Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scariest Article of The Day... You DON'T Want To Know Who's In Charge Of Our Econ. Policy ::: Burned by Obama

This one is killing me. I really feel sick to my stomach.

Wall St. execs feel betrayed

Last Updated: 3:10 AM, September 29, 2009

Posted: 1:13 AM, September 29, 2009

In the depths of the financial crisis last year, people like Morgan Stanley's John Mack, BlackRock's Larry Fink, Greg Fleming (then of Merrill Lynch), JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein were telling everyone that candidate Barack Obama was a "moderate," and moderation was what this country needed.

What a difference a year makes. They won't admit it in public -- but in private conversations, the top guys on Wall Street are feeling burned.

The guy who seemed like such a steady voice -- vowing to curb runaway spending and restoring order to the banking system and the economy as a whole -- is instead so driven to achieve his big-government policy goals that he and his policy people are ignoring their own economic advisers on the severe economic costs that his agenda will cause.

I'm told that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers have both complained to senior Wall Street execs that they have almost no say in major policy decisions. Obama economic counselor Paul Volcker, the former Fed chairman, is barely consulted at all on just about anything -- not even issues involving the banking system, of which he is among the world's leading authorities.

At most, the economic people and their staffs get asked to do cost analyses of Obama's initiatives for the White House political people -- who then ignore their advice.


As one CEO of a major financial firm told me: "The economic guys say that when they explain the costs of programs, the policy guys simply thank them for their time and then ignore what they say."

In other words, the economic people feel that they have almost no say in this administration's policy decisions.

Wall Street should have seen it coming. Obama was among the most liberal politicians in the country, despite his campaign rhetoric -- and his record in Illinois and the Senate showed it. He has spoken glowingly over the years of the need to redistribute wealth, a measure that always leads to taxes on small businesses, the economy's main economic engine.

The execs who had such hopes for the president are now wondering fearfully just how radical he really is.

It's almost comical watching the Street's top players squirm when they hear "class warfare" rhetoric coming from the White House, and it forces them to act in ways they'd never imagined. In addition to recently giving phony speeches about the sins of large compensation packages that they had no problem taking just a few years ago, many Wall Street CEOs are so terrified of being outed as greedy capitalists that they no longer use the corporate credit cards to charge business lunches at their favorite New York restaurants.

The funniest story I've heard lately came from a former Wall Street executive and longtime Democrat who anxiously recounted a recent conversation with Obama.

The executive said he told the president that he's at a disadvantage because he's relatively inexperienced in economic matters during a time of economic crisis. "That's why I have Valerie," came Obama's reply.

"Valerie" is senior adviser Valerie Jarrett -- a Chicago real-estate attorney and one of Obama's closest friends, who has deep ties to the Windy City's Democratic political machine.

Now you know why Wall Street is so nervous.

CNBC on-air editor Charles Gasparino's new book about the Wall Street meltdown, "The Sell out," is due out Nov. 3.


Source, New York Post: Burned by Obama

The Remake ::: Red Dawn 2010 (Fan site, with interesting pix)

Are these photos from the Red Dawn set, or just from Obama's ever ongoing campaign (tongue only partly in cheek)?

Michael Moore would be proud.

Red Dawn 2010

Good God ::: Obama has talked to Letterman more than our Afghanistan commander

Do I need to add a comment?

Rick Moran

You would think if things are as bad as the president says they are in Afghanistan - and they are - he would deem it necessary to be in constant touch with our commanding general in that theater Stanley McChrystal, supporting him, listening to what he needs to get the job done.

But no, this is not the case. In fact, as John Noonan of the Weekly Standard blog points out, the president has spoken to David Letterman more often than McChrystal:

This is certainly a unique interpetation of "wartime presidency." What does it say about your Commander-in-Chief when he's spoken with David Letterman more than his key guy in Afghanistan?

The military general credited for capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq says he has only spoken to President Obama once since taking command of Afghanistan.

"I've talked to the president, since I've been here, once on a VTC [video teleconferece]," General Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.

"You've talked to him once in 70 days?" Mr. Martin followed up.

"That is correct," the general replied.

Yes, but Letterman never tried to tell the president unpleasant things. He's so jolly and funny while I'm sure that General McChrystal is just another Gloomy Gus military guy.


More here: American Thinker Blog: Obama has talked to David Letterman more than our Afghanistan commander

I'm Gonna Hurl ::: C4P: Public School Library Propagates Falsehood That Governor Palin Banned Books

Great work over at (I'm really being driven witless by public schools in the age of The One):

How ironic it is that when news emerges of Governor Palin's book becoming available prior to its expected date, she shows up in my school's library. No, she didn't show up in person and no, there was no announcement to inform interested students about her book, which reportedly is already number one on the Barnes and Noble list.

She showed up in the center of a display highlighting Banned Books Week.

I was walking on my way to the weight room this evening when I stopped dead in my tracks after taking a few steps past the library. I backed up and took in the display in the window, which includes various books, quotes, and poetry about reading and book banning. Only one person's picture is a part of the display--and that person is Governor Palin. It was included in an old article called "Sarah Palin, aspiring book banner?" which was published in the LA Times a year ago. That article makes up a homemade poster that says, "Sarah Palin + Banned Books = Censorship."

Listen, I'm not talking about a local area library. I'm talking about a public school library, where they use this week to demonize Palin as the enemy of free thought, reading, and exploration. Nevermind the plethora of information out there that she never sought to ban books but had asked a general question of a librarian to discover how she would deal with censorship. Nevermind the numerous times Governor Palin has herself stated she never sought to ban books. And nevermind the fact that some of the books on the list, like Harry Potter, hadn't even been published yet! No, facts aren't important.

What's important is the growing determination to further a Left-wing agenda to destroy Governor Palin. What's important is the attempt to indoctrinate our children. I say indoctrinate because that is exactly what this is. As if it weren't bad enough that some schools are singing the "Mmm Mmm Mmm" praises of President Obama, chanting "Change Has Come," and changing the "Jesus" in the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" to include Obama, now I walk past the high school library in the district where I teach, and there are falsehoods about the former vice presidential candidate. There is a clear attempt to lead our children down a particular road, and somebody has to be the road block. That somebody will be me...tomorrow when I walk back in that building and address this issue.

That article in the school library window states in part:

Librarian Jessamyn West, who blogs at, writes, "Usually I’m just happy to see libraries even mentioned in national level politics, but not like this."

This seems like a good time to mention Banned Books Week, beginning Sept. 27, which celebrates the freedom to read. 2007's most challenged book was "And Tango Makes Three," a children's book about a penguin with two dads; books by Mark Twain and Alice Walker appear, again, on the list. Exactly what books Palin might have wanted to ban have not been identified (other than some unsupported rumors), but it's safe to assume that she won't be joining in to celebrate the idea that no books should be banned at all.

I find it interesting that this particular article states that those books weren't identified. Another falsehood. Perhaps they left that out because the truth was embarrassing. Yes, it's embarrassing to list books that didn't exist when she supposedly tried to rid the world of them.

On the left and right of the display in the library window is the poem "Manifesto" by author, Ellen Hopkins. In the poem, Hopkins blasts "zealots, biggots, and false patriots," for their desire to censor. This poem is the official poem of this year's Banned Books Week--and Governor Palin's picture is the centerpiece!

What gives them the right to place this attack in the library window? Who approved the display--or who overlooked it? Am I the only person who walked by and saw it? What impression does it give our children? What impact will this have on their vote in a few years? I am livid, as I should be. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior.

Anyone who hasn't been hiding under a rock in the past year ought to know the truth about the book banning issue, but in case someone has just slithered out, here are some facts about Palin and the so-called book banning issue.

In an article called "Palin did not ban books in Wasilla as mayor," the USA Today reported

Taylor Griffin, a McCain spokesman, said Palin raised the issue of the library's policy because there had been widespread discussion in Wasilla at that time about banning books. She was trying to understand the city's policy, he said.

"Sarah Palin has never asked anyone to ban a book," Griffin said. "It shouldn't be surprising that the new mayor of a city that had seen recent protests over books and was in the process of re-evaluating the book-challenge policies at its library would ask the librarian what those policies were."

Michelle Malkin submitted in "The bogus Sarah Palin Banned Books List" this P.D.S. Alert:

Palin Derangement Syndrome strikes again. This time it’s hysterical librarians and their readers on the Internet disseminating a bogus list of books Gov. Sarah Palin supposedly banned in 1996. Looks like some of these library people failed reading comprehension. Take a look at the list below and you’ll find books Gov. Palin supposedly tried to ban…that hadn’t even been published yet. Example: The Harry Potter books, the first of which wasn’t published until 1998.

The smear merchants who continue to circulate the list also failed to do a simple Google search, which would have showed them that the bogus Sarah Palin Banned Book List is almost an exact copy-and-paste reproduction of a generic list of “Books Banned at One Time or Another in the United States” that has been floating around the Internet for years. STACLU notes that the official Obama campaign website is also perpetuating the fraud. And it’s spread to craigslist, where some unhinged user is posting images likening Palin to Hitler. Here it is again.


It’s a fake. Not true. Total B.S. A lie.

If it gets sent to you by a moonbat friend or family member, set ‘em all straight. Fight the smears. They’ve only just begun.

Malkin hit the nail on the head. They had only just begun last year, and they still exist--in our public school libraries, of all places. Read her entire article here, which includes the bogus list of books. reported:

She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.


One accusation claims then-Mayor Palin threatened to fire Wasilla’s librarian for refusing to ban books from the town library. Some versions of the rumor come complete with a list of the books that Palin allegedly attempted to ban. Actually, Palin never asked that books be banned; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication.

I could go on and on, but it's not necessary. As stated, anyone who cared to know, who actually did a little fact checking of their own, already got the 411 on the deal. However, I am addressing it again because obviously some who are supposed to be in the business of educating, have not been informed or are ignoring the information, and their ignorance is impacting--shall I say infecting--our children. This cannot go unchallenged--and it won't.

My approach tomorrow? I will go into the library with the facts and present them respectfully. I will ask that Governor Palin's picture and the article be removed. If that is denied, I will request they hang another article next to it--which I will graciously provide--that refutes the falsehoods. If I do not get anywhere with the librarian, well, I'll go to the next level. It is my hope that my talk with the librarian will suffice, but we'll see what happens.

Can't wait for the followup.

Read the rest, with pictures, here: Public School Library Propagates Falsehood That Governor Palin Banned Books

What I Needed This Morning ::: Sinéad O'Connor/Whomsoever Dwells/Psalm 91

Before I get into blogging the madness of the day I feel that sometimes it's good to take a deep breath and remember what's important... the power and peace available to all who seek it. Set sights on the eternal, the temporal is just a minor annoying challenge.

Sinéad O'Connor has long been a favorite of mine, from her first album to today. She's never boring, always searching and exploring, a true artist.

The song I'm embedding below (both the original studio version and a live one) is not only my favorite track from her last album, Theology, but perhaps of all time. And I'm embarrassed to have only discovered today that it is almost wholly based on Psalm 91. (Also realized that the title of her first album, The Lion and The Cobra, was taken from this psalm as well.)

Shortly after Theology was released a friend took me to see her perform live. Unfortunately she didn't cover this track, but I am so glad to see that she eventually did add it to her setlist.

I find it to be absolutely magnificent. Play loud.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Whomsoever Dwells, London Session:

Live performance in Amsterdam:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Speaking Of Morons... ::: Berkeley may sign onto U.N. treaties

Just ridiculously ridiculous.

Berkeley would become the first city in the United States to independently try to comply with U.N. treaties on torture, civil rights and racial discrimination, if the City Council passes a measure on the issue tonight.

The measure would require the city to file biennial reports to the United Nations on how - or whether - the city meets international human rights standards. In Berkeley, that could include its record on homelessness, the achievement gap among different racial groups at Berkeley High and the presence of John Yoo, a UC Berkeley School of Law professor and Berkeley resident who authored the Bush administration's justification for torture.

"It's critical that cities and counties, not just nations, make these reports to the U.N.," said Ann Fagan Ginger, head of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute in Berkeley. "To relate directly to the U.N. is the closest way we have of supporting the rights spelled out in these treaties."

Unpaid law students at Ginger's institute and volunteers on the city's Peace and Justice Commission would compile most of the city data for the United Nations. City staff would chip in if more work is needed, according to the city manager.

Berkeley would be the first city in the country, and possibly the world, to submit its compliance records to the United Nations, said Yves Sorokobi, a U.N. spokesman in New York.

"We welcome citizen participation in trying to uphold these treaties, but in general they are directed toward countries," he said. Berkeley "has taken the lead here."

Oh, they're so earnest.

The probable reality? "Hey, Svetlana... put this report in the round file."

More: Berkeley may sign onto U.N. treaties

Now That's A Kickin' Title... LOL ::: Going Rogue by Sarah Palin

I'm just including a link to a Google search here as the book is not yet listed on Amazon or anywhere that I can find for pre-order (and also the search brings up the original story... of Sarah "going rogue" on the McCain campaign [couldn't happen to a nicer bunch... lol]).

Release date: Nov. 17th, 2009

Full title: “Going Rogue: An American Life"

400 pages, 1.5 million copies slated for the first run

going rogue sarah palin - Google Search

Just When They Were Starting To Sing His Praises ::: More school: Obama would curtail summer vacation

Obama... is there anything he doesn't want to control?
WASHINGTON – Students beware: The summer vacation you just enjoyed could be sharply curtailed if President Barack Obama gets his way.
Obama says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe.
"Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas," the president said earlier this year. "Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom."
The president, who has a sixth-grader and a third-grader, wants schools to add time to classes, to stay open late and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.

"Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
Fifth-grader Nakany Camara is of two minds. She likes the four-week summer program at her school, Brookhaven Elementary School in Rockville, Md. Nakany enjoys seeing her friends there and thinks summer school helped boost her grades from two Cs to the honor roll.
But she doesn't want a longer school day. "I would walk straight out the door," she said.
Obama and Duncan say kids in the United States need more school because kids in other nations have more school.
"Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here," Duncan told the AP. "I want to just level the playing field."
While it is true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it's not true they all spend more time in school.
Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days).

Hope meets math.
Whole thing here: More school: Obama would curtail summer vacation - Yahoo! News

Dear Lord, These People are Frickin' Insane ::: [Video] Shock Discovery: Community Organizers Pray TO President-Elec

You know you've lost all "hope" when you start praying to Obama. Whaddabunchaclowns.

YouTube - Shock Discovery: Community Organizers Pray TO President-Elec The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression

From a review at the site:

Here are the facts--hereafter, ignorance about communism is strictly voluntary.

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (9780674076082): Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin, Dr. Mark Kramer, Jonathan Murphy, Stephane Courtois, Jean-Louis Panne: Books

NYC Honors The Murders of More Than 70 Million People ::: AFP: Empire State Building turns red-yellow for China's 60th

Woo hoo... let's celebrate the Long March, the Cultural Revolution, purges and the Red Army. Awesome.

NEW YORK — New York's iconic Empire State Building will light up red and yellow Wednesday in honor of the 60th anniversary of communist China.

The Chinese consul, Peng Keyu, and other officials will take part in the lighting ceremony which will bathe the skyscraper in the colors of the People's Republic until Thursday, Empire State Building representatives said in a statement.


Source: AFP: Empire State Building turns red-yellow for China's 60th

Moron of the Day ::: [Patrick] Kennedy warns of potential violence (from health care protesters)

I guess the left thinks that by continually saying it they just might make it so.

PROVIDENCE — U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy fears that supercharged passions fueling the national health-care debate may lead to violence.

Drawing on his family’s violent past, the Democratic congressman told roughly 75 people gathered at a private health-care forum Saturday morning that opponents of Democrat-backed health-care legislation had gone too far. He cited, as an example, 10,000 signs distributed at a recent Washington protest that read, “Bury ObamaCare with Kennedy.”

Patrick Kennedy is the last member of his storied family to hold federal office. His father, U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, died one month ago after battling a brain tumor. His uncles, former President John F. Kennedy and former presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, were assassinated.

(Note: One was killed by a communist, the other by a Muslim.)

“My family’s seen it up close too much with assassinations and violence in political life. It’s a terrible thing when people think that in order to get their point across they have to go to the edge of violent rhetoric and attack people personally,” Kennedy told the nurses, union officials and AARP members finishing their breakfasts at the invitation-only event in the Providence Marriott hotel. “It’s fine for people to debate the issue and attack the issue, but when they go and stoop to the level of the vitriolic rhetoric that we’ve seen this debate turn up, it’s very, I think, dangerous to the fabric of our country.”

In a subsequent interview, Kennedy went further in warning that angry opposition could create physical danger for elected leaders.

“I will note that there were a number of prominent security people in this country who spoke very openly this past week that … that there are consequences in terms of trying to protect public officials. There are consequences to violent rhetoric,” he said. “Some people can see through TV ratings and right-wing talk show hosts that just try to create some theater, but unfortunately, there are some that can’t see through it. And that’s the danger in it. There is definitely freedom of speech, but freedom of speech does not allow yelling ‘fire’ in the middle of a crowded movie theater.”

Kennedy referenced an article published Friday on the news Web site Politico that cited interviews with former Secret Service, FBI and CIA officials also concerned that the intensity of today’s debate could produce violence. The article notes that this summer’s health-care protests included an episode where freshman Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr., D-Md., was hanged in effigy. Anti-energy bill protesters tarred and feathered an effigy of Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla.

“It’s very, very dangerous,” Kennedy said in the interview. “We put a lot of people in jail around the world for threatening our country’s security. But this atmosphere of attack that doesn’t attack the issue, but attacks the people, is very disruptive to the institution of democracy, which relies on a respect for the opposition.”

Today's question...

Is the following picture taken from a protest by leftists or "the right-wing extremist anti-health care conspiracy"?

Kennedy warns of potential violence | Rhode Island news | | The Providence Journal

Monday, September 28, 2009

And This From A Fan, LOL ::: Enough TV, Mr. President. How About Governing? Fineman/Newsweak

Just a trickle over the dam. For now. (One can "hope"... right?)

If ubiquity were the measure of a presidency, Barack Obama would already be grinning at us from Mount Rushmore. But of course it is not. Despite his many words and television appearances, our elegant and eloquent president remains more an emblem of change than an agent of it. He's a man with an endless, worthy to-do list—health care, climate change, bank reform, global capital regulation, AfPak, the Middle East, you name it—but, as yet, no boxes checked "done." This is a problem that style will not fix. Unless Obama learns to rely less on charm, rhetoric, and good intentions and more on picking his spots and winning in political combat, he's not going to be reelected, let alone enshrined in South Dakota.

The president's problem isn't that he is too visible; it's the lack of content in what he says when he keeps showing up on the tube. Obama can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura, as if his presence on the stage is the Answer. There is, at times, a self-referential (even self-reverential) tone in his big speeches. They are heavily salted with the words "I" and "my." (He used the former 11 times in the first few paragraphs of his address to the U.N. last week.) Obama is a historic figure, but that is the beginning, not the end, of the story.

There is only so much political mileage that can still be had by his reminding the world that he is not George W. Bush. It was the winning theme of the 2008 campaign, but that race ended nearly a year ago. The ex-president is now more ex than ever, yet the current president, who vowed to look forward, is still reaching back to Bush as bogeyman.

He did it again in that U.N. speech. The delegates wanted to know what the president was going to do about Israel and the Palestinian territories. He answered by telling them what his predecessor had failed to do. This was effective for his first month or two. Now it is starting to sound more like an excuse than an explanation.

Read the rest here: Enough TV, Mr. President. How About Governing? | Newsweek Voices - Howard Fineman |

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Awesome, LoL ::: iowahawk: Art Will Not Be Silenced!

Hey if the NEA can do it for our Dear Leader...

Win a $33.18 grant from the Iowahawk Endowment for the Arts

Like you, when I read that a cabal of art-hating reactionary philistines had forced the resignation of Yosi Sergant from the National Endowment for the Arts, I was sickened. This was followed by shame, then fear. And then, finally, the realization that here was a golden opportunity for cheap blog traffic.

As a renowned collector of dumpster art and pork industry commemorative plates, I made a solemn vow to myself: this injustice will not stand. If these radicals are allowed to bring down the NEA's Assistant Liaison for Art Community Outreach -- for merely organizing an innocent devotional art program -- who is next on their dangerous anti-culture agenda? The NEA Undersecretary for Public Engagement? Western Civilization itself?

No, my friends, the stakes are too high. We in the Arts community must confront these vulgarian bullies and let them know that ART WILL NOT BE SILENCED. To show my personal commitment to this important cause, last night I dug deep into my kid's sock drawer and found $33.18, which I am now fully dedicating to an endowment to fund creative art aimed at promoting me and my agenda.

Still Life With Two Clowns, Sad Kitten, Schlitz, and Grant Money
David Burge (2009): Still Life With Dumpster Paintings, Schlitz, and Grant Money.

Read the rest here: iowahawk: Art Will Not Be Silenced!

Bootlicker of the Week? ::: Lisa Derrick: NEA "Scandal": Secretly Taped Conversation Appears to Have Violated State Laws

Don't you love how she put the word "scandal" in quotes? I'm sure she also hates the way that ACORN was busted by being secretly taped. (Of course that's really the only way to nab the roaches... quick snaps before they scatter.)

I really wish Bush would have tried a similar tack... have artists associated with taxpayer-funded organizations promote private social security accounts and war. She really would have questioned the legality of the phone taping capturing any such evidence, I'm sure.

Filmmaker and art community consultant Patrick Courrielche has made a quite a splash on conservative talk shows by releasing audio clips and transcripts of a conference call that occurred August 10. The purpose of call, which was attended by artists, NEA staff, White House Office of Public Engagement and members of United We Serve, was to discuss engaging communities in the ideas of service, health care, education, and energy and the environment through the use of art.

But he has not been been forthcoming about how he came to have the recorded conversations, which may be a way of invoking his right to self-protection, since recording that call was illegal in several states where the participants are based.

ABC News reports that Courrielche "secretly recorded" the call.

Courrielche's business is listed in Los Angeles, California; the business has a Los Angeles-based phone number. At least fifteen of the participants were calling in from California, which has very strict eavesdropping and communication interception laws, stating that all parties on the call must be informed and aware that the call is being recorded.

Three participants were from Pennsylvania and three from Illinois, states which have laws similar to California's.

Again no one asked for consent to record the call nor was consent given. To secretly record a conference call and then disseminate the information is clearly reprehensible and unethical at a minimum. It is an "ends justifies the means" mentality and a cavalier approach to the law that marked the practices of the previous administration. Whether Courrielche will be prosecuted for violating California law remains to be seen, but committing a crime in pursuit of exposing what possibly, just maybe, could be some kind of a violation is no small thing.

No offense Lisa, and sorry... but if we're paying for it we have a right to know what the hell we're paying for. Period.

Keep America Riefenstahl-free. Thanks.

(Besides according to this article in the L.A.Times, 'it is not illegal to record "a public gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other circumstance in which the parties . . . may reasonably expect that [they] . . . may be overheard or recorded."')

HuffPo: Lisa Derrick: NEA "Scandal": Secretly Taped Conversation Appears to Have Violated State Laws

As Usual, Common Sense Fails To Prevail ::: House Democrats considering insurance tax

Moronic Senate exchange:

Republicans sought to strip out a requirement for policies to provide specified benefits such as preventive and surgical care and mental health services in policies sold to consumers who receive federal subsidies to make the cost more affordable.

"This will substantially increase the cost (of insurance) when combined with other features" of the legislation, said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz..

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told Kyl that about 60 percent of insurance companies selling to individuals do not cover maternity care."

"I don't need maternity care, so including it in my insurance policy gives me something I don't need and costs me more," Kyl said.

"But your mom probably did," Stabenow responded.

"But I don't," said Kyl.

Kyl's proposal failed on a vote of 14-9. All 13 of the committee's Democrats and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, opposed it and nine Republicans were in favor.
From this article: My Way News - House Democrats considering insurance tax

Followup (LOL) ::: Translator collapsed during Khadafy's rambling diatribe


After struggling to turn Khadafy’s insane ramblings at the UN into English for 75 minutes, the Libyan dictator’s personal interpreter got lost in translation.

"I just can’t take it any more," Khadafy’s interpreter shouted into the live microphone – in Arabic.

At that point, the U.N.’s Arabic section chief, Rasha Ajalyaqeen, took over and translated the final 20 minutes of the speech.

"His interpreter just collapsed – this is the first time I have seen this in 25 years," another U.N. Arabic interpreter told The Post.

Breaking with protocol, Khadafy brought his own interpreters from Tripoli for Wednesday’s speech rather than use one of the 25 Arabic translators supplied by the United Nations, staff interpreters said.

Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi holds a copy of the UN Charter as he speaks during the United Nations General Assembly.
AFP/Getty Images
Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi holds a copy of the UN Charter as he speaks during the United Nations General Assembly.

"This is the best team in the world – most heads of state prefer to use U.N. interpreters because then – no matter what happens – they can blame the interpreter," one staffer said.

Khadafy told the U.N. that he was supplying his own French and English interpreters because he would be speaking a special dialect only they would understand, but staff interpreters said he actually spoke standard Arabic.

Those who have translated for Khadafy in the past said they could empathize with his interpretator’s exasperation.

It’s not just the zany conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination and swine flu that are a challenge, but the loony Libyan’s strange mannerisms.

"He’s not exactly the most lucid speaker," another Arabic interpreter said. "It’s not just that what he’s saying is illogical, but the way he’s saying it is bizarre. However, I think I could have made him sound a lot better."

Khadafy has a habit of repeating the same phrase over and over again, "which is good because if you don’t understand what he says the first time you can get it right the second or third time," the interpreter said.

The Colonel extemporaneous ramblings are a particular challenge, another interpreter said.

"Sometimes he mumbles, sometimes he talks to himself," he said.’

Ajalyaqeen, who had to rescue the bealegured interpreter, was given the day off yesterday.

"Ten minutes with Khadafy earns you a lot of annual leave," one interpreter said.

From the NYPost: Translator collapsed during Khadafy's rambling diatribe

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ugh, I Hate Arrogant Statists ::: FDA: E-Cigarettes Bad, but Not Banned

Just an excerpt. Which is all I can stomach.

The FDA news conference also featured experts who issued strong warnings against e-cigarettes.

Jonathan Winickoff, MD, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium, warned that the products seem "tailor-made to appeal to kids." He said the devices could addict kids to nicotine and turn them into smokers.

Matthew McKenna, MD, director, of the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health, noted that e-cigarettes can be used in smoke-free environments and thus weaken the health benefits of antismoking efforts.

Jonathan Samet, MD, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California, warned that e-cigarettes are nothing like FDA-approved nicotine-delivery devices shown to help people quit smoking. He noted that e-cigarettes have no proven benefits but very clear risks.

Since 2008, the FDA has been trying to prevent e-cigarettes from entering the country. To date, 50 shipments have been refused, but this has not stopped distribution and sale of e-cigarettes. Canada fully banned the devices in March 2009.

E-cigarette makers and distributors have argued that their devices are safer than real cigarettes, thereby mitigating the harm of smoking. Some have implied that their products help people quit smoking tobacco products.

The FDA rejects both claims. Because the devices can deliver a dose of synthetic nicotine, the agency sees them as unapproved drug-delivery devices with unknown safety. And whether they can safely help people quit smoking is also unknown, while they have a clear potential to entice new smokers with their fruit and candy flavors.

From webmd: FDA: E-Cigarettes Bad, but Not Banned

Lots Of LOLs ::: Gadhafi in grand UN performance

And of course he was wearing a beret.

UNITED NATIONS – After 40 years of shunning U.N. appearances, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi evidently had a lot to get off his chest.

So he stepped to the world's stage, armed with a yellow folder of handwritten notes, and basically emptied his mind.

For a mind-boggling 1 hour and 36 minutes on Wednesday, the so-called king of kings was winging it.

The impact of Gadhafi's long, unprecedented and rambling speech was stunning. Half the cavernous chamber, packed for President Barack Obama's first speech to the U.N. General Assembly, emptied out. Delegates' faces seemed angry, quizzical, fatigued.

From a perch inside the chamber, the light-colored robes of some African and Mideast leaders dotted a sea of dark business suits. Polite applause followed the opening remarks of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Ali Treki.

Dressed in his flowing brown and tan Bedouin robes, and a black beret that he self-consciously patted at times, he listened through a translation earpiece in his right ear and fiddled with the cord in his left hand.

He kept glasses, a red handkerchief and a rumpled yellow folder in front of him on the desk. He jotted a note to himself and put it into the yellow folder. He clapped his hands. Then he flipped through the handwritten pages inside the folders, written in rows of large, flowing bold Arabic letters.

A commotion swept through the room as Obama appeared. Gadhafi joined in light applause and listened with the earpiece in his left ear.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also listened to Obama, tieless and not using an earpiece. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazee each listened with earpieces.

As Obama gestured and read from the TelePrompTer, speaking of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, the Iranians listened intently.

Gadhafi, but not Ahmadinejad, applauded Obama at the end of his speech. Though Gadhafi was to speak next, all the prominent U.S. delegates left the chamber, leaving behind note-taking staff.

Treki introduced Gadhafi as the "king of kings." But Gadhafi remained in his seat for another 15 minutes as an awkward silence and confusion gripped the chamber.

Gadhafi didn't seem to care.

He kept shaking hands and talking to people. Finally he dabbed the red handkerchief to his mouth, smiled broadly and enjoyed the moment — the world waiting to hear from the would-be King of the United States of Africa.

He swept his robes over himself and strode to the stage, using the handrail on his way up. He laid the shabby yellow folder in front of him on the podium, and pressed open some of the handwritten pages. There was scattered applause in the half-empty chamber.

Gadhafi held up a copy of the U.N. Charter in his hands. He sported big, shiny rings on each hand. For a moment, it seemed as if he had utterly lost himself in his thoughts. He stopped and sorted through the pages of his yellow folder.

It was becoming clear he was making this up as he went along, relying on broad strokes of ideas from the pages of his folder. There was no prepared text. He was not reading from the TelePrompTer.

A black emblem in the shape of Africa, with a white outline, was pinned to his robe and reflected light from his right chest. He began railing against the U.N.'s power structure, tilted toward the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

He called the General Assembly "the parliament of the world" that should be dictating decisions to the Security Council. Gadhafi failed to note that his nation now holds a Security Council seat, though not a permanent veto-wielding one.


Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi addresses the 64th session of ...
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

All of it: Gadhafi in grand UN performance - Yahoo! News

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What. The. HELL. Mischa Barton Looks Ridiculous. Again ::: Miss Barton is unrecognisable as she arrives on set without make-up

I don't care about the lack of make-up. It's the wardrobe vis a vis the income. Does. Not. Compute. (Also she plays a "high-fashion model" on TV.)

Mischa Barton

Mischa Barton

Is that really you, Mischa? Miss Barton is unrecognisable as she arrives on set without make-up | Mail Online

But I Thought They Were Supposed To Love Us Now ::: Barack Obama’s churlishness is unforgivable [UK]

Well so much for the assumption that The One was going to make the world a snuggly group hug.

By David Hughes

The juxtaposition on our front page this morning is striking. We carry a photograph of Acting Sgt Michael Lockett - who was killed in Helmand on Monday - receiving the Military Cross from the Queen in June, 2008. He was the 217th British soldier to die in the Afghan conflict. Alongside the picture, we read that the Prime Minister was forced to dash through the kitchens of the UN in New York to secure a few minutes “face time” with President Obama after five requests for a sit-down meeting were rejected by the White House.

What are we to make of this? This country has proved, through the bravery of men like Acting Sgt Lockett, America’s staunchest ally in Afghanistan. In return, the American President treats the British Prime Minister with casual contempt. The President’s graceless behaviour is unforgivable. As most members of the Cabinet would confirm, it’s not a barrel of laughs having to sit down for a chat with Gordon Brown. But that’s not the point. Mr Obama owes this country a great deal for its unflinching commitment to the American-led war in Afghanistan but seems incapable of acknowledging the fact. You might have thought that after the shambles of Mr Brown’s first visit to the Obama White House - when there was no joint press conference and the President’s “gift” to the Prime Minister was a boxed DVD set - lessons would have been learned. Apparently not. Admittedly, part of the problem was Downing Street’s over-anxiety to secure a face-to-face meeting for domestic political purposes but the White House should still have been more obliging. Mr Obama’s churlishness is fresh evidence that the US/UK special relationship is a one-way street.

Also, good comments posted at link: Barack Obama’s churlishness is unforgivable - Telegraph Blogs

Good Read ::: The Hill: Obama and DeMint locked in proxy fight over Hugo Chavez

It's just bizarro world.

The Obama administration and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) are squaring off in a foreign policy dispute that has stymied the nominations of two senior diplomatic officials.

Foreign policy experts see the standoff as a proxy fight between conservative Republicans and the Obama administration on how to deal with Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s socialist president.

DeMint has blocked the nominations of Thomas Shannon, President Barack Obama’s pick to serve as ambassador to Brazil, and Arturo Valenzuela, the choice for the post of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.

Richard Verma, the State Department’s assistant secretary of legislative affairs, approached DeMint this past week about releasing the holds but the South Carolina senator is standing firm.

"Both of these nominees rushed to oppose the rule of law in Honduras and want to force a Chavez-style dictator back into power,” DeMint told The Hill. “They exemplify this administration's misguided and heavy-handed tactics against the Honduran people and side with those who trample freedom."

Facing stiff resistance, Obama administration officials have asked Sen. Dick Lugar (Ind.), the senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, to intervene, but to little avail so far.

“I’ve been attempting to work with Sen. DeMint to release the holds; we do need to have those officials,” said Lugar.

“It’s very important in terms of our overall relations with Latin American countries that we’ve have been attempting to enhance with much more vigorous diplomacy,” he added.

DeMint said in an interview that he does not want the standoff over the nominees to erupt into a major confrontation but felt he had to pressure the administration into restoring foreign aid to Honduras.

The question of U.S. relations toward Honduras, a country with nearly 8 million citizens wedged between El Salvador and Nicaragua, has bloomed into a contentious foreign policy fight because of its larger implications for American policy.

Conservatives strongly oppose leveling sanctions against Honduras in response to the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya in June. Zelaya, a leftist, was aligned with Chavez, who denounced his ally’s deposal as an illegal coup.

But the Obama administration wants Zelaya to be allowed to return to Honduras to finish his presidential term. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Zelaya earlier this month.

Soldiers staged a nighttime raid of the presidential palace in June, arrested Zelaya in his pajamas and flew him to Costa Rica.

Obama condemned the action as an illegal coup and early this month cut off all non-humanitarian aid, about $30 million, to the impoverished nation. But under pressure from conservatives, Obama has stopped short of calling it a “military coup,” which would have triggered a stronger response, including freezing Honduran bank accounts in the U.S.

The Obama administration has declined to term it a military action because Zelaya was replaced by Roberto Micheletti, the head of Honduras’s Congress.

Conservatives argue the ouster was justified because Zelaya had tried to extend the constitutional term limit on the Honduran presidency.

Valenzuela drew conservative ire by calling the leadership change a “classic military coup” when he testified before the Senate in July.

DeMint bristled at the notion that Zelaya was removed in a coup. He said the military had to take action because the police force was not strong enough to resist Zelaya’s to entrench himself as a long-term leader, adding that Honduras is an important ally that could help contain the spread of Chavez’s influence throughout Latin America.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), the senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has also emerged a strong supporter of Micheletti and the forces arrayed against Zelaya.

Ros-Lehtinen condemned the decision to curtail aid to Honduras earlier this month.

“I believe this decision will significantly undermine U.S. national security interests and foreign policy priorities in Honduras and the region as a whole,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The U.S. approach to friends and foes is completely backwards. While appeasing the enemies of freedom worldwide, we punish those in Honduras struggling to preserve the rule of law, fundamental liberties, and democratic values.”
Source: Obama and DeMint locked in proxy fight over Hugo Chavez -

The Birth of Pravda West? ::: Obama: We Need To Bail Out Newspapers Or Blogs Will Run The World

I really just want to say "barf barf barf" again, but I hate being repetitive.

How about, "Puke puke puke."

Obama yesterday expressed concern at the sorry state of the news industry and said that he will look at a news paper bailout, because otherwise, blogs will take over the world, and that would be a threat to democracy, The Hill reports.

"I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," he said.

He said he would be happy to look a bills that could give tax newspapers tax-breaks if they were to restructure as 50 (c) (3) educational corporations. One of the bills is that of Senator Ben Cardin, who has introduced the "Newspaper Revitalization Act."

This strikes us as the worst kind of protect the horse and buggy policy imaginable. Newspapers have been printing money for 100+ years, and if the market is now putting an end to that, stifling this change probably isn't a good idea. Back in May we came up with 10 one-line reasons this kind of bailout is a terrible idea. Briefly, they were:

  • It's bad to reward outdated businesses based on outdated tech.
  • Newspapers delivery trucks don't run on water.
  • Traditionally bloated monopolies, newspapers don't know how to innovate.
  • Just because newspapers go away doesn't mean sources will.
  • Newspapers employ just 0.2 percent of the nation’s labor force.
  • 66% of people get their news from TV.
  • Newspaper owners think Google is a parasite.
  • Ask people when they last bought a paper, much less subscribed.
  • A government subsidized "free press" isn't a "free press" at all.
  • As newspapers go away, a shrinking supply of ad inventory will drive up ad prices, rewarding innovative new media.
Source: Obama: We Need To Bail Out Newspapers Or Blogs Will Run The World

All Hail Our Dear Leader ::: (Super Creepy) Video: School kids taught to praise Obama

Barf barf barf.

YouTube - School kids taught to praise Obama

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gosh, They Suck ::: Democrats nix putting pre-vote health bill online


WASHINGTON — Senate Finance Committee Democrats have rejected a GOP amendment that would have required a health overhaul bill to be available online for 72 hours before the committee votes.

Republicans argued that transparency is an Obama administration goal. They also noted that their constituents are demanding that they read bills before voting.

Democrats said it was a delay tactic that could have postponed a vote for weeks.

The Democrats noted that unlike other committees, the Finance Committee works off conceptual language that describes policies — instead of legislative language that ultimately becomes law, and which the GOP amendment would have required.

Democrats accepted an alternate amendment to make conceptual language available online before a vote.

Of course the devil'll be in the details.

Source: The Associated Press: Democrats nix putting pre-vote health bill online

Puke ::: Ex-NY Giant Burress Gets 2 Years in Gun Case

I think the sentence in this case is just wrong wrong wrong.

Former Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress apologized to his family and tearfully kissed his wife and young son goodbye Tuesday before he was led away to prison to begin serving a two-year sentence on a weapons charge.

Burress, at the time a star receiver with the New York Giants, was at the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan last November when a gun tucked into his waistband slipped down his leg and fired, wounding him in the thigh.

The gun was not licensed in New York or in New Jersey, where Burress lived. His license to carry a concealed weapon in Florida had expired in May 2008.

He had been indicted on two counts of weapons possession and one count of reckless endangerment, but under a plea deal reached Aug. 20, Burress agreed to a single, lesser charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

No charges were filed against Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, who was with Burress the night of the incident, drove him to the hospital and took the gun to his home in New Jersey before arranging to have it returned to Burress.

Burress arrived in the courtroom Tuesday wearing a jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, a stark contrast to the dark blue suit he wore last month when he entered his guilty plea.

He was accompanied by his pregnant wife, Tiffany; his almost 3-year-old son, Elijah; his father, grandmother and stepmother.

He told Judge Michael Melkonian before sentencing: "I want to apologize to my family." They did not speak to reporters as they left the courthouse.

With time off for good behavior, Burress likely will serve 20 months. He could be released from prison as early as the spring of 2011 and will be monitored an additional two years after he is freed.
Burress hired a consultant to teach him how to use his time in prison productively.

Full: Ex-NY Giant Burress Gets 2 Years in Gun Case - ABC News

The "Going Solo" Advice Is Brilliant ::: Have sex to play better, India stars urged

First, the story:
India's cricketers at the Champions Trophy in South Africa are being encouraged by their coach to have sex to boost their on-field performance, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The benefits of sex feature prominently in a secret document circulated among players by coach Gary Kirsten and mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton, the Hindustan Times said in a front-page report.

It came as India take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their first Champions Trophy match in Centurion on Saturday.

The large-selling broadsheet, which claimed to have a copy of the document, said the relevant chapter was headlined "Does sex increase performance?".

"Yes it does, so go ahead and indulge," the document said, before detailing the benefits of a good sex life and even suggesting "going solo" if no partners were available.

"From a physiological perspective, having sex increases testosterone levels, which cause an increase in strength, energy, aggression and competitiveness," the document said.

Now the genius:

The document quotes Tim Noakes, a professor and sports scientist at the University of Cape Town, Kirsten's home town, as saying that "sex was not a problem, but being up till 2:00 am, probably having a few drinks at a bar while trying to pick someone up, on the eve of a game, almost always was."

The document helpfully suggests a solution.

"If you want sex but do not have someone to share it with, one option is to go solo whilst imagining you have a partner, or a few partners, who are as beautiful as you wish to imagine," the document said.

"No pillow talk and no hugging required. Just roll over and go to sleep."

Thank God for professors.

*rolls eyes*

Full article: Have sex to play better, India stars urged

PJTV Takes on Rangel (LOL) ::: Video: Mr. Tax-Law-Writing-Tax-Evader

Cute and clever.

First, there was "Real Men of Genius," now there's "Real Members of Congress."

YouTube - PJTV Salutes Mr. Tax-Law-Writing-Tax-Evader

The "I"s Have It ::: Obama's Speeches-- The President Mentions Self Nearly 1,200 Times!

"As I've said before..."


Nar-cis-sism – noun
1. inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity

In mythology, Narcissus was the guy who fell in love with his own reflection.

In 2009, he’s the president of the United States.

Instead of adoring his own image, Obama loves to hear himself talk – about himself. In just 41 speeches so this year, not including this week's big speech at the United Nations, Obama has talked about himself nearly 1,200 times – 1,198 to be exact. (That breaks down to 1,121 “I”s and just 77 “me”s.) And that just includes 34 weekly addresses and his seven major speeches. Count the hundreds of other public speeches and he’d be off the charts.

And if you needed any more confirmation, there was this past Sunday’s Obama-palooza on the network talking head shows. Obama pulled a presidential first, going back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back on five different networks. He hit “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on ABC, “Meet the Press” on NBC, “Face the Nation” on CBS, as well as interviews on both CNN and Univision.

“We’re essentially roadblocking the time by appearing on each station,” David Axelrod, senior adviser to the president, told The New York Times. -- Pretty easy to monopolize a message when you block all five networks. And yes, the media didn’t just let him, they reveled in it. CNN’s Howard Kurtz and others even did stories about Obama’s overexposure, only mildly hinting at the irony that they were making the problem worse at the same time.

The interviews went off as expected. Obama kept his “I” on the nation’s problems. He mustered 387 personal mentions in just 82 minutes of air time. Forget the economy, health care, racism or whatever. Every 13 seconds, Obama was talking about … Obama. Next stop, David Letterman on Sept. 21. You already know the topic.

That’s to be expected for a TV hound like Barack Obama. Martha Joynt Kumar, a political science professor at Towson University in Maryland, said Obama has had nearly three times the number of interviews either Bush or Bill Clinton had at this time in his presidency. The New York Times Caucus blog reported: “As of his seven-month in office mark in August, he had done 114 interviews, compared to 37 by former President George W. Bush and 41 by former president Bill Clinton.”

At this rate, he’ll top all presidents combined by the time he and his ego leave office.

It’s so bad, it’s either humorous or pathetic. Let’s try humorous first. Obama loves himself so much that …

· When he goes to the optometrist, he uses an “I” chart. Bada bing.
· When he got his new iPhone, he thought it was named after him. (If GE made it, the phone might have been named after Obama, after all.)

Not bad enough? Then let’s try the pathetic. To do that, we need a point of comparison and few things are more pathetic than Congress.

But Obama can forget the members of Congress. At least he tries to. It doesn’t matter if they’re Republicans, Democrats, Blue Dogs or progressives. Obama outnumbers them – in his own mind. In just 41 speeches, he has mentioned himself more than twice the number of every member of Congress combined.

Remember, there are 435 members of the House. Another 100 in the Senate. And you can throw in five delegates, if you want. That’s 540. In just 41 speeches, Obama talked about himself double all of that. He has enough leftovers to add another state with 59 representatives – or more than any state including California.


Read the rest here: Obama's Speeches-- The President Mentions Self Nearly 1,200 Times! -

Barfbarfbarf! ::: Video: And now, an important message from celebrities on ObamaCare (Allahpundit lays the smackdown)

This one was incredibly painful, but I have nothing to add to the delicious derision.


posted at 4:10 pm on September 22, 2009 by Allahpundit

People I recognized in this video: Ferrell, the schmuck from “Mad Men,” and, tragically, Tom Lennon and Ben Garant of the late, great “Reno 911!” Thank goodness in hindsight that it was canceled this summer; the thought of having to boycott it over these two cutting an ad for one of the filthiest, most unprincipled left-wing PACs in Washington fills me with sadness.

As always with these spot-the-celebrity political spots, it’s boring and three times longer than it needs to be simply in order to accommodate everyone involved with sufficient camera time. Not one in 10 of you will make it all the way through, but as an incentive to get you to try, you’ll discover that (a) apparently 80 percent of America is gung ho for the public option, which is news to me and to the dozens of Blue Dogs terrified of what’ll happen to them next year if they vote for this sinkhole, and (b) people who make millions churning out one unwatchable piece of bilge after another inexplicably feel no shame in accusing insurance executives of being overpaid. Happy viewing.

Hot Air � Blog Archive � Video: And now, an important message from celebrities on ObamaCare

Fabulous Web Commenter Smacks Whiny Leftist Scribbler ::: Obama the impotent | Steven Hill/

Reading through this drivel I was amazed at this guy's basic understanding of American politics. Thank God for informed readers and responders!

The offending paragraphs (but the whole article is tripe):

Many leaders and supporters are beginning to wonder what is causing this growing gap between the Barack Obama that many people saw on the campaign trail, and the Obama they see in the White House? Beyond Obama's oratorical skills, which excited not only American voters but people all over the world, he is mostly untested as a politician. His previous experience was only a few years in the US Senate and a few years more as a state senator. A sinking feeling is arising among many that President Obama may not be up to the task, that he may not possess the artful skills needed to accomplish even his own goals.

But it must be recognised that it's not just Obama's shortcomings that are causing the problem. The very structure of the American political system is at the heart of these failures. For example, thwarting Obama on a regular basis is an unrepresentative senate where "minority rule" prevails and undermines what a majority of the country may want. With two senators elected per state, regardless of population, California with more than 35 million people has the same number of senators as Wyoming with just half a million residents. This constitutional arrangement greatly favours low population states, many of which tend to be conservative, producing what one political analyst has called "a weighted vote for small-town whites in pickup trucks with gun racks."

In addition, the senate's use of that arcane rule known as the "filibuster" means you need 60 out of 100 votes to stop unlimited debate on a bill and move to a vote. A mere 41 senators, representing as little as 20% of the nation's population, can stymie the other 80%. Given a vastly unrepresentative senate wielding its anti-majoritarian filibuster, it is hardly surprising that minority rule in the senate consistently undermines majority rule, whether on healthcare, financial industry reform, environmental legislation and many other policies.

Pile on to that an uncompetitive, winner-take-all electoral system, marinated in money and special interest influence, and the sclerotic US political scene is deeply troubling. None of these anti-democratic structural features are going away any time soon. Unless Barack Obama is able to demonstrate a better level of political skill than he has shown so far, everyone needs to fasten their seatbelts. The world is about to enter a challenging phase where the US – the undisputed leader of the free world for the past 60 years – is going to rapidly cede its place at the head of the line.

It appears that the wheels may be coming off the world's post-war leader, and not even Barack Obama can stop it happening.

And now, a little brains, thank you:


22 Sep 09, 2:19pm

When will the Guardian and its commentators realize that global warming is a non-issue in the USA? Nobody is going to willingly see their jobs threatened for the sake of carbon emission reductions. Watch what happens to cap and trade. Watch what happens in Europe, too, as the costs of climate legislation become more manifest. (Hint: Australia). This issue is dead in the water, and you might as well get over it.

For the rest, the author displays an astonishing ignorance of US Constitutional history. The structuring of the Senate and the House were conscious, deliberate actions of the framers of the Constitution, precisely to insure the "checks and balances" that they were striving for.

The House is constructed according to population, and House members have a two-year term. Thus they are more likely to be influenced by public opinion and short-term trends - and indeed they are. They are, in fact, in permanent re-election mode, which is precisely why Obama's programs are in such trouble (54 Democratic congressmen come from demographically conservative districts that went for McCain.)

The Senate, by contrast, was deliberately set up to be the more conservative chamber. Not only are there two senators per state - thus nullifying the population advantages of the bigger states - but senators are elected for six year terms. The theory is that the individual Senator, safe for six years, need not be as swayed by short-term trends. What's more, the terms are staggered so that one third of the Senate comes up for re-election every two years, thus giving the body an infusion of new ideas (or at least, Senators who have had to be re-elected in face of current trends and issues).

It's all very conscious and purposeful, because gridlock was the utopia that the framers of the constitution were seeking in their fear of tyranny (tyranny of the majority, tyranny of minority, tyranny of short-term popular passions, etc.)

I am not suggesting that the author should have added dozens of paragraphs of constitutional history to this article, but to have demonstrated even a nodding acquaintance with the underlying forces would have been useful.

The earlier level of runaway enthusiasm for Obama was precisely the kind of short-term mania of which the framers of the Constitution were rightly suspicious. The growing disillusionment confirms the wisdom of their views.

Obama the impotent | Steven Hill | Comment is free |


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