Monday, August 31, 2009

The WTF Quote Of The Day

Okay, so things are a little dicey in Atlanta's ongoing mayoral race ever since a black leadership group sent out an email regarding how to get the white candidate to lose... simply for not being black. (And, frankly, since this article is from [cr]AP, the most incendiary portions of the email were not included...)

But that's not my favorite part of the story. This is:

David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington said cities with large black populations like Gary, Ind., Philadelphia, Baltimore and St. Louis have all had white mayors in recent years.

"African-Americans are very pragmatic. When they look at politics, they look at what's going to work," Bositis said. "It's perfectly fine if a white mayor gets elected with black support. On the other hand, it's not a good sign if you have ... a white candidate getting elected with white votes. It's an indication of polarization."

All righty then. Please read the whole mess here:
The Associated Press: After 35 years, next Atlanta mayor could be white

Glenn. Beck. Rocks. ::: Glenn Beck Show 08-28-09 Segment 2 + Bonus Beatles Vid

YouTube - Glenn Beck Clips 08-28-09 Seg2- I See the WH Watching My Show! Dems and Reps SUCK Equally

Well Then, By All Means Bring Back The Gulags ::: Karl Marx Is 'Back in Vogue,' NYT Book Reviewer Enthuses

From NewsBusters.


Garner opened the review by insisting that decrying capitalism is now hip again: "Thanks to globalism’s discontents and the financial crisis that has spread across the planet, Karl Marx and his analysis of capitalism’s dark, wormy side are back in vogue."

Writing approvingly of Hunt’s argument that the man who co-wrote "The Communist Manifesto" in 1848 has "become a convenient scapegoat, too easily blamed for the state crimes of the Soviet Union and Communist Southeast Asia and China," Garner delighted in recounting the charming stories that the author reveals about Engels:

A few of this book’s piquant details: Engels was proud of his lobster salad and liked to fox hunt. He hosted regular Sunday parties for London’s left-wing intelligentsia and, as one regular put it, "no one left before 2 or 3 in the morning." On a personality quiz, three of Engels answers were: "Favorite virtue: jollity"; "Idea of happiness: Château Margaux 1848"; "Motto: take it easy."

Towards the end of the review, Garner did allow that Engels possessed a few negatives:

As artfully as Mr. Hunt flushes out Engels’s human side, he can’t — and to be fair, doesn’t try to — hide the brutal ideologue that also existed inside his cranium. Engels was an advocate, on at least one occasion, of ethnic cleansing; his writing about science helped lead to the abominations of Soviet-style scientific inquiry, which dismissed results that might be seen as bourgeois. He was a master tactician whose purging of rivals in political organizations foreshadowed later purges.

However, the Times critic quickly moved on to defending this gentle communist:

Ultimately, however, Mr. Hunt largely exonerates him. "In no intelligible sense can Engels or Marx bear culpability for the crimes of historical actors carried out generations later," he writes, "even if the policies were offered up in their honor." Engels was skeptical of top-down revolutions, Mr. Hunt notes, and later in life advocated a peaceful, democratic road to socialism. He connects Engels the man to Engels the thinker. "This great lover of the good life, passionate advocate of individuality, and enthusiastic believer in literature, culture, art and music as an open forum could never have acceded to the Soviet Communism of the 20th century, all the Stalinist claims of his paternity notwithstanding," he writes. Engels almost certainly was, in other words, the kind of man Stalin would have had shot.

Well, that makes it better then, doesn't it?

More here:
Karl Marx Is 'Back in Vogue,' NYT Book Reviewer Enthuses |

Interesting ::: Half of [UK] GPs refuse swine flu vaccine over testing fears


Up to half of family doctors do not want to be vaccinated against swine flu.

GPs will be first in the line for the jabs when they become available but many will decline, even though they will be offering the vaccine to their patients.

More than two thirds of those who will turn the jab down believe it has not been tested enough. Most also believe the flu has turned out to be so mild in the vast majority of cases that the vaccine is not needed.

Last night Government experts criticised GPs who decide not to have the jab, saying they will put vulnerable patients needlessly at risk.

A week ago, a poll of nurses showed that a third would turn down the opportunity of being vaccinated against swine flu.

News that medics are unconvinced by the need for a vaccine will cause grave concern to patients who will be invited for the jab over the next few months.

A poll of doctors for Pulse magazine found that 49 per cent would reject the vaccine with 9 per cent undecided.

A separate survey for GP magazine found that 29 per cent would definitely opt out of having the jab, while a further 29 per cent were unsure. Just 41 per cent said they would definitely have the jab.

Of those who said they did not want to jab, 71 per cent said it was because of safety concerns.

Richard Hoey, editor of Pulse, said: 'The medical profession has yet to be convinced by the Government's whole approach to swine flu, with most GPs now feeling that the Department of Health overreacted in its policy on blanket use of Tamiflu.

'Inevitably, that has coloured feelings about the planned immunisation campaign.

'The view among many doctors is that the Government hasn't yet made its case for why such a huge vaccination programme needs to be rushed in for what seems to be an unusually mild illness.'

More here:
Half of GPs refuse swine flu vaccine over testing fears | Mail Online

Malkin: Fake hate crime in Denver, Dems stand by smear [Naturally.]

I love it when the left goes with a meme, even when the case in point is a hoax or perpetrated by their own people. It's happened before, it will happen again.

From Michelle Malkin:

Last night, I told you about the fake political hate crime here in Colorado at the Denver Democrat Party headquarters involving one “Maurice Schwenkler.”

This hammer-wielding person has been charged with felony mischief. This person’s accomplice is still on the loose.

Eleven windows were smashed, causing $11,000 in damage.

Schwenkler is a far Left nutball and transgender activist who guys by “Ariel Attack”. As part of Schwenkler’s work for the SEIU-tied 527 group Colorado Citizens Coalition, he/she canvassed for a state Democratic candidate, Mollie Collum.

State Democrat Party Chair Pat Waak refuses to apologize for smearing conservative town hall protesters and stands by her political attack:

“I stand by my statement that I think there are people opposed to health care reform and there has been a lot of rhetoric that has prompted an atmosphere that I don’t think is constructive,” Waak said Wednesday. “It’s such a polarizing issue. It shouldn’t be.”

You’re the polarizer, Ms. Waak.

Need I say it? Waak is whack!

The rest, here:
Michelle Malkin � Fake hate crime in Denver: Dems stand by smear, vandal’s story gets weirder

My People ::: Howard M. Brandston: Save The Light Bulb! /

This guy is actually a lighting consultant. You know, an actual professional as opposed to an ignorant pinhead in D.C.


If energy conservation were to be the sole goal of energy policy, and efficacy were to be the sole technical consideration, then why CFLs? If we really want to save energy, we would advocate high-pressure sodium lamps—those large bulbs that produce bright orangish light in many streetlights. Their efficacy is more than double what CFLs can offer. Of course this would not be tolerated by the public. This choice shows that we are willing to advocate bad lighting—but not horrible lighting.

Not yet, at least. Energy regulations pending in Washington set aggressive caps on power allowances for energy-using systems in commercial and residential buildings. These requirements have never been tested.

Here's my modest proposal to determine whether the legislation actually serves people. Satisfy the proposed power limits in all public buildings, from museums, houses of worship and hospitals to the White House and the homes of all elected officials. Of course, this will include replacing all incandescents with CFLs. At the end of 18 months, we would check to be certain that the former lighting had not been reinstalled, and survey all users to determine satisfaction with the resulting lighting.

Read it all here:
Howard M. Brandston: Compact Fluorescents Won’t Save Much Energy -

Best news Of The Day ::: Harry Reid Polling Lower Than People Not Even In The Running (LOL)

Couldn't be happening to a nicer guy. Well, there's still Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and Nancy Pelosi and on and on...

Nevada has always been a somewhat unpredictable State when it comes to politics. Despite a demographic makeup that would favor Democratic candidates, Nevada's tourism reliant residents understand, more than most Americans, the need to maintain low taxes and a strong economy. As a result, Nevada has a history of struggling between the election of Democrat and Republican candidates, but past electoral confusion may not be an issue in 2010. Despite mixed electoral results in the past, Senator Harry Reid has remained a mainstay in Nevada politics, but his role as the Senate Majority leader and allegiance to a left-wing agenda adopted by congress have sealed his fate his Nevada.

Reid, like many other congressional Democrats is facing falling polling numbers and renewed challenges to their incumbency as the public concerned over out of control spending and potential passage of an unpopular health care reform bill turns away from the Democrat party. Long-time incumbent Reid is no exception to the trend, as his political bullying and tactics as the Senate Majority leader have created a political monster more apt to pushing a personal political agenda than representing the people of Nevada. As a result, the most powerful member of the Senate is well behind in every poll conducted within the state, even trailing some Republicans who have not announced that they are running for the Senate Seat.

In polling released last week, Reid trails both front-running Republican candidates, Danny Tarkanian 49 percent to 38 percent and Sue Lowden, 45 percent to 40 percent. Moreover, Reid trails Representative Dean Heller, R-Carson City, by a margin of 50-40, even though Heller has stated he has no plans to even run for the Senate seat.

Reid's favorable ratings at all time lows in the state and is not likely to receive support by President Obama, whose favorable rating fell to 44% in the state. In addition, President Obama's unfavorable rating climbed to 43% in Nevada, an increase of 8% since July.

Reid's frustration with low polling numbers and turning public opinion led to an outlash last week in which Reid allegedly told a Las Vegas Review-Journal Editor that he hoped the Newspaper went out of business. The newspaper's staff has launched a united offensive against Reid, publicly warning Reid that they will not let his "bully behavior pass" and had had enough of his "creepy tactics".
I'll be posting the Review-Journal's editorial later today.

The rest of the above is here:
Politically Drunk On Power!: Reid To Become First Big Casualty Of Feds Lurch To The Left

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On Point and Brilliant, Naturally ::: Mark Steyn: Things only a Kennedy could get away with

I really lost it yesterday when I saw flags flying for Kennedy at half mast, as much for Chappaquiddick, as detailed below, as it was for his attempted traitorous actions against Reagan, and us all.

The moral equivalency Ted Kennedy exemplified (gulags and KGB were okay as long as the Democrats got back into power) is illustrated in his treatment of Mary Jo Kopechne perfectly. All for his own advancement.

As Steyn brilliantly advances, Kennedy's not the only guilty one.

We are enjoined not to speak ill of the dead. But, when an entire nation – or, at any rate, its "mainstream" media culture – declines to speak the truth about the dead, we are certainly entitled to speak ill of such false eulogists. In its coverage of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's passing, America's TV networks are creepily reminiscent of those plays Sam Shepard used to write about some dysfunctional inbred hardscrabble Appalachian household where there's a baby buried in the backyard but everyone agreed years ago never to mention it.

In this case, the unmentionable corpse is Mary Jo Kopechne, 1940-1969. If you have to bring up the, ah, circumstances of that year of decease, keep it general, keep it vague. As Kennedy flack Ted Sorensen put it in Time magazine:

"Both a plane crash in Massachusetts in 1964 and the ugly automobile accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 almost cost him his life …"

That's the way to do it! An "accident," "ugly" in some unspecified way, just happened to happen – and only to him, nobody else. Ted's the star, and there's no room to namecheck the bit players. What befell him was … a thing, a place. As Joan Vennochi wrote in The Boston Globe:

"Like all figures in history – and like those in the Bible, for that matter – Kennedy came with flaws. Moses had a temper. Peter betrayed Jesus. Kennedy had Chappaquiddick, a moment of tremendous moral collapse."

Actually, Peter denied Jesus, rather than "betrayed" him, but close enough for Catholic-lite Massachusetts. And if Moses having a temper never led him to leave some gal at the bottom of the Red Sea, well, let's face it, he doesn't have Ted's tremendous legislative legacy, does he? Perhaps it's kinder simply to airbrush out of the record the name of the unfortunate complicating factor on the receiving end of that moment of "tremendous moral collapse." When Kennedy cheerleaders do get around to mentioning her, it's usually to add insult to fatal injury. As Teddy's biographer Adam Clymer wrote, Edward Kennedy's "achievements as a senator have towered over his time, changing the lives of far more Americans than remember the name Mary Jo Kopechne."

You can't make an omelet without breaking chicks, right? I don't know how many lives the senator changed – he certainly changed Mary Jo's – but you're struck less by the precise arithmetic than by the basic equation: How many changed lives justify leaving a human being struggling for breath for up to five hours pressed up against the window in a small, shrinking air pocket in Teddy's Oldsmobile? If the senator had managed to change the lives of even more Americans, would it have been OK to leave a couple more broads down there? Hey, why not? At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo "would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history … Who knows – maybe she'd feel it was worth it." What true-believing liberal lass wouldn't be honored to be dispatched by that death panel?

We are all flawed, and most of us are weak, and in hellish moments, at a split-second's notice, confronting the choice that will define us ever after, many of us will fail the test. Perhaps Mary Jo could have been saved; perhaps she would have died anyway. What is true is that Edward Kennedy made her death a certainty. When a man (if you'll forgive the expression) confronts the truth of what he has done, what does honor require? Six years before Chappaquiddick, in the wake of Britain's comparatively very minor "Profumo scandal," the eponymous John Profumo, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for War, resigned from the House of Commons and the Queen's Privy Council and disappeared amid the tenements of the East End to do good works washing dishes and helping with children's playgroups, in anonymity, for the last 40 years of his life. With the exception of one newspaper article to mark the centenary of his charitable mission, he never uttered another word in public again.

Ted Kennedy went a different route. He got kitted out with a neck brace and went on TV and announced the invention of the "Kennedy curse," a concept that yoked him to his murdered brothers as a fellow victim – and not, as Mary Jo perhaps realized in those final hours, the perpetrator. He dared us to call his bluff, and, when we didn't, he made all of us complicit in what he'd done. We are all prey to human frailty, but few of us get to inflict ours on an entire nation.

His defenders would argue that he redeemed himself with his "progressive" agenda, up to and including health care "reform." It was an odd kind of "redemption": In a cooing paean to the senator on a cringe-makingly obsequious edition of NPR's "Diane Rehm Show," Edward Klein of Newsweek fondly recalled that one of Ted's "favorite topics of humor was, indeed, Chappaquiddick itself. He would ask people, 'Have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?'"

Terrific! Who was that lady I saw you with last night?

Beats me!

Why did the Last Lion cross the road?

To sleep it off!

What do you call 200 Kennedy sycophants at the bottom of a Chappaquiddick pond? A great start, but bad news for NPR guest-bookers! "He was a guy's guy," chortled Edward Klein. Which is one way of putting it.

When a man is capable of what Ted Kennedy did that night in 1969 and in the weeks afterward, what else is he capable of? An NPR listener said the senator's passing marked "the end of civility in the U.S. Congress." Yes, indeed. Who among us does not mourn the lost "civility" of the 1987 Supreme Court hearings? Considering the nomination of Judge Bork, Ted Kennedy rose on the Senate floor and announced that "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit down at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution."

Whoa! "Liberals" (in the debased contemporary American sense of the term) would have reason to find Borkian jurisprudence uncongenial but to suggest the judge and former solicitor-general favored resegregation of lunch counters is a slander not merely vile but so preposterous that, like his explanation for Chappaquiddick, only a Kennedy could get away with it. If you had to identify a single speech that marked "the end of civility" in American politics, that's a shoo-in.

If a towering giant cares so much about humanity in general, why get hung up on his carelessness with humans in particular? For Kennedy's comrades, the cost was worth it. For the rest of us, it was a high price to pay. And, for Ted himself, who knows? He buried three brothers, and as many nephews, and, as the years took their toll, it looked sometimes as if the only Kennedy son to grow old had had to grow old for all of them. Did he truly believe, as surely as Melissa Lafsky and Co. do, that his indispensability to the republic trumped all else? That Camelot – that "fleeting wisp of glory," that "one brief shining moment" – must run forever, even if "How To Handle A Woman" gets dropped from the score. The senator's actions in the hours and days after emerging from that pond tell us something ugly about Kennedy the man. That he got away with it tells us something ugly about American public life.

Mark Steyn: Things only a Kennedy could get away with | kennedy, ted, chappaquiddick, mary, senator - Opinion -

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ever Wondered Why I Left L.A.? ::: Diane Watson Praises Castro and Che Guevara

Here's one of many reasons... this cuckoo used to be my congresscritter.

YouTube - watson cuba

Finally, Some Coverage... ::: Ted Kennedy's Soviet Gambit/

This'll be on NBCBSABCNN any moment now, I'm sure.

Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

"On 9-10 May of this year," the May 14 memorandum explained, "Sen. Edward Kennedy's close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow." (Tunney was Kennedy's law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) "The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov."

Kennedy's message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. "The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations," the memorandum stated. "These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign."

Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.

First he offered to visit Moscow. "The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA." Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.

Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews on American television. "A direct appeal ... to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. ... If the proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews. ... The senator underlined the importance that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side."

Kennedy would make certain the networks gave Andropov air time--and that they rigged the arrangement to look like honest journalism.


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

All here:
Ted Kennedy's Soviet Gambit -

Sadly, A Lot of Truth In This One ::: Red State Update: Ted Kennedy & The Health Care Town Halls

Bottoms up.

: |

YouTube - Ted Kennedy & The Health Care Town Halls

Just Wow ::: Officer Does Not Like anti-Obama Poster: "It ain't [America] no more, OK?"

So there you have it.

YouTube - Officer Does Not Like anti-Obama Poster: "It ain't [America] no more, OK?"

Chavez Will Be Jealous ::: Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

And thus the madness continues...

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.


"The language has changed but it doesn't contain any real additional limits," EFF's Tien says. "It simply switches the more direct and obvious language they had originally to the more ambiguous (version)...The designation of what is a critical infrastructure system or network as far as I can tell has no specific process. There's no provision for any administrative process or review. That's where the problems seem to start. And then you have the amorphous powers that go along with it."


Full article here:
Bill would give president emergency control of Internet | Politics and Law - CNET News

Go Texas! ::: Toyota Relocating Tacoma Production From CA to San Antonio

The California hemorrhaging continues.


will mean 1,000 new Toyota jobs, potentially the same number of new jobs at suppliers
By Jim Forsyth
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Texas announced Thursday night that Toyota is relocating its Tacoma mid sized pickup truck production form Fremont California to San Antonio, and is expected to make a $100 million investment in the plant on the city's south side, 1200 WOAI news reports.

"Here in Texas, the addition of the Tacoma to the Tundra production line will better utilize our plant's capacity and the 21 supplier facilities on our site," TMMTX President Kenji Fukuta said.

"This will require new jobs at our plant to handle the additional production, and on-site suppliers will also be adding new jobs, but it is too soon to give an estimate."

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the move will mean about 1,000 new jobs at Toyota itself, with additional new jobs at suppliers which ring the plant. Toyota said its too early to tell the size of the investment or the number of new jobs it will create.

The south side Toyota plant, which opened in 2007, turns out the full sized Tundra pickup truck, but Tundra sales have been down sharply since last summer's spike in gasoline prices, raising questions about the viability of the plant as a stand alone producer of Tundras alone.

"This announcement reflects the depth of the ties between Toyota and Texas while underscoring the strength of our state's workforce and job climate," Governor Rick Perry said.

More here:
News Radio 1200 WOAI San Antonio Texas

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yay! We're On The Same Side As Chavez and Castro! ::: U.S. moves toward formal cut off of aid to Honduras

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - U.S. State Department staff have recommended that the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya be declared a "military coup," a U.S. official said on Thursday, a step that could cut off as much as $150 million in U.S. funding to the impoverished Central American nation.

The official, who spoke on condition he not be named, said State Department staff had made such a recommendation to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has yet to make a decision on the matter although one was likely soon.

Washington has already suspended about $18 million aid to Honduras following the June 28 coup and this would be formally cut if the determination is made because of a U.S. law barring aid "to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree."

The official said that $215 million in grant funding from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation to Honduras would also have to end should Clinton make the determination that a military coup took place.

About $76 million of that money has already been disbursed and a second U.S. official said this implied that the remaining roughly $139 million could not be given to Honduras should the determination be made.

Diplomats said that the United States had held off making the formal determination to give diplomacy a chance to yield a negotiated compromise that might allow for Zelaya's return to power.

Such efforts, however, appear to have failed for now and so the United States is taking steps -- including its decision on Tuesday to cease issuing some visas at its embassy in Tegucigalpa -- to raise pressure on the de facto government.

"The recommendation of the building is for her to sign it," said the first U.S. official said of the 'military coup" determination, saying this was a response to the de facto government's refusal to accept a compromise that would allow Zelaya to return to power ahead of November elections. (Editing by Jackie Frank)

U.S. moves toward formal cut off of aid to Honduras | Reuters

What Obama Probably Won't Mention In The Eulogy ::: Remembering Teddy’s KGB Connection - Connie Hair/HUMAN EVENTS


Documents found in Soviet archives after the fall of the Iron Curtain revealed a great deal about the character of Ted Kennedy.

As HUMAN EVENTS first reported on December 8, 2003:
One of the documents, a KGB report to bosses in the Soviet Communist Party Central Committee, revealed that “In 1978, American Sen. Edward Kennedy requested the assistance of the KGB to establish a relationship” between the Soviet apparatus and a firm owned by former Sen. John Tunney (D-Ca.). KGB recommended that they be permitted to do this because Tunney's firm was already connected with a KGB agent in France named David Karr. This document was found by the knowledgeable Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats and published in Moscow's Izvestia in June 1992.

Another KGB report to their bosses revealed that on March 5, 1980, John Tunney met with the KGB in Moscow on behalf of Sen. Kennedy. Tunney expressed Kennedy’s opinion that “nonsense about ‘the Soviet military threat’ and Soviet ambitions for military expansion in the Persian Gulf… was being fueled by [President Jimmy] Carter, [National Security Advisor Zbigniew] Brzezinski, the Pentagon and the military industrial complex.”

Kennedy offered to speak out against President Carter on Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter he made public speeches opposing President Carter on this issue. This document was found in KGB archives by Vasiliy Mitrokhin, a courageous KGB officer, who copied documents from the files and then defected to the West. He wrote about this document in a February 2002 paper on Afghanistan that he released through the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, found contemporaneous KGB documentation and published a story in February of 1992 of an additional communiqué by Ted Kennedy to the Soviet intelligence agency through Tunney. Full text of the letter from the appendix of Paul Kengor’s book The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism can be found here.

This time it was President Reagan in Kennedy’s crosshairs as he attempted to arrange a meeting between Kennedy and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Yuri Andropov.

In this May 14, 1983, letter written by underling Viktor Chebrikov to Andropov, he relayed Kennedy’s offer to meet, Chebrikov explaining that Kennedy blamed poor American-Soviet relations not on the Communist country, but on President Reagan. According to Chebrikov’s letter, Kennedy said he wanted to stop Reagan’s re-election effort in 1984.

Chebrikov’s letter also claimed that Kennedy was “very impressed” with Andropov and that Kennedy was reaching out to the Soviets to thwart Reagan’s forceful defense policies. Kennedy suggested the Soviets reach out specifically to Barbara Walters and Walter Cronkite to counter in the American media what he said Kennedy considered Reagan “propaganda.”

Read it all here:
Remembering Teddy’s KGB Connection - HUMAN EVENTS

Mark Lloyd at the Center for American Progress ::: The page you requested has moved

The page, according to Google, has been moved. And, what used to be here, now redirects to here. Oops! Not found either. Such shoddy treatment for a (former?) Senior Fellow.

A search on him within the site shows he did at one time exist, including this review of his book, Prologue to a Farce.

The Quest for Democratic Media

“A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”

This quote from James Madison inspires the title for the new book by Mark Lloyd, Center for American Progress Senior Fellow and telecommunications policy expert. Former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani joined Lloyd at an event at the Center for American Progress last week to discuss his book, Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America.

“The ongoing American experiment in democracy is failing, and it is failing because we have allowed our public sphere to be dominated by the interests Madison called merchants,” Lloyd read from the book. “The ideals of political equality and a government that operates and responds to the informed consent of the governed are for most Americans only romantic notions.”

Lloyd and Tristani explored the problem of commercial domination over media outlets and discussed how the current state of telecommunications policy affects civic engagement. “During the Clinton administration when I was on the FCC, commercialism still ruled the world,” said Tristani. “I came into the FCC right after the enactment of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which was supposed to promote competition—which was supposed to benefit consumers—and I think in the long run has done us a lot of harm [because] it allowed an already consolidated media to be further consolidated.”

Tristani also voiced her views on speech issues brought to light by such recent incidents as Don Imus’ racial slurs. “We need to be talking about the people, the companies—CBS, ABC, NBC—who are hiring Imus [and others] to say those things, because they hired them to say those things,” she said, tying it back to Prologue to a Farce, “which talks about the tolerance for monopolies and the tolerance for consolidation that has permeated our public policy since the middle of the 19th century.”

She discussed how Americans can help determine the content of their media, particularly when they object to what they hear on their radios, see on their televisions, and read in their newspapers. “There are a lot of things Americans can do if they’re concerned about this: complain to the companies that sell this, complain to the advertiser, complain to their legislators, to see if there is something you can do that’s constitutionally friendly.”

Lloyd and Tristani remain hopeful about the direction of telecommunications in America. The two went on to talk about some of the positive examples of democratic media in this country.

They discussed the Chicago Access Network, a public access cable station that works actively toward a balance in programming. The station works hard to involve the community in free speech and political engagement. Another example comes from Click TV in Tacoma, WA. Click TV works to reduce the cost of telecommunications services for people in Tacoma. The telecommunications service presents a challenge to the mainstream industry in Tacoma, Seattle, and other cities in Washington state.

Lloyd said, “What we really need in this country is... a competitive alternative to commercial broadcasting” that would be supported by the public and fully financed.

Voicing the main theme of his book, Lloyd discussed our country’s movement away from democratic media. “Our philosophy, our lived practice of public policy looks very different from what we hoped for,” he said. “If we have not become the farce [of which] Madison warned us, we are certainly not the democracy that we hoped for—that we dreamed.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Obama Finds His Riefenstahls... We Pay ::: Big Hollywood/The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?

On Thursday August 6th, I was invited by the National Endowment for the Arts to attend a conference call scheduled for Monday August 10th hosted by the NEA, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve. The call would include “a group of artists, producers, promoters, organizers, influencers, marketers, taste-makers, leaders or just plain cool people to join together and work together to promote a more civically engaged America and celebrate how the arts can be used for a positive change!”


Backed by the full weight of President Barack Obama’s call to service and the institutional weight of the NEA, the conference call was billed as an opportunity for those in the art community to inspire service in four key categories, and at the top of the list were “health care” and “energy and environment.” The service was to be attached to the President’s United We Serve campaign, a nationwide federal initiative to make service a way of life for all Americans.

It sounded, how should I phrase it…unusual, that the NEA would invite the art community to a meeting to discuss issues currently under vehement national debate. I decided to call in, and what I heard concerned me.

The people running the conference call and rallying the group to get active on these issues were Yosi Sergant, the Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts; Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement; Nell Abernathy, Director of Outreach for United We Serve; Thomas Bates, Vice President of Civic Engagement for Rock the Vote; and Michael Skolnik, Political Director for Russell Simmons.

We were encouraged to bring the same sense of enthusiasm to these “focus areas” as we had brought to Obama’s presidential campaign, and we were encouraged to create art and art initiatives that brought awareness to these issues. Throughout the conversation, we were reminded of our ability as artists and art professionals to “shape the lives” of those around us. The now famous Obama “Hope” poster, created by artist Shepard Fairey and promoted by many of those on the phone call, and’s “Yes We Can” song and music video were presented as shining examples of our group’s clear role in the election.

Obama has a strong arts agenda, we were told, and has been very supportive of both using and supporting the arts in creative ways to talk about the issues facing the country. We were “selected for a reason,” they told us. We had played a key role in the election and now Obama was putting out the call of service to help create change. We knew “how to make a stink,” and were encouraged to do so.

Throughout the conversation my inner dialogue was firing away questions so fast that the NRA would’ve been envious. Is this truly the role of the NEA? Is building a message distribution network, for matters other than increasing access to the arts and arts education, the role of the National Endowment for the Arts? Is providing the art community issues to address, especially those that are currently being vehemently debated nationally, a legitimate role for the NEA?


So I’d like to start a little debate and ask you, the reader, the same question. Do you think it is the place of the NEA to encourage the art community to address issues currently under legislative consideration?

And before answering, let me give you my take.

The NEA is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts. That is right, the largest funder of the arts in the nation - a fact that I’m sure was not lost on those that were on the call, including myself. One of the NEA’s major functions is providing grants to artists and arts organizations. The NEA has also historically shown the ability to attract “matching funds” for the art projects and foundations that they select. So we have the nation’s largest arts funder, which is a federal agency staffed by the administration, with those that they potentially fund together on a conference call discussing taking action on issues under vigorous national debate. Does there appear to be any potential for conflict here?

Discussed throughout the conference call was a hope that this group would be one that would carry on past the United We Serve campaign to support the President’s initiatives and those issues for which the group was passionate. The making of a machine appeared to be in its infancy, initiated by the NEA, to corral artists to address specific issues. This function was not the original intention for creating the National Endowment for the Arts.

A machine that the NEA helped to create could potentially be wielded by the state to push policy. Through providing guidelines to the art community on what topics to discuss and providing them a step-by-step instruction to apply their art form to these issues, the “nation’s largest annual funder of the arts” is attempting to direct imagery, songs, films, and literature that could create the illusion of a national consensus. This is what Noam Chomsky calls “manufacturing consent.”

Read it all here:
Big Hollywood � Blog Archive � The National Endowment for the Art of Persuasion?

While The Body's Still Warm... ::: Kennedy’s Death Spurs Calls to Pass Health Legislation

The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy quickly became a rallying cry for Congress to pass health care overhaul legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sent an email to reporters at around 2:30 a.m. today, just hours after his death, calling for the passage of health care overhaul. “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration,” the statement read.

Kennedy’s Death Spurs Calls to Pass Health Legislation - Washington Wire - WSJ


Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the only senator to have served longer than the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), mourned his friend Wednesday, saying his "heart and soul weeps."

Byrd said he hoped healthcare reform legislation in the Senate would be renamed in memoriam of Kennedy.

"I had hoped and prayed that this day would never come," Byrd said in a statement. "My heart and soul weeps at the lost of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy."

Byrd's wistful statement focused on the work accomplished with Kennedy during decades together in the Senate, and called on the healthcare bill before Congress to be renamed in honor of Kennedy.

"In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American," Byrd said.

Byrd wants health bill renamed for Kennedy

She'd Never Wear a Che T-Shirt ::: Cuban blogger the voice of youth-oriented counterculture

Great girl, great article.

A couple of excerpts:

Yoani Sánchez, the blogger who has gained an international following detailing the absurdities of daily life in Cuba, is on the phone from her 14th-floor apartment in Havana, where the elevators rarely work. She speaks plainly, boldly, with none of the hemming and hawing common among folks on the island who fear their phones are tapped.

Sánchez is certain hers is. She is constantly followed, too. None of this stops her from finding ways, despite government attempts to block her, of continuing to post to Generación Y, the blog she launched in April 2007 and for which she has won several awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.

``Of course I'm afraid. I'm not especially valiant. Maybe it's the panic itself that keeps me moving forward. I fear for my 14-year-old son, though so far the government has left him alone,'' says Sánchez, 33, in her unflappable manner.


With her skinny frame and dark hair, she looks a tad like Olive Oyl. But that's where the comparison to Popeye's weak-kneed girlfriend ends. Sánchez is a much tougher figure, a tech-savvy representative of a growing youth-oriented Cuban counterculture who tells it like it is -- about having to feed her family rice with bouillon cubes when there is nothing else, about the surging number of women on the island who deny their realities by popping black-market Valium, about the cops who are assigned to tail her.

From her blog -- -- translated into more than a dozen languages, she once asked those ``selfless companions who monitor the entrance to my building'' to give her neighbors a break. Their presence inhibited illegal activity in the building, which meant residents could not get anyone to sell them anything on the black market.

``I feel I'm to blame for the commercial strangulation in which the other 143 apartments are plunged, and I have to do something to relieve them,'' Sánchez wrote. ``So, I ask them . . . look the other way when it comes to food.''

``After speaking your mind, you can't one fine day return to silence,'' Sánchez says.


``I am part of the counterculture, and the counterculture is growing, but it is very diverse. Maybe one thing we all have in common is that we don't wear Che T-shirts, like foreign kids who consider themselves counterculture do,'' she says. ``In Cuba, Che represents the government. In Cuba, only tourists and members of the Young Communist League wear Che shirts.''

Her blog.

Funny Che shirts.

Rest of the article:
Cuban blogger the voice of youth-oriented counterculture - Cuba -

Oh, Goody! ::: Inspired by Alinsky, FCC 'Diversity' Chief Calls for ‘Confrontational Movement’ to Give Public Broadcasting Dominant Role

I'm getting really tired of the fascist freaks our present administration feels free to empower.

( – Mark Lloyd, chief diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), called for a “confrontational movement” to combat what he claimed was control of the media by international corporations and to re-establish the regulatory power of government through robust public broadcasting and a more powerful FCC.

Lloyd expressed his regulatory call to arms in his 2006 book, “Prologue to a Farce: Communications and Democracy in America” (University of Illinois Press).

In the book, Lloyd also said that public broadcasting should be funded through new license fees charged to the nation’s private radio and television broadcasters, and that new regulatory fees should be used to fund eight new regional FCC offices.

These offices would be responsible for monitoring political advertising and commentary, children’s educational programs, number of commercials, and content ratings of the programs.

Frequently referencing one of his heroes, left-wing activist Saul Alinsky, Lloyd claims in his book that the history of American communications policy has been one of continued corporate control of every form of communication from the telegraph to the Internet.


“Neither Progressive era reforms nor new communications technologies have been able to correct the problems resulting from government abdication of a responsibility to advance the equal capability of citizen discourse,” Lloyd added.

“Corporate liberty has overwhelmed citizen equality,” he wrote.

Government, Lloyd said in his book, is the “only” institution that can manage the communications of the public, arguing that Washington must “ensure” that everyone has an equal ability to communicate. - Inspired by Saul Alinsky, FCC 'Diversity' Chief Calls for ‘Confrontational Movement’ to Give Public Broadcasting Dominant Role in Communications

Bush Volunteered for Vietnam... and CBS Sat On The Fact In Exchange for "Fake But Accurate" BS

I actually randomly caught Bernard Goldberg on O'Reilly talking about this last night.

Wonder if the New York Times will follow up on this... they're the ones that famously called the forged documents "fake, but accurate".

I hate the selective media.

Until now, the controversy over the Rather/Mapes story has centered almost entirely on one issue: the legitimacy of the documents – a very important issue, indeed. But it turns out that there was another very important issue, one that goes to the very heart of what the story was about – and one that has gone virtually unnoticed. This is it: Mary Mapes knew before she put the story on the air that George W. Bush, the alleged slacker, had in fact volunteered to go to Vietnam.

Who says? The outside panel CBS brought into to get to the bottom of the so-called “Rathergate” mess says. I recently re-examined the panel’s report after a source, Deep Throat style, told me to “Go to page 130.” When I did, here’s the startling piece of information I found:

Mapes had information prior to the airing of the September 8 [2004] Segment that President Bush, while in the TexANG [Texas Air National Guard] did volunteer for service in Vietnam but was turned down in favor of more experienced pilots. For example, a flight instructor who served in the TexANG with Lieutenant Bush advised Mapes in 1999 that Lieutenant Bush “did want to go to Vietnam but others went first.” Similarly, several others advised Mapes in 1999, and again in 2004 before September 8, that Lieutenant Bush had volunteered to go to Vietnam but did not have enough flight hours to qualify.

More here:

(Politics break!) Superb ::: Kate Moss poses in photo shoot for her new Topshop collection

Every once in a while I have to get my fashion obsession on.

More here:
Kate Moss poses in flawless photo shoot (apart from the laddered tights) as she launches new Topshop collection | Mail Online

Send John Mackey Some Love ::: The CEO’s Blog/Health Care Reform – Full Article

One may comment at the bottom of the article, and I must say I am encouraged by many of the posted opinions (and, yes, disheartened by many as well).

Here's his blog piece:

Health Care Reform – Full Article

by John Mackey, August 14, 2009 | Permalink

As you are probably aware, I wrote an Op/Ed piece that was published in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week on health care reform, one of the biggest and most emotional issues facing our country. I was asked to write an Op/Ed piece and I gave my personal opinions. While I am in favor of health care reform, Whole Foods Market as a company has no official position on the issue.

In answer to President Obama’s invitation to all Americans to put forward constructive ideas for reforming our health care system, I wrote this Op/Ed piece called simply “Health Care Reform.” An editor at the Journal rewrote the headline to call it “Whole Foods Alternative to Obamacare,” which led to antagonistic feelings by many. That was not my intention – in fact, I do not mention the President at all in this piece.

I fully realize that there are many opinions on the healthcare debate, including inside my own company. As we, as a nation, continue to discuss this, I am hopeful that both sides can do so in a civil manner that will lead to positive change for all concerned. You are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section below. (Just remember our comment guidelines prohibit vulgarity and personal attacks.)

Here is the original unedited version that I submitted.

Click this:
The CEO’s Blog � Blog Archive � Health Care Reform – Full Article

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

They Use The Word "Grassroots"... LOL :::Democrats plan hundreds of reform rallies

Faced with a souring public mood on health care reform, Democrats and their supporters are launching a national grassroots push Wednesday to show lawmakers that the majority of Americans still support overhauling the system.

Reform supporters are planning to hold more than 500 events between Wednesday and when lawmakers return to Washington Sept. 8, ranging from neighborhood organized phone banks to professionally staffed rallies with hundreds of people.

The Democratic National Committee and its grassroots arm, Organizing for America, are helping to organize the effort along with the Health Care for America Now, a group pushing to create government-run insurance plan.

“In these last few weeks of recess we want to demonstrate the energy, passion and commitment that the American people have to health insurance reform so that when members return after Labor Day they know that they can turn their attention to getting this done because they have the backing of the American people,” said DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

Supporters have their work cut out for them. Many lawmakers were thunderstruck over the August recess by the anger and outrage expressed by their constituents in town hall meetings across the country. And in poll after poll, support for reform has eroded throughout the month.

More head-shaking fodder here:
Democrats plan hundreds of reform rallies - Chris Frates -

ROTF ::: Some Surprised By 'Clunker' Tax


But many of those cashing in on the clunkers program are surprised when they get to the treasurer's office windows. That's because the government's rebate of up to $4500 dollars for every clunker is taxable.

"They didn't realize that would be taxable. A lot of people don't realize that. So they're not happy and kind of surprised when they find that out," Nelson said.

For now, the biggest impact of the program hasn't hit this office yet, as most of the paperwork is still in the hands of the dealers. But Nelson expects to see move activity in her office in the next month.

"I'm anxious to see what it's going to be like. I have no idea how many people we're going to see. Hopefully the dealers can process their paperwork in 30 days," Nelson said.

And that's when the line at this office will give some indication of how many cars the government program moved off of local lots.

Nelson adds that if you did recently purchase a vehicle, ensure your dealer gets you the paperwork in time because if they don't you could pay extra interest and penalties.

KELOLAND.COM - Some Surprised By 'Clunker' Tax

Torture-slaying trial, Day 8: Cobbins guilty; jurors to consider death penalty

KNOXVILLE - Jurors this morning convicted Letalvis Cobbins of first-degree murder in the torture-slaying of Knox County couple Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

The verdicts, after being reviewed by Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, were announced before a packed courtroom.

Jurors on Wednesday will shift into a penalty phase in which they will consider evidence about whether Cobbins, 26, of Kentucky, should be executed for the January 2007 kidnapping and murders.

The jury concluded that Cobbins had responsibility in all the crimes committed against Christian, however, the same panel acquitted Cobbins of charges involving the rape of Newsom.

Those acquittals don't mean much, however, since jurors found him guilty of the first-degree murder of Christian, 21, and Newsom, 23.

"I can't even tell you what all those guilty verdicts were that he read," Gary Christian said.

"He raped my daughter. He's responsible for her murder. I've said all along he's going down. He's just started sliding, and tomorrow's going to be the nail in his coffin."

Newsom's mother, Mary Newsom, said: "We got what we wanted, but we still don't have Chris back."

Mary Newsom and her husband, Hugh Newsom, said they hoped that the same Davidson County jury will sentence Cobbins to death, but, "Life without parole would be okay. We just don't want him back on the street."

Torture-slaying trial, Day 8: Cobbins guilty; jurors to consider death penalty � Knoxville News Sentinel

ROTF! Iowahawk Rocks! ::: The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition

YouTube - The 2012 Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition

One More Point... CYITOHTBADT? ::: White House Scandal: Unanswered Questions

CYITOHTBADT = Can You Imagine The Outcry Had The Bush Administration Done This

As others have pointed out, this story would be a behemoth of a scandal if, say, Republican members had forwarded anti-Iraq War emails to the Bush administration, which then blasted out unsolicited pro-war talking points from Karl Rove to thousands of unaware or unwilling recipients.

Guy Benson : White House Scandal: Unanswered Questions -

There's Something Fishy All Right, And It Ain't Us ::: Guy Benson: White House Scandal: Unanswered Questions/

Just a snippet.

After arrogant dismissals of Major Garrett's questions wore thin, the administration began blaming "outside groups" for compiling the email lists in question. In other words, they claim, people may have signed online petitions for independent advocacy groups, who then forwarded those petitions—email addresses included—to the White House. At which point, supposedly, the White House's super-sophisticated mega-email system ingested all of the incoming addresses by default, adding them to a master email listserv. I'm not an expert on mass emails, but that explanation strikes me as a tad fishy.

This account has also proven problematic because many of the original citizens who complained about receiving unsolicited political emails have subsequently stated that they did not sign any online petitions for any groups whatsoever.

So what happened here?’s Allahpundit posted a portion of an email I sent earlier in the week, describing a series of phone calls I received on my radio program last Sunday:

I mentioned this controversy on my show last week & got lots of calls from people who never signed up for WH emails (and never contacted the WH/Obama campaign for any reason), and who still got spammed by Axelrod/Govdelivery. What they all had in common, though, was that they had each emailed their Democrat representatives…within a week of getting the Axelrod email…

Could there have been an unspoken/unofficial effort by the Democrat party asking its elected members to forward all constituent correspondence on health care to a centralized DC location….like, say, the “flag” snitch address? Perhaps that’s how these email lists were compiled.

Read it all here:
Guy Benson : White House Scandal: Unanswered Questions -

Well At Least Someone's Paying Attention ::: Glenn Beck Exposes Van Jones

Great job (oddly enough, though, with a couple of typos, lol).

YouTube - Glenn Beck exposes Color of Change co-founder Van Jones

Monday, August 24, 2009

Go Gov! ::: NH customers asked to cover tab for clunkers

Frustrated with delays, rejections and computer-system crashes, several New Hampshire auto dealers are making car buyers pledge to cover rebates if the federal government doesn't come through with checks under the Cash for Clunkers program.

Auto dealers say they are doing so because the federal government is a clunker when it comes to sending out rebate checks of $3,500 or $4,500 per car.

But a state consumer protection official said there could be a problem with such a pledge, and at least one customer has refused to sign it.

The New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association created the draft agreement earlier this month and sent it to members, said President Peter McNamara.

Some dealers aren't using the agreement. Others are negotiating the agreement into the deal. McNamara said dealers are having problems getting rebates from the federal government, despite a law that requires any rebate application to be answered within 10 days.

At Bonneville & Son in Manchester, the company has not received a single rebate, despite the 70 Cash for Clunker deals it signed since late July. Manchester Subaru has had one of 25 rebates approved.

In Swanzey, the dealership that includes Toyota of Keene is waiting for money from 130 rebates.

For some dealers, the IOUs surpass $500,000, McNamara said. "For any dealer, $100,000 represents a serious cash-flow issue if you don't know when it's going to come in," he said.

Cash for Clunkers to end on Monday (6)

Bonneville has car buyers sign statements that terminate the deal if the rebate does not go through, he said.

"The government changed the rules a couple of times, and it kind of puts you on edge," said John Berry, general manager at Bonneville, a Chrysler-Kia dealer. - New Hampshire news, business and sports - NH customers asked to cover tab for clunkers - Friday, Aug. 21, 2009

[UK] Public told to snoop on lightbulb law breakers - Telegraph

From September 1, it will be illegal to import conventional pearl or frosted bulbs of any shape or wattage. Traditional incandescent bulbs of 100 watts will also be banned under European law aimed at reducing energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

They will be replaced by energy saving lights, which usually use flourescent tubes, but it is thought some consumers will still prefer their 'traditional' bulbs, particularly for reading lamps.


Syed Kamall, a Tory MEP, said he continues to receive letters and emails from people who want to stick with incandescent light bulbs.

He said the Government should be meeting the concerns of those who do not like the bulbs rather than punishing people who continue to use them.

"It is a completely over the top reaction. The problem is not people stocking up or importing incandescent light bulbs, the issue is that there continue to be concerns about the health effects of energy saving light bulbs," he said.

Nigel Farrage, the leader of UKIP, said the public should not be encouraged to snoop.

"Under this Government we begin to resemble East Germany in the 1980s where we snoop and report on local businesses," he said. "No doubt the next move will be to snoop on your parents if they continue to use old fashioned light bulbs."

The uncanny resemblance to East Germany will also be due to all the crappily lit rooms.


Public told to snoop on lightbulb law breakers - Telegraph

LOL! ::: Onion News: White House Reveals Obama Is Bipolar, Has Entered Depressive Phase

YouTube - White House Reveals Obama Is Bipolar, Has Entered Depressive Phase

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Superb ::: Obama’s Bait and Switch: Thomas Sowell/NRO

Obama’s Bait and Switch
As we argue about the uninsured, the single-payer camel pokes its nose under the tent.

By Thomas Sowell

Amid all the controversies over medical care, no one seems to be asking a very basic question: Why does it take more than 1,000 pages of legislation to insure people who lack medical insurance?

Despite incessant repetition of the fact that millions of Americans do not have medical insurance, hardy souls who have actually read the mammoth medical-care legislation being rushed through Congress have discovered all sorts of things there that have nothing whatever to do with insuring the uninsured — and everything to do with taking medical decisions out of the hands of doctors and their patients, and transferring those decisions to Washington bureaucrats.

It’s called “bait and switch” when an unscrupulous business advertises one thing and tries to sell you something else. When politicians do it, it is far more dangerous to far more people. Deception is not an incidental aspect of this medical-care legislation. It is at the very heart of it.

This legislation would bring about a massive change of our entire medical-care system, from top to bottom. That an attempt was made to rush it through Congress before the August recess — before anybody in or outside of Congress had time to read it all — should have told us from the outset that we were being played for fools.

Despite President Obama’s recent statements that he is not advocating a “single-payer” system for medical care — which is to say, a government monopoly of power over life-and-death decisions — just a few years ago, he was telling a union audience that he was in favor of a single-payer system. At that time, he pointed out that it was unlikely that such a system could be put in place all at once; it might take a number of years to advance, step by step, toward that goal.

In other words, Barack Obama fully understood the “entering wedge” political strategy that has allowed so many government programs to start off small and apparently innocuous — and then grow to gigantic size and scope over the years.

If telling us that he is not for a single-payer system will soothe us into going along, then it is perfectly understandable why he said it. But that is no reason for us to believe him.

As for those uninsured Americans who are supposedly the reason for all this sound and fury, there is remarkably little interest in why they are uninsured. The endless repetition of the fact that they are uninsured serves a political purpose, but digging into the underlying reasons might undermine that purpose. Many find it sufficient to say that the uninsured cannot “afford” medical insurance. But what you can afford depends not only on how much money you have but also on what your priorities are.

Many people who are uninsured have incomes from which medical-insurance premiums could be paid without any undue strain. But they choose to spend their money on other things. Many young people, especially, don’t buy medical insurance, and elderly people already have Medicare. The poor have Medicaid available, even though many do not bother to sign up for it until they are already in the hospital — which they then can do.

Throwing numbers around about how many people are uninsured may create the impression that the uninsured cannot get medical treatment, when in fact they can get treatment at any hospital emergency room.

Is this ideal? Of course not. But nothing is going to be ideal, whether the current medical-care legislation passes or not. The relevant question is: Are the problems created by the current situation worse than the problems that would be created by the pending legislation? That question never seems to get asked, much less answered.

No small part of our current medical-care problems have been created by politicians who drive up the cost of medical insurance by mandating coverage that many people are unwilling to pay for. Many of us would prefer to pay for treatment of a sprained ankle ourselves, if we can get less expensive insurance to cover us just for catastrophic illnesses. But that is one of many decisions that politicians have taken out of our hands. There will be many more decisions taken out of our hands if Obamacare passes.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Obama’s Bait and Switch by Thomas Sowell on National Review Online

Obama and the Ds Really Need To Answer These Questions ::: Facebook/Sarah Palin: No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform

President Obama's health care "reform" plan has met with significant criticism across the country. Many Americans want change and reform in our current health care system. We recognize that while we have the greatest medical care in the world, there are major problems that we must face, especially in terms of reining in costs and allowing care to be affordable for all. However, as we have seen, current plans being pushed by the Democratic leadership represent change that may not be what we had in mind -- change which poses serious ethical concerns over the government having control over our families’ health care decisions. In addition, the current plans greatly increase costs of health care, while doing lip service toward controlling costs.

We need to address a REAL bipartisan reform proposition that will have REAL impacts on costs and quality of patient care.

As Governor of Alaska, I learned a little bit about being a target for frivolous suits and complaints (Please, do I really need to footnote that?). I went my whole life without needing a lawyer on speed-dial, but all that changes when you become a target for opportunists and people with no scruples. Our nation’s health care providers have been the targets of similar opportunists for years, and they too have found themselves subjected to false, frivolous, and baseless claims. To quote a former president, “I feel your pain.”

So what can we do? First, we cannot have health care reform without tort reform. The two are intertwined. For example, one supposed justification for socialized medicine is the high cost of health care. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently noted, “If Mr. Obama is serious about lowering costs, he'll need to reform the economic structures in medicine—especially programs like Medicare.” [1] Two examples of these “economic structures” are high malpractice insurance premiums foisted on physicians (and ultimately passed on to consumers as “high health care costs”) and the billions wasted on defensive medicine.

Dr. Stuart Weinstein, with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, recently explained the problem:

”The medical liability crisis has had many unintended consequences, most notably a decrease in access to care in a growing number of states and an increase in healthcare costs.
Access is affected as physicians move their practices to states with lower liability rates and change their practice patterns to reduce or eliminate high-risk services. When one considers that half of all neurosurgeons—as well as one third of all orthopedic surgeons, one third of all emergency physicians, and one third of all trauma surgeons—are sued each year, is it any wonder that 70 percent of emergency departments are at risk because they lack available on-call specialist coverage?”

Dr. Weinstein makes good points, points completely ignored by President Obama. Dr. Weinstein details the costs that our out-of-control tort system are causing the health care industry and notes research that “found that liability reforms could reduce defensive medicine practices, leading to a 5 percent to 9 percent reduction in medical expenditures without any effect on mortality or medical complications.” Dr. Weinstein writes:

“If the Kessler and McClellan estimates were applied to total U.S. healthcare spending in 2005, the defensive medicine costs would total between $100 billion and $178 billion per year. Add to this the cost of defending malpractice cases, paying compensation, and covering additional administrative costs (a total of $29.4 billion). Thus, the average American family pays an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per year in healthcare costs simply to cover the costs of defensive medicine.
Excessive litigation and waste in the nation’s current tort system imposes an estimated yearly tort tax of $9,827 for a family of four and increases healthcare spending in the United States by $124 billion. How does this translate to individuals? The average obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) delivers 100 babies per year. If that OB-GYN must pay a medical liability premium of $200,000 each year (which is the rate in Florida), $2,000 of the delivery cost for each baby goes to pay the cost of the medical liability premium.”

You would think that any effort to reform our health care system would include tort reform, especially if the stated purpose for Obama’s plan to nationalize our health care industry is the current high costs.

So I have new questions for the president: Why no legal reform? Why continue to encourage defensive medicine that wastes billions of dollars and does nothing for the patients? Do you want health care reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?

Many states, including my own state of Alaska, have enacted caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers. Texas enacted caps and found that one county’s medical malpractice claims dropped 41 percent, and another study found a “55 percent decline” after reform measures were passed. [4] That’s one step in health care reform. Limiting lawyer contingency fees, as is done under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is another step. The State of Alaska pioneered the “loser pays” rule in the United States, which deters frivolous civil law suits by making the loser partially pay the winner’s legal bills. Preventing quack doctors from giving “expert” testimony in court against real doctors is another reform.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas “skyrocketed by 57 percent” and that the tort reforms “brought critical specialties to underserved areas.” These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care. [5]

Dr. Weinstein’s research shows that around $200 billion per year could be saved with legal reform. That’s real savings. That’s money that could be used to build roads, schools, or hospitals.
If you want to save health care, let’s listen to our doctors. There should be no health care reform without legal reform. There can be no true health care reform without legal reform.

- Sarah Palin

[1] See
[2] See
[3] Id.
[4] See
[5] See

Facebook | Sarah Palin: No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform

Friday, August 21, 2009

Unbelievable! Insanity! ::: ACLU On Showing Pix of Covert CIA to Gitmo Inmates "we have vigorously defended our clients' interests"

I'm just positive that the media will roundly condemn this as much as they did the Valerie Plame non-story, right? Right?!

(This is from the Washington Post... so there might be some shred of hope. But how about someone else hold their breath for me. Thanks.)


If detainees at the U.S. military prison in Cuba are tried, either in federal court or by a military commission, defense lawyers are expected to attempt to call CIA personnel to testify.

The photos were taken by researchers hired by the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, to support military counsel at Guantanamo Bay, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry. It was unclear whether the Justice Department is also examining those organizations.

Both groups have long said that they will zealously investigate the CIA's interrogation program at "black sites" worldwide as part of the defense of their clients. But government investigators are now looking into whether the defense team went too far by allegedly showing the detainees the photos of CIA officers, in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes.

If proved, the allegations would highlight how aggressively both military lawyers and their allies in the human rights community are moving to shed light on the CIA's interrogation practices and defend their clients. Defense attorneys, however, described the investigation as an attempt by the government to intimidate them into not exposing what happened to their clients.

When contacted about the investigation, the ACLU declined to discuss specifics.

"We are confident that no laws or regulations have been broken as we investigated the circumstances of the torture of our clients and as we have vigorously defended our clients' interests," said Anthony D. Romero, the group's executive director. "Rather than investigate the CIA officials who undertook the torture, they are now investigating the military lawyers who have courageously stepped up to defend these clients in these sham proceedings."

It is unclear whether the military lawyers under investigation identified the CIA personnel in the photographs to the al-Qaeda suspects or simply asked the detainees whether they had ever seen them. It is also unclear whether the inquiry involves violations of federal statutes prohibiting the identification of covert CIA officers or violations of military commission rules governing the disclosure of classified information, including to the defendants.

The investigation is being overseen by John Dion, head of the Justice Department's counter-espionage section, who has worked on many high-profile national security cases, including the prosecution of Aldrich H. Ames, the CIA mole who spied for the Soviet Union. The CIA reports security breaches to Dion's office. The Justice Department and the CIA declined to comment.

Air Force Col. Peter R. Masciola, chief military defense counsel at Guantanamo Bay, and his deputy, Michael J. Berrigan, also declined to comment.

The Washington Post could not determine how many and which CIA personnel were photographed, which photographs were shown to detainees, or when.


The rest of it:
Lawyers Showed Photos of Covert CIA Officers to Guantanamo Bay Detainees

DeMint, Bachmann Praise and Inspire Grassroots Troops

Well I got the opportunity to sit in on a tele-town hall last night with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN). First thought afterward... we live in an awesome country. I feel that way whenever I, a plebe, can participate in the workings of our Republic.

The tele-town hall was hosted by Americans for Prosperity's Tim Phillips. (I had the opportunity to interview the Texas State Director, Peggy Venable, back in April for my Texas Starts With T mini-doc.)

Anyway, if you're a regular reader, you know how much I love Michele Bachmann, especially for her stand on Light Bulb Freedom of Choice. Unfortunately, with over 18,000(!) people on the call, I never got a chance to tell her so "in person".

The main topic of course was the Health Care bill 'n boondoggle. Here are my favorite statements from the hour, in bullet points, lady first.

Michele Bachmann
  • We have 8 years before we face bankruptcy in so many areas, and Obama is wanting to add water to our sinking ship. But the rest of us don't want to say goodbye to the American Dream.
  • Arrogance in Congress. Conyers's statement about not reading the bill, Pelosi and Reid trying to obfuscate by changing language. Co-ops are still the "public option".
  • The bill would create 30 new government bureaucracies. Will you have more power over your healthcare choices, or will government?
  • No tort reform... 1018 pages of a bill without one mention of it.
  • However, among the American people we are witnessing a historic shift towards freedom.
  • Despite what the media tells us, Republicans do have ideas. Health Care Freedom of Choice Act. But the Ds do not want bipartisanship.
  • With the Comparative Effectiveness Research Act we see the truth behind Obama's red pill/blue pill analogy. Government wants to make these choices for you.
  • Spending other people's money is immoral... we are in the right here, so keep the pressure on.
  • The trouble Ds are having is that they have to decide whether they're willing to lose an election over this.
  • As for Obama... he is! He met with the House of Reps early on and told them that he'd prefer to be a one-term president rather than not see his agenda through. We need to be as committed to freedom. We are enough of what is needed to make a tremendous difference.

Jim DeMint
  • Major worry in Senate is that Ds will use procedural trickery to pass the bill, by using "reconciliation" whereby 51 votes are needed to pass it as opposed to 60. He believes that it would be political suicide for the Dems and that it would destroy the Senate. Harry Reid has stated, "Whatever it takes." But the Senate is the place where things get slowed down... more debate, not less.
  • "Fannie Meds". "Cash for clunkers-type management."
  • "I know you're being attacked and vilified. Be civil but insistent." "The power is with you."
  • "They think Americans are asleep or stupid. They're wrong."
  • The Health Care Freedom Plan
  • Democrats voted against rollover Health Savings Accounts. They don't want to fix health care, they want to control it.
  • Supports interstate competition, tax rebates for individuals like businesses have, wants to loosen gov regulations of what plans must include for those who aren't interested in those types of mandates.
  • There will always be some who can't afford health insurance, but we are by nature a compassionate people.
  • What can States do? He'd like to see them take the federal government to court for over-reaching their boundaries. Nothing gives them the right to do what they've been doing.
  • He says he's using stronger language now than ever before. Says this is an exciting and defining time for freedom, that it only seems that the left is more organized with all their groups and things - especially because, by nature, conservatives are more independent - but he feels that it's the opposite. Democrats control all of government, and so it's really the grassroots outcry, not Republicans, that has slowed this thing down.
Senator DeMint has a new book out now as well that fits quite perfectly with this theme, Saving Freedom We Can Stop America's Slide Into Socialism:

Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism


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