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3201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: July 16, 2010, 12:40:51 PM
"he or I underestimate"

Sorry, I meant he or I do NOT underestimate" the Dems willingness to bribe voters with taxpayer money.
3202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: July 16, 2010, 12:38:28 PM
"Christie of NJ is showing a lot of testicular fortitude of the sort we need for budget issues, but is unknown to me with regard to other matters."

May I suggest we all keep our eye open to this guy.  Everytime I hear him on talk shows he sounds better and better.  This guy learns.  He improves. Some have criticised him for not being "conservative" enough.  They are worng and he is right.  He cannot win if he comes out to as to "right".  We are in a Demcoratic state.  One out of three New Jerseans have been reported to be on some sort of dole.

Taxes are astronomical. Costs of living are high.  Most are working class.  They are struggling.  Unions are powerful.  Private unions and public unions.  They have a stranglehold on the Dem party.  Cristie seems to have been able to get past this more than anyone could have hoped.  Even Bob Grant says his accomplishments on union concessions while hardly great are still impressive.  He held teachers to I think a 2% raise rather thna 4 to 5%.

Corruption in local, county, state government is legendary though I doubt any more than anywhere else in the US, or at least the NE or West coast or other major metropolitan areas.

Watch this guy.  His learning curve, going from someone who could barely talk and give speeches to someone who is quite logical, convincing, charismatic, realistic, and taking on the unions by going to voters directly is so far impressive to me.  FINALLY we have someone who is doing what needs to be done.  And people are agreeing with him.  Yet as he has said, he has not won, and it remains to be seen the final result, he or I underestimate the use of bribery by the Dems to buy votes amongst working class, and dole receiving voters.
3203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: July 16, 2010, 11:39:45 AM
Again it is the Jews who get singled out for their abuse of blacks with slavery and other issues.  Were there not Catholics, Presbyterian, Prostestant slave owners.
And why does not Farrakhan note the Muslim "white" Arab slave traders who brought Black Africans from the interior of the continent to the coast and sell them to white slave traders?

Where is his outrage of this?

So Blacks are outraged about Al Quada using Blacks from Africa as cannon fodder for their war against the West?

Arabs enslaved blacks for hundreds of years.  So what's the surprise?

Again, it is get the Jews.

This is one reason why I am annoyed at liberal Jews who think that they have so much in common with Blacks with discrimination and all and think Blacks appreciate there is long history of fighting for the rights of Blacks during civil rights along with fighting for their own civil rights.

They think Blacks appreciate them.  Well let me tell you, most don't.

Again liberal Jews are dupes imo.

It doesn't take high IQ to connect the dots.  Farrakhan hates Jews, as does Reverend Wright.  Bamster sat in Wright's church for decades.  Bamster is pressuring Israel and clearly has altered the balance of power with the  Israelis/Palestinians towards the latter.  Gee, and liberal Jews are surprised?  And yet many still support Bamster?

Like I said the alternative is worse then Nazism to liberal Jews - Republicans!  Crafty, I really think we will see Clinton getting more and more support from many Jews.
They could never stand voting for a Repub alternative to Bamster.  They will either sit at home during the polls, or come up with an alternative - and Hillary is number one at this time.  Or they will vote for Bamster anyway and sell Israel down the river.
They are that stubborn and stupid while they shot themselves in the head tryiing to pretend how they are such humanitarians and do gooders.
3204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JDN - thnx on: July 16, 2010, 10:27:25 AM
Thank you for sharing this story.
My grandfather died of pancreatic cancer before I was born.  My middle name is after him.

I do believe that if Berwick has his way your wife would likely have been sent to hospice.
I don't think some sort of cost effective control is unreasonable when we are providing care free of charge courtesy of taxpayers to those who don't pay for whatever reason but I reject out of hand the notion that all of us must be forced into the same system and that is only FAIR as Berwick contends.  I just cancelled my sbscription to the NEJM.  I find THEM obnoxious!
Health care is not a right.  Yet, I don't think we can't be a humane society and provide some care to those who can't pay, but health care is never free and for those of us who do pay or choose to pay we have a right too, to get the best and not simply the most cost effective care.

Berwick, the little Harvard  data and bean counting weasel will throw all kinds of numbers at you stating more is not necessarily better, and infant mortality, and life span and all the rest of liberal ivy league garbage.  But I guarantee you, when he, his family or members of our fearless progressive government get sick  they will want and demand world class care.

BTW, I don't find you obnoxious.  We agree on a lot and I like diversity of opinion. 
I hope your wife continues to do well.  Thanks to the US research complex there is always hope of new drugs coming out.  Bamster should be going around the world (as well as this communist clown Berwick) praising US health care.  It is broken but if one gets really sick I don't want to be anywhere else.

3205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 15, 2010, 04:04:17 PM
"As for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force this was the group that stopped recommending mammograms for women at average risk between ages 40 and 50 that just last year resulted in a gigantic uproar from other medical groups, babe organizations, political pundits, that gave the cable industry a nice chance to make a buck discussing ad nauseum for months."
Sorry already noted in the article posted by BBG.

And clarify:

" The concept of a medical home is not for prevention as much as it is  a central point as a command center to manage care or ration care based on 'cost effective' formulas."  Not my opinion.  I meant that that is Berwick's opinion and overall goal.
I can't wait to see the elites and their families at Harvard and in Congress, and the Senate have to go on managed medicaid like the rest of us.  I am not holding my breath.

3206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 15, 2010, 03:14:22 PM
From Obama's director of Health,Human,Services:

"Too many Americans don't get the preventive care they need to stay healthy and keep health-care costs down for all of us," Sebelius said.

From Obama's new health czar or whatever he is called:

"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."

As for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force this was the group that stopped recommending mammograms for women at average risk between ages 40 and 50 that just last year resulted in a gigantic uproar from other medical groups, babe organizations, political pundits, that gave the cable industry a nice chance to make a buck discussing ad nauseum for months.
3207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "E" in twelve? on: July 15, 2010, 02:38:53 PM
H in 1988, W in 2000, and E in 12?
From Huffington Post:

2010 Bush Revival, Bush 3rd Term, Bush Brand, Bush Gillespie, Bush Jeb, Bush Reemergence, Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush 2012, Jeb Bush Revival, Karl Rove, Rosenberg Bush, Rove Bush, Simon Rosenberg, Politics News

Simon Rosenberg is the most bullish of Democratic strategists. The former Clinton administration official and head of the young non-profit group NDN has been the chief proponent of the belief that Barack Obama's election produced the opportunity for a "30-to-40-year era of Democratic dominance." A specialist in the political habits of different demographic groups (specifically Hispanics), he insists that, absent a drastic makeover, the GOP risks cementing itself "as irrelevant to the 21st century."

Sagging poll numbers and policy setbacks have done little to dissuade these rosy prognostications. There's only one thing that makes Rosenberg nervous: another Bush.

"Jeb [Bush] is married to a Latina, is fluent in Spanish, speaks on Univision as a commentator, his Spanish is that good," Rosenberg said of the former Florida governor and brother to the 43rd president during a lunch at NDN headquarters last week. "And if you look at the electoral map in 2012, you have to assume that Obama is going to have a very hard time in holding North Carolina and Virginia. The industrial Midwest, where the auto decline has been huge, has weakened Obama's numbers... a great deal. So Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin become a bit more wobbly. So if you're Barack Obama, the firewall is the Latin belt from Florida to southwestern California. And there is only one Republican who can break through that firewall. And it is Jeb."

Such a sentiment, Rosenberg admits, carries a slight hint of hysteria. After all, there is a good chunk of the country that recoils at the idea of another pol with the Bush surname. But that chunk has begun narrowing. And even within Democratic circles, there is an emerging belief that in a Republican Party filled with base-pleasing dramatizers or bland conservatives, Jeb stands out.

"The vast majority of the voting public yearns for a non-Bush," said longtime Democratic strategist Donna Brazille. But, she added, "Jeb has the talent, the experience and the ability to rebuild the GOP's tent."

"I believe Jeb Bush could run," said Stanley Greenberg, a longtime Democratic pollster. "He is more of a genuine conservative than Romney. Bush is a big hangover, but not impossible." The question, Greenberg asks, is "does his immigration position get him into primary trouble?"

Talk of a prospective Jeb Bush presidential run in the 2012 election is, by definition, speculative. But Rosenberg's frankness in acknowledging his fears gets at a larger, more immediate political phenomenon. Roughly one-and-a-half years after George W. Bush left office with abysmal approval ratings and the likelihood of historical ignominy, the Bush brand is vying once more for political relevance. Within Republican circles, the fear that once accompanied any association with the 43rd president has diminished. There remain, of course, substantive critiques of Bush's presidency. And news that the former president would be releasing his book right around the time of the November election ignited some consternation among Republicans on Thursday.

Story continues below

But the criticisms are mainly offered as a method of distinguishing oneself as a fresh, fiscally sound breed of Republican. Behind the scenes, some of the major figures from the Bush years have assumed influential roles.

Karl Rove, the strategist chiefly responsible for George W. Bush's rise to political prominence, has become the de facto Yoda of the Republican Party, dispensing wisdom in private and from his various public perches. Ed Gillespie, the former RNC chair and Bush hand, has assumed a more institutionally important position, launching a public opinion firm (Resurgent Republic) as well as a election-oriented organization (American Crossroads) that is promising to spend big on the 2010 elections. To be sure, many Bush-linked figures have become, essentially, apolitical in the post-administration era (think: former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman). But others have yet to kill the political bug, such as Sara Taylor, an ex-Rove aide who now plays an important role with likely 2012 candidate, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

And then there is Jeb. The former governor, GOP officials say, has become increasingly engaged in charting the future of Republican politics. In addition to working closely with House leadership on various rebranding efforts, he helped craft the delicate strategy that the party took in the Florida Senate Republican primary. Understanding that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was essentially obligated to put its support behind his successor, Charlie Crist, he cautioned chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex) to anticipate Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio's rise. The committee was, subsequently, well-positioned to handle Crist's GOP defection.

"I am running into him more around the country than before I would have expected, more [than] when he was governor," said Grover Norquist, head of the influential Americans for Tax Reform and a connected Republican tactician if there ever was one. "As I travel around, I hear Jeb Bush was here last week or is coming next month. And I didn't hear that when he was governor..."

What kind of impact the Bush reemergence will have on the broader landscape is a hotly debated question within both party circles. During the 2008 cycle, these officials were marginalized -- either burned out from the past eight years or too toxic for prospective candidates to touch (the McCain campaign, famously, had a fiery relationship with the former president and his team). Now back on, what one operative called "political terra firma," they have already positioned themselves as the axis around which the GOP's election strategies will turn. Both Rove and Gillespie have used their Rolodexes to recruit major donors and their reputations to pow-wow with some of the more high-profile candidates.

Of course, there's some self-aggrandizement going on, several officials cautioned anonymously. Rove, in particular, is often described as more interested in advancing his own brand, often by overstating his influence. "Karl seems to be mostly in the Karl Rove business," said one GOP operative. "Selling books, going on TV, writing for the Wall Street Journal, speaking engagements. I don't know much advising he is doing."

But that sentiment is not shared by everyone. Indeed, at a time when the campaign committees (mainly the RNC) have floundered, more top-flight Republicans are looking at the operatives who led the Bush years as the closest they can get to a sure thing.

"I think that those two particularly [Rove and Gillespie] bring a credibility," says Norquist. "If you want to write a really big check, you trust Ed Gillespie and Rove will spend $1 million wisely... Both of them you can look at through the prism of the last six election cycles. They've won some and lost some but they are always shooting in the right direction."

Whether that direction ends up being right for the GOP in 2010 remains to be seen. For Democrats, Rove's involvement has been cheered -- in as much as it's created the ideal boogeyman to get the 2010 blood flowing.

"He is larger than life all across the spectrum," explained Tracy Sefl, a Democratic strategist who has worked on campaigns at all levels of governance. "His contradiction is being well-known for the colossal failures attributed to his watch and also being well-known for his intellectual, strategic abilities."

But the major question is whether or not the old Bush guard is properly suited for the modern GOP. Rove, to this point, has had two high-profile endorsement busts: Sen. Bob Bennett in the Utah Republican primary, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Texas gubernatorial primary. In each instance, he found himself on the wrong side of the Tea Party movement. Whether those are simply glitches in a broader effort to get Republicans elected or indicative of the grassroots and the Bush clan not operating off the same playbook is a major question going forward. And it's one that Jeb Bush -- as he ponders a potential 2012 bid -- will have to consider as well.

"I think that Bush-ism is still alive," said John Feehery, a longtime GOP consultant. "There is, however, an anti-Bushism in the party associated with the Rand Paul crowd. They don't like neocons and government. And Sarah Palin could be seen as part of that group... What people like about Jeb Bush is that he is smart and conservative and well-liked by the base... If there is going to be a Bush revival, Jeb is going to be the leader of that revival. But he has to contend with that [anti-Bushism]."
3208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Race in America on: July 15, 2010, 02:02:28 PM
Everytime I hear critics try to bash the tea party as racist all I can think of is the response is simple

What *real* racist organization would just love to have more people of color in it?

Why the teaparty wants *more* people of color to join them!  Not exclude the party.   Everyone knows real racist groups exclude those they hate.

Everytime I see a teaparty person on cable sit and have to defend the party (same for Republicans) all I can think of is they simply say we are not racist and we want more Latinos, more Blacks, more Asians to join us as Americans.  Why so hard?
3209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: July 15, 2010, 01:55:41 PM
Great article BBG; looking well ahead.  I haven't seen this before.
Bamster would have to be thrown out in 2012.  Or else he could still have veto power from 2014 to 16.  Of course if the Cans can get 66 seats....

It is nice to dream.  Unleash America's potential!  Bring us back the faith in ourselves and place in the world.

We just need a few good men... and women.
3210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 15, 2010, 12:26:53 PM
Yes he is as dishonest as they come.
Probably your right.  He will continue to demogague and deceive the public to the bitter end rather than moving to the middle in actions as well as phoney rhetoric to garner more "independents" or otherwise voters who change their minds from one day to the next.

I don't think Repubs could ever get 60 votes on ideology alone, ie. Reaganism and that is why I am calling on a leader who can give more of a roadmap and be able to convince Americans that the bama way is the wrong way, not just for America as a whole but all of us - if anything is to be left.
3211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 15, 2010, 12:09:16 PM
Good summary of what is in the plans for us with regards to Health care.

Take these for example from the new controller of one seventh of the economy, Berwick:

1) ***"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."***
Well if the issue is costs than this is probably true that these things are overrated.  But this is my point.  The concept of a medical home is not for prevention as much as it is  a central point as a command center to manage care or ration care based on 'cost effective' formulas.

2) ****"Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."***
This is key.  I don't know if it is obvious to lay people if you will, perhaps it is.  But what this means is that doctors (and there patients) will not be granted the freddom to practice as they see fit in a given situation or case.  Doctors and nurses will need to be "taught", if you will, or better yet forced, to do what they are told with regards to how and what care they deliver.  And that is the big goal of HIT in health care.  All of the data that gets put in will travel to Dr. Berwick's and team's office where he and his friends at Harvard will be able to study endless reams of data, and take there analysis, do studies, design studies, then dictate back to health care providers what they MUST do in any given situation.
I don't necessarily object to this - it is managed care.  What I object to is that all of us will be FORCED into this situation whether we like it or not, whether we are able and willing to pay more or not.  Whether we have earned it, whether some abuse the system and the rest.   IT is HMO medicaid care forced on every person in America whether a citizen, legal immigrant, or illegal immigrant.  It is true communism of the health care system.

***Barack Obama's incredible "recess appointment" of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is probably the most significant domestic-policy personnel decision in a generation. It is more important to the direction of the country than Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

The court's decisions are subject to the tempering influence of nine competing minds. Dr. Berwick would direct an agency that has a budget bigger than the Pentagon. Decisions by the CMS shape American medicine.

Dr. Berwick's ideas on the design and purpose of the U.S. system of medicine aren't merely about "change." They would be revolutionary.

One may agree with these views or not, but for the president to tell the American people they have to simply accept this through anything so flaccid as a recess appointment is beyond outrageous. It isn't acceptable.

Daniel Henninger discusses President Obama's incredible "recess appointment" of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Podcast: Listen to the audio of Wonder Land here. The Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, was taken aback at the end-around: "Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power."

Let's look, then, at what President Obama won't let the American electorate hear Dr. Berwick say in front of a committee of Congress. These excerpts are from past speeches and articles by Dr. Berwick:

"I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do."

"You cap your health care budget, and you make the political and economic choices you need to make to keep affordability within reach."

"Please don't put your faith in market forces. It's a popular idea: that Adam Smith's invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can."

"Indeed, the Holy Grail of universal coverage in the United States may remain out of reach unless, through rational collective action overriding some individual self-interest, we can reduce per capita costs."

"It may therefore be necessary to set a legislative target for the growth of spending at 1.5 percentage points below currently projected increases and to grant the federal government the authority to reduce updates in Medicare fees if the target is exceeded."

"About 8% of GDP is plenty for 'best known' care."

"A progressive policy regime will control and rationalize financing—control supply."

View Full Image

AP Photo/ Goodman Media International, Inc.
Donald Berwick
"The unaided human mind, and the acts of the individual, cannot assure excellence. Health care is a system, and its performance is a systemic property."

"Health care is a common good—single payer, speaking and buying for the common good."

"And it's important also to make health a human right because the main health determinants are not health care but sanitation, nutrition, housing, social justice, employment, and the like."

"Hence, those working in health care delivery may be faced with situations in which it seems that the best course is to manipulate the flawed system for the benefit of a specific patient or segment of the population, rather than to work to improve the delivery of care for all. Such manipulation produces more flaws, and the downward spiral continues."

"For-profit, entrepreneurial providers of medical imaging, renal dialysis, and outpatient surgery, for example, may find their business opportunities constrained."

"One over-demanded service is prevention: annual physicals, screening tests, and other measures that supposedly help catch diseases early."

"I would place a commitment to excellence—standardization to the best-known method—above clinician autonomy as a rule for care."

"Health care has taken a century to learn how badly we need the best of Frederick Taylor [the father of scientific management]. If we can't standardize appropriate parts of our processes to absolute reliability, we cannot approach perfection."

"Young doctors and nurses should emerge from training understanding the values of standardization and the risks of too great an emphasis on individual autonomy."

"Political leaders in the Labour Government have become more enamored of the use of market forces and choice as an engine for change, rather than planned, centrally coordinated technical support."

"The U.K has people in charge of its health care—people with the clear duty and much of the authority to take on the challenge of changing the system as a whole. The U.S. does not."

There is no need to rehearse the analogies in literature and social thought that Dr. Berwick's ideas summon. That the Obama White House would try to push this past public scrutiny with a recess appointment says more about Barack Obama than it does Dr. Berwick.

Vilifying Dr. Berwick alone for his views is in a way beside the point. Within Mr. Obama's circle they all think like this. Defeat Dr. Berwick, and they will send up 50 more who would pursue the same goals.

If the American people want the world Dr. Berwick wishes to give them, that's their choice. But they must be given that choice with full, televised confirmation hearings.

Barack Obama, Donald Berwick and the rest may fancy themselves philosopher kings who know what we need without the need to inform or persuade us first. That's not how it works here. That is Sen. Baucus's point.

It should be clear why Berwick is bigger than Kagan. We need a large public debate over these views, over what Mr. Obama has said his health plan would and would not do. We need to find out if every Democrat in Congress and every Democrat writing newspaper columns and blogs agrees with Dr. Berwick about clinical and individual autonomy and about leaders with plans.

Then we need to build an election around whether we want to go down the road Dr. Berwick has planned for us, or start dismantling the one that President Obama paved through Congress on a partisan vote.

Write to

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved***

3212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: July 14, 2010, 12:54:17 PM
The only thing worse than the damage Obama is doing to this nation would be if he were to suddenly triangulate and become popular again ala Clinton.  I hope his enlisting Clinton is not a signal he is doing just that.  Clinton proved that swing voters have short memories and will vote for the popular message of the day and forgive everything else.  IF bamster does this he could regain his popularity which is not good for the US.  I hope he keeps up the lefitst agenda till he gets booted out.  Just my take anyway.  From the man whose strategy kept the best con in chief in office a second term:

****By Dick Morris 07.14.2010 Published on on July 13, 2010

Any president facing a recession has a basic conundrum to resolve: If he doesn’t try to make people believe that a recovery is in progress, nobody will. But if he tries to make them believe that all is getting better, he risks being seen as out of touch at best or insensitive at worst.

It was just such a predicament that landed George H.W. Bush in trouble in 1991 when he preached that the economy was emerging from the recession, only to be seen as rich and elitist for his efforts. Things got so bad that this verbally challenged president once blurted out his staff’s strategy memo by saying, “Message: I care.” That was about as well-received as Nixon’s statement that “I am not a crook.”

Now Obama is trying to sell the unsellable — that the economy is getting better. In Nevada, he said: “But the question is, No. 1: Are we on the right track? And the answer is, yes.” Presumably those who are gullible enough to think they can beat the casino odds in Vegas are ripe for this form of self-delusion, but it leaves the rest of us cold. The fact is that, when asked directly in polls whether the U.S. is on the right or the wrong track, by more than two to one, Americans feel the nation is on the wrong track.

Fifteen million are unemployed and, adding in underemployed, part-time workers and those who have given up looking, the total is 26 million. So Obama’s statements of confidence are a bit like Herbert Hoover’s ritual incantation that “Prosperity is just around the corner.”

Polls show that 70 percent of Americans do not believe that the stimulus program has worked and a similar percentage feel the best thing we could do to create jobs is to cut taxes.

But Obama’s conundrum is that if he is not the font of optimism, who will be? Economists are increasingly coming to see that the so-called recovery was, in fact, a false dawn and that we are entering a double-dip recession (if, indeed, we ever left the initial downturn). In our book 2010: Take Back America — A Battle Plan, we predict a false dawn followed by a double dip — and now it is upon us.

It is now time for the Republicans to counterattack against Obama by calling him out of touch with the realities of the economy and to take advantage of the commonly held idea that the president doesn’t know what is going on in the streets. In Obama’s case, the GOP cannot then turn “out of touch” into an accusation of insensitivity (as the Democrats did to Bush-41). But they can push the idea that Obama is so wrapped up in his liberal ideology that he cannot see the reality in front of him — that big spending stimulus hasn’t worked and won’t work.

The Fox News poll now shows that 55 percent of all likely voters feel that it is appropriate to call Obama a socialist. This epithet, which most Americans did not see fit to use even a few months ago, fits him well. Republicans should make the point that he is willing to sacrifice all for his ideology and that he is blind to the reality of the damage his spending and borrowing are causing.

When a president runs around the country saying things that two-thirds of America does not believe, it is time to counterattack vigorously and show how out of touch he really is.

Then, with every invocation of optimism, Obama will be digging himself deeper and deeper into the hole.****
3213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economic reality for a change on: July 14, 2010, 12:46:33 PM
Sounds like panic mode if you ask me.  There is nothing magical about Clinton.  He was fortunate to have an internet boom/bubble while he was in office along with improved efficiencies/productivity that all burst just after he left.  Tax cuts kept things going for awhile. 
I don't think one needs to be an economist (whose predictions are next to guessing anyway) to see that until we lower expectations, raise retirement on Soc. Security on a national scale and localities stop allowing public employees to retire before 65 with pensions funded by tax payers, somehow hold down medical costs, and people wake up and realize they have to accept jobs they don't like (at least younger people who are fit to work physical labor) instead of sitting at home collecting checks then I don't see any long term upside.  Even tax cuts will only do so much for so long.

Although I am a primary care physician and the "medical home" model is bieng pushed, quite frankly, I don't see it as a means to reign in on costs unless, one means rationing care.  This idea of saving money by keeping people "healthy" (as though I can get everyone to start excercising and eating like a vegetarian etc.) is absurd.  Indeed it may/probably raises long term costs by keeping people alive longer utilizing more Soc. Sec. Medicare, and  health care dolllars on the backs of fewer workers.

When people died within three years of retirement (in the 1930's) rather than 15 (or if you are a public employee who can retire at 48, thus *35* years) the costs to taxpayers/workers was obviously less than it is now.  And of course this is even without stating the fact that there are far more older non working people for far fewer workers today.

Unless Clinton is ready to face these facts than forget about him.  And until Cans can do the same, tax cutting while I agree with overall is great and a lot better than bigger government, is unfortunately not the long term answer by itself.

****Obama enlists Bill Clinton's aid on economy
           WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to lift sagging confidence in his economic stewardship by enlisting the help of predecessor Bill Clinton, as a leading business group issued a scathing critique of the administration's policies.

Clinton, who presided over the 1990s economic boom, was to join Obama at a White House meeting with business leaders at 2:35 p.m. Eastern time to encourage job creation and investment, including in clean energy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a leading business group, issued a rebuke of Obama's economic agenda, accusing him and his Democrats in Congress of neglecting job creation and hampering growth with burdensome regulatory and tax policies.

Four months before the November congressional elections, Republicans have tried to paint Obama and his Democrats as anti-business.

Obama is increasingly turning to former President Clinton to help win over voters and the business community.

Clinton, seen by many in corporate America as sympathetic, has helped the White House by campaigning for Democratic candidates running in November's elections.

And Obama Tuesday named former Clinton administration veteran Jack Lew as the White House budget chief to help cut the huge deficit.

With unemployment stubbornly high, polls have reinforced Democrats' fears of big losses in November.

A survey by The Washington Post-ABC News showed 54 percent of Americans disapproved of Obama's leadership on the economy. In a CBS News poll, only 40 percent of Americans said they approved of Obama's handling of the economy.


To counter such perceptions, the administration trumpeted an analysis from the White House Council of Economic Advisers that said government funding of clean energy, economic development, construction projects and other initiatives was spurring "co-investment" by the private sector.

The report, unveiled by CEA Chairman Christina Romer and Vice President Joseph Biden, estimated that Obama's $862 billion economic stimulus package had saved or created roughly 3 million jobs, and was on track to meet its goal of 3.5 million jobs by the end of this year.

"The impact of the fiscal stimulus suggest that the (Recovery Act) has raised the level of GDP as of the second quarter of 2010, relative to what it otherwise would have been, by between 2.7 and 3.2 percent," the report said.

"Real GDP growth is expected to remain steady in the second half of 2010 and throughout 2011."

But an open letter from the Chamber of Commerce threatened to overshadow that analysis. The Chamber's letter gave Obama credit for stabilizing the economy and preventing another Great Depression.

"But once accomplished, the congressional leadership and the administration took their eyes off the ball," the letter said.

"They neglected America's number one priority -- creating the more than 20 million jobs we need over the next 10 years for those who lost their jobs, have left the job market, or were cut to part-time status -- as well as new entrants into our workforce."

The Chamber released the letter to coincide with its "Jobs for America" summit in Washington Wednesday.

High budget deficits are among the complaints business groups have lodged against the Obama administration. A healthcare overhaul, financial regulatory reform and proposals to cap carbon emissions are cited by some corporate chieftains as examples of regulatory overreach.

(Additional reporting by Alister Bull and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Alistair Bell and Eric Beech)****

3214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 13, 2010, 10:35:39 AM
"let’s also focus on what the government is hiding"

It has become quite hard to conclude it is just incompetence and not the desired goal of Bamster - blame big oil and let the spill wreck the Gulf for his greeen agenda.
Yet MSM will NEVER report this - including Cooper.
3215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: July 13, 2010, 10:31:51 AM
Actually I saw the Barnes article.

The challenge is to convince the hoards of Americans who rely on unemployment, who work for beans paying their bills from week to week, that this is best for them as well as the country overall.

Maybe Ryan can be that point spokesperson.  Like Gingrich was in 1994.  I like Gingrich but I think it better if we can get new faces. We need someone who also evokes empathy - Gingrich does not and never has.

We need someone who can show he gets the "pain" while he is telling us the truth about the sacrifices we must all make to get out of this mess.
3216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: July 13, 2010, 10:03:48 AM
This should be under future of republican party but I cannot post a reply under that thread.

It is amazing and discouraging to see in today's Washington Post poll that fewer people have faith in the Republican party than Democrats.

The cans have not convinced people they have answers to our problems either.

People struggling to pay for food shelter, heat etc. dependent on dole checks from week to week.  I am sure they fear the cans get control that they may very well be literally in the streets standing on food lines.

How does a party respond to this?  I know - "trickle down".  But a majority don't appear to believe in this.  W tried "compassionate conservativism.  Daschle was a crook.  Now what?  I see roudmaps coming out from Hannity to others.  Yet nothing catches on.  Simply speaking Reaganism is NOT the answer.

Simply bashing Bamster is only half the answer.
3217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Charles also notes the One's "modesty" on: July 12, 2010, 03:44:21 PM
***The selective modesty of Barack Obama

By Charles Krauthammer | Remember NASA? It once represented to the world the apogee of American scientific and technological achievement. Here is President Obama's vision of NASA's mission, as explained by administrator Charles Bolden:

"One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering."

Apart from the psychobabble -- farcically turning a space-faring enterprise into a self-esteem enhancer -- what's the sentiment behind this charge? Sure America has put a man on the moon, led the information revolution, won more Nobel Prizes than any other nation by far -- but, on the other hand, a thousand years ago al-Khwarizmi gave us algebra.

Bolden seems quite intent on driving home this message of achievement equivalence -- lauding, for example, Russia's contribution to the space station. Russia? In the 1990s, the Russian space program fell apart, leaving the United States to pick up the slack and the tab for the missing Russian contributions to get the space station built.

For good measure, Bolden added that the United States cannot get to Mars without international assistance. Beside the fact that this is not true, contrast this with the elan and self-confidence of President John Kennedy's 1961 pledge that America would land on the moon within the decade.

There was no finer expression of belief in American exceptionalism than Kennedy's. Obama has a different take. As he said last year in France, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Which of course means: If we're all exceptional, no one is.

Take human rights. After Obama's April meeting with the president of Kazakhstan, Mike McFaul of the National Security Council reported that Obama actually explained to the leader of that thuggish kleptocracy that we, too, are working on perfecting our own democracy.

Nor is this the only example of an implied moral equivalence that diminishes and devalues America. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner reported that in discussions with China about human rights, the U.S. side brought up Arizona's immigration law -- "early and often." As if there is the remotest connection between that and the persecution of dissidents, jailing of opponents and suppression of religion routinely practiced by the Chinese dictatorship.

Nothing new here. In his major addresses, Obama's modesty about his own country has been repeatedly on display as, in one venue after another, he has gratuitously confessed America's alleged failing -- from disrespecting foreigners to having lost its way morally after 9/11.

It's fine to recognize the achievements of others and be non-chauvinistic about one's country. But Obama's modesty is curiously selective. When it comes to himself, modesty is in short supply.

It began with the almost comical self-inflation of his presidential campaign, from the still inexplicable mass rally in Berlin in front of a Prussian victory column to the Greek columns framing him at the Democratic convention. And it carried into his presidency, from his posture of philosopher-king adjudicating between America's sins and the world's to his speeches marked by a spectacularly promiscuous use of the word "I."

Notice, too, how Obama habitually refers to Cabinet members and other high government officials as "my" -- "my secretary of homeland security," "my national security team," "my ambassador." The more normal -- and respectful -- usage is to say "the," as in "the secretary of state." These are, after all, public officials sworn to serve the nation and the Constitution -- not just the man who appointed them.

It's a stylistic detail, but quite revealing of Obama's exalted view of himself. Not surprising, perhaps, in a man whose major achievement before acceding to the presidency was writing two biographies -- both about himself.

Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama's modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. What is odd is to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence -- yet not of his own country's.

Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Charles Krauthammer's column by clicking by clicking here.****
3218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / part two on: July 12, 2010, 12:31:30 PM
New Jersey Governor Defies Political Expectations
Published: July 11, 2010
But lawmakers in both parties say the governor and his team — a mix of old Trenton hands and people who worked for him in the United States attorney’s office — have been strategically smart as well as lucky. Mr. Christie chose top aides, led by Richard Bagger, his chief of staff and a former legislator, who have been able to smooth private negotiations when people are battling in public.

News Analysis: Showdown Over N.J. Budget Is Avoided for Now (June 30, 2010)
Christie, Shunning Precedent, Drops Justice From Court (May 4, 2010)
Times Topic: Christopher ChristieFrom the start, the governor served notice that he saw the public employees’ unions as a central part of the state’s problems, and that he meant to take them on. His first day in office, he signed an executive order, later struck down in court, to limit their ability to finance campaigns. The first bills he signed limited spending on pensions and benefits. He relished months of verbal sparring with the teachers’ union, and analysts say he got the upper hand.

Mr. Christie said there was no plan to put the unions front and center, though some of his aides say privately that it was quite intentional.

But on controlling local government spending and taxes, he acknowledged that “yes, absolutely,” there was a political strategy to doing things in a particular order. The governor’s budget reduced school aid, leading to predictions that districts would raise property taxes. He blamed the teachers’ union for any increases and proposed capping property tax increases. Now he is using that cap as leverage for a package of bills, which has met union opposition, to help towns and school districts control spending.

The governor even pointed to areas where he might, uncharacteristically, tread lightly rather than face fierce resistance, like banning the holding of two or more government jobs simultaneously, a common practice among legislators.

It remains to be seen how well Mr. Christie will wear on New Jersey voters. Over the next year, people will begin to see the effects of his policies in their schools and towns, in his cut in funds for family planning or, for government workers, in their paychecks. The need to focus on fiscal issues has obscured some other areas where his positions are less popular, like his opposition to abortion.

It is also unclear how he would govern in boom times, when austerity is a harder sell. The governor said he would have preferred not to make some of his budget cuts, but suggested that in any climate he would have pushed for less government.

He said, “It’s more philosophical than a matter of necessity.”

3219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / part one on: July 12, 2010, 12:30:26 PM
Why is Chritie succeeding where Schwarenegger failed?  Perhaps it is timing.  People are finally waking up to the dire straits some states are in due to public spending.

New Jersey Governor Defies Political Expectations
Published: July 11, 2010
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A momentous deal to cap property taxes was all but done, but Gov. Chris Christie was taking no chances, barnstorming the state to commiserate with squeezed homeowners and keep pressure on the Legislature.

 Jodi Hilton for The New York Times
Lawmakers in both parties say Gov. Chris Christie and his team have been smart as well as lucky.

News Analysis: Showdown Over N.J. Budget Is Avoided for Now (June 30, 2010)
Christie, Shunning Precedent, Drops Justice From Court (May 4, 2010)
Times Topic: Christopher ChristieOutside a farmhouse here in central New Jersey last week, buttoned up in a dark suit despite the triple-digit heat, Mr. Christie promised to tackle rising pension costs, transportation financing, municipal spending — all while poking fun at his opponents, the news media and, mostly, himself.

When a reporter suggested that the governor do a rain dance, he said, “Don’t want to miss that, baby.” And in the rare instance of his withholding judgment on an issue, he said he preferred to know something about the issue before opining, although, he added, tongue in cheek, that actual knowledge was not necessarily a requirement.

It was a model taste of Mr. Christie, six months into his term as governor: blunt, energetic, clearly enjoying himself.

And having his way.

Mr. Christie has turned out to be a far more deft politician than his detractors — and even some supporters — had expected, making few compromises as he pursues a broad agenda for remaking New Jersey’s free-spending political culture. So far, polls suggest, the public is giving him the benefit of the doubt.

“The most important thing in public life, in a job like governor, is for the people you’re representing to know exactly where you stand,” Mr. Christie said in an interview on Friday. “People who disagree with me on things at least have a sense of comfort in knowing where I’m coming from.”

In a mostly blue state where Democrats control the Legislature, Mr. Christie, a Republican, won election last year mostly because of the deep unpopularity of his opponent, Gov. Jon S. Corzine. Mr. Christie, a former federal prosecutor known for aggression rather than deal-making, took office to predictions that his hard-charging style would not work in the labyrinth of Trenton, where factions of party, region and interest group would slow him down.

Instead, he confronted the powerful public employees’ unions and won, cutting future pensions and benefits, and persuaded voters to defeat hundreds of local school budgets. He got nearly everything he wanted in the state budget, making the deepest cuts in generations. And the Assembly is expected this week to give final passage to one of his cherished goals: a cap on local property taxes.

The governor has repeatedly used his powers more confrontationally than his predecessors, wading into school budget fights, freezing the actions of semiautonomous public authorities and breaking with tradition by refusing to reappoint a State Supreme Court justice.

“I think we all underestimated his political skill coming in,” said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University. “You can’t deny that he’s been a tour de force in Trenton. He has managed to control the legislative agenda more than other governors, despite having a Legislature controlled by the opposite party.”

The governor has a direct, pithy speaking style — the sharp rise in property taxes in the past decade, he said, “is not a mystery; it’s a mandate” — often leavened by humor. And he is relentless, willing to hammer any message repeatedly and take on any critic, and he rarely meanders or evades a question.

When a reporter called him confrontational at news conference, Mr. Christie said, “You must be the thinnest-skinned guy in America,” adding that the reporter had never seen him when he was furious.

The few public opinion polls conducted so far show that he has not had the sharp drop in approval that often accompanies serious budget cuts, though most of the pain from those cuts has not yet been felt.

“He’s a much better communicator than we realized, and people seem to be willing to go along with him for now,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “He uses clear language, he doesn’t mince words, he’s funny, and he says what he thinks.”

Mr. Christie has become a favorite of conservatives across the country, and some talk of him as presidential material, though he insists, “No way is it going to happen.”

So far, circumstances have worked in Mr. Christie’s favor. The State Senate has a new president, Stephen M. Sweeney, who is seen as less liberal than his predecessor, Richard J. Codey, and more inclined to work with the governor. The recession, rising taxes and New Jersey’s perilous financial situation give persuasive power to the call to rein in government, and give Democrats who might disagree little room to maneuver.

“I think the tough times have dictated straight talk and forceful moves, and that fits him quite well,” said George Norcross III, a Democratic power broker from Camden County.

3220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This incongruety is another sign of a personality disorder on: July 12, 2010, 11:26:55 AM
Good point.  An irony I didn't think of.
He has historically criticized the US as being "arrogant" yet who is more arrogant than the ONE who goes around the world lecturing everyone as the professor King who is teaching a world of children on right and wrong?
Another sign of psychopathic lack of self insight.  This guy is far from normal.
3221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Geraldo vs. Shabazz on: July 12, 2010, 11:04:18 AM
Shabazz called Geraldo a sell out.  Geraldo told Shabazz his calling for racial war is crazy and reparations are basically what the Great Sociaety has been and it has given us a generation (or three) of dependent angry serfs.  Geraldo, instead of calling for killing of white babies how about telling African Americans to pull up their pants and be fathers.
I think this is it:
3222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Geraldo vs Shabbaz on: July 12, 2010, 09:59:26 AM
Kudos to Geraldo Rivera for calling out "Zulu" on his show over the weekend. 
3223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: July 12, 2010, 09:53:48 AM
Interesting you post this.  This AM on morning cable it was pointed out that the governor of W Virginia won by the largest margin by a governor in decades ~ 75% to 25 % in 2008.
He is a Democrat.  When will West Virginians learn?
Wasn't this the state whose union goons got JFK the Democratic nomination in 1960?

Someone could probably do a study of this.  It is not about the poeple.  It is about the politicians keeping power.

3224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Black Panthers on: July 11, 2010, 01:11:55 PM
After hearing CNN news anchor thank Bobby Seales for explaining the "difference" (?) between his original Black Panthers he helped found and the "new" (if one calls them that) Balck Panthers for being a guest and explicitly telling him, "it is a great honor having you on the show" (could anyone imagine any CNN news anchor say that to any conservative) I have been looking aournd on line trying to get more information on Black Panthers.  As a kid growing up all I can remember is blacks with large Afros holding AK 47's yelling about down with the whites, and what was her bank robber name, Angela Davis etc.

I cannot verify the objectiveness of any of the stuff I find online but here is one website.  Clearly the connection between Black Panthers and Marxism is as close as two crossed fingers.  Free health care, housing, food, transfer of wealth, educational revisionism, quotas etc.  The liberal movement that Obama embraces is all right here.  The anger at the United States expressed here (remember Michelle Obama's statement that was something to the effect, "for the first time I am not ashamed of this country?.
I would say that the only diffference is Obama not only wants to redistribute everything domestically in the US but also wants to do it on a global scale  by redistributing US wealth around the world.  The radical nature of Obama is so obvious.  And yet the MSM continues to cover for him.  And try to marginalize those who do call him on it from Fox, radio etc.

Indeed those at CNN, ("it is an *HONOR* to have you on our show" - she says to cop killing, Marxist, American hating, violent preaching Bobby Seales) could not make their views as radical hippies from the 60's any more obvious.

Ten-Point Program
 The Ten Point Plan
We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.

We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.

We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.

We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.

We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide our selves with proper medical attention and care.

We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.

We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.

We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trial.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.****


3225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Coulter.vs.Kristol on: July 11, 2010, 12:35:35 PM
My "arm chair" opinions tends to agree with Kristol, FWIW, but I don't agree with fighting in Afghanistan-"Pocky"stan with one arm tied behind our backs.  If we are going to fightn enemy than we should fight them not coddle them.

****Ann Coulter's recent column "Bill Kristol Must Resign" may have officially kicked off the next great schism within the conservative movement. At issue is the war in Afghanistan -- and, more specifically, whether Republicans should support President Obama's approach to a conflict that has now lasted for Americans far longer than World War II.

Mocking neoconservatives, Coulter wrote: "Bill Kristol [editor of The Weekly Standard] and Liz Cheney have demanded that [Michael] Steele resign as head of the RNC for saying Afghanistan is now Obama's war -- and a badly thought-out one at that. (Didn't liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war?)"

Coulter failed at convincing Kristol to resign -- she never says from what. In fact, channeling Michael Steele, who vows to stay on as party chief, Kristol responded: "I ain't going anywhere." But she may have succeeded at advancing a major debate.

Until now, there has been somewhat of an unspoken rule, adhered to by most on the right, that conservative Republicans would vigorously oppose Obama's liberal domestic policies while supporting his efforts to win in Afghanistan. After all, Republicans had staunchly backed George W. Bush when he made the case for fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Changing course now would seem craven -- playing politics with national security. And so, in foreign policy, Obama was criticized from the right only when he appeared to be showing weakness, not when he displayed toughness.

But recent comments from Steele have sparked a debate that was probably long overdue. Notwithstanding the fact that Steele almost immediately backtracked, some conservatives began defending the substance of Steele's comments. "Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was absolutely right," Coulter wrote. "Afghanistan is Obama's war and, judging by other recent Democratic ventures in military affairs, isn't likely to turn out well."

This is a serious point. As Politics Daily's own David Corn recently wrote:
The war in Afghanistan is President Obama's war and partly of the president's choosing. Sure, Obama inherited the conflict. Bush initiated the military action in Afghanistan after 9/11 -- and then veered into Iraq before the war in Afghanistan was resolved. Yet Obama, after much deliberation, decided to change the nature of the Afghanistan war. In December, following many weeks of review, he announced he would send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, and he embraced the counterinsurgency plan proposed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was then commanding U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
There was always skepticism on the left about Obama's decision to escalate the war -- perhaps even to waging war there in the first place. And if the commander in chief is losing any significant portion of the right when it comes to Afghanistan, his policies could be on perilous ground.

One of the ideas advanced by Coulter is that Bush wisely kept a relatively small footprint in Afghanistan, while choosing instead to invade Iraq -- terrain more hospitable for a traditional ground war. There is some revisionism at work here, and it must be said that prominent voices, like Liz Cheney's (not to mention Gen. David Petraeus'), were raised in support of the surge in Afghanistan. Still, it's fair to broach the question raised by Steele and Coulter: Would Bush be doing anything differently today in terms of Afghanistan?

Or is Coulter's position a less high-minded one? After a decade of defending Bush's actions, and getting beat up for it, are Republicans now saying it's time for a Democratic president to get the Bush treatment?

Coulter is not the first conservative to warn that Afghanistan could turn into a quagmire. George Will and Tony Blankley have raised that very point. But Coulter has made it in a way that directly -- and personally -- challenges conservative orthodoxy. And it's catching on. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough tweeted Coulter's column out to his followers, adding, "Thank you, Ann Coulter. She speaks out against the GOP now being for permanent war. She is right."

And if conservatives are asked to choose sides between, say, the elected leader of the Republican National Committee (Steele) and the titular head of the Democratic National Committee (Obama), how many will decide that Obama's Afghanistan policies are not worth the trouble? Maybe it was unavoidable, but it does seem as if Coulter's comments today hearken back to the 1990s -- when Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office -- and conservatives criticized his efforts in places like Bosnia and Kosovo as "nation building."

Clearly, things have changed since 2008, when candidates John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and even Mitt Romney represented the mainstream viewpoint, and when Congressman Ron Paul was essentially mocked for his isolationist tendencies and his desire for a "humble foreign policy." Today, Paul's positions are enjoying resurgence, and his son, Rand Paul, is poised to be elected to the U.S. Senate. How quickly things change.

Regardless, debating this policy is healthy, and conservatives are justified to have this discussion. There are conservative arguments to be made for -- or against -- continuing the war in Afghanistan, just as I believe a principled conservative case could have been made (and was, in some quarters) against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This is a debate that conservatives, and all Americans, should keep having. War is not something to be entered into lightly; nor should support for it ever be contingent on whether the commander in chief has a D after his name, or an R.
Filed Under: Republicans, Afghanistan, Conservatives, Military, Analysis
Tagged: Afghanistan war, ann coulter, Bill Kristol, conservatives, liz cheney, Michael Steele, war
More articles from Matt Lewis »****
3226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bamster is definitely some sort of personality disorder on: July 10, 2010, 01:05:52 PM
Some would say blaming everything on something, or someone else is "politics" as usual.  It is also a red flag for some sort of personality disorder or even a psychopathic personality.  This guy is such an incredible liar that he can get up and say things that he knows are NOT true, that he knows listeners know are NOT true and yet he says them anyway without a wince, a pause, a blush, and with the convincingness of a cold blooded con artist.  He has to be some sort of personality disorder.
I think he is a psychopath with narcissistic, delusional megalomanic like features.  He is also a very angry man.

****Obama: Israelis suspicious of me because my middle name is Hussein
U.S. president tells Channel 2 Israel is unlikely to attack Iran without coordinating with the U.S.
By Haaretz Service
Tags: Barack Obama Benjamin Netanyahu Middle East peace Israel news U.S. President Barack Obama told Channel 2 News on Wednesday that he believed Israel would not try to surprise the U.S. with a unilateral attack on Iran.

In an interview aired Thursday evening, Obama was asked whether he was concerned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would try to attack Iran without clearing the move with the U.S., to which the president replied "I think the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is sufficiently strong that neither of us try to surprise each other, but we try to coordinate on issues of mutual concern."

  U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walking at the White House, on July 6, 2010.
Photo by: Reuters 
Obama spoke to Channel 2's Yonit Levy one day after what he described as an "excellent" meeting with Netanyahu at the White House. The two leaders met alone for about 90 minutes Tuesday evening, during which time they discussed the peace process with the Palestinians, the contested Iranian nuclear program, and the strategic understandings between their two countries on Tehran's efforts to achieve nuclear capabilities.

Netanyahu promised Obama during their meeting that Israel would undertake confidence-building measures toward the Palestinian Authority in the coming days and weeks. These steps are likely to include the transfer of responsibility over more parts of the West Bank over to PA security forces.

During the interview Wednesday, when confronted with the anxiety that some Israelis feel toward him, Obama said that "some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."

"Ironically, I've got a Chief of Staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political advisor is somebody who is a descendent of Holocaust survivors. My closeness to the Jewish American community was probably what propelled me to the U.S. Senate," Obama said.

"I think that sometimes, particularly in the Middle East, there's the feeling of the friend of my enemy must be my enemy, and the truth of the matter is that my outreach to the Muslim community is designed precisely to reduce the antagonism and the dangers posed by a hostile Muslim world to Israel and to the West," Obama went on to say.

Obama added that he believed a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians could be achieved within his current term. "I think [Netanyahu] understands we've got a fairly narrow window of opportunity… We probably won’t have a better opportunity than we have right now. And that has to be seized. It’s going to be difficult."

The American President entirely sidestepped the question of whether the U.S. would pressure Israel to extend a current 10-month moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements, failing to give a clear answer. The moratorium is set to expire in September, and Netanyahu has announced that he would not extend the timeframe. The U.S., however, views continued Israeli settlement construction as a serious obstacle to peace efforts.

When asked whether he thought Netanyahu was the right man to strike a peace deal with the Palestinians, the U.S. President said that "I think Prime Minister Netanyahu may be very well positioned to bring this about," adding that Israel will have to overcome many hurdles in order to affect the change required to "secure Israel for another 60 years"

In a separate interview with another Israeli media outlet, Obama proclaimed that he was not "blindly optimistic" regarding the chances of a Middle East peace agreement.
Israel is right to be skeptical about the peace process, he said in another yet-to-be-aired interview that was taped on Wednesday. He noted during the interview that many people thought the founding of Israel was impossible, so its very existence should be "a great source of hope."

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Netanyahu told U.S. Jewish leaders that direct Palestinian-Israeli talks would begin "very soon", but warned that they would be "very, very tough."
Netanyahu told his cabinet earlier this week before flying to Washington that the time had come for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to prepare to meet directly with the Israelis, as it was the only way to advance peace.

Israelis and Palestinians have been holding indirect talks mediated by Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Aides to Obama sounded a hopeful tone regarding the negotiations last week, telling reporters that the shuttle diplomacy between the two sides had paid off and the gaps have narrowed.

At a meeting with representatives of Jewish organizations at the Plaza Hotel late Wednesday, Netanyahu discussed the efforts to promote Middle East peace. "This is going to be a very, very tough negotiation," he said, adding "the sooner the better."
"Direct negotiations must begin right away, and we think that they will," he said.****
3227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Internet and related technology on: July 09, 2010, 12:28:29 PM
Make no mistake about it this is no mistake.
This is rampant.  If organized crime does this to Katherine and myself in the music business which is rampantly all stealing of other people's property then one knows it is rampant on Wall Street, Washington, politics, the entire entertainment business, media business, as well as all levels of criminals from the low level computer literate street thugs up to the top of the IT businesses including MSFT, APPLE, Google and probably most of the rest of them.
The executives of Google must be held crimnally liable.  But they won't.  They have too much money.

****Friday, 9 July 2010 09:26 UK
Google's Street View 'snoops' on Congress members 
By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley 

Ms Harman's home was one of five where the wifi network was tested
Google's popular Street View project may have collected personal information of members of Congress, including some involved in national security issues.

The claim was made by leading advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog which wants Congress to hold hearings into what data Google's Street View possesses.

Google admitted it mistakenly collected information, transmitted over unsecured wireless networks, as its cars filmed locations for mapping purposes.

Google said the problem began in 2006.

The issue came to light when German authorities asked to audit the data.

The search giant said the snippets could include parts of an email, text, photograph, or even the website someone might be viewing.

"We think the Google Wi-Spy effort is one of the biggest wire tapping scandals in US history," John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog told BBC News.

Drive-by spying

The group conducted an experiment to highlight the vulnerability some users expose themselves to by retracing the same routes, used by Street View cars, to detect unencrypted or open networks.

The Street View car takes photos for the service
This practice is often described as "drive-by spying" and is favoured by criminals who trawl the streets to find houses or businesses using unencrypted wifi, so they can steal financial information.

Google has stressed all along that someone would need to be using the network as their cars passed by and that the in-car wifi equipment automatically changes channels roughly five times a second.

Consumer Watchdog focused on a number of high profile politicians whose homes appear on Google's Street View maps.

It found that Congresswoman Jane Harman, who heads the intelligence sub committee for the House's Homeland Security Committee, has an open home network that could have leaked out vital information that could have been picked up by Street View vehicles.

Ms Harman's office has not responded to calls for comment on the issue. Consumer Watch said it did not collect any information but did pinpoint where unsecure networks could be found.

"Our purpose was to show that members of Congress are targets just as much as every other citizen in the land" said Mr Simpson.


The experiment found that a further four residences it checked had vulnerable networks in the vicinity that may belong to members of Congress.

This included the home of Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over internet issues.

The ability to tap into open networks is a major security issue
His office told BBC News that "Chairman Waxman has previously raised concerns about Google" which were contained in a letter sent to company chief executive Eric Schmidt in May.

At that time, Mr Waxman said the Committee was "interested in the nature of this data collection, the underlying technology your fleet of Street View cars employed, the use of the information collected, and the impact it could have on consumer privacy".

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, CCIA, said the tactics used by Consumer Watchdog left a lot to be desired.

"What Consumer Watchdog did was not a useful contribution to what could and should be a broader online privacy debate," said CCIA president Ed Black.

"They detected unsecured wifi networks that anyone, including neighbours, can pick up. It proves nothing about what, if anything, a person or company like Google might have done to intercept and record data."

'Major progress'

Consumer Watchdog wants Congress to hold hearings on the issue and ensure that Google boss Mr Schmidt be made to testify under oath.

In a statement, Google wrote "as we've said before, it was a mistake for us to include code in our software that collected payload data, but we believe we did nothing illegal. We're continuing to work with the relevant authorities to answer their questions and concerns".

That includes German authorities who said it was still waiting to receive a copy of data gathered by the Street View cars.

The office of Johannes Caspar, the head of the Hamburg Data Protection Authority, told the BBC that a deadline set for earlier this week was extended at Google's request because of the recent 4th of July national holiday.****
3228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Civil war on multiple fronts. on: July 09, 2010, 10:22:05 AM
1)  big vs little government
2)  class warfare (distribute wealth)
3)  race/cultural warfare (get even white Europeans)

But not only in the domestic context but Bamster has elevated it to a global context.

It is astonishing to see a DOJ so obviously reverse-racist and the MSM literally supporting them.

3229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Academy of Family Physicians applauds Berwick on: July 08, 2010, 08:31:08 PM
Not surprising since they feel he will push for primary care physicians to once again have a more central role in "managing" care and thus increase their power.  Folks don't be fooled.  "Patient centered care" or "patient centered medical home" care are other code words for government run/controlled *rationed* care.  It is Federal *HMO* care for all of us whether we like it or not.  As a primary care provider I suppose I should be rejoicing.  Truthfully I am near tears every day at watching Bamster taking our freedoms all away.  Essentially all of us will eventually be forced on to a Federally run HMO medicaid program.

****AAFP Applauds Appointment of Donald Berwick as New CMS Administrator
Administration Declares Recess Appointment Necessary
By News Staff

The AAFP has praised the appointment of Donald Berwick, M.D., as the new administrator of CMS, saying in a prepared statement that Berwick's medical expertise and commitment to ensuring high quality care for all will serve America well as CMS implements the reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
 "As a research professional, a clinician and a policy analyst, he brings an extensive background that’s crucial to ensuring that health care policy improves patient care and the practice of medicine," said AAFP President Lori Heim, M.D., of Vass, N.C., in the statement. "His leadership has helped ensure that best practices in medical care and groundbreaking medical research are brought to the physicians' offices, and his support for strengthening primary care in the Medicare and Medicaid systems will help set the path for building up the foundation of all high quality health care."

As CMS administrator, Berwick will serve as a key player in overhauling the nation's health care system by overseeing a variety of major tasks associated with the new health care reform law. Those tasks include expanding Medicaid coverage, writing new rules and regulations and establishing pilot projects to test different models of care and payment policies. Heim said the AAFP "looks forward to working with Dr. Berwick as the nation moves forward in ensuring that Americans have access to high quality, affordable health care."

President Obama used a recess appointment to make Berwick the new administrator of CMS on July 7, thereby circumventing a contentious confirmation process for the nomination in the Senate. Although Obama nominated Berwick for CMS administrator in April, Republicans were critical of the choice because they were concerned that Berwick could be a proponent of health care rationing. Republican opposition could have delayed the nomination indefinitely, prompting Obama to make a recess appointment while Congress is out of session.

The Senate had not scheduled hearings on Berwick's nomination, and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in The White House blog on July 6 that "many Republicans in Congress have made it clear in recent weeks that they were going to stall the nomination as long as they could, solely to score political points."

In a prepared statement, Obama said, "It's unfortunate that at a time when our nation is facing enormous challenges, many in Congress have decided to delay critical nominations for political purposes." The president said the appointment would allow Berwick to "get to work on behalf of the American people right away."

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused the Obama administration of sneaking Berwick through without public scrutiny, saying in a prepared statement that "the Obama administration intends to arrogantly circumvent the American people yet again by recess appointing one of the most prominent advocates of rationed health care to implement their national plan."

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chair of the Senate Finance Committee, also criticized the Obama administration for not going through the standard nomination process. In a prepared statement, Baucus said, "Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the constitution that serves as a check on executive power and protects ... all Americans by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee -- and answered."

Nevertheless, Baucus said, "I look forward to working with CMS as they implement health reform to deliver the better health care outcomes and lower costs for patients we fought to pass in the landmark health reform law."

The AAFP supported the Berwick nomination from the outset, saying in a prepared statement in April that Berwick has "demonstrated a long-standing commitment to building a patient-centered, quality focused and efficient health care system." The Academy also put its signature on two widely circulated sign-on letters to Senate leaders supporting the Berwick nomination.

Berwick is a Harvard University professor and the president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, or IHI, a nonprofit organization in Cambridge, Mass., that advances concepts to improve patient care. He is a strong believer that physicians and hospitals can improve care while reducing medical errors and saving money. The AAFP has a long-standing relationship with Berwick through advocacy efforts in the public and private sectors and through its work and involvement with IHI.

Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Family Physicians****
3230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Berwick on: July 08, 2010, 08:18:35 PM
This guy is exactly case in point from my multiple posts on the academic liberal elite who behind the scenes has been plotting government take over of health care for decades.  These guys have been publishing their liberal and essentially marxist views for many years in NEJM and other liberal med journals.

He and his cohorts have explained to bamster the ideal of great cheap health care to everyone and anyone.

The details are not for bamster. He has no clue.  Bamster's job was to go out and lie about it and get passed the first step towards the ultimate 100% government control.  He pretends to be an expert in the details yet the reality is Bamster couldn't explain anything in the bill.  He is the "front" man.

Berwick and other academic ivory league elites are the masterminds of the the health care bill - notwithstanding the political and lawyerly aspects of it.   
3231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: July 07, 2010, 10:28:18 AM
thank you! smiley
But it is not just me as an MD. 

It is all of us who work and pay taxes and are "above the poverty line".  And don't be sure illegals are not cashing in more than you think.  Some state we should use this E-verify system for employers to document those that are legal are ok to hire. Yet someone said that it is only 50% accurate.  Don't think for one second illegals are not taking more advantage of our system than you think.   
JDN states he is for stopping illegal immigration and yet all he does is post arguments against it.

IF he believes illegals pay more into our system then they take out than why is he against it?

He makes the conclusion that FAIR is of course biased but the National Conference of State Legislators is objective.  No selective cherry picking there right JDN.

Your arguments never seem to support your claims.   What is your point?

3232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: July 06, 2010, 04:44:21 PM
Click on link to "click here for Fair's executive summary".

I doubt very much that intake is greater than outlays.

"What does "have more rights" mean?"

A figure of speech to point out that 50% of the country footing the bill for the other half do not have rights to say no to this.  They simply continue to have their money confiscated.

"I am against illegal immigration; I think to start, we need to seal the border and enforce the laws and implement severe penalties for employers who employ illegal immigrants."

Yes we agree.

3233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JDN: i got this from drudge on: July 06, 2010, 04:18:31 PM
3234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: July 06, 2010, 04:14:29 PM
"The problem I was trying to point out is that our 'poor' are not poor, they just face a twisted set of life incentives: they are paid to stay inactive and have virtually unlimited time and money for eating."

I agree and would add...

And strip club and casino hopping.  CNN reports welfare payments are used for these as well.  I don't know why anyone would be surprised though.

Sometimes I still get astonished at how little many people know about what they eat and the number of calories in their foods.

I guess that is not surprising either when we hear often how little many of the kids today know.  For example they wouldn't know who George Washington was.  Ot they don't know we were originally a Bristish colony and so forth.

3235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hall of Shame on: July 06, 2010, 02:24:19 PM
*** Libya hints at taking BP stakeBy Andrew England in Abu Dhabi and Simeon Kerr in Dubai,
July 5, 2010 9:29 a.m. EDT

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi: BP is active in Libya; it won a contract to explore for gas and oil in the north African state in 2007.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Top oil official Shokri Ghane said Libya's sovereign wealth fund should invest in BP
Comments come amid speculation BP is seeking to raise capital from Middle East
BP won a contract to explore for gas and oil in Libya in 2007
(FT) -- Libya's top oil official on Monday said that his country's sovereign wealth fund should invest in BP to take advantage of the troubled company's falling share price.

Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya's national oil company, made the comments amid speculation that BP was seeking to raise capital from the oil-rich Middle East.

"BP is interesting now with the price lower by half and I still have trust in BP, I will recommend it to the LIA [the Libyan Investment Authority]," Mr Ghanem told Dow Jones.

Mr Ghanem's comments came after an official in the Gulf told the Financial Times that BP had already been reaching out to investment entities in the region, particularly those with which it already had relations.***
3236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / middleclass taxpayers have no clout;thus no rights on: July 06, 2010, 02:17:26 PM
Probably all on this board has seen or will see this calculation on the costs of illegals to state budgets.  Non taxpayers, illegals all have more rights than the rest of us who pay the taxes - particularly the middle class tax payers.  Dems will of course deny these numbers and they will also point out this beckons and can easily be reckoned for and by "comprehensive reform".  Surely if we make illegals suddenly pay taxes and fines these budget shortfalls will all disappear. angry (sarcasm implied).
I am infuriated by one of the reform remedies is to make illegals pay all back taxes.  If this is not ridiculous.  How do you make people who were paid under the table in cash back taxes?  Does anyone think they are going to declare all their money - any more than bar tenders or waitresses/waiters do?
3237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hall of Shame on: July 06, 2010, 11:04:38 AM
""There was a 50 percent chance that he would die in three months," he added, "but there was also a 50 percent chance that he would live longer."

One really has to ask the question:

Did Quadaffi bribe anyone here?

Now all of a sudden, we hear this.  This "doctor" should be investigated.

Again victom's families have to suffer because of leftist phoney compassion.
3238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Kagan on: July 01, 2010, 03:22:18 PM
Jonah Goldberg
June 30, 2010 12:01 A.M.

The Un-Borkable Elena Kagan
It doesn’t look like Kagan will be following the Kagan standard.

Say it ain’t so, Elena.

Elena Kagan thinks that the “Borking” of Robert Bork during his 1987 confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court would deserve a commemorative plate if the Franklin Mint launched a “Great Moments in Legal History” line of dishware.

This is not the time to rehearse all the reasons why Kagan is wrong on that score. Still, there is one adverse result of the Bork hearings worth dwelling on. Bork was the last Supreme Court nominee to give serious answers to serious questions. But because he was successfully anathematized by the Left, no nominee since has dared to show Borkian forthrightness.

Consider Monday’s thunderclap from the judicial Mount Olympus: The Second Amendment right to own a gun extends to state and local government. Personally, I think Justice Clarence Thomas’s separate opinion in favor of the 14th Amendment’s “privileges and immunities” clause over the due-process clause was the better argument. But that’s a debate for another day.

The more newsworthy opinion came from rookie Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She concurred with Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent, which held that there is no fundamental right to bear arms in the U.S. Constitution. “I can find nothing in the Second Amendment’s text, history or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as ‘fundamental’ insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes,” Breyer wrote for the minority.

But when Sotomayor was before the Senate Judiciary Committee one year ago for her own confirmation hearings, she gave a very different impression of how she saw the issue. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy asked her, “Is it safe to say that you accept the Supreme Court’s decision as establishing that the Second Amendment right is an individual right?”

“Yes, sir,” she replied.

Both Sotomayor and Leahy festooned their colloquies with plenty of lawyerly escape hatches. That’s why Leahy asked the questions the way he did, and that’s why Sotomayor answered them the way she did. It’s also why he spun her answers into more than they were: “I do not see how any fair observer could regard [Sotomayor’s] testimony as hostile to the Second Amendment personal right to bear arms, a right she has embraced and recognizes.” He made it sound as though she was open to an expansive reading of the Second Amendment when everyone knew she wasn’t. (As a judge, she was hardly a hero of the NRA.)

Here’s the point: Sotomayor wasn’t an exception to the rule; she was following it.

Although the Bork inquisition was a largely partisan affair, the consequences have yielded a bipartisan sham. Republican and Democratic nominees alike are trained to say as little as possible and to stay a razor’s width on the side of truthfulness. The point is not to give the best, most thoughtful, or most honest answer, but to give the answer that makes it the most difficult for senators to vote against you. It’s as if we expect nominees to demonstrate — one last time — everything we hate and distrust about lawyers before they don their priestly robes.

Nobody is shocked that Sotomayor has revealed herself to be the liberal everyone knew her to be. But the fact that everyone was in on the lie is just further evidence of the sham Supreme Court hearings have become. They are a nonviolent and fairly bloodless cousin to totalitarian show trials, where everyone follows a script and politicians pretend to be “gravely concerned” and “shocked” upon “discovering” things they already knew.

And that’s why Kagan should be the hero of this tale. She has vociferously argued that the “Bork hearings were great . . . the best thing that ever happened to constitutional democracy.” She has lamented how, ever since, the hearings process has become nothing more that “a repetition of platitudes.” Kagan once implored senators to dig deep into the nominee’s “constitutional views and commitments.”

Alas, it doesn’t look like Kagan will be following the Kagan standard. On Tuesday morning, she distanced herself as best she could from those views. And when asked by Sen. Jeff Sessions whether she is a “legal progressive” — something pretty much all objective observers and her own friends and former colleagues know her to be — the brilliant and scholarly Kagan claimed to have no idea what the term even means.

After his rejection by the Senate, Bork wrote a masterful book, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law. The title of the book about Kagan might well be titled The Tempting of Kagan: The Political Seduction of the Process.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. © 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

 © National Review Online 2010. All Rights Reserved.


3239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People on: June 30, 2010, 07:23:37 PM
From the New England Journal.  The lead article!  That is why I hate this journal.  No political agenda here - yeah right.

***Published at June 30, 2010 (10.1056/NEJMp1006890) 

Bracing for the Impact of Expanded Second Amendment Rights

Julie D. Cantor, J.D.
Otis McDonald thought he needed a gun. Not just any gun. Something more agile than his hunting shotguns. Something to deter the seedy element that had, over the years, infected his Chicago neighborhood with drugs and crime from threatening his life and breaking into his home yet again. He thought he needed a handgun. But city laws that effectively banned handgun possession by private citizens stood in his way.

Two years ago, McDonald agreed to be the lead plaintiff in a case orchestrated to challenge those laws as violations of the Second Amendment. The lawsuit began the very day the Supreme Court laid the constitutional groundwork for it in District of Columbia v. Heller, a decision it announced after a nearly 70-year hiatus from Second Amendment jurisprudence. In Heller, a five-to-four decision in which the justices split along familiar philosophical lines, the Court struck down a Washington, DC, ordinance that, among other things, banned handguns. It held that the Second Amendment includes the right of individuals to possess firearms, including handguns, at home for self-defense. But because Heller involved federal law, the case left open the question of whether the Second Amendment affects state and local government action. Most, but not all, of the Bill of Rights' protections do.


View this table:
[in this window]
[in a new window]

   Number of Murders and Justifiable Homicides Committed with Handguns.
We now have the answer. On June 28, in another five-to-four decision that mirrored the Heller voting, the Court held in McDonald v. Chicago that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment "incorporated" the right described in Heller. Over the past 50 years, the Court has used that clause to extend enumerated federal rights, and a plurality of justices followed that approach in this case. The "right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense" is now "fully applicable" to the states. The case shifts the constitutional landscape, and its five opinions — collectively clocking in at over 200 pages — illustrate sharp divisions in the justices' views of history, the judicial role, and constitutional law.

Justice Samuel Alito's plurality opinion, referencing a physician-assisted–suicide case, explained that the right described in Heller is "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition"1 and is "among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty." Justice Clarence Thomas's concurrence, which no other justice joined, argued that a different phrase within the Fourteenth Amendment, the Privileges or Immunities Clause, created the better analytic framework for deciding the scope of the right to keep and bear arms. Although McDonald and his fellow petitioners favored that approach, the plurality passed on the opportunity, which would have required disturbing a line of cases that dates to the post–Civil War period. (If the petitioners' goal was to convince the Court to revive that theory — and they devoted nearly their entire 72-page brief to arguing for it — they won the battle but lost the war.) Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia wrote for themselves in dueling opinions. Justice Stevens's dissent, the coda to his career, offered a fluid view of "liberty" and suggested that a focus on "deeply rooted" rights was flawed, since it could sanction racist laws. And in a characteristically biting concurrence, Justice Scalia dismantled Justice Stevens's approach and lambasted certain "liberty" cases, such as those addressing abortion and gay rights, as unconstrained exercises in judicial lawmaking in which judges impose their moral values and, consequently, undercut democracy.

Justice Stephen Breyer, in an impassioned dissent that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor joined, proffered a states'-rights view usually embraced by the Court's conservative wing and argued that Heller should be overturned, or at least not extended. In his view, the Court "should not look to history alone," especially in cases like this one, for which the historical record is mixed, in its decision making — it should "consider the basic values that underlie a constitutional provision and their contemporary significance" as well as "the relevant consequences and practical justifications" of a decision.

Like Justice Breyer, physicians are well aware that esoteric questions of constitutional law may have real-world implications. Gun violence is a major public health concern, resulting in more than 30,000 deaths and about twice as many injuries annually. The cost of gun violence is prohibitive. Scholars estimate that its yearly total tops $100 billion.2 Handguns are particularly troubling. Research links their presence to substantially increased risks of suicide and homicide, especially for women living in abusive settings. And for children, "gun safety" is an oxymoron. To the extent that McDonald means more handguns, physicians have reason to be concerned. But any hysteria that this case inspires should, for the moment, be tempered.

In the aftermath of Heller, many in the public health community worried that the decision would unleash a torrent of guns on the public, bringing sudden, high spikes in rates of injury and death. Though it is too early to be completely reassured, dire predictions have not yet been realized. Heller did not create an unfettered right. As the Court explained in that opinion, it is "not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." Thus far, it has not given lower courts a license to annihilate gun-control laws; in the more than 200 post-Heller federal and state cases, courts have left the legal status quo largely intact.3 Perhaps coincidentally, recent rates of violent crime have been at historic lows.

Conventional wisdom suggests that, even after McDonald, most gun-control laws will withstand scrutiny. In the Court`s view, its decision "does not imperil every law regulating firearms," and quoting Heller, it perceives no threat to "such longstanding regulatory measures as 'prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,' 'laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.'" Total handgun bans will probably fall — and their effectiveness is uncertain in any event — but otherwise the impact of this sea change in constitutional law may be modest. Still, it will be years, even decades, before that conclusion is clear. And the possibility of more guns in homes, especially handguns, is troubling, as is the lack of guidance the Court's opinion offered to lower courts. For their part, physicians should remain vigilant and address gun issues, such as access and storage, with patients, especially those who may be suicidal, have survived domestic violence, or live with children. We can only hope that in hindsight, bleak post-Heller, post-McDonald forecasts will seem hyperbolic.

Otis McDonald has not won yet. A lower court will now decide whether the laws that thwarted him are constitutional. But McDonald is surely a foothold to victory. In all likelihood, he will get his gun. Ironically, that handgun may not be the panacea he seeks. It will not address the root causes of the drug- and gang-related crime plaguing his neighborhood. Its promise of safety may be illusory, and it may just increase the risks of homicide, suicide, and accidental injury and death of those who live in or, like his grandchildren, visit his home. It may also create legal problems. If he kills a neighborhood thug in self-defense, the odds that he will be held blameless are slim: in every year from 2004 through 2008, less than 2.5% of handgun-related killings by private citizens were deemed justifiable homicides.4 McDonald has, however, secured a measure of immortality; he will forever be associated with the case that bears his name.

That case marks another installment in high-minded constitutional debates. But we should not forget that the collateral damage from firearms, especially handguns, is breathtaking. In the face of staggering statistics about eminently avoidable gun-related harms, perhaps the wisest play for this newfound constitutional right is not to use it at all.

Disclosure forms provided by the author are available with the full text of this article at

Source Information

From Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum, Santa Monica, CA, and the UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles.

This article (10.1056/NEJMp1006890) was published on June 30, 2010, at


Washington v. Gluckberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997).
Cook PJ, Ludwig J. Gun violence: the real costs. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Post-Heller litigation summary. San Francisco: Legal Community Against Violence, 2010. (Accessed June 30, 2010, at
Crime in the United States, 2008. Washington, DC: Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009. (Accessed June 30, 2010, at

The New England Journal of Medicine is owned, published, and copyrighted © 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.****
3240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: June 30, 2010, 07:12:34 PM
Yes one would think so.  It does seem turned upside down when one thinks of it.  In what other country are poor people FAT?
I suppose that is one of the knocks against inexpensive fast food, the types we see rapant in poor neighborhoods - that it is very high in calories.
No one goes to these places to eat salad and yogurt.
Some of the cheapest foods are fattening.  Like pasta, cakes, rice.
I think that has something to do with it as well as cultural, social etc.

It beats burning the calories like the illegals who after some years here will look more like us I guess.

3241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Bribery-a curse on humanity on: June 29, 2010, 09:56:02 AM
The Russian spy ring has features a lot like what I and Katherine go through with the people who have moved in our neighborhood.  There are several of them. Same thing.  They blend in with the neighbors raise their kids act like they are just law abiding citizens paying the bills like everyone else.  All the while they watch our mail box, watch the house wait for any opportunity to get in, watch anyone who comes into the house, such as work men etc.  Then approach those people if they think they can bribe them to serve a useful purpose for the next time they come into the house.  We were recently robbed again of jewelry this way.
The power of the bribe is unfortunately and sadly totally unstoppable.  I am not aware of anyone who doesn't seem to be able to be bribed so it seems.

What did Bamster call it?  "The culture of the birbe" when speaking of other countries?  Sad truth is it is a way of life everwhere including here.

So  neighbors and friends of the spy ring are stunned about the Russian spying. All I can say to them is they have learned a good lesson in life from this.
As I have myself over the last ten years.
3242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: June 27, 2010, 01:56:51 PM
I know Jews are unhappy with this.  Whether many of them would vote for a Republican in 12 is still not likely IMHO although I would love to be wrong here.

This presents a real opportunity for a Republican to reach out for Jewish voters.  We are a small lot but many (not me) have mucho money and influence and the power that comes with it.  I firmly believe Jews helped get the ONE into power.  Not just Soros but others.

This to me represents how Bamster can con those around him into thinking he is for them.  This to me is an example of a pathological liar and possibly some sort of psychopath or personailty disorder.  I am very glad some Jews, at least, are waking up and realizing what the other 20% like myself, and more prominent conservative Jews such as David Horowitz, Bernie Goldberg, Aaron Klein, Marc Levin, Crafty Dog ( grin) and others already know.
3243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: June 26, 2010, 04:00:10 PM
I like the psychanalytic thoughts.  I don't like psychobable for purposes of excusing behavior.  Like, "well the guy was abused as a child" so child abusing as an adult is therefore forgivable.

But I do think this kind of analysis is necessary to help understand what we are dealing with in this case.  Particularly for those of us who are convinced this guy is hell bent on destroying the country.

The ONE is certainly some sort of megalomaniac.  I am convinced he has some sort of personality disorder as well.

I think most personality disorders typically include lack of insight to oneself and thus a real inability to see when one is wrong.  It is always "someone elses" fault. 
Schizotypal is interesting. I guess I could read up on this one but I doubt this fits him as much as something more like narcisstic,, or psycopathic personality disorder.  Bamster doesn't strike me so much as weird, eccentric or odd, as widely overconfident that he can fix the world, that he always knows what is best, true lack of guilt, true lack of real compassion, grandiosity, he is smarter than the entire world,
deceit, pathological lying, overt charm, and ability to lull people into like some sort of web, manipulative, using of other people's for one's own purpose until no longer convenient. 
These are all characteristics of personality disorders.  I think the author is thinking that his delusions of grandeur are so fantastic he almost has to be somewhere along the scale of psychotically delusional.  Perhaps.  But shcizotypals are not I don't think likely to manipulate and charm others so easily.  And true of psychopaths they are often very charming and such good liars that one does not know how much damage they have inflicted on those around them until - it is too late.  Sound familiar???

Clinton certainly had some of the narcistic personality disorder traits with regard to self love, pathologic lying, deceit, phoney emotion or empathy except when such displays suited his goals.  I don't think he ever had any guilt for any of his behavior.  It was all the fault of his political enemies.  His only remorse was clearly only insomuch as it annoyed or irritated him personally or affected his image.  I could never completely say he was totally a narcisstic personality disorder though. 

At least my take anyway.

As for this:

"Because Obama will not change. He will not learn from his mistakes. He will
not grow and mature from on-the-job experience. In fact, over time, Obama
will likely become a more ferocious version of who he is today."

So far this is proven correct.   He has only gotten away with it because of large majorities in both houses.  The MSM loves to shout about his acheivements at getting through health care and now financial reform.  We all know this happened not because of him but rather *despite* him.

And this is precisely why, if the Republicans can even win one house and stop his agenda I believe and have posted that IMO he will fold like an injured pelican stuck in oil.  I think he is incapable of anything other than pursuing his delusions.  And that makes him even more dangerous and ever more the reason he must be stopped. 

3244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / correction on: June 26, 2010, 01:11:02 PM
"of their children's system."

should be:  of their children' *status*.
3245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 26, 2010, 01:08:33 PM
Now we agree.  grin Thanks for your response.

" I've said we should stringently enforce all our immigration laws against illegal immigrants AND employers who employ them."

I agree and have posted this.

"To say you are going to round up and ship back the 10 million or so illegal immigrants already in this country is simply not practical or realistic."

Only because we don't have the political will but...

"But if you enforced and strengthened the immigration laws against employers and therefore there were no jobs for illegals, I bet a lot of them would go back on their own."

then, I agree with this point.  If we cut off the welfare, the food stamps, the jobs, start enforcing and carding people we wouldn't need to round up people and ship them over the border to wherever they came from.  It would mostly take care of itself.  If we cannot stop the anchor baby loophole then we could do what I otherwise suggest:

OK if illegals come here and have babies partly at our expense and we are stuck having to give them *automatic* citizenship, then those who abuse our country and our system by explicitly taking advantage of this loop hole are punishable by NEVER EVER being granted citizenship in their lifetime for any reason irregardless of their children's system.

Yes I work alongside some obvious illlegals.  Yes I look at them with sympathy.  But I also feel enraged that these people come here knowing that they can get benefits, hospital care, break our immigration laws, have babies that go to our tax funded schools, then turn around and call us racist, bigots and all the rest if we should even hint at protesting.

I am tired of being stupid.  I say again go back to your countries, whether it be in Asia, Africa, Caribbean, South/Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe and get in line.

"I do not think that "we have a huge unemployment problem, an expanding debt problem, or that we are going bankrupt, ....." due primarily to our 3-4% low paid illegal immigrants population."

Surely illegals are only a part of the problem and probably only a small part of it.  But they are part of it.  As I think I posted:  It is estimated that probably half of the lost or unfunded facility (hospital care) costs in NJ are due to illegals.  Our insurance rates go up yearly at least in part because of this.  The health system has to get that back from somewhere.

That is significant, outrageous. angry

And the fact that Democrats are siding with foreigners who are breaking the law from day one! angry


3246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JDN-stop kidding me on: June 26, 2010, 11:08:31 AM
"I don't quite get it; while I am not in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens, we already did it once."

I guess you don't.  It is quite astonishing really that you can say you are against illegal aliens 100% yet you find every argument you can think of to skirt the issue which is we have a flood of illegals using more than they contribute, we have a huge unemployment problem, we have a huge expanding debt problem, we are going bankrupt, we have a Dem controlled governement that refuses to do anything about it, we have Republicans who are afraid of offending legal latino voters, we have citizens afraid to speak out for fear of being labelled racist and the rest, and all you can do is find every reason to explain what NOT to do.

I do not believe you are against illegals.  This statement is incongruent with your arguments.

As for raising the number for legal citizenship pathway I have been quite clear I personally am completely against that.  What I am for is encouraging legal Americans to work harder and stop relying on 1/2 of the country to continue supporting them through taxation - period.  It is really quite simple.  The problem is the politicians are for themselves - not for the good of this nation.   
3247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Too few "clinics" target obesity - on: June 25, 2010, 12:15:18 PM
I wonder if the fact that many insurers as well as Medicare do not pay providers for treating people who are overweight has anyhting to do with this.

That said it would make no difference anyway. Clinics would not do any better then the thousands of commercial plans around, such as weight watchers, nutrisystem, and the rest.

***US. Report Finds Too Few Clinics Target Diabetes, Obesity
Email Print Share
THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) — Too few local health clinics in the United States offer diabetes screening or obesity prevention programs, according to a nationwide study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The clinics, which tend to serve poor clients, need to be “armed and equipped” to respond to the increasing threat of obesity and diabetes in the nation, study co-author Ann Albright said in a Center for the Advancement of Health news release.

She and her colleagues analyzed data from a 2005 survey of 2,300 health clinics and found that about 56 percent of them offered obesity prevention programs, 51 percent offered diabetes screening, and only one third offered both.

The findings were of particular concern since the percentage of obese American adults has doubled from 1980 to 2004, and the percentage of Americans diagnosed with diabetes may have doubled as well, according to researchers. People with diabetes and lower incomes run a higher risk of dying of the disease, research has shown.

Albright directs the Division of Diabetes Translation, which translates diabetes research into daily practice, at the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

One expert questioned the value of obesity and diabetes screening programs alone. Such programs “are not a big part of the solution. After all, they are designed to find the trouble, not necessarily fix it,” Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, said in the news release.

“We should define what contributions health departments can, and should, be making to global efforts at obesity and diabetes prevention and control, and then distribute resources to make sure they can all make these contributions. Otherwise, some will be doing far less than is needed, and some will be doing more than what is truly useful,” Katz said.

The CDC findings appear online and in the August print issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about overweight and obesity.

— Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, June 22, 2010, news release.

Last Updated: June 25, 2010

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.***
3248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / JDN question on: June 25, 2010, 10:45:54 AM
You state:

"Note, I strongly agree with all of the above 100%.  For various reasons, including national security, we need to crack down on illegal immigrants.  "How" is a challenge, but one we must face."

The difficulty is all politics.  We have a major party in this nation that sees immigrants as more voters.  They are blocking our ability to do anything.

The way to stop it is easy.  Stop the benefits, stop allowing employers to hire them, make it law that any illegal couple who has a child here can NEVER ever obtain citizenship and viola.  They will be going home.

That's my answer.  You appear to agree "100%" to crack down on them yet all you do is put up endless roadblocks with your arguments.

The benefits they receive is greater than any contribution to this nation.  We are going broke and we continue to dole out to them. 

What do you think we should do??

3249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: June 25, 2010, 10:39:58 AM
U.S. Department of Illegal Alien Labor
By Michelle Malkin  •  June 25, 2010 08:49 AM

My syndicated column today takes aim at open-borders Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. She’s already a familiar character to those of you who read Culture of Corruption (and here’s a reminder of the roll call vote on her Senate confirmation.)


The U.S. Department of Illegal Alien Labor
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

President Obama’s Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is supposed to represent American workers. What you need to know is that this longtime open-borders sympathizer has always had a rather radical definition of “American.” At a Latino voter registration project conference in Los Angeles many years ago, Solis asserted to thunderous applause, “We are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not.”

That’s right. The woman in charge of enforcing our employment laws doesn’t give a hoot about our immigration laws — or about the fundamental distinction between those who followed the rules in pursuit of the American dream and those who didn’t.

While in Congress, she opposed strengthening the border fence, supported expansion of illegal alien benefits (including driver’s licenses and in-state tuition discounts), embraced sanctuary cities that refused to cooperate with federal homeland security officials to enforce immigration laws, and aggressively championed a mass amnesty. Solis was steeped in the pro-illegal alien worker organizing movement in Southern California and was buoyed by amnesty-supporting Big Labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union (see also Trevor Loudon’s profile of her radical far-left ties). She has now caused a Capitol Hill firestorm over her new taxpayer-funded advertising and outreach campaign to illegal aliens regarding fair wages:

“I’m here to tell you that your president, your secretary of labor and this department will not allow anyone to be denied his or her rightful pay — especially when so many in our nation are working long, hard and often dangerous hours,” Solis says in the video pitch. “We can help, and we will help. If you work in this country, you are protected by our laws. And you can count on the U.S. Department of Labor to see to it that those protections work for you.”

To be sure, no one should be scammed out of “fair wages.” Employers that hire and exploit illegal immigrant workers deserve full sanctions and punishment. But it’s the timing, tone-deafness and underlying blanket amnesty agenda of Solis’ illegal alien outreach that has so many American workers and their representatives on Capitol Hill rightly upset.

With double-digit unemployment and a growing nationwide revolt over Washington’s border security failures, why has Solis chosen now to hire 250 new government field investigators to bolster her illegal alien workers’ rights campaign? (Hint: Leftists unhappy with Obama’s lack of progress on “comprehensive immigration reform” need appeasing. This is a quick bone to distract them.)

Unfortunately, the federal government is not alone in lavishing attention and resources on workers who shouldn’t be here in the first place. As of 2008, California, Florida, Nevada, New York, Texas and Utah all expressly included illegal aliens in their state workers’ compensation plans — and more than a dozen other states implicitly cover them.

Solis’ public service announcement comes on the heels of little-noticed but far more troubling comments encouraging illegal alien workers in the Gulf Coast. Earlier this month, in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, according to Spanish language publication El Diario La Prensa, Solis signaled that her department was going out of its way to shield illegal immigrant laborers involved in cleanup efforts. “My purpose is to assist the workers with respect to safety and protection,” she said. “We’re protecting all workers regardless of migration status because that’s the federal law.” She told reporters that her department was in talks with local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials who had visited coastal worksites to try to verify that workers were legal.

No word yet on whether she gave ICE her “we are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not” lecture. But it’s a safe bet.

3250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Russia-US "reset" on: June 24, 2010, 03:34:53 PM
If I wasn't crying out loud I would be laughing out loud.

"Obama declared Thursday that he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have "succeeded in resetting""  rolleyes

"Obama gave Russia perhaps the biggest gift it could have wanted from the meetings: an unqualified, hearty plug for Moscow's ascension to the World Trade
Organization." -  cry (The GREAT ONE did it again - Medvedev sound like he was swayed by greatness - even Mort Zucker is sickened)

***FOX News By DESMOND BUTLER, Associated Press Writer Desmond Butler, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 12 mins ago
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama declared Thursday that he and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have "succeeded in resetting" the relationship between the former Cold War adversaries that had dipped to a dangerous low in recent years.

Obama directly acknowledged differences in some areas, such as Moscow's tensions with neighboring Georgia, but said "we addressed those differences candidly." And he announced that the U.S. and Russia had agreed to expand cooperation on intelligence and the counterterror fight and worked on strengthening economic ties between the nations.

Obama gave Russia perhaps the biggest gift it could have wanted from the meetings: an unqualified, hearty plug for Moscow's ascension to the World Trade Organization. Russia has long wanted membership but U.S. support in the past has come with conditions.

"Russia belongs in the WTO," Obama said as the two leaders stood side-by-side in the East Room after several hours of meetings — including an impromptu trip to a nearby burger joint for lunch.

The leaders faced questions about the U.S.-led Afghanistan war, and Obama promised that the U.S. will "not miss a beat" because of the change in military command that he ordered on Wednesday. Obama accepted Gen. Stanley McChrystal's resignation and replaced him with his direct boss, Gen. David Petraeus.

Petraeus "understands the strategy because he helped shape it," Obama said.

Medvedev seemed reluctant to wade into the topic, recalling the ultimately disastrous Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

"I try not to give pieces of advice that cannot be fulfilled," Medvedev said. "This is a very hard topic, a very difficult one."

Yet he said that Russia supports the U.S. effort if it can result in Afghanistan emerging from extreme poverty and dysfunction to have "effective state and a modern economy."

"This is the path to guarantee that the gravest scenarios of the last time will not repeat," he said.

Obama said the two had also agreed to coordinate on humanitarian aid for Kyrgyzstan, wracked by turmoil in the wake of the president's ouster. Kyrgyzstan's president was driven from power in April amid corruption allegations, sparking violence that has left about 2,000 people dead and 400,000 ethnic Uzbeks homeless.

Asked about a major flashpoint between the U.S. and China, Obama said Washington would judge the effect of Beijing's latest currency announcement over the course of the year, rather than overnight. Obama and Medvedev go this weekend to Canada for the G-20 summit, with China's leader also attending. Obama faces pressure from Congress and the U.S. business community to press Beijing more aggressively on its currency policy.

The U.S. argues that the weak Chinese yuan hurts American exports. On Saturday, China announced it would loosen its controls on the currency, but the move may not strengthen the yuan enough for U.S. tastes.

The agenda for Obama and Medvedev was modest, and mostly focused beyond security issues to expanding trade and economic cooperation. Russia has the world's eighth-largest economy but ranks 25th among U.S. trading partners.

"The true significance of Medvedev's visit is that it brings us closer to a relationship that doesn't require Cold War-style summits to sustain itself," says Sam Charap, a Russia analyst at the Center for American Progress. "The lack of headlines is actually a sign of progress."

Medvedev arrived at the White House on a sweltering summer morning for a series of meetings with Obama and U.S. officials. It was their seventh meeting since Obama took office 17 month ago.

Leaving the formality of the White House, they sneaked away for an impromptu ride across the Potomac River to a popular hamburger joint — Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Va. Customers cheered when the two walked in.

Later, at the news conference, Medvedev called the burgers "probably ... not quite healthy but it's very tasty."

After their joint news conference, Obama and Medvedev were going together to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Ahead of the talks, U.S. officials pointed to signs that Obama's much-heralded efforts to start fresh with Moscow have delivered results, from Russian support for new U.N. sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program to the signing of a major treaty to reduce the two countries' stockpiles of nuclear weapons. They say the U.S. is standing its ground with Russia but shifting the tone away from conflict.

But conservative critics see Obama as too conciliatory and say he hasn't resolved disputes over issues such as Moscow's human rights record, missile defense and the legacy of the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. They charge that by speaking softly on those issues, the United States is compromising its influence among Russia's neighboring countries.

Medvedev began his U.S. visit in California, where he toured Silicon Valley high-tech firms as part of his push to establish a high-tech center in Russia.***
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