesus Christ involved in a sexual act! This is disgusting as well as disturbing! We, Christians, are not to threaten violence BUT we can raise our voices, write the media and speak out our total disgust at this act. The offender may hide behind Freedom of Speech BUT WE can use that same FREEDOM to demand de-funding of colleges that BESMIRCH Christianity! After all, we are the majority and that includes the MAJORITY of TAXPAYERS TOO! --Pastor Lee. Well, she was dumb. As we all know, defaming Jesus is art. Defaming Mohammad is hate speech and inciting to riot. So she should have just spread the rumor that it wasn’t Jesus depicted, it was really Mohammad. Muslims would have rioted, burned the building and beheaded the artist. The press would have blamed him for being insensitive. Problem solved. ~Bob.)

U.S. companies buy back stock in droves as they hold record levels of cash
Obama has them scared to expand and hire. ~Bob. Excerpt: For months, companies have been sitting on the sidelines with record piles of cash, too nervous to spend. Now they're starting to deploy some of that money - not to hire workers or build factories, but to prop up their share prices. Sitting on these unprecedented levels of cash, U.S. companies are buying back their own stock in droves. So far this year, firms have announced they will purchase $273 billion of their own shares, more than five times as much compared with this time last year, according to Birinyi Associates, a stock market research firm. But the rise in buybacks signals that many companies are still hesitant to spend their cash on the job-generating activities that could produce economic growth. Some companies are buying back shares partly because they don't want to invest in developing new products or services while consumer demand remains weak, analysts said.


  1. Regarding “The Two Vietnam Wars”, we were winning when I left. Ha.

    On another issue “U.S. companies buy back stock in droves as they hold record levels of cash”. The fact that US companies have so much cash is (of course) not President Obama fault, but the fact that they refuse to spend it on jobs for American’s is (of course) President Obama fault. I guess it just never occurred to America’s conservatives that for the past decade or so American companies have been laying off American workers (in order to maximize profits) and forcing the remaining work force to pick up the slack, without an increase in pay.
    So now that we have one American worker doing the work of four,(and millions of jobs shipped overseas) some are just amazed that these same companies are not hiring. Yep, that sure is a wonder, must be Obama fault.

  2. The fault of definitions lies in the composition unit: a set of words. Wikipedia takes nine full page width sentences to define word!

    I will bet that what the Old Jarhead learned as a marine was more visceral than verbal. I will bet that what he wants convey by his definition of liberal is more visceral than what he has posted here.

    God bless all who live by their true beliefs'