Saturday, October 31, 2009

You may think recovery--you could be wrong

"Any Economic Recovery Will Likely Be Ephemeral" [Burton Folsom Jr.]

"Columnists and reporters need to fill daily news quotas. Thus, each ebb and flow of the stock market, the GDP, the data on housing starts, and so on receive massive discussion. Historians, however, care more about long-term results, and it’s too early to discern any pattern for economic recovery in the Obama administration. Yes, housing prices are up slightly this month, and GDP is now up as well. But unemployment is still trending downward, and the uncertainties on taxes, health care, cap-and-trade, and sensitive foreign diplomacy all make short-term reports of limited value.

"Many have compared the current economic crisis to the Great Depression, and it is useful to study FDR’s statistics on recovery to understand the problem with relying on short-term data. Unemployment, for example, was 21.4 percent in May 1934 and dropped to 13.2 percent by May 1937. That impressed many pundits and voters. But in May 1939, unemployment was back up to 20.7 percent. Why? FDR had raised taxes, introduced a new corporate tax, enacted a minimum-wage law, and granted unions unprecedented federal support to organize during the late 1930s. When those government interventions took hold, the economic recovery was thwarted. In fact, capital goods in May 1937 had almost returned to 1929 levels, but in May 1939 capital goods stood at a mere 59 percent of 1929 levels.

"The key issue here is economic philosophy. FDR believed that massive intervention (followed by high taxes) would lead to economic recovery. Obama has a similar belief. They are wrong, and thus any short-term recovery we see during 2009 and 2010 is likely to be ephemeral. By contrast, Ronald Reagan and Calvin Coolidge believed that cutting tax rates and reducing federal intervention was the recipe for economic recovery, and both saw economic recoveries during the first terms of their presidencies. Economic growth during the 1920s and 1980s was, in fact, spectacular. When people are unshackled and allowed to be free, they can accomplish much. When that belief takes hold again in the United States, we will likely see a serious recovery.

— Burton Folsom Jr. is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and author of New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America.

Taliban need defeating in AfPak area

"Dr K: On what’s happening in Pakistan and its effects on Afghanistan:" via NRO

"Let me start by addressing what is happening in Pakistan. I think the bombings in the cities are obviously linked to the Pakistani army assault on south Waziristan, which is the stronghold of the Taliban in Pakistan.

"And the reason it is important in terms of our decision on Afghanistan is this — if the Pakistanis are attacking the enemy in Pakistan, unless there are Americans or NATO or Afghans on the other side of the border, the Pakistanis will fail because there would be a haven on the Afghan side.

"We always think of Pakistan as a place in which you create a haven for the Afghan bad guys that we are attacking, but it works in the other way as well. You have got to have hammer and anvil. And the hammer now in Pakistan is the Pakistani army.

"But unless we secure the Afghan areas on the other side, the bad guys will relocate and have sanctuary in Afghanistan.

"That's why the wars are linked, and that's why the increase in the violence now in Pakistan is linked intimately with our decision on Afghanistan. And I worry that if you adopt the McChrystal-light strategy…a narrow strategy, holding the cities and the infrastructure and leaving the countryside to the enemy. I'm not sure if that would in any way succeed.

"The real issue is what does McChrystal think, and would he accept the McChrystal-light as a viable strategy, or will he say that I can't conduct this in good honor and resign.

"…Let's remember, it's the president himself who said just a month and a half ago [that] Afghanistan is a war of necessity. Well, if it is a war of necessity, you have to have success and you have to have victory …."

Dems can't even be honest about census

"More Census: While Dems Block Citizenship Question, the Mexican Government Urges Mexicans To Participate" [Andy McCarthy] via NRO:

"I recounted earlier this morning that Democrats are trying to block a requirement that the census inquire whether respondents are American citizens. At the same time, the Mexican government is interfering in our census by urging Mexican nationals to get themselves counted so they can grab bigger slices of hundreds of billions in social-welfare spending — i.e., the redistribution of wealth from taxpaying American citizens to Mexican immigrants — legal and illegal.

"Check out this story in the Spanish language Mexican paper, El Financiero. It reports that the Mexican consulates in Los Angeles and Miami are advising Mexicans in the U.S. that the census will be critical to assigning $300 billion annually in federal, state, and local social programs over the next ten years — specifically, in determining the level of funds to be applied toward the population of Mexican origin."

Economics: from dismal science to propaganda

‘Jobs Created or Saved’ Is White House Fantasy: Caroline Baum

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Heresy, thy name is Christina Romer.

Last week, the chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers -- a position that carried the title “chief economist” until Larry Summers took up residence in the White House -- testified to the Joint Economic Committee on the economic crisis and the efficacy of the policy response.

Here’s the executive summary in case you missed it:

The crisis: “Inherited.”

The economy: “In terrible shape” (the inherited one).

The shocks to the system: “Larger than those that precipitated the Great Depression.”

The policy response: “Strong and timely.”

The efficacy of the policy response: a 2 to 3 percentage point addition to second-quarter growth; 3 to 4 percentage points in the third; and 160,000 to 1.5 million “jobs saved or created,” a made-up metric if there ever was one. (More on that later.)

What was most puzzling about Romer’s Oct. 22 testimony was her comment on the waning effect of fiscal stimulus.

“Most analysts predict that the fiscal stimulus will have its greatest impact on growth in the second and third quarters of 2009,” Romer said. “By mid-2010, fiscal stimulus will likely be contributing little to growth.”

At first it was just fringe elements, such as conservative blogs and the not-really-a-news-organization Fox News, that pounced on Romer’s statement. Then other news outlets started to question her statement, which seemed to fly in the face of White House assertions that only a small portion of the stimulus -- $120 billion, or 15 percent -- has actually been spent. Most of the criticism of the stimulus coming from the president’s own party has been, “too little, too late,” and here’s Romer saying it’s kaput.

Thanks for That...

When the government distributes lucre or loot, people spend it. If your interest is national income accounting, spending other people’s money is great. Spending is a back-door way for government statisticians to measure what matters, which is the real output of goods and services.

But the government has no money of its own to spend; only what it borrows or confiscates from us via taxation. Oops.

“Government job creation is an oxymoron,” said Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business. It is only by depriving the private sector of funds that government can hire or subsidize hiring.

That’s why “jobs created or saved” is such pure fiction.

Fiction Lags Reality

Actual hiring seems to be lagging behind the model’s land of make-believe. For small businesses, which are the source of most job creation in the U.S., the government’s increased and changing role in the economy isn’t a confidence builder. Businessmen have no idea what health-care reform will mean for their cost structure or what whimsical tax policies the government might impose when it realizes those short-term deficits are running into long-term unfunded liabilities.

No wonder capital spending plans were at an all-time low in the third quarter, according to the NFIB monthly survey.

Only 30,383 jobs were created or saved by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to, the government’s once-transparent Web site that has become a complex blur of numbers, graphs and pie charts. These are only the jobs reported by federal contract recipients. The Obama administration will report the larger universe of ARRA-related jobs on Oct. 30.

An extrapolation of what would have happened without the fiscal stimulus isn’t much consolation to the 9.8 percent of the workforce that is unemployed. Nor is Romer’s prescription for the economy and labor market very comforting in light of the trillions of future tax dollars that have been spent, lent or promised by the federal government.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Like Feds funding gw studies, ACORN

"YOUR TAX DOLLARS USED AGAINST YOU." “This Friday, taxpayer funded researchers will brief politicians in Congress on how to improve their approval ratings by avoiding face-to-face townhall meetings with voters.”

"Don Surber comments: “After reading this, I am sure many people will lay down their pitchforks and torches — and pick up their tar and feathers.” That’s starting to sound like a theme . . . ."

Posted at 7:41 am by Glenn Reynolds/Instapundit

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Civility just another useful club to shut up...

the Democrat's opponents (from Powerline): Civility, Ours and Theirs
PrintSeptember 28, 2009 Posted by John at 9:43 PM

"It is quite remarkable that the Democratic Party now--belatedly, to say the least--wants to make an issue out of civility. Mark Steyn quotes Lloyd Marcus:

"The Left published a cartoon depicting former black Secretary of State Condolezza Rice as an Aunt Jemima; another depicted Rice as a huge-lipped parrot for her Massa Bush. Neither were considered racist by their creators or publishers, or even widely condemned on the Left.
In opposition to black Republican Michael Steele's campaign torun for U.S. Senate, a liberal blogger published a doctored photo of Steele in black face and big red lips made to look like a minstrel. The caption read, "Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house". Not one Democrat denounced these racist portrayals of black conservatives.

"That's correct. I can't recall a single instance when any prominent Democrat has criticized the most vicious, irrational expression of racism or sexism, as long as that racism or sexism benefited the Democratic Party. And we haven't even gotten to Sarah Palin! Mark adds:
Nobody minds liberal commentators expressing the hope that Clarence Thomas "will die early from heart disease like many black men", etc. Contemporary identity-group politics are prototype one-party states: If you're a black Republican Secretary of State, you're not really black. If you're a female Republican vice-presidential nominee, you're not really a woman. What's racist and sexist here is the notion that, if you're black or female, your politics is determined by your group membership.

"But, if we're talking about letting the left "set the rules", Mr Marcus' column reminded me of a larger point: Don't take your opponents at face value; listen to what they're really saying. What does the frenzy unleashed on Sarah Palin last fall tell us? What does Newsweek's "Mad Man" cover on Glenn Beck mean? Why have "civility" drones like Joe Klein so eagerly adopted Anderson Cooper's scrotal "teabagging" slur and characterized as "racists" and "terrorists" what are (certainly by comparison with the anti-G20 crowd) the best behaved and tidiest street agitators in modern history?

"They're telling you who they really fear. Whom the media gods would destroy they first make into "mad men". Liz Cheney should be due for the treatment any day now.

"And, of course, the radio show jokes, t-shirts, "art" works and movies about the desirability of the assassination of President Bush are another variation on this theme. In my opinion, every single member of the Democratic Party should hang his or her head in shame and take a vow of silence and repentance. It will be at least a generation before any Democrat can mention the word "civility" without being the most craven hypocrite imaginable.

O/Pelosi-care: taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes....

BREAKING: Comprehensive List of TaxesIn House Democrat Health Bill From Ryan Ellis on Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:20 PM

H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act" has been introduced--all 1990 pages of it. This gargantuan beast contains thirteen new tax hikes. Here they all are, with description and page number (PDF version):
Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).

"Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.

"Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324): Non-prescription medications would no longer be able to be purchased from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Insulin excepted..."


Just how pathetic is it: Obama still blames Bush

"Krauthammer's Take [NRO Staff] From last night's Fox News All-Stars."

"On the record number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this month:
It does, of course, impress us with the urgency of the matter and how it has to be decided. But I want to point out one thing about what Obama said when he talked about the “long years of drift.” There is something truly disgusting about the way he cannot refrain from attacking Bush when he is being defensive about himself. I mean, it is beyond disgraceful here.

"He won the election a year ago. He became commander in chief two months later. He announced his own strategy — not the Bush strategy, his strategy — six months ago. And it [the announcement] wasn't offhanded. It was in a major address with the secretary of defense and the secretary of state standing with him.

"And now he is still talking about the drift in the Bush years? What is happening today is not as a result of the drift, so-called, in the Bush years. It is because of the drift in his years. It is because of the flaws in his own strategy, which is what he is now reexamining.

"He has every right as commander in chief to reexamine his own strategy, but he ought to be honest, forthright, and courageous enough as the president to simply say: “I'm rethinking the strategy I adopted six months ago” — and not, once again, in a child-like way, attack his predecessor."

de Rugy: sums up the death spiral of freedom

"We Are Living in an Ayn Rand Novel" by Veronique de Rugy

"A year or two ago, only the most radical leftists would have dreamed that we’d be living in a country where the government owns a majority share in GM, bailed out private insurers, took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and handed over billions of dollars to the financial sector.

"It continues to bailout homeowners doing more of the same policies that put us in this mess in the first place. The government now plans to bailout seniors and small businesses and it won’t be long before Obama proposes to bailout children. Also, as the debate over health care reform continues, we are left to wonder: how much is this going to cost us? One trillion dollars or two?

"But as I am listening to the hearing on executive compensation and TARP special master (how crippy is this title?), I realize we are now officially living in a world that resembles an Ayn Rand novel. One man, one unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate, has the power cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent in the banks the government now “owns.” A single individual is given too much power without accountability. But more importantly, this charade masks the fact that the world we live in has nothing to do with capitalism. It’s nothing more than crony capitalism. The government went around bailing out out automobile companies that were producing cars that people didn’t want to buy, bailing out banks that were careless with their capital and assets, and bailing out homeowners that couldn’t afford the houses they were buying."

Those nonthreatening, assimilated muslims

From Mark Steyn via NRO: "Mouseketeers [Mark Steyn]

"I met Flemming Rose, the editor at Jyllands-Posten who commissioned the Mohammed cartoons, in London last year, so I was interested to know the kind of people who want to kill him:

"Two men from Chicago who went to military school in Pakistan face terrorism charges for allegedly targeting the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which outraged hardline Muslims by publishing the 12 cartoons in 2005.

"The men allegedly planned to kill Flemming Rose, the cultural editor, and Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist..

"David Headley, 49, a US citizen who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006, was arrested at O’Hare International airport, Chicago, on October 3... Mr Headley is charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the US, which carries a life sentence.

"While in Denmark he allegedly posed as a potential advertiser on behalf of a Chicago business, First World Immigration Services, run by Tahawwur Hussain Rana. Court papers indicate that Mr Headley and Mr Rana, 48, a Pakistani-born Canadian citizen, who is reported to be a former Pakistani army captain, went to the same military school in Hasan Abdal, Pakistan.
Mr Rana, who was arrested in Chicago on October 18, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of lending material support to a terrorist conspiracy.

"Two U.S. residents, one an American citizen, one a Canadian citizen, educated and assimilated, and enjoying a nice enough living to be able to afford to fly to Denmark to kill a couple of guys over a cartoon. In the long run, Afghan cave-dwellers and Waziristani goatherds are less of a threat than fellows like Messrs Headley and Rana. The company name — "First World Immigration Services" — is a rather droll jest."

Leftist Dems think nothing of flag desecration

if it's for a "good cause" like socialized health care: "'Desecrated flag' video is DNC finalist"

"One of the 20 finalists in health care video contest run by Barack Obama’s campaign arm features a mural of an America flag splattered with health care graffiti until it’s covered completely by black paint.

"In the video – which is accompanied by the sound of a heart monitor pumping and then flat-lining – words such as “pre-existing conditions,” “homeless” and “death panel” ultimately obliterate the flag, which reappears on screen seconds later with the words “Health Will Bring Our Country Back to Life” on the blue field where the 50 stars usually are.

"According to the Organizing for American Web site, the 20 finalists in the “Health Reform Video Challenge” were chosen by a panel of “qualified” Democratic National Committee “employee judges.”

Here's how MSM perpetuate leftist lies

In this case it's Reuters but they all have advanced the same story line, the same false, fraudulent, leftist-sympathizing/supporting lies: "Honduras lodges lawsuit against Brazil at U.N. court"

"AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Honduras has lodged legal proceedings against Brazil at the U.N. court in The Hague seeking an end to Brazil allowing ousted President Manuel Zelaya to take refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.

"Zelaya has been holed up at the heavily guarded Brazilian embassy since he snuck back into the country last month.

Here's the BIG LIE: "The leftist leader was toppled in a military coup after he angered business leaders, the military and political rivals by moving Honduras closer to Venezuela's socialist president, Hugo Chavez."

If readers don't know that Zelaya removed himself from office by blatantly violating the constitutional prohibition against any Honduran president taking any measure, uttering any words, whatsoever to serve or be elected to a second term, you just have been consuming mainstream and Obama propaganda. The Honduran Supreme Court issued a legal ruling that Zelaya be removed from office and the country, and authorized the military to carry out their legal ruling.

Yes, he wanted to make Honduras into another leftist led and controlled, one-man ruled dictatorship like Venezuela. Of course, if you don't know that Venezuela is exactly that under Chavez, you are also not getting your news and information from anything but the MSM.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The mish mash of inefficiencies in Reid bill

From Dr. Krauthammer via NRO: "On Senator Reid's proposal for states to opt out of the public option in health care:"

"Well, it's getting weirder and weirder. We already will have a 1,500-page bill of some sort eventually, which is a mishmash, a crazy quilt of regulations and new programs and mandates all mixed up, adding hopeless inefficiencies on to an already hopelessly inefficient system.

"And now we're going to have an opt-in and opt-out public option, which is going to make the quilt even crazier.

"Look, the argument is it will increase competition if you have a public option. The way to increase competition, to lower the price of health insurance, is simple. It's not adding inefficiencies and regulations and government involvement and subsidies. It is abolishing the ban on the purchase of health insurance across state lines.

"You buy auto insurance in a national market. You buy life insurance [in a national market]. It's the reason that prices in America are low. If you weren't allowed to buy oranges across the state, it would be expensive in Wisconsin, especially in the winter.
But the problem is that Democrats…want is a public option under one guise or another which will increase government control. That's what it is about. It is not about competition by any means.

"…And in principle, how can the CBO make an estimate of the cost of a program in which some states presumably will opt in and opt out, but you have no idea which states, how large, how expensive, and how subsidized?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The plunge in "favorables" hitting Biden, too

(via Washington Examiner) Biden's popularity plunges; lower than Cheney's by: Byron YorkChief Political Correspondent10/26/09 10:55 PM EDT

Vice President Joe Biden's favorable rating has fallen to 42 percent in a new Gallup poll, down from a high of 59 percent just after last year's election. Biden's unfavorable rating in the new poll is 40 percent, up from 29 percent last November. (Eighteen percent of those surveyed say they have no opinion of Biden.)

"Biden's average favorable rating during his time in office so far is 45 percent -- well below the average 65 percent favorable rating for Vice President Dick Cheney during Cheney's first year in office. Vice President Al Gore's favorable rating during his first year, 55 percent, was also higher than Biden's. (Gallup did not measure vice presidential popularity before Gore.).."

Ultimately, use less energy--we won't have it

War on coal (via Washington Times)

"While campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama said his cap-and-trade tax plans would "bankrupt" anyone building a coal-fired power plant. Although those taxes haven't materialized, the Environmental Protection Agency has put the brakes on 79 surface mining permits in four states since he was elected.

"The EPA says these permits could violate the Clean Water Act and warrant "enhanced" review. But the agency went even further last week, announcing plans to revoke a permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia - a move that has caused anxiety among coal-state Democrats about the future of the industry under the Obama administration.

"Mr. Obama's opposition to coal has been apparent since January 2008 when he told the San Francisco Chronicle he would clamp down on miners by enacting a cap-and-trade system that would make it too expensive to stay in business. "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can," he said at the time. "It's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."
Although his favored cap-and-trade bill hasn't yet been passed, West Virginia's Democratic Gov.
"Joe Manchin III, who supported Mr. Obama's candidacy, called the EPA moves part of a stealth campaign to stifle the industry. .."

Read the rest and start wondering just how much our standard of living must decline, how many unemployed will it take, how impoverished our energy produceing sector must be made...before it will become clear that THAT'S WHAT THE OBAMA-NOIDS REALLY WANT:

Hard to praise fall of Wall, praise dictators, too

MICHAEL BARONE: Obama, Berlin, Rhetoric & Reality. (via Instapundit)

"PRESIDENT Obama, who found time to go on a 24-hour jaunt to Copenhagen on Oct. 2 to seek the 2016 Olympic Games for Chicago, apparently can’t find the time for a 24-hour trip to Berlin on Nov. 9 for a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Well, we all have our priorities, and the president can’t be everywhere at once, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will surely represent America ably in Berlin.

"Still, it seemed an odd decision to me — until I went back and got the speech that candidate Obama delivered on July 24, 2008, to a crowd of 200,000 in the Tiergarten in Berlin. As I reread the text, it struck me that there would be an embarrassing contrast between what Obama said in Berlin 15 months ago and many policies he has been pursuing as president. . . . Last year, Obama told Berliners that we and they are “heirs to a struggle for freedom.” This year, his administration has been busy trying to appease dictatorial and authoritarian regimes. So maybe he was wise to skip a return appearance in Berlin. Let Clinton gloss over the embarrassing contrast between his rhetoric then and his policies now..."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Polls showing support for O-care...just wrong

Rasmussen, the most accurate pollster last year, has never been shown innaccurate on his subjects--in this case on the non-popularity of O-care. Forget polls that manipulate the words, shift the topic phraseology or manipulate the polling sample to produce the desired lead/headline/news flash for the benefit of the Obama agenda:

"Health Care Reform
57% Say Health Care Plan Will Increase Costs, 53% Say It Will Reduce Quality of Care, 45% Favor Passage
Monday, October 26, 2009

"If the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats passes, 57% of voters nationwide believe it will raise the cost of health care, and 53% believe the quality of care will get worse. That’s part of the reason that just 45% support the plan. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% are opposed to it.

"Those numbers include 23% who Strongly Favor the plan and 40% who are Strongly Opposed.
Just 18% say passage of the congressional plan will reduce costs, while only 23% believe it will lead to better care. .."

Month-old doc poll portends medical disaster

IBD: The doctors speak September 15, 2009 Posted by Scott at 7:33 PM

"Investor's Business Daily has just released a new poll of practicing physicians regarding Obamacare. The IBD poll was conducted by mail, with more than 1,000 physicians chosen randomly throughout the country taking part; responses are still arriving. The IBD article reporting the poll results unfortunately does not discuss the accuracy or reliability of the poll.

"The poll indicates that two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted. Most think that Medicare patients would get poorer care under it. IBD notes that the results undercut the findings of a poll released Monday by National Public Radio suggesting that a "majority of physicians want public and private insurance options" and today's front-page LA Times story on AMA support for Obamacare."

Judge explains the unsustainable debt trend

Monday, October 26, 2009
"Affordability," 2010 and the Health Overhaul
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 9:15 AM The Monday morning column from Clark Judge:
“Affordability”, 2010 and the Health Overhaulby Clark S. Judge, managing director, White House Writers Group This morning’s Politico (here: ) headlines “Public Option resurfaces as an affordability issue”. In the paper version, a bigger headline to the same story explains, “2010 Haunts Health Care Debate”. You may be inclined to say, “duh.”
"But though, as Politico also reports, Mr. Obama’s demand for a $900 billion cap on the planned program’s expenses came as a surprise to many Congressional Democrats, the White House move was a predictable response to intense public concern about health overhaul’s price tag. Yet, to most Americans, $900 billion still looks like a big deal. And it is, now and even more profoundly in the decades ahead...."

"Here are the key points and why the “years ahead” loom so large in the health care debate:
In 2005, spending minus Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid totaled about 12 percent of GDP. It was expected to tick up a little over the next several years to about 14 percent, remaining flat as a proportion of the economy after 2030.

"Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were a different story. They were projected to double from ten percent of the economy to 20 percent, increasing the total U.S. government take in the economy to about 34 percent of GDP. State and local government adds to the burden.
Cogan warned, however, that this story is out of date.

"Enactment of the Obama Administration’s health takeover and other programs would jump the total federal number including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security up to nearly 60 percent of GDP by 2065.

"The previous peak was during World War II, when for one year Federal outlays topped 40 percent.

"We are entering, Cogan noted, “uncharted territory”. We have never been here before.Where does the road lead? It is impossible to sustain the entrepreneurially driven economy that currently drives our growth and fuels our national dynamism with the government taking such a large portion of GDP. We would necessarily move to a corporatist model, with the government owning or effectively directing large sectors that we now assume should be private and independent. We are talking here about a fundamental transformation on the most profound levels of the American economy and American society..."

Hewitt nails GW/polar bear/energy shortage...

Monday, October 26, 2009
The Endangered Species Act, Critical Habitat and Polar Bears
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 8:44 AM

"When the Bush Administration designated the polar bear as "threatened" last year, it did so because of computer models showing a dangerous decline in the ice cover the bears need to survive. The models were challenged at the time, both as to their accuracy and as to legal sufficiency as data sufficient to support a listing under the Endangered Species Act. Those of us who practice in the area of the ESA knew that once a listing was in place, the effects that would spin out from such a designation would be ruinous to individuals making their livings in and around the protected species' habitat. The ESA is such a draconian statute that it should be invoked only when the science is clear and compelling, not speculative. The devastation to California's Central Valley because of the listing of the delta smelt is just the most recent in a long line of ESA-triggered disasters.

"Now the after-effects of the polar bear listing are beginning to arrive. The New York Times cheers the recent designation of the bear's "critical habitat" as "it seems highly unlikely that Mr. Salazar would authorize major oil and gas development in territory that his own Fish and Wildlife Service has identified as crucial to the bears’ future."

"The designation of critical habitat does not automatically bar commercial activities like oil and gas drilling," the paper correctly observes. "It does mean that such activities, if they occur on federal land or require a federal permit, cannot go forward without intensive review by agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Service, which can limit them or prohibit them." Exactly right. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is now a partner in every drilling operation in or even near the vast area designated as "critical habitat" for the polar bear.

"There is no scientific connection, of course, between the lands designated as critical habitat for the bear and the loss of ice which propelled the polar bear on to the list. Designating the critical habitat will in no way hinder the loss of more ice or speed the return of lost ice. According to the Service when the bear was listed, climate change was the culprit, and climate change cannot be affected by the oil exploration in the critical habitat area or even the consumption of the oil produced there. No serious scientist would even begin to argue differently.

"But still the designation occurred because the ESA demands it and now all of the exploration in the area is burdened with more government review and more vetoes while the bear's situation changes not a bit. We lose oil and natural gas but the bear's situation is not altered one bit.

"That's the ESA in operation, and the accumulation of such inanities is why we have an energy crisis in America. It is also a demonstration why we will never build the giant wind farms some envision, or necessary new pipelines, or the massive improvements to the electricity grid we need or the nuclear power plants we must have. The only context in which the designation of the polar bear habitat makes sense is deindustrialization.

I knew someone would find/cite flu hypocrisy

"What a difference five years makes on flu vaccine shortage"

By: Mark Tapscott (Washington Examiner) Editorial Page Editor 10/26/09 6:53 PM EDT

"Hardly a negative word has been uttered in the mainstream media this week about President Obama and the shortage of swine flu vaccine shots, despite assurances from his administration in September that an "ample supply" would be available by "mid-October."

"But five years ago when it was George W. Bush in the White House and insufficient supplies of flu vaccine were available in a timely manner, folks in the media were jumping all over the administration. Earlier today, a friend pointed me to a bunch of examples of such coverage, including these two:

“While many Americans search in vain for flu shots, members and employees of Congress are able to obtain them quickly and at no charge from the Capitol's attending physician, who has urged all 535 lawmakers to get the vaccines even if they are young and healthy… But people of all ages who are credentialed to work in the Capitol can get a shot by saying they meet the guidelines, with no further questions asked… The practice appears to directly contravene the instruction being given by the government's executive branch.” --- Charles Babington and David Brown, The Washington Post, Oct. 20, 2004.

"Yesterday, on the way from St. Petersburg to New Port Richey, the presidential entourage stopped at the Paradise Restaurant in the little town of Safety Harbor, where the president and his brother posed for pictures and were served coffee and baklava. While in the restaurant, a member of the press pool shouted out a question to the president: 'Are you accountable for the flu vaccine shortage?' Bush ignored the question. And reporters were hustled out of the restaurant." --- Dan Froomkin’s White House Briefing Column, Oct. 20, 2004.

"There are more such examples collected on Wikipedia here for those interested in a more detailed comparison of the flu vaccine shortage coverage under Bush compared to the present shortage."

After slight liberal surge, conservatives now tops

Inconvenient truth, indeed, that the largest ideological group is now self-identified as "conservative," at 40%, according to Gallup. "Liberals" have always been about half of the number of conservatives--sorry to have to remind anyone that America has been, is and, hopefully, will remain, a "center-right" country. Look at the chart with the article to see that self-identified "liberals" peaked at 22% for the last couple of years before folks understandably realized "that dog (Obama) don't hunt."

"October 26, 2009
Conservatives Maintain Edge as Top Ideological Group"

"Compared with 2008, more Americans “conservative” in general, and on issues
by Lydia Saad

"PRINCETON, NJ -- Conservatives continue to outnumber moderates and liberals in the American populace in 2009, confirming a finding that Gallup first noted in June. Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal. This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group..."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jay N. expertly analyses Obama's utterances

O’s (Latest) Insult [Jay Nordlinger] via NRO:

"Barack Obama is pretty interesting when he gets in front of his money-givers — his biggest fans, I guess. In New York, he said, “Democrats are an opinionated bunch. You know, the other side, they just kinda sometimes do what they’re told. Democrats, y’all thinkin’ for yourselves.” Last year, in San Francisco, he said of Middle Americans, “It’s not surprising . . . they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them . . .”

"He speaks a lot differently — a lot more respectfully — when he has one of his big national addresses: Then, we’re not red states or blue states but the United States, blah, blah, blah. Well, which is the real O? The nice, inclusive guy or the sneering, contemptuous partisan? I vote the latter: I think it’s the real O, unfortunately: the one who speaks to Democrats in New York and San Francisco. But I am not much of a psychiatrist.

"Republicans are people who do what they’re told? That reminded me: One of the reasons I left the Left, or became disenchanted with the Left, is that too many of them were like sheep, all herded up — scarcely thinking for themselves at all. They were wedded to dogma and political correctness. They did not dare to deviate — not in my environment.

"I remember the kids when I was in college: They would just nod at everything their professors and teaching assistants said — and all those professors and TAs, of course, were on the left. The kids might have had a “Question Authority” bumper sticker somewhere. But they never did. They were awfully unquestioning. By their disposition, if it was in the New York Times, it was true. If it was in National Review, it was not true — plus, dangerous, crazy, racist, etc.

"Most of the kids who really thought for themselves were right-leaning — and it cost them something to express their views. Cost them something in social acceptance, grades, and so on. I admired these guys, even before I joined their ranks.

"By the way, which side imposed speech codes on campus? Liberals or conservatives? Not conservatives, that’s for sure. If liberals are such a noisy, rowdy, opinionated, pluralistic, uncontainable bunch — how come they’re for speech codes, for shutting down the other side?..."

MSM reports factually on Health ins. profits

From AP:
FACT CHECK: Health insurer profits not so fat

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer Calvin Woodward, Associated Press Writer – 25 mins ago

"WASHINGTON – Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo? Answer: They're all more profitable than the health insurance industry.

"In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making "immoral" and "obscene" returns while "the bodies pile up."
Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

"Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans..."

Read the rest:

DP: Those of us on the right have knows for most of this year that the assault on the health insurance industry is driven by the "enemies list" mentality fueled by propaganda and emotional appeals to supposed profiteering ala the trite argument "they make their money by denying coverage." Now we have the facts from MSN and they don't support the narrative of the rich insurance companies lining their pockets on the blood of the poor.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Even MSM news reports O-care's huge $'s

"House health care bill over $1 trillion for decade"

"WASHINGTON (AP) - Health care legislation taking shape in the House carries a price tag of at least $1 trillion over a decade, significantly higher than the target President Barack Obama has set, congressional officials said Friday as they struggled to finish work on the measure for a vote early next month.

"Democrats have touted an unreleased Congressional Budget Office estimate of $871 billion in recent days, a total that numerous officials acknowledge understates the bill's true cost by $150 billion or more. That figure excludes several items designed to improve benefits for Medicare and Medicaid recipients and providers, as well as public health programs and more, they added.

"The officials who disclosed the details did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss them publicly..."


"Democrats also said the bill would slow the rate of growth of the giant Medicare program from 6.6 percent annually to 5.3 percent.

""The bill will be paid for over 10 years. It will reduce costs but also will not add a dime to the deficit" in future years, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a news conference..."

It just goes on--read it and laugh or cry:

Friday, October 23, 2009

What is it with libs quoting Mao's beliefs

(From NRO)
"Obama Science Czar Quotes Mao — On Population Control? [Mark Hemingway]
Media Matters's defense of Anita Dunn — the White House communications director who declared Mao one of her "favorite political philosophers" — is pretty amazing:

"Continuing Fox News' witch hunt against members of the Obama administration, both Glenn Beck and Special Report misleadingly cropped White House communications director Anita Dunn's remarks at a high school graduation ceremony to falsely claim that she was, in Beck's words, "proclaiming Mao [Zedong] as ... the man that she turns to most." In fact, Dunn actually said that Mao and Mother Theresa were "the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices!"

"I don't know about you, but I'm relieved to hear we have people in the White House who know how to make tough choices. Chairman Mao or Mother Theresa? More like to-may-to, to-mah-to! Thanks for clarifying this, Media Matters. I can see George Soros's money is being well spent. (And for what it's worth, when Beck broke the story he played Dunn's speech at length and fully in context. To say Beck "misleadingly cropped" Dunn's remarks is, well, misleading.)

"Of course, Obama manufacturing czar Ron Bloom has also quoted Mao approvingly, so what to make of that? And remember Obama science adviser John Holdren? Holdren, you might recall, is a figure of some controversy. After he was appointed, it came to light he had authored a book with scientific laughingstock Paul Erlich called Ecoscience. The book made some pretty radical suggestions advocating for population control, including discussions of forced abortions and the possibility of putting sterilizing agents in drinking water. (I wrote about Holdren's alarming views here and later appeared on Glenn Beck discussing Holdren.) Well, blogger Unca Darrell has made an interesting catch. Here's the epigraph from Ecoscience's chapter on population control:

"Of all things people are the most precious.
—Mao Tse Tung

"Well, coming from a guy that killed 50–70 million precious things that's just heartwarming. And it's even more comforting that Obama's science czar John Holdren takes his cues on population control from the Little Red Book.

Obama voters: played for fools and deceived

"Obama vs. The President He Said He'd Be" By Tom Bevan (via Real Clear Politics):

"During the campaign Barack Obama vowed he would be a different kind of leader who would move America beyond the "smallness of our politics." That inspired promise was not an insignificant part of why he was elected last November.

"In his inaugural address Obama told us that "the time has come to set aside childish things." He promised to bring "an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."

"Not only has President Obama failed to live up to those promises so far, it appears that on more than a number of occasions he’s made a conscious decision to break them.

"In the first nine months in office President Obama and/or members of his administration have accused doctors of performing unnecessary medical procedures for profit; demonized bond holders as "speculators;" produced a report suggesting military veterans are prone to becoming right wing extremists; attacked insurance companies and threatened them with legislative retribution; ridiculed talk show hosts and political commentators by name from the White House podium; dismissed and demeaned protesters and town hall attendees as either unauthentic or fringe characters; maligned a white police officer for arresting a black man without knowing the facts of the case; launched an orchestrated campaign to marginalize the country's biggest pro-business group; and publicly declared war on a news organization.

"Twice in the last week, perhaps carried away by the campaign atmosphere, President Obama ramped up the use of the kind of partisan rhetoric that will drive Americans further apart; once in San Francisco at a DNC fundraiser and once last night at a rally for Jon Corzine.
As a result of this strategy, President Obama’s approval rating has fallen consistently since taking office while Americans' disapproval of the way he’s handled his job has more than doubled and is now at an all time high of 44 percent. On Wednesday Gallup reported that the 9-point drop in Obama’s approval rating between July and September was the third most precipitous decline in Presidential history and the worst since 1953...."

"Lastly, promises of transparency have fallen by the wayside. The reform the President promised would be fully open to the public is now being written by a tiny cadre behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, and Democrats in Congress are resisting a rules change that would allow the bill to be posted online 72 hours before a vote so the public might have a chance to see exactly what it is their elected representatives are voting on.

"Voters expect politicians to say one thing and do another. But Obama took the public’s cynicism and turned it to his advantage by vowing he would be a different kind of leader. So far, however, he is falling well short of his promises, using tactics and rhetoric that not only drive Americans apart but hurt him politically. It's time for Obama to start acting like the President he told us he’d be."

Tom Bevan is the co-founder and Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics. Email:

Dr K on O's Afghan game; Chi-style slugfest

"Krauthammer's Take [NRO Staff] From last night's Fox News All-Stars."

"On the split between the White House and the defense establishment on strategy in Afghanistan:

"Well, it's not just the process of the White House appearing to preempt or overrule the military, and the White House not exactly having the background and expertise that the military does.

"It's also the substance and the logic of it. What Gates was saying is this is preposterous that you have to wait until after the election to decide on the troop level.

"After all, look, there are three things that we can say with confidence about what the government of Afghanistan will look like after this election. It's going to be weak, it is going to be pro-American, and it's going to be corrupt. That's how it was yesterday, and that's how it will be tomorrow.

"More or less corrupt and more or less weak, but that's how it will be, and that's how it was a year ago. So it's not going to depend on the outcome of the election. That's the card that we're dealt in Afghanistan, and that's going to be.

"Now, the best outcome would be if you had a coalition so you wouldn't have to have a runoff with all of the complications that are talked about. But even so…why would you hold off and delay a critical decision on the strength of our troops? Because you don't know the exact composition of the cabinet?

"It's nonsense, and I think Gates shot it down pretty strongly today.

"On the Obama administration attacking Fox News and, now, the Chamber of Commerce:

"It is one thing for the government, the administration, to attack opponents, institutions, media. It is another to go out and try and delegitimize them and destroy them.

"I thought it was sort of repulsive audacity on the part of the administration to go out and to declare Fox is not a real news organization, particularly when there might be big companies out there who might think twice about having an ad on Fox or other news media who might think twice about following a Fox story because it might incur the displeasure of the administration.

"Similarly, to go after the Chamber of Commerce — you can argue against it, defend yourself on the arguments — but to try to induce defections as a way to destroy it is a new level. It's Chicago-level politics.

"Look, there is nothing illegal about it. It is not unconstitutional. But it is outside the Democratic norms of our society, which is Madisonian.

"Our idea is that you have — as a way to protect against tyranny in government — the growth, the interaction, and the clash of what Madison called "factions" but what we call "interests," special and otherwise. You argue, interact and you clash. But you don't undermine, delegitimize, and destroy.

"That is the Madisonian way, and we are getting, instead, is the Chicago way.
….It isn't a question of defending the Chamber. It is a question of being offended by a certain style of politics. And that's what I think is the problem here.

Obama undermining Const'l core: rule of law

"Will the Rule of Law Survive Obama?" October 22nd, 2009 at 8:50 am by David Frum

"May I associate myself with the remarks of the esteemed Professor Bainbridge?
The Obama administration has shown a shocking disregard for the rule of law when contract rights interfere with the administration’s ability to reorder the American economy as it sees fit.

"First it was the AIG bonuses. Then the Chrysler and GM bondholders. Now executive compensation.

"From the New York Times:
"Responding to the furor over executive pay at companies bailed out with taxpayer money, the Obama administration will order the firms that received the most aid to slash compensation to their highest-paid employees, an official involved in the decision said on Wednesday.
The plan, for the 25 top earners at seven companies that received exceptional help, will on average cut total compensation this year by about 50 percent. The companies are Citigroup, Bank of America, American International Group, General Motors, Chrysler and the financing arms of the two automakers.

"Some executives, like the top traders at A.I.G., will face tight limits on their pay. In addition, the top-paid employees at all the affected companies will face new limits on their perks.
The plan will also change the form of the pay to align the personal interests of the executives with the longer-term financial health of the companies. For instance, the cash portion of the executives’ salaries will be slashed on average by 90 percent, and the rest will be replaced by stock that cannot be sold for years.

"It’s unsurprising that a public that has had to pay billions to rescue firms from bad investment decisions would resent paying big checks to senior executives. It’s certainly conceivable that the form of compensation imposed by Ken Feinberg - more stock, less cash, with delays in the date the stock can be sold - might have encouraged more responsible behavior had it been in place beforehand.

"But as Bainbridge puts it:
"[M]any (most?) of the compensation deals the Obama administration is shredding were set in employment contracts. Granted, some of those employment contracts were signed after the law setting up pay “czar” Kenneth Feinberg’s position and empowering him to review pay packages at TARP firms.

"But a lot of them are pre-existing contracts and it’s those contracts that are the main concern.
Feinberg in fact is trumpeting his success at forcing so-called renegotiation “even for contracts over which he did not have explicit authority.”

"The bottom line thus is that Obama is having his minion coerce TARP executives and employees into ripping up contracts Obama doesn’t like so as to assuage the populist public...."

"Obamanoids" fire cannons on sinking ship

"Are the Obamanoids as dumb as they seem?" By Roger L. Simon

"Team Obama certainly ran a brilliant election campaign, but since they left Chicago for Washington, they seem to have dropped about twenty-five IQ points – or do they think the rest of the world is like Chicago? I’m not even sure it’s that simple, because Moscow in some ways (corruption) resembles Chicago, but they sure seem to have misjudged the Russians, among many other things.

"Of course, they can (and do) blame their tanking poll numbers on Fox News, but that’s a sure fire prescription for having them tank even further. Even the New York Times admitted that Team Obama was blind to the most conventional of wisdom about “punching upwards not downwards,” thus benefitting Fox instead of themselves by attacking the network. I always thought the Bushies were a disaster at public relations, but the Obamanoids are giving them a run for their money. Maybe Lord Acton should be revised: Power corrupts, but absolute power makes you absolutely clueless!

"And the cluelessness is absolutely mind-boggling. What, pray tell, was going through the head of Anita Dunn (a Democratic Party political “pro“) when she named Mao (along with Mother Teresa) as her philosophical inspiration at a high school (not college – my bad) graduation speech? If this weren’t an act of monumental stupidity (neither are philosophers, to begin with, although Mao’s “On Contradiction“, a work I would bet my house Dunn has never read or even heard of, is an interesting compendium of the Marxist rhetoric of the time), it was an extraordinary act of unconscious self-immolation. On top of it all, Ms. Dunn apparently hadn’t gotten the message from Christopher Hitchens regarding the sanctity of Mother T.

"But never mind. This is dumbness beyond dumbness, a desperate attempt by an aging boomer to show how hip she was to a younger crowd. Whether she knew Mao was the greatest mass murderer of all time was beside the point. She was cool. [NOTE TO TROLLS: Spare us the argument she was being ironic. Only a blithering idiot could believe that. Was she being ironic about Mother Teresa in the same sentence?] What fascinates in all this – and potentially gives us scary insight into the Obama crew – is the following from Wikipedia about Dunn: During the presidential transition of 2008-09, Dunn trained White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.[citation needed]

"I have left the “citation needed.” As of now, Dunn is innocent (of that) until proven guilty. But if it is true, that’s all we need to know. When does the housecleaning start?"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Now we know how much of deficit is Obama's

From NOR: "What's Inside the Deficit?" [Veronique de Rugy]

"As you know now, the deficit for FY2009 has reached $1.4 trillion, or 9.9 percent of the GDP. It's the biggest deficit since the end of World War II. In Washington, a common explanation is that the recession produced the deficit. As if that makes it okay. But look that this chart.

"To be sure, the recession caused lower than expected tax revenue — $419 billion lower. But the bulk of the deficit is made of spending. A lot spending since it amounts to a $1trillion: $459 billion of the deficit came from spending decisions made in the years preceding 2009; $245 billion are due to the financial bailout and $347 billion are mainly stimulus spending.

"Why does this matter? Because we have no idea what such big deficits, sustained over so many years, will do to our economy. Remember that for each of Obama’s years in office, the deficit is projected to be larger than any year during Bush’s terms. That's unprecedented..."

DP: We all agree: $459 bn is Bush/previous Congress (which was...Democrat including an Illinois Senator Obama, right?); $245 bn from TARP/bailout passed under Bush with, again, a Democrat Congress (Obama voted for it so he owns part of that also); finally, the $347 bn stimulus is all Obama, all Democrat Congress. Revenue shortfall is, shall we say, no one's fault--sh-t happens.

Bottom line: Bush and Dem Congress share deficit, TARP; Obama/Dems own the stimulus. The winner for responsible for the most debt: Obama and Dems.

O-care lost, poll non-support, 49 state job loss

From Heritage Foundation: Morning Bell: A Whole New Health Care Ball Game
Posted October 22nd, 2009 at 9.20am in Health Care.

"You have to read all the way to page A-25 in today’s New York Times to learn about it, but the Senate took its first floor vote on Obamacare yesterday and the White House lost. Big. The NYT reports: “Democrats lost a big test vote on health care legislation on Wednesday as the Senate blocked action on a bill to increase Medicare payments to doctors at a cost of $247 billion over 10 years. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, needed 60 votes to proceed. He won only 47. And he could not blame Republicans. A dozen Democrats and one independent crossed party lines and voted with Republicans on the 53 to 47 roll call.”

"As we reported on Monday and Tuesday, yesterday’s “doc fix” vote was part of a White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel strategy to smooth passage of President Barack Obama’s $1 trillion-plus health care overhaul by transferring a quarter of its cost into a separate, and completely unpaid for, bill. This transparently dishonest shell game was too much for honest Democratic Senators like Evan Bayh (D-IN), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Wyden told the NYT: “On the eve of a historic debate on health care, it’s essential to show a commitment to real reform,” which includes fiscal responsibility.

"Yesterday’s vote marks a significant failure of the Left’s special interest approach to passing Obamacare. From the beginning, the White House thought that if it bought off all of the business interests involved (the American Medical Association, the drug industry, health insurers, hospitals, etc.) opposition to the plan would wither. In one sense, the plan worked. USA Today reports PhRMA, Pfizer, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the Federation of American Hospitals have all ponied up millions of dollars for lobbying and television ads in support of Obamacare.

"But all these special interest television ads failed to rid Americans of their common sense objections to Obamacare’s government takeover of health care. Gallup reports today that Americans now more than ever believe the costs their family pays for health care will get worse if Obamacare passes. And more Americans now believe that Obamacare will lower the quality of care they receive, reduce their health care coverage, and complicate the insurance company requirements they have to meet to get certain treatments covered.

"Instead of the massive overhaul being pursued by the White House, a solid majority of Americans tell Gallup they want to see Congress move in the opposite direction. By 58% to 38%, Americans would generally prefer to see Congress deal with health care reform “on a gradual basis over several years” rather than “try to pass a comprehensive health care reform plan this year.” Bipartisan, fiscally responsible, reform such as equalizing the tax treatment of health insurance purchases, freeing customers to purchase health insurance across state lines, and allowing states more flexibility on Medicaid spending are readily doable. And that is what the people want.

"Quick Hits:
"In a violation of laws against government-funded propaganda, the official, taxpayer funded, Department of Health and Human Services website urges Americans to to send an e-mail to President Barack Obama praising his health care reform plan.

"According to a new report, 7 months after President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus became law, 49 of 50 states have lost jobs and America is now over 6 million jobs shy of White House promises.

"The Obama administration’s wage control czar plans to order companies that received bailout money to slash pay for each of the companies highest paid employees by an average of 50%.
The drug and insurance industries have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress in favor of Obamacare.

"Windmills’ propensity to kill bats is pitting endangered species advocates against climate change scaremongers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lowry on Obama's obsession with Bush

Here's the title, the rest is copyrighted but it is a must read:

"Obama the Graceless; Bush will be Obama’s eternal foil." by Rich Lowry

More Nixonian angle/lack of media reaction

From NewsBusters: Unlike Nixon, Obama's Media Attacks Generate Little Press Anger
By Lachlan Markay (Bio Archive)October 20, 2009 - 16:25 ET

"Is Barack Obama turning into Spiro Agnew? The White House's attacks on the Fox News smack of the distaste for media opposition espoused by Nixon's vice president almost 40 years ago but are being met with a decidedly different reaction today by the elite media.

"Pundits have wondered aloud since last week why the White House would pursue a strategy that seems to be boosting the ratings of a purported 'opposition' news network. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough posited today that the White House's attacks on Fox News are designed to prevent the mainstream media from picking up on stories damaging to the administration (video embedded below the fold, h/t to NB reader Kirk W.).

"Every time Fox breaks a story on the radical connections of a White House advisor or appointee, the news is potentially damaging to the administration. But damage is only really done if the rest of the media picks up on the story, reports it, and turns it into a national news sensation, a la Van Jones...

"White House reporter Helen Thomas even compared the administration's actions to those of the Nixon administration, which notoriously attempted to stifle dissent in the press."What the hell do they think we are, puppets?" Thomas asked.

"Given the uproar over Spiro Agnew's scathing critique of stilted media coverage of President Nixon's call for the "silent majority" to support the Vietnam War, it is striking that there has been this virtual silence on the Obama administration's attacks on Fox News (one Washington Post blogger astoundingly stated that "Fox should stop whining").

"Agnew's suggestion that the media distorted the news by misrepresenting and sensationalizing facts, due to preconceived positions on those facts, was derided by critics in the news media at the time. The New York Times criticized the "totalitarian stance [Agnew] represents."

"Norman Isaacs, then-president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, said

"What we're facing now is a drive for a real one party press, not through free expression but through open intimidation by the top officials of our government... I cannot help but wonder what the substantive difference is between the administration's position and that in practice in the Soviet Union.

"Democratic politicians also criticized what they saw as a totalitarian attempt to stifle political dissent in the news media. According to the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, "Democratic leaders...have accused the Nixon administration of seeking to stifle criticism and suppress dissent in the United States." The Star recalled Hubert Humphrey's statement that,

"The Nixon administration's attack on the news media, as expressed by Vice President Agnew...alarm those who believe in the right to dissent and in a free press... Certainly government officials have a right to defend their actions and to challenge those who criticize them... But when the highest officials of the government launch a deliberate and premeditated attack upon the right to comment...this is a serious matter and a cause for alarm.

"No such characterizations have been raised against the Obama administration, which is employing Agnew-esque tactics designed to downplay and minimize criticism of the White House. That is a real problem, especially given that the media today are of the same political persuasion as the president. Left-leaning journalists who are sitting on their hands while a lone outpost of "truth to power" journalism is being attacked at the highest levels of executive power are setting a terrible precedent for future journalists.

Read the whole thing with videos:

Too young to know "Nixonian"? Just watch now

From Instapundit: Glenn Reynolds sums it up in his usual way (with links):

"HEH: “There’s only one thing dumber than picking a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel — picking a fight with people who don’t even have to buy ink.”

"Plus this: “It makes the White House look childish and petty at best, and it has a distinct Nixonian — Agnewesque? — aroma at worst. It is a self-defeating trifecta: it distracts attention from the Obama administration’s substantive message; it serves to help Fox, not punish it, by driving up ratings; and it deprives the White House, to the extent it refuses to provide administration officials to appear on the cable network, of access to an audience that is, in fact, broader than hard-core Obama haters.”

"UPDATE: “Are We Dunn Yet?” “Because when you are running on ‘transparency’ and more to the point, ‘accountability’ it’s just a pesky time-waster having to actually talk to reporters, about policy and positions and whatnot. Better to just issue a video press release and refuse their quarrelsome little entreaties! They should be grateful for that much!”

Posted at 8:04 am by Glenn Reynolds

Obama: muzzle insurers; HHS propaganda OK

From Roll Call: "Grassley Warns HHS Web Site May Be ‘Propaganda’"
By John StantonRoll Call Staff
Oct. 20, 2009, 9:07 p.m.

"Grassley Warns HHS Web Site May Be ‘Propaganda’"

"Senate Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is raising concerns that a Department of Health and Human Services Web site that urges visitors to send an e-mail to President Barack Obama praising his health care reform plan may violate rules against government-funded propaganda.

"The Web page is accessed through a “state your support” button featured prominently on the HHS Web site and carries a disclaimer that the Web site is maintained by HHS.
In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday, Grassley warned that “any possible misuse of appropriated funds by the executive branch to engage in publicity or propaganda in support of an Administration priority is a matter that must be investigated and taken seriously,” noting that in 2005 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued that “the use of official funds for similar activities were 'underhanded tactics' and that these tactics 'are not worthy of our great democracy.'”

"The form letter on the “state your support” page includes language hailing Obama's efforts. “We strongly support your commitment to comprehensive health reform. This is not a luxury. The continuing, sharp escalation of health care costs for families, businesses, and government is unsustainable. Reform is imperative. We believe that health reform must be enacted this year,” the letter says.

"Additionally, the form letter says that signatories will back Obama's efforts. “During these extraordinarily challenging times, we need to put aside past differences and address the health and economic crisis. ...

"In his letter, Grassley notes that HHS has recently issued new guidance to insurers that they must obtain permission from beneficiaries before sending out mailers critical of the reform efforts in Congress. “The use of the official Web site for activities that seem to be nothing more than government propaganda raises many serious questions,” Grassley wrote...."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Deconstructing fake poll (ABC/WaPo), COC etc

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Hoaxes And Busted Polling. Just Another Day In MSM
Posted by: Duane R. Patterson at 4:13 AM

"Take, for instance, the ABC/Washington Post poll out Tuesday morning in the Post. The headline reads Public Option Gains Support - CLEAR MAJORITY NOW BACKS PLAN, by Dan Balz and Jon Cohen. The report on the poll goes into a lot of the breakdowns of how Republicans, Democrats and independents think about the health care issue plodding through Congress by percentage, but the key takeaway from this, which you will see all over MSM news outlets all day, is in this paragraph.

"On the issue that has been perhaps the most pronounced flash point in the national debate, 57 percent of all Americans now favor a public insurance option, while 40 percent oppose it. Support has risen since mid-August, when a bare majority, 52 percent, said they favored it. (In a June Post-ABC poll, support was 62 percent.)"

"57-40 now support a public option? I read that and thought there is no way this can be true, especially when we just read from Rasmussen Reports, the polling outfit that actually got the closest to predicting the real outcome of the election last year, that their brand new poll shows support for Obamacare has slipped to 42-54 against the plan. That's a gigantic swing between the two polls in such a short period of time over essentially the same issue. Time to go to the sampling to see which poll is bogus. Back to the Post. If you keep reading through the seemingly endless analysis by Balz and Cohen about what the results of their numbers mean for Obama, for Congress, and for the country, you get to the ideological makeup used to generate this "poll". Ready?

"Only 20 percent of adults identify themselves as Republicans, little changed in recent months, but still the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983. Political independents continue to make up the largest group, at 42 percent of respondents; 33 percent call themselves Democrats.

"ABC News/Washington Post pollsters called just over a thousand people, only found 20% who said they were Republicans, and they think it's news that Obamacare is now winning the day in American public opinion overwhelmingly. I'm stunned. I think I need to go lie down.

"Just in case anyone out there is interested in reality, Rasmussen reported that at the end of September of this year, the party breakdown in the country was 32.1% Republican, 37.5% Democrat, and if you lumped the rest into independents, which they certainly aren't, you'd get 30.4% independent. Keep in mind, that in this Rasmussen poll, this is registered voters, not likely voters. If you use likely voters, the spread between Democrats and Republicans gets even tighter as Republicans in general tend historically to be more likely to vote than Democrats. That is, unless you are involved with ACORN, in which case you are likely to vote several times, and encourage all the illegal brothels you've assisted to do the same.

"The ABC/Washington Post poll is completely busted. It is fantasy to believe that in this country, there are only 20% self-identified Republicans. On Monday, there was the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce hoax that got by CNBC, Reuters, and by extension, because of carrying the Reuters wire service, The New York Times and Washington Post. Rush Limbaugh was serially slandered by MSM, who gleefully attributed to him comments never spoken by Limbaugh in order to make him too toxic for NFL ownership. Instead of MSM actually checking out the alleged quotes to see if they were actually uttered by Limbaugh, they waited until the Sabotage Rush mission was accomplished before half-heartedly issuing an oops, in some cases, and not even that much in many more.

"Just keep in mind, you read it here first. The ABC/Washington Post poll on support for Obamacare is as phony as the fraudulant U.S. Chamber of Commerce "spokesperson" who tried to claim Monday that the Chamber had a change of heart and now was on board with the cap and tax legislation."

Itemizing the bullying, dictatorial Obam-attacks

By David Limbaugh: "Barack's Enemies List"

"Sorry to disillusion those of you who are still in denial about President Barack Obama's true socialistic and dictatorial nature, but this guy's militancy against his perceived enemies puts Richard Nixon's White House to shame. His war on Fox News is just his latest salvo.

"Obama's perceived enemies are all those who have the temerity not to roll over for his extreme agenda. They all must be demonized, marginalized and silenced by a president who has turned the Oval Office into a glorified street organizing headquarters to attack his opponents. Indeed, this self-described uniter is the most divisive president in memory, and his uncontrollable ego can't countenance legitimate dissent.

"Consider (here are excerpts--link for full...and what he leaves out, for want of space, are the too-numerous-to-count instances of the compliant, i.e. non-Fox, media taking up the cause on behalf of O's mouthpieces/hacks):

--He has smeared medical doctors...

--He publicly berated Chrysler's senior creditors as a "small group of speculators"...

--He has demonized "big oil" and other energy producers, free market capitalists, corporate executives, pharmaceutical companies, Republicans who oppose his health care plan as dishonest and partisan, the wealthy, municipal policemen who dared arrest his Ivy League professor friend for disturbing the peace, pro-lifers, global warming skeptics, the CIA, the military, the best health care system in the world, and George W. Bush every time he needs cover for the inevitably negative consequences of his policies...

--He uses his White House blog to attack his political opponents.

--He condemned opponents of amnesty for illegal aliens as "demagogues."

--He foreshadowed his true nature in the campaign with his spontaneous denunciation of small-town Americans as bitterly clinging to their guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them.

--His administration has likened "tea party" protestors to an "angry mob" and "potential terrorists." His adviser David Axelrod has said they "are not in the mainstream and not in the majority" and represent "the angriest and most strident voices."

--In reference to opponents of his health care scheme, he said in a speech to a joint session of Congress, "I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it." He also said: "I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them just to get out of the way...

--He has targeted and vilified the entire insurance industry for daring to oppose his plan, describing them as "those who would bend the truth -- or break it -- to score political points and stop our progress as a country," and accusing them of "filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads ... designed to mislead the American people."..

--He has abused the office of the presidency to personally attack Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and conservative talk radio in general...

--Now he has launched an orchestrated attack against the only television network that makes a sincere effort at offering balance, Fox News Channel, in an attempt to isolate, demonize and delegitimize the organization because it won't follow suit and join the state-run media. (DP: Note that Rush has labeled them "state run media" and now they are being instructed on how to treat news stories that Fox breaks--even, especially, when beyond dispute true. We're also told how the "state run media" were, effectively "candidate run media" by Dunn)...

The common denominator of all these vicious White House attacks is that their targets are those who oppose the administration's agenda. Instead of selling its agenda the old-fashioned way -- by convincing the unconvinced -- it attacks those who dare to articulate and air the opposing point of view. This is a totalitarian, bullying administration, which is revealing its heightened state of panic and desperation over the public's growing awareness of the dangerousness of its policy prescriptions for America."

Posted by David Limbaugh at October 19, 2009 04:42 PM

"More equal" piggies keep/make special perks

via Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds:

"LIKE TAXES, NATIONAL HEALTH CARE IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: Obamacare Is For the Peons… Congress to Keep Their Gold-Plated Health Care Plans.:

Jim Hoft

"Obamacare is for the peons and knaves. Our moral superiors have more important things to worry about.

"Congress will keep their gold-plated insurance plans as they force the rest of the country into a rationed health care government plan.Townhall reported, via Free Republic:
Personal doctors on call 24/7. Coverage that knows no caps. No exemptions for pre-existing conditions.

"Those are the sorts of benefits members of Congress currently enjoy on the taxpayer’s dime, and the kinds of benefits Americans on a government-run public health care plan will never see if Obamacare passes.

“One thing is certain: Congress will exempt itself from whatever lousy health care system it forces on we little people,” said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute. “Congress will get better insurance than you do because politicians always get a better deal under government-run health care.”

Related, from Britain: 3,000 NHS staff get private care. “THE National Health Service has spent £1.5m paying for hundreds of its staff to have private health treatment so they can leapfrog their own waiting lists. More than 3,000 staff, including doctors and nurses, have gone private at the taxpayers’ expense in the past three years because the queues at the clinics and hospitals where they work are too long.”

"When they said everyone would be treated equally, they didn’t mean equally-equally."

Here's how preferential treatment discriminates

October 17, 2009 04:12 PM EDT by John Stossel
Ivy League Diversity Contortions

"Ivy League college applicants are not created equal, according to a study of seven elite private colleges by Princeton professor Thomas Espenshade. Asian students have the biggest hill to climb.

"Asian students were much more likely to be rejected than seemingly similar students of other races....

"African-Americans who achieved 1150 scores on the two original SAT tests had the same chances of getting accepted to top private colleges in 1997 as whites who scored 1460s and Asians who scored perfect 1600s.

"Affirmative action policies are responsible. Espenshade found:
Whites were three times as likely to get fat envelopes as Asians.Hispanics were twice as likely to win admission as whites.African-Americans were at least five times as likely to be accepted as whites.

"Shocking distortions like these haven't changed the fact that affirmative action still dominates the college admission process, and college administrators think that’s just fine.
Not to discriminate by race could “severely limit the level of minority enrollment at top-tier colleges,” according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University.

"(A) universal ban on affirmative action in college admissions could reduce the number of minorities at the nation’s best colleges and universities by as much as 35 percent...."

And yet MSN(Barack)C says we support it?!

RASMUSSEN: Americans Oppose Obamacare 54-42.:

"Now that the Senate Finance Committee has passed its version of health care reform, 42% of voters nationwide favor the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and down four from the week before.

"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% are opposed to the plan.

"The numbers have been remarkably stable throughout the debate. With the exception of bounces following presidential television appearances, support for the plan has stayed in a very narrow range from 41% to 46%. Currently, 24% Strongly Favor the legislative effort and 42% are Strongly Opposed.