Friday, July 31, 2009
The Daily Kos has a poll out now that concludes that the majority of birthers are Southern and Republican.
I'm Southern AND Republican and I don't give a damn where he was born. He's elected, he's in, and he's ruining the country. That's all I need to know.
Let it go, people. It's a distraction and a waste of time. Move on.
Seriously, I wanted to take a moment from railing against health care and politics to acknowledge my little birthday and thank my blogging buddies and internet friends for their support. I've learned a lot this year.
I started my blog initially because my adult daughter had one and I'd enjoyed reading it all last summer; she encouraged me to start one of my own. I knew less than nothing about how to do any of it. I went to the store and bought Blogging for Dummies. I swear.
Initially I wasn't sure of my blog's focus and I wrote about things like my dog, my daily life, things that Steve and I did, like going to military band concerts and eating out. Mice. Day trips. Flowers. And I still do some of that, but as you know, I eventually settled into being primarily a political blog. Like the world needed another one of those.
I've made some people mad, I lost some readers over politics, and I've gained some. I've "met" some great people and I've found some terrific blogs (see my blogroll!).
Robert Stacy McCain has been indispensable. There's been a small internet war over his "Rules" this week, which I'm staying out of, but I've learned a lot from Stacy and his encouragement has been invaluable. Some may call his "Rules" silly, but I learned a lot from his words. Stacy has helped more bloggers get established and circulated than anybody I know. He's got a heart of gold. He is hands down one of the best writers I know, and he's what I like to call a "good, old-fashioned journalist" which means he knows what real reporting is and what it's all about to work in a newsroom and to have "ink in your veins" - metaphorically speaking, of course. If you're feeling charitable, click over and hit his tip jar because he needs some new shoe leather.
Speaking of tip jars, I want to thank those folks that have hit mine lately. It's encouraging to know that people enjoy what you write and support your efforts. I like to say I blog for fun, and I do, but the rattling of coins in the tip jar is encouraging! So, thanks! I won't call you by name because I don't want you on any right-wing extremist lists.
So thanks, readers, for coming back. I appreciate each and every one of you.
Happy Birthday to me!
As Obama's campaign promise to close Gitmo quickly comes due, there is still some indecision about what to do with the almost 200 prisoners that remain. Brees, like your humble blogger, believes that closing the prison is a huge mistake:
"I can say this after that experience -- the worst thing we can do is shut that baby down, for a lot of reasons," Brees said. "But I think there's a big misconception as to how we are treating those prisoners; those detainees over there. They are being treated probably 10 times better than any prisoner in a U.S. prison."As I've posted before, those prisoners have it much better in Gitmo than they EVER had it in Afghanistan or Yemin or wherever they came from, and certainly better than they would have it in a SuperMax prison within the United States. That is, unless Obama is planning on loosening restrictions in a SuperMax to the point that they are in Gitmo. We might be seeing signs of this in the decision of Attorney General Holder in allowing the SAMS on Richard C. Reid to expire on the grounds that they were a violation of his First Amendment rights. Yes, at Gitmo they are in detention and don't have freedom; nobody says it's Disneyland, but it beats a SuperMax.
For Duncan's part, he calls the statements of Drew Brees "eye opening." Brees points out that the detainees can watch television, pray five times a day, play Wii, watch movies, receive letters and phone calls, write and phone home, and as I've written about before, they have the best medical care possible, as well as personalized diet plans.
Duncan is quick to point out that this was not always the case and he seems to be trying to make the point that Gitmo is an inhumane place. He says:
I'm sure Brees accurately described the conditions at Gitmo during his visit. But clearly that wasn't the case previously. An 18-month investigation by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2006 charged U.S. officials with human rights violations against the prisoners and urged the U.S. to close the military prison in Cuba. President Barack Obama announced in January plans to close the detention center at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base within a period of no later than one year and to prohibit cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in interrogations of detained individuals.
Any abuses that occurred at Gitmo were in the early days, right after it was hastily formed from the need of detaining terrorists attempting to kill Americans in connection with the 9/11 attacks. Those conditions have long since been corrected.
Duncan then laments that Brees' comments "flew under the radar" in the press but that they did (thank goodness!) resonate with some Saints fans who left negative comments on a popular fan blog.
Drew Brees is an active supporter of our military. The people at Gitmo did not put on a show just for his visit. Brees did not embellish what he saw there. In fact, much of what he reported, especially as to the restraint the guards must show in the face of detainees who fling feces and urine at them on a daily basis, is also recorded in Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu's book Inside Gitmo.
Representative Jan Schakowsky wrote on Huffington Post about her recent trip to Gitmo. She's concerned about the rights of the detainees. She describes "Camp 4 where prisoners live in barrack-style units, 5 to a unit (though built to accommodate 10) who are 'free' to move in and out of an outdoor yard 20 hours per day. Camp 5 and 6 are medium and maximum (not counting the high value detainees) and visitors are shown the small individual cells and are told that these prisoners are given up to 4 hours per day out in the yard with other prisoners. Camps 4, 5, 6 are comfortably air-conditioned." Terrible. Just terrible.
Schakowsky's main point seems to be that Gitmo must be closed because nobody there has been convicted of doing anything wrong. While everyone loves to blame Bush, remember that one of Obama's first acts was the delay of the tribunals. In the meantime, Team Obama began to figure out how to deal with the prisoners.
The Gitmo prisoners are slowly being filtered out into the world as Obama prepares to close the prison. The New York Times reported this week that Ireland has agreed to accept two of them. No word on if they will be freed, incarcerated, monitored, nothing. And it was reported yesterday that a judge has ordered Mohammed Jowad freed, saying "Enough has been imposed on this young man to date." He was charged with throwing a hand grenade in 2002 that injured two American soldiers and their Afghan interpreter. Thomas Joscelyn writes in today's Weekly Standard of another release, that of Khaled al Mutayri. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered him released on Wednesday.
One by one many of them will be free to attack us again.
But this does not seem to bother people like Jeff Duncan or Rep. Jan Schakowsky who appear to be more concerned about the rights of terrorists than the rights and safety of Americans.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
"It's almost immoral what they are doing," Pelosi said to reporters, referring to insurance companies. "Of course they've been immoral all along in how they have treated the people that they insure," she said, adding, "They are the villains. They have been part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening."
Intrepid reporter Mary Katharine Ham was quick to point out that Nancy's comrade, Barack Obama, took more money from HMOs during the 2008 campaign season than anyone else.
Are we keeping score? So far this week, between Obama and Pelosi, Washington has ticked off doctors, police officers, and now insurance companies.
While vowing to work with Obama on health care reform, insurance companies are not totally blameless when it comes to our current state of health care in America. But they do provide jobs for people and they have promised to reform and work with Washington in working toward a better system. Yet what Obamacare proposes will push most of them out of business. In response to Nancy Pelosi, the Weekly Standard received this statement from America's Health Insurance Association:
“Countless physicians, hospitals and employers, and millions of concerned citizens agree that a government-run health care plan will dismantle employer-based coverage, bankrupt local hospitals, and break the promise made to the American people that those who like their health plan can keep it." There's more here.
Sounds like Nancy better have some beer diplomacy of her own.
She is keeping her large flat screen TV, presumably in the hopes that the reception will be better in 2012.
(H/T: Hot Air)
The New York Times reports falling support for Obamacare: "Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests, the poll found. The percentage who describe health care costs as a serious threat to the American economy — a central argument made by Mr. Obama — has dropped over the past month."
The Wall Street Journal posts these poll results: "In mid-June, respondents were evenly divided when asked whether they thought Mr. Obama's health plan was a good or bad idea. In the new poll, conducted July 24-27, 42% called it a bad idea while 36% said it was a good idea." The full poll results are here.
Americans have had enough. We are just over six months into this presidency and people have had enough. Porkulus, Omnibus, the over-the-top budget, Government Motors, Cap and Tax, Obamacare.... Obama still has plenty of support, of course, and he has a majority in the House and Senate, but protestors are coming out in ways I haven't seen in a long time.
This started with the Tax Day Tea Parties; many liberals and media pundits were stunned at the widespread, often spontaneous, grassroots explosion of protests against the direction of the government. Many did not "get" what we were protesting about in April. That was right after the Porkulus bill with its 9000 earmarks was passed with nary a glace by any Congressman, thus putting our children and grandchildren on the hook for years of deficit and debt. Generational theft. There were protests in over 750 cities that day with most estimates agreeing that over 300,000 people participated.
The protests have not stopped. July 4 saw many protests throughout the country. In addition to celebrating our nation's freedoms, we also protested and lamented at the loss of liberty our government is enacting. Liberals derided the protests trying to paint them as ignorant and simply being about taxes. It's about so much more than that.
Mark Levin's book, Liberty and Tyranny, remained at the top of best seller lists for weeks. Currently that post is held by Michelle Malkin's new book, Culture of Corruption (on Amazon, at least).
The protest in Raleigh yesterday is indicative of what many people throughout the country are feeling about Washington these days, and we are coming out, speaking up, and voicing our displeasure in ways that we have not done in years.
Obama's response to the protests have been typical. After the tax day Tea Parties, he said, "So, you know, when you see — those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we're going to stabilize Social Security."
People are not just "waving tea bags around" and his flip response to the issue indicates how out of touch he is with what most Americans want. Half of the country did not vote for him, and he has shown no interest in courting that half of the country. To hell with 'em.
In June, protests against the Cap and Tax bill crashed the Capitol switchboard. Americans are speaking up. We're not just waving tea bags. We're writing and calling our Senators and our Congressmen. We're lining the streets in protest. We're making signs to voice our displeasure. We're organizing letter writing campaigns. People who have never been actively involved in politics before are now paying attention.
This new focus is reflected in the decline of Obama's popularity in the polls. The new Pew poll reports that "Barack Obama’s approval ratings have suffered major declines. The president’s overall job approval number fell from 61% in mid-June to 54% currently. His approval ratings for handling the economy and the federal budget deficit have also fallen sharply, tumbling to 38% and 32%, respectively. Majorities now say they disapprove of the way the president is handling these two issues. The new poll also finds significant declines over the last few months in the percentage of Americans giving Obama high marks for dealing with health care, foreign policy and tax policy. "
It is indeed time for Obama to take a vacation. I'm not expecting his politics to change any when he returns; he has a socialist's heart. I wouldn't recommend going back to Raleigh, but I hope he takes long walks along the beach at Martha's Vineyard, watches a few sunsets, has a beer or two, and reads some good American history. I could make some recommendations. He needs to get a better grip on what made this country great and quit apologizing for it or trying to remake it. Americans have had enough.
(Much more at Memeorandum)
"Daniels was arrested Saturday on a domestic violence battery charge after she allegedly hit her husband at their home in Tampa, Fla., during a dispute about laundry and unpaid bills. "
According to the report, Daniels hit her husband several times, threw a plant, knocked candles off the coffee table, and threw their wedding album.
The Dead Pelican links to the arrest report.
Maybe this makes her MORE viable in Louisiana as a candidate, but I'm thinking not.
In another bizarre twist, her campaign manager's car exploded in New Orleans on July 23.
Is Vitter's Political Future Looking Stormy?
Stormy in Shreveport
(H/T: The Dead Pelican)
I doubt it will be Budweiser because lord knows Cindy McCain has enough houses and we don't want to support that. And besides, Anheuser-Busch isn't American owned anymore. Miller Beer is actually owned by South African Breweries, so it's not really American either.
Maybe it will be an import. Think global. I do love my German beers.
I'll put my personal pick out there - I think they should pick a Sam Adams beer. Appropriate, no? It's American made, invokes the name of a true American patriot, and is darn good beer.
Of course, there will be protesters out in force tonight. Politco reports that '"Citizens Against the Beer Summit at White House', a makeshift gathering spearheaded by Baltimore pastor Dr. Emmett Burns, will picket the White House today between 12 and 3 p.m. 'The president's actions are sending the wrong message to our nation's youth who are becoming alcoholics at young ages,' reads an announcement for the protest. 'This pernicious habit is also the reason for the large number of teen motor vehicle accidents throughout the country.'"
"The first day in class with him was like no other I experienced. Rather than starting off with a turgid lecture on sentence structure or the use of adjectives or alliteration, McCourt made a few jokes about ambitious Stuyvesant students (none of whom, he noted, would ever deign to return to teach creative writing) and told us stories that showed how we all had it easier than he did in the old country. Then, after a few words about the importance of description to writing, he asked us what we had for dinner last night. Most students, myself included, still reeling from his biting wit and tales of Irish woe, couldn't remember what we'd eaten, but the details came back to us slowly, along with an assignment to write an essay about our dinner."
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Why did I Google that? Because a friend told me she had a hit about it on her sitemeter. I'm testing a Google-bomb. Hey, my stats are low today.
Sorry kids, yes he is. And with three kids. He spends his off-time coaching his kids' sports teams.
What is it about men in uniform? Or out of, for that matter?
That 76% she quotes comes from this poll which doesn't exactly say that 76% of the country wants a public option. Seventy-six of 248 respondents said that it was either "very important" or "quite important" to have a choice between a public and a private plan. The poll was conducted between June 12-15; a lot of information has come out since then.
The latest Rasmussen poll shows an even split at 47% for Obamacare and 47% against. 35% of the voters polled are for a public option while 50% are opposed. The latest Gallup poll also shows Obamacare is "a tough sell" for Americans.
Another issue Hamsher mis-states is that the hold up here is all about "making three rich Republicans happy." I'd say there's a lot more at stake than that. Americans are waking up to the tactics of those on the Hill, for one thing. We're tired of having legislation rammed down our throats before the ink is even try on the rough drafts. We're tired of Congress not reading the bill.
Why rush through legislation that is so controversial among the American people right now and which is still being debated? The details haven't been worked out; there are three versions floating around right now and none have been reconciled. Why rush to vote just to get it done "before recess"?
We have concerns about the cost of Obamacare and how we will pay for it. We have concerns about things like end-of-life counseling and government bureaucracies. We have concerns about government coming between people and doctors. We have concerns about rationing of health care. We have concerns about private insurance companies being forced out of the market by unfair government competition; about the strains it will all put on small business.
Oh no, Ms. Hamsher, it's about a lot more than "three rich Republicans."
Democrats may control the House and the Senate right now, but 2010 is coming.
Hold the Line Blue Dogs!
Will Obamacare Cover Illegals?
"This Isn't About Me!"
Lack of Empathy?
Obama Now Worried About Saddling Our Children With Debt?
Obamacare Team Visits Reserve, LA.
"You WILL Lose Your Current Insurance"
Obamacare for Illegals
No More Private Insurance with Obamacare
Starting to Look at the Obamacare Bill
John Boehner Says the Republicans Have a Better Plan
"Say Hello to My Little Friend!"
Take a Look at Obamacare
Going Galt Over Obamacare
Congressman Fleming: What's Good for the Goose.
I'll say this; Malkin's book is documented with 75 pages of notes. It's meticulously researched. Lauer looks horrified at what Malkin says during the interview but she's got the facts behind her.
After so many boondoggles and failures in his initial Cabinet picks, which require Senate confirmation, Obama resorted to the czar method as the czars need no such arduous vetting process to achieve their position. As Malkin writes, "The nomination process has proved to be a dangerous landmine for one too many Obama picks."
Had we had the benefit of that vetting process, maybe Obama's science czar, John P. Holdren, would have blissfully fallen by the wayside. He's the one that said this:
“The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.”
“Human beings cling jealously to their prerogative to reproduce as they please—and they please to make each new generation larger than the last—yet endless multiplication on a finite planet is impossible. Most humans aspire to greater material prosperity, but the number of people that can be supported on Earth if everyone is rich is even smaller than if everyone is poor.”
Kathy Shaidle points to this quote in which Holdren advocates a campagin to de-develop the United States: “De-development, means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation. By de-development, we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.”
Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times contacted Holdren's staff for a statement on these remarks and was told, "This material is from a three-decade-old, three-author college textbook. Dr. Holdren addressed this issue during his confirmation when he said he does not believe that determining optimal population is a proper role of government. Dr. Holdren is not and never has been an advocate for policies of forced sterilization."
So does that mean that Holdren no longer believes that children must be "socialized" before they become "human beings?" Or that population control is critical to the survival of the planet? Or is it that he believes it and just doesn't think it's the "proper role of government" to advocate these positions?
Some in Washington believe that czars should undergo Senate confirmation given the power they hold. Quite often their power overlaps with other appointed positions, for example, in writing about Urban Czar Adolfo Carrion, Malkin writes, "But doesn't the president already have a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development? Why, yes. Yes, he does." Nancy-Ann DeParle is the "health czar" but Kathleen Sebelius is is over HHS (the post that Daschle was initially appointed). Redundant?
The problem with the czars is that they don't get that vetting process which revealed the tax problems of Geithner and Daschle, or the ethics problems of Bill Richardson.
Had John P. Holdren been made to go through the vetting process and Senate confirmation, would he still have obtained such a position of power?
And aren't many of these czar positions redundant? Are their salaries seriously that necessary?
How many more czars are we going to have before it's all over?
I guess the next one will be a "Race Czar." If he starts looking for a "Beer Czar", I'm in.
In the House we hear that yes, there will be a vote before recess and then we hear that there won't. Pelosi, of course, wants a vote and Steny Hoyer says the House may stay in session next week. The Blue Dogs seem to be holding the line and we need to keep calling and encouraging them! Even if you've already called, call again! Send an email! Send a fax! Back these guys up.
In the Senate, the Finance committee seems to have taken the public option out of it's plan, much enraging the liberals. Baucus is reported to have stripped that part of the plan in the hopes of gaining some Republican votes. In the most clueless quote of the day, we have Sen. Sherrod Brown who said, “So because we want three Republicans to come along on this, we are going to betray what the American people want? I don’t think so.” According to the lastest Rasmussen poll, 35% of Americans want a public option while 50% are opposed.
Stay on the phones. Tell your friends. This is a bad bill. I'm with Bill Kristol on this one - "Kill it and start over."
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The good news is that the dogs are now friends. Checkers doesn't take well to other dogs, but she seems to think that this one is her puppy. After dinner, Steve and I walked both of them around the block and they had a big old time. Checkers is very patient with Jazz.
Meanwhile, a whole news cycle has escaped me. I've been out of the loop today. I'll catch up and be back with you tomorrow!
means I can't blog. I'm posting this from my phone and at the rate I
text, a blog post would be ancient history before I finished it. I'm
going back to Culture if Corruption until the power comes back on.
Monday, July 27, 2009
She's got an entire chapter on the Michelle Obama patient dumping story, she mentions Robert Stacy McCain, and fills you in on all the players in the Obama White House. Good stuff!
Is he frustrated that he "only has two days" to read the bill, or frustrated that you need "two lawyers" to understand it? There is a solution to both of those problems; slow down!
We know that nobody read the Porkulus bill. That will hurt some of them in 2010. We also know that most did not read the Cap and Trade bill. That will definitely hurt in 2010. My suggestion to any Congressman who hopes for re-election? Slow down, read the bill, be sure you know what you're about to inflict upon your constituents and on the future of America.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Things have been happening so fast with that story, even though it seems like it's plodding along, and there are so many fronts to keep up with, this is a brilliant idea.
Update 2: Charlie Buras at The Old River Road has a follow-up to the incident - a response by one of the gentlemen in the video.
Acorn is out in force in favor of shutting down the opposition to Obamacare.
Yesterday, Michelle Malkin posted this video which shows Acorn folks going off on protesters in Suffolk County NY.
We saw Acorn present in Reserve, La., also; watch the short video clip and you'll see them.
The Old River Road posted this video today of what appears to be a Baton Rouge police officer silencing protesters opposed to Obamacare. Members of Acorn can be seen standing on the sidewalk glowering at the protesters as the police officer tells the protesters not to talk to anybody. Since when did it become against the law to talk in this country?
Acorn, the SEIU and other liberal groups are out in force for Obamacare, but I'm not sure how well it's working out for them. As we saw in Reserve, La., the rally for Obamacare quicky turned hostile and Sebelius seemed caught off guard. Moveon.org was taken off guard at the protest in Dallas earlier this week when far more tea party members showed up than they expected.
Keep the heat on, folks. In fact, turn it up! Here are the Blue Dogs; and here is an email and Fax list of members of Congress. Don't let Acorn win this one.
"So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing.
You may be tooling along on a Sunday drive in your 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, someone else in a 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend.
And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own. When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither."
There's more here.
I think it's really time to move on from this one, but I've got to say that what I heard Obama say on Friday at the press briefing did not sound like an apology to the police officers of America that he offended by accusing them racial profiling. I don't know what he said to Crowley in their phone conversation, but if Crowley accepts it as an apology, then that's good enough for me.
As for Gates, he's a blowhard idgit. Clueless.
Has Obama apologized to the doctors yet that he insulted in that same speech? If he has, I've missed it.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
It's been pretty much all about Obamacare for me this week. Michelle Malkin (who spread the linky-love this way twice this week!) had a great column on Obamacare + John Holdren, science czar. It's some scary stuff. Seriously.
Fishersville Mike has the lessons of Gates-gate. I like that - Gates-gate. It's got a ring to it.
On the subject of the Gates affair, Yukio has a great post on The Race Debate; a quote just to get you over there: "Obama initially took a side, presumed racism (why else bring it up during his answer), and assigned blame for the whole incident solely at the police's front door. He says nothing in his first answer about any sort of overreaction by Gates. Instead, after offering an excuse for Gates ("any of us would be pretty angry"), Obama talks about police bias for four transcribed paragraphs. It seems like he wants us all to now forget about that."
TrogloPundit is practicing for his second career in labeling hot dogs, should this wildly successful business of blogging prove to be too much.
Pundette has the latest on the Dog-Fight in the House; this ain't gonna be pretty.
Smitty at The Other McCain has the story on Rick Perry who has had enough of big government. He must think there's a Consitution in play here, or something. Silly Governor.
Stacy finally posted his fireworks video - it's beautiful. Remind me next year to make a donation! (Hangs head in shame.)
Red is struggling with some anger management; drop on over and give her some words of encouragement!
Left Coast Rebel is stirring up some activism and I think it's a good idea. Jam the email boxes, people! Speaking of activism, Doug Ross is encouraging some himself! I love this idea! Monique Stuart has declared August Tea Party month, speaking of activism. She suggests we use this time to make contact with our Reps!
Jules Crittenden has a post on the latest Medal of Honor recipient and also wraps up the Gates-gate (see, I like that term!) affair.
Also on Gates and Obama, don't miss Bride of Rove, because you know, I LOVE her blog.
Gateway Pundit has a post on Obamacare and euthanasia. Eeek!
Professor Jacobson rightly calls the New York Times on the carpet.
Ann Althouse has been putting up some way-cool photos this week! Loved the rib joint.
Jimmie Bise reports on another kink in the IG scandal. Yes, that story is still there, folks. Not going to go away!
Speaking of puppies, The Daley Gator has the cutest puppy picture of the week.
Donald Douglas at American Power is all over the Erin Andrews story, which is good because I refuse to write about it.
Carol at No Sheeples Here! is redecorating! Again! But she has some wise advice.
Grandpa John has something to celebrate this week!
Susanna Logan has got the secret to the world. She might be on to something.
Generation Patriot deals with some Obamacare myths.
And finally, Women of the GOP has a profile of Kelly Ayotte. Don't know who that is? Go see!
That's it for now; I've got to go get this puppy to the vet for a once over!
Friday, July 24, 2009
The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.
“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations. “Mr. Waxman has decided to sever discussions with the Blue Dogs who are trying to make this bill work for America,” Melancon said.
Although those Blue Dogs were supposed to be headed back into another meeting of the Energy and Commerce Democrats, their anger was visible. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the only hope for passage of the bill in the House will be to go straight to the floor, an option leaders shied away from endorsing but said was an option. But the Blue Dogs issued dire warnings to leaders contemplating that approach.
"Waxman simply does not have votes in committee and process should not be bypassed to bring the bill straight to floor,” Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, said on Friday.
“We are trying to save this bill and trying to save this party.” Melancon said there would be 40-45 “solid no” votes from the 52-strong Blue Dogs, among other problems throughout the caucus. And Melancon said there are more Democrats who will vote against the bill. “If they try to bring it to the floor, I think they’ll find out they have more problems than the Blue Dogs.”
Polls indicate that the public is against Obamacare as the legislation currently stands. Fred Barnes cites a Fox News poll in which 45% of those polled believe their health care will be worse under the plan while only 29% believe it would be better. 58% of those polled believe it will cost them more money while 24% believe they would save money.
According to Rasmussen, as of Wednesday, 53% of Americans polled are opposed to Congressional health care reform; these numbers do not factor in Obama's speech this week.
Meanwhile Rahm Emanuel told NPR this morning that there will be a vote in the House next week.
It's all stacking up to be dramatic theater. If the Dems insist on bringing this straight to the floor for a vote, bypassing Waxman's committee, I'd expect the Blue Dogs to hold firm. My suggestion is that everyone pick up their phones and call the Blue Dogs. Tell them to stand fast!
Here are your Blue Dogs.
Here is an email and FAX number list.
Much more at Memeorandum.
What happened in Dallas yesterday, and with the tea party movement in general, is a clear signal that people have had enough of excessive government spending, whether from conservatives or liberals. That's the point about the protests that liberals have missed - tea party members boo Republicans also.
Yesterday in Dallas, Paula Anderson from Moveon.org expressed her surprise that so many tea party members showed up:
"We really did not expect them to show up." She estimated the crowd at about 130. "From our perspective we took names of everyone there, and we had about 30 people," she told Unfair Park. "And I would assume they maybe had 100." As it turned out, according to Jessica Sandlin, Cornyn's Texas press secretary, Tea Party-hearties also showed up to health-care legislation rallies in Austin and in San Antonio."
If they were surprised yesterday, just wait until September 12 and The March on Washington.
(Photo: North Texas Tea Party)
(H/T: Michelle Malkin and Memeorandum)
An early indication is the initial selection of location for a speech in Germany of the Brandenburg Gate which Angela Merkel found odd, her spokesman saying that she has "little sympathy for the Brandenburg Gate being used for electioneering and has expressed her doubts about the idea."
In response, Obama moved the venue to the Siegessäule monument. The problem with this site was that "Not only does the site contain a monument to Prussian victories over other American allies in Europe, its placement was decided by Adolf Hitler — in order to impress crowds in his idealized version of Berlin called 'Germania'."
During his "historic" speech to the Muslim world in June, Obama "described Islam as having a tradition of tolerance, saying: 'We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.'"
Not so fast. According to the daily El Pais, "the peak of the Andalusian civilization, with Cordoba as the cultural beacon of Europe, occurred in the 10th century, long before the Spanish Inquisition was founded in 1478 during the Christian reconquest of the country from Muslims."
Even with regard to his own office, Obama missed the mark during his inaugural address when he said he was the 44th American to have taken the oath. McClatchy set him straight on that one, explaining that "Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms. He is counted as the 22nd president, serving from 1885 to 1889. He won back the office four years later, and is counted also as the 24th president, serving again from 1893-1897. Two presidents - but one American."
We're all familiar with his misstatement regarding his uncle who helped liberate Auschwitz, which he later corrected to say that "his great uncle was a member of the 89th Infantry Division that liberated the Ohrduf camp, part of Buchenwald."
In April of this year, Obama quoted Winston Churchill as saying that "We don't torture!" and went on to explain what he thought was in Churchill's heart when he said that. Obama said "And then the reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking short-cuts, over time, that corrodes what's -- what's best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country." How Obama knows what Churchill was actually thinking is beyond me (especially since I don't think Obama reads much history), but Time pointed out that "Churchill may well have said that Britain did not torture, but British archives show clearly that captured Nazis were subjected to harsh treatment in order to extract information during World War II."
Did Obama know about that? Or was he just overlooking that part because it didn't fit his narrative?
Consider Obama's campaign speech in a Selma church. He said that it was because of the civil rights marchers of 1965 that his parents felt their inter-racial marriage could happen. But he was born in 1961. He said later that he meant the whole civil rights movement, but that's not what he said in Selma. It didn't fit the narrative.
How about this week when he told Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Buzz Aldrin, "I grew up in Hawaii, as many of you know, and I still recall sitting on my grandfather's shoulders when those capsules would land in the middle of the Pacific and they'd get brought back and we'd go out and we'd pretend like they could see us as we were waving at folks coming home. And I remember waving American flags and my grandfather telling me that the Apollo mission was an example of how Americans can do anything they put their minds to."
One problem. He says he lived in Indonesia from 1969 to 1971. The Apollo program ended in 1972. He didn't move to Hawaii until he was 10. Could he have seen Apollo splashdowns in the Pacific from Indonesia? I suppose he could have been visiting Hawaii at the time, but, that's dicey.
Consider also this quote from Obama yesterday: “I'm always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.” As Rachel Abrams at The Weekly Standard pointed out, Japanese foreign affairs minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the surrender and General Richard Sutherland watched him sign. MacArthur wasn't there. Neither was Hirohito. The devil is in the details.
Liz Cheney recently pointed to another historical error. In Moscow, Obama said this:
"The American and Soviet armies were still massed in Europe, trained and ready to fight. The ideological trenches of the last century were roughly in place. Competition in everything from astrophysics to athletics was treated as a zero-sum game. If one person won, then the other person had to lose. And then within a few short years, the world as it was ceased to be. Make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful."
Cheney points out that the KGB was brutal, there were no freedoms, and that the Cold War was NOT "about competition in astrophysics and athletics." She says "The Cold War ended not because the Soviets decided it should but because they were no match for the forces of freedom and the commitment of free nations to defend liberty and defeat Communism."
In June, CNN estimated Obama's reading pace to be ten books per year as opposed to the voracious reading schedule of George W. Bush who routinely read over 100 books a year. Of course, as I noted in December, when Bush read books, he wasn't considered to be using his time well, while when Obama reads, he is "erudite" and "literary."
I suggest that Obama take a lead from Bush and Rove and spend more time reading. A look at his reading list is heavy on fiction (NTTAWTT), The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Nietzsche, A Kind And Just Parent by Bill Ayers, Parting the Waters about the civil rights movement, and The Post-American World.
Can we chip in and get him a membership to the History Book Club?
Update: Yukio corrects me (and Rachel Abrams) in the comments: "Actually MacArthur was at the Japanese surrender aboard the Missouri (he's not in that picture at the Weekly Standard, but MacArthur was there along with a number of American - and allied - generals and admirals including Nimitz, Sutherland, and Halsey). Hirohito was not among the Japanese delegation. MacArthur was one of the signatories and made two rather moving speeches at the spot."
Thanks Yukio! :)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
This is what Obama said that has raised the controversy:
“Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, number three, what I think we know, separate and apart from this incident, is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. And that’s just a fact.” He added later that the incident was “a sign of how race remains a factor in this society.”
There are some points I agree with in the commentary that has followed.
First is the opinion of Ed Morrissey when he says that "any statement from a politician about an incident under dispute that begins, ' I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts,' should end with, 'I have nothing to say until all the facts are known.'" Yet, having said he didn't have all the facts, Obama proceeded to say that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly."
That's simply an irresponsible thing to say.
Rich Lowry adds this: "In this famous snapshot of the arrest, there's a black cop prominently in the foreground. Doesn't that vitiate somewhat the idea that this was a flatly racist arrest?"
On the other hand, Jim Geraghty wonders this: "I am not so certain that yelling at cops is ipso facto a crime. With the charges dropped, we have to wonder just how disorderly his conduct was..."
The charges on the police report were "disorderly conduct," which seem to be supported by witness statements. (The more detailed report is here, in which he reports Gates as saying "I'll speak to your mama outside!")
The police officers responded to a possible burglary call. Mr. Gates was certainly obnoxious, but is it a crime?
My two cents on police officers: they put their lives on the line for the general public every single day. In many cases, not all, but often, they are met with verbal abuse, derision, and disrespect. They have to endure things that most of us wouldn't tolerate for five seconds. Their job is incredibly stressful, dangerous, under appreciated and under paid. Are there some bad cops? Of course. Should some have chosen a different profession? Sure. You get that in any occupation.
But for the President of the United States to weigh in on national television about a local arrest is simply incredible. Even more so once he says he doesn't have all the facts and that the man arrested is a friend of his.
Now this case will be tried in the media. Never mind that the charges have been dropped. The character of the officers will be dissected. The officer in question will have this shadowing his career forever, as if he is somehow guilty of something regardless of the outcome. Would Mr. Gates file a civil suit on the police department?
The White House is now backing off the statment, with Robert Gibbs saying "that Obama did not regret the remark, but wanted to clarify that he was not calling the arresting officer stupid."
Not much difference, Mr. President. Not much.
The president is "not familiar" with the bill. No one can explain how it will work yet, as Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., told a contentious town meeting. There are various plans, and negotiations are still in the early stages.
But whatever it is, we should be for it.
Am I missing something?
We're only talking about our health and our kids' health, the things my mother, may she rest in peace, told me a thousand times are the only things worth caring about. If you have your health, you have everything. And if you don't, what in the world matters more than the best health care in the world, which is found right here?Hell freezes over.
Wish you'd have listened to us earlier, Susan, but welcome to the fold.
I had bailed by the time he started talking about red pills versus blue pills and putting us into the matrix. Thank goodness.
Certainly we all saw and heard somewhat different things in that speech last night, but what I saw, and what breaks my heart, was the President of the United States on national television lying to the American people. Intentionally. Over and over and over. I saw him slander American medical professionals. I saw him attempt to lead us into his dark cavern of primitive health care with his talk of centralized records and bureaucracies and Orwellian decision making.
For the moment, ignore the silly opening where he boasts of the success of the stimulus, repeats the "saved or created" mantra and bashes the successful and the wealthy.
He begins to get into health care with the repetition of that "47 million" figure, which everyone knows by now is misleading. The he says that "the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid." They may be inefficient at times, and need reform, yes, but I'd beg to differ on that deficit issue. His budget and his stimulus and the unchecked Democratic spending do more to the deficit than Medicare or Medicaid.
Big Lie No. 1: "If you already have health insurance, the reform we’re proposing will provide you with more security and more stability." I don't define "security and more stability" by worrying about how long my insurance provider will be able to hold on against your government funded, unfairly competitive system. That will NOT make me feel more secure.
Big Lie No. 2: "It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you’re happy with it." He hasn't read the bill. What does he think all those bureaucracies are for? What about those centralized decisions ""guided by a coalition of stakeholders includes representatives from emergency medical services, emergency department physicians or nurses, state long-term care association, state medical association, state surveyors, agency responsible for senior services, state department of health, state hospital association, home health association, state bar association, and state hospice association" ?
Big Question Mark No 1: "And it will cover preventive care like check-ups and mammograms that save lives and money." In his interview with Katie Couric, which also aired yesterday, he said, "What I think is important, at this stage, is not trying to micromanage what benefits are covered. Because I think we're still trying to get a framework." So, how does he know preventative care and mammograms are covered?
He says we'll "be able to choose a quality, affordable health plan through a health insurance exchange – a marketplace that promotes choice and competition," but we already have a free market system, so......
Big Lie No. 3: "I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade." Huge.
Scary Line No. 1: "the bill I sign must also slow the growth of health care costs in the long run."
Big Lie No. 4: "Well, first of all, you haven't seen me out there blaming the Republicans." Except in his opening statement. And in his remarks the day before in the Rose Garden (that was the same speech where he said he didn't want to saddle our children with debt, another lie!)
Okay - that's where I bailed. I'd heard enough lies. The rest of the Q & A can be found here, where he gets into that whole blue pill/red pill business, and where he accused doctors of taking out kids tonsils only to make a profit. I'm sure the AMA is happy today.
This is, I guess, the part where my commenters (commentors?) will click over and tell me how much George Bush lied, and that's an argument for another day. George Bush is gone, something Obama would do well to remember. Obama blamed Bush at least three times in the part I heard.
The bottom line is as Pundette said, he has a "socialist's heart" and that is where he is trying to lead our health care system. Nobody is saying reform isn't needed, but this proposed legislation is just bad. Scrap it and start over in a bipartisan fashion. And for crying out loud, stop lying to us.
(More at Memeorandum)
Will Obamacare Cover Illegals?
"This Isn't About Me!"
Lack of Empathy?
Obama Now Worried About Saddling Our Children With Debt?
Obamacare Team Visits Reserve, LA.
"You WILL Lose Your Current Insurance"
Obamacare for Illegals
No More Private Insurance with Obamacare
Starting to Look at the Obamacare Bill
John Boehner Says the Republicans Have a Better Plan
"Say Hello to My Little Friend!"
Take a Look at Obamacare
Going Galt Over Obamacare
Congressman Fleming: What's Good for the Goose.