Friday, July 31, 2009

Leave It To The Aussies To Put Things In Perspective :::White House beer summit falls flat

Brad Norington, Washington correspondent | August 01, 2009

Article from: The Australian

EVEN Barack Obama had trouble clearly articulating what was achieved by a much-hyped "beer summit" in the Rose Garden of the White House yesterday.

As host, he played the role of peacemaker: Obama invited a black Harvard professor and the white cop who arrested him to bury the hatchet over a drink.

It was an extraordinary intervention by a US President with a pressing agenda that includes combating the world recession and climate change.

But the event, which attracted so much interest that cable TV networks ran countdown clocks, had the taint of political theatre from the start.

Obama was the main intended beneficiary, sitting in full public view at a picnic table under a magnolia tree with professor Henry Louis Gates, police sergeant James Crowley and Vice-President Joe Biden as a surprise late addition.

It was Obama who injected himself into the incident last week by accusing police of "stupidity" for arresting Gates after the academic broke into his own home because he had lost his keys.

It was Obama who escalated public debate to national proportions by linking the incident to a pattern of racial profiling by police.

And it was Obama, in an unusual lapse of judgment, who allowed public attention across the US to be distracted from his preferred topic of promoting a new healthcare system, to which he had devoted the previous fortnight in an attempt to force a deal on the US congress.

The US President inflamed tensions over race and reignited the culture wars at the very time he least wanted it. Now he needed a circuit-breaker to stem the damage and make the issue disappear.

An opinion poll released yesterday by Pew Research found 41per cent of Americans disapproved of Obama's action in coming out strongly in favour of the Harvard academic last week, despite admitting he was not aware of all the facts. Only 29 per cent approved.

You can read the rest here:
White House beer summit falls flat | The Australian

To My Fellow Bloggers and Tweeps, Let William Shakespeare Inspire You

As I mentioned earlier this week, I have been reading Whittaker Chambers's Witness (who has been vindicated yet again).

His book opens with the following magnificent quote. Be inspired by it (it gave me chills, far more than when I have read it before):

If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
O, speak!

Hamlet, Act I, Scene i

Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

Just Wow ::: Obama's revealing body language

Obama's revealing body language
Thomas Lifson

This picture truly is worth at least a thousand words.

after the beers

I am stunned that the official White House Blog published this picture and that it is in the public domain. The body language is most revealing.

Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, helps the handicapped Professor Gates down the stairs, while Barack Obama, heedless of the infirmities of his friend and fellow victim of self-defined racial profiling, strides ahead on his own. So who is compassionate? And who is so self-involved and arrogant that he is oblivious?

In my own dealings with the wealthy and powerful, I have always found that the way to quickly capture the moral essence of a person is to watch how they treat those who are less powerful. Do they understand that the others are also human beings with feelings? Especially when they think nobody is looking.

Hat tip: Rick Richman
(He is always leaving Michelle in his dust as well.)

And, speaking of body language, not to mention dress codes... I commented yesterday on Twitter on this picture:

My question was... In this photo, who is the blue-collar worker, and who is The President of the United States of America?

American Thinker Blog: Obama's revealing body language

FedGov Taking Over Auto, Financial, & Healthcare Industries Not Enough For you? You're in Luck ::: House passes far-reaching food safety bill

I'm starting to get a little nervous about direct-quoting AP articles, but I'm sure enough pundits will start freaking out on this one soon enough that I'll be at no loss for material.


That's not really a smile.

Here are two lines:

President Barack Obama praised the bill soon after it was passed, calling it "a major step forward in modernizing our food safety system."

Farm-state members had argued that the bill would be too invasive on farms and had pushed colleagues to vote against it as it was considered under a special procedure that requires a two-thirds vote. It was rejected Wednesday by a few votes.

House passes far-reaching food safety bill

Sonja Schmidt/Obama, Planned Parenthood & The KKK/PJTV on YouTube

YouTube - Obama, Planned Parenthood & The KKK

Oh F.G.S! ::: W.H. makes CEOs pay for lunch/Eamon Javers/POLITICO

Literally millions can be spent to take Michele to New York and Chicago and Paris... but C.E.O's -- y'know... the folks who employ the people whose jobs Obama hasn't found a way to destroy yet -- have to pay for their sammies.

They say it's to avoid the appearance of a "conflict of interest" (at a lunch meeting that wasn't advertised on the calendar or covered by press), but really... do they charge guests for margaritas at their Wednesday night shindigs?

WTH is the protocol director for the WH? After so many ridiculous gaffes you'd think they'd finally have someone on top of basic etiquette. (Guess the Queen will get another iPod.)

Four of the most powerful business leaders in America arrived at the White House one day last month for lunch with President Barack Obama, sitting down in his private dining room just steps from the Oval Office.

But even for powerful CEOs, there’s no such thing as a free lunch: White House staffers collected credit card numbers for each executive and carefully billed them for the cost of the meal with the president.

The White House defended the unusual move as a way to avoid conflicts of interest. But the Bush administration didn’t charge presidential guests for meals, one former official said, and at least one etiquette expert found the whole thing unseemly – suggesting it was a serious breach of protocol.

“I’m sure they have their political reasons for doing that, but I think it’s not what quote, hospitality, unquote is all about,” said Letitia Baldrige, who headed Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House staff in the early 1960s. “We’ve got to relax about this. To have people to the White House and worry about the price of things is laughable.”

“I don’t know what the menu was, but I’m sure it wasn’t braised pheasant,” she said.

The White House did not say what was served for lunch or how much the attendees were charged. A spokeswoman said White House staff collected the credit card numbers separately from the event.

Around the table with Barack Obama that afternoon were Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox Corporation; Muhtar Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company; AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson; and Honeywell International CEO Dave Cote.

“From time to time, White House guests are asked to reimburse for their meals, the reasons include ensuring there is no conflict or appearance of a conflict,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “That is consistent with our tough ethics rules and we will continue the practice when appropriate.”

The former senior Bush administration official said meals with the president were covered by official entertainment expenses that fall under the Executive Residence budget or the White House’s annual account. But the Bush administration was so sensitive about appearing cozy with corporate America that another former high-ranking official cannot recall a single instance of President Bush lunching with CEOs in the White House.

For Obama, the politics of dining with CEOs is much different: In the midst of the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, most Americans would likely approve of the president sitting down with the leading figures of the private sector to develop strategies to fight the recession.

Still, the decision to bill the CEOs for their meal shows the political sensitivity of relations between the commander in chief and corporate chieftains. The lunch meeting did not show up on Obama’s public schedule and was largely overlooked by the press.

Read the rest here:
W.H. makes CEOs pay for lunch - Eamon Javers -

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The War on Philanthropy/David Billet/Commentary Magazine

Super-long, and guess what? It's just an excerpt.

Charity is said to be a virtue without compare, and yet we all know that it arouses suspicion—about the giver’s display of his generosity, the recipient’s dependency, some essential inequity that the gift only reinforces. Perhaps for this reason, Maimonides argued that the highest level of charity was not charity at all but rather helping the needy find the means by which to earn their own living.

In democratic America, what charity is and what it ought to do have been redefined in this spirit from the bestowing of alms to the performance of public-spirited works of all sorts by voluntary associations of citizens. Over the past century, such associations have grown and gradually coalesced into an economic “sector” of their own, albeit one that is not dedicated to the pursuit of profit. The chamber of commerce, the soup kitchen, churches and synagogues, the Berlioz Society, the university, Commentary—these are all voices in the chorus of American nonprofits, which collectively account for 11 percent of the overall U.S. economy.

Charitable organizations have suffered along with everyone else from the present economic crisis. Estimates by the Independent Sector, a philanthropic umbrella group, are that charitable assets are collectively down by nearly a third. Some organizations have shut their doors, and the survivors have had to make painful adjustments, let go of staff, abandon projects, and scale down ambitions for years to come, at precisely the moment when their services and patronage are needed most.


It was therefore surprising, and instructive, that at the same time the Obama administration was extending bailouts to troubled industries thought to be systemically or strategically important, it also presented for national consideration a change in tax policy that seemed like nothing less than a direct assault on the ravaged coffers of nonprofits. For almost a century, about as long as the U.S. has levied a significant tax on income, government policy has encouraged charity by exempting donated dollars from its reach. But in February, the administration announced that it would seek to raise revenue for its ambitious spending programs by reducing the charitable deduction for the highest two income-tax brackets by as much as 30 percent—this, when their marginal rates will already rise respectively to 36 and 39.6 percent in 2011.

When a reporter at a press conference in March suggested that this was effectively a tax on charity, Obama held fast, insisting

if it’s really a charitable contribution, I’m assuming that [the tax exemption] shouldn’t be the determining factor as to whether you’re giving that $100 to the homeless shelter down the street. And so this provision would affect about 1 percent of the American people. They would still get deductions. It’s just that they wouldn’t be able to write off 39 percent. In that sense, what it would do is it would equalize. When I give $100, I’d get the same amount of deduction as when some, a bus driver who’s making $50,000 a year, or $40,000 a year, gives that same $100. Right now, he gets 28 percent; he gets to write off 28 percent. I get to write off 39 percent. I don’t think that’s fair.

Nor was this the only virtue of the proposal, for it would also present the American people with a new pot of money to direct toward worthy societal aims:

I think it is a realistic way for us to raise some revenue from people who’ve benefited enormously over the last several years. And, you know, ultimately, if we’re going to tackle the serious problems that we’ve got, then, in some cases, those who are more fortunate are going to have to pay a little bit more.

Thus, the plan would eliminate an unfair privilege for the rich without hurting the poor—or, at least, without hurting the poor who receive charity from entirely selfless people who are certain to maintain their level of giving no matter what the federal government does. “There’s very little evidence,” Obama concluded, “that this [program] has a significant impact on charitable giving.”

Casually dismissing the role of incentives in altruism may strike those of a more hardnosed bent as fanciful, and as an empirical matter, according to the economist Martin Feldstein,

A substantial body of economic research shows that, on average, each 10 percent reduction in the cost of giving raises the amount that a person gives by about 10 percent. So, the 35 percent reduction implied by current deductibility rules raises the amount of charitable giving by about 35 percent. . . . [The administration’s plan] raises the cost per dollar of giving from 65 cents to 72 cents, an increase of 10.8 percent that can be expected to reduce the total giving of these donors by about 10 percent.

In other words, the President’s proposal would reduce the amount of money given to charity by at least 10 percent. That would be “a significant impact” in anyone’s book. Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, seemed to concede the point when he offered in mitigation that “contained in the recovery act, there’s $100 million to support nonprofits and charities as we get through this period."


More interesting than his empirical assertion, at any rate, was the moral attitude Obama projected toward the nonprofit sector, in which he himself had worked for many years of his professional life. His argument made little of the fact that a donor does not consume a single penny of the charitable donation that is currently exempted from taxes. Financially, one is best off keeping the money. The supposed “benefit” only accrues when one gives it away, and only by lowering the “cost of giving” imposed by our progressive tax system, which already derives a majority of income taxes from the highest earners. Only givers would be penalized under the new plan—the situation for the uncharitable rich would remain the same—and yet the President’s critique suggested that the system needed to be corrected in the name of “fairness.”

In one of its rare acts of defiance this year, Obama’s otherwise compliant Congress did not vote his reduction proposal into law. But this does not mean it is gone forever; he will be in a position to submit it again, especially if, as seems likely, the Treasury finds itself short of revenue. Certainly the idea of fairness underlying the proposal is very much a part of the administration’s outlook, and it fits neatly with a liberal suspicion of charity that has gained traction in recent years, and that withholds even two cheers from American philanthropy as it is now practiced. This is a matter that should be of concern to everyone, not just those who work for and support nonprofit institutions, and not just givers who rightly feel themselves the implicit objects of improper Oval Office criticism. The war on philanthropy that appears to be developing is a challenge to the vitality of our civil society and a serious threat to the non-governmental “mediating institutions” (as sociologists call them) that have always been a particular hallmark and glory of American society.


The specific indictment against private philanthropy goes something like this: Because the Treasury forfeits some $30 billion every year in various tax exemptions for charity, government has a responsibility to see that this “subsidy” (as Representative Xavier Becerra of California calls it) is justified by the use to which the money is put. Government, in this view, should not be in the business of subsidizing, say, gifts to the San Francisco Opera by residents of posh Hillsborough Heights, or the vanity projects of a closely-held family foundation, or additions to Harvard’s multibillion dollar endowment so that (wink, wink) it will admit a donor’s child. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich argues instead that the deduction system should be calibrated so that givers receive a full deduction for poverty charities and only half a deduction for the Public Theater. According to Peter Singer of Princeton University, gifts to the arts cannot be justified at all while other problems exist in the United States.

Sure, the argument continues, private charities and civil-society foundations do a lot of good, but all too often they are vehicles for money laundering or dressed-up consumption that do not benefit the truly disadvantaged. This anarchic system needs to be nudged in the right direction—a little more redistribution here, a little more regulation there—to ensure the best kind of outcome. Taxing charity, according to Peter Orszag, would be paid back to society and the struggling nonprofits themselves in the coin of national health care. The critics seem to feel that there is enough wealth in this country to alleviate social problems and still leave plenty of money left over to pay for gilded plaques at the overcapitalized opera house.

The most notable campaign against the philanthropic status quo has been waged by the California-based Greenlining Institute, a nonprofit that seeks greater “racial and economic justice” by attempting to force greater minority representation in government, commerce, and higher education, mostly by publicly shaming or suing companies into doing the right thing. (The institute’s name is a play on the practice by banks of “redlining” poor neighborhoods as bad credit risks; “most of our money,” its director has boasted, comes not from donations but “from lawsuits.”)

After a Greenlining study found that a mere 3 percent of private grant money in California went to minority-led causes, the group waged a concerted campaign on behalf of state legislation to require foundations with assets over $250 million to disclose the race, gender, and ethnicity of board members, staff, business contacts, and individual grantees (at one point sexual orientation was also included), and to report the amount and percentage of grants to organizations in which 50 percent or more of board members and staff were minorities.

The bill passed the California state assembly and was being debated in the state senate when a settlement was reached with the Foundation Coalition, an umbrella group of California’s largest foundations. It dutifully pledged to support “capacity-building” and “leadership-development activities” of minority-led institutions to the tune of several hundred million dollars over the next few years. With this triumph secured, Greenlining has promised to undertake similar efforts in a number of states and on the federal level.

Read the rest of the madness here:

The War on Philanthropy

The Snowball Hits Avalanche Status ::: Suborned in the U.S.A./Andrew C. McCarthy/NRO

This piece is so fantastic, 4 pages worth of fantastic, that I hesitate to excerpt any of it. I also hate getting a link to a link, thus here's a teeny snippet... but it all must be read.

Suborned in the U.S.A.
The birth-certificate controversy is about Obama’s honesty, not where he was born.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Last paragraph:

The point has little to do with whether Obama was born in Hawaii. I’m quite confident that he was. The issue is: What is the true personal history of the man who has been sold to us based on nothing but his personal history? On that issue, Obama has demonstrated himself to be an unreliable source and, sadly, we can’t trust the media to get to the bottom of it. What’s wrong with saying, to a president who promised unprecedented “transparency”: Give us all the raw data and we’ll figure it out for ourselves?

Read. It. All.
Suborned in the U.S.A. by Andrew C. McCarthy on National Review Online

Ka-BOOM ::: Why Obama's birth certificate issue won't go away: Vanderbilt expert

The controversy over President Obama’s birth certificate will not go away as long as he refuses to release sealed records, including the original birth certificate, according to Carol Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University.

“I believe that the president should end the speculation by being transparent about all aspects of his background,” Swain said. “In fact, it can be argued that the president belongs to the people and to scholars, biographers and others who are entitled to know every aspect of his past. Only great men can ascend to this height, and their lives should be examined and studied for the lessons they offer.”

Swain said that what is posted online for the president is a certificate of live birth. “It is the failure to release the long form that keeps suspicion alive,” she said. Swain noted that she strongly disagrees with those who want to criticize Americans, including journalist Lou Dobbs, who continue to raise the issue.

Other sealed records that Swain has called for the president to release include those pertaining to his education, foreign travel and state legislative business.

God bless this woman. She's gonna need it.

Why Obama's birth certificate issue won't go away: Vanderbilt expert - VUCast: Vanderbilt University's News Network

The Ever-Brilliant Steyn ::: Re: Andy on the Birth-Certificate Business/Mark Steyn/The Corner on NRO

Re: Andy on the Birth-Certificate Business [Mark Steyn]

Kevin, you're right re the Kenyan citizenship. At the time of his birth, Barack Obama was the son of a British subject — like every American president up to Martin van Buren. I believe, under certain interpretations of Britain's revised nationality law, President Obama would qualify as a "British Overseas Citizen" — for whatever that's worth (unlike most other countries, where it's merely a rhetorical term, Britain has literal and official categories of third-class citizenship).

But the rest of Andy's piece I found most interesting. It's the story of a self-invented man, a kind of Gatsby for the multiculti age who appears fully-formed on the world stage and for whom the first few decades of his short existence are mostly a source of misty watercolored but highly calculated anecdotage that, when you try to pin it down, seems to wiggle free of such humdrum earthbound concepts as facts.

Do I think he was born in Hawaii? Yes — if only because the alternative is way too audacious (to use an Obama-ism) to contemplate.

But do I think there's something on the long-form birth certificate he doesn't want us to see? Yes. That would seem entirely likely — and consistent with his modus operandi.

As for the alleged "kookiness" of birthers, a true conspiracy theorist would surely believe that Obama deliberately started the birth-certificate business in order to make it easier to dismiss his opponents as deranged.

07/30 02:33 PMShare
The bolded part? ... My thought exactly.

Re: Andy on the Birth-Certificate Business - Mark Steyn - The Corner on National Review Online

Read it and LOL... except for the creepy factor, of course ::: GovTrack: H.R. 3247: Text of Legislation

To establish a social and behavioral sciences research program at the Department of Energy, and for other purposes. (Introduced in House)

HR 3247 IH

1st Session

H. R. 3247

To establish a social and behavioral sciences research program at the Department of Energy, and for other purposes.


July 17, 2009

Mr. BAIRD introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology


To establish a social and behavioral sciences research program at the Department of Energy, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) In General- The Secretary shall establish a social and behavioral sciences research program to identify and understand social and behavioral factors that influence energy consumption and acceptance and adoption rates of new energy technologies, and to promote the utilization of the results of social and behavioral research to improve the design, development, demonstration, and application of energy technologies.
    (b) Director- The Secretary shall appoint or designate a Director of Social and Behavioral Research to carry out the program established under this section.
    (c) Duties of the Director- The Director shall--
      (1) develop a research plan in accordance with section 2;
      (2) implement the research program under this section;
      (3) work with the relevant Department of Energy program offices to integrate the results of social and behavioral research into their work;
      (4) develop tools, practices, and information to apply and integrate the results of social and behavioral research into programs that--
        (A) design, develop, and demonstrate technologies that supply energy and improve energy efficiency; and
        (B) provide information on energy consumption to consumers; and
      (5) assist the Secretary in awarding research grants under section 3.


    (a) In General- The Director, in consultation with the Advisory Committee established under section 4, shall develop a research plan and, not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act, transmit such plan to the Congress. Prior to finalizing the research plan, the Director shall publish a draft of the proposed research plan in the Federal Register with a public comment period of not less than 30 days.
    (b) Contents of Research Plan- The research plan shall--
      (1) set forth priorities and a schedule for carrying out the research program under section 1 and the research grant program under section 3;
      (2) address social and behavioral factors that influence--
        (A) patterns of energy consumption by individuals, households, and businesses; and
        (B) decisions to implement energy conservation measures,
      including the factors that influence decisions to adopt energy efficient technologies and practices;
      (3) include a description of the mechanisms the Department will use to integrate the findings of social and behavioral research into other relevant Department programs; and
      (4) include responses to comments received during the public comment period.
    (c) Review and Revision- The Director shall review the research plan every 5 years and revise the plan as appropriate.


    (a) In General- The Secretary shall provide grants to support social and behavioral research consistent with the research plan developed under section 2.
    (b) Awards- Grant awards under this section may be for a period up to 3 years. The Secretary shall award grants through a competitive, merit-based, peer-reviewed process.
    (c) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2015.


    (a) Establishment- The Secretary shall establish an Advisory Committee composed of experts in relevant fields--
      (1) to advise the Secretary and the Director on priority areas for research;
      (2) to assist the Director in the development of the research plan under section 2; and
      (3) to provide other assistance and advice as requested by the Secretary or the Director.
    (b) Federal Advisory Committee Act- Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Advisory Committee established under subsection (a) until 3 years after the date the Advisory Committee is established.

GovTrack: H.R. 3247: Text of Legislation, Introduced in House

Ode To A Web Commenter, Thursday Edition ::: EXCLUSIVE: No. 3 at Justice OK'd Panther reversal

If the left didn't have double standards...


Remember in 2000 when Bush was "selected" not "elected"? The media was awash with charges that whites were intimidating black voters. A subsequent and very thorough investigation could find NOT ONE INSTANCE of voter intimidation..... Now we have a VIDEOTAPE and VOICE RECORDING of armed and verbal intimidation of voters. And what happens? The charges are dropped by order of the White House!!!!!!!!! Even by the social workers definition of racism this qualifies because those doing discriminating definitely have the power to effect a negative outcome. Response from the MSM? Crickets.......

EXCLUSIVE: No. 3 at Justice OK'd Panther reversal - Washington Times

The Mainstream Media Is Gonna Be all Over This One... Right? :::EXCLUSIVE: No. 3 at Justice OK'd Panther reversal/Wash.Times

By (Contact)

Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the No. 3 official in the Obama Justice Department, was consulted and ultimately approved a decision in May to reverse course and drop a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party of intimidating voters in Philadelphia during November's election, according to interviews.

The department's career lawyers in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division who pursued the complaint for five months had recommended that Justice seek sanctions against the party and three of its members after the government had already won a default judgment in federal court against the men.

Front-line lawyers were in the final stages of completing that work when they were unexpectedly told by their superiors in late April to seek a delay after a meeting between political appointees and career supervisors, according to federal records and interviews.

The delay was ordered by then-acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King after she discussed with Mr. Perrelli concerns about the case during one of their regular review meetings, according to the interviews.

Ms. King, a career senior executive service official, had been named by President Obama in January to temporarily fill the vacant political position of assistant attorney general for civil rights while a permanent choice could be made.

She and other career supervisors ultimately recommended dropping the case against two of the men and the party and seeking a restraining order against the one man who wielded a nightstick at the Philadelphia polling place. Mr. Perrelli approved that plan, officials said.

EXCLUSIVE: No. 3 at Justice OK'd Panther reversal - Washington Times

Oh FGS ::: North Korea Warns of ‘Unimaginably Deadly Blows’ to U.S.

North Korea’s defense chief vowed Sunday to deal “unimaginably deadly blows” to the United States and South Korea if they attack the communist nation amid a tense standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

Defense Minister Kim Yong Chun issued the warning during a national meeting held on the eve of the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, the official Korean Central News Agency said.

“We will mercilessly and resolutely counter the enemy’s sanctions with retaliation, its all-out war with all-out war,” Kim told the meeting. “We will deal unimaginably deadly blows at the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppets if they ignite a war, obsessed with a foolish ambition.”

North Korea Warns of ‘Unimaginably Deadly Blows’ to U.S. � One Man’s Thoughts

Shocking... Not ::: New York Times Buries Bad Poll for Obama/Newsmax

They're so pathetic.

By: David A. Patten

Thursday's edition of The New York Times goes out of its way to bury poll results that reflect a growing public backlash against President Obama's healthcare proposals.

Newspapers usually feature their poll results on the front page. But the newspaper's editors apparently didn't want the results of the New York Times/CBS poll to draw too much attention.

A Page One headline refers to "growing unease" about healthcare, but the story does not provide the actual figures until much later.

In fact, readers won't find the poll results until the bottom third of Page A-17.

And before readers reach the actual poll numbers, the story offers them an explanation for why the public healthcare revolt is growing: Opponents of the president's reforms, readers are told, have spent $9 million on television ads to sway public opinion. (No mention is made of advertising that favors a government healthcare plan.)

When readers finally locate the poll results, the numbers speak for themselves — and it's not good news for the president.

The New York Times/CBS poll shows:

  • Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe Obama's plan will hurt the quality of their own healthcare.
  • Seventy-three percent believe it would limit their access to tests and treatment.
  • Sixty-two percent believe Democrats' proposals would require them to change doctors.
  • Seventy-six believe healthcare reform will lead to them paying higher taxes.
  • A whopping 77 percent expect their healthcare costs to rise.

    CBS anchor Katie Couric reported on the poll Wednesday evening.

    “Less than half approve of the way President Obama is handling healthcare,” she told viewers. But she gave it a positive spin, saying: “So he has some convincing to do. And that took him today to the Tar Heel State.”

    © 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  • - New York Times Buries Bad Poll for Obama

    ROTF ::: [W]oman's answer to highly visible Obama: Selling her televisions

    Classic quotes in this one.

    (I, myself, haven't turned on my TV since late October 08... no exaggeration.)

    A 78-year-old Carroll woman says she's so tired of seeing President Barack Obama on the airwaves that she's selling her television sets - two of them.

    Deloris Nissen, a retired nurses' aide and former Kmart employee who was raised on a farm near Audubon, placed a classified advertisement with The Daily Times Herald for Friday's paper.

    In the $5.50 ad, Nissen tells readers she has two television sets for sale.

    The reason: "Obama on every channel and station."

    In an interview Nissen said she is serious about selling two TVs - and genuine about her disgust with what she believes to be an overexposed president.

    "I just got tired of watching him on every channel," Nissen said. "I thought, my gosh, does he ever stay at the White House?"

    Nissen, who voted for U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential election, said she could live with seeing Obama come on television to make serious announcements. But he seems to be on all the time, Nissen said.

    When the president does appear on a channel she happens to be watching, Nissen said, she quickly turns.

    "I have the remote real handy," Nissen said. "I have the batteries. I'm ready for him."

    Nissen's annoyance with the president as a frequent presence on her television doesn't mean she'll abandon the medium altogether.

    She's keeping a bigger flat-screen television and selling an older 20-inch Sony and possibly a 13-inch set.

    "It's too heavy," Nissen said of the 20-inch TV. "I can't handle it anymore."

    That said, she doesn't plan on selling it for less than $100 - even if Obama was just on Tuesday pitching his health-care-reform plans.

    Obama's own advisers and political observers across the ideological spectrum have for months debated whether the now popular president is overexposed.

    For her part, Nissen said she expects to take some flack for the advertisement in her local paper. After all, Obama did win Iowa and Carroll County in the 2008 election.

    But she's not worried about any criticism.

    "I'm an old lady, and I don't care," Nissen said.

    Daily Times Herald - Carroll, Iowa | Carroll woman's answer to highly visible Obama: Selling her televisions

    O Rly? ::: Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks Exclusively to ABC News

    Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC News in an exclusive interview today that he is increasingly concerned about Americans becoming radicalized and turning to terrorism.

    "I mean, that's one of the things that's particularly troubling: This whole notion of radicalization of Americans," Holder told ABC News during an interview in his SUV as his motorcade brought him from home to work. "Leaving this country and going to different parts of the world and then coming back, all, again, in aim of doing harm to the American people, is a great concern."

    Holder said the ever-changing threat of terror and the pressure to keep up with it weighs heavily on his mind as he tries to ensure that the government has done all it can to anticipate the moves of an unpredictable enemy.

    "In some ways it's the most sobering part of the day," Holder said of his morning intelligence briefing, in which he gets the latest report on the landscape of "the organizations, the people who are bound and determined to do harm to our nation."

    Recent events, such as the arrests of alleged members of a home-grown terror cell in North Carolina, the return of several Somali-American men to their home country under questionable circumstances and the filing of charges against a New York man who allegedly received al Qaeda training in Pakistan and took part in a rocket attack against U.S. forces, bring the threats to national security into sharp focus.

    "But, you know, in the hierarchy of things, it's hard to figure out how to prioritize these things in some ways," he said. "The constant scream of threats, the kind of things you have to be aware about, the whole notion of radicalization is something that didn't loom as large a few months ago ... as it does now. And that's the shifting nature of threats that keeps you up at night."

    He noted, however, that the Bush administration "left us an infrastructure that I think is very good," and that national security officials are constantly striving to put the country in a safer position.

    "The American people would be surprised by the depth of the threat, but also reassured to see the assets that have been deployed around the world," Holder said, adding that the United States interacts closely with its foreign partners.

    Wow. So 1) white men with NRA allegiances aren't the number one threat to the U.S. (quick tell Miz Napolitano) and 2) Bush did something right. I guess they started serving a little coffee in D.C.

    Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks Exclusively to ABC News - ABC News

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    They Never Stop ::: [Federal] Lawmakers to propose ban on driving while texting

    Lawmakers to propose ban on driving while texting

    Posted: Jul 29, 2009 10:33 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) - States would be required to ban driving while texting or face the loss of highway funds under legislation being pushed by a group of senators.

    New York Sen. Charles Schumer and three other Democrats plan to unveil the bill on Wednesday. It follows a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that found that when drivers of heavy trucks texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.

    Fourteen states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving.

    Under the Senate proposal, states would need to outlaw texting or e-mailing while operating a moving vehicle or lose 25 percent of their annual federal highway funding.

    Lawmakers to propose ban on driving while texting, - KCBD, NewsChannel 11 Lubbock |

    Magnificent Piece ::: What Happened to Our Postracial President?|Victor Davis Hanson|National Review

    What Happened to Our Postracial President?
    Obama has unwittingly made his real beliefs clear.

    By Victor Davis Hanson

    From time to time, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Clarence Thomas have naturally talked about growing up African-American under far less tolerant conditions than those we take for granted today. Yet their biggest contributions to American race relations have been their admirable abilities to transcend such racial intolerance — to make being black incidental, not essential, at least in public, to their sterling characters and impressive achievements.

    They all paid a price for emphasizing individuality rather than adhering to identity politics. Those on the left often criticized them as somehow inauthentic, or not fully representative of the “real” black experience. Indeed, one of weirdest paradoxes of contemporary culture has been the tendency of wealthy white liberals to adjudicate who really speaks for the so-called African-American community — based on an authenticity that is often, in ironic fashion, based on the degree of perceived hostility to whites themselves.

    Then came Barack Obama, and the nation as a whole entered an even stranger racial landscape. Unlike Powell, Rice, or Thomas, Obama was not born into, but rather piggy-backed onto, the African-American experience. He came of age well after the South’s oppressive Jim Crow culture began to wane. He grew up in a multiracial Hawaii that was always somewhat more relaxed, and was exempt from the tensions inside the continental United States. Obama was of half-white ancestry, and raised by white grandparents. Finally, Obama’s father was a Kenyan national and Muslim, not a descendant of American slaves, and so he lacked an African-American pedigree altogether. In other words, as Obama himself often insisted, our new president was in a way reminiscent of Tiger Woods: postracial — black, white, a little bit of everything, but beyond divisive self-identification with any one particular group or tribe.

    Yet somehow one Barry Dunham/Obama — after Occidental, Columbia, Harvard, Chicago organizing, and the Reverend Wright’s Trinity Church — morphed into an authentic voice of the African-American collective experience. The rest is history. A black politician who once struggled to establish African-American credentials has now become our collective arbiter of race in a way former African-American national figures could hardly imagine.

    Whether due to the utility of identity politics or simply to his own comfort with racial emphases, Obama has highlighted, rather than downplayed, his own mixed heritage in efforts to accentuate an African-American identity. We saw that in the Democratic primary, when his support from the black community was not at a mere 60/40 majority, or 70/30, but more often an astounding 95/5. His continued apologies for the racist Reverend Wright were as sincere as they were suicidal — until Wright’s increasingly lunatic racism was too overt to be any longer defended by a serious candidate for the presidency.

    From time to time, a voice of near-antipathy in Obama erupted, as in his infamous “clingers” speech about the lower-middle-class supposed know-nothings of Pennsylvania, or in his dismissal of the grandmother who raised him as a “typical white person.” Before Michelle Obama grew silent, she managed to tell America that it was a “downright mean” country, where the bar was raised serially even on those as wealthy and privileged as the Obamas, and that, prior to her husband’s presidential campaign, she had not been especially proud of the United States — amplification of long-held views that can be seen as early as her Princeton undergraduate thesis.

    No matter. The media and the liberal elite ignored these telltale signs, and instead were eager to accept the implicit pact that the soothing racial healer Barack Obama offered them. It was an unspoken understanding that might be paraphrased as something along the following lines: “Vote for me and I will offer you instant exemption from all prior racial guilt — and yet allow you to live your rather secluded lives as usual.”

    In other words, the endowed professor, the corporate attorney, the green CEO, the endowment officer, and the high-school teacher could all continue to live in safe and separate neighborhoods, ensure their children went to mostly white and Asian schools (whether elite public or private), and through taxes for entitlements and abstract support for affirmative action still feel they were doing a great deal for race relations. As they saw it, they elected one comfortable and hip Barack Obama as their president — without living among, going to school with, or working alongside the Other.

    But nemesis is not so understanding; it demands more of us than such cheap bromides. And Barack Obama’s prior racialism, as evidenced by two decades of attendance in, and subsidies to, the Reverend Wright’s racist church, leaves indelible scars. And so to paraphrase the reverend, the chickens are now coming home to roost for America.

    The president’s apologies abroad focused on supposed American felonies, from slavery to the conquest of Native America to the dropping of the atomic bomb. Since there were many such lamentations, and they were not balanced by citing the gallantry of Shiloh or Gettysburg in ending slavery, or Guadalcanal to stop Japanese brutality, or Chosin to save South Korea, the impression was left that Barack Obama sees America quite differently from many, if not most, of its citizens — who understand our own sins as those shared with mankind, but our singular efforts at correcting them as unmatched abroad.

    The Cairo speech was full of historical falsehoods, and a textbook example of moral equivalence, as Islamic felonies were juxtaposed alongside American misdemeanors in the fashion of the Platonic “noble lie.” Time and time again, in both implicit and explicit fashion, our president has made it clear that he does not believe in American exceptionalism — despite assuming quite an exceptional pulpit to weigh in on global matters.

    Then we learned that Obama was not terribly disturbed to hear that his attorney general had lambasted the American people as “cowards” for not engaging in yet more national conversations on race — which in the past have not proven to be honest and painful discussions that touched on black responsibilities as well as civil rights. He tsk-tsked Judge Sotomayor’s racialist comments about the innate superiority of Latina judges over their white counterparts — although the unfortunate remark occurred at least five times, in both written and oral contexts, and was part of a brief speech in which she managed to reference herself as a Latina/Latino dozens of times.

    Now President Obama has passed judgment on the Professor Gates tragicomedy by deriding the Cambridge police force for acting “stupidly” in arresting and then releasing his friend. It mattered little that Obama, the Harvard Law graduate, knew nothing about the details of the case. A picture taken at the scene, and eyewitness accounts of bystanders — and who knows what the yet-unreleased transcript of the recorded exchange with Professor Gates could reveal — all seemed to suggest that Gates overreacted to a legitimate request for an ID. Americans, white and black, may lament someone being arrested in his own house, but they also do not think it a wise idea to insult and ridicule armed police arriving at their homes after being summoned to an apparent burglary in progress.

    Indeed, if anyone evoked race and profiled one by race, it was more likely the professor of race studies than the police. And for all the president’s referencing of the old standby toss-off line that minorities are disproportionately stopped by police, the nation was hardly likely to think that Gates — as one of the country’s highest-paid professors in the humanities, and as a personal friend to the African-American mayor of Cambridge, governor of Massachusetts, and president of the United States — was being railroaded.

    In the jargon of postmodernism, the president asserted one racial narrative as truth, while most of multiracial America accepted quite another: that Professor’s Gates’s contacts and friendships gave him privileged treatment not accorded to others who scream and blow up at policemen, and that minority males are indeed tragically disproportionately stopped by police because they also, tragically, are more likely to commit felonies. The president’s ossified remark ignored real efforts on the part of police departments to hire African-American officers and chiefs, engage community leaders, and train police in racial sensitivity — all the while dealing with the fact that African-American males commit violent felonies in numbers that vastly exceed their presence in the general population.

    None of us gets a pass once we evoke racial identity, not even the president of the United States, not even one of mixed racial heritage. Once we go down that road of racial self-aggrandizement, of seeing each other not by the content of our characters, but by the color of our skins, we invite nemesis — and there will be retribution. Because Barack Obama has consistently emphasized racial identity to further his own advantage, I fear others, both black and white, will be emboldened to follow his polarizing lead — in ways both novel and far more pernicious. We once trusted our uniquely qualified president to help lead us out of our racial morass, but so far he has only pushed us far deeper into it.

    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.

    What Happened to Our Postracial President? by Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online

    Michelle Malkin Is Completely Adorable, Matt Lauer Rocks Cuz He Lets Her Speak :: Today Show July 29, 2009

    I don't always agree with Michelle, but she's just too cute and feisty.

    From HotAir:

    Here’s that intriguing morning appearance I teased in Monday’s Hannity post. A bunch of you thought I was talking about “The View,” which broke my heart because how awesomely awesome would that have been? Ah well. Enjoy Lauer affecting shock at the idea that a guy who tried to prove his “authenticity” by spending 20 years in Reverend Wright’s Church of the Perpetual Grievance, who once famously accused Team McCain of having a problem with the fact that he doesn’t look like the other presidents on U.S. currency, and who was known to reference “Malcolm X” while addressing black audiences on the campaign trail might possibly be guilty of racial opportunism. Although, in The One’s defense, what kind of progressive would he be if he wasn’t?

    Best part: The boss lighting into Michelle Obama for her history of cronyism, much to Matt’s horror. Be sure to watch to the very end or you’ll miss the look on his face as he wraps the segment. I’m guessing she wasn’t booked at his insistence.

    Hot Air � Blog Archive � Video: Michelle discusses Obama’s “racial opportunism” on … the Today show

    Linda Chavez on Sotomayor... One Wise American Woman Speaks

    CHAVEZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

    I testify today not as a wise Latina woman but an American who believes that skin color and national origin should not determine who gets a job, a promotion or a public contract or who gets into college or receives a fellowship.

    My message today is straightforward. Mr. Chairman, do not vote to confirm this nominee. I say this with some regret, because I believe Judge Sotomayor's personal story is an inspiring one, which proves that this is truly a land of opportunity, where circumstances of birth and class do not determine whether you can succeed.

    Unfortunately, based on her statements both on and off the bench, I do not believe Judge Sotomayor shares that view. It is clear from her record that she has drunk deep from the well of identity politics.

    I know a lot about that well, and I can tell you that it is dark and poisonous. It is, in my view, impossible to be a fair judge and also believe that one's race, ethnicity and sex should determine how someone will rule as a judge.

    Despite her assurances to this committee over the last few days that her "wise Latina woman" statement was simply a, quote, "rhetorical flourish fell flat," nothing could be further from the truth.

    All of us in public life have, at one time or another, misspoken. But Judge Sotomayor's words weren't uttered off the cuff. They were carefully crafted, repeated, not just once or twice, but at least seven times over several years.

    As others have pointed out, if Judge Sotomayor were a white man who suggested that whites or males made better judges, again, to use Judge Sotomayor's words, quote, "Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences," end quote, "we would not be having this discussion. Because the nominee would have been forced to withdraw once those words became public."

    But, of course, Judge Sotomayor's offensive words are just a reflection of her much greater body of work as an ethnic activist and judge.

    Identity politics is at the core of who this woman is. And let me be clear here. I'm not talking about the understandable pride in one's ancestry or ethnic roots, which is both common and natural in a country as diverse and pluralistic as ours.

    CHAVEZ: Identity politics involves a sense of grievance against the majority, a feeling that racism permeates American society and its institutions and the belief that members of one's own group are victims in a perpetual power struggle with the majority.

    From her earliest days at Princeton University, and later, Yale Law School, to her 12-year involvement with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, to her speeches and writings, including her jurisprudence, Judge Sotomayor has consistently displayed an affinity for such views.

    I have outlined at much greater length in my prepared testimony, which I ask permission be included in the record in full, the way in which I believe identity politics has permeated Judge Sotomayor's life's work. But let me briefly outline a few examples.

    As an undergraduate, she actively pushed for race-based goals and timetables for faculty hiring. In a much-praised senior thesis, she refused to identify the United States Congress by its proper name, instead referring to it as the North American Congress or the Mainland Congress.

    During her tenure as chair of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund's Director Litigation Committee, she urged (inaudible) seeking lawsuits challenging the civil service exams, seeking race- conscious decision-making similar to that used by the city of New Haven in Ricci.

    She opposed the death penalty as racist. She supported race- based government contracting. She made dubious arguments in support of bilingual education and more broadly in trying to equate English language requirements as a form of national origin discrimination. As a judge she dissented from an opinion that the Voting Rights Act does not give prison inmates the right to vote.

    And she has said that as a witness -- eyewitnesses' identification of an assailant may be unconstitutional racial profiling in violation of the equal protection clause, if race is an element of that identification. Finally, she has shown a willingness to let her policy preferences guide her in the Ricci case.

    Although she has attempted this week to back away from some of her own intemperate words and has accused her critics of taking them out of context, the record is clear. Identity politics is at the core of Judge Sotomayor's self-definition. It has guided her involvement in advocacy groups, been the topic of much of her public writing and speeches, and influenced her interpretation of law.

    There is no reason to believe that her elevation to the Supreme Court will temper this inclination, and much reason to fear that it will play an important role in how she approaches the cases that will come before her, if she is confirmed.

    I therefore respectfully urge you not to confirm Judge Sotomayor as an associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Thank you.

    Chairman of The Center for Equal Opportunity Linda Chavez Testifies at Judge Sotomayor's Confirmation Hearings -

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    "Science Czar" Holdren Is The Gift That Keeps On Giving ::: A Nourished Baby ‘Will Ultimately Develop Into a Human Being’ ::: Genius!

    Oh, that John P. Holdren, what a kidder. Yuk yuk yuk.

    (Frankly, the fact that lunatics like this are being given power over me by government is a little terrifying.)


    “The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being,” John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions.”

    Holdren co-authored the book with Stanford professors Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich. The book was published by W.H. Freeman and Company.

    At the time “Human Ecology” was published, Holdren was a senior research fellow at the California Institute of Technology. Paul Ehrlich, currently president of The Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford, is also author of the 1968 bestseller, “The Population Bomb,” a book The Washington Post said “launched the popular movement for zero population growth.”

    “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions” argued that the human race faced dire consequences unless human population growth was stopped.

    “Human values and institutions have set mankind on a collision course with the laws of nature,” wrote the Ehrlichs and Holdren. “Human beings cling jealously to their prerogative to reproduce as they please—and they please to make each new generation larger than the last—yet endless multiplication on a finite planet is impossible. Most humans aspire to greater material prosperity, but the number of people that can be supported on Earth if everyone is rich is even smaller than if everyone is poor.”

    The specific passage expressing the authors’ view that a baby “will ultimately develop into a human being” is on page 235 in chapter 8 of the book, which is titled “Population Limitation.”


    "To a biologist the question of when life begins for a human child is almost meaningless, since life is continuous and has been since it first began on Earth several billion years ago,” wrote the Ehrlichs and Holdren. “The precursors of the egg and sperm cells that create the next generation have been present in the parents from the time they were embryos themselves. To most biologists, an embryo (unborn child during the first two or three months of development) or a fetus is no more a complete human being than a blueprint is a building. The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being. Where any of these essential elements is lacking, the resultant individual will be deficient in some respect.

    Oh, excellent. So individuals "deficient in some respect" are less than human. But don't compare these folks to Nazis... - Obama’s Science Czar Said a Born Baby ‘Will Ultimately Develop Into a Human Being’

    A fact the Left ignores: the KGB seriously infiltrated postwar America - Telegraph Blogs

    Great timing, as I just started reading Whittaker Chambers this week.

    = )

    By Peter Whittle

    Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist campaign during the post-war era in the US remain one of the great totemic events in liberal-Left mythology. Every time there is a revival of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, solemn words are trotted out about how this metaphor for the appalling witch-hunts which ruined careers is a devastating indictment of irrational fear, blah blah blah.

    Well, not exactly. The point of The Crucible is that there were no witches. But back in the real world, there certainly were spies. A new book, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, tells us quite how many. It offers further proof that Soviet infiltration in the US was vast. The most important revelation in the book is the remarkable number of prewar and wartime Americans – over 500, from a great variety of backgrounds – who assisted Soviet intelligence.

    One of their number, Alger Hiss, became a liberal hero, an innocent who was maligned by McCarthy’s obsession. As the book recounts, this view persisted despite persuasive evidence of his treachery. Academic chairs were set up in his honour. But this new book, having looked at all the fresh evidence, is damming. The files show that after the Yalta conference Hiss was secretly awarded the order of the Red Star during a visit to Moscow.

    The book concentrates on the wartime period but The Mitrokhin files, which were released in 1992, and which dealt more specifically with the postwar era, came to the same conclusion.

    Despite all this new information, available since the fall of the Soviet Union, it’s astonishing how the mythology persists. Of course the mania which characterised McCarthy’s crusade obviously didn’t help the anti-communist cause, but perhaps the fact that there was no victory parade for the end of the cold war has allowed the liberal-Left version of what happened during those years to remain intact.

    If you doubt that it is has, try to imagine a Hollywood film which told the story of the treachery of Hiss. No, neither can I. Instead, we get George Clooney’s Goodnight and Good Luck.

    A fact the Left ignores: the KGB seriously infiltrated postwar America - Telegraph Blogs

    Ode To A Web Commenter, Exhibit B ::: How a Local Rally For Obama's Health Care Proposal Turned Into a Rally Against It

    This person gives me hope, and, according to Rasmussen, only 23% of Americans are unaware of, or resistant to, this logic:

    mouse says:

    Think: When has govt provided an efficient (paperwork, you'll find it here!), effective (social security, postal service, VA, Medicare...all nearing bankrupcy) and accessible solution for ANYTHING? Think again: When has govt's insertion into any issue provided LESS COSTLY services? To the contrary, it invites fraud, abuse, and misuse. I have read the 1017 page HR3200 Health Choices bill, and there is much more in it than providing health coverage for the chronically uninsured. Among the less-talked-about aspects are health clinics in our schools, the establishment of a Health Corps, the requirement of preferential treatment to schools who give preference to under-represented races or the disadvantaged, funding for interpreters for LEP Medicare patients, and plenty of business for groups like ACORN. No, HR3200 is not just about health care, per se. If you truly care about the subject, take about 6 hours of your life and read it before you decide to support. Perhaps you will decide there are other solutions. We do not provide food stamps for 300+ million people so 10 million can eat.

    Posted On: Thursday, Jul. 23 2009 @ 5:35PM

    Dallas - Unfair Park - How a Local Rally For Obama's Health Care Proposal Turned Into a Rally Against It

    Ode To A Web Commenter, Exhibit A ::: Corzine calls for tougher gun control laws -

    This story garnered a slew of responses, almost all anti-gun (law-abiding-citizen) control.

    Here was a fave:

    Posted by gonker on 07/27/09 at 7:13AM

    Yes we need to ban .50 cal rifles because they are such a plague on our society. Another useless feel-good law about to hit the books. Let's review some facts:
    Cost: A Barrett 82A1 has an MSRP of $8,900.00.
    Weight: 29.7 or 30.9 lbs. depending on barrel length.
    Overall length of rifle: 48" or 59" depending on barrel length. Not easy to hide.
    Ammo: Average cost at online discounter's, $4.00 per round, plus shipping.
    Number of robberies committed with a .50 in NJ: ZERO
    Number of murders committed with a .50 in NJ: ZERO
    Effect on Crime Rate in NJ by banning them? ZERO
    I have fired one of these. They're freaking huge. Maybe one or two percent of the population has the physical strength to hold one of these monsters and accurately shoulder-fire it. The rest us will need a bench rest. They are also loud as hell. If you fire one, everyone within half a mile will hear it. Why have one? Because its fun to take it to the public range at Ft. Dix and shoot targets 200 yards away.
    Gun laws should not be written by people who have very little actual knowledge of firearms and who have probably never fired one. Enjoy your single-term Governorship while it lasts Idiot.

    Corzine calls for tougher gun control laws -

    Hey Congress, If You Can't Read The Bill, At Least Read James Madison/Federalist No. 57

    The house of representatives...can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as the great mass of society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interest, and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.

    James Madison, Federalist No. 57, February 19, 1788

    HR 615, ya loonies. If your healthcare plan is so fantastic, sign up for it yourselves.

    James Madison Quotes

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Guess I Don't Have To Call My Congressman ::: Lamar Smith: Government Takeover of Health Care? Bad

    Which doesn't mean you don't have to still call yours.

    YouTube - WOAI: Smith: Government Takeover of Health Care will Increase Costs, Wipeout Small Businesses, Jobs

    Drudge Kills Me... Again ::: Pelosi/Biden as the Plastic Surgery Duo... ROTF


    Unbelievable ::: House Dems Won't Let 'Em Call it What it Is, Dem Sponsored 'Government-Run' Health Care

    Hey, Dims... if ya gotta BS the electorate, maybe you're on the wrong freaking track!

    (I wish I was still on vacation.)

    : |

    ( – Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) made public last week an e-mail from the Franking Commission -- a bipartisan panel that oversees messages from lawmakers -- asking him to change the phrase “government run” health care to "public option."

    The term was part of an audio message recorded by Carter’s staff for a town hall event on health care. The message said: “The House Democrats unveiled a government-run health care plan.”

    The Franking Commission, which is authorized by law to oversee mail and other communications between members of Congress and their constituents that is paid for with federal funds, sent an e-mail to Carter's staff requesting that the wording in the message be changed.

    “I received the script back from the majority, and there are a couple of changes that need to be made to make it compliant,” the Franking Commission e-mail said. “In the first paragraph (answering machine message, automatic connection) change ‘House Democrats unveiled a government run health care plan’ to either ‘the house majority (sic) unveiled a public option health care plan’ or ‘Just this past week the House majority (sic) unveiled a health care plan which I believe will cost taxpayers ….’”

    “Change this on both scripts and send it back to me,” the e-mail concluded.

    Carter unveiled the e-mail at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday. At the same conference, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said his colorful chart on “Obamacare” ­– which was voted into the record on the floor of the House earlier this month – was rejected by the Franking Commission for use in his communications with constituents.

    “Now, why can’t I say what I feel about a plan that I’m being asked to vote upon, that has been debated on the floor of the House on multiple occasions, where multiple numbers of people have used the term ‘government run health care plan?’” Carter asked at the press conference last week.

    “In fact, I would submit to you, when you look at this chart, how could you not say it’s a government-run health care plan?" he said.

    “Why does the Franking Commission have the right to prevent me from freely speaking what I think my folks back home ought to hear and instead tell me I have to speak what the president said last night?” Carter said, referring to President Barack Obama’s televised press conference at the White House last Wednesday.

    “I think that is an abridgement of free speech,” he said.

    “Why are they so afraid of this chart?” Carter said. “Why are they so afraid of a simple phrase that one member of Congress might say on a telephone town hall? Could it be that they know what this health care plan is?”

    John Stone, communications director for Carter, told that Republicans are not finished fighting what they call censorship by the Franking Commission.

    “We plan to take it to the [House] floor on Monday night,” Stone said. “There is going to be a massive protest.”

    “And if they try to stop it with a motion to adjourn, we’re going to go outside and hold our speeches,” Stone said. “We will not be silenced.”

    The bipartisan Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards -- or the "Franking Commission" -- has a three fold mandate: (1) to issue regulations governing the proper use of the franking privilege; (2) to provide guidance in connection with mailings; (3) to act as a quasi-judicial body for the disposition of formal complaints against Members of Congress who have allegedly violated franking laws or regulations.

    Members of Congress are required to submit all mass mailings for an advisory opinion prior to mailing. - House Democrats Censor Republican's Use of Term 'Government-Run' Health Care in Constituent Communications (via

    Sunday, July 26, 2009

    My People!!! ::: Rasmussen: 72% Don’t Want Feds Changing Their Light Bulbs

    Now here's a little hope for us... and a Yay! It's not just me!

    Washington’s got another bright idea that most Americans don’t like.

    Just 18% of adults think it’s the government’s job to tell Americans what kind of light bulb they use, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Seventy-two percent (72%) say it’s none of the government’s business, and 10% are not sure.

    The federal government under an energy bill passed in 2007 is requiring consumers to dump incandescent bulbs, the ones we’ve used for well over a century, for more expensive fluorescent ones. The plan is scheduled to go into effect over the next 10 years in the name of great energy efficiency.

    Eighty-three percent (83%) of Republicans and 78% of adults not affiliated with either major political party say it’s not the government’s role to make Americans change their light bulbs. Among Democrats, 58% share that view, but 29% say it is the government’s job.

    When asked who would do a better job of providing quality products for consumers, only 23% of Americans say government planners and managers. Fifty-nine percent (59%) have more confidence in companies hoping to make a profit. Nineteen percent (19%) aren’t sure.

    Men have more faith in the private sector than women. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of those who work for a private company say businesses motivated by potential profit will do a better job of coming up with quality consumer products. Just 45% of government employees agree.

    Rasmussen Reports™: The Most Comprehensive Public Opinion Data Anywhere

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    Dear God... Medicine as "Social Justice"?!! ::: Deadly Doctors/NYPost

    This is absolutely ghoulishly insane.

    THE health bills coming out of Congress would put the decisions about your care in the hands of presidential appointees. They'd decide what plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have and what seniors get under Medicare.

    Yet at least two of President Obama's top health advisers should never be trusted with that power.

    Start with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

    Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change," he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).

    Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others" (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).

    Yes, that's what patients want their doctors to do. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.

    Many doctors are horrified by this notion; they'll tell you that a doctor's job is to achieve social justice one patient at a time.

    Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia" (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96).

    Translation: Don't give much care to a grandmother with Parkinson's or a child with cerebral palsy.

    He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years" (Lancet, Jan. 31).

    The bills being rushed through Congress will be paid for largely by a $500 billion-plus cut in Medicare over 10 years. Knowing how unpopular the cuts will be, the president's budget director, Peter Orszag, urged Congress this week to delegate its own authority over Medicare to a new, presidentially-appointed bureaucracy that wouldn't be accountable to the public.

    Since Medicare was founded in 1965, seniors' lives have been transformed by new medical treatments such as angioplasty, bypass surgery and hip and knee replacements. These innovations allow the elderly to lead active lives. But Emanuel criticizes Americans for being too "enamored with technology" and is determined to reduce access to it.

    Dr. David Blumenthal, another key Obama adviser, agrees. He recommends slowing medical innovation to control health spending.

    Blumenthal has long advocated government health-spending controls, though he concedes they're "associated with longer waits" and "reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices" (New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 2001). But he calls it "debatable" whether the timely care Americans get is worth the cost. (Ask a cancer patient, and you'll get a different answer. Delay lowers your chances of survival.)

    Obama appointed Blumenthal as national coordinator of health-information technology, a job that involves making sure doctors obey electronically delivered guidelines about what care the government deems appropriate and cost effective.

    In the April 9 New England Journal of Medicine, Blumenthal predicted that many doctors would resist "embedded clinical decision support" -- a euphemism for computers telling doctors what to do.

    Americans need to know what the president's health advisers have in mind for them. Emanuel sees even basic amenities as luxuries and says Americans expect too much: "Hospital rooms in the United States offer more privacy . . . physicians' offices are typically more conveniently located and have parking nearby and more attractive waiting rooms" (JAMA, June 18, 2008).

    No one has leveled with the public about these dangerous views. Nor have most people heard about the arm-twisting, Chicago-style tactics being used to force support. In a Nov. 16, 2008, Health Care Watch column, Emanuel explained how business should be done: "Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda. If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health-reform effort."

    Do we want a "reform" that empowers people like this to decide for us?

    Betsy McCaughey is founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former New York lieutenant governor.

    Print Version

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Going to the beach for a few days...

    ...and looking forward to the break.

    Call a congresscritter for me.



    Hmmm... ::: Engineer commits suicide after losing iPhone[4G] prototype

    A Chinese engineer committed suicide after he was allegedly roughed-up by company security services when one of the iPhone 4G prototypes entrusted into his care went missing.

    Twenty-five-year-old Sun Danyong, a recent engineering graduate, was employed by Foxconn, manufacturer of Apple's iPhone and iPods. According to reports from China Radio International (Google translation), VentureBeat, and others, Sun leapt to his death from the 12th floor of his apartment building on July 16th, a few days after the iPhone 4G prototype disappeared.

    The reports indicate that on July 9th, Sun received 16 of the prototypes, but a few days later, he could account for only 15 of them. After searching the factory, he reported the missing iPhone to his superiors on Monday, July 13th.

    Two days later, his apartment was allegedly searched by Foxconn security who, according to CRI and others, beat Sun during their investigation.

    Although the beating is unproven, what happened at 3:00 am on Thursday the 16th is not in dispute: Security cameras in Sun's apartment building taped him leaping from an open window.

    In a statement (Google translation) this Tuesday morning, Foxconn confirmed Sun's suicide, but questioned reports of the beating.

    Apple did not immediately respond to our requests for comment. Bu Cnet quotes an Apple spokesperson as confirming the suicide, adding that "We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young employee, and we are awaiting results of the investigations into his death."

    The Apple statement also noted that "We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect."

    Apple is certainly not alone in requiring strict security from its partners and suppliers. And Foxconn is obviously under great competitive pressure from all of its OEM rivals.

    Engineer commits suicide after losing iPhone prototype • The Register

    Dem Rep. calls cap-and-trade ‘worst’ bill he’s ever seen (+ Health care won't be better)

    He may be a D, but he's smarter than at least 8 Rs!

    The cap-and-trade climate bill before Congress is the "worst piece of legislation" in recent years, one centrist Democratic lawmaker said Monday.

    "The cap and trade bill is really the worst piece of legislation I've seen since I've been there," Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) told the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce. "It raises energy prices on businesses, raises electric bills on families, and it even raises gasoline prices in the middle of a recession. And, it makes America less competitive in the global economy."

    Boren was one of 44 House Democrats to vote against the American Clean Energy and Security Act, crafted by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), in a razor-thin vote last month.

    Now, Boren's vote is being courted in a bid to pass a preliminary healthcare reform package in the House. Some centrist Democrats have defected from party leadership in committee votes on the healthcare legislation, citing concerns over provisions that would impose a surtax on wealthy Americans and would create a public (or "government-run") insurance option for consumers.

    Boren signaled that it may be tough for Democratic leaders to count on his vote for the health bill, their other signature piece of legislation aside the climate change bill.

    "We have to be very careful," he said, as reported by the Oklahoman. "The current health insurance plan that's been released, in my opinion, will only exacerbate the problem."

    The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room � Dem congressman calls cap-and-trade ‘worst’ bill he’s ever seen

    BATFE says FU to Tennessee, Firearms Freedom Act, and the 10th Amendment. Awesome.

    ATF rejects Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act and the 10th Amendment

    → Posted on Jul 16, 2009 - 04:04 PM

    The ATF - as expected - has issued a letter in which it disregards the 10th Amendment restrictions on federal power ( as seems to be the trend since the late 1930) and has notified Tennessee’s federal firearms dealers that the Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act is meaningless. Essentially, ATF is saying to the state of Tennessee that the 10th Amendment no longer exists.

    We expected such from a tyranny that no longer lives within the bounds of its express authority…..

    There are some great words and lines in this one. "The Act purports..." and "Federal law supercedes..." and "all provisions... continue to apply."

    Can't be having the People gettin' all uppity now:

    ATF Letter July 16, 2009

    Tennessee Firearms Association | News

    Apparently Synapses Do Fire Somewhere in Illinois ::: Police say concealed-carry law would deter criminals

    Talk of bringing concealed-carry legislation to Illinois gives many residents a fear of the unknown.

    Several local police chiefs and other personnel said putting fear into the minds of criminals on the streets is also one of the best arguments for allowing concealed carry.

    "If you're not sure if a guy has a gun, you may not try to do some things to him that you might otherwise try to get away with," said Peoria police Officer Troy Skaggs, president of the Peoria Police Benevolent Union. "It's the fear of the unknown."

    Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states without some type of concealed-carry law.

    In February, the Illinois Sheriffs' Association passed a resolution supporting a concealed-carry law in Illinois, with several conditions in place.

    Then in May, Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis expressed public support for Peoria becoming a test city for statewide legislation that would allow people to carry guns in a responsible way.

    During a recent 10-week stint at the FBI's National Academy, which brought 250 worldwide law-enforcement executives to Quantico, Va., Peoria Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard said, "Everyone I spoke to was in favor of concealed carry."

    Read the rest here:

    Police say concealed-carry law would deter criminals - Peoria, IL -

    Oh Nutty Nutty ::: Glenn Beck Uncovers ACORN Fraud Parts 1 and 2/YouTube

    I'm still not sure I'm a Beck fan, per se... I dislike hosts that talk over their guests regardless of who they are.

    That said, the enemy of my enemy...

    YouTube - Part 1: Glenn Beck Uncovers ACORN Fraud

    Call the Whaaambulance, NYTimes' Knickers are Twisted Again ::: Gun Crazy in the Senate

    On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to vote on the latest assault on public safety in the name of gun ownership. Introduced as an amendment to the military’s budget bill by Senator John Thune, a Republican of South Dakota, this radical measure would nullify the laws of almost every state, subjecting police officers to greater risk and increasing the potential for gun violence.

    Nearly all states issue licenses to carry concealed firearms, but the criteria for granting such permits vary widely, and it is now, sensibly, up to each state to decide whether to accept another state’s permits.

    At least 35 states prevent people from carrying concealed weapons if they have certain misdemeanor convictions. At least 31 states prohibit alcohol abusers from obtaining a concealed carry permit and require gun safety training. The Thune amendment would force states with more restrictive standards to accept concealed carry permits from states with less stringent rules — in effect giving the lax rules national reach.

    Passage of the amendment would make it much harder for law enforcement to distinguish between legal and illegal possession of a firearm. It would be a boon for illegal gun traffickers, making it easier to transport weapons across state lines without being caught.

    More weeping and gnashing of teeth here, including "stats" from those unbiased geniuses at VPC:
    Editorial - Gun Crazy in the Senate -

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Fan-Tastic and LOL ::: "We Put the Love In r3VOLution"/Ron Paul Dating Site

    Ron Paul fans have started a dating service to find libertarian love in an Obama world.

    From the Washington Post

    Are you a small-government patriot looking for love? ISO that special libertarian somebody who enjoys red wine, laughter, walking on the beach and upholding the U.S. Constitution?

    Well, you're in luck: The Ron Paul Revolution has hit online dating.

    The Republican congressman from Texas, whose libertarian insurgency enlivened the 2008 presidential race, is the inspiration behind the new Web dating service "We put the LOVE in Revolution," the site proclaims.

    While the online dating industry long ago spawned niches for certain ideologies or other affinities, this was the first site we'd heard of based on a specific politician. But Paul was no ordinary long-shot candidate; the fervor of his young followers pushed him further than his paltry name-recognition and campaign funds would predict. Paul has no involvement in the Web site, but sounded kind of tickled by the whole thing in an e-mail exchange with our colleague Mary Ann Akers.

    "I never thought I'd speak to crowds of 5,000 college kids chanting 'End the Fed' and burning Federal Reserve notes, so I guess nothing surprises me that much anymore," Paul wrote to Akers. "I suppose it's all about Freedom bringing people together -- spiritually, politically, and now, romantically. ... And, I've always been sympathetic to the slogan 'make love, not war.' "

    As of Sunday, the site featured nearly 200 profiles from singles across the country, more than three-quarters of them (check it out, ladies!) from men.

    At least you can't say that Paul fans aren't passionate about their beliefs.

    Here it is:

    Ron Paul Love


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