Friday, December 11, 2009

Political Digest December 11, 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.

An elephant in the room: GOP's not Fat Cat Party,0,3578281.column
This reminds me of Vietnam. The Communists scored propaganda points claiming we were bombing schools, while hiding jets and tanks next to schools because they knew we wouldn’t bomb them. The Democrats attack Republicans for being in bed with the special interests, while getting more funding from them. And this doesn’t mention all the funding from trial lawyers to be sure they don’t lower healthcare costs through tort reform.

Excerpt: But that's not really how it works, as Timothy Carney documents in his powerful new book, "Obamanomics." In 2008, Obama raked in more donations from the health sector than John McCain and the rest of the Republican field combined. Drugmakers gave Obama $3.58 for every dollar they gave McCain. Pfizer gave to Obama at a 4-1 rate, as did the hospital and nursing home industries. In 2008, the insurance industry gave more money to House Democrats than House Republicans. HMOs give to Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 60 to 40. So far, the health care industry has mostly been trying to cut insider deals with the government, not fighting to defend the status quo. Discussions between Big Pharma and the White House have been more like pillow talk than a shouting match. This pattern is hardly unique to health care. The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, led by GE, includes many other Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs -- the company that has profited mightily from Obama's brand of hope and change. CAP is an aggressive supporter of the Democrats' climate change scheme. Why? Because GE and friends stand to make billions from carbon pricing, thanks to investments in technologies that cannot survive in a free market without massive subsidies from Uncle Sam. GE chief Jeffrey Immelt cheerleads big government as "an industry policy champion, a financier and a key partner."

Martha Coakley: Too Immoral for Teddy Kennedy's Seat
Excerpt: In Tuesday's primary election, Massachusetts Democrats chose as their Senate nominee a woman who kept a clearly innocent man in prison in order to advance her political career.

Dems Vote to Allow Federal Funding for Corrupt ACORN
They were just waiting for the noise to die down, to give tax dollars to their corrupt allies. Think I might as well open an under-age brother with sex slaves from Latin America and get my share.

Woman Shoots, Kills Intruder in Lincoln County
What was she thinking? She should have let him murder her…he probably had a bad childhood. Excerpt: STROUD, Oklahoma -- A woman shot and killed a man who was trying to break into her Lincoln County home early Friday morning, authorities said. Sheriff Chuck Mangion said 57-year-old Donna Jackson called 911 around 12:30 a.m. to report that she was home alone and a man was trying to break in her patio door. Jackson told the 911 dispatcher that the man was screaming and threatening to hurt her. "They need to hurry. He's going to break this thing open. When he does, I'll have to kill him and I don't want to kill him," Jackson said during the 911 call. For nearly 10 minutes the man continued banging at the door and yelling profanities, threatening the woman.

The Totalities of Copenhagen Global warming and the psychology of true belief.
Excerpt: Revolutionary fervor: There's a distinct tendency among climate alarmists toward uncompromising radicalism, a hatred of "bourgeois" values, a disgust with democratic practices. So President Obama wants to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% from current levels by 2050, levels not seen since the 1870s—in effect, the Industrial Revolution in reverse. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, insists that "our lifestyles are unsustainable." Al Gore gets crowds going by insisting that "civil disobedience has a role to play" in strong-arming governments to do his bidding. (This from the man who once sought to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.)

Destination Denmark: Political scuffle breaks out over Pelosi's delegation
Only true believers may make the Hajj. Excerpt: Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), a partisan Republican who has been an outspoken critic of climate change legislation, said Wednesday that even though he was invited by a senior Republican, he may not be allowed to go on the codel to Denmark next week.

Eco at the end of recession?
Excerpt: President Obama has directed funds from various federal agencies and the $787 billion economic stimulus bill be used to create 5 million "green" jobs. Indeed, the president has proposed spending $150 billion over the next decade on programs that provide subsidies for wind and solar power, increased energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings, retrofitting homes, and upgrading the electrical grid. But the president's proposal does not consider the substantial costs of government spending on green jobs. Indeed, subsidizing green jobs could cause more job losses than gains. The Obama administration's green jobs program simply shifts wealth from businesses, taxpayers and consumers to politically favored uses. Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf noted, "The net effect [of a green jobs policy] ... would likely be some decline in employment during the transition. ... The fact that jobs turn up somewhere else for some people does not mean there aren't substantial costs borne by people, communities, firms and affected industries."

Timber Payments and Logrolling
Excerpt: Since 1908, the U.S. Forest Service has paid 25 percent of its gross receipts to the states for spending on roads and schools in the counties where national forests are located. In the Pacific Northwest, receipts started to decline in the late 1980s due to lower timber sales as a result of efforts to protect the spotted owl. In 1993, Congress responded with additional “spotted owl payments” to the affected states. A 2000 law spread these payments to all national forests, but the bulk continued to go to the Pacific Northwest. When the law was reauthorized last year, members of Congress used it as an opportunity to grab money for their states.

For-Profit Universities Want Some Respect
But the academics from the traditional universities control the accreditation process and hate these upstarts, because they focus on educating students, not politics, tenure and grants.

For conservatives, a political surge
Excerpt: The energized "tea party" movement, which upended this year's political debate with noisy anti-government protests, is preparing to shake up the 2010 elections by channeling money and supporters to conservative candidates set to challenge both Democrats and Republicans. (But when they go after Republican RINOs, they may elect even more liberal Democrats, and strengthen liberal control of the Congress, because some states/districts won’t elect strict conservatives. The most important vote a legislator casts is the vote to organize. Folks who don’t get that shouldn’t play with matches. This does not mean I think all republicans should be moderates, just that we need allies where we can get them. But a moderate Republican Congressman votes to put Conservatives in Charge of Congress. A moderate Democrat votes to put liberals in charge.)

The Poll Republican Establishment Types Would Prefer You Ignore
Excerpt: What are we told about conservatives by the Republican establishment? Let’s see: they need to be seen and not heard, they are hurting us with independents, their philosophy is outmoded, they stand for nothing but “no,” and if we move right the voters will reject us. What do we know from reality?

White House to Congress: Nice Economy You Have There. Be a Shame if Something Happened to It.
Excerpt: In the wake of the Obama administration’s brazen move earlier this week to bypass Congress and enact cap-and-trade via regulatory fiat, the Obama administration has now taken to actually threatening Congress to (further) harm the economy if Congress does not cover their backside by passing unwanted legislation

ObamaJobs: Uncle Sam's Hiring Hall
Excerpt: The first purpose of the jobs proposals Mr. Obama announced Tuesday—TARP money for Main Street, tax credits for new hires, more infrastructure spending and the weird weatherization program—is to bail out Democratic incumbents. The underlying strength and resilience of the American economy may yet produce enough headline growth the next 11 months to slow the panic over employment levels by next fall. …Entrepreneurship, the kind that creates industries and jobs on the scale we'll need in the next century, is about two things: Ideas that spring randomly from some slightly crazed dreamer's head; and worse, they often get filthy rich if the dreams are real. The left likes neither. In their country, government guides capital to ideas prewashed for goodness. As to letting guys get rich, we know about that problem. Hating it isn't just political. It's cultural ….a nation can't have entrepreneurs and eat them, too…. Set aside income taxes as the unransomed hostages of progressive dogma. Justify this: The Senate health-reform bill imposes a $4 billion annual excise tax on medical devices and diagnostic equipment. In a slow-innovation economy, which is what we have now, medical and diagnostic miracles sit at the intersection of American science, technology, education and IQ. That stuff defines American entrepreneurship and ingenuity. If the Obama Democrats will tax these people, they'll tax anything that produces income, no matter how innovative or job-creating. The Obama bet is that the U.S. can be a Franco-German welfare state, with a mammoth public sector, and still compete with China, India, Brazil, Korea and the rest. This is a pipedream. We are going to spend four years treading water. If we tread quickly enough, we may get enough growth to save the Democrats, but not the nation.

Excerpt: This started to come into view for us when she gave her interview to Barbara Walters and was asked what she thought of Israel’s West Bank settlements. “I disagree with the Obama administration on that,” Palin replied. “I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is, is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.” Her comments ignited something of a kerfuffle on the pro-Israel left, which has long opposed Israel’s settlements. But the formulation by the former Alaska governor struck us as a wonderful statement of an emerging policy. It provides a glimpse of a leader who would respect Israel’s right to establish, democratically, its own strategy in its own sphere and could restore the standing of America’s president in the eyes in the Israelis, among whom it has plunged since President Obama’s speech in Cairo and his out-reach to the non-democratic Arab leaders.

Senate Democrats largely support health-care deal that drops public option
But groups representing hospitals and doctors oppose Medicare buy-in
Excerpt: Industry groups representing doctors and hospitals attacked one of the alternatives in the deal, designed to take the place of a proposed government-run insurance program, in the hours after Senate leaders announced it Tuesday night. They argued that a plan by liberal Democrats to allow uninsured individuals as young as 55 to buy into Medicare would be financially untenable and would jeopardize access to health-care services for millions of Americans.

Senators await price tag on health bill
Excerpt: Liberal and centrist senators at the center of the healthcare debate bought themselves more time Wednesday, saying they would decide how to vote after they saw the bill’s final price tag. Centrist Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and other senators emphasized they are withholding any promises until they hear from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about the cost of the new proposals. (She’s just trying to up the price of her vote.)

Medicare for all
Excerpt: It is now time to have a great national debate about Medicare for all, the true public option, the legitimate heir to Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Kennedy and LBJ. If Medicare works for those over 55, why not those over 45? Thirty-five? Twenty-five?

Spreading NY’s Bad Medicine
Excerpt: New York's individual health-insurance market is not often held up as a national model, and for good reason. It's the most regulated, most expensive and, as a result, one of the smallest in the country, with only a few costly health plans available. Since New York policymakers inflicted costly regulations on insurers in 1994, enrollment in the individual insurance market has plummeted by 96 percent. Current prices are staggering. In New York City, the cheapest individual plan costs $9,036 a year for a single person and $26,460 for a family. In contrast, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the average national family premium at $12,000 to $15,000 a year. Yet both the House and the Senate health-reform bills would make the rest of America look more like New York's dysfunctional market -- and then force New Yorkers to foot a larger share of the trillion-dollar cost. Only five states now have New York-style insurance regulations, but both bills force those rules on all 50 states and then force people to buy coverage or face tax penalties. Think about it: If 45 states don't regulate insurance like New York does, there is probably a very good reason. And there is: These regulations drive up costs and limit choices.

You WILL Lose Your Private Health Insurance
Excerpt: The first is "guaranteed issue" and "community rating." This is the requirement that insurance companies have to offer coverage to people who are already sick, and that they be limited in their ability to charge higher rates for customer who pose a higher risk. The extra expense to the insurance companies of covering people with pre-existing conditions will get passed on to existing customers in the form of higher premiums. But why spend years paying these inflated premiums for insurance you're not using, when you can get exactly the same benefits by waiting until you actually fall ill? The obvious result is that million of people, especially healthy young people, will quickly realize that there is no reason to buy health insurance until they get sick. Rather than increasing the number of insured by making health insurance more affordable, this bill makes health insurance more expensive and increases the incentive to simply drop your insurance until you need someone to pay for your medical bills. It is an attempt to turn health insurance into what the left really wants: another welfare program in which everyone is entitled to free benefits, mandated by the government. But this would wreck private health insurance, making the whole industrial financially unsustainable.

Pelosi: We'd do 'almost anything' to pass healthcare bill this year
Anything? Lie? Steal? Bribe? Crush dissent? Raise the cost of healthcare? Ruin Medicare? Ruin the economy?

Pakistan arrests 5 N. Va. men, probes possible jihadist ties
More home-grown Jihadists, who didn’t get the Islam-is-a-religion-of-Peace memo.

Muslim student accused of stabbing Jewish prof
Didn’t get the Religion-of-Peace memo. Excerpt: A Muslim anthropology graduate student is being charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a Jewish professor at Binghamton University in Vestal, New York. The victim is Richard Antoun, 77, professor of Middle Eastern studies and the author of "Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic and Jewish Movements." The man in custody is Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani, 46-year-old Saudi national. The attack took place Friday afternoon when the student entered the professor's office and stabbed him, according to an eyewitness. Campus police tackled the assailant to the ground, while emergency service workers rushed to Antoun's side.

Border Guard forces arrest Palestinian carrying pipe bombs,7340,L-3817651,00.html
Didn’t get the memo.

A God Who Hates
Excerpt: Wafa Sultan’s seminal moment was when she took on an Islamic cleric on Al-Jazeera. The clip went viral on Youtube, and it really was a defining moment in the clash of civilizations. Here was a woman, basically considered “property” in the Muslim world and expected to do what she was told, turning around after she had been interrupted numerous times, and saying in effect, “Quiet, it’s my turn.” Now comes her new book, A God Who Hates, which will undoubtedly prove to be a key resource in the resistance to jihad and Islamization. In it, the brilliant psychiatrist from Syria, now an American citizen, tells her own story.

Taliban dynamite schools in NW Pakistan
Allah hates education too, apparently.

Hating and beating up on 'f------ white people' in Denver
You can get accused of racism just for reporting this stuff. Excerpt: To Gregory Kane's column of today on hate crimes legislation, I'd add these recent incidents in Denver, Colo., in which, once again, the perps and victims were "the wrong color." The series of brutal beatings and robberies was clearly racially motivated -- tinged with such shouted statements as "I hate you f---ing white people."

Obama at new low in Quinnipiac survey
Excerpt: Hide the decline! Barack Obama’s job approval rating dropped to a new low in yet another survey, this time in the respected Quinnipiac survey. Obama can only muster an anemic 46% approval overall, with 44% disapproving and 10% on the sidelines. His domestic-agenda priority now has even lower support, and Obama is seriously underwater on a number of issues:

More on Obama’s “safe schools” czar
Excerpt: In March 2000 the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) organization of Massachusetts held its 10 Year Anniversary GLSEN/Boston conference at Tufts University. This conference was fully supported by the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Safe Schools Program, the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, and some of the presenters even received federal money. During the 2000 conference, workshop leaders led a “youth only, ages 14-21″ session that offered lessons in “fisting” a dangerous sexual practice. During another workshop an activist asked 14 year-old students, “Spit or swallow?… Is it rude?” The unbelievable audio clip is posted here. Barack Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar” Kevin Jennings is the founder of GLSEN. He was paid $273,573.96 as its executive director in 2007. Jennings was the keynote speaker at the 2000 GLSEN conference.

Say thanks to the Troops

Al Sharpton Blasts Tiger Woods for Lack of Mistress Diversity
For those looking to take offensive, this is not racism—this is satire making fun of Sharpton’s consistent racism and race hustling: The Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference today to blast Tiger Woods for the lack of diversity among his mistresses. Sharpton claims that the lack of African-American women among Woods’ harem will have a negative affect on the black community, specifically young black girls. “Why is it that a man who calls himself black can’t bring himself to cheat on his wife with a black woman?” said Sharpton, speaking to a group of supporters in Harlem. “What does it say to young black girls everywhere when you pass them over? Shame on you, Tiger Woods. What would your daddy say?” Sharpton, who has long championed taking black women as mistresses, said that today’s black athletes need to stop neglecting black women when it comes to extramarital affairs, and should follow the examples of positive black role models such as Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King, Jr., both of whom cheated on their wives with black women.

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