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3151  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More academia free speech supression on: October 17, 2009, 11:10:02 AM
Boyo,
More suppression of free speech because it is not politically correct and offends some liberal students and evidently the faculty or administration have no problem with it either because I have not heard them renounce it.  Nothing new of course.  We continue to give it all away:

Harvard group cancels invitation to anti-immigration speaker
Was scheduled to talk at forum
 ‘Many are looking for answers to the illegal immigration chaos,’ said Jim Gilchrist of the Minuteman Project. 

By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff / October 16, 2009
 Less than a year after speaking at a Harvard University student conference, the head of an anti-illegal immigration movement had his invitation to speak at a similar forum tomorrow rescinded following a student uproar over his aggressive position on immigration.
Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, which sends armed civilians to patrol the Mexican border for illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, was scheduled to speak during a public interest and law conference hosted by the Harvard Undergraduate Legal Committee.

Gilchrist was slated to appear on a panel that discussed “Immigration and Its Future in America.’’

But student protests, emboldened since Gilchrist spoke at a Harvard Law School event in February, led to the cancellation of his invitation.

The Undergraduate Legal Committee released a statement that read, “Mr. Gilchrist’s participation in the conference on the behalf of the Minutemen Project was not compatible with providing an environment for civil, educational, and productive discourse on immigration, and we cannot host him at this time.’’

A representative from the group would not elaborate on the statement.

Gilchrist could not be reached for comment, but said in a statement on his website that the protests came from only a few and that “the minute they received threats from fellow students these pre-law students shied away from defending free speech.’’

“That future graduates of the most renowned university in the world are literally afraid to support the very cornerstone of the foundation of our nation, namely ‘free speech,’ ought to frighten anyone looking to America as the beacon of liberty, freedom, and justice for all,’’ he said.

Gilchrist seemed to be looking forward to tomorrow’s conference and had solicited funds for the trip.

“Believe me, in these turbulent times many are looking for answers to the illegal immigration chaos,’’ he said in an earlier statement. “Not just the man on the street, but all the way up through the nation’s Ivy League schools.’’

A former Marine and journalist, Gilchrist has run into protests before. He was attacked in 2006 while speaking at Columbia University.

The incident spurred national debate on free speech as well as immigration, while many condemned the violent protests.

He formed what he calls the “multi-ethnic’’ Minuteman Project in 2004, saying he was frustrated with the nation’s failure to enforce immigration laws, and has participated in academic panels, given countless interviews, and has been published in legal journals.

But his hard-line anti-immigration stance has met much opposition, centering on the arming of civilians enforcing federal laws - referred to by many as vigilantes - and the group’s animosity toward immigrants, particularly Mexicans.

Gilchrist’s participation in a Harvard Law School Journal on Legislation panel in February prompted the head of the American Immigration Lawyers Association to withdraw from the event, saying in a letter that, “I draw the line . . . at debating or appearing with members of known hate groups, and those who advocate violence whether explicitly or implicitly.’’

Kyle de Beausset, an undergraduate student and migrant advocate, who was one of the original Harvard protesters, said yesterday that Gilchrist’s removal will allow discussions to move toward policy, rather than animosity.

“It’s a victory for people who are trying to get hate out of the immigration debate,’’ he said. “There’s a difference between having views, and hate speech.’’

Beausset said more students have been alerted to the group’s stance since the arrest in June of a woman with ties to the Minuteman Project.

Shawna Ford and two others allegedly shot and killed a father and son, and wounded the mother in a robbery that Beausset said was to “finance her nativist activism.’’

He said the episode showed the extremes to which some members of the movement will go.

“I’m concerned about the broader national implications of legitimizing these extremist views with the Harvard name,’’ he said in a letter to fellow students.

Milton Valencia can be reached at mvalencia@globe.com.

© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.
3152  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thanks, but definitely no thanks. on: October 15, 2009, 03:37:34 PM
OF course the headlines suggest doctors will get raises  (of course) when in reality the proposal postpones CUTS.

And no I can't be bought off either.
No Dem gets my support.  Go screw yourselves.

Senate Dems seek higher doctor payments
By DAVID ESPO (AP) – 19 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Maneuvering to boost prospects for sweeping health care legislation, Senate Democrats hope first to win quick approval for a bill that grants doctors a $247 billion increase in Medicare fees over a decade but raises federal deficits in the process, officials said Wednesday.

By creating a two-bill approach, Democrats intend to claim the more comprehensive health care measure meets President Barack Obama's conditions — that it will neither add to deficits nor exceed $900 billion in costs over 10 years.

If approved and signed into law, the legislation would avert a 21 percent reduction in Medicare fees paid to doctors that is scheduled to take effect in January as well as additional cuts in future years.

Lawmakers frequently draft budgets that assume payment rates for doctors treating Medicare patients will fall rather than rise, part of a sleight of hand set of assumptions to make deficits appear smaller than they actually are. They then convene the following year and restore the money.

The disclosure of Senate Democrats' plans came as senior lawmakers sat down with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and other top administration officials for the first time to draft a health care bill expected to be voted on in the full Senate beginning in about two weeks.

Two Senate committees have approved different versions of the legislation, requiring the unusual set of negotiations.

The bill to restore planned Medicare cuts for doctors was introduced without fanfare in the Senate on Tuesday and set aside for swift floor action next week, rather than sent to the Senate Finance Committee for hearings as would normally be the case.

"This is a bill that would permanently change the payment system for physicians to a fairer system," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said as she introduced the bill.

Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the decision to move quickly and apart from the health care bill was made in consultation with the White House. House Democratic leaders were also involved in the discussions.

House Democrats, in particular, have grumbled about trying to adhere to Obama's price tag.

In the Senate, the immediate impact of a two-bill approach is to slice $10.7 billion from the cost of the health care bill that cleared the Finance Committee bill, money that could then be spent on other priorities.

A 60-vote Senate majority will be required to pass the measure, potentially placing Republican senators in a quandary.

If they oppose it, they may anger doctors who have made restoration of the planned payment cuts a top priority. If they support it, they may open themselves up to charges they helped raise deficits and facilitated passage of a health care bill that conservatives oppose vigorously.

Stabenow's office did not immediately return a call seeking additional information.

Dr. J. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association, issued a statement welcoming the developments. "Without repeal, the current formula projects steep cuts of about 40 percent over the next five years. As we work to improve the health system, permanent repeal of the payment formula is an essential element of health reform to ensure the security and stability of Medicare," he said.

Manley said the measure does not need to be offset by spending cuts or higher taxes because "it does not increase spending. It simply restores a more honest picture of what future physician spending will actually be."

But Democrats saw the issue differently more than a year ago, the last time Congress acted to head off a cut in payment rates.

Then, they insisted on cutting payments to insurance companies providing private Medicare coverage in order to cover the $13.5 billion cost of the increase in doctor payments. The result was a showdown in which the legislation was passed over President George W. Bush's veto.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
3153  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Earners vs takers. on: October 15, 2009, 03:09:30 PM
Just a thought.

We are not a country of haves and have nots.

We are a country of earners vs takers.

or perhaps earners vs. handouts.

or earners vs spongers.

or workers vs. spongers.

It is all out of control.
3154  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sick of it all on: October 15, 2009, 02:41:47 PM
Now I see Obama offering seniors $250 on Drudge.
In my other post in the music thread I noted that anyone could be bought off. 
So Obama thinks he will win over the senior vote with this.
Folks I don't know how you all feel but the endless give aways, taxes, spending proposals from the Democrats on a daily basis
is to me just so depressing.
I know I am going to be holding the bill.

Our country is screwed.

The entitlements are expanding exponentially, the number of people who are giving in and jumping on the dole is exploding and those left holding the bag like myself just have to sit and watch them GIVE our money all away.

Example,

I have a pt. in his 50s who came to me with wear and tear arthritis of his shoulders.
He does do a very physical job.

I suggested he can't do that work anymore and needs to think of something else.
Supervisory etc.

He comes back in a few weeks later with a permanent disability form from Social Security and says to me "you told me I am disabled".

I think to myself I never said that but it is difficult to tell him no when I am his, his wife's, his childrens primary doctor.

So I filled out the form that he has some worn rotator cuffs thinking and I thought SSI will have him evaluated by their own doctor and he will be denied.  This has always been the case in the past.

Low and behold within a few short months he is approved.  I assume his case was reviewed and they didn't go by only what I wrote but I admit I don't know what the details of the events were in the process.

He has no more arthritis then me.  But because I am a doctor I must work forever while this guy goes on the dole.

I hear stories all the time about people getting endless 6 month extensions on their unempolyement.  They can get jobs but since they are lower wage from what they are used to they decide they may as well stay on unemployment.

Yet we have millions and millions of illegals working here also using services.  A Russian doctor just told me she prefers to care for Americans over Russians.  I said really?  She said yes,  care in Russia is free and they come here expecting free care.  Like I said the immigrants of today are not like those of my ancestors at the turn of 1900.

And because the Democrats are all about taxing and spending to buy votes and as long as people decide they may as well get on the dole this country is screwed.

From where I sit there is NO END in sight.

For those of us who are working and paying all these bills I don't want to pay for the health care of all these other people.

Why do the 90% have to suffer for the 10%?  I am tired of it.  I agree with Levin.  Health care is *not a right* and I don't care about all these other people.  I have had enough.
3155  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A bit long and winded answer on: October 14, 2009, 07:53:34 PM
Thanks for your thoughts.
I am not completely sure of the answer.
Taylor Swift of course is not running around taking songs.  There are organized thieves, PIs, and their freinds and relatives who have controlled the approach to us.

There have dozens and probably by now years after it started hundreds of people involved.
Yet it always seems coordinated and one person fails or is "outed" they seem to fade while other scams evolve.

Someone or someones are clearly behind the scene orchestrating this.  Unfortunately they succeeded at bribing one person after another  - tenants who lived in an efficiency we rented behind our house, an ex "friend" of mine (since age 12), Katherine's uncle, her mother, her brother, neighbors, mail carriers, co workers of mine, gardners, at least two police officers, lock smiths, Copyright official (others just looked away), almost certainly two different attorneys, and I could go on if I think about it.

As one person who moved to Florida where we were from Hoboken, NJ to set upa studio (the whole thing was certainly a scan) said to Katherine "everyone has their price".  "If someone want to get one's songs, they WILL get it".

Well I learned he wasn't kidding.  I learned how bribery can buy almost anyone.  You will see the experts in spying tell us on TV the best way to get information isn't torture.  Its simply to pay people off.

So in answer to your question the people who are behind robbing us are not interested in letting us get to the "stars" to sell songs.

They will stop us.  It doesn't help I work 60 plus hours a week, Katherine is legally blind and there is no one in her family she can trust.  As for my family they have their own lives and don't want to be involved or a few who don't believe the whole thing.

Taylor Swift is for all I know several people removed from Katherine.  Her father I understand is some producer and surely he has connections and for that reason and that reason alone she is where she is.  She is not terrible, but surely anyone can see she is not hugely talented as a singer, dancer, or musician in any way except that she along like many of them have either private deals with the people who got her the songs and come up with the melodies or have simply paid them to be able to claim them.

Perhaps she is allowed to claim she writes (I can only plead that from my place that she absolutely doesn't and almost certainly couldn't even if she tried) but those who stole and got her the material are getting the money for that.

Katherine was in Nashville in 1989.  She was right up there with these guys there.  She sat next to Willie Nelson.
They asked her to open for Alabama but I guess she got stage fright.  They knew she could right.  They even warned her to never show anyone her songs.  "why they will be stolen in a heartbeat!"

"Why don't even show your mamma your songs!"  She never thought this would apply to her own mother.

When she said she didn't have any melodies or songs their comments were to the effect, "don't worry we'll get you the songs".
She later told me she had no idea they meant steal them.

Well one crook she spoke to told her she'd be surprised at what they pay the people robbing us and stalking us.  It "isn't as much as you might think".   He then offered her $400  a song.  "Hey you gotta eat". 

Nice guy huh?

Another guy told her a "good crook sleeps with they girls he robs".

Another time we were followed to a hotel room and they were going to switch a Uhaul we rented.  Before we knew it one guy rents the room to one side of us and another the other side.  Katherine heard the one say to the other when she look out the window, "I told you this wouldn't work, the bitch is already looking out the window".

These are the kinds of people in the music "industry".
Don't think the "front" people, the Toby Keiths, the Shania Twains, the John Riches, the Brad Paisly's, the Dolly Partons, are any nicer people than these other behind the scenes low lives.  They are not.  Don't think their tours overseas doing shows for the troops means they really care about the troops or any of their fans for that matter.  It is all a show.  It is all sales.  It is all about the money.

I could forgive Taylor Swift as just a kid who would give anything to be a star just like the teens who would do anything to meet her, date her, be her friend, or be like her.

But when I see her get up there and lie like the best of the liars forget it. 
She is a  low life just like the rest.

She would stab you in the back as fast as  one can blink an eye.

Yet Katherine and I struggle on.
They will get the rest of her songs over our dead bodies.
And I mean it.  I ain't afraid to die.  I don't give a rats behind anymore.

And Katherine keeps wishing she never wrote.
I encouraged her for quite some time thinking everytime we wouldn't be robbed again only to find we keep getting scammed again.

Finally I pleaded with her to stop and I don't know why she llterally couldn't.  Emotional or what I don't know. It was like an addiction to her.  She could write and write and write.  And the people robbing us know it. 

Sony Nashville was organized all around her lyrics. 

So was Lyrics Streets.  Look at the names of the people behind these for example.  Were talking not onl millionaires but billionaires.







3156  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / No surprise MJs new song not only old but not his on: October 13, 2009, 10:50:19 AM
Remember this from my post of June 27, 2009:

"So this lastest news, MJ has one hundred "secret" songs which may or may not get released sounds to me like the latest scam.
If they can get the evidence from us - or perhaps someone else they are robbing - then the go ahead to release these songs will be given.  That is my take.  Or else he really did have 100 songs that were throw aways that they are trying to push as being good enough to release."

The truth is Anka probably wrote the whole thing but had to share credit with Jackson.
 
Now fast forward to this:

****Anka gets credit for co-writing Jackson single
AP, Oct 13, 2009 2:28 am PDT
 
With a familiar high-pitched voice counting off one-two-three-four, a new Michael Jackson single debuted online Monday, prompting a hasty response from the singer's estate after Paul Anka revealed he was the song's co-writer."This Is It" is featured on the soundtrack to the upcoming documentary featuring the late superstar, but its genesis was actually in 1983 when it was written for a duets album Anka was recording.
The song was titled "I Never Heard," and Jackson and Anka are credited as co-authors on an early 1990s version recorded by the singer Sa-Fire.
Anka said Jackson's estate moved quickly to give him credit, promising Anka 50 percent of the song's profits.
"They did the right thing," Anka said. "I don't think that anybody tried to do the wrong thing. It was an honest mistake."
The string-backed ballad was released on the singer's official Web site and sent to radio stations. It gives advance publicity to the documentary, culled from footage of Jackson rehearsing for the concerts that he never got a chance to do.
Representatives of Jackson's estate acknowledged Anka's work in a prepared statement. Until Anka stepped forward, the song's history was a mystery.
"The song was picked because the lyrics were appropriate because of the name Michael gave his tour," the statement read. "We are thrilled to present this song in Michael's voice for the first time, and that Michael's fans have responded in unprecedented numbers."
Anka, 68, initially contemplated legal action after being informed Monday by outlets such as the New York Times and TMZ of the similarities between "This Is It" and the Sa-Fire version. But later in the day, he said he was satisfied with how the situation was handled.
"There's nothing but honorable people here," said Anka, a former teen idol from the 1950s and '60s who sang "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" and wrote "She's A Lady", one of Tom Jones' biggest hits.
Sony Music Entertainment had said it wasn't sure when Jackson recorded the song but speculated it could have been around the time Jackson's "Off the Wall" album was done 30 years ago.
Close — Anka said it was recorded right around the time Jackson's "Thriller" album was becoming a smash hit.
"This Is It" was apparently found in a box of tapes with only Jackson's voice and a piano accompaniment.
Strings were added to the bare-bones recording, along with backing vocals from Jackson's brothers. Other touches included finger-click percussion that echoes Jackson's recording of "The Girl Is Mine."
The preparation of "This Is It" is eerily similar to how the surviving Beatles took outtakes from John Lennon following his murder and added their voices and instruments to craft the "Real Love" and "Free As a Bird" songs released as part of the "Anthology" project in 1996.
"This is it," Jackson sings to open the song. "Here I stand. I'm the light of the world. I feel grand."
Sony says it was a coincidence that his upcoming concert series was also titled "This Is It"; the company has no evidence that Jackson himself had planned to release the song.
Posthumous releases follow a long-standing pattern in popular music dating back to Elvis Presley's death in 1977.
Presley's records have continued selling since then, with new greatest hit compilations and live concert releases finding huge new audiences. His estate still receives tens of millions of dollars each year from CD sales and other enterprises, and in 2002 he even topped the UK charts with a remixed version of an older song.
The same was true, to a lesser extent, after the deaths of rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. A number of Lennon solo albums were also released in the years following his shooting death in 1980.
Some artists have scored major hits after their deaths. For example, "Time in a Bottle" was the No. 1 hit in early 1974, months after Jim Croce died. Otis Redding's biggest hit, "The Dock of the Bay," was released after his death in a plane crash in December 1967. "Me and Bobby McGee" made the charts in 1971, a year after Joplin died.
It probably won't be the last time music fans hear something new from Jackson. Tommy Mottola, former chairman and CEO of Sony Music, told The Associated Press shortly after Jackson died in Los Angeles June 25 that there are "dozens and dozens of songs" that did not make the pop star's albums, along with more recently recorded material.
Questions about who owns the material and differing opinions among people who control Jackson's estate could complicate the release of these songs, said Rob Levine, executive editor of Billboard.
Making "This Is It" available online before putting CDs on sale might seem counterintuitive. But several artists do it — the Flaming Lips streamed their entire new album online — and Web sites such as myspacemusic.com offer streams of many songs.
Jackson's company is betting that interest generated from early release of the song will spur purchases of the album. More so than many artists, Jackson fans are more inclined to buy CDs than seek out digital copies of his music, Levine said.
"This is aimed at passionate Michael Jackson fans and people who want to participate in a historical event," he said. "In both cases, people are going to want something to hold in their hands."
The two-CD set offers previously released versions of Jackson hits coinciding with the order they are presented on the DVD. Besides "This Is It," the other new material is a spoken-word poem and demo versions of "She's Out of My Life," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and "Beat It."
Jackson, one of the most commercially successful artists of all time, is expected to sell millions of albums in the coming years. His death already brought some of his classic records back to the top of the charts.
His death at age 50 is still being investigated.
The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Jackson's death was caused by acute intoxication by the anesthetic propofol, with other sedatives a contributing factor. The coroner found the powerful anesthetic was administered without any medical need and that recommended resuscitation equipment was missing.
___
Associated Press Writers David Bauder, Gregory Katz and Mesfin Fekadu contributed to this report.****
3157  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Russia screwed us - again. on: October 13, 2009, 10:23:18 AM
What??

I don't get it.  No one has the cohonas to come out and say that military action is needed.  Instead the talking heads all seem to take the politically correct road calling for harsher sanctions including billary.  And of course we must get Russia on board.  Now this from the billiary.  If this does not prove that our negotiations with Russia are a total and complete failure and that Russia is playing us as are the Iranians than I don't know what does.  A week ago the left in the MSM were estatic about trumpeting Obama's triumph at getting the Russians on board with sanctions.  God, where is the outrage from the media at the ineptidude of this administrations policy with Iran??

How long does the US have to look like morons?  Forget the goddamn Nobel Prize.  Sometimes if one wants peace one has to fight for it.

Now that I have vented:
 
MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after talks with Russia's foreign minister on Tuesday that neither country is seeking to impose sanctions against Iran under the current circumstances.

Clinton said sanctions over Iran’s controversial uranium enrichment program would be premature, and that Russia was being “extremely cooperative in the work we have done together” on the issue.

Lavrov said Russia is “in principle very reserved on sanctions, as they rarely produce results.”

He said sanctions should only be used when all diplomatic means have been exhausted, and that “in the situation with Iran, this is far from the case.”

Lavrov also said the U.S. and Russia had identical positions on the issue.

“We are not asking anything of each other on Iran, because it would be ridiculous to make requests on an issue where our positions coincide,” he said.

However, Clinton said that sanctions over North Korea's nuclear program would remain in place.

"We have absolutely no intention of relaxing or offering to relax North Korean sanctions at this point whatsoever," she said.

Clinton will later meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Before her arrival in Russia as part of a European tour, Clinton had visited Switzerland, the U.K., and Ireland.

 angry

3158  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / administrative cost of Medicare vs private industry on: October 13, 2009, 09:49:09 AM
The Dems like to throw around the idea that Medicare is much more efficient than private industry.  I have not heard any mainstream media types question this assertion.  So where is CNNs bogus "keeping them honest" look at this?

Here is one analysis of this:

http://www.cahi.org/cahi_contents/resources/pdf/CAHI_Medicare_Admin_Final_Publication.pdf
3159  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: October 12, 2009, 12:54:05 PM
"On the right, people are fascinated with the so-called tea party movement that really is the groundswell without a leader."

It seems to me many participants in the tea party would find Levin and Beck appealing.
I really don't know how much they are simply preaching to the choir or are actually finding growing support among independents.
Couldn't they be leaders of the tea party?
They may actually be catching moderate/independent ears unlike IMO Limbaugh/Hannity.
Doug perhaps you, or another poster may have heard if they are catching on or simply popular with those who already subscribe to the right.

I am not a fan of Huckabee at all.
I wish Fox would come up with something better on the wknds rather than inundate us with his boring show.

Brooks is also placing all these names in the same vein but they are not the same.
O'Reilly is certainly far more moderate than Limbaugh.

I will have to read Brooks a little more to ascertain what his RX is or if he is just critical without an alternative.

3160  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Battle for the Republican party on: October 12, 2009, 11:05:05 AM
Actuall I personally like and agree with a lot of what Levin and Beck say.
I used to agree with 90% of LImbaugh but I would guess it might be down to 65% now.  I don't find him winning over any new converts.
O'Reilly I agree with most of the time.  Hannity I am not a fan of.

I haven't read much about this guy but I notice MSNBC is happy to have him on criticizing many on the right for not being inclusive.
That tells me something about him.  So I don't yet have a real opinion of him yet, but he now has my ear.

DAVID BROOKS
Published: October 2, 2009
Let us take a trip back into history. Not ancient history. Recent history. It is the winter of 2007. The presidential primaries are approaching. The talk jocks like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest are over the moon about Fred Thompson. They’re weak at the knees at the thought of Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, they are hurling torrents of abuse at the unreliable deviationists: John McCain and Mike Huckabee.

Yet somehow, despite the fervor of the great microphone giants, the Thompson campaign flops like a fish. Despite the schoolgirl delight from the radio studios, the Romney campaign underperforms.

Meanwhile, Huckabee surges. Limbaugh attacks him, but social conservatives flock.

Along comes New Hampshire and McCain wins! Republican voters have not heeded their masters in the media. Before long, South Carolina looms as the crucial point of the race. The contest is effectively between Romney and McCain. The talk jocks are now in spittle-flecked furor. Day after day, whole programs are dedicated to hurling abuse at McCain and everybody ever associated with him. The jocks are threatening to unleash their angry millions.

Yet the imaginary armies do not materialize. McCain wins the South Carolina primary and goes on to win the nomination. The talk jocks can’t even deliver the conservative voters who show up at Republican primaries. They can’t even deliver South Carolina!

So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche — even in the Republican Party. It is a story as old as “The Wizard of Oz,” of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.

But, of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by this story. Over the past few years the talk jocks have demonstrated their real-world weakness time and again. Back in 2006, they threatened to build a new majority on anti-immigration fervor. Republicans like J.D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, both of Arizona, built their House election campaigns under that banner. But these two didn’t march to glory. Both lost their campaigns.

In 2008, after McCain had won his nomination, Limbaugh turned his attention to the Democratic race. He commanded his followers to vote in the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton because “we need Barack Obama bloodied up politically.” Todd Donovan of Western Washington University has looked at data from 38 states and could find no strong evidence that significant numbers of people actually did what Limbaugh commanded. Rush blared the trumpets, but few of his Dittoheads advanced.

Over the years, I have asked many politicians what happens when Limbaugh and his colleagues attack. The story is always the same. Hundreds of calls come in. The receptionists are miserable. But the numbers back home do not move. There is no effect on the favorability rating or the re-election prospects. In the media world, he is a giant. In the real world, he’s not.

But this is not merely a story of weakness. It is a story of resilience. For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P. They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge. They are enabled by the slightly educated snobs who believe that Glenn Beck really is the voice of Middle America.

So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.

They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.

The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 3, 2009
3161  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Correction. on: October 12, 2009, 10:56:00 AM
***Attacking the news media is a time-honored White House tactic but to an unusual degree, the Obama administration has narrowed its sights to one specific organization, the Fox News Channel, calling it, in essence, part of the political opposition.***

This statement is patently false.
The White house and the left in Congress are going after "talk radio" as well.
ie:  "fainess doctrine".
The statement would be more accurate to state the White House is out to destroy, defame, or muzzle any news organization that it views as opposition.

And the rest of the media is clearly in the tank for BO.

3162  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US-Israel war "games" on: October 12, 2009, 10:47:50 AM
A few coordinated tests of a missle system is hardly a sign the US is gearing up to attack Iran with Israel.  What I find more interesting is the anti-semitic comments after the news article.  Oh so it is a crime for Rabbis to encourage procreation.  First isn't that what Catholics do?
Second if I am correct Palestinians have the highest birth rate in the world.
So should these groups be criticized?

****Israel, US war games due off California
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 14:52:09 GMT
IAF's Arrow II
Israel plans military exercises at a US naval facility using its Arrow interceptor missiles in a series of drills that also deploys American missile systems.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) will ship the required hardware for the exercise to a Pacific Ocean range off the California coast later this summer, according to Reuters, quoting the head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly.

"They are having a flight test soon this summer," O'Reilly said Tuesday, referring to Joint US-Israeli effort.

The ballistic missile system is jointly funded by Tel Aviv and Washington. The Israeli marksmen recently conducted a 17th test involving the apparatus.

The American THAAD and Aegis anti-missile gear would also be re-examined during the military exercise.

The general stated that Tel Aviv picked the Pacific location since it allowed hitting targets at much farther ranges. "They (Israelis) are limited to the range of the missiles they can test in the eastern Mediterranean," he said.

O'Reilly added that the Arrows were to fly a range of more than 620 miles (1,000 km) this time.

The agency quoted a US defense official as saying this would be Israel's third Arrow test in the United States.

Washington injects USD 2 billion worth of armaments into Tel Aviv's military industry and is to provide the IAF with USD 30 billion in military aid over the next decade.

The views expressed and the links provided on our comment pages are the personal views of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Press TV:

Zionist conspiracy against Palestinians!
Sat, 18 Jul 2009 15:14:36 GMT
Jewish Rabbis are encouraging Jewish women to have 12 children each in order to form MAJORITY and populate all Palestine. Muslims should marry healthy Western women and have as many children as possible in order to form Muslim majority in the West. No Suicide Bomber. No Terrorism attacks needed. I have done my part and have already 9 Western Muslim children from a Western woman
Sat, 18 Jul 2009 10:40:07 GMT
these parasites are sapping the worlds resources for premeditated bloodshed. Murdering Thieves.
Observer
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 16:07:33 GMT
They print the money. Exhausting the priviledge of having the world reserve currency!!!
Owain
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 15:53:04 GMT
$3billion a year over the next decade for weapons, I thought the US was in severe financial trouble but clearly I was wrong?****
 
3163  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 12, 2009, 09:35:21 AM
"and the Nobel peace laureate"  wink

Doug, this shocker from Drudge and the WSJ:

***Obama fails to win Nobel prize in economics
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- In a decision as shocking as Friday's surprise peace prize win, President Obama failed to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Monday.

While few observers think Obama has done anything for world peace in the nearly nine months he's been in office, the same clearly can't be said for economics.

The president has worked tirelessly since even before his inauguration to wrest control of the U.S. economy from failed free markets, and the evil CEOs who profit from them, and to turn it over to wise, fair and benevolent bureaucrats.

Obama reacts to NobelPresident Obama says he was surprised and humbled by the honor. Video courtesy of Fox Business News.
From his $787 billion stimulus package, to the cap-and-trade bill, to the seizures of General Motors and Chrysler, to the undead health-care "reform" act, Obama has dominated the U.S., and therefore the global, economy as few figures have in recent years.

Yet the Nobel panel chose instead to award the prize to two obscure academics -- Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson -- one noted for her work on managing collective resources, and the other for his work on transaction costs. See full story on the Nobel winners.

Other surprise losers include celebrity noneconomist and filmmaker Michael Moore; U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; and Larry Summers, head of the U.S. national economic council.

It is unclear whether the president will now refuse his peace prize in protest against the obvious slight to his real achievements this year.

-- Tom Bemis, assistant managing editor


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cowboyup6 17 minutes ago+2 Votes (5 Up / 3 Dn)   Request sentBut he has garnered the praise of every marxist and jihadist leader in the world, so that is the surest sign that he is succeeding in socializing the U.S. The Nobel Peace prize, not, was merely a prod from the leftist loons in Norway to continue on the path of marxism that he and his looters, like George Soros, have planned. Now, if he can only make Israel stand still for their complete destruction at the hands of his muslim brothers and not make waves by fighting for their survival. The destruction of Israel will bring another peace prize and the eternal gratitude of muhammed.Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse UncleDudley 17 minutes ago+2 Votes (4 Up / 2 Dn)   Request sentI'm in total shock that the prize didn't go to Charles Rangel.

Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse
tothemoon 13 minutes ago+3 Votes (5 Up / 2 Dn)   Request sentIt was a close race, Rangel, Dodd, Frank were all in the running against Mugabe.
Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse probability 9 minutes ago+2 Votes (3 Up / 1 Dn)   Request sentOr good ol' Ben and Timmy.Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse producer 17 minutes ago+6 Votes (6 Up / 0 Dn)   Request sentWatch out Tom! Here come the true believers decrying you for heresy. Remember the hatred shown to Palin after she punctured the bubble on the deification in Denver. All of the people who put Obama in that Greek Temple will be screaming for your blood.

Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse flintooffm 14 minutes ago-1 Vote (0 Up / 1 Dn)   Request sentI hope every one is enjoying Casino and the jokers of the circusReply Link Track Replies Report Abuse ranger 10 minutes agoEven (1 Up / 1 Dn)   Request sentYou mean Bernanke or Paulson or Barney Frank did not win? Sarcasm.

Perhaps they should have awarded the prize to our congress for not listening to the people and voting to approve 2 bailout bills and now there is dicussion of bailout bill # 3 on the way.Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse woodsmoke52 8 minutes ago+2 Votes (4 Up / 2 Dn)   Request sentI hope we can still poke fun at a sitting president without being called "partisan". Leno, Letterman and O'Brien had a field day with Bill Clinton's peccadilloes and Bush's blunders without being flogged as political partisans. Why are the Neo-Stalinists so touchy about their man Barry?

I guess we could go back and flog the Bush carcass some more over No WMD's, Henry "Let's Loot America" Paulson and the public indiscretions of the Bush daughters, but where's the fun in that? Bush is so Not President Any More, so yesterday.

This is (I hope) still America, and lampooning politicians is a leading national pastime. Clinton needed a good lampooning and he got it, Bush needed it bad and also got it bad.
But few presidents have needed deflating more than this one, with his enormous ego and gigantic fake humility, his "I will heal the oceans and end the suffering of mankind" blather.
Deifying presidents is not a healthy trend.

Awarding Obama a Nobel Prize in "diplomacy" was an embarrassing political prostration by Stockholm. All he did was jump in a taxpayer-funded 757 and fly around the world, bowing to a succession of thugs and mountebanks and apologizing for America. Medvedev scoffed at him, Putin smiled behind his hand, Ahmadinejad mocked him openly, Chavez insulted him.
What did he actually accomplish, beyond trimming jet-fuel inventories?

This is the most arrogant presidency since....uh, since the last one. Load on the satire, Mr. Bemis. It will do us all good.Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse funbus 8 minutes ago+1 Vote (2 Up / 1 Dn)   Request sentI would like to see Obama choke on that peace prize!Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse flintooffm 8 minutes ago+1 Vote (1 Up / 0 Dn)   Request sentFire works are getting ready for Dow to reach Mt. Everest @ 10,000 heightReply Link Track Replies Report Abuse funbus 7 minutes ago+1 Vote (2 Up / 1 Dn)   Request sentObama hasn't done sh't! Everyone around the world now knows he's a joke!

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who:

“ during the preceding year [...] shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse funbus 4 minutes agoEven (1 Up / 1 Dn)   Request sentBarack Obama win mocks Nobel peace prize: Alexander Downer

Print Brad Norington, Washington correspondent | October 13, 2009

Article from: The Australian

THE Nobel Peace Prize was discredited if Barack Obama could be nominated for the award after just 11 days in office and win it nine months later, former foreign minister Alexander Downer said yesterday.

Mr Downer called the US President's surprise win a farce, saying it was a pity Mr Obama had not refused the award.

He singled out Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a worthy alternative who had been ignored after years of struggling for human rights.

"The peace prize has to be for actual achievement - not potential - and it has to be achievement in promoting world peace, not raising the prestige of the American state, which is largely what Barack Obama has done so far," Mr Downer told the ABC.

Mr Obama had been in office for just 11 days when nominations for this year's Nobel Peace Prize closed on February 1. He spent most of those first days settling into the White House.

Although humbly questioning whether he was deserving, he described the prize as a "call to action".

The award's founder, Alfred Nobel, decreed the annual prize was to be bestowed for achievements "during the preceding year". According to his will, the winner "shall have done the most, or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

The Norwegian judges took an alternative approach, handing the prize to Mr Obama for future works. Thorbjorn Jagland, the committee's chairman, defended the award in the face of public outcry, saying: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve."

It took two other former US presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, a combined total of 12 years before they were given the award.

Roosevelt had been president for five years when the Nobel committee gave him the honour in 1906 for mediating a peace treaty that ended war between Russia and Japan. He declined to personally accept the award until years after he had left office.

Woodrow Wilson won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919 - seven years after he became president - for creating the League of Nations in the wake of World War I. Wilson's drive in bringing the US into the war was critical to its end, and he took the leading role afterwards in the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

When Mr Obama was nominated for the peace prize in February, he was still five months away from delivering his Cairo speech that called for a new beginning in relations between the US and Muslim world.

It was eight months before his UN speech in New York last month in which he pledged that the US would re-engage with the world after the isolation of the Bush administration.

Mr Obama has also launched a policy initiative to reduce nuclear weapons, sought to restart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and declared he was open to renewed diplomacy with North Korea and Iran.

But most commentators said the challenges lay ahead of the President, not behind him, and pointed out he was still fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the first 11 days after January 20, Mr Obama appointed Richard Holbrooke as his envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and George Mitchell as his envoy to the Middle East. His other notable moves attracting international attention were pledges to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and ban torture.

Mr Obama's Nobel win came as a surprise to him when he was awoken with the news by his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, at 6am last Friday (9pm AEST).

But on February 27, he was reported as a nominee, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who intervened after conflicts in Georgia and Gaza.

Under the Nobel process, nominations are not released for 50 years and the judging process remains secret.

It is not known who nominated Mr Obama. Under the rules, names can be submitted only by members of governments and national assemblies, international courts, academics, past winners and former advisers appointed by the Norwegian institute. Invitations for nominations are sent out each September, and the deadline is February. A shortlist is sent to a panel of permanent advisers, and then sent back for a majority vote by the five-person peace prize committee in early October.

The decision is final, with no appeal.
Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse joeyzero 3 minutes ago+2 Votes (2 Up / 0 Dn)   Request sentI read this twice. I thought the reporter was creating a tongue-in-cheek article. Sure Obama has made a lot of noise around economic and healthcare reform but you can't give him credit for any achievement. This isn't kindergarten; we don't give out green ribbons for trying hard...Reply Link Track Replies Report Abuse Obama-a-Bankster 3 minutes ago+1 Vote (1 Up / 0 Dn)   Request sentWarmonger Wins Peace Prize
Paul Craig Roberts
Infowars.com, October 10, 2009

It took 25 years longer than George Orwell thought for the slogans of 1984 to become reality.

“War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” “Ignorance is Strength.”

I would add, “Lie is Truth.”

The Nobel Committee has awarded the 2009 Peace Prize to President Obama, the person who started a new war in Pakistan, upped the war in Afghanistan, and continues to threaten Iran with attack unless Iran does what the US government demands and relinquishes its rights as a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty.

The Nobel committee chairman, Thorbjoern Jagland said, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”

Obama, the committee gushed, has created “a new climate in international politics.”

Tell that to the 2 million displaced Pakistanis and the unknown numbers of dead ones that Obama has racked up in his few months in office. Tell that to the Afghans where civilian deaths continue to mount as Obama’s “war of necessity” drones on indeterminably.

No Bush policy has changed. Iraq is still occupied. The Guantanamo torture prison is still functioning. Rendition and assassinations are still occurring. Spying on Americans without warrants is still the order of the day. Civil liberties are continuing to be violated in the name of Oceania’s “war on terror.”..more..****

3164  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 10, 2009, 09:45:57 AM
Well the conservative radio shows have it right.
We have a President who travelled around the world apologizing for evilness of the US and wants to give away first class status
and so for that he wins a peace prize.
H who liberated Kuwait and stopped a butcher, W who liberated Iraqis from a butcher, Clinton who got rid of a killer Milosevitch,
Reagan who helped free hundreds of millions of Eastern Europeans of course are snubbed.
3165  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / trade question on: October 10, 2009, 09:41:29 AM
does anyone know how one can pull up the trades made in a particular stock for a day.
For example the list of shares that trade in sequence of trading during the day.
say 3:00 2000 shares traded
     3:05 200 traded
and so forth.
3166  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 09, 2009, 10:54:08 AM
"I think the more the plan looks like public employee union civil service work in place of private practice,"

Well that's it exactly.
It would be like a higher end civil service job like a police officer, teacher, federal beauracracy employee, fireman, city hall worker.
Is it worth going through 11 to 17 years of school and training?  Is it worth the regulation, the oversight, the liability, the control, the loss of autonomy, and the endless pressure, stress, aggravation, etc.

Certainly foreign born immigrants think so.
2/3 of medical students in NJ are from other countries or are the offspring of immigrants.

A wonderful Egyptian couple who I consider to be friends as well as my patients came in with their 2 yr. old son.  They said they want him to be just like me.  A doctor.

What can I say?

As a side note, they came here to make a life for themselves.  To work hard and live the American dream.

They didn't come here illegally.  They don't ask for handouts.

They don't come over the boarder and demand rights and privileges of citizens and have their offspring here who are thus automatic citizens and then send them to public schools paid for by property tax payers, and the rest we are all familiar with....
3167  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Correction:NOrway not Swedes.eom on: October 09, 2009, 10:18:32 AM
I corrected the wrong thread before - sorry.
eom
3168  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction:Norway.not.Sweden.eom on: October 09, 2009, 09:59:18 AM
eom
3169  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 09, 2009, 09:46:20 AM
Doug,
True personal responsibility is losing favor it seems to me.
Our way of life is getting too hard for many.
Thus we see more people taking advantage wherever they can.
Soaking the system is a way of life in America.
And Obama is exponentially expanding this.  There is no no question in my mind he is ruining our country as we knew it.
Question is what will become of us?

The bigger the "system" the larger the number of people who will jump on board and take it for whatever they can.
I don't know that people cannot see this.  I don't know they need Glenn Beck or others to educate them.
I think they just don't give a hoot.  It seems to me people are just giving up and jumping on the dole bandwagon.



3170  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LOL look who won in 2005 on: October 09, 2009, 09:34:24 AM
Well not only did Arafat win the prize, the guy who was happy to see suicide bombers murder innocent travelers in ariplanes and was one of the original architects of what we now call terrorism look at who won the prize in 2005!

The one and only guy who now considers Israel's nukes to be the biggest threat to world peace!

What a joke.

So is Stardfor still thinking BO is going to bomb Iran??  They have got to be kidding.  LOL the peace prize winner is going to bomb Iran's military installations.  If he had any thoughts of doing so this about kills those thoughts.

Come to think of it perhaps the Russians, Chinese, or Iranians bribed those guys in Sweden.

http://nobelprizes.com/nobel/peace/peace.html
3171  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: October 08, 2009, 04:08:50 PM
If one does a search for US arms sales by country there is a lot that comes up.  Israel near the top for two years.  Poland fell out of first place.  Iraq and Pakistan now moving up.  Both banned from US arms sales - not too long ago - presumable before Saddan toppled and before 911 and the flight Osama to Pahhhhkistan.

A sample:

http://fas.org/programs/ssp/asmp/publications/ASMP_Publications_2009/FAS_Obtains_Key_Arms_Export_Report_July17.pdf
3172  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Que cera cera on: October 08, 2009, 03:51:21 PM
"The Baucus bill assumes that Congress will allow the “sustainable growth rate” cuts in Medicare’s physician payments to occur beginning in 2012."

I don't see why they can't or won't.
The claim that doctors would leave medicine or retire is just a lot of hot air.
Where are we going to go?

Most can't retire.  Sure some have done well and may be able to walk away if they are near retirement and have planned well.
I don't think most of my Indian colleagues are really going to pack their bags and return to India though I have heard some say that.

If government said to every lawyer in the US, or say every accountant in the US:  you will have to take an immediate 15% pay cut, sure they would rumble, they would huff and puff, but then what?

They would have to eat it.  Just like most of the non procedure oriented doctors, including me have had to do for years.
Nothing new.  No one cared about primary care then.  So what's the beef with the specialists?

So, in conclusion I am not so sure pay cuts won't happen.

That said adding 27 million to the rolls, one third of them not even citizens, will have NO chance of reducing costs UNLESS rationed health care occurs.

OTOH watching my own health care costs going up year after year with zero end it sight is also unsustainable.

So what the hell.

I got to watch dozens and dozens make millions or less off my wife's song lyrics while she is locked sitting in the house and rotting away.

But I still have spirit in me.  LIke the Chinese general said, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." (or close to that)




3173  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LOL.thnx on: October 08, 2009, 02:11:00 PM
Russia must bee worried to see Obama send Biden to Poland, lol

This made my day!

Doug I don't know who is laughing louder, you, me, or Putin?  cheesy

The Chinese would be to if they weren't suckered into buying so much of our debt.
If monopoly money was worth anything we would all be rich.
3174  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 08, 2009, 02:04:37 PM
Well, the analysis of the chess game Russia may or may not be playing certainly seems logical and sound.

But the following part sounds like wishful thinking especially when all I've heard from this administration is that military action would be a "disaster". And the thought of Obama allowing the specter of thousands of Iranians killed getting splashed all over international TV just seems completely antethetical to his known historical and career long liberalism and his obvious quest to be The Savior of the World (as Crafty notes, "the One"):

"A short, sharp air and naval campaign that hurls Iran back a generation, combined with a U.S. pullout from Iraq and Afghanistan, would leave Russia without its Iran card, and looking at an angry United States that has a very free hand."

I guess the only other explanation is there are some pro-Israeli hawks keeping the military option REALLY on the table and not just (as appears to me) nothing more than a simple bluff.
3175  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: October 06, 2009, 12:47:41 PM
"The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. "

Unless of course it is HIS Speech. We didn't elect a President of the United States.  We have elected a megalomaniac.
I guess George Will was not persauded merely by HIS presence at his house for dinner what seems like many moons ago:

***An Olympic Ego Trip

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the Niagara of words spoken and written about the Obamas' trip to Copenhagen, too few have been devoted to the words they spoke there. Their separate speeches to the International Olympic Committee were so dreadful, and in such a characteristic way, that they might be symptomatic of something that has serious implications for American governance.

Both Obamas gave heartfelt speeches about . . . themselves. Although the working of the committee's mind is murky, it could reasonably have rejected Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games on aesthetic grounds — unless narcissism has suddenly become an Olympic sport.

In the 41 sentences of her remarks, Michelle Obama used some form of the personal pronouns "I" or "me" 44 times. Her husband was, comparatively, a shrinking violet, using those pronouns only 26 times in 48 sentences. Still, 70 times in 89 sentences conveyed the message that somehow their fascinating selves were what made, or should have made, Chicago's case compelling.

In 2008, Obama carried the three congressional districts that contain Northern California's Silicon Valley with 73.1, 69.6 and 68.4 percent of the vote. Surely the Valley could continue its service to him by designing software for his speechwriters' computers that would delete those personal pronouns, replacing them with the word "sauerkraut" to underscore the antic nature of their excessive appearances.


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And — this will be trickier — the software should delete the most egregious cliches sprinkled around by the tin-eared employees in the White House speechwriting shop. The president told the Olympic committee that: "At this defining moment," a moment "when the fate of each nation is inextricably linked to the fate of all nations" in "this ever-shrinking world," he aspires to "forge new partnerships with the nations and the peoples of the world."

Good grief. The memory of man runneth not to a moment that escaped being declared "defining" — declared such by someone seeking to inflate himself by inflating it. Also, enough already with the "shrinking" world, which has been so described at least since Magellan set sail, and probably before that. And by the way, the "fate" of — to pick a nation at random — Chile is not really in any meaningful sense "inextricably linked" to that of, say, Chad.

But meaningful sense is often absent from the gaseous rhetoric that makes it past White House editors — are there any? — and onto the president's teleprompter. Consider one recent example:

Nine days before speaking in Copenhagen, the president, addressing the United Nations General Assembly, intoned: "No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation." What was the speechwriter thinking when he or she assembled that sentence? The "should" was empty moralizing; the "can" was nonsense redundantly refuted by history. Does our Cicero even glance at his speeches before reading them in public?

Becoming solemn in Copenhagen, Obama said: "No one expects the Games to solve all our collective problems." That's right, no one does. So why say that? Then, shifting into the foggy sentimentalism of standard Olympics blather, he said "peaceful competition between nations represents what's best about our humanity" and "it brings us together" and "it helps us to understand one another."

Actually, sometimes the Olympic Games are a net subtraction from international comity. But Obama quickly returned to speaking about . . . himself:

"Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night, people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the results of the U.S. presidential election. Their interest wasn't about me as an individual. Rather . . ."

It was gallant of the president to say to the Olympic committee that Michelle is "a pretty big selling point for the city." Gallant, but obviously untrue. And — this is where we pass from the merely silly to the ominous — suppose the president was being not gallant but sincere. Perhaps the premise of the otherwise inexplicable trip to Denmark was that there is no difficulty, foreign or domestic, that cannot be melted by the sunshine of the Obama persona. But in the contest between the world and any president's charm, bet on the world.

Presidents often come to be characterized by particular adjectives: "honest" Abe Lincoln, "Grover the Good" Cleveland, "energetic" Theodore Roosevelt, "idealistic" Woodrow Wilson, "Silent Cal" Coolidge, "confident" FDR, "likable" Ike Eisenhower. Less happily, there were "Tricky Dick" Nixon and "Slick Willie" Clinton. Unhappy will be a president whose defining adjective is "vain."***


3176  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I take Friedman with a grain of salt. on: October 06, 2009, 10:34:55 AM
***The Iranians are in fact moving rapidly toward a weapon; have been extremely effective at deceiving U.S. intelligence (read, they deceived the Bush administration, but the Obama administration has figured it out***

You mean to tell me everyone was fooled by Iran until the great Obama came around to find out the truth.  Is the above statement some sort of joke??

***The most that can be said is that the Americans and Israelis are preparing the public for war***

What BS spin!  Oh I get it.  Obama has been a resounding success for persuading the American public that *war* is necessary.

So the opinion polls are showing a majority of Americans recognize the need for a military strike and of course this is exactly what OBama has brilliantly manuevered the public to believe?

What horse crap is this?

What good is this article that suggests such outragesouly ridiculous ideas?  And anyway, their numerous conclusions are all predicated on numerous assumptions and outright guesses.

I can't take this guy George Friedman seriously.  He has an air of knowing what he is talking about but on closer look it is mostly BS speculation and outrageous in some opinions at that.


3177  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 08:40:07 PM
Another piece that suggests the US is gearing up for war with Iran?
I don't see it.

If polls are correct and a majority of the American public actually support military force (I am not sure I believe this) it certainly is NOT due to anything Obama has done.

It can only be because of what he is not doing.

It can only be people are not as stupid as him and are getting tired of his endless appeasements.

We will see.

What does anyone else think about this?

3178  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 05, 2009, 02:26:40 PM
Doctors are not a single block anymore than any other group.  Some will love Obama some will not.
There is something absurd about him surrounding himself with all these guys with white coats.
It is reminicent of both Reb and Dem presidents surrounding themselves with soldiers for photo ops.

How bizzare - a bunch of live doctor props.

****Surrounded by doctors, Obama pitches overhaul
         Barack Obama  AP – Doctors, wearing lab coats, who were audience members, take photos in the Rose Garden of the White House …
 Slideshow:President Barack Obama By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 30 mins ago
WASHINGTON – On the cusp of a key legislative push, President Barack Obama on Monday filled the Rose Garden with doctors supportive of his health care overhaul, saying "nobody has more credibility with the American people on this issue than you do."

Obama's White House event gave him another chance to frame the debate on his terms as his top domestic priority enters its most critical phase.

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to approve its long-debated, intensely scrutinized bill this week. Then, Senate Democratic leaders will meld it with a more liberal-leaning version passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The House also must combine differing versions of its own bills.

For a visual plug from some medical pros, the White House arranged for Obama to have some 150 doctors representing all 50 states arrayed in the sunsplashed lawn area just outside the West Wing. To make sure no one watching at home or catching news footage later would miss the point, the physicians wore their white medical coats for the cameras.

"When you cut through all the noise and all the distractions that are out there, I think what's most telling is that some of the people who are most supportive of reform are the very medical professionals who know the health care system best," said Obama, flanked by four doctors on stage for good measure.

But Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., an orthopedic surgeon for 25 years, said many doctors, nurses and patients strongly oppose Obama's proposals.

They are greatly alarmed at proposed cuts in Medicare, which is the main source of health care for many people in Wyoming and elsewhere, Barrasso said in an interview Monday. He said doctors and hospitals also want provisions to protect them against "abusive lawsuits" by people claiming malpractice.

Obama broke no ground in his comments. He outlined the tenets of his health reform plan: expanded and affordable health coverage options for tens of millions of people, strengthened protections for those who already have insurance, and more time for health professionals to help patients with preventative and healing care.

Obama said the country has heard all sides of the debate over the last few months and the time to act is now.

"I want to thank every single doctor who is here," Obama said. "And I especially want to thank you for agreeing to fan out across the country and make the case about why this reform effort is so desperately needed. You are the people who know this system best. You are the experts."****

3179  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: October 05, 2009, 02:14:08 PM
Lets start a rumor Netenyahu is part Iranian.  He can trace his ancestry back to Cyrus the Great  cheesy
3180  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 05, 2009, 01:22:49 PM
I can't seem to find a transcript of his speech in London.
Even though I don't agree with OBama it is not helpful to have a commander directly contradicting the commander in chief in public.

***By JOHN F. BURNS
Published: October 1, 2009
LONDON — The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, used a speech here on Thursday to reject calls for the war effort to be scaled down from defeating the Taliban insurgency to a narrower focus on hunting down Al Qaeda, an option suggested by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as part of the current White House strategy review.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal speaking in London on Thursday about the war in Afghanistan. He has requested more troops.
Several Afghan Strategies, None a Clear Choice (October 1, 2009) After his first 100 days in command in Kabul, General McChrystal chose an audience of military specialists at London’s Institute for Strategic Studies as a platform for a public airing of the confidential assessment of the war he delivered to the Pentagon in late August, parts of which were leaked to news organizations. General McChrystal, 55, did not mention Mr. Biden or his advocacy of a scaled-down war effort during his London speech, and referred only obliquely to the debate within the Obama administration on whether to escalate the American commitment in Afghanistan by accepting his request for up to 40,000 more American troops on top of the 68,000 already deployed there or en route.

But he used the London session for a rebuttal of the idea of a more narrowly focused war. When a questioner asked him whether he would support scaling back the American military presence over the next 18 months by relinquishing the battle with the Taliban and focusing on tracking down Al Qaeda, sparing ground troops by hunting Qaeda extremists and their leaders with missiles from remotely piloted aircraft, he replied: “The short answer is: no.”

“You have to navigate from where you are, not from where you wish to be,” he said. “A strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a short-sighted strategy.”

In Washington on Thursday, Gen. David H. Petraeus told an audience that he had “not yet endorsed” General McChrystal’s specific request for additional troops, even though he has said he supports General McChrystal’s grim assessment of the war.

General Petraeus, the American commander who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and works closely with General McChrystal, was sounding a careful note in public after participating in a three-hour strategy meeting with Mr. Obama and the administration’s national security team at the White House on Wednesday. For now, his aides say he does not want to get ahead of the president and the continuing deliberations.

Speaking with Brian Williams of NBC as part of a two-day conference with newsmakers at the Newseum in Washington, General Petraeus said that Wednesday’s meeting at the White House was “a very good and quite long discussion going back and looking at the goals and objectives and assumptions” underlying Mr. Obama’s Afghanistan strategy that the president announced in March.

At the Institute for Strategic Studies, General McChrystal noted that the former Taliban rulers of Afghanistan had provided sanctuary to Al Qaeda, from which it planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, and he said political stability there was vital to regional security, as well as to the security of Britain, the United States and elsewhere.

Advocating a “counterterrorist focus” in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda, instead of a “counterinsurgency focus” against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, he said, was a formula for what he called “Chaos-istan.” Proponents of that approach, he said, would accept an Afghanistan in which there was “a level of chaos, and just manage it from outside.”

The general’s troop request was at the heart of the White House strategy session on Wednesday led by Mr. Obama, which included Mr. Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, other cabinet secretaries, top generals, and General McChrystal, participating by videolink from London. The request has come as the worsening conflict in Afghanistan has prompted increased unease in the United States and Europe.

In an oblique acknowledgment of the tricky political terrain, General McChrystal said there had been no pressure on him from military superiors to scale down his troop request — a pattern that developed at points during the Iraq war, when American generals hesitated to call for more troops after the defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld, ruled them out.

“All of the interaction I’ve had with my senior leadership, they’ve not only encouraged me” to be blunt in stating his case, the general said, “they’ve insisted on it.”

As if in an afterthought, he added, laughing, that there was no certainty he would always be so free to speak so plainly. “They may change their minds and crush me some day,” he said.

General McChrystal was named the new American and allied commander in Afghanistan this summer in succession to Gen. David D. McKiernan, who was removed after barely a year in the job, and retired, when Mr. Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates decided they needed a fresh approach.

But direct contact between Mr. Obama and the Afghanistan commander has been rare. Aides in London said that Wednesday’s teleconference was only the second time since General McChrystal assumed his command in June that the two men had talked by videolink, a form of contact with field commanders that President George W. Bush, at the height of the Iraq war, used as often as once a week. Although he was out of Afghanistan on Wednesday, the aides said, General McChrystal was not invited to attend the White House strategy session in person.

But judging from General McChrystal’s relaxed demeanor at the session in London, any suggestion he might be headed for a showdown with the White House over war strategy — for the kind of clash that Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur had with President Truman during the Korean War — seemed far-fetched. He went out of his way to say that the White House strategy review was an essential part of developing a successful approach to the war. “I think the more deliberation and the more debate we have, the healthier that’s going to be,” he said.

In the war assessment he delivered to the Pentagon, he struck a note of urgency, saying that if the troop increases he had recommended were not in place within 12 months, the allied effort risked failure. But he told the London audience that the time being taken by current policy review in Washington was worth it. “I don’t think we have the luxury of going so fast that we make the wrong decision,” he said.

The general has used his London trip to make a renewed bid for an increase in Britain’s troop commitment in Afghanistan. With 9,000 soldiers, Britain currently has the second largest coalition contingent after the Americans. Officials at Britain’s Defense Ministry have said discussions with the Americans have included the possibility of about 2,500 additional troops in the British contingent.

John F. Burns reported from London, and Alan Cowell from Paris.***
3181  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 05, 2009, 11:53:07 AM
"Today, Medicare already reimburses doctors less than what many of their treatments cost to provide. Now the government is saying that additional Medicare cuts are coming—thus forcing doctors to try and make up the difference in volume, by seeing more patients. If you ask patients about this, they understand that more volume means less time with the doctor. That's something that all patients and doctors should oppose. In time, it will be difficult to find a physician."

Well the left has answers for this too.  It is called bundling payments for outcomes and better quality care.
There is some merit to this concept yet it is also a veiled way of pushing through a form of rationed care.

Salaries for all doctors is also discussed.  This way there is less incentive to see more and more and do more and more.

Yet I have no illusions.  We will have capped salaries and still be asked to do more for less.  No one is kidding me.

Why don't we discuss other fields salaries and driving up costs to all of us.

Thanks to baseball players and owners take people who go to a ballgame have to pay 6 bucks for a  lousy hotdog.
What does it cost in NY to see a game?   Go with two kids and we are talking what a 100 bucks?

How about accountant fees?

How about the fees realtors use?  They should make less no?  It would help the ailing real estate market.

Do I even need to mention lawyer fees?  Why is the best legal care cost several hundred dollars per hour?

Is that fair?

Why do people have to pay several dollars to cross a lousy bridge from NJ to NY?

Is that fair?  It is nuts, no?

Why are politicians getting any more than life support pay?  They can all make a bundle any time they want with books, lecture tours, lobbying, peddling their influence.

Do I even need to bring up bankers, and financiers?

It is fair for me to make less but ok for people in this country who employ illegals, knowingly for slave wages and make money off their sweat and pass the benefits they receive to every other single tax payer?

What would be damn hard about going after employers who hire illegals?  They know they are doing it.  Cut off the jobs and illegals would stop coming here.

OK lets talk about fairness.


3182  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 11:38:14 AM
Bolton who in my mind is the only one seaking the truth was on Fox this weekend and when asked about this loon who is head of the IAEA stated we should be grateful his term as Director is almost up. This is exactly why he said this:
 
****ElBaradei says nuclear Israel number one threat to Mideast: report 
 
TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that "Israel is number one threat to Middle East" with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.

    At a joint press conference with Iran's Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.

    "Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses," ElBaradei was quoted as saying.

    Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear capabilities, although it refuses to confirm or deny the allegation.

    "This (possession of nuclear arms) was the cause for some proper measures to gain access to its (Israel's) power plants ... and the U.S. president has done some positive measures for the inspections to happen," said ElBaradei.

    ElBaradei arrived in Iran Saturday for talks with Iranian officials over Tehran's nuclear program.

    Leaders of the United States, France and Britain have condemned Iran's alleged deception to the international community involving covert activities in its new underground nuclear site.

    Last month, Iran confirmed that it is building a new nuclear fuel enrichment plant near its northwestern city of Qom. In reaction, the IAEA asked Tehran to provide detailed information and access to the new nuclear facility as soon as possible.

    On Sunday, ElBaradei said the UN nuclear watchdog would inspect Iran's new uranium plant near Qom on Oct. 25.*****
 
3183  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / As the spin turns or churns on: October 05, 2009, 10:39:02 AM
Well this is easy to respond to.  The Republicans are rooting for America.   We are responding to a President who travels around the world apologizing for this country.  Instead of being our advocate he has been agreeing with those who are our adversaries and enemies about how evil we are.

So naturally we are rooting for this President to fail.  Just like the liberals did when Bush was President.

"Moulitsas was more blunt. “So when did wingnuts start cheering against America? Their unbridled joy at losing out to Brazil is a bit unseemly, isn't it?” he asked, adding: "America, f—- yeah!" has become "F—- America, Yeah!"

Oh really??  Hasn't "F---America" been the mantra of the liberal left for decades now??

So now their radical left guy frontman is in office they are ardent patriots??  As usual if it wasn't so sad it would be funny.

My head spins with all the spin.

*****Dems: GOP rooting against America
         Glenn Thrush Glenn Thrush – Mon Oct 5, 5:48 am ET
During the Bush era, Republicans from Karl Rove to Joe Wilson questioned — in ways both veiled and overt — the patriotism of Democrats who challenged the administration’s Iraq policy, pre-war intelligence and surveillance programs.

But the joyous reaction in some GOP quarters to the International Olympics Committee's snub of Chicago — coupled with the party’s rapid-fire reaction to bad economic data – has some Democrats turning the tables and asking if Republicans are the ones cheering against America now.

Many Democrats saw the outbursts following the IOC decision – the merry Tweets, videos of cheering conservatives and chest-thumping by party leaders like Newt Gingrich — as part of larger pattern that includes the flirtation of right-wing Texans like Gov. Rick Perry with secession and the caustic tone of right-wing talk radio, embodied by Rush Limbaugh’s “I want him to fail” comment about Obama in January.

“Some of these people are starting to put politics first and country second,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, taking particular issue with Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

“The American people are starting to wonder if they are rooting against America,” he added.

Two influential progressive spokesmen, Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, hit that theme hard last week, with Marshall musing, “I wonder if right-wingers would be less stoked if Chicago were part of America.”

Moulitsas was more blunt. “So when did wingnuts start cheering against America? Their unbridled joy at losing out to Brazil is a bit unseemly, isn't it?” he asked, adding: "America, f—- yeah!" has become "F—- America, Yeah!"

Republicans say this is all nonsense, and that liberals are exaggerating the importance of reactions by a handful of hard-liners to distract attention from legitimate criticism of big-government Democratic policies.

Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who criticized Obama’s trip to Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympics as a distraction and pounded the administration last week in the wake of a report that showed unemployment at 9.8 percent — said there are “no examples of House Republicans ‘rooting against America’ in any way, shape, or form."

Obama’s critics on the right openly ridiculed his lobbying trip to Copenhagen on behalf of his hometown as a major distraction from the country’s larger problems – and proof that he was losing “command focus.”

And the reaction to the city’s defeat was swift and, in some places, ecstatic.

A young organizer at the conservative “Defending the American Dream Summit” interrupted a panel discussion last Friday to reads the news from a BlackBerry.

A liberal tracker attending the event caught the crowd’s reaction in the Arlington, Va. hotel ballroom on video: The place erupted in hooting and wild applause, a scene perversely reminiscent of the exultation that followed the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” victory against the Soviets in 1980.

“[Chicago lost] on the very first vote! They did not have any chance…” the woman said to an ovation, recorded by Think Progress, an offshoot of the liberal Center for American Progress.

A blogger with the right-wing Weekly Standard reported: “Chicago loses! Chicago loses!... Cheers erupt at WEEKLY STANDARD world headquarters,” before hastily pulling down the post and replacing it with an item that omitted the newsroom reaction.

RedState's Erick Erickson ditched loftier prose and punched out the letters "Hahahahaha,” while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich combined the loss with Friday’s dreadful unemployment report to conclude "President Obama fails to get the Olympics while unemployment goes to 9.8% …America needs focused leadership," on his Twitter account.

Former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino, who supported Chicago’s bid, shrugged off such reactions: “I… don’t know anyone who’s high-fiving,” Perino wrote in an e-mail. “Though I’d bet there are some doing that, I’m just as sure there are some who are finding a way to blame President Bush somehow. “

But other GOP insiders are worried the reaction may reinforce Democrats’ attacks, however unfair, that the party’s anti-Obama fervor is pushing them away from their self-professed patriotism.

Moments after the Chicago news broke, former Bush deputy press secretary Scott Stanzel Tweeted, "Note to GOP officials/consultants - resist temptation to pile on about Chicago losing just becuz Obama made the pitch."

Kevin Madden, who served as Mitt Romney’s spokesman in 2008, sent around Stanzel’s sentiments to friends and cautioned against a backlash.

“Republicans disagree with Obama on many policies, ranging from taxes and spending to national security,” Madden told POLITICO.

“He has a lot of really wrong ideas. But does that mean his effort to bring the Olympic games to Chicago and a chance to put America on the world’s stage should also automatically be subjected to scorn? I don’t believe it should. That’s just criticism for criticism’s sake. Reactionary criticism could even dilute any valid and legitimate criticism of his bad policies.”

Democrats are still smarting from years of GOP attacks on their own commitment to America’s safety and security, criticism that sometimes crossed the line into attacks on the party’s patriotism.

In late 2002, Rep. Joe Wilson shouted down Rep. Bob Filner, a California Democrat, who challenged Bush administration pre-war Iraq intelligence, bellowing, “This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous, and you need to get over it.”

Summing up his view of Democrats in 2005, President Bush’s top political advisor, Karl Rove, remarked that liberals are “concerned about what our enemies think of us, whether every government approves of our actions."

Rove echoed that sentiment in a March 2008 Wall Street Journal op-ed, writing, "Democrats appear to have an ideological investment in things going badly in Iraq. They seem upset and prickly when asked to comment on the progress America is making."

Boehner, talking to reporters in 2006, quipped, "I listen to my Democrat friends, and I wonder if they're more interested in protecting terrorists than in protecting the American people."

And Limbaugh, defending his “fail” comment at a conservative conference in February, asked the audience, "Did the Democrats want the war on Iraq to fail?” The crowd shouted “Yes!" and Limbaugh agreed.

The meme has carried into the Obama era, with Steve Doocy, the co-host of "Fox and Friends,” touting a video showing Obama without hand over heart during the playing of the national anthem.

“First he kicked his American flag pin to the curb,” Doocy said. “Now Barack Obama has a new round of patriotism problems.”

Democrats also point at the way the GOP has been pouncing on any scrap of economic data that shows the economy is still struggling.

Within the first 45 minutes after the Labor Department announced a worse-than-expected 263,000 jobs lost in September, POLITICO received no fewer than eight GOP press releases blasting away at Obama for failing to stem the tide of unemployment.

The office of Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) literally hit the send button at 8:30 a.m. -- the moment of the announcement.

Former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who helped Democrats win 14 seats in the last two cycles, said the GOP risks the perception rooting against recovery.

“They are playing to their base again, which I think is a big mistake.” he said.

“Criticizing the White House for spending nearly a trillion dollars of taxpayers’ money to produce a jobless recovery is the responsibility of public officials who believe there is a better way,” responded Steel.****
3184  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: October 05, 2009, 10:14:37 AM
Sounds awfully like the rumors of Hitlers partial Jewish ancestry.
3185  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 10:12:44 AM
One of my patients is a tough negotiator over medicines I suggest to him.
I complemented him and said we need you over there in Iran negotiating with them over the nukes.
He said forget the negotiations.  We should just bomb them to smitherines and go over and plant the American flag.
I said that is what I mean - we need you to get the job done.

Instead we have Obama.

And we will have a nuclear weaponized Iran.

A rebirth of the Persian empire - which is what it is really all about.
3186  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's olympic speech on: October 03, 2009, 11:08:30 AM
Obama's speech.

"Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night, people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the results of the U.S. Presidential election. Their interest wasn’t about me as an individual."

No?

****10.3.2009
Transcript: President Obama’s October 2nd Speech to the Olympic Committee in Copenhagen

President & 1st Lady Obama
In what some critics are calling a rookie mistake on the world’s political stage and others an over extension of personal arrogance, President Obama traveled to Copenhagen in a failed attempt to help win Chicago’s bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The following is a complete transcript of his speech to the Olympic Committee:

President Obama: President Rogge, ladies and gentlemen of the International Olympic Committee. I come here today as a passionate supporter of the Olympic and Paralympic Games; as a strong believer in the movement they represent; and as a proud Chicagoan. But above all, I come as a faithful representative of the American people, and we look forward to welcoming the world to the shores of Lake Michigan and the heartland of our nation in 2016.

To host athletes and visitors from every corner of the globe is a high honor and a great responsibility. And America is ready and eager to assume that sacred trust. We’re a nation that has always opened its arms to the citizens of the world including my own father from the African continent people who have sought something better; who have dreamed of something bigger.

I know you face a difficult choice among several great cities and nations with impressive bids of their own. So I’ve come here today to urge you to choose Chicago for the same reason I chose Chicago nearly 25 years ago the reason I fell in love with the city I still call home. And it’s not just because it’s where I met the woman you just heard from although after getting to know her this week, I know you’ll all agree that she’s a pretty big selling point for the city.

You see, growing up, my family moved around a lot. I was born in Hawaii. I lived in Indonesia for a time. I never really had roots in any one place or culture or ethnic group. And then I came to Chicago. And on those Chicago streets, I worked alongside men and women who were black and white; Latino and Asian; people of every class and nationality and religion. I came to discover that Chicago is that most American of American cities, but one where citizens from more than 130 nations inhabit a rich tapestry of distinctive neighborhoods.

Each one of those neighborhoods from Greektown to the Ukrainian Village; from Devon to Pilsen to Washington Park…has its own unique character, its own unique history, its songs, its language. But each is also part of our city, one city, a city where I finally found a home.

Chicago is a place where we strive to celebrate what makes us different just as we celebrate what we have in common. It’s a place where our unity is on colorful display at so many festivals and parades, and especially sporting events, where perfect strangers become fast friends just because they’re wearing the same jersey. It’s a city that works…from its first World’s Fair more than a century ago to the World Cup we hosted in the nineties, we know how to put on big events. And scores of visitors and spectators will tell you that we do it well.

Chicago is a city where the practical and the inspirational exist in harmony; where visionaries who made no small plans rebuilt after a great fire and taught the world to reach new heights. It’s a bustling metropolis with the warmth of a small town; where the world already comes together every day to live and work and reach for a dream…a dream that no matter who we are, where we come from; no matter what we look like or what hand life has dealt us; with hard work, and discipline, and dedication, we can make it if we try.

That’s not just the American Dream. That is the Olympic spirit. It’s the essence of the Olympic spirit. That’s why we see so much of ourselves in these Games. That’s why we want them in Chicago. That’s why we want them in America.

We stand at a moment in history when the fate of each nation is inextricably linked to the fate of all nations a time of common challenges that require common effort. And I ran for President because I believed deeply that at this defining moment, the United States of America has a responsibility to help in that effort, to forge new partnerships with the nations and the peoples of the world.

No one expects the Games to solve all our collective challenges. But what we do believe what each and every one of you believe and what all of the Chicago delegation believes is that in a world where we’ve all too often witnessed the darker aspects of our humanity, peaceful competition between nations represents what’s best about our humanity. It brings us together, if only for a few weeks, face to face. It helps us understand one another just a little bit better. It reminds us that no matter how or where we differ, we all seek our own measure of happiness, and fulfillment, and pride in what we do. That’s a very powerful starting point for progress.

Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night, people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the results of the U.S. Presidential election. Their interest wasn’t about me as an individual. Rather, it was rooted in the belief that America’s experiment in democracy still speaks to a set of universal aspirations and ideals. Their interest sprung from the hope that in this ever-shrinking world, our diversity could be a source of strength, a cause for celebration; and that with sustained work and determination, we could learn to live and prosper together during the fleeting moment we share on this Earth.

Now, that work is far from over, but it has begun in earnest. And while we do not know what the next few years will bring, there is nothing I would like more than to step just a few blocks from my family’s home, with Michelle and our two girls, and welcome the world back into our neighborhood.

At the beginning of this new century, the nation that has been shaped by people from around the world wants a chance to inspire it once more; to ignite the spirit of possibility at the heart of the Olympic and Paralympic movement in a new generation; to offer a stage worthy of the extraordinary talent and dynamism offered by nations joined together to host games that unite us in noble competition and shared celebration of our limitless potential as a people.

And so I urge you to choose Chicago. I urge you to choose America. And if you do, if we walk this path together, then I promise you this: The city of Chicago and the United States of America will make the world proud. Thank you so much. (Applause)****
3187  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 02, 2009, 11:58:57 AM
Well why should the US get the games - again - we had Los Angeles not too long ago, we had Atlanta in 1996.

The Obama interest was not for Chicago, Illinois, or the US.

It was all about OBama.

He would have just another forum to showcase just how wonderful he is and to continue pushing his agenda.

IMO that was what it was all about.

3188  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / chemical pathway that may prolong lifespan on: October 02, 2009, 10:09:51 AM
Get the benefits of reduced caloric intake without having to decrease intake - to good to be true?

****The fountain of youth may exist after all, as a study showed that scientist...

‘The Future of Us’: Is Human Life Expectancy About to Increase Dramatically?

The fountain of youth may exist after all, as a study showed that scientists have discovered means to extend the lifespan of mice and primates.
The key to eternal -- or at least prolonged -- youth lies in genetic manipulation that mimics the health benefits of reducing calorie intake, suggesting that aging and age-related diseases can be treated.

Scientists from the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London (UCL) extended the lifespan of mice by up to a fifth and reduced the number of age-related diseases affecting the animals after they genetically manipulated them to block production of the S6 Kinase 1 (S6K1) protein.

Scientists have shown since the 1930s that reducing the calorie intake by 30 percent for rats, mice and -- in a more recent finding -- primates can extend their lifespan by 40 percent and have health benefits.

By blocking S6K1, which is involved in the body's response to changes in food intake, similar benefits were obtained without reducing food intake, according to the study published in the US journal Science.

The results corroborated those of other recent studies.

"Blocking the action of the S6K1 protein helps prevent a number of age-related conditions in female mice," explained UCL professor Dominic Withers, the study's lead author.

"The mice lived longer and were leaner, more active and generally healthier than the control group. We added 'life to their years' as well as 'years to their lives.'"

The genetically altered female mice lived 20 percent longer -- living a total of 950 days -- or over 160 days more than their normal counterparts.

At age 600 days, the equivalent of middle age in humans, the altered female mice were leaner, had stronger bones, were protected from type 2 diabetes, performed better at motor tasks and demonstrated better senses and cognition, according to the study.

Their T-cells, a key component of the immune system also seemed more "youthful," the researchers said, which points to a slowing of the declining immunity that usually accompanies aging.

Male mice showed little difference in lifespan although they also demonstrated some of the health benefits, including less resistance to insulin and healthier T-cells. Researchers said reasons for the differences between the two sexes were unclear.

"We are suddenly much closer to treatments for aging than we thought," said David Gems of UCL's Institute of Healthy Aging, one of the authors of the study, which was primarily funded by the Wellcome Trust.

"We have moved from initial findings in worm models to having 'druggable' targets in mice. The next logical step is to see if drugs like metformin can slow the aging process in humans."

Other studies have also found that blocking S6K1 were channeled through increased activity of a second molecule, AMPK, which regulates energy levels within cells.

AMPK, also known as a master "fuel gauge," is activated when cellular energy levels fall, as takes place when calorie intake is reduced.

Drugs, such as the widely-used metformin, that activate AMPK are already being used in human patients to treat type 2 diabetes.

Recent studies by Russian scientists suggested that metformin can extend mice's lifespan.

Another drug, rapamycin, was found to extend the lifespan of mice, according to a study published in the British journal Nature.

As rapamycin is already used in humans as an immunosuppresant -- to prevent a patient from rejecting an organ after transplant -- it could not be administered as an anti-ageing drug in its current form.

But rapamycin blocks S6K1 activity and could thus extend lifespan through its impact on S6K1.

Seizing on the potential, US firm Sirtris Pharmaceuticals uses resveratrol, a powerful anti-oxidant found in red wine, as well as other fruits than raisin.

Sirtris scientists -- including co-founder David Sinclair, also a researcher at Harvard Medical School -- have found that resveratrol activates the production of sirtuin proteins, which also unleash the same physiological effects as reducing calorie intake.

Sirtris has produced highly concentrated doses of resveratrol and is currently leading clinical trials with diabetes patients and others suffering from liver and colon cancer.

Copyright AFP 2008***
3189  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 02, 2009, 08:45:29 AM
And that is why friend's of Obama do their best to marginalize Beck, Palin, tea partiers, and others as "fringe of the fringe".
Distract attention away from the message and character assasinate the messenger.
The MSM is happy to do it.

Thanks God for Fox.
3190  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 01, 2009, 08:20:19 PM
Controlling health care by targeting the costliest.  That conclusion is the easy part.  Now for the hard part.  Actually doing it.  Keep people out of the hospital have nurses become an extended family member and of course all the while improve the "quality" of care.

Controlling Expenditures by Improving Care for Patients Needing Costly Services
Posted by NEJM • September 30th, 2009 •

Thomas Bodenheimer, M.D., M.P.H., and Rachel Berry-Millett, B.A.

In the United States today, 10% of patients account for 70% of total health care expenditures. Many patients who require high-cost care are people with multiple chronic conditions, many medications, frequent hospitalizations, and limitations on their ability to perform basic daily functions due to physical, mental, or psychosocial challenges. Some well-researched programs have been shown to reduce costs for these patients with complex health care needs, but major payment reform would be needed to spread these programs throughout the United States. 

In 2002, Medicare beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions accounted for 76% of Medicare expenditures. Health care spending for people with five or more chronic conditions is 17 times as high as that for people with no chronic conditions (see graph).1 Because Medicare expenditures will soon become unsustainable, we urgently need to find a way to reduce the cost of care for this rapidly growing group.

As we found when we reviewed the evidence for a forthcoming report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Synthesis Project (www.policysynthesis.org), care management may be a health care delivery innovation that can reduce costs while enhancing quality for people with complex health care needs. Care management is a set of activities designed to assist patients and their support systems in managing medical conditions and related psychosocial problems more effectively, with the aims of improving patients’ functional health status, enhancing the coordination of care, eliminating the duplication of services, and reducing the need for expensive medical services. Care management is generally provided by a registered-nurse care manager, often working with a multidisciplinary team.

The specific activities of such care managers include assessing the risks and needs of each patient; working with the patient, his or her family, and the primary care physician to prepare a care plan; teaching patients and their families about their diseases and medications; coaching patients and families on how to respond to worsening symptoms in order to avoid emergency department visits and hospital admissions; tracking patients’ status over time; and revising care plans as needed.

Because care management is an intensive and expensive service, it should be targeted to people with complex health care needs who are at high risk for requiring costly care, but not to patients who are too sick to benefit. A number of predictive models have been introduced to risk-stratify populations of patients to identify those who are most likely to benefit from care management. Models that incorporate diagnostic and medication information are better at predicting future costs than models limited to measuring past costs.

Many controlled studies of care management targeting the transition from hospital to home have demonstrated that this approach results in substantial reductions in hospital utilization and costs. In one study, there was a 38% reduction in total costs during a 12-month period, as compared with usual care. Advanced practice nurses, who underwent 2 months of care-management training, made daily in-hospital visits and at least three home visits, and then followed up through telephone encounters.2 In a different type of intervention, nurses were trained as “transition coaches” and then helped patients and their families to actively participate in their care. After only five contacts between the coaches and patients or their families, the rate of rehospitalization and associated hospital costs were significantly reduced.3 In-hospital discharge planning alone does not reduce hospital costs; the success of these two interventions in reducing readmissions depends on the employment of well-trained care managers and the extension of care management into the home.

Care management that is provided in a primary care setting, if carefully implemented, can also reduce hospital use and cut health care costs. Two models currently under study — Care Management Plus and Guided Care — feature well-trained nurse care managers working closely with primary care physicians. The Care Management Plus intervention resulted in a significant reduction in hospital use by the subgroup of patients with multiple diagnoses. During the first 8 months of a 32-month, multisite, randomized, controlled trial, Guided Care reduced the number of hospital days by 24% and insurers’ net health care costs by 11% for the intervention group, though the differences were not statistically significant; final results have not yet been published.4 A third model that was the subject of a positive study, Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders (GRACE), involved the use of a team consisting of a nurse practitioner and a social worker who worked closely with primary care physicians and a geriatrician. The higher-risk intervention subgroup had a significantly lower hospitalization rate than the higher-risk patients who received usual care. Each of these programs has placed substantial emphasis on training the care managers, keeping care managers’ patient panels reasonably small, fostering a close relationship between care managers and primary care physicians, and including interactions between care managers and patients in medical settings and at home. Telephonic care management has been effective when combined with face-to-face visits but has not worked by itself.5

Several organizations have launched innovative care-management programs for patients with complex health care needs. Such programs have appeared to reduce costs but have not yet been fully evaluated. Kaiser Permanente, recognizing that traditional primary care may lack the resources to offer high-intensity care management to its highest-risk patients, is creating high-risk clinics. In Kaiser’s Ohio region, the 1% of patients who were identified by predictive models as accounting for 27% of Kaiser’s total costs were referred to a high-risk clinic in which a geriatrician-led multidisciplinary team provided home care for a small panel of 150 patients. As compared with similar patients receiving usual care, high-risk clinic patients had fewer hospitalizations, fewer emergency department visits, and lower hospital expenses; since the numbers have been small, the changes have not yet reached statistical significance.

Capital Health Plan in Florida opened a high-risk clinic, staffed by a geriatrician and two registered nurses, for the 1% of the health plan’s enrollees who account for 25% of its total expenditures. The team can manage the care of 300 patients. Hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and total costs were substantially lower for the patients in the high-risk clinic than for those receiving traditional primary care.

The Veterans Health Administration, SCAN Health Plan in Southern California, PeaceHealth Oregon Region, and a number of projects in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) have also invested in intensive primary care that is focused on patients with complex health care needs, with the aim of providing better care at a lower total cost through reductions in the use of hospitals and emergency departments.

Care management, with its cost-reducing potential, will not spread widely in the health care system without substantial changes in payment policy. If hospitals profit from unnecessary readmissions, they are unlikely to adopt effective hospital-to-home care-management programs. If primary care practices are not reimbursed for the work of a registered-nurse care manager, they will not hire one unless they share in the savings generated by reducing hospital admissions and emergency department visits. Other obstacles include nursing shortages and the paucity of training programs for nurses to become effective care managers.

The evidence is strong that well-designed care management can substantially reduce costs for patients with complex health care needs. Cost-control measures, particularly in Medicare, must be targeted to the group of patients who account for the great majority of health care expenditures. Investment in care management should become a focus of the cost-containment discussion that is now dominating the debate over health care reform.

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Source Information

From the Center for Excellence in Primary Care in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco.

This article (10.1056/NEJMp0907185) was published on September 30, 2009, at NEJM.org.

References
Anderson G. Chronic conditions: making the case for ongoing care. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, November 2007. (Accessed September 11, 2009, at http://www.fightchronicdisease.com/news/pfcd/documents/ChronicCareChartbook_FINAL.pdf.)
Naylor MD, Brooten DA, Campbell RL, Maislin G, McCauley KM, Schwartz JS. Transitional care of older adults hospitalized with heart failure: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 2004;52:675-684. [CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
Coleman EA, Parry C, Chalmers S, Min SJ. The care transitions intervention: results of a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2006;166:1822-1828. [Free Full Text]
Leff B, Reider L, Frick KD, et al. Guided care and the cost of complex healthcare: a preliminary report. Am J Manag Care 2009;15:555-559. [Medline]
Bodenheimer T, Berry-Millett R. Care management of patients with complex healthcare needs. Princeton, NJ: Rober
3191  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Out of Havard? on: October 01, 2009, 08:00:35 PM
**Mr. Barro is a professor of economics at Harvard. Mr. Redlick is a recent Harvard graduate.**

 I would imagine they are not popular on campus about now.

Would the NYT carry their piece as opposed to the WSJ?
3192  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 01, 2009, 02:20:45 PM
Doug,
Don't you just love this stuff from liberal academia.
Like the one that came out recently from Boston (of course) that 44K people die every year because they don't have insurance.

LIke this one  that holds our standing in the World has had a sharp increase since Obama is President.  Though it may be too late to turn the downward trend.

Of course we are popular - he wants to give all away.

"The findings are based on analyses of public opinion surveys, votes in the U.N. General Assembly and the expert judgment of specialists in the field of comparative geopolitics, said Peter J. Katzenstein of Cornell University, a former president of the association."

Why does this above statement not make me feel fuzzy all over like apparently it does the author?


***Political scientists report drop in US standing
By BARRY SCHWEID (AP) – 6 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The United States' standing in the world declined in the past decade to below Cold War levels, according to a leading group of political scientists.

Favorable attitudes have risen sharply under President Barack Obama with his commitment to "restore American standing," but confidence in him appears to be in conflict with unfavorable attitudes about U.S. foreign policy, the American Political Science Association said in a report released Thursday.

"Many American leaders and citizens worry that this decline, despite a recent upturn, may be part of a long-term trend, one that will be hard to reverse," the report said.

While Obama has raised American esteem, he has not produced more European troops for Afghanistan, secured concessions from North Korea nor made any headway with Iran, the academics said.

Twenty political scientists worked on the report for more than a year. Two of them dissented from the conclusions, saying that "political bias affects perceptions" and that "the academic community, unbalanced as it is between self-identified Republicans and Democrats, is not immune to such bias."

The dissenters, Stephen D. Krasner of Stanford University and Henry R. Nau of The George Washington University, said U.S. standing is heavily influenced by political bias in the United States and political attitudes in foreign countries. Krasner was director of policy planning at the State Department under President George W. Bush.

The findings are based on analyses of public opinion surveys, votes in the U.N. General Assembly and the expert judgment of specialists in the field of comparative geopolitics, said Peter J. Katzenstein of Cornell University, a former president of the association.

American standing plunged most sharply in the Middle East and Europe, although authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are more supportive of U.S. policy than they can say publicly, the report said.

In Europe, there is a growing European identity and "a conscious political attempt to delink Europe from American policies," according to the report.

At the United Nations, support for U.S. positions has declined since the 1960s, and the decline was especially pronounced during the George W. Bush administration, the academics said. After some initial success, such as toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the United States grew mired in Iraq and Osama bin Laden remained at large. The success of the troop surge in Iraq may have helped improve attitudes toward the United States, the report said.

Helping raise U.S. esteem now are Obama's rhetorical skills and "what his election signifies about the openness of America," the report said.

"In policy terms, however, most (foreigners) believe that there has been little change in the U.S. disregard for the interests of their country, and that U.S. influence in the world is still mostly bad," the report said.

The American Political Science Association has more than 15,000 members.***

3193  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 30, 2009, 05:54:43 PM
Hi Rarick,

Good to have another poster.

"If you were the leader of a small country and saw how N. Korea managed to get Billions of dollars worth of "respect" wouldn't you take serious risks to get a nuclear stick?" 

I agree with you.

I think Iran is pursuing nucs for this reason.

Do you think they may not really be pursuing them and just bluffing with Amendinajan's rhetoric in order to get the same respect just the same?

Apparently some seem to think so.  Even Buchanan is implying this.



3194  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 30, 2009, 09:31:24 AM
Good luck to her and it is fine with me if she makes millions.

That said I don't why I would want to read her book.
 
We know her political stances on issues.

I wouldn't expect to gain insight into anything other than her from reading it.
3195  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 30, 2009, 09:28:25 AM
I look forward to Stossel on Fox.

"it had decided to have someone monitor the opinion media for ideas about stories."

Suggesting they follow the MSM pack about what to cover.

 
3196  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buchanan - position of an isolationist/anti-"Jewish lobbyist" on: September 30, 2009, 09:23:01 AM
I agree with Pat on many issues but not this one.

It is predictable he will pick and write about any evidence he can gather that would support his isolationist position - made a bit more complicated by his well known dislike of the "Jewish Lobby".

Question:  If Iran was interested in only peaceful purpose for nuclear energy than why have it's main spokesman going around the world telling it is nearing the time Israel will be wiped out?

If it is just a bluff what is he gaining by it?



***Is Iran Nearing a Bomb?
by  Patrick J. Buchanan

09/29/2009

That Iran is building a secret underground facility near the holy city of Qom, under custody of the Revolutionary Guard -- too small to be a production center for nuclear fuel, but just right for the enrichment of uranium to weapons grade -- is grounds for concern, but not panic.

Heretofore, all of Iran's nuclear facilities, even the enrichment plant at Natanz -- kept secret before exiles blew the whistle in 2002 -- have been consistent with a peaceful nuclear program.

Iran has also been on solid ground in claiming that, as signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, she has a right to enrich uranium and operate nuclear plants, as long as she complies with treaty obligations.
 

Under the Safeguard Agreement to the NPT, these include notification, six months before a nuclear facility goes operational.

According to U.S. officials, construction of this site began in 2006 and is only months from completion. And Tehran did not report it to the International Atomic Energy Agency until a week ago, when they were tipped the Americans were onto it and about to go public.

Iran's explanation: This facility is benign, a backup to Natanz, to enable Iran to continue enriching uranium to fuel grade, should America or Israel bomb Natanz. It is a hedge against attack. And contrary to what Barack Obama implies, the facility is designed to enrich uranium only to the 5 percent needed for nuclear fuel, not the 90 percent needed for nuclear weapons.

Still, the burden of proof is now upon Tehran.

President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei must convince IAEA inspectors this small secret facility that can house only 3,000 centrifuges has the same purpose as Natanz, which can house 58,000. Or they will be exposed as liars -- to the West, to the Russians who have served as their defense counsel and to their own people.

For while Iranians are near unanimous in backing their national right to peaceful nuclear power, they do not all want nuclear weapons. And the Ayatollah has declared, ex cathedra, that Iran is not seeking them, and possession or use of such weapons is immoral and contrary to the teachings of Islam.

If Obama is right that the secret facility is "inconsistent with a peaceful program," but compatible with a weapons program, Ayatollah Khamenei has a credibility problem the size of Andrei Gromyko's, when he assured President Kennedy there were no Soviet missiles in Cuba. And President Kennedy had the photos in his desk.

Diplomats have been called honest men sent abroad to lie for their country. But ayatollahs, as holy men, are not supposed to be descending to diplomatic duplicity.

Obama's dramatic announcement represents a coup for U.S. intelligence, but it also raises questions.

Reportedly, we have known of this Qom facility "for several years." Yet, in late 2007, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) said that U.S. agencies had "moderate confidence" that Iran had ended any nuclear weapons program in 2003.

In August, Walter Pincus, in a Washington Post story -- "Iran Years From Fuel for Bomb, Report Says" -- wrote, "Despite Iran's progress since 2007 toward producing enriched uranium, the State Department intelligence analysts continue to think that Tehran will not be able to produce weapons-grade material before 2013."

This was the judgment of the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, based on "Iran's technical capability."

Query: If State's top intelligence analysts, this year, did not think Iran could enrich to weapons grade until 2013, had they been kept in the dark about the secret facility near Qom?

Two weeks ago, in a Web exclusive, Mark Hosenball wrote, "The U.S. intelligence community is reporting to the White House that Iran has not restarted its nuclear weapons development program, two counter-proliferation officials tell Newsweek."

The officials told the White House the conclusion of the 2007 NIE -- i.e., Iran had halted its weapons program in 2003 -- stood.

Were these two counter-proliferation officials also out of the loop on the secret site? Or did they know of it, but fail to share the sense of alarm and urgency President Obama showed last week?

Despite last week's revelation, the Obama policy of talking to Tehran makes sense. Whatever the ayatollah's intentions, IAEA inspectors have his lone ton of low-enriched uranium at Natanz under observation. To enrich it to weapons grade, it must be moved.

America's twin goals here are correct, compatible and by no means unattainable: no nukes in Iran, no war with Iran.

Bombing would unite that divided country behind a regime whose repressed people detest far more than we, as they have to live under it. Patience and perseverance, as in the Cold War, may be rewarded with the disintegration of a state that is today divided against itself.

We outlasted the Red czars. We will outlast the ayatollahs.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."****

My answer to Buchanan's question is Iran is obviously working to build a bomb(s).  How near it is no one seems to be sure - at least publically.
3197  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 09:53:21 AM
Doug

This erronous conclusion was made public before OBama became President.

W very much let Israel drift in the wind at the end of his second term.

I don't think he wanted to but he was so politically destroyed by the left's attacks and falling in the polls he abandoned them.
3198  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 29, 2009, 09:47:30 AM
Where the enemies of 1973 sensed a debilitating Israeli over-confidence on the conventional battlefield, the enemies of 2009 realize that Israel is hard-pressed to explain the intricacies and moralities of the civilian theater of war they have imposed upon us. And if there's one thing that hasn't changed in 36 years, it is that when our enemies identify Israeli hesitation, disarray and weakness, they will relentlessly seek to exploit it.

And now they do the same with the American leadership.

Our morality and kindness hurts us.

Years ago coutries had no problem leveling cities and towns of enemies without regard to "civilians".
Now we are so worried about hurting an innocent and having it shown on cable around the world we actually screw ourselves.
And our enemies rather than receiving our kindness with cooperation and peace receive as weakness and fight even harder with more contempt.

3199  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 09:39:00 AM
As per the NYT
Publically released opinions:
Israel:  Iran has restarted weaponization.
Germany:  Iran never stopped weaponization.
France:  There is more going on then international inspectors say.
US:  Iran has halted weaponization in 2003.

The US position is the most interesting is it not?
It is conveniently in line with undermining any pre emptive attack from Israel.
This all comes about since we did not find and prove the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Ever since then and the political turning of the tide here in the US, W and now OBama have thrown Israel to the winds of que cera que cera.

***By William J. Broad, Mark Mazzetti and David E. Sanger

updated 11:56 p.m. ET, Mon., Sept . 28, 2009
WASHINGTON - When President Obama stood last week with the leaders of Britain and France to denounce Iran’s construction of a secret nuclear plant, the Western powers all appeared to be on the same page.

Behind their show of unity about Iran’s clandestine efforts to manufacture nuclear fuel, however, is a continuing debate among American, European and Israeli spies about a separate component of Iran’s nuclear program: its clandestine efforts to design a nuclear warhead.

The Israelis, who have delivered veiled threats of a military strike, say they believe that Iran has restarted these “weaponization” efforts, which would mark a final step in building a nuclear weapon. The Germans say they believe that the weapons work was never halted. The French have strongly suggested that independent international inspectors have more information about the weapons work than they have made public.

Meanwhile, in closed-door discussions, American spy agencies have stood firm in their conclusion that while Iran may ultimately want a bomb, the country halted work on weapons design in 2003 and probably has not restarted that effort — a judgment first made public in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate.

The debate, in essence, is a mirror image of the intelligence dispute on the eve of the Iraq war.

This time, United States spy agencies are delivering more cautious assessments about Iran’s clandestine programs than their Western European counterparts.

The differing views color how each country perceives the imminence of the Iranian threat and how to deal with it in the coming months, including this week’s negotiations in Geneva — the first direct talks between the United States and Iran in nearly 30 years.

In the case of the plant outside Qum, designed for uranium enrichment, some nuclear experts speculate that it is only part of something larger. But a senior American official with access to intelligence about it said he believed the secret plant was itself “the big one,” but cautioned that “it’s a big country.”

This distinction has huge political consequences. If Mr. Obama can convince Israel that the exposure of the Qum plant has dealt a significant setback to the Iranian effort, he may buy some time from the Israelis.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified intelligence assessments.

Uranium enrichment — the process of turning raw uranium into reactor or bomb fuel — is only one part of building a nuclear weapon, though it is the most difficult step. The two remaining steps are designing and building a warhead, and building a reliable delivery system, like a ballistic missile.

American officials said that Iran halted warhead design efforts in 2003, a conclusion they reached after penetrating Iran’s computer networks and gaining access to internal government communications. This judgment became the cornerstone of the 2007 intelligence report, which drew sharp criticism from Europe and Israel, and remains the subject of intense debate.

Disagreeing with the Americans, Israeli intelligence officials say they believe that Iran restarted weapons design work in 2005 on the orders of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. The Americans counter that the Israeli case is flimsy and circumstantial, and that the Israelis cannot document their claim.
German intelligence officials take an even harder line against Iran. They say the weapons work never stopped, a judgment made public last year in a German court case involving shipments of banned technology to Tehran. In recent interviews, German intelligence agencies declined to comment further.***
3200  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 28, 2009, 12:49:06 PM
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 The Huffington PostSeptember 28, 2009 
   
     
   
The other point of view from the Huffington post.  Obama's strategy is "brilliant" though it may not be enough:

****The good news is that President Obama has a brilliant strategy for dealing with Iran. The bad news is that brilliance may not be enough. In a few months he could face the most severe foreign policy crisis a young president has faced since John F. Kennedy stumbled into the Bay of Pigs.

Obama has taken several steps in the past few weeks that show he is thinking strategically about how to defang Iran's nuclear threat. For one thing, Obama is trying to bring Russia on board. By announcing that he has no intention of stationing a nuclear defense system in Eastern Europe, Obama removed a significant impediment to smoother relations with Moscow. In return, he needs Moscow's cooperation in confronting Iran. He already has the support of Britain and Germany. Constructing an alliance capable of implementing tough sanctions against Tehran is the kind of multilateral diplomacy that the Bush administration scorned. Obama doesn't.

Obama's call for a nuclear-free world is also a big plus, one that, among other things, further helps refurbish America's battered image in Europe. At an election rally in Germany, the head of the liberal party, Guido Westerwelle, announced Obama's call for a nuclear-free world almost as soon as he had made it. Obama's focus on the dangers posed by nuclear weapons further exposes Tehran as an anomalous, retrograde power. The regime is on the wrong side of history. It isn't a progressive power, but a backward one that is pursuing a dangerous course that will further isolate it. Obama, after all, wants to strip the mullahs of their moolah by pushing for punitive sanctions.

But if the hardline clerics are intent on obtaining the bomb -- as opposed to the knowledge of how to construct one -- then sanctions won't be enough. Then Obama will be confronted with an Israeli government determined to attack Iranian nuclear sites. And he'll be urged to do it himself by both liberal hawks and neocons back home.

Will Obama be able to carve out some face-saving deal with Iran? Or is he heading into a major crisis? Iraq and Afghanistan may turn out to be sideshows as Obama focuses on the threat from Tehran. But so far, Obama has handled Iran perfectly with a mixture of threats and promises of cooperation.****
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