Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Fortunately a moment of silence was then mockingly observed for the job losses the vote of the day was about to create:
YouTube - Rep. John Yarmuth on the moment of silence for Michael Jackson
Price Requests Moment of Silence for Those Who Will Lose Job Because of National Energy Tax
President Obama announced tougher energy efficiency requirements for certain types of fluorescent and incandescent lighting on Monday, the latest step in the administration’s push to cut the country’s energy use.How does he just get to announce these things? CAFE standards and now lightrbulbs? Is it just me, or is it weird that he just says and it must be. Someone please give me an equitable Bush reference, STAT.
The new rule , scheduled to take effect in 2012, will cut the amount of electricity used by affected lamps by 15 to 25 percent and save $1 billion to $4 billion a year for consumers, the White House said.Yes! It's the bestest idea ever!! Not looking like a sallow ghost in my home is ruining the world!
“Now I know light bulbs may not seem sexy,” Mr. Obama said, “but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses.”
“We believe this will be the biggest efficiency savings from any appliance standard ever,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, an advocacy organization.
Here, further inspiration for our very own Dear Leader:
Obama Toughens Lighting Rules to Cut Energy Use - NYTimes.com
U2's 360 Tour opens in Barcelona tonight. You've never seen anything like it... and U2.com will be covering every show as it happens.
During rehearsals in Ireland and Spain Adam's been shooting us some very fine video. No better way to get in the mood for the tour, sit back and enjoy all 21 clips.
It's the first time the band have toured the songs from 'No Line on the Horizon' and fans waiting outside Camp Nou here in Barcelona have been telling us the songs they want in the set list. Travelling through Europe this summer and arriving in North America in September, this is a tour that promises to be something special - a breathtaking in-the-round stage production which breaks new ground for stadium shows. Check back in with us later for the first reports, photos and video.
Word is that the band have rehearsed more than 30 songs - check out our new Digital Download Store see if you can predict what they might play.
One track is a dead cert - their 2001 hit 'Walk On' is set to be a centrepiece. The song was written for Aung San Suu Kyi, sometimes known as 'Asia's Nelson Mandela'. Her party won elections in Burma in 1990 but the military refused to hand over power and since then she has spent most of her time under house arrest. Every night on tour fans are being invited to wear the Aung San Suu Kyi Mask when the band play Walk On, a sign that she and the people of Burma are not forgotten. Read our story and download your own mask.
If you want to be close to the tour, wherever you live in the world, stay in touch with U2.com in the coming days.
The U2.com Team
U2.com > News > Countdown to 360
Call the Waaambulance.
Video of NYS Senate Democrats sitting defiantly through the Pledge of Allegiance in protest after losing political control of the Chamber to Republicans.
Only one courageous Senator tried to stand to honor the flag, but he was immediately pulled down into his seat by fellow Democrats.
The video is from WCBS-2 TV on 6/23/09, taped during a "special session" of the Senate called by Democrat Gov. David Paterson in an effort to end a three-week walkout by Democrats that has brought government to a screeching halt.
Grim-faced Democrats refused to acknowledge even their presence in the Chamber, failing to answer when their names were called, or join in a silent prayer that traditionally begins each session.
YouTube - Shocking video of NY Democrat sitting through the Pledge of Allegiance
Monday, June 29, 2009
Hat-tip to @waynek for tweeting this.
To Meddle, Or Not To Meddle
President Obama wants to make sure he is not seen as meddling in Iran. But apparently, it is quite OK to meddle in Honduras. The Wall Street Journal reports :The Obama administration worked in recent days to prevent President Manuel Zelaya's ouster, said a senior U.S. official. The State Department, in particular, communicated to Honduran officials on the ground that President Barack Obama wouldn't support any nondemocratic transfer of power in the Central American country.When it came to Iran, Obama didn't want to meddle.
'We had some indication that a move against Mr. Zelaya was afoot,' said a U.S. official briefed on the diplomacy. 'We made it clear it was something we didn't support.'
But there is a common denominator: President Obama does whatever it takes to keep anti-American dictators in power. In Iran: don't meddle. In Honduras: meddle. In Venezuela: soul shake. In Saudi Arabia: bow.
And don't forget Israel, of course...
Yes indeedy, there is a definite pattern here.
American Thinker Blog: To Meddle, Or Not To Meddle
Hope he's right. Keep getting the truth out there, folks... this bill is a lotta dope and no hope.
It's one thing to feel hip and trendy at parties falling for this swill, it's entirely another to hamstring economic progress over it. (Not to mention continue to line AlGore's and other scam-cronies pockets!)
Obama has asked the Senate to pass this crap. Let's see what prevails... common sense and truth or The One's mesmerizing ways. (ugh... lol)
YouTube - EPA's Secret Document
If you watched the House shenanigans on Friday you'll well wonder why not enough representatives read the Wall Street Journal. Then again, they didn't bother reading though the bill (HR2454) that they were debating and readying to vote on, so should one be surprised?
As always, there will be people who will not allow their opinions to be influenced by facts.
(More on this later today...)
Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.
If you haven't heard of this politician, it's because he's a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.
Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as "deniers." The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.
In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country's new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country's weeks-old cap-and-trade program.
The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)
The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.
Polls show that support for gay marriage is dropping. Why? Are Americans becoming less "enlightened"? I don't think so.
Which leads us to the greater story that is not being told: "Perez Hilton" is suffering the delayed effects of what he did last month to former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean.
While Mr. Lavandeira was busy plotting and executing the Christian beauty contestant's downfall, much of America was silently taking account of the beauty contest judge's relentlessness in destroying a woman whose crime was politely expressing the same opinion on gay marriage held by the president for whom Mr. Lavandeira campaigned.
Mr. Lavandeira was not satisfied with simply making sure Miss Prejean lost the Miss USA pageant. He needed to humiliate and destroy her publicly. He not only called her a term used to describe a female dog but also used a word that, by comparison, is akin to a nuclear attack. Yet no media outrage followed.*
What is happening is that the thuggish behavior of some of gay marriage's more vocal supporters is making the movement unpalatable.
When one hurls hateful vitriol at another over a difference of opinion, one loses. When one seeks to intimidate another over their choice of political support or freedom to vote one's conscience, the effect is creepy and chilling. (For the record, I am a supporter of civil unions for all.)
Very few Americans believe that any of their fellow citizens should have less rights than any other. But even less Americans support the bully, even when bullying is cloaked in the seemingly innocuous rainbow flag.
(*The "mainstream" media also did not cover the thuggery of the pro-gay-marriage factions in California - the threats of job losses, the hatespeech at churches - yet somehow, thankfully, the story still came out.)
BREITBART: Rise and fall of Perez Hilton - Washington Times
Friday, June 26, 2009
One... I want to be sad for Michael Jackson, but he, like Ms. Fawcett, became such a shell of what inspired his following in the first place... I feel like they both left us a long, long time ago.
Michael before the masks and the nose and the pedophile accusations and the Islam and the lawsuits. Farrah before the drugs and the bad plastic surgery and the domestic abuse incidents.
Beauty turned ugly.
At least Whitney Houston still has a chance to change her life around and avoid this type of mixed feeling instead of mourning.
And Mark Sanford...
I admit at first I was just irritated with him, and really disappointed with his choices. When one decides to go into public service, sacrifices are expected. Or don't do it. And adultery is just really really terrible.
But I had forgotten about simple human frailty, had remembered justice but forgotten mercy.
I read his emails and heard a poet and a romantic, and just felt really really badly for him.
YES... and for his wife, and for his sons, and for his supporters, and for the GOP, and all the hopes and dreams and dependences that others had on him. Of course.
But anyway, that was my lesson this week. We're all so very weak and frail. Neither fame nor fortune nor talent nor power nor beauty can protect us from that fact. May God, and people, have mercy on us all.
REMEMBER... Charlie Gibson looks so proud to be there. In the White House. As does everyone else in this utterly spontaneous town hall setting. In the White House.
Right out of the box, first question, the One is going after the rationing argument. His grandmother needed a hip replacement shortly before she died. He doesn't tell us if she got it or if she should have. But he says there's a limit to what we should do. Bye bye, grandma.
Moving smoothly into facts and figures and logical Spock mode. He's so plausible. Especially in this setting. When he talks about the government, people see the Oval Office, not the DMV, the Post Office, and every needlessly expensive government office staffed by the shiftless, uncaring clockpunchers we meet when we try to get a building permit. And Diane and Charlie are acting like emcees at a high-toned parlor game. I hope Mom and Pop America are impressed. I'm already nauseous.
Now we're sorry for all the doctors who owe money for their education. Wow. There's one in the audience. She owes $200,000. How will she ever pay that back? Oh. Obama wants to help her too.
Diane Sawyer is apparently walking point on the rationing argument. Too many tests, she says, too many unnecessary procedures. I'm sure she's opposed to unnecessary procedures. Like her last five facelifts. She's how old now? 35 going on 65? How about letting Obama lift her breasts and tell us if she's qualified for yet another $5,000 boob hike? No? Okay.
Commercial break. LensCrafters. Mr. President, are we still going to be able to get prescription eyeglasses, or do we have to get our specs at Walmart while we wait three years to see an ophthalmologist? Rude? Sorry.
Now we're talking about stakeholders -- doctors, nurses, patients, etc. Like it's all a big happy company. Here it comes. The public option. We can absolutely keep our current healthcare insurance. But it will be like a big marketplace. If we need to, we can go to the government for insurance. It's just competition. Like the way baseball would be if the Commissioner were a multibillionaire and had his own baseball team. He could rewrite all the rules of the game, game by game, and declare any player ineligible if, say, they were about to play his team. You know, competition. In a marketplace.
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday again condemned the Iranian government's violent attacks on demonstrators, but said it's too soon to say whether those actions will hinder U.S.-Iran talks aimed at halting Iran's development of nuclear weaponry.
Obama reiterated his view that Iran's government is violating "international norms" in its brutal response to peaceful demonstrators, and that "what's happened in Iran is unacceptable."
While he condemned the Iranian government's actions, Obama said "we don't yet know" how they might affect talks with the U.S. on Iran's nuclear program.
Hmmm... I'm no foreign policy expert, but a regime that axes its own people probably shouldn't be trusted with nuclear anything when they've stated that they will wipe out another nation. Repeatedly.
What more does anyone need to see that they are evil. E. V. I. L. Moral relativism here is simply willful blindness.
Gay Hollywood Comes Out ... Against 'Bruno' | The WrapBy Dominic PattenHollywood’s gay community is reacting with anxiety and suspicion to Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming satire, “Bruno,” saying that the film excluded gays from the filmmaking process and that when they were consulted, filmmakers did not address their concerns that the film was a distortion of homosexuality.
The filmmaker conducted "significant reshoots" to temper the troubled reaction of insiders from the Hollywood gay community, according to one person involved in the Bruno production who declined to be identified.
Universal Pictures, which is opening the film on July 10, declined to confirm or deny the report. In a statement the studio said the "overwhelming majority of the audience" would understand that the film seeks to lampoon homophobia.
But additional filming -- including an ending shot this spring with the participation of Elton John, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and other music celebrities, which seems to promote gay marriage in a spoof charity video -- may have come too late in the process to impact the tone of the movie, which many in the Hollywood gay community are finding offensive.
Writer-director Mike White (“School of Rock”), who is gay and part of Hollywood’s comedic power circle, was shown the film weeks ago and found the Bruno character to be a depiction of fetishism rather than a comedic stereotype, according to the individual involved in the production.
The writer-director told Cohen and producer Jay Roach, according to the individual, “’I felt like I was going to throw up the whole time.”
White would not discuss the report, but told TheWrap: “People are going to have a range of reactions to the film. I’m excited for people to see the movie, because it’s going to generate a lot of interesting discussions.”
White said that he gave the filmmakers suggestions for edits and reshoots, but he didn’t know whether they had taken his advice.
Other reactions in Hollywood go far beyond the apprehensions reported in a recent New York Times article on feedback in the broader gay and lesbian community.
At an event honoring "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black on Sunday, numerous gay celebrities -- some of whom had seen an early cut of the film -- compared Baron Cohen’s depiction to a white person appearing in blackface.
“I agree,” said actor Jack Plotnick (“Meet the Fockers”), when asked about the comparison. “I’m very concerned. I saw a rough cut. I just don’t want to comment until I see the finished movie, but I’m concerned.”
“When you see a Bruno clip in a room full of gay men, everyone laughs and it’s fine,” added Peter Paige, from “Queer as Folk.” “When you see a Bruno clip in a room full of straight men, they’re all laughing, and it’s a different thing. You start to go, ‘Hmmm, I don’t know how I feel about this.’”
Brian Graden, MTV Network's president of entertainment as well as the president of programming for Logo, Viacom's gay and lesbian TV channel, noted his worries about Bruno potentially crossing the "fine line between satire & stereotyping.”
As media outlets have reported, Jermaine Jackson had the following farewell message to his late brother, Michael Jackson: "May Allah be with you always." Watch for yourself here.Neocon Latina: New York Times Covers Up Islam Reference in Jermaine Jackson Farewell to Michael Jackson
But strangely, the NY Times omits the "Allah" reference altogether and instead reports that Jermaine said, "May our love be with you always." Ah, the New York Times -- what would we do without The Paper of Record?
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying "powers that be" put the kibosh on the idea.Good question. I'm sure congress and the media will probe deeply and get right back to us with that answer.
Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style "protection" racket.
"The powers that be decided against it," Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times.
The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass.
Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers' explanation for his change of heart.
"If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?" she said. "Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors? Who is 'the power?'"
Conyers abandons plan to probe ACORN - Washington Times
Volcano from Space: Scientific American GalleryAstronauts on the International Space Station snapped this photo of Sarychev Volcano's eruption earlier this month. The volcano, on the Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan, hadn’t erupted in 20 years, and this blow launched ash more than 1,495 miles (2,406 kilometers) away. Planes were diverted from the area to avoid engine damage from superheated particulates.
CLICK TO ENLARGE + NASA/ISS/EXPEDITION 20 CREW
A team of MIT scientists recorded a nearly simultaneous world-wide increase in methane levels -the first increase in ten years. What baffles the team is that this data contradicts theories stating humans are the primary source of increase in greenhouse gas. It takes about one full year for gases generated in the highly industrial northern hemisphere to cycle through and reach the southern hemisphere. Since all worldwide levels rose simultaneously throughout the same year, however, it is probable that this may be part of a natural cycle - and not the direct result of man's contributions.Ya think?
Loved this posted comment at site:
Global warming is our religion. We would die if we couldn't believe it was all our fault. How dare these MIT pipsqueaks come along and take away our self-flagellating joy???
Is Global Warming Part of Earth's Natural Cycle: MIT Team Says "Yes" -A Galaxy Insight
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
President Hugo Chávez praised his US counterpart Barack Obama for criticizing the hard-line editorial position of Fox News against Obama's government and made a comparison between the case of the US network and the "attack" by some private media against his socialist revolution.
Obama said this week that Fox Network, a conservative channel owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, is "entirely devoted to attacking my administration" and seldom runs any positive stories about Obama's administration, Reuters reported.
"Obama decided to act and joined the fray. Let's applaud Obama," said the Venezuelan president in an unprecedented gesture. His remarks came late on Thursday, when Chávez talked about socialism in a TV program broadcasted by state-run channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).
A fierce critic of the "US imperialism," Chávez however showed optimism about the attitude of the new US ruler, after years of insults against former president George W. Bush.
"Obama is not talking about a revolution but I think he wants a change," Chávez said.
President Ch�vez congratulates Obama for criticizing Fox News - Daily News - EL UNIVERSAL
The best chance for compromise legislation on health care may be a plan under construction in the Senate Finance Committee that would pay for a public plan in part by taxing some worker health benefits.
But the union workers who helped Democrats win Congress and the White House and whose support will be key in getting a health bill signed into law would not pay the tax.
With cost estimates already as high as $1.6 trillion, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has proposed paying for the bill in part by taxing health care benefits for workers who earn more than $100,000, or $200,000 for married couples, according to those familiar with the discussions.
Baucus is also weighing a tax based on the value of health care benefits that exceed a yet-to-be determined cap. A tax on benefits that exceed the cap by a mere $3,000 could amount to $750 in taxes annually for a worker who earns as little as $34,000, say experts.
But those union members serving under collective bargaining agreements would not be subjected to the tax, according to proposals under discussion.
Union workers enjoy some of the most extensive and costliest health benefits, and union officials complained their members would be unfairly burdened by a health care tax because their contracts cannot be changed quickly enough to avoid it.
Union members also represent one of the biggest and most powerful Democratic constituencies and their support of any health care reform proposal is viewed as essential to getting a bill passed in Congress.
Union workers would be exempt from Dem health care tax | Washington Examiner
If you know someone who might be educable and quite clearly doesn't yet understand the concepts of libertarianism, this flash vid does a quite decent job of sorting it all out. It's also a perfect response to the creeping totalitarianism coming out of DC.
(And I love the "fine hats" ref.)
PhilosophyOfLiberty-english.swf (application/x-shockwave-flash Object)
What Happened to Liberty? ::: Once Opposed to 'Forcing' Americans ...Obama Says His Thinking Has 'Evolved'
Troubling, creepy, and scary.
Who are these people? Stalinists? Good grief.
But during his interview with Diane Sawyer, President Obama said that while "mandates are an example of... something that I was resistant to during the campaign... this is an area where people have made some pretty compelling arguments to me that if we want to have a system that drives down costs for everybody, then we've got to have healthier people not opt out of the system. And I think that you have to be careful to make sure that there's a waiver. So that if we haven't made health care affordable yet, you're not punishing people, not only because they can't afford health care, but -- now giving 'em an additional fine."
The president said that "any program that we put in place, I think there will be some phase-in period. So that we can calibrate and adjust to make sure that there really is affordability there before we start trying to penalize people. But I think my thinking on the issue of mandates has evolved. And I think that that is typical of most people who study this problem deeper."
Once Opposed to 'Forcing' Americans to Get Health Insurance, President Obama Now Says His Thinking Has 'Evolved' - Political Punch
Friday, June 19, 2009
“I will participate in the demonstrations tomorrow.The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
Maybe they will turn violent.
Maybe I will be one of the people who is going to get killed.
I’m listening to all my favorite music. I even want to dance to a few songs.
I always wanted to have very narrow eyebrows. Yes, maybe I will go to the salon before I go tomorrow!
There are a few great movie scenes that I also have to see.
I should drop by the library, too. It’s worth to read the poems of Forough and Shamloo again.
All family pictures have to be reviewed, too.
I have to call my friends as well to say goodbye.
All I have are two bookshelves which I told my family who should receive them.
I’m two units away from getting my bachelors degree but who cares about that.
My mind is very chaotic.
I wrote these random sentences for the next generation so they know we were not just emotional and under peer pressure. So they know that we did everything we could to create a better future for them. So they know that our ancestors surrendered to Arabs and Mongols but did not surrender to despotism.
This note is dedicated to tomorrow’s children…”
- an Iranian blogger, with more courage than most of us will ever know.
Also posting a live version below. Enjoy.
YouTube - Jimmy Needham - Forgiven and Loved
YouTube - Marco Rubio: Rising Star and Republican Answer to Barack Obama
Good grief! ::: PressSec Gibbs: President has been clear that this is a vigorous debate in Iran between Iranians
I think the President has been clear that this is a vigorous debate in Iran between Iranians - Google Search
Here's a perfect response, from Special Report With Bret Baier:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: The president is also speaking in code. The Pope spoke in a code which was implicit and understood support for the forces of freedom.
The code the administration is using is implicit to support for this repressive, tyrannical regime.
We watched Gibbs say that what's going on is vigorous debate. The shooting of eight demonstrators is not debate. The knocking of heads, bloodying of demonstrators by the Revolutionary Guards is not debate. The arbitrary arrest of journalists, political opposition, and students is not debate.
And to call it a debate and to use this neutral and denatured language is disgraceful.
Full transcription here: Roundtable on Iran's Election c/o RealClearPolitics
Read the rest here:
WASHINGTON -- Millions of Iranians take to the streets to defy a theocratic dictatorship that, among its other finer qualities, is a self-declared enemy of America and the tolerance and liberties it represents. The demonstrators are fighting on their own, but they await just a word that America is on their side.
And what do they hear from the president of the United States? Silence. Then, worse. Three days in, the president makes clear his policy: continued "dialogue" with their clerical masters.
Dialogue with a regime that is breaking heads, shooting demonstrators, expelling journalists, arresting activists. Engagement with -- which inevitably confers legitimacy upon -- leaders elected in a process that begins as a sham (only four handpicked candidates permitted out of 476) and ends in overt rigging.
Then, after treating this popular revolution as an inconvenience to the real business of Obama-Khamanei negotiations, the president speaks favorably of "some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election."
Where to begin? "Supreme Leader"? Note the abject solicitousness with which the American president confers this honorific on a clerical dictator who, even as his minions attack demonstrators, offers to examine some returns in some electoral districts -- a farcical fix that will do nothing to alter the fraudulence of the election.
Moreover, this incipient revolution is no longer about the election. Obama totally misses the point. The election allowed the political space and provided the spark for the eruption of anti-regime fervor that has been simmering for years and awaiting its moment. But people aren't dying in the street because they want a recount of hanging chads in suburban Isfahan. They want to bring down the tyrannical, misogynist, corrupt theocracy that has imposed itself with the very baton-wielding goons that today attack the demonstrators.
This started out about election fraud. But like all revolutions, it has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very legitimacy of this regime -- and the future of the entire Middle East.
This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic.
Charles Krauthammer : Hope and Change - But Not for Iran - Townhall.com
In other news, a bear went potty in the woods.
(The numbers are quite outrageous.)
As indignation turned to outrage Thursday among critics of an ABC News prime-time special on President Obama's health care policy, The Washington Times has learned that ABC employees gave 80 times as much money to Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign for president than to his rival's.
According to an analysis of campaign donations by the Center for Responsive Politics, conducted at The Times' request, ABC employees in several divisions donated $124,421 to the Obama campaign, compared with $1,550 to the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain.
ABC employees donated heavily to Obama - Washington Times
Rules.. I know...
Despite the strong backlash, some conservatives argued that Palin was wrong to call out Letterman for his outrageous remarks. One commentator predicted that critiques of Letterman would lead to a form of censorship, while a former GOP advisor said going after Letterman made Republicans look small, and insisted the entire episode was a “win-win for Letterman.”
Letterman has enjoyed a temporary ratings boost, but there’s deeper meaning in the incident. The cultural left lampoons Palin because her values and life are completely foreign to them. They find it bizarre that she hunts, prays and says things like “you betcha.’” They can’t fathom that she brought a child with Down syndrome to term and that she didn’t pressure her daughter into aborting an unexpected pregnancy.
Letterman may not know anyone who would vote for Palin or a family that looks like hers. But his Palin joke backfired in part because scores of millions of Americans are living lives that more closely resemble Palin’s life than Letterman’s. Like Palin, they pray in churches, hunt and fish and raise imperfect families with unconditional love. They are more than uneasy about the culture’s sexualization of children and its infantilization of adults.
The cultural left mocks Palin’s values, but its taunts often fail to gain traction, because Palin’s politics and principles are much more main-stream than those of her critics. Sarah Palin is a false target for the popular culture. It can’t resist the temptation to ridicule and lampoon her, but she offers too much common sense and inspiration to make for good jokes.In the Age of Obama, pop culture elites may be excused for their over-the-top bashing of conservatives. Liberals have always controlled the popular culture, and now they control government too. They probably assume most of the country has shifted leftward and come round to their view of the world. But it hasn’t. Just ask David Letterman.
Palin Proves Conservatives Can Fight Pop Culture and Win - HUMAN EVENTS
The indomitable human spirit is truly an inspiring thing, as Angelina describes below.
Angelina told Cooper about meeting an inspiring 15-year-old orphan paralysed by a gunshot wound yet he showed his strength in the face of tragedy.
Fighting back the tears: Angelina Jolie, who says she'll 'never say no' to adopting more children, got emotional as she spoke about the plight of displaced children in war-torn Afghanistan on U.S. TV last night
She said: 'He had this really remarkable, unbreakable spirit, a spirit beyond anything I can imagine.
'He had lost everything and he was just so full of laughter and kindness. He passed away a few months after I was there.
And so I always wonder about him and young people that you meet and you just think, in any other situation, if this person had been given a chance, what an extraordinary adult he would have been.'
Angelina also revealed how she talks to her children about the tragedy they see around them when they visit refugee camps.
She said: 'I usually just explain to my kids that there are other families in the world that aren't as fortunate as ours and other kids.
'So I tell them that it's important for all of us to do what we can and then go to these places and understand what's happening.
'Hopefully I'll take them to as many countries as I can and raise them with an education of the world.'
Tearful times: Angelina also broke down in tears at the 2009 World Refugee Day in Washington yesterday
An emotional Angelina Jolie says she won't say no to adopting more children (despite having six already) | Mail Online
Maybe then Obama could denounce the fraudulent election.
Vid here @ theHopeforAmerica.com:
Rush Suggests Calling Iran "Fox News"
Outspoken Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann says she's so worried that information from next year's national census will be abused that she will not fill out anything more than the number of people in her household.
In an interview Wednesday with The Washington Times' "America's Morning News," the Minnesota Republican said the questions have become "very intricate, very personal" and that she feared ACORN, the community organizing group that came under fire for its voter registration efforts last year, would be part of the U.S. Census Bureau's door-to-door information collection efforts.
"I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home," she said. "We won't be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that."
Shelly Owe, a spokeswoman for the bureau, said Mrs. Bachmann is "misreading" the law.
She sent a portion of the U.S. legal code that says anyone older than 18 who refuses to answer "any of the questions" on the census can be fined up to $5,000.
The Constitution requires a census be taken every 10 years. Questions range from number of persons in the household and racial information to employment status and whether anyone receives social services, such as food stamps.
Mrs. Bachmann said she's worried about the involvement of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, in next year's census.
"They will be in charge of going door to door and collecting data from the American public," she said. "This is very concerning."
ACORN has applied to help recruit census workers. Republican lawmakers and some public interest groups have expressed concern over its involvement.
ACORN staffers have been indicted in several states on charges of voter registration fraud, stemming from the organization's efforts to register voters last year.
Mrs. Bachmann, who is in her second term in the House, has become a lightning rod for criticism from Democrats and liberal talk-show hosts for her unapologetic conservative views.
Bachmann fears ACORN role in census - Washington Times
(CNN) — A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each — a total of $1.9 million — for 24 songs.
Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s case was the first such copyright infringement case to go to trial in the United States, her attorney said.
Attorney Joe Sibley said that his client was shocked at fine, noting that the price tag on the songs she downloaded was 99 cents. She plans to appeal, he said.
If you haven't heard this song, check it out: Weird Al - Don't Download This Song - YouTube (sorry, can't be embedded).
Here are some of the lyrics.
(Remaining verses here.)
Once in a while maybe you will feel the urge
To break international copyright law
By downloading MP3s from file-sharing sites
Like Morpheus or Grokster or Limewire or KaZaA
But deep in your heart you know the guilt would drive you mad
And the shame would leave a permanent scar
'Cause you start out stealing songs and then you're robbing liquor stores
And sellin' crack and runnin' over school kids with your car
So don't download this song
The record store's where you belong
Go and buy the CD like you know that you should
Oh, don't download this song
Oh, you don't wanna mess with the R-I-double-A
They'll sue you if you burn that CD-R
It doesn't matter if you're a grandma or a seven year old girl
They'll treat you like the evil hard-bitten criminal scum you are
Woman fined $1.9 million for illegal downloads – The CNN Wire - CNN.com Blogs
Thursday, June 18, 2009
(Poor guy does actually make quite a few good points tho'... don't get me wrong.)
YouTube - We're Destroying Our Nation's Moral & Fiscal Integrity With This War Supplemental! Dennis Kucinich
That's right... her name is MeMe... and who do you think her concerns are about?
MeMe Roth Says She's Trying to Combat the Coming 'Obesity Bailout'
By JUJU CHANG, LIZ SINTAY and IMAEYEN IBANGA
June 17, 2009 —
MeMe Roth, a 40-year-old mother of two, objects to children getting sweets like popsicles, cupcakes and cookies even during special occasions in public schools like the one her children attend.
"You don't want to create an environment at school that promotes junk food," Roth told "Good Morning America" today. "Just because... you send your child to school and they're in someone else's care, that does not mean you're forfeiting your rights as a parent."
Her campaign against Girl Scout cookies, doughnuts and candy is so extensive that Roth wants the school to attain permission slips for special sweets like birthday cupcakes.
"If you bring in a serving of one, that's about your child. If you bring in a serving of 25, that's about everybody's children and that's what I think people are missing. We don't bring food into school. We're asking other parents to stop feeding our children," said Roth of the National Action Against Obesity.
Oh... so this is a professional battle?
How about you tell your daughter to resist -- must... resist... the... cupcake... -- and let other folks make their own choices.
She's called Santa Claus fat on television, knocked "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks for being overweight, and was stopped by police from dismantling an all-you-can-eat ice cream display in 2007.
The display was at a Pennsylvania YMCA, Roth said, and was inappropriate for a gym.
"If you get off your butt and you show up at the gym, you don't want to be confronted by an all-you-can-eat ice cream bar," she said.
Oh... so seeing tasty food is a "confrontation" for her.
"It's all about MeMe!"
The Democrats and Republicans on a whole will be a battle between funding one group's lobbyists and the other's, with the American taxpayer left holding a stinking ever-growing bag of malfeasance and incompetence.
What has the government ever run on schedule and on budget?
How's Amtrak doing these days?
We need a libertarian to ask the real questions and be a voice for liberty, not varying spokesmen for statism.
Draft John Stossel.
Logic in the Age of Obama.
By Victor Davis Hanson
Are you confused by all that has changed since Pres. Barack Obama took office in January? If so, you’re not alone. Perhaps, though, this handy guide to Age of Obama “logic” might be of some assistance.
1. The Budget. Wanting to cut $17 billion from the budget, as President Obama has promised, is proof of financial responsibility. Borrowing $1.84 trillion this year for new programs is “stimulus.” The old phrase “out-of-control spending” is inoperative.
2. Unemployment. The number of jobs theoretically saved, or created, by new government policies — not the actual percentage of Americans out of work, or the total number of jobs lost — is now the far better indicator of unemployment.
3. The Private Sector. Nationalizing much of the auto and financial industries, while regulating executive compensation, is an indication of our new government’s repeatedly stated reluctance to interfere in the private sector.
4. Race and Gender. Not what is said, but who says it and about whom reveals racism and sexism. For example, a Hispanic female judge isn’t being offensive if she states that Latinas are inherently better judges than white males.
5. Random violence. Some assassinations represent larger American pathologies, but others do not. When a crazed lone gunman murders someone outside the Holocaust Museum or shoots an abortion doctor, we should worry about growing right-wing and Christian extremism. But when an African-American Muslim convert brags about his murder of a military recruitment officer or an Islamic group plots to kill Jews and blow up a military jet, these are largely isolated incidents without larger relevance.
6. Terrorism. Acts of terror disappeared about six months ago. Thankfully, we live now in an age where there will be — in the new vocabulary of the Obama administration — only occasional “overseas contingency operations” in which we may be forced to hold a few “detainees.” At the same time, ongoing military tribunals, renditions, wiretaps, phone intercepts, and Predator-drone assassinations are no longer threats to the Constitution. And just saying you’re going to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay is proof that it is almost closed.
7. Iraq. The once-despised Iraq War thankfully ended around Jan. 20, 2009, and has now transformed into a noble experiment that is fanning winds of change throughout the Middle East. There will be no need for any more Hollywood cinema exposés of American wartime crimes in Iraq with titles like Rendition, Redacted, Lions for Lambs, and Stop-Loss.
8. The West. Western values and history aren’t apparently that special or unique. As President Obama told the world during his recent speech in Cairo, the Renaissance and Enlightenment were, in fact, fueled by a brilliant Islamic culture, responsible for landmark discoveries in mathematics, science, and medicine. Slavery in America ended without violence. Mistreatment of women and religious intolerance in the Middle East have comparable parallels in America.
9. Media. The media are disinterested and professional observers of the present administration. When television anchormen and senior magazine editors bow to the president, proclaim him a god, or feel tingling in the legs when he speaks, it is quite normal.
10. George W. Bush. Former president Bush did all sorts of bad things to the United States that only now we are learning will take at least eight years to sort out. “Bush did it” for the next decade will continue to explain the growing unemployment rate, the most recent deficit, the new round of tensions with Iran and North Korea, and the growing global unrest from the Middle East to South America.
Once we remember and accept the logic of the above, then almost everything about this Age of Obama begins to make perfect sense.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. © 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Obamaworld by Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online
Thank goodness the watchdog media will get right on this. As soon as they get off of Obama's lap.
Senator questions firing of 3 inspectors general
Removal of 2 inspectors general prompts questions
By Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten |Tribune Newspapers
- June 18, 2009
WASHINGTON - -- He was appointed with fanfare as the public watchdog over the government's multi-billion dollar bailout of the nation's financial system. But now Neil Barofsky is embroiled in a dispute with the Obama administration that delayed one recent inquiry and sparked questions about his ability to freely investigate.The dispute comes as Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is looking into the abrupt firings within the last week of two other inspectors general - one of whom was fired by the White House and the other by the chair of the International Trade Commission.
The disagreement stems from a claim by the Treasury Department that Barofsky is not entirely independent of the agency he is assigned to examine - a claim that has prompted a stern letter from a Republican senator warning that agency officials are encroaching on the integrity of an office created to protect taxpayers.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent the letter Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner demanding information about a "dispute over certain Treasury documents" that he said were being "withheld" from Barofsky's office on a "specious claim of attorney-client privilege."
A White House spokesman declined to comment, referring questions to the Treasury Department. Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said late Wednesday that the agency would read Grassley's letter and respond to the senator before any public comment.
Both inspectors general had investigated sensitive subjects at the time of their firings.
Grassley is now concerned about whether a pattern is emerging in which the independence of the government's top watchdogs -- whose jobs were authorized by Congress to look out for waste, fraud and abuse -- is being put at risk.
Senator questions firing of 3 inspectors general -- chicagotribune.com
Senator Boxer needs to put on some big girl panties and suck it up. - Erick’s blog - RedState
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
A profession is a "calling" and not a business? Good grief, that definitely wins as the Marxist statement of the day.
Fee-for-service inefficient and wasteful
Obama wants to change that math. He has made it clear that he expects doctors to sacrifice along with insurers and drug companies. Although the President made no significant new proposals in his speech, he strongly reiterated his position that the current payment system, in which doctors are reimbursed for every service and office visit, leads to waste and inefficiencies and must be changed.
"It is a model that has taken the pursuit of medicine from a profession—a calling—to a business," said Obama. "And a lot of people in this room know what I'm talking about."
If they did, they didn't show it. The 500 delegates in the room met this portion of his speech with a deafening silence. Only his call to reform malpractice laws met with sustained applause, though Obama quickly followed up that statement—quieting the room—by saying he would not impose caps on malpractice awards, something doctors have long fought for. Nor was there much enthusiasm for his call to use Medicare reimbursements to reduce the number of patients readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of release, which would almost certainly lower hospital revenues. Likewise for the President's call to adjust Medicare payments to reflect medical advances and productivity gains, which would almost certainly lower payments to doctors.
Obama's Challenge to Doctors - BusinessWeek
GLENN: I got a letter from a woman in Arizona. She writes an open letter to our nation's leadership: I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:
One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.
Glenn Beck's Common Sense
Now available in book stores nationwide...
Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.
Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.
Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.
Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!
Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.
Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.
Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?
Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.
"When you and I spoke in January, you said, I observed that you haven't gotten much bad press," Harwood said. "You said, ‘It's coming.' Media critics would say not only has it not come, but that you've gotten such favorable press either because of bias or because you're good box office that it's hurting the country because you're not sufficiently being held accountable for your policies. Assess that."
Obama dismissed that assertion and claimed one station was devoted to "attacking" the Obama administration:
"It's very hard for me to swallow that one," Obama said. "First of all, I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration," he added, chuckling.
"I assume you're talking about Fox," Harwood replied.
"Well, that's a pretty big megaphone and you'd be hard-pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front," Obama said.
However, it hasn't gone completely unnoticed by Obama to date. Earlier this year at the White House Correspondents Dinner, he had joked about his coverage - that of Fox News and the rest of the media.
"Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me," Obama quipped on May 9. "Apologies to the Fox table."
Obama Blasts Fox News: 'I've Got One Television Station that is Entirely Devoted to Attacking My Administration' | NewsBusters.org
SPRING, Texas -- A woman opened fire when two robbery suspects broke into her Spring home on Sunday, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constables said the 34-year-old was alone inside the home in the Timberlane subdivision on Briarcreek Boulevard near Cades Cove Drive at about 6 a.m.Investigators said the woman opened fire when the attackers burst through her bedroom door.
"She's in her bedroom, locked in her bedroom. And she could hear them rustling through the rooms about the house. She grabbed her weapon and you know, held up inside her bedroom. It wasn't until they forced their way into her bedroom, they kicked the bedroom door in. She fired several shots at the suspects," said Lt. Jeff Stauber with the Harris County Sheriff's Department.
Investigators said Gerson Jonathon Linares and Shalom Mendoza, both 17, were wounded.
Detectives said the teenagers, who live in the neighborhood, ran out of the home and called for help, claiming to be the victims of a shooting.
"Through our investigation, we were able to tie them back to this incident on Briarcreek," Stauber said.Investigators said the pair has admitted that they were involved in the crime.The homeowner will not face charges."She was in fear of her life and literally held up inside her bedroom, by herself at home. And I could just imagine the fear that this woman was going through and this lady was just protecting herself," Stauber said.
Residents said the attack was too close to home for their comfort, and they're considering arming themselves for protection.
"We've discussed it with all the girls out here in the neighborhood," resident Rhonda Potenza said. "We're going to get gun safety courses … we've got to do what we've got to do."
Woman Shoots 2 In Home Invasion - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston
Willie Whitelaw, a genial old buffer who served as Margaret Thatcher's deputy for many years, once accused the Labour Party of going around Britain stirring up apathy. Viscount Whitelaw's apparent paradox is, in fact, a shrewd political insight, and all the sharper for being accidental. Big government depends, in large part, in going around the country stirring up apathy – creating the sense that problems are so big, so complex, so intractable that even attempting to think about them for yourself gives you such a splitting headache it's easier to shrug and accept as given the proposition that only government can deal with them.
Take health care. Have you read any of these health care plans? Of course not. They're huge and turgid and unreadable. Unless you're a health care lobbyist, a health care think-tanker, a health care correspondent or some other fellow who's paid directly or indirectly to plow through this stuff, why bother? None of the senators whose names are on the bills have read 'em; why should you?
And you can understand why they drag on a bit. If you attempt to devise a health care "plan" for 300 million people, it's bound to get a bit complicated. But a health care plan for you, Joe Schmoe of 27 Elm Street, didn't used to be that complicated, did it? Let's say you carelessly drop Ted Kennedy's health care plan on your foot, and it breaks your toe. In the old days, you'd go to your doctor (or, indeed, believe it or not, have him come to you), he'd patch you up, and you'd write him a check. That's the way it was in most of the developed world within living memory. Now, under the guise of "insurance," various third parties intercede between the doctor and your checkbook, and to this the government proposes adding a massive federal bureaucracy, in the interests of "controlling costs." The British National Health Service is the biggest employer not just in the United Kingdom but in the whole of Europe. Care to estimate the size and budget of a U.S. health bureaucracy?
Mark Steyn: The smothering embrace of nanny government | health, care, government, life, expectancy - Opinion - OCRegister.com
SUVs are selling out, compacts are gathering dust. But Fedzilla will fix all that. After all, why let the free market decide when our overlords know so much better what it is that we need.
Those new CAFE standards are proof that fedgov, now that Their Geniuses will be in charge of the auto industry, plan to go in exactly the opposite direction, and "give" the people what they don't want.
(Unless of course someone can come up with a great 7/8 seat SUV that meets those higher standards, still has power to haul, doesn't crumple in a crash, and lets the driver see what's coming up on the road. I will very happily buy one.)
If you've got your eye on a new SUV, don't blink.
It might be gone. Even with the auto industry mired in depression – sales are down nationally 36.5 percent – big vehicles such as the Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe are in tight supply because of drastic production cuts that automakers imposed last year as sales began to plummet.Now, a year after $4-a-gallon gas nearly killed SUVs, some dealers in this market are selling them for window-sticker prices. Moreover, most late-model used pickups and SUVs have regained all of the thousands of dollars in trade-in value they lost last summer, dealers say.
Dealers love for demand to exceed supply, but many are concerned that they could run short of profitable trucks if the economy improves in the second half of the year. Their supply of cars – particularly compacts – remains high, they say.
Dealers facing tight supply of SUVs, trucks | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Dallas Business News
I tried to keep any overt Obama-bashing out of that one, so here is all of Ted Nugent's rant about Detroit:
Now this from the WSJ:
DETROIT -- They call this the Motor City, but you have to leave town to buy a Chrysler or a Jeep.
Borders Inc. was founded 40 miles away, but the only one of the chain's bookstores here closed this month. And Starbucks Corp., famous for saturating U.S. cities with its storefronts, has only four left in this city of 900,000 after closures last summer.
Detroit's Retail Exodus
Lochmoor Chrysler Jeep on Detroit's East Side has stopped selling Chrysler products, one of the 789 franchises Chrysler is dropping from its retail network.
There was a time early in the decade when downtown Detroit was sprouting new cafes and shops, and residents began to nurture hopes of a rebound. But lately, they are finding it increasingly tough to buy groceries or get a cup of fresh-roast coffee as the 11th largest U.S. city struggles with the recession and the auto-industry crisis.
No national grocery chain operates a store here. A lack of outlets that sell fresh produce and meat has led the United Food and Commercial Workers union and a community group to think about building a grocery store of its own.One of the few remaining bookstores is the massive used-book outlet John K. King has operated out of an abandoned glove factory since 1983. But Mr. King is considering moving his operations to the suburbs.
Last week, Lochmoor Chrysler Jeep on Detroit's East Side stopped selling Chrysler products, one of the 789 franchises Chrysler Group LLC is dropping from its retail network. It was Detroit's last Chrysler Jeep store.
"The lack of retail is one of the biggest challenges the city faces," said James Bieri, president of Bieri Co., a Detroit-based real-estate brokerage. "Trying to understand how to get it to come back will be one of the most important keys to its resurgence -- if it ever has one."
Detroit's woes are largely rooted in the collapse of the auto industry. General Motors Corp., one of downtown's largest employers and the last of the Big Three auto makers with its headquarters here, has drastically cut white-collar workers and been offered incentives to move to the suburbs. Other local businesses that serviced the auto maker, from ad agencies and accounting firms to newsstands and shoe-shine outlets, also have been hurt.
The city's 22.8% unemployment rate is among the highest in the U.S.; 30% of residents are on food stamps.
"As the city loses so much, the tax base shrinks and the city has to cut back services," said Margaret Dewar, a professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan. That causes such hassles for retailers as longer police-response times, as well as less-frequent snow plowing and trash pickup.
While all of southeast Michigan is hurting because of the auto-industry's troubles, Detroit's problems are compounded by decades of flight to the suburbs.
Hundreds of buildings were left vacant by the nearly one million residents who have left. Thousands of businesses have closed since the city's population peaked six decades ago.
Navigating zoning rules and other red tape to develop land for big-box stores that might cater to a low-income clientele is daunting.
The rest of the WSJ article is here:
Retailers Head for Exits in Detroit - WSJ.com
If you still don't think it's so bad, read about the "urban hunter" selling "coons":
Beasley, a 69-year-old retired truck driver who modestly refers to himself as the Coon Man, supplements his Social Security check with the sale of raccoon carcasses that go for as much $12 and can serve up to four. The pelts, too, are good for coats and hats and fetch up to $10 a hide.
"Today people got no skill and things is getting worse," he laments. "What people gonna do? They gonna eat each other up is what they gonna do."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
YouTube - Target: Palin
Canadians have to cross their southern border to the US to receive a lot of treatments that we take for granted.
Now where are we all going to go? Mexico?
The photo op was too good to be true. Healthcare providers trooped out of the White House and trumpeted their goal of saving $1.7 trillion of costs over the next decade in health spending. Now these drug companies, hospitals, insurance companies, medical device manufacturers, labor unions and doctors have laid out their plans in more detail.
And right there, in plain print, is the beginning of medical care rationing. Now that the cameras have been put away and the media is no longer watching, their secret emerges: They are going to cut medical costs by cutting medical care. Right now, they cite four targets. They plan to:
1. Cut diagnostic imaging tests like MRIs and CAT scans.
2. Reduce the use of antibiotics.
3. Perform fewer Caesarean sections.
4. Cut care for management of chronic back pain
These decisions will not be medical but financial. They will not be based on a doctor’s opinion of what his or her patient needs, but a bureaucrat’s and an accountant s opinion of what the new health care system can afford.
And you will not be able to bypass their rulings and pay for this care yourself. The rules laid down must be followed and private payments will not be permitted to override them. What we now call a private fee for service will metastasize into a bribe.
But this is just the very beginning of rationing. The total of health care spending now runs about $2.3 trillion a year in the United States. Over ten years, that’s likely to reach $30 trillion. So a cut of $1.7 trillion is a mere drop in the bucket.
More rationing is coming, and coming soon.
In our new book (coming out on June 23rd), "Catastrophe," we explain exactly what rationing will mean and what it has done to patient care in Canada.
It’s not a pretty picture and Obama will bring it here soon unless we stop him. Forewarned is forearmed!
© 2009 Dick Morris & Eileen McGann
Newsmax.com - Here Comes Healthcare Rationing