Friday, August 28, 2009

Front Page to Back Page to No Page: the Outrage that Went Away

Front Page to Back Page to No Page: the Outrage that Went Away
Dan Kennedy
Friday, August 28, 2009

Immediately following Obama's coup at General Motors, and near-takeover of Chrysler as well, there was about two weeks of news coverage of the shocking number of dealerships summarily, and seemingly arbitrarily, put out of business.

The demand for explanation of why and how one dealership was killed, while another was spared execution, was ever so briefly loud, then quieted, and finally silenced. This front page story moved to the back pages and, in short order, to oblivion - and the questions it raised were never answered.

Case in point: Ron Marhofer, the owner of Marhofer Chevrolet in the little burg of Stow, Ohio, got one of those letters informing him that his dealership would be closed. As of October 2010, its doors would be closed, and its 80 employees' jobs killed, although his access to new inventory would stop immediately after the 20 cars already on order.

You might think, well, it's a small town dealership not selling enough cars to make it worth Government Motors' trouble supplying it, but this dealership, in business since 1933, is the county's oldest Chevy dealer, and it has been having a banner year. While the auto market nationwide is down 40 percent, Marhofer's new car sales are up 57 percent for 2009 – that is before the cash for clunkers nonsense. In each of the past two years, this was the top selling Chevy dealership in the entire county. A competing dealership two communities away, in this same county, is not having such a good year, but it was apparently chosen to profit from Marhofer's execution.

When Marhofer pressed GM for explanation of his dealership being selected for slaughter, he was told "We can't tell you." One wonders who has dictated to GM that it can't explain. Since Mr. Marhofer and his 80 employees are tax payers and, thus, actually own GM, it would seem particularly reasonable for them to demand and get a rational explanation for their execution. Even in most communist or dictator-run countries, some charge is brought and at least a mock trial is conducted before sentence passed. The victim is given some reason for his beheading.

Of course the fates of Mr. Marhofer, his paltry 80 employees, and the employees at other small businesses near his dealership, are of no measurable consequence to you or me or, certainly, the Great and Wonderful Ozbama. He has bigger fish to fry, but multiply Marhofer times a hundred and you're talking 8,000 jobs. If you multiply by two hundred, it's 16,000 jobs - good blue collar jobs for mechanics and service techs, and clerical jobs held by working moms. In Congress and the media, much shouting has gone on much longer over much less.

Not to mention the principle at stake here - a family's equity in its business built out of the Great Depression and sustained over generations has been arbitrarily wiped away at the stroke of a pen, and it is refused explanation. The President's Car Czar's grubby fingerprints are most certainly on the pen, should the CSI crew investigate.

Obama has been sending messages. He has told CEO's, I will fire you at will, take your company, impose new and arbitrary capital requirements, rules and governing czars as I please. You serve at my pleasure. With the savaging of the small businesses in the auto industry, he has told all of us who own small businesses that he can with impunity shutter our doors, dismiss our employees and destroy all we have worked for. With the mercifully short-lived "snitch" web site, he threatened critics of his health care takeover. His Democrats in Congress intimidate the insurance companies with threats of dragging CEO's to televised hearings, holding up receipts from some resort sales conference and demanding explanation for the steaks and shrimp cocktails.

Ron Marhofer now knows what everyone else will learn: whatever you think you own, you don't. The only power is Obama's. The only rights you have are those he decides, day to day, to let you have.

To their shame, the media has let this story go, even though there's good chance there's a Watergate buried in it somewhere. Killing the successful auto dealers, while sparing the less successful, is most likely a political rather than equitable or rational decision.

They let the story go, even though it illustrates the dire threat to anyone who thinks they actually own anything, they actually have no control over anything.

As was mentioned earlier in this blog - the reason dealerships were closed was political - it was based on campaign contributions given (or not given) to Obama. Just imagine if Obamacare passed and he controlled all the medical decisions - would favorable/unfavorable decisions be along party lines as well? How could we possibly trust our government that this wouldn't end up being the case? There has never been a more partisan president in our history than Obama.

The question - is there really honor among thieves? When Obama's support comes crumbling down will more facts be revealed to us of the widespread fraud that we all know is happening in the Obama administration? I wonder how many heads will roll?

The Real Myth of Health Care

The Real Myth of Health Care
Joseph C. Phillips
Friday, August 28, 2009

One of the more pernicious myths surrounding the debate over health care is the oft repeated claim that conservatives do not want reform. Nonsense! What we do not want is the warm bucket of snake oil currently being sold to the American people by this administration. Conservatives have long argued for the need to reduce mandated benefits, reduce the reliance on third-party payers and get rid of public policies that hinder entrepreneurship and innovation. This is the kind of reform conservatives want – the right kind of reform.

Because the number of Americans that are actually denied medical care is zero, the administration has chosen to cite the fact that 47 million Americans lack medical insurance (another myth) as the reason for its urgency in passing a huge bill that congressmen can’t be bothered to read. Just yesterday the administration and its army of sales people began to talk about health insurance reform; this after years of hearing about the need to reform healthcare. Ahh! The power of focus groups. Now we need single-payer universal healthcare to bring down costs (prices) and to protect the sick from “discrimination” at the hands of evil insurance companies.

So the cause of our national distress is the private health insurance industry, which no doubt explains why A) Obama has made back room deals with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and B) why the bill making its way through the House of Representatives devotes exactly 6 of its more than 1000 pages to insurance reform.

Conservatives of course have long pointed to the over-reliance on insurance companies and other third party payers as one of the major causes of the increase in healthcare costs. It is worth remembering that the largest insurer in the nation is the federal government through Medicare and Medicaid. And how’s that working out?

A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that about half of the increase in health expenditures nationwide since 1965 was caused by the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. Why? One reason is that under the government programs prices are not the result of contracts between providers and patients. Instead, prices are set between providers and the U.S. Government. In practice, this means the U.S. government says what's covered and what the price is (regardless of the actual cost), and providers and patients have no choice in the matter.

Worse, since patients do not negotiate price, they don't care what the price is and have no incentive to seek out a provider with a lower one. On the other hand, they have every incentive to take health risks they couldn't otherwise afford and use services they might not otherwise be willing to pay for. There is a similar incentive for providers to charge for things covered by Medicare and Medicaid and do those things as rapidly as possible, whether or not that is what the art of medicine indicates would be the best treatment. So price – the most effective way to allocate scarce resources - isn't determined by negotiation but rather by politics, (as has already been demonstrated by Obama’s back room deals) which invariably leads to shortages and rationing.

And what of the huge cost savings that Obama promises will magically appear under reform with the same perverse incentives?

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, “Medicare's total unfunded liability is more than five times larger than that of Social Security.” In fact, the new Medicare prescription drug benefit enacted in 2006 (Part D) has proven to be twice as much as the original congressional budget office estimates and alone adds some $17 trillion to the projected Medicare shortfall - an amount greater than all of Social Security's unfunded obligations.” The liability for Medicaid is off the charts because unlike Medicare Medicaid has no “trust fund” but is paid for by the states with matching grants from the fed. I can’t speak for you, but I am overflowing with confidence that a government takeover of healthcare is just the ticket to solve our fiscal problems.

The reform the new left is attempting to force upon us is the wrong kind of reform. It will not bring down costs, it will not improve the overall health of Americans and it will not encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. What it will do is dramatically increase the number of Americans dependant upon government for their medical care and their livelihoods. That may be a good way to build a political base, but it ain’t reform.

Reclaiming Popular Sovereignty

Reclaiming Popular Sovereignty
David Limbaugh
Friday, August 28, 2009

It's true that Barack Obama's approval ratings began at the North Pole and are already hovering around the equator. But given what he's said and done, it is quite remarkable, frankly, that they aren't firmly planted at the South Pole.

The deceptions and contradictions are astounding. His premises for policy change are consistently duplicitous. He's embarked on a course to deliberately bankrupt the nation; he is at war with mainstream American values; he is undermining our national security during wartime (prosecuting our protectors -- and otherwise); and he's pursuing unprecedented government control of the private sector.

Just look at his handling of Obamacare. His stated goals aren't arguably fraudulent, but verifiably so. He says he's motivated to cut costs, but the Congressional Budget Office, even using static economic analysis, says Obamacare would increase costs by $1 trillion. This is without factoring in the inevitable inflation that would occur from further dissociating health care demand from market prices.

Obama also continues to use the counterfeit figure of 47 million uninsured when he knows that only a fraction of those are American citizens who both can't afford insurance and are not eligible for government assistance.

Some experts have estimated this number to be less than 10 million, and yet Obama wants to wholly revamp the system to make sure they are covered. Note I said "covered," not "given access to health care." But the CBO has projected that millions would remain uninsured after Obamacare, and history shows that access to care would shrink drastically under the socialized system Obama envisions.

I use the term "envisions" advisedly, despite Obama's preposterous denial that he's aiming for complete socialization of the system. I could just as accurately have said "is hellbent on." As has been revealed ad nauseam by every outlet except the mainstream media, Obama has long been on record -- in context -- revealing his intentions.

Indeed, before the public rose up in spontaneous revulsion to Obama's socialized medicine scheme, he and his cohorts were bragging about their plans. During the Democratic presidential debates, Obama and Hillary Clinton were falling all over themselves trying to out-socialize each other on the issue.

So why must we waste time arguing with these Alinskyite propagandists about their intentions? Here they are, poised to leverage Sen. Ted Kennedy's death to enact Obamacare, and everyone knows that Kennedy's life ambition was to socialize our health care system. It's amazing conservatives have as much patience as we do, having constantly to argue with liberals about who they really are and what they stand for.

Daily they pretend not to advocate the very provisions their legislation includes, as in Obama demanding Congress immediately pass legislation the CBO says would cost $1 trillion while simultaneously insisting he won't sign legislation that isn't budget-neutral. If I weren't witnessing this with my own eyes and ears, I wouldn't believe it.

But as much as we've been harping on the Democrats' health care outrages, we want to make sure we don't lose sight of Obama's planned bankrupting of America apart from Obamacare. I say "planned" in light of the administration's recent revelation that it understated its already astronomical budget deficits by $2 trillion. Though we haven't spent this money ($9 trillion-plus) yet, Obama acts as if he is predestined to do so and powerless to stop himself.

Think about Obama's reasoning that we have to spend all this money to stimulate the economy. He expects us to believe that we have to bankrupt the nation to avoid bankrupting ourselves. He isn't just fiddling as he watches Rome burn; he's lit the match and is buying more combustibles. And we're not supposed to be alarmed?

Instead of our phony fretting over milk that hasn't yet spilt, why don't we just put a halt to this reckless spending now instead of acting like compulsive shoppers who end up so destitute they can't even afford shrinks? It's past time to say, "Hold on. We can't spend this money. We don't have it."

Truly this is mind-blowing. It's as if we are all sitting around premeditating a crime against our Founding Fathers, all our patriotic ancestors who sacrificed and died to preserve our liberties, and all present and future generations and acting as though we are mere passive observers. But we sure can pride ourselves in being civil and polite, can't we?

News flash: We have to readjust our mindset toward the government, which we treat as too enormous and unreachable to influence. We have no right simply to sit on our hands and say, "Well, lookie here, our deficits sure are horrifyingly high, but there's nothing we can do about it."

Recent events have disproved that notion, as even Democratic supermajorities are wavering at the awesome power of this widespread popular uprising. We can and must continue to fight to return sovereignty to the people by making our politicians accountable.

Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic

Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic
Posted By Burt Prelutsky On August 27, 2009 @ 10:27 am In Politics

Sometimes, I must confess, I find myself feeling like one of those cursed individuals like Job and Sisyphus. In my case, the curse takes the form of trying to be rational in a mad world. My particular albatross is trying to make sense of the liberal mind. No sooner do I try to delve into it than I pop out on the other side. It’s as shallow as a midget’s footbath.

For instance, I understand why liberals opposed invading Iraq. It was because George W. Bush instigated it. They voiced no objections when Bill Clinton took us into Somalia and Kosovo, and now that Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, you don’t hear them whining that it’s a quagmire, that the Afghanis had nothing to do with 9/11 or demanding that Obama spell out his exit strategy and specify the date of withdrawal. But, given all that, I would have thought that at least the tree-huggers would have campaigned for regime change in Iraq, based not on Saddam Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds and his history of torture and rape, God forbid, but for having set fire to the oil fields of Kuwait in 1991, probably the worst man-made ecological disaster in history.

It is beginning to look as if the various fascists, racists and astroturfers who have been showing up at town halls may have stopped Obama from taking his next step in destroying America. But Obama and his cronies are like those creatures in scary movies; just when you think they’re dead and buried, they reach a hand up from the grave and grab someone’s ankle.

Somebody summed up ObamaCare very neatly. In an e-mail that was forwarded to me, it said: “Let me get this straight. We’re going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose head said he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but exempts them from abiding by it, signed by a President who smokes and is also exempted, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese and financed by a country that’s nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?”

Of course we keep hearing the left-wing lunkheads tell us how glorious single payer health care is, pointing to Canada and England as sterling examples of medical Nirvana. Yet the BBC reported that there is a five month wait to have surgery for a slipped disc or to have a hernia repaired, eight months for cataract surgery, 11 months for a hip replacement and an entire year if you need to have your knee worked on. So I guess the best thing an Englishman can do is claim he needs to have surgery for a hernia and when, after five months, they wheel him into the operating room, break the news that it’s really his damn knee that’s been acting up.

One thing that’s been made clear is that whether it’s last year’s amnesty bill or this Frankensteinian health care monstrosity, the people still retain some clout when they stand up and start acting like Americans and not like a herd of sheep waiting to be shorn by the likes of Henry Waxman, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi. As someone once observed, in order to make politicians see the light, they first need to feel the heat. Or as Ronald Reagan put it so eloquently: “Government isn’t the solution. Government is the problem.”

If there’s one thing you have to say about liberal politicians, it’s that they regard consistency pretty much the way they regard their constituents; namely with arrogant contempt. It’s liberals, after all, who are constantly telling us that women have absolute autonomy over their own bodies, so long as the topic under discussion happens to be abortions. But when it comes to everything else, they are quite content to leave all medical decisions in the hands of the federal government, up to and including the rationing of health care to babies and the elderly. Gee, and we all thought the Nazis were bad!

Because I live in California, I occasionally am lucky enough to receive an e-mail from Barbara Boxer. The other day, she let me know that she’s hard at work on a Bill of Rights for Passengers. The rest of us are concerned about Iran and North Korea building a nuclear bomb and about Obama sovietizing the United States, but Boxer is worried about disgruntled airline passengers.

I sent her ladyship the following message: “President Obama is trying to morph America into a socialist tyranny, complete with commissars and armed thugs, and you’re worrying about airliners sitting on the tarmac? Most Americans do not support the pork-stuffed stimulus bill, cap & trade, the pandering to the UAW and the CEIU, the financing of ACORN or the abomination known as ObamaCare, and you’re busy pushing legislation so that airline passengers won’t occasionally suffer some minor discomfort? Just for the record, we’d all gladly just settle for a little more legroom. Are you trying to give new meaning to “inconsequential,” ma’am?”

Finally, lest someone gets the idea that I only pick on liberals, I have a bone to pick with Sean Hannity. I recently heard him give absolution to Michael Vick. He was ready to forgive Vick his trespasses because, after all, Vick had served 18 months in jail and he had apologized. The problem is, one, Vick should have been sentenced to at least 10 years; two, inasmuch as Hannity wasn’t one of Vick’s victims, he’s not entitled to accept his apology; and, three, the time for remorse and possibly redemption, it seems to me, is before you’re arrested. After that, it’s only defense strategy — whether what’s at stake is a more severe sentence or trying to salvage a multi-million dollar NFL career.

This is a guy, after all, who beat, drowned, hanged and electrocuted dogs for no other reason than that they lost fights to other dogs, and because, sadist that he is, he could. Imagine if quarterbacks who lost games were treated like that.

All I can say is, defensive linemen of the NFL — have at him!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Obama's Carousel of Incompetence

Obama's Carousel of Incompetence
Emmett Tyrrell
Thursday, August 27, 2009

According to the Gallup Poll, the Prophet Obama's job approval is now at its lowest since his coronation. It began at 70 percent. Now it is at 51 percent. Equally glum, his disapproval rating has climbed from 11 percent to 42 percent. So what about his golf game up there at Martha's Vineyard? From all I have been able to ascertain, it is mediocre. In other words, Mr. Obama, you are no Dan Quayle. Former Vice President Quayle was a really superb golfer. Moreover, he ran a competent staff. Naturally, it was smaller than Mr. Obama's, but it was run competently.

My belief, based on reports in the news and from my private network of seasoned agents and provocateurs, is that this White House is a carousel of incompetence. How else do we explain the ravening push on all fronts -- health care, the environment, fiscal reform, intelligence reform and a foreign policy of humility and apology? Unsurprisingly, on every front, the president is in trouble. Remember chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's callous enjoiner "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste"? This White House "is" a serious crisis.

According to sources with whom I confer, the Obama White House is the most tightly controlled White House in years, with the president, Emanuel and David Axelrod micromanaging practically everything. They constitute what is called "the Politburo," and the news story waiting to be written is that their control is as stultifying as was Jimmy Carter's control of his White House. Stupendous failure is in the cards.

The Politburo follows no organizational flowcharts. A source deeply rooted in official Washington tells me that when the president and his fellows want information from the National Security Council, they may go to its head, Gen. James L. Jones, or they may not. They may just call in one or two of his subordinates. If they do this with Jones, they probably do it with other government heads. That cannot be good for morale, to say nothing of orderly decision-making. Slowly some news stories are appearing that convey the harum-scarum state of things in the Obama government. Burnout afflicts staffers. The president has fewer than half his appointments in place to advance his historically unprecedented agenda. Mr. Emanuel, your crisis is shaping up nicely.

Some months back, Sidney Blumenthal -- then a loyal Democrat expecting an appointment over at the State Department, where he could serve with his idol Hillary Clinton -- inadvertently told a reporter that the Chicagoans coming in with Mr. Obama were even greener than the Arkansans who came in with the Clintons. By "greener," he was not referring to their environmental bona fides. He was referring to their governmental experience. They were provincials, though coming from a large and sophisticated city, they were much less aware of what they did not know than were the Arkansans. Remember that Blumenthal is from Chicago and that he was very close to the Clintons. His revelation is well-grounded.

Blumenthal did not get the appointment the Clintons wanted for him. That brings me to still more evidence of the Politburo's incompetence, to wit, bringing a Clinton into the Cabinet. Last year, Mr. Obama beat Hillary Clinton in an acrimonious competition for the nomination. She was beaten and out of the limelight. Her husband was discredited as a campaigner and revealed as a cad. The Clintons should have been history. But the geniuses in what we now call the Politburo brought Hillary back to center stage and installed her at State. Then they attempted to hem her in by appointing nearly 20 special envoys and ambassadors, who constitute what The Washington Times reports is "a confusing patchwork of policy fiefdoms inside the administration that lacks clearly defined lines of command and has the potential for miscommunication on a grand scale." So they brought to the State Department the kind of confusion they brought to the White House, and they did it at a time when foreign policy has to contend with international terror, nuclear proliferation, two wars and a dollar in decline. Moreover, they have antagonized the Clintons.

During the 1990s, such incompetence was not particularly dangerous. The economy was sound. The Cold War was over. We could sit back and enjoy the show as Bill and Newt entertained us. It was, as a gifted phrasemaker put it, The End of History. Now history has begun again. Nuclear arms could fall into the hands of the kind of barbarians who attacked New York and Washington on 9/11. Other nations are prospering with modern conceptions of economic growth, while here at home, the economy is weak and overseen by reactionaries with a 1930s grasp of governance and economics. Over at the White House, we see three amateurs and a carousel of incompetence.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Liberal Lies in National Health Care: 2

Liberal Lies in National Health Care: 2
Ann Coulter
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

With the Democrats getting slaughtered -- or should I say, "receiving mandatory end-of-life counseling" -- in the debate over national health care, the Obama administration has decided to change the subject by indicting CIA interrogators for talking tough to three of the world's leading Muslim terrorists.

Had I been asked, I would have advised them against reinforcing the idea that Democrats are hysterical bed-wetters who can't be trusted with national defense while also reminding people of the one thing everyone still admires about President George W. Bush.

But I guess the Democrats really want to change the subject. Thus, here is Part 2 in our series of liberal lies about national health care.

(6) There will be no rationing under national health care.

Anyone who says that is a liar. And all Democrats are saying it. (Hey, look -- I have two-thirds of a syllogism!)

Apparently, promising to cut costs by having a panel of Washington bureaucrats (for short, "The Death Panel") deny medical treatment wasn't a popular idea with most Americans. So liberals started claiming that they are going to cover an additional 47 million uninsured Americans and cut costs ... without ever denying a single medical treatment!

Also on the agenda is a delicious all-you-can-eat chocolate cake that will actually help you lose weight! But first, let's go over the specs for my perpetual motion machine -- and it uses no energy, so it's totally green!

For you newcomers to planet Earth, everything that does not exist in infinite supply is rationed. In a free society, people are allowed to make their own rationing choices.

Some people get new computers every year; some every five years. Some White House employees get new computers and then vandalize them on the way out the door when their candidate loses. (These are the same people who will be making decisions about your health care.)

Similarly, one person might say, "I want to live it up and spend freely now! No one lives forever." (That person is a Democrat.) And another might say, "I don't go to restaurants, I don't go to the theater, and I don't buy expensive designer clothes because I've decided to pour all my money into my health."

Under national health care, you'll have no choice about how to ration your own health care. If your neighbor isn't entitled to a hip replacement, then neither are you. At least that's how the plan was explained to me by our next surgeon general, Dr. Conrad Murray.

(7) National health care will reduce costs.

This claim comes from the same government that gave us the $500 hammer, the $1,200 toilet seat and postage stamps that increase in price every three weeks.

The last time liberals decided an industry was so important that the government needed to step in and contain costs was when they set their sights on the oil industry. Liberals in both the U.S. and Canada -- presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter and Canadian P.M. Pierre Trudeau -- imposed price controls on oil.

As night leads to day, price controls led to reduced oil production, which led to oil shortages, skyrocketing prices for gasoline, rationing schemes and long angry lines at gas stations.

You may recall this era as "the Carter years."

Then, the white knight Ronald Reagan became president and immediately deregulated oil prices. The magic of the free market -- aka the "profit motive" -- produced surges in oil exploration and development, causing prices to plummet. Prices collapsed and remained low for the next 20 years, helping to fuel the greatest economic expansion in our nation's history.

You may recall this era as "the Reagan years."

Freedom not only allows you to make your own rationing choices, but also produces vastly more products and services at cheap prices, so less rationing is necessary.

(8) National health care won't cover abortions.

There are three certainties in life: (a) death, (b) taxes, and (C) no health care bill supported by Nita Lowey and Rosa DeLauro and signed by Barack Obama could possibly fail to cover abortions.

I don't think that requires elaboration, but here it is:

Despite being a thousand pages long, the health care bills passing through Congress are strikingly nonspecific. (Also, in a thousand pages, Democrats weren't able to squeeze in one paragraph on tort reform. Perhaps they were trying to save paper.)

These are Trojan Horse bills. Of course, they don't include the words "abortion," "death panels" or "three-year waits for hip-replacement surgery."

That proves nothing -- the bills set up unaccountable, unelected federal commissions to fill in the horrible details. Notably, the Democrats rejected an amendment to the bill that would specifically deny coverage for abortions.

After the bill is passed, the Federal Health Commission will find that abortion is covered, pro-lifers will sue, and a court will say it's within the regulatory authority of the health commission to require coverage for abortions.

Then we'll watch a parade of senators and congressmen indignantly announcing, "Well, I'm pro-life, and if I had had any idea this bill would cover abortions, I never would have voted for it!"

No wonder Democrats want to remind us that they can't be trusted with foreign policy. They want us to forget that they can't be trusted with domestic policy.

America Loses its Own Hearts and Minds

America Loses its Own Hearts and Minds
Ben Shapiro
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Every insurgency has a long-term plan. That plan isn't military victory. It's tacit alliance with naysayers or sympathizers from the opposing force who are all too willing to undermine the war effort. Every insurgency is a stalling tactic aimed at the enemy, designed to oust those determined to wage war and install those determined to achieve armistice at all costs.

Even after their defeat at Gettysburg, the Confederacy held out hope that an 1864 Democratic presidential victory would provide them independence. "If we can break up the enemy's arrangements," wrote Robert E. Lee, "he will not be able to recover his position or his morale until the presidential election is over, and then we shall have a new president to treat with."

The Charleston Mercury was even more sanguine; if Democratic presidential candidate George McClellan was elected, the Mercury said, it would "lead to peace and our independence … [provided] that for the next two months we hold out own and prevent military success by our foes."

The same was true a century later. According to North Vietnamese Col. Bui Tin, "Ho Chi Minh said, 'We don't need to win military victories, we only need to hit them until they give up and get out.' … The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor."

Every war, then, is a battle for hearts and minds -- not just for the hearts and minds of our enemies, but also for the hearts and minds of our own citizens. With the election of President Obama, Americans apparently lost their hearts and their minds.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the United States was involuntarily launched into a great struggle against Islamists seeking our destruction. The chief battlefield was Afghanistan, where Osama Bin Laden, with the protection of his Taliban guardians, planned and executed the most devastating strike on American soil in our history.

And now, eight years later, Americans don't care. Last week, an ABC News-Washington Post poll found that 51 percent of Americans said the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting, while only 25 percent said America should send more troops. That was true, despite nearly six in 10 Americans averring confidence in America's ability to defeat the Taliban and stabilize Afghanistan. It's no longer about whether we can win a victory; it's about whether we want to win a victory. And we don't.

President Obama is doing nothing to boost the war effort. During his 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama repeatedly claimed that the Iraq war was a distraction from our more important efforts in Afghanistan. Yet his response to the new anti-war sentiment has been tepid at best -- which makes perfect sense, since he was elected by riding the anti-war wave. So far, he has engaged in a Robert McNamara-esque policy of graduated escalation in Afghanistan, slowly infusing more troops in a doomed attempt to squeeze the enemy, rather than pounding them Bush surge-style. He has released Afghani terrorists from Guantanamo Bay without restrictions and initiated investigations into CIA interrogation, emboldening our enemies, who now know they will likely be released without a mark even if they are caught.

It turns out, too, that Iraq was a central front in the war on terror: with Obama's pullout policy in Iraq, Iranian-backed terrorist efforts are making headway. "There has been an obvious deterioration in the security situation in the last two months," says Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. According to Gen. Muhammad Shahwani, head of Iraqi intelligence since 2004, says that without American help, "Iraq will be a colony of Iran" within five years.

In short, Islamist insurgents over the globe were right -- elect Obama, win the war.

On Aug. 23, 1864, Abraham Lincoln faced the specter of a George McClellan presidency. "This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected," he wrote. "Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the president elect, as to save the union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he can not possibly save it afterwards."

Today, McClellan is president -- only he's not an anti-war former war hero, but a pacifistic college professor and community organizer, elected on a platform of gradual surrender. Obama's campaign words about Afghanistan were a smoke screen for his underlying anti-war tendencies -- tendencies that were heard and absorbed by the American people. The day Obama was elected, the war on terror was lost.

Kennedy called 'singular figure' in America's life

Kennedy called 'singular figure' in America's life
AP News
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in an enduring political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy, a liberal Democrat, served alongside 10 presidents, his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them, compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.

In a brief statement to reporters at his rented vacation home on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., President Barack Obama eulogized Kennedy as one of the "most accomplished Americans" in history _ and a man whose work in Congress helped give millions new opportunities.

"Including myself," added the nation's first black president.

A source, speaking on grounds of anonymity because plans were still under way, told The Associated Press that Kennedy will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. At the eternal flame rests four Kennedy family members, including the former president, Jacqueline Kennedy, their baby son, Patrick, who died after two days, and a still-born child. Former Sen. Robert Kennedy F. Kennedy is buried a short distance away.

Kennedy's only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter turned back his challenge for the party's nomination. More than a quarter-century later, Kennedy handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy.

To the American public, Kennedy was best known as the last surviving son of America's most glamorous political family, father figure and, memorably, eulogist of an Irish-American clan plagued again and again by tragedy. But his career was forever marred by an accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969, when a car he was driving plunged off a bridge, killing a young woman.

Kennedy's death triggered an outpouring of superlatives from Democrats and Republicans as well as foreign leaders.

Vice President Joe Biden said he was "truly, truly distressed by his passing" and said that in the Senate, Kennedy had restored his "sense of idealism."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, the conservative Republican from Utah, called Kennedy "an iconic, larger than life United States Senator whose influence cannot be overstated."

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., the longest-serving senator, said: "I had hoped and prayed that this day would never come. My heart and soul weeps at the lost of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy."

Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," it said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."

A few hours later, two vans left the famed Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port in pre-dawn darkness. Both bore hearse license plates _ with the word "hearse" blacked out.

Several hundred miles away, flags few at half-staff at the U.S. Capitol, and Obama ordered the same at the White House and all federal buildings.

In his later years, Kennedy cut a barrel-chested profile, with a swath of white hair, a booming voice and a thick, widely imitated Boston accent. He coupled fist-pumping floor speeches with his well-honed Irish charm and formidable negotiating skills. He was both a passionate liberal and a clear-eyed pragmatist, willing to reach across the aisle.

He was first elected to the Senate in 1962, taking the seat that his brother John had occupied before winning the White House, and served longer than all but two senators in history.

His own hopes of reaching the White House were damaged _ perhaps doomed _ in 1969 by the scandal that came to be known as Chappaquiddick. He sought the White House more than a decade later, lost the Democratic nomination to President Jimmy Carter, and bowed out with a stirring valedictory that echoed across the decades: "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in May 2008 and underwent surgery and a grueling regimen of radiation and chemotherapy.

He made a surprise return to the Capitol last summer to cast the decisive vote for the Democrats on Medicare. He made sure he was there again last January to see his former Senate colleague Barack Obama sworn in as the nation's first black president, but suffered a seizure at a celebratory luncheon afterward.

He also made a surprise and forceful appearance at last summer's Democratic National Convention, where he spoke of his own illness and said health care was the cause of his life. His death occurred precisely one year later, almost to the hour.

He was away from the Senate for much of this year, leaving Republicans and Democrats to speculate about the impact what his absence meant for the fate of Obama's health care proposals.

Under state law, Kennedy's successor will be chosen by special election. In his last known public act, the senator urged Massachusetts state legislators to give Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick the power to name an interim replacement. But that appears unlikely, leaving Democrats in Washington with one less vote for at least the next several months as they struggle to pass Obama's health care legislation.

His death came less than two weeks after that of his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver on Aug. 11. Kennedy was not present for the funeral, an indication of the precariousness of his own health. Of nine children born to Joseph and Rose Kennedy, only one _ Jean Kennedy Smith, survives.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Kennedy's son Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., said his father had defied the predictions of doctors by surviving more than a year with his fight against brain cancer.

The younger Kennedy said that gave family members a surprise blessing, as they were able to spend more time with the senator and to tell him how much he had meant to their lives.

Kennedy arrived at his place in the Senate after a string of family tragedies. He was the only one of the four Kennedy brothers to die of natural causes.
Kennedy's eldest brother, Joseph, was killed in a plane crash in World War II. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down in Los Angeles as he campaigned for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination.

Years later, in 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed in a plane crash at age 38. His wife died with him.

It fell to Ted Kennedy to deliver the eulogies, to comfort his brothers' widows, to mentor fatherless nieces and nephews. It was Ted Kennedy who walked JFK's daughter, Caroline, down the aisle at her wedding.

Tragedy had a way of bringing out his eloquence.

Kennedy sketched a dream of a better future as he laid Robert to rest in 1968: "My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it."

After John Jr.'s death, the senator said: "We dared to think, in that other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair, with his beloved Carolyn by his side. But like his father, he had every gift but length of years."
His own legacy was blighted on the night of July 18, 1969, when Kennedy drove his car off a bridge and into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island, on Martha's Vineyard. Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old worker with RFK's campaign, was found dead in the submerged car's back seat 10 hours later.

Kennedy, then 37, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a two-month suspended sentence and a year's probation. A judge eventually determined there was "probable cause to believe that Kennedy operated his motor vehicle negligently ... and that such operation appears to have contributed to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne."

At the height of the scandal, Kennedy went on national television to explain himself in an extraordinary 13-minute address in which he denied driving drunk and rejected rumors of "immoral conduct" with Ms. Kopechne. He said he was haunted by "irrational" thoughts immediately after the accident, and wondered "whether some awful curse did actually hang over all the Kennedys." He said his failure to report the accident right away was "indefensible."

After Chappaquiddick especially, Kennedy gained a reputation as a heavy drinker and a womanizer, a tragically flawed figure haunted by the fear that he did not quite measure up to his brothers. As his weight ballooned, he was lampooned by comics and cartoonists in the 1980s and '90s as the very embodiment of government waste, bloat and decadence.

In 1991, Kennedy roused his nephew William Kennedy Smith and his son Patrick from bed to go out for drinks while staying at the family's Palm Beach, Fla., estate. Later that night, a woman Smith met at a bar accused him of raping her at the home.

Smith was acquitted, but the senator's carousing and testimony about him wandering about the house in his shirttails and no pants further damaged his reputation.

Kennedy offered a mea culpa in a speech at Harvard that October, recognizing "my own shortcomings, the faults in the conduct of my private life."

Politically, his concession speech at the Democratic convention in 1980 turned out to be a defining moment. At 48, he seemed liberated from the towering expectations and high hopes invested in him after the death of his brothers, and he plunged into his work in the Senate. In his later years, after he had divorced and remarried, he came to be regarded as a statesman on Capitol Hill, with a growing reputation as an effective, hard-working lawmaker.

His legislative achievements included bills to provide health insurance for children of the working poor, the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, Meals on Wheels for the elderly, abortion clinic access, family leave, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

He was also a key negotiator on legislation creating a Medicare prescription drug benefit for senior citizens, was a driving force for peace in Ireland and a persistent critic of the war in Iraq.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued a statement that said: "Ted Kennedy's dream was the one for which the Founding Fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The liberal lion's mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die."

Former first Lady Nancy Reagan said that her husband and Kennedy "could always find common ground, and they had great respect for one another."

"Even facing illness and death he never stopped fighting for the causes which were his life's work. I am proud to have counted him as a friend and proud that the United Kingdom recognized his service earlier this year with the award of an honorary knighthood." _ British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Whatever his national standing, Kennedy was unbeatable in Massachusetts. He won his first election in 1962, filling out the unexpired portion of his brother's term. He won an eighth term in 2006. Kennedy served close to 47 years, longer than all but two senators in history: Robert Byrd of West Virginia (50 years and counting) and the late Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who died after a tenure of nearly 47 1/2 years.

Born in 1932, the youngest of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's nine children, Edward Moore Kennedy was part of a family bristling with political ambition, beginning with maternal grandfather John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a congressman and mayor of Boston.

Round-cheeked Teddy was thrown out of Harvard in 1951 for cheating, after arranging for a classmate to take a freshman Spanish exam for him. He eventually returned, earning his degree in 1956.

He went on to the University of Virginia Law School, and in 1962, while his brother John was president, announced plans to run for the Senate seat JFK had vacated in 1960. A family friend had held the seat in the interim because Kennedy was not yet 30, the minimum age for a senator.

Kennedy was immediately involved in a bruising primary campaign against state Attorney General Edward J. McCormack, a nephew of U.S. House Speaker John W. McCormack.

"If your name was simply Edward Moore, your candidacy would be a joke," chided McCormack.

Kennedy won the primary by 300,000 votes and went on to overwhelmingly defeat Republican George Cabot Lodge, son of the late Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, in the general election.

Devastated by his brothers' assassinations and injured in a 1964 plane crash that left him with back pain that would plague him for decades, Kennedy temporarily withdrew from public life in 1968. But he re-emerged in 1969 to be elected majority whip of the Senate.

Then came Chappaquiddick.

Kennedy still handily won re-election in 1970, but he lost his leadership job. He remained outspoken in his opposition to the Vietnam War and support of social programs but ruled out a 1976 presidential bid.

In the summer of 1978, a Gallup Poll showed that Democrats preferred Kennedy over President Carter 54 percent to 32 percent. A year later, Kennedy decided to run for the White House with a campaign that accused Carter of turning his back on the Democratic agenda.

The difficult task of dislodging a sitting president was compounded by Kennedy's fumbling answer to a question posed by CBS' Roger Mudd: Why do you want to be president?

"Well, it's um, you know you have to come to grips with the different issues that, ah, we're facing," Kennedy said. "I mean, we can, we have to deal with each of the various questions of the economy, whether it's in the area of energy ..."

Long afterward, he said, "Well, I learned to lose, and for a Kennedy that's hard." Kennedy married Virginia Joan Bennett, known as Joan, in 1958. They divorced in 1982. In 1992, he married Washington lawyer Victoria Reggie. His survivors include a daughter, Kara Kennedy Allen; two sons, Edward Jr. and Patrick, a congressman from Rhode Island; and two stepchildren, Caroline and Curran Raclin.

Edward Jr. lost a leg to bone cancer in 1973 at age 12. Kara had a cancerous tumor removed from her lung in 2003. In 1988, Patrick had a noncancerous tumor pressing on his spine removed. He has also struggled with depression and addiction and announced in June that he was re-entering rehab.

Kennedy's memoir, "True Compass," is set to be published in the fall.


OK That's an example from the somewhat biased liberal side - lets look at this whole Dead Ted story from another angle...

Remembering the Darker Side of Teddy Kennedy
Mona Charen
Friday, August 28, 2009

The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, we are being told, should strengthen our resolve to act in a bipartisan fashion. Many of the tributes, from former presidents and Republican colleagues, have stressed the late senator's willingness to find "common ground." Well, since ancient Rome we've been exhorted not to speak ill of the dead. But neither should we completely disfigure the truth.

Before offering some less than hagiographic reflections on the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (may he rest in peace), one pleasant memory: About a decade ago, I was late for a party in northwest Washington D.C. -- a neighborhood not known for abundant parking spaces. After circling the block several times, I spied a cramped space and determined that somehow I was going to fit my minivan into it. Just then, a large man approached walking two Portuguese Water Dogs. He stopped, saw my predicament, and proceeded to guide me into the space with lots of laughter, encouragement, and a little bit of teasing. I knew (obviously) that my Good Samaritan was the senior senator from Massachusetts. I have no reason to think he recognized me.

So I have personal experience of Teddy Kennedy's charm and affability. The many stories of his personal kindnesses to others (including those with whom he disagreed politically) speak well of him -- to a point. But Kennedy was a politician who too often permitted his own sense of righteousness to overwhelm the large reservoir of decency that he is reported to have possessed. He could trample on conservatives with, it seems, hardly a pang of conscience. He may have been the "great liberal lion" of the U.S. Senate, but some of us cannot forget that his tactics were often low and dishonorable.

Former President George W. Bush was characteristically gracious about Kennedy ("a great man") in his comments since his death, but Kennedy went after Bush utterly without scruple. Consider Kennedy's shrill attacks on President Bush's decision to invade Iraq. In 2002, Sen. Kennedy himself had said, "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." But just a year later, Kennedy was saying, "This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud." In 2004, Kennedy said, "Before the war, week after week after week we were told lie after lie after lie after lie . . . the president's war is revealed as mindless, needless, senseless, reckless."

Kennedy did not -- perhaps could not -- accept that the Bush administration had made a good faith decision to use military force (as his brother did in the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam). Instead, he contributed to conspiracy theories about Bush's true motives. Echoing the most inflamed leftist websites, Kennedy alleged that "the President and his senior aides began the march to war in Iraq in the earliest days of the administration, long before the terrorists struck this nation on 9/11."

When the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison came to light, disgust and abhorrence were expressed pretty universally and certainly bipartisanly. But Kennedy, unable to resist a cheap political shot, actually compared the U.S. to Saddam Hussein, saying, "Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management -- U.S. management."

Sen. Kennedy's rhetorical ruthlessness was perhaps most famously displayed within minutes of the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. The world now knows that Bob Bork is one of the most intelligent, witty, reasonable, and civilized men in America. But at the time, few knew anything about him. Kennedy rushed to the Senate floor to introduce a grotesque bogeyman: "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is -- and is often the only -- protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy."

Judge Bork recounted later that when he met privately with the senator, Kennedy mumbled, "Nothing personal." When you have calumniated a man before the entire world, you cannot claim that it isn't personal.

One hopes that the Kennedy family will find comfort in the days ahead. But I cannot join those who uphold Teddy Kennedy as a model public servant, far less as an exemplar of any sort of bipartisanship.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Radical Feminism in the Classroom

Radical Feminism in the Classroom
Ashley Herzog
Monday, August 24, 2009

Feminist proponents of “comprehensive sexuality education” like to portray themselves as advocates of science, bravely battling religious conservatives who preach bigotry and gender stereotypes to schoolchildren.

Don’t be fooled. If you have a child in school, you should read “You’re Teaching My Child What?” by Dr. Miriam Grossman. Rather than learning just the facts, students are schooled in gender politics and feminist ideology—an ideology that is highly dogmatic and scientifically unsupported.

Planned Parenthood, for example, wants to teach your kids that “All people are ‘gendered beings’ by virtue of the fact that we are socialized into a heavily gendered culture.” In other words, differences between boys and girls are the result of socialization, not biology. The feminist sex-ed web site Scarleteen claims that “gender is a man-made set of concepts and ideas…What our mind is like—the way we think, what we think about, what we like, what skills we have—really is not, so far as data has shown us so far—about gender or biological sex, period.”

To make a long story short: they’re lying. There’s a mountain of scientific evidence showing that biological sex does indeed influence “the way we think”—evidence that Grossman presents in her book.

For example, when researchers in Japan examined the drawings of 252 kindergarteners, “They found significant differences between the drawings of girls and boys. Among them: boys drew a moving object twenty times more than girls. Girls included a flower or butterfly seven times more than boys…Overall, girls decidedly preferred pink and flesh colors. Boys used two colors more than girls: grey and blue.”

That’s because girls are socialized to like flowers and pink, the feminists will respond.

Not true. As Grossman writes, “To control for [socialization], the researchers analyzed the drawings of a third group—eight girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a genetic disorder in which the fetal brain was flooded with high levels of male hormones. CAH girls drew cars and buses, not butterflies. And the cars were blue, not pink.” Girls whose brains had been flooded with male hormones in the womb also showed a preference for male playmates and toys typically associated with boys.

Even monkeys—who are presumably oblivious to “man-made” gender roles—display sex differences early in life.

“Juvenile male monkeys, both rhesus and vervet, prefer playing with balls and vehicles,” Grossman writes. “Female monkeys like dolls and pots.” For good measure, Grossman includes a picture of a female monkey cradling a baby doll.

Recently, feminist bloggers praised a lesbian couple in Sweden who are attempting to raise a genderless child, calling the child “Pop” and keeping his or her biological sex a secret.

“Do me a favor…all of you people who are thinking about having kids in the future? Think about raising your kids this way,” a writer for Feministe advised. “The world would be a better place for it.”

However, if feminists looked at scientific research, they might conclude that these parents are doing their child an enormous disservice. Consider the case of Bruce Reimer, who was castrated in a medical accident when he was eight months old. Psychologists—steeped in radical 1960s ideology—assured Reimer’s parents that gender was socially constructed, and he could be raised successfully as a girl.

Reimer, who eventually committed suicide, recounted his life of misery in the book “As Nature Made Him.”

“Far from accepting the gender reassignment, he fought against it tooth and nail from the very beginning,” Grossman writes, “refusing to play with dolls, preferring wrestling over cooking, and even urinating standing up whenever possible.”

When finally told he had been born a boy, Reimer said he was relieved: “Suddenly it all made sense why I felt the way I did.” Coming from someone who knows, gender isn’t as fluid and changeable as feminists want it to be.

In fact, teaching schoolchildren that gender differences have no biological basis is the anti-scientific position—one based in faith and social dogma. As Grossman explains, the more we learn about endocrinology, neurology, and embryonic development, the clearer it becomes that many gender differences are set in the womb.

For males, “the boy-brain trajectory is set at eight weeks. Not eight weeks after birth, eight weeks after conception—seven months before the pink or blue blanket,” she writes. “A fetus has a boy brain or a girl brain when it is the size of a kidney bean.”

Still, in 2009, the progressive sex-ed group Advocates for Youth instructs students that gender is “culturally assigned.”

The next time you hear sex educators reciting canards about “science, not values” and “teaching kids the facts,” remember that this is what they mean.

5 Liberal Lies About Obamacare

5 Liberal Lies About Obamacare
John Hawkins
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Barrack Obama and his pals in the mainstream media are doing everything in their power to keep people from finding out the truth about the health care bills that are winding their way through Congress.

Rather than engaging in an honest debate about the pluses and minuses of socialized medicine, they've abandoned all significant attempts to work with the GOP, they've demonized American citizens who've dared to voice their concern at townhalls, and they have lied more than Bill Clinton probably did the first time Hillary mentioned the name "Gennifer Flowers" to him.

Liberal claim: The public option won't kill private health insurance. When that sleazy old terrorist Yasser Arafat was alive, he was famous for telling Westerners he wanted peace in English, while telling his own people in Arabic to kill the Jews. Liberals are using the same tactic with the public option.

When they're talking to the general public, they assure them that the public option won't kill private insurance and if people like the plans they have, they'll be able to keep them.

But when liberals talk to each other, they explicitly admit that the public option is designed to kill private insurance so the government can take complete control.

There are many examples of this, but this quote from Barney Frank is so crystal clear about what they're doing that no more examples are really needed,

"I think if we get a good public option, it could lead to single payer and that's the best way to reach single payer. Saying you'll do nothing until you reach single payer is a sure way never to get it."

Liberal Claim: Illegal aliens won't be covered. If you want to know why Americans don't believe Congress or the mainstream media, the sort of slick deception that's being practiced here is typical of what's driving the distrust.

There is indeed a clause in the House bill that says illegal aliens aren't covered. The mainstream media looks at that clause and then dutifully reports, as if it were a fact, that illegal aliens won't be getting taxpayer funded health care.

However, here's the catch: there's no enforcement provision. Texas Congressman Lamar Smith explains how the scam will work:

The Democrats’ bill in the House, H.R. 3200, contains gaping loopholes that will allow illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded benefits. And these loopholes are no accident.

The legislation contains no verification mechanism to ensure that illegal immigrants do not apply for benefits. Republicans offered an amendment to close this loophole — it would have required verification using the existing methods that are already in place to verify eligibility for other federal benefits programs. But when they were asked to put the language of the bill where their words were, in a party-line vote, House Democrats rejected the amendment to require verification and close this loophole.

In other words, the Democrats can claim that illegal aliens won't be covered by the bill and even point to a provision in it that says it won't happen. Meanwhile, if the health care bill passes, millions of illegals aliens will have their health care picked up on the taxpayer's dime -- just as the Democrats planned all along.

Liberal claim: Abortion won't be covered by the bill. This is another clever bit of sleight of hand designed to fool the American public. As Congressman Steve King explained:

...The history of abortion funding from the federal government has been this: since 1973, the federal government has funded abortions unless there was an explicit prohibition written into the law. We have prohibited that in any number of cases, but this healthcare bill that's being rolled out by the Democrats and the House, by any information I have of what's in it, would fund abortion because there is no explicit prohibition.

In fact, there was an amendment that was brought through the Energy and Commerce Committee that passed by one vote, that would have prohibited abortions. They then turned around and wrote another amendment that struck it out again. So, the committee has voted to fund abortions with public taxpayer dollars.

So, is there a provision in the bill that says that abortion will be funded? No, but all that means is that abortion will be funded by default. This shouldn't surprise anyone given that Barack Obama explicitly said abortion would be covered in his health care plan during the campaign:

The Obama campaign responded to a question about health care from the pro-abortion RH Reality Check web site.

"Senator Obama believes that reproductive health care is basic health care," the campaign said, using the phrase that abortion advocates employ to refer to abortion.

"His health care plan will create a new public plan, which will provide coverage of all essential medical services. Reproductive health care is an essential service," the Obama campaign added.

The Obama camp also made it clear that any private insurance companies wanting to participate would also be required to provide abortion coverage.

"And private insurers that want to participate will have to treat reproductive care in the same way," the Obama campaign responded.

Liberal Claim: The health care bill will lower costs: This is perhaps the single most jaw droppingly dishonest claim about the whole bill, especially given that Medicare's unfunded liability is 34 trillion dollars. How in the world are the same people running a program that's on track to bankrupt the entire country supposed to create a newer, larger program that's going to actually lower the cost of health care?

Estimates of how much the bill will add to the deficit range from a few hundred billion to a trillion dollars plus, but these are likely to dramatically underestimate the costs for two reasons.

First of all, there's the staggered way the system is supposed to be rolled out,
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the proposal now under consideration will cost over 10 years a little more than $1 trillion, depending on the final deal. House Democrats have vowed to find a way to pay for that cost despite an acknowledgement by a Congressional Budget Office official that the deficit will increase $239 billion because of Medicare payments to doctors.

But fully phased-in coverage of Americans under the plan will only occur for six of the 10 years measured by the CBO. That's because the Democratic plan in the House will start collecting revenues in 2011 but won't start providing coverage until 2013 and won't be fully implemented until 2015.

Why set the system up this way? In part, so that the Democrats can game the system and hide how much it's really going to add to the deficit.

Even setting that aside, the Congressional Budget Office has traditionally underestimated how much health care programs cost by stunning margins. Here's one all-too-typical example,

In 1965, as Congress considered legislation to establish a national Medicare program, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that the hospital insurance portion of the program, Part A, would cost about $9 billion annually by 1990. Actual Part A spending in 1990 was $67 billion. The actuary who provided the original cost estimates acknowledged in 1994 that, even after conservatively discounting for the unexpectedly high inflation rates of the early ‘70s and other factors, “the actual [Part A] experience was 165% higher than the estimate.”

At a time when we're running the largest deficit in history and spending at an unsustainable level, can we afford to create yet another massive entitlement program? After creating a debt so big that our children's children won't be able to pay it off, what are we going for here? Are we trying to create a world where our great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren will still be spending a significant amount of their income to pay for the goodies we're getting from the government today?

Liberal Claim: There will be no rationing of health care. If you're wondering if a "death panel" will convene and "pull the plug on Grandma," essentially, the answer is "yes." Of course, it won't be called a "death panel" and Nancy Pelosi is not going to show up personally and yank Grandma's life support out of the wall. They don't have to be that dramatic.

Consider what happened to Barbara Wagner, who's on Oregon’s state-run health care program. Her doctor prescribed a cancer drug that slows the spread of disease and the Oregon Health Plan refused to cover the cost of the treatment. However, they did note some other things they would cover including ”doctor-assisted suicide.” That's what a "death panel pulling the plug on grandma" looks like in the real world and we'll be seeing it nationwide if the Democrats get their way.

Still don't believe it? Well, consider this: the Democrats say their plan will cover a lot more Americans. Yet, there are no provisions in it to add any new doctors or nurses. In fact, one of the ways they're going to save money is by simply refusing to pay hospitals the full value of what their services are worth. Take any business and dramatically increase the number of customers they're serving with the same staff while significantly decreasing the amount of money per customer they receive, and you're going to get a drop-off in quality. How bad can it get? In Britain, 100 people a week lose their eyesight because the government run health care system is so overstretched that they can't get them an appointment with an optometrist. That's how it works in Britain and that’s how it will eventually work here, too, if the Democrats have their way.

The Opportunity of a Century

The Opportunity of a Century
Phyllis Schlafly
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said one correct thing: health care legislation is our "opportunity, not of a lifetime, but of the century." Passage of the bill she supports would put us forever on the road to trillions of dollars in debt, bankruptcy and European mistakes; defeat of the bill will safeguard the unique American recipe for liberty and prosperity.

Pelosi and her friends would give more control to patients over their medical care IF the liberals really wanted to improve quality and reduce cost. Instead, they are trying to push our nation in the opposite direction, taking away control from patients over access and choices for medical care.

We should eliminate the roadblocks that are built into current law to restrict our use of health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible insurance (such as $2,500). Pre-tax money put into HSAs by the individual and by the employer can be used for costs not covered and, if not spent, can be saved and grow as a savings account for the individual.

This puts the individual in charge of spending for health-care costs up to the deductible limit when insurance coverage kicks in. This assures that the first $2,500 will be spent more carefully and thereby promote competition and lower costs.

We should give individually owned health insurance the same tax deduction that has been enjoyed for decades by employer-provided health insurance. This is a matter of fairness; where are the equal-protection litigators when we need them?

The Democrats are toying with going in the opposite direction: eliminating the tax deduction for employer-based plans. That translates into a big tax increase for the middle class.

We should repeal all state laws that forbid insurance companies to compete across state lines, so that individuals can buy health insurance in states other than their own. Where are the free-trade devotees when we need them?

We should repeal all government mandates on benefits that health insurance is required to cover so individuals can choose the insurance package that fits their needs. These last two changes would be the best way to establish real insurance company competition.

Again, the Democrats are going in the opposite direction: imposing a federal mandate on what benefits health insurance must cover (which will include abortion, mental health and all sorts of services demanded by special-interest groups). Insurance mandates are how the Democrats expect to control the health care industry if they can't round up the votes to impose the "public option."

We should enact tort reform so that doctors won't be chased out of practice by ruinous lawsuits and over-the-top malpractice insurance rates. The Democrats won't do this because the trial lawyers are their biggest source of campaign contributions.

The left has started a nasty attack against John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., because he wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal endorsing these common-sense reforms. He practices what he preaches -- his company provides a popular HSA plan for its employees.

The left is incensed that Mackey not only supports practical reforms but also explained the folly of making health care a massive and costly entitlement that would create trillions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and empower government instead of people.

The left is venting its rage on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere, and even trying to organize a Whole Foods Boycott.

I prefer Whole Foods over Nancy Pelosi, so I'm going to double my shopping at Whole Foods and urge liberty-loving and cost-conscious Americans to do likewise. I'm a fan of Whole Foods' healthy foods and vitamins, anyway.

Here are two more health care reforms that Mackey didn't mention that I would add to the list. The Democrats craftily built two loopholes into their 1,000-page bill that must be closed.

Pelosi's bill deceitfully covers abortion at taxpayer expense by refusing to exclude it. The Democrats and the feminists consider abortion merely routine health care, like appendectomies, and they know that the traditional Hyde Amendment, which denies taxpayer funding for Medicaid abortions, will not apply to the health care bill.

The bill does mention excluding illegal aliens but provides no verification mechanism. Therefore, illegal aliens will be covered by the Democrats' health care bill unless proof of citizenship is specified as a requirement.

Don't let anybody tell you that "co-ops" are an acceptable alternative to the public option. Co-op is just a code word for the government to mandate the benefits that private insurance must provide, so co-ops will rapidly move us to socialist control of the health care industry just as fast as the public option.

The Great Escape

The Great Escape
Thomas Sowell
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Many of the issues of our times are hard to understand without understanding the vision of the world that they are part of. Whether the particular issue is education, economics or medical care, the preferred explanation tends to be an external explanation-- that is, something outside the control of the individuals directly involved. Education is usually discussed in terms of the money spent on it, the teaching methods used, class sizes or the way the whole system is organized. Students are discussed largely as passive recipients of good or bad education.

But education is not something that can be given to anybody. It is something that students either acquire or fail to acquire. Personal responsibility may be ignored or downplayed in this "non-judgmental" age, but it remains a major factor nevertheless.

After many students go through a dozen years in the public schools, at a total cost of $100,000 or more per student-- and emerge semi-literate and with little understanding of the society in which they live, much less the larger world and its history-- most discussions of what is wrong leave out the fact that many such students may have chosen to use school as a place to fool around, act up, organize gangs or even peddle drugs.

The great escape of our times is escape from personal responsibility for the consequences of one's own behavior. Differences in infant mortality rates provoke pious editorials on a need for more prenatal care to be provided by the government for those unable to afford it. In other words, the explanation is automatically assumed to be external to the mothers involved and the solution is assumed to be something that "we" can do for "them."

While it is true that black mothers get less prenatal care than white mothers and have higher infant mortality rates, it is also true that women of Mexican ancestry also get less prenatal care than white women and yet have lower infant mortality rates than white women. But, once people with the prevailing social vision see the first set of facts, they seldom look for any other facts that might go against the explanation that fits their vision of the world.

No small part of the current confusion between "health care" and medical care comes from failing to recognize that Americans can have the best medical care in the world without having the best health or longevity because so many people choose to live in ways that shorten their lives.

There can be grave practical consequences of a dogmatic insistence on external explanations that allow individuals to escape personal responsibility. Americans can end up ruining the best medical care in the world in the vain hope that a government takeover will give us better health.

Economic issues are approached in the same way. People with low incomes are seen as a problem for other people to solve. Studies which follow the same individuals over time show that the vast majority of working people who are in the bottom 20 percent of income earners at a given time end up rising out of that bracket.

Many are simply beginners who get beginners' wages but whose pay rises as they acquire more skills and experience. Yet there is a small minority of workers who do not rise and a large number of people who seldom work and who-- surprise!-- have low incomes as a result.

Seldom is there any thought that people who choose to waste years of their own time (and the taxpayers' money) in school need to change their own behavior-- or to visibly suffer the consequences, so that their fate can be a warning to others coming after them, not to make that same mistake.

It is not just the "non-judgmental" ideology of the intelligentsia but also the self-interest of politicians that leads to so much downplaying of personal responsibility in favor of external explanations and external programs to "solve" the "problem."

On these and other issues, government programs are far less likely to solve the country's problems than to solve the politicians' problem of getting the votes of those whose think the answer to every problem is for the government to "do something."

Dirty Secret No. 3 in Obamacare

Dirty Secret No. 3 in Obamacare
Chuck Norris
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ever heard the saying "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"? That's true for any of the 1,000-plus-page versions of Obamacare.

I've informed you in previous columns of two dirty secrets in Obamacare. Dirty secret No. 3 is the sin of omission. It's what the health care bill doesn't say that will bite you in the end.

In 1,000-plus pages, there's surprisingly sparse coverage or complete avoidance of a host of necessary issues. I would cite pages in the bill, as I've done in my other articles, but there aren't any covering them. These are questions that need specific answers by the Obama administration, as well as by each of our representatives:

--What would the child development methods and values used in training parents during home visitations be? --To whom or what would the national committee that would oversee the entire health care system be accountable?

--What would the extents of power and limitations or boundaries of the national committee be?

--Would the national and regional health care committees eventually run with the power of the Federal Reserve System, as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the health care adviser to the Obama administration, proposes in his book "Healthcare, Guaranteed"?

--Would Medicare be "phased out," as Emanuel proposes in his book?

--Would Medicaid be "phased out," as Emanuel proposes in his book?

--Would employee-provided health insurance eventually cease, as Emanuel proposes in his book?

--Specifically, how would the nation provide and pay for the additional medical and administrative personnel needed to cover roughly 50 million more people?

--Specifically, how would the nation provide and pay for the additional medical facilities and equipment needed to equip the new medical and administrative personnel?

--What are the specific cost projections for such extensive and extra medical personnel, practices, offices and equipment?

--What about the maldistribution of physicians?

--What about tort reform?

--What about class action suits?

--Would illegal immigrants be covered under this program?

--What about the specifics of abortion services? Would taxpayer funds finance them?

--What types and limitations of end-of-life counsel would be offered?

--Any guarantees that the middle class wouldn't be paying for Obamacare eventually?

--Have you investigated or read any other options for or alternatives to health care reform besides the most recent version of Obamacare? If not, why? If so, what are the pros and cons of each?

--Most importantly, will you write or sign amendments that guarantee the restrictions or explanations of the above points into law before passing any form of Obamacare?

Now read that list more slowly one more time, and ask yourself this: Is it a complete coincidence that all those specifics aren't mentioned already in Obamacare legislation? Do you want your representative to sign off on a bill that doesn't specify them? (Would you sign a contract to buy a car that didn't discuss financing or even the specifics of the car you were buying?)

Isn't this just the same ol' doubletalk and dirty politics we've seen in Washington? Whatever happened to Obama's campaign promises about the "most sweeping ethics reform" and "unprecedented transparency"? Why doesn't Washington start telling us the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help them God?

Obama promises that the middle class would not pay for the program, yet the proposed Obamacare legislation would shift progressive onus (beginning on Page 846) for aspects of ongoing health care onto state and local communities -- which, in turn, would pay for those services how? It doesn't say. And if a state were not to meet the criteria to be eligible for federal reimbursement, do we assume the federal government would write it all off, or would we the taxpayers foot that bill, too? It doesn't say. Generalities such as "the State share of the cost" (Page 847) should cause your pocketbook to tremble.

So here's what the specific implementation plan of Obamacare comes down to: "Trust government." A friend of mine who is a California Highway Patrol officer says, "In God we trust; all others we search." And that includes government.

Before so-called universal health care turns into universal hell care, write or call your representative today and protest his rushing to vote Obamacare into law. Remind him that what is needed in Washington is a truly bipartisan group that is allowed an ample amount of time to work on a compromise health care law that would rein in out-of-control insurance companies and wouldn't raise taxes (for anyone), regulate personal medical choices, ration health care or restrict American citizens' freedoms in any way.

Watch your back, America! As the adage goes, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

What Really Happened Last Week in Montana.

What Really Happened Last Week in Montana.

This is making the rounds. It came from a usually reliable source.
USA or Russia?

This was sent to me by a friend in Bozeman, MT who was there.
Why do we tolerate this?

Hello All,

By now you have probably heard that President Obama came to Montana last Friday. However, there are many things that the major news has not covered. I feel that since Bill and I live here and we were at the airport on Friday I should share some facts with you. Whatever you decide to do with the information is up to you. If you chose to share this email with others I do ask that you DELETE my email address before you forward this on.

On Wednesday, August 5th it was announced locally that the President would be coming here. There are many groups here that are against his healthcare and huge spending so those groups began talking and deciding on what they were going to do. The White House would not release ANY details other than the date.

On about Tuesday Bill found out that they would be holding the "Town Hall" at the airport. (This is only because Bill knows EVERYONE at the airport) Our airport is actually located outside of Belgrade (tiny town) in a very remote location. Nothing is around there. They chose to use a hangar that is the most remotely located hangar. You could not pick a more remote location, and you can not get to it easily. It is totally secluded from the public.

FYI: We have many areas in Belgrade and Bozeman which could have held a large amount of folks with sufficient parking. (gymnasiums/auditoriums). All of which have chairs and tables, and would not have to be SHIPPED IN!! $$$$$

During the week, cargo by the TONS was being shipped in constantly. Airport employees could not believe how it just kept coming. Though it was our President coming several expressed how excessive it was, especially during a recession. $$$$$

Late Tuesday/early Wednesday the 12th, they said that tickets would be handed out on Thursday 9am at two locations and the president would be arriving around 12:30 Friday.

Thursday morning about 600 tickets were passed out. However, 1500 were printed at a Local printing shop per White House request. Hmmmm......900 tickets just DISAPPEARED.

This same morning someone called into the radio from the local UPS branch and said that THOUSANDS of Dollars of Lobster were shipped in for Obama. Montana has some of the best beef in the nation!!! And it would have been really wonderful to help out the local economy. Anyone heard of the Recession?? Just think...with all of the traveling the White House is doing. $$$$$ One can only imagine what else we are paying for.

On Friday Bill and I got out to the airport about 10:45am. The groups that wanted to protest Obama's spending and healthcare had gotten a permit to protest and that area was roped off. But that was not to be. A large bus carrying SEIU (Service Employees International Union) members drove up onto the area (illegal)and unloaded right there. It was quite a commotion and there were specifically 2 SEIU men trying to make trouble and start a fight. Police did get involved and arrested the one man but they said they did not have the manpower to remove the SEIU crowd.

The SEIU crowd was very organized and young. About 99% were under the age of 30 and they were not locals! They had bullhorns and PROFESSIONALLY made signs. Some even wore preprinted T-shirts. Oh, and Planned Parenthood folks were with them.....professing abortion rights with their T-shirts and preprinted signs. (BTW, all these folks did have a permit to protest in ANOTHER area)

Those against healthcare/spending moved away from the SEIU crowd to avoid confrontation. They were orderly and respectful. Even though SEIU kept coming over and walking through, continuing to be very intimidating and aggressive at the direction of the one SEIU man.

So we had Montana folks from ALL OVER the state with their homemade signs and their DOGS with homemade signs. We had cowboys, nurses, doctors you name it. There was even a guy from Texas who had been driving through. He found out about the occasion, went to the store, made a sign, and came to protest.

If you are wondering about the press.....Well, all of the major networks were over by that remote hangar I mentioned. They were conveniently parked on the other side of the buildings FAR away. None of these crowds were even visible to them. I have my doubts that they knew anything about the crowds.

We did have some local news media around us from this state and Idaho. Speaking of the local media...they were invited. However, all questions were to be turned into the White House in advance of the event. Wouldn't want anyone to have to think off the top of their head.

It was very obvious that it was meant to be totally controlled by the White House. Everything was orchestrated down to the last detail to make it appear that Montana is just crazy for Obama and government healthcare. Even those people that talked about their insurance woes........the White House called our local HRDC (Human Resource and Development Committee) and asked for names. Then the White House asked those folks to come. Smoke and mirrors...EVERYTHING was staged!!!!!!!!!!!

I am very dismayed about what I learned about our current White House. The amount of control and manipulation was unbelievable. I felt I was not living in the United States of America, more like the USSR!! I was physically nauseous. Bill and I have been around when Presidents or Heads of State visit. It has NEVER been like this. I am truly very frightened for our country. America needs your prayers and your voices. If you care about our country please get involved. Know the issues. And let Congress hear your voices again and again!! If they are willing to put forth so much effort to BULLY a small town one can only imagine what is going on in Washington DC. Scary!!

Kathy - Bozeman, Montana