Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bob's Political Digest for July 22, 2009

I worked through the weekend. Between that and unpacking in our new digs, have had little time to post, and have received a lot of interesting items. So this is long, but pick and choose what interests you.

Book Recommendation
While on vacation I started the best seller Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin. Finally had a few minutes to finish the last two chapters Monday night. I highly recommend it. It’s short, clear and very readable. It has excellent, short explanations of the causes of the Great Depression, the current economic meltdown and much else, such as federalism, the Free Market, and the origins and economic challenges of the Welfare State. Put it on the top of your “must read” pile.

Walter Cronkite Dies
A great, highly-experienced military commander and strategist, I understand. Must have been. His pronouncement that the war in Vietnam was lost, led to a loss of public support for the war. That created the political environment where the Democrat-controlled US Congress could break our treaty obligations and eliminate promised financial support for South Vietnam. Which led to the fall of that country, as you can’t fight tanks, planes and bullets with empty hands. Which led to twice as many people in SE Asia being murdered by the Communists in the first two years after the war ended, as died in the course of the war, and a one-party government that doesn’t allow freedom of the press, freedom of speech or freedom of religion, and has been steadily exterminating the Montagnard hill peoples. Thanks Uncle Walter, the most trusted man in America. May you now be paying for the slaughter you did so much to help create.

And we wonder why pro-democracy folks in the Middle East don’t trust America to keep its pledges and stand by them?

Poll Shows Obama Slipping on Key Issues
Approval Rating on Health Care Falls Below 50 Percent
Puppies beginning to open their eyes, as the old political joke goes.

The 2% Solution
Is Health Care Reform about the uninsured? Or creating vast new federal programs?

Affordable Health Choices Act Approved by Two Key House Committees
“…this legislation is going to create a financial and medical nightmare for Americans…”

States Hit Hardest by Recession Get Least Stimulus Money
You don’t suppose politics is involved? Nah, not in this transparent administration.

How the Mighty Have Fallen
I know! Since people with high incomes spend the most in the economy, will stimulate the economy by taxing them more so they have less to spend!

Let Customers Control the Money and Market Will Cure Health Care
Terrible idea. If we let the free market control health care, how will politicians be able to win votes by steering dollars to favored constituent groups?

The Gelded AgeThe mustangs are almost too apt a symbol of where we’re all headed.
Funny, but sickening.

'I wed Iranian girls before execution'
Excerpt: In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a "wedding" ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard - essentially raped by her "husband."

Polish anti-Marxist thinker dies
Freedom is dying as well….

The Carbonated Congress
Orszag nails it: The 'largest corporate welfare program' ever.
Excerpt: President Obama is calling the climate bill that the House passed last week an "extraordinary" achievement, and so it is. The 1,200-page wonder manages the supreme feat of being both hugely expensive while doing almost nothing to reduce carbon emissions.

Obama Health Plan to Cover 12 Million Illegals
What the hell. The rich will pay for it.

Cap and Tax Supporting GOPer Booed at Town Hall Meeting
Hope he got the message.

Jewish community's denial about Obama must stop
Don’t count on it

Democrats' New Worry: Their Own Rich Voters
What goes around….

House reverses Obama on car dealerships - they remain open
Hay, don’t they know BO is in charge of the economy?

Teacher, Can We Leave Now? No.
Why we fight. In the NYT!

Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform
Key Senator Baucus Is a Leading Recipient
Excerpt: Health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million in 2007 and 2008, when he began holding hearings and making preparations for this year's reform debate. (You are surprised? When government is involved, decisions are made politically, not economically.)

Dodd Looks to Distance Himself from Financial Firms
Excerpt: Sen. Christopher J. Dodd has been a friend to the nation's largest financial firms for nearly three decades, and they have been his most generous donors. But now he finds himself in political trouble, and is trying to prove the relationship is over.

GM is lobbying at 98.6% of its prior levels
Excerpt: General Motors reduced its lobbying spending in the second quarter by only 1.4% compared to the first quarter, even though the second quarter saw the company go bankrupt, be taken over by the government, and announce it was cancelling its outside lobbying contracts. In April, May, and June, GM spent $2,760,000 on lobbying according to its Q2 lobbying filing, compared to $2,800,000 in the first quarter.

One Giant Leap
An independent reporter on the wars, who is the real deal. Excerpt: The U.S. Marines are a spectacle for the U.S. Army and also the British Army. The Marines will come in and live like pure animals, and build a base around themselves, whereas the British and American Armies will tend to build at least part of the base before coming in. One
Marine commander told me that during the early part of this war, his men didn't even shower for three months. We talked for a couple of hours and he was proud that his Marines didn't need a shower for three months, and that his Marines killed a lot of Taliban and managed to lose only one good man. That's the Marines. They'll show up in force with no warning, and their reputation with U.S. Army and Brits who have fought alongside them is stellar. A NPR photographer who just spent more than three weeks with the Marines could not praise them enough, saying he'd been with them in Iraq, too, and that when Marines take casualties, their reaction is to continue to attack. They try to stay in contact until they finish the enemy, no matter how long it takes. Truly they are animals when it comes to the fight. Other than that, great guys. Tonight at dinner, a young Marine Lance Corporal sat in front of me at the crowded dining facility. "Good evening, Sir," he said. I asked, "Are you living like animals out there?" "Livin' the dream, Sir!" They are fantastic.

The heavy burden of war, shouldered by the few
Excerpt: In a democracy, military duty is the ultimate act of public service. But while America has been waging war on two fronts since 2003, many Americans have left the defense of their way of life to the small group of people who make up this nation's all-volunteer military. These men and women deserve more than just our gratitude…. When America goes to war, Americans ­ all of us ­ should be on a war footing. But with a U.S. military force likely to remain in Iraq for many years and the fighting in Afghanistan about to become more lethal, most Americans treat our involvement in these conflicts like a spectator sport ­ the view for them is just fine from the bleachers.

Medical Care Confusion
By Thomas Sowell, PhD
None of the people who are trying to rush government-run medical care through Congress before we have time to think about it are pointing to Medicare, Medicaid or veterans' hospitals as shining examples of how wonderful we can expect government medical care to be when it becomes "universal."

Fiscal ruin of Western world beckons
Excerpt: But the deeper truth is that Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the US, and Japan are in varying states of fiscal ruin, and those tipping into demographic decline (unlike young Ireland) have an underlying cancer that is even more deadly. The West cannot support its gold-plated state structures from an aging workforce and depleted tax base.

AmeriCorps IG sues government over "unlawful" firing
From my friend Del: I absolutely LOVE this. Mr. Walpin, get some! He'll get his day in court, and they will try to bury him alive with legal BS, but eventually there will be a public hearing, and people will get held to task for whatever the rules really are. If the reason for Walpin being fired boils down to the "acted fuzzy at a meeting once" they'll have to demonstrate he's really senile, and that will be tough because he isn't. If it boils down to "a federal prosecutor filed a complaint against him" that will mean they have to prove he did something wrong, which will be tough since he reported on an undisuputed misuse of federal funds, which was pretty much his job. And since he's only demanding his job back and attorney's fees, nobody can say this is one of the "gimme money" spurious legal actions we see so often. This has a very good chance of embarrassing the hell out of the Obama administration and establishing they really were bullying a good civil servant for doing his job when the guy who actually did something wrong was an Obama buddy.

Inside The Bureaucracy Obama Envisions
"We have not yet estimated the administrative costs to the federal government of implementing the specified policies, nor have we accounted for all of the proposal's likely effects on spending for other federal programs."

Racial Preferences in the Democrats' Health Care Bill
Excerpt: The Democrats' health care bill creates a very significant financial incentive for medical schools and other entities to lower admission standards for "individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups" if that is what it takes to have the winning "demonstrated record".

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