Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Political Digest September 9, 2009

More Blue Dog Democrats?
Much has been made about the possible pick up of Democrat seats by Republicans in 2010. But there might be another factor shaping the next Congress. There are districts unlikely to elect a Republican, but where a more centrist or conservative Democrat might have a shot if the incumbent goes too far left supporting Obama. There are a lot of working class Democrats who are more conservative than their party leaders of fiscal and social issues—the old “Reagan democrats.”

Senator Ed Markey? Thank Speaker McGee.
Congressman Ed “cap & Trade” Markey was a little known member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives when he was lucky enough to get into a feud with then Speaker Tommy McGee. McGee, in a fit of pique, moved Markey’s desk from his office to the hall. Markey then ran for an open Congress seat on the slogan, “They can tell Ed Markey where to sit, but they can’t tell him where to stand!” Though it had absolutely zero to do with any federal issue, this fortuitous feud catapulted Markey into the Congress, as one of its most leftist members. Markey is now considered a strong contender for Kennedy’s senate seat, if he runs. On such small things turn the fate of Republics.

Obama's Summer of Discontent--A Must Read
Excerpt: So we are to have a French health-care system without a French tradition of political protest. It is odd that American liberalism, in a veritable state of insurrection during the Bush presidency, now seeks political quiescence. These "townhallers" who have come forth to challenge ObamaCare have been labeled "evil-mongers" (Harry Reid), "un-American" (Nancy Pelosi), agitators and rowdies and worse. A political class, and a media elite, that glamorized the protest against the Iraq war, that branded the Bush presidency as a reign of usurpation, now wishes to be done with the tumult of political debate. President Barack Obama himself, the community organizer par excellence, is full of lament that the "loudest voices" are running away with the national debate. Liberalism in righteous opposition, liberalism in power: The rules have changed.

Satire—Funny Stuff
A draft copy of President Barack Obama's planned September 8 address to America's public school children, tells students that "If you want to grow up to be like me, you should beg your parents to put you in private school, right now." Although Obama attended public school in Indonesia early in life, he soon switched to a private Catholic school, and from fifth grade through graduation went to a private college-prep school in Hawaii. His own daughters now attend a private school in Washington D.C. "Do you think you're going to get into Harvard University with your one-size-fits-all public school diploma?" the president will reportedly say. "Come on! Don't make me laugh. You'll be lucky to survive through graduation. Seriously, you gotta get out of this mediocrity machine. Go ahead! Get up right now. Run for the door. What are you waiting for?" While the White House would not confirm the content of the leaked speech draft, a spokesman acknowledged that "You don't get to be as smart and cool as Barack Obama by sitting in P.S. 152, listening to some union lackey droning on, and then eating government surplus in the cafeteria." On Tuesday, the president will bypass parents, taking his message directly to kids in the classroom "in hopes that you'll pester Mom until she gets a second job to pay private-school tuition so you can escape the swirling vortex of ignorance and despair that is our government-run school system." "The only thing standing between you and success," the president will allegedly say, "is the mentality that the government will take care of you. Once you shake that, there's no limit to your achievement. Pay any price. Bear any burden. Just get your fanny out of that fiberglass chair, go buy yourself an Oxford shirt, a pair of slacks and a clip-on tie, and go to a place that faces constant economic pressure to improve."
Examiner columnist Scott Ott is editor in chief of, the world's leading family-friendly news satire source.

Doctors and lawyers,0,347510.story
Excerpt: The Democrats have not been able to gain public trust or support for their ideas. They have not been able to gain Republican votes -- in part because they haven't been willing to listen to Republican ideas on health care. Republican leaders do have some sound ideas on improvements for health care access and affordability. And they have an important message about cost-effective health care that deserves the attention of Democrats. It's not about the doctors. It's about the lawyers. Medical malpractice reform has to be part of health-care reform.

How Tort Reform Cut Florida Workers’ Compensation Costs
Excerpt: In 2003, Florida passed tort reform to tackle the issue of excessive litigation in workers' compensation cases. The reform law also aimed to contain medical costs for injured workers, which were higher than group health insurance costs for similar injuries. The reforms lowered workers' compensation costs for businesses. Employees also have benefited. First, injured workers returned to work sooner, which means they will earn more wages over their work-lives. Second, workers kept a greater percentage of the amount they were awarded for lost wages. Finally, higher wage-and-employment growth in Florida compared to neighboring states has increased opportunities for all workers in the state

Without Tort Reform, It Isn't Health Care Reform --It's a Plaintiffs' Lawyers Protection Act,_it_isnt_health_care_reform_--its_a_plaintiffs_lawyers_protection_act
Excerpt: President Obama wants everyone to sacrifice. Well, not quite everyone. There is one group that President Obama doesn't mention, one group he doesn't demand sacrifice for the greater good. President Obama is protecting the plaintiffs' lawyers who sue doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies and reap billions in fees from the tort lottery. Though the broken, out-of-control tort system drives the cost of medicine through the roof, President Obama hasn't demanded any changes to that system, like a cap on pain and suffering damages, or a cap on lawyers' fees, or an excise tax on plaintiffs' contingency awards.

Reid to seize wheel after backseat role
Excerpt: Taking on a bigger role in the debate poses a political risk for Reid, but Democratic lobbyists and liberal activists say his leadership is essential for President Barack Obama’s signature domestic initiative to advance.

In Adviser's Resignation, Vetting Bites Obama Again
Excerpt: Because Jones's position did not require Senate confirmation, he avoided the kind of vetting that Cabinet officials were subjected to. "He was not as thoroughly vetted as other administration officials," the official said. "It's fair to say there were unknowns." (Exactly. The point of the plethora of “czars” is to avoid senate vetting. Vetting? We don’t need no stinkin’ vetting. The guy was a minority and leftwing, what more do we need to know?)

Van Jones did not fill out WH questionnaire
Excerpt: Van Jones, the Obama green jobs czar who resigned shortly after midnight Sunday, did not fill out the exhaustive questionnaire White House officials required of every Cabinet-level secretary and deputy-secretary position. An administration official said special advisers to the president, or czars, are not required to fill out the questionnaire that runs 7 pages and contains 63 questions. The entire questionnaire, the official said, is reserved for appointees who must win Senate confirmation. (Hummm. Maybe they should start, ya think?)

ObamaCare's Crippling Deficits
Excerpt: While the deficits caused by the fiscal stimulus package will end in 2011 and will help to sustain a fragile recovery in 2010, the deficits projected for the longer term are a threat to our economic future. The starting point for controlling those future deficits is for Congress to abandon the administration's health-care plan—a plan that will cost more than $1 trillion. The deficits projected for the next decade and beyond are unprecedented. According to an assessment released in March by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the president's budget implies that deficits will average 5.2% of GDP over the next decade and will be 5.5% of GDP in 2019. Without the president's proposals, the budget office forecasts a 2019 deficit of only 2% of GDP. The CBO's deficit projections are based on the optimistic assumptions that the economy will grow at a healthy 3% pace with no recessions during the next decade; that there will be no new spending programs after this year's budget; and that the rising national debt will increase the rate of interest on government bonds by less than 1%. More realistic assumptions would imply a 2019 deficit of more than 8% of GDP and a government debt of more than 100% of GDP.

Listening to a Liar
Excerpt: One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess-- for a program that would not take effect until 2013! Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years-- more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election? …The worst thing that could happen, from the standpoint of those seeking more government power over the economy, would be for the economy to begin recovering on its own while months were being spent debating the need for a "stimulus" bill. As the President's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, you can't let a crisis "go to waste" when "it's an opportunity to do things you could not do before." There are lots of people in the Obama administration who want to do things that have not been done before-- and to do them before the public realizes what is happening.

Obamacare born of lies
Excerpt: A few months ago, a Republican U.S. Senator told me that he pleaded with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to pressure the HELP Committee Democrats to let the Republicans negotiate and help shape the bill, since the Democrats were not listening or including the Republicans in any discussions. Senator Kennedy’s staff told the Republican Senator to take a hike. No one told Senator Kennedy’s staff otherwise. (Senator Dodd was torn between helping his dying friend and letting Kennedy’s legendary staff be his legendary staff.) On the House side, Chairman Waxman gave the Blue Dogs on his own Committee, and Blue Dogs outside the Committee the closed mouth, no information treatment. Forget about influencing the bill, he did not tell them what was in it until it was too late. The Blue Dogs told Chairman Waxman what they wanted, he just ignored them. All the while President Obama was publicly “reaching out” to Republicans — while his Leadership colleagues in Congress ignored Republicans, and ignored Democrats in their own party. Thus was born ObamaCare, of a strategy to allow the far left (Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Waxman) to design the plan and ignore those who disagreed, while publicly and repeatedly the President said he wanted to work with Republicans.

Saudi Muslim cleric: Hey, let's stop praying for the destruction of unbelievers
Excerpt: Tiny Minority of Extremists Update: the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, tolerant, law-abiding, democratically minded, and...pray for the destruction of unbelievers every Friday. One reasonably courageous Saudi cleric wants to end all that -- but would doing so constitute bid'a, an unacceptable innovation?

Is another 9/11 set to unfold?
Excerpt: The man who predicted 9/11 is worried that its sequel is imminent.
"Muslims that I talk to say things like, 'America thinks they're safe now. They've forgotten about 9/11. But watch, Daniel. Stay near your TV. It's going to be bigger than 9/11,'" he said. Hill said the next terrorist attack will involve suitcase nuclear bombs that will be detonated in small, low-flying two-seater private airplanes manned by men hanging onto the belief that, like the 9/11 hijackers, they are about to die as martyrs and enter paradise. He is not alone in suggesting such a scenario. A 2007 book, "The Day of Islam," spells out the details, as do any number of Internet sites about a plot called "American Hiroshima." The nukes, he said, will be detonated over New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, Houston, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I asked Hill, "Why now?" "Eight years from 1993 to 2001, eight years from that 9/11 to this 9/11," he said. "Symbolism. They're big on symbolism."

Obama's Soak-the-Rich Mentality: "No Goose, no golden eggs."
Excerpt: In April, the British government decided to recoup revenues lost in the current recession by raising the country’s top income tax rate from 40 percent to 50 percent. That decision turned out to be a body blow to England’s Premier League, the professional soccer association that includes such storied teams as Manchester United and Arsenal. As Jonathan Last recounts in The Weekly Standard, the hike in the tax rate has led top soccer stars to decline lucrative offers to join or remain with England’s most celebrated teams. Cristiano Ronaldo, Jermaine Pennant, Karim Benzema, and David Villa are among the illustrious players who have spurned the Premier League in order to play in Spain. Why Spain? Because under Spanish tax law, they qualify as “foreign executives,’’ a status that caps their income tax rate at just 24 percent. The tax differential “has become an almost insurmountable advantage for Spanish soccer teams,’’ Last writes, which is why Britain’s domination of European soccer is coming to an end. High taxes can have unwelcome, and unintended, consequences.

Our Tragedy of the Commons
Excellent essay. Even folks who didn’t like “cash for clunkers” figured, might as well get mine.

When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings
Excerpt: But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue. Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president's school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president's political benefit. "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props," the Post reported. (ah, but that was then, this is The One!)

Florida Exodus: Rising Taxes Drive Out Residents
Excerpt: There are many things public officials probably shouldn't do during a severe recession, but no one seems to have told the leaders in Florida about them. One thing, for instance, would be giving a dozen top aides hefty raises while urging a rise in property taxes, as the mayor of Miami-Dade County recently did. Or jacking up already exorbitant hurricane-insurance premiums, as Florida's government-run property insurer just did. Or sending an army of highly paid lobbyists to push for a steep hike in electricity rates, as South Florida's public utility is doing. And you wonder why the Sunshine State is experiencing its first net emigration of people since World War II.

Terms of Endangerment
Excerpt: Yet a curious twist is buried in the EPA's draft rule. The agency thinks it enjoys the discretion to target the new rules only to major industrial sources of carbon emissions, such as power plants, refineries, factories and the like. This so-called "tailoring rule" essentially rewrites clear statutory language of the Clean Air Act by bureaucratic decree.

The Second World War — 70 Years Later
Well worth Reading.

Marine’s Father speaks out
About AP’s decision to publish photo of his dying son.

Teen baseball player shoots coach after argument, witnesses say,0,760219.story
Excerpt: A baseball game intended to help young men avoid violence in the streets ended abruptly Sunday afternoon when one of the players opened fire on his coach at a park in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. The shooting occurred about 2:20 p.m. at a baseball diamond in Abbott Park near 95th Street and Michigan Avenue, officials and witnesses said. The diamond is just steps from Harlan Community Academy. The coach, Glynn Hall, 44, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was treated for multiple gunshot wounds. His condition had been upgraded to fair by Sunday evening. (Well, that violence prevention program worked out well. They don’t say, but want to bet it’s tax funded?)

Sole Informant Guided Decision On Afghan Strike
People seem unable to connect the dots. Had the Taliban not hijacked the fuel trucks there would have been on air strike. Had the Nazi & Communists not started WWII by invading Poland in 1939, we would not have killed thousands of French civilians in 1944 invading France to liberate it. Had Japan not bombed Pearl Harbor, we would not have bombed Hiroshima. The moral responsibility lies with those who make war to rule other people.

For Obama, A Pivotal Moment in Afghanistan
Excerpt: "Whenever you have to have a debate" over how much more investment may be needed, "you're implicitly saying you're failing," said Michael O'Hanlon, senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution. "But if you're failing, how do you give people hope that you will succeed?" With Taliban insurgents gaining ground and U.S. combat deaths increasing, an unusual and still small mix of liberal Democrats and conservative pundits has called for Obama to cut U.S. losses in Afghanistan and concentrate more directly on his stated objective of destroying al-Qaeda, which is based in neighboring Pakistan.

Obama's Summer of Discontent--Must read
Excerpt: So we are to have a French health-care system without a French tradition of political protest. It is odd that American liberalism, in a veritable state of insurrection during the Bush presidency, now seeks political quiescence. These "townhallers" who have come forth to challenge ObamaCare have been labeled "evil-mongers" (Harry Reid), "un-American" (Nancy Pelosi), agitators and rowdies and worse. A political class, and a media elite, that glamorized the protest against the Iraq war, that branded the Bush presidency as a reign of usurpation, now wishes to be done with the tumult of political debate. President Barack Obama himself, the community organizer par excellence, is full of lament that the "loudest voices" are running away with the national debate. Liberalism in righteous opposition, liberalism in power: The rules have changed.

The Change Agenda At a Crossroads
Excerpt: The slide has only quickened. Emerging from an angry August recess, Obama is weakened politically and faces growing concerns, particularly from within his own party, over his strength as a leader. Dozens of interviews this summer in six states -- from Maine to California -- have revealed a growing angst and disappointment over the administration's present course.

More Guns, Less Crime
"For anyone with an open mind on either side of this subject this book will provide a thorough grounding. It is also likely to be the standard reference on the subject for years to come."—Stan Liebowitz, Dallas Morning News

Joe Kennedy Won't Seek His Uncle's Senate Seat
Thanks be to God.

‘Buy one, get one free boob implant’ billboard in Wisconsin raises stink!
Only in America.

"No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders." --Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775. Founder's Quote Daily, a service of The Patriot Post, the conservative journal of record. To subscribe, link to

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty." --President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) (How’s that working out, Cal?) "The Patriot Post ("

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