Saturday, September 26, 2009

Political Digest September 26, 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.

Iran Reveals Existence of Second Uranium Enrichment Plant
May 18, 2008: Iran doesn’t “pose a serious threat to us.” - Barack Obama, stating that “tiny countries” with small defense budgets cannot do us harm. (To be fair, the next day he stated, “I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave,” thus covering both sides of the issue.) Maybe now he’s got a clue, though I doubt he could find one in a field full during clue mating season. Time to turn loose Israel—or see terrorists with nukes. Painful choices.

Are you a racist?
Too funny.

Funny Cartoons

Democrats Are Jarred by Drop in Fundraising
Can’t think why. After all, all the protests were “astroturf” manufactured by special interests. Excerpt: As the battle over President Obama's effort to overhaul the health-care system reached a fever pitch this summer, the three national Republican committees combined to bring in $1.7 million more than their Democratic counterparts in August. The pair of Democratic committees tasked with raising money for House and Senate candidates -- and doing so at a time when the party holds its strongest position on Capitol Hill in a generation -- have watched their receipts plummet by a combined 20 percent with little more than a year to go before the November 2010 midterm elections. Large-scale defeats in the midterms could be a crippling blow to the ambitious agenda mapped out by Obama's top advisers, particularly if they happen in the Senate, where Democrats caucus with a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority. The party will have to work furiously to defend at least six Senate seats and as many as 40 in the House, including many snatched from Republicans. "If they take them back, this is the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do," Vice President Biden said Monday at a fundraiser for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), whose district was held by a Republican for more than two decades before her 2006 victory.

Look who’s blaming the media now!

White House Regroups on Guantanamo
Excerpt: With four months left to meet its self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration is working to recover from missteps that have put officials behind schedule and left them struggling to win the cooperation of Congress. Even before the inauguration, President Obama's top advisers settled on a course of action they were counseled against: announcing that they would close the facility within one year. Today, officials are acknowledging that they will be hard-pressed to meet that goal (Here’s a plan. Let it leak the prisoners have drugs and money, then turn them loose on the south side of Chicago. Problem solved.)

ACORN Funded Political, For-Profit Efforts, Data Show
Excerpt: Documents released by a Senate Republican on Thursday show that leaders of the ACORN community organizing network transferred several million dollars in charitable and government money meant for the poor to arms of the group that have political and sometimes profit-making missions. ACORN's tax-exempt groups and allied organizations, long a target of conservative ire, used more than half their charitable and public money in 2006 to pay other ACORN affiliates, according to an analysis by the tax staff of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). On Thursday, Grassley called the transactions a "big shell game" and said ACORN donors may be surprised by how the liberal group known for helping the poor obtain housing and health care was spending their money. He urged the Internal Revenue Service to take a closer look. (I’m shocked. Shocked, I say!)

Author confirms Bill Ayers helped Obama write 'Dreams'
Interesting speculation. Doesn’t make it true. Have to see how the book is received, and the reaction. The Leftstream Media will ignore any parts that make BO look bad, but will others run with it?

Obama Youth
This apparently took place during the campaign. Missed it. Kind of scary.

Now and then
Clever matching of the Obama Youth Singers with the Hitler Youth Singers. I’m one who thinks that comparing BO to Hitler is over the top, never mind that the left spent eight years doing the same to Bush, in harsher terms. (Trotsky maybe: “The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.” And: “Revolutions are always verbose.”) But the cult of personality is always a danger in a Democracy, as it leads to a centralization of power in the personality.

FDA Admits Error on Knee Device
Excerpt: The agency’s scientific reviewers repeatedly and unanimously over many years decided that the device, known as Menaflex and manufactured by ReGen Biologics Inc., was unsafe because the device often failed, forcing patients to get another operation. But after receiving what an F.D.A. report described as “extreme,” “unusual” and persistent pressure from four Democrats from New Jersey — Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg and Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. and Steven R. Rothman — agency managers overruled the scientists and approved the device for sale in December. All four legislators made their inquiries within a few months of receiving significant campaign contributions from ReGen, which is based in New Jersey, but all said they had acted appropriately and were not influenced by the money. (Part of the “Culture of Corruption” Pork Pelosi warned us about, no doubt.)

Bad Medicine
ObamaCare is hazardous to your health.
Excerpt: But the Democratic congressional leadership, led by Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, has now offered a bureaucratic, government-intrusive health care proposal. The details change daily as the bill works its way through the Finance Committee, which Mr. Baucus chairs, for there are more than 500 proposed amendments being considered. But the bill would start off by imposing annual fees of $6.7 billion on health insurance companies, $4 billion on medical device producers, $2.3 billion on drug manufacturers and $750 million on clinical laboratories, all of which would surely be passed on to consumers in higher prices. The insurance companies' $6.7 billion fees alone would come to some 60% of the industry's after tax earnings. And then American families who do not have health insurance--the people the Democrats claim they're trying to help--would be assessed finds of between $750 to $1,900 a year. All this reflects Congress's simple objective: government rather than individual control of our health care. But America's health care is not doing badly. Indeed a National Center for Policy Analysis study from last March shows how much better we are doing than countries like Canada, Britain, and other European nations that have government health care control: Breast-cancer mortality is 52% higher in Germany and 88% higher in Britain than in the U.S. Prostate-cancer mortality is 457% higher in Norway and 604% higher in Britain than in the U.S. Eighty-nine percent of middle-aged women in the U.S. have had a mammogram, compared with 72% in Canada. Fifty-four percent of men in the U.S. have had a prostate-specific antigen test, compared with 16% of Canadian men.

Effects of the Financial Crisis on the U.S.-China Economic Relationship
Excerpt: Eswar Prasad, writing for the Cato Journal, proposed what he termed a "grand bargain" between the two countries that would cover two areas -- macroeconomic policies and international economic affair: The two countries commit to using fiscal and monetary policy to the best extent possible to stimulate domestic demand in their own economies in the short run. The Chinese allow their currency to become more flexible and responsive to market forces while the United States articulates a plan that commits it to taming its budget deficit once the economy begins to recover. The United States supports an expanded role for China in multilateral financial institutions, including significantly greater voting rights at the IMF and a key role in the Financial Stability Forum.

Smart Growth Policies’ Drawbacks Detailed
Excerpt: Smart growth policies are fundamentally flawed and in some cases actually increase many of the problems they are meant to correct, says Wendell Cox, senior fellow for housing and transit policy at The Heartland Institute and principal of an international public policy consulting firm. “Smart growth’s land rationing policies drive up the costs of land for development, which is behind the far-higher house prices relative to incomes in places such as California and Oregon,” said Cox. “This effect has been noted by economists across the spectrum, from Paul Krugman to Thomas Sowell. Because smart growth increases house prices, it must inevitably lead to lower levels of home ownership, rationing not only land but also the American Dream.” The experiences of Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California should serve as cautionary tales to any municipalities considering implementing smart growth plans, Cox said. (Politically popular with the liberal elites. They contribute money, get green space around their neighborhoods, increasing their property values, and the poor pay more for housing. But the poor blame greedy landlords, so it’s politically a win-win.)

Stimulus Funds Boost Number of Federal Jobs
Excerpt: Stimulus critics such as Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House oversight committee, say the package has enlarged the federal bureaucracy without making a dent in the nation's unemployment rate, which was 9.7 percent in August. "The only thing we have seen stimulated by this package has been the size of the federal government," Issa said in an e-mailed statement.

MSNBC Commentator: Republicans “Want to See You Dead…They Kinda Like It When That Woman Has Cancer”
Excerpt: On the Wednesday evening edition of “The Ed Show,” MSNBC commentator Ed Schultz stated that Republicans want Americans to die, and that they enjoy it when middle-aged women contract cancer. He then suggested that moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine should allow tumors to spread through her body if she ever gets cancer. (Imagine the Leftstream Media reaction if Rush or Beck said this about a Democrat.)

Black Sea Wars
Excerpt: In August, the Georgian navy seized a Turkish tanker carrying fuel to Abkhazia, Georgia's former province whose declaration of independence a year ago is recognized by Russia but not the West. The Turkish captain was sentenced to 24 years. When Ankara protested, he was released. Abkhazia has now threatened to sink any Georgian ship interfering in its "territorial waters," but it has no navy. Russia, however, has a Black Sea Fleet and a treaty of friendship with Abkhazia, and has notified Tbilisi that the Russian coast guard will assure, peacefully, the sea commerce of Abkhazia.

Commit to Afghanistan or Get Out
Excerpt: President Barack Obama now faces a similar tough decision. The war in Afghanistan is not going well. The rebuilding effort isn't going well. The effort to create a competent government isn't going well. So should he commit American support if he isn't committed to doing what is needed to succeed? Mr. Obama owns the war in Afghanistan. He bought it, on credit. But he is fulminating at the cost now that the bill is coming due. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has made clear what the bill will be in terms of additional troops. And the president now wants a review to determine whether we're pursuing the right strategy. (BO was a hawk on Afghanistan—the good war—during the campaign. But he leads a party that for 40 years has wanted to cut and run whenever it got costly. And what’s it to us if the Taliban come back and throw acid in girls’ faces for going to school, of stone women for getting raped? Not like the Dems really care about such things in their lovely multicultural world. And maybe Al Qaeda will hold off until 2013, after his re-election.)

Hollywood cares more for stars than DoD does for vet heroes.
Not sure of the DoD’s reasons, but as a vet whose highest personal decoration is a richly-undeserved Good Conduct medal, I loath the phonies. Would like to have a definitive resource to call some of them.

Full Netanyahu UN Speech Part 1 of 4
Can we trade presidents? We’ll throw in a first round pick from the 2012 Democrat primaries. Full text here:

Rap fans ‘at increased car accident risk’
Presented as a public service to the many Rap Music fans among my readers. Excerpt: Drivers who listen to songs by artists such as Eminem, Dizzee Rascal and Jay-Z in their cars are most at risk of accidents, claims a new study. According to a survey of over 2,000 drivers by Auto Trader magazine, almost half of the volunteers admitted that rap or hip hop music affects their mood adversely while driving. Nearly one in five drivers say that makes them aggressive behind the wheel. Just six per cent said that listening to rap or hip hop helps relaxes them on the road, reports The Telegraph.

Man accused of plotting to bomb Springfield courthouse
Excerpt: Finton, thinking he was working for Al Qaeda, twice made a cell phone call that he believed would set off a mass-casualty bomb Wednesday in a van he had just parked outside the courthouse and near the office of a U.S. Congressman. According to the charges, Finton, also known as Talib Islam, was being watched by federal agents from the earliest moments of his alleged plot. (Another new Muslim who didn’t get the “Religion of Peace” memo, I guess.)

FBI Has Arrested a 19-Year-Old Jordanian Man Accused of Placing "An Inert/Inactive Car Bomb" Near Fountain Place in Downtown
Another Muslim didn’t get the Religion of Peace memo.

Mass. lawmakers approve Kennedy succession change
Excerpt: The final House and Senate votes came after another vote in which House members refused to attach an emergency preamble to the bill. That left it up to Gov. Deval Patrick to decide whether he'll force the measure into law immediately, instead of the normal 90 days required of all legislation. He could do so as early as Thursday, simply with a letter to the secretary of state declaring an emergency since a special election to replace Kennedy permanently won't be held until Jan. 19. But even some of his fellow Democrats have accused him of a power grab. Democrats revoked the governor's power to fill Senate vacancies in 2004, fearing then-Gov. Mitt Romney might appoint a fellow Republican if Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., won his campaign for the presidency. Instead, they created the special election campaign and beat back GOP efforts to supplement it with an interim appointment both that year and in 2006. Democrats argued voters should always fill a Senate vacancy. (Democrats in a power grab? Say it ain’t so, Joe!)

Scandals Continue for Obama Allies
First, it was the Obamaphilic gang of community organizers at ACORN generating controversy. Now, it's the lapdogs at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). And once again, an Andrew Breitbart Web site blew the cover off. At, Patrick Courrielche, an artist and NEA grant recipient, released a full transcript of an August conference call hosted by "the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the Corporation for National and Community Service" during which strategy was discussed with a "handpicked arts group" that had worked with Obama's campaign, including the artist who created the ubiquitous "Hope" poster.

So what, you say? Well, Courrielche reports, "Later in the call, 'specific asks' were delivered by Yosi Sergant, then Communications Director of the National Endowment for the Arts," requesting that the art group "create art on several hotly debated political issues, including health care." They were also asked to join "United We Serve," a public-service project led by Michelle Obama. Buffy Wicks, who oversees Obama's national service initiative at "" (which directs activists to ACORN) at the White House's Office of Public Engagement, told participants in the call, "[W]e're going to need your help." Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund writes, "Within two days of the phone call, 21 arts organizations endorsed President Obama's health-care reform plan."

To summarize, a taxpayer-funded organization (NEA) was "asking" taxpayer-funded artists to help the Obama administration enact a government takeover of our nation's health care system. Courrielche notes, "This practice has never been the historical role of the NEA. The NEA's role is to support excellence in the arts, to increase access to the arts, and to be a leader in arts education. Using the arts to address contentiously debated issues is political subversion. And the fact that the White House played a role in encouraging the arts to address contentious issues should also be considered a government overreach." Indeed, to Barack Obama, every government bureaucracy is a potential campaign arm. The community organizer has now morphed into a government organizer.

After being caught red-handed, the NEA first "reassigned" Sergant, though when that didn't work, he resigned on Thursday. The White House also pushed out new guidelines to ensure such politicization doesn't happen again. Try not to spew coffee on your keyboard. "The Patriot Post ("

Wisdom of taxing rich questioned
Excerpt: ALBANY -- This year, the deep pockets of New York's rich were tapped like never before. The state's wealthiest pay new higher income tax rates, higher taxes for limousines and yachts, more to enter a horse in a race and more to dabble in real estate. Meanwhile, many are losing millions from the closing of business tax loopholes and those making over $1 million are losing tax deductions others get. Now, early revenue figures suggest that taxing the wealthy more under this year's state budget may have driven away richer New Yorkers. That could make the economic comeback for the state even harder. "You heard the mantra, 'Tax the rich, tax the rich,' " Gov. David Paterson said Wednesday at a gathering of newspaper editors at an Associated Press event in Syracuse. "We've done that. We've probably lost jobs and driven people out of the state." (Another Democrat belatedly discovers what conservatives have always known.)

States Worry About Sunset of Stimulus
Excerpt: State officials "expressed concern about the longer-term sustainability of their Medicaid programs after the increased FMAP funds are no longer available, beginning in January 2011," the report said. The report also found some states were using the money to free up other parts of their state budget that would otherwise have been used for Medicaid. Several states reported the funds were helping finance general state budget needs. States are also getting money to prop up their school budgets, and around $35 billion for highway work. Around $18 billion worth of highway projects had been approved by the beginning of September, the report said. Republicans have criticized the funds for state governments, saying they encourage states to postpone hard budget decisions and do little to create jobs or growth. They have also attacked the plan's effectiveness overall, citing the 26-year high in the unemployment rate last month. Members of the administration, including Vice President Joe Biden, say the plan is working, and that it has kept the recession from being worse.

U.N.: Nearly 90 percent of Afghan women suffer from domestic abuse
Excerpt: Qur'an 4:34: "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them." Allah says you can hit your wife. These are the consequences. "Afghan women hiding for their lives," by Atia Abawl for CNN, September 24:

Scotland's top soldier quits army in protest
Excerpt: GENERAL Andrew Mackay, one of the British Army's most senior commanding officers, has dramatically resigned his post over "dissatisfaction" with the government's handling of the Armed Forces. The head of the army in Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, Gen Mackay is said to have become increasing angry at the perceived lack of resources and commitment to the war in Afghanistan.

Bad news for the rest of us – the Guilt Industry is booming
Excerpt: It is the Guilt Industry. No, not the gilt industry (though that too is flourishing, thanks to the Government's borrowing binge). The Guilt Industry is completely different; it provides a living for those with an eagerness to demonise fellow citizens who spurn "progressive" values. The Guilt Industry's target market is largely, but not exclusively, Britain's middle classes, those to whom Benedict Brogan referred to in his column yesterday as "pilloried, taxed, stripped of their privileges, bound by red tape and lined up for fiscal execution". If you have a private-sector job, pay your bills, service your mortgage, invest in your property, commit no crime, save for old age (and that of your parents) and seek the best education for your children, then you have probably experienced an onslaught from the Guilt Industry's sales force. There was a time when the Guilt Industry focused mainly on white, heterosexual males. But, like Tesco, it has learnt to expand its customer base, moving up and down the social ladder, crossing ethnic and gender boundaries.

Cuban Healthcare

Letter to the Clarion Ledger Editor from a Doctor
Received this as an e-mail and can’t verify, but there is a Roger Starner Jones, MD, listed on the web as an emergency physician in Jackson, MS.

This was a "letter to the editor" in yesterday's (August 29) Jackson, MS newspaper.

Dear Sirs:
During my last night's shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ringtone. Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid. She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer. And our president expects me to pay for this woman's health care? Our nation's health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture — a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. A culture that thinks "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow. Don't you agree?

Starner Jones, MD
Jackson, MS

1 comment:

  1. After reading your post about another military general in Europe stepping down out of frustration with the lack of his government's support for the efforts of his armed forces attempting to keep terrorists from doing their cowardly deeds, I couldn't help but wonder what is next for America's armed forces considering the lack of military expertise and moral courage by our present commander in thief!