George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will
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
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
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick",
by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.
That's all I promise.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
SATURDAY, April 30, 2011
article by Ben Davol, which properly targets not only President Obama's
failings but also the acts and omissions of the Republican Party. I
already addressed these latter problems several times in this
The 2012 election is the Republicans'
to lose. But there's still time.
President Obama's got
significant challenges to get re-elected
By Ben Davol
Publication: The Day
04/30/2011 12:00 AM
04/29/2011 10:12 PM
Unemployment is at 9 percent, gasoline
approaching $5 a gallon, the nation is fighting in three wars and a
recent poll indicating 70 percent of Americans believe the country is
going in the wrong direction. That's the tableau on which President
Obama has launched his re-election campaign.
On the political side, Obama has become
the Typhoid Mary of campaigns. From throwing his muscle behind the
failed Senate bids of Mary Coakley in Massachusetts and Jon Corzine in
New Jersey, to the greatest congressional wipeout in 50 years, the
failures of this presidency are glaring to all but the president.
Barack Obama is a good man. He is
thoughtful, well read, a great father, a loving husband and appears to
be a loyal friend. He is not a good president.
Supporters of the president will counter
that "he" saved the country from a depression with his support of the
Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). President Bush signed TARP into
They will also point to the landmark
Affordable Care Act. A valiant attempt at attacking a huge problem, one
the Republicans avoided when they had the power. Still, Obama was never
honest about the health care law, its costs, the rationing required and
The Obama administration's management of
TARP and other financial vehicles to stabilize our markets is
commendable, to a point. While the stock market has risen there has
been little help for the people the president claims to represent.
The recent U.S. Census shows more
Americans living in poverty than ever before, home foreclosures have
spiked again in March and the only increase in jobs is in the
It is no coincidence that the Obama
administration is seeded from stem to stern with the spawn of the
investment banks that almost caused the complete financial meltdown of
the economy. They gave big money to the president's campaign. Remember
"hope" and "change"?
Matt Tiabbi of Rolling Stone put it
succinctly in a February 2011 article: "Not a single executive who ran
the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom
- an industry-wide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked,
fraudulent mortgage-backed securities - has ever been convicted."
The president and his Justice Department
have been too busy taking Arizona to court over that state's very
strict immigration law. But the reason Arizona created the law is
because the federal government, led by Obama, failed to enact a
reasonable immigration law.
No question the Republicans have not been
helpful, but when the president had complete control of Congress he
never presented an immigration bill. Now that he is up for re-election,
and he needs Latino votes, he knows he must make an attempt.
Fortunately for Obama the more liberal
the attempt the less chance it will pass the Republican House, thereby
getting Obama a twofer. He can show a valuable constituency he tried
and blame the failure on the Republicans. No one ever accused this
president of being stupid.
The Obama presidency has been all about
razzle-dazzle. Keeping up appearances, if you will.
Before he sends 30,000 troops to
Afghanistan to protect the drug lords and their benefactor, Afghan
President Hamid Karzai, the president has the temerity to give the
speech at West Point and use the cadets as "political" shields and
cloak himself in military honor that he has neither earned nor ever
The president has a very short time to
turn things around. His success will be our success. Perhaps Obama is
counting on the Republicans to self-destruct and he will be the default
As a state senator, Obama voted "present"
129 times, avoiding taking a stand. Over the next 16 months let's hope
that our president begins to realize being "present" is not being
WEDNESDAY through FRIDAY, April 27 through
LAST SIX WORDS
THAT CROSS AN ATHEIST'S MIND OR LIPS AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH: THANK
DIED AN ATHEIST".
must read and great analogy of God vs Science. Enjoy
'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.'The atheist
philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new
'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'
'Yes sir, 'the student says.
'So you believe in God?'
Is God good?'
'Sure! God's good.'
'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'
'Are you good or evil?'
'The Bible says I'm evil.'
The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible! He considers for
'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you
him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'
'Yes sir, I would.'
'So you're good...!'
'I wouldn't say that.'
'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you
us would if we could. But God doesn't.'
The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't,
My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to
heal him.. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?'
The student remains silent.. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor
takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time
'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'
'Er..yes,' the student says.
'Is Satan good?'
The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'
'Then where does Satan come from?'
The student falters. 'From God'
'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil
'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'
'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created
God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle
works define who we are, then God is evil.'
Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality?
Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'
The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'
'So who created them?'
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his
created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks
pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he
onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'
The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'
The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to
and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'
'No sir. I've never seen Him.'
'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'
'No, sir, I have not..'
'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus?
ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that
'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'
'Yet you still believe in him?'
'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,
says your God doesn't exist... What do you say to that, son?'
'Nothing,' the student replies.. 'I only have my faith.'
'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science
God. There is no evidence, only faith.'
The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of
'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'
'And is there such a thing as cold?'
'Yes, son, there's cold too.'
'No sir, there isn't.'
The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room
becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots
even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a
or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit down
degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after
There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder
lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when
transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or
energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see,
is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot
Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is
opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'
Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom,
'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'
'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation.. 'What is night if it
'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence
something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing
but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called
isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality,
isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't
The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will
good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'
'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to
with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'
The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can
'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains...
that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God.
viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can
science can't even explain a thought.' 'It uses electricity and
has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as
opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist
substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence
'Now tell me, professor.. Do you teach your students that they evolved
'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man,
course I do.'
'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes
argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and
prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching
opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion
subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other
let me give you an example of what I mean..' The student looks around
'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?'
class breaks out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever
professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the
brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established
empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no
with all due respect, sir.' 'So if science says you have no brain, how
trust your lectures, sir?'
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his
unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.
you'll have to take them on faith.'
'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with
student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?' Now
professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it Everyday. It is in
example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in The multitude of crime and
everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but
To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it
exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like
and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.
not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not
love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is
or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'
The professor sat down.
If you read it all the way through and had a smile on your face when
finished, mail to your friends and family with the title 'God vs.
PS: the student was Albert Einstein.
Albert Einstein wrote a book titled God vs. Science in 1921.
TUESDAY, April 26, 2011
following is an
"equal opportunity" criticism, of President Obama and the Democratic
Party...and also of the spokesmen for the Republican Party.
NOW HEAR THIS: The long-lingering issue of President Obama's
has been central to his eligibility to be President of the United
And he has been responsible for making it an issue, by not having
credible evidence before this. What has been "silly" has been
his handling of the question. Also "silly" and disappointing
have been the commentaries of mainly "Establishment"
Republicans who have yet to come up with original and useful issues of
own. The 2012 Presidential election continues to be the
lose...and they are working at it.
Obama, hoping to end 'sideshow,'
offers birth form
By BEN FELLER, AP White House Correspondent
Ben Feller, Ap White House Correspondent – 2 hrs 7 mins ago
WASHINGTON – Confronting growing doubts that could
undermine his re-election bid, President Barack Obama on Wednesday
delivered an extraordinary rebuttal to those questioning whether he was
born in the United States and eligible to hold office, producing a
detailed birth certificate and pleading for a long "sideshow" to end.
Obama's surprising intervention came as the White
House saw that doubts about his birth in Hawaii — and therefore his
legitimacy to be president — were growing, consuming more of the
political debate and the mainstream media's attention.
Until now, the White House had deflected demands for
Obama to produce his long-form birth certificate, apparently content
that voters would see the issue as frivolous, perhaps even to the
The White House calculation Wednesday was that it was
necessary to step in and try to deflate the issue, even though doing so
meant Obama ended up swamping the news with the very topic he said he
wanted to quash.
Donald Trump, weighing a campaign against Obama,
crowed that he had forced the president's hand.
On TV, Obama said the issue was distraction from the
important matters of the day: budget deficits and soaring gasoline
"We do not have time for this kind of silliness,"
Obama said in hurriedly announced appearance in the White House
briefing room. "We've got better stuff to do."
He portrayed himself as the voice of reason in a
loud, lingering debate, essentially saying that the nation was above
all this. The president also sought to push to the national fringe
anyone who refused to accept the facts about his birth, taking an
indirect swipe at Trump, who has been loudly stirring up the matter.
"We're not going to be able to solve our problems if
we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," Obama said before
TV cameras at the White House.
Trump, the real estate developer who was making
campaign-like stops in New Hampshire, proudly took the credit for
getting Obama to show further proof of his birth in Hawaii.
"I hope it's true so we can get on to much more
important matters," Trump said.
Obama had released a standard short form of his birth
certificate before he was elected in 2008 but requested copies of his
original birth certificate from Hawaii officials in hopes of killing
the controversy. Until Wednesday, the White House had insisted that the
short form certificate was the appropriate legal document confirming
Obama's birth and no further proof was needed. In addition, officials
in Hawaii had said the longer version could not be released, and the
White House had not tried to get past that.
In his remarks, Obama tried to make a broader point
that the country needs adult leaders with serious agendas. It is part
of his campaign appeal to voters, particularly independents who swung
away from his party in last year's midterm elections, that he is the
one focused on getting results.
Doubts about his birth in America, though widely
debunked, have been growing. A recent New York Times-CBS News poll
found that fully 45 percent of adult Republicans said they believed
Obama was born in another country or weren't sure.
At the same time, many Republican leaders have been
wary of the topic, not wanting to be linked to an extreme argument.
Plenty of Republican Party leaders who vehemently oppose Obama's
policies would still like to see the issue go away, as it can be an
unwanted distraction for them, too.
The chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus,
managed to agree with Obama that the birth issue was a distraction —
and yet accused Obama for playing politics by addressing it.
Republicans escaped fault in his statement even though the falsehoods
about Obama's birth have come from the far right.
The Republican leaders of the House and Senate put
out no statements at all.
The Constitution says a president must be a "natural
born citizen." Obama's skeptics assert he was born in Kenya, his
father's home country.
When the issue surfaced during his presidential run,
Obama's campaign posted his basic birth certificate online. For much of
the past two years, the issue has been marginal. And then it flared
again as critics clamored for the long-form certificate of birth.
In response, Obama secured special authority to
secure two official copies of the more detailed certificate. He
dispatched his personal attorney to fly to Hawaii, get the certificates
and hand deliver them back to the White House.
The certificate says Barack Hussein Obama II was born
at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological
Hospital in Honolulu.
It is signed by the delivery doctor, Obama's mother
and the local registrar. His mother, then 18, signed her name (Stanley)
Ann Dunham Obama.
There's no mention of religion. The certificate says
his father, Barack Hussein Obama, age 25, was African and born in Kenya
and his mother was Caucasian and born in Wichita, Kan. Obama's mother
and the doctor signed the certificate on Aug. 7 and 8.
The family of the doctor, David Sinclair, said
Wednesday they were honored that he had delivered Obama. Sinclair died
in 2003 at 81, his son told The Associated Press.
The White House pays close attention when its message
is getting drowned out by other issues. And Obama himself seemed to hit
the tipping point when, in his view, media coverage was skewed toward
coverage of his birth certificate even in the midst of big news about
competing budget-cutting plans and the future of the country.
Thus, an apparently unprecedented moment in American
politics: An elected president, after more than 800 days in office,
still defending his legitimacy to serve and prodding people to drop
"this thing that just keeps on going."
"I think that he had no choice at this point," said
Diana Owen, an associate professor of political science and director of
American studies at Georgetown University. "I think he was seeing his
own agenda being derailed by some fringe candidate that was raising
these kinds of issues about his personal life."
She added: "If you don't deal with something that you
think is beneath your dignity, you may end up paying for it later."
Obama quickly left the stage after making his appeal
for a national debate on the most serious issues of the day. He was off
to Chicago for an appearance on Oprah Winfrey's television show and
then to New York City to raise money for his re-election.
MONDAY, April 25, 2011
Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about
eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in
He talks about how “feel-good, politically
created a generation of kids with no concept of
how this concept set them up for failure in the
Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to
Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about
The world will expect you to accomplish
BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year
right out of high school.
You won't be a vice-president with a car phone
until you earn both.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is
tough, wait till you get a boss
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath
Your Grandparents had a different word for
They called it opportunity.
Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your
so don't whine about your mistakes, learn
Rule 7 : Before you were born, your
parents weren't as boring
as they are now. They got that way from paying
cleaning your clothes and listening to
talk about how cool you thought you were:
So before you save the rain forest
from the parasites of your parent's
try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8 : Your school may have done away
with winners and losers,
but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they
have abolished failing grades
and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you
want to get the right answer.
*This doesn't bear the slightest
resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9 : Life is not divided into
You don't get summers off and very few
are interested in helping you FIND
*Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 : Television is NOT real
In real life people actually have to leave the
coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds…
Chances are you'll end up working for one.
SUNDAY, April 24, 2011
in foreign affairs: "DON'T JUST DO SOMETHING, STAND
The Muddle at the Middle of
NATO's Libya Efforts
By MICHAEL ELLIOTT Michael Elliott – Sun Apr 24, 5:45
When considering the mess that the U.S. and its NATO allies have got
themselves into in Libya, it's helpful to remember the old story of the
Irish traveller who asked a farmer for the quickest way to Dublin. Came
the reply: "I wouldn't start from here."
NATO's actions in Libya are authorized under United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which, in addition to
establishing a no-fly zone, permits "all necessary measures...to
protect civilians and civilian authorities under threat of attack." The
resolution includes lots of language condemning the regime of Muammar
Gaddafi, and identifies the situation in Libya as a "threat to
international peace and security," but its objectives are strictly
limited: they do not extend to justifying the military overthrow of
Gaddafi's regime. (See photos of Libya's no-fly zone.)
There's no doubt about this. We have it from the
horse's mouth. In his speech on March 28, Barack Obama said that while
"there is no question that Libya...would be better off with Gaddafi out
of power," and that while he and others have "embraced that goal, and
will actively pursue it through non-military means, broadening our
military mission to include regime change would be a mistake."
I argued a couple of weeks ago that there is a
profound illogicality at the heart of this policy. If a regime is
treating its people so monstrously that military intervention from the
outside is justified, then it is ludicrous to suppose that such a
situation can end appropriately with that regime still in place. If so,
what was the point of the humanitarian intervention in the first place?
But this muddle at the heart of the policy of the US and its allies - a
muddle explained by the fact if Res. 1973 had appeared to call for
regime change, it would not have stood a prayer at the U.N. - is not
the only one. (See why Europe is showing its power in Libya's military
Res. 1973 establishes a no-fly zone in Libya and
appears to permit "all necessary measures" in pursuit of its
humanitarian objectives. But that carte blanche is explicitly qualified
in two significant ways. First, the resolution excludes the possibility
of a "foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan
territory." Second (albeit in a preamble, not in the dispositive text
of the resolution) the Security Council reaffirmed its "strong
commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and
national unity" of Libya. So no significant "boots on the ground," no
attempt to recognize Cyrenaica - rebel-held eastern Libya - as a de
facto independent state.
I'll leave it to international lawyers to parse
whether the plans by European nations to assist in training rebel
forces are lawful under Res. 1973. But that apart, help to the rebels
is pretty much limited to bombing of Gaddafi's forces, either by manned
planes or drones. That has not yet been enough to turn the
back-and-forth war along the Mediterranean in the rebels' favor. As the
veteran military historian Max Hastings wrote in the Financial Times
last week, "the allies are still providing enough military support to
prevent the rebels' defeat, but not enough to end the bloodshed or
achieve the declared objectives."
That will remain the case so long as the allies rely
on air power alone. Since World War I, when those daring young men in
their flying machines tossed bombs out of biplanes on to the front
lines of the western front, politicians have loved air power. Smashing
enemies into mangled flesh and bone from 20,000 feet is much less risky
- I mean, to those doing the smashing, not to those smashed - than
having to deploy your constituents' sons and daughters in a fight on
the ground. Hardly surprisingly, early forays into air power were led
by imperialist powers - the British in Iraq, the Italians in Abyssinia
- revelling in their technological superiority over troublesome
natives. (See U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, who made the case for
intervention in Libya.)
Such actions sometimes had the effect their
protagonists intended. When the British finally arrested Sheikh Mahmoud
Barzanji of Iraqi Kurdistan in 1930 after bombing his villages, he
touched the "wings" on the shoulder of an RAF officer to indicate what
it was that had beaten him. But without other armed support, and
against an enemy fighting in urban conditions, able and willing to
place its forces and artillery among civilians, air power is both risky
- bombs don't distinguish between soldiers and innocent civilians,
between local party headquarters and the Chinese embassy - and often
NATO's bombing of Bosnian-Serb positions in 1995 did
not on their own force Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic to the bargaining
table. It was the combination of the bombing and the impact of Croatian
ground forces, who had just swept the Serbs out of Krajina in a ground
attack bltizkrieg, that did the trick. Similarly, six weeks of NATO
bombing of Serb targets during the Kosovo war in 1999 - and this
included targeting civilian targets such as bridges and power plants in
Serbia itself - did not on its own end the war. It was the combination
of the bombing, with plausible NATO plans to invade Kosovo, plus
skilful diplomacy to bring Russia, Serbia's old ally, onside, that made
Of course, there may be other actions that are being
taken by NATO to degrade Gaddafi's forces that we don't know about, and
let's hope there are. I suppose that NATO could expand its reading of
"all necessary measures" to aggressively target Libya's infrastructure,
as it did in Serbia in 1999, though to do so would risk significant
civilian deaths. And one understands that in a war waged by coalitions,
messy compromises and muddled logic are inevitable. "If we tried to
overcome Gaddafi by force," Obama said on March 28, "our coalition
would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground
to accomplish our mission, or risk killing many civilians from the
air." Yes; but we are trying to overcome Gaddafi by force - honestly,
why else are we flying all those missions? - and if we are serious
about so doing, we do risk killing many civilians from the air. That is
how air power works.
Of course, it may be - as a senior Arab diplomat said
to me recently - that what the U.S. and its allies really need is
patience; that somehow or other, in six months or so, Gaddafi will be
out. (Who or what would follow him, however, is anyone's guess.) But
patience, though a virtue, is not in and of itself a strategy. At the
real heart of the Libyan mess is the old issue of ends and means. If
getting Gaddafi out of power in Libya was the desired end of the U.S.
and its allies, then they should have willed the means to make it
happen. If they were not prepared to will those means, then they should
not have said that their desired end was Gaddafi's departure. How can
we solve the Libyan muddle? I wouldn't start from here.
SATURDAY, April 23, 2011
Click on the link to see a nice video about New London and the Coast
FRIDAY, April 22, 2011
the most recent NYTimes article by David Brooks, usually a sober
middle-of-the-road columnist despite his connection to that employer: "Why
Trump Soars Above The Rest Of The Obnoxious Crowd", in The Day (www.theday.com Wednesday, April 20,
pA7). Loaded with invective...and not a little envy in my
number of his most pointed criticisms are indeed Donald Trump's
attributes in the eyes of a large number of Americans totally tired
cynical, hypocritical and cowardly posture of those that Brooks
"polite society". Thank God that there is at least one powerful
man who is "anti-elitist". Has David Brooks been forced by his
employer, in view of the national 2012 election season already begun,
hard to port? "Say it isn't so".
THURSDAY, April 21, 2011
DUELING ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL VISIONS - NO. 3
dense or as enamored of a Welfare State as these figures would appear
suggest? Or are they more likely weary of daily struggles, distrusting
anything coming out of Washington DC, and angry that the proposed
sacrifices" do not include the massive excesses and criminality on Wall
Street - which the perpetrators appear about to get away
"We report; you decide."
Americans strongly oppose some deficit proposals
Los Angeles – Despite growing concerns about the country’s long-term
fiscal problems and an intensifying debate in Washington about how to
deal with them, Americans strongly oppose some of the major remedies
under consideration, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey finds that Americans prefer to keep Medicare just the way
it is. Most also oppose cuts in Medicaid and the defense budget. More
than half say they are against small, across-the-board tax increases
combined with modest reductions in Medicare and Social Security
benefits. Only President Obama’s call to raise tax rates on the
wealthiest Americans enjoys solid support.
On Monday, Standard
& Poor’s, for the first time, shifted its outlook on U.S.
creditworthiness to “negative” because of the nation’s accumulating
debt. The announcement rattled investors and could increase pressure on
both sides in Washington to work out a broader deal as part of the
upcoming vote over increasing the government’s borrowing authority.
The president and congressional Republicans have set out sharply
differing blueprints to deal with the looming problem. Obama has called
for agreement on at least a framework by early summer, which roughly
coincides with the deadline for raising the
nation’s debt ceiling.
Public resistance to many
proposals in the competing plans could greatly complicate those
discussions. Altering entitlement programs still involves political
risk, the poll shows, and proponents of such changes face a substantial
challenge in persuading the public that they are needed.
The two sides are far apart philosophically, and neither enjoys
great public confidence: Fifty-eight percent of those polled disapprove
of the way the president is handling the budget deficit. Even more — 64
percent — give Republicans in Congress low marks.
The public is split about evenly on whether Obama or congressional
Republicans are more trusted to find the right balance between cutting
unnecessary spending and preserving priorities.
On that question, public opinion is unchanged since last month,
recent battle over funding the government for the rest of the
current fiscal year, resulting in a deal that includes $38 billion
in cuts and that came barely an hour before the government was
scheduled to shut down.
Congressional Republicans maintain a narrow edge over Obama when it
comes to taking a “stronger leadership role” in Washington, 45 to 40
percent. And political independents side with the Republicans on
tackling the burgeoning debt. But Obama maintains a key, double-digit
advantage among independents when it comes to “protecting the middle
budget plan, drafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
(Wis.) and approved
by the House last week, calls for a major restructuring of
Medicare and Medicaid, with sizable savings in future costs. Obama, in
his plan, opposes the GOP’s restructuring, but he has said that future
savings will be needed to keep Medicare solvent.
The Post-ABC poll finds that 78 percent oppose cutting spending
on Medicare as a way to chip away at the debt. On Medicaid — the
government insurance program for the poor — 69 percent disapprove of
There is also broad opposition to cuts in military spending to
reduce the debt, but at somewhat lower levels (56 percent).
his speech last week, the president renewed his call to raise tax
rates on family income over $250,000, and he appears to hold the high
ground politically, according to the poll. At this point, 72 percent
support raising taxes along those lines, with 54 percent strongly
backing this approach. The proposal enjoys the support of majorities of
Democrats (91 percent), independents (68 percent) and Republicans (54
percent). Only among people with annual incomes greater than $100,000
does less than a majority “strongly support” such tax increases.
An across-the-board tax increase is decidedly less popular, at least
when coupled with benefit reductions. A
report by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility ,
co-chaired by former senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former Clinton
White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, recommended “shared
sacrifice.” But in the poll, a slim majority — 53 percent —
opposes small tax increases and minor benefit cuts for all as a way to
significantly reduce the debt. Strong opposition to that kind of
solution outnumbers strong support by 2 to 1.
There is broad support for keeping Medicare structured the way it
has been since it was instituted in 1965: as a defined-benefit health
insurance program. Just 34 percent of Americans say Medicare should be
changed along the lines outlined in the Ryan budget proposal, shifting
it away from a defined-benefit plan. Under that proposal, recipients
would select from a group of insurance plans providing guaranteed
coverage, and the government would provide a payment to the insurer,
subsidizing the cost. Advocates say this approach is more sophisticated
than a pure voucher plan.
In his speech last week, Obama attacked that idea, saying it could
leave some Americans without adequate coverage and would end “Medicare
as we know it.”
While the debt issue lingers, most Americans — 59 percent — do
approve of the deal stitched together to avoid a government shutdown by
cutting billions from this year’s budget.
The telephone poll was conducted April 14 to 17 among a random
national sample of 1,001 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus
or minus 3.5 percentage points.
WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2011
I AM PROUD TO
HELP BE HIS PUBLICIST. GS
63 and I'm
Robert A. Hall
63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a
period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've
hard since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I
still put in
weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight
years. I make
good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I
get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in
tired. Very tired.
tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people
have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will
money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to
tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in
homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick,
I'm willing to
if they bought Mc Mansions at three times the price
$250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing
who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community
Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.
tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires
Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury
of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get
way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe,
of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the
for Christian people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of
tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when
can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives
for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some
of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't
of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims
rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims
of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and
law tells them to.
tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the
Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs,
admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them
government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture
and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and
the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.
think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black
doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation
I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone
believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an
tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other
cultures" we must
Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and mandrassa Islamic
to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to
a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love
tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a
apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also
a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live.
footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore,
tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must
and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be
but I #@*# sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired
from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I have
tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers,"
ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime.
drug dealers, "Undocumented
Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not
Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred
since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to
track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English,
have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family
or who serves honorably for three years in our military.... Those
the citizens we need.
tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the
of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped
near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their
sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under
circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad
happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes
this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies
the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So
I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that
heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let
be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded
Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine
Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the
Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the
who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the
were Christian. Then we'll compare notes. British and
are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and
instead of hiding from in fear.
tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and
other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are
I'm tired of people telling me we need
in Illinois , where the " Illinois Combine" of
Democrats has worked
loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax
tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both
talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught.
tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.
of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes,
TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't
in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The
poverty pimps have to
changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.
real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their
I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or
big-whatever for their problems.
I'm tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm
have to see the world these people are making. I'm just feeling
A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the
TUESDAY, April 19, 2011
DUELING ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL VISIONS - NO. 2... "THE
ROAD TO PERDITION".
threatens to cut U.S. credit rating on deficit
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Standard & Poor's threatened Monday to
downgrade the United States' prized AAA credit rating unless the Obama
administration and Congress find a way to slash the yawning federal
budget deficit within two years.
S&P, which assigns ratings to guide investors on the risks
involved in buying debt instruments, slapped a negative outlook on the
country's top-notch credit rating and said there's at least a
one-in-three chance that it could eventually cut it.
A downgrade, which would leave Germany and France with a higher
rating, would erode the status of the United States as the world's most
powerful economy and the dollar's role as the dominant global currency.
If investors start demanding higher returns for holding riskier U.S.
debt, the rise in bond yields would crank up borrowing costs for
consumers and businesses. That would threaten to hurt the economy as it
recovers from the worst recession since World War II.
"This new warning highlights the need for the U.S. to take better
control of its fiscal destiny if it is to avoid higher borrowing costs
and maintain its central role at the core of the global economy," said
Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive at PIMCO, which oversees $1.2
trillion in assets and has a short position on U.S. government debt.
Major U.S. stock indexes fell than 1 percent on the day.
Longer-dated government bond prices initially fell but recovered to
post solid gains as falling stocks took over as the main driver for
price action in the Treasury market. Bond prices frequently trade
inversely to stocks.
The dollar also rose as more immediate fiscal problems in Greece
hurt the euro and supported some U.S. assets.
The cost of insuring Treasury debt against default at one point
Monday neared a 2011 high, though it was well below lofty levels hit
two years ago when fears of a double-dip U.S. recession raged.
The threat of a downgrade raises the stakes in the struggle between
President Obama's Democratic administration and his Republican
opponents in the House to get control over a nearly $1.4 trillion
budget deficit and $14.27 trillion debt burden.
The White House last week announced plans to trim $4 trillion from
the deficit over the next 12 years, mostly through spending cuts and
tax hikes on the rich. Congressional Republicans want deeper spending
cuts and no tax increases.
The deficit problem has become crushing since the financial crisis
of 2008. Now for every dollar the federal government spends, it takes
in less than 60 cents in revenue.
A budget deficit running at nearly 10 percent of output and expected
to grow will likely further swell a public debt load that's already
more than 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
"Because the U.S. has, relative to its AAA peers, what we consider
to be very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness,
and the path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revised
our outlook on the long-term rating to negative from stable," S&P
Even so, Austan Goolsbee, the top economist at the White House,
downplayed S&P's move, telling CNBC Monday it was a "political
judgment" that "we don't agree with."
DoubleLine Chief Executive Jeffrey Gundlach said Monday that the
S&P warning "should serve as an effective cattle prod in pushing
the politicians toward a program of spending cuts and tax increases."
"NOT THE END OF THE WORLD"
Some on Wall Street also downplayed the immediate impact.
"If a corporate entity had the same kind of unsustainable leverage
problems, it would have been downgraded long ago," said Robert Bishop,
chief investment officer of fixed income at SCM Advisors in San
"But from the standpoint of the sovereign, being on outlook negative
is not the end of world," he added. "Japan, for example, is a double-A
S&P downgraded Japan's rating earlier this year for the first
time since 2002, saying Tokyo had no plan to deal with its mounting
But unlike the United States, almost all Japanese debt is held by
domestic investors. That means the country need not depend on
foreigners for financing.
Axel Merk, president of Merk Hard Currency Fund in Palo Alto,
California, said Monday's warning was "a wake-up call that we need to
do something in the U.S." S&P is "absolutely correct that this is
something serious that needs to be addressed."
Moody's, S&P's main rival in the ratings business, also
maintains a Aaa credit rating - its highest - on the United States.
For PIMCO, the world's largest bond fund, the picture had become
bleak enough to prompt it to announce in February it had sold all U.S.
Treasuries in its $236 billion Total Return Fund.
Bill Gross, PIMCO's chief investment officer, said he expected
interest rates to climb, the dollar to fall and the United States to
eventually lose its AAA credit rating.
The ratings agency said neither the White House nor Republican plan
does enough to fix the shortfall, and the tension between the parties
has cast doubt on whether they will be able to work together on a
"Looking at the gulf between the parties, it has never been wider
than now," David Beers, S&P's global head of sovereign ratings,
said Monday. "It takes a lot of political will to bridge this gulf."
A U.S. congressional report last week blamed ratings companies such
as S&P and Moody's Corp for triggering the financial crisis when
they cut the inflated ratings they had applied to complex
George Feldenkreis, CEO of Perry Ellis International, said that
casts doubt on S&P's outlook.
The ratings agency "does not have the intellect or systems to judge
the ability of the U.S. economy or political system to resolve its
issues of taxation and needed budget cuts," he said.
Moody's put some issues of U.S. Treasury debt on watch for a
downgrade in 1996 when the White House and Congress failed to extend
the government's debt ceiling.
The two sides are heading for a similar showdown over the $14.3
trillion legal borrowing limit, which will have to be extended within
SOURING ON THE DOLLAR
The U.S. debt burden has grown exponentially after a housing bubble
burst in 2007 and set off a world financial crisis that toppled several
Wall Street banks, drove up the jobless rate and thrust the global
economy into recession.
Governments around the world were forced to increase public spending
to prevent their economies from lurching into an even worse depression.
The tactics helped spark a recovery but left the United States and
other advanced economies, which were hit hardest by the crisis, with
staggeringly large debt burdens.
Though it rose Monday, the dollar is down about 5 percent against
major currencies in 2011. S&P's move, coupled with record low U.S.
interest rates, will do little to make it more attractive, said Kathy
Lien, director of research at GFT.
"Even though I don't think an actual downgrade would occur, in this
very sensitive or vulnerable time for the U.S. dollar, it's enough to
spook investors from holding or buying dollars," she said.
(Additional reporting by Richard Leong, Jennifer Ablan, Herb Lash,
Al Yoon, Dena Aubin, Wanfeng Zhou and Frank Tang; editing by Frank
MONDAY, April 18, 2011
<>Why are you apologizing for the
<>You don't use a hammer when you need a scalpel, but you
certainly don't use a feather duster when you need steel wool. I
with every word written below, ESPECIALLY the "language" (except
for the assertion that any changes to Social Security will
affect a current 63 year-old). This is one of the reasons we
the position we face as a nation. And, don't buy that bill
that we are the most divided we ever been because of
language", conveniently emanating from those heartless bastards on
the Right. Ask anyone who lived any of their adult years in the
or read a history book about the 1860's. This is pure propaganda
the flagpole daily mostly by the Left as a means of stratifying
country into a (hopefully non-violent) class struggle. And,
people on the Right who warn against "harsh language" in political
issues are simply bring a knife to a gunfight.
The language of
political "discourse" is
often so watered-down and vague as to render it dubious
or useless. It is explained away by its practitioners with
of "civility" and "mending fences" when we all know what
takes place behind the scenes--either blatant backstabbing or shameful
collusion. No one believes what comes out of the mouths of
either party because they too often say what they think needs to
to either get them re-elected, to minimize political damage to
the omnipotent Party, or both. As a voter, I would trust
a pair of
politicians who expressed genuine, intellectually honest disdain
other and their respective politics, but who got something done in the
process. I think most voters feel the same. It may stratify
further divide certain groups and issues initially, but the fog of
by all sides would be lifted.
<>I'm partial to this subject
I frequently speak
this way about issues of this importance--because they DESERVE the
attention and passion that politicians too often, frankly, don't
give a shit about. And why; because as stated below, they have no
in this race. They make decisions all day that directly
lives while we, the taxpayers pay them with money we work for . .
day. Yet, they have rigged the game to preclude any impact
themselves for such decisions. Not to put too fine a point on it,
you f*%^ing kidding me?
<>And, you wonder why people such as the man below (or a
characterization of many of us, as it most likely is) use harsh
Goddamn right, harsh language! Absolutely, something would
"lost in translation" otherwise. I have news for anyone
who thinks that parliamentary procedure regarding language, even
national political arena is de rigueur. And, it isn't
politics. I have lost count of how many times an opponent to
on an issue has called me a "hater" the MOMENT I expressed even
mild opposition to their viewpoint. Bear in mind that this term
used in the current social parlance, but ask yourself why it
<>It used to be that if you expressed negative feelings
or opposing opinions on an issue, you were validated in your
if you were honest and rational about it. Today, in the PC
tolerance of eeeeevvvvvrrrrrryyyyything (either by ridiculously
intentions or political expedience), you're a "hater" if you
don't like Chinese food. Moreover, in that specific case, you're
a "hater" of Chinese people if you "hate" their food.
I'm not kidding. It's gotten that bad.
happens everyday in politics and with issues as
galvanizing as the entitlement programs mentioned below. So,
more straight-talk on these issues, and not only from possibly
people on the Internet. You can't say the guy below is simply
All his points are valid. But, they would probably
ignored or simply dismissed if they came in The Queen's English.
FOR SOME OF THE LANGUAGE. BUT IT WOULD LOSE A LITTLE SOMETHING IN
Simpson, Senator from Wyoming , Co-Chair of Obama's deficit
calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he
"Social Security" to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.
a response in a letter from a unknown fellow in Montana ...
think he is a little ticked off! He also tells it like it
Alan, let's get a few things straight..
As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY
I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15
old. I am now 63).
My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other
were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for
until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give
money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus
the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme
would have made Bernie Madoff proud.
Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled
football away from millions of American seniors nearing
and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to
67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the
I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare
Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the
Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy
such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay
I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our
lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why?
you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that
just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come
the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.
add insult to injury, you label us "greedy" for calling "bullshit" on
incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for
How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during
pathetic 50-year political career?
At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and
much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the
How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?
What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you
in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual,
you exempted yourself and your political cronies?
is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called
who are the "greedy" ones. It is you and your fellow nutcases
have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from
of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes.
You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of
your pathetic political careers. You know it, we know it, and
know that we know it.
you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.
SUNDAY, April 17, 2011
BUDGET: DUELING ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL VISIONS - NO. 1
of articles and commentaries is of vital importance to the future of
country. The subject matter will largely determine the outcome of
2012 Elections and our national health for decades to come. It
with surprising courage from the Republican leadership, and with
demagoguery and class warfare from the Democrats. So, LISTEN
2012 federal budget drama could take bipartisan turn
Washington – The new House budget for 2012 draws heavily on the
vision of a one-man think tank, Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, who
called today’s vote a “defining moment.”
The plan, which passed today on a near party-line vote, 235 to 193,
aims to lop some $5.8 trillion off federal spending over the next 10
years. It would do this mainly by embracing Congressman Ryan's
signature issue – overhauling entitlements such as Medicare and
Medicaid – but also by cutting the federal workforce by 10 percent and
setting a binding cap on total spending as a percentage of the economy.
But the path ahead signals a completely different means of
lawmaking. Where the House's so-called "Ryan bill" is associated with
only one man, both the Senate and the president are focusing on trying
to build bipartisan consensus.
RELATED: Obama vs. Paul Ryan: five ways their debt plans differ
In the Senate the so-called Gang of Six senators – including four
veterans of the president’s Simpson-Bowles deficit commission – have
been working behind closed doors for nearly five months to translate
the findings of that commission into legislative language that could
pass the Senate. Meanwhile, President Obama this week called on
congressional leaders to set up nine-member, bipartisan group, headed
by Vice President Joe Biden, to produce a blueprint by the end of June
to cut $4 trillion out of federal deficits.
But the speed of the House's efforts â€“ passing the 2012
budget only a day after it passed the 2011 spending bill to avoided a
government shutdown â€“ is putting pressure on the Senate, in
particular, to pick up the pace. Senate Democratic leaders have said
the House budget will be dead on arrival because of its drastic changes
to Medicare, and they are eager to present something as an alternative.
“We’re making progress,” says Sen. Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois,
the deputy majority leader and a member of the Gang of Six. "If we can
put a deal on the table, it will be an integral part of the debate,” he
adds. “But there come a time – and we’re coming close to it – when our
relevance runs up against timing.”
Gang of Six negotiationsUntil now, Senate Budget Committee Chairman
Kent Conrad (D) of North Dakota has delayed committee deliberations on
a 2012 budget in order to wait on the Gang of Six, which includes
Senators Conrad and Durbin, as well as Sens. Mark Warner (D) of
Virginia, Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma, Saxby Chambliss (R) of Georgia,
and Mike Crapo (R) of Idaho.
The vice president has urged the Gang of Six to continue their work,
even as he launches his bipartisan negotiations.
Both the House budget and ongoing bipartisan efforts in the Senate
draw on recommendations of the deficit commission. The Ryan plan
credits the fiscal commission with identifying ways to save on
discretionary spending, including cutting corporate tax breaks,
overhauling how the government manages real estate assets, and reducing
the federal auto fleet by 20 percent.
But House Republicans reject outright any effort to close the
deficit gap by raising taxes. The House plan eliminates some $800
billion in tax increases related to implementation of the president’s
health-care reform law and extends Bush-era tax cuts.
In the Senate, however, two Republicans in the Gang of Six –
Senators Coburn and Crapo – backed tax increases as part of a
comprehensive plan to resolve the nation’s debt crisis. “I’m hopeful we
are getting to an agreement that’s good,” said Coburn Thursday.
House sparringDemocrats predicted that controversy over the House
budget would run through 2012 elections and beyond. “It is an ethic for
our country to keep our bedrock promise to our seniors, to keep our
promise of Medicare, a benefit they have earned through a lifetime of
work,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. “House Republicans
are voting to break that promise, jeopardizing the health and economic
security of America's seniors.”
In a response on the floor, Ryan said that Medicare as we know it
will be bankrupt in nine years. â€œThe biggest threat to Medicare
is the status quo,â€
“This budget will bring more certainty to the American people – show
the American people that we're serious about cutting spending – because
we all know that cutting spending will reduce some of the uncertainty
that's causing job creators to sit on their hands,” said Speaker John
Boehner (R) of Ohio before Friday’s vote.
Asked at a press briefing whether he intended to appoint members to
serve on the Biden commission, Boehner said: â€œWe've had
commissions around here and we've had commissions. Nobody's ever paid
much attention. And clearly the president didn't pay any attention to
his own deficit-reduction commission. The conversations are going to
continue. We'll know more in the future.
SUNDAY through SATURDAY, April 10 through 16, 2011
Explained By Maxine!
Let me get this straight . . . . We're going to be
"gifted" with a health care
plan we are forced to purchase and
fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least
thirty million more people,
without adding a single new doctor,
but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose
he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it but
exempted themselves from it, and signed by a President who smokes, with
funding administered by a treasury chief who
didn't pay his taxes, for which we'll be taxed for four years before any
benefits take effect, by a government which has already
bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a
surgeon general who
is obese, and financed by a country that's broke!!!!! 'What could
possibly go wrong?'
SUNDAY, April 10, 2011
news from the Sunday (April 10, 2011) newspapers: 'Ray.
decorations are already beginning to fall
off of the Christmas Tree that is called Obamacare, loaded with
"wants" and lacking the needed Health Reform needs. See
"SustiNet: Worsening Fiscal Woes of Conn.?", by Arielle Levin Becker,
The Day Perspective, pE1. WAKE UP, EVERYONE. CHRISTMAS IS
Lumet, 1924-2011:"A Director of Classics, Focused on Conscience" (NYTimes).
What a quaint idea. You've earned your rest.
Jonathan Mahler, NYTimes Magazine. Also "Bad Education", by
Jonathan Mahler, NYTimes Wk p 3. Once again, the public education
monopoly in this country, run by the Teachers' Unions and the
Democratic Party, seems to be a metastasized cancer affecting every
child in the system. Most recently, reformers in Washington DC
and now in New York City have been sent packing. And all the
while, minority communities that have been most affected by the abject
failure of this education system over the last three decades remain
blindly its most reliable supporters. By Albert Einstein's
definition, and by any common sense evaluation, THIS IS INSANITY.
AND IT IS ALSO PARENTAL IRRESPONSIBILITY.
- "Unease at
Dodger Stadium" (NYTimes
Sports Sunday, p1, relating to "the severe beating of a Giants fan in a
parking lot" is another issue that cries out for solution: the
coarseness and even criminality that now passes for SOP in many parts
of this country. Society must get back to expecting personal
responsibility, social civility and severe consequences for those who
break reasonable rules...not Courts which seem to consider themselves
social workers of last resort. WAKE UP, AMERICA.
City Activist Honored", The Day,
Region, pC1: Eunice Waller, a living treasure of this community.
Governor Dannel Malloy seems to harbor the same 'ol Democratic reflexes
that in recent decades have changed this State from a vibrant leader to
a business backwater and a welfare State. ("Malloy's Business
Unfriendly Tax Plan", by Paul Choiniere, The Day Perspective,
SATURDAY, April 9, 2011
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED FROM THE "SHUTDOWN"
that these lessons would be
- "Ideological issues", most specifically
Abortion, continue to dominate the deep divisions haunting this
country. In my opinion, the Abortion issue must be addressed -
not by the bald-faced lying by people like Senator Reid, who equate the
issue with "women's health, but by overruling Roe v Wade and
returning the issue to the individual States. Meanwhile, Planned
Parenthood, which admits to having performed over 300,000 abortions
in 2010, must be forced either to stop its abortion business or be
- The liberal Democrats still
don't get it regarding the financial state of the country. And those
that do continue to defer to their own self-interest in pandering to
supposedly under-served constituents. They care a good deal less for
the State of the Union.
- The results of the 2010 elections
can be considered the first dose of an immunization...wherein a second
dose is needed actually to produce significant results. Hopefully, that
second dose will come in 2012. Certainly, the Republicans are
finally clearly articulating the risk / benefit analysis involved in
administering that second dose...by virtue of their stated goals for
the 2012 budget and beyond. Finally, the can in the road may come
- Meanwhile, the results of the 2012
election will be largely dependent on the Republicans getting
their act together. They must adhere to their position on
Abortion. They must modify their position on Homosexuality, in
accord with newer scientific evidence regarding human Biology.
They must stop using the pejorative word "amnesty" and address
comprehensively a complex immigration problem in part produced by the
actions of their business interests: "that great sucking sound" having
drawn cheap labor into this country for decades. They must attack
all "welfare", including that for the Fat Cats who support them.
They must demand reform of the Tax Code...and then be open to targeted
tax increases as needed. They must know the difference between
"Preservation" and "Conservation", the former protecting the status quo
at all costs, and the latter embracing "adaptive re-use", including in
the area of energy independence. And they must always be "America
First" and strongly pro-defense.
- That said, the American electoral
system no longer "works"...not when important seats can be bought
by the highest bidder - including the Presidency for a recently
estimated cost of $1 Billion. We now need to convene a Federal
Constitutional Convention to promote Constitutional amendment(s) to
restrict the time and cost of Federal elections to the effort necessary
to inform the electorate adequately...and that alone.
FRIDAY, April 8, 2011
FOR "EMAIL OF THE YEAR"!!!
After being interviewed by the school administration,
the prospective teacher said:
'Let me see if I've got this right.
You want me to go into that room with all those kids,
correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse,
monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill
in them a love for learning.
'You want me to check their backpacks for weapons,
wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their
sense of self-esteem and personal pride.
'You want me to teach them patriotism and good
citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote,
balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.
'You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize
signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the
'You also want me to provide them with an equal
education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with
their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter,
telephone, newsletter, and report card.
'You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a
blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting
salary that qualifies me for food stamps.
'You want me to do all this and then you tell me. . .
I CAN'T PRAY?
THURSDAY, April 7, 2011
ACTION" comes after "AWOL". Thus, the need for a Federal
Constitutional Convention, as urged by me in a recent "Rapid
Missing in action: Washington
The Day, New London, CT
04/08/2011 12:00 AM
04/08/2011 12:02 AM
Never mind the inability of the two
parties in Washington to agree on a stop-gap spending plan to keep
government operating, a situation that on Thursday had the nation
facing the prospect of a shutdown of all nonessential services. The
greater concern is the unreality with which both the Republican and
Democratic leadership, or what passes as leadership, are confronting
the nation's long-term fiscal challenges.
In his draft budget for 2012, released a
few weeks ago, President Barack Obama abdicated any genuine leadership
in deflating the nation's ballooning deficit. After appointing a
deficit-reduction commission that came up with some tough and honest
approaches to the challenge, President Obama largely ignored its
recommendations. His spending plan was mainly business as usual, basing
its estimate of an improving deficit situation on a rosy prediction for
His commission provided blueprints to
rein in the growth of the big entitlement programs - Medicare, Medicaid
and Social Security. It called for carefully targeted tax hikes and
defense spending reductions (there is room for cuts; the Pentagon's
budget is equal to the military spending of the next 20 countries
Instead of action, the administration
continues to use the excuse that serious budget cutting will harm the
nascent economic recovery. Rather than making bold proposals of his
own, President Obama seemed to make the political calculation that he
would leave that to Republicans and then attack them politically for
their unpopular choices.
On that count, the budget plan unveiled
this week by Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
did not disappoint. The document is breathtaking in its impenitent call
to dismantle the social safety net that even President Ronald Reagan
said was important to maintain, while further reducing the taxes of the
The Ryan plan would eliminate the federal
food stamp program, sending block grants to the states to let them
figure out who, how and whether to feed the needy. It would slash Pell
grants that help middle-income families pay for college. It would gut
environmental spending, from $40 billion to $26 billion.
In time, states would also receive grants
to provide Medicaid care to the poor, but the grants would not keep up
with growing costs. The states would apparently have to figure out how
to make the numbers work.
Seniors would no longer enroll in the
Medicare program, as they do now, but would get a federal subsidy to
help them buy private insurance. But again, the subsidies would not
rise to match expected increases in health care costs.
Squeezed by inadequate subsidies from
Washington, the plan would apparently achieve its savings by forcing
the elderly and poor to pay more for their care or get less of it. Rep.
Ryan wants to repeal the health care law, of course, but with no
strategy for providing coverage to the uninsured.
Meanwhile, the top rate on both corporate
and individual taxation would drop from 35 percent to 25 percent.
As with President Obama's plan, the Ryan
initiative leaves defense spending relatively untouched.
The White House is probably relishing the
chance to run against these proposals. But at some point someone has to
govern. It's hard to imagine what 2012 budget deal can emerge from the
vacuum left by the president and the dismantling of government
envisioned by Rep. Ryan.
The forecast is for more pomposity,
disingenuousness and stalemate.
FRIDAY through WEDNESDAY, April 1
through 6, 2011
Principal - A MUST READ
We watched Dennis Prager of Colorado on TV a couple
of weeks ago....what a dynamic, down to earth speaker. This is
the guy that should be running for President in 2012!
A Speech Every American High School Principal Should
Give........By Dennis Prager.
To the students and faculty of our high school:
I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There
is no greater calling than to teach young people.
I would like to apprise you of some important changes
coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am
convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education
in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against
First, this school will no longer honor race or
ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black,
brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are
African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors
arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. The only identity I
care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual
identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And
the only national identity this school will care about is American.
This is an American public school, and American public schools were
created to make better Americans. If you wish to affirm an
ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have to
go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity, race and non-American
nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America,
one of its three central values -- e pluribus Unum, "from many,
one." And this school will be guided by America's values. This
includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide
students based on any identities. This includes race, language,
religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a
society divided by political correctness.
Your clubs will be based on interests and passions,
not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs
just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self
-- while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond
yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders
and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already
speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you
can imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic, racial or
sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really
Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your
native language. My only interest in terms of language is that
you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as
possible. The English language has united America's citizens for over
200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the
indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be
one country. And if you leave this school without excellent
English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that
you will be prepared to successfully compete in the American job
market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that
most Americans only speak English --but if you want classes taught in
your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.
Third, because I regard learning as a sacred
endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning's elevated
status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will
dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally
for Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their
priorities backward. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at
Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated
anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in the hallways
or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the
f-word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by
the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger,"
even when used by one black student to address another black, or
"bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my
intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the
few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the
degraded, the holy and the obscene.
Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this
school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way -- the way people
attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning
it.. One immediate consequence is that there will be one
valedictorian, not eight.
Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward
academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time
will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or
terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more
semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard
sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue. There will be no
more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not
white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We will
have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not
consider him or herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an
Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of
Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know
the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.
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