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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list

MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, March 29 through 31, 2010

Some more headaches for Republicans from their "Conservative Base".  Conservatives by themselves cannot win elections for Republicans; they can only lose them.  There is only one issue on which they must be...and can get away with being...totally of one mind and position: anti-abortion.  On all others, they must develop more nuanced thinking and positions: Immigration; Health Care Reform; taxation; total free enterprise in Business vs some necessary government regulation (in the obvious absence of self-regulation); necessary State and Federal roles in governance...all of this in a pluralistic society that values freedom as well as a functioning society and that fortunately remains middle-of-the-road in its politics. 
This is our mission as Republicans - if we choose to accept it.  GS

GOP hopes repeal-the-bill fire won't burn them

By CHARLES BABINGTON and PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writers Charles Babington And Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writers Wed Mar 31, 5:05 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Top Republicans are starting to worry about their health care rallying cry "Repeal the bill." It just might singe GOP candidates in November's elections, they fear, if voters begin to see benefits from the new law.

Democrats, hoping the GOP is indeed positioning itself too far to the right for the elections, are taking note of every Republican who pledges to fight for repeal. Such a pledge might work well in conservative-dominated Republican primaries, they say, but it could backfire in the fall when more moderate voters turn out.

At least one Republican Senate candidate, Mark Kirk of Illinois, has eased back from his earlier, adamant repeal-the-law stance. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which fiercely opposed President Barack Obama's health legislation, now urges opponents to pursue a "more effective approach" of trying to "minimize its harmful impacts."

For Republicans, urging a full repeal of the law will energize conservative activists whose turnout is crucial this year. But it also carries risks, say strategists in both parties.

Repeal is politically and legally unlikely, and some grass-roots activists may feel disillusioned by a failed crusade.

"It's just not going to happen," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said of repeal in a speech Wednesday. "It's a great political issue," he said, but opponents will never muster the 67 votes needed in the 100-member Senate.

Over the next few months, Democrats say, Americans will learn of the new law's benefits, and anger over its messy legislative pedigree may fade.

Republican leaders are moving cautiously, wary of angering their hard-right base. In recent public comments, they have quietly played down the notion of repealing the law while emphasizing claims that it will hurt jobs, the economy and the deficit.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who chairs the committee responsible for electing GOP senators this fall, said in an interview, "The focus really should be on the misplaced priorities of the administration" and Congress' Democratic leaders.

Asked if he advises Republican Senate candidates to call for repealing the law, Cornyn said: "Candidates are going to test the winds in their own states. ... In some places, the health care bill is more popular than others."

Three weeks ago, Cornyn told reporters he thought GOP Senate candidates would and should run on a platform of repealing the legislation.

Cornyn and others increasingly are focused on several corporations' claims that a provision of the new law that cancels a tax benefit will hurt profits and hiring. This approach places a greater premium on pivoting to the economy instead of dwelling on the legalistic process of trying to repeal the complex law.

"The health care debate provides a natural segue into talking about the economy and jobs," said Nicklaus Simpson, spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference, a policy group.

Obama said last week he would relish a Republican bid to repeal the new law.

"My attitude is, go for it," Obama said in Iowa on Friday. "If these congressmen in Washington want to come here in Iowa and tell small-business owners that they plan to take away their tax credits and essentially raise their taxes, be my guest."

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said his team began pressing Republican candidates months ago to state whether they support repeal of the health care legislation. Most of them have, and Democrats plan to use it against them this fall.

"You never want to wage a campaign telling voters you want to take something away from them," Menendez said.

In Illinois, where there's a spirited battle to fill the Senate seat Obama once held, Kirk recently said he would "lead the effort" to repeal the measure. But on Tuesday, when asked repeatedly by reporters whether he still wants it repealed, Kirk would say only that he opposes the new taxes and Medicare cuts associated with the law.

In Delaware, Rep. Mike Castle is one of the few top Republican Senate candidates who has declined to pledge to fight for the health law's repeal. Christine O'Donnell has made it central to her underdog bid to deny him the GOP nomination.

"We must repeal this health bill horror," she said in a statement, assailing Castle's "cynical refusal to fight" for that cause.

The conservative Club for Growth is on her side. It launched a "Repeal It" campaign in January, and is urging supporters to back only those candidates who make the pledge.

Menendez said candidates seeking the GOP nominations in many states "are facing tremendous pressure from the tea party, from the party base" to embrace a position that could hurt them when more independent and moderate voters turn out in the general election.

He said Democrats will ask these GOP opponents why they want to restore insurance companies' ability to deny coverage to people with medical problems and to young adults who otherwise can stay on their parents' health plans until age 26.

Brian Walsh, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, doesn't think Menendez's plan will work.

"If Democrats genuinely believe this is a winning political issue for them in November," Walsh said, "it's obvious they haven't learned a thing from their losses in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts."

Those losses — in two governors' races and a special Senate race — occurred before the health bill became law, and Democrats predict a dramatically different landscape by November. Unsavory dealmaking and arm-twisting, which Democratic congressional leaders used to pass the measure without a single GOP vote, will soon be forgotten, these strategists say.

The GOP candidates who have embraced repeal-the-bill pledges all over the country are counting on them to be wrong.

___

Associated Press writer Erik Schelzig in Nashville contributed to this report.


SUNDAY, March 28, 2010

The irony of this article appearing in the English edition of Pravda (Russian newspaper) defies description. Why can a Russian newspaper print the following yet the American media can't/won't see it?

American Capitalism Gone With A Whimper

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years... The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was.. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather than the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas than the drama in DC that directly affects their lives.. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a Burger King burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy".  Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more than Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more than happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another.. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power.  Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in   America  ..

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama.  His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive..  His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America 's short history but in the world.  If this keeps up for more than another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Weimar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all.  First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, losses, and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars.  These make our Russian oligarchs look little more than ordinary street thugs, in comparison.  Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes.  Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another.  They are also usurping the rights, duties, and powers of the American congress (parliament).  Again, congress has put up little more than a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motors) president step down from leadership of his company.  That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self-given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will.  Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies.  I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less than two months ago, warned Obama and   UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster.  Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "free man" whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance, and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses?  Senator Barney Frank, a social pervert  is not only not a looked down upon life choice, in his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort..  He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible.. In other words, divest while there is still value left.
The proud American will go down into his slavery without a fight, beating his chest, and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is..  The world will only snicker.

Stanislav MishinA(C) 1999-2009.

Link to Article --> http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-0/


SATURDAY, March 27, 2010

Maxine sums up the health care bill

Let me get this  straight. We're going to be gifted with a  health care plan written by a  committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand  it,  passed  by a Congress that hasn't  read it but exempts  themselves from it, to be signed by a  president who also hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his  taxes, to be  overseen by a surgeon  general who is obese,  and financed  by a country that's broke.  

What the hell could  possibly go  wrong?


FRIDAY, March 26, 2010

THE HEALTH CARE "REFORM"  BILL

Having a published track record on this subject going back to 1978, I keep getting asked my opinion .  So, here's an Executive Summary.
  1. Our health care system has needed reform since the 1970's.
  2. Previous efforts, and certainly the current effort, have studiously avoided the real problems and merely addressed constituent pay-back and "pay-forward". 
  3. Please see my previous productions on this web-site, under "Health Law" and "Managed Care" Categories.  In addition, check out the following reasons why the current Bill / Law is absolutely the wrong response to our needs:
The Articulate, Arrogant and Asinine  Democrats have pushed through major legislation with no regard for the will of the majority of the people - or even of Due Process.  And they now wonder at the anger that approach has engendered.  In no way can violence or threats of physical harm be condoned.  However, although free speech does not include "the right to cry 'Fire' in a crowded theater",  what happens when a fire has indeed been started in that theater...in this case by the Democrats themselves?    

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

GS


SUNDAY through THURSDAY, March 22 through 25, 2010

==================================================
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency
==================================================

Archbishop Decries Deeply Flawed Health Bill
Denounces Catholic Groups That Opposed Bishops

DENVER, MARCH 24, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Denver is expressing disappointment regarding the health care legislation moving through Congress, and the so-called Catholic groups that are supporting it in opposition to the U.S. bishops.


Archbishop Charles Chaput stated this in a column, titled "A Bad Bill and How We Got it," written for publication today in the Denver Catholic Register.

"As current federal health-care legislation moves forward toward law, we need to draw several lessons from events of the last weeks and months," he pointed out.

"The bill passed by the House on March 21 is a failure of decent lawmaking," the prelate asserted. "It remains unethical and defective on all of the issues pressed by the U.S. bishops and prolife groups for the past seven months."

He added that "the Executive Order promised by the White House to ban the use of federal funds for abortion does not solve the many problems with the bill, which is why the bishops did not -- and still do not see it as a real solution."

U.S. President Barack Obama promised to issue an Executive Order today that would affirm existing law prohibiting federal funding of abortions, a deal which some have claimed was simply a negotiation technique to gain more votes for the health care bill.

The archbishop also pointed out that "Executive Orders can be rescinded or reinterpreted at any time."

Ill will

"Some current congressional leaders have already shown a pattern of evasion, ill will and obstinacy on the moral issues involved in this legislation, and the track record of the White House in keeping its promises regarding abortion-related issues does not inspire confidence," he added.

"The fact that congressional leaders granted this one modest and inadequate concession only at the last moment, and only to force the passage of this deeply flawed bill, should give no one comfort," Archbishop Chaput stated.

He asserted that "the combination of pressure and disinformation used to break the prolife witness on this bill among Democratic members of Congress -- despite the strong resistance to this legislation that continues among American voters -- should put an end to any talk by Washington leaders about serving the common good or seeking common ground."

"At many points over the past seven months," the prelate affirmed, "congressional leaders could have resolved the serious moral issues inherent in this legislation."

"They did not," he stated. "No shower of reassuring words now can wash away that fact."

The archbishop stated that in this matter "self-described 'Catholic' groups have done a serious disservice to justice, to the Church, and to the ethical needs of the American people by undercutting the leadership and witness of their own bishops."

Disappointing

He continued: "For groups like Catholics United, this is unsurprising. In their effect, if not in formal intent, such groups exist to advance the interests of a particular political spectrum.  

"Nor is it newsworthy from an organization like Network, which -- whatever the nature of its good work -- has rarely shown much enthusiasm for a definition of 'social justice' that includes the rights of the unborn child."

"But the actions of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in providing a deliberate public counter-message to the bishops were both surprising and profoundly disappointing; and also genuinely damaging," Archbishop Chaput stated.

He explained: "In the crucial final days of debate on health-care legislation, CHA lobbyists worked directly against the efforts of the American bishops in their approach to members of Congress.  

"The bad law we now likely face, we owe in part to the efforts of the Catholic Health Association and similar 'Catholic' organizations."
 
The prelate acknowledged the "many thousands of ordinary, faithful Catholics, from both political parties," who "have worked hard over the past seven months to advance sensible, legitimate health-care reform."

"If that effort seems to have failed, faithful Catholics don't bear the blame," he said. "That responsibility lies elsewhere."

The archbishop expressed gratitude to everyone "who has worked so hard on this issue out of love for God's people and fidelity to their Catholic faith," affirming that no matter what happens, "that kind of effort is never wasted."


SATURDAY, March 21, 2010

The Clergy Child Abuse Disaster.  Although I am a product of 12 years of Catholic school education...until I intentionally attended New York University, then a hotbed of Agnosticism and Atheism, I was totally surprised when this story began coming out.  I had neither heard of nor witnessed anything of the kind.  As a result, I was both saddened and enraged by not only the actions of priests but especially the irresponsibility of their superiors...the Bishops with whom I thought I had a good relationship.  Then came the "assignment" of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law to Rome, or rather an exile as I like to think of it. His departure was preceded by a solemn religious send-off at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Norwich, Ct, attended by over 50 Bishops from as far away as Washington, DC.  It rivaled the coronation of Charlemagne in the Middle Ages...and was scandalous so far as I was concerned.
I have already expressed myself on these matters in the Catholic Church section of this web site.  But now comes "the rest of the story": the Irish and European experiences, clearly involving the Vatican and even then-Cardinal Ratzinger in the decades of cover-up.  Not even Mario Puzo could have made this up.  One must go back to  earlier centuries, as documented by Paul Johnson in his book "A History of Christianity" (Simon and Schuster, 1976) to find anything comparable in Church History. 
What is needed now is not the bloviating found in multiple articles on Zenit: The World From Rome (www.zenit.org), or even the political "mistakes were made" comments of the Pope in his letter to the Irish Bishops.  What is needed now is a complete exposition and a personal apology from the Pope himself...who now as Pope must strive to be "infallible in matters of Faith and Morals"...of which this is one.  Only then would most of the Faithful be able to forgive, in accordance with today's Gospel about Jesus and the adultress.

GS

TUESDAY through FRIDAY, March 16 through 20, 2010

I couldn't resist....  GS

The liberals are asking us to give Obama more time. We agree . . . and think 25 to life would be appropriate. - Leno

America needs Obama-Care like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask. - Leno

Q: Have you heard about McDonald's' new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it. - Conan O'Brien

Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?
A: A fund raiser. - Leno

Q: What's the difference between Obama's cabinet and a penitentiary?
A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers and threats to society. The other is for housing prisoners. - Letterman

Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and it started to sink, who would be saved?
A:   America!  - Fallon

Q: What's the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?
A: Bo has papers.  - Kimmel

Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers" program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.  - Letterman


MONDAY, March 15, 2010

Are we just more informed, or is this the worst Federal government ever?  GS

Ten more reasons to vote everyone out. - Perrin

 10 Most Corrupt Politicians. Republicans garnered only one spot on this top 10 list.  Obviously, we must work harder at being corrupt. 

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009

Contact Information:
Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305

Washington, DC
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians." The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
  1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.
  2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide…" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.
  3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based One United Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was One United Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003, before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while serving on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as head of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Throw in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.
  5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation of the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him to Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions – a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.
  6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied about his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama…In the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich -- later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat -- at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explanations came under oath.
  7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National Endowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control -- through fiat and threats -- large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors – this is Obama's "ethics" record -- and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.
  8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)
  9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks -- tens of millions of dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investigate this serious scandal, according to Roll Call House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained documents…show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."
  10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.

SUNDAY, March 14, 2010

Amazing...but maybe not.  "Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach"...or pontificate.  GS

What Percentage of each President's Cabinet appointees have previously worked in the private sector. 
 
It keeps getting better!

CHANGE IS GOOD?

Did you happen to catch this particular Glenn Beck show a couple weeks ago?
He put up a graph up that showed past presidents and the percentage of each
president's cabinet appointees who had previously worked in the private
sector. You know a real life business, not a government job?  Remember what
that is?  A private business?

* T. Roosevelt - 38%*
*Taft - 40%*
* Wilson - 52%*
*Harding - 49%*
*Coolidge - 48%*
* Hoover - 42%*
*FDR - 50%*
*Truman - 50%*
*Eisenhower - 57%*
*Kennedy - 30%*
*LBJ - 47%*
*Nixon - 53%*
*Ford - 42%*
*Carter - 32%*
*Reagan - 56%*
*GHWB - 51%*
* Clinton - 39%*
*GWB - 55%*

*And the Winner is..........................*

*BHObama - 8%*

*YEP, EIGHT PERCENT!  And these are the guys holding a "job summit" this week?

This ought to go really well! I'm 'gonna go out on a limb here, I know,
but I'm 'gonna go ahead and predict. . . WE'RE in BIG trouble here!


SATURDAY, March 13, 2010

A "strict constructionist" would argue that the Founders provided for their own health care and did not envision or arrange for such services being provided by the government.  They they passed Amendment X of the Constitution, regarding reservation to the States...something they were really interested in.  Finally, anything is "arguable".  Lawyers are professionally bound to take care of that in our Common Law - adversarial system.  That would include "...the General Welfare". 
In my opinion, personal health care is a personal right and personal responsibility...and not a general entitlement from the government.  Given what the government does to everything it touches, the "penumbra of Privacy" discovered by the majority in Roe v Wade would be much better suited to my argument than to its tortured life regarding the abortion of human beings.  GS

---

The "General Welfare Definition" argument would first have to be made in front of the Supreme Court since they are the only branch of the Federal Government that is authorized to interpret the Constitution.  However,:
 
The U.S. Supreme Court has not often defined "general welfare," leaving the political question to Congress. In United States v. Butler (1936), the Court for the first time construed the clause. The dispute centered on a tax collected from processors of agricultural products such as meat; the funds raised by the tax were not paid into the general funds of the treasury, but were rather specially earmarked for farmers. The Court struck down the tax, ruling that the general welfare language in the Taxing and Spending Clause related only to "matters of national, as distinguished from local, welfare". Congress continues to make expansive use of the Taxing and Spending Clause; for instance, the social security program is authorized under the Taxing and Spending Clause.
 
So, as with most political issues, it boils down to interpretation, timing, popularity, and party dominance.  The Social Security Act, as originally written, drew ONE percent of workers' paychecks, to be gradually raised to 3% over the next 12 years.  This tells me that it was supposed to be a supplemental source of support for retirees, not (in spite of the 620% increase in withholding since its inception) as the sole source of a retiree's income, as many people--mostly in the Democratic Party--would have you believe.  Over the decades, the citizens of this country have allowed, or slept their way through, a process whereby government continues to creep further and further into their lives. 
 
The point here is that, as it relates to the possibility of nationalized healthcare, there is no doubt that the Social Security system has been abused, mismanaged, and robbed to the tune of billions of dollars.  Add at least three zeros to that level of abuse if, God forbid, Congress or the Supreme Court agree that "general welfare" includes nationalized healthcare.  I shudder at the prospect.
 
Here's a legal challenge for you: if nationalized healthcare is determined to be legal under the Tax and Spending Clause, what rational argument would one have for opposing the Federal Government (as they HAVE done with Social Security and they WILL do with healthcare) wildly expanding the powers of the FDA to ban any food that they deem (for whatever political reasons they choose, or are paid by lobbyists to specify) as not promoting the "general welfare"?  This slope is much too slippery to throw something as influencial as nationalized healthcare onto it.
 
I have seen these intrusions attempted and, in many cases enacted, every year at the local and state level in California since I arrived here in 1988.  That is more than enough time to confirm that this behavior among politicians here (and in a growing number of states) is an obsessive compulsion.  As they are allowed more power, they will attempt more power.  And, remember what the wise man said: "As California goes, so goes the rest of the country." 
 
It is bad enough that individual citizens must spend an ever-increasing amount of time, energy, and money beating back the attempts of government to intercede in an ever-increasing number of aspects of their lives.  Must we be like lambs to the slaughter and allow (more accurately, actually PAY) the government to define and control what is arguably the single most important and life-altering (if not life-threatening) aspect of our lives? -Perrin

---

I’m certainly not for nationalized health care, but couldn’t someone make the argument that Congress does have the power to do this since the Constitution says in Article I Sec. 8, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”  Couldn’t nationalized health care be considered general welfare? - Adam

---

My Message: VOTE OUT OF OFFICE EVERY STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICE-HOLDER, REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL AFFILIATION, AT THE NEXT TWO ELECTION CYCLES.  A MESSAGE MUST MUST BE SENT AND RECEIVED ABOUT "WE THE PEOPLE".  GS

---

If you don’t listen to anything else, listen to this speech.  It is very important!

This is truly frightening and REPEAT; IT IS NOT POLITICAL   Please listen to every minute of this video and then  pass it on. It must be viewed by as many freedom loving Americans, as possible.  Thank you.

Andrew P. Napolitano is a 59 year old former New Jersey Superior Court Judge.  He is a graduate of  Princeton University  , and  Notre Dame   Law   School  .  At Princeton he was a founding member of the Concerned Alumni of  Princeton along with Justice Samuel Alito.
 
Judge Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of  New Jersey  .
 
Click below and listen to Judge Napolitano's important message to all Americans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=7n2m-X7OIuY
 

FRIDAY, March 12, 2010

Time for another installment of "Around The World In 80 Opinions", + or -.
Can you hear me now?

GS


THURSDAY, March 11, 2010

...and has President Obama looked any more "Presidential" since delivering that performance?  GS

Justices and politicians should boycott the State of the Union

By George F. Will
Friday, March 12, 2010

The increasingly puerile spectacle of presidential State of the Union addresses is indicative of the state of the union and is unnecessary: The Constitution requires only that the president "shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union." But a reaction may be brewing against these embarrassing events. Speaking in Alabama, Chief Justice John Roberts said "to the extent that" this occasion "has degenerated into a political pep rally," he is "not sure why we're there." He was referring to Supreme Court justices. But why is anyone there?

Roberts was responding to a question concerning the kerfuffle about Barack Obama's January address, wherein Obama criticized -- and flagrantly mischaracterized -- a recent Supreme Court decision that loosened limits on political speech. The decision neither overturned "a century of law" nor conferred an entitlement on foreign corporations to finance U.S. candidates. Nevertheless, the Democratic donkeys arrayed in front of Obama leapt onto their hind legs and brayed in unison, while the six justices who were present sat silently. Justice Samuel Alito, in an act of lèse majesté, appeared to mutter "not true" about Obama's untruths.

When Republican presidents deliver these addresses, Republican legislators, too, lurch up and down like puppets on strings. And Congress wonders why it is considered infantile.

Most of the blame for the State of the Union silliness, as for so much else, goes to The Root of Much Mischief, a.k.a. Woodrow Wilson. But a president whose middle name was Wilson made matters worse.

George Washington delivered his report on the state of the union in person, as did John Adams. But the third president, Thomas Jefferson, put his thoughts in writing and dispatched them to Congress. Such presidential reticence is impossible to imagine in the Age of Obama, but Jefferson disliked the sound of his voice and considered it monarchical for the executive to stand above the legislature and lecture it.

In 1913, however, Wilson, whose guiding principle was that the world could not hear too much from him, delivered his report in person. He thought the Founders had foolishly saddled the nation with a Constitution of checks and balances that made government sluggish or paralytic. Hence charismatic presidential leadership was needed to arouse public opinion that could compel Congress to bow to the president's will. The Founders thought statesmanship should restrain public opinion. Wilson's watery Caesarism preached that presidents should spur that dangerous stallion. He just knew he could control it. He learned otherwise when trying to ratify the Versailles Treaty.

George Washington considered Congress "the first wheel of the government, a wheel which communicates motion to all the rest." Wilson thought the presidency was the only office able to, or even entitled to, impart movement to the government.

Many conservatives were congressional supremacists until Ronald Wilson Reagan arrived possessing the rhetorical skills requisite for a Wilsonian presidency. His unfortunate filigree on the dramaturgy of State of the Union addresses was to begin the practice of stocking the House gallery with ordinary but exemplary people whose presence touches the public's erogenous zones.

The prolixity that is the defining characteristic of modern presidents blurs the distinction between campaigning and governing, and positions the presidency at the center of the nation's consciousness. This gives presidents delusions of omnipotence and makes Americans susceptible to perpetual disappointment and political dyspepsia.

We could take one small step toward restoring institutional equilibrium by thinking as Jefferson did about State of the Union addresses. Justice Antonin Scalia has stopped going to them because justices "sit there like bumps on a log" in the midst of the partisan posturing -- the political pep rally that Roberts described. Sis boom bah humbug.

Next year, Roberts and the rest of the justices should stay away from the president's address. So should the uniformed military, who are out of place in a setting of competitive political grandstanding. For that matter, the 535 legislators should boycott these undignified events. They would, if there were that many congressional grown-ups averse to being props in the childishness of popping up from their seats to cheer, or remaining sullenly seated in semi-pouts, as the politics of the moment dictates.

In the unlikely event that Obama or any other loquacious modern president has any thoughts about the State of the Union that he does not pour forth in the torrential course of his relentless rhetoric, he can mail those thoughts to Congress. The Postal Service needs the business.

georgewill@washpost.com


FRIDAY through WEDNESDAY, March 5 through 10, 2010

Dissecting the Real Cost of ObamaCare

The President's own chief Medicare actuary says the Senate and House bills are bending the cost curve up.

more in Opinion »

By PAUL D. RYAN

The following are remarks made by Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin , the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, about the cost of the House and Senate health-care bills at President Obama's Blair House summit on health care, Feb. 25:

Look, we agree on the problem here. And the problem is health inflation is driving us off of a fiscal cliff.

Mr. President, you said health-care reform is budget reform. You're right. We agree with that. Medicare, right now, has a $38 trillion unfunded liability. That's $38 trillion in empty promises to my parents' generation, our generation, our kids' generation. Medicaid's growing at 21 percent each year. It's suffocating states' budgets. It's adding trillions in obligations that we have no means to pay for . . .

Now, you're right to frame the debate on cost and health inflation. And in September, when you spoke to us in the well of the House, you basically said—and I totally agree with this—I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future.

Since the Congressional Budget Office can't score your bill, because it doesn't have sufficient detail, but it tracks very similar to the Senate bill, I want to unpack the Senate score a little bit.

And if you take a look at the CBO analysis—analysis from your chief actuary—I think it's very revealing. This bill does not control costs. This bill does not reduce deficits. Instead, this bill adds a new health-care entitlement at a time when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have.

Now let me go through why I say that. The majority leader said the bill scores as reducing the deficit $131 billion over the next 10 years. First, a little bit about CBO. I work with them every single day—very good people, great professionals. They do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is full of gimmicks and smoke-and-mirrors.

Related Opinions:

Review and Outlook: Paul Ryan v. the President
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Now, what do I mean when I say that? Well, first off, the bill has 10 years of tax increases, about half a trillion dollars, with 10 years of Medicare cuts, about half a trillion dollars, to pay for six years of spending.

Now, what's the true 10-year cost of this bill in 10 years? That's $2.3 trillion.

[The Senate bill] does [a] couple of other things. It takes $52 billion in higher Social Security tax revenues and counts them as offsets. But that's really reserved for Social Security. So either we're double-counting them or we don't intend on paying those Social Security benefits.

It takes $72 billion and claims money from the CLASS Act. That's the long-term care insurance program. It takes the money from premiums that are designed for that benefit and instead counts them as offsets.

The Senate Budget Committee chairman [Kent Conrad] said that this is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

Now, when you take a look at the Medicare cuts, what this bill essentially does [is treat] Medicare like a piggy bank. It raids a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare, not to shore up Medicare solvency, but to spend on this new government program.

. . . [A]ccording to the chief actuary of Medicare . . . as much as 20 percent of Medicare's providers will either go out of business or will have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries. Millions of seniors . . . who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage that they now enjoy.

You can't say that you're using this money to either extend Medicare solvency and also offset the cost of this new program. That's double counting.

And so when you take a look at all of this; when you strip out the double-counting and what I would call these gimmicks, the full 10-year cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second 10-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit.

. . . [P]robably the most cynical gimmick in this bill is something that we all probably agree on. We don't think we should cut doctors [annual federal reimbursements] 21 percent next year. We've stopped those cuts from occurring every year for the last seven years.

We all call this, here in Washington , the doc fix. Well, the doc fix, according to your numbers, costs $371 billion. It was in the first iteration of all of these bills, but because it was a big price tag and it made the score look bad, made it look like a deficit . . . that provision was taken out, and it's been going on in stand-alone legislation. But ignoring these costs does not remove them from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending does not reduce spending. And so when you take a look at all of this, it just doesn't add up.

. . . I'll finish with the cost curve. Are we bending the cost curve down or are we bending the cost curve up?

Well, if you look at your own chief actuary at Medicare, we're bending it up. He's claiming that we're going up $222 billion, adding more to the unsustainable fiscal situation we have.

And so, when you take a look at this, it's really deeper than the deficits or the budget gimmicks or the actuarial analysis. There really is a difference between us.

. . . [W]e've been talking about how much we agree on different issues, but there really is a difference between us. And it's basically this. We don't think the government should be in control of all of this. We want people to be in control. And that, at the end of the day, is the big difference.

Now, we've offered lots of ideas all last year, all this year. Because we agree the status quo is unsustainable. It's got to get fixed.

It's bankrupting families. It's bankrupting our government. It's hurting families with pre-existing conditions. We all want to fix this.

But we don't think that this is the . . . the solution. And all of the analysis we get proves that point.

Now, I'll just simply say this. . . . [W]e are all representatives of the American people. We all do town hall meetings. We all talk to our constituents. And I've got to tell you, the American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you're not listening to them.

So what we simply want to do is start over, work on a clean-sheeted paper, move through these issues, step by step, and fix them, and bring down health-care costs and not raise them. And that's basically the point.


MONDAY through THURSDAY, March 1 through 4, 2010

Subject:  Canadian prediction on Obama

Here is one Canadian who got it right(no pun intended)!!!!

Ever wonder why we have to depend on the foreign press to find out what's "really" going on in our own country.  It's a good thing that Obama and the democrats don't own the Canadian press..  Here is what Howard Galganov predicts for Barack Hussein Obama - PLEASE READ:

Barack Hussein Obama:
I Told You So   Yes I Did

By Howard Galganov
Montreal, Quebec,  Canada

When Obama won the Presidency with the help of the LEFTIST Media,Hollywood And Entertainment Liberals, Ethnic Socialists (ACORN), Stupid Non-Business Professionals and Bush Haters, I wrote:  It won't take six months until the People figure this guy out and realize how horrible a mistake they've made.  And when they come to that realization, the damage to the United States of America will be so great it will take a generation or more to repair - IF EVER.

The IDIOTS who not only voted for the Messiah, but also worked [hard] to promote his Lordship, are now left holding the bag.

Here are two things they will NEVER do:  They will NEVER admit to making a Blunder out of all proportion by electing a snake-oil salesman with no Positive social history or management experience of any kind.  They will NEVER take responsibility for the curse they've imposed upon the immediate and long-term future of their country.

In essence, the people responsible for putting this horror show in power are themselves responsible for every cataclysmic decision he makes and the Consequences thereof.

In just six months, the Messiah's polls are showing the following:  1. On Healthcare Reform - He's going under for the third time with polling well Under 50 percent, even within his own Party.  Even though he might be able to Muscle a Healthcare Reform Bill by using Chicago BULLY tactics against his Fellow Democrats, it will just make things worse.  2. On Cap and Trade (Cap and Tax) - The Fat-Lady is already singing.  3. On theStimulus Package (Tax and Spend) - His popularity is in FREE-FALL.  4. On the TARP package he took and ran with from President Bush - It's all but Good-Night Irene.  5. On the closing of GITMO and "HIS" war on what he no longer wants called the War On Terrorism - He's standing in quicksand with his head just about to go under  6. On a Comparison between himself and George W. Bush at the same six months into Their respective first term Presidencies - Bush is ahead of him in the Polls. 7. On a comparison between He Who Walks On Water and the 12 preceding Presidents between WW II and now - Obama ranks 10th.  8. On a Poll just Conducted, that asks who would you vote for today between Obama and Mitt Romney - It's a dead heat.  Between Obama and Palin - Obama's ONLY ahead by 8 Points and she hasn't even begun to campaign.  It seems to me that Obama Wants to be everywhere where he shouldn't be.

He's personally invested in 'totally insulting' America 's ONLY REAL Middle Eastern ally ( Israel ) in favor of Palestinian Despots and Murderers.  He's traveling the world apologizing for the USA while lecturing others on how to do it right, when in fact and truth he has no experience at doing anything other than getting elected.

He went to the Muslim world in Egypt to declare that America IS NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION while he heaped praises on Islam, where he compared the "plight" of the Palestinians to the Holocaust.

The Russians think he's a putz, The French think he's rude

The Germans want him to stop spending.

The Indians want him to mix his nose out of their environmental business.

The North Koreans think he's a joke, The Iranians won't acknowledge his calls.

And the British can't even come up with a comprehensive opinion of him.

As for the Chinese, he's too frightened to even glance their way.  [After All, China now owns a large portion of the United States .]

Maybe if America's first Emperor would stay home more, travel less, and work a little bit instead of being on television just about everyday or stop running to "papered" Town Hall Meetings, perhaps he would have a little bit of time to do the work of the nation.

In all fairness, it wasn't HARD to be RIGHT in my prediction concerning Obama's presidency, even in its first six months, so I'm going to make yet another prediction:

OBAMA WILL PROBABLY NOT FINISH HIS 4-YEAR TERM, at least not in a Conventional way.

He is such a political HORROR SHOW, and so detrimental to the USA and his Own Democratic Party, that the Democrats themselves will either FORCE him to Resign or figure out a way to have him thrown out.

Who knows, maybe he really isn't a BORN US Citizen and that's a way the Democrats will be able to get rid of him.  [He is a citizen, but not a naturalized citizen with both mother and father being US citizens.]

Or - MORE LIKELY THAN NOT, the Democrats will make Obama THEIR OWN LAME DUCK PRESIDENT.

I don't believe the Democrats have nearly as much love for their country as they do for their own political fortunes. And with Obama, their fortunes are rapidly becoming toast.


SUNDAY, February 28, 2010

Beautiful.  I'm happy to say that I'm too action-oriented to be an intellectual.  GS

Intellectuals Step 'Off The Cliff,' Drag Rest Of Us Down: Sowell
By DAVID HOGBERG, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILYPosted 02/26/2010 07:15 PM ET

Smart people should make smart decisions. So why do the best and the brightest always seem to create more problems than they solve?

This is not just an academic question, precisely because academics dominate the Obama administration and its approach to such key issues as health care and Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Renowned economist Thomas Sowell argues that intellectuals have strong incentives to step out of their area of expertise and "off a cliff." Ultimately, everyday people pay the price when intellectuals and abstract concepts trump real-world specifics.

Sowell explores these topics and more in a wide-ranging IBD interview regarding his latest book, "Intellectuals and Society."

IBD: How do you define intellectuals?

Sowell: I define intellectuals as persons whose occupations begin and end with ideas. I distinguish between intellectuals and other people who may have ideas but whose ideas end up producing some good or service, something that whether it's working or not working can be determined by third parties.

With intellectuals, one of the crucial factors is their work is largely judged by peer consensus, so it doesn't matter if their ideas work in the real world.

IBD: What incentives and constraints do intellectuals face?

Sowell: One of the incentives is that, to the extent that intellectuals stay in their specialty, they have little to gain in terms of either prestige or influence on events. Say, an authority in ancient Mayan civilization just writes about ancient Mayan civilization, then only other specialists in ancient Mayan civilization will know what he is talking about or even be aware of him.

So intellectuals have every incentive to go beyond their area of expertise and competence. But stepping beyond your area of competence is like stepping off a cliff — you may be a genius within that area, but an idiot outside it.

As far as the constraints, since their main constraint is peer consensus — that's a very weak constraint on the profession as a whole. Because what the peers believe as a group becomes the test of any new idea that comes along as to whether it's plausible or not.

IBD: You say that most intellectuals believe in the "Vision of the Anointed." What does that mean?

Sowell: It's the theory that there is an elite group of people who are very knowledgeable and their knowledge should be used to guide the decisions of society. So they are not simply an elite in the sense that sinecurists might be an elite, but they are elite with an anointed role in the world. To put it uncharitably, as someone once said, "Born booted and spurred to ride mankind." Examples of that would not be hard to find in Washington, D.C.

IBD: Why shouldn't intellectuals make decisions for the rest of us?

Sowell: Because they don't know as much as the rest of us. It's one of those non sequiturs. They have more average knowledge than the average person in the limited sense in which knowledge is usually spoken of by intellectuals.

But the knowledge that has consequences in the world includes vast amounts of knowledge that I call mundane knowledge and probably no one on earth has 1% of that knowledge. Yet that knowledge is consequential, and it includes knowledge that is in no way intellectually challenging but is nevertheless crucial.

In the book, I mention the example of a pilot coming in for a landing and the control tower notices he hasn't let his landing gear down. I happen to have been on such a plane once. And as we came into land, I noticed the pilot suddenly gunned the motor, took off again, circled back around and this time let down the landing gear. So whenever I'm on a plane and I hear the landing gear go down, I'm very pleased.

IBD: You have a lot of examples of intellectuals "in action" in your book. Does any one stand out more than the others?

Sowell: The one that stands out more in my mind is the promotion of disarmament during the 1930s while Hitler and Japan were arming themselves to the teeth. Disarmament is one of those things that probably no illiterate farmer would believe in. But some of the leading intellectuals, if not most of the leading intellectuals, of the Western democracies pushed that idea throughout the 1930s.

IBD: What do you think of the Obama administration when viewing it through the many concepts laid out in your book?

Sowell: It's very hard to answer that without using language that is totally inappropriate in polite society. But it is quite clear that they believe it is their job to take decisions out of the hands of the voting public.

And there are any number of ways they can do that, including rushing through huge bills faster than anybody can possibly read them, including the congressmen who vote on them.

They made statements during the campaign that are totally the opposite of what they will actually do. One of the more recent examples being the notion that unlike previous administrations they'd be transparent and broadcast the hearings on C-SPAN.

In fact, all of the big decisions are made behind closed doors, in one case locked doors, more so than in previous administrations. They want to supersede the public and put into operation what the anointed think should be done.

IBD: You say that intellectuals during Hitler's rise subordinated the mundane specifics of the nature of the German government to abstract principles about abstract nations, by which you meant the idea espoused at the time that "nations should be equal" and thus Germany had a right to rearm. Does that description apply to the Obama administration's approach to Iran?

Sowell: I hadn't thought of it, but it certainly does. In fact, there are other people who have said, "Some countries have nuclear weapons, why shouldn't other countries have nuclear weapons?" And they say it with an utter disregard for the nature of the countries and what those countries have been demonstrably doing for years and show every intention of doing in the future.

IBD: Do you think also that the Obama administration has abstract notions that you can negotiate with Iran the same way you can negotiate with, say, Australia?

Sowell: Oh, yes. And the question is not whether you should negotiate. We negotiate with all kinds of countries. The question is whether we think negotiations will be at all effective in carrying out what we want to do.

Reagan, after all, negotiated a disarmament treaty with Gorbachev, but he did so only after making it clear in their first meeting that he was not about to even consider Gorbachev's nonsensical proposal.

There was this marvelous scene, which I cite briefly in the book, where they are in Iceland when Gorbachev shows him this proviso at the eleventh hour. Reagan simply says, "The meeting is over, let's go, George (Schultz, the secretary of state), we're leaving."

That was utterly unthinkable to the intellectuals and utterly unprecedented in 20th-century democratic nations negotiating with totalitarian regimes.

IBD: Let me read some quotes and you tell me what you think. First, from Michelle Obama: "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. ... That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

Sowell: This is bringing meaning from the top down into the unwashed masses. This is a very old idea among the intelligentsia, that they must bring meaning into the lives of "lesser folks," as if those lesser folks don't have enough meaning in their lives by their standards and by the things that matter most to them.

IBD: Next, from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman: "There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

"One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century."

Sowell: Apparently they made a big mistake at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. If only Thomas Friedman had been there, he would have put them on the right path, I suppose. Democracy has prerequisites, and not all circumstances meet those prerequisites.

As to whether or not China is better off the way it is than under an alternative system such as the one that governs the same race of people in Taiwan, is another question entirely.

IBD: The next is from Jacob Hacker, a political science professor at Yale who has spent his entire career in academia. Here's the title from one of his recent papers: "How to Structure Public Health Insurance Plan Choice to Ensure Risk-Sharing, Cost Control, and Quality Improvement."

Sowell: Third parties will structure how millions of people adjust to millions of different circumstances. In a sense, it is childish to imagine they can do this. But central planning has been tried for a very long time in many countries around the world.

Fortunately, most countries have discovered from bad experience — even socialist and communist countries have jettisoned it in most cases.

IBD: Would you say his knowledge of political science is seeping into another area where he has no experience?

Sowell: Not seeping, charging. Charging into another area. Or as I would put it, stepping off a very high cliff.

IBD: Now, while you note in the book that intellectuals believe that their superior knowledge in one area can be generalized to other areas, you state that chess grandmasters, musical prodigies and others who are remarkable within their respective specialties seldom make that mistake. But why do so many celebrities these days pop off on matters of foreign policy or domestic policy? The usual incentives faced by intellectuals wouldn't seem to apply.

Sowell: To some extent they face the same incentives, but also the same lack of serious constraints. So Rosie O'Donnell can pop off and it won't really affect her ability to get her next job. There is no constraint on that.

Further, fame is fleeting. And so it's not as though you can become famous at age 25, and you will still be famous at age 50 without lifting finger. Fame has to be constantly fed. And when the means of feeding that fame have no restrictions that are seriously placed on it, then you get all kinds of people popping off.

IBD: How about those who argue that we can use government to move society in a more conservative direction, like compassionate conservatism? Do they suffer from the vision of the anointed?

Sowell: To some extent, yes. Compassionate conservatism meant that Republicans added to the housing problems created by the Democrats rather than mitigating them.

George W. Bush, for example, was for a law that allowed the Federal Housing Administration to do away with nuisances like down payments on houses. And even his father was for the notion that the federal government should intervene if there were statistical differences among groups in housing or mortgage approvals.

These are people who seem to think that the way to be clever politically is to accept some of the premises of Democrats but reach different conclusions. But if you accept the premises, in many cases you've accepted the conclusions.


MONDAY through SATURDAY, February 22 through 27, 2010

Sounds good to me...  GS

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress.  Many       citizens had no idea that Congress members could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws.  The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered.in all of its forms.  Somehow, that doesn't seem logical.  We do not have an elite that is above the law.  I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever.  The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do&nbs p;that. It is an idea whose time has come.     

Proposed 28th Amendment to the  United States Constitution:          

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."


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