Saturday, December 19, 2009

Political Digest December 19, 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.

Newt Gingrich—Victory or Death history lesson.
Always worth listening to. He’d be a great president, but maybe too much baggage to win, but I’d vote for him.

Petition opposing Obamacare
Please forward.

The elves of scandals past: Where are they all now?,0,3633761.column
Nice review of the Chicago Cesspool our White House leaders emerged from. Kass is always good, worth the price of my subscription. Excerpt: What happened to all the elves who make politics so interesting around here? Where are they now? For the elves of the Chicago Way, it's been a rough year. One by one, our old friends are gone. But two of the most industrious elves, Don Tomczak, 74, and Robert Sorich, 46, are getting ready to walk out of federal prison. Tomczak, the corrupt former city water boss, was convicted of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. He also ran an illegal patronage army for Mayor Richard Daley and helped former U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Tomczak, get elected. As White House chief of staff, Emanuel is now the most powerful elf in all the land.

Berating bankers,0,3174724.story
Excerpt: So President Barack Obama had some basis for his blunt message to bankers Monday that "you guys caused the problem." Where he went wrong was in telling them what to do next -- namely, increase lending. He said that "America's banks received extraordinary assistance from American taxpayers to rebuild their industry, and now that they're back on their feet, we expect an extraordinary commitment from them to help rebuild our economy." After saying earlier that "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street," the president emphasized to bank executives that "we expect some results." His words bring to mind the sardonic workplace poster: The floggings will continue until morale improves. If you want to imbue bankers with confidence and optimism, stern lectures and insults are not the way to do it. Nor is a fiscal program that piles up government debt and raises the prospect that Washington will eventually decide to reduce that debt through inflation -- at the expense of lenders. One reason banks are reluctant to lend is that the president's economic program creates a lot of uncertainty, and uncertainty breeds timidity. There is something cockeyed about demanding that banks move back toward the easy-credit policies that set off the crisis. They now know the perils of loose practices, and they need to keep those in mind. But there is no reason to think, as Obama suggests, that they are routinely refusing sensible loans to safe borrowers -- which, after all, are the way they make money.

Obama the Red Avenger
Over the top. I hope. Excerpt: The French called Hitler a "revanchiste" --- a Kaiser soldier of World War I who was aching to avenge that defeat. Hitler made no secret of his desire for revenge. He made it a Nazi slogan. Well, you can have ideological revanchisme as well -- for instance, a Marxist determination to take revenge for America's victory against world Communism in the Cold War. The word "Marxist" is now used as a kind of a sly boast in academia; I just talked with a professor who calls himself a "Marxist historian," and smiles to himself when he says it. He obviously thinks he's a hero by being a Marxist in America. But according to Marxist historians themselves Red regimes killed at least 100 million people in "crimes, terror and repression," with still more dying today in North Korea. That's not even counting the dead and wounded in wars fought by Communist regimes. Obama's early life indicates that young Barry may have been brought up as a Red Avenger against America. We know that he talks like an anti-capitalist and an anti-Constitutionalist, and that he compulsively apologizes for American actions during the Cold War. The Cold War was not something we started; it was started by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and other totalitarian mass murderers long before the Korean War and the Vietnam War, our two hot proxy wars in the Cold War.

Bill Clinton lied under oath about our affair: Lewinsky
Like this is news? Wrong for Scooter Libby, okay for Bill Clinton. But I always thought this was why McDougal toughed it out. Excerpt: The 769-page book, due to be out in February, also asserts that President Clinton had a long-running extramarital affair with Susan McDougal, one of the few people who served prison time because of the Whitewater investigation.

A Merry Christmas; Senate eyes Dec. 24 vote on healthcare reform legislation
Excerpt: The Senate is heading toward a Christmas Eve vote to pass landmark healthcare legislation, but instead of holiday cheer, Democrats and Republicans are digging in for trench warfare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is determined to finish work before the Christmas holiday and has set a schedule that would end with a final vote on the evening of Dec. 24.

Christmas in the Trenches
Excerpt: 'Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung, The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.

Howard Dean Call To Kill Health Bill Is 'Childish': Ex-DNC Head Fowler
Exactly: Don't get him wrong - the bill isn't perfect, he says. And it doesn't include provisions he personally supports, including a public insurance option and one that would allow people ages 55 and older to buy Medicare insurance. But if passed, he says, the legislation would provide a foundation on which improvements could be built in the future.

The Fix
Excerpt: For all the hand-wringing surrounding Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's decision to hold the health care bill hostage until all vestige of a public option was removed, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson's (D) ongoing reluctance to back the measure due to the abortion language in it is potentially more troublesome for the long term health of the bill. In a statement released by his office Thursday, Nelson praised the inclusion of new teen pregnancy initiatives and adoption tax credits but made clear that he remains unsatisfied with the overall bill. "These are valuable improvements that will make a positive difference and promote life," Nelson said. "But as it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient." The problem for the White House is that unlike Lieberman, whose opposition to the bill was -- to give him the benefit of the doubt -- on policy grounds, Nelson's hesitation is on moral ones. "There isn't any real way to move away from your principle on abortion," Nelson told the Post's Paul Kane in an interview last week. Given the White House's eagerness (desperation?) to pass the bill through the Senate before Christmas, a compromise with Nelson seems inevitable. But, if Nelson is placated on the abortion language it will be treated as another finger in the eye of an already ornery Democratic base who is already threatening full rebellion.

The political dangers of passing a health care bill
Excerpt: Two data points stand out: Just 32 percent of of the sample said that President Obama's plan is a good idea while 47 percent said is a bad idea. Public opinion on that question had eroded even since October when 38 percent thought passing some sort of health care bill was a good idea while 42 percent said it was a bad one. More people now believe that it would be better to not pass the plan and maintain the status quo (44 percent) than think passing the plan and changing the system is the right course (41 percent). In October, those numbers were reversed with 45 percent agreeing with the idea that passing the Obama plan was the right thing to do while 39 percent preferred to keep the status quo in place.

Health Reform: Blame Mitt
Excerpt: If -- and it is still a big "if" -- Democrats pass a health bill, that bill will owe as much to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. In fact, with the so-called "public option" out of the Senate health bill, the final product increasingly looks like the failed Massachusetts experiment, says Michael Tanner, a Senior Fellow with the Cato Institute.

McConnell not backing down as senators face round-the-clock votes
Excerpt: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Friday morning for speeding a major healthcare overhaul through the upper chamber before Christmas. McConnell and senior Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) said the speed and secrecy Democrats have used to move such a massive reform is unprecedented. “He’s trying to jam the American people on this mysterious bill that no one has seen before Christmas,” McConnell told reporters. McConnell made clear that he does not plan to back down next week. His tough stance makes it more likely that the Senate will vote late in the day on Dec. 24 to pass the healthcare bill if Democrats are to meet their Christmas deadline.

Sen. Nelson (D-NE) Rejects Abortion “Compromise” — Not at Yes is the New No
Hummm. Nelson is Pro-Life, from a Red State. Wonder if he’d switch parties. But the far left Senators are just making noise—they can’t survive if they deny Obama this “victory.” Excerpt: Now, Senator Ben Nelson has rejected the abortion “compromise” language. It’s not just abortion either, Senator Nelson also cited other concerns he had with the legislation. So, if you are counting Senators who are not YES votes, that count would be:

White House as helpless victim on healthcare View from the left.
Excerpt: Of all the posts I wrote this year, the one that produced the most vociferous email backlash -- easily -- was this one from August, which examined substantial evidence showing that, contrary to Obama's occasional public statements in support of a public option, the White House clearly intended from the start that the final health care reform bill would contain no such provision and was actively and privately participating in efforts to shape a final bill without it. From the start, assuaging the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries was a central preoccupation of the White House -- hence the deal negotiated in strict secrecy with Pharma to ban bulk price negotiations and drug reimportation, a blatant violation of both Obama's campaign positions on those issues and his promise to conduct all negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN). Indeed, Democrats led the way yesterday in killing drug re-importation, which they endlessly claimed to support back when they couldn't pass it. The administration wants not only to prevent industry money from funding an anti-health-care-reform campaign, but also wants to ensure that the Democratic Party -- rather than the GOP -- will continue to be the prime recipient of industry largesse.

Friday Line: Ranking Republican leaders
Interesting list.

On environment, Obama and scientists take hit in poll
Excerpt: Most, however, oppose a widely floated proposal in which the United States and other industrialized countries would contribute $10 billion a year to help developing countries pay for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases they release. Overall, 57 percent of those polled oppose this idea; 39 percent support it. Most Republicans (74 percent) and independents (58 percent) are against this proposal, while a small majority of Democrats (54 percent) are supportive. At the same time, there's growing negativity toward the president's handling of the broader global warming issue. Around the 100-day mark of Obama's presidency, 61 percent approved of the way he was dealing with the issue. Approval slumped to 54 percent in June and to 45 percent in the new poll. The drop in Obama's ratings has been driven by a steep slump among political independents, who went from 62 percent positive in April to 36 percent now. Scientists themselves also come in for more negative assessments in the poll, with four in 10 Americans now saying that they place little or no trust in what scientists have to say about the environment. That's up significantly in recent years. About 58 percent of Republicans now put little or no faith in scientists on the subject, double the number saying so in April 2007. Over this time frame, distrust among independents bumped up from 24 to 40 percent, while Democrats changed only marginally. Among seniors, the number of skeptics more than doubled, to 51 percent.

New Study: Hadley Center and CRU Apparently Cherry-picked Russia’s Climate Data
Cooking the books. Excerpt: Yesterday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA), of which I am President, issued a study (in Russian), “How Warming Is Being Made: The Case of Russia.” The report, prepared by IEA director Natalya Pivovarova, suggests that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (CRU) in Norwich (England) apparently cherry-picked Russian climate data. The IEA report shows that Russian meteorological-station data in the last 130 years did not substantiate the rate of warming on Russian territory suggested by the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature (HadCRUT) database, which has now been partially released. IEA analysts point out that Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, while the HadCRUT used data from only 25% of such stations in their calculations. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in their global temperature calculations even though there was no lack of meteorological stations and observations. The data of stations located in areas not listed in the HadCRUT survey often shows slight cooling or no substantial warming in the second part of the 20th century and the early 21st century.

Falsification of the Atmospheric Co2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics I
nteresting paper in the International Journal of Modern Physics. Guess the science isn’t settled.

Shakedown in Copenhagen
Money to the Third World to help with health or poverty goes far too often into the pockets of the murdering autocrats so beloved by the left. This will be no different. Excerpt: If you would know what Copenhagen is all about, hearken to this nugget in The Washington Post's report from the Danish capital. "Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenari -- who is representing all of Africa here -- unveiled his proposal Wednesday for a system in which rich countries would provide money to poor ones to help deal with the effects of climate change. ... "Zenawi said he would accept $30 billion in the short term, rising to $100 billion by 2020. ... This was seen as a key concession by developing countries, which had previously spurned that figure ... as too low." There was a time when a U.S. diplomat would have burst out laughing after listening to a Third World con artist like this.

Cow gas and double standards
Excerpt: The Obama administration has been explicit about how its decision to have the Environmental Protection Agency regulate carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant was meant as a threat to Congress. Its message was clear: Pass job-killing cap-and-trade legislation or accept more onerous (and more job-killing!) "command and control" regulation of the economy by bureaucrats at the EPA. Remarkably, congressional Democratic supporters of cap and trade have played along with the administration's attempt to greenmail Congress and the American people. They've claimed that Congress is powerless to prevent EPA regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.

Global Wealth Can Heal the Planet
Excerpt: Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe proclaimed in a speech: "When these capitalist gods of carbon burp and belch their dangerous emissions, it's we, the lesser mortals of the developing sphere, who gasp and sink and eventually die." Right. That is, unless Mugabe kills them first. The big name in the anti-capitalism club was, of course, Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan national-socialist strongman. In a typical stem-winder, he belched: "Capitalism is a destructive model that is eradicating life, that threatens to put a definitive end to the human species." I don't know how to say "chutzpah" in Spanish, but you've got to hand it to the leader of the world's No. 5 supplier of oil for bemoaning the system that keeps his regime afloat by buying his product. (As, yes, President Mugabe, who came to power on a tide of liberal demands for “Back Rule,” and has created a country that is starving, that used to export food, where inflation is in the million% range, and where black life expectancy has fallen from 63 under Ian Smith’s government to 37 for males and 34 for females. “Black Rule” made liberals feel good, and that it resulted in hundreds of thousands of black graves troubles their sleep not at all.)

Mexican drug lord killed in gunfight with federal forces
‘Undocumented Pharmacist” takes early retirement.

Pakistan In Peril
Excerpt: Islamist elements in Pakistan’s military unhappy with President Asif Zardari are reported to be plotting to remove their country’s civilian government and replace it with a military dictatorship. Two days after General David Petraeus, chief of US Central Command, dismissed fears of an imminent military coup, Pakistan’s defense minister, Ahmed Mukhtar, was prevented Thursday evening by border officials from leaving the country to visit China. According to one report, there are 248 such names on the border authorities’ list, including other high-ranking government members, of Pakistanis now denied exit rights. The ostensible reason for Mukhtar’s detainment was that he, and other ministers of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is facing corruption charges and a possible jail term. Last Wednesday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court struck down the amnesty, called the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which protected them and 8,000 other bureaucrats from prosecution, reviving old charges. The Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the 2007 NRO amnesty that paved the way for Zardari’s murdered wife and then PPP leader, Benazir Bhutto, to return to Pakistan. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, several ministers are now expected to resign, endangering the survival of the Zardari civilian government

Six Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay to be repatriated
Even odds some of them will be killing US troops by the end of 2010.

Iraqi official: Iranians seized Iraqi oil well
Those who think weakness promotes peace are responsible for millions of deaths. But they never learn that wishful thinking is deadly.

Honour kill girl, 15, 'was pregnant': Muslim father gets life for murdering daughter who fell in love with the wrong man
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you…a politically-incorrect Islamophobe! Police ignored “warning signs” for the same reason the military did at Ft. Hood. Better to let the innocent die than kill your career by being labeled Islamophobic! Excerpt: A schoolgirl believed to be pregnant was murdered by her 'psychotic' father in an honour killing after police repeatedly ignored her pleas for help. Mehmet Goren, 49, a bully who terrified his Turkish family, was yesterday found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering his 15-year-old daughter Tulay after she started a relationship with Halil Unal, man from a different Muslim sect. Yesterday it emerged that Tulay had come into contact with the police seven times in the two months before she died.

U.S. offers Taliban jobs and cash to lay down their arms
Since the administration is inclusive of Jihadists supporters, I think some positions could be found at the White House, waiter, gardener, security screener for the guest lists, perhaps.

We'll always have al-Paris
Scary video. Excerpt: The Muslims have been taking over more and more streets for Friday prayers. They block off roads, put their rugs out on the sidewalk as well as the street, deprive shop owners of business for two and a half hours, deprive residents of the street from entering or leaving their apartments for that time, they act aggressively toward non-muslims and women pedestrians who still try to use the street.

Obama Copenhagen speech solves climate crisis
Satire you’ll wish was true.

Great Healthcare “Reform” Quote
In a sense, Democrats are in too deep to pull out now. One Democrat strategist likened it to robbing a bank: "They're in the bank, they've got their guns out. They can run outside with no money, or they can stick it out, go through the gunfight, and get away with the money." Despite this Bonnie and Clyde strategy, let's hope and pray this holiday season that at least three or four Democrats (and a handful of RINOs) realize that all of the ensuing murder and mayhem is not really worth it. The Patriot Post

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