Saturday, October 10, 2009

Political Digest October 10, 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.

Is my blog OK?
I had a report from a reader that my blog was coming up with text over-laying the first few articles. Doesn’t happen when I log on, so it may be him. Please let me know if you can't read it okay. Thanks.

Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
Excerpt: A surprising unanimity of opinion is emerging online that the award has been given to Obama prematurely -- and that this both poses a potential danger to his presidency and will serve as a challenge to the credibility of the Nobel-awarding committee in Oslo.At Time magazine, Nancy Gibbs argues, "The last thing Barack Obama needed at this moment in his presidency and our politics is a prize for a promise." Tweets ABC News's Jake Tapper, referring to a controversy earlier in Obama's presidency: "apparently the standards are more exacting for an ASU honorary degree these days." (An Arizona State University spokesperson in April explained a decision to invite the president to give the commencement address without also giving him an honorary degree by saying, "His body of work is yet to come. That's why we're not recognizing him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency." And Tyrants rejoice: “I believe Obama is working hard for peace," said Muhammad Habash, a Syrian member of parliament and director of the Islamic Studies Center in Damascus. "We in Syria believe that Obama's initiative have been suitable, and that Syria is now witnessing important steps to correct the relationship with the United States. I believe everyone here will be very happy for Obama." (Obama joins such Nobel Laureates as Yasser Arafat and Le Duc Tho, who helped bring the peace of the grave to millions. Barack Hussein Obama, Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm as the little children are taught to chant.)

How to Win the Nobel Peace Prize in 12 Days
Excerpt: Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. Over the last decade the only requirement to win the prize was that the nominee had to be critical of George W. Bush (see Al Gore, Mohamed El Baradei and Jimmy Carter). President Obama has broken new ground here. Nominations for potential winners of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ended on February 1. The president took office only 12 days earlier on January 20. Let’s take a look at the president’s first 12 days in the White House according to his public schedule to see what he did to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize:

Nobel runners-up to Obama
At least Obama beat out these egotistical connivers! Two runners-up: Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been arrested and beaten for his peaceful political resistance to the brutal dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. But his persistence has brought about small steps toward a free and open Zimbabwean society. The pro-democracy, AIDS and environmental advocacy of Chinese dissident Hu Jia has earned him a three-and-a-half year sentence in Red China's gulag.

Nobel Panel Hopes Peace Prize Boosts Obama Self-Esteem
Satire. I think. Excerpt: An unnamed member of the Nobel committee this morning explained the shocking decision to give the Nobel Peace Prize to U.S. President Barack Obama, who had served only 11 days as president when nominated, by noting that the gold medal would go a long way toward boosting Mr. Obama’s self-esteem. “We used to give the award to persons who had actual accomplishments,” the anonymous source said. “But that’s so reactionary, and almost nostalgic. By giving the peace prize to Obama, we’re recognizing his potential, and applauding his intentions in a way that we hope will result in future actions.”

Next: Help Obama win the Heisman Trophy!
Excerpt: I just went to
and, in the "Type your nominee here!" field, entered "Barack Obama." The winner of this Nissan-sponsored promotion will actually receive one official vote for the Heisman award as sort of the people's choice. You can actually go back and vote once each day between now and the Heisman award in December. (yeah, but how do we get the Pope to fast track BO for sainthood?)

After beating video, Daley gets more help from Obama,0,1636195.column
Excerpt: The Obama administration may not be much for governing and tough decision-making, but when it comes to symbolism and aiding the mayor of Chicago, it is quite adept. Last week it was Daley's failed push for the 2016 Olympics. This week it's the murders. "This is not a show-and-tell," Daley said, when a reporter wondered whether Wednesday's public relations effort was more dog-and-pony-show than real policy. (John Kass is a Chicago treasure, worth more for the taxpayers than two Olympics.)

A peek at a federal employee’s spam e-mail from Team Obama
Excerpt: Over the past couple of weeks, we have received several emails (a couple below, two received within a minute of each other) from the Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, announcing ANOTHER new White House web site. This web site is where employees can make suggestions for how government can save money……ooooh, and win a trip to see Obama!! What a joke after all we have seen since Obama was elected! Too bad the general public cannot submit suggestions.

Poll May Point to Democrats' Worries Beyond Old Dominion
Excerpt: The latest Washington Post poll of the Virginia gubernatorial race represents more than bad news for Democratic nominee R. Creigh Deeds. The findings paint a portrait of the electorate that, if replicated elsewhere, stands as a warning sign for President Obama and Democrats who will be running in next year's midterm elections. The poll shows a lack of enthusiasm among many of the voters who propelled Obama and his party to victory last November, raising troubling questions for the Democrats: Were many of Obama's 2008 energetic supporters one-time participants in the political process who care little about other races? Is Obama's current agenda turning off some voters who backed him last year but now might be looking elsewhere? (Barack Hussein Obama, Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm as the little children are taught to chant.)

House ethics committee announces expanded investigation into Rep. Rangel
Excerpt: The House ethics committee voted unanimously Thursday to expand the investigation into Rep. Charles Rangel’s (D-N.Y.) alleged financial irregularities. The panel broadened the jurisdiction of its probe to include amendments he made in August to his financial disclosure records showing at least $600,000 in previously unreported assets, according to an ethics committee statement.

Transfer Machine
Excerpt: "The government who robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul," George Bernard Shaw once said. For a socialist, Shaw demonstrated good sense with that quotation. Unfortunately, America has become a laboratory in which his hypothesis is being tested. The theory of government I was taught says that government provides benefits, primarily security, to the entire population. In return we pay taxes. But lately the government has been a distributor of special privileges, taking money from some and giving it to others. America is now about evenly split between those who pay income taxes and those who consume them. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center recently disclosed that close to half of all households will pay no income tax this year. Some will pay less than zero ­ that is, they'll get money from those of us who do pay taxes.

Soldier 'Loved Life and Lived It to the Fullest'
Excerpt: Like so many of his peers, Nekl Allen felt compelled to serve his country after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. And joining an ever-increasing number of his fellow soldiers, Allen was buried Thursday morning at Arlington National Cemetery. Staff Sgt. Nekl B. Allen, 29, of Rochester, N.Y., was killed Sept. 12 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, along with Spec. Daniel L. Cox, 23, of Parsons, Kan. Enemy forces attacked their vehicle with a makeshift bomb and small-arms fire, the Defense Department said.

No Compromise on Afghanistan
Excerpt: Right now, as commander-in-chief, President Obama must lead on Afghanistan, or we risk losing what he has described as the "central front" in our battle against al Qaeda. This past March, the President laid out his mission for the war: “to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.” And he inserted his top commander to pull it off, General Stanley McChrystal. At this moment, the situation in this fragile region is deteriorating. The insurgency is growing more effective and momentum is not on our side. Deaths of American soldiers are on the rise, and our troops lack the resources to turn the tide. General McChrystal, has recently reported that unless the President provides the full resources of a counter-insurgency strategy and does so quickly, we risk "mission failure" within 12 months. This is a view supported by General David Petraeus, now head of US Central Command.

Young Hamlet's Agony
Excerpt: The genius of democracy is the rotation of power that forces the opposition to be serious — particularly about things like war, about which until Jan. 20 of this year Democrats were decidedly unserious. When the Iraq War (which a majority of Senate Democrats voted for) ran into trouble and casualties began to mount, Democrats followed the shifting winds of public opinion and turned decidedly anti-war. But needing political cover because of their post-Vietnam reputation for weakness on national defense, they adopted Afghanistan as their pet war. "I was part of the 2004 Kerry campaign, which elevated the idea of Afghanistan as 'the right war' to conventional Democratic wisdom," Democratic consultant Bob Shrum wrote after President Obama was elected. "This was accurate as criticism of the Bush administration, but it was also reflexive and perhaps by now even misleading as policy." Which is a clever way to say that championing victory in Afghanistan was a contrived and disingenuous policy in which Democrats never seriously believed, a convenient two-by-four with which to bash George Bush over Iraq — while still appearing warlike enough to fend off the soft-on-defense stereotype. Brilliantly crafted and perfectly cynical, the "Iraq War bad, Afghan War good" posture worked. Democrats first won Congress, then the White House. But now, unfortunately, they must govern. No more games. No more pretense. So what does their commander in chief do now with the war he once declared had to be won but had been almost criminally under-resourced by Bush? Perhaps provide the resources to win it? You would think so. And that's exactly what Obama's handpicked commander requested on Aug. 30 — a surge of 30,000 to 40,000 troops to stabilize a downward spiral and save Afghanistan the way a similar surge saved Iraq. That was more than five weeks ago. Still no response. Obama agonizes publicly as the world watches. Why? Because, explains National Security Adviser James Jones, you don't commit troops before you decide on a strategy. No strategy? On March 27, flanked by his secretaries of defense and state, the president said this: "Today I'm announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan." He then outlined a civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. And to emphasize his seriousness, the president made clear that he had not arrived casually at this decision. The new strategy, he declared, "marks the conclusion of a careful policy review." (You can fool some of the people all the time, and 54% on election day!)

A month in Helmand: the soldiers' stories
Excerpt: Beneath the lip of his helmet the colonel’s face had the grey luminosity and glowing eyes of sudden grief. “I’ve just lost one of my best soldiers.” His words, so quiet that they were nearly a whisper, could almost have been a question. The identities of two dead soldiers had come over the radio just minutes earlier. Serjeant Paul McAleese, one of the battalion’s most renowned soldiers, had been so recently alive that his death warranted more than a degree of incredulity. “Shit day,” the colonel added. “Two KIA [Killed In Action]. Why is it always the ones with wives and children?” I had seen that look before in the faces of field commanders in Afghanistan. They talk about their mission and their operations with an air of enthusiasm that is either real or projected, becoming a little more cautious as they explain the “small steps of progress”. Then, bang, one more of their soldiers is dead – “ragdolled” as the men call it. The patter stops, the mask drops fleetingly, and raw grief stares back into your face.

MOP + UON Spells Trouble For Iran
But only if someone has the guts to use them.

Islamic Death Bounties in the U.S.A.
Excerpt: Gaubatz: Many readers, specifically liberals, will say it isn’t true that Islamic leaders advocate hatred and violence, but in reality if the readers would conduct just basic research of the materials provided to worshippers (to include children) in their local mosques, their conclusions would change. I have been to over 200 U.S. mosques and within the walls of a mosque are materials advocating the same violent ideology Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden promote. Numerous materials provided to the worshippers by the Imams call for the destruction of Israel, America, honor killings (such as a father killing his daughter or son if they leave or cause harm to Islam), killing homosexuals, and to even kill priests or nuns because the spread of Christianity is harmful to the Dawaa (spreading/teaching of Islam).

Muslim in Washington, DC: "I'm not scared to die! I will kill you! I will blow people up and the Metro!"
Guess he didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo.

UK: Girl missing for ten years was victim of honor killing
Excerpt: No one, of course, dares to confront the root of the problem by pointing out such inconvenient truths as the fact that a manual of Islamic law certified by Al-Azhar as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). …A mother broke a ten-year silence to claim her teenage daughter was murdered in an 'honour killing', a court heard yesterday. Tulay Goren, 15, was allegedly killed by her father and buried in his garden after he learnt she was in a sexual relationship with a man twice her age. Mehmet Goren, 49, with the help of at least one of his brothers, then allegedly dug up her remains in Woodford Green, East London, and disposed of them a week later. Her body has never been found…. But after losing her virginity Tulay was seen as a 'valueless commodity', the court heard….

France: Muslim soccer team refuses to play match against gay team
Tolerant Islam.

Obama Declares War on Free Speech
Excerpt: The Obama Administration has now actually co-sponsored an anti-free speech resolution at the United Nations. Approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council last Friday, the resolution, cosponsored by the U.S. and Egypt, calls on states to condemn and criminalize “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.” What could be wrong with that? Plenty. First of all, there’s that little matter of the First Amendment, which preserves Americans’ right to free speech and freedom of the press, which are obviously mutually inclusive. Any law that infringed on speech at all -- far less in such vague and sweeping terms -- would be unconstitutional. “Incitement” and “hatred” are in the eye of the beholder -- or more precisely, in the eye of those who make such determinations. The powerful can decide to silence the powerless by classifying their views as “hate speech.” The Founding Fathers knew that the freedom of speech was an essential safeguard against tyranny: the ability to dissent, freely and publicly and without fear of imprisonment or other reprisal, is a cornerstone of any genuine republic. If some ideas cannot be heard and are proscribed from above, the ones in control are tyrants, however benevolent they may be.

The Man with the Broken Arm and the NHS
Check out his picture to see what National Health Care means for you. Excerpt: This is likely what happened to Mr. Eeles. A few weeks after the accident, an orthopedic surgeon told Mr. Eeles that he would need to have surgery soon in order for the bones to heal correctly. That was 10 months ago. The fracture occurred on December 3rd 2008 and Mr. Eeles claims that the surgery has been scheduled and canceled four times since then (the British National Health Service claims only two were canceled). The arm has since improperly healed in a non-functional state.Thus Eeles the plummer has become the latest poster boy for the evils of socialized medical care. Inefficiency and long wait times for non-emergent tests and procedures are so common and endemic to socialized medical systems (Canada and the UK) that they are intensively studied and recorded. Such a phenomenon is unheard of to most Americans who only need to wait 2 week on average to get a knee replacement.

A New Entitlement That Cuts the Deficit!
Excerpt: Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) kept a lid on the cost by making this program non-universal: Enrollment is limited to those who aren't offered employer-sponsored insurance and earn under 400 percent of the poverty level, or about $88,000 for a family of four. CBO expects some 23 million people to sign up by 2019. But this firewall is unlikely to last even that long, says the Journal. Liberals are demanding heftier subsidies, and once people see the deal their neighbors are getting on "free" health care, they too will want in. Even CBO seems to find this unrealistic, noting "These projections assume that the proposals are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades, which is often not the case for major legislation." Then there are the many budget gimmicks, says the Journal: Baucus spends $10.9 billion to eliminate the scheduled Medicare cuts to physician payments --but only for next year. In 2011, he assumes they'll be reduced by 25 percent, with even deeper cuts later. Congress has overridden this "sustainable growth rate" every year since 2003 and will continue to do so because deeper cuts in Medicare's price controls will cause many doctors to quit the program. Fixing this alone would add $245 billion to the bill's costs, according to an earlier CBO estimate.

States with connected senators get exemptions on the cost of the health care bill!
Unbelievable! Excerpt: How good is Sen. Max Baucus's health reform bill? So good that Democrats have made sure some of the most costly provisions don't apply to their own states. The Senate Finance Committee is gearing up for a final vote next week, and Chairman Baucus now appears to have the Democratic votes to pass his bill. Getting this far has of course meant cutting deals, and those deals, it turns out, are illuminating. Reid (Nevada) and Charles Schumer (New York) are among those inserting goodies for their states. A central feature of the Baucus bill is the vast expansion of state Medicaid programs. This is necessary, we are told, to cover more of the nation's uninsured. The provision has angered governors, since the federal government will cover only part of the expansion and stick fiscally strapped states with an additional $37 billion in costs. The "states, with our financial challenges right now, are not in a position to accept additional Medicaid responsibilities," griped Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Poor Mr. Strickland. If only he lived in . . . Nevada! Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is worried about losing his seat next year, worked out a deal by which the federal government will pay all of his home state's additional Medicaid expenses for the next five years. Under the majority leader's very special formula, only three other states—Oregon, Rhode Island and Michigan—qualify for this perk, on the grounds, as Mr. Reid put it recently on the Senate floor, that they "are suffering more than most."

Climate Change This Week: Antarctic Ice Report
According to World Climate Report, "The ice melt across during the Antarctic summer (October-January) of 2008-2009 was the lowest ever recorded in the satellite history." Marco Tedesco and Andrew Monaghan, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, report, "A 30-year minimum Antarctic snowmelt record occurred during austral summer 2008-2009 according to space borne microwave observations for 1980-2009. Strong positive phases of both the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) were recorded during the months leading up to and including the 2008-2009 melt season." The Patriot Post (

You might be a redneck if….
Different take.

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